Friday, October 18, 2013

Tokers' Right: Peaceful Assembly

The 1st Amendment grants American citizens the right to assemble peacefully – ever been to Hempfest?  Diverse strangers co-mingling under the influence of marijuana is a sight for starry-eyed humanists to behold.  Whereas such a gathering would obviously be dangerous chaos were everyone drunk.  Marijuana is less bad than alcohol.  

One of the deficiencies in Washington State Liquor Control Board’s rules is that marijuana cannot be consumed in public; not even inside a club.  Never out in the open (although this rule is ignored all over Seattle) and explicitly not in a park, which sucks.  Nor at a concert, nor at a ball game...  It’s prohibited like booze and like cigarettes combined.  Unless one owns one’s own home one has no legal place to get high.  

I applaud the Seattle Police's provisional decision not to enforce.  But power should be vested in the people; I suggest explicitly permitting it in spiritual temples, like churches.

According to pertinent jurisprudence, recognized members of recognized indigenous communities get special “spiritual uses” protections.  That is, Native Americans on Native land can do hallucinogens (which pot is).  Fair enough; tribes should be treated as quasi-sovereign, since they are.  But what about we Rastas and Hindus?  Why can’t convert to whichever religion I choose?  Oh I yeah, I can.  

My 1st Amendment right of assembly also confers upon me the right to join any religious or secular association.  A tribe (not the government) gets to decide who is a member of said tribe.  

The counter-argument is I should just get a vaporizer.

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