Rant written by Amaterasu after finding out our distributor had been beaten as a "demonstration" to witnesses
Can we, in good conscience, accept barbaric behavior against an individual with the rationale that "they broke the law and they deserve it?"
Can we watch an accused taken down by police to be kicked as they lie helpless, and then to be tazed - not once, but twice, in their helpless state?
Is this acceptable within a society claiming enlightenment?
And can we condone this in the case of a "crime" that has no one involved crying for help?
The reason I ask these questions is because this happens in this enlightened society of ours. It happens on a daily basis. And it happened to a friend of mine.
The "crime" involved a business transaction, the nature of which caused no one to claim foul. No one would come forth to speak of their victimhood because no one in this transaction felt themselves a victim. All parties would have been satisfied with the outcome had not one of those involved been on a mission to entrap the other in this "crime."
This "crime" was made a crime with the whitewash of "protection" over the moneyed interests looking to protect themselves from a by-product threat that this "crime" represented.
And that crime, for those who may not yet grasp what I am speaking of, was to sell marijuana. And for this "crime," my friend was taken to the ground by police officers, kicked in a barbaric display of - self-righteousness, perhaps? The gloatings of power, maybe? - and shot with a tazer as he lay defenseless, shot twice.
And so I must examine what motivated us to choose such a law in the first place, and why anyone might justify such treatment of a human, who had harmed no one, in the name of that law. "Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law," be damned.
If I had any evidence that this was an isolated incident, that this virtually never happens, I would be far less angry.
But this happens all over our country - and worldwide, as well - daily, hourly, even.
But let's go back to why this law was passed and how. Let us examine what has been used to justify it, and the facts about marijuana. And let's also examine our desire to force our views on others.
Back in the 1930's, as Prohibition (alcohol) was being repealed - it was causing violent crime, gangs, and law abiding citizens became "criminals" overnight. Money was "easy" in trading in alcohol and police were becoming corrupt (sound familiar?) - the head of the Federal enforcement agency charged with enforcing Prohibition was about to lose his job. His name was Harry J. Anslinger.
His friend, William R. Hearst, was facing the threat to his paper production facilities from hemp. Hemp was cheaper to produce, could produce four times the paper per acre than trees could, needed less processing (dioxins would not be an issue), and was vastly more renewable.
And Harry and William put together a plan. If Harry could make something illegal, he could make a cause for being selected to enforce the law and thereby keep his job, and if William could outlaw hemp, the acres and acres of forest he had invested in would stand to make better profits.
So William, who as we know owned many a newspaper, began publishing "facts." Marijuana caused "brother to kill brother." Marijuana caused "black men to rape white women." Amongst the white, educated folk, who voted and pressured Congress, a panic was born. Dear God! A black man might smoke that stuff and leap out of a bush in the park and kill me and rape my women and children!
So they wrote to Congress (many of whom had been reading the same stuff and getting panicky themselves). Harry even addressed Congress with these same allegations, lying through his teeth, but whipping up racial fears in the white group. The Congressional Record is available.
And Congress took the first step to illegally empower. For, by the Constitution and its Amendments, Congress had no legal way of making marijuana illegal. This was understood from the beginning in the Prohibition of alcohol. This is why a Constitutional Amendment had to be passed to make alcohol illegal on the Federal level.
But Federal laws against marijuana were - and still are! - unconstitutional. Through the years, some mumbo jumbo was concocted based on provisions relating to interstate commerce. But what did the Constitution, Bill of Rights and other Amendments matter???
Our women are being raped by black men, and we are killing our brothers because of marijuana!
So, from that dishonest base with shaky support, we allow Prohibition (cannabis) today. And William's forest investments were safe from hemp, and Harry was assigned to lead the Prohibition enforcement agency - merely switching from alcohol to marijuana.
But today, we know that marijuana decreases violent behavior. We know that rape is completely untied to the use of the drug. We know that using it is often much more affective than Prozac and other, more deadly drugs.
We know, in fact, that marijuana has been attributed in killing zero humans - throughout history! We know that driving under the influence of marijuana is less dangerous than driving while having too little sleep.
And the list goes on.
But meanwhile, we are condoning barbaric behavior because "it's the law." And if the law stated that women were property and could not be looked upon by men unless privately and by their husband, if women could not receive education and had to wear fully covering clothing and paint all windows in their houses black lest they be seen, would we condone stoning them if their elbow might show? It's the law, after all.
What do we fall back on today in justifying Prohibition (which is working as well and causing the self-same issues as our past, repealed Prohibition)? Why, the horrors of altering one's consciousness, of course.
And so I must ask another question: What is inherently wrong with altering our consciousness? If that is it, if there is something wrong with altering consciousness, alcohol should be back on the Prohibition list - along with caffiene, nicotine, sugar, and Prozac, et al.
With this dual standard, we justify our barbarism. We justify kicking downed men.
Here is where I am going to ask you to think. I am also going to ask you to be honest with yourself. I hope you are both willing and prepared to do both.
Let's turn it around. Let us suppose that there had been a reason to make the use of marijuana compulsory, rather than forbidden. (We can use its many medical/psychological advantages as a place to start this idea.)
Who of you would stand and say you are incapable of deciding for yourself whether you would smoke (or eat) it?
Who of you would claim less than autonomy in making this choice for yourselves? Who of you would claim a right to being an Autonomous Self?
The catch is, if one claims to be an Autonomous Self, one must grant that to all others. For if one cannot grant that, one is forever under control by the behavior of others and one is therefore surely not autonomous.
An Autonomous Self has no worries about what another does as long as the other's behavior hurts no one outside that other Autonomous Self. The Autonomous Self is the one who has the right to make all decisions about Self until another, face to face, complains.
At that point, the Autonomous Self seeks Fairness.
The Autonomous Self recognizes that life is a series of risks and that one's behavior is all one has to affect how risky one's life is.
The Autonomous Self takes full responsibility for his/her behavior and for his/her body. This means that s/he will accept it if s/he leads him/herself, in the end, to having no one/nothing but him/herself, and will expect no one to care. The Autonomous Self is prepared to expect nothing from others, accepting this with ease because s/he understands that his/her behavior is fully within his/her control and if s/he is always Fair, there is a high probability of always being cared about.
For this reason, the Autonomous Self would never tell another they had to smoke marijuana. Nor would the Autonomous Self tell another they can't. That is Fair.
The Autonomous Self would leave that choice to the other.
And so, I look at the brutality my friend underwent. I look at all the others of my friends - each one who knows of someone who was brutalized because someone else placed money ahead of the Grace the Autonomous Self should display. Money was placed above Fairness.
So I am going to ask you again: Who of you would claim a right to being an Autonomous Self?
To answer me, I will suggest that, as I have here below, you sign your name with "A.S." at the end. When asked about this, you can explain that you are an Autonomous Self and refer the questioner to this link. Or you can make up any other story you want.
The point is not to identify yourselves to others - don't take it as any sort of reason to trust someone, necessarily, who might sign thusly. The purpose is to promote awareness - the more widespread, the better - of how Fairness should be applied as it relates to marijuana (or in general).
As an Autonomous Self, one would give strong consideration to choosing this small token of support of awareness.
So right now, through inaction, we allow unfairness to exist and affect millions of lives. We have accepted an unconstitutional base for laws, condoning therefore brutality.
So I ask you, Autonomous Self, to accept the responsibility to Fairness and do this much to raise awareness.