Pubdate: Thu, 01 May 2003
Source: Missouri Miner, The (MO Edu, Univ of Missouri-Rolla)
Copyright: 2003 The Missouri Miner
Author: Ian Eyberg
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Letter to the Editor

Once again Mr. Blake Gray has presented himself as an uneducated worthless 
editor that writes articles that probably were rushed and only focused on 
what might be an instigatory thought of the day. Allow me to digress: You 
asked two questions of which I belive I can answer for those who 'illegally 
place messages...' as for their own response would indicate involvement and 
since they probably won't respond you have won many minds that do not wish 
to use simple logic before making judgements on unknown material--a problem 
that has plagued this campus the entire tenure of my career here and I'm 
guessing was the case before and after my arrival"departure.

Question 1: "...what possessed you to illegally place messages about the 
legalization of marijuana on the sidewalks in the first place." Obviously 
you have forgotten what happens in this country when certain individuals 
deem certain laws unjust. Surely you learned in your history classes about 
the sit-ins, strikes (non-union for argument's sake), protests and other 
activity that resulted in the civil right's movement headed up by great 
people such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Rosa Parks. Don't tell 
me that the entire American Revolution in which countless bloodshed was 
involved was not illegal in that current form of government. I'll quote Dr. 
King in his comments regarding his actions. "One who breaks an unjust law 
that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty 
of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its 
injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." Of course 
we aren't talking about blocking traffic or even making you late for class, 
unless of course you must stop for ten extra minutes to deride someone 
else's opinion without discovering why they had that opinion in the first 
place; we are only talking about placing publicly available messages on 
public grounds so that misinformation may be dispelled and facts may be 
presented. No one cares what UMRPD lies may say about UMR grounds being 
private. The simple fact is that it is a public university and therefore 
public grounds. Why submit to an unknown and foreign authority's request to 
preview your message and intended audience while you can exercise your mind 
and instigate true change. Where is the harm in displaying messages like 
this. Are there people truly offended by having to avert their eyes from 
seeing a chalked out blunt. Are they truly offended by having to read 
information that the Nixon"Bush adminstrations both produced reports that 
said smoking normal amounts of marijuana was physically affecting par with 
smoking nicotine or drinking but then threw the scientists advice away and 
criminilized the act even more. Ask the average student on campus what his 
favorite pastime over the weekend is. You will probably get two majority 
opinions: playing games online or drinking with friends.

I don't like having to read certain literature in my English classes and 
sometimes I just don't but I have to live with the fact that if I don't I 
will receive a lower grade than if I did--it is life. By stopping these 
people from expressing themselves you are no more morally"legally better 
than book burners or John Ashcroft. In response to your first question the 
simple answer is because it was one of the few ways to share this knowledge 
with a great amount of UMR students who may or may not have known all of 
these facts or have known all of these facts or have known exactly how 
widespread marijuana use is on campus. I wish I could present proof of 
numbers without incriminating friends; alas I can not. All I can say is 
that almost every other day or so I find a new person that habitually 
smokes on campus and they are not only students but faculty and staff also.

Question 2: "...why not go out and do something that could possibly make a 
difference in your fight for the legalization of marijuana." Once again you 
have proved your resistance to presenting both sides of an issue before 
making an informed decision. There is a huge politicol lobbying group in 
Washington called NORML that is actively working to legalize marijuana for 
responsible adults, much akin to the way alcohol is legalized. 
Unfortunately they are not as successful as other groups primarily because 
of a) lack of money and b) lack of influential power upon the corrupt 
government we have today. As for writing to senators and representatives 
have you ever wrote your senator"congresswoman. (in this district Jo Ann 
Emerson) Let me say that I, and others, have continously wrote these 
individuals on many various subjects. All you get in return is an 
inpersonal letter describing various bills relating to your letter and 
their position on the subject and an obligatory thank you. These letters 
are assembled by various interns and usually never even reach your intended 
recepients. As for petitions there have just been so many countless numbers 
of them they can not be listed. Various magazines supporting legalization 
like 'High Times' and 'Cannabis Culture' receive mass circulation 
throughout the states with their subscribers having same sentiments and 
actions. There are huge gatherings of pro-marijuana people even in 
Missouri--SchwagStock which is coming up in three weeks at Bagnell Dam (and 
whose main band incidentally appeared at the UpTown theater more than four 
times in the past year, with average UMR attendance for concerts). So in 
another short and sweet answer: we have tried these ineffective methods and 
have achieved no results. It is only through education that laws like this 
may be changed because it was only through ignorance that these laws were 
put into action in the first place. In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act forbid 
hemp farming. Anslinger testified to congress saying that "ginger-colored 
n******" caused excess violence and raped white woman because of their 
'addictions' to marijuana. Objections of the American Medical Association 
were completely ignored when they tried to present evidence advocating for 
patients who were were using marijuan for treatment to addicitions like 
alcohol, cocaine, etc. and for other medical reasons like extremely painful 
diseases. Just when was the last time you saw someone who was high attack 
or rape someone. (Please do not respond saying 'those damn hippies in 
California or Seattle' without presenting proof.)

As for your quotation of the Bible Paul was merely referring to Christains 
who were murdering and doing other devious acts during their persecution. 
These were a series of letters sent to various churches throughout the 
empire to encourage and instill faith in the believers. His words were of a 
passive nature and did not encourage submission but rather a communal style 
of acceptance of the government so that bloodshed which the Lord abhors 
would stop. Do you really believe people like Hitler were put in charge by 
God. Please think a bit before you go finding a quote in a respected 
reference to support a cause you do not know much about--the same advice 
you incidentally gave the chalkers.

As for the police having 'probable cause' to find illegal drugs in our 
rooms because of various chalk markings on campus that is just one more 
abuse of power that people need to recognize. For example if I speed on the 
highway does that give the right for an officer to come search my 
computer(s) or my roommates computer(s) looking for illegaly obtained 
movies, music, or games. Having talked several times to police about these 
matters I'll do my best to summarize what one UMRPD police officer told me, 
whether it was true or not. He said that he found heroine in one girls room 
up at TJ and she was not kicked out of school simply because he doesn't 
want to have to kick kids out of school-it would lose his job for one 
reason. However, re-referencing Dr. King another time, he did say that 
acceptance of the punishment is higher respect for the law. Obviously we 
aren't going to beg for the punishment but if it happens--I guess we have 
to go to jail because some racist uneducated politicians and W.R. Hearst's 
sensationilst papers decided that peaceful, artistic, musically-inclined 
people had no place in our capitalistic murdering unlogical society.

Ian Eyberg
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager