The War on Cannabis: Who Loses, Who Benefits?

The War On Cannabis: Who Loses, Who Benefits?

From the day of its inception, the War on Cannabis has been a disaster for America. It has played a fundamental role in the architecture for the larger War on Drugs. Considered as a whole, this war can fairly be described as a generationally evolving series of wasteful and ineffective policies. In attempting to regulate the legislative needs and desires of mankind, the United States government has caused great harm to be done, in terms both of the law and of medical recourse to help for pain. It is a classic case of the old cliché, a treatment worse than its “disease”. Crimes have been committed in the name of fighting crime. Resources have been massively wasted. The futures of millions have been ruined in the eyes of the law. The question of why remains sobering in its implications. Anti-cannabis legislation was ostensibly created to safeguard the public and keep cannabis from menacing its health, but its effects have done more damage than the act their purpose was to prevent.

The question of whether the herb’s use constitutes a peril to public safety is a real concern. It is only logical for people to pay attention to alerts regarding something that might affect their health. As alerts on the matter have been so often raised, it is only natural for people to have health concerns about drugs, including cannabis. In a Health, Risk, and Safety article titled Cannabis, risk, and normalization: Evidence from a Canadian study of socially integrated, adult cannabis users, we are told that evidence pointing to the harmfulness of cannabis use has never been more abundant (213). Public concern is still highly prevalent, and many experts remain unconvinced that cannabis should be considered safe.

Whether that is true is not the issue here, however. We note only that widespread panic about cannabis was not scientifically based. The issue was never raised by the medical community of the United States. The Medical Science Monitor informs us that cannabis was routinely prescribed by American physicians. It enjoyed legal status in the United States until 1937. This is when U.S. legislature passed the first federal law against cannabis – the Marihuana Tax Act. Empirical approaches to solving the problem of cannabis addiction kept proving it was not a problem. The American Medical Association did not support the new law, and their advice was belittled and ignored. Science was not on the side of the anti-cannabis crusaders. Other rationales were needed and were manufactured where they could not be found.

The approach of the new Threat or Menace campaign was exemplified in Reefer Madness, the famous anti-cannabis public alert movie released in 1936. Self-described cannabis journalist Matthew Green paints a wild yet perfectly accurate picture of its contents in his article “Reefer Madness! The Twisted History of America’s Marijuana Laws.”. The movie exhibits an insane “reefer addict” portrayed in maniacal relief, smoking his way to murder as he enjoys the frenetic tunes of a piano-playing hostage. This law was based on artificially manufactured moral panic, as opposed to sound law or science. It was eventually discarded as being unconstitutional (Leary v. United States, 1969), but not before it set the foundation for the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which was far more comprehensive than the old law, although it continued to rely on selective or pseudoscience and public disinformation.

The tone of the new policy was set from the start by the prejudices of Anslinger, which was to prove disastrous for the cannabis community. Laura Smith, the managing editor at Timeline, paints an unforgiving picture of Anslinger in her piece “How A Racist Hatemonger Masterminded America’s War on Drugs”. He is shown there to be a xenophobic, culturally intolerant, and deeply racist man, one who used his power arbitrarily and in the worst ways. His power over his bureau, and over the anti-cannabis campaign, was completely unilateral. Historian John C. McWilliams stated in his book aboutAnslinger, The Protectors,“ Anslinger was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (2).” His ideas about the existing social order laid the foundation for the policies he would set. He had a simple goal, but one that was far-reaching in its implications; a one-man crusade to protect American values as he saw them. His worldview held that change was coming too fast, and the anti-cannabis crusade provided him with a high-powered excuse to slow it down. The next step was to use this bitter project to hamstring progressive causes and people by making crimes out of acts that were not criminal. In this way, Anslinger laid the groundwork in place for an endemic legal injustice.

Racism was inherent in the new legislature. The approach was displayed by the confusion caused by a new word for cannabis, “Marihuana” (The more common spelling now is Marijuana) The Tax Act was named after this incorrect term, used as an associative trick based on racism and phonetics. It worked because the word sounded Mexican. Mexicans were unpopular and mistrusted, so tying public perceptions of the plant to Mexican immigrants was an easy way to scare white America. The FBN also targeted jazz musicians and lied about them without remorse. They created images of insane, weed-stinking black men on an unending quest for mayhem and white women; these also did nothing to set Caucasian minds at ease. Racial fear has always been a historically effective way to goad America’s ethnic majority off the path of common sense and decency. The War on Cannabis stands out as a noteworthy example of this tendency.

Shortly before the MTA was passed, a new governmental organization, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was created to deal with the growing problem of drug addiction in America (Deitsch). Its first commissioner Harry J. Anslinger discarded science and medicine with glee. “Doctors,” he said, “cannot treat addicts, even if they want to.” He chose instead to call for “tough judges not afraid to take killer-pushers and throw away the key.” FBN techniques developed to disseminate the new way proved effective, allowing Anslinger’s perspective to set the tone for subsequent anti-cannabis legislation. Anslinger was a skillful administrator, and he had resources. His ideas caught on and manifested physically in the dehumanizing propaganda used by the FBN to scare anti-cannabis legislature past Congress. The aftershocks of FBN anti-cannabis disinformation are ubiquitous even today, living proof of the program’s success. Celebrating openly a pro-cannabis lifestyle is still enough to get you targeted. It’s easy to get busted, it’s hard to get a job. The way society perceives the users of cannabis today still comes largely from stereotypes based on exaggerated caricatures created during this era. These unfair and cartoonish notions have evolved and generalized over the years, becoming institutionalized as more people became invested in them. They have been used to degrade and delegitimize progressive causes and their advocates.

The propaganda employed by the FBN had been successful, so much so that it started a genuine public panic, and people were demanding that something be done. This gave Anslinger both the lawful right, and the means to pound his enemies into the ground. He was not long in finding his first sacrificial lamb. The first victim of the new policy was selected in 1937, just after the new law took effect. A draconian sentence of four years in prison for an ounce of weed was handed down to Samuel L. Caldwell of Boulder, Colorado. A precedent of insane harshness was set that endured in American courtrooms to this very day. It added greatly to the foundation of the original architecture of the greater War on Drugs, as conceived of and created by President Richard Nixon’s administration.

