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I decided to make an attempt to contact Hoam Rogh for this interview. Come to find out though, this was not an easy task since his record makes him more internet drifter than man. Evidently, a fugitive for jumping bail for "totally not wanting to pay for that guy." (His words) He hesitantly agreed to this interview, but would only do so through his attorney T. E.- Horwitz.
Hoam Rogh has spent the past year hiding somewhere in nondescript locales avoiding the world while maniacally writing Satan's Smoke and periodically shaking his fist in the air at big government. When he is not writing, Hoam Rogh passes his time on the rails, tending the overgrowth movement's multi-state marijuana crop. He rolls on and off the grid as needed. In through the woods, ducking under trees, the sound of passing helicopters overhead, it doesn't bother him.
His passion for the United States Constitution and desire to overturn marijuana prohibition brought him to write the most compelling, fictional, yet historically accurate literature ever written on the history of marijuana prohibition.
Hoam Rogh believes life teaches that following the rules is boring and has never paid off for anyone. With that in mind, he began making outrageous promises impossible to keep. He shot through the ranks of the corporate world with his paradigm. But it finally caught up with him and the legal fees needed to avoid prison did not get paid. Hoam Rogh posted bond and left, sending updates to his lawyer and promising him a "piece of the game." We worked through the challenges of the interview.
Killer Bud- What was the pivotal moment that inspired you to compile a fictional yet historically accurate rendition of how marijuana prohibition came to be and to end? Where did you get the ideas?
Hoam Rogh- I came up with the story while jumping bail. My lawyer blathered--at great length and expense--about how when he went to school and read all these constitutional cases, it dawned on him that the law was wrong. I could not pay bail, let alone his fees , so I wrote this story out while on the lamb. Please buy it, I need to pay off my lawyer so he will stop having me arrested. Do you owe your attorney 150 grand? No? Well welcome to my world. It comes in book form.
And to continue not answering your question directly, there's more law in Satan's Smoke than in any other work of fiction, especially related to pot. I don't know if that's a good thing. Then there is also lots of history in it. It was the most difficult story to make readable and able to relate to. I think I got it done. I kept track of how long it took to write to see if my attorney would accept payment that way. No dice. So, we have to see if it sells, or if I keep getting arrested by my legal debts. I hate getting arrested and I think people who think likewise will love this book. They say that knowledge is power, but they also lie like a rug.
Killer Bud- Why did you release Satan's Smoke for free online for 4/20 when it still was not completed?
Hoam Rogh We saw that 4/20 is a big time holiday for freedom loving people. Then we saw that SAFER was giving away their book. Ours was not finished yet, but we felt that we had enough to start getting it out there. We ended up only giving away about 100 e-books. SAFER gave away like 15,000 or something.
Killer Bud- What do you think about how things are currently moving towards marijuana reform?
Hoam Rogh Change is so close that I may never see any sales on this work and probably end up arrested again cause I can't pay my lawyer. Everyone wants the law changed. You can't throw a rock and find someone who thinks marijuana is more dangerous than booze. I think the federal law will change as quickly as a few months, but certainly before 2015.
Killer Bud- You seem very optimistic in a resolution occurring really soon. I hope you are right.
Killer Bud- Do you think a constitutional challenge to anti marijuana laws is imminent? If so, how come no one has tried using the issues you mentioned for a defense already?
If they have tried could you provide a reference as to how and what occurred?
Answered by his lawyer, T.E. Horwitz, The arguments in the book are diverse. When crafting a constitutional challenge you need a few things. You need the right litigant, which you can just imagine with fiction. You need the right words, which can be very difficult to pin down and frame. Plus, you need the right time. Each passing day makes the federal law more absurd. The Village of Euclid case mentioned in the book, but also from 1926, states constitutional principles do not change, times change. Sometimes laws that were fine one day may be wholly arbitrary a few decades later, that's federal marijuana law.
Many challenges have been tried that have focused on several respects but none like that in the book. NORML filed lawsuits early on after the CSA was passed, and the Schafer report broke. They always petition the DEA after their pending petition is denied. There should be a new petition denied any day now. The Raich case SCOTUS handed down in 2005 said that all marijuana possession may be regulated by the commerce clause to the constitution, but did not address the scheduling of the current regulation.
Killer Bud- The Obama administration, has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels. - $10 billion of the $15.5 billion drug-control budget is going to be for enforcement and the other $5.5 billion is supposed to go towards drug treatment.
Was this just more of the same or do you see some progress in that fact that drug treatment was inclusive to this years budget on the war on drugs?
Why do you think the Obama administration is so unwilling to make real concessions and consider at the very least rescheduling marijuana?
Hoam Rogh President Obama has systematically played it safe. He got his Health Care Reform passed, and numerous other things come up. Pot prohibition goes hand in hand with immigration reform. However, he wants to serve for 8 years. Coming out for legalization would, maybe, deliver upon us a new Dick Nixon. Some wacko crying about law and order.
