A Man with a Flashlight


422,214
July 13, 2007, 10:21 am
Filed under: Drug Prohibition

That’s the number of people arrested in America for cannabis offenses so far this year, or a mathematical estimate based on 2005 statistics. See Drug War Clock for more.



Legalization is coming
July 6, 2007, 11:55 am
Filed under: Drug Prohibition

The Agitator notes a little-commented detail of the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case: Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Souter cast a favorable glance at legalizing marijuana entirely. From their opinion:

…just as prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies, today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law-abiding users of marijuana,9 and of the majority of voters in each of the several States that tolerate medicinal uses of the product,10 lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs.

Surely our national experience with alcohol should make us wary of dampening speech suggesting—however inarticulately—that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely.

Marijuana will surely be legal. It is the strength of our political system that policies based on ignorance, prejudice, and misinformation cannot be maintained.

And the fact that the court minority raised the topic of drug legalization while ruling on a first amendment case which merely happened to revolve around a poster advocating “bong hits” illustrates the broad awareness of this issue right now. It’s becoming increasingly obvious, to people in all walks of life, that the prohibition on marijuana delivers no tangible benefit, divides Americans along a trivial but highly charged fault line, and imposes a high cost to personal liberty and limited, rational government.



And he was driving a Prius
July 5, 2007, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition, Politics, The Earth

Can you get greener than being Al Gore’s son, cruising along the San Diego freeway and smoking green buds?

I’m sure I won’t be the first to ask if the marijuana was as hybrid as the car. Yuk yuk yuk.

Strange to say, but my first reaction is a slight tinge of envy. It must be my hippie roots. There’s something strange, even dreamlike, about the whole situation. It seems to come straight from the subconscious of the Left. Does Al Gore III stand for something in all of us, the rampaging id of the gentle liberal psyche?



Susan Aldous interview part 2
May 7, 2007, 10:45 am
Filed under: Depression, Drug Prohibition, The East, Undiscovered writers

Susan Aldous is back! In the second part of our conversation we talk about her current charity work at a Thai women’s shelter, her wild adolescence, and being a mother.

See previous posts on Susan here, here, and here.

Hi Susan,

Good stuff! Thanks for such substantial answers, I’ve put them up on the blog, for all five of my readers! Here are my next questions. If this starts to take up too much of your time, just let me know and I’ll understand completely.

HI there Jonathan,
Back in the saddle and getting settled in Thailand after a grueling convoluted trip back home from my original home. Hi to all five readers by the way!
Ok, so here goes round two!

You’re still working part-time with prisoners, but you write that most of your time now is spent at a women’s shelter with abused women, single mothers, and women with HIV. Tell us a little about what you bring to these women, or indeed what they bring to you.

I spend a good amount of time with the women, perhaps not as much as I’d like, but each little bit surely counts in such a place. Number one is just being a friend, someone who cares and shows attention and encourages them with their lives and the lives of their kids. I help them feel good about being mommies, I help them feel important in their illnesses, I strive to be a part of all that they go through as best I can. Something that they particularly like is having their photos taken, especially with their kids and newborns. A tiny gesture on my part, but huge for those participating. A photo magically cements their relationships with their children and builds self-esteem. As for the HIV girls, it shows they will not be forgotten; they have a souvenir to send to their families back home, they will not be erased after they pass on. We play and glam it up, it’s so fun.
As for me, wow, somehow going to spend time with the girls is an exercise in serenity, happiness and the celebration of life, it’s a blessing of love to them and in return in my own life. Serenity in the sense, it’s a beautiful, quiet, safe place and I feel that the women are given dignity and that is so rewarding, I partake of the spirit.
Additionally it’s a joyous venture having twenty-something snotty nosed kids jumping all over you, hanging off of your arms and grabbing your legs so that you cannot escape. It can go from serenity to a madhouse in mere seconds. We all hug and kiss a lot too-joyful, joyful!

Shifting gears somewhat – I confess that for me, one of the most entertaining parts of your book was the description of your teenage years. I can call it entertaining because I know you survived and put it behind you, otherwise it would be depressing. To say you raised some hell wouldn’t really do it justice – you had probably done more drugs at the age of 14 than most people manage all their lives. You describe putting on shows for your friends where you would cut and pierce yourself, and burn yourself with cigarettes – sort of exhibitionism and self- destruction at the same time. I thought it was fascinating because it seems like you were trying so hard to escape the normalness of life. Indeed you told a friend you might kill yourself.
Not everyone goes through this, but many young people do. What can be done to make their struggle easier? How do you feel looking back at your adolescence?

