I had some additional thoughts about Michael Coren’s Sun TV interview with my wife Jodie and his subsequent Toronto Sun newspaper rant (both are attached to the beginning of my last blog) about me and the cannabis culture.
One of the favoured media propaganda techniques is the long ranting monologue preceding the interview of the guest (Jodie in this case) with opposing ideas. This rant (perfected by Bill O’Reilly at Fox News and emulated in this case by Sun TV host Michael Coren) is always full of idiotic lies. What do you say to someone who is arguing the world is flat? Well, you don’t get to say anything because the guest isn’t present during the taping of the rant, and doesn’t know it will show up in the broadcast. And even if Jodie were aware of the rant, how can you rebut a dozen lies in nine seconds?
As for the tacked on interview with Jodie, it’s a matter of the host skipping from subject to subject whenever one subject gets too hot. When Jodie brought up prohibition’s role in starting wars, justifying invasions and directing foreign policy, Coren tosses in a quick lie and zips off to another subject.
Coren says he can’t see why marijuana prohibition is a big cause (despite it being big enough for two states to vote in the majority to repeal marijuana prohibition). Again, Jodie starts to tell him how prohibition affects nearly every aspect of society and zip… lie… zip… he’s off to another subject.
What has Coren ever read about prohibition? There are dozens of books cogently explaining the hundreds of thousands of prohibition murders and deaths, the narco-states, the corruption of whole militaries and police, cartel slaughters, massive incarcerations; is it possible a modern day man with access to so much information could be so blithely unaware?
No issue is bigger than prohibition: wars, invasions, drug cartels, repressive narco-states, civil wars, gangster governments, corrupt law enforcement, over 60,000 dead in Mexico in six years, loss of privacy in a police state, seizures of homes and kids, denial of miracle medicine to those in pain and misery, orphaned children, millions of destroyed lives, demagoguing politicians, drug cartel money propping up the world from total economic collapse in 2009, and 75 years and counting and prison, prison, prison.
Could it be Coren and people like him are just propaganda robots who automatically reject anything coming from the reality-based community? Whenever the ‘reality-based community’ brings up a point, the reaction is to dismiss it with some moronic lie, and then …zip… to move on.
The camera, when left alone to do its work, doesn’t lie. Jodie came across as a classy, intelligent person who dealt in facts. Coren comes across as a brainwashed ideologue grinning at his own stupidity, which he mistakes for intelligence. Coren, knowing full well how full of it he is, even predicts he will get loads of emails and twitter responses from the reality-based community calling him “evil”. Coren doesn’t see the relevance of his own remark. He laughs at it.
It is this disconnect between the evil done by prohibition and the inability of people like Coren to accept responsibility for what they are endorsing. This is sociopathic behaviour. Coren simply can’t empathize with the suffering he is promoting. Prohibition is no more serious a concern than “the right to masturbate”, he writes! It is indeed true with prohibition, that if you aren’t against prohibition, you are indeed for it – and therefore must accept the evil done by prohibitionist policy as your own. Prohibitionists are incapable of logical thought in this matter because logic would show they are supporting evil acts. Therefore, Coren avoids logic, and avoids any responsibility for who he is, and what he is.
Coren’s mistaken assertion that police ignore possession busts is limited and incorrect. Incorrect because, as Jodie points out, possession busts continue to rise, over 10,000 in Canada last year. But limited, too, because the big prohibition money for police is in seizures. That’s the main interest of police when it comes to prohibition. The police don’t get homes and cars and yachts and motorcycles and computers and furniture and anything else they want by making possession busts. Would-be-uniformed thugs don’t join police SWAT teams to make possession busts. They join to fuck shit up. To blast through front doors, to toss in stun grenades, carry heavy assault weaponry, wear intimidating black assault outfits, have slavering German Shepherds ready to attack anyone inside feigning resistance. Helicopters, tanks, all the SWAT team paraphernalia so beloved by adrenalized cops everywhere in North America – you don’t get that making possession busts.
Seizures and the new asset forfeiture laws that allow them are the biggest part of the corruption. As in the United States, Canadian police are now addicted to marijuana prohibition because of forfeiture and seizure laws. Like the US, seizure laws have created a profitable industry for police in Canada. Some US police departments exist only because of seizures.
When drug-related asset forfeiture laws were first introduced in Canada, it was made clear none of the proceeds would go to police. This was done to avoid corruption. That quickly changed, and so did Canadian policing. Asset forfeitures are used to finance police asset forfeiture infrastructure. Busts are now equated with personal and institutional benefits that can be obtained no other way. Corruption is guaranteed. Police become armed robbers with a badge.
Coren asked Jodie if she was a ‘pothead’, a juvenile tactic that says a lot about Coren and his audience. Coren seemed to be in a constant state of self-absorbed glee through the entire interview. He was so charged up while saying the dumbest things and was just bursting to say the next dumb thing, and the next.
A classic remark by Coren had a certain historical resonance, his final last-stand defense for prohibition and all it represents. When the lies don’t hold up (and they didn’t), when the facts are starting to get in the way (and they did), it’s time for the ultimate rationalization, the one that is history’s most popular justification for evil: “Well, it’s the law.”
Then at the end, Coren wishes me the best for the holiday season. See, that’s a disconnect. He can’t see legalization as a worthy cause, he thinks I doth protest my five-year sentence for selling seeds from my desk in Vancouver too much (there are more worthy prisoners and causes, he says), he issues me a robotic Christmas greeting to show his humanity while expressly supporting the propaganda from a prohibitionist system that put me in a US federal prison in the first place! That’s chutzpah for you!
The prohibition system has left over a million children without fathers in the US, and millions more in some level of despair over loved ones in prisons worldwide for prohibition. Coren and drug war apologists will nonetheless enjoy the holidays with their families. He does not see the evil, the contradiction. It does not enter Coren’s mind. Simply by wishing me a Merry Christmas, Coren is able to reassure himself he is an okay guy. After all, prohibition can’t be so bad as to ruin a Merry Christmas, can it, Mr. and Mrs. Emery? What’s 2,600 kilometers separation, really, for five years, because of some seeds?! Merry Christmas, Marc and Jodie – come on, lighten up, says Mr. Coren; It’s Christmas, for goodness sakes!
But I’ll be out soon, maybe 12 months if I get transferred back to Canada, 18 months if I don’t. The Prohibitionists, however, are forever locked inside a delusion they can never escape. Abandoning that delusion, they’ll have to see themselves as they really are. And that’s something they can’t handle. Therefore, their lives will continue to be an exercise in worthlessness. But enough of Michael Coren at Christmastime.
Christmas brings a feeling love and hope for humanity. People warm up at Christmas. They are nicer to each other for a brief period of time. I know from letters and cards that I am thought of at Christmas by many, and it’s a comforting feeling. All my work of over 30 years is coming to a big pay-off. Two US states have legalized, with many more (and hopefully British Columbia) on the horizon to legalize. Uruguay will legalize next year. The juggernaut is loose and cannot be turned back, though the prohibitionists will certainly try.
Let us hope for Happy Holidays, and in the New Year, begin the hard work anew on Legalization with Peace on Earth, and No More Drug War.
From Marc Emery