Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
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/