Category Archives: drugs

“Drug prohibition is the golden goose of terrorism”

The Judge is Wise.  Watch this video.

Via Ed Brayton, Judge Jim Gray, a conservative California judge with lots of experience fighting drugs, says the present policy benefits drug lords and terrorists among others. After laying out his case, Jones concludes the most patriotic thing he can do is work to repeal drug laws:

I like how the judge has to lay out his hardass bonafides before launching into his anti-prohibition arguments.  “I’m not a dirty hippie, dammit!”  Nixon to China and all that.  Hey man, whatever it takes!

Then there is the social justice argument that he leaves largely unsaid.  I caught some of this interview with Michelle Alexander last week, laying out the racial angle of the War on Drugs, and it’s pretty appalling.

The war on drugs waged in these ghetto communities has managed to brand as felons millions of people of color for relatively minor, nonviolent drug offenses. And once branded a felon, they’re ushered into a permanent second-class status, not unlike the one we supposedly left behind. Those labeled felons may be denied the right to vote, are automatically excluded from juries, and my be legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, public benefits, much like their grandparents or great grandparents may have been discriminated against during the Jim Crow era.

[...]

The war on drugs, contrary to popular belief, was not declared in response to rising drug crime. Actually, the war on drugs, the current drug war, was declared in 1982 by President Ronald Reagan at a time when drug crime was actually on the decline. A few years later, crack cocaine hit the streets in poor communities of color across America, and the Reagan administration hired staff to publicize crack babies, crack mothers, crack dealers in inner-city communities, in an effort to build public support and more funding, and ensure more funding, for the new war that had been declared. But the drug war had relatively little to do with drug crime, even from the outset.

The drug war was launched in response to racial politics, not drug crime. The drug war was part of the Republican Party’s grand strategy, often referred to as the Southern strategy, an effort to appear—appeal to poor and working-class white voters who were threatened by, felt vulnerable, threatened by the gains of the civil rights movement, particularly desegregation, busing and affirmative action. And the Republican Party found that it could get Democrats—white, you know, working-class poor Democrats—to defect from the Democratic New Deal coalition and join the Republican Party through racially coded political appeals on issues of crime and welfare.

Lovely.  Part II of the interