If you believe in Freedom ending the War on Drugs is long over due.
Maybe it is time for a new political party.
By Phillip Smith
January 7, 2016
The veteran Florida congresswoman and head of the Democratic National Committee has taken a lot of heat from the party’s liberal and progressive wing for numerous reasons, and now she’s just provided one more. In an interview with the New York Times magazine to be published Sunday, Wasserman-Schultz stood firm against marijuana legalization:
You’re one of a dwindling number of progressive politicians who oppose legalization of even the medical use of marijuana. Where does that come from? I don’t oppose the use of medical marijuana. I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs. We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic.
Heroin addiction often starts with prescribed painkillers. Pill mills were a problem in Florida, but the state didn’t make prescribing opiates illegal. There is a difference between opiates and marijuana.
Still, your opinion on this does seem like an outlier. It’s perfectly O.K. to not be completely predictable. I am a person, and I have individual opinions that may not line up ideologically. They’re formed by my personal experience both as a mom and as someone who grew up really bothered by the drug culture that surrounded my childhood — not mine personally. I grew up in suburbia.
Are there any other positions that you have that might surprise people? My criminal-justice record is perhaps not as progressive as some of my fellow progressives’.
It sounds as if these are things that come from a personal place for you. I guess I’m protective. Safety has been my top legislative priority. I’m driven by the idea that safety is really a core function of government.
Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t explain how giving people criminal records for smoking pot makes them “safer,” and she appears to still subscribe to the discredited gateway theory that if people start with marijuana, they’re going to end up as heroin addicts.
She also appears indifferent to the racial bias in the drug war, where black people are arrested for marijuana at a rate nearly four times that of whites. But if she ignores race, her response reeks of class privilege. She was “really bothered by the drug culture” –apparently the inner city drug culture – although it didn’t affect her personally because “I grew up in suburbia.”
Continue reading at: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/debbie-wasserman-schultz-keep-arresting-pot-smokers
Wednesday 30 December 2015
The power that feminism currently wields has been described as a “moment” or a “trend” – but it’s much more than that. The last 10 years of feminist work have paved the way for a feminism that’s deeply resonant and embedded in the culture, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
And no matter how you cut it, gender justice has been at the forefront of the national conversation and a lot of people’s minds this past year.
Some was good: celebrities spoke up against sexism, the military ended the ban on women in combat, battling sexual assault took center stage, and companies from Netflix to Spotify created realistic and generous parental leave policies.
Some of it was bad: a woman was arrested after desperately trying to end her pregnancy with a coat hanger, a Planned Parenthood was the target of a terrorist shooting and, no matter a woman’s accomplishments, we were reminded that there is always someone ready to insult her with sexism or racism.
And some of it was a bit of both, like when Cecile Richards was forced to testify in front of a House committee (but she made them all look ridiculous). Some people were even outraged when Ghostbusters was remade with an all-female cast – but that didn’t stop anything.
Feminism’s prominence is even one reason that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign looks very different – and is being responded to very differently – in 2016 than in 2008. Clinton isn’t shying away from taking on gender explicitly any more, and the sexism lobbed at her isn’t being tolerated in the same way, because since 2008 we’ve seen feminism get even more of a foothold in our broader culture.
Rebecca Traister calls this political and cultural shift the “death of white male power”: those opposed to progress on race, gender and LGBT issues are not participating in a full-blown cultural freak-out because feminism is having a “moment”. They’re afraid because they know their world is changing in a way that they can no longer control.
Part of feminism’s growing influence has to do with technology: before the internet, if a woman was interested in feminism, she had to seek it out by finding an organization with which to become involved, subscribing to Ms. magazine or taking a women’s studies class. As feminism has become more entrenched online – first through blogs, now through social media – more people have gained access to activism, information and community. Now women stumble across feminism while they’re on Tumblr or Facebook, reading about everything from politics to pop culture, and have the ability to learn more in just a few clicks.
Jeanne Cordova, pioneer Lesbian Feminist from the days when we were outlaws passed away on Sunday January 10, 2016. I had the pleasure of working with her at the Lesbian Tide during the late 1970s.