Run off at Kinko's
Aug. 3, 2000
HOW IN HELL DID
WE GET MIXED UP IN THIS?
does not have a position on the death penalty issue. Frankly,
it's never come up. Well, actually, it did come up once,
at four in the morning, but then Dave started doing his
Jim Breuer impression from "Half-Baked," and, well, you
know how that goes.
NORML is, however,
in the business of promoting various commercial uses for
hemp, hoping it will gain acceptance as a cash crop, local
economies will grow dependent on it, and then the government
will let us smoke pot before we're old and blind. A statement
currently being circulated by the National Coalition of
Power Companies and Utilities, titled "What the NRA and
the American Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Don't Want You To Know About Firing Squads, Lethal Injections
and Electric Chairs," maliciously impugns rope, which
can be made from hemp, by dredging up its complicity in
ancient acts of state-sponsored hanging, as if that were
the only thing rope was good for. In fact, of the nearly
600 executions that have taken place in the United States
since 1976, only two were carried out by hanging. Over
that same period, however, millions of people have found
rope to be handy for such pleasant, leisure-time activities
as Tug-of-War and mooring boats.
In light of this
defamation, we feel obligated to formally take a position
on the death penalty issue: We're against it. Duh. We
live in a fucked-up country where it is legal for the
government to kill its citizens, but illegal for me to
own a Buddha-shaped bong.
As long as we're
on the subject, another issue has been sticking in our
craw. There is a classic children's game that portrays
the rope industry in an unflattering light. We're not
suggesting that you stop playing the game with your kids:
NORML doesn't ever want to be accused of stepping on anybody's
fun. What we're asking is that you teach them an updated
version of the game. We call it "Lethal Injection Man."
Now don't worry.
The rules haven't changed from hangman. When your child
misspells a word, a man still dies. When the game is finished,
however, the paper looks like this:
So, from now
on, if anyone asks you for NORML's position on the death
penalty, just repeat this mnemonic device: "Firing up
Ol' Sparky: Cruel and unusual. Sparking up Ol' Fatty:
Freaky and fantastic!"