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ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the CIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
The Giant Sucking Sound of the Supreme Court

Bong Hits for Repression

by PAUL KRASSNER

The Supreme Court sucks so badly it turned itself inside out. An utterly outrageous 5-4 ruling has made it acceptable to suspend a high school student for an off-campus act like holding a 14-foot banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." That simple joke became a federal case ending with a dangerous precedent for suppressing free speech.

Chief Justice Roberts agreed with the school principal that "the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one"–what a ton of bullshit!–and Justices Alito and Kennedy stated that their decision doesn’t address "political or social issues such as the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalized marijuana for medical use."

So this is really about the war on pleasure. I once asked the late Peter McWilliams–leading activist in the medical marijuana movement who suffered from cancer and AIDS– "Would you agree with Dennis Peron, the co-author of Proposition 215 [California's medical marijuana referendum], who says–not as a joke–that all use of marijuana is medical?"

"In the general sense that everything we do for our health–both curative and preventative–is medical, I’d agree," he replied. "Even a perfectly healthy person who smokes pot once a month purely for its euphoric effects could be said to be doing so to prevent becoming ill, in the sense that people take vitamin C every day to prevent becoming ill, for I believe that euphoria is both healing and health-maintaining ….

"While I was using marijuana to treat my nausea, I can’t tell you how much I missed getting high. Although I’d smoke it several times a day, the average high school student was getting high more times a month than I was. That’s because after the first month, I never got high, and I really enjoy marijuana’s high. Simply put, recreational marijuana you use to get high; medical marijuana you use to get by."

PAUL KRASSNER is the editor of The Realist. His books include: Pot Stories for the Soul, One Hand Jerking and Murder at the Conspiracy Convention. He can be reached through his website: http://paulkrassner.com/