While reading an essay collection about Timothy Leary -- Timothy Leary: Outside Looking In, edited by Robert Forte -- I stumbled across an interesting historical datum. A gaggle of intellectuals on May 10, 1966, issued one of those always-effective open letters of protest regarding Leary's first pot arrest. The letter stated that:
"The infringement of constitutional rights of privacy, interference with religious and scientific practice, excessive enforcement and public anxiety have grown to crisis stage--through the application of irrational marijuana statutes"
"The long imprisonment given to the psychological researcher Dr. Timothy Leary...illustrates the irrationality of present marijuana laws, and is a cruel and unjust punishment."
Among the signers, unsurprisingly, were Peter Fonda, Anais Nin, Gary Snyder, Susan Sontag, and Alan Watts. Also among them were Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. I wonder if those neocon godfathers have changed their minds -- and if so, why. Or if they'd sign a similar letter on the injustice of marijuana laws today.