Letters to the Editor

Web readers weigh in on Dutch moves to crack down on pot, Jack Lessenberry’s alternate history of post-9/11 America

Sep 21, 2011 at 12:00 am



The MT mailbag was on the light side this week, but we had a number of noteworthy comments posted on our website. Several of you had high praise John Sinclair's Higher Ground column drawing parallels between right-wing demagogues attempting to crack down on marijuana users here and in the Netherlands. 


Fairuse posted:

Thank you John, smart and level-headed as usual. Love your dispatches! Having spent a great deal of time (pre 2001) in the Netherlands, I am dumbfounded by the grandstanding and U.S.-style prohibitionist pandering I'm seeing in Holland. Why is it that in both countries the politicians and folk on the street can be so far apart on this issue? How is it that the traditionally pragmatic Dutch can choose to ignore the facts that have literally surrounded them for 40 years? As worried as I may be, I have faith that some neutered, politician-friendly, fact-based regulation will occur on both sides of the pond. As soon as our "leaders" can figure a way to end the Drug War without admitting defeat.


Duncan20903 posted

I think everyone knows that the motto of the Know Nothing prohibitionist is "never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric" so the Dutch policy is really no surprise.


Malcolmkyle posted

 Due to the tyrannical and mindless actions of prohibitionists, tens of millions of people world-wide (both users and non-users) have been either killed, maimed, incarcerated or had their lives very seriously disrupted. Prohibitionists are solely responsible for an immense increase in violent organized crime, an AIDS Pandemic and a grave abuse of human rights on a scale barely witnessed in human social history.

Corporate greed and individual bigotry have accelerated us toward a situation where all the usual peaceful and democratic methods needed to reverse the acute damage done by prohibition no longer function as envisaged by the Founding Fathers of our once great and free nation. Such a political impasse coupled with great economic tribulation is precisely that which throughout history has invariably ignited violent revolution.

Donald Means posted

Great article Mr. Sinclair! This would be a much better world if only everyone had as much sense as you do on this issue. Marijuana is only a problem for around 1 in 100,000 people who try it (my best guess) so it makes absolutely no sense for anyone to be so against it. The only crime associated with it is because of its prohibition.


J.P. Morgan posted    

 Great article, John. I just read this depressing news on Facebook. This is the work of the right-wing asshole Dutch Minister of Justice Ivo Opstelten. He never utters the word "coffeeshop" in a sentence without including the word "crime." His ambition is to make the legal purchase of a couple of grams of weed impossible again in the Netherlands. Now they've unleashed special teams to search for the "stash houses" used by coffeeshop owners, since the last Christian law prohibits more than 500 grams (1.1 pounds) in a shop — not enough to supply their customers. On Sept. 1st a raid on one of these "safe houses" in my town Den Bosch resulted in the closure of two shops here, and two more shops in nearby Tilburg. Opstelten oprotten! (Opstelten - FUCK OFF!!!)


But not everyone was so laudatory. Cromulent posted:

John's anti-Dutch lickspittle smacks of just so much American imperialism. If there is anything foreigners like, it's haughty Americans lecturing them on the finer points of social policy.

As usual, Jack Lessenberry's column produced much response. His piece re-imagining what the reaction to 9/11 would have been like had Al Gore been occupying the oval office generated some interesting back-and-forth. Guest posted:

 HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, hilarious, Jack either needs to start writing comedy or get back on his meds.  What color is the sky in his world anyway?


Berengaria posted: 

Undoubtedly, Jack Lessenberry will be called all sorts of profane names by the ignorant, the confused and the vicious, but the majority of sane thinkers will applaud his words.  Once again, Jack has said what needs to be said, but which too many fear to say (or fear to hear or don't even realize). As Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Keep pitching, Jack'; we get it.


Doctorquint posted:

On the money as always. As a Canadian I'm naturally worried about the direction the U.S. is taking. In my view you're becoming an ungovernable police state. Obama is just another in a line of average or mediocre presidents. He had the mandate to be as bold as FDR at a time when you truly needed a great president and squandered it. Now you have the Tea Party and long-term war. Good luck, you'll need it.


Cantonmark posted:

It's been over 10 years, and we are still paying the price for those "hanging chads"....