Category Archives: News

Subjugation of Hamunaptra – The Biggest Cinema Show Ever!

“The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.” ~ Stella Adler

Now, Stella did give a stellar remark of what the word theatre means and that I believe was pretty awesome.

So here’s my take about the whole drama thing; “Drama is life and brings transformation to the one seeing it.” That’s why I love the art, live for the art, and can die for the art because it’s what give pleasure to my heart and what brings joy to my very  soul.

While preparing this article, I decided to ask my very good friend Annabelle, what she love about DRAMA and why she liked ACTING?

Here’s what she said:

EVERYTHING! The cast, the excitement, the cheers from the crowd, the costumes, the make-up, becoming someone else, experimenting with lines, and MUCH more…. Sam, trust me the feeling is so exhilarating!

Like Annabelle, all this makes me so happy and there’s that same feeling coming up soon when the world’s most amazing troupe will be presenting yet another fantastic Drama Ministration in what they call “Subjugation of Hamunaptra

Subjugation of Hamunaptra? What does that mean?

Well, good concern! I knew you’d ask.

Subjugation-Hamunaptra

SYNOPSIS:

In the year 1339BC, the ancient Egyptian, Naharuth Bin Sadat wrote in 7-scrolls of papyrus, a prediction that someday man will overcome Hamunaptra- lord of death and live forever. That man’s descendants will have immortality and live forever too.

The first volume of the scrolls was buried in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.
It surfaced in 1922 AD when British explorer John Carter discovered King Tut’s mummy in the valley of the kings.

In the year 2003 AD Israeli archeologist excavating the Dead Sea recovered the 7th volume of the scrolls from its watery grave. It was preserved in the saline waters of the Dead Sea.
That same year the United Nations World Heritage Council returned the 7th Volume of the Scrolls to Alexandria in Egypt and for the first time after many centuries, the two scrolls were together again.

Join us as Omdurman El-Meshra – curator of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities -unravels the mystery of the sacred scrolls.

The quest of a thousand Pharaohs will finally be laid to rest as Unveil Studios reenacts the Subjugation of Hamunaptra – history of mystery!

Sam: (Sigh) Hope you now understand what “Subjugation of Hamunaptra” is about?

You: I think so

Sam: You think so? Well, I will just go ahead and show you a 1minute video in order to catch a glimpse of what you’re in for.

You: Oh good thanks!

 Watch This:

So that’s the short clips guys….enjoy it!

You: So you told us about the event and even showed us the video clips, how about the event location?

Sam: Another fabulous question. 😀

So here:

EVENT DETAILS

MAINLAND CENTRE:Venue: HARVESTERS – Plot 5-7 Gbagada-Oshodi Expressway, Opposite Mobil filing Station, Gbagada, Lagos.
Date: 18th April,
Red carpet: 4.00PM.
Show Time: 1st Show: 5:00Pm, 2nd show: 6:30PM
RSVP: 07044429270-5

ISLAND CENTRE:Venue: HARVESTERS – Block 94, plot 22, Providence Street beside VFS, lekki Phase I , Lagos.
Date: 20th April,
Red carpet: 4.00PM.
Show Time: 5:30Pm.
RSVP: 07044429270-5

That’s about all the information you need to get to the event venue, be it on the Mainland or on the Island.

So I figured out you might want to go to the website to check for more info that’s if I’ve not herein covered them all, plus there’s the need to register in order to “reserve yourself a seat”. Go here to register.

You need to register ASAP to reserve a seat for yourself and your loved ones because over 20, 000 people would be present. I would want to sit in the main auditorium if I were you!

Conclusion

So that’s SOH and it’s an event that’s definitely going to go down the line of history, when it comes to Church Drama as over 20, 000 people would be present.

What insight me the most about SOH is the love, fight, tension, suspense, bitterness, happiness, carriage of the actors, and yeah….the lessons and message it passes to it viewers…and even more!

It’s thenceforth not erroneous to say that the play would be opulence, stupendous, bedazzlement, awesomely fascinating, breathtaking and of course outstanding. 😀 😀 😀

Over to you – please use the comments section below to share your own views and experiences:

  • Have you ever been to the cinema?What was it like?
  • DO you think you will be around? If not, why?

