Re: Outlawing drug speech - EEK!

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Tue Feb 01 2000 - 10:37:29 MST

Here's one:

"How to smoke marijuana:

1: acquire or make smoking utensil
2: acquire or grow marijuana
3: put that in your pipe and smoke it"

Here's another one:

"Put seed in ground."


"Grow plant to make paper on which Constitution is written."

The no-speech provision of that bill is preposterous. I doubt even the most
clueless representative could claim that it does not violate the First
Amendment to the Constitution, and none could rightly do so. To claim that the
discussed bill provision (not necessarily the rest of the bill) does not
violate the First Amendment is blatantly unconstitutional; the Constitution is
American, ergo, supporters of this bill provision are un-American.

Viewed broadly, this bill provision outlaws chemistry class and all chemistry
teachers, by extension, math, physical science, etc.

There is specific judicial precedent that it is unconstitutional to legislate
the "intent" of free speech.

Who proposed that provision? They should have many citizens write to them
explaining the error of their ways, ie, specific mass chastisement.

Do there exist in other laws provisions similar to this? I remember in the
past there was some shenanigans about the _electronic_ distribution of any
information about controlled substances, ie, it would have been against the law
to specifically e-mail or post web site about any information pertaining to
controlled substances, if that was ever on the books it should have been
repealed, as above.

One thing about a good AI (or rather sophisticated grammatical pattern
matching), it could go through all the code on the books and identify a variety
of incompetent, redundant, obsolete, and unconstitutional legislation for
perusal. Then, it (bad legislation) could all be collated, reviewed, and
excised at once.

So, whether or not the government should be allowed to control the distribution
of substances, which is a separate issue, this provision of this bill which
would mandate the expression and intent of free speech is unconstitutional and
should be stricken from the text of this bill, otherwise passage of this
provision is unconstitutional.

Here's to Athenian Democracy.

Ramez Naam wrote:

> While I'm strongly opposed to this bill, I also find the likelihood of it
> passing constitutional muster to be quite low.
> Bills like this and the CDA make me yearn for a "three-strikes and you're
> out" rule for legislators who sponsor or vote for patently unconstitutional
> legislation.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky []
> > Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 9:17 PM
> > To: Extropians
> > Subject: Outlawing drug speech - EEK!
> >
> >
> > >From: "Drug Policy News Service" <>
> > >To: <>
> > >Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 14:52:18 -0500
> > >Subject: [dpfnews] ACTION ALERT-Meth Bill Outlaws Any Drug Speech
> > >
> > >**********************************************
> > >ACTION ALERT -- Meth Bill Outlaws Any Drug Speech
> > >**********************************************
> > >
> > >Action is urgently needed to block passage of S.486, the
> > DEFEAT Meth Act.
> > >In addition to containing hefty sentencing enhancements for illegal
> > >production of both amphetamine and methamphetamine and significantly
> > >increasing funding for law enforcement, the bills most
> > threatening aspect
> > >is its less publicized restrictions on drug related speech.
> > >
> > >The bill makes it illegal "to teach or demonstrate the
> > manufacture of a
> > >controlled substance, or to distribute by any means
> > information pertaining
> > >to, in whole or in part, the manufacture or use of a
> > controlled substance."

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