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OfflineEkstaza
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Registered: 04/11/03
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Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!!
    #2244616 - 01/15/04 06:42 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

This was sent to me in an email from The Drug Policy Alliance.

The short and simple explanation of it is that while our government spends more money spreading anti-drug propoganda they now want to censor what and where legalization activists can advertise.



Advertisements like this would
be banned
under the proposed
bill


Congressional Censorship Update

The Alliance is preparing to go to battle against the government. In December we warned you about a provision that will censor marijuana reform efforts. Rep. Ernest Istook, an Oklahoma Republican, snuck language into a federal spending bill that will effectively ban private advertising on buses, subways, or trains in support of marijuana law reform - including campaign ads in support of medical marijuana ballot measures. Worse still, the same bill also spends $145 million in taxpayer money on anti-marijuana government propaganda. This federal spending bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives late last year, and the U.S. Senate will most likely vote on it next week.

If you haven't faxed your Senators yet, please do so today. While there is only a small chance that we can stop this bill from passing (the reason why drug war extremists snuck this censorship provision into it), we need to show Congress that voters are outraged. This will give the Alliance leverage to work on removing the censorship provisions from the spending bills when they are voted on again at the end of the year. We need to show that we have your support and the support of the American people.

In addition to this legislative strategy that can repeal the ban if it passes, the Drug Policy Alliance is preparing to sue the federal government to have the ban overturned in court. We will keep you updated as our plans develop - we will definitely need your help!

ACTIONS TO TAKE

1) Fax your Senators and tell them to protect free speech. You can fax them for free at

2) Forward this alert to your friends, family, and co-workers. We need thousands of Americans to fax Congress.

MORE INFORMATION

Every year Congress passes 13 federal spending bills providing money to various federal agencies. Sometimes the House passes a spending bill that is different from a bill the Senate passes. When that is the case, Congress appoints what is called a "conference committee" to reconcile differences between the two bills. This conference committee then sends a final version of the bill to both the House and Senate for one final up and down vote, with no chance for amendments. Members of the conference committee frequently add controversial things to the spending bill at the last minute, knowing that their colleagues won't vote against an entire spending bill just because one thing in it is controversial.

This year Congressional leadership decided to reconcile multiple spending bills within one conference committee, producing a single federal spending bill (known as an "omnibus" spending bill) to send to the House and Senate floor for a final vote. This tactic allowed them to slip in all sorts of controversial things they could not otherwise pass into law. They know that Members of Congress are unlikely to vote against such an omnibus funding bill just because they don't like some of its parts.

During conference, House and Senate leaders loaded up the omnibus bill (HR 2673) with dozens of controversial provisions. One such provision, added by Rep. Ernest Istook Jr. (R-OK), would prohibit any transit system that receives federal funds from running advertising for groups that want to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. If enacted, it would prevent groups like Change the Climate and the Drug Policy Alliance from buying ad space on buses, trains, and subways around the country. It would prevent drug policy reformers from getting our reform message directly to the American people.

At the same time, the omnibus bill gives the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) $145 million to run anti-marijuana ads next year. (This provision was already a part of one of the federal spending bills that Congress considered earlier this year and was not added by the conference committee. The amount of taxpayer money spent on government anti-marijuana ads would have been significantly higher had the Drug Policy Alliance and other groups not worked to cut the budget.). ONDCP has already spent taxpayer money on television commercials comparing drug users to terrorists and claiming that smoking marijuana will make you a pregnant rape victim, make you shoot your neighbor, or make you run over little kids with your car. This year's ads could be even more outrageous.

The omnibus spending bill was approved by the House last year and the Senate will likely vote on the bill sometime during the week of January 19. Because the bill cannot be amended to remove the controversial provisions, the only way to prevent them from becoming law is if a majority of the Senate votes against the entire omnibus bill. While this is very unlikely, it is possible.

The Drug Policy Alliance is urging voters to contact their Senators and tell them to vote against the omnibus spending bill (HR 2673) because it was put together in an undemocratic manner and contains provisions that suppress free speech.

You can fax your Members of Congress for free.
Read the Washington Post news story on the controversial provision.
The full text of the very large omnibus bill can be viewed by going to Thomas and clicking on HR2673.
The relevant provision can be viewed here.
Excerpts from the conference report can be viewed here.
Read Drug Policy Alliance's press release on this issue.


Contact the Drug Policy Alliance:

Drug Policy Alliance
70 West 36th Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10018

For subscription problems please contact
Jeanette Irwin, Director, Internet Communications
jirwin@drugpolicy.org | 202.216.0035


--------------------
YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ANY GIVEN DRUG ISN'T THE DEFINITIVE MEASURE OF THE DRUGS EFFECTS.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 27,301
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Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2244625 - 01/15/04 06:46 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I was just about to post this myself, but looks like you beat me to it. Good job.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Anonymous

Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2244667 - 01/15/04 07:03 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

that's ridiculous. i'd like to think that such a provision could never pass, and if it did, it would get shot down immediately by the supreme court, but with the way things have been going lately, who knows.


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Invisiblez@z.com
Libertarian
Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 2,876
Loc: ATL
Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2245002 - 01/15/04 10:57 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I was reading about this on cato the other day....


Drug Warriors Try to Censor their Opponents

by Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter is vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and is the author or editor of 15 books, including "Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America."

Representative Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) has discovered a mortal threat to the republic. The threat is a display ad placed by a pro-drug legalization group, Change the Climate, Inc., on Washington D.C.'s bus and subway system. The ad showed a young couple, with the caption: "Enjoy Better Sex! Legalize and Tax Marijuana."

