Tuesday, November 8, 2011

johnson supports pardons for marijuana offenders

"if i am elected president of the united states, i'm going to pardon all non-violent federal convictions for marijuana," said former nm governor gary johnson in an address to the international drug policy reform conference last week.  the conference was hosted by several advocacy groups, including  l.e.a.p. (law enforcement against prohibition) and the a.c.l.u.

in his speech, johnson cited last month's gallup poll that found, for the first time, a majority of the u.s. population favors outright legalization of marijuana.  he cited the discrepancy between public sentiment and public leadership on the issue.

"50% of americans support legalizing marijuana.  amongst the universe of politicians, 0% of the universe of politicians support this notion....can you think of any other area of public policy where there is that kind of disconnect?  i can't."

the chasm between policy and popular opinion has widened exponentially in the last year, since the obama administration spun away from the official tolerance articulated in the ogden memo, in favor of drug enforcement policies from the bush era. adopting a fusion of anti-drug and anti-terror policy, a venomous hydra of prosecution that now includes military-trained d.e.a. squads of dubious international legality and the domestic targeting of state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries. 

according to the latest f.b.i. data, more americans are arrested  for drugs than any other crime,
with marijuana accounting for more than half of these arrests.

all this, as gary johnson notes, against the backdrop that a record majority of americans are now in favor of legalization.  last year, another gallup poll found 70% of americans in favor of prescribed medical marijuana to relieve pain.

yeah, the american people get it.  in a world where this kind of hypocrisy reigns, sometimes you got to light one to ease the pain.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

more from the marigold parade

"free haircuts for the 1%"

watching the parade from his backyard

this lady says we should boycott bueno foods because they do business with monsanto

marigold parade 11.6.11
albuquerque, nm

Sunday, November 6, 2011

dia de los muertos marigold parade-- bicycle edition

making marigolds

juan on a tiny bike trailing a tonka truck w a cassette recorder strapped on top

young one says, "i ran out of candy to throw because i ate it all."

our crew

marigold parade 11.6.11
albuquerque, nm

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

albuquerque csi!

here's the new video, "pliers," by gnash quintet, gusher. the track is off the upcoming release, drought valley gruncle core, which drops next week.  pick up your copy at the album release party saturday, november 12th 8pm at  outerspace (albuquerque, 309 washington se) experience gusher live, performing alongside abq grind godfathers, ronoso, and wet witch (from jersey).

"pliers" by gusher
video directed by stephen turselli
albuquerque, nm

album release party:saturday, november 12th 8pm at outerspace (albuquerque, 309 washington se) 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

new mexico has highest drug overdose rate in the country

new mexico now  leads the country with the most deaths by drug overdose per capita with 26.63 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the latest cdc data.  new mexico’s overdose rate is more than double the national average. 

meanwhile,  the fbi annual crime report released in september shows that last year, more americans were arrested for drugs than any other crime.   driving under the influence, another drug-related offense, placed second.  here in new mexico , 8,814 people were arrested for drugs and 11,301 people were busted for d.u.i.  

the ever-skyrocketing number of drug arrests have done little to stem overdoses. nationally, the overdose rate has nearly doubled in the last ten years.  12.7 people per 100,000 now die from overdose.  in 2000, that number was 6.7.  for the first time in history, more people die by od in than in car crashes.   

it's prescription pills that are responsible for the current spike in overdoses.  narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety meds are responsible for more overdoses than cocaine and heroin combined.  the incidence of overdose parallels the increasing prescription of these medications:  vicodin is now the most widely prescribed drug in the u.s.  

the american medical establishment has as big a drug problem as the rest of the country. given this track record, why are we trying to medicalize marijuana?  trusting doctors with drugs is like trusting banks with money.  

despite the overdose statistics, the federal government is now aggressively prosecuting marijuana users, and even state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.  a major crackdown in underway by u.s. attorneys in california.  no word on how this general federal pressure will affect new mexico’s small medical marijuana program, but one california ruling  may have local repercussions.  the i.r.s. is using a part of the tax code that was originally designed to hurt drug cartels.  that code is now being used to bar state-licensed dispensaries from taking any business-related tax deductions.  

while the current federal government cracks down, former new mexico governor gary johnson,  legalization advocate and  still flickeringly viable presidential aspirant, is actively courting the stoner vote.   in an interview with outside magazine, johnson calls marijuana users the “largest untapped voting bloc in the country.”  

asks johnson, “a hundred million americans have smoked marijuana. you think they want to be considered criminals?”

hell, no.  we want to be accepted, just like any pill popper.   

