Corporate America and elected officials have furthered a drug war for 50 years that has militarized our police, filled our prisons and jails, and marginalized millions of human beings. Men of Color suffer the greatest injustice. Men in general are the targets. We are unjustly killed and denied employment by elite, self-righteous and cruel officials.
Of the total number of persons arrested for drug abuse violations, 77.4% were males.
With his knee on his neck, handcuffed and helpless, crying for his life with his face in the street is the most sickening, heartbreaking things I’ve seen in a long time. This Officer knew he was being filmed and murdered George Floyd with arrogance and pride.
You’re a bum, bro!!!
Please take ten minutes to witness the death of George Floyd. The African American filming the murder repeatedly pleads with White and Asian officers to stop kneeling on Floyd’s neck, “You’re a bum, bro!!!”
War on Drugs in Black and White
I served the New Mexico Criminal and Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council (CJJCC), as an IT and research assistant in the mid-1990s. Was one of a handful of programmers who knew how to design webpages.
Posted about racial inequities of our nation’s drug laws, primarily cannabis and cocaine. Was directing state Department of Health programs, as we worked to keep teens from tobacco, alcohol and illicit substances. Provided research to California, Texas and New Mexico teams assisting attorneys general against BigTobacco as they drafted the Master Settlement Agreement 1998.
Bill Clinton and Joe Biden led the charge to pass 1994 crime legislation, which punished poor people using crack more harshly than rich people on Wall Street who snorted power cocaine. Hillary toured the nation warning suburban mothers about Black teen “super predators.”
Biden bragged after the legislation passed that “the liberal wing of the Democratic Party” now supported “60 new death penalties,” “70 enhanced penalties,” “100,000 cops,” and “125,000 new state prison cells.”
Republicans under Ronald Reagan crafted Supply Side Economic policies, which incentivized U.S. factories to flee to foreign shores. Devastated America’s inner cities. Look at the list of U.S. most dangerous places. Communities collapsed when factories left. White families were able to escape to suburbs. Black folk remained stranded. Democrats appropriated money for jails and prisons, rather than rebuilding cities and schools.
I authored a series of publications for the CJJCC. Although Blacks and Whites, primarily males, used illicit substances equally, significantly more African Americans were arrested, convicted and sentenced for these non-violent crimes — men more than women.
My publications and research caught the attention of newly-elected libertarian Republican governor, Gary Johnson, Around 2000, he became the first executive in the nation to call for legalization of cannabis. My research estimated about 20% of inmates incarcerated in New Mexico prisons were non-violent cannabis offenders. A minor drug offense constituted a felony and destroyed a human being for life. Most were poor, underprivileged males.
In 2006, watched my female coworker, Alicia, suffer a slow painful trajectory to death as cancer consumed her body. Her pain was excruciating. Some suggested Medical Cannabis. Other states, such as California and Hawai’i, had authorized the novel medication. Not New Mexico. Alicia refused the suggestion telling us she didn’t want to “break the law” and send the wrong message to her children.
Alicia suffered a horrible death protecting her family. I began working to legalize Medical Cannabis. We succeeded in 2007 [source]. The University of New Mexico School of Medicine invited me to become a warrior battling the opioid epidemic in 2009. Graduated in 2011. Local hero from Kaua’i, Andy Irons, died of opioid overdose in 2010.
The number of U.S. annual drug overdose deaths have been similar to current COVID19 deaths. In this SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the president touts unproven benefits of hydroxychloroquine; Dr. Fauci champions unproven benefits of remdesivir. Evidence-based policy or privilege?
Hawai’i legalized Medical Cannabis in 2000. Cannabis presents a more safe option to manage chronic pain and other diseases. There are ZERO known cannabis overdose deaths — ever. Yet patients still go to prison or lose employment.
Drug Overdose Death Rates, by sex: U.S. 1999-2018
In addition, billions of taxpayer dollars continue to flow into the War Against Americans Who Nonviolently Use Cannabis. The national restriction began in 1970 with Republican president Richard Nixon. Hawaiian Electric CEO Connie Lau marched lockstep with racist Nixon — the nation’s most disgraced executive — although no federal or state regulation requires such action.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and Black people.”
“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.”
