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Blog Posted in avatar   Leonard Krivitsky's Blog

The evils of cannabis prohibition are beyond the denial of good

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By Leonard Krivitsky
Posted Feb 25, 2011 in Lifestyle
February 25, 2011
It definitely appears as of late that the DEA and its prohibitionist allies have intensified the already quite intense anti-Cannabis repression on all levels. Just recently, the Oklahoma mom was given a 10 year sentence for 31 dollars worth of pot, a harassment of Las Vegas Medicinal Cannabis establishments are in full "swing" the open war against patients' rights and Medicinal Cannabis is waged in every State that considers it, and the so-called "random drug tests", which I consider a cornerstone of prohibitionist repression are on the rise. The organization "Join Together" reported a couple of days ago that 10 States even consider random drug tests for public assistance recipients, the abhorrent invasion of privacy notwithstanding, while also in defiance of previous court decisions declaring such practices unconstitutional. The war on Medicinal Cannabis patients continue unabated, with absolutely brutal measures such as denial of housing subsidies and outright dismissals (as in the case of Walmart vs. Joseph Casias, a cancer patient and employee of the year, fired for testing "positive" for his medication - the Medicinal Cannabis. Children are encouraged to "rat" on their patents for growing Cannabis, a situation altogether close to what the "Hitler Youth" did in Nazi Germany. And what about political prisoners held in American prisons for their Cannabis Freedom activism - people like Marc Emery, Chris Bartkowicz and Roger Christie? We can can continue on and on with the cases of anti-Cannabis/Medicinal Cannabis brutality, but we also have to cover at least some of the factors that make it possible for this whole outrage to exist.
First of all, let's meet some of Cannabis Freedom opponents, the unsavory lobbyists for alcohol and tobacco industries, the Big Pharma, the "hate groups" such as "Heritage Foundation" and "Family Research Council", as well as, of course, the monstrous entity already described in my other blogs - the "Prison-Industrial Complex". Without the staunch support by these individuals and entities it would be very difficult for the DEA to maintain the level of repression that it is currently able to maintain. It should be clear to everyone that money and profits motivate the alcohol and tobacco lobbies, for these people know well the so-called "gateway drug theory" for the scientific garbage that it is, and they realize that if more people choose a much safer way to relax with Cannabis, rather than with alcohol, the huge profits of the industry may take a serious "hit". The same goes for Big Pharma, as Medicinal Cannabis can and will eventually serve as a safe, effective and inexpensive alternative to many of pharmaceutical chemicals currently on the market. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Professor-Emeritus of Psychiatry of the Harvard Medical School, said it best:
“Cannabis will one day be seen as a wonder drug, as was penicillin in the 1940s. Like penicillin, herbal marijuana is remarkably nontoxic, has a wide range of therapeutic applications and would be quite inexpensive if it were legal”.
A big difference from the racist ramblings of the first Cannabis prohibitionist, Harry Anslinger", and paranoid and anti-scientific declarations of his admirer, President Richard Nixon.
Then we have the "hate groups". Their numbers are said to be increasing, something that does not surprise me especially, considering the contentiousness and violent tendencies underlying this society, something that will have to be addressed sooner or later. It is noteworthy that the "hate groups" don't just oppose the Cannabis Freedom, they oppose everything progressive, everything that may promote human liberty and understanding. They oppose Gay Rights, reproductive freedom, stem-cell research, safe sex education, you name it! Of course, Cannabis/Medicinal Cannabis Freedom is no exception, and I believe that very few people would expect it to be.
But what about the rest of the population? Why more people are not "rising up" (or speaking out) against these enemies of Liberty? How could they be allowed to go as far in their despotism as to even turn into "nothingness" the basic tenet of this democracy - the Presumption of Liberty, that the Shafer Commission pointed to even back in 1972? How can even now, for example, a bunch of rogue "politicos" in Montana abolish the Medicinal Cannabis Law, duly voted for and supported by absolute majority of the population? Why in these hard economic times, our so-called "representatives" would be willing to enact massive cuts in many essential programs, but no one "dares" to speak about cutting the over-bloated DEA "marijuana enforcement" budget, or the budget of its "clients", the Prison-Industrial Complex"?
Well, now is the time to turn to what I called earlier the cornerstone of the DEA system of repression, the so-called "random drug tests". This system is actually so ingenious that even the KGB itself would probably "admire" it. Aren't we surprised that in poll after poll absolute majority of Americans voice their support for marijuana decriminalization and for Medicinal Cannabis Legalization, and yet these issues are not advancing nearly fast enough? Some people would probably say, Well, Dr. "K", aren't you exaggerating a bit? If, according to you, most people support these Initiatives, why aren't they speak up? Why don't they try to advance the causes they believe in so much, and openly demand the change of brutal and outdated anti-Cannabis "laws", the end to DEA absolute dominance, and the end to the whole failed "drug war", for that matter? The answer is FEAR! Fear is the all-time favorite weapon of all the tyrants in history, applicable to impose their will in so many different diverse situations.
