Sex, drugs and hypocrisy: a story of a city council

Once upon a time in land not so different than our own there was city built along a mighty iconic river with towering mountains to the west and never ending prairie to the east. It was the largest city in the state.

During one of the waning days of summer a council of citizens, who were elected by the residents of the city to make decisions for the good of the people, gathered for their weekly meeting. They had an important decision to make: whether or not to allow medical marijuana shops to open within their fair city.

Citizens came in droves and lined up to speak. Many gave heartfelt and compelling testimony about the ways medical marijuana improved their quality of life, helped them kick opioid addiction, and made cancer treatment bearable.

And then one man stood. We shall call this man Jeff. Jeff ran an organization in a nearby town that protected the citizens of the state from imaginary things. We shall call this organization the Family Foundation. Jeff was nervous but he steeled himself for his testimony.

He thought, "If not now, when? If not me, who?"

Jeff walked up to the podium and cleared his throat. He told the council that he knew a man, a man who lived in a city not so far away, who had trouble selling a commercial building because it was next to a medical marijuana dispensary. He paused for dramatic effect.

"The smell," he said, "we have to consider the smell."

"Nailed it," Jeff thought to himself, with a little fist pump he hoped no one noticed.

Some members of the council solemnly nodded as he spoke. "Yes," they thought, "Jeff makes a good point, we must consider the smell. The residents of our town should not be asked to smell the smell of weed if they don’t want to smell the weed. And what if someone at some point is a little inconvenienced when they try to sell their commercial building?"

"How much can we ask of this community," they thought?

As the council considered the wise words of Jeff, outside, there were three nearby oil refineries along the banks of the mighty river. Occasionally, or maybe frequently, those refineries flared off some gas and stuff, the smell of chemicals and sulfur so ubiquitous that most citizens didn’t notice it anymore. The smells of the refineries were famous throughout the state.

Jeff continued. He spoke of the evils of the marijuana. It is a gateway drug. It is addictive. Addiction is bad, said Jeff. If you allow this, you, the government, are encouraging an addiction.

As the council members considered the evils of addiction, thousands of citizens were in one of the 127 casinos playing at one of the 2,229 gaming machines within the city limits. These citizens weren’t at the council meeting — because they were gambling — but that’s only because they were certain that the council was looking out for their best interests. They weren’t addicted or anything. Also, in this community, there were 82 painkiller prescriptions for every 100 people.

One council member thought about the stiff whiskey he was going to have when he got out of this interminably long meeting.

Jeff went on.

"Marijuana tears at the moral fabric of our society," he said. "It destroys families. And the children, he said, we must protect the children."

As the council members considered the moral fabric of their society, outside there were around 30, maybe a little more, maybe a little less, “spas” and “massage parlors” in this town. They were open 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week and were located all over town; on main roads, in shopping centers and one was even across from a local high school. The windows were darkened and the neon lights never shut off.

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These spas were places where men, no matter their standing in the community — doctors, lawyers, politicians, truckers, mechanics — could go and pay for a hand job, or maybe a blow job or maybe even sexual intercourse with young Asian women whenever they wanted. Ride your bike or park your car a little bit down the street and throw on a hat and you’re good to go.

Many of these women have their passports taken, their visas confiscated and are forced under the threat of violence to have sex with strange men. They are moved around to keep them uncertain and scared about their surroundings.

These women are slaves, they are the face of human trafficking.

If a man had enough money, he could buy a 14-year-old girl for $900 for the first hour, $800 for the second and if he wanted to keep her for three or more hours, the price keeps going down.

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But this story is coming to a close boys and girls. In the end, seven out of the eleven council members determined it was in the best interest of the community not to allow medical marijuana shops within the city limits. And we were all saved, oops, I mean the people of this imaginary city were all saved from a smell of marijuana and most importantly, the horrendous impacts of people feeling better by smoking or eating pot if they have cancer or another disease.

