Uncluded - "Hokey Fright"
As soon as something is described to me as "quirky" I'm out...I can't hang. I immediately picture the most ironic of hipsters praising their latest bootleg of Tuvan throat singing while wearing some obnoxious pastel t-shirt announcing to the world that they "run on puppy power...quirky indeed
This record will probably be described as quirky by the blogosphere but please friends, do NOT let that turn you off.
This is probably the most lyrically well-crafted album to grace my ears so far this year. Kimya Dawson's gentle, quasi-innocent words dance around the gruff verbal maypole that Aesop Rock has firmly planted into a musical landscape that could easily be straight from the pages of the brothers Grimm.
Humor twirls with sadness, introspection bows to sharp observation, minutea has meaning...this record is deeper than it appears yet it can easily be put on as background music to make heads bob.
TLDR? - Magic words from Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock.
When our friends over at the Des Moines Register wrote an article on the prospect of the Tall Corn State following suit after Washington and Colorado in regards to recent marijuana legislation during this last election cycle, my interest was piqued.
I never thought possible cannabis would be legal anywhere in the US, let alone in our state. We simply have some of the most draconian drug laws on the books and very few vocal politicians who would risk taking on this cause.
However, now we are talking about it...it's no longer a fringe issue relegated to collegiate freshmen's term papers or letters to the editor.
Now it's a serious discussion about freedom, money, and how that could impact thousands of Iowans and what a boon a cannibus industry could be to our state.
Enter Josh Montgomery, the head of the ISU chapter of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and freedom fighter for many students who have had doors unfairly shut on them for the use of a plant.
I chatted Josh up via email to see what he and his organization were doing on this front:
What drew you to NORML?
Most members of the organization have personally experienced, or witnessed firsthand, the drastic effects that unjust penalties for marijuana possession have had on otherwise would-be innocent community members. Freedom of choice is not something to be taken lightly, and neither are the repercussions on well-meaning Iowans of the hyper-sensitive approach to marijuana that persists in Iowa law enforcement.
What was the university's reaction when you approached them about the Iowa State Chapter?
Iowa State University works miracles for its students. If you have a dream, ISU can help you get there. ISU student organization overseers - faculty members of the university - were extremely helpful and remained impartial during the NORML ISU affiliation process. What was their reaction when you approached them about the logo? We simply received a computer-generated approval for the proposed cannabis leaf to be printed on the same shirt as our beloved Cy. Students and staff members alike realize the necessity for reform of laws relating to responsible cannabis use, and it shows in this monumental thumbs-up to hope for a diverse, open-minded, tolerant, progressive Iowa.
How do you see the state of Iowa regarding cannabis in 5 years?
What we see here is students coming together, ready to let whoever will listen know that current Iowa marijuana policy is detrimental to a substantial number of tax-paying, up-standing Iowans from all social classes and backgrounds. It won't be long before the the fear of prosecution will no longer deter Iowans who know they aren't harming their fellow Iowan to openly state that they feel Iowa marijuana policy should be reshaped to keep the best interest of law-abiding, peace-loving Iowans in mind. Iowa marijuana policy archaic and needs to be reevaluated for today's Iowa; or Iowans will continue to have to live in fear of the unjust and will lag behind other communities in our country that have welcomed the integration of tolerance to others. Hopefully, policy will be changed so marijuana convictions no longer tear an Iowan's hopes and dreams to shreds. Current interest leads me to believe that mary j legislation will be relaxed within a year or two. Too many lives are being hurt for this imbalance in justice to be ignored for much longer.
If students or community members are interested in NORML or want to help the cause where can they go?
Students need to simply search "norml" or "marijuana" on the iastate.edu website search bar (top right of the screen), click on the first link once you press enter, click "request to join" on the page that pops up, and you'll be confirmed shortly. Community members down for the cause should simply email a member of the organization for information on how to get involved. A NORML ISU website will soon house membership information.
The above logo can be purchased on a T-Shirt for $15 - contact Josh HERE to get yours!
Fun Fact #1 - Marijuana is not a “gateway drug” as suggested by some. Both the Institute of Medicine, and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, found no causal relationship between marijuana use and other illicit drug use.
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