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Ask a Mexican

Smokin' Local

Also: Who covers Latino issues?

By Gustavo Arellano
Posted // September 19,2011 -

Dear Mexican: I am a half-breed, as they say (Mexican father, Anglo mother), and recently I’ve been reading a lot about the drug violence in Mexico. I’ve become increasingly disturbed by the way in which we Americans are directly contributing to this war by supplying the demand for drugs while still making it illegal to possess them. My boyfriend is an occasional smoker of the green stuff, and occasionally I partake as well. But, of course, lately it gives me pause. My boyfriend is confident that the stuff he smokes is coming from California, or someplace “local.” I come from Texas, so, to me, Texas and California are pretty much Mexico, if you catch my drift. What are the odds that the “quality” stuff he is smoking is not in some way contributing to the Mexican drug cartels? Hope you can help. —Worried I’m a Hypocrite

Dear Gabacha: Hard to say, although more likely than not. A 2009 finding by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated more than 60 percent of Mexican drug cartels’ $13.8 billion revenue in 2006 came from marijuana—but the White House is as trustworthy on stats involving drugs as a Mexican is with safekeeping a bottle of Herradura. If you’re concerned about where your weed comes from, just do what acolytes of farmers markets do: Buy local. Make sure your neighborhood pot dealer is free of any nefarious connections. Grow your own, and tell the feds it’s Mexican oregano if they ask. Better yet, pressure your local and state government to legalize the ganga—and, while you’re at it, can you also press for amnesty as well? The RAND Corporation—hardly Up in Smoke acolytes—put the figure at somewhere between 15 and 26 percent in a 2010 study. What both sides do acknowledge, however, is that the relaxing of marijuana laws in states such as California has led to a boom in domestic production (read my colleague Nick Schou’s awesome feature from earlier this year, “Into the Emerald Triangle,” which reads like Heart of Darkness via Ken Kesey) that is eating directly into the cartels’ profits, leading to more narcos shifting production from Mexico to the United States.

Dear Mexican: What I would like to know is, why, as Latinos, we never have agencies like MALDEF, which claim to serve the need of Hispanics whose rights have been violated in some way, come up to the plate and actually do heavy talking like Sharpton or Jesse Jackson? Right now, with so much shit being thrown at us Latinos, we need someone we can count on to be our voice in the media. Every talk show I’ve seen, who discuses Latinos issues? All white—waz up with that? What’s your take on the subject? —Aztlán Broadcasting Company

Dear ABC: Speaking of being doped up…concentrate, concentrate! You’re talking about two issues here, so hay que start with the alphabet organizations, MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and NCLR (National Council of La Raza). They do good work on the local level, ensuring equity in school and work, but fail on a national level because they’re good liberals instead of the chingón radicals Mexis need to truly fight Know Nothings. That said, they and other organizations did release a survey earlier this year showing the brown-out on our nation’s Sunday-morning political talk shows: from March to May of this year, only 5 out of 234 guests on Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation, This Week, and Meet the Press were “Hispanic”—and I’m pretty certain all of them were the Mexican’s amigo, Ruben Navarrette Jr.! The reason? Obvious: networks still think we’re a bunch of banditos. The solution: make your own media, cabrones, whether blogs, YouTube channels, or porn.

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Posted // September 20,2011 at 07:58
Due to the tyrannic 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, the undermining of international development and security and a grave abuse of human rights on a scale barely witnessed in human social history.

Corporate greed and individual bigotry have accelerated us towards 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.

In order to avert what will surely be a far more violent situation than we are all presently experiencing, there appears to be just one last avenue left to us - Jury Nullification.

Jury Nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty, but who don’t deserve punishment. All non-violent drug offenders who are not selling to children, be they users, dealers or importers, fall into this category. If you believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy, then you don’t have to help to apply it. Under the Constitution, when it comes to acquittals, you, the juror, have the last word!

The idea that jurors should judge the law, as well as the facts, is a proud and vital component of American history.

The most shining example of Jury Nullification occurred during the shameful period in US history when slavery was legal. People who helped slaves escape were committing a federal crime - violation of the Fugitive Slave Act. Jurors would often acquit, even when the defendants admitted their guilt. Legal historians credit these cases with advancing the abolition of slavery.

No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer; only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution? - When called for Jury Service concerning any non-violent prohibition-related offense, it is your moral and civic duty to VOTE TO ACQUIT!

“To function as the founders intended, our republic requires that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
~ THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787.

To avoid such carnage and turmoil on a scale not seen in this land since the 1860s, we may have just one last chance.

If you wish to see this insane prohibition replaced by drug policy based on science, public health and sound principles of human rights that will ensure a safe future for your children and grandchildren, PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!