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Saturday, March 23, 2019 

A cartoonist produces a comic favoring drug addiction

You know society's fallen terribly when an artist like Box Brown takes the side of cannabis advocates, and the awful Hyperallergic website condones it by extension. And when they try to make it look like the opposition are "racists":
The laws currently prohibiting marijuana possession in the United States owe a lot to the sinister legacy of racist opportunists. Efforts to establish and emphasize an association between non-whites and marijuana began as soon as the drug’s recreational use was introduced by Mexican immigrants in the early 1900s. Anti-drug activists seized on the opportunity for race-based fear-mongering, and the so-called link between minorities and marijuana has been marketed to devastating effect by American politicians — its role in the broader war on drugs can’t be overstated. Given how prominent this work has been, the racial disparities in marijuana-related arrests should surprise no one. In the first three months of 2018, for example, of the more than 4,000 people arrested in New York City alone for marijuana possession, less than 300 were white, according to a report in the New York Times. In Manhattan, per the same report, Black people are picked up by cops on petty marijuana charges at 15 times the rate of whites. It took time and effort to get here.

In a cleanly framed, black-and-white nonfiction comic, Philadelphia cartoonist Box Brown examines marijuana — where it came from, its life in the US, and, importantly, the breathless national campaign to demonize a certain segment of its users. While the questionable roots of anti-drug activism in Washington, DC have already been the subject of traditional reporting, Brown’s is the first graphic unpacking of this history.
Umm, there have been European syndicates run by whites who've smuggled drugs, and there was even an Albanian mafia leader jailed 5 years ago for trafficking cannabis. If Hyperallergic's trying to say drug trade is exclusively the domain of POC, that's hilariously illogical, because no one community has a monopoly on drug running. Even here in Israel we have the problem, and last year, drugs including cannabis were seized at the Ben-Gurion Airport, and additionally disgusting, 35 IDF soldiers were arrested for both trafficking and illegal possession of cannabis. It sounds like Hyperallergic, worst of all, is claiming it's fine if POC want to ruin themselves and others over filthy drugs and profit from destroying people's health and sanity. Which is one of the worst ways to show disrespect for life and health.

I hadn't known much about cartoonist Brown until now, but if this is what he considers acceptable practice, then maybe it's better not to know much else except that he's trying to normalize a drug that's dangerous for the lungs' health, among other awful things, which makes little different from, and easily worse than tobacco smoking, which at least has the distinction of not sending you mentally insane. From what I've studied about cannabis and its effects on the brain in the past, it could be described as the "drug of deception". And to imply it's fine for POC to waste their time with such monstrosities is...racist.
Those prone to dismissing comics as a legitimate narrative form might mistake Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America for a work of straight humor: The frequent exclamation points and worming motion lines recall Sunday newspaper strips of yore. Anti-drug lawmakers, whose ballooning, melon-shaped heads (and uniformly compressed facial features) appear ready to tip over when they’re not dangerously undersized. And there are lots of people getting baked. Just as his mostly somber 2014 graphic biography of wrestler “André the Giant” is fitted with punchy gags, Brown’s new book is definitely funny, even if the subject isn’t much of a laugh at all. Cannabis is more of an exploration of how racist propaganda helped produce laws that have unfairly punished minorities and engendered anti-immigrant sentiment in the US for as long as the plant has been here. Bigoted ideologue Harry Anslinger, way back in 1930, couldn’t have played a larger role in that.
Again, as noted above, there are whites who've specialized in drug trafficking too, and my parents knew people who stupidly wasted their time on that trash back in the early 1970s. (They once attended a party where a cannabis cigarette was being passed around, and my parents almost wound up sniffing the garbage.) What is this dumb news site saying, again? That racial minorities should be risking their health for the sake of filthy drugs?!? Will they next be telling us that heroin is fantastic when it's uncut? Shudder. And books like Brown's new propaganda risk destroying comicdom's legitimate narrative if they're exploited for abominations like this.
Brown traces marijuana’s recreational use in the US to the days of the Mexican Revolution. But it wasn’t until 1929, when whites demanded to be given the agricultural jobs that Mexican immigrants held here, that racists began tying the drug to foreigners working in American fields. Like most career politicians on these shores, the book’s centerpiece Anslinger — whose innocuous eye dashes and bulbous face hardens with a villain-style half-shadow built of pin-dots — prioritized revenue and reputation over everything. Street marijuana couldn’t be taxed and regulated, and as the commissioner of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the timing for Anslinger was ripe to brand it a narcotic by any means necessary.
Oh, what's this? Sounds like an allusion to today's leftist mentality, that illegal immigrants should be given all the jobs whites supposedly won't do, and making drug smugglers somehow sound like they're "misunderstood". A word that's become a galling cliche already.

Of all the comics that could raise politically-connected subjects, this has to be one of the most hateful of all. Nobody should have to be addicted to anything, not even legal drugs. Yet here we are in an age rife with the worst forms of propaganda, and this is one the results. And no doubt, the people producing these propaganda items to normalize drugs today have no respect for Stan Lee's effort to alert people to the problems in Amazing Spider-Man #97 back in 1971.

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Israel ia a pioneer and world leader in the medical use of cannabis.

The point of the article was that black and white use cannabis, but black gets arrested for it and white doesn't. Marijuana smoking has become so widespread that there is no longer any serious attempt to prevent its use; instead marijuana laws are used only selectively, against people a cop doesn't like. If you are rich and white you can toke with impunity, as long as you don't blow smoke in the policeman's face.

It is strange that in the US the government is deregulating controls on poisons in the environment that people have no choice about being exposed to, but insisting on keeping laws on things that are a matter of personal choice, like marijuana. That is one area where the nanny goat state is still in full nursey-nurse mode.

Possession of marijuana for personal use is now legal in Israel, as long as smoking is not done in public. Israel has also legalized the export of medical marijuana. You can buy cannabis at the pharmacy with a doctor's prescription.

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