Jeff was pleased. He could now focus all of his efforts on making people scared of transgender people. Don't thank him though, he's just doing his moral duty to the citizens of this state.

The end.

If you want more information about human trafficking and what you can do to help, you can start with the Polaris Project.

22 Comments on “Sex, drugs and hypocrisy: a story of a city council

  1. Thank you for this succinct and right-on essay. Truly appreciate it. You aced it. Will we ever overcome our provincialism? Our society’s aversion to what is truly good – or truly bad? Will we ever be able, as a society, to differentiate?

  2. The three refineries do most of their egregious flaring of waste after midnight and before first light. Fewer witnesses don’t you know.

  3. Are you serious. It is hilarious that people keep comparing marijuana with such things as gambling, and illegal sex, and I guess now human trafficking…. Basically saying that you allow these horrible acts, why not allow one more right… Maybe pot dealers should take a note from the “spa” owners and have a legal business front, but sell pot in the back… Because guess what cupcake, both are still federally illegal, and will get shut down if ever caught. Ya’all have your feelings hurt that you have to travel, what, and extra 2 blocks to get your weed… Because, yes, the main weed dealer in Billings, is literally on the edge of city limits… But please keep taking shit and making assumptions about the people who were elected to represent this city by a majority of voters… Because unless I see your name on a ballot, your ranting hold no grounds..

    • Hello Steve. Yes I’m serious. You obviously don’t understand the point of my blog and I don’t give two fucks about what you think about it. So go fuck yourself, cupcake.

    • Well it’s obvious that you Steve have relations with the city council and that’s why you’re so upset by this article because it speaks the truth and offends you because you know you’re wrong

    • Yay for you Alexis! It’s Morons like Steve that haven’t taken the time to understand the benefits associated with those are going through the pain, nausea associated with cancer, epilepsy, arthritis, neurological disorders etc or researched the endocannibinoid (sp?) system that gives people relief and a sense of normality. This comes from cannabis with THC And from Hemp based CBD that is non-Psychoactive that has helped thousands, yet they associate to “potheads” and defend human trafficking. It is also an alternative to healing from the opioid epidemic. Please, the false prophets of today’s morals need to educate in order to legalize finally on federal, state and city levels to help those in need of depression, anxiety, cancer and the list goes on. Get off your High Horse Steve and educate yourself and above all else, her name is Alexis, not Cupcake!

  4. You forgot to mention the nasty smell the Sugarbeet factory makes

  5. As a medical professional I see so many who have found an answer to their pain in cannabis/hemp. It is often used in oil and other ways that do not cause a “high.” Most have exhausted all other efforts to alleviate pain and finally get some relief through this source. I like this article! We do make this plant out to be something “immoral” while turning out backs to other more sinister and damaging transactions in our community such as the article mentioned. The sale of prescription drugs is very prominent on our streets for example. I’m not on the council representing voters but I am in the corridors of our city walls creating change one to one where I can. Sometimes the most power for change is behind the scenes working to empower voters themselves. Great article saith me!

  6. Steve, what is so horrible about marijuana? It’s not a gateway drug. Proven fact. The gateway is the illegal activity you have to do to get it. It’s then that other drugs get introduced to kids or adults. When you have an open conversation with addiction clinics they laugh at the danger and addictiveness that this drug gets rated under. Alcohol is 10 x more addictive and dangerous, let’s not even mention opioids. The main problem for the federal gov is how they going to get their cut in taxes. I have smoked now for 40 years I’m 58 years old, got and had good business practices and work ethics in many places around the world. I have raised an amazing daughter in Montana and got a 11 year old now. They excell in school past and present. They know about community work and sharing . They also knows I smoke weed. I have never lied to them about it. I have always said not while you in high school same as drinking. My oldest told me when she turned 21 that in her class it 04 she was one of the very few who never had a M.I.P. At the same time I also preached against M shops next to schools or smoking big glass bowls in public, don’t rub it in the conservatives faces. I can start my day with 4 ibproverns and at noon take 4 more aswell as bed time as i got no cartlige left on my knee , instead i smoke a one hitter about 9 am around 2pm and after work when i have a beer or 4. That dose does not make me high ,it calms me and I don’t feel the throbbing pain in my knee. I dont harm you or steel from you to get my fisical and mental addictive drugs that is legal. Im not telling you how to lead your life or what to do , please stop trying to tell me how i need to live. CUPCAKE. And my name Is Sam Van Eeden I lived in Billings for many years had a very good Deck building business there now I live in Georgia doing the same thing I was a head submarine chef at 19 aswell as the machine gunner in the South African Navy, got a degree in agriculture travelled the world which I’m still doing . Please dont give me your ignorant conservative bullshit as if you knows. Great article Lexi