It’s very surreal looking back as if that person died when I was born into a new life of caring for others. Somehow though, the old person is my bridge to reach those who hurt and ache now, a gift if you will. I respect all that I went through as being a great teacher. It’s been odd for me to hear how shocked folk are by my past when they read the book. I suppose it was normal to me and par for the course. In fact, I just read the book in print for the first time yesterday, and I felt that even by today’s standards I was definitely hard core and it was nothing short of a miracle that I survived to tell the story and to even make something good of the mess.
My greatest desire is that some young person will pick up the book and be affected for the better by it, that they will identify and it will offer hope and a way out. So many folk are affected by suicidal notions and attempt to kill themselves, many sadly succeeding. I think we can all make it easier on those who suffer by being honest about our own failings and weaknesses. It starts by being honest with ourselves, then by being real, open, available
and really listening.
Not only did I threaten to kill myself, I tried to several times, all in hopes that someone would rescue me and plant me on a more satisfying path. I was trying to escape normalcy, but more accurately, I wanted to find truth, a way of life that did not match the nine to five box that I was told I should get into. I was desperate for answers; I searched in all the wrong places. Finally I found what I needed to not only give me purpose, but to arm me for life’s difficulties and reach out to others. We live in hugely materialistic societies, where we are building walls against each other. Folk are isolated and lonely. The latest trinkets, the unfulfilling education, the grand job and the perfect marriage do not satisfy-there has to be more soul satisfaction, something to get passionate about.
Nothing better than being a part of the solution. If we want friends we have to be one. We can all reach out to a soul who is hurting and in turn find happiness as a bonus byproduct. We don’t have to have all the answers to help someone; we just need to be a friend.

At the age of 16, you leave all of that behind and decide to give your life to serving others. In your book the transformation seems almost effortless. Was it really that smooth? Can you describe how it happened? Did those feelings of being lost or desperate ever come back later in life?

It was a fast and easy transformation initially. Not dissimilar to asking someone to leave poison, fear and loneliness behind and showing them where to dump it, someone did that for me, so I walked from my past into something way better. That was the easy part, I had nothing to lose but the harder bits followed later. I battled with life, obstacles, lack of funding and relationships that left me sad. I met with folk who did not want help. I battled with my own selfishness, pride and anger. I had much to overcome within myself and to learn how to love and unselfishly care for others. I had to deal with disappointment time and time again in so many forms; I had to deal with the knowledge that I had disappointed others. It can be a
lonely job and sometimes you have to fight those closest to you to keep on going. The path that I have chosen, so few walk on it and it can be a solitary process at times.
All my battles and sadness though have a purpose and they teach how to empathize and help another, they are productive, therefore the old feelings of being lost have never returned in 30 years. Even the worst day now is better than my past, while some of my present days can be pretty frustrating, I can now make them work for me and others. A higher purpose!

You’re now a mother. Like a lot of hippies who have started families, you must struggle over what to tell your daughter about that era of drugs and free love. How do you deal with that question?

I have always been exceptionally honest and open with my daughter; of course all information has had to be age appropriate too. I have used my past to share with her the pitfalls of life and the solutions to these situations-I have tried to give her the tools to deal with such situations. She in turn, as all teens will do has hidden some things from me. However, she is on the overall extremely open with me and usually ends up ‘fessing up. She can ask me anything and sometimes she asks some pretty heavy sexual questions, which I welcome as it’s better to hear it from mom than to have misinformation from her peers. She knows she’ll not get in trouble for asking, and only a wee bit when confessing some wrong, but there’ll be big trouble if she lies and hides things and I find out later. Honesty pays in my house, even when it’s a hard truth to bear.
Like me, she’s had to learn some things the hard way, but we work through them and she’s a great kid with many gifts and even on her bad days she always somehow draws on her resources and pulls through.
Life was hard for me as a teen, but I’d hate to live in my daughter’s generation, I feel it’s much harder and the peer pressure is insane. I admire her for her fighting spirit at times, it’s just not easy and it’s hard being a mom at times.

That’s it for now, thanks again for taking this time!
Jonathan

Thanks to you too. All the best,
Love, peace and tie-dyed,
Susan.

