For a while, we at The Weekly Constitutional have been thinking about just how we were going to commemorate April the 20th on site. As we are sure loyal readers of our site know, while many topics are covered by this site, none of them receive the kind of attention that the unjust prohibition of marijuana is given.
Constant news from the front lines of the legalization movement and outspoken support for the legalization of medicinal and recreational usage of the herb are a daily thing for the little web page that could, so for us to not do something special for the self declared National Marijuana Smoker's Day would just be wrong.
But for some reason, another long winded rant about the ills of our nation's failed "War on drugs", it's short sided view of a plant with a legitimate value to humanity - both medicinally and recreationally, and it's Goebbels-esque campaign to demonize both the drug and it's user didn't seem to fit the tone of the day.
Unlike other years, where there seemed such little hope for the fruition of the dream of legalization, this year has a little oomph in its step. The culture is changing; the political climate more accepting. 15 states have already allowed for the medicinal usage of marijuana, with several more discussing it currently. Two states (California and Washington) are considering measures to out and out legalize it. This is not a time to wallow in our misery.
This is a time for celebration. A time to be proud and to celebrate our love for cannabis with our likeminded brethren.
So, in the spirit of celebration, The Weekly Constitutional is proud to present...
The Weekly Constitutional's
Hall of Flame
Within these hallowed halls, The Halls of Flames is intended to honor marijuana enthusiasts who went above and beyond to disprove the traditional stereotype of the stupid absent minded stoner burn out so typically portrayed by the anti-marijuana users, thus making us all proud.
So, without further adieu, we present to you the inaugural class of the Hall of Flames:
Seems diddling the slave labor wasn't the only vice ol' Tommy had. Despite his traditionally portrayed stuffed shirt disposition, this "Founding Father" was all about the ganja. But don't take my word for it. In his autobiography, Jefferson wrote:
"Some of my finest hours have been spent sitting on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see..."
Some of his finest hours... a man who essentially told the King of England to go fuck himself, sparked a revolution, founded a nation, was said nation's third president, bought like half the continent from France for like ten bucks, had pussy in every corner of the world and his finest moments were spent smoking pot on his back porch.
Now that is devotion...
Sir Richard Branson
The world's 236th richest man, founder of the Virgin empire (which has its hands in everything from airlines to cell phones), and renown adventurer and "self made man", Branson has publicly stated before that he not only smokes marijuana, but is dying to sell it when it becomes legal. Branson is also an outspoken proponent for the total legalization of marijuana.
As much a symbol for world peace as he is for marijuana, Bob Marley was a beloved reggae singer and outspoken marijuana enthusiast. Famous words from bob Marley about the usage of herb (which Marley, a Rastafarian, believed was a gift from god):
"Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction..."
It would not be a true hall of fame if Marley was not among the first admitted.
While spending his entire life "in the closet" (so to speak), since his death it has come out that Carl Sagan- regarded by many as one of the most brilliant men to have ever lived- had a lifelong love affair with marijuana, going so far as crediting it (in conversations with friends and colleagues) for inspiring some of his most profound essays and deepest scientific insights.
"... I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for. I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of Gaussian distribution, curves. It was a point obvious in a way, but rarely talked about. I drew the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down. One idea led to another, and at the end of about an hour of extremely hard work I found I had written eleven short essays on a wide range of social, political, philosophical, and human biological topics. Because of problems of space, I can't go into the details of these essays, but from all external signs, such as public reactions and expert commentary, they seem to contain valid insights. I have used them in university commencement addresses, public lectures, and in my books...."
**taken from Marihuana Reconsidered (1971), which Sagan wrote under the pen name "Mr. X"
Arguably the face of the modern marijuana movement, Chong has made a career telling jokes to stoners. He is also an outspoken advocate for the legalization of marijuana, as well as promotes the usage of the drug publicly. His notoriety in the marijuana world in fact is believed to have been behind his being targeted by the Bush administration for prosecution (for which he did serve nine months in jail).
But despite all of that, the stoned loser character Chong portrayed for so many years-however funny it may be- has been held the perception of marijuana users down, giving visible example to those looking to continue to demonize marijuana and paint it's users as listless, unmotivated, drug crazed undesirables. And it is for this reason alone that Tommy Chong, much like Moses when he tapped the rock twice and as denied admittance into the Promised Land, will not be a fully fledged member of the Hall of flames until marijuana is legalized and its users can go forth and shatter the traditional stereotype of a pot smoker.