I’d like to thank YOU for taking the time to read this post – and as always, if you think your friends and followers might enjoy it, please don’t forget to ‘share’ :)

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‘I heard there is a group of homosexuals in this country’: Zimbabwe’s President Turns His Eyes On Gays

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has thrown his weight behind Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws and hinted at a crackdown on gays in his own country, state media reported Monday.

He castigated the West for punishing Kampala with aid cuts after President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill that banned homosexuality in the east African country.

“They (the West) want to tell us… that it’s a violation of human rights, that is what they are doing to Museveni right now,” Mugabe said.

“The human right you have as a man is to marry another woman not to get another man to marry, we refuse that,” said Mugabe at a weekend wedding reception of his only daughter Bona.

Mugabe has previously said homosexuality is un-African and described gays and lesbians as worse than pigs and dogs.

“It’s a terrible world we are in, a terrible world where people want to do things that they feel will enhance their own interests.”

He said until recently he was not aware of the existence of an association of homosexuals in Zimbabwe, and warned he would want to know who belongs to the group.

“I understand we have a group of homosexuals in this country. I didn’t know until I was told the day before yesterday. So we want to check on who is in that group,” Mugabe said.

The Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has long operated in the country despite Mugabe’s ranting against homosexuality.

Police have on several occasions raided the GALZ offices and prosecutors had laid charges against the association accusing it of operating an unregistered organisation. However, a magistrate dismissed the case last week.

Same sex marriages outlawed in Zimbabwe.

Thetrent

White House defends high bills for Africa trip

The White House Friday defended the first family’s upcoming weeklong trip to Africa, which could cost taxpayers up to $100 million, as “great bang for our buck.”

“There will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you tend to have very longstanding and long-running impact from the visit,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to President Obama.


SEE RELATED: Report: Obama spent more hours golfing, vacationing than in economic meetings


The Obamas’ trip, at a time of “sequestration” budget cuts, will take them to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa from June 26 to July 3. Citing a confidential planning document, the Washington Post reported that the trip will cost between $60 million to $100 million.

The excursion will involve military cargo planes airlifting 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines, and three trucks to carry bulletproof glass panels to cover the windows where the first family is set to stay. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship with a fully staffed medical trauma center will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.

Fighter jets will fly in shifts to provide around-the-clock protection over the president’s airspace. The trip will reportedly involve hundreds of Secret Service agents.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama also had planned to take a safari in Tanzania, which reportedly would have required a special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles in the event of a threat from wild animals. But the safari was canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner.

Mr. Rhodes said Mr. Obama already has traveled extensively to Asia and to Latin America, and he said some people think the president’s trip to Africa “is overdue.”

“Africa’s a critically important region of the world,” he said. “This is a deeply substantive trip and one that has been highly anticipated on the continent. And, frankly, there’s been great disappointment that the president hasn’t traveled to Africa until this point, other than a brief stop in Ghana.”

Presidential travel is expensive; the cost alone of operating Air Force One is about $180,000 per flight hour. President Clinton’s trip to Africa in 1998 cost about $42.8 million. President George W. Bush made two trips to Africa during his two terms, although cost estimates aren’t available for those visits.

Mr. Obama is expected to spend part of the trip emphasizing the importance of global health programs, including HIV/AIDS prevention.

“We have huge interests there,” Mr. Rhodes said. “You’ve got some of the fastest growing economies in Africa. You’ve got a massively growing youth population. You’ve got key security and counterterrorism issues that we work on with African countries.”

© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

 

 

I Did Not Snatch Anyone’s Husband – Foluke Daramola

Foluke Daramola is a well-known face in the Nigerian movie industry, as she came into the limelight in the late 90s with her appearance in Palace, a soap opera back then. She spoke with  AJIBADE  ALABI  on many issues, especially  her marriage to her new husband and on the feud with her friend, Princess Bukola Fasuyi. Excerpts: FolukeDaramola
Many people believed Foluke Daramola joined the movie industry not quite long. Can you tell us when you joined the industry?

