With my sister visiting, I missed the opportunity to post on Veteran’s day — and I know we have a lot of veterans who visit here and are ardent drug policy reformers.

So here’s an editorial from The Province that nicely expresses my views.

Today we remember those who have been lost in war, and give thanks to those who served our country to protect our way of life. We do this to honour their sacrifice and bravery and not to glorify war. The loudest cries denouncing the horror, the waste and the stupidity of war have always come from the veterans themselves.

Now the soldiers of another war — the War on Drugs — are raising their voices in opposition to that conflict so foolishly being waged by politicians. Current and former police officers keep emerging to say that just like with other wars, the War on Drugs is producing millions of mostly young victims, causing terrible violence and is costing us billions. […]

Polls show that only 12 per cent of British Columbians support current marijuana laws. It’s time for politicians to listen to experts, hear from voters and show some courage.

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12 Responses to Remembering

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    I’m a draft dodger myself. No fooling, I was in the first tranche of 18 year olds required to register for the “just in case” draft and didn’t. I got a very strongly worded letter telling me how angry the Feds were when I was 23. No Canada.

    Just to be clear, I’m against involuntary conscription. I’m not against military service and I certainly don’t hate the people who were enslaved when the draft existed. I’ve faced a similar choice in my past and fully understand why so many men decided against emigrating to Canada. There weren’t very many cowards on either side of that decision IMO. Both sides did great service to our country. What service did the draft dodgers perform? Like so many other horridly inhuman laws in the past involuntary conscription was eliminated in the American tradition of not suffering unjust laws, but breaking them until they’re changed and it was the draft dodgers that broke that law (“broke” like a wild horse is “broken”).

    In 1977 Jimmy Carter pardoned the draft dodgers shortly after assuming the duties of POTUS. Today we have a candidate who has not only promised to pardon those incarcerated for cannabis law violations he’s a very credible candidate. While I’m pleased to see so much support this time for Mr. Paul even though there’s no way in heck I’m going to support his candidacy, presuming that he doesn’t get the Republican nomination.

    I really do think we’d be much better off supporting Mr. Johnson. No chance of getting elected? Why not? Aside from the cannabis issue he’s the singular candidate that’s got the experience and has included in his campaign platform the necessary reforms needed to fix not only our broken economy but our broken government. It’s the fact that our government is broken that has resulted in our broken economy. Argue all day whether it was Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush the lesser, or Mr. Obama, in reality it was a joint effort of all three. I hope you Ron Paul people understand that had Mr. Paul had been POTUS and had his way in 2008 He would have smiled, waved goodbye and said, “swim free little sewer trout, swim free” as our economy swirled the proverbial toilet bowl.

    No chance to be even seriously considered to be a nominee? Most certainly if everyone decides to ignore him because he has no chance to be even seriously considered to be a nominee. That’s a self fulfilling prophecy. When did it happen that people became so obsessed with voting for the winning candidate rather than the candidate that best supports their views? I’m proud of the fact that I’ve never voted for the winning candidate for POTUS in my life, even for my vote for Mr. Paul in 1988. I most certainly would be happier that had my candidates won but even in hindsight can’t imagine myself having actually voted for Mr. Reagan, Mr. Bush the 41st, Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush the lesser or Mr. Obama. What a motley crew.

    C’mon people, Mr. Johnson is speaking our language. Mr. Paul can understand it but he still needs a translating dictionary. He’s most certainly not in favor of re-legalizing cannabis or even hemp, just of returning the Federal government to its proper Constitutional role which would result in that happening *at the Federal level* He wouldn’t care if the States decided to give potheads 20 years in prison as long as it didn’t violate the Constitution. Not to mention that our economy would have made the Great Depression look like a walk in the park had he been allowed to do his impression of the captain of the H.M.S. Titanic.

    Well at least he’s getting some press:

    Republican Gary Johnson is not the average presidential candidate
    The former New Mexico governor, known nationally as ‘the marijuana guy,’ supports drug decriminalization, sympathizes with Occupy protesters and barnstorms on a bicycle.

    By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

    November 13, 2011, 8:38 p.m.
    Reporting from Los Angeles—
    As campaign stops for Republican presidential candidates go, the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in downtown Los Angeles seemed like a strange choice.

    There was reggae music booming from big speakers, lapel pins shaped like marijuana leaves and a speech by California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the liberal former mayor of San Francisco who is famous for granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    • darkcycle says:

      Duncan, I was only 17 when I got my GED and entered the service. After I got back, traumatized, radicalized, and absolutely LOATHEING the service and this country (I no longer loathe the services)…I had to register for the exact same thing at the exact same time. It didn’t matter one bit that I had gone and returned. And when I announced to my dad that there wasn’t one godanm way in hell I was registering for selective service, he used his superior size and huge mits to manhandle me into the Post Office. I’m with you (but I can still go to Canada).

      • darkcycle says:

        P.S. My dad out weighed me at that point by over a hundred pounds..and..well…he was my dad, so I let it happen…

      • darkcycle says:

        …if yer wondering, I wound up in C.A. after being offered a Secondary dispensation to the State Dept. I took it, and wiped out my service committment to the Army by giving State 18 months. But I was discharged before I finished training, so as far as Uncle was concerned, I was still available. I got it (the notice) much to my bewilderment at the time. That was one of the keys to figuring out just how badly I’d been snookered all along. No V.A., no college benes…nuthin.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        My dad was a Navy Man, and I always say “I grew up in the Navy” which a lot of people just don’t get. That was a major causal factor in my loathing of the idea of me in military service. The other factor is that I’m a born slacker. Does pot give me amotivational syndrome? How the heck would I know? You have to have a particular thing before you can lose it.

