Pubdate: Wed, 14 July 1999
Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald (HI)
Copyright: 1999 Hawaii Tribune Herald
Contact:  355 Kinoole St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720
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

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, Jim?

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
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