SMOKE OUT NEWS
by Julian Heicklen
SEPTEMBER 9, 1999
September 9, 1999, was Marijuana Re-Legalization Day at Penn State University. It was televised by Idea Television, a Brazilian TV channel, to be shown in a documentary in Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, and China. The documentary is expected to be shown in the next 30 days.
From noon to 1:00 PM, we held our weekly Marijuana Smoke Out. There were 50-100 people present throughout the hour. Speeches were given by:
John Galt, Jr., Independent Candidate for President of the U. S., 2000
Julian Heicklen, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Commissioner, 1999
Ken Krawchuk, Libertarian Party Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, 1998
Carla Moquin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Commissioner, 1999
Tom Martin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Spring Township Supervisor, 1999
Teresa Martin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Recorder of Deeds, 1999
The speeches of Julian Heicklen and Carla Moquin are given below.
John Galt, Jr. smoked a marijuana cigarette, and Julian Heicklen smoked two marijuana cigarettes. Several Penn State police officers tried to arrest Heicklen, but he swallowed his joint, so the police let him go for lack of evidence.
From 1:002:00, fifteen demonstrators paraded with signs through the Penn State Campus. This was to defy University policy against more than nine people demonstrating without University permission. Two police officers escorted us through campus, but did not interfere with the march.
From 2:003:00, there was a very lively debate on the Willard Building steps between Gary Cattell, "The Willard Preacher," and Julian Heicklen regarding the prohibition of marijuana. About 150 people attended and participated. This debate was held to show our solidarity with Preacher Cattell for his freedom of speech, since the University recently tried to drive him away from the Willard steps.
From 3:004:00, Carla Moquin, Julian Heicklen, and several others campaigned for Libertarian Party candidates in front of the student union (HUB). Idea Television interviewed Simon Grill, one of Heicklen's four lawyers, and Julian Heicklen to conclude the days' activities.
HEICKLEN'S SMOKE OUT SPEECH
Fellow Citizens of the world! I am Julian Heicklen, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Penn State University. Along with Carla Moquin, I am a candidate for Centre County Commissioner on the Libertarian Party ticket. We are here to protest the prohibition of marijuana.
It is immoral to arrest someone for owning a vegetable. The most fundamental of all human rights is the right to control your own body. The issue is not marijuana. Marijuana is the messenger, not the message. The issue is whether we will live in freedom or under tyranny. Let me tell you what drug prohibition has done to our country.
The United States has a higher per capita prison population than any other country. One-third of all inmates entering state and federal prison are doing so for non-violent narcotics violations. Nine percent of all males will be sentenced to at least one year in state or federal prison during their lifetimes.
Four percent of the adult males in Centre County live in the Rockview state prison, where hepatitis and AIDS epidemics rage. These diseases are spread by homosexual contact because of double celling of inmates. The medical care is inadequate or non-existent. One medical director resigned because of the improper care. His successor was fired for medical negligence. Some inmates purposely commit offenses to be sent to solitary confinement. They refuse to leave when their sentences are completed, unless they are guaranteed single cells.
Racial harassment is extensive throughout the PA state prisons. Women inmates are sexually abused. An inmate's food sometimes is spiked with urine, feces, or tobacco spit.
At the State Correctional Institution in Greene County, inmates routinely are handcuffed, shackled, and beaten by the guards with billy clubs, until the inmates have to be hospitalized. In 1998, the superintendent and assistant superintendent were demoted and removed, the major in charge of security was demoted and suspended, three lieutenants were fired, and 26 guards were disciplined. Yet the beatings continue.
The PA legislature has reintroduced debtor prison. I paid a $30 debt to have an inmate released from the Rockview state prison. Pennsylvania imprisons 14-year old boys in adult prisons, where they are raped. Inmates are tortured by electric shock and murdered by the guards. The United States is one of the few countries that executes juvenile offenders. Amnesty International, in its 1999 annual report, states: "The USA continues to fail to respect the fundamental promise of rights for allboth at home and abroad."
The Centre County Court tramples on the Bill of Rights daily. There are no indictments by grand jury. A defendant can be held in prison for six months before being tried. The jury pools are not representative of the county population. There are no fully public trials. The prosecution is not required, and the defense sometimes is not permitted, to introduce evidence to support their claims.
Our President Judge, Judge Brown, tries cases without knowing either the charges or the law. Yet, the Centre County Bar recommends that he be retained for another term.
