The war on civil liberties

As I write this editorial it is only a few weeks since George W Bush was re-elected as President of the United States.
As a Canadian observing from across the border, Bush?s victory seems suspicious, especially since in many key swing states, exit polls showed Kerry with a substantial lead. Given that this election had the widest-ever use of paperless voting, and that there are many documented cases of this voting technology being owned and maintained by Republican supporters, perhaps it?s not too much of a stretch to see the possibility that some overzealous Republicans resorted to unethical and devious means to win the election and keep their administration in power.

Regardless of the validity of the election, it is clear that the Bush administration is entrenched in power, and that for the next four years (at least) it is their extremist agenda that will dominate the global scene.

I am always surprised at the number of pot-smoking Americans who are loyal supporters of President Bush. It?s not that I am a strong supporter of Democrats, as under Clinton the drug war continued to spiral out of control, with more arrests made and more dollars spent under his administration than ever before. But it seems to me that the Bush administration is an even worse enemy of pot-people, with their aggressive agenda against med-pot and compassion clubs in states that have legalized them.

From my perspective, the war on drugs and the war on terror are both essentially the same, and their goals have more to do with benefitting those who profit from war and bloodshed than they do with the ideals of truth, justice and liberty. The reduction in civil liberties and the increase in domestic surveillance that Americans are now undergoing will impact most heavily against members of the marijuana culture. Despite the rhetoric, it is usually the peaceful pot smokers who end up being harassed, beaten and imprisoned in the name of national security.

It is time to end the drug war, which undermines all efforts at global peace and security. It is the drug war which fuels violence, terror and death around the world. When the drug war is ended, America, and the world, will be a much safer place.

Dana Larsen
Editor, Cannabis Culture