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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cheech and Chong the "Black Face"s of Prohibition?

The more involved I become in the War on Cannabis, the more aware I become of how Cannabis and Cannabis users are protrayed.  I'm not just talking about how mainstream media portrays us and it.  I'm also referring to how we represent ourselves and how it affects the general opinion of Cannabis.

Not long ago (the 19th century) in the United States a new craze of comedy hit the populace.  So influential was this new form of comedy that it floated across the big water and found a home in European and Asian countries.  White actors utilized black face paint to portray blacks in theatre and eventually film.  This new theatrical practice became known as "Black Face".  The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and propagated American racist stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation" or the "dandified coon ".  (underlined quote from Wikipedia, "Blackface".)


I'm sure you've seen this image similar to this one before.  Even when I was a kid, I can remember certain Saturday morning cartoon characters that would slap on the black grease paint and paint their lips big and red to sing an ol' colored spiritual song.  Imagine the sort of racist and false stereotypes that this kind of behaviour propagates.  How can a person after being exposed to this kind of "acting" all of their life ever take an African American person seriously?   

MEANWHILE . . . .

 
It's the 1970's and a new comedic craze is sweeping America.  Two guys, one stage, and hours of hilarious material that addresses such issues as hippie life, free love, and drug use.  So influential was this duo, that over 40 years later, their movies are still watched and loved by the youth of a different, more digital and technologically advanced age.  No introduction is necessary, folks, you know exactly who I'm talking about. 



So, how did, and does, Cheech and Chong affect the public opinion of Cannabis and the people who use it?  After 40 years, the lazy, confused, stoner image is still doing more detriment to the Cannabis movement than the "black face" ever did for Civil Rights.  When do you ever see an intelligent, educated, hard working pot smoker on television?  It's no surprise that it's so hard for us to be taken seriously.  After watching Cheech and Chong, would you believe that "dope" had any medicinal value at all?  Would you believe that the founding fathers smoked, and grew Cannabis?  Probably not. 



Maybe, you disagree.  Maybe.  When you're smoking with your friends, when you are discussing politics or informing the masses about the wonderful plant that we love, what kind of image are you portraying?    

I'll leave you with a quote from the Charlotte Observer.  May 02, 2011.  "Some people have what I call a Cheech and Chong view of the issue," Alexander said.  "Frankly, if you look at it through that lens it makes it more difficult to take it seriously and makes it more difficult to listen to the evidence out there about its medical efficacy."                                     

Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Memory Of Sen. Bill Mescher (R-Berkeley)

William C. "Bill" Mescher (September 5, 1927- April 8, 2007) was a Republican politician from South Carolina. He was born in Belknap, Illinois. Mescher served in South Carolina Senate, representing Berkeley County, SC, from 1993 until his death in 2007.

     Tomorrow, April, 8th 2011 marks the 4th anniversary of Senator Mescher's untimely death.  For those of you not aware of who Mr. Mescher was or what Mr. Mescher tried to do, keep reading.
    
"In 2007, Sen. William Mescher (R-Berkley Co.) introduced S. 220, a compassionate bill that would allow patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe pain, and other serious illnesses to use marijuana with their doctors' approvals. Sen. Mescher seemed like an unlikely sponsor of medical marijuana to many people. However, his sponsorship demonstrates the fact that treating suffering is not a partisan issue.

"Sen. Mescher's first wife died of lung cancer. Her doctor said that medical marijuana might be able to help relieve her pain and suffering and allow her to enjoy the end of her life. Sen. Mescher realized that South Carolina's policy of criminalizing the seriously ill is cruel and needs to be changed.

"Sadly, Sen. Mescher died of a stroke on April 8, 2007. None of his colleagues in the Senate were willing to carry the bill and it died in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs without any additional hearings. Please take a moment to contact your state representatives now and urge them to introduce a medical marijuana bill next session."

For a complete reading of S.220 click here!

SC Medical Marijuana Initiative Petition Online

  As of April the 7th, 2011 at 801am, this online petition now has 2808 signatures. 

Those claiming responsibility for this petition are "South Carolinians for Drug Law Reform" and it was written by Todd Chas (todd@scdruglawreform.org

Sign it and share the link with your friends, facebook, and blogs. 

http://www.petitiononline.com/scdlr/petition.html

Or you can visit and contact our great governor at http://www.governor.sc.gov/.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The "M" Word.

