Pubdate: Wed, 14 Jul 1999
Date: 07/14/1999
Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald (HI)
Author: Roger Christie

I am responding to (Publisher) Jim Wilson's comments about me and my
work in his column of July 5th.  The petition for impeachment of the
mayor and the majority of the Hawaii County Council is a
constitutionally-protected form of citizen action for the redress of
grievance.  It is not personal as I have a respect for each of the
people involved.  It is a legal method of restraining out-of-control
elected officials, and removing them from office through a formula
devised by the good people of Hawaii County, and written into our
Charter.  It is a way to get well-meaning, yet dangerous,
prohibitionists to account for the results of their actions,
non-actions and policies.

Exactly what part of the words MANDATORY Program Review do you, the
mayor and the council NOT understand?  For your benefit I quote the
Hawaii County Charter amended in 1979 to read:

"Section 3-16, MANDATORY Program Review.  At least once every four
years, the council shall critically review every program supported
wholly or partially by county funds, and unless the council shall
favorably authorize its continuation at current or modified levels,
the program shall be terminated."

The marijuana eradication program is approximately 25 years old.  It
is a WAR with many casualties and much damage.  No critical review has
ever been done.  Section 3-16 is not called the OPTIONAL, "special
study", whitewash, designed-to-make-the-program-look-great review.
True, many other costly and questionable county programs have also not
been critically reviewed, leaving taxpayers in doubt about who is
minding their store, and letting some costly and questionable programs
wander off into unreviewed never-never land.  But the county is
funding only one WAR.  It can hardly be compared to the county band,
for instance.

Jim, we are talking about an immoral, unjust, costly "drug war"
against the world's most useful plant, and against our own people,
with devestating, inintended consequences.  It may be painful to look
at, and yet it must be done for us to be able to move into a healthy,
new millennium.

Although it is supposed to be your job, and I would welcome your help,
I am NOT leaving it up to you, the media, the "4th estate", the
"watchdogs of government" (ha-ha) to keep an eye out for me, or for
the taxpayers.  Talk about the "lava-tube" award!  As much as I enjoy
your paper and all the people who work there, you seem unwilling to
seriously question authority, or to challenge established values, no
matter how out-dated, costly, damaging or counter-productive.  This
exercise of impeachment is strictly "of the people, by the people and
for the people" because many of those who are paid to protect our
freedoms and to watch our money carefully don't cut it.  They are
"following orders" and invested in, or fearful of, "the blue wall of
silence".  (Remember, "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave person
only once.")

The impeachment process and its attendant publicity begins a healing
by shining light into the dark corners of local corruption.  It is a
symbol of strength.  It is a healthy exercise in civic responsibility.
It is a virtual bargain for the taxpayers compared with continuing to
fund the marijuana eradication program which has cost us how much,

You said the impeachment is a "frivolous action."  Frivolous compared
to what?  Compared to plunging the economy into virtual collapse and
many of your neighbors into poverty, "ice" addiction, prison and
God-only-knows-what?  Frivolous compared to committing treason by
authorizing, funding and levying a paramilitary civil war based on
faulty evidence?  Frivolous compared to criminalizing generation after
generation and keeping the safest herbal medicine and religious
sacrament, the healthiest edible seed, the best home-grown income
illegal?  Frivolous compared to giving away our precious freedoms and
Bill of Rights to a big-brother police state whenever the paid actors
(law enforcement) say "drugs"?  Frivolous?  Not on your life!

Jim, I sincerely think that you, like many people, are suffering from
cannabis hemp deficiency syndrome.  It is all too common in these
times of prohibition.  Like Patsy Mink suggested in Congress, "We need
to keep researching marijuana's beneficial effects."  Well, we (and
millions of others) ARE researching the beneficial effects of cannabis
hemp; as sacrament, medicine, food, clothing and more, and finding
wonderful results!  Please join us today.

Roger Christie