Sunday, October 2, 2011

Common Sense vs Prohibition

    I've had a few people leave comments on my blogs or on  youtube videos (that I uploaded to promote said blogs) that say things like "don't do any kind of drugs, problem solved" or "if you break the law you are a criminal and deserve what you get."  I would like to use this blog to address these people and their fucktarded way of thinking.

    Most of you reading this will know the history behind why Cannabis was made illegal, but if you don't, I suggest a quick google search so you can understand the actual details behind how they took away one of our freedoms because of racism, fear, protection of corporate profits, yellow journalism, ignorant, incompetent, and/or corrupt legislators, personal career advancement, and greed.  And don't you dare try to tell me that smoking pot is wrong simply because it is illegal if you don't know why it is illegal to begin with. 

    I guess we can start right at the source of the main problem, and that is: people are fearful, angry idiots, and those idiots get to decide the rules and laws to which we are all supposed to adhere.  The US has mislabeled cannabis as some kind of 'drug' and have run the gambit from the yellow journalism of 'Reefer Madness' to partial legalization (aka sanity) in some states.  Here in Florida we haven't progressed so quickly and actually have mandatory minimum sentencing for pot.  If you are caught with 40 plants, for example, you MUST serve 3 years in prison.  There is no judicial discretion used unless it is to increase the sentence.  That means we (and I use the term 'we' loosely) are willing to spend a lot of tax dollars to lock up non-violent people who are in possession of a plant.  Literally a piece of nature that some douchebags decided they could use against people that they disliked.  If you're the kind of asshole that will defend a law simply because it is a law, you're part of the problem.  When people blindly adhere to unjust laws they are supporting injustice in their own society, and they are denying the freedoms of others while spouting taglines like "liberty or death!"  What a load of bullshit.

    I shouldn't even have to remind you about the prohibition of alcohol almost a century ago and how that worked out, or have to mention the huge amount of hypocrisy involved in allowing alcohol and tobacco products now while prohibiting cannabis...but I will.  If a society allows alcohol (which it should if it wants to call itself 'free'), then that society is saying that it is alright to get drunk.  If its alright to get drunk, then why isn't it ok to get high?  Its much safer to be really stoned than it is to be really drunk, but hey, who needs common sense?  If the argument is that it is unhealthy to smoke it, then why are cigarettes ok?  And other ways of getting high such as vaporizers and edibles have no negative health effects at all, so what's the excuse for prohibiting their use to get high?

    Maybe its the term 'get high' that frightens people.  Maybe they think its some kind of crazy trip because they haven't tried it and only have movies and TV shows (who often exaggerate) as reference.  Maybe they don't understand that being high isn't like being drunk...Then again, maybe they do know that being high isn't dangerous, but are so set in their ways that they are willing to sacrifice the freedom of it's citizens in order to act like some kind of mommy/big brother authority figure over grown adults who make their own damn decisions.

    Then there's the 'gateway drug' argument, which is about the same as saying that playing video games is a gateway to shooting random people in the head.  Do you think that defenders of the second amendment would use the same argument that guns are a 'gateway' to violence?  Fuck no.  Wake the fuck up.

    So what's left?  That people are too stuck in their ways to admit when they're wrong?  Well basically, yeah.  We live in a society which contains a large percentage of people who have views that are almost purely based on the views of their parents.  Some people just aren't able to progress with time and try their hardest to conserve the ideals of the time period that their parents adhered to and taught them.  Many people are unable to disagree with their parents simply because they were raised to trust their parents (and unfortunately whatever retarded things their parents happened to believe in and taught their kids).  People that are misinformed always think they have the best of intentions pushing their bullshit but usually end up fucking everyone else over in the process.  Again, thanks but no thanks.

    I mentioned it before, but its important to mention again:  to claim that we live in a 'free' society while at the same time prohibiting the use of certain things (like plants) for use by adults that live in that supposedly 'free' society is complete bullshit.  To claim that the state is the victim when an adult chooses to smoke a joint instead of drinking a beer and having a cigarette is even bigger bullshit.

    And then there is the fact that Cannabis does more than just get people 'high', it also has medicinal uses and benefits.  If you are unaware of the many health issues that Marijuana helps to alleviate, do a quick google search and educate yourself.  Don't be one of these idiots that has no clue what the positive aspects of pot are.  The point is that to deny sick people the use of pot while only offering them expensive prescription medication as an alternative is just plain wrong, and certainly doesn't feel like something that should be taking place in a 'free' nation.

