He Should've Said: "Legalize Bong Hits 4 Jesus"

[ Posted Monday, June 25th, 2007 – 15:23 UTC ]

In reading today's Supreme Court's decision on Morse v. Frederick, the case of the student in Juneau, Alaska, who unfurled a banner reading "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" and was subsequently suspended (you can read the story here or at the Washington Post to get the details of the case), one conclusion is crystal-clear: Kids, if you're going to unfurl such a banner in an effort to get on national television, make sure that you state your case as: 'LEGALIZE BONG HiTS 4 JESUS'." Because then the First Amendment will protect you.

One other striking conclusion is that Joseph Frederick should have told his attorneys to explore the religious nature of his banner as well. In the 29 pages of text in the Supreme Court's decision, the word "Jesus" only appears whenever the justices are quoting the sign's text. Not once is the sign's message actually taken at face value. I have argued this legal reasoning before, that he should have also explored a "freedom of religion" First Amendment issue as well, but because his lawyers (and his own statements) never actually brought the subject up, the Supreme Court was free to ignore such reasoning.

This is not to say that the first part of the message wasn't parsed in great detail by the court. From the majority opinion:

"The common-sense understanding of the phrase 'bong hits' is that it is a reference to a means of smoking marijuana. Given [Frederick's] inability or unwillingness to express any other credible meaning for the phrase, I can only agree with the principal and countless others who saw the banner as advocating the use of illegal drugs. [Frederick's] speech was not political. He was not advocating the legalization of marijuana or promoting a religious belief. He was displaying a fairly silly message promoting illegal drug usage in the midst of a school activity, for the benefit of television cameras covering the Torch Relay. [Frederick's] speech was potentially disruptive to the event and clearly disruptive of and inconsistent with the school's educational mission to educate students about the dangers of illegal drugs and to discourage their use."

And from further on:

The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic. It is no doubt offensive to some, perhaps amusing to others. To still others, it probably means nothing at all. Frederick himself claimed "that the words were just nonsense meant to attract television cameras." But Principal Morse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it as promoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonable one.

As Morse later explained in a declaration, when she saw the sign, she thought that "the reference to a 'bong hit' would be widely understood by high school students and others as referring to smoking marijuana."

. . .

We agree with Morse. At least two interpretations of the words on the banner demonstrate that the sign advocated the use of illegal drugs. First, the phrase could be interpreted as an imperative: "[Take] bong hits . . . " -- a message equivalent, as Morse explained in her declaration, to "smoke marijuana" or "use an illegal drug." Alternatively, the phrase could be viewed as celebrating drug use -- "bong hits [are a good thing]," or "[we take] bong hits" -- and we discern no meaningful distinction between celebrating illegal drug use in the midst of fellow students and outright advocacy or promotion. ...

The pro-drug interpretation of the banner gains further plausibility given the paucity of alternative meanings the banner might bear. The best Frederick can come up with is that the banner is "meaningless and funny. The dissent similarly refers to the sign's message as "curious," "ambiguous," "nonsense," "ridiculous," "obscure," "silly," "quixotic," and "stupid." Gibberish is surely a possible interpretation of the words on the banner, but it is not the only one, and dismissing the banner as meaningless ignores its undeniable reference to illegal drugs.

It should be pointed out that it's not often you get to read the phrase (even with brackets): "bong hits [are a good thing]" in a Supreme Court decision.

Justices Alito and Kennedy wrote, in a separate opinion that concurred with the decision, something which brings up the possibility of a different result if the banner had been advocating changing drug laws, instead of just advocating illegal drug use:

I join the opinion of the Court on the understanding that (a) it goes no further than to hold that a public school may restrict speech that a reasonable observer would interpret as advocating illegal drug use and (b) it provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as "the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use."

