Cannabis prohibition sends the wrong message to children; it teaches them that it is better to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, when we know that cannabis is safer. We should encourage children to wait until they are adults to make adult decisions with adult consequences, but we should educate them with honesty. Teaching them falsehoods about cannabis sends the wrong message to children; it teaches them not to trust us when we tell them the very serious dangers of drugs like heroin or cocaine. Criminal punishments for adult possession and use of cannabis teach our children that their government is unjust.
I know I should not write on politics, but this hits me where I live. I was talking with a friend about his affair with a married woman whose husband is assigned away from the US. It is a sad story, and it is one I have heard mirrored many times. It is one with all the other stories that, like mad cats drawn from the same sack, scratch and claw at us. So forgive me being weak, and writing on a topic that should be forbidden to anyone who must by profession be faceless, blank and without core or surface soul. Forgive me for saying this.
Come home America, come home.
It is time to come home from distant wars against fictions and phantoms. It is time to come home to your wives who miss you, to your children who need you, to your families that feel the pain of missing souls.
It is time to come home America, home to the cities that have been flooded, the forests left untended, the fields left untilled. It is time to come home America, to the work left undone, the minds left unschooled. It is time to come America, to the home you did not leave behind, because no home ever lasts if left unrepaired.
It is time to come home America, and when you do, you will ask how you ever let that home be put into hands such as the ones that now have it. You will wonder at how they ever seemed to be giants, and on the back of which ant the cameras were mounted to make them look that way.
It is time America to come home. Home to the words which we written on parchment, printed on paper, but engraved on hearts and minds, with stylus of firearms, and ink mixed of blood and gunpowder: “when it becomes destructive to these ends… to alter or abolish it.”
Look at the man who wields the seal of 13 arrows and 13 stars, of 13 leaves and 13 olives, of 13 stripes and countless hopes and dreams. Ask yourself a single question: is he worthy of placing your sons lives in his hands? Hands that have signed so many laws unjust, unwise and unAmerican. Hands which have rubber stamped commands from other unelected. Ask yourself if his words are to be trusted, coming from the same mouth that has spat out so many of us on to the ground.
I have spent my life studying ruins, and I feel this home becoming one. I have spent my life studying kings, and know their portraits by heart. And in history’s wake I feel, I know and must believe because without this belief there is no hope in me: that all the crosses of gold and silver crowns, must in history’s turn be struck down. But I am not the one to do it, I can only call to you, who are still across the sea, or buried in your own affairs, to look up, and see. See that we are losing our America, from mountains blasted for blacker coal, to roads that crack and creak, to nursing wards for veterans that stink and reek, to schools that are dour and bleak.
Come home America, while there is yet time, let not the sands cover us, nor the waters wash us away. It is not out there that our freedom lives, but here. It is not a Vatican in Baghdad that we must build, but a shining city on hill which we must rebuild, our golden domes pealing, our silver stars tarnished, our private places violated by rude disruption, for an adventure we did not wish, nor want. Let dead caesars have their triumphs, let forgotten pharaohs have their obelisks. Let emperors have their might tombs, let them have them, one and all their arcs and boulevards.
Ask your son, your daughter, your wife, your lover. Each will tell you what I say here. “I don’t know why were are there, I just want you home.”
To our public servants I can only ask: “What do you think we changed the government for? We demanded only a few simple things. End the flow of corruption, end the war, and end the reign of error.” You have voted for another year for corruption to flow, already. You have not voted to end the war, yet. You have said that you will not act to remove those who have committed hight crimes and misdemeanors, ever. We sent you once to Washington, we can send you right back home again if you forget why we sent you there.
I don’t know what else to say, it is an old story, of Ulysses coming home, and cleaning the house of suitors that sought to suck the blood and treasure from his house and steal his wife. To servants who had forgotten their duties, and to all the animals save two that had forgotten his scent. He came home and bent his bow and slew the suitors on sight. But to bend his bow, the great hero first, had to come home.
Please, please, please. It is time to set right what has gone so horribly wrong.
A manager as awful as Gonzales admits himself to be should be fired if he won’t resign – his only possible plus point being that this managerial awfullness appears to be exactly what Rove was counting on.
STRANGE WOMAN: It is a most elusive fish!
STRANGE MAN: And it went wherever I did go.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: A-fish, a-fish, a-fish, a-fishy, ooooh.
STRANGE WOMAN: Ooooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish!
