A fungus among us?

Intelligent observers worldwide note that America’s government is spinning out of control, as if gripped by some kind of alcohol-induced, aggressive dementia.
As this dispatch is being written, pious and vindictive Congresspeople prepare to pillory Billy Clinton. He is not being crucified for his lies about marijuana or his efforts to intensify America’s global and domestic drug war (marijuana arrests are at an all-time high in the United States). Instead, he is being stomped because he lied about where his penis had or had not been.

The US House of Representatives has seen its top leadership resign in a series of forced goodbyes. Newt Gingrich, the powerful Speaker of the House who routinely advocated the death penalty for marijuana smugglers, gave up his office in November, after disappointing election results. The man who took his place, a martial arts wiz from Louisiana named Bobby Livingston, resigned in December rather than face questions about numerous extramarital affairs he believed would be revealed to the public by porn king Larry “Hustler” Flynt.

Larry, who was wonderfully portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the superb movie “The People Versus Larry Flynt,” had offered money to women who’d had affairs with prominent anti-Clintonites. His tell-all threats made Livingston say bye-bye.

The guy slated to replace the defunct martial arts king is described by American commercial media as a “conciliatory, moderate technocrat.” The nomination of J. Dennis Hastert for Speaker of the House was supposed to be reassuring: “Thank God,” pot-people said, “he isn’t controlled by the so-called Christian Right Confrontational Christianity movement,” which has an inordinate amount of power in the Republican Party and in US politics in general.

But unfortunately for cannabis lovers the world over, Hastert is a fanatical anti-marijuana legislator. He voted with Gingrich for marijuana smuggler death penalties, was co-chair of Gingrich’s Task Force for a Drug-Free America, and co-sponsored a resolution that prevented Washington DC from counting votes on a medical marijuana ballot initiative last November.

Hastert receives “one hundred per cent favorable ratings” from the Christian Coalition, and was a lusty advocate of the Communications Decency Act of 1995, a law that sought to control global internet communications in the name of “protecting our children from indecency.” The law was so fascistic that it was ruled unconstitutional.

Such are the men who run the “most powerful country on earth.”

Anti-pot death fungus

Those of you safely ensconced within the borders of countries other than the United States should not rest easy. Domestic blood feuds in Washington and the obvious effects of the drug war on Americans are accompanied by US attempts to force all countries of the world to implement Americanized anti-drug strategies.

Florida Republican Representative Bill McCollum, whose harsh voice loudly calls for Clinton’s gonads to be lopped off, recently succeeded in allocating $23 million in taxpayer’s money to fund a fun new project designed to create a fungus to use against cannabis.

According to McCollum, who ironically sponsored medical marijuana legislation in 1981 and 1983, the money will be spent to perfect a soil-borne fungus that will attack and kill cannabis, whether in the form of marijuana or hemp.

Agricultural experts, ecologists and ethicists are warning that using fungus as a form of biocidal weapon against cannabis could well be ecocidal and suicidal.

“The cannabis plant is a miracle plant for both medicinal and industrial uses, precisely because it has such a strong natural resistance to insects and crop diseases,” notes Allen St. Pierre, a spokesperson for the US National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “Scientists tell us that a fungus strong enough to kill marijuana would have to be a very strong one indeed, and would certainly cause problems for other plants and entire ecosystems. The soil and plant genetics experts we’ve consulted say that fungi are especially hard to stop if they get into staple crops like wheat, soy, and corn. They warn that once applied, the fungi will be impossible to isolate, and can easily invade non-target areas through vectors such as wind, animals, and commerce.”

When NORML contacted the offices of McCollum and the law’s co-sponsor, Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio, staffers were unwilling to provide any first-hand details or rationale for the fungus project.

“They told us they were looking for the ‘silver bullet’ that would allow them to kill plants they don’t like,” St. Pierre said. “They don’t have any information about what they are doing, or at least they wouldn’t provide me with any. Instead, they referred me to some university professors who never called us back. They would not respond intelligently to any of the criticisms I raised. It’s like, if you’re not praising them for what they do, they don’t want to even talk to you.”

St. Pierre says the Congressional staffers told him that the fungi would not be used in North America. “They claim it will be used only in foreign countries like Colombia,” he reported.

Such assurances lack credibility, however, because fungi spores travel easily and because “they haven’t absolutely prohibited its use in the US and Canada,” St. Pierre notes. “They say they won’t do it, but drug warriors have a history of saying one thing and doing another. They lied about the extent of use and effects of paraquat [a toxic chemical sprayed on cannabis that causes severe health problems for smokers]. The DEA continues to use thousands of gallons of unsafe herbicides such as Garlon and paraquat in domestic and foreign applications. Nobody trusts them. And this fungus idea could be disastrous for hemp, cannabis and all kinds of other crops.”

A coalition of bioethicists, agriculturists and others are protesting the fungi plan. Initially, they hoped to stop it by using international treaties that ban the use of biological warfare. Unfortunately, St. Pierre says, the United Nations has committed itself to eradicating all psychotropic plants within ten years, and would be unlikely to implement a ban on bioweapons that target marijuana.

Toxic ideas

So we have Bill McCollum’s theoretical death-fungi coming at us, but that isn’t the only toxic idea the Congressman and his anti-drug minions are foisting on the world: last November, he sponsored a law that allocated $2.3 billion for military operations against drugs both at home and abroad.

McCollum’s website (www.house.gov/mccollum) describes marijuana as a “lethal drug” similar to heroin and Rohypnol, and demands that the Pentagon make the drug war its top priority.

Such are the ideas of the men who run America, whose hearts appear to be clouded by ignorance and darkness, rather than uplifted by compassion and light.

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