The Nixon era vigorously continued the judicial legacy of brutality applied to the cannabis community. Like Harry Anslinger had forty years prior, the administration targeted cannabis because its occupants knew liberals could be legally hamstrung as a consequence for using it. The concept was strategic, and its straightforward goal was the same as in the past-to keep conservatives in power at any cost. Neither fair play nor the health of democracy was considered, freedom was injured, and the resultant degradation of our system worked to the detriment of all Americans, whether they smoke pot or not. Chief Nixon White House adviser John Ehrlichman came to some of the same conclusions later in life. He spoke out frankly on the subject to Dan Baum of Harper’s Magazine years after the impeachment of Nixon. He laid out flatly their motives for taking aim at cannabis.

“Look, back in ’68, we had two enemies, you get me? The antiwar left, and the blacks. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be against the war, and we couldn’t make it illegal to be black. But by heavily penalizing the use of marijuana and heroin, we were able to disrupt
those communities. We were able to bust up their meetings, raid their offices, vilify them night after night on the evening news… Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”.

Nixon’s work was built upon famously by the next Republican administration, that of Ronald Reagan. First Lady Nancy Reagan’s iconic “Just Say No” commercial typified the new approach, which was just like the old approach, but newly equipped with a spiffy slogan. In pursuing the anti-cannabis campaign, the Reagan administration was zealous in their willingness to apply suppression through the courts to the cannabis community. A TIME Magazine article from 1988 gives us a look at how it was. “The Reagan Administration calls its new drug policy ‘zero tolerance,’ meaning that planes, vehicles, and vessels may be confiscated for carrying even the tiniest amount of a controlled substance.” It goes on to tell the story of a captain whose boat was seized for a tenth of an ounce of cannabis. Things were so bad during that time for users of the herb that the case can hardly be overstated. Ardor for the arts of slander and libel grew in the government to an extent that left little room for conspiracy theories. Every possible medium was employed to spread Just Say No. Commercials, posters, the sides of buses. School programs like DARE, which stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, ensured that no young mind in America could miss the point. The net effects of all the anti-drug campaigning proved to be the same as in the past-untouched and rising rates of use, and black and poor people receiving disproportionately long sentences for small amounts of weed.

Subsequent presidents such as Bill Clinton were left with little choice but to compete with Reagan’s paternalistic style of law and order, and so the status quo remained intact. It was not until the election of Barack Obama that the prerequisite conditions for the monumental decision of 2012 legalizing recreational cannabis in the first two American states, Oregon and Washington, were met at long last. There is no doubt that it was a monumental decision. It represented the reversal of a hundred years worth of American legal policy and a tremendous amount of human struggling. The change, by that point, had been nearly a century in coming. Cannabis laws have been hamstringing the left for that entire time and they still are. Improvements have come, but they are highly incomplete. The threat of things reverting to their former miserable state overshadows all the progress that has been made in this area. Realization of the harm caused in the cannabis prohibition era has been highlighted in the nation’s modern consciousness. More and more people are coming to see how important it is to prevent the reassertion of the destructive and unfair status quo.

The history of the War on Cannabis is representative of a great many other social ills inside American life. The racist, reactionary, right-wing attitudes that created the original campaign are still alive and well in modern American jurisprudence. In the name of punishment and the spirit of human sacrifice, medical science has been stymied and suppressed, people have been ruined and jailed, and our prison system has been afflicted to the point where it has poisoned our political system. It is, simply stated, a historical and ongoing eyesore. Change has come but is far from secure, and a great deal of harm remains unaddressed.

Works Cited

ACLU ProCon.org, 2009. Leary v. United States 
	https://aclu.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=003427
Bonnie, Richard J., Whitebread, Charles H., 1974. “The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States.” 
	https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=185042  
Dagen, Chelsea, 2017. The Distortion of Drugs: War, Discrimination, and Profit.
	https://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi 
Deitsch, Robert, 2003. “Hemp: American History Revisited- The Plant With A Divided History.”
Vdocuments.mx, vdocuments.mx/documents/hemp-american-history-revisited-the-plant-with-a-divided-history.html.
Dickinson, Tim, 2016. “Why America Can't Quit The Drug War.” 
	https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/why-america-cant-quit-the-	drug-war-	47203/
Downs, David, 2016. “The Science behind the DEA's Long War on Marijuana.”
	www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-science-behind-the-dea-s-long-war-on-	marijuana/.
Duff, Cameron, Erickson, Patricia G., 2014. “Cannabis, risk, and normalization: Evidence from a Canadian study of socially integrated, adult cannabis users.”		
Glick, Daniel, 2016. “80 Years Ago This Week, Marijuana Prohibition Began With These Arrests.” 
	https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/drug-war-prisoners-1-2-true-story-moses-	sam-two-	denver 
Green, Matthew, 2008. “Reefer Madness! The Twisted History of America’s Marijuana Laws.”
	https://www.kqed.org/lowdown/24153/reefer-madness-the-twisted-history-of-	americas-weed- laws-
King, Ryan, Mauer, Mark, 2006. "The war on marijuana: The transformation of the war on drugs in the 1990s."
Komp, Ellen, 2011. “Mark Twain's Hasheesh Experience in San Francisco.” 
	https://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Mark-Twain-s-hasheesh-experience-in-S-	F-	2328992.php
Jennifer Robeson, 2002. “Who Smoked Pot? You May Be Surprised.”
	https://news.gallup.com/poll/6394/who-smoked-pot-may-surprised.aspx
Smith, Laura, 2018. “How A Racist Hatemonger Masterminded America’s War on Drugs.” 
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Millennials, Cannabis, and the Opioid Epidemic- Leave Them Kids Alone!

#SaveOurChildren

While speaking to a bewildered crowd in western Pennsylvania on Saturday, Donald Trump went on a rant about solving the opioid epidemic, by giving drug dealers the death penalty. Not for the first time, either. The situation typifies Trump’s inane and ridiculous thinking. The situation is as lethal as can be already.

If our government wants to solve the opioid epidemic, we think that’s great. We believe it can make some big changes, and we would like to give its members some advice. We feel qualified to do so, as drug laws have ravaged our entire generation. The opioid epidemic has hit millennials and their baby boomer parents the hardest.

It’s high time for America to have this conversation.

Millennial Democrats talked to over a hundred millennial drug addicts to do this piece. Based on their stories, we have come to the following conclusions.