“Dusty” Susan Dustin
P.O. Box 33 Suanyai Post Office
Nonthaburi Thailand
11003
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/onelifeatatime
http://onelifesusan.homestead.com/OneLife.html

Even after learning the hard truth about my blog’s limited readership, Susan comes through with another batch of detailed, hard-hitting answers. Much appreciated!

One last round of questions is coming up, so if you have any questions for Susan you’d like me to ask, this is your chance to email them to me.

Susan Aldous’ new book is The Angel of Bang Kwang Prison, published last month by Maverick House. Maverick House also published the memoir of Chavoret Jaruboon, Thailand’s last prison executioner, The Last Executioner.



Medical marijuana: a different Colbert debates Steve Carell
May 5, 2007, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Comedy, Drug Prohibition

An old episode of “Even Stephen” from The Daily Show. Carell and Colbert start out on medical marijuana but gradually the focus of the debate changes.



Drugs and Prostitution: Colbert King on the D.C. Madam
May 5, 2007, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Crime and Punishment, Drug Prohibition, Politics

How could you tell if drug prohibition were a terrible policy? This Washington, D.C. “victory” would be one bad sign:

For example, there’s the case of the 27-year-old quadriplegic who used a chin-operated wheelchair and who, in 2004, as a first-time offender, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for marijuana possession. He died on the fifth day of his incarceration because of a lack of appropriate medical treatment.

Colbert King assembles the evidence, but I’m not sure how I feel about where he goes with it.

King goes on to describe how Washington, D.C. prosecutes johns paying prostitutes for sex. The point of all this? King wants the “government officials and military officers” who may have bought sex from prostitutes employed by “D.C. Madam” Jeane Palfrey’s escort service to be prosecuted with equal vigor.

I don’t know where to stand on this. I don’t think government should be using our tax dollars to prosecute victimless crimes or protect people from themselves. Then again, if government is going to do this, I guess it should go after the rich and powerful as well as the poor and voiceless.

I don’t really share King’s disdain for men who sleep with prostitutes. He quotes “one expert” who says that men who buy sex acts “don’t respect women, nor do they want to respect women.” This may be true, or it may not, and I’m sure King’s “expert” has no idea either way. Was a survey of johns performed? Were they asked if they respected women? And if they wanted to respect women? No – and had it been, even that would be pretty unreliable. If there’s any common trait that prostitutes’ customers share, it’s probably that they are having trouble getting laid.

Isn’t it crazy to ban a commercial transaction which meets a demand that can’t be eradicated? When the offenders are harming no-one and are otherwise law-abiding? And when it means making criminals out of young women, making them even more vulnerable and hard to help?



Some courage from the Presidential candidates
May 5, 2007, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition, Politics

Mike Gravel (D), Dennis Kucinich (D), and Ron Paul (R) oppose Drug Prohibition; Bill Richardson (D) recently signed a law permitting cannabis as medicine. Good for them. Shame on the rest – especially on the candidates who know the policy is wrong, but won’t risk saying so.

Drug War Rant has the details.

Realistically, prohibition will continue until prominent Republicans have the will to stop it. The Democrats believe in stopping it, but they’re too invested in projecting strength to take action. Hm, sounds familiar.



Susan Aldous interview part 1

Our conversation with the the recently-published prison rights activist begins! Uncut, uncensored, unplugged. Here goes.

Hi Susan,

No problem, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for the blog, I consider it quite an honor. Here are the first questions I have for you, just respond however they strike you:

Thanks Jonathan, kind words for sure. Yes, I’ll just sort of free fall here and see what comes out.

The book tells your life story. Reading it, I was struck by how far- fetched and unpredictable your journey has been. Can you say something about what guided you to Thailand, and to the work you do now?

