Lee Camp Original

Elections Proved Americans Are Done with the Drug War

Despite a seeming media blackout on the topic, voters continue to use ballot measures to push decriminalization to get around the control special interests exert over state legislators.
A vendor bags psilocybin mushrooms at a pop-up cannabis market in Los Angeles in 2019. Voters in Oregon in voted to approve a measure legalizing therapeutic, regulated use of psilocybin. The measure would require the Oregon Health Authority to allow licensed, regulated production and possession of psilocybin exclusively for administration by licensed facilitators to clients. [AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File]

By Lee Camp / Original to ScheerPost

Something seismic happened in this election and it has nothing to do with Joe Biden winning. And yes, Joe Biden did indeed win. I’m sorry for those of you Trump fans who believe the election was rigged against him. It simply wasn’t. 

Yes, millions of Americans were indeed purged from the voter rolls – but they were mostly people of color. So if MAGA Nation are waiting for those votes to be counted, then Trump will actually do even worse. And I honestly don’t care if you’re thinking, “But I saw a video on Tik-Tok of someone burning a ballot and then smothering it in hot sauce and eating it.” That doesn’t mean 50,000 votes were switched in Nevada. I saw a video on Twitter of a guy who could shoot laser beams out of his urethra — that doesn’t make it REAL! . . . And before you ask – Yes, he used his power to fight crime.

But that’s not what I want to talk about. While everyone focuses on the presidential election, something else important happened in this election. Something seismic. Something that represents the fruition of tireless hours of work from activists, protesters, and organizers. (And no, I’m not talking about the fact that I finally did the wounded peacock yoga pose. But I did, and my balls have yet to unfurl. … Okay, I don’t actually do yoga. And it’s not out of some toxic-masculine belief that men shouldn’t wear unitards and have their feet behind their head. It’s because I don’t want to have to talk to people about yoga. … That’s the main reason.)

In every state where some aspect of the Drug War was on the ballot, the people of those states voted to legalize or decriminalize drugs. In every single one.

This is incredible because it reveals the widespread understanding – even in conservative states – that the Drug War has been used to destroy millions of lives in this country and an understanding that the vast majority of people who smoke a joint occasionally are not running around like werewolves during a full-moon sexually assaulting opossums. 

Most people in this country now understand that occasionally tinkering with your brain now and again for fun or the purposes of simple brain wave exploration does not make you evil. It makes you an average human. I mean, hell, if you’ve ever spun around real fast until you’re dizzy, then you’ve “Tripped The Brain Fantastic”. If you’ve ever had a drink of alcohol of any kind, then you’ve experimented with your mental chemistry. And if you haven’t ever had a drink of alcohol, then that means you’re Mormon and while I respect your religious beliefs, you may want to loosen the straps on your magic underwear because I think it’s cutting off the circulation to your happy bits. (I tried on those magic anti-masturbation underwear one time just to see what the hype was, and I found out if you yank on them in just the right way, you can have a jolly good time.)

The point is, the War on Drugs has always been — to use academic terminology — fucking nuts. And it was designed from day one to disrupt and destroy minority and activist communities. And for anyone whose brain is functioning truly poorly, you might now be thinking, “Well, if activists and minorities didn’t do drugs, then they wouldn’t get locked up.” But the numbers show those groups partake in drugs at the same percentages as almost every other group of people. … And a lot less, it seems, than investment bankers. The problem is that our police choose to enforce ridiculous drug laws more often against certain groups.

Black people use drugs at similar rates as white people and yet are 6.5 times more likely to be arrested for it. It’s like jaywalking or driving over the speed limit — everyone does it at least some of the time. You know, if you’re late, or you’ve borrowed a friend’s car and you want to see how fast it can go, or you have somebody tied up in the trunk and you want to see if you go over a speed bump at 75 miles an hour whether you can get his head to bang against the inside of the trunk so that he yells “OW!” in that hilarious way he always does. Point is, we’ve all been driving over the speed limit at some point, which means the police officers effectively choose who they grab for doing it. It doesn’t mean the people who get caught “breaking the law” are super villains. It means our criminal justice system is racist … and sexist … and ableist … and really all of the “ists.”

In the case of the Drug War, we’ve ended up with millions of people locked up for nonviolent drug violations, resulting in the largest prison state in the world. When you think about it, why should someone care if someone else smokes some weed? Some people who support our drug laws respond, “Well, I don’t like it because it’s bad for you. It’s bad for your body to do drugs.” Bad for your body?? So is fried food and bizarre body piercings and playing football and having babies and using tanning beds and watching “Dancing with the Stars!” But just because those things destroy your body and sometimes your brain doesn’t mean I think they should be illegal. (In fact, I think they should be mandatory – all at the same time with confetti cannons and trumpets playing “Hail To The Chief!”)

To quote from Vox – an outlet for brain-dead liberals that sometimes gets something right, “It’s telling, though, that 13 of the 15 states that have legalized marijuana so far have been forced to do it by ballot initiative. For whatever reason, elected lawmakers and legislatures remain scared to touch this issue. So a patchwork of ballot measures has moved the US in an unexpected direction.”

Yes, for whatever reason. Could it be that many of them are funded by Big Pharma or Big Law Enforcement, or at the least fear that Big Pharma and Big Blue would help their opponents if they supported decriminalizing drugs? Nah! Couldn’t be that. Couldn’t be that all our politicians are spineless cockroaches hiding every time the lights are turned on. (Extra Credit Trivia: Cockroaches are indeed spineless.)