First off, let us have our weed. Quit locking people up for weed. Quit administering urine tests for weed. It’s the legal system that is destroying lives because of cannabis, not cannabis destroying lives.

Many people rely on marijuana, to help them get through their daily lives with greater efficiency and happiness in their work.

Cannabis is a great cure for boredom. It makes all kinds of things interesting. Rather than Ritalin or amphetamine, many people our age have found it helpful for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder, a disease they said we had. If it wasn’t for the unfair legal restrictions people in the industry face, studies proving its efficacy would have filled up many journals long ago.

In short, cannabis is not the problem; just the opposite. It’s been a help to the human race for thousands of years.

The problem comes in when the person and his cannabis first come into contact with the law.

Picture this: One day, you’re a bright-eyed college kid, getting straight A’s and looking forward to what to all appearances will be a very bright future. You’ve got a progressive set of values and a live-and-let-live sort of attitude, and so you can be counted on to reliably vote Democratic.

The next day, you’re in a car that gets pulled over, and you get searched and your weed is found.

Next thing you know, you’re in jail. Around killers and child molesters, bank robbers and woman beaters like Corey Lewandowski. Every minute is a torture, your self-respect is shattered forever, and you never stop feeling like a second-class citizen again- nor will society ever let you.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that this state of affairs came about for a reason. It’s a very easy way for the right to hamstring the left.

The War on Drugs, although commonly associated with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, was actually Richard Nixon’s creation. It was developed and refined as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.

Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks.  We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”

Returning to our scenario, after some amount of time your sentence in jail is over, and they eventually let you out. Having committed the unthinkable outrage of destroying your life over a harmless and helpful plant, they now proceed to tell you that this was done for your own good and that in fact you owe them money, to cover the costs of your own correction and your ongoing criminal supervision, known generally as probation or parole.

Who’s the criminal, in this scenario? The man, or the State?

This bill will include the cost of your urinalysis.

Thank God, you think. I’m finally out. Time to smoke a fat one, so you do. The pungent cloud of smoke in the room combined with some good friends and music almost makes it possible for you to forget, for a second, the manner in which they defiled you.

The next day, you follow the instructions given to you at the county jail, and you go to see your parole officer. Upon arrival, they give you a strange-looking cup and tell you to pee in it.

Your pee is then sent off to a laboratory somewhere, where a demon in a lab coat will examine it using tungsten-filament lights to see what chemicals are floating around in your fluids.

If the byproducts of cannabis alkaloids are found there, you will receive an unpleasant phone call from your P.O. and you’ll be called back in to discuss it.

It’s not until you get there that you realize what is really going on. It wasn’t just that one time you had to go to jail for. You can’t just resolve not to have weed on you anymore.

They actually expect you not to smoke it. Period. And if you ever do smoke weed again, back to jail you go.

Leaving their office, your world in a shambles, you take a moment to reflect. You have no idea what you’re going to do. You’ve been smoking weed every day for years. It’s part of who you are. You think of trying to get through your daily life with nothing, and you shudder deep to your core.

It is at this moment that you start to look around for substitutes. Soon, they find that the drugs that get you closest and leave your system the fastest, are opioids.

There seems to be something about Vicodin. Everybody started out on Vicodin. Oxys are too strong, at first, and of course the very last thing on your mind is doing heroin.

You’ve been around for long enough to know that the gateway drug theory is a lot of crap. You’d always vowed to prove it with your own life. So although the big H is too hardcore for you, something like a Tylenol 3 or a Vicodin seems just right.

But now, you’re finding out something else unpleasant. Unlike weed, which has essentially the same effect every time, you find out very quickly that the Vicodin you took yesterday worked a lot better than the one you took today. So you take two, and the next day three, and then you get yet another nasty surprise.

Unlike weed, which you could smoke or not smoke according to how you were feeling and what you had going on, you find out pretty quick that your new friend insists that you use him according to a schedule, or he’ll make you sick. Very sick.

One day you wake up and you realize that Vicodin no longer works at all. But your doctor has the answer. OxyContin. You’ve been artificially forced down the road to the gateway drug theory.

Furthermore, when you tell this to the doctor, he takes them away from you and labels you an addict. He has no choice since if you mess yourself up on them past a certain point, HE can go to prison.

All but beside yourself, you leave his office shaking your head. You have no idea what you’re going to do now. You think of taking your own life. You know that many do commit suicide rather than face the prospect of more unbearable pain and sickness.

You decide to get some coffee at the corner store. The blunt wraps on the counter remind you of the good old days before the government decided you were sick and needed curing. When you step back outside and hit the corner, someone is standing there. He looks at you knowingly, and asks you, with compassion in his eyes, “You sick, man?”

In the palm of his hand are the corners of baggies, with tiny amounts of heroin resting in each.

After a while, you get off probation or parole, or you get so many dirty UA’s that you’re sent back to prison, and you’re set loose from there, but it’s never the same again. You are strung out, and your head is messed up. The brightness of your eyes is gone, and there is nothing that anyone can do to put it back there.

The days when you could just smoke weed to get by are gone. Distant as the dinosaurs. You give the just-weed diet a shot for a little while, but by this point, most of the guys you’d smoked blunts with are all gone too, either in the system like you are or diverted back into society. There’s no one left to smoke with. Not anymore.

Thankful to be out, you relax at home and prepare a well-deserved fix, but you forget that your tolerance has reset itself after all that time behind bars.

As soon as you hit that plunger, that drug hits you, hard. You think to yourself, I might be in trouble here, but you feel so good you just sort of forget to breathe. You have overdosed and you are drifting quickly into unconsciousness. Your mother sees your lips turning blue on the toilet and tries to revive you, but by the time the ambulance comes, it’s already too late.

The bright-eyed college student you were will never think anything again.

The drugs of the future are here today. Dreaded heroin is no longer the king of the opioid pyramid. Fentanyl is eighty times more potent than morphine, milligram for milligram. Recently an analogue drug called Carfentanyl has been making the rounds.

Carfentanyl is ten thousand times as strong as morphine.

A kilogram of it was seized coming across the border from Canada last year. It was more than enough to overdose the entire population of the United States.

More Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016 than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War — the result of the US’s opioid epidemic.

Recently Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the company who originally patented that miracle of a wonder drug OxyContin, closed a number of its Oxy factories and stopped instructing doctors to push them on people.