But in dissent, Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsberg pull no punches in their language:

The Court rejects outright these twin foundations of Tinker because, in its view, the unusual importance of protecting children from the scourge of drugs supports a ban on all speech in the school environment that promotes drug use. Whether or not such a rule is sensible as a matter of policy, carving out pro-drug speech for uniquely harsh treatment finds no support in our case law and is inimical to the values protected by the First Amendment.

They go on to refute the "bong hits [are a good thing]" reasoning, and take Frederick at his word that it was just a silly prank to get on TV:

To the extent the Court independently finds that "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" objectively amounts to the advocacy of illegal drug use -- in other words, that it can most reasonably be interpreted as such -- that conclusion practically refutes itself. This is a nonsense message, not advocacy. The Court's feeble effort to divine its hidden meaning is strong evidence of that (positing that the banner might mean, alternatively, "'[Take] bong hits,'" "'bong hits [are a good thing],'" or "'[we take] bong hits'"). Frederick's credible and uncontradicted explanation for the message -- he just wanted to get on television -- is also relevant because a speaker who does not intend to persuade his audience can hardly be said to be advocating anything. But most importantly, it takes real imagination to read a "cryptic" message (the Court's characterization, not mine) with a slanting drug reference as an incitement to drug use. Admittedly, some high school students (including those who use drugs) are dumb. Most students, however, do not shed their brains at the schoolhouse gate, and most students know dumb advocacy when they see it. The notion that the message on this banner would actually persuade either the average student or even the dumbest one to change his or her behavior is most implausible. That the Court believes such a silly message can be proscribed as advocacy underscores the novelty of its position, and suggests that the principle it articulates has no stopping point.

In other words, most students, even the dumb ones, know a prank when they see it. And if you start proscribing drug advocacy text in pranks, then who's to say what else you can proscribe in a prank?

The dissent goes on to actually address the core issue that the majority skirted: Is advocacy for changing drug laws "protected speech" for students?

Among other things, the Court's ham-handed, categorical approach is deaf to the constitutional imperative to permit unfettered debate, even among high-school students, about the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use ("[Students] may not be confined to the expression of those sentiments that are officially approved"). If Frederick's stupid reference to marijuana can in the Court's view justify censorship, then high school students everywhere could be forgiven for zipping their mouths about drugs at school lest some "reasonable" observer censor and then punish them for promoting drugs.

The next paragraph shows that someone on the court did their homework, and recognized that advocating different marijuana laws might actually be relevant in Alaska:

The Court's opinion ignores the fact that the legalization of marijuana is an issue of considerable public concern in Alaska. The State Supreme Court held in 1975 that Alaska's constitution protects the right of adults to possess less than four ounces of marijuana for personal use. In 1990, the voters of Alaska attempted to undo that decision by voting for a ballot initiative recriminalizing marijuana possession. At the time Frederick unfurled his banner, the constitutionality of that referendum had yet to be tested. It was subsequently struck down as unconstitutional. In the meantime, Alaska voters had approved a ballot measure decriminalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and had rejected a much broader measure that would have decriminalized marijuana possession and granted amnesty to anyone convicted of marijuana-related crimes.

It then goes on to point out that banning messages advocating "substances that are illegal to minors" might have further repercussions than just marijuana advocacy:

Consider, too, that the school district's rule draws no distinction between alcohol and marijuana, but applies evenhandedly to all "substances that are illegal to minors." Given the tragic consequences of teenage alcohol consumption -- drinking causes far more fatal accidents than the misuse of marijuana -- the school district's interest in deterring teenage alcohol use is at least comparable to its interest in preventing marijuana use. Under the Court's reasoning, must the First Amendment give way whenever a school seeks to punish a student for any speech mentioning beer, or indeed anything else that might be deemed risky to teenagers? While I find it hard to believe the Court would support punishing Frederick for flying a "WINE SiPS 4 JESUS" banner -- which could quite reasonably be construed either as a protected religious message or as a pro-alcohol message -- the breathtaking sweep of its opinion suggests it would.