You see, it is one thing to answer to an anonymous "poll", but it is quite another matter to come out openly, and to declare the opposition to the DEA and its minions publicly. What if a person who decides to do that occasionally indulges in the safe relaxation with Cannabis in the privacy of his own home? Well, the DEA and its allies want to make sure that such privacy does not exist. Because an open protest may easily lead to a "random drug test", and if it comes out to be positive, a person's life is severely damaged, if not destroyed, on so many levels. And, of course, any marijuana arrest will have a ruinous effect on a person's life, even according to well-known Christian Conservative Pat Robertson and the former US Surgeon-General Joycelin Elders. Even the politicians are not "immune" to the fear-tactics and blackmail by the DEA and its allies. The DEA is good with attaching "labels", and few politicians will risk being labeled as "soft on drugs", be it for the support of Medicinal Cannabis or Cannabis Legalization in general.
What this all means, is that we need to extend our education to employers as well. This is where we can demonstrate that the random "drug screens" the way they are done now, are completely counterproductive. Because of a "safety mechanism" built in the Cannabis plant (addressed in other articles), Cannabis metabolites leave the system slowly, making their "detection" possible for a long time, as opposed to alcohol, cocaine, opiates, many tranquilizers, or methamphetamine. So people, including the young people, indulge in alcohol, hard drug, and prescription drug abuse often because these substances are much less likely to be detected, especially if a "binge" happens on Friday night, for example. This is exactly why Cannabis prohibition goes far beyond simple "denial of good", but instead fosters the evil that is not known or understood by many people. Let's not forget for a moment that Cannabis use suppresses violent urges and behaviors, which alcohol (and cocaine), on the other hand, effectively promote.
In this highly stressful society people do look for ways to relax and "unwind" from all the trials and tribulations they have to go through all the time. Alcohol, hard drugs, or dangerous, physically addictive prescription drugs are hardly suitable for this purpose, and the DEA Utopia of a drug-free society is unrealistic and deceptive. The substances (including alcohol and prescription drugs, and even something as simple as sugar)surround us on all sides, and the safe substance use will eventually have to be taught, just like the safe sex in the past, especially when the "powers that be" recognized that abstinence is not really a viable option.
Even though there is no way out of presenting this rather bleak picture of the DEA repression, its dominance will come to a crushing end. This is, as I already pointed out in other articles, simply philosophically inevitable. The reason is that ALL the DEA scare tactics are based on "unreality" Cannabis is not physically addictive, the so-called "gateway drug" theory is invalid, there is no "teenage drug use" has not increased in any country (or State) that decriminalized Cannabis, and the much touted drug Marinol is not at all the same as Medicinal Cannabis. To deny the remarkable medicinal properties of the Cannabis Plant is not a "rational" thing to do altogether. History and philosophy prove that when a public policy, (and I mean any public policy), is based on a total "unreality", such policy will collapse miserably, with the people of the future incredulous as to how it survived for as long as it did!
So, what are we to do in the face of a continuing and intensifying Anti-Cannabis repression by the DEA and its allies? Is their a solution that we can pursue? Yes, there is, but any solution will require the overcoming of "consciousness of fear"! Also, it is crucial that we register to vote and actually vote on election days. I agree with Bill Maher that it is disgraceful that only 11% of 18- to 29-year-olds actually voted in the last election! Well, youngsters, do not count on our generation to legalize Cannabis for you, as most of the "baby boomers" are too brainwashed by decades of misinformation to make themselves into an effective force for this kind of change! Make sure you vote, and make sure you target any politician ranting or acting against the Cannabis Freedom for a certain defeat! The voting booth is one of the few places where people may feel reasonably safe against the DEA reprisals. Another thing that is mandatory if we want the Cannabis Freedom to prevail is to comment at the news articles that come every day on the Internet. Yes, this will entail personal "exposure", but this is one thing that may greatly influence both editorial attitudes and public opinion. Also, if tens of thousands of people suddenly start to comment, the repressive apparatus at our enemies' disposal will be simply overwhelmed. Make sure also that you talk with your friends, parents, grandparents, and even teachers about Cannabis and stand up to the deception and disinformation surrounding this issue.
To win the Cannabis freedom will require determination, courage, and a concerted effort of tens of thousands of people, but when the prohibition finally falls, and its perpetrators are exposed for what they are, and for the crimes against humanity that their actions caused, the reward, both physical and spiritual, will be "sweet" and long-lasting!

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