Ballot measures – not politicians – show how much Americans agree if we’re allowed to actually take issues beyond the Red v. Blue Derangement Syndrome and actually think about each issue like a human being. Most Americans want to end the Drug War, and have free health care, and have free college education, and decrease the military, and have net neutrality, and a $15 minimum wage, and a livable planet, AND to PARDON JULIAN ASSANGE! (My very official Twitter poll says 97% of people want Assange freed.)

Come on, Donald Trump: piss off the rest of the ruling elite by pardoning Julian Assange. That’s the best prank you have left! . . . Well, I take that back. The best prank is rubbing your poo into the ornate latticework of every 18th Century piece of furniture in the White House. But second best is pardoning Julian Assange. You’ve got nothing left to lose.

Lee Camp
Lee Camp

Lee Camp is the host of the hit comedy news show “Redacted Tonight.” His new book “Bullet Points and Punch Lines” is available at LeeCampBook.com and his stand-up comedy special can be streamed for free at LeeCampAmerican.com.


  1. nonsense—-the ruling class rigged the election. trump out performed biden more than he did Clinton in all localities, except 4 corrupt dim mafia cities: Philadelphia, milwaukie, Detroit, Atlanta. biden received twice as much billionaire money than trump
    of course drugs must be legal in mentally ill amerika–hyperactive puritan morons….where more than 30% are diagnosed mentally ill–no civilized nation more than 6%….already amerikans consume more coke, meth, heroin, marijuana, hallucinogens per capita than any nation. legalization will legitimize the drug mafias and keep the masses narcotized while the ruling class enriches itself


    That conspiracies are everywhere, both real and imagined, is unsurprising given the grotesquely misshapen world in which we live.
    Climate change is moving much more swiftly and destructively than scientists anticipated.
    Which means that humans, plants and animals are perishing rapidly and the human-occupied world—the Holocene epoch—is dying before our eyes.
    World’s end will invoke mania, the filthiest of cruelties, and, naturally, conspiracies.

    Why, for example, are narcotic substances such as ketamine, psilocybin, LSD, cannabis, MDMA, cocaine, and even opioids such as heroin, suddenly socially admissible, or at least no longer criminalized?
    Did Big Pharma meet in a high-ceilinged, air conditioned suite with a handful of trillionaires and two or three non-cognitively impaired Trump appointees and decide to decriminalize substances which just five or six years before were subject to lengthy imprisonment.
    And what does Big Pharma get out of it?

    Big Pharma gets a fast track to the billion-dollar production of each of these substances, as happened with benzodiazepines and so-called medical opioids.
    And the trillionaire conspiracists, along with the war-mongering government, ensures a youthful public that is not just distracted and hors-de-combat with technology and massive student debt, but with lovely, disorienting, suddenly legal drugs.

    Orwell in 1984 envisioned the future as the “boot on the face”; whereas Huxley in Brave New World prophesied the narcotic distraction of “Soma,” while the official world genocides and amasses ever greater wealth.
    What we are witnessing as our world in pain winds down are both.

    1. Maybe, but I think it has more to do with people who have been using marijuana all their lives moving into positions of power and the old guard passing away. The opioid crisis though is definitely for-profit. Also according to Glenn Greenwald, Portugal decriminalized heroin and things got better for everybody. He says that it works.

      1. The Netherlands decriminalized heroin use probably 40 years ago, and their addiction numbers decreased precipitously.
        But I don’t think the US technocrats, whether or not some used cannabis in the halcyon days, care about that. The reason for loosening holds on drugs is more sinister, as Huxley prophesied.

  3. ,,,and Chelsea Manning, too. Lee, find the man and convince him if he really wants to piss off the dems, free both of them. Julian may not be possible since he’s in a UK jail and is an Aussie (?) but Chelsea, for sure.
    (Please stop joking about balls and penises…you are way too intelligent, unlike Bill Maher who, at his age, proves he will never grow out of 12 year old boy humor.)

  4. comments above reveal insight
    the liberal technological determinist Neil Postman wrote, “amerikans do not converse, they entertain each other. amerikans do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. the problem with amerikans is not Orwellian, it is huxleyan–amerikans love their oppression”…the same position is taken by Paul Fussell, Daniel Boorstin, Zygmunt Bauman, Christopher Lasch, Horkheimer/Adorno, Marcuse, Richard Sennet, Alan Bloom, Morris Berman, etc

  5. Trump could definitely pardon Assange. I believe he’s already served his one year UK sentence for bail jumping, so he’d go free immediately.

    Obama already pardoned Manning (good for him) but the System found a way to put her back in jail for another year. She wouldn’t testify because that would make her vulnerable to a bogus perjury charge. Heck, even Trump refused to testify for the same reason. The System punishes those who cooperate. Clinton would not have been impeached if he had refused to answer questions. They purposely led him into perjury so they could get him. Perverse, eh?

  6. Hi Lee.

    What really upsets me is all the claims about the opioid epidemic. My question is: How do I get infected? Where is the center of this plague so I can do my civic duty and sacrifice my soul for the greater good?
    And Biden bothers me. Why is he such a spineless insect that he won’t legalize drugs across the board? Why can’t I walk into a pizza place and order smack with my coke?
    Why do we not force all presidential candidate to take seven grams of magic boomers before each debate? What the hell is the world coming to!
    Every one knows opiates do not hurt your liver or kidneys. The only bad side effect is they sometimes stop your heart and lungs. Trivial, I tell ya, trivial.
    Why can’t they send a hospice rig and attendant to my place for long term pain management? I’m certain to be dead in at least 10 years. Why don’t they have drive through windows at emergency rooms enabling people to drive up and order a couple shots of pain meds to go? This is oppression. It’s my right to be a junkie.
    Cockroaches don’t have spines. Insects don’t have lungs. Politician speak through their bungs.
    It’s all so disappointing.
    I want to be part of the epidemic and I can’t.

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