Friday, May 07, 2004

First Amendment fight reveals mind of drug warriors
May 07,2004

Last week an important case regarding free-speech rights was argued in federal court in the nation's capital. Although it attracted little attention, it has the potential to widen the debate about federal drug policy - and has already highlighted the intellectual weakness of the most fervid drug warriors.

Istook has tacked an amendment onto a transportation bill that would deny federal funds to any transit authority that displays ads for marijuana reform.

Rep. Istook's anti-marijuana reform amendment comes on the heels of his having slashed $90,000 from Washington, DC's transit authority budget in December after discovering that local buses were carrying advertisements – placed by a Massachusetts-based pro-marijuana legalization group, Change the Climate, Inc. – that had the tagline, "Enjoy Better Sex! Legalize and Tax Marijuana."
"At a time when the nation and Washington, D.C., area in particular suffer from chronic substance abuse and sexually transmitted disease, I find it shocking that WMATA provides this ad space, and at no cost!" Istook wrote in a Nov. 10 letter to the chairman of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Yeah, that makes sense, STD's and marijuana. Dude, do you really have no sense of humor or do you look for stuff to keep your core voters scared. How does it feel to have your whole career built on fear? Down home folks fear of change. I think Istook is concerned that marijuana use would compete with the alchohol industry, and he does get a lot of money from the booze companies.
"It's fair to say that Rep. Istook is awash in alcoholic beverage industry money," Bruce Mirken, MPP's Director of Communications told WorkingForChange.
The Istook Amendment "is in direct violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution"
But Istook obviously hates the Constitution and thinks this country sucks, what with all this Freedom and all.
In 1998, Istook authored the "Religious Freedom Amendment" which the Anti-Defamation (ADL) said "would take the country back to the days when public schools forced a single religion upon students of myriad faiths."
Ernest Istook wastes so much time and money on ridiculous causes and what does he do for us at home?

Shawnee resident Mark Dickinson was critical of Istook's vote to provide a 3.5 percent cost-of-living increase for military employees, but not for federal employees.

"We have a lot of unhappy people at Tinker Air Force Base," said Dickinson, who is president of the American Federal of Government Employees, Local 916 at Tinker. "This is money that goes into the Pottawatomie County community."

Dickinson pointed out that there are 1,500 Tinker employees in Pottawatomie County, making the base the biggest employer in the county. He said that although the federal employees have gotten raises in past years, that they had been passed up for many years before that.

"Because the president's proposal is to raise the military 3.5 percent, people say you cannot give the military a pay increase across the board unless you do the same thing for the civilian work force," Istook said, noting it would require an additional $2.2 billion to raise all federal employees. "Most people that are in federal civil service are not called upon to make the same level of sacrifice ... as we do in our military."
"we do in our military."? His bio shows him safely ensconced in college from '68 to '76. No mention of military service.

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