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Saturday, July 14, 2007

From the Department of Misplaced Criticisms

posted by on July 14 at 15:32 PM

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’…

RSS icon Comments


Even if every state, county, and local community government "legalized" pot (the only "drug" I care about) it will still be a Federal crime and the feds will continue spending billions of dollars going after sellers and users. Besides punishing users, the government will also withhold federal funds for any communities that flout federal law, as they did when they used to withhold highway funds from states that would not lower their maximum speed limit to 55mph.

About a dozen years ago I attended a party and met who was then a Republican congressman for Washington State. Over drinks we talked about the war on drugs and he confided in me that most politicians, even then speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, would actually legalize pot if it weren’t political suicide. The Republicans don’t want to look soft on drugs, and the Democrats don’t want to look soft on crime.

I do like the idea of asking politicians their views on drugs, but don’t make it a yes or no question. Even a pot smoker, former ‘shroomer like me would not want to see coke, meth, or heroin legalized. I’d like to see the money spent combating weed go into medical treatment for those who’ve become addicted to hard drugs, and as economic incentive to third world countries to grow alternative crops or start industries that benefit their local populace.

I think that the economic benefits of decriminalizing marijuana should be stressed over the compassionate medical benefits, and we need to vote for politicians that agree.

Posted by elswinger | July 14, 2007 5:49 PM

In 50 years most cops and politicians and whoever was all for that Judge Dredd "I am the Law"(say it in your best Stallone voice, will be obsolete and all their sons and daughters who smoked weed or tried it and didn't make such a big deal of it or their friends and their friends friends(the ones with the stuff)will be in that world. Recruitment is down probably because people are sick and tired of the hipocritical act of busting someone you know in your heart you did the smae thing.
Trust me in 50 years the political landscape will change and well finally hopefully be over this Geriatric Hoover era fbi stich that our elders got us stuck in. Like it did any benfit for our nation and saved a lot of money, yeah right.
The only way to change the outlook is just stop feeding into the frenzy and get people to stop spreading the fear of marijuana and whatever else gets the goody goodynon sinning masses in a rut.
Just don't eat the magic cookies maaaaaaan.

Posted by summertime | July 14, 2007 6:08 PM

In 50 years, if I am alive, I will be in my 90's.

I thought that once the boomers who were the hippies of the 60's started running the world, pot would be legal, but it hasn't happened. Nor have they eradicated racism, sexism, or homophobia. I don't have much more faith in Gen X, Y, & Z.

Posted by elswinger | July 14, 2007 6:44 PM
Posted by required field | July 14, 2007 6:46 PM

Summertime demonstrates whats wrong with illegal drugs.

It rots the brain.

Posted by ecce homo | July 14, 2007 7:01 PM

Rot this. Can you survive 20 years in a combat unit in the army, lead as a an example to others, teach and train them so they can come home alive to their families. have you ever been to PLDC NCO academy. Have you created Ad-campaigns, do you know how to use Illustrator Adobe, Maya, Photoshop. I got a goal to create something to share with others. Whats your goal man? To crack down your self rightous whip on the backs of citizens who don't fit your skewed view of the world? Have you been promoted to E-6? E-7? Have you diligently also while in theater of operations persued your education online and networked what you were going to do when you got out of the army. Have you? Been to Japan? got any friends their? Clients? How bout Germany? I can name more adventure I have lived in for 40 years than you probably ever had or will have in your lifetime bub. and I'm retired now, drawing a pension cause I earned it , and I'm going to further my career as a goddamn artist because I can. and if a little smoke helps to calm me down, (instead of your wacky white man meds,you know lithium and other mood altering pshyche drugs) I've always like that and you know something smoking clears the mind and channels thought. It may be hard for you sober types to use the muscles in your brain to think even under the influence. You probably get stoned of cough syrup and tylenol. Try thinking under motar fire. Hows that for sober times.
So shut the eff up about 'stoners'.
thats what teahcer told you to call us huh? Or your pastor right? Do you give them an apple and tell of how you walk the old lady across the street? Not every body who smokes is some frickin egg head like your paranoid mind seems to drown your openmindedness. Sorry we smokers didn't burn out and fade away mr . Judge Dredd "I am the Law".
And another thing ECCE Homo you go save your little world and well being
and leave the future and real life to those who really give a shit.
All you do is sound like some old fuddy duddy who hasn't got any clue bout anything but what you mommy told you or most likely what Glenn Beck has to say. If thats your type of vibe I thank god theirs not a lot of people buying it. See your 20,000 non -sinning to my 20,000,000 smoking, toking, creative realness.

Posted by summertime | July 14, 2007 8:12 PM

I'll match wits with you anytime, but I'll most likely get you stoned since i'm tired of fighting stupid battles, the Iraq War, The war on drugs and people like you Ecce. peace out its saturday and I got assignments to and an ad campaign to work on. Go piss on someone elses view of the stupid vapid drug war that your so intent on fighting. Go ahead and turn in your whole family if that makes you happy. single handed you sound like you can put and end to the crisis that so seems to break your poor little heart. Boo hoo people are doing drugs. So effin what.

Posted by summertime | July 14, 2007 8:20 PM

Okay summertime.

Ya got me...

laughing on the goddamn floor that is.

If you are an artist, then I am the queen of england.

If you are our future, then I weap for it.

Oh, and an E-6 aint all that impressive.

I hope you get to the VA and get the help you need.

Posted by ecce homo | July 14, 2007 8:31 PM

I'm not out to impress anybody pal. You seem more that kind of guy. I got all the help I need also. Its called serving Honarably and now I'm going to be a civilian just like you.

Posted by summertime | July 14, 2007 8:36 PM


Posted by ecce homo | July 14, 2007 8:49 PM

Bitter, party of one, your table is ready. Our special tonight is roast troll.

Posted by sketchy homo | July 15, 2007 12:07 AM

Judge Dread????? what was that like mid 90's. Alrighhhhhhhty then! Time to get a DVD player my friend.

And unPc might want to lay off the weed a little bit.

Posted by Giffy | July 15, 2007 12:07 AM

What are you supposed to say when a guy beams in an alien from his amplifier?

Posted by summertime | July 15, 2007 9:01 AM

Dude, Keep on puffin.

Leave the big stuff to us grown ups.

Posted by ecce homo | July 15, 2007 11:42 AM

summertime -

are you stoned?

Posted by puffnstuff | July 15, 2007 2:44 PM

Judge Dredd dates back to the 70s. The (truly awful) movie was in the 90s.

Posted by Aexia | July 15, 2007 3:30 PM

"if every state, county, and local community government "legalized" pot..."

Then I'm guessing the federal government would see no reason to keep it illegal.

Posted by PdxRitchie | July 15, 2007 5:29 PM

Unfortunately they don't see it that way. Think about how many government agencies depend on the war on drugs to pad their budgets.

Posted by elswinger | July 16, 2007 3:58 PM

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