I would argue that it's not the silly example of a "WINE SiPS 4 JESUS" (you've just got to love how they kept the odd capitalization scheme intact), but rather whether any student could wear any clothing with a "Budweiser" or "Jaegermeister" ad on it. After all, by the court's reasoning, anything that advocates for substances illegal to minors is forbidden, therefore you can't wear a beer logo on a shirt in school.

Which the dissent does actually address, and forcefully. What is striking in this passage is the age of the Justices, since they have first-hand memories of Prohibition:

Reaching back still further, the current dominant opinion supporting the war on drugs in general, and our antimarijuana laws in particular, is reminiscent of the opinion that supported the nationwide ban on alcohol consumption when I was a student. While alcoholic beverages are now regarded as ordinary articles of commerce, their use was then condemned with the same moral fervor that now supports the war on drugs. The ensuing change in public opinion occurred much more slowly than the relatively rapid shift in Americans' views on the Vietnam War, and progressed on a state-by-state basis over a period of many years. But just as prohibition in the 1920's and early 1930's was secretly questioned by thousands of otherwise law-abiding patrons of bootleggers and speakeasies, today the actions of literally millions of otherwise law-abiding users of marijuana, and of the majority of voters in each of the several States that tolerate medicinal uses of the product, lead me to wonder whether the fear of disapproval by those in the majority is silencing opponents of the war on drugs. Surely our national experience with alcohol should make us wary of dampening speech suggesting -- however inarticulately -- that it would be better to tax and regulate marijuana than to persevere in a futile effort to ban its use entirely.

That's a stunning thing for a Supreme Court Justice to say, in this day and age.

But back to "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS." Justice Breyer, who wrote his own opinion, points out the obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this case. Since the Supreme Court is trying to very narrowly define how it ruled in this case, they have tacitly given approval for such messages that do actually have a political content to them. His example was exactly what I had been thinking when I read the media stories about the decision (and he also preserves the odd capitalization -- these guys are sticklers for details!).

One concern is that, while the holding is theoretically limited to speech promoting the use of illegal drugs, it could in fact authorize further viewpoint-based restrictions. Illegal drugs, after all, are not the only illegal substances. What about encouraging the underage consumption of alcohol? Moreover, it is unclear how far the Court's rule regarding drug advocacy extends. What about a conversation during the lunch period where one student suggests that glaucoma sufferers should smoke marijuana to relieve the pain? What about deprecating commentary about an antidrug film shown in school? And what about drug messages mixed with other, more expressly political, content? If, for example, Frederick's banner had read "LEGALIZE BONG HiTS," he might be thought to receive protection from the majority's rule, which goes to speech "encouraging illegal drug use." But speech advocating change in drug laws might also be perceived of as promoting the disregard of existing drug laws.

What he's saying, in essence, is that we need another test case. The Court ruled so narrowly in this case that it leaves a lot of questions. It's going to take some other gutsy kid (with vast legal resources at his disposal) to test this free speech limitation once again.

So there you have it, kids. If you want to (a) get on national television with a stunt, (b) have a message guaranteed to annoy people, and most importantly, (c) really enrage your school's principal -- then you've got to word the message carefully. So remember, don't say "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS," say instead:



[I apologize for not providing links to the decision. I have edited the text of the decision only to remove superfluous legal reference numbers and footnote numbers. The text has not been edited in any other way.]


Cross-posted at The Huffington Post


15 Comments on “He Should've Said: "Legalize Bong Hits 4 Jesus"”

  1. [1] 
    5150 wrote:

    I am stoopider than John Roberts by a Bork's length, so make allowances...

    Hookahs 4 Mohammed--- incites terrorism and is the black magic words which cause every ailment you can imagine tho perhaps can't spell. Hey! Cut that out kids, I said hookahs, not houris.

    Guns 4 Jesus (a faithful of birdsh*t)---- such a statement must parenthetically exclude use of so-called "cop-killer" ammo being as such armor-piercing ammunition puts LEO's at risk of having their vests penetrated. If you must go hunting 4 Jesus follow Cheney's lead vis a vis his friend.

