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Jun-27-2009 21:14printcomments

'A Dictionary for Gil'

Your office, Mr. Kerlikowske, does not offer protection from the truth. Maintaining the drug war's lies has cost far too many innocent lives, and ended or destroyed the lives of far too many of our police officers.
A message for Gil Kerlikowske by Change the Climate, Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance and the American Civil Liberties Union. Courtesy: ACLU

(EUGENE, Ore.) - I nearly sprayed coffee on my monitor when I watched our nation's new head of the White House Office of No Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske utter these words:

Kerlikowske deflects the wishes
of the American public

I wondered if perhaps someone had removed the word from my dictionary!

So, I opened up my Funk & Wagnalls... flipped... through the pages... to... "L." Sure enough, right there on page 772 - "legalize." And in noun form, "legalization." To make legal.

Seeing that my dictionary is F&W's 1968 edition I figured maybe -- like the effort made to eliminate the word hemp from our vocabulary -- somehow they had managed to delete this word as well. So I looked it up online. Yep. Lots of dictionaries online. And I'll wager a 5 spot every one of them has the word legalize (my bet is based on the fact that the 3 I checked all did).

Someone? Anyone? Please, let's pool our resources and get a dictionary for Gil. We have an administration elected on the promise of dealing with issues from a basis of fact and sound science, no matter how uncomfortable the subject. And now we find out the White House doesn't have a dictionary! Well? I'll put in a dollar...

Besides, it's kind of a catchy slogan:

"A Dictionary for Gil"

There is no ducking the question, Gil. There is, certainly, the word "legalize" in everyone else's dictionary. Let us act like grown-ups. OK? The War On Drugs has failed. Obviously. The drug war is a mirror of alcohol's early 20th century prohibition. But it is a failure of far, far nastier proportion.

When you dismissed the question asked by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's (LEAP) Tom Angell, you dismissed your peers, curtly, if not rudely. If say... oh... Jack Cole or Norm Stamper, Joseph McNamara, perhaps Judge Jim Gray or even former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, had asked that question, would your response have been the same?

I mean really, Mr. Kerlikowske, the argument is easily made that such raw obfuscations and lame deflections only serve to aid those drug policy advocates who claim the whole of the government's policies on drugs is one big lie. Laws written not from fact or science, but from manufactured racist fictions, deserve no place in a society so advanced and enlightened as ours. Laws that are absurd in foundation and destructive in their implementation are foul tools and serve no good purpose.

Your office, Mr. Kerlikowske, does not offer protection from the truth. The assault that the War On Drugs has unleashed upon the citizens of this nation is part of that truth. Maintaining the drug war's lies has cost far too many innocent lives, ended or destroyed the lives of far too many of our police officers.

There is a knocking at your door sir. And whomever it is? ... probably has a dictionary for you. Special Delivery. ==========================================================

After receiving training as a photographer and photographic systems repairman in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War period, Allan Erickson went on to work behind the camera as a photojournalist (California Advocate, Fresno, CA), a commercial products table-top photographer (Gottschalks advertising, second camera behind Richard Eissler), and he has photographed weddings, anniversary celebrations, political meet-and-greets, concerts, baseball games (currently working for the Eugene Emeralds, the San Diego Padres' short season single A affiliate, as their team photographer), school events, kids' soccer, portraits and my favorite venue, nature.

More than anything, Allan Erickson cares about the health of Oregon and he works closely on drug policy issues as a member of LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Send Allan an email at this address: Visit Allan's blog as this link:

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Allan Erickson July 7, 2009 6:42 pm (Pacific time)