I don‘t know of anyone that would say that I joined the movie industry not quite long. Thank God, you know how it all began. If I can still remember, we have met in location many times, even outside Lagos. There was a year we met in Osogbo, Osun State; I am talking about the year 2000. That was more than 12 years ago, and before then, I have been in the industry. I started in the 90s before I got admitted into the university. I started with talk shows on DBN and AIT and eventually, I got a role in Palace and while I was acting, I was studying with it.

So, can you tell us your educational background?
I went to Maryland Covenant and Anthony Model Primary Schools. I was at Ikeja High School, Ifako International School and LAFROGRAMS. I studied International Relations at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and for my Masters degree; I studied International Law and Diplomacy at the University of Lagos. Also, I did some professional courses too. I did some directing and I did a leadership course at Daystar Church.

Since you started acting before getting admission into the university, why didn’t you study Theatre Arts instead of International Relations?
My first love has always been to be a diplomat. I discovered acting along the line. I don’t have to go to the school of acting before acting well. I actually got admitted into OAU to study Accounting, but I just wanted to be a diplomat, so I changed my course to International Relations. I already have acting as a talent, so I don t need to study Theatre Arts.

Who are your mentors in the movie industry?
They are Olu and Joke Jacobs, Richard Mofe Damijo. In directing, my mentors are Amaka Igwe, Lola Fani-Kayode, Tade Ogidan and Tunde Kelani

What is your relationship with your colleagues in the movie industry?
It is cordial, but I am a private person. I don t keep friends apart from the younger ones that I have. It doesn’t mean that I have people as my enemies. I still maintain a very cordial relationship with my colleagues when we are off set and I know I can get in touch with them when we have one or two things to do together. I love privacy, so I like to keep myself to myself

The first time you were on set, how did you feel?
I was excited but scared. I was excited because I was acting with big names, like Liz Benson, Yomi Obileye and a whole lot of them, but I was really scared of them. Although, I had to get a slap, because my director, Uncle Tunji Bamishigbin, was asking: “what s wrong with you?” Because, I was not just getting my line so, I had to be slapped to get back on my feet and after that, I’ve been wonderful. It is like a part of me already

Have you been embarrassed by your fans before?
Several times. A lot of times, you get a lot of embarrassment. People would ask this or that about your personal life. But  you know you have to relate with your fans, no matter what, you will diplomatically know how to handle them. I have been in the industry for many years and I have made up my mind that I would never take away the real Foluke Daramola, the showbiz person.

I relate with people the way I am relating with you. If I am in a hurry to do something, I can go to the bus stop and pick a bike and go, not that I don’t see myself as a celebrity. Being a celebrity does not make me different from the next person, so I should be able to relate with everybody on the platform that you will be able to know that this person is an original person.

I am an original person and that is what I have trained my children to be. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you should be able to adapt to it. I tell people that there is hardly any situation that I cannot adapt to and I have inculcated that into my kids. I see myself as Foluke Daramola and I see you as yourself, either you are a journalist or not. If a pepper seller wants to talk to me, I would relate with her on that level and if a meat seller wants to talk to with me, I would relate with him on that level.

I don’t want airs around me. In fact, I don t know it, because if you allow that, that means your environment is ruling you. And once the environment is ruling you, the environment will eventually ruin you because it will be dictating your pace of life. If you cannot maintain that status, the standard you have set for yourself becomes a huge problem.

But there is this general belief that you are arrogant?
There is this Yoruba proverb that says, “ori o kin ri ara e” (the head cannot see itself). I see you like my brother doing your job and I am doing mine, if you don’t interview me, there are one thousand and one people you can interview. And when it comes to pride, I am not fantastic but I am very close to God, I pray, I talk to God and I believe I am a sinner and God will forgive me. But the Bible says he that brings himself down, God will raise him up and that he that raises himself up God will bring him down.

Pride is something that I don t believe in. I know a lot of people but if I see an iota of pride in you I will never associate with you. As I said, I am a very original person and I can relate with both the downtrodden and influential people. That is what is called true celebrity, being able to adapt to any situation but being proud is not in my dictionary.

