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 [Book Reviews]


 

Too High to Fail

by
Doug Fine

A good read. Another 'The Emperor Has no Clothes' book. From the perspective of the aim of this site a great exposition of the difficulties of overcoming blind ignorance, willful corruption, unrestrained greed, inertia, fear — the devistating effect of lies. [Six months after the publication of this book the whole program on which it is based — the 'unquestionalbe' success of the legalization and regulation of grass in Mendocino County, CA — has ... um ... gone up in smoke.] It's a story of a little boy who says 'The Emperor has no clothes,' where the people just turn away. They know that. Speak up and the world doesn't suddenly change and the Emperor certainly doesn't admit that he's running round naked. He just goes on walking around with no clothes and if you look at him the wrong way it's off with your head.

Doug Fine has a wonderful wit that relies on making connections between wildly contrasting things which forces insight. He goes into the issue in ways that are unquestionably honest. He got people to confide in him and the result is a really clear and well-rounded picture. He makes the madness clear by very carefully showing the flaws in every argument against legalizing pot. He, along with 50 percent of the population is hugely optimistic about ending the waste and corruption of the War on Drugs while 99 percent of the few dozen people that rule him and them have no intention at all of changing anything and if anything are plotting ways to destroy any movement to do so. I remember in the early 70s people were saying pot would be made legal in a matter of days. They can't make everyone a criminal! In a matter of days it was: Zero Tolerance.

In Doug's book the story is about a worldly issue. Here on this site the problem is about recognizing the same issues in making positive changes in one's self: the lies we tell ourselves, the willful blindness to obvious truths, the lazyness, inertia, the difficulty of letting go old destructive habits that do nothing more than support deadly boring indulgence in tired old sense experiences, fears based on ignorance that keep us locked on Mara's treadmill. If you feel your stomach knotting up and you start to get angry reading this book you need to recognize that what you are reacting to is recognition of yourself in a mirror. That's you there, on the wrong side of the issues within.

The pot legalization situation is not hopeless. Nutmeg was once illegal. Alcohol was once illegal. It was once illegal to work on Sunday. Depending on whether or not it seems interesting to eradicate for the sake of population control and the management of 'scarce resources' (not corn, power!) a huge block of people here, reefer may once again be be legal, but what this story is really about is that this world, all of it, is owned by Mara. What can be made illegal or not is completely arbitrary. The fight should not be for the sake of this or that change to be made in the world. Change this and that gets changed, change that and this gets changed back to the way it was. The fight, for those who follow the logic here at least, needs to be a personal one: a matter of letting it all go. It all belong's to Mara. In fact, just to get you off your self-righetous ... um ... high horse, in the same way as when a government comes down on a bunch of kids playing rebel it confirms the kid's beliefs, turns them into real rebels, makes them stronger and builds their movement, the more you fight for worldly change, the more you confirm the devil's power so what you are doing is making things worse for everyone. You need to wake up to that, bud.

To mirror a question I used to get all the time about letting it all go: "What would happen if everybody followed your advice and just let it all go?" — If you really wanted to bring the beast to his knees, get him out of your hair, off your back, out of your face, get out from under his thumb, out from under his foot, and get him out from under foot, consider what would happen if in stead of waiting for legalization to end the corruption and waste of the Drug War, absolutely everyone just stopped smoking? Now that would be a change. The whole aparatus would collapse in days. Of course the answer to that is the answer I gave to the question about everyone giving it all up. But you see the point, yes?

On January 1, 2017, possession and use for recreational purposes of one ounce of Cannabis and the growing of 6 Cannabis plants and the harvest from such if retained in the house and not sold or bartered or exchanged for profit was made legal in the state of California. Many restrictions apply. There will be licenses for growing, selling and distributing larger quantities that go into effect when the administrative facilities are set up. Several other states have also now made Cannabis legal for recreational purposes.


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