Archive for May, 2008

Obama Vs. McCain

Friday, May 9th, 2008

The US presidential election is not an example of real democracy in action.

The race for the Whitehouse is a dog and pony show that parades around a handful of rich people… rich people who will say and do whatever it takes to both stay in power and rise to higher positions.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the news media will anxiously cover the entire process for years that it means anything. Sure, they enthusiastically report all the polls and scandals, and even take sides, but it doesn’t mean the US political system has any real gravitas.

No… these politicians will never have any real power, no matter how high up they rise. This is because, even though politicians are themselves rich, they usually have little money compared to those who fund them – billionaires and powerful groups like corporations.

The US political system only serves to create a buffer between the will of the people and the underlying power of the nation. This political system (as per many of the world’s systems) only gives the illusion of choice. The people are duped into thinking that by voting and campaigning that they are letting their voices be heard.

Sure, their voices may be heard to the point of getting a politician elected (or ousted), but it rarely goes beyond that. Real democracy is the voice of the people. When the voice of the people gets heard, the system will inevitably provide more for them.

This means that, to really be heard, Americans, just like people everywhere, need to stop waiting to for a politician to say the things that they agree with… and say it for themselves!

We all need to speak out on the issues that we care about.

Feel empowered! Exercise fearlessness! Speak out!

Marijuana March 08

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

On Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in the Calgary chapter of the International Marijuana March. The event is held annually to promote legalization of marijuana, and to spread information about the medicinal benefits of marijuana.

We rallied around a speaker who talked about the benefits of legalized marijuana.

These two were arrested for smoking pot.  They were taken away in hand cuffs.

We marched for several blocks downtown, shouting “Free the Weed” and “Smoke Pot!”.  There was a lot of weed being smoked.

The police presence was quite noticeable.  There was about 30 police officers, and about 500-700 activists.

The large majority of the people taking part in this March were teenagers and people in their early 20’s. While it is great to see youth involved in issues they care about, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed in the turnout of an older generation – such as the parents of the kids who were taking part.

In Canada, marijuana is used regularly by 16.8% of the population (according to the 2007 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) which is over 5.5 million people. Marijuana is smoked by Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers, Politicians… even those who enforce drug laws enjoy toking up.

Yet I didn’t see any of these people standing up and letting their voices be heard. None of them were speaking out against an unjust law that is keeping a relatively benign plant from being consumed legally.

Of course, this is Calgary which is a Conservative city, in Alberta which is a conservative province, so I suppose the turn out wasn’t that bad when that is considered. I imagine that Vancouver’s Marijuana March had a much different atmosphere.

Still, we need to speak out and FREE THE WEED.

Marijuana is a safe medication with countless benefits, and it is easily grown pretty much anywhere. But to make matters worse, the criminalization of marijuana is also stifling the hemp industry.

Hemp can be made into so many things that it is one of earth’s few superplants (see this short video). With the demand for biofuel on the rise, the time is nigh for hemp to be allowed back into the marketplace as an excellent source of ethanol.

Its time for our antiquated prohibition laws to be abolished, and for our criminal justice system to catch up to facts and face reality.