Archive for the ‘ Drugs ’ Category

Whites-only Marijuana.

I didn’t ever actually go back and blog more about the The New Jim Crow, which I mentioned here, but I’d like to bring it up again for a second. The general thrust of this book is that the War on Drugs created a permanent underclass in much the same way that Jim Crow laws and black codes did after the civil war. The statistics and stories presented in the book, as well as the description of how the broad police powers granted by anti-drug legislation and SCOTUS decisions on them have significantly damaged civil liberties, will make you sick at heart.

So for the past few days, I’ve been thinking about medical marijuana. In the early days of this blog, I made some embarrassingly naive comments about medical marijuana. I talked some about American views on poverty, and mentioned race only in passing. Looking at medical marijuana, I think I was wrong to leave out race.

I believe that widespread adoption of medical marijuana laws at the state level, without corresponding decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level, will in effect create a whites-only space to use pot. Consider, for example, the already existing disparities in the way medication is prescribed. Also, see Joe Klein’s “The boomers like it, and really, who else matters” argument in Time from a few years ago. There’s a movement for the reform of marijuana laws in this country, but it’s by and large a movement for the reform of marijuana laws for relatively-affluent whites, rather than a movement aimed at any sort of justice.


Metal Mondays: Shoulder of Orion

Nerds love metal, nerds love categories; ergo, nerds love categorizing metal. Symphonic death, melo-death, progressive death, doom, black, trad, fantasy, folk and power are a few that I can think of off the top of my head. Also, metal is almost disasterously conservative; the True Believers seem to know what they want to hear from a given genre before listening to a song. Clearly, these rules ought to be punched. Or, maybe, shouldered. By my second favorite constellation.

Shoulder of Orion: Fuck rules.

Shoulder of Orion by Shoulder of Orion

The 15-minute opening track leaps across the heap of subgenres like a hotly pursued ninja across poorly animated ancient houses. If that ninja went from kissing your earlobe to kneeing your groin. Perhaps I’m confusing ninja and geisha again. Regardless, these Brits fucking destroy. And they’ve given away their newest album for free. That’s waffle fries cheap.

Sometimes this band sounds like it would be filling arenas with airy ballads, but then death (growled) vocals come out, the blast beats begins and yes, you do actually hear thunder striking. If you do not have massive speakers, please listen on headphones to get the full effect. I’d liken it to the best kind of rough sex — in a Norwegian thunderstorm.

Jesus Christ. There’s even a cowbell.

Rockford at the End

According to Wired magazine, Facebook has 75 million users playing FarmVille. A resident of Rockford, IL is featured in the article. When everyone becomes a computer, most will be satisfied with giving gifts and tending rational gardens. Existence is also possibly due to neutral B-mesons having a slightly unbalanced rate of return.

Currently 400 million of  6.82 billion people use Facebook. If everyone opened an account, 1.279 billion people would play FarmVille. Other people would play translations of the concept. This example proves that the terminal logic of technological innovation must result in voluntarily monitored villages. The Matrix is bullshit. Cities are stupid. If God is not distinct from reality or attention refuses to evolve, then communities will remain fundamentally rural and suspicious. Residents  get lost outside or get tired and go home.  Can humans beat the clock, or is it already a simulation?

A few more comments on Root and Libertarianism

First, I’d like to restate my bafflement about the libertarian idea that state and local governments are inherently less corrupt and less tyrannical than the federal one. As I pointed out in the original post, if you want to look at your basic, dehumanizing, mean-spirited everyday tyranny, the states are where its at. From Oklahoma’s reprehensible vaginal ultrasound and legalizing malpractice legislation, to Arizona’s Papers Please Act of 2010 and its companion All History is White History Act, the states are where the tyrannical action is. It just may be that those prejudices match up with the prejudices of states’ rights libertarians or (both more and less charitably) that state politicians are easier to manipulate (see, please, the politics of Alaska, New Jersey, Louisiana, Illinois, etc).

Second, medical marijuana. Root devotes all this time to talking about medical marijuana, and none to legalizing recreation marijuana. Similarly, the Obama administration has announced that it’s backing off prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries, but opposing the decriminalization referendum in California. So what’s the difference?

My two main thoughts are political palatability and race. We have, to this day, a distinction in our cultural minds about God’s Poor and the Devil’s Poor. Some people are struck down by circumstance, and deserve help, and some people are shiftless vagabonds and ought to be grateful we don’t just hang them. My working theory is that for the Libertarian Party, whose electoral success depends on drawing off conservatives, recreational marijuana is a bridge too far, but cancer patients are the God’s Poor, and so medical marijuana is ok. My other thought it that perhaps medical marijuana is coded as something that white people do, where recreational marijuana may still be coded as black. It may also be a class thing (who’s going to be able to visit a doctor for a prescription?). So it’s safer, politically, to be in favor of medical marijuana than recreational marijuana.

As a final note, I’m going to make a rash prediction about the legalization of marijuana. No Democratic president, under the current set up, is going to legalize or decriminalize cannabis for for recreational use. Assuming the moderates win the Republican factional infighting – either by taking back control of the party or by the teabaggers and theocrats forming their own party – a Republican president will use it as an early-term gesture of bipartisanship. That, anyway, is my guess.