Monday, October 10, 2011

Patricia Spottedcrow

This portrait of Snoop Dogg was created by Artist Jason Mecier out of  marijuana joints,
pot leaves, stems and what looks to be hashish. I think it's a great example of how commonplace and pervasive
marijuana use has become in American Society, but who are the ones who are actually prosecuted?
The artist claims it's valued at $1,500. I wonder if it is legal to buy this piece of art without a medical
marijuana permit? And what about the hash? 
The incoherence of America's laws regarding illegal substances has been discussed for decades. Most arguments for prohibition are propaganda, a sensationalist smokescreen to disguise the real motives or the real issues of how a society deals with drugs, crime and class. I've always felt that the best way to popularize something is to make it illegal. You only have to look at American popular culture and the omnipresent social normalization of cannabis to see how the repressive anti marijuana laws have only served to popularize it.
I will not advocate marijuana use. I feel that it is as harmful, physically as tobacco. I will not advocate alcohol, but I think that banning tobacco, marijuana or alcohol has historically been proven only to promote the chronic abuse of these substances. For the record, I do not smoke tobacco and I haven't smoked pot in almost 25 years. 
Why is America wasting it's time and resources with it's obsession with marijuana? 

Federal prosecutors in California announced a series of actions last Friday targeting what they characterized as the "large, for-profit marijuana industry" that has developed since the state legalized medical marijuana for select patients 15 years ago.
Four U.S. attorneys -- Benjamin Wanger, Andre Birotte Jr., Laura Duffy and Melinda Haag -- detailed in a joint press release and later press conference in Sacramento some steps that have been taken in conjunction with federal law enforcement and local officials in California.
They include letters of warning to landlords and lien holders of places in which marijuana is being sold illegally, "civil forfeiture lawsuits against properties involved in drug trafficking activity" and numerous criminal cases. The latter refers to arrests in recent weeks related to cases filed in federal courts in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Fresno, all part of an effort that Wagner claimed has resulted in the seizure of hundreds of pounds of marijuana, tens of thousands of plants and hundreds of thousands in cash. Should this really be a priority? 
When you look at what has happened because of corruption on Wall Street and the loss of houses, loss of jobs and shattered lives from the shady behavior by the bankers, this should be such a low priority.
 I would support legalizing marijuana and taxing it but any other involvement by the government is a ridiculously big waste of time, money and resources. For goodness sake, leave it alone and worry about the bigger problems like jobs, the economy and the wars.
It really comes down to class and tools of repression. Quite arguably, our repressive and short sighted rections to  drug use and the self defeating methods we use to deal with it have been more of a cause of the problem and the complicit rise of the very drug cartels and gangs in Latin America that threaten the security of the Western Hemisphere. A good example of how the supposed "War On Drugs" is used as a repressive tool against all of the people is the bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee on Friday which would make it a federal crime to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that would, if carried out in the USA, would possibly violate the Controlled Substances Act, even if the activities were legal in the country where they would be carried out..

Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country's drug laws. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime.
Civil libertarian attorney and author Harvey Silverglate says the bill raises several concerns. "Just when you think you can't get any more cynical, a bill like this comes along. I mean, it just sounds like an abomination. First, there's no intuitive reason for an American to think that planning an activity that's perfectly legal in another country would have any effect on America," Silverglate says. "So we're getting further away from the common law tradition that laws should be intuitive, and should include a mens rea component. Second, this is just an act of shameless cultural and legal imperialism. It's just outrageous."

That is why I find this particular case so incredibly unjust and shocking. I would urge anyone with an interest in the issues involved here to repost this information and take some kind of action, even if it is emailing in support.

 Reach Out To A Woman Who Needs Support
If you haven’t heard already, the woman pictured here is named Patricia Spottedcrow. She sold $30 worth of marijuana in the state of Oklahoma and was sentenced to 12 years in prison with no probation by a judge (Pritchett) who retired a month after her sentencing.
Judge Pritchett had seen several cases worse than Patricia’s yet, her sentencing was much harsher on her. One case in particular, a woman (wife of a deputy) was arrested for hiding marijuana in her underwear. She apologized to the judge and served not a single day in jail.
Patricia had never been arrested for anything before and this was her first arrest & conviction. 12 years for 30 dollars worth of marijuana with no probation.
Now, most of you know that this is pretty horrendous. Sentencing a mother of four children to prison for 12 years completely hurts the children and ruins the lives of all involved.
Her kids are being taken care of by her mother now but they cannot afford to visit her.
This means Patricia is extremely isolated in prison. Her one year old doesn’t even recognize her anymore.
Studies have shown that prisoner’s mental health relies on support from outside of prison. Prison as many of you should know, is not the healthiest place to be. It is isolating, confining and can be a scary place to be. Especially for 12 years without probation.
Take five minutes of your time and write a letter to Patricia about anything. Support, your day (like a penpal), a poem, anything to keep her company. Send your e-mail to :
-Put her name in the subject line. -1,000 words or less. -Text only. -Remember prison guards/officials will be reading through it as well.

Here is the link for the story and news video of Patricia Spottecrows case.
Here is more information about this project.


Squatlo said...

If you were able to see Ken Burns' "Prohibition" in France, it detailed the rise of the criminal elite that accompanied making alcohol (and now drugs) illegal. Madness. But there's a fortune to be made in policies of interdiction and confiscation, not to mention unlimited funding whenever "crime" is up for discussion.
Legalization and taxation of marijuana is the single most sensible way to gut the underground economy of the drug lords and gangs. Why it'll never happen is anyone's guess...

Lodo Grdzak said...

Just a shakedown.

J.O.B. said...

Dottie- If you were too ask a Chicago Policeman about drugs, 74% would tell you too legalize them.

Because it would put an end too the gangs.

microdot said...

I will admit to knowing Detroit cops in the 60's and 70's, two were friends from grade school and we smoked pot together on a regular basis.....
The historic idiocy of this policy and it's unintended effects is mind boggling. Check out the real social benefits now being enjoyed by Portugal after 10 years of legalization. Drug use and addiction is down! Crime is down...America's illicit appetite for forbidden fruit is the fuel for the cartels.