    Cage Tommy Chong 4 Jesus--- put that in your pipe and smoke it, heathen. Minimum maximum drug charges=sentences are effective strategies for pruning the voter rolls particularly since it is not necessary to even pretend drug use or drug sales occured. The days of the top lawman of Tulia, Texas are thankfully behind us! Fascists are spared being bothered to even fake up a case.

    Sammy loves Johnny for to hate Dick
    and his big stick
    The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies had to tank the pennant race, dodge a possible World Series and systematically dismantle a young baseball dynasty in the budding all for the love of Samuel Alito. Big Bad Black Dick Allen made a trusted veteran washed up white guy hit him in the shoulder with a baseball bat during batting practice. See Dick. See Big Bad Black Dick. Dick Allen refused to answer to reporters as to what the devil got into him that he would drive a good man to such an extreme. It cost the White man his job, can ya believe that? Those 1964 Phillies were just way too integrated if you know what I mean. Sure the Phillies held out to the end in the NL but when they gave in they went way overboard. Then those uppity so-and-so's had to just go and show up all those great Phillies teams of years past by threatening to win it all. It's unheard of! To young Sammy Alito it would have been unprecedented-
    THEREFORE WRONG>. See Spot. Out out damned Spot.

    Trust Your's money, baby. Should jurisprudence concern itself with the legalities of legal reasoning and the niggling irritation of imperfect arguments and outcomes? NO! Be like Moses from the mountaintop and lay down the law in a way that brooks no dispute. The public don't mind it decided wacky weed is of satan therefore illegal, by definition--no that don't sit in a man's gut like as some such you'd want to upchuck. There are the blessed and the damned what else need be thought. Illegals must by definition be the criminal type. Faith-based funding is by definition anti-evil, therefore anti-illegal, therefore pro-legal. To those trusted few who descend from the mountaintop like Moses-- pro-faith is logicalwise proactive pro-legal.>>> ipso facto Q.E.D. finit (pardon my French)

    Corporations R the Bestest People--- I suppose it makes dollars and cents that of all the people you know, corporations should be able to speak loudest longest widest with greater credibilty and no accountability lestwise Dick Cheney might outsource Helliburton Corporate HQ to some non-jurisdiction where it will be impossible to recover the loot.

    _Only Jesus Can Count the Hairs on Cheney's Head_
    Oh woe unto us all Congress must provide for Cheney's white ass the count on which is upwards of 8.5 trillion and growing. Congress was forced to raise the limit to 9 trillion but it won't be enuf. 9,000,000,000,000 ain't too hairy a situation for Cheney because he has his ass laundered but I heered a doomsday Cassandra say the final total will be a minimum of 51 trillion. You don't got what it takes to compete with Cheney so don't even try. The man hisself is betting on inflation.

    The 5 favored Supreme fascists ain't neer' been singled out and given an earful. These blessed folks have been spared the experience of being harangued and excoriated by some such unopposable as a white dude. Any of them been called into the Principal's office and been forced to answer? Thomas been pampered and groomed and shielded and protected and boosted up spotted on for his full absolute Milgram compliance and the look of it. None of them been forced to stand and answer and none 'eer will. The Fed Circuit that grants admission to the bar for to argue before the Supremes won't tolerate no one who would cut those Aholes a new one.

    Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round Dick Cheney--- It's been 7 long years and we still can't see. If I don't see no Dick Cheney necktie party, back of the bus, oh woe is us, blame falls on we. Put a yellow ribbon 'round the neck of Dick Cheney.

