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The War on Bongs

February 27th, 2003 · No Comments

It’s well known that drugs make you stupid… as evidence, John Ashcroft’s newly declared war on bongs. Of course, this is independently offensive for pretty much the same reasons the drug war is offensive: it punishes willing adults for engaging in a mutually beneficial transaction, in this case, the sale of a pipe. But it also displays a really disgusting disregard for the rule of law. The standard for ages has been that if you sell a pipe marked “for tobacco use,” even if it’s of a sort overwhelmingly used to smoke other things, you’re not treated as responsible for the use the buyer ultimately makes of it. Now dozens of businesses have just discovered that behavior they’d been led to believe was legal isn’t after all… not because they were notified by some new legislation, but because their doors were broken down by armed teams of police. Makes you wonder what other laws the DOJ might suddenly decide to interpret differently, without notice. Finally, returning to that opening line, it’s just dumb. Even if you think Cheech and Chong are a bigger threat to national security than al-Qaeda, the effect of cracking down on pipe makers is precisely nil. First of all, unless you’re willing to piss off a lot of tobacco smokers, there are lots of other pipes on the market that aren’t going to be banned. Even if you did prohibit all of those, I’m sure we all knew a couple of kids in high school who took enormous pride in their ability to make a pipe out of sundry household objects. Are you going to ban plastic bottles, soda cans, pieces of wood, and plumbing parts? Obviously, someone needs to roll Ashcroft a spliff…

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