Surely my life sounds bizarre and totally unpredictable and especially if you know me personally, you’d realize just how incredible that is. I like to do the daring, crazy and adventurous, but I am a deeply pragmatic person who also appreciates a bit of stability so these two sides sort of play themselves off against each other and then final mix comes out to be some significant care giving.
My work, I believe it to be nothing short of a calling and my passion, the thing that I was born to do. I knew from a very early age that I needed to make a difference and searched for it in all the wrong places until at 16 the challenge came to “give my life away instead of throwing it away” and a volunteer calling ensued. My work has taken me to 18 countries over the past 30 years, most of which have been in Thailand.
I’d been in SEA for almost 5 years, I’d visited Thailand a few times, and I was working on shipments of donated goods for refugees along the Thai Cambodian border so I had links. For some time I fought with myself over moving to Thailand, I knew I was supposed to, but worked to drown out those thoughts when they pestered me. I think I was afraid as I sensed that such a move was going to change my life drastically. Eventually, those inner whispers were becoming relentless and deafening, additionally, circumstances provided an opportunity to visit and I could no longer fight what was happening or was supposed to happen—so I went with the flow.
I believe in destiny, I believe in choice and when they work in unison, well miracles burst forth. Little did I know what lay ahead and what an adventure it has been so far!

I’ve been trying to think of a way to sum up the charity work you’ve done, and it hasn’t been easy. You have worked in hospitals with paralyzed and dying patients; in prisons with murderers, rapists, and drug traffickers; in hospitals for pregnant women with HIV; and much else. What ties it all together?

The heart strings of love tie it all together, the desire to make a difference and crazy Don Quixote like spirit. I go through any open door that I feel right about, I go for short periods, long periods or one offs…I just go, I do and I follow the leadings that come to me. Some projects I work on for years, others are as simple as a few hours spent with a single person. But the common thread is compassion and caring being bought to a needy world and a desire to be a part of the solution instead of the problem.

I’m struck by the fact that you haven’t done much political agitation or lobbied to change government policies in Thailand. Is this a fair statement? What made you choose this focus on addressing problems “one life at a time,” instead of at the level of government policies?

If we can change one life, then we change a very significant part of the world and naturally that starts with ourselves. If I can inspire one person, he or she may be a Gandhi or a Mother Teresa in the making, or perhaps a politician who can change laws and a country’s outlook on life and the wellbeing of its citizens. I work by sample, I let that speak and I do believe that through my consistent actions I have made significant changes and affected officials to do more to care for their own. At least some feedback tells me this.
The media has been great and due to good coverage there has been changes wrought and folk spurred into action as well. Additionally, there have been times in which I have put pressure on individuals or organizations and in a small degree, some governments and government bodies. However, it’s the one on one I often work with and that’s where I feel I can have the greatest impact.

Prison life is hard anywhere, but in Thailand it’s particularly gruelling. For those who haven’t read your book yet, tell us a little about the experience of prisoners there, both Thai and foreign.

Ha, Jonathan…now that’d take a book, it did and in fact, I could not even begin to cover all the experiences and heartbreak that one meets when hearing of inmates stories. Suffice it to say though, life in a Thai jail is basically hopeless. You can endure difficult situations, deprivation, cruelty, indifference, rejection, injustice and the likes if you know there is an end in sight. But when you have to think of enduring such things for 50 years or the rest of your life…well, where do you go in your head to cope? Where is the place of escape in your mind?
It’s a walking death at times, a constant struggle full of despair with no way out, up, over or around it. Many folk fluctuate between wondering through their sentences like lost souls to flamboyantly contriving unrealistic plans and expectations of how they will bring about their own releases, both poles being futile. It’s heartbreaking, and juxtaposed against such a dark background, there is nothing as joyful as watching a man walk through those gates to freedom.
There are so many nonsensical variables to deal with as well. For example, murderers and rapists will often get out before drug cases. Some countries have exchange treaties so that their inmates can go home and serve some time in their own countries. This could translate anywhere between 4-8 plus years in Bangkwang and then home for however long the home country deems it fit that you serve. And again this home sentence varies so dramatically. If you are from the UK, you serve 2/3rds of your sentence in a maximum security horrible prison back in freezing England. If you went home on a life sentence, you’d serve less than someone who went home with 50 years. Life is natural life in Thailand and it’s about 20 in the UK. So you pray for a life sentence versus a numbered sentence if you are going to use the exchange system. It’s inconsistently crazy. The American returnees may serve bout 3 months in a detention center and then you are out on parole. Very few re-offend either. Australia is yet another deal as are the European nations. Then there is poor Nigeria, some inmates get out right away and others because they are sent to state prison serve incredible amount of years after their return in prisons worse than Bangkwang. And all, for the most part, small amounts of drugs which would not have warranted long sentences or even any sentence in their own countries.
Even if life looks like a complete free for all, anything goes, fair, you’d have to be crazy to do/courier/sell/get near drugs in Thailand.