It’s twenty years too late for that. Even fifteen years ago, it was already too late. Heroin use in America reached an all-time high in 2003 and has steadily gotten worse ever since. By 2014 it had tripled.

By this point, the opioid epidemic is like a wildfire, spreading across the land, completely out of control. It will burn and burn until its fuel is gone, and the people in charge do not really understand this. They do not understand that what is fueling this epidemic is not the supply of the drugs, but the demand for them. 

The demand for drugs is caused by pain. Most of us are feeling too much of it so that a very few might feel a bit less.

American income inequality has skyrocketed over the last 30 years, as costs have risen while wages have stagnated for the middle- and lower classes.

Those who perceive all this taking place and refuse to participate are treated as criminals and pariahs and sent down the road of our John Doe Millennial. In 2016 there were 1,572,579 arrests for drug law violations.

Until Americans cease to be treated like cattle by their billionaire neighbors anymore, cattle who own nothing and are entitled to nothing, there is always going to be a lot of pain. Where there is pain, there will be people seeking help for pain. The only way to remove that pain is to lighten the burdens of the people.

In order for that to happen, power must be wrested from the parasites and given to those who are motivated by that merciful goal. There is only one hope for a cure for the opioid epidemic, and it doesn’t involve the death penalty.

Vote blue.

DACA Stays! Trump Fumes Helplessly as Renewals are Granted Wholesale.

#DACA #Dreamers

U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the federal court system as “broken and unfair” on Wednesday after a judge from the heroic 9th Circuit blocked his administration’s vicious move to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

Something in the federal system is broken and unfair, at any rate, and today, like every other day, we’re going to have to be talking about what.

We’re going to do what we always do, and have done for ten days short of a year now. Raise awareness of the fresh and daily travesties granted to us by the infinite wisdom of the president, and the ramifications they will have going forward.

What a lot of fun! I can’t tell you how pleased I am, every morning, to feel a sick pit of nerves in my gut every time I open up my computer, wondering what new horror the day is going to bring.

It’s like that for most Americans these days; earlier this year, a nationwide survey by the American Psychological Association showed clearly that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans are concerned about the future of the country.

This time, Trump has tried to use the lives of 200,000 people as currency to trade for that stupid wall of his, by threatening to end the aforementioned DACA program. He knows we’ll never agree to it, trying for it is just posturing.

Even Trump knows what an ineffective waste of time that wall would be. It was never really about building anything. It was just some cool-sounding thing he liked to say.

The wall has become a symbol of Trump’s entire failure of a presidency. It’s representative of all the things he thinks he wants to do, but hardly understands, and is ruining with his ignorance and bullying.

He says he wants a great country, a safe country, a prosperous country. So do we! Isn’t that what everyone wants? He’s got the power to do it, too. All he’s got to do is resign.

At 70 years old, it is plainly and simply too late for him to realize that the only way that that will ever happen, is by creating an environment where everyone has a place and a share in happiness. Healthy people will do healthy commerce. Healthy commerce means a healthy economy, and so on.

But Trump is so greedy. He picks out at random the people who he physically resembles- nearly all of whom also want nothing to do with him- and he says to the world, Only these people are important, only they matter, everyone else can be thrown out like the trash because they do not look like Donald Trump. 

In effect, that works out to mean that everyone will actually have less, so that a few might feel they’ve got more than a few others. And one or two leeches and ticks at the top like Donald Trump will have basically everything.

Even that chosen few, that master race of welfare collectors, he really cares nothing about. “I don’t need you anymore”, he told a crowd of his own supporters a year ago, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

And he meant it. He lies to other Republicans routinely, he uses them as tools and then throws them away. That’s why they’re retiring left and right, like both Ed Royce and Darrell Issa of California. Those two guys were lied to very badly indeed.

Trump told California Republicans that he would not end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program, but he very nearly did it already.

He also lied to them and said that state marijuana would be respected and not interfered with, but Sessions rolled back the Obama-era instructions to leave state weed alone, three days after California announced its new recreational cannabis laws.

This kind of thing is why there are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November. 19 are retiring outright and another 12 have deluded themselves into running for higher office.

That list is expected to grow in the coming weeks.

There has never been something like this before, and many Republicans know it, even if they won’t say it out loud. The president himself is a probable traitor. He praises Putin, he asked for his help during the debates, and he does nothing to discourage our most hostile foe from presenting a gigantic threat not only to our democracy but to democracy worldwide.

Dianne Feinstein is labelled “Sneaky” and a criminal, for doing her job well, showing the world how the Republicans have been covering up for Trump as he covers up for Putin.

What has happened in this country, when following the precise dictates of the law has become something only outlaws do? When did patriotism become uncool? What has happened to the Republicans? Exactly when did the party of Ronald Reagan start letting the Russians waltz all over us?

Trump threatened Feinstein in the same bullying, childish tone about the “Tough Primary Challenge” she’ll be facing. It’s as if he’s saying, “Oh yeah, lady. That “Justice Democrat” (how much more do we need that these people are not on the level?)coming after you this year? It’s me you’re really up against.”

At the end of the day, California and other states put together a good lawsuit, and the Democrats came through for us again. In a victory for Dreamers, and all Americans, federal immigration authorities quietly announced they have resumed accepting requests for renewals in DACA.

“Until further notice, if you already applied for #DACA and it was expiring, this is your chance to reapply,” California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra tweeted Saturday night.

The government’s announcement was made without fanfare Saturday evening. This happy news came four days after a federal judge in San Francisco issued an order temporarily blocking the Trump administration’s decision to phase out the program.

Daddy Warbucks has been foiled again. That’s the only whole fair thing that ever happens anymore.

How Russians Silence Democrats on Facebook- With Impugnity.

GET MAD- while you still can!

There’s nothing like constant reminders of how Nazis all over the world are out to get you to fill one’s heart with joy and fancy-free, especially when such hatred is your reward for writing for free for a third of every day.

Today, people from as diverse a location as Brussels, Wales, Provo, Utah, and “General Location, Russia” tried to hack the site; I get emails on them from all over the world. This is nothing new, it’s an everyday event. My Sucuri plugin lets me know their IP addresses. It looks just like this:

Bored, uncreative loser who tried to hack me
An example of a turd who tried to hack us.