John Erlichmann, Nixon’s Domestic Policy Chief, 1994
Women and Substance Abuse
Women led the charge to prohibit alcohol in 1919. It’s understandable from their perspective. Men would end their day of work, stop by the local pub, drink until sloshed, return home broke and too often beat their wives and kids.
What women failed to understand were the employment conditions of males. Men slugged it out in dangerous and deadly mines or construction sites; labored in hot, crowded and hazardous factories. Upton Sinclair’s famous work, The Jungle, exposed the inhumane conditions in the meat-packing industry.
Had women been empathetic to the men in their lives, they would have prohibited the treacherous conditions men suffered to provide for their families. Alcohol wasn’t the problem; it was a symptom of a broken America: greed of capitalistic owners was the cause.
Prohibition of alcohol didn’t improve their lives; it brought Civil War. Classifying alcohol illegal led to huge increases in organized crime, corruption, and violence. Americans repealed alcohol prohibition in 1933. We didn’t learn from history.
Fast forward to today – our society is swimming in drugs. We all have family members who use drugs, whether it’s Prozac or Ritalin or Viagra or painkillers or marijuana or cocaine, etc., and every other commercial on TV is trying to sell us a drug. Yet we still have a failed prohibitionist policy that is responsible for 1.5 million people getting arrested every year for drugs and tens of thousands of people dying because of a drug overdose — more than the number of people who die in car accidents. [HuffPost]
Privilege of Connie Lau
Constance Hee Lau and I are of similar generations. Growing up, America required me to prepare for war. Connie would never face such horror. She came from a family of wealth and attended prestigious Punahou School. She was privileged to be accepted in the second class of female undergraduates at Yale University in 1970.
To me, she was remarkable. To her, I’m an insignificant piece of flotsam to be jettisoned from her professional network. Refuses all my pleadings to resolve this. Denies my requests to return to work.
Likely Connie was a hard worker and dedicated student. So was I — athletic and academic All-Amerian. So were millions of Americans. We didn’t have her options. America demanded men like me register for the draft. Expendable. Connie was pampered.
In 2019, after serving Hawaiian Electric honorably and compentently for over six months, the HR director fired me — based on Connie Lau’s policies. Although I had reviewed Corporate Code of Conduct, personally checked with my assigned HR rep, the female director labelled me a “danger to coworkers, the company and general public.” Threw me from the building! GTFOH
Policies of Connie Lau deny employment to all of the 30,000+ human beings who shun prescribed opioids or other dangerous medications, and as a substitute, use legal and prescribed Medical Cannabis.
Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.
Her policies discriminate sinisterly against Veterans, males, and People of Color. The racist War on Drugs continues in Connie Lau’s kingdom at Hawaiian Electric. George Floyd was murdered by government officials and corporate policies that consider us less-than-human.
Women Love Wine
Grew up around Mormons. They contributed heavily to my disciplined lifestyle and behavior. Never smoked a cigarette, rarely consume alcohol, and don’t use illicit substances. I’m a good athlete. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and live a honorable life. Hawaiian Electric threw me out of the company due to my medication.
My wife may enjoy a glass of wine on a Friday night. My female manager at Hawaiian Electric teased occasionally she needed a glass after a tough day. Connie Lau approves of alcohol consumption — even allowing drinking at authorized company parties. She also allows deadly, addictive opioids. Both are killers.
Alcohol consumption intoxicates and impairs. Leads to thousands of deaths each year. It’s associated with DWI deaths, spousal abuse, and overdose death. Connie Lau supports such behavior. Alcohol is what privileged, professional people do. Some 80% of Americans consume alcohol.
Men Prefer Cannabis
Men historically have consumed massive quantities of alcohol to mask their pain — both emotional and physical. Competitive athletes know alcohol and BigPhRMA medications impair performance. Pro athletes use cannabis for pain management. Although America loves our athletes, fans close their eyes to the agonizing demands of training, practice and competition.
Cannabis is a Civil Rights issue for many reasons. National and corporate policies remain unfair toward men, particularly Men of Color. George Floyd didn’t need to die. U.S. substance and economic policies diminish our humanity.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, along with some 33+ states, authorizes use of Medical Cannabis. Nearly a dozen states have legalized recreational cannabis. Federal Department of Justice in 2011 clarified they would respect “well-regulated” state Medical Cannabis programs. It’s time to STOP killing and discriminating against men in America.
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Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”