Legalize Marijuana Obama!
Will President Obama ever push for legalization of marijuana?
(or anything else remotely progressive?)
With the election safely won for the good guys (or at least the not-as-bad guys), I will freely admit that one of the reasons I supported Obama was that I thought he might be persuaded to lead America toward a sane drug policy, including the full legalization and prudent regulation of marijuana. Alas, I seem to have set my hopes too high (so to speak). Why do American politicians have to be such politicians? We need leaders, damn it!
In times like these, the issue of marijuana legalization may seem trivial. It is not. In fact, it is central, at least symbolically, to everything else that is wrong in America and the world at this moment. Obama can't fix everything by legalizing marijuana, but legalization of weed is one big, bold step down the right path.
How did we get here, to this state of financial and ethical bankruptcy? (Did I just say "ethical bankruptcy?" Yes. We torture people and hold them indefinitely without charge now, a fact that would have horrified our forefathers since they fought a bloody revolution against the exact same injustices. There's a reason the Constitution so clearly spells out the right to due process and forbids "cruel and unusual" punishment: The Brits of yore had their own versions of Guantanamo, as many an American patriot learned the hard way.)
While complex, it distills down to the abandonment of the core principles that made the good ol' USA great: liberty, equality under the law (justice), and human rights. (Does anybody remember the Bill of Rights and what a profoundly significant moment in GLOBAL history its enactment represents? America was the first nation in the world founded on principles of human rights. Slavery aside -- and let's remember that it had been banned in many states even as the Constitution was signed -- the founding of the United States of America was a radical and hopeful moment in human history, the physical manifestation of Enlightenment principles.)
Nowhere is the abandonment of the principles enshrined in our foundational documents more nakedly evident than in the War on Drugs, particularly the war on marijuana. Let me take this point by point:
Marijuana prohibition spits in the face of Liberty
What do Abraham Lincoln's and Thomas Jefferson's private letters have in common? Both contain glowing accounts of growing and smoking "Indian hemp," which was what you might call sinsemilla, seedless cannibis as grown in India for thousands of years as a sacrament (speaking of which, it encroaches on the free practice of religion to deny those religions that regard ganja as a sacrament the right to use it). Back in the good old days, people used hemp for many, many other things besides smoking so they had to distinguish "Indian hemp" (aka, the chronic, the dank, the kind, the sticky) from plain old hemp.
Hemp never stopped being a splendid material for numerous industrial purposes. But American farmers and manufacturers are prohibited from including its production and use in their business plans. How does this not obstruct free trade!?! Here you have a plant that grows easily on every continent except Antarctica, a plant whose range extends from the equator to almost the Arctic, a plant that nourishes (as opposed to depleting) the soil and requires no chemical pesticides. Who the HECK is the DEA to tell people they can't grow it? God (For rhetorical purposes, let's just assume there is one and that it is a He.) seems to want it to grow everywhere. I hope He smites those jack-booted demons who bash in people's doors for growing His Good Weed. Growing marijuana in this day and age is an heroic act and probably the most honest job out there. Dope growers of the world, I salute you! Long live the free market and Freedom in general!
(Note: Just to be clear, I am not a dope grower, nor do I know any dope growers. I only wish I were brave enough to run in those circles.)
Second sub-point on Liberty: How ridiculous is it that smoking a certain plant is illegal? That's absurd on its face, prima facie ridiculous.
The war on marijuana is unjust and un-economical
Here in the Land of the Free, we lock up a greater percentage of our population than does any other country in the world. We spend untold billions of dollars to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate non-violent "drug" users. Forget about the human rights angle for a second; from an economic standpoint, it's a stupid investment. Making stupid investments with your own money is one thing, but don't do it with taxpayer money: They use our own money to oppress us. Even if you're not a marijuana smoker, it oppresses you by spending your money stupidly.
Hey, Obama, you want to balance the budget? Cut the DEA. Cut the prisons. Let local cops fight real crime in their own communities instead of making them hassle with paperwork when they find a bag of weed in somebody's pocket. Save our local courts the expense of this absurd witch hunt!
The war on marijuana is a violation of basic human rights
I am human. Hear me roar, Obama, and all you other politicians.
I have the right -- the GODDAMN GOD-GIVEN RIGHT!!! -- to plant whatever seeds I want in my own dirt. I have the right to put whatever plant I want in my own pipe in the comfort and privacy of my own home. I have the right to perform any job for which I am qualified without suffering the indignity of pissing in a cup. I have the right of privacy. I have the right to pursue happiness, and I have the right to say, "F**k anybody who would try to take these rights from me!"
Further to that, double-hump you with queen-sized, ungreased dildos set on "earthquake" if you are a politician who has smoked marijuana but refuses to advocate legalization! Obama admits to having smoked marijuana. Sarah Palin admits it. Clinton admitted it. A whole slew of them have admitted it. They're saying that it's OK to throw other people in jail, to ruin other people's lives, for a "crime" that they, themselves, "got away with." Every slimeball politician who admits to having experimented with marijuana yet opposes legalization deserves mockery, harassment, and humiliation until they capitulate and work for an end to this insane prohibition.
The fact of the matter is that a damn lot of good people -- smart people, successful people, happy people -- choose to smoke weed. They choose to smoke it even though it's against the law, answering to a higher law. It's time for those people to stand up and be counted, to demand an end to this oppression!
Obama, please live up to the hope, and legalize dope!
If you, Obama, turn out to be just another hypocritical politician, it would deeply disappoint a great many of us out here, as I am sure you are aware.
Make sure to vote in the marijuana poll if you have not already. I am going to send the results (totally anonymous -- the logs are scrubbed twice a day) to President Obama on 4-20.
I wrote a little song on this subject, too, if you're into that sort of thing.