Source: xxdr_zombiexx Posted and copyright by www.marijuana.com, december 2, 2001 In the wake of September 11th, the US Federal Government has worked day and night, feverishly taking advantage of the hysteria and the confusion to obtain long-sought policy changes historically decried as unconstitutional. The impact on cannabis culture has been the creation of a setting in which the Bush Administration has elected to intensify the war on "drugs", replete with new attempts at demonizing cannabis culture as somehow funding terrorist networks with their black market spending (ie: buying pot). Various sorts of people, from Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to the current head of the D.A.R.E. program, have openly suggested that drug users were helping terrorists attack America by buying illegal "drugs" since investigations of the suspected terror organizations found them earning substantial money from "drug" trafficking. This is actually not news. We saw reports all throughout the 80's and 90's about the billions of dollars the cartels were raking in. We saw that those cartels were in South American countries which also had large Guerrilla movements. And we saw at least 2 major cartels go down in flames, only to be replaced by smaller organizations. The profits remain for those who can take them. And, as timeless as a certain scotch, those drug profits create invisible funds to buy weapons to fight not-so-invisible wars. Prohibition, not "drugs", is the problem. Cannabis Prohibition is built on media dis-information, distortion, blackout, and on suppressing any distinction between or discussion of "soft" and "hard" drugs. Think of this whenever you hear the terms "illicit" or "street", or "drug" used in the media: this is done to both obscure the soft-hard distinction and to link cannabis with heroin addiction. The intent is to defame by association, as well as "dis-informing" (purposefully lying to) Americans with the purpose to delude them about what is at stake. Attempts are being made to reinforce this connection since reports that terrorist organizations make a lot of money off of heroin and cocaine trafficking. The intent is for the general population to think that people who buy marijuana somehow funded terrorists as well and are thus un-american, and bad people. This in turn, is to garner public support for certain future actions that will be unpopular locally. Prohibition creates and subsidizes black market trafficking, and enforcement determines risk. Risk determines profit; the stiffer and more effective the enforcement, the greater the risk. Profits have been huge these past 20 years because of the massive, world-wide enforcement that is the War on Drugs. Only those capable of coping with both law enforcement and rival organizations can make the big bucks. Para-military groups can do that. And these groups have been very successful, despite this Worldwide War, precisely because cocaine and heroin, not marijauna, is where the profits are. Heroin and cocaine are compact chemicals, this aids in smuggling becuase it's possible to make huge profits off of relatively small endeavours. Guerrilla and terrorist groups all have black market arms connections and networks for the allocation and distribution of (hopefully) restricted heavy weapons. Volume production and effective transport/export networks maintain high profits for the movers yet can drive down cost and increase purity on the street. Sold by weight, not by volume Cannabis, on the other hand, is a leafy, fibrous plant: even when treated brutally and put in compactors (the horror...), it is very bulky. Marijuana takes up lots of space. It requires moving and distributing tons and tons of this space-intensive product to make even barely respectable profits in comparison to chemicals. While lucrative on a small, local scale, it can't be worth the hassle for many people half a world away. Most marijuana in America is either grown here or trucked in from Mexico. The bad guys in the attacks were supposedly funded by Southeast Asian heroin, most of which is known to supply Europe, not the US. Marijuana had nothing to do with the attacks. Any such implication is simply madness. Nonetheless, in this updated version of Reefer Madness, Cannabis Culture - meaning all persons who purposefully affiliate with the cannabis plant, for whatever reason; from smokers to medical users, to sacramental to industrial and nutritional uses (I think it would be splendid for landscaping...) and excepting the DEA (the KKK of Cannabis Culture) - are being associated with the terrorists who attacked our country because of this profit. Campaign of Defamation When the Government and the Media people on TV tell the masses that "drug users fund terrorism when they buy druuugs" that is meant to defame "potheads", and libel them as "un-american". There are 10's of million's of pot smokers in America, the vast majority of those staunch, flag-waving, hardworking Americans, like yours truly: this is outright defamation and it is inexcusable. In the wake of this we have seen raids by the DEA up and down the state of California, attacking established medical cannabis operations in model compliance with state laws, an assault on doctor-patient confidentiality, and, essentially, lots of very sick and disabled persons...Americans. It is also an assault on Prop 215, the milestone in the American People's disgust with cannabis prohibition and, along with the attack on Oregon's Death with Dignity law, and an attack on the expressed Will of the People. Here's the big picture: They dropped the ball on the terror networks issue, they can't intervene in the anthrax problem, but they can further expend law enforcement powers and resources to terrorize common people and to attack legal reform efforts. Thus the defamation campaign is essentially a propaganda blitz done in an attempt to garner support nationally, for these moves that they knew good and well will make the locals unhappy. The response locally has been very angry, from the District Attorney of San Francisco declaring his city a "medical marijuana haven", to international outcry. Cannabis reform is as American as it gets. Far from being anti-american, as this defamation campaign would imply, Cannabis Reform has been, and continues to be, an excellent example of how our democratic form of government is supposed to work in the face of institutionalized injustice. It is millions of American people working together to change A law that they all feel to be unjust. Cannabis reform seeks redress of laws which allow and promote the systematic