I was "taken to task" by an anonymous emailer who calls himself Skip Nunyabznis. He claimed when i report news I should tell the facts rather than twist them to fit my corrupted version of morality: "you made the case for the effects on one's intellect given obvious drug use... " and added this a later email: "fight the fight with honesty rather that bending facts to make your story seem accurate is all OR label it in the beginning as opinion or point of view based [...]" I think it's labeled as "social commentary" but let me scroll up and look... yep, it's there in BandW. "Social Commentary." Skip never, ever, not even once, in 8 emails dealt w/ facts. He complimented me on my photographic skills but told me I should put my qwerty down: "You may want to stick to your skills a photo bug and let writing to others." Now... I've been a student of drug policy and the whole drug policy debate for over 10 years, involving a constant attention to news and people key in drug policy. I can talk off the top of my head about Afghanistan and the Taliban and opium, or about Mexico and the cartels running roughshod over our neighbor's police and military or about cannabis, whether as hemp or ganja. And I can write lucidly, with humor, correct grammar and spelling. Skip was rude but denied being so, saying only that he knew better than I what is best for me. I've never dealt with a troll before and it was a bit unsettling at first. But as the conversation progressed I saw that Skip had no clue about drugs or drug policy and was just using me as his punching bag. Skip hides anonymously, I put my name on my work. Usually even those who disagree with me at least respect my tenacity and transparency (google my name in quotation marks and add marijuana or drugs and see what you find. Just as a private citizen writing letters to newspapers I've been printed in over 1/2 of this nation's states. In small local papers and in major national news publications. "Skip" can't even use his name in a private email exchange. He challenged my ability to pass the test for citizenship. He suggested I: "move to a country such as Mexico." The most interesting exchange was this one. I said "I write my opinion. W/o pay. And I put my name on it, in public. That my friend is what our founders fought for." Right? I mean that's what I learned as a kid and it's certainly been reinforced in me as an adult who believes it is my responsibility, my duty as a citizen to protect the Constitution precisely because it is the document that protects "we the people" from government. The Constitution is OUR document, provided to US as protection from the inevitability of a an overbearing government. But here was Skipper's response to that: "No that is not what they fought for.. go back to yoru history books with a clear mind not filled with your preconcieved direction trying to prove your point and you may see that..." And in his last email he leaves me with this: "I suppose you live in Eugene and want to sit in a quality circle and pass a joint now... it is people with misguided thoughts like yours that fuck up the entire media and twist so many truths that it is no wonder our children don't know what is real anymore.. maybe if we legalize drugs at least they will be in a state of mind that they won't give a shit about truth and what is right or what our founders REALLY fought and died for anymore either. It would be my bet that you wouldn't even pass the immigrations test.. I know I did but barely however given your projections of what is your "reality" I just don't think you would make the cut.. I would invite you to take it. Find out what our country was REALLY founded upon before you continue your blatering.. is that proper grammar??" I certainly hope Gilligan finds the Skipper and gets him his meds in time. I once was stuck in the back seat of a '63 Chevy Impala with two thugs in the front seat, high on PCP and a 45 pointed at me, 6 inches from my face. I'm still here, Skip... In fact "Skip" why don't you comment here and tell us YOUR real name and give us YOUR real email address. Huh? "Skip"?

Dave July 5, 2009 12:49 pm (Pacific time)

No. He said it is not in obamers or his vocabulary. They must be from a different country. Perhaps we need to look at his birth certificate as well.

Seth July 4, 2009 5:42 pm (Pacific time)

It has always been well known that in the primaries the Republican candidates run right and the Democratic candidates run left. Then in the general election both candidates move towards the middle to get the moderates like this commentator. But the Obama administration has been an amazing disappointment to too many of its constituencies. He promised transparency, but has retained the Bush administration ‘blinders’; he promised reasonableness in our idiotic so-called war on drugs, but has mocked those wanting reform; he promised reforms for the gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual community, and yet has left in place enforcement [when he could've suspended it] of the don't ask don't tell military policy that has caused the discharge of approaching 300 soldiers since his inauguration [including Arabic translators of whom we are in desperate need of]; he promised to close the illegal/immoral prison at Gitmo, to stop Rendition, and give detainees due process, and yet is spending millions of dollars to build a similar facility at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, says Rendition may still be used, and will continue indefinite detention of so called high value detainees. Bush had so poisoned the political waters of this country than even a really good Republican candidate would have been unable to win the last election [an attribute that McCain surely did not have!], but Obama is coming across as a liar and/or hypocrite. He had better pray the economy improves instead of going into the tank because of the MASSIVE new deficits, AND that the Republicans nominate a nitwit like Palin, or Obama will end up a One Term Wonder like Jimmy Carter. Remember that you heard it from me.

Flink June 29, 2009 10:51 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for voicing my thoughts. Legalization is in my dictionary. The politician's war on Americans needs to end. The status quo is no longer acceptable. It's time to start recall movements to fire these moralists who act without our full authority.

Salvial June 29, 2009 10:29 am (Pacific time)

Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Executive Office of the President (EOP) Washington, DC 20503 Or Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse PO Box 6000 Rockville, MD 20849-6000

Aaron W June 28, 2009 8:29 pm (Pacific time)

What's Kerlikowske's address? Post it up and I bet he starts getting dictionaries in the mail. ;) What a bastard for saying that, anyway!

Daniel Johnson June 28, 2009 6:42 pm (Pacific time)

Allan: If your plan were to be executed... Go for it.

Almost Proud June 28, 2009 12:03 pm (Pacific time)

I guess he remembered America has something in its Constitution called "Free Speech". Now, I guess he just needs to read past the first Amendment though... Same BS as Nixon. This guy is a Police Stater. RON PAUL 2012!

Allan Erickson June 28, 2009 10:31 am (Pacific time)

Hi Rick... actually, I'm beginning to think this could be a real campaign. If we shopped the used book stores for 2nd hand dictionaries and began mailing them to the WH... and I think someone from LEAP needs to make an effort for one of the LEAP BigDogs to present Mr Kerlikowske with a NEW dictionary...

Richard Steeb June 28, 2009 7:07 am (Pacific time)


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