        Say, I just found out that “annoying children” are a misdemeanor in California. That’s a good thing. Children should never annoy adults.

        From Perry Mason Season 4 Episode 26
        “The Case of The Duplicate Daughter:

        Paul Drake: “Perry, I think we hit the jackpot. I have to a get a friend stoned to do it, and he’ll probably hate me, but I found out why Mrs. Gillman was being blackmailed…”

  2. allan says:

    yeah… the military… there was no doubt I was going. Dad a WWII, Battle of the Bulge, Army vet. Both older brothers served, bro 2 in VN… me an 18 year old tired of being pushed thru school and living within minutes of SoCal beaches, the music of the late ’60s… no way I stood a chance of being interested in staying in school for a draft deferment.

    And it turns out that service in the military was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I got to travel the western states, I was sent to a distant, exotic land, where my participation in war became the catalyst for my drive for peace… and I was paid when my service ended to go to college (and after 4 years of the military the college experience was liberating and I discovered I liked being educated – who woulda thunk it!)

    So a hearty hat-tip from this oldman to all my brothers and sister veterans… props kids

  3. claygooding says:

    Raised in small town Texas,volunteered at 17 for three years in the Army just to get out of there.

    Was stationed in Germany at 17 and I could have spent my whole tour there,,but being 17 and way smarter than I was,I volunteered for Nam.

    But I wasn’t a combat soldier,,my mos was Eng equip specialist so I was a support personnel meaning rare brushes with actual combat. Long stretches of boredom with random moments of sheer terror.

    As soon as I was discharged I joined Vets against the war and went to several of their protests,including DC and Youngstown,OH,when Nixon was campaigning for his second term.

    I am one year veteran in the VN war and a 44 year veteran of the war on drugs,and I am sick and tired of fighting my own government. I have been arrested so many times for marijuana I have lost count,,never a day in prison but I have spent a small fortune on lawyer fees and lost everything I own twice,,over court actions.

    I just want to be able to grow a crop in my own backyard once before I die without worrying about a swat team killing my chihuahua.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      You don’t seem to understand that the chihuahua is a foul vicious creature with a temper and proclivity toward violence which makes a pit bull seem like bunny rabbit. I’ve often thought that a pack of chihuahua, say 100 or so would be an insurmountable obstacle to those who would trespass. Think of the horror that one would feel with so many pissed off dogs bound and determined to bite their ankles. For even better protection (albeit temporary), simply infect them with rabies.

      My friend in Charm City owns a pit bull. She’s a sweet little tail wagging dog who just might lick you to death if you let her get the upper hand. But then again she does have a tail and intact ears. Maybe that’s the secret.

  4. darkcycle says:

    Clay, you gotta move outa Texas, my backyard yielded a 6.5 Oz. Blueberry (I put it in in late July).
    I got suckered into my C.A. deployment.

  5. claygooding says:

    I have several VN vets asking me to join them in the Oregon woods and am considering the move,,

  6. Steve Finlay says:

    This editorial is particularly significant, because The Province leans to the right. The fact that it appeared at all is testimony to the persuasive power of Neill Franklin, LEAP’s executive director.

  7. Cliff says:

    I was a soldier in the US Army (82C1P FA Surveyor) for 7 years during the Cold War. I was in at the end of the Jimmy Carter Administration and mostly during the Ronald Reagan Administration. I loved being a soldier and the warrior ethos, and wanted to make it a career. I met a lot of good and honorable people while in the service and had many experiences that I treasure to this day.

    I remember when I first joined (1979), cannabis use by soldiers was accepted as long as it didn’t interfere with your duties. I began to use cannabis rather than alcohol in my off duty hours and was still able to function at a high level in my MOS as well as a soldier (I have the decorations and counseling statements to prove it in my 201 file), I was respected in all of the units I served in, but the Army had a problem with responsible cannabis use, thanks Ronnie and Nancy, you moralistic prigs.

    I became a soldier in the war on some drugs when I ended up in the Army Drug and Alcohol program (what a joke) and was eventually Chaptered out because I would give the Drug and Alcohol NCO admittedly hot urine samples and continue my responsible use of cannabis throughout the year it took them to Chapter me out.

    I didn’t become a problem soldier or develop an attitude problem, so I was still able to perform my job, which I enjoyed. When I was finally separated (1 week before my actual ETS orders, which I had in my hand) I got a lot of weird looks because I was a slick sleeved E-1 with 2 rows of ribbons and service stripes on my sleeve.

    After I was discharged, I got my BA and MS and got on with my life. I have not taken a single job which has required me to take a drug test, and this experience led me to vow that I would never pee for a job ever again. It has been a struggle, but I am still a soldier and I am willing to defend my cognitive freedoms.

    Thanks for the love Pete. I served my country proudly and wonder how the country that I volunteered to defend with my life has become such an enemy to liberty and freedom, it makes me very sad.

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