Then, we go to a place called WhatismyIPaddress.com, and take a look at where they’re from. It looks a lot like this:

Creepy.
Lviv is a very famous place, world renowned for the quality of its IT experts. This one decided to make his life’s work the ruining of ours. Nice, Russia.

And so it goes. Every day. The threats just keep rolling in. “If you back off, then nothing will happen”, one guy wrote to us. How creepy.

On the subject of cyber-woes, let’s not forget Facebook. More than 120 million Americans were reached by Russian ads through their platform in 2016.

Regarding Facebook’s treatment of Democratic activists, there are exactly two possibilities. Either they are unfair, unethical, and unfit, or they are absolutely incompetent.

Either way, hundreds of loyal and hardworking Democratic activists are in what we refer to as Facebook Jail, as these words are being written. This has been the case for at least six months; there’s countless documentation. Nobody listens.

One young lady who always goes out of her way to spread our articles around on Facebook has been mass-reported and algorithmically defiled to the point where a single post is now enough to have her sent back to jail.

That’s exactly what happened yesterday. One week’s worth of restriction, for sharing our post on the fake left and the so-called Justice Democrats. She’d just had her last restriction lifted, two hours prior. As soon as she hit the Share button, she was given another week’s restriction.

It just plain sucks, when you’re stopped for months at a time from even commenting in Facebook groups that you created, because of Russian agitators gaming their stupid robots. The data just keeps rolling in, as to how good they’ve gotten at doing it, and how Facebook just keeps letting them.

Facebook must be reformed. It must stand up, show some transparency, and hold itself accountable.

That’s exactly what it hasn’t done.

It makes you wonder if someone hasn’t managed to shake up Zuckerberg.

I haven’t even tried to organize this article. It’s just raw today.

Julian Assange, that scruffy little rat, has been rewarded for his treason to the species with a citizenship in Ecuador. He’ll be out partying tonight, thanks to his buddy Vladimir coming through for him.

Earlier today, the president labelled Dianne Feinstein “Sneaky” and a criminal, for doing her job well, showing the world how the Republicans have been covering up for Trump as he covers up for Putin by revealing the Fusion GPS testimony.

Where has justice gone?

What has happened in this country, when following the precise dictates of the law has become something only outlaws do? When did patriotism become uncool? What has happened to the Republicans? Exactly when did the party of Ronald Reagan start letting the Russians waltz all over us?

Trump threatened Feinstein in the same bullying, childish tone about the “Tough Primary Challenge” she’ll be facing. It’s as if he’s saying, “Oh yeah, lady. That “Justice Democrat” (how much more do we need that these people are not on the level?)coming after you this year? It’s me you’re really up against.”

“If you back off, nothing will happen…”

That piece of trash didn’t know how right he was. If you back off, if you back down, if you go back to sleep and be silent, then nothing will happen. Nothing will EVER happen. So that is the absolute last thing that we will ever do!

Millennial Democrats will not be intimidated, and we will not be pushed around. Petty attempts to harass or frighten us will do nothing but strengthen our resolve. With every challenge they force us to find our way around, we expand our capabilities further.

Our message to the bullying little nobodies who’ve been putting all this effort into silencing us is merely this: We will bear witness anyway. Actually, we appreciate your help. All of your harassment is a sign of our success.

While you’ve been so desperately trying to destroy us, we’ve had readers in nearly every country in the world, in less than six months.

So hack away, you bunch of whackers. Once you finish failing, the only thing you’re good at, hit a treadmill and get some girlfriends. Thanks for the digital lessons, too. We’ll be sure to come and show you what we’ve done with them, some sunny day.

The worst thing is that we cannot count on our president to protect us from these foreign assailants. That is indeed a terrible feeling. But it won’t always be this way. We won’t always be on the receiving end.

This whole Trump thing, all the alt-right nonsense, the Richard Spencers and all the rest of it, amounts to nothing more than the final death-throes of reactionary fascism. It’s a fish in a dried-up pond. Casting one’s lot with that pack of nincompoops is the worst imaginable wager.

When the end comes for Donald Trump and his whole rotten way of life, there’s going to be a lot of people out there who’ve been wearing those stupid red hats of his who are not going to be forgiven.

They’ll be like Sudeten Germans in 1945. Outcast from society forever. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, you will never be trusted again. And you will never be welcome again. Our message to Trump supporters is simply this: TURN BACK NOW. Before it is forever too late.

#HoldTheCenter- Far Left Attacks Franken, Distracts Us From Russiagate.

ABC News reported on Sunday that within the past month, special counsel Robert Mueller requested that the Justice Department turn over a wide array of documents as part of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His team is said to be particularly interested in materials that relate to Trump’s notorious firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe earlier this year, a source who was told about the request informed ABC News.

This is a major step. The Justice Department is getting pretty close to the Oval Office. This will be Mueller’s first records request to the very agency that is overseeing the probe.

Also, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who helped set up the infamous meeting between members of the Trump campaign Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Mueller’s office, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Since the indictment of Paul Manafort and the others, the news from Mueller’s office has been coming hot and heavy.

Its onrush has caused great panic and consternation among the Republicans. Most of those with consciences, like Jeff Flake from Arizona, are retiring next year. Flake was caught on a hot mic recently, speaking frankly about the Republican Party and its future. “If we become the party of Trump and Moore, we’re toast”. Well said.

It’s a promising sign that they’re throwing all their bones to us Democrats right away. Donna Brazile, Uranium One, Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, etc. They have been really been desperate lately. Ordinarily, they would hold these things in reserve in a vain hope that we’ll avert our gaze long enough to pull something nasty. They’ve had some awful successes that way.

Lack of public expectation was how Scott Walker was able to ravage public schools. He broke the backs of the public worker unions in Wisconsin, using vaguely worded provisions on the infamous backdoor bill known as Act 10. People just were not ready for someone to be that vicious, that fast. It’s the way things are these days, though. Koch Industries has changed the game. We cannot let that happen again.

There’s no end to the challenges we’re up against, and the way it breaks down is very simple. If we keep our focus on the big things, like Russiagate and their evil tax plan, we’re going to take the #BlueWave we’ve been building and knock them flat with it. If we let their distractions take our eyes from the prize, though, it’ll be a different story, a really nasty one.

