Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Today at breakfast I picked up a copy of the Little Nickel Classifieds, usually a good place to find jobs, cheap trucks, or adoption-for-hire schemes.
The first ad on the front page was for a tip-line that pays up to $5000 for turning in pot farmers.
Right next to it were a solid dozen ads for "Medical Marijuana" ranging from home-delivery to dubious "Doctors" prepared to write you out a script for $100 bucks a pop.
One of the biggest reasons there is next to no meaningful Left (the Liberal class, the Dems, most of the Progressives, and Greens in the US are "Leftist" in more or less the same way that McDonald's is "food") in the US is pot.
More specifically, the fetishization of pot by a large number of left-leaning people, the continued criminalization of pot by the establishment right, and the division within the would-be Left over pot.
So many of those who hold socialist, anarchist, co-operative, and communalist views are more interested in getting high, and the legalization of their drug of choice then they are in social justice, universal health care, ending poverty (more on that tomorrow), ecological justice, or the end to America's permanent wars on various common nouns.
Except of course the "War on Drugs".
That one they'll fight.
For the record, I support the legalization of pot, not because I smoke it, not because I entertain some rainbow-colored unicorn shit idea that "The world would be better if everyone smoked weed", but because making pot criminal fuels the prison-industrial complex, is used as an excuse for ever-increasing intrusive police state measures, and serves to prevent the adoption of wide-spread agricultural/industrial use of renewable hemp (which the "legalize it" crowd often tries to trot out as the "real" reason for their quest, which would seem a lot more reasonable if they weren't red-eyed and scarfing down White Castle).
But the sheer amount of time, energy, and focus that goes into this one issue is completely out of whack. The US is currently fighting two seemingly endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention "police actions" and such in Columbia, Guiana, Belize, most of the 'Stans, Yemen, and the Horn of Africa, to name just a few. The last three years have seen the single greatest movement of wealth from the poor to the rich in the history of, well, history. The rich/poor gap has ballooned, the planet is as sick as a chemo-patient, a cabal of trans-national corporations are constantly tightening their grip on the very essentials and building blocks of life (water, food, DNA) and the one thing that gets the vote out, the one thing that stirs the soma-vacationing Left outa it's off-grid cabins is the call to legalize pot?
Which of course hands the Corporatist Right and their butt-kissing Moralist minions enough ammo to blow gaping holes in the credibility of anyone in anyway connected to the legalize-it-left, while those "leftists" who reject pot (and booze, and tobacco, and meat, and sex, and well, most things that make life fun) and tattoo X's into their fists turn on the very people who they claim to share ideals of ecological and social justice with, because unlike the Moralist crowd, the left likes to smoke, drink, and fuck.
Ok, fine, the Moralists like to smoke drink and fuck too, they just won't admit it.
How about we focus on the pressing issues; human rights, social justice, economic equality, the abolition of wealth (more on that tomorrow too), and ecological justice, and leave the legalization of pot (or the criminalization of animal products, stupid vegans) until the current tide of reactionary economic fascism has been beaten back into Mordor and the gates slammed shut?