And to deal with this outrage, Istook has introduced a measure to financially penalize Washington's Metro transit authority for running the ad. Moreover, Istook's bill would prohibit any transit system that receives federal funds from running advertising from a group that advocates decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana.

This is hardly the first time that the blackjack of withholding federal funds has been used to coerce recipients into embracing pet policies of politicians, but it has to be one of the more odious. Istook's bill shows utter contempt for the First Amendment, and indeed for the entire concept of political debate.

But drug warriors have repeatedly showed their intolerance of opposing views -- and their eagerness to use the power of government to suppress critics. For example, in the mid-1990s, the late Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY) attempted to have the tax-exempt status of the Cato Institute revoked because it had the temerity to sponsor discussions of the legalization option.

The most ominous proposal for repressing pro-drug reform speech comes (not surprisingly) from the United Nations. The UN's International Narcotics Control Board has issued a report implicitly calling on member states to criminalize opposition to the war on drugs. Citing the 1988 UN Convention Against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the INCB asserts that all governments are obligated to enact laws that prohibit "inciting" or "inducing" people to use illegal drugs and to punish such violations as criminal offenses.

If such a vague and chilling restriction on freedom of expression were not odious enough, the UN board contends that any portrayal that shows illicit drug use "in a favourable light" constitutes incitement and therefore should be banned as well. Since the report also repeatedly denounces medical marijuana initiatives as well as decriminalization or legalization proposals, even the most sedate advocacy of changing prohibitionist drug laws might run afoul of the censorship regime being pushed by the United Nations.

It is not reassuring that the U.S. government has pledged to cooperate with the UN group's global anti-drug efforts. Although Washington has not explicitly endorsed the censorship recommendations, neither has it stated that the United States rejects such proposals -- even though it certainly could have added that caveat. Indeed, one official pledged "absolute cooperation" with the UN's drug control programs.

Those who might be tempted to dismiss the significance of efforts to gag proponents of drug legalization should know that government officials have already sought to implement censorship measures (albeit more limited ones than the comprehensive bans suggested by some drug warriors). For example, authorities in Maryland prosecuted an individual for publicly divulging the identity of two undercover narcotics officers. Attempting to prohibit such disclosures by charging the defendant with "obstructing and hindering a police officer," Maryland officials endeavored to give undercover narcotics officers the same protection that Congress afforded to the CIA and other intelligence agents to wage the Cold War and the subsequent war on terror.

Although the Maryland Court of special appeals eventually overturned the conviction on the grounds that it violated the defendant's state and federal constitutional rights to freedom of speech, several aspects of the case remain troubling. First, the fact that Maryland authorities sought to impose such censorship in the first place; second, that the defendant was convicted in a trial court; and third, that the Court of Appeals overturning the conviction on a divided vote. It is hardly reassuring that a minority of the justices were willing to allow such a violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech to pass muster.

Such examples suggest that some advocates of drug prohibition regard the "war" on drugs as more than a metaphor. Pervasive intolerance is also all too typical of a wartime mindset in which opponents are seen, not merely as people who hold a different point of view, but as traitors to a noble cause.

Regardless of one's position on drug legalization, Americans who believe in freedom of expression and in the importance of political debate ought to condemn Istook's measure and all other attempts to stifle the pro-legalization case. Otherwise, the First Amendment might become the most prominent example of "collateral damage" in the war on drugs.



http://www.cato.org/dailys/01-09-04.html


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 5,646
Loc: innsmouth..MA
Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2245005 - 01/15/04 10:57 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Sen. Ted Kennedy said:
I believe that this Administration is indeed leading this country to a perilous place. It has broken faith with the American people, aided and abetted by a Congressional majority willing to pursue ideology at any price, even the price of distorting the truth. On issue after issue, they have moved brazenly to impose their agenda on America and on the world. They have pursued their goals at the expense of urgent national and human needs and at the expense of the truth. America deserves better.




from a speech about iraq (link)...


--------------------


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2245040 - 01/15/04 11:10 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

It is a war after all. These politicians have the fervor of warriors on the eve of battle. It will get uglier before it's done.

What worries me is that the government has now declared war on fat!


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OfflineEkstaza
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Registered: 04/11/03
Posts: 4,317
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Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2247949 - 01/17/04 09:20 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I hope that everyone that reads this thread does indeed fax their representatives like I have. Prohibition against substances is something that we already have to live with for the time being, but prohibition against free speech is something that every American should raise bloody hell over. These measures being taken by our government now are very dangerous to our way of life. It borders so close on not being able to critisize our government openly that it could easily lead to the silencing of the American voice.


--------------------
YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH ANY GIVEN DRUG ISN'T THE DEFINITIVE MEASURE OF THE DRUGS EFFECTS.


Edited by Ekstaza (01/17/04 09:21 AM)


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 5,646
Loc: innsmouth..MA
Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2248088 - 01/17/04 12:28 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

unfortunately..mainstream amerikkka views the closing off of society not as a threat to liberty..but as liberty itself..maybe in a perverted sense of upholding contracts...one might question if that isnt freedom as slavery..but the majority..who are more cynical..dont necessarily have a problem with that...


--------------------


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Anonymous

Re: Help Fight Censorship In The War On Drugs!!! [Re: Ekstaza]
    #2248458 - 01/17/04 03:37 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

This saddens me.

:sad:


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