Right now, the world needs our power combined more than ever before. The stakes could not be higher, and most people know it. It is therefore both inexplicable and unfortunate that the so-called progressive wing of the left decided recently to release a report ripping Democrats up on every level, in a manner that once again reinstates the well-known complaints of Bernie Sanders and his followers from back in 2016.

We do not agree with the Free Press Online report in a number of key regards. We consider their interpretations of these key events to be monstrously distorted. In any case, their report, which they called an Autopsy, came complete with a dead donkey, legs up, on its cover. Not even a Republican could have done as nasty or insulting a job.

Why are Sanders followers so eager to hurt Democrats? They attack us with far more passion and frequency than they do the Republicans, even though we are people who agree with them in terms of the policies they say they hold so dear. It’s reminiscent of Ralph Nader. Perhaps the worst thing is that they’ve been completely silent on Russia. Bernie wouldn’t even vote to sanction Russia.

Excesses of radical leftist rage are what the alt-right is hoping to induce, every time they hack some emails and strategically release them. The Russians are said to have been speechless with joy when Debbie Wassermann-Schultz resigned her position as DNC chairman. To finance, encourage, and incite the radical portions of both sides of the political spectrum is the M.O. of Russian destabilization tactics all through the world.

A radicalized environment is a volatile, polarized environment. You can’t get anything done in it, and that is what the Russians need. They have very little money to work with. Materially they are far weaker. But, if they can tie us all up with inaction, using traitorous Trojan Horses to infect our body politic, they can hope to realign that. All Putin wants, is to make Russia great again. At our expense.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their biggest obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized, it’s still going on, and the latest victim of it is Al Franken.

It’s a sad thing, to watch people jump on a bandwagon.

Two prominent progressive groups, Credo Action and Indivisible, called for Franken’s resignation Monday in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. This is so idiotic, so destructive to the Resistance, that it’s frankly hard to believe it’s unintentional.

If Democrats were to actually resign their offices every time they were slandered by Republicans, we’d have packed our bags and went home a hundred years ago.

Needless to say, these homegrown attacks are coming from organizations who show every sign of extreme bitterness about the primary defeat of Bernie Sanders in 2016, the election that seemingly never ends.

This type of cheap scandal stinks of Ken Starr and Monica Lewinsky. It’s unreal that it’s coming from our own backyard. For such attacks to be coming from people who share our values would once have been unthinkable.

Everyone remembered the Bush and Reagan years. The opposition had the country completely locked down. Bill Clinton was able to take it back by the slimmest of margins. In order to break that stranglehold, the utmost cooperation among the left was necessary. It still is.

When one section of the left starts making up imaginary purity tests to administer to the other, it is all too clear that many have forgotten the importance of the coalition concept. That is why we lost in 2016.

It’s put up or shut up time. The midterm elections are now less than a year away. It has become necessary to take a side. The only options are to stand with the Democrats or stand with Trump, and only one of those has any sanity or decency in it. Taking half measures will mean leaving the status quo intact.

The most important thing for any democracy is that its lines of communication remain healthy and open. When those break down, all that remains is tyranny. We have seen its face. It is eating dinner at the White House. We understand the necessity of cooperation and coalition, and we are willing to open a respectful dialogue with anyone who realizes that we’ve got to find a way out of this mess. We have got to find a way to move forward together. #WeWillEmbraceYou. All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

 

 

 

The GOP’s Middle Income Tax Increase.

Trump Robs The Middle Class

The new tax bill that the House of Representatives passed Thursday can be safely described as unpleasant.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. It’s going to hurt the middle class terribly. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

As American citizens, we have a duty to stand up and oppose this criminal concept with all the force we can muster. If we do not, the same GOP Congress that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of total nonsense is all but certain to approve it. This new scheme is pitiless even for Trump. Its implications are brutal. It was hard to believe the budget plan the Senate just signed off on could be approved of by any human being with a heart.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill-conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. The CBO report speaks for itself. It’s really more of a tax plot.

The Trumps will save more than $1 billion overall under the GOP tax proposal with most of that amount coming from a repeal of the estate tax, according to an analysis NBC News commissioned of Trump’s one known 2005 tax return and his estimated net worth

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

Many Americans will indeed receive a tiny, immediate tax cut, but in the long term they will end up paying significantly higher numbers overall. Better than a third of American taxpayers are living on levels of income that fall below their standard deduction and personal exemptions. According to New York University law professor Lily Batchelder, that group will derive no benefit whatsoever.

This favoritism to the wealthy will increase both their holdings and the nation’s debt tremendously. The richest Americans are the biggest source of tax revenues. Trump has no answers as to where we might find a suitable substitute for them.

The plan will do great damage to parents of school-age children.  The head of household filing status will be eliminated. They will lose the personal exemption middle-class families used to receive for each child. That means almost 10 million parents will see their taxes increase.

The Republican Senate passed a budget bill on Thursday that would cut federal funding by $5 trillion over the next decade. The people to suffer the most from these cuts would be senior citizens, the poor and the disabled. By the time it’s all been said and done, the only ones who won’t be suffering are Donald Trump and his hideous cronies. Good thing the religious right’s got indulgences for sale.
A 10 year proposal that would gut Medicare to the tune of $473 billion in cuts is on the table. That would devastate the finances of more than 55 million Americans.
One might expect such a large tax cut to produce a large surplus in the federal reserve, but such an expectation would meet with disappointment. The Tax Policy Center said that the Framework of Trump’s 2016 plan will actually increase the national debt by $7 trillion over the next 10 years.

A large debt increase of this type tends to stunt economic growth in the long run. When a country’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is more than 100 percent, investors get concerned. They demand higher yields on the nation’s debt,  increasing interest rates. Those higher rates slow growth. It’s the old question of risk vs. reward.

Trump’s plan will also reduce the U.S. gross domestic product after 2024. The interest payments on the debt will end up consuming a large portion of the federal budget.

That money will be unavailable for the public use. It will not be there for the building of infrastructure or other job-creation uses. It will also not be there in case of an emergency, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

The administration’s plan is relying on archaic and outmoded ideas of supply-side economics. Under the guidance of this principle, large-scale tax cuts are granted to big corporations. In an ideal world, these corporations would wisely invest this added capital into projects that create more jobs.

In the real world, however, the one in which Millennial Democrats is slogging through this article, this never worked out as it was supposed to. During Ronald Reagan’s administration, underperformance in this area led to the crisis we know as inflation. This was held up and exemplified, and given the name of Reaganomics. And that was still at a time when the highest tax rate was 70 percent.