    • If you re-read my post, I never once said I was against medical marijuana, quite the contrary. I believe that everyone has a right to put whatever they want in their bodies. A right my grandmother expressed before cancer took her life..I am tired of these supposed pro-marijuana supporters comparing this fight to things like human trafficking ( please talk to a mother about her struggles of losing a child and compare it to your struggle of driving an extra 5 min to get your medicine) Or comparing it to legal addictions (alcohol, gambling) crack open a history book and take note that these things were fought for, for an extended period of time….. Not handed to people over night… So once again, please stop acting like victims, ( nobody took your weed away) put your words into actions, and get out there and fight to make this federally legal, so that local governments can follow suit…

      • The state gov is where we can more easily make progress. The senate and sessions makes it nearly impossible to make progress. This will show the voters and national legislators that cannabis is not a threat. Think of it like Kansas providing evidence libertarian principles are likely wrong. When enough state experiments result in the same conclusion, the feds will listen. They won’t have a choice. This will lead to change. Notice how Colorado is not a crime capital but a pretty decent place. You act like things need time, but we’ve been fighting this fight for decades. Now is the time

  7. Long before reading this, I decided I will not be voting for “Jeff” for any office. He doorbelled us a few years ago and sidestepped the question of what he would do to keep drunk drivers off the streets. Later, in the Legislature, he set out to roll back the people’s vote on medical marijuana. Everything I’ve seen from him is about pressing the social-conservative agenda.

  8. I’m a medical patient and dealing with the supreme court decision being enacted and then waiting to be able to have access to my meds again after the election was incredibly frustrating. Seeing the other patients from my dispensary with even more severe conditions suffer from this bureaucratic bullshit has been infuriating and humbling. I got no love for Essman, Zabawa, and whoever this new clown is.

    I am also a sex worker and have been for the past 14 years. I think conflating dispensaries and massage parlors/spas is something those opposed to medical marijuana would do and unfortunately incredibly misguided. Please read up on the Polaris Project and reconsider pointing readers in their direction. http://titsandsass.com/big-mother-is-watching-you-the-polaris-project-rhode-island/ I was a co-founder of Tits and Sass and there is a wealth of articles written by actual sex workers and trafficking survivors about sex trafficking and the hysteria around it.

    • Hi Jess, Thank you for the comment. Just to be clear, I wasn’t equating medical marijuana to massage parlors and spas and I’m sorry if that was how you took it. What I am saying is people who are against medical marijuana and base their judgement on morals or ethics are ridiculous for many reasons …. one of those reasons is that they allow something truly horrendous and illegal — human trafficking (which is way different than voluntary sex work) — to occur in the city and never do anything to help the women who are impacted by it or try to prevent these spas from opening. I’m saying medical marijuana is great and human trafficking is awful. Their priorities are extremely messed up. And personally, I don’t think there is hysteria around sex trafficking.

    • Also, thanks for the additional information. I’ll definitely take a look.

  9. Well written Alexis. Conservatives definitely favor some addictions over others. My office is right next door to a grow warehouse and I must admit that I strongly dislike the smell, but I do understand the medical uses of it and give it my support. Sex addiction and human trafficking is so destructive and has such far reaching consequences for so many innocent people.