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January 2005
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Interesting profiles

A couple of pieces of enjoyable, entertaining and enlightening reading focus on a couple of icons in the reform movement.
“bullet” In Exhale, Stage Left, by Peter Carlson in the Washington Post, we get a colorful profile of NORML’s Keith Stroup, who is retiring. It’s a fascinating story of some of his wild experiences in developing the marijuana reform effort, as well as an indication of how far that movement has come.
“bullet” While Boston’s The Weekly Dig is not the Washington Post, take a moment to check out “These Laws are So Fucking Stupid” by Paul McMorrow (The Post probably wouldn’t have allowed that headline). The article is a profile on Joe White and Change the Climate — a Boston based organization that has been huge in fighting for the right to bring the discussion of marijuana public.

“I’ve been more of a non-activist over the years,” White said. “I got involved with this issue partially as a business endeavor, but really in response to my teenager, who’s now 23, asking me why adults lie to kids about marijuana. He’s part of the DARE generation, the generation that’s been bombarded by ads that make marijuana out to be the most dangerous substance on the planet. He told me that he didn’t smoke, but his friends did, and if we weren’t telling them the truth about marijuana, maybe we weren’t telling them the truth about other drugs, more dangerous drugs.

“And once I started learning how much money is spent on arresting and prosecuting people for marijuana-how much money is spent disseminating inaccurate information about marijuana — the more obsessed I became about telling people the truth and educating the public about what a huge fiasco this is. It costs us billions of dollars a year. Plus, it’s easy for me — I smoke pot. I’m fighting against stupid laws that go against my self-interest. Nobody ever died from smoking marijuana — that’s why these laws are so fucking stupid.”

Good articles worth a read. (And thanks as always to Scott for all the tips.)

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