This interview was made for the „Soft Secrets“ Magazine, shortened publication is planned. Rights reserved by Soft Secrets – ask Robert Brungert firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
Dana Beal: What means GMM to Legalization?
Global Marijuana March from the begining to now
Author: Robert B.
Today I am talking with Dana Beal. He is one of the leading Hemp Legalizers from the USA. In 1999 Dana created the Million Marijuana March (MMM). This event is named in 2002 Global Marijuana March (GMM). During years the Event managed itself all over the world and this year in the first Saturday of May hundreds of thousands of People came to GMM in hundreds of Cities. In Germany there were more than 15 GMMs. It is a worldwide popular and important event and so I am asking some Questions.
Let it be free.
Dana Beal, you are 67 years old, 1999 you were 52 years old, this means in 1967 you were 20. Were you one of the Hippies?
„The hippies were a product of LSD, who opposed the war in Vietnam and the police state measures taken against psychedelic drugs and marijuana.
When did you start your work?
Foto von Dana Beal
„1967 was the ‚Summer of Love‘.“ We did the first Smoke-ins in Tompkins Park in the Lower East Side of New York. We decided cannabis would be easier to legalize than LSD. But Vietnam overshadowed everything, even though we did the first national smoke-in to bring people to the Levitation of the Pentagon in October of ’67. When Abbie Hoffman asked me to join the Yippies in January, 1968, he wanted the toker legions to come to the protests he was planning for the Chicago Democratic Convention in August. But lighting up guaranteed the cops would break heads, and Richard Nixon became President. Nixon was an outright fascist who sought to link the anti-war pot smokers with the blacks using heroin in the ghettos, and created the DEA and the Controlled Substances Act.)
There was a lot of sentiment for legalisation…why didn’t it work?
„At the 1972 Demcratic Convention in Miami, I confronted George McGovern at his campaign HQ about the reports of CIA heroin in Vietnam, and asked how we could protect millions of people who already smoked pot from being exposed to hard drugs supplied by OUR OWN GOVERNMENT unless we legalized marijuana and sell it over the counter. McGovern said he’d personally spoken out against CIA heroin on the Senate floor–but he was not ready to embrace the Dutch model of separating marijuana and hard drugs. So Richard Nixon was re-elected. He had already turned down the legalization recommendation of his own Schaeffer Commission in order to exploit the culture wars for political gain, but he was soon impeached.
„A few weeks after Nixon resigned, Howard Lotsof told me ibogaine had cured his heroin addiction and he’d confirmed the same effect in 7 other people in the early 60’s. So I thought, here is another way to protect cannabis culture even if we can’t legalize. Then in November the Democrats won a huge majority in Congress, and Keith Stroup of NORML went to work finding a democratic candidate who would decriminalize: Jimmy Carter. It looked like pot would be legal in 18 months. But the movement got ahead of itself and decided to legalize cocaine also. In the summer of 1978, Carter’s drug Czar Peter Bourne was outed for doing coke at a NORML party, and the whole thing fell apart. The founder of HIGH TIMES,Tom Forcade, committed suicide, and we had to stop junkies in the art department from putting heroin on the cover of the magazine.“