    If I look pissed I am don't adjust your color. Even my jaundiced eye can't believe your complacency with anti-contitutional anti-democracy rule. Revoke the Military Comissions Act by refusing to comply in any respect. Practice civil disobediance. Impeach Cheney. Impeach the 5 Supreme fascists. Demand a bipartisan commission headed by Carter to appoint qualified Secretaries of State to all election jurisdictions. Demand accountability in vote counts at all levels and make no total official unless it is determined by a hand count. If computer totals must be used for breaking news stories by FoxCorp Time-Warner GE and other such personages let it be known such people as corporations speak to please their own interests. Defund the military in toto. The Pentagon still hasn't accounted for that 3 trillion what went missing a prior to 911. We knows the accounting team charged with investigating the misappropriation of 3 trillion got wiped out in the 911 along with all their info but defund the military in toto all the same. If military need money they can dig up that 3 trillion on their own and in the meantime that 9 billion in $100 bills what got misplaced in Iraq can fund the disinterment of the $3 trillion. Rummy know where whatnot buried. Cheney too. George the 3rd.

  2. [2] 
    5150 wrote:

    So solly. Preeze escruse. Must cralifly.
    The Carter I would want to head a bipartisan commission to restore democracy through appointing qualified election officials is not the deceased craphead 9th Circuit James Carter whose Crapo clerk ran Segretti-style nasty repugnant blackops on college and university campuses while I attempted to matriculate in the San Diego area. Ah the days of my youth so much like the days of my Ute. I was born the ugliest misbegotten mongrel no Utahn never wanted to see--issue of a union illegal in the eyes of God and most states in the Union. There was some neighborhood kid who couldn't help making me look bad named Scotty Shumate do you figure it could be the same one? I dunno, Scotty Shumate is a common name so it's not likely. Back when Karl Roverer was mormon (plus dual German citizen) he lived near SLC when I was the ugliest wierdest kid in town. If I'd gotten a gander at him I'd a had a laugh what with his General Custer hair and his General Burnsides sideburns.
    Oh I wisht the Copperhead mine
    were mine all mine all mine all mine!
    Pretty penny the proof of which
    would shine would shine would shine would shine! We see how Abe looked to our right
    out right out right out right out right!
    What fools we be blind to the fight
    left sight left sight left sight left sight!

    I'm stoopider than Bernanke crossed with Arthur Burns so don't listen to me, but there's more to extractive industry than just oil-- seems reasonable to me but I'm certifiable. Real Estate is kaput so mebbe you like German bonds because of the currency play. Smart money like Prescott Bush and Ford Motor Corporation was heavy into the german war machine in the leadup to and throughout the duration of that big mid-20th century conflagration. Haven't looked at what Cheney reported cuz he don't report squat. Don't listen to me, I have owned savings bonds and still have some certificates of deposit even. I'm the kinda chump who mighta bought war bonds-- total loser, huh? Just because Greenspan said buy Treasury notes when China's overheated market slipped don't think he was talking to you. Smart money I can't begin to figure but if you want to guess a crash, taking a very modest position in puts for Oct. '08 as the October Surprise could put you in the catbird's seat if all goes to hell in a hurry. What brokerage wouldn't go bust in a crash is your guess not mine and you'd need to know that to collect.

    I'm just so damned mad at illegals I just wish we could get some Israeli citizens to deal with this spit. In California, our Austrian citizen ruler ain't gettin' it done. Roverer is a Kraut citizen so mebbe Bush would take a staight up swap of Ahnold for Karl just like Baines for Sosa. Don't know who Bush might accept in exchange for Chertoff but we desperately need an Israeli in the heart of our New World baiting order.
    The story circulating on the German moustache was that he wasn't like the rest of 'em. He was a cut above and willing to let 'em have it and pull no punches even if they were his own. What fools the public be, their minds flew to opposites in a love-hate dynamic that fostered blind hate fanaticism. The more they loved the moustache, the more they hated the traitorous foes of the Homeland who weren't up to the higher standards he set for them.
    I will talk very sloowly. Iran is a non-nuclear nation. Israel is a nuclear power with fission warheads, fusion warheads, and neutron warheads plus more warplanes than any European power except Russia. You understand the non-nuclear nation Iran with just 3% enrichment threatens the nuclear nation of Israel with nuclear annihilation because you have been told so. Words have been put into the mouth of the Iranian leader and been repeated so often you accept them as an incontrovertible fact.
    Truth. Slap the Jap off the Map is an Americanism.
    Truth. Wipe the Jap off the Map is an Americanism.
    When you tell a Big Lie and get everyone to repeat it you foster hate by flipping the blame and getting all except 5150's to fly to opposites in their reasoning. You tell a Big Lie and make it stand up then work yourself into such a rage you feel a deep emotional need to obliterate Iran with nukes because if your Big Lie stands up you feel it must be true. Cheney and Bush wanna get nukes back in play.

