… and proud of it.
It’s an honor to be mentioned this way in this essay by Phillip S. Smith in the Drug War Chronicle”
On the eve of American independence, the colonies were awash with wild-eyed radicals taking pen to hand to denounce the latest iniquities of the British crown. Tom Paine is perhaps the best known of those colonial rabble-rousers; his pamphlet “Common Sense” was a clarion call to rebellion against the injustices of colonial rule. But he was by no means alone; Paine, in fact, was representative of a hands-on, egalitarian impulse that appeared early in American society, an impulse that cried out “I have something to say and every right to be heard!”
More than two centuries later, that impulse is alive and well — at least when it comes to the war on drugs. There is something about the issue that excites people to have their say. Other public policy issues seem to attract less outrage and fewer grassroots efforts to articulate a critique. Where, for example, are the hordes of self-published authors jumping into print with autodidactic tomes on the politics of waste water management or the epidemiology of mumps?
Perhaps it is because the drug war and drug prohibition feels so fundamentally wrong to so many American idealists. You know them: The people who actually believe all that stuff they told us when we were kids. The people who believe America is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The people who believe America is — or should be — a shining beacon of freedom. The people whose attitudes toward government in general and drug prohibition in particular could be summed up by the famous coiled snake flag of the Revolutionary War: “Don’t tread on me.”
These days, would-be pamphleteers have other options. They can take to the Internet and blog away, as do folks like Peter Guither at Drug War Rant, Radley Balko at The Agitator, or Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast. (The latter two sites are broader than drug policy). Or they can become part of the new breed of movement journalists, like rebel radioman Dean Becker of the Drug Truth Network, Richard Cowan of Marijuana News, Preston Peet of Drug War.com, or yours truly with Drug War Chronicle.
You might want to also check out the book reviews at the essay.