Defending Marijuana and Hemp

Part of the kynd life is doing good, and that sometimes means taking a stand — and getting angry. So pardon me if I let off a little steam here.

The Marijuana Policy Project reports that Stand up for your rights! This quote from John Adams in the musical 1776 just never seems to go out of fashion:

“I have come to the conclusion that one worthless man is called a disgrace, that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a congress. And by God, I have had this Congress!”

Damn the Congress. God damn the Congress. It wasn’t enough to go after civil liberties — forget anything sensible that Ben Franklin had to say on the subject — in the name of “national security.” Now it appears Capitol Hill lawmakers want to go after the First Amendment in an effort to promote and prolong the shameful War on (Some) Drugs and a Plant.

Congress is on the verge of prohibiting ads supporting marijuana policy reform (which keeps the very useful hemp from being put to all its worthy uses, among other things) from being displayed on public transportation systems across the nation. What — we can’t use, buy or sell a plant that grows in Goid’s green earth, and Congress doesn’t even want us to consider any alternative ideas? As Adams says in 1776, Good God!

You can take action to halt this un-American move in its tracks. Send a fax to lawmakers demanding that they remove the “Istook Amendment” from the federal government’s omnibus spending bill. MPP has prepared 10 pre-written letters from which you can choose. Each of the letters not only objects to the Istook Amendment, but also educates members of Congress about the need to reform US anti-marijuana/hemp laws.

MPP offers details on the congressional chicanery under way:

The provision at issue was inserted by U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK) into the Consolidated Appropriations Act – 2004 (H.R. 2673) while this bill was in a House/Senate conference committee. The provision would prohibit all local transit agencies from displaying marijuana policy reform advertising if they receive funding from the federal government — which is most transit agencies.

This is just one more example of the desire by federal officials to have the public hear only one message on the subject of marijuana: “Marijuana is bad and must be prohibited.” Over the past six years, Congress has given the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to convey this message. But now that advocates of marijuana policy reform want to promote an alternative viewpoint — with their own money, no less — marijuana prohibitionists in Congress are trying to silence them. This is called “viewpoint discrimination,” and it violates the First Amendment.

MPP has a two-part plan for fighting this provision:

  • First, with your assistance, we will overwhelm congressional offices with faxes that oppose the provision and support marijuana policy reform. Please send
    one of these faxes today

  • Second, if this wave of public opposition does not result in the removal of the Istook Amendment, MPP will sue the federal government to have the provision declared unconstitutional. MPP will not only succeed in this legal fight, but we will also succeed in embarrassing the drug warriors when our legal fight generates free publicity for our issue.

Today, MPP is delivering a letter to Congressman Istook and the other members of Congress who will decide the fate of the Istook Amendment, outlining our plans to sue the government should this provision become law. Now is the time to share your own outrage with your three members of Congress. With your help, we can win the fight in Congress before it even makes it to the courts.

What are you waiting for? Get busy!

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