Sometimes when you are in an environment and you are not comfortable in that environment, you can tend to look and “bone” your face but if you greet me, I would never bring you down. My godfather, Uncle Yomi Obileye, once told me that as a true celebrity, in your worst of moods, when your fans greet you, always force a smile.

When he said that thing, I thought  it was something easy for me to do, but over time, I realised it is the most difficult thing to do, because I might have a misunderstanding with my partner in the car and someone will just shout, “Foluke Daramola”. Of course, it would not be easy for me to force a smile, but then, I discover that if you can do it, it goes a long way. I always try to give a good impression to people, no matter what.

Are you separated or divorced?
I’m naturally divorced because it is over four years since I left him. But the paper work is not yet done. I don’t want complications really, complications in the sense that I don’t want my children involved in that mess and moreover, I’m not getting married tomorrow or any time soon.

Let talk on your marriage to Kayode. Howe did you feel?
Of course, I felt good. I am happy in my marriage

But people said you snatched somebody’s husband?
I did not snatch anybody’s husband. I never asked her to pack out of her husband’s house. Moreover, I did not meet her at home when I married Kayode.

But, when you were dating him, you knew he was married?
I knew.

But you still went ahead to marry him?
That is between him and me.

What about your children, don’t they ask after their father?
Whenever they are talking about their father, I always tell them that when they are old enough to use a phone, I will buy it for them and they can communicate with him, but when he says he wants to communicate with them, I allow him to do so. I never stopped him from doing so. I never stop him from communicating with them.

Your friend, Princess Fajuyi Bukola claimed you used charm to snatch Kayode from his wife. What would you say to that?
See, I don’t have anything to say to that, she can go ahead and say whatever she likes.

But the story is all over the town, she even claimed she took you to the man?
That is her problem. Why is she just saying it now?  I don’t have anything to say to that. All I know is now I am happy in my marriage.

Is it true you love wearing revealing clothes?
I used to wear them but the Bible says when I was a child, I acted like a child, when I became a man, I stopped being childish. When I was younger, I used to wear revealing clothes. When I was in OAU, I was myself, I clubbed, I partied, I had fun, I had relationships and I had heartbreaks. Now, I am much older, I no longer believe in wearing revealing clothes because I am more matured and I see things differently.
Even sometimes, when I see people wear it, I say with time, they would stop it, it is not things you can tell people to do or not to do. Then I used to believe that if you don’t wear anything skimpy or revealing, you were not in vogue, but now, if you tell me to wear it, I would just look at it and say no.

What advice do you have for up-and-coming actors?
First, they should be educated because for me, education is very important. Also, they have to put God first. They should be hardworking, focused and enduring. True success doesn’t come from being lazy or cutting corners.

 How fulfilled are you?
I am content but it is not that I am not working hard.  I want to live a good life.  I am okay.

Any word to your fans?
To my fans, I would say thank you, without them there won’t be me. But sometimes, when we make mistakes, celebrities generally, it is not that we want to make mistakes. That is just what makes us human and nobody is perfect.

 

Stray bullets hit 58-yr-old woman… as police battle cult members

When Madam Christiana Omotosho
went visiting her son, it was meant
to be a reunification trip. But
events took a frightening form. She
was shot by the police, not for
being a criminal or resisting arrest.
How was the 58-year-old woman
shot?

Police officers attached to the Pedro
Division at Onipanu area of Lagos State had their hands full recently when they engaged suspected cult members and robbers in the locality in a gun battle. In the end, a couple of innocent people were caught in the cross-fire. For a long time now, suspected cult members and robbers had reportedly found their way to Mushin and Palm Grove axis of the
metropolis.

This had, reportedly given law enforcement agents sleepless nights. The situation got to a stage that Lagos
Police Commissioner, Umar Manko, gave marching orders to his Divisional
Police Officers to brace up or be quizzed. In line with the directive and
acting on a tip off, policemen attached
to the Pedro Division recently went after suspects where they were reportedly hibernating.

