Not Even An Apology (For Destroying Countless Lives)

Richard Nixon

It’s fitting to have this war criminal, McCarthyite and lying “crook” who abandoned the White House in disgrace, as the figurehead for the modern War on Drugs, the holocaust of the modern age.  Tens of thousands of lives were ruined, psychologically damaged (including mine), and plain murdered to keep the nightmare going.  All perpetrated so many professions could feed off the mayhem like sea gulls circling a countless school of surface-feeding sardines.  Not only drug dealers themselves but cops, DEA agents, lawyers, bankers, prison guards, parole officers, bond bailsmen, corrupt politicians, judges and district attorneys—perhaps worst of all the Corrections Corporation of America which kicks back money into the corrupt system to continue Draconian prison sentences so the corporation can continue to grow endlessly.  The irony is that these “professionals” are also hooked on drugs of an even worse kind:  their drug is money and they’ll do anything to get more of it, such that they’re not humans with feelings anymore.  At least pot heads know when they’ve had enough; these greedy sociopaths never feel satisfied.  

Let’s face it, criminalization of cannabis is a form of mind control.  Corporate plutocrats can’t have people feeling human, free thinking and enjoying being alive.  How would you like to be a fashion consultant in the middle of the Woodstock Nation? Law makers can’t have people who reject being wrapped in plastic and edited for TV.  Pot heads reject the frills and frippery that signal success and they reject the obsolescent products that wind up in the garbage dump but keep the economy going.  Watch prime time TV some night to see what I’m saying.  It’s a steady bombardment of “messages” every fifteen minutes to condition people to be mindless consumers.  Kids will droll over a fast food hamburger or stupid toy; housewives will have an organism over a brand new electric rotisserie.  When you’re high on some good smoke you’re on a different level of consciousness and see this Orwellian ducktalk (a mindless rant about the beneficence of Big Brother) for what it is.

The criminalization of cannabis makes us a nation of used car salespersons.  An ad during the 1968 campaign showed a poster of a smiling Nixon with the question, “Would you buy a used car off this guy?” Now with over 2.2 million souls languishing in prison, it looks like the nation certainly did.   

Even worse than Nixon was the real founder of the prohibition movement, both booze and drugs.  Harry Angslinger makes Tricky Dick look hip.  In my Pot Stories and Humanist Essays I detail the early history of the War on Drugs and how it came to be.  The director of the former Bureau of Narcotics (the DEA) is documented telling a newspaper: “The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.” It makes them feel equal to whites.  Is that it?  

If I were one of the people making a living off the War on Drugs I’d feel so duped, so disillusioned.  They must feel like that foot soldiers of the Wehrmacht at the Battle of Stalingrad when they realized they were following fanatical madman.  

To support what I’m saying about human feelings:  I often listen to the right-wing William Bennett Show on the radio.  With all the thousands of lives the man destroyed as Drug Czar under President Regan, all Dr. Bennett could say is, “Increased availability will result in increased consumption.”  How about a simple, “I’m sorry.  To me, it was a trade-off: your lives had to be sacrificed to advance my power-hungry career.” 

A great but anonymous philosopher once said, “The worst punishment you receive in your life is self-inflicted.”  Dr. Bennett condemned tens of thousands of kids to hellish incarceration, wrote A Book of Virtues, then blew over a million dollars on internet gambling.  Can’t get more “self-inflicted” than that.  I wonder if there’s a connection.  Maybe he should have tried saying, “I’m sorry.”

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Comment by Rich Goss on November 11, 2014 at 8:21am

Laura, thanks for that vignette. I couldn't agree more.  I had many similar experiences; these people look at mj users like we come from another planet. It's interesting to consider why this is so.  As I stated in the text above, criminalization of cannabis is a form of mind control. Mj helps de-condition users, and they begin to look at life through different eyes. All of a sudden it's not so important to be wearing pricey designer clothes or driving a new Cadillac. 

Consider this famous video to help me make the point.  De-conditioning is an arduous and difficult process. The recruits in the video have to undo all the socialization values of Christian school, such as "Thou shalt not kill" and come out cold-blooded murderers. Notice the DI says, "show me your war face," because he knows soon the grunt may have to use it. 

Not to get too far off course, from early ages we're conditioned to lust after expensive items as a reward for hard work.  Pot cuts through the bullshit and phony promises, and all of a sudden it's not so important anymore.

Comment by Rich Goss on November 11, 2014 at 7:32am

Free, the hardship I endured is nothing compared to the millions that got busted and did time.  I did get busted once years ago for a DUI and spent six hours in the Manatee County Correctional Institute. (Dig the Orwellian newspeak).  It was hell and I almost went crazy in that brief time. That was twenty years ago and I vowed to never break the law again.I learned my lesson.  But if I were doing time for dealing some friends an ounce or two, I'd give up on life altogether, the injustice would be too much to take.  I think when legalization comes, prison reform will come next, and they'll start releasing these pathetic souls, notwithstanding the Corrections Corporation of America—to me, one of the most evil cabals that ever existed, addicted to money to the point of depravity. 