  3. [3] 
    5150 wrote:

    So solly. Must palldon. Scruze preeze.
    If you want to guess to figure when a crash might happen, Nov '08 in addition to Oct. '08 is a possibility so as to place the problem on the successor's watch. Hoobert Heever got his rep reversed and misconfigured in historical misunderstanding for time immemorial. No sure thing so if you buy puts keep it light.

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:


    In the immortal words of Cheech Marin:

    "OK, hands on the table, back away from the bong..."


  5. [5] 
    Herm71 wrote:

    Uhhhh ... what he said.

  6. [6] 
    valbrady wrote:

    First, to the English only issue. Although more and more other nations are being economically forced to learn English, we Americans see no need to strain our brains to do so. Experts know that the VERY best age for people to learn a second language is pre and primary school. So we delay such learning until high school which makes no sense at all. A second language should be mandatorily learned along with English all throughout elementary and high school. Instead of pushing Spanish or French, our students should be learning Arabic and/or Chinese or even Hindi.

    When I taught GED many of my students were Hispanic and applauded the election ballots (as well as the driver's test) being written in Spanish. I don't know of any other country that returns the favor. Although my immigrant (and we won't go into their legal status) students were appalled that one had to be American born to run for president, they fell off their chair laughing when I suggested any other than a native born Mexican run for the Mexican presidency.

    I suggested to them that one solution to the immigration problem would be to make Mexico a part of the United States, they were very upset. They didn't want to be part of the United States, they wanted the US to be part of Mexico. They had no intention of becoming Americanized (as so many of our early and other country immigrants are so eager to do), they want to be Mexicans (or El Salvadorians, or Columbians) living in Mexico and fully expected the American to cater to them. Isn't this a case of the tail wagging the dog? If Puerto Rico wants to be a U.S. STATE, then I think it should be an English-speaking U.S. State.

  7. [7] 
    valbrady wrote:

    Any messing around with the free speech ammendment can only lead to censorship and we know who will be the censor. Emperor Bush loaded the Supreme Court to rubber stamp his policies and who knows what part of the constitution he or "Power behing the throne, Chaney" will decide to do away with next.
    It seems to me stamping out all humor is high on his agenda as well as re-writing the constitution to elect him Potentate instead of limiting his term of POTUS which has been and continues to be the downfall of the nation. Maybe we should buy him a fiddle......

  8. [8] 
    valbrady wrote:

    In my first post I said that the Hispanics wanted to live in Mexico and expected the Americans to cater to them. I meant the Hispanics want to live in America, but NOT as Americans.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Priceless Toles cartoon today on this subject. Check it out!


  10. [10] 
    jlapper wrote:


    Thanks for the comment. You're right, there are many thoughtful articles on the subject over at the HuffPo and I was probably being to hard on them (although the day after I wrote that the lead article on HuffPo was "I Love Paris" by Nora Ephron which kind of validates what I said as well).
    Your article on the subject was, I thought, the most well thought through and reasoned. The dissenting comments concerning alcohol were quite impressive but again it all comes down to if the justices saw advocacy of illegal substances or not. Five of them saw advocacy and if you see advocacy in the sign then all arguments about alcohol are moot. The response would simply be, "Yes, we see your point about prohibition and agree but the case here is whether he compromised his freedom of speech rights by advocating illegal substances."
    And just a quick final thought on your statement about not being able to wear a shirt with a beer logo on it: when I was in school you actually couldn't do that. I don't know if it is the same today or not. I was in a public school and wore a t-shirt with the "Miller" logo on it that I had because my brother at the time worked for them. I was told not to wear it again. The difference between my experience and Joseph Frederick's is that I didn't get into trouble for it (suspension, being sent home, etc.) but simply taken aside by a reasonable administrator and reminded of the rule for future reference.

