The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Dean Kiggins

It's silly and needs to stop


To the Editor:

When the people of Washington State cast their votes and legalized the use of recreational cannabis, it signaled the “beginning of the end”—not the end of a civilized moral society, and not the end of a “safe and sane” populace. What it marks the end of is a policy set forth in the 1960s by our federal government with an agenda.

If you take nothing else away from this humble appeal for rational thinking, please take this: While marijuana has been federally illegal since the 1930s, Nixon’s “war on drugs” brought the issue to the forefront, and, under the controlled substances act of 1970, was reclassified as a schedule 1 drug, putting it in the same category as heroin, LSD, and other substances. Classifying it as such effectively provided the authorities with the tools to shut down the peace movement that had begun in the ’60s. One of the common threads among the anti-war activists was their use of this rather innocuous weed. By making this herb a schedule 1 drug, the government now held the power to arrest, prosecute, and imprison the country’s citizens over that use. Those who served time for the infraction and released were stripped of their right to vote, and any meaningful employment was compromised, since they were now convicted felons. And the Feds used this tactic very effectively, arresting tens of thousands of these society “misfits.” These are the same misfits who thought the Vietnam War was a mistake, and were they wrong? Nope. The same misfits who wanted to save the planet from pollution and depletion. Were they wrong? Nope. These were the same folks, myself included, who sought a way to end rampant capitalism and thus a government corrupted by greed and oligarchy. And just look where we are today, with global warming due to fossil fuels and the ocean with a garbage patch the size of Arizona. And now about six large corporations “own” the entire USA.

It is no surprise that the people are so afraid of cannabis. It has been demonized for so long and maligned in so many ways. The witch hunt has been so effective that it persists to this day.

Now the truth has finally been revealed. The prescription drugs companies hate marijuana because here is a legitimate, easily grown, true medicine. The black marketers, with their proven ties to terrorist organizations, hate it because it will diminish their finances. And the opponents to its liberalization hate it because they have been programmed to hate it by the media machine.

Compared to alcohol, the recreational use of marijuana scenario is so truly benign that it makes one wonder why alcohol has been so easily accepted when it has destroyed so many millions of lives.

My point is this: those who believe that cannabis is going to lead to our downfall, guess what—our downfall is already here, and it has definitely not been caused by marijuana. The drug has been readily available for decades. You are already surrounded by those who choose to use it. Every day, if you are in a group of people, there are stoners among you, doing everyday things, going about their everyday lives, perhaps in a little better mood. Perhaps dreaming a little more of a better world. Nothing is going to change when the pot movement grows, except maybe that our prisons will become less profitable. Cannabis is not the evil weed as portrayed from days of yore. That characterization was used as a tool to control the masses. The fallacy is finally being laid to rest. If you have never smoked, you can’t speak to it. Those who have smoked and didn’t care for it, of which there are many, I am sure their reaction is the same as those who regularly use it: what’s the big hubbub about?

This is such a non-issue! The advantages of cannabis production are manifold. I urge the city council, the people of Goldendale, and Klickitat County to embrace our rediscovered freedom and take back some power in our pursuit of peace and happiness, in the way we see fit, without fear of retribution or encumbrance. This moratorium against it is silly and so unnecessary!

(Editor’s note: this letter came in Monday, before the city council vote. We chose to run it nonetheless in the interests of ensuring the opinion got the chance to be expressed.)


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