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of Kindness, Love & Grace
Like You Wouldn't Believe
Call For A Cease Fire In The Ancient Forest Wars
On Bruce Cockburn's "Trouble With Normal"
(War on Drugs. . . .)
WOD since 68
Marijuana busts have doubled since Clinton took office and, in 1997 alone, 695,000 Americans were arrested for pot, about 90% for mere possession, according to R. Keith Stroup of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijunia Laws (NORML), quoting the FBIs own statistics. One in seven prisoners confined for drug offenses is in for marijuana. Of the almost two million prisoners in the U.S., nearly 300,000 of them are in for some kind of drug related offense.
The last time we (re-)discovered this timeless human truth was during the Prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s. The crime and corruption generated by outlawing booze were far, far worse for society than problems associated with individual abuse of alcohol itself. It took a decade for the nation to acknowledge this fact and repeal the prohibition.
It is the profit motive artificially created by criminalization that incites sociopathic behavior, fracturing the social contract and eroding community standards. Such behavior presents a far greater health hazard to society than the individual smoking of pot or even snorting cocaine or shooting heroin. Dr. Jocelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, and Dr. Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, and others have been trying to tell the American public this for years.
What was true of alcohol prohibition is true of drug prohibition. The price our nation has been forced to pay during all the decades of this chicanery is beyond counting. We have become a cruel nation inflicting massive suffering on millions of people caught within the grinding system of a get-tough policy gone mad.
And we lose economically too. Our nation has been forced to relinquish a major economic boon in developing the environmentally benign products and practices of the hemp industry. Yet, all this has been deceitfully concealed from the public by the use of the most sophisti-cated techniques of disinformation. Why would our government do such a thing?
Just great! Now I can deliver my child to my local police station and instruct her to just pee into this nice container here for this nice policeman so we can invade the mystery of your body to find out if youre a criminal or not. What a sensitive way to deepen the trust bonds between me and my child while introducing her to the realities of civilized adult life. And all at no charge!
NORMLs Allen St. Pierre remarked, Parents intent on evaluating their childrens excrement for evidence of past drug use can go to any major drug chain store and purchase a private drug test, rather than expose their children to the criminal justice system and its structural infirmities.
To understand our national priorities vis-a-vis The WOD and our children, lets look at comparisons. Our childrens education fund is being literally looted by WOD warriors. In California, for instance, new prison spending has out-distanced that of new colleges by 19 to 1. And theres no end to it. California predicts all its prisons will be filled to capacity by April, 2001. (Whatll we do? Build more!)
In California, prison guardsmany of whom being high school drop-outsreceive higher pay than college-educated teachers. And with endless increase in prisoner population, we keep needing more of them. In recent years, thousands of the states teachers have been laid-off, with the savings going to the criminal justice system. I dont mean to begrudge a guard his or her pay for such stressful, dangerous work in that horrific environ-ment. But what about societys education needs, which so many politicians have given so much lip service to for so long?