The evidence is in. In persecuting cannabis connoisseurs we’re effectively silencing the intelligencia, the artist, the poet, the peacenik – and it’s high time (ahem) it stopped. The other side has raised the white flag for a truce and it’s time to come to the table and negotiate a Peace for Pot package. We need our own two-state solution, with tolerance in between. As Allen Ginsberg said to Jack Kerouac in 1965, “It’s time for poets to influence American civilizaton.”
Our country’s version of the Tianamen massacre—the War on Drugs-- has arrested 20 million pot smokers, unlawfully detained or searched countless others, harassed, ridiculed, frightened, turned neighbors into informants and informees, and robbed our school budgets for prisons. In fact, by some estimates if the WOD escalates at current rates, half of the country will be behind bars with the other half its keepers, here in the Land of the Free. Let’s not forget that softer rhetoric hasn’t always meant kinder policies.
How wimpy is our increasingly strident and un-listened-to conservative faction if it’s fearful of a little Latina on the Supreme Court? As if by saying she is proud of the way her brain works and would pit it against the whole of Mt. Rushmore and beyond, she would heartlessly rule against anyone. That’s our opposition’s job.
How popular are drug warriors these days? The UK’s home secretary Jacqui Smith, who successfully pushed for a rollback of Tony Blair’s more liberal pot policies (just after admitting she’d smoked it in college), has resigned in disgrace over a sweeping set of misuse of public funds scandals.
One of the recommendations of the Beckley Foundation report, presented at UN meetings in Vienna in June, is to look at cannabis and creativity.
Just look around.
Bob Hope told jokes about marijuana like, "Instead of taking it away from the soldiers, we ought to give it to the negotiators in Paris," and he just got his own postage stamp. His partner on the Road to Morocco, Bing Crosby, was an admitted smoker who advised his son to put down the booze and pick up the pipe. Sammy Davis Jr., who once played the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, was reportedly a viper. Rodney Dangerfield wrote about it extensively in his memoir No Respect, and said he saw Jackie Gleason procuring some from his hotel room in the 1940s. To say these icons aren’t representative of Americans is to belittle us, and them. And there’s been quite enough belitting going on.
Let’s start with the uplifting, already.
Keep Up the Good Words,