Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What's That Smell?

Dope is back in the news, and I'm not talking about the president.

NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, has been around since I first learned how to roll one-handed while driving.

Which was wrong, kids. Don't do drugs.

I haven't been keeping up with NORML's progress but by now they've certainly brought some sanity to America's War on Drugs, right? To catch up with their progress, I did some quick work with what John McCain calls The Google and guess what? There are now more people in jail for marijuana offenses than for violent crime.

According to writer Eric Schlosser, in some parts of this great country, you can get a life sentence for a nonviolent marijuana offense while the average sentence a convicted murderer draws is about six years.

And what has our War on Drugs done? The government estimates that we spent roughly $12 billion on enforcing drug laws in 2005, and that doesn't count the $30 billion we spent keeping druggies in jail. So, after spending that much money, and tossing that many people in the clink, surely we're now a Drug-Free America, right?

Not so fast, bong breath.

According to that same federal government, drug use is at an all-time high, no pun intended. In fact, as our dollar declines and America's overall influence is eclipsed by China, we're STILL NUMBER 1! in marijuana and cocaine use. Yay!

Looks like dismal failure all around. Except that the forces of NORML have an excuse for not getting up early.

It's true that today's marijuana laws still make about as much sense as the Salem witch trials, but that won't stop NORML from putting on an ironically titled "Celebration of Freedom" in Washington this fall.

They've reserved Freedom Plaza for Saturday, October 25th and they're hoping to produce "a major art and media event ... that includes a sculpture titled,'America’s Largest Joint,' ... along with a Marijuana-inspired mural."


In other toke-related news, Cheech and Chong have put aside their differences for a reunion tour titled "What's That Smell?"

Cheech and Chong haven't performed together since an ounce of decent Jamaican went for 35 bucks and I'm not sure their loyal fans will be able to find their car keys in time for the show.

Cheech has done all right playing TV sidekicks, but poor Tommy did a stretch in the slam for selling bongs on the Internet. Seems that Tommy was targeted by Mary Beth Buchanan, an ambitious, Bush-appointed US Attorney who thought Tommy's bong enterprise was more of a threat than actual terrorists or criminals.

Although Mary Beth is being a little coy about why she spent so much time, energy and tax money to put Tommy behind bars. She's said it was about protecting the children, but she's been quoted in interviews as saying she went after Tommy because he and Cheech made fun of the police in their movies. And we can't have that, can we.

Thanks to Mary Beth, I feel so much safer now that she's found a way to circumvent the First Amendment.

And in keeping with the national news, Mary Beth was also implicated with yesterday's subject du jour, Monica Goodling, in the firing of those nine U.S. attorneys who weren't being good little GOPers. Some of them refused to prosecute phantom Democratic voter fraud. Others were guilty of investigating Republicans in an election year. Horrors.

And so we come full circle, isn't that fun?

With that, I'll leave you with one of the Planet's favorite videos.

And remember, kids, don't do drugs. Drugs are bad.

Although a toke or two might be more than appropriate when watching this.


JD Rhoades said...

I never get tired of that Lawrence Welk clip.

Even nuttier than the marijuana laws are the "drug paraphernalia" laws in NC. You can't go to jail for less than an ounce of weed, but you can go to jail for up to four months for a baggie. Tell me this makes any fucking sense.

Anonymous said...

Duuuuudes, check this out...

Of course, now that I'd try it, Congress plans to make it uncool.


Charlie Stella said...

Dave 3x's ... JD is right (did I just type that?) ... my old man got knocked out of the headshop business because of those dopey paraphernalia laws way back in the day. He was a lithographer by trade, then went to work for a family friend and was running stuff off the docks until he got pinched (with Chivas Regal--still my drink of choice because of the above) ... he started bootlegging posters (Cheryl Tiegs/Stones, etc.), then finally opened a headshop and went completely legit ... until they passed a law that said he wasn't.

He wound up working in a pawn shop.

Don't think I've gone over the edge (or back to my more liberal days) ... I say legalize everything ... then if they (druggies) still give you problems ... well, you don't wanna know.

Your blog has been very entertaining (even when I disagree) ... very funny stuff.

Hope all is well by you and yours.

SadButTrue said...

A slight expansion on your post: Mary Beth Buchanan wasn't merely implicated in the Monica Goodling story - she's the one who originally hired Ms. Goodling to work at the Department of Justice. (Wikipedia:Monica Goodling)

Along with Tommy Chong, Mary Beth has persecuted a number of prominent Pennsylvanian Democrats, most infamously Dr. Cyril Wecht. She is in fact the hive Queen of the Loyal Bushies.

More from Les Enrag├ę