STRANGE MAN: That went wherever I did go.
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Look up his trunk!
MAN IN AUDIENCE: Yeah, it’s hidden in his trousers!
Well isn’t that special?
It is because we were hunters, because
we killed for a living, because we matched
wits against the whole of the animal world,
that we have the wit to survive even in a
world of our own creation.
Medical use of marijuana should be legalized
By Montel Williams
You probably know me as a talk show host and, perhaps, as someone who for several years has spoken out about my use of medical marijuana for the pain caused by multiple sclerosis. That surprised a few people, but recent research has proved that I was right: right about marijuana’s medical benefits and right about how urgent it is for states to change their laws so that sick people aren’t treated as criminals. The Illinois General Assembly is considering such a change right now.
If you see me on television [10 a.m. weekdays on Channel 4 in St. Louis], I look healthy. What you don’t see is the mind-numbing pain searing through my legs like hot pokers.
My doctors wrote me prescriptions for some of the strongest painkillers available. I took Percocet, Vicodin and Oxycontin on a regular basis, knowingly risking overdose just trying to make the pain bearable. But these powerful, expensive drugs brought me no relief. I couldn’t sleep, I was agitated, my legs kicked involuntarily in bed and the pain was so bad I found myself crying in the middle of the night.
All these heavy-duty narcotics made me nearly incoherent. I couldn’t take them when I had to work, because they turned me into a zombie. Worse, these drugs are highly addictive, and one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to become a junkie.
When someone suggested I try marijuana, I was skeptical. But I also was desperate. To my amazement, it worked after the legal drugs had failed. Three puffs and within minutes the excruciating pain in my legs subsided. I had my first restful sleep in months.
I am not alone. A new study from the University of California, published in February in the highly regarded medical journal Neurology, leaves no doubt about that.
You see, people with MS suffer from a particular type of pain called neuropathic pain: pain caused by damage to the nerves. It’s common in MS but also in many other illnesses, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. It’s typically a burning or stabbing sensation, and conventional pain drugs don’t help much, whatever the specific illness.
The new study, conducted by Dr. Donald Abrams, looked at neuropathic pain in HIV/AIDS patients. About one-third of people with HIV eventually suffer this kind of pain, and there are no FDA-approved treatments. For some it gets so bad that they can’t walk.
This was what is known as a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the “gold standard” of medical research. And marijuana worked. The very first marijuana cigarette reduced the pain by an average of 72 percent, without serious side effects.
What makes this even more impressive is that U.S. researchers studying marijuana are required to use marijuana supplied by the federal government, marijuana that is famous for its poor quality and weakness. So there is every reason to believe that studies such as this one underestimate the potential relief that high-quality marijuana could provide.
In my case, medical marijuana has allowed me to live a productive, fruitful life despite having multiple sclerosis. Many thousands of others all over this country — less well-known than me but whose stories are just as real — have experienced the same thing.
Here’s what’s shocking: The U.S. government knows marijuana works as a medicine. Our government actually provides medical marijuana each month to five patients in a program that started about 25 years ago but was closed to new patients in 1992. One of the patients in that program, Florida stockbroker Irvin Rosenfeld, was a guest on my show two years ago. If federal officials come to town to tell you there’s no evidence marijuana is a safe, effective medicine, know this: They’re lying, and they know it.
Still, 39 states subject patients with illnesses like MS, cancer or HIV/AIDS to arrest and jail for using medical marijuana, even if their doctor has recommended it. It’s long past time for that to change.
Illinois state Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has introduced a bill — SB 650 — to protect patients like me from arrest and jail for using medical marijuana when it’s recommended by a physician. Similar laws are working well in 11 states right now.
The General Assembly should pass the medical marijuana bill without delay. Sick people shouldn’t be treated as criminals.
Television talk show host Montel Williams is the author, with Lawrence Grobel, of “Climbing Higher” and other books.
Special to the Post-Dispatch
Click her picture. Hat-tip Think Progress.
Update: replacement video: Read the rest of this entry »
Watching my recent visitors compared to those who have been reading this blog for awhile, we are becoming more of a musical tribe and less of a political one. Unfortunately for my desire to abstain from national politics, I cannot put out of my mind the pictures of torture that have been committed. And it is not the actual photographs, which I would not care to see more than I must, but the knowledge that it is going on even now and worse.
This is still a political blog, until the administration and those who continue to dehumanize the world with such foulness are removed from power. We must restore civilization now.