Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quote For The Day

"The fact is, the marijuana law in the U.S. is a big lie. It's racist and classist. White rich people can smoke marijuana with impunity and poor black people get a record, can't get education, can't get a loan, and all of sudden go into a life of desperation and become hardened criminals. Why? Because we've got a racist law based on lies about marijuana.

There's 80,000 people in jail today for marijuana. We arrested 800,000 people in the last 12 months on marijuana. Even in my rich little white suburban community of Edmonds, Wash., 25 percent of police action is marijuana-related. Everybody knows it's silly. I'm not saying I'm pro-drug. I'm just saying it's parallel to alcohol prohibition. When they rescinded the laws against alcohol, nobody said booze is good, they just said it was stupid to make it a crime, that you're creating organized crime and people are dying," - Rick Steves, broadcaster and travel guru.

In my time doing p.r. for a company that owns and operates medical cannabis dispensaries I attended the NORML conference in San Francisco several times. On one occasion I was surprised to see Steves sitting next to me during a lecture. I had no idea that he was such a vehement supporter of medical cannabis. I spoke with him a bit and told him how much I liked his travel shows on PBS; he was a really nice guy. And no, we didn't smoke together.


Anonymous said...

Wow, who knew Rick Steves was sensible on marijuana, as well as travel? Love his travel videos. He seems just a bit dorky in them, just the way the rest of us would be in a different culture. He comes across as being very authentic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Salon link. Rick is quite an activist. It's commendable that he puts his popularity on the line with some courageous stands. I liked this link in the article. I hadn't given much thought to tissue versus water. Now I want a washlet, even though I'd feel guilty owning one.

JBW said...

Steves is very authentic DLB, he's the kind of tourist I wish every American could emulate overseas.

On your other point, I think the TV show Married...With Children has probably done more to discourage washlet use in America than anything else, with the "throne" fetishism that was so popular to the Al Bundy character.