William Melvin “Bill” Hicks (December 16, 1961 – February 26, 1994) was an American comedian, social critic, satirist and musician. His material, encompassing a wide range of social issues including religion, politics, and philosophy, was controversial, and often steeped in dark comedy. He criticized consumerism, superficiality, mediocrity, and banality within the media and popular culture, which he characterized as oppressive tools of the ruling class that keep people “stupid and apathetic”
At the age of 16, while still in high school, he began performing at the Comedy Workshop in Houston, Texas. During the 1980s, he toured the United States extensively and made a number of high-profile television appearances; but it was in the UK that he amassed a significant fan base, filling large venues during his 1991 tour. He also achieved a modicum of recognition as a guitarist and songwriter.
Hicks died of pancreatic cancer on February 26, 1994 in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the age of 32. In subsequent years – in particular after a series of posthumous album releases – his work gained a significant measure of acclaim in creative circles, and he developed a substantial cult following. In 2007, he was voted the fourth greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups, and he maintained that ranking on the 2010 list.
Our nation’s drug war is leading us to lock up more people than ever.
Those charged with a non violent drug crime face fines and incarceration. More people are arrested for drugs than for rape, murder and robbery combined. And minorities are being railroaded into this system at much higher rates than their white counterparts even though drug use between both groups is about the same.
h/t: The Huffington Post
“COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Rep. Eric Bedingfield once shunned all marijuana use, but when his eldest son’s six-year struggle with opioid addiction ended with his overdose a year ago, the conservative Republican co-sponsored medical cannabis legislation.
“My mindset has changed from somebody who looked down on it as a negative substance to saying, ‘This has benefits,'” Bedingfield said recently.
The 50-year-old teetotaler believes marijuana may effectively wean addicts from an opioid dependence. Ultimately, the Marine veteran hopes medical marijuana can be an alternative to people being prescribed OxyContin or other opioid painkillers to begin with, helping curb an epidemic he’s seen destroy families of all economic levels.
Two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, efforts to let patients legally access pot are slowly taking root in the South.”