Media From the Department of Misplaced Criticisms
posted by July 14 at 15:32 PMon
In the comments of “This Week on Drugs,” unPC posted this sic-packed question:
Instead of posting humorous blogs, why doesn’t the STRANGER DO SOMETHING about the phony war against drugs and require all candidates to disclosre all epxeriences iwth drugs?
Rather than responding to unPC with something sarcastic - as a long-time drug policy reform advocate, I obviously agree with his sentiment - I’ll start by providing an excerpt from a 2003 article that shows the Stranger essentially does what unPC suggests—take a candidate to task for their hypocritical position on drug policy. It is the best thing written about Initiative 75 by Dan Savage and the worst thing ever written about Kollin Min. Enjoy.
I got the impression that night that Min might be a weasel. Then Min came in for an endorsement interview and my first impressions were vindicated: Min was definitely a weasel.
Asked if he was going to vote for I-75, an initiative that would make marijuana possession the Seattle Police Department’s “lowest law-enforcement priority,” Min said he would vote against it. Min had just made a lovely little speech about the plight of racial minorities in Seattle. When we pointed out that racial minorities get busted for pot possession at disproportionate rates, Min shrugged it off. Asked if he supported marijuana decriminalization, he said no, marijuana should remain illegal. Asked if he had ever smoked pot, Min paused. Yes, he said, he had smoked pot.
You can read the entire weasel-labeling article here.
So there you go, unPC. And while that’s great stuff (and here’s even more great stuff), bitch-slapping hypocritical candidates is just one piece of the puzzle. Before politicians can get elected on platforms to change drug policy, the public has to want them to change it. Right now, for instance, only around 50 percent of Washington voters support legalizing marijuana. So the real work is showing those voters that the drug war has been an ineffective, racist boondoggle—and there are more effective and humane alternatives. That’s a job for the press. However, mainstream news outlets make nary a peep that this seven-decade lock-up-all-the-drug-users-but-barely-fund-treatment campaign has been an unmitigated disaster. Not the Stranger. The article above by Dan is one of countless examples of the Stranger calling out bullshit and supporting better laws.
And by the way, the person who posted that “humorous blog” rather than being willing to “do something” was me—the leader of the I-75 campaign. Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, I’m just sayin’…