The district magistrates impose ridiculously excessive bails. If the case is dismissed, the bail is not returned. Sick people are arrested and deprived of their medical marijuana. Every year two percent of the adult male population of Centre County enters the Centre County prison.
State College Borough has a noise ordinance that has been ruled unconstitutional. It has a residential zoning restriction that discriminates against unrelated persons. The State College police twice illegally arrested a political candidate for distributing campaign literature. A police dog sniffs for drugs at our kids' crotches in the public schools.
An 18-year old high school senior was suspended without a hearing for allegedly smoking marijuana away from school property. Thus the State College School District acted as a police agency, for which it has no authority, but denied the student four days of education, which it is required to provide. School teachers lie to the students about the dangers of drugs. This year our Republicrat congressman introduced legislation in Congress to make drug testing of high-school students mandatory. If it passes, our juvenile children and grandchildren will further swell the prison population.
Penn State University is the strongest opponent of free speech and peaceful assembly in Centre County. In April, it declared a bad-faith policy limiting free speech or peaceful assembly with the intention of driving "The Willard Preacher" from the Willard steps. University police search and seize student property without a warrant.
On November 2, there will be an election. The Board of Elections will not permit Libertarians to be present at the vote count.
We are involved in a struggle for the soul of America. The issue is whether we will live in freedom or under tyranny. Choose freedom! The lighted marijuana weed is the torch of freedom.
MOQUIN'S SMOKE OUT SPEECH
My name is Carla Moquin, and I am running for Centre County Commissioner because I want to return our rights.
While I do not use marijuana personally, I am appalled at what the drug war has done to our country. People are getting longer prison sentences for growing a weed than for killing someone. Our prisons are overcrowded because of nonviolent drug users. We have spent billions of dollars on trying to stop the use of drugs in our country, and nothing has come of it except that kids are using drugs at younger and younger ages, and there is more police corruption.
Our government has arbitrarily decided that some substances are not acceptable for Americans to have access to. The fact that marijuana has incredible medical uses does not matter. The fact that it is impossible to overdose on marijuana does not matter. The fact that more people die from prescription drugs every year than from illegal drugs does not seem to make a difference.
Our politicians seem to be more concerned with restricting behaviors they do not like than acting logically. They seem to believe that making something illegal will make it go away. Unfortunately, the only thing making certain drugs illegal has done is to create a huge black market.
The problem now is that, even though recent government studies have shown that marijuana is much less harmful than they have claimed, that it has a huge number of medical uses, and that the drug war has not stopped the use of marijuana, prohibition of drugs has become too profitable for some people.
The prison industry is huge, and more prisons are being built. Police departments are making large amounts of money from confiscating property from suspected drug users. At this point, 80% of these asset forfeitures are from people who are never convicted of a crime. The police might have an anonymous tip that someone has some marijuana in his or her car or home, and they proceed to confiscate money, homes, cars, and anything else of value. This is done under the reasoning that the property is involved in the crime since the marijuana was housed there. People can have their cars confiscated for having a passenger who had drugs on them, even if the driver did not know anything about the drugs. The people whose property is taken actually need to prove that they were not involved in drug use; they have to prove their innocence.
Our rights are being more stripped away every day, and we are here to try to show people that America will no longer be the land of the free unless we wake up and take the government out of our private lives.
What the politicians do not seem to understand is that if they really want to solve the drug problem in America, they will cease the drug war. When people have the option to choose whether or not to do a certain activity, they learn for themselves whether or not it is good for them. They learn responsibility. But we have a political system in which people are kept from taking responsibility for their own choices, so they stop thinking for themselves.
I was in Holland 9 months ago primarily to see how the legalization of marijuana affects the country. In talking to many Dutch people, it quickly became clear that the fact that they were allowed to choose whether to use marijuana made using the drug much less appealing. Nearly all of the people we talked with had tried marijuana when they were teenagers and gotten bored with it. Some had never even tried it since there was no thrill associated with doing something illegal.
Admittedly, if we were to legalize drugs in this country and return people's rights, there would be a period of adjustment where there might be an increase in experimentation. But most people would quickly learn their limits with no force necessary, and they would be stronger because they were able to make their own decisions and their own mistakes.
We need to start letting people make their own decisions about what they do with their bodies. We need to realize that we are rapidly turning our country into a police state. We need to elect politicians who understand psychology. We need to realize what the prohibition of drugs means to our culture and to the Constitution. Otherwise we will continue the downward spiral toward a country in which no freedoms are safe.