Around 6:00p.m on Tuesday, May 29,
2013, at Popoola Street in the area, a
detachment of policemen reportedly
stormed the hideout and engaged the
suspected cultists cum robbers in a
gun battle. Sadly, during the police shooting, which was described as
‘indiscriminate’, stray bullets from the
police guns reportedly hit innocent
people close to the spot.

One of the victims of police’s action
was a 58-year-old woman, Christiana
Omotosho, who came to the vicinity to
see her son. Omotosho was reportedly
seated outside the house where the
suspected criminals were said to be
hibernating.

An eyewitness account claimed that the policemen drove into the area on Hilux van and immediately opened fire on the people seated where the suspected bandits were thought to be hiding. It was reported that the bullets hit parts of the shops in front of the house Omotosho and some other fun seekers were seated. She was reported to have suddenly screamed falling face flat on the ground.

It was reported that a pellet from the
bullet hit her forehead. Omotosho was
not the only victim of the cross-fire. Another victim, identified simply as
Olabisi, a cyber café operator who
reportedly was at the spot to purchase
an item also suffered various degrees
of injuries.

When Saturday Mirror attempted to
speak with Omotosho, she was said to
be receiving treatment at an undisclosed clinic. But her son, Adefisayo, whom the woman came to
see, claimed that his mother was badly injured.

“There is a little kiosk in front of my
house where guys always hang around. The police were coming from
Ogunbadejo area and when they noticed the guys there, the police
parked and jumped out of their vehicle.

None of the guys ran immediately they saw the police, but when the police officers jumped down and started positioning themselves, that was when the guys started running, and the police began to shoot indiscriminately,”
he said.

Adefisayo claimed further that while the policemen were shooting, the walls of the shops were riddled by bullets while bottles and other items around were also hit. Adefisayo, however, claimed that upon reporting the matter at the police station, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO)questioned whether he (Adefisayo) did not want the law enforcement agents to do their work as stipulated by law.

One Mrs Oloyede, who runs a bar in the area, also claimed that but for divine providence, a lot of people would have been killed. She claimed that her customers had to run for dear lives when the policemen started shooting indiscriminately.

Saturday Mirror in a chat with a police
Sergeant, who pleaded anonymity,
learnt that the policemen were on
routine patrol of the area and noticed
some bad boys lurking around the area before they alighted and gave the suspected criminals a good fight.

The police Sergeant maintained that
the suspected criminals also engaged
the law enforcement agents in gun
duel before they (criminals) beat a
retreat and bowed to the superior
firepower of the law enforcement
agents.

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Despite Protests, Turkey Vows to Push Ahead With Plans for Square

Sedat Suna/European Pressphoto Agency

A riot police officer fired a tear gas grenade on Saturday to disperse demonstrators during a rally against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.

ISTANBUL — Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey called for an immediate end on Saturday to the fiercest antigovernment demonstrations in years, as protesters clashed with riot police in here for a second day.

Mr. Erdogan vowed to push ahead with the redevelopment of a park in Taksim Square in Istanbul, the city’s equivalent of Tahrir Square in Cairo, with a replica Ottoman-era army barracks that would house a shopping mall.

Police officers fired tear gas and water cannons to prevent crowds of protesters chanting “unite against fascism” and “government resign” from reaching Taksim, where hundreds were injured in clashes on Friday.

Protesters also clashed with the police in the Besiktas neighborhood after walking across a road bridge over the Bosporus in another apparent effort to reach the square.

“Every four years we hold elections and this nation makes its choice,” Mr. Erdogan said in a speech broadcast on television.

“Those who have a problem with government’s policies can express their opinions within the framework of law and democracy,” he said “I am asking the protesters to immediately end these actions.”

The protest at Taksim’s Gezi Park started late on Monday after trees were torn up under the redevelopment plan, but has widened into a broader demonstration against the prime minister and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party.

Emergency medical workers said close to 1,000 people were injured in the clashes in Istanbul on Friday. Half a dozen lost eyes after being hit by gas canisters, the Turkish Doctors’ Association said.

The United States State Department said it was concerned by the number of injuries, while Amnesty International and the European Parliament raised concern about excessive use of police force. Interior Minister Muammer Guler said accusations that police officers had used disproportionate force would be investigated.