Also think what would happen if he changed the law? Thousands of cops would lose their jobs, in this economy do we want thousands of gun-toting disgruntled people, there's already millions of them, so why add ones with firearm training to their ranks?
Killer Bud- In your opinion, why are so many politicians afraid to endorse ending marijuana prohibition?
Hoam Rogh -Politics is like a corporation. You take all of the good and limit liability for any of the bad, all pop no drop. It's moronic. Marijuana reform would need new law, new policy, new everything. Being anti marijuana gets you pictures with cops, makes you appear as if you are providing safety. It's all smoke and mirrors, but we're talking about politicians here.
Killer Bud- At this point in time would they really be committing political suicide if they supported the end of marijuana prohibition?
Hoam Rogh-They won't approach anything that may risk their phony baloney jobs. They serve us to get re-elected. They are very powerful as well, the status quo pays off lots of people that are already in power at the expense of those that have little power. Why change it? Except for the crippling societal costs. For example, the explosion of violent crime after we tried to crack down on the drug trade. Only an economist would have seen that coming, and they rarely are in politics.
Killer Bud- Mr. T.E. Horwitz, what is your legal opinion on using Jury Nullification for a defense in marijuana possession charges?
T.E.- Horwitz- Jury Nullification should only be used as a last resort. First, you should use motion practice and raise the defense of unconstitutionality. Then the judge would have to rule on that.
Juries do not decide questions of law. The problem with jury nullification is that is what they are doing. There are numerous ways to control for such things. Jurors may be removed if the prosecutor believes they will nullify the conviction. The bench can override a jury on a point of law. Jury nullification will not work, nor has it. Many more times the judge has found some laws to be unconstitutional. Perhaps in 1645 jury nullification would be warranted, but it has not been legitimate in well over 100 years.
Killer Bud- Many people talk about voting, putting it to the legislature, would you recommend legislative action instead of legal action?
Hoam Rogh- No. Legal action doesn't wait til election day. I saw that article you recently wrote about NJ Weedman thinking about running for Congress. He and anyone else who smoke hella dank, only go to show the main argument the book will raise. The classification of pot as a schedule 1 substance is irrational and arbitrary. I wanted to use the police power, I wanted to use equal protection's ban on invidious discrimination. Our rights are a mesh like a web, but the powers of the federal government are finely enumerated--or are supposed to be. But in the end, I think the 5th amendment due process, appears to win the day. The deal is that every conceivable rationality must be disproved for the law to be struck down. And with each passing day the weight of the irrationality for pot as a schedule 1 substance grows.
Killer Bud- What do you think would happen if Anslinger said those racist comments in this day and age?
Do you think he would of been serving in any capacity running a federal office?
What do you think of his longstanding legacy of marijuana prohibition?
Hoam Rogh -Anslinger I believe changed his tune over the course of time, away from primal fear of racism and towards other fears, insanity for example, or being a shiftless loser.
Would he be serving in federal office? He's a guy that thinks he knows what other people should be doing, he'd be a Senator at least. If he could keep his mouth shut about racism, but look at Rand Paul.
His legacy of marijuana prohibition has led to a federal government where lies are the norm, the rise of the police state, the erosion of personal freedoms, and helped keep the poor poor and the rich in power. Not the kind of stuff you want on your tombstone if you're an American, maybe a commie, but not American.
Killer Bud- How come you did not go with arguments in the book about the racist aspects of the law. Isn't that unconstitutional?
T. E. Horwitz -The racism is real, but impossible to prove to the level it must be proved. So it won't happen. The law is simply against all marijuana. Despite how it has been historically enforced, there probably is just not enough evidence to raise a race based challenge where it needs to be as proving it will be more difficult. Take for example the crack cocaine sentences, they are only now being brought back down. The sentences were handed down to over 90% black offenders. That is how a race-based law will be struck down.
Today, many offenders of using marijuana are white, black and brown. So they don't have the same argument. While it may be valid, it does not rise to the level where courts will step in and overrule the law for simply race. However, there is a class challenge. Marijuana laws created a criminal class of people that numbers in the scores of millions. How many people have used marijuana in American? 100 million? They are all criminals. So what we have is a law that cannot be enforced, a law that is arbitrary. Challenging an arbitrary law can be a different constitutional challenge than the one used for a race-based law.
Killer Bud- I'd like to thank Mr. Hoam Rogh and T.E- Horwitz for taking the time to reach out and discuss this here with a fellow activist. It is partly through constructive conversations like this that we will eventually change the tide on marijuana reform. People really need to get themselves educated in order to prevent themselves from being spoonfed tyranny.
I hope more folks will stand up and be more proactive regarding marijuana reform.
Speak out for freedom, and compassion, and accomplishing this goal peacefully by making your vote count.
Only 15 states currently have medicinal marijuana approved. I hope, at least medical marijuana will be approved in all of them one day. Many other states need petitions filled and volunteers to get signatures. So there is still a long way to go, but hopefully soon this will finally be over.