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See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 8, 2009

    Meet Hawaii’s Republican Governor Linda Lingle. On Monday, Gov. Lingle vetoed Senate Bill 1058, which called on the legislature to merely study “issues relating to medical cannabis patients and current medical cannabis laws.”

    Specifically, SB 1058 called for the formation of a legislative task force to:

    (1) Examine current state statutes, state administrative rules, and all county policies and procedures relating to the medical marijuana program;

    (2) Examine all issues and obstacles that qualifying patients have encountered with the medical marijuana program;

    (3) Examine all issue and obstacles that state and county law enforcement agencies have encountered with the medical marijuana program;

    (4) Compare and contrast Hawaii’s medical marijuana program with all other state medical marijuana programs; and

    (5) Address other issues and perform any other function necessary as the task force deems appropriate, relating to the medical marijuana program.

    In her veto address, Gov. Lingle alleged — laughably — that the mere act of examining the medical marijuana laws of Hawaii and a dozen other states violates federal anti-drug laws.

    “I am returning herewith, without my approval, Senate Bill No. 1058. … This bill establishes the medical cannabis task force … to review issues related to (Hawaii’s) medical marijuana program and make recommendations for any proposed legislation and rules. … The medical task force is unnecessary because it would attempt to deal with issues raised by medical marijuana users that can only be addressed by circumventing federal law.

    Keep in mind that just days earlier lawmakers in Rhode Island overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow the state to license nonprofit facilities to produce and dispense medicinal cannabis to qualified patients. Yet in Hawaii the Governor would have us believe that just gathering feedback from patients and local law enforcement regarding the state’s nearly ten-year-old medical cannabis program somehow violates federal law. It’s an absurd position and no doubt Gov. Lingle, who vetoed a similar task force bill last year, knows it.

    Of course, the true motive behind Gov Lingle’s action — and the similar actions of her fellow prohibitionists — is to silence any sort of public or political debate surrounding America’s failed marijuana policies.

    This was the motivation behind President Obama’s decision to ‘laugh off’ the issue of marijuana law reform during his online town hall this past March. Silencing free speech was also the driving force behind the actions of members of Congress who earlier this year threatened to withhold funding from the city of El Paso, Texas, if they so much as dared to hold an “honest, open national debate” regarding US drug policy. And surely this was the motivating force behind a South Dakota Judge’s decision this week to bar longtime NORML advocate Bob Newland from engaging in any public advocacy of marijuana law reform for one year. (Full disclosure: Bob Newland, under the banner of SoDakNORML, had been leading the petition drive to place a medical marijuana initiative on the 2010 state ballot. In other words, Judge Delaney’s decision isn’t simply limiting Mr. Newland’s constitutional rights to free speech, it’s also potentially limiting the voting rights of all South Dakotans.)

    Today in California television ads were slated to begin running in support of Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act — which seeks to legalize, tax, and regulate the retail sale of cannabis to adults in California. I say “were” because many major television outlets have refusedwithout comment — to air the television spots. Keep in mind, this network blackout is taking place in a state that has already established a regulated market for the distribution of medical cannabis, and whose voters solidly support legalizing the personal consumption of pot by adults.

    Frustrating? Most definitely. Disillusioning? Not really.

    Prohibitionists will use any means necessary to stifle honest, open debate because they know that they have no legitimate basis to defend marijuana prohibition. Their ardent refusal to even discuss the issue — and their strong arm tactics to intimidate others from discussing it as well — confirm this fact.

    Nevertheless, despite their underhanded stalling tactics, the ‘national debate’ that the prohibitionists have so long feared has already taken place. Granted it did not take place in  public forum; rather, and more significantly, it took place in the hearts and minds of the American voter. And we won — hands down. We know it and our opponents know it.

    And so does Gov. Linda Lingle.

    127 Responses to “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil”

    1. Glen says:

      Corruption, ignorance or stupidity. It is simply one of the three.

    2. […] here to see the original: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Share and […]

    3. ray says:

      What is it with these narrow minded Republicans….vote this witch out!!!

    4. Spartanacus says:

      I hate her and her face.

    5. Being that many states are courageously fighting prohibition (an unconstitutional and counter-productive policy which keeps drug dealers powerful and wealthy and denies patients their medicine), why are other elected officials still trying to silence us? Do they respect the 1st Amendment?

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Could NORML please compile a list of political candidates by state with their stance on drug policy so we can all make informed decisions on who to vote for and dump next election? I think if NORML, MPP, Drug Policy Alliance, LEAP, and ASA all put this info up, we could sway elections in our favor and end drug prohibition once and for all!

      [Editor’s note: Generally speaking, no such list exists as members of Congress rarely cast votes that have anything to do with cannabis, because, there are too few pro or con cannabis legislation that comes before them which inform the public of their views on cannabis (the last ‘indicator’ vote in the US House was two years ago for a medical cannabis-related spending amendment called Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which unfortunately lost 262-165).

      However, some of NORML’s interns this summer are researching and drafting a list of current federal policy makers using past votes, their constituency letters where applicable, written statements submitted for committee testimony, guest commentary/letters-to-the-editor and any other public (or private) communications that indicate whether or not they support cannabis reform. This lobbying list will be used by NORML’s staff as the current decriminalization bill moves slowly through the legislative process, likely, later this fall. The listing, when completed, will be published and broadcast by NORML via the Internet for all concerned citizens to employ in their lobbying efforts.]

    6. VivaHST says:

      The measures that the prohibitionists take to stifle an open debate sicken me. At the same time I enjoy the fact that they are scared of us. We shall prevail! (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    7. al menefee says:

      Just goes to show YOU. We need to inform ALL representatives, that this is the way it is going to be, and you WILL, abide, by our will, or, YOU may leave office voluntarily or through an outing process of peace or by FORCE. The choice is yours, don’t make the wrong one, for you may not lick the outcome of the wrong decision you make. DON’T EVEN THINK OF THREATEN ME EITHER, FOR I AM WILLING TO DIE FOR WHAT (I) BELIEVE IN. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH, in a public place so ALL can see how the powers that be will treat the rest or us in the U.S.A. GET REAL WITH YOURSELF, AND SEE THE TRUTH FOR WHAT IT IS NOT WHAT YOU ARE TOLD AND LISTEN BLINDLY LIKE WE HAVE BEEN.

    8. al menefee says:

      Just goes to show YOU. We need to inform ALL representatives, that this is the way it is going to be, and you WILL, abide, by our will, or, YOU may leave office voluntarily or through an outing process of peace or by FORCE. The choice is yours, don’t make the wrong one, for you may not like the outcome of the wrong decision you make. DON’T EVEN THINK OF THREATEN ME EITHER, FOR I AM WILLING TO DIE FOR WHAT (I) BELIEVE IN. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH, in a public place so ALL can see how the powers that be will treat the rest or us in the U.S.A. GET REAL WITH YOURSELF, AND SEE THE TRUTH FOR WHAT IT IS NOT WHAT YOU ARE TOLD AND LISTEN BLINDLY LIKE WE HAVE BEEN.

    9. Boycott Hawaii and it’s exports – pineapples – and vacation elsewherte. Just let the Governatrix know how you feel. Contact her at:
      http://hawaii.gov/gov

    10. Prohibitionists react to truth like vampires react to light. The difference is, the horrors inflicted by prohibitionists are all too real.

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