“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” — Harry J. Anslinger, 1937
After writing the previous post (RE:EFER MADNESS) I’ve come into contact with a whole bunch of interesting people – including the fine folks at Clear and UKCIA — all of whom share the desire to see cannabis legalised. I’ve had a couple of ideas for tactics with this goal in mind; I wouldn’t want to say that these are necessarily good ideas or workable tactics but I thought I’d take this opportunity to share them just in case anyone thinks they may possess merit.
1) Prohibition forces a certain cowardice onto most of us: if admitting to consuming cannabis could well have the police intruding forcefully, catastrophically even, into your life; could see you losing your job; then the respectable-responsible cannabis user learns to keep his/her head down and Just Say No in public if not in private. I wonder if it might be worth coming up with some sort of symbol – I’m thinking of the red AIDS-awareness ribbon, something like that – which people could wear to promote this particular cause, to identify themselves with it by way of a constant, public reminder of the issue, allowing everyone who so desires to make a small but vital “stand up and be counted” gesture while offering deniability: “Cannabis? Me? Heavens, no! Drugs are bad, and our nation’s laws are ordained by the Queen who is God’s figurehead on Earth. However… However I’m wearing this because I do feel that the matter of what substances to consume and what states of awareness to explore is best left to the informed individual not the State… And I do think that in times of economic hardship it is incumbent upon the authorities to not just make cuts but also to seek new means of generating revenue… And of course there are proven medical benefits to this drug, this wicked drug that some damnable heathen cultures actually regard as not a wicked drug but a holy sacrament! …While most of the fears and supposed dangers of cannabis are demonstrably untrue, statistically insignificant and/or founded on junk science… And don’t our brave policemen have more important things to be doing with their time? …Because Prohibition does cause actual crime and sickness by leaving the manufacture and sale of a product to gangsters who we can be sure will act as gangsters do and who furthermore will not be overly concerned about the quality and purity of their goods… And isn’t criminalising Nature just a little bit weird and paranoid maybe? …And if the opposite of getting high is staying low then who but Puritans would protest? …And anyway the “War On Some Drugs” is an American export, it owes a hell of a lot to Richard Nixon – the greatest of all US Presidents to be sure – but really dates back to the early years of the 20th century when assorted big-shot shit-heads, seeing that cannabis use was a feature of black and Hispanic cultures but that it was virtually unheard of in white circles, realised that by criminalising this plant they could railroad members of ethnic minorities into prisons where the conditions of Slavery could be recreated… And… And…”
A green ribbon? Something like that, pinned to your top? The marijuana leaf is unfortunately too much associated with teenagers’ T-shirts for it to work here, I suspect. Something like that…
[Only after writing this did I think to google “green ribbon,” at which point I found out that this has already been used as a “legalise cannabis” awareness symbol! Oh, okay. Still: i) I never heard of it so it can’t have been all that big or loud a campaign; and ii) the green ribbon has also been used by about twenty other groups and movements too. So maybe something new and unique and loud-mouthed is needed?]
2) Civil Disobedience is so passé. How about a campaign of mass civil obedience? Instead of opposing these bullshit laws, or hiding from them, why not – and I really doubt the authorities have a contingency-plan in place to deal with this – meet those laws and their twisted logic head-on? If we are criminals then let us be criminals: in my imagination I see hordes of righteous pot-heads descending on our local police-stations, declaring our depravity and simply refusing to budge until we are punished under The Full Force Of The Law. Of course there’s no “plausible deniability” here, and while it’s very easy for me to suggest such an idea, I have no regular job to risk losing, no family to support: those who do will naturally, sensibly, be less inclined to play with fire. On the other hand, if such a campaign could be coordinated and carried out on a large enough scale to make it impossible to ignore, and impossible that everyone involved could realistically be punished, the risks would soon be negated: if people were prepared to make this gesture and, if necessary, to keep on week after week for as long as it takes, ensuring that momentum is maintained and if possible increased, how could the final result be anything other than victory?
…Any thoughts? Any better ideas?