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March 2005
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Shenanigans in Alaska

As you may know, Alaska governor Frank Murkowski has been pissed off at the Alaska Supreme Court and his own state’s constitution, because it gives its citizens the right of privacy. See, the Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the government can’t go after adults who possess up to 4 ounces of pot in their own homes, because it’s not dangerous enough to justify taking away rights.
Well, what’s the fun of being governor if you can’t send storm troopers into homes to bust adults who are peacefully smoking a joint?
So now he’s trying to get the legislature to declare marijuana to be very dangerous to attempt again to outlaw private possession.
Where to turn? Well if you want someone to lie about marijuana, the first place to go is the federal government — specifically, the ONDCP. Check out this outrageous phoned in testimony:

Researcher David Murray of the White House’s Office on National Drug Control Policy told a Senate committee that marijuana users develop serious cases of psychosis and other problems from inhaling doses of carcinogenic chemicals.

“This is a dirty, dirty drug,” Murray said. He testified via phone at the request of Assistant Attorney General Dean Guaneli, who is spearheading the governor’s bill.

Dirty?
Then they got the Health and Social Services Committee Chairman to explain how marijuana use causes violence. Check this out:

Fielder said smoking marijuana leads to violent behavior down the road. “If I smoke marijuana, I may not be led to rob a store. But I can lose my job and then be motivated to steal,” he said.

Oh my God! Oversleeping then must also lead to violent behavior!
Fortunately, not everyone is drinking the Kool-Aid. There are quite a number of legislators who are not convinced, and callers (as well as some other testifiers) have not been following the Governor’s crusade, which is upsetting the bill’s proponents.
According to the Anchorage Daily News (which has an onerous registration page with bad html coding), after hearing all sorts of public officials speak (lie) in favor of a bill that would take away the rights of citizens (and was proposed by a public official),

Fairbanks Sen. Gary Wilken sharply criticized the head of the state public defenders agency for testifying against the bill in her official position.

“I’m really disappointed in your testimony today. … I’m shocked,” the Fairbanks Republican told Barbara Brink, director of the agency.

Shocked, I tell you!
And,

[Committee Chair Senator Fred] Dyson charged at the hearing that some of the bill’s opponents went too far in calls to his legislative office.

“They’ve been plugging up our phone lines,” Dyson said.

How dare they call their Senator, who has important things to do with his phone lines — like find new ways to violate the rights of Alaskan citizens?

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