Thailand seems to contain all the contradictions surrounding drugs in modern society. On the one hand, it’s famous among young people for wild full-moon parties which feature the consumption of every drug known to man, if the tales are true. On the other hand, Thailand’s laws on drug use are extremely strict. Drug traffickers can be sentenced to death, and in a nation-wide drug crackdown in 2003, police shot dead over a thousand suspects, in what many view as executions without trial. You write about experimenting with drugs as a teenager, and you were married for a time to Garth Hattan, a man you met while he was serving a heroin-trafficking sentence in Bangkok’s Bang Kwang prison. What is your view on the international war on drugs?

Don’t even get me started Jonathan…
I do not use drugs anymore, I am higher now than I have ever been and it’s totally natural so I am not speaking from a need to party view point. I do not like what a negative use of drugs can do to people, their lives, their families and societies resources; I do drink a bit, but also hate what alcohol can do to folk and again the world in which we live. However, it’s all in the user and the reasons behind their use of whatever substance that determines whether it be a good or a bad thing.
I feel some of the big drug companies and their dealer doctors are the worst blood sucking criminals on the face of the earth, and arms dealers aren’t my favorite folk either by the way, ha! Medicine also has a good place in our society, but when it’s brought down to the level of billions of dollars in profit as being the goal, then it’s wrong and especially when it’s prescribed by your friendly GP to finance his trip to Barbados, forget it…and forget the guy who selfishly wants to get a bit of cash as well off the backs of junkies—both are selfishly plundering the lives of those they have no right to.
Amazing when governments or big companies deal drugs or guns, it’s ok, aye? Hmm, not right and neither is the war on drugs…it’s a bunch of rubbish and a joke. Some folk may really be sincere in trying to suppress the production and sales of illegal substances, but it’s a lost war, a waste of time as there is much corruption in the whole money making façade that if they, the smaller law enforcement individuals or a few naive politicians, really do a sincere job they are at risk of ‘disappearing’ or being sacked. I could go on forever citing why I feel many substances should be legalized and why the war on drugs is a lie, but we don’t have time for that today…in short, it’s not working anyway and it’s highly hypocritical and many lives are also destroyed in the process.
If only we could all learn to really care for each other and take responsibility for our actions then the need for a war on drugs would be a moot point. Greed, self destruction and profiting by another’s demise are ugly in all and any field. Be they legal or illegal!
I guess you can see that I am never going to run for Mayor, ha!

Thanks again for your interest in this. When you’re through with these, I’ll send the next batch through.

Yours,
Jonathan

Cheers, take care,
Susan.

There is some back-and-forth still to come in parts 2 and 3, so please do send in any questions you’d like me to squeeze in. And thanks very much to Susan for spending this time with us.

Susan Aldous’ new book is The Angel of Bang Kwang Prison, published last month by Maverick House. Maverick House also published the memoir of Chavoret Jaruboon, Thailand’s last prison executioner, The Last Executioner.



The Terrible Truth
April 23, 2007, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition

A 1951 anti-cannabis propaganda film that is less wild-eyed than you expect:

Of course, considering it’s a reefer madness flick, much of the film is realistic, and the drug problem it describes needs to be addressed. That’s far truer now than it was in 1951.

But addressing the problem means being honest and serious about the dangers of cannabis, which are relatively few.

The terrible truth is, we are spending $35 billion a year on drug prohibition, the current focus of which is a drug that 95 million Americans admit to trying, that doesn’t cause crime, and which has never killed anyone by overdose.



In the heartland, Christians for medical cannabis
April 22, 2007, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition, Religion

Illinois considers a bill that would permit prescription cannabis use, which probably won’t pass. (If it does, Illinois would be the first Midwest state to do so.)

Just another day so far. But wait – more than forty religious leaders in the state are supporting the bill. To wit:

“It comes down to, what do we think God is up to?” said Pastor Bob Hillenbrand of First Presbyterian Church of Rockford. He said his own belief was in “a God of compassion, and therefore also of healing.”

Pastor Robert C. Morwell of Union United Methodist Church in Quincy said he had never used marijuana nor had any desire to. “But I think it’s a little silly to say we can prescribe morphine … and other drugs that are more addictive,” but not marijuana, he said.

Hey, makes sense to me.

