State College Pa. , SEPTEMBER 9, 1999
The usual Marijuana Smoke Out was held at the Penn State Main Gate at College and Allen.
It was filmed by Idea Television, a Brazilian TV channel, to be shown in a documentary in Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, and China., in pursuing a segment concerning the re-legalization of marijuana. Idea Television feels it is important to provide a perspective of the situation from the U. S., which has dealt with this debate for many years.
This was an opportunity to get our views to tens of millions of people around the world.
From noon to 1:00 PM, we held the weekly Marijuana Smoke Out. There
were 50-100 people present throughout the hour. Speeches were given by:
John Galt, Jr., Independent Candidate for President of the U. S., 2000
Julian Heicklen, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Commissioner, 1999
Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian Party Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, 1998
Carla Moquin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Commissioner, 1999
Tom Martin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Spring Township Supervisor, 1999
Teresa Martin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Recorder of Deeds, 1999
Doctor Heicklen returned to his practice of smoking for the crowd and the cameras. I joined Dr. Heicklen for a second ritual smoking of an herbal cigarette. Two plain clothes Penn State police officers tried to arrest Heicklen, but he swallowed his joint, so the police let him go for lack of evidence.
From 1:00-2:00, fifteen demonstrators paraded with signs through the Penn State Campus. This was to defy University policy against more than nine people demonstrating without University permission. Two police officers escorted us through campus, but did not interfere with the march
From 2:00-3:00, there was a debate on the Willard Building steps between Gary Cattell, "The Willard Preacher" and Julian Heicklen, "The Pot smoking Professor". They advertised a Marijuana legalization debate, They didn't deliver. While Gary represented well, the religious right's self appointed moral obligation to protect people from themselves, ( not to be confused with the governments self appointed legal obligation to protect us from ourselves. ) He held true to the radical right Christian positions, that Heaven could be created on earth, if everybody would just believe the same things that they believe and do what they say... ("which of course would remove the incentive for being good") and that if it's legal it's okay, and if want we to use illegal drugs, then we are not mature enough to handle them... Gary ignored the concept of personal responsibility for one's own actions.
Heicklen ignored the fact that not everyone is Libertarian, as he played the role of a Libertarian zealot, who lives in a fantasy world, where all drugs are legal, people can own anything except other people and you can do what you please with anything you own, including destroying or killing it.
The lines were well rehearsed and were totally predictable, neither player paying any attention to reality, each spouting his own conceptual Utopian philosophies. There was no real discussion presented, no ideas, or workable solutions to the drug war.
Both held to the government lies that marijuana is the same as hard drugs and by virtue of it's illegality certainly more dangerous than the "legal" drugs, like alcohol and nicotine and viagra...
Both ignored the fact that no law has ever prevented anyone from engaging in a victim-less crimes...
Both ignored the possibility of inhaling the fruits of the earth as a spiritual experience...
Both ignored all the middle ground positions, or even that there may be other positions other than the two they were holding to...
Both ignored the crowd's comments and concerns about their respective positions. So in the end I think the great debate was one of comparing morals to laws, not about the war on drugs or social status of the sacred herb ganja. We the people need "leaders" that present workable solutions. The concept worlds in which the preacher and the professor describe never have and never will exist as long as there is a specter of freedom. The drug war will end when someone comes up with a solution we all could live with...
IF Peace and Freedom are the goals,
then Tolerance and Compromise are the tools..
John Galt jr.