These days tax rates are half what they were in the 1980’s. The results of pursuing a trickle-down economic strategy now would be far worse.

That is why those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it least.
“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

Koch Industries has been working toward getting a bill like this past Congress for forty years.  The Senate has stamped their will with a seal of approval, bypassing Democratic votes and therefore bypassing democracy. “America First” is taking on a whole new twist.

Tyranny and Taxation- A Budget Breaking Bad.

The budget plan the Senate just signed off on can be safely described as unpleasant.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

As American citizens, we have a duty to stand up and oppose this criminal concept with all the force we can muster. If we do not, the same GOP Congress that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of total nonsense is all but certain to approve it. This new scheme is pitiless even for Trump. Its implications are brutal.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. It’s really more of a tax plot.

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

Many Americans will indeed receive a tiny, immediate tax cut, but in the long term they will end up paying significantly higher numbers overall. Better than a third of American taxpayers are living on levels of income that fall below their standard deduction and personal exemptions. According to New York University law professor Lily Batchelder, that group will derive no benefit whatsoever.

This favoritism to the wealthy will increase both their holdings and the nation’s debt tremendously. The richest Americans are the biggest source of tax revenues. Trump has no answers as to where we might find a suitable substitute for them.

The plan will do great damage to parents of school-age children.  The head of household filing status will be eliminated. They will lose the personal exemption middle-class families used to receive for each child. That means almost 10 million parents will see their taxes increase.

The Republican Senate passed a budget bill on Thursday that would cut federal funding by $5 trillion over the next decade. The people to suffer the most from these cuts would be senior citizens, the poor and the disabled. By the time it’s all been said and done, the only ones who won’t be suffering are Donald Trump and his hideous cronies. Good thing the religious right’s got indulgences for sale.
A 10 year proposal that would gut Medicare to the tune of $473 billion in cuts is on the table. That would devastate the finances of more than 55 million Americans.
One might expect such a large tax cut to produce a large surplus in the federal reserve, but such an expectation would meet with disappointment. The Tax Policy Center said that the Framework of Trump’s 2016 plan will actually increase the national debt by $7 trillion over the next 10 years.

A large debt increase of this type tends to stunt economic growth in the long run. When a country’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is more than 100 percent, investors get concerned. They demand higher yields on the nation’s debt,  increasing interest rates. Those higher rates slow growth. It’s the old question of risk vs. reward.

Trump’s plan will also reduce the U.S. gross domestic product after 2024. The interest payments on the debt will end up consuming a large portion of the federal budget.

That money will be unavailable for the public use. It will not be there for the building of infrastructure or other job-creation uses. It will also not be there in case of an emergency, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

The administration’s plan is relying on archaic and outmoded ideas of supply-side economics. Under the guidance of this principle, large scale tax cuts are granted to big corporations. In an ideal world, these corporations would wisely invest this added capital into projects that create more jobs.

In the real world, however, the one in which Millennial Democrats is slogging through this article, this never worked out as it was supposed to. During Ronald Reagan’s administration, underperformance in this area led to the crisis we know as inflation. This was held up and exemplified, and given the name of Reaganomics. And that was still at a time when the highest tax rate was 70 percent.

These days tax rates are half what they were in the 1980’s. The results of pursuing a trickle-down economic strategy now would be far worse.

That is why those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it least.
“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

Koch Industries has been working toward getting a bill like this past Congress for forty years.  The Senate has stamped their will with a seal of approval, bypassing Democratic votes and therefore bypassing democracy. “America First” is taking on a whole new twist.

 

Marijuana and Malice- Sessions Schemes to Attack Medical Cannabis.

The medical marijuana industry is in danger of suffering yet another assault on its livelihood and belief system by the federal government. If the new attack is attempted, it will be spearheaded by Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Back in the 1980’s, Sessions said of the Ku Klux Klan that he thought they were OK, until he heard they smoked marijuana. He hasn’t changed.

In May, Sessions drafted a letter to congressional leaders. He was requesting them to repeal the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which protects cannabis dispensaries in legal states from federal prosecution. Sessions has been looking for a way to get around this and go after medical-marijuana businesses from the first day he got the job.

Even among his fellow Republicans this approach has been roundly criticized. It is largely viewed as out of touch with the times, representative of a 1982 way of thinking that the rest of the party has long since abandoned. But Sessions recently doubled down on it.

He expounded on his anti-marijuana view in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference in San Diego recently. Building on previous comments he’s made, Sessions in effect was stating that use of cannabis is automatically the same thing as drug abuse, and that cannabis is anything but medicine.

According to Reuters, Sessions reminded everyone in the room that the federal law banning the sale of marijuana “remains in effect,” and that “I’ve never felt that we should legalize marijuana.” That’s pretty unequivocal, which is good. The enemy at the gates is less to be feared, for he wears his banner openly.

The War on Drugs did not start with Nancy Reagan, or even close to her time, although she is the one to make the phrase immortal. It has been in the process of evolving from the very start. Regulatory legislature is never far behind anything useful, fun, or cool.

Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy was an Irish doctor studying in India in the 1830s. He found that cannabis extracts could help lessen stomach pain and vomiting in people suffering from cholera.

By the late 1800s, cannabis extracts were sold in pharmacies and doctors’ offices throughout Europe and the United States to treat stomach problems and other ailments.

Drug use for medicinal and recreational purposes has been happening in the United States since the country’s inception, and in fairness, it should be stated that this does serve some useful function. A certain amount of conservatism is good for a society. However, there is a line past which any philosophy becomes a perversion of itself. When science and reason fall by the wayside to suit some agenda, that agenda has already ceased to be worthwhile.

The War on Drugs has been one of the cruelest and most catastrophic policies ever conceived of by a government on its people. There are over two hundred thousand people in the federal prison system today, and a solid half of them are currently there for drug crimes. Between October 2012 and September 2013, 27.6 percent of drug offenders were locked up for crimes related to marijuana. It’s a sickening state of affairs, and no mistake.

The government has known from Day One that weed doesn’t really hurt peopleCannabis was originally introduced in North America as the common hemp plant during the seventeenth century. By the early nineteenth century we had an established and evolving medical commentary on the medicinal and intoxicating properties of cannabis.