This is part of a pattern. From the environment, to torture, to the war on drugs, Christians are starting to ask whether their faith really requires them to reject everything liberal. Thank God – if that isn’t blasphemy.

Let’s take a look at what the law’s opponents say.

“Who wouldn’t want to make a person in that condition [a hospice patient] feel better?” said Jeannie Lowe, also of the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems.

Lowe and other opponents say the wording of the legislation is so vague that, with a willing doctor, a patient could meet the standards for marijuana use for just about any illness.

I’m amazed, you might even say stunned. They don’t dispute that cannabis would help the terminally ill to live out their time with a little more dignity. Their argument is that someone might abuse this law, and smoke cannabis just to get high.

Forget that this probably won’t happen much – that phrase “with a willing doctor” will set the bar too high for most stoners. Forget how easy it is to get cannabis illegally (in most major cities you can call and have it delivered). Forget that we allow doctors to prescribe far more dangerous drugs like morphine and methadone, though they are, if anything, more likely to be mis-prescribed.

Even forgetting all of that, is this a compelling argument? Do you care whether a few stoners manage to get high with a prescription and have a little snicker at the government? Is preventing this worth denying medicine to dying people?

Just to be clear, I support full legalization of cannabis – I believe that the benefits of criminalizing a relatively benign intoxicant do not justify the financial and social costs. But even if we disagree on that, what is the argument against allowing it to patients?



“Why deny me and patients like me a medicine that helps me feel human?”
April 21, 2007, 2:58 am
Filed under: Drug Prohibition

It’s a good question:

Check out Tonya Davis’s other Youtube videos. It’s interesting to wonder, in the absence of Youtube or the like, whether Ms. Davis’s eloquence would reach anyone.

Our Federal drug policy: make terminally ill patients fight for the right to medication. Eliminate their supply of medicine, and incarcerate them. Why? Not because this is good in itself, but to send “the right message” – that cannabis can only harm, and never help.

And all evidence that cannabis is less addictive and less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes be damned.



It doesn’t get better than this
April 17, 2007, 12:57 am
Filed under: Drug Prohibition, Politics

I don’t really understand the whole U.S. attorneys scandal. All I can glean from the news is that the White House staff wanted to get rid of anyone who wouldn’t conduct pro-Republican investigations.

I guess we’ll figure out tomorrow whether Alberto Gonzales will get to keep his job. It’s no skin off my back either way. Gonzales’ next job should be gassing rabbits, but he wouldn’t have the intellectual curiosity or gentleness of spirit to fit in with that crowd.

What I do understand is that one of Justice’s replacement attorneys, Scott Schools, is making a complete ass of himself in San Francisco, going after a man who was growing pot for patients. (Nod to Seeing the Forest.)

It doesn’t faze him that that’s legal under state law. It also doesn’t worry him that Ed Rosenthal was already tried in federal court and sentenced to one day in prison – the judge’s way of slapping the prosecution in the face – or that his conviction was overturned on appeal, but the sentence given upheld as fair had the conviction stood, meaning that if he is convicted now, he will face no sentence at all.

Nor does it bother Schools that the judge who will hear the case, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer, is the same judge who heard it last time. Though Breyer said the U.S. Attorney’s decision left him “no choice” but to schedule a trial, he asked point-blank who had made the decision to retry Rosenthal, seemingly betraying scepticism about the wisdom of doing so.

In short, Schools is using his position to harass a medical marijuana grower, though he has no chance of winning a sentence against him and very little chance of even winning a conviction, though his prosecution directly opposes California state law, and in the face of criticism from the presiding judge. Can you say “political theater?”

Now for the good part – Rosenthal dressed up for his first day in court:

“This isn’t a criminal case, this is a political case,” said Rosenthal, who appeared in court dressed in a blue wizard’s robe with a golden marijuana leaf emblazoned over the breast. “I may as well get my money’s worth and have a trial.”

Mr. Schools, Ed Rosenthal is treating your unbecoming witch hunt with precisely the respect it deserves.



I’m a stoner and I vote.
April 9, 2007, 4:54 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition, Politics

Bill Maher is so right. Harsh joke on Anna Nicole Smith dialing 911 though.



Hey, it’s Sunday
April 8, 2007, 2:54 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition

And you can’t see the cops for drug legalization video too many times. My current nominee for the heaviest video on youtube.