malia

When video surfaced of Malia Obama apparently taking a hit from a joint at the Lollapalooza festival, conservative critics and Obama supporters took to the comments sections in a comical display of partisan bickering.

Whether or not it was actually weed is of no consequence. So what if an 18-year-old gets high at a music festival? Let the girl have some fun before she goes off to college. Besides, Illinois law allows the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis.

The more interesting thing is that Malia’s little adventure caught on camera is a symbol of how far we have progressed in dismantling the war on weed. 25 states now have some form of legalized medical cannabis – with more to come – and four states have legalized its recreational use.

Does anyone besides the DEA really believe cannabis should be illegal? There is a sea change going on in the country. Too many people now realize the wastefulness and unjustness of prohibition, which allows the police state to continue ruining countless lives.

While Malia enjoyed her hit at the festival, others are getting arrested, beaten, stolen from and killed by government for the same plant. This duality is ignored by the media, just as the true legacy of Malia’s father is ignored.

As the Free Thought Project’s John Vibes pointed out in a facebook post this week:

Obama gladly took the reins of a “war on terror” begun after 9-11, continuing the evolution of killing by ushering in the unmanned drone era. Now, pilots could sit in the luxury of a base back in the U.S., shooting Hellfire missiles at anonymous images on screens just after grabbing some Burger King.

Four former drone pilots bravely spoke out, risking their lives and their livelihood to tell of the “cowardly murder” they carried out. They described the “bloodlust” evident in many drone pilots and the indifference to the act of killing children and non-combatants, and rightly point out that the drone program “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism.”

In addition to carrying on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama has brought the drone war to Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria. He perfected the art of invading countries without armies, and has brought terror to millions of innocent people there.

Almost 90 percent of those killed by U.S. drone strikes were not the intended target. Approximately 200 children have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan alone since 2004, and well over 1,000 adult civilians have been killed in this single country.

The world is now a battlefield, and Obama has ushered in an era where anyone can be killed anywhere at any time, using dubious rationalizations to sidestep treaties and laws. 9/11 provided the pretext for a permanent state of war, by declaring war not on a country but the tactic of terrorism.

This eight-year record of death and destruction comes from a man who ran in 2008 as an antiwar candidate and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

And let’s not forget Obama’s other legacy – assassinating an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, and his 16-year-old son with no due process, using a drone missile.

But all of this is ignored by mainstream media and talking heads, who would rather whip up some division over someone taking a hit of weed.

Go on, Malia, smoke away. Give some to your dad, too. Maybe it could help him with that whole drone bombing innocent people thing.

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Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo.