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The Politics of Protest

April 20th, 2005 · No Comments

NOTE: I set up a forum where people can discuss the I2Hub lawsuits. Registration is required to post.

So… what would happen if RPI’s Public Safety decided that they were going to break up the event that is going to take place today in front of the Sage Building at 4:20? I’d say they’d be in a position much like the RIAA is in right now. When that much of the population in a group is violating the law, it becomes difficult to enforce the law. Like speeding on a highway, the best thing to do, in the eyes of the law enforcement, is nab a few people that stand out and try to make an example out of them.

Of course, we all know that this type of enforcement doesn’t work well. If it did, we’d all be obeying the speed limit. So, if today, people roll up a spliff and smoke it in public (which, by the way, is a misdemeanor, whereas possession in the privacy of your home is only a violation), maybe we should talk about why we haven’t already legalized pot. After all, it’s all that internationally imported pot that’s being sold to allegedly finance terror (all of that Canadian and Mexican bud…). So why not give people jobs growing it at home, tax the sale of it, and apply the taxes collected to addiction treatment, DWI and DUID education, and our national health care system. If you remember the commercials from the 2002 super bowl, the first to air since the World Trade Center attacks, the government accused people of buying pot of also “killing judges” and other colorful and violent acts. They closed it with, “Drug money supports terror. If you buy drugs, you might too.” I found this to be particularly interesting — since they were clearly telling you to grow, and not buy drugs.

On a more serious note though, let’s talk about the funding, financing, and support of global terror. Really, it’s not that drug money supports terror, it’s that tax money supports terror. If you pay taxes, then you might too. The United States government itself has provided material assistance to terrorism in Israel, terrorism in Columbia, and of course most notably, US military sponsored terrorism in Panama. Of course, we put rosy names on all of these — the last, in fact, was called “Operation: Just Cause”. It probably would have reflected more poorly on the politicians and military brass involved if they had named it, “Operation Bomb the Crap out of 4,000 Panamanians and Injure Thousands More”. But, wait, I’m off topic, this is about drugs, not how taxes support terror.

It’s not just that a bunch of potheads want to legalize it because they’re addicted. It’s a substantial portion of our population. There are more pot-smokers than there are gun-owners. George Washington himself owned a gun and grew hemp, coincidentally. People argue vehemently for the rights of gun owners to have assault rifles, and ceramic guns capable of evading metal detection. Does anyone in our society actually need a rate of fire higher than one shot per trigger pull? Does any regular citizen have a reason (let’s make that distinction to remember that Air Marshalls and the Secret Service likely have a good reason) to own a ceramic firearm? Probably not.

But marijuana is far more dangerous than an assault rifle, so maybe it’s a bad comparison.

One thing can be sure — with Bush and the rest of his hardcore christian conservative buddies dominating the house, senate, and executive branch (and soon, frighteningly, the judicial branch), the legalization of marijuana is impossible. We need to elect more progressive politicians if we ever hope to actually fix the problems we have at home. Instead, the conservative party — traditionally opposed to larger government — supports imperialistic policies that tie up all of our resources elsewhere and run the national debt up to ridiciulous amounts. This year, whatever you vote, don’t vote Republican if you’re interested in improving the world for people and not politicians and American CEOs.

To learn more about the movement to legalize marijuana, visit, home of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law.

Tags: Government & Politics · Police, Law, & Justice · Rensselaer (RPI)

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