However, this did not stop people like newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst from portraying it as a novel menace, dank and potent. One article in the San Francisco Examiner around the time included the phrase, “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana, he would drop dead of fright!” Look below. That look hideous to you? Those are Animal Cookies, friends and neighbors. They may well have dropped Frankenstein, but not for good, and things might have improved between him and his bride.

Image result for girl scout cookies weed
Animal Cookies

Domestic concern over cannabis seems to have originated in the Southwest in the late 1800’s due to the same type of anti- Mexican sentiment that recently led to all the uproar over Trump unsettling the status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) Act. It began increasing after the First World War.

In the same year the war started, the first comprehensive attempt at federal drug enforcement was officially signed into law. Known as the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, it turned a few hundred thousand harmless junkies into criminals overnight.

In 1919 the Supreme Court upheld the HNA decision and applied more rigorous standards to it, outlawing addiction-maintenance for pleasure or comfort. Then as now, this led to national restrictions on physicians and pharmacists, who were widely(and unjustly) held responsible for America’s ever-growing problems with drug addiction.

This interpretation and enforcement of this unfortunate law effectively eliminated any legitimate role for the medical profession in treatment for Americans who had drug addictions until well into the 1960’s. The issue remained untreated and grew worse increasingly. Soon, a large scale problem had been manufactured right out of the blue- and the government was to require new powers in order to solve it.

The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was the next step in their solution. It was an agency of the United States Department of the Treasury, after an act of June 14, 1930. Its purpose was to consolidate the functions of the Federal Narcotics Control Board and the Narcotic Division, the agencies responsible for the enforcement of the aforementioned legislature.

Under the leadership of its first Commissioner, Harry J. Anslinger, whom Jeff Sessions is often compared to, the FBN took an unfortunate and draconian position regarding addiction. It is not a disease, they said, and the person with an addiction, therefore, was not a patient. If the addict was not a patient, then according to the HNA, he must be a criminal.

It should be noted that there were many financial and trade-based reasons for the passing of these laws, but the big reason it scared the regular people so much is the way in which the addicts themselves were portrayed in the emerging national narrative. A great deal of disinformation was spread about these people, and the reality of their conduct was not a considered factor to the people in charge of pumping it out.

People with addictions generally were considered members of a criminal underclass. Mexicans who smoked marijuana were greatly feared. It was said that the drug gave them “unholy strength, and a bloodthirsty nature”. Black jazz-players and exotic Chinese opium-dens were caricatured and demonized as well. These fears were fed to the public systematically, fanned, and encouraged. Racism and drug laws have gone hand in hand from the start.

The HNA was passed and upheld for the same reasons described by Lee Atwater when describing the “Southern Strategy” he intended to get Reagan reelected with in 1984. The process by which rich whites take advantage of the malcontented poor ones, i.e. Trump voters, is deserving of the greatest attention we can give it. These are the techniques they use to keep us split up and squabbling.

Alerting people to the growing threat supposedly posed by cannabis was of paramount importance if the law was to have its desired effect. So a series of propaganda films were made on the subject. The most famous of these was 1936’s “Reefer Madness”.

After a lurid national propaganda campaign against the “evil weed,” Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937(MTA). The statute effectively criminalized marijuana, restricting possession of the drug to individuals who paid a simple possession tax, for which you were then issued an official government stamp.

Anyone was allowed to have marijuana, so long as they had their Marihuana Tax Stamp. And all you had to do to get one was to go down to the courthouse with your pot and register it. The only trouble was, before you had the stamp, your grass could get you sent to prison. So once you got there, instead of a stamp, you’d get a hefty jail sentence. The first person in America to be caught with marijuana after the passing of the MTA was one Samuel R. Caldwell, of Boulder, Colorado. He was sentenced to four years hard labor at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.

Locking up drug offenders is one of the big stories behind mass incarceration. The other is that prison is a finishing school for people who have made bad choices to end up becoming lifelong criminals. Young people get into trouble with drugs, and have to go sit in the same holding cells as murderers and pederasts. They end up doing things they never thought they would have to, just to survive.

Once in the system, it’s hard to get back out. “The increase in U.S. incarceration rates over the past 40 years is preponderantly the result of increases both in the likelihood of imprisonment and in lengths of prison sentences,” the National Research Council wrote in one report regarding this matter.

At present, the war on drugs paradigm and the brutally unnecessary enforcement agencies created to uphold and maintain it are under greater attack than perhaps ever before. This is especially true for marijuana prohibition. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska have passed state-level legalization measures. A developing legal market for marijuana is already thriving and healthy. Voters in Washington, D.C., have moved to do the same, despite pushback from Congress.

All of this has been made possible so far by federal adherence to the  a bipartisan legislature which has blocked the use of federal funding to be used in the prosecution of cannabis companies. But in the end, it’s only a Band-Aid, and there are ominous signs that the tide may be shifting. All the chaos going on everyplace gives Sessions plenty of cover from the public eye, as he goes weaseling out the ammo he needs to shut down legal-weed operations.

The House Rules Committee last month blocked a vote on the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment. This may adversely affect exemptions for pot businesses in legal states. This amendment has to be voted on and added to the budget every year. The blockage of this vote by the House may keep the amendment out of the 2018 budget, paving the way for Sessions to wreak havoc by using federal dollars to prosecute medical-cannabis businesses.

And this is where we have to ask ourselves: Where do we draw the line? We have passed the point of no return. We are going to stand up together and let the government that we are done letting our children be dragged off to monster factories, over a joint. We’re done letting this natural and fun activity be dragged through the mud, and even used as a weapon to hurt liberals with. The whole thing was designed in the first place, as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.

Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks.  We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”

The 1830’s were now quite some time ago, and it is time for the country to move on. Two hundred years worth of debate, about a question that was answered before humans could write, is a good deal more than enough. Jeff Sessions is going to have to learn right along with the rest of the Trump administration that the 1980’s are over.

America has bigger problems, when it comes to its prison system. It needs to be doing all it can to remedy the fact of more than 700 Americans for every 100,000 being prisoners. We’re not going back to kicking holes in people’s futures over this kind of thing. Cannabis is a gift from the heavens, and we are very grateful for it. To Jeff Sessions, Mr Attorney General, sir, I respectfully request, on behalf of the entire cannabis community, that you just leave us alone.