An Open Letter to Obama, Holder, Kerlikowske et. al
News appeared recently about yet another study appearing in a major scientific journal (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358713/?tool=pubmed) that demonstrates that the cannabis plant does indeed provide neuropathic pain relief, and that the use of the plant does not have the same negative effects of other schedule I drugs. This report and others provide an indication that the federal government is very slowly opening up to the possibility of legalizing cannabis for medical uses. Drug Czar Kerlikowske is asking for a “third way” on drug policy, leading cannabis activists to hope the hail of terror federal drug agents have rained on cannabis users and providers might soften.
One might think I’d find this good news, but I really don’t. What it means is that after 80 years of abusing cannabis users and falsely demonizing the plant, you’re now ready to consider what usefulness you think cannabis might have, and then license it to your friends and brothers in the pharmaceutical industry for capitalization and commodification. You’ll essentially turn an outlaw into a slave. I’d like to ask you to do something else: nothing.
Doing nothing is, of course, what a good government does best, and it is certainly true that your government has done nothing very well on the issues of poverty or our growing prison population. But, surprisingly, the government, both under the administrations of the Tweedle Dee party and those of the Tweedle Dum party, haven’t been able to do nothing about cannabis. But, if it is at all possible, consider doing nothing now.
The something you’ve done in the past has been truly amazing! You’ve turned a common useful weed into a super plant, one with literally billions of dollars, and in the process you’ve brainwashed three generations of Americans, made heroes of armed government thugs, and turned every game warden and forest ranger into a drug warrior. America is rich in cops now, and fabulously wealthy in prisoners. All of this from a plant that the government itself once classified as “a harmless, non-addictive weed.” When you decide to do something, the shit really flies.
Our government, though, was founded with the idea that, unless action was really called for, the government will do nothing. So, it’s OK, now, we’ve got this, there isn’t the need for you to do anything, just shred a few laws and get back to dropping drones on people in other lands. Don’t classify, don’t regulate, don’t give patents to chemical companies, don’t do anything.
If you need help in doing nothing, I’m at your disposal. Write me and tell me you don’t know how to do nothing about cannabis. Follow my directions exactly and do everything precisely as I say, because I’m not going to write back to you; there, problem solved.
If you like, if it makes you feel more like you’re doing your job of controlling the minutia of our lives, you can even create a department, perhaps the Department of Doing Nothing about Ganja, which could have a Secretary of Doing Nothing and a whole army of people making sure no one was doing anything about cannabis, complete with volume after volume of policies and procedures detailing that nothing is being done. You see, I realize that careers have been made, and retirement planned for, and prestige created over keeping cannabis illegal, and I wouldn’t want you to have to throw your friends out on the street. They might become destitute and have to make and sell meth, and that wouldn’t be good. Besides, I would far rather have you waste tax dollars than using them to make our lives miserable.
With you doing nothing, here is what will happen: 1. The price of ganja will drop too low for criminals and cops to bother with it; 2. Americans who wanted to could use it; 3. The sun will shine and the rain will fall on fields of hemp for cloth and paper, for animal feed; for food for people; for medicine. Isn’t that a lovely benefit, just for doing nothing?
Please give it a try.
Laurenc, Fringe Editor