Protests erupted in the capital, Ankara, and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir late on Friday and there were calls on social media for similar demonstrations in more than a dozen cities on Saturday.

 

Obama and Marijuana: Then and Now

colorado-cannabis-580.jpg

What was your favorite badaboom in President Obama’s routine at the White House Correspondents dinner? Here’s mine, from when he was talking about how “the media landscape is changing so rapidly”:

 

You can’t keep up with it. I mean, I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around two A.M. (Laughter.) It’s true! (Laughter.)

Obama’s joke shows how far we’ve come since the not-so-long-ago days when standard operating procedure for a politician outed on pot smoking was to plead “youthful experimentation,” express contrition, and boast modestly of having straightened up and flown right. This President, as far as I know, has never said any such thing; he has no apparent regrets in that department. His joke allowed the tuxedoed, evening-gowned, middle-aged audience at the Washington Hilton to feel, for a precious moment, hip. The subtext was that smoking pot, whether a lot or a little, is just a normal part of growing up—maybe even, for some, part of being grown up. Marijuana doesn’t seem to have ruined his life, which has been pretty successful so far. Nor has it done much to blight the lives of the other people in the Hilton ballroom, most of whom, like the rest of the media, political, and Hollywood élites, have smoked pot, too.

We are now on our third straight (so to speak) President who, the evidence more than suggests, have personally flouted the laws against having possession of marijuana. But the incumbent is the first who has an irrefutable history as an “enthusiastic” (his characterization, not mine) stoner. If you read “Dreams from My Father,” then you know that Obama liked not only the drug’s psychoactive effects but also what might be called its democratizing qualities:

 

I had discovered that it didn’t make any difference if you smoked reefer in the white classmate’s sparkling new van, or in the dorm room with some brother you’d met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school…. Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection. And if the high didn’t solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world’s ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bullshit and cheap moralism.

David Maraniss, in “Barack Obama: The Story,” provides some pungent detail, helpfully summarized by none other than BuzzFeed. Young Barry, leader of a Punahou School clique styling itself the Choom Gang, pioneered “T.A.”—short for Total Absorption, the polar opposite of “I didn’t inhale.” Among other recreations, the future President was into “roof hits,” a non-wasteful method of smoking pot in a car (usually that white classmate’s V.W. bus, dubbed the Choomwagon) with the windows rolled up. Once the joint was reduced to a roach but some smoke was still trapped overhead, he and his friends would crane their necks upward to whoosh in the last wisps. He was also adept at “interceptions,” i.e., sneaking an extra toke when it wasn’t his turn—a risky stratagem, punishable, if noticed, by being skipped over on the next pass-around.

The problem with the joke, as with all those knowing chuckles at the Hilton, is that a great many people are suffering on account of marijuana—just not from the weed itself. Like young Obama, people who smoke marijuana do so because they find that it alleviates suffering (psychological, spiritual, physical), or simply because it helps them relax and enjoy themselves. Marijuana-associated suffering enters the picture only when prohibition does:

 

Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report.… Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with possession only. The remaining 99,815 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses.

There are still states where simple possession can theoretically put you in prison for life if it’s your third strike, but outrages like the one John Lennon immortalized thirty years ago are rare. Even so, tens of thousands of people still languish in federal and state prisons for marijuana offenses in a typical year, and just about everybody who gets busted for pot spends time locked up. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, estimates that from fifty to a hundred thousand Americans are behind bars for pot, and only pot, on any given night. The longer-term consequences can be a lot worse than a few hours of humiliating inconvenience. If you’re employed, you can lose your job. If you’re in college, you can lose your financial aid and you will lose your eligibility for student loans, as have some two hundred thousand of your peers. If you’re undocumented, you’ll probably get deported. If you’re a parolee, you’re apt to find yourself back in jail for the remainder of your sentence. All of which, of course, is but a small part of the suffering caused by the gargantuan, perpetual “war on drugs.”

