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Free The Weed 91 - by John Sinclair

Hi everybody, and highest greetings from Detroit, where the City Council and its comrades in the police bureaucracy and the ecclesiastical community continue to make life miserable for the cannabis community despite the voters’ overwhelming support for legalization and unfettered distribution of the sacrament. Since 2016, the City authorities have disenfranchised 283 established medical marijuana distribution centers and will allow only 75 to reopen legally if they can also qualify and pay the exorbitant costs attendant to state recognition.

I’ve said it before but this remains the stupidest and most backward thing I’ve ever seen the City of Detroit do. This place is a wreck. The City of Detroit encompasses miles of empty lots and fields where there used to be homes and working businesses and, where there is still housing standing, intact and functioning homes are surrounded by destroyed and abandoned houses.

The white people are creating a new city for themselves in a 3-mile stretch along Woodward Avenue from the Detroit River to Grand Boulevard, but other than that the city has been left to ruination—except for the resurgence in neighborhood business centered on the marijuana provisioning facilities that sprang up in response to the demand from marijuana patients for places to secure their medication.

Did the City Council celebrate the opening of 283 new businesses within the city limits? Did they do everything they could to make sure the businesses flourished andothersopened to meet increased demand for medicinal marijuana? Did they offer assistance and financial aid to new businesses trying to establish themselves in this exciting new field?

Of course not! They reached into their standard ignorance bag and continued to trot out the bullshit about the dangers of marijuana use and its deleterious effect on the city’s neighborhoods. But we’re going to hear a lot more of this horseshit in the next three months leading up to the vote on marijuana legalization in November, and not just from the Insane Clown Posse that forms the Detroit City Council.

In fact, there are a lot of insane clowns in charge of marijuana policy and law enforcement, including the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the grotesquely-named Coalition to Keep Pot Out of Neighborhoods and Schools. Good luck with that!

These people are patently out of their minds, but they’ve been peddling their fantasies for a long time and backing them up with all the power of the armed forces of law and order. Early on, the first commissioner of narcotics, a thug trained by J. Edgar Hoover named Harry J. Anslinger, adopted the American version of a social manipulation tactic pioneered by Adolph Hitler and his propagandist Josef Goebbels called the BIG LIE in order to advance his campaign to illegalize marijuana and subject marijuana users to extreme legal harassment and punishment.

The BIG LIE technique starts with inventing a massive untruth and proclaiming it via official media as true fact, then repeating it as often as possible with no deviation from the assertion until the public is convinced that the lie is true. This is the basic strategy of the current government led by Resident Rump, who has brought the strategy of the BIG LIE to unprecedented heights. The bigger the lie, the more strenuous his efforts to sell it to the public as the truth.

Can you imagine the present of the United States describing the news media as the “enemy of the people”? Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that the present-day owners of the news media are enemies of the people, but they’re also the backers of the Rump and the blatantly criminal Republican Party which has made the BIG LIE into its basic modus operandi.

As I write this Resident Rump’s campaign manager and personal attorney have both been convicted of felonies perpetrated in Rump’s behalf. He can call this “False News” all he wants to and shout about a “Witch Hunt,” but the BIG LIE of the Rumps is about to go the way of his role model, the Fuhrer, straight into the ashcan of history—just like the phony marijuana laws.

I want to air a personal beef here in my column this month, something I rarely do but believe in this case to be well warranted. They say there’s another High Times Cannabis Cup coming up in September at the Auto City Speedway in Clio, just outside of my home town of Flint, Michigan.

I don’t know if High Times has purchased this site or just laid claim to it on a temporary basis, but they sponsor several big-time cannabis events there each year now. I can’t image how great the take is but it starts with a $20 parking fee and goes from there.

You may or may not know but the fact is that I am the founder of the marijuana legalization movement in Michigan, going back to January 1965. I suffered three marijuana convictions, served prison sentences of six months and 2-1/2 years for marijuana possession, challenged the constitutionality of the narcotics laws—weed was legally classified as a narcotic in those days—and overturned the Michigan Marijuana laws on appeal in March 1972.

I was a founder of the Hash Bash and spearheaded the successful effort to replace the state marijuana laws with a $5 fine for any marijuana offense in Ann Arbor by act of the City Council. I organized the first statewide Michigan Marijuana Initiative and worked as a lobbyist for NORML in an effort to pass a legalization bill in the Michigan legislature in 1977. I helped inspire a guy named Tom Forcade, an outspoken member of the White Panther Party (which I co-founded and served as Chairman) and successor to my comrade Bob “Righteous” Rudnick as coordinator of the Underground Press Syndicate, to start a magazine called High Times that was named after an MC5 album.

I wrote for High Times over the years and, in 1998, I was invited to preside over the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, where I was advised by Cannabis Cup mastermind Steven Hager that I was to be the one and only High Priest of the Cannabis Cup for all time. When High Times sponsored its first Medical Cannabis Cup in Detroit I was granted a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of my many years of effort on behalf of legalization.

I hate to blow my own horn, but these things are part of the history of marijuana legalization in Michigan, which is just about to become a reality. What pisses me off is that the money grubbers from High Times can come to my home town and throw their celebrations without giving me a nod of recognition or even inviting me to attend, let alone engage me professionally to participate as an activist, commentator, panelist, poet and performer who serves the marijuana movement in these roles all over the western world.

You know, I don’t really care if I go to their so-called Cannabis Cup or not, but it’s just not right to come here and piss in my face. There’s an old concept from the early days of marijuana smoking in our culture that we learned from centuries of practice by people everywhere, called “honoring the local gods.” All I want is my props.Free The Weed!

—Detroit
August 21-22, 2018

© 2018 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

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