    So what it boils down to is this:  even if you choose not use cannabis yourself, that doesn't give you the right to tell others that they can't.  It is a totally victimless 'crime,' unless you are the victim of the state which wants to prosecute you over it.  I have been that victim more than once, and though I want the laws to be fixed (especially here in Florida, where we seem to progress much more slowly), I don't think that I can wait around for it to happen.  I might be one of the people that is sick enough of dealing with the bullshit that I am willing to move.  It would be a giant pain in my ass to have to uproot my family and relocate, but it can't be much worse than the shit I have to put up with here.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Arraignment (How Florida Fucked Me)

     Hey everybody, here's an update on how my arraignment went yesterday (If you don't know why I had an arraignment, read my blog "So I got arrested"). 

      So yesterday I got to spend a few lovely hours in a courtroom with a bunch of other people with either similar charges to me, or things like petty theft and prostitution (lucky me!).  I went in thinking that they would offer me some kind of bullshit plea bargain to avoid any kind of trial (something like 12 months of probation, fines, courts costs, etc), and I was right.  What I didn't expect was that they would add a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia that the cops didn't even charge me with (I guess the DA's office is allowed to just add charges as they see fit after getting the cop's side of the story).  I also didn't expect them to offer me no jail time and no probation, but a large fine (over $500) AND that my drivers license be suspended for TWO YEARS.  I was one of the few people in court that day that asked a lot of questions, mainly whether the deal would remain on the table if i wanted a lawyer or public defender. The answer was no.  I then asked if I got a lawyer or public defender would it change anything about losing my license.  Again the answer was no (unless I was found not guilty after a jury trial...fat chance). So basically my options were to either take the deal, pay the money and lose my license, OR I could plead not guilty, get a public defender (I really can't afford a lawyer), and then go to pretrial and hear the next offer from the prosecution (which would most likely have included probation, fines, and still losing my license).  In this type of court room setting (for misdemeanors), you don't get very much time to make your decision.  I figured I was going to lose my license one way or another, and the fines and court costs weren't going to get any lower.  I also don't need several different court dates, and CERTAINLY not a trial in which i would waste even more time (and surely be found guilty), so I did what anyone else that doesn't have a bunch of money does to avoid things getting any worse, I took the deal. 

           Now there are a couple of details that are definitely worth mentioning:  first is that this isn't my first 'offense.'  About 8 years ago I was arrested for possession of under 20 grams of cannabis (a misdemeanor that i did 6 months of probation for, and coincidentally the same charge I got this time around).  So when I was offered a deal with no probation, which I personally know is terrible, I was pretty happy.  Can you imagine if I had lost my license AND had probation?  How the fuck would I even get there?  Getting to work is already going to be a giant pain in the ass, but getting across town to constantly meet with your Probation Officer and piss in a cup would be just that much worse.

       Here's the thing that really bothers me:  I am losing my license for a non-traffic offense.  I wasn't charged with any kind of driving under the influence, and wasn't even given a ticket for speeding (the cop's excuse for pulling me over to search me).  The law here in Florida is that if you get busted for possession of a controlled substance, which includes marijuana, you lose your license for 2 years.  It doesn't matter if you're walking down the sidewalk or sitting on your couch, if you get busted with it, your driver's license gets suspended.  What kind of bullshit is that?
        And here's the REALLY fucked up part:  My license is being suspended for a year and half LONGER than that of a person who is busted for an alcohol related DUI (only a 180 day suspension).  How the fuck are they going to tell me that my license should be suspended for FOUR TIMES as long when my 'crime' didn't include driving at all?  Is it really 4 times better to drive drunk than it is to be in possession of an extremely small amount of a plant?  The answer is "no."

       Another thing that bothered me was that the judge told me that it would be suspended for 2 years, but that I would be able to get a hardship license (basically a license that only allows you to drive to work and to do the basic necessities) after 6 months.  This played a big role in me accepting the plea bargain, because i figured 6 months isn't so bad.  When I got home, however, I did a little research, and the Florida DMV's website says that for my offense, the license is suspended for 2 years and the hardship license is only available to apply for after the first year.  I feel cheated that the judge would give me bad information and that it influenced my decision, especially since it says nothing about the hardship license in any of my paperwork.  I am actually unsure what to do about it, so I'm thinking about just going into the DMV and asking if a judge would have any power over them when it came to getting a hardship license.

      So long story short, I got busted for having 0.2 grams of a plant, spent hours in court, lost my license, and need to somehow get back and forth to work in order to pay them hundreds of dollars in fines.  Now I can't even take my daughter to school or pick her up. Bravo, Florida, you sure know how to fuck over harmless citizens! Protect and serve my ass.  Do me a favor and wear a condom next time you're going to fuck me that hard.  Go catch a real criminal you pieces of shit.

     More updates to come (and more blogs in general) in the future.  Until then, cheers.


Friday, September 30, 2011

My "Criminal" Past

As most (if not all) of you know, I'm going through a lot of legal bullshit right now (as explained in previous blogs), but I wanted to explain in detail what I've been through previously here in the 'sunshine' state.

