I would like to start out by thanking Dr. Heicklen, even retired he continues to teach and remind us. He has reminded us of the importance of practicing our right to protest. He taught us the power of ritual by staging a weekly protest as compared to an annual one. If you protest once a year people get used to it as the occasional oddity. But if you speak up each and every week from now until eternity and say I will be back. You stay in the mind of the present. The mind of the present consists of all the thoughts being thought about, so the more people you can get thinking about a problem, the more likely that it will be solved, ritual protest firmly implants those ideas upon a society.
Some of you may want to know who I am and why I am here. Why I am here is simple I have a message. I have freedom of speech and the first amendment right to protest. The rationale behind me being aka my claims to fame are authoring a document entitled Minimum Acceptable Marijuana Policies, which could end up being, the frame work for the legalization of Marijuana in this country. I am also trying to be the most protesting man in the country I have attended over thirty protests this year !!! I also am the founder of Web Station #19 a very popular political activist web site (complete with fluff) which advocates the reform of marijuana laws, environmental issues, economic dilemmas as well other current issues. That should take care of the why. Who I am is not important, some people out there call me john some ryan, some call me george, some people call me the hippie dude some call me things a lot worse. What is important is what I have to say...
A lot of people say that we gather here each week to have a party and get high on Pot...
those of you that have been here know that is simply not true.
We are here because the Constitution is supposed to guarantee us us certain inalienable rights among them life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Pursuit of Happiness...
Isn't that what smoking pot is really about, whether it be for medicine or recreational reasons?
We come here each week to protest the marijuana prohibition laws in this country.
We need basic changes in the way we allow government to direct and run our lives. The founding fathers believed that WE THE PEOPLE are smart enough to govern ourselves, to change and adjust things to a greater fairness as time passed. They believed in religious and cultural freedoms. They believed in "THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS" They believed in the separation of state and church, not a corrupt government legislating morality and "undesirable cultures" out of existence because the powers that be don't like the way a certain group acts or looks. We are being pushed into such small sub-compartments, that no one gets any say. Do you know that people are legally being discriminated on the basis of hair style, life style, for having tattoos, for wearing beards for not being willing to sing happy birthday, or not peeing in a cup on demand. This is just for minimum wage jobs!!! The pursuit of happiness was important enough to mentioned by our forefathers, but for their ancestors, now it is nonexistent. We must take our government back from the self-centered, self motivated fools who are running it and our great country in to the ground. We must protect our Environment, personal freedoms and the economy.
Zero tolerance, means total intolerance, how can this happen in a democratic society?
two words Police State
The Libertarians say that "The so called "War on Drugs" is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in the world; furthermore, it has provided a rationale by which the power of the state has been expanded to restrict greatly our right to privacy and to be secure in our own homes."
What this means to me and many Americans is that they fear the police more than the criminals. I have spent the past few days wondering if or when the police would come knocking upon my door to arrest me Because I had been found in possession of a joint and a roach clip during a so called routine traffic stop, by two officers one of whom happened to be a dog... The human officer told me that he may come to my home or work place to arrest me later.
This one of their games, if they save the arrest for later they get to search your house as well. A man at one of the rallies told me that "he had gotten busted for a joint during a routine traffic stop", then the next the cops stopped by ransacked his home and even though they didn't find any drugs at all in his home, they confiscated his computer in case there might be details of drug deals on it? This is incredible bullshit. But things like this are happening all over this so called free country.
The government has been rounding up and locking up dangerous pot smokers for over two decades, yet heroin and hard drug use is up .
What about forfeiture?
Under current forfeiture laws, if the deal was made in a car they keep your car, in a house or business they confiscate the house and sell it to support continued investigations. In every case the police keep all the money and all the drugs... Why is the seizure of drugs money and property so important to these so called narcotics investigations? Because for years people have been complaining about their tax dollars being used to support this civil war. Budgets were cut and now revenue enhancement is the only way these guys can keep their jobs. Marijuana smokers have forfeited over 200 billion dollars in assets in the past twenty years!!!
Some numbers to help you realize the harmlessness of advocating the legalization, decriminalization or medicalization of marijuana:
According to 1997 Information Please Almanac,
1. There are approximately 300,000 deaths caused by alcohol annually.
2. There are approximately 160,000 deaths caused by tobacco annually.
3. There are 0 deaths caused by marijuana annually.
and there are 28,000,000 people who have medical conditions eased by consumption of marijuana.
What we are addressing at this particular event is the war on drugs as it pertains to the persecution of Marijuana smokers. So I assume we start by talking about marijuana. Dr. Heicklen keeps calling marijuana a vegetable, at this point I would have to correct him and say that as a plant, marijuana is an herb. Herbs are used for seasonings, healing and flavoring. For thousands of years Marijuana has been successful in all these purposes.
The current war on drugs is a all out fiasco. In order to keep the statistics up the war is being wages primarily against Marijuana smokers. It goes something like this:
Teams of undercover cops enter an area or town and use each other as references of "being cool" they hang out at bars and try to get people to get high with them or get invited to parties. Once they have established some trust, they ask pot smokers do you know where I can get some? If they see someone with a baggie they ask can I buy a joint or some of your bag. The person often sell a small amount as a favor to the undercover cop. This makes them a dealer in the eyes of the law.
This goes on for about a year or two then they go back and arrest everyone who was friendly to them and charge them with distribution of drugs, all the time missing the real dealers who are smart enough not sell to strangers.
This is why Major drug investigations that take 18 -20 months net six or seven ounces of pot and land 15 - 20 people in jail on dealing charges. each facing 10 - 15 years in jail under mandatory sentencing laws. Now that they got them dead to rights they blackmail the prisoners telling them that they will consider dropping charges if they will narc on a certain number of other smokers or dealers. If these dangerous pot smokers won't plead guilty or help out the cause or if the police have a weak case because of entrapment or evidence procedures, they offer a plea bargain for probation in return for a guilty plea which will be expunged. There have been MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965 ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS! That is to say 11 million got caught another 90 million didn't. This is another game they play, by letting most people get away with it, through selective enforcement, they can slowly work through the population while only pissing off a small amount of people at a time. Did you know that in Pennsylvania you can get as much time in jail for an ounce as you would get for 3 ounces in Ohio or 50 pounds in Louisiana
Every once in a while they actually catch someone who is selling for a living, a real dealer. Do they arrest him or her? No they watch them for two years and arrest all the patrons while they "gather evidence." They say they do this to build a case, but they do it for revenue enhancement... I have heard stories of the cops actually supplying dealers with pot during dry spells so that the investigation can continue... They also pad their dealer busts by charging people with as little as an ounce with dealing in some states based solely on the quantity or because they have more than one container of marijuana. In other words if you have four baggies with as little as a gram of marijuana in each, you could be charged with dealing even though you have never sold anybody anything... This is insane
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