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August 25, 2007

Is the Worm (Finally) Turning? (Political)

Although a latecomer to the cause of drug policy reform, I have now been reading news and opinion articles focused on the drug war  since 1995; no matter how many readers  Drug Sense Weekly  eventually reached, the four years I spent as its editor were a valuable education for me in the nuances of media attitude toward the drug war;  and probably explains why I found yesterday’s issue of The Sacramento News and Review so exciting.

Free newspapers, like the N & R  are found in most cities; as vehicles for local ads, they have less reason to cater to big corporations and many, like the Village Voice, feel free to take more consistently “liberal” stance on cultural issues, similar to those taken by liberal periodicals like The Texas Observer in trying to exert political influence a prime example of which was when the Observer’s account of gross injustice in Tulia eventually sparked enough outrage to bring about at least partial redress (although it may not have changed local attitudes).

In any event, it appears that the undisguised arrogance and  injustice with which federal and local authorities have been colluding in their persecution of medical  marijuana patients ia finally prompting  outspoken recognition in the press. Like Misha Glenny’s WP item of last week, placement may be important here as well, because Sacramento, like DC is a second home-town for California’s legislators and and higher level bureaucrats.

The straw which may have broken the camel’s back of denial, at least in terms of  medical pot in Sacramento, was last week’s one-sided prosecution of Dr. Mollie Fry. Accounts  of her trial in the conservative Sacramento Bee, when compared to those that appeared later in the News and Review should leave little doubt in the eyes of most that her treatment in federal court was both unjust and reprehensible. The larger question, with implications going far beyond pot, is how much capacity do we Americans have for recognizing and supporting such political truth?

The nation faces very similar challenges with respect to  global warming, the war on “terror,” and its support of so many of the world’s most brutal autocrats since the end of World War Two.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at August 25, 2007 07:06 PM