So the joke was perhaps a little tasteless, if you’re the sensitive type. Not as callous as the video Bush junior made for the 2004 dinner, in which he pretended to look under the Oval Office furniture, mumbling, “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere.” But still a trifle discomfiting.

I like to think that if Obama had a Johnsonian majority on Capitol Hill, marijuana would no longer come under the federal criminal code. It would be the I.R.S.’s concern, not the D.E.A.’s. But then, if Obama had a Johnsonian majority we’d have single-payer universal health care, a hefty carbon tax, and semi-meaningful gun control. And Guantánamo would be just another naval base. So there’s no mystery about why Obama hasn’t tried to do anything legislatively to humanize the marijuana status quo. But there’s quite a lot he could have done—could still do—administratively and through executive orders.

For a start, he could arrange for the Justice Department to end the absurd classification of marijuana as a supremely dangerous Schedule I drug, like heroin. And he shouldn’t just knock it down to Schedule II, cheek by jowl with cocaine. Better to demote it to Schedule IV, where it would have Xanax and Ambien for company, or clear down to Schedule V, reserved for cough medicine. Better still, take it off the “schedule” altogether. If alcohol isn’t on there, marijuana shouldn’t be, either.

Second, he could make it clear—to the public, to the Justice Department, to the D.E.A.—that his policy is to avoid making life unnecessarily difficult for the eighteen states (plus D.C.) that allow marijuana use for medical purposes, for the two states that have made its recreational use permissible under state law (including Colorado; see Ryan Lizza’s piece on John Hickenlooper, the governor, in this week’s issue), for the dozen or so states and hundreds of localities that have decriminalized possession of small amounts, and, overall, for peaceful, otherwise inoffending marijuana smokers. To date, the Obama Administration’s signals in these areas have been confusing and its actions only slightly better (some would say slightly worse) than its predecessors’.

Third, but by no means last, he could change the name of the Office of National Drug Control Policy—a.k.a. the White House “drug czar”—to the Office of National Harm Reduction Drug Policy, and tell it to come up with something halfway as reasonable as the report of the Nixon-appointed Shafer commission, which, in 1972, when Obama was in sixth grade, recommended making marijuana legal.

Back here in the present, though, the drug czar’s latest ukase, ninety-five stupefying pages long, was issued last week. It makes some feeble gestures toward reform but mainly recycles the same old obsolete blather. In his introduction, President Obama mentions pot in only one sentence, and a curiously ambiguous sentence it is:

 

Despite positive trends in other areas, we continue to see elevated rates of marijuana use among young people, likely driven by declines in perceptions of risk.

Since he is suggesting that “elevated rates of marijuana use among young people” is not a positive trend (which it no doubt isn’t), is he implying that elevated rates of marijuana use among old people is a positive trend? (Which it certainly is, given the comfort cannabis provides for geriatric patients.) Also, is he purposely leaving open the possibility that “young people” are correct in perceiving marijuana use to be less risky (less risky healthwise, presumably) than—well, than the government has spent the last eighty years telling them it is?

Probably not, alas. I’m probably just grasping at straws. Obama is a busy man. He doesn’t have time to read, let alone encode, everything that appears over his robo-signature. But he really ought to feel a smidgen of shame that the government he heads treats people who do exactly what he used to do, and now casually jokes about, as criminals.

You can find good reporting on marijuana in general and medical marijuana in particular in O’Shaughnessy’s, a journal named after the physician who introduced cannabis to Western medicine in 1839. The annual print edition is distributed by doctors to patients, and articles are now being posted on its Web site, along with a blog by the managing editor, Fred Gardner. Gardner’s unusual résumé includes stints as an editor at Scientific American, an anti-war organizer, a private investigator, and press spokesman for the district attorney of San Francisco—all relevant experience, given that O’Shaughnessy’s covers pot-related science, medicine, politics, law, and history. O’Shaughnessy’s was co-founded in 2003 by the late Tod Mikuriya, M.D., the California doctor who was famously accused by Bill Clinton’s drug czar Barry McCaffrey of practicing “Cheech and Chong medicine.”

Above: A medical-cannabis cultivation facility in Denver. Photograph by Matthew Staver/Washington Post/Getty