|A Third Party Victory is Inevitable||Part 1: ...So Why
Part 2: I'm Outraged!
Part 3: How I Became a Green
Part 4: Comparing the Platforms
Part 5: An Open Letter to Al Gore
Part 6: Vote for Ralph!
I am writing to urge you to go after the Stoner vote. Instead of continuing to alienate and betray the many millions of Americans who actively smoke pot (as well as those of us who've tried it--like you--and found its dangers greatly exaggerated) I recommend you heed the message of the Shadow Conventions, and of your competitors Ralph Nader and Harry Browne, and accept the fact that the "War on Drugs" is a colossal failure.
If you want my vote, along with the vote of at least 25 million disaffected and disenfranchised voters, many of whom never bother to vote, here's what you need to do. When the subject comes up in the debates, just repeat after me:
"My fellow Americans, I'm very concerned about the drug problem in America. As both a parent and a member of the Clinton administration, I have fully supported my boss's position on the drug war. However, as I look to charting my own destiny, I've come to realize that it's time to make a difficult stand on a difficult issue, and become a leader, instead of a follower. I've come to realize that the weapons we are using to fight the Drug War are doing more damage to our innocent civilians, and to our society as a whole, than to our enemy in this painful and important struggle. Drugs are bad - let's make no mistake about that. But the negative consequences of treating addiction as a crime problem, instead of a health problem, are just as bad now, if not worse, than they were in 1933, when we abandoned Prohibition. Today, as in 1933, our cities have become violent battlegrounds, where gangsters attack each other to protect their turf, with innocent bystanders often getting caught in the crossfire. Today, as in 1933, the black market thrives, with untold fortunes going untaxed and a massive underground industry going unregulated and uncontrolled, all while the banned substances remain as widely available as ever. Today, as in 1933, throwing more money at the problem will not help; we must instead accept these failures, learn from them, and develop new ideas about how best to cope with substance abuse in our society. If elected, I will thank General McCaffrey for proving, once and for all, that we cannot arrest our way out of our national drug problem, and instead ask Ethan Nadelman, of the Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, to take his place as our national Drug Czar."
Here's the thing, Al: Stoners don't vote, not (as common stereotypes would have us believe) because they're too stoned to remember to go, but because they have no reason to. For decades, all of the major candidates have been indistinguishable on this issue, and Stoners just aren't motivated to vote when everyone on the ballot is a lock-em-up prohibitionist who believes pot-smokers should go to jail. Why bother voting at all when neither candidate represents your views (particularly when those candidates are hypocrites who've used drugs themselves in the past)?
However: if you ask for the Stoner vote, then 25 million American potheads will instantly become your biggest supporters. And on November 7th, they'll be joined by great numbers of us who believe that pot smokers should have the same basic rights as beer drinkers, wine lovers, and cigarette smokers. (And there are a lot more of us out there than anyone realizes... remember, every medical marijuana initiative that's been on the ballot in this country has passed, usually by as much as 70%.)
In the meantime, I'm planning on voting for Nader, and I'm urging everyone I know to do the same.
PS: Let Nader into the Debates!
Cc: Joe Lieberman, Karenna Gore Schiff, all interested voters
If you agree with me, please e-mail a copy of this letter to Al at TownHall@AlGore2000.com, and add your own signature to the end. Also, feel free to forward this to any friends, relatives, or newspaper editors that you think might find it of value. Thanks!