Maine Looks at Legalization, the Way it Should be.

State of Maine

Maine, the way life should be.

The old saying “as Maine goes, so goes the nation” may be put to the test over the next couple of years when it comes to legalizing marijuana. The state is primed to be one of the next states to legalize the popular recreational and medicinal drug cannabis. This past November Colorado and Washington states passed voter referendums to legalize cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol. Maine is in the running to be among the first states to pass a similar law through House legislation.

Representative Diane Russel announced that she would be submitting a bill to the Maine House of Representatives this session to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. She is still working on the final language for her bill, however she is currently collecting signatures for a petition to back her upcoming proposed legislation. Russel even brought her case to reddit, discussing legalization with the cool kids at /r/trees

Historically a “pot friendly” state, Maine READ MORE HERE DUDE


Of Liberty and Citizenship

There is a lot of talk about liberty and freedom these days, and it is oft quoted that freedom is not free. It is not free, it is paid for with citizenship, it is defended by citizen soldiers and nurtured by citizen programs that serve and nurish our fellow Americans.

Citizenship is the reciprocity of rights and duty, liberty depends on a strong citizenry to maintain it and citizenship depends on liberty to strengthen its citizens. It is the give and take of society, where individual rights are ensured through the collective will, it is the Yin and Yang of self governance. To exalt one and deny the other leads to the collapse of both, where duty out weighs liberty we find fascism and the seeds of totalitarian states. Where individual liberty overshadows the duty of citizenship we find anarchy and feudalism.

What debt do we owe the individual or the collective? The collective, when tempered by individual liberties, creates an environment where individual initiative and hard work can prosper, regardless of one’s station of birth. When individual liberty is held in esteem the collective benefits from those who push the boundaries of industry and enlightenment. The one builds upon the other, constantly maintaining a tension that is expressive as it is impressive, through the co-operation of individuals we excel as a society.

It is citizenship that leads to service in our military by individuals, and individual initiative is what fuels our collective economies. One with out the other would leave us all  READ MORE HERE DUDE


Charlie’s Challenge

I love Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, a comedy classic. The movie is greater than the sum of its parts, but one of those parts stands out, the speech Chaplin gives at the end of the movie. In that speech he touches on the hope for humanity, and sets before us a challenge, one to form a more reasoned and compassionate world.

Even on the verge of WWII he offers us a view of what we could be, with the strength of our ingenuity and the force of compassion we could make this world a free and beautiful place. He recognized how modern communications, even back then, held the key to universal brotherhood, that our ablility to communicate with each other would begin to usher in a more enlightened humanity.

Today we still struggle to take on that challenge, to put aside our hate and greed, to view all mankind as our brothers and sisters, to give our youth a future, to give comfort and security to old age, and to give, those who can, a chance to work in humane and equatable conditions.

I watch this speech at least once a month, I like to find new versions that people make, there are some truly entertaining and illuminating ways fans have used this soundtrack with their creative video behind it. I urge all to listen at least once, and even search around the web for fan videos.

To get you started:

The Original

A Stirring Fan Made

For more check out my HubPages article about The Greatest Speech of All Time.