Yesterday we posted to The Daily Weekly about the Responsible Marijuana Project and its efforts to start a book club including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Police Chief John Diaz, City Attorney Pete Holmes and U.S. District Attorney Jenny Durkan. The idea is to get these leaders to read and discuss The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.
As the post notes:
"We're pretty frustrated with the cannabis community and the fact they're just not bringing up the racial discrimination aspects of marijuana laws," says Responsible Marijuana Project founder Jared Smith. "Right now the majority of the cannabis groups are just flat out ignoring it. In my personal opinion, it's the most potent argument we have."
In that spirit, the Responsible Marijuana Project's latest ingenious effort was launched - designed to get Seattle's leaders (the aforementioned group of McGinn, Diaz, Holmes and Durkan) to read The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander - a book that deals with the racism of America's criminal justice system and the toll it takes on communities of color. The prohibition of marijuana, and the number of African American men who have been incarcerated because of it, plays heavily into these injustices.
The book club's a stunt, sure, but it's a stunt with purpose.
The post inspired several Daily Weekly commenters to chime in, including Jillian, who writes:
It's about time our country recognized that a lot of Americans like to get high with something other than alcohol. If the government really wanted to make people safe then it would legalize every recreational drug that's safer than booze.
That would retain alcohol as the most harmful recreational drug legally available while at the same time giving people the option of legally choosing safer alternatives to alcohol - and this is definitely NOT something that we're allowed to do under prohibition.
If the government really wants to keep us safe then why does it bend over backwards to make us unsafe?