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.