Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (2 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Mike Malloy: Keep It Lit...

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 7/30/08

Become a Fan
  (7 fans)

So, do you ever drink a glass of Cabernet to relax? You know, kick back in the most comfortable chair on your deck, put your feet up, raise some Dead music on your iPod, and just take a break from it all? Or maybe a double shot of Jack Black and spring water over ice. Or two of those. Okay, maybe several. Whatever. The object is not to get slobbering drunk or feed an urge to binge on alcohol. The object is relaxation, some quiet time, reflection maybe, an attempt to shake free from all the hideous sh*t that seems to be seeping from every corner of existence right now. Just a break, for god's sake.

Now, what if in drinking an alcoholic beverage you were violating the law? There was a time in this country, about 90 years ago (a time initiated by, yes, religious right-wing nuts and their Fascist cohorts in government) when having a drink, buying alcohol, manufacturing it, transporting it, in fact anything to do with alcohol that didn't involve using it as an antiseptic could result in a jail sentence or a prison term. The era of Prohibition that lasted for 12 years in the U.S. not only made criminals of countless numbers of ordinary people, but also gave birth to a crime wave of such tsunami-like proportions we are still - nearly a century later - dealing with the aftermath.

How about reefer? Instead of a reticent yet mildly saucy Cabernet, how about a nice fat doobie? Kick back on the deck with one of those and a couple of hours of The Dead and everything just sort of mellows out, right? Add a nice, friendly bag of Cheetos, an ice-cold liter bottle of sugar-free lemonade and, mmm-mmmmm, bliss.

Of course, if you do that, you are breaking some ridiculous, goddam law encouraged by - yup - religious right-wing nuts and their Fascist cohorts in government. And, of course, this is not a joke. Marijuana laws are responsible, in part, for the fact that we in the U.S. now imprison more of our own citizens (both in terms of percentage of population and actual raw numbers) than any other nation on earth. By this one measure, we have, as a nation, gone crazy and truly are living in an asylum.

The families that have been destroyed by the prison time that results from violation of marijuana laws are innumerable. Who keeps track? Who cares? The anguish of children separated from parents who are sentenced to decades in a lock-up for growing or selling or just smoking reefer is horrific and from which the kids may never recover. And the parents who see their children jailed for having dope in the car, in their pocket, in their back-pack? How do you recover from that? And that is not to suggest smoking dope is a permissible activity for kids. It is not. Neither is smoking death-dealing cigarettes, or drinking alcohol, or any other behavior that might put a young person's physical, emotional, or psychological development at risk.

Marijuana laws - all marijuana laws - are utter bullshit and most rational people understand that. And yet we continue to allow them to exist. Well, maybe not too much longer. Maybe we should stop allowing the arrest of "responsible marijuana users," Rep. Barney Frank said today, announcing a proposal to end federal penalties for Americans carrying fewer than 100 grams of the substance.

As reported by CNN, Frank said during a Capitol Hill news conference, "The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government's business. I don't think it is the government's business to tell you how to spend your leisure time."

Allen St. Pierre, spokesman for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) likened Frank's proposal to current laws dealing with alcohol consumption. Alcohol use is permitted and the government focuses its law enforcement efforts on those who abuse booze or drive under its influence. "We do not arrest and jail responsible alcohol drinkers," he said. (The complete CNN article is here.) 

Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance Network adds, "The U.S. stance on marijuana is one of the most destructive criminal justice policies in America today."

Frank's legislation is titled HR 5843. It is not a cure for the reefer madness that is now rampant in our criminal justice system. But, it may be a start in an effort to stop the right-wing religious freaks and the Fascist wannabees who now infest our government in their century-long effort to prohibit activity that is simply none of their business.

 

www.mikemalloy.com

Mike Malloy is a former writer and producer for CNN (1984-87) and CNN-International (2000). His professional experience includes newspaper columnist and editor, writer, rock concert producer and actor. He is the only radio talk show host in America to have received the A.I.R (Achievement in Radio) Award in both (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Move Over, Mother Teresa

The Savage Weiner

Collateral Damage?

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November...

'Soldiers work for corporations, not for the people'

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

"Sun Set" for all laws. Term of action n... by Brad Evans on Thursday, Jul 31, 2008 at 1:10:16 PM
Yo, Brad;you've got it. Sun set all laws, save... by Green Ray on Saturday, Aug 2, 2008 at 1:45:18 PM
Just legalize the stuff! The local government can ... by camanokat on Friday, Aug 1, 2008 at 8:45:26 PM