With The 12-Point Platform, this won't happen: Marijuana arrests. Take that, Loretta Lynch!
When in the 12-Point Platform we say:
#10: End the Wars
we mean all the wars, including the so-called War on Terror, and the so-called War on Drugs; all the self-licking ice cream cones. (Ending the War on Drugs, besides sparing many thousands of citizens from having an arrest on their permanent record, would also strike major blows at the streams of rental extraction controlled by the prison-industrial complex and the surveillance state.)
So it's with a little bemusement (not!) that we read this from Obama's nominee for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch:
During her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) asked, "Do you support the legalization of marijuana?"
"Senator, I do not," Lynch replied.
Sessions then went on to quote a 2014 New Yorker profile of Obama in which the president discussed his marijuana use as a young person. In that article, Obama called pot a "bad habit and a vice" and said he views it as more or less similar to the cigarettes he also used to smoke. "I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol," Obama said of the drug.
When Sessions asked Lynch if she agreed with Obama's remarks about his marijuana use, she appeared to take a harder line than the president.
"I certainly don't hold that view and don't agree with that view of marijuana as a substance," Lynch said. "I think the president was speaking from his personal experience and personal opinion, neither of which I'm able to share. But I can tell you that not only do I not support legalization of marijuana, it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support legalization, nor would it be the position if I were confirmed as attorney general."
Now, it's been an awful long time since I smoked any marijuana (if indeed I ever did smoke any; I don't remember a thing.) But Lynch's position is just demented. Not to mention way behind the times:
Recreational marijuana is already legal in Colorado and Washington, and will soon be allowed in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia (although sales of the drug are still banned in D.C.). Additionally, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
I mean, Jeebus, Maine has a horrible oxycontin problem, and a lot of it starts with the hard physical labor that a lot of Mainers do: Lumbering, fishing, farming. Would I rather have Mainers using marijuana as a pain reliever, instead of a brutal, artificial, expensive, and addictive pill manufactured by Big Pharma? I certainly would.
Now, I understand the argument that wise fools make: Lynn is seeking confirmation, "she has to say that," yadda yadda yadda. However, at some point, and I would argue the time is now, Democrats -- because who else? -- need to tell the truth and damn the consequences. There's nothing good about jailing people for marijuana, the War on Drugs, or the Prison-Industrial Complex, which injustly and disproportionately entraps young black men (not that being a prison guard in some upstate complex is any great shakes, either). The 12-Point Platform is designed to help Democrats, along with humane and sane politicians of any party, do just that.