Recently the NORML Network was cancelled. Since then Russ has been regrouping to do the Russ Belville show.
In an article on his website dated May 19th 2012, Russ asks “What would you like to see in The Russ Belville Show?”.
I think about Russ’s career in politics and the evolution of what was built at the NORML stash/NORML Live show.
First I think of when Russ drummed in the Obama presidency and campaign for Barack Obama.
As if Russ couldn’t tell that Obama was an establishment politician? Well either he was ok with that, or he was naive about how Barack Obama would change.
When Russ was drumming in the Obama administration, I was asking Obama if he was going to be a liar, which I suspected that he would.
This is Russ’s speech about Barack Obama in October 2008.
This was my video addressing Barack Obama in December 2008.
In Russ’s video he praises Barack Obama without hesitation.
In my video I point out how Barack Obama campaigns on a marijuana platform of decriminalization, and “leave patients alone” and such. He also chides his opponents for not being forthcoming and not keeping their promises. I point out that I did not support Barack Obama, but instead I supported Ralph Nader and that while I appreciate Barack Obama as president, I want to see him be forthright and honest (just like he insisted that Hillary Clinton do).
Well in the end Barack Obama lied. He didn’t keep his promises in the least, and laughed at any questions that came his way regarding cannabis.
For a few years Russ talked a good game, and worked diligently to unite the community and share essential information about cannabis.
Around the year 2010 that started to change, and we started seeing constant attacks on Roger Christie and other people with religious faith.
The division in the cannabis community became more pronounced with Proposition 19 and the name calling and infighting that was launched from the NORML camp.
Then with I-502, more of the same insults, and personal attacks on opponents.
Fast forward to a week ago when it was announced that Russ Belville would not be doing the NORML network anymore but instead would just be doing the 30 minute podcast.
Now Russ asks what people would like to see in the new Russ Belville show that will start up on June 4th 2012. This is his questionnaire:
This is my response to Russ via his contact form:
Name: Ryan Thompson
What are your favorite parts of the show that should absolutely remain the same?: I love the in-depth facts about current cannabis news and legislation, I love the different voices and opinions on the topics as well.
What time would be best for you to catch the show live?: 5pm Pacific
The show will expand topics beyond just marijuana law reform, what do you think of that?: Excellent – marijuana reform is just one of many issues of personal freedom
If the show is going to be streaming in 720p HD, is that going to be a problem for your computer and bandwidth?: Maybe / I don’t know
What are your least favorite parts of the show that should be abolished immediately? (It’s just you and me – be honest, but constructive.): I don’t like the lack of objectivity when it comes to opposing points of view, for example to the infighting with the Prop19 opponents (I was a supporter of Prop19) and the disparaging words and rage against I-502 descenders (I am one of those). The facts are great. Presenting both sides is great. But the personal rage and slant on those topics make your show EXTREMELY hard to listen to, and in the past 18 months I have only listened to your show many 5 times. Where as before I listened to your show almost daily.
Anything else?: You are a smart guy, a professional broadcaster, and I am glad that you do what you do. Please be more respectful to religion, libertarian ideals, and people who disagree with you.
For further information about what I mean when I compared Chris Goldstein to Russ Belville. Chris Goldstein started the NORML Daily Audio Stash and later became a chapter president in New Jersey.
Chris Goldstein’s interview with Ron Paul in 2007 is what made me aware of NORML and had a lot to do with me becoming a supporter.
This is my video response to Russ’s questionnaire:
This is the interview that inspired me to become a supporter of NORML:
Ron Paul on NORML May 24th 2007
In the end I wish Russ the best. I won’t be sad to see several of the NORML Live guest hosts go.
I think that this will be a good change for NORML and for Russ.