31st December 2000

Toxie Sez, “Legalize It! Don’t Criticize IT!”

posted in `Roids |

Lloyd Kaufman demands an end to America’s senseless drug war!

I’m from the sixties but no one has ever accused me of being a hippie. I never had much interest in the Woodstock crowd, which partied to change the world, while real people were starving to death in Africa. I never liked Peter, Paul & Mary or The Carpenters[1] and, despite being the era of “free love”, I still had to pay for it[2]. Even though I never particularly liked hippies (who seemed like conformists), I always knew it was a grave injustice to lock these kids up like violent criminals for smoking a little weed or dropping some hallucinogens. This is not to mention the DEA, FBI, and local police assault on Black and Latino low-income communities for the past 15 years. By now it should be clear, I’m talking about the Drug War.

This is what I didn’t get in the sixties!

The American War on Drugs has locked up more people than Stalin and killed more black men than sickle cell anemia. It’s patently racist, malicious and wasteful. If we made marijuana legal, the potential sales tax of minor drugs and related products would be enormous. It would also expand us culturally since, with more pot and less beer, fewer people would be watching stupid sports like basketball and American Gladiators. Instead they’d be passing the pipe and enjoying the psychedelic musings of SPACE ZOMBIE BINGO!

The government wages a futile war on drugs while lobotomizing commercials practically force Budweiser down our throats. In fact, as I write this I have wild ferrets running amuck in my skull. I have no recollection of last night and the Tequila is fighting its way back up my throat. In addition, I’ve lost my left shoe and for some mysterious reason, my butt hurts. In the throes of a vicious soul-shattering hangover, it becomes clear to me that I should have smoked pot. Had I done bong rips, there would be no hangover, no blackout, and most important; I wouldn’t have a purple bite mark on my face (apparently caused by some kind of marmot). However, in coming to terms with alcoholic excess I am not alone. According to Health News, 22% of the male population under 30 has a drinking problem and the numbers rise when it comes to the elderly population[3]. The same journal estimates that alcohol related deaths in America amount to over 100,000. That is more than twenty times the sum of people killed by marijuana and cocaine combined.
In fact, if I tally the wreckage of my 55 years on this earth, I conclude that liquor has wrought more havoc in my life than a postal worker in McDonalds. I have booze to thank for several social diseases and a humiliating homosexual[4] experience . Drugs on the other hand have led me to some of my greatest accomplishments. I was stoned when I decided to produce CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL and lost in a mazy LSD trip when I went to Yale and edited THE GIRL WHO RETURNED[5].

Being a member of the Law Enforcement
Community, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD must turn
to alcohol to alter his consciousness…
again, and again and again.

In waging the failed drug war, The U.S. military has been the 500 lb. Joe Fleishaker of international drug strategy. Policy towards Columbia has mirrored that of 1980’s El Salvador only this time the U.S. bogeyman isn’t Communism it’s cocaine. The United States gives Columbia $1.5 billion a year and it hasn’t come any closer to making the South American nation a happier place. Rather than creating a comprehensive development package, the U.S. has given them more weapons than a Colorado high school. Instead of food, the farmers got warlords. As the economy sags under this ruinous drug policy, a farmer’s best chance of making any money is to grow Cocoa. To all you wild-eyed coke freaks out there: don’t feel bad about yourselves! You are actually creating jobs in the Third World!

These war economy policies left El Salvador in shambles and they’re now doing the same to Columbia. In fact, all it’s achieved is to drive drug prices up (since they are now supposedly harder to supply), which actually makes the dealers more money!

That’s gonna hurt like hell in the morning.

But that’s not all! Despite being the biggest benefactor, the U.S. military elite, has itself been busted for corruption. The New York Times and 60 Minutes did extensive reports on the wife of a U.S. military Chief of War against Drugs in Columbia, who was caught smuggling cocaine from Columbia to Queens, New York. She was caught, but how many more are out there?

If the drugs manage to reach American shores to our tired, our poor, our huddled masses, then it is to be met by the Draconian drug policies that have been in place since Richard Nixon[6]. The land of the free has more people in prison than any country on the planet and most of them are non-violent. I won’t even mention the horrors that these people must face when they get to prison[7]. A debate still rages on over the barbarity of the death penalty but consider this: the average American college kid (locked up on a mandatory minimum 25 year sentence) would probably live longer on death row than in the general prison population[8]! How’s that for paradoxical policy?

Like prohibition of yesteryear, making vices illegal will deliver them into the hands of mob syndicates[9]. Poor people will kill and die in order to get a piece of the forbidden pie and government agencies (i.e., the U.S. Coast Guard, The Drug Enforcement Agency, local Police Departments) will become even more corrupt than they already are.

All this points to one blaringly obvious fact: drugs should be decriminalized (if not legalized). Boozehounds and smokers have proven that they’ll pursue their vices even if it’s got a 300% tax attached. Imagine the potential revenue if marijuana was put on the market. Marijuana would not simply be a product in itself, it would undoubtedly be a tremendous benefit to the junk food industry. In an unscientific survey it was estimated that legalizing pot would lead to the consumption of an additional 4300 tons of raw chocolate chip cookie dough in the United States alone!

These Tromettes aren’t actually high.
They’re just really really relaxed.

So what if people drive a little slower, eat more and wear tie-dye again? It would be great for employment and might even move us a little closer towards world peace. After all, when Holland decriminalized pot they also abandoned their evil colonial empire! Has Jamaica ever waged a war? Who has time for bombing campaigns when you’ve got the munchies? Hell, when Troma’s employees are on drugs, they get along great!

They could get really ambitious and bump the taxes up to 600%. The money could be used for social services like schools and daycare. Marijuana could solve the world’s problems! If it doesn’t, then at least I could roll a joint and solve my own.

1: Although, I loved Todd Haynes underground film about the Carpenters called Superstar, with fucked up Barbie dolls.

2: Editors note: it should be mentioned that perhaps due to alcohol abuse, much of Mr. Kaufman’s recollections about his personal life are totally untrue and were actually delusions experienced while suffering from DT’s.

3: Nancy Reagan tried to “save” America’s youth by telling them “just say no” while the elderly population has been drinking themselves to death for years! I suppose it’s a consistent principle, however, when you consider her stance on Social Security.

4: For more on my homosexual experiences, read my book, ALL I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FILMMAKING I LEARNED FROM THE TOXIC AVENGER, distributed by Penguin Putnam.

5: For details, read the book referred to in footnote #3.

6: By all appearances George W. will be no different. His present choices to replace Barry McCaffrey as drug Czar are Bill McCollum or James McDonough, both classical hardliners. So paranoid potheads won’t have their nerves settled anytime soon.

7: For more on cornholing see Troma’s Terror Firmer now in Troma Studio Store.

8: If you think I’m kidding, some conservative estimates place the prison AIDS rate at around 25%.

9: Contrary to deregulation that delivers markets into the hands of corporate syndicates.

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