Thursday, August 04, 2005

Over on Lew Rockwell dot com

My friend, Mike Cust, and I penned a piece for about Emery. It's entitled "Block the extradition of a hero for liberty." For more from me on the Emery affair, you can read this blog:, or follow Here is an excerpt:

It is because of his long career of activism that the DEA is targeting him. Unlike other seed merchants who quietly conduct their affairs, Emery puts the brunt of his efforts into the movement to end the prohibition of marijuana and to legitimate the culture that has emerged surrounding the plant.

Since the prohibition of drugs is a multi-billion dollar affair, we shouldn't be surprised. Drug cops, prosecutors, judges, politicians, prison construction contractors, companies that use cheap prison labour, and military firms that sell weapons and surveillance equipment to drug law enforcement are all significantly enriched by the continuation of the war on drugs.

Further, those participating in the drug war share a common assumption about members of the marijuana culture. They all believe that marijuana people are second-class citizens who deserve to be vilified. Their views are best expressed in U.S. Drug Czar John Walter's statement that Vancouver's marijuana scene is "moral pollution."

In the public policy sphere, the assumptions of the drug warriors are the rule. With very few exceptions, all politicians operate on the assumption that there is something inherently wrong with using and growing marijuana.

But such views are in direct contradiction with society's values. Consider Cheech and Chong movies, the Simpsons, South Park, late-night talk shows, and the stories most of us have about our own experiences with marijuana. These all involve the implicit understanding that smoking marijuana is innocent, largely harmless, and fun.

We're right to think that.


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