Saturday, June 15, 2013

Traitorous Ex-Smoker Drug Warrior Bastards

My friend Tristan Tucker and I have had several conversations about the staggering numbers of politicians who smoke marijuana, then claim to quit, and then start locking up their fellow weed consumers by the tens of thousands.  

Tristan and I were both invited to speak at the recent DFW/NORML Regional Conference.  I bet Tristan that I could use the phrase "Traitorous Ex-Smoker Drug Warrior Bastards" in my speech more than he could in his speech.   

Tristan took me up on the wager. 

I lost.  I lost badly. 

Here's Tristan's speech, along with a few pics of the Traitorous Ex-Smoker Drug Warrior Bastards. 

Wow, what an honor it is to be speaking in front of people that I have looked up to for years. Keith (Stroup).. You founded NORML. Without you, none of us would be here right now.

 Judge Jim Gray… You and Gary Johnson had my vote. My generation appreciates men with principles and decency, you are one of my intellectual heroes.

Joy Strickland… when I first met you, your story motivated me to not give this fight up. The work you do with Mothers Against Teen Violence is incredible and has not fallen on deaf ears or blind eyes. Together, we are making the world a much safer, better place…and, the only government intervention we need is literally one fell swoop of a pen.

Thank you all, everyone, for being here, for being a part of a revolution and for taking the lead role in your freedom. I am Tristan Tucker, the executive director of the University of North Texas Chapter of NORML. I served in the US Navy for six years and I can honestly say that since I got out of the navy I have done more for my country, in terms of actually fighting for freedom, than I ever did while I was on active duty. I believe that my oath of enlistment and re-enlistment last for life. The words that I faithfully said, “I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against ALL enemies foreign and domestic..” are the words that ring out the loudest. I can see objectively who the enemy is now and the enemy isn’t in some far away land, they are here… in our own backyard. Our enemy is any law that allows for someone to be forcibly put in a cage for possessing a harmless plant and especially the people that support and defend such laws. I will not digress, I will not rest, I will not be silenced until we win this drug war. And we will win.

Ghandi is quoted as saying “If all the mice in the world held a conference together and resolved that they would no more fear the cat but instead, all run into her mouth, all the mice would live.” Well, mice, this is our conference and I want to be the first to scoff at the cat and tell her that “I am free. I was born to know no fear. I want you all to be fearless against the traitorous ex-smoker drug warrior bastards, the faceless persecutor that is always looking around our corners. I want you all to take these words from this conference and be empowered and develop a newfound passion for your activism because what we are doing doesn’t only effect DFW, or Texas – we are impacting the entire world. Every day when you talk about NORML, the drug war or even just about cannabis, I want you to remember just who exactly you are helping. We are helping our youth be relatively drug free. We are helping our troops, who came home like I did with newfound mental disorders or with chronic pain or missing limbs. We are fighting for the patients, like Cash Hyde, who, without us – many wouldn’t have a voice. We are fighting for liberty, for freedom and these United States of America.

As the director of UNTNORML I have come to realize and appreciate the necessity to have college-based organizations like Students For Sensible Drug Policy, Students for Liberty and NORML. Through my tenure at UNT I have definitely seen massive amounts of ignorance related to the topics of drug prohibition and the effects of cannabis. It is my profound belief that due to programs like DARE, the traitorous ex-smoker drug warrior bastards are still ruining our youth’s ability to use critical thinking skills to question this treacherous type of authority.

I have several goals for UNTNORML and want to brag a little about the efficacy we have had on campus. First, we were the first university in Texas to change dorm policies in regard to possession and paraphernalia. Before NORML’s campus-wide campaign, the school would evict students from the dorm, report to the police and place the student on probation while requiring them to pay a $1000 fine and attend a drug awareness class. Now, the school just forces the student to change dorms.

My main goal with UNTNORML is to get a college chapter at every university in the state of Texas. I believe that by placing intelligent, tactful leaders at universities across the state, we will combat the ill-effects of prohibition based propaganda like DARE. Additionally, I plan to make cannabis a topic that university administration will willingly talk about. I have gotten professors to discuss the topic but currently, the administration refuses to actually debate the topic or the university’s policies publicly. All of my requests have so far fallen on deaf ears. With that in mind, we have received overwhelming support from a plethora of students and student organizations. We are always well received on the campus’ “Free Speech Corner”… man I despise that name.

