TV Networks Refuse to Allow Discussion of Marijuana Laws

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One of the few remaining tactics for effectively defending our marijuana laws is to prevent them from even being discussed:

The TV program is titled "Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation," but it's unlikely many viewers of network stations will be talking about it.

Of the three local network stations, only one agreed to run the show, produced by the American Civil Liberties Union and hosted by travel writer Rick Steves. [Seattle Times]

Ack, we mustn't expose anyone to the crazy ideas of Rick Steves! Wait, isn't he that really nice Lutheran guy who hosts a popular travel show on public television? So then why should we be terrified of him?

Jim Clayton, vice president and general manager at KOMO, the ABC affiliate, refused to sell time. The show, he said, promoted marijuana use.

"The last I checked, it's illegal," Clayton said. "We don't use our public airways to promote illegal things."

Um, pardon me sir, but we're actually trying to massively reduce illegal activity. I wouldn’t have thought this to be intellectually challenging, but if we were to change our marijuana laws, then it wouldn't be illegal. See? This doesn’t promote illegal activity. Marijuana laws create illegal activity and we'd like to discuss that.

Of course, marijuana reformers are constantly accused of childishness. We are dismissed as self-interested hippies waiving the banner of personal freedom whenever it suits us, while refusing to engage in serious conversations about empirical data and sound public policy. Yet, what can be said about those who serve as gatekeepers in the marketplace of ideas and abuse their authority by arbitrarily blocking discussion of ideas they find objectionable?

In truth, it is often opponents of the reform argument who act childishly, feigning irrational concerns that simply permitting debate will somehow aggravate the drug problem. Such behavior must be recognized for what it is: a great insult to the intelligence of the public.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Alcohol Industry keeps drug reformers off the air

The decision to keep the debate over marijuana off the air isn't just a political one. The alcohol industry profits from the drug war because they see the laws are helping to curb competition from it's product. Why do you think the alcohol inudustry helps fund groups like the Partnership for a Drug Free America? Do you see or hear any criticism concerning alcohol coming from PFDA? No.

This form of censorship is so deeply entrenched in broadcasting that it will be tough to break through. A good start would be writing the program managers that refuse to air program critical of the drug war. Also letters to the editor of the local newspaper will get the stations attention as well. Getting our message on the air ways is crucial to shaping public opinion against the never ending drug war and I hope the DRCNet continues to devote it's commentary to this extremely important issue.

Re: "Of course, marijuana reformers are constantly accused..."

"Of course, marijuana reformers are constantly accused of childishness. We are dismissed as self-interested hippies waiving the banner of personal freedom whenever it suits us,...... "

Who would have thought that with Tommy Chong (and previously Hunter S. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" Thompson) on NORML's Advisory Board, along with Rick Steves?

Isn't NORML about normalizing marijuana use, i.e. promoting it?

What most of people don't

What most of people don't understand is that ngo's like norml only antagonize the prohibitionists. No one takes a hippie or a "lubril" seriously. We need more conservatives on our side. They are rare but they do exist. Screw hippies. Compare drug prohibition to gun control. Works beautifully and most will agree with you.

TV Networks Refuse to Allow Discussion of Marijuana Laws

That liberal news bias again.

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