Comment by Luara on November 11, 2014 at 6:51am


I've been shocked by people's attitudes about marijuana, too.  One of my neighbors was a "natural", "alternative" woman, who I used to chat with in my backyard while we let our dogs run around. 

She would go hiking, doing plant collecting or something like that.  Living off the land.  She got acupuncture for her allergies. 

Yet when I mentioned casually mentioned marijuana in a favorable way, she stiffened up and said something censorious. 

The messages of the Drug War have soaked into the minds of even "alternative" types, it seems. 

And years ago I asked some question about purification of THC in the sci.chem group.  I got a bunch of insults about how I was a stupid pothead etc.  I was shocked that these people, who are supposedly analytical science types, would so jump to conclusions.  Science is anti-dogma, so how come these people felt so free to be dogmatic, on the particular subject of marijuana?

People are brainwashed about marijuana, to a shocking extent. 

Comment by Rich Goss on November 10, 2014 at 5:53pm

Thanks, Free.  If you knew my life history you'd be astounded.  The irony of it all is mind blowing.  The father of a girl I was about to marry in 1970 heard I smoked grass and immediately cancelled the marriage and forced her to go to Sicily to live with relatives. When I rang the bell to pick her up for a date, he told me "she's gone.  Get lost."  And I had a good job at the time!

How about Lester Grinspoon's podcast that I arranged? I sincerely think it helped change the zeitgeist concerning pot. It was six years ago and there were no legal states at the time. Lynn Thompson, the radio host, a friend of mine told me it was her most successful endeavor in all her years on the radio, over five thousand hits. Lester loved my essay on pot and we became lifelong friends. It's included in my "Pot Stories and Humanist Essays."  In those days I couldn't even use my own name. 

Lester risked his reputation as dean of Harvard Medical School that marijuana caused NO physical disease or damage to any organ.  He tells the story of how Carl Sagan turned him on on a cruise to a scientific seminar in Sweden. I consider Carl the greatest educator of the century, the modern historical equivalent of Erasmus, considered the first humanist philosopher. 

Here's the podcast if you'd like to hear it.  You can see my name at the bottom of the hello page.  It's my contribution to history in a small way.  An atheist's afterlife is the ideas and memes he/she leaves behind. 

That's why I'm "so passionate." 

Comment by Rich Goss on November 10, 2014 at 8:38am

Legalization is inevitable across the country.  I guess my post is off base in that one reader on another blog told me that right-wing people are not the type to who say "I'm sorry."  Too bad, because they traded their humanity for the security of the corporate state.  Let's hope legalization will help bring back feelings for others. I think it will. 

Comment by Luara on November 10, 2014 at 2:35am

Marijuana was the big winner in the last election.

Legalized for recreational use in Oregon, Alaska and DC.

Medical marijuana legalized in Maryland, Minnesota and New York in 2014. 

Comment by Michael Penn on November 7, 2014 at 7:35pm
No one in the so called "drug war" is likely to say they were wrong or that they have destroyed lives, etc. In fact, they can't even admit this is a "war" they are destined not to win. If anything the war on drugs has made the price go higher, the drugs cheapened and even made dangerous by other things in them today. It's a big mess.
Politics is a main reason there will be little change in this "war." That's because politicians rely on religion now and grandma will vote for the guy who sets up some kid and busts him for pot down by the phone booth. The politician is happy with the vote and granny is happy seeing this bad boy go to prison.
Comment by Rich Goss on November 7, 2014 at 4:29pm

Good question.  Don't forget I lived through the '60s.  I saw the changes in consciousness grass engendered.  From the moment we're born society conditions its citizens to become contented consumers, to judge others by how much wealth and property they have. We have to change consciousness and values or we'll consume the whole planet.  Grass helps break down the conditioning.  As stated in the post, humans have to feel again. 

Don't you think the creators of this inconscionable, hard-ass mentality should at least say "I'm sorry" to all the innocent kids whose lives were destroyed.  Grass has been shown to help the symptoms of epilepsy, cancer, depression and other diseases. 

Let me tell you, these people that fed off the corrupt system have to look at themselves in the mirror.  They can only bury feelings of guilt only so far in the subconscious. But it never goes away.  Many of humanity's great writers espoused that message—Macbeth, Julius Caesar (the conspirators all killed themselves) much of Dickens, even James Joyce. 

Here's a good example of what I'm getting at.  William Bennett as Drug Czar lost millions in on-line gambling.  Something like four million.  His head was screwed up because of guilt. 



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