     I love movies.  I love foreign movies.  However there is one thing that I detest.   I LOATHE movies that insist on all of the "bad guys" speaking a foreign language when the "good guys" speak english.  Usually the bad guys speak german, or russian, or arabic.  This is well done in the movie Pathfinder.  The good indians speak english.  The bad vikings speak. . . well. . . viking.  Never seen that one?  What about the war flick Enemy At The Gates?  You know the one.  Jude Law plays the english speaking russian hero.  He is russian with an english accent.  WTF?  Ed Harris and his evil nazi cohorts speak German. 
     I have a theory.  This is all done so that we will relate to the "good guys" and disassociate ourselves with the "bad guys".  If the "bad guys" speak another language, especially that of the evil nazi, or the evil russian, we won't feel so bad when they get killed.  We won't ever pull for them or be "on their side".  They are not like us.  We can't even understand them.  Their germanic language is rough and brutal to our soft english ears.  Don't think for one minute that is a coincidence.  People don't spend millions of dollars on movies without thinking about these things.  It's all psychological.  Understand?  Great.  Now to my point. 
     The "M" word.  You know. . . marijuana.  Now, I'm not a Cannabis historian, but from what I've gathered it's probable origin is believed to be somewhere around central Asia.  Maybe even the area around Afghanistan and the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia.  At any rate, it's place of origin is definately NOT Mexico, or Spain.  So, why does the plant that we love carry with it a spanish/mexican name? 
     From the 1900's throught the 1930's Cannabis was widely referred to in America as "Indian Hemp".  Then Harry J. Anslinger entered the picture in the early 30's as Head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and decided to change it's name to an obscure Mexican slang word.  You guessed it, "marihuana".  This was all done to disassociate the apple pie eatin', good ol' english speaking Ward and June Cleaver Americans from the wonderful plant formerly known as Indian Hemp, or Cannabis.  Anslinger was no fool.  He knew what was he was doing. He understand psychology and he used it well.  He even played the race game in order to accomplish his goals. Anslinger was famous for his racist statements in his reports regarding the use of Cannabis.  Such as:  "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."  Think that's bad?  What about this: "Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy."  Just imagine the impact that this man and his statements had on 1930's White America.  His ignorance still abounds today in 2011.  His labors are still bearing fruit.
     Friends, for over 80 years, we've been propagating the "M" word and continuing Mr. Anslinger's, a racists, efforts at disassociating ourselves and others with Cannabis.  Every time we use the "M" word, we reinforce the negative propaganda that labels a plant as dangerous, illegal, immoral, anti-american, and wrong.  This is the same thing that Hollywood does in their movies, remember?  That's why EDUCATION is vital to securing our freedom to use, cultivate, and enjoy, not marijuana, but Cannabis.  It's time for change.  It's time to get away from the Reefer Madness fear tactics of the 30's.  It's time to reveal the tricks that's been fooling Americans and South Carolinians for over 80 years.  It's time to give up the "M" word.  ¿Comprende?

War On Drugs

     The term "War on drugs" first crawled out the lying lips of former President of these United States of America Richard Nixon on June 17, 1971.  However, the same anti-drug policies of then and even now stretch all the way back to the year 1914 with the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914
     Cannabis, falsely labeled a "drug",  has been prohibited in one or more form or fashion since 1906.  By 1930, Cannabis, as a "drug", has been regulated in every state by laws instituted through the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act.  So, as you can see, the war on Cannabis has been going on way before the "War On Drugs" was ever enacted. 
     The reason for the short history lesson is to make you aware that this has been going on for a long time.  The rulers and taskmasters of this "free" land has done everything in their power to stop the cultivation and the use of a plant, like it or not, given to us by our Supreme Creator.  A plant.  It amazes me that man can make illegal and unlawful and call "bad", that which the Creator of the universe has called "good" and put here for the use of man; the benefit of man; the spiritual enlightenment of mankind.  As a side note, I'm not here to get into religious debates, theological discussions, or argue with internet Rambos.  There are greater battles to fight; greater wars to wage.  The greatest of all being this "War on Drugs".  Specifically, the "War on Cannabis".  What I want everyone to understand is that the battle lines have been drawn.  They have been drawn thin.  So thin, in fact, that there is no middle ground.  If you condone the use of Cannabis, if you believe in it's rightful place as a medicinal herb, if you smoke it, sale it, grow it, you have already chosen your side.  You are a soldier.  What are you going to do, soldier, to secure a future for Cannabis in the state of South Carolina?   What weapons are you prepared to use?  What tactics have you devised? 
     South Carolina has a great history when it comes to revolution and change.  Understand that over 130 battles in the American Revolution were fought on South Carolina soil.  Revolutionists and heroes such as Francis "Swamp Fox" Marion, Andrew "The Wizard Owl" Pickens, and Thomas "The Gamecock" Sumter fought with many others against a tyrannical government and their laws for the liberties that you and I enjoy today.  Do we call them terrorists?  Do we call them insurgents?  Were they criminals?  No.  They are heroes. 
     Was it all done in vain?  What a shame it would be if we forfiet our liberty and choose to stand on the sidelines while a tyrannical government and their unnatural laws forbid us a God given right.   What a shame it would be to let the revolutionary spirit that this great state possesses DIE without even a struggle.  This is a War, friends.  A War for liberty, justice, and revolution.  Are you willing to stand?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes?  Are you willing to face persecution, incarceration, and ridicule for what you KNOW is right and true?  If so, welcome to the War.