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

gary johnson declares war on the war on drugs

in a passionate op-ed in friday’s washington times, former new mexico governor and republican presidential candidate gary johnson  unleashed marijuana legalization into the mainstream national debate.   unfortunately, many people were too distracted by watching the economy trip and fall down the stairs to notice. nevertheless, future opportunities to bring the issue to the fore are assured; johnson is a viable republican candidate, and he is making ending the drug war a platform of his campaign.  

for the first time in forty years,  we get to seriously discuss not how the drug war should be fought, but whether there should be a drug war at all. 

johnson has been straightforward about his views on legalizing drugs before-- ending prohibition is a natural feature of his libertarian principals.   but in his editorial he elaborates, framing the debate around money and security.  the piece is titled, "Hitting the cartels where it hurts:  Legalization of marijuana would end profiteering and violence," and it goes on to describe the drug war in terms of, well, actual war.

receiving scant coverage among english language news sources for such a bloodbath so nearby, the violence in mexico has escalated dramatically since 2006.  that was when then-newly elected mexican president felipe calderon declared war against the cartels. now the death toll, according to johnson, is 28,000  (his figure is conservative.  stopthedrugwar.org estimates 40,000 people have been killed). 

johnson distinguishes immigration from border violence, calling out the hazards and hypocrisy of marijuana prohibition. 
Border violence... is a prohibition problem. Just as we did for Al Capone and his murderous colleagues 90 years ago, our drug laws have created the battlefield on which tens of thousands are dying. By doggedly hanging onto marijuana laws that make criminals out of our children while our leaders proudly consume wine at state dinners, we have created an illegal marketplace with such mind-boggling profits that no enforcement measures will ever overcome the motivation, resources and determination of the cartels.

along with the times op-ed, worth reading in its entirety, johnson released an ad that compares the tally spent on imprisoning marijuana offenders ($3,100,000,000, according to johnson) to the number of deaths from marijuana overdose (zero, according to everybody).

johnson's overture to end prohibition comes as part of a recent rationalist wave of thinking on the drug war.  in january of this year, calderon's predecessor, vicente fox, stated that he favored and end to drug prohibition. two weeks ago, the naacp adopted a resolution calling for an end to the war on drugs.*  

however, even as sanity begins to flicker in the mainstream, the obama administration is now charging against weed with guns blazing full force .  gone is the avuncular moderate of 2009, willing to let medical marijuana smokers hang out and burn down in the basement. that year, the justice department released the ogden memo, formally promising to ignore medical marijuana users who were acting in accordance with state law.   

but those golden days of civil indifference are over.  now the obama administration is exercising some hard dick enforcement straight out of the bush years.  at the end of june 2011, the department of justice issued  a memo targeting medical marijuana dispensaries .   just last week, obama's drug czar, r. gil kerlikowski,** presented a new strategy that has the capacity to expand the drug war infinitely,  merging the war on drugs with the war on terror (i think its called efficiency in government when two amorphous, unwinnable wars are consolidated into one).

meanwhile, the global economy is stumbling backwards and flailing for the bannister for dear life.  it maybe that when it hits the landing, we end up so broke that we'll have to do as a nation what so many american families were already doing on the DL--  flipping weed to pay the bills.  

* do you know what this means?  stoners and black people could end up voting republican 2012.  i'm not saying it's a lock, but it's not the long shot it once was.


r. gil kerlikowske, director of white house office of national drug control policy

 somehow i believe director kerlikowske when he says he never smoked a joint in his life, don't you? his shits are probably like buckshot pellets, pinging in the pan.