It's 4:20 -- the first one! -- here in the Mile High City. I am up late, as I usually am before a big gig, getting all the digital stuff in its place, ironing clothes, and catching up on what has been a horrific week for news in America. My live coverage of the first Cannabis Cup in America (that healthy people can enjoy fully) begins tomorrow on 420RADIO.org at Noon Mountain Time. I am also enjoying my Colorado Constitutional right to possess and smoke some very pleasant marijuana my Lakewood friends and hosts supplied me. It's nice to smoke weed legally. Even though I smoke weed all the time and it's pseudo-quasi-legal in Portland, Oregon, it feels better toking free.
Today, law enforcement captured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was allegedly caught on camera allegedly dropping a backpack at the Boston Marathon that allegedly contained a bomb that blew the legs off thirty-odd people. Allegedly. Everyone deserves a trial and a fair defense... even (especially!) terrorists.
A few of the Twitter and Facebook accounts I follow in the online marijuana community were aghast at the door-to-door searches and lockdowns of the towns. "False flag!" a tiny minority cried, supposing that scores of people in the highest municipal, state, and federal government conspired to kill and maim marathon fans in order to something NDAA drones facism corporations sheeple yada yada yada. Others lamented the loss of the 4th Amendment in an emergency, some just hate cops no matter what they are doing.
I can understand. When your government has declared you a criminal and a danger to children, broken down your door and shot your dog, terrorized your family, imprisoned you for mandatory minimums even rapists don't earn, stolen all of your property and money, and forced you to check the "Have you ever been convicted of something so we won't hire you?" box on job applications for the rest of your life, it can make you a little anti-law enforcement.
However, I was thrilled to see SWAT being used for its actual purpose for once! Not serving marijuana warrants and drug warrants to overwhelmingly peaceful people who will be flooding Denver this 4/20 to experience freedom!
When we marijuana aficionados celebrate 4/20, it's not because we're looking for a excuse to party and get high. We're getting high already; we don't need a calendar and a watch for that. No, what we are celebrating is our culture and identification as members of an oppressed minority. 4/20 isn't just our "Stoner Holiday," it's also like our "Pride Parade." It's our stand against those who seek to keep us second-class citizens. It's our rejection of being forced to hide in a smoky garage while our friends drink beer openly in almost every public accommodation. It's our fellowship in shared traditions borne of outlaw status, like taking a furtive toke in a bathroom, blowing smoke through the ventilation fan, using eyedrops and Febreze and a lighted match to disguise the evidence of our "criminal" acts. It's a collective remembrance of our friends and family who lost anything from a job or scholarship to their freedom or their life because nature's most human-beneficial plant is banned.
As I was finishing up my preparations for my 4/20 presentations tomorrow, I received the embedded picture above from a friend. It is from the Facebook account of Christine Tatum. She is a journalist and anti-pot crusader who I've mocked in the past for her over-the-top reefer madness. But this post, on 4/20, blaming marijuana for two young men's destructive lunacy, moves her from the "mocking" column to "righteous indignation" column on my "To Do" list.
Here it is. Vanity Fair delivers the first report I have seen noting 19-year-old Dzhokhar's weed use. We MUST start asking hard questions about marijuana use and these violent outbursts. In some people, marijuana use induces psychosis, paranoia and aggression. The science is there. This connection is real. (Screencap at http://rad-r.us/MJBomber)
Let's see, there are 26.1 million annual tokers, 17 million monthly tokers, and 2 million daily tokers in America. Two of them are alleged terrorists. That's literally, at best, a one-in-a-million risk.
Meanwhile, here's a homework assignment for Christine Tatum and you, the reader. Learn a little about the possible link between anti-depressants and violence. You know, the drugs the FDA has said are safe medicines, unlike marijuana, even as they add a "black box warning" that the drugs "may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults..." and may lead to "acting aggressive, being angry, or violent" and "acting on dangerous impulses." Then, when you learn that many of the school shooters were on these anti-depressants, you might wish they'd have chosen marijuana instead.
What must 4/20 be like for someone like Christine Tatum who sees violent evil behind the pot leaf? I hope to make it as uncomfortable for her as I can by livestreaming all the peaceful friendly people -- our people -- and educating everyone I can reach about the crucial need to end marijuana prohibition and restore our cannabis hemp heritage. Today, on the first 4/20 in post-legalization Colorado and Washington, we vow to continue legalization of cannabis until all fifty states and all their pot P.O.W.s are free.
Light it up! Here's to making the Christine Tatums, Paul Chabots, Kevin Sabets, and especially the Gil Kerlikowskes of the nation irrelevant!
Follow Russ Belville on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RadicalRuss