Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Drug Policies So Bad They Make Me Defend Potheads

Lord knows that the world doesn’t need any more drunks or potheads, and I support neither. But it doesn’t need a justice system that is highly incentivized to target and prosecute these folks either-that only seems to compound these woes. I have never written a letter to the editor before but I was mildly annoyed that as the legislature of my state of Maryland debates the first real proposed changes to marijuana prohibition in decades, all of the articles in my local paper were from quite respected members of local law enforcement who were highly critical of even the smallest changes/experiments. What none of those articles mentioned is how completely dependent police budgets are on the current drug-war status quo, and how this “drug dependency” (if you will) might distort the lens of their viewpoint. Anyway here is the article I angrily emailed off to the editor one morning after reading a front page of the local paper filled with such articles… 

It Is Time to Identify the Real Drug Addict

Like an addict worried where he will get his next fix or a pusher worried about losing his best customer, Maryland police organizations are absolutely apoplectic at the prospect of any real experiments with marijuana decimalization. Much like the police, I’m concerned with substance abuse and the prospect that an abuser might drive. But then again, all of the secondary concerns brought up by police, such as impaired driving and child neglect, are already crimes and will remain so even after marijuana decimalization. I am likewise concerned that youth with try any harmful substance including alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana, but it is simply being realistic to acknowledge that most will try these are some point in their youth. However, what concerns me far more are the waste, damage, and discrimination done by current prohibition policies: young lives ruined by criminal convictions, African-Americans prosecuted at much higher rates, high-level drug dealers who are further empowered and enriched, and many similar unintended yet worse consequences of the marijuana war. Much the same as we learned with Alcohol Prohibition, current marijuana laws have done little but waste police resources, hurt the potential of our youth, and benefit dealers. After 40 or more years with the current, misguided policies, common sense tells us that it is time to experiment with change.  Don’t let police continue to use our youth as easy targets and a revenue stream. Let’s break law enforcement’s addiction to marijuana convictions.

Cool Guy Greg on Taxes

Productive Citizen Cool Guy Greg on Taxes

Fighting for the Redneck Vote

As if the Obama campaign have not received enough free advertising from the quarterly mailing of 401K and 529 statements (credit to George F. Will for this point), the Obama campaign is getting yet more free publicity from the folks who are showing up to Palin (whose name fittingly enough in Ancient Greek means “backward,” “repeating,” and “again”) rallies.  

Just a few samples from a single rally in Johnstown, PA:
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4515218n http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHrExRHZnm0

Which made it to one of the top stories this week in Digg:
http://digg.com/2008_us_elections/The_Obama_monkey_video_that_CBS_didn_t_show(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKUovpF9LWU)

As I’m sure George McGovern can attest, statistically speaking you are going to have at least a few idiots show up to any public gathering and one has no control over this.  What is controllable however, is whether the campaigns encourage and mimic their tone.  But so far, Palin hasn’t acted much better than the drunken Joe-Sixpack idiot fringe she champions.