By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a constituent in favor of legalizing marijuana that he doesn’t support the idea because drugs like pot lead to death.
Mitch McConnell lies about marijuana because he forgot how to tell the truth. Working for the Tobacco Industry since you were a pup politician will do that to you.
You can tell how out of touch a person is by the archaic issues they’ve raised. Mitch feels comfortable going with the baseless lie that cannabis kills. Hey Mitch, as long as you’re living in the 1950s, why don’t you go after comic books and rock ‘n’ roll too, while you’re at it?!
A little hint: Today’s fear mongers are finding success with the more robust and contemporary propaganda themes like “Kid Brings Magic Brownies to Preschool” and “Are Stoner Drivers the Death of Us All?” to keep the Reefer Madness alive.
That cannabis can kill you, is almost laughable. Mitch, what century do you live in? Oh, yeah, the 18th, our favorite — when the “Brown Gold” became king in America.
Fun Fact: Up to the year 1833, tobacco accounted for one-third of taxes collected in the United States. Yes, they tolerated tobacco because it raised taxes without having to ding the common guy. Hmmmmm…
So Mitch lies spouting the foolishness that cannabis will kill while he is the undisputed monarch of the repository of cash from the Tobacco Lobby. Once again, it would be funny if it wasn’t true.
The very scary element of this whole whitewash is there are people out there that believe Senator Mitch McConnell and others who are supposed to have integrity. The intellectual dishonesty that is advanced by the Right is amazing, but it works!
The day after President Obama was elected, Mitch McConnell pledged that he would do everything in his power to bring this President down. Over the past weekend, a Pew exit poll showed that 40 percent of Republicans still believe Obama is a Muslim.
I really don’t think Mitch McConnell knew who Barack Obama was before he became a serious contender. But in three, almost four short years, Mitch and his buddies have reinforced a misinformation attack so grand that almost half of the voting right believes false info about the Pres.
It is called demonization. And it works.
To recap: When a new Surgeon’s Warning was suggested that included a picture of cancer-scared lungs and other extreme images of the effects of nicotine as an appropriate deterrent to include on the side of your pack of smokes? Big Tobacky had Mitch do everything in his power to pull the plug on what would have some folks thinking twice before they bought their coffin nails. At press time, he’s been only successful in a few states from allowing this to happen.
Remember, smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America. We could do something about this — if we wanted to.
Now here’s where Mitch and I come together, as it were. I know, as the head recipient of Big Tobacco’s money, the good Senator from Kentucky would love to say, “It should be your right to smoke or not. As an ADULT, you should be able to make decisions and be accountable for your actions.” After lying about tobacco for almost 400 years, how refreshing would it be if the choice was, “Smoke if you want, but know the consequences personally.”
I know why Mitch McConnell lies: Because it works. But is there another way?
Could cannabis be a way out for the unabashedly nicotine-stained senator from the Bluegrass State? What would happen if the esteemed Senator proclaimed, “Thar are these hippa kids that want to smoke their pot. Ah say, let them to it. If they thank they can handle it, Gawd Bless tham. Git ‘er done. Byyy the way, I shill for tha Tobaccah Industry and we buh-leave that smokers should have the right to die from smokin’ if they want.”
OhMiGod, imagine the pressure lifted from Mitch and his peers from carrying that pot of Old Gold on their backs for these many years.
Is it ever possible to tell the truth in America?
You can tell the American people that this war is going to pay for itself or the revenues from that new casino being built is going straight to the school systems or it’s not the white people who are behind the drug culture in this country but your darker skinned public or that tobacco isn’t really all that bad for you or this president that is unlike us is a foreign-born Muslim or that a plant that hasn’t killed anyone through direct use in 5,000 years is now lethal… You can say that and get people to believe, but there will be a price to pay.
That Mitch McConnell can say that the greatest threat to this country is the sitting President and that cannabis kills — without rebuke from the mainstream media? That tells you how deadly a lie can be.
Then he tops it by working for an industry whose main significant job it is to sell a product that has scientifically been proven to remove those same consumers from (oh, and their lives from) the legally manufactured goods that they’ve purchased. No wonder Big Tobacco is always looking for new customers.
How weird would it be if a cigarette smoker said, “I know what I’m doing. And I accept the consequences.” Oh yeah, they get to do that now. And even sometimes say, “I didn’t know what I was doing for 40 years.” Sue the people that brought them their weed — and win. How weird is that?
Someday we’ll be able to sue for being able to procure cannabis that was too strong. That’s how you’ll know you’ve arrived.
California, once the pioneering state in the Union when it came to cannabis reform, was outdone today by Colorado. For the 2012 ballot in November, the Mile High guys were able to get the signatures needed for the initiative that asked the voters to legalize cannabis for the Big No-No, recreational use.
It is unthinkable for me as a Northern Cali kid not to include the words medical or access as an issue in hopes of getting cannabis on the ballot. Colorado is asking that as adults, we should be able to smoke what we want. This would put cannabis on par with alcohol and tobacco. Not as detractors of society, but in the mix of being an adult and making your own decisions.
Cannabis mellows me out. I don’t know, is that recreational or medicinal? I’ve been at it for 30 years and still trying to figure it out.
I know why Mitch McConnell lies: Because he feels like he has to; because he always has and doesn’t know he can stop. To tell an uninformed public that cannabis kills alerts many of us to a hidden agenda.
Either he doesn’t want the competition from cannabis as a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco or along with whoring himself out to Big Tobacky monopoly, in his other pocket he’s making room for Big Pharma. Either way, he lies because he is scared.
After the recent federal crackdowns, the smoke is clearing. Even a lot of the straights are tired of the bullshit surrounding cannabis. As in, “Enough already, how much are we spending on the War On Drugs? And is it working?”
Mitch McConnell — by lying — is exacerbating an already beleaguered public who is getting mighty mistrustful of those people they’ve elected because of this kind of rhetoric. As responsible cannabis users, we know the truth. Don’t let anyone ever tell you different. When they do, we should let them know we’re listening — and that they are wrong.
Mitch McConnell’s DC Phone: 202-224-2541
Sen. McConnell’s Louisville Office: 502-582-6304
|Toke of the Town correspondent Jack Rikess blogs from the Haight in San Francisco|
Jack Rikess, a former stand-up comic, writes a regular column most directly found at jackrikess.com.
Jack delivers real-time coverage following the cannabis community, focusing on politics and culture.
His beat includes San Francisco, the Bay Area and Mendocino-Humboldt counties.
He has been quoted by the national media and is known for his unique view with thoughtful, insightful perspective.