    Jonathan Lapper

  11. [11] 
    valbrady wrote:

    Loved the cartoon!

  12. [12] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Jonathan -

    Thanks for giving me a chance. Yeah, Huffington Post gets a little Hollywood at times, but they let me post there, so I'm not going to knock them here.

    I'd be interested in hearing what you have to say about my earlier article on this subject, which explores the religious angle. It also "dates" me, since I plainly say that we were allowed to wear T-shirts with anything we wanted on them. Girls would get sent home if their clothing was "too revealing" but the only time a guy ever got censored was for wearing a shirt with profanity on it ("if you can't blind them with brilliance, dazzle them with bullshit").

    How times have changed!


    PS. I lost the link to your article where I posted a comment. Feel free to post it here (either as text, or use "a href" tag, it should work) so others can see what we're talking about.

  13. [13] 
    jlapper wrote:

    Yes, I suppose the comments could come off as cryptic without a point of reference. I did not want to be presumptuous and post a link to my article without your permission. My article (if I'm doing this href tag correctly) can be found here:

    Magnificent Bile Bong Hits 4 Speech

    It is less concerned with the issue and more concerned with Diane Ravitch's take on it. In retrospect, I was probably a bit harsh but I felt that she was not examining the issue from the myriad of legal problems it presents, as I feel you were, but simply endorsing authority as a means of stability without regard to the ethical basis of that authority. And that kind of annoyed me.

    I read your other article and must say you have an impressive grasp of the minutia of the constitution. My personal belief as to the ease with which the Congress may ban marijuana even though it is a sacrament of Rastafarianism (Bong Hits 4 Haile)is that, medicinal marijuana notwithstanding, there is not enough legitimate industry surrounding it to make it worth their while. After passage of the Volstead Act, enabling enforcement of the 18th Amendment banning the sale, manufacture, import and export of alcoholic beverages, exemptions were made for wine and authorization was granted for the home fermenting of fruit juices. Most people consider this a nod to the church given all the sacramental wine in use, which it was, but there was also the cider and vinegar industries that also needed fermented product and prohibition would have put them out of business. And wine, unlike hard liquor, just isn't the same when made on the fly. I'm sure there were plenty of congressman who wanted a good glass of wine every now and then.

    The bottom line is, if there was industry involving marijuana production in the states it would have been legalized long ago. Of course I could be wrong - the United States could be making a mint off of hemp crops but they don't. Same goes for peyote. They restricted it to Native Americans I suppose so that they would not have everyone claim to be a convert to that religion to get the beans. By the way, I'm in the middle of this comment so I'm not looking at the 1994 ruling - Did they specifically name the tribal nations or say "American Indian" or say, in general, Native Americans? Obviously if they said "Native Americans" we're all in since anyone born in the country is a "Native American."
    I have to run now and get to work on another article sitting in limbo but I want to say "Thanks" for the forum and the great writing.


    Does 5150 have a website? I've got to go there.

  14. [14] 
    jlapper wrote:

    Oops, the link didn't work. It links to your site where obviously there is no article by me (extremely long drawn-out comments notwithstanding) so here's the text link:


  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Jonathan -

    It's late, so I'll answer the rest of your comment tomorrow. But wanted you to know I fixed the link for you so it should work from both posts now. You forgot the "http://" part at the beginning of your URL, the rest of the "a href" link was OK.

    More tomorrow...


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