In Your Face, Istook


Today the anti-drug-war ads that Congress tried to ban return to Washington's Metro system. Last year, outraged by the audacity of citizens who dared to question drug prohibition, Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.) used a transportation spending bill to withhold federal funding from any transit system that accepts ads promoting "the legalization or medical use of [proscribed] substances." In June a federal judge ruled that the Istook amendment violated the First Amendment. "There is a clear public interest in preventing the chilling of speech on the basis of viewpoint," wrote U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman. "The government articulated no legitimate state interest in the suppression of this particular speech other than the fact that it disapproves of the message, an illegitimate and constitutionally impermissible reason."

Last month the government asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn Friedman's decision. In the meantime, evidence of dissent from the drug war can be seen at the Metro's Union Station and Capitol South stops.

NEXT: Vegetarian Saints vs. Hummer-Driving Idiots

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  1. Istook was correct in wanting to ban the ads. I was in Union Station this morning, and saw a young, white mother reading one of those evil ads. She shrugged, then pulled a marijuana cigarette out of her purse, sticks it into her baby’s mouth, and fires it up! The whole subway car reaked, and that baby was huffing on that marijuana cigarette like there was no tomorrow!

  2. I went to college with Istook’s son!

  3. Poop-please tell us you smoked weed with him. Even better, tell us the weed you smoked came from his dad.

  4. Mad Mother, you had me until this, The whole subway car reaked….

    Everyone knows marijuana smoke smells good, even better than baby powder!

  5. Did anybody try the URL listed in the poster? Seems not to exist. Might be a firewall issue here at work, but its not acting like it.

  6. My add would say…

    40 million American adults would like to pay more taxes. Could that be why they call it Dope?

    (Pot smokers hitting up in background.)

    Please, go ahead and use without credit. I just want to quit paying taxes on the drugs that other people are getting high on. Thank you very much.

  7. The ads were delayed and won’t be up until tomorrow, so it looks like Mad Mother was hallucinating on something.

  8. Good news. Thanks for staying on this, Jacob.

  9. Dan:

    I’m kinda missing your point. Are you saying that pot smokers are “dopes” to want to pay taxes on legalized reefer?

    If so, what are YOU smoking, dude? The black market mark-up on weed is much, much, much higher (heh heh) then any tax the government would impose.. even if they taxed it at 200%. Plus the doper would get consistent quality, consistent supply, and that little side-benefit of not having to worry about his ass being thrown in jail. The taxpayers would be happy that they are no longer paying for a $6 billion dollar drug war. Everyone would be happy!!

  10. I wasn’t “hallucinating”. The smoke was so thick that I couldn’t find my way out of the subway car. Other passengers weren’t even trying to get off.

    Afterwards, for some strange reason, I sat in my minivan for a hour listening to my husband’s Jethro Tull CD. I then had to stop at Wendy’s and 7-11. I was late for my son’s soccer practice!

  11. Could a lawyer/glorified lawyer in a black robe explain this? It sounds like a cop-out:

    An Act of Congress ought not to be construed as violating the Constitution if any other possible construction remains available. See, e.g., Rust v. Sullivan, 500 U.S. 173, 190 (1991). In light of this principle of constitutional avoidance, courts are required to construe congressional legislation, whenever possible, in a manner that avoids constitutional infirmities.

    It sounds to me like it’s saying, “Congress can scuttle your constitutional protection, so long as it’s not sinking it, and we have to take whatever bullshit spin they give us.”

  12. rst, try this;

    Proving that Section A doesn’t authorize an activity does not make that activity unconstitutional, if Section B authorizes it.

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