    I guess the best place to start is the beginning (derp).  When I was 19 I had just moved back to the states from a little island in the pacific (really little...20 kids in my graduating class little).  I hadn't even been in the state for a year before I got to meet some of "Florida's finest."  Apparently 'protecting and serving' includes wasting your time bothering the local youth when they try to congregate at a private household, while not even playing music or being loud in any way (though we did have the audacity to sit on the front porch).

    My 'crime'?  I happened to be at a place where they had alcohol.  That's it.  Not that they caught me with a beer, not that I was drunk in any way.  Simply that I was at a residence that had alcohol.  I shit you not.  That is a CRIME in Florida...IF they want it to be.  The wonderful thing about our laws are that they can be interpreted by any asshole with a badge, and are written to give that asshole to power to either help you out or fuck you over.  I could have easily fought this case, but after dragging me through the local PD, then hauling me off to the other end of the county to 'hold' me, they shipped me back to the county jail and put me with a bunch of real criminals before releasing me with a court date and eventually fining me...wait for it...$50.  Who the fuck is going to fight a $50 fine with days and days if not weeks of court dates?  Not me, that's who.

    So after that I was fine for about a year before "Florida's finest" assholes decided it was time to fuck with me again.  My friend drove me to another friend's house to hang out for a while, and on the way home he got pulled over.  He happened to have weed in his pocket and got nabbed for that, and then the cops searched his van.  After cuffing me and sitting me in the mud in front of a main intersection for an hour, they stood me up to let me go.  i grabbed my wallet and my backpack, and they grabbed me and cuffed me again.  Turns out I apparently had an unused old piece of shit metal pipe in my bag somehwere, and they were going to charge me with possession of drug paraphernalia because my friend had weed on him.  Again I got to go through the local PD, across the county to be 'held' for hours before being trasported back across county to the county jail in order to be bonded out.  After I was bonded out, I had a court date where they fined me about $600, and I was on my way.

    About a year or 2 after that, I was driving and encountered a DUI checkpoint.  I was (yet again) completely sober, but the cop told me that my car would be searched by a K9 after it was done with the van in front of me.  At the time I had 2 small bags of weed in the car, and figured it would be better to tell them where one of them was and hope that they didn't find the other.  My plan worked, but I was obvioulsy still arrested for the bag I admitted to.  After going to the county jain AGAIN, I was bailed out and had to get my vehicle out of impound.  After paying some crazy amount of money, I got my car (and the bag that was left in it) and had a way to get to court (yay!).  This time I was sentenced to serve 6 months of probation to go along with my fines and court costs.  If any of you have ever had to go through probation, you know how terrible it is.  You have to report to your probation officer constantly while at the same time getting piss tested all the time AND having to attend drug counseling  (where they also do piss tests).  As a victim of the state of Florida, you are required to pay for every single one of these meetings (piss tests included), while at the same time missing work in order to be there.  After paying out the ass for all of this, I eventually completed my probation with the completion of my counseling outstanding (meaning I had to complete the counselling before I was actually off of probation).  Of course towards the end of my counselling they told me that I needed even more counselling (17 weeks wasn't enough for a tiny bag of pot), and I knew the reason they were doing that was that they got paid per session, so the longer they make you attend, the more money they make.  I told my counsellor that I would not be attending additional meetings simply because they felt like I needed it (and they needed more money).  She immediately piss tested me and said that she would send a letter to my probation officer saying that I had failed if I didn't come back for more classes.  By this time I was fed up with the whole thing and basically said fuck it.  I got a carbon copy of the letter sent to my probation officer saying that I failed to complete their counselling, and figured the next time I got pulled over I would be going to jail.  Somehow I got lucky and the next time I did get pulled over I had no warrants or anything.  I figure either they fucked up the paperwork or they were helpless to fuck me over again because I had technically finished the state's version of the probation.

    And then I had this latest charge, which was once again a victimless crime that I had committed against the state of Florida that they were bound and determined to get their money out of me for.  Maybe that's the problem...that they can't tax something that is illegal, so instead they charge you for it and force you to pay huge fines so they can still make their buck off of you.  At least if the legalized it and taxed it they could save their police force and jails the trouble of having to book potheads and be able to spend more time trying to catch murderers, theives, and rapists.

    It seems like the priorities  of the state (and the country) are all backwards.  We legalize cigarettes and alcohol which kill millions, but then outlaw marijuana which has never killed anybody.  They choose to treat someone in possession of cannabis as if they are some kind of threat, when that person is in fact LESS of a threat because they are more likely to be non-violent and just trying to snack on some tacos.  Its almost like they trump up stupid shit like pot to try and justify themselves, but the only people they're fooling are the ignorant and misinformed.  They tell me that I'm living in a "free" country, and then tell me that at the age of 30 I can't make a decision as to how I would like to relax or medicate myself.  If the government wants to punish people for victimless crimes, and in turn make the person charged a victim of the state, this is not a free country at all.  It is a complete fake that only fools those that are too fucking stupid to simply take 2 minutes and look behind the curtain they been duped into staring at their entire lives.