When I was on active duty, I was one of the ex-smoker drug warrior bastards. I was a neo-conservative military member that wouldn’t even associate with people that used or talked about cannabis. I participated in anti-drug operations off the eastern seaboard of South and Central America, as a 25mm gunner on the aft mount of an amphibious assault ship. For me, it took a mental health diagnosis and subsequent research into treatments and therapies to really discover the truth about marijuana. I am proud to publicly tell you all that the day I received my separation paperwork, I drove off base joint in mouth. I have sed cannabis medicinally now for three years and have weaned myself off of fourteen different medicines thanks to this wonderful plant. My quality of life is the best its been in years and, in my opinion, that is all that matters.

My first position I held with DFWNORML was the veteran outreach coordinator. Unfortunately, it had to fall to the wayside when I took over at UNTNORML, but I still reach out to every veteran I meet and know to spread the good word of unity, family, cannabis and love. With those tenets of inclusivity I believe we have really touched many veterans One of the most difficult parts of my transition out of the military was not having the close bond of brotherhood and I really try to bring that to both UNT and DFWNORML. I believe that veterans find that trait important and inviting and thus, flock to our organization.

Our veterans are battle trained leaders and continuing to reach out to them is imperative. Our veterans are already used to the type of pressure it takes to effectively communicate with our representatives. Our veteran members also provide a very unique viewpoint, particularly when discussing medicinal marijuana. Medical grade marijuana has proven to have incredible results when treating post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain and a whole host of other ailments our warriors are coming home with. We owe it to our veterans to continue to fight for them, since I know for a fact they would keep fighting for us.

As a team all of the Texas NORML chapters are planning comprehensive lobbying strategies for our next legislative session. Cheyanne Weldon has began coordinating our efforts via facebook already, less than a month after the end of our legislative session. Let me assure you that our representatives know who we are and what we seek to do in this state. Every time I have talked to my representatives or their staff about an action alert item, they explain ludicrous amounts of feedback and positive response from our supporters. We need to work on getting that type of commitment from members on a monthly or weekly basis.

Forming programs such as signed from letters, targeted mailing lists, positive recruitment strategies and continued public presence will win this drug war.

There is an old war movie, The Americanization of Emily from 1964, James Garner, who played commander Charles Madison said the following:

“War isn't hell at all. It's man at his best, the highest morality he's capable of. It's not war that's insane, you see. It's the morality of it. It's not greed or ambition that makes war: it's goodness. Wars are always fought for the best of reasons - for liberation or manifest destiny. Always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity. So far this war, we've managed to butcher some ten million humans in the interest of humanity. Next war it seems we'll have to destroy all of man in order to preserve his damn dignity. It's not war that's unnatural to us, it's virtue. As long as valor remains a virtue, we shall have soldiers. So, I preach cowardice. Through cowardice, we shall all be saved.”

When we think about the drug war, we see ourselves, rightfully, as the victim, but the important thing to note is that we have turned it around on our aggressors. When the drug war was officially initiated by President Dick Nixon and his regime of traitorous ex-smoke drug warrior bastards, we were made to look like the modern Taliban. We were the scourge of the country, us dopers. Through the decades, as science and morality has progressed, we have come to take the upper hand in this drug war. We are showing Americans that compassionate care via a plant is possible from stories like Cash Hyde’s and by way of documentaries like American Drug War, Square Grouper and The Union: The Business Behind Getting High. Americans are starting to realize that too much government intervention into our lives is a bad thing and that we would like to be able to close our metaphorical blinds for a change.

What we do damages nobody and heals everybody. This plant has brought communities together, brought addicts back from the brink of death, stopped pain, treated cancer, helped calm irrational minds and has the capacity to heal our nation – the nation that I was promised as a child. Cannabis can heal our economic hole, can help mend our moral degradation, will help improve our air quality and has potential to slow global warming.

In closing, I want to thank you all tremendously for the work you do for NORML, for coming to this conference and supporting our freedoms and for everything that you do out of the kindness of your hearts and with the dollars in your wallets.

Won’t you help us end our nation’s drug problem? Let’s legalize cannabis.

For a near-definitive list of politicians who have smoked weed, go here.  Not all of them (see: Gary Johnson) are traitorous bastards. 

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