suppression of, any use, or association with, the cannabis plant. These laws promote the harrassment, asset forfeiture, arrest, imprisonment, ruination, and forcing into exile or murder of persons who even express an interest in doing so (especially if there's land involved). It does so in a way that demonstrates the values inherent in American culture and in a way that highlights our democratic form of government. The Bush Administration's raids and rulings are, essentially, an abuse of and an assault on that very form of government. Cannabis reform is made of writing, educating, speaking out, contacting political and corporate figures, starting ballot initiatives, getting signatures, getting media coverage, dealing with corrupt and slack local government offices (like everybody else has to), and getting issues put on ballots. People vote for cannabis reform and it usually wins by a clear margin. Despite actions of the Bush administration, they will continue to win. Prohibition is Corruption Despite the ever-increasing calls for it to end, right at a time when an important group of countries are on the verge of de facto or full legalization, and, not to mention being under threats of impending terrorist incidents, cannabis prohibition in America appears to be intensifying. Cannabis prohibition is the largest on-going civil rights violation of our time. Cannabis reform issues have come before State and Federal Supreme Courts again and again because of the way the enforcement of cannabis prohibition requires erosion of constitutional rights. The excessive police powers and huge sums of "invisible" money made possible by war on "druuuugs" have seriously corrupted much of our Law Enforcement apparatus, impairing its judgement, and damaging its ability to provide for our security. From Miami to New York to LA, we see the Police in court from harassing, beating, framing, torturing, and murdering people. This is why people are outraged now by attempts by the Bush Administration to ramrod through even further unchecked powers. Cannabis Culture, in America, is a Class A example of the suppression of a minority group. We have had some of the very same abuse that was doled out to African-Americans and homosexuals only a few years ago. We are the target of an entire industry that tests bodily fluids for by-products of cannabis use, encouraged to do so by the US Government to make it difficult on cannabis users to get jobs (if you hadn't heard, cannabis metabolites stay in the metabolism roughly three to 6 weeks. You could smoke on vacation in Amsterdam one weekend and lose your job two weeks later.) Cannabis Culture is to the US Government what Falun Gong is to the Chinese government. Enforcement of cannabis prohibition resulted in the arrest of over 730,000 people last year. That is more than all the people arrested for all violent crimes combined, at a time when well-dressed, good looking terrorists walked cheerfully out of obscurity into the largest terrorist event in history. There were over 5 million arrests for cannabis possession during the 8 years of the supposedly "liberal" President Clinton. They clog the judicial system. Who wants to argue that is not a stunning waste of time and effort and taxpayer money,? This has to be called into question not only when people get to the business of studying why said ball was dropped, but when general accounting is done (was this a good use of funds?). Whereas cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs have warped perceptions and priorities of Law Enforcement's mission and this, in turn, has compromised United States borders, it stands to reason that legalization of Cannabis is now a matter of National Security. Law enforcement must be allowed to focus solely on threats to life, limb and country, not maintaining a watered-down jihad against a plant. Cannabis Culture is a celebration of freedom, life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It promotes tolerance, non violence, sharing, caring and respect for others; and yes, truth, justice, and the American way. Cannabis Prohibition is Un-American. It is prohibition that divides the country, encouraging one half of the country to look down upon and to try their best to imprison the other. It enflames and encourages rascism this way as well as via racial profiling. And it is prohibition that requires and pursues erosion and dismantling of the US Constitution and assails the Bill of Rights. This weakens the country. It is Prohibition that has created a vast chasm of suspicion between "law enforcement" and "the people" because of the long-standing and on-going abuse of trust and power that has characterized the relationship. This in particular contributed to our lapse of security: law enforcement has the numbers to show they spent more time arresting marijuana smokers than providing quality internal and border security. This weakens the country. The abuse of racial profiling has rendered a possible war-time tool useless because of its egregious previous abuses. The demand for broader wiretap and eavesdropping powers and minimization of oversight or checks is tainted as well: they've had some greatly expanded powers. Ashcroft swears he's not going to allow any misuse of these powers. It would be nice to believe this power would be used professionally and in good faith, but even suggesting it sounds idealistic, doesn't it? This weakens the country. As an American I am just outraged to hear politicians and others equate Cannabis culture with being in any way related to persons who attacked our country. We are blamed for the consequences of these fraudulent policies in a time when we need to base decisions on reality, not propaganda. Thus the legalization of cannabis and the move to a harm-reduction health model is absolutely vital to eliminate the dynamics of the black market and allow more accurate asessment of priorities. Not only will it be a vastly better use of law enforcement resources and measurably improve our national security, but we could have the luxury of admiring, not fearing, them. It's not too much to ask. xxdr_zombiexx FREEDOM ENDURES Note: Dr. Zombie is neither a doctor nor a zombie. It is my "netname". Despite being an American, I feel it is unsafe to use my real name because of the de facto absence of protection under the United States constitution for people who are pro-cannabis. Potheads don't have rights, really. I don't want to be hunted down, harassed, arrested, have my stuff confiscated, forfeited, or otherwise stolen from me, and I sure as hell don't want to go to jail or be shot to death.