Saturday, October 30, 2004

Fear and loathing in Illinois

This is an outrage. I've missed the daily rounds in the last few days and just found out Pete Guither of Drug WarRant has been slandered by Illinois Representative Jerry Weller. Weller has accused his opponent, Tari Renner of supporting drug legalization at last night's debate because of Pete's endorsement, and is also running ads and sending direct mail pieces slandering both Renner and Drug WarRant.

But even worse Pete updates the post with this.

Today, I received a check from Tari Renner, returning my donation. It was like a slap in the face. It really hurt. Because of Weller's slander, I am no longer welcome to take part in the political process.

Of course that won't stop Pete and he also issues a timely challenge:

Now that Renner has returned my donation, how about Weller returning his donations from the pharmaceutical companies?

In a followup post, Pete reports receiving strong support from the blogosphere, as well he should.

The most frightening aspect of the whole sorry affair is the transparent attempt to shut down reasonable dialogue on drug policy by casting those who offer reasonable solutions to the problems of drug abuse as 'promoters' of drug use.

It's another symptom of the larger problem with the ongoing suppression of dissent on government policy. A month ago, I found I couldn't access this blog in the Statesville County Library. The "Patriot Act filters" prevent every member of the public from listening to my reasons for ending a failed government program that does more harm than good. And not because I promote drug use, I don't either, but because I talk about drug policy. Here Pete is vilified by a candidate for public office, for doing the same.

Maybe you're thinking , so what - you don't do drugs - but how different is this from the marginalization of anti-war protests by labeling the supporters traitors? There's a growing and disturbing trend in the Bush government to silence opposition. And as I often tell people, don't feel so secure because the drug issue doesn't really affect your life. When they're done with us, they will be coming after you.

Please vote for Kerry on Tuesday and depose this regime.


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