    I am not a criminal.  They have tried to make me feel as though I am, and they did a good job, but I know that I am a good person and have never been in trouble for anything like theft or any kind of violence.  In the end they failed to do anything but make me lose faith in their system, which I didn't have much in the first place.  I'm just about ready to move, which is saying a lot because I actually pay a mortgage and would have to go through some serious bullshit to sell this house, plus I have a family who live and go to school here.

    So in the end, here I am.  A rock.  A hardplace.  woo-hoo.  I know that many will say that I put myself in this position, and they are partially correct, but ONLY because the laws on cannabis are retarded in the first place.  Nobody has ever suffered because of me smoking a joint, and I'm pretty sure potheads are what keeps places like Denny's and Taco Bell in business.

until next time, cheers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So I Got Arrested...

    Alright, first of all let me thank the few of you that donated in the time I had the video up or while I was doing the blogtv explaining the situation.  I decided to take the video down because i felt like I could have done a better job with it, but before I could record another attempt I had to leave town for a little over a week (just returned a few days ago).

    For those that don't know, my first court date is set for the 21st of this month (September).  If I have enough money prior to that point, which is a slim chance, I will retain a lawyer.  Most likely what will happen is that I won't be able to afford a lawyer, and I'll have to settle for a public pretender...err, defender.  In that case, he basically just folds to whatever they offer me, which will probably include fines, court cost, public defender leans (yes, that's how they charge you), and probation, which includes monthly fines and piss tests (that I have to pay for), and that will probably include some form of drug counseling where you do an interview and they assign you some crazy number of meetings with them because you have to pay for each one...they will probably also drug test at my expense and require me to attend NA (Narcotics Anonymous) twice a week, along with the weekly counseling meeting.

    It would be funny if it weren't true, but I will most likely become a slave of the state and end up paying about $3500 over a tiny sliver of marijuana that probably weighed 0.2 grams at most, and I'm not exaggerating.  If I fail to do any of these things, or if I fail a single drug test, I will be found in violation of my probation, and will be arrested and re-charged (end get fucked over EVEN MORE).

    I've been seriously thinking about why I would want to live in a state this stupid, in a country this fucked up?  I'm starting to think I might be dead, and this (Florida and the USA in general) might be hell...

    Until next time,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Over-Zealous Cops

    I'd like to talk about a topic that is related to my situation, and that is the police.  I have never felt very comfortable around the police because they always make me feel (and often treat me) like some sort of criminal.  I know I'm not a criminal, but unfortunately all it takes is one over-zealous cop to tarnish your record forever and actually make you a criminal on paper.  It seems like our system has become obsessed with raising revenue, and in doing so have decided that being complete assholes to normal citizens in order to take their hard earned money for simple, small infractions (often to ridiculous laws).

    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good cops out there, but it seems a large percentage of them didn't get the memo about 'protecting and serving.'  many officers have taken to harassing and demeaning productive members of the community simply in order to make a buck for the state.  I've been fucked with so many times that my heart still races when a cop gets behind me while i'm driving, even though i'm not doing anything wrong.  A cop can pull you over for ANY of a number of reasons if he wants to.  The is no escape from being pulled over if the cop feels the urge to pull you over.  no matter how perfectly you drive, he can find a reason, and once he does he can use his own discretion to determine how much harassment you deserve.  Unfortunately for me, I seem to encounter a lot more dick-headed cops than ones that treat me as a human deserving of a little respect (the same respect they DEMAND from you).

    All in all this is a result of allowing certain people that don't do something (like smoke weed for example) to judge those that do, and it allows those people to decide what the punishment should be for a totally victimless crime.  Here in Florida, we actually have mandatory minimum sentences for certain amounts of marijuana (mandatory 3 years for 40 plants, for example).  By doing this, we are allowing our prison population to explode with "criminals" who have never committed an act of violence or stolen a thing.  The cost of housing and feeding these "criminals" in those prisons for all those years is not cheap, and of course it is the tax payer that foots the bill.  I don't want to get off track too much, so I'll address marijuana legalization in a future blog.

    My main point is that when the cops are around, I don't feel safe.  Instead I feel like if they wanted, they could find a reason to fuck with me and make my life miserable.  That is the power that we afford them, and many of them choose to abuse it by clogging our courts and prisons with people who have committed no real crime other than one made up by snotty assholes that were given an ounce of power themselves.

Until next time,