During the process for writing my new book I had the privileged and opportunity to speak with hundreds of diverse people. I spoke to many immigrants illegal and naturalized.  I had numerous conversations with many Hispanics on the issue of immigration, but more importantly on the issue of  illegal immigration. What these many individuals imparted to me, for my book, was enlightening to say the least. I won’t say that the Arizona Bill is right or wrong, but here is what I will say. The Media has been all over this topic reporting this, investigating that, showing numbers and stats. And we, the masses,  are tuning in and posting. Even our “leaders” and elected officials, who haven’t done anything of note in their city and who we haven’t seen or heard from in months, have also chimed in with their own share of face time about SB 1070. Even Los Angeles’ misguided Mayor Antonio Villarigosa convinced the city of Los Angeles to have all businesses boycott Arizona, but somehow the boycott didn’t extend to businesses, colleges or professional sports teams.

There is so much misinformation on both sides of this issue. Are illegal immigrants employed in the low tedious work that a lot of Americans don’t want to do? Yeap. Is there a difference between illegal immigrant and an immigrant? Yeap. Why does the media and spokespeople seem to put them all in the same barrel? Coalition politics. The fact of the matter is that America, like it or not, is a nation of immigrants. And what that means is that the person next to you, the person you call friend, the person you know and love maybe an immigrant. However, the immigrants who have legally come to the U.S. do have a problem with the illegal immigrants from the Western border…and rightly so.

Many immigrants that have come to the U.S. by boat or by plane and they had to wait in line, or they had a work/school visa. Many of them have taken naturalization classes and fulfilled all of the necessary steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. The fact is that most immigrants are white collar workers and and thus pay a large amount of taxes.

The majority of American’s either supported the Arizona bill or something legislation close to it. There have been many assertions concerning potential police abuse, but doesn’t every law have the same potential? If you don’t trust law enforcement officials, then why trust them on anything. Why pass a bill at all? Why not just make the federal government enforce what is already the law? They are elected by us, so that means that they work for us. We don’t want them on television, we don’t want the sound bites and we damn sure don’t want the politics. What Americans want, not let me rephrase that, what Americans demand is action. Politicians will use the public emotions to get elected and then do nothing about the issue.  Arizona appears to simply be one of the many battle grounds for a much larger American issue.

What if the Arizona Legislature were to pass a law saying that Arizona would be an “English Only State”? And by English only no non-English store signs, no DMV with 11 languages printed forms, no banks using your money to print things in who knows how many languages, would that be divisive or unifying? President Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border and the problem became worse, so why is President Obama is sending 1200 troops to the border? Politics, and  to generate good headlines that galvanize the base and Hispanic voter incase of a low voter turn out election.  The United States deports over 1000 people per day, so even if immigration reform were done, it would only be part of the solution. The DREAM act, would provide amnesty for many illegal immigrants living in this country, has been tabled by congress. As other states follow Arizona’s lead the federal government waste tax payer monies by filing a lawsuit against Arizona. The bill wont solve Arizona’s problem, if anything SB 1070 is a cry for help.

Now here is the Truth. The border and immigration issue will nver be properly addressed because many non-latino illegal immigrants, who are in America have families with deep pockets. This is especially true on the East Coast, which enjoys a healthly amount of illegal immigrants from Europe. Also many illegal immigrants come from Asian countries and now live hear with their well-to-do children. The media chooses to focus on the Hispanic community because they have the least amount of in-country power. There are many illegal immigrants in America and only 70% of them are hispanic. The most important reason the border issues with not be resolved is because the FAA does not track airplane flights below a certain height. This means that if your airplane is below that height you are not tracked, don’t need to have a flight log and do not have to register your flight with the FAA. This is how the majority of human trafficking and drugs gets into the country. This is one of America’s dirty little secrets… The Border Issue extends to the sky. As long as the powers that be can keep the citizens and congress focused on what is happening on the ground, the skies are and have been wide open. The FAA has admitted that they have not been about to track 120,000 planes in the United States, but somehow news agencies always reports the one commerical flight that has a problem. I don’t think that the people we see being  arrested on T.V. and running through fields own a single plane, do you?  While Home Land Security puts out warning and squeezes the average traveller putting them through invasive pat downs, making them wait in long lines, scanning them with radiation and repeated questions and searches, they have been letting those who own planes come and go as they please. I was shocked when I discovered this fact during the course of research for my book It Ain’t Just the Size. Furthermore, all of the immigrants legal and not that I honestly spoked to advocated Closing the Western Border, for a limited time period, “it’s chaos, if they don’t vote to close it then you know who they really work for”.

In case you hadn’t heard that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department will no longer have DEA agents or the government resources used to raid California cannabis clubs. Why, the official reasoning is that the government has more important thing to do than stopping people with cancer from easing their pain and arresting patients. The real reason is a little more detailed, to find out you need to have a little bit of what I like to call

 

Marijuana History

 

Marijuana is the herb of peace that is why American Indians smoked it in the Peace Pipe. Most people don’t know why marijuana is federally illegal in the first place. Well in Big Tobacco’s hey-day they lobbied, cough paid for cough, congress to outlaw the herb. Marijuana does not have a global conglomerate to fill the coffers of senators. By the way those in power do take donations just make sure they are not traceable. If you think this is hog-wash then ask yourself why do we have a Super Highway system in California instead of a subway system? That is another story but it involves money, the big three automakers and certain tire companies… anyway. Subsequently Marijuana was outlawed, don’t believe that whole crossing state lines jurisdiction stuff, besides how do you expect Tobacco companies to compete with something that just grows naturally if you water it.

Lobbiest– It’s only a small amount of rat poisoning senator… now what fund do I make the check out to?

Though Mary Jane was illegal, people continued to smoked the little herb. In the 60’s the enlightened marijuana culture gained full force, some people called them hippies. In the 70’s the movies of the comedic duo Cheech and Chong added marijuana to pop-culture and many studies were done on the innocent herb. I bet you didn’t know that the Federal government grows and maintains the largest crop of marijuana on the planet did you. I wonder what they are using it for. They say it is for research… I say half-baked research. In the 80’s the culture spread and many entertainers were advocates of the little herbs decriminalization and Cheech and Chong broke up so it was a truly a sad day. In 1995 Chris Tucker and Ice Cube starred in a marijuana culture movie named Friday this movie has become a cult legend. The popularity of this little movie had much to do with the voters of California passing Prop 215, a law making marijuana available for medical purposes in 1996.  Other states also have passed laws of this nature as well. Although somewhat legal in California the Federal Government continued to raid medical cannabis clubs. However, if you have $100 in California a doctor will give you a certificate that states that you have a medical condition requiring an occasional puff or two. Which brings us to the reason behind this decision?

 

Marijuana Today  

 

With some estimates being as high as 40 billion dollars annually Cannabis is the biggest cash crop in America and you thought it was wheat or corn didn’t you. That can only mean that people are rolling an occasional joint and some are abusing it even though you may not see them smoking it. Most people fall on one side or the other when debating the effect of Marijuana. Most of the people who are against it are because they have a predisposition to using it. The people that are for pots legalization have used it or know someone who has and has seen no negative affect of it. By the way marijuana’s use is so prevalent that you do know someone who has or is using it. In the California’s Emerald Triangle people have houses with no tables and no chairs they are just growing reefer plants in the living room. Many countries around the world have legalized the herb with no problems. Honestly marijuana’s use is accepted today no one really cares and the tables have turned for Big Tobacco. Remember the Marijuana growers and sellers do not want it to be legalized because it would erase their profits. How accepted is it?  Marijuana is the prevalent subculture in America it stands head and shoulders with the Hip Hop culture… which reminds me that I’ve got to remember to renew my subscription to High Times. You can buy marijuana trinkets, smokeware and books just about everywhere. “It’s good news for people in California who are so ill that they have gotten a doctor’s note in compliance with the law,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer. Of course she is trippin’ because people can already do that! These kinds of statements only go to show that many Senators are completely out of touch. Marijuana’s use has been featured songs, theaters and movies the most recent movie was Pineapple Express. Even the playwright Tyler Perry newest Play the Marriage Counselor prominently showcases marijuana’s use. The fact that my book EveryDay Life is at the forefront of the Legalization of Marijuana debate was named The Best Kept Literary Secret of 2008 and it is now a finalist for an annual literary award is further evidence that blunt rollers all over America may soon have a real reason to fire it up.

 

Is Marijuana bad for you?

 

That is the question we all want to know right? The answer varies depending on who you ask. Medically, no. Legally, yes. Is there a criminal element to it? Of course, it’s illegal. I personally know a 75 year old Caucasian woman who uses it. I spoke to three people this week who said that if it were legalized they would smoke it and these people were in the healthcare profession. Ganja is just like sugar. Some sugar is good for you too much sugar is not. If while on it you just won 8 Olympic gold medals, an Oscar for something you did it can’t be bad can it? What if you were on it and you just won the Presidency of the United States of American by the largest margin ever it can’t be bad for you can it? If smoking it is bad for you then what does that say about the people who are around you everyday that use it?.

 

What’s Next?

 

No one knows there is talk about decriminalizing it and taxing it. And without question this action if done right will lift all of America out of a depression, period. If the Governator get this right it will be the best thing he’s ever done as Governor, I mean really cutting education and letting out thousands of prisoners is really not a good move. The proper legislation on this matter could be a model for every state, but remember there is a difference between use and abuse and that the sellers, growers and those with preconceived notions will be against this. This is the right thing to do but it has to be done right. California’s government has shown its ability to be inept so I doubt that this will be done correctly, if at all. The hope at the moment Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, has introduced legislation, that if approved by the California Legislature, it would put marijuana on the same legal footing as alcohol. Under AB 390, adults over the age of 21 would be allowed to buy marijuana from licensed sellers, and driving under the influence of it would be prohibited. At this point I would question anyone’s reasoning for not voting for it to be legalized in some way.Now it seems that the debate of decriminalizing Pot may be a simple matter of economics.