[BRC-NEWS] MOVIE: Traffik/Traffic

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Mon Jan 29 14:19:03 MST 2001

>Louis, Osiyo (hello in Cherokee)
>My name is Day Starr, and I'm the editor of Back To The Blanket: A
>Cherokee/Native American Journal. You might not remember me, but we briefly
>corresponded on e-mail a couple of years ago.
>I am currently a co-editor for "G" -- the New York State Green Newspaper. We
>generally publish four times a year.
>I just read your article/review  Traffik/Traffic. I'd like your permission to
>reprint it in "G".
>I would also like your personal opinion on what CAN be done about the
>mega-drug business that enriches those at the top while wreaking the worst
>havoc among those at the lower end of society. This doesnt have to be for
>publication, I just respect your politics and want to know what you think. I
>didn't even want to see the movie before I read your review, because I don't
>like the idea that we throw up our hands and announce defeat, legalize drugs,
>and let the pharmaceuticals and cigarette companies get the patents or
>whatever is needed to sell us another drug. We always hear about the failure
>of prohibition in the U.S. but never about the success Mao had ridding China
>of massive opium addiction.
>Keep up the good work,
>Walk In Harmony,
>sister Day Starr

Hi, Day. Of course I remember you. And of course you can reprint the review
of Traffic. There is one factual change that must be made however. I
confused "Civil Action" with "Erin Brockovich". The latter, not the former,
is the film with Julia Roberts that I meant to refer to.

I am glad to hear that you are working with the Greens. In my opinion, one
of the failings of the Nader campaign is that it did not use the talents of
Winona LaDuke nearly enough, who actually was more representative of Green
beliefs than Nader himself in many ways.

On the question of drugs, I think the only answer is legalization in order
to decriminalize the whole business. My cousin Joel served 4 years out of a
5 year mandatory minimum sentence in upstate NY back in the early 90s for
growing pot on his mountain-top home purely for his own use, so this
question has some personal resonance for me. I used to visit him in prison
on a yearly basis.

The other thing that is necessary is to create a kind of peer pressure that
makes use of harmful drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin unattractive.
They say that one of the main ways gang violence, rape, drug use, and other
forms of anti-social behavior decline is when ones' friends decide it is
"not cool". One of the explanations for the decline of crack use in the
Black community is changing perceptions of what it means to be a crackhead.
For that matter tobacco use has declined as well in the Black community,
especially among youth.

But the ultimate answer is to create a healthy economy, with a guaranteed
job at a decent wage. Hard drug usage is ultimately linked to despair and
this country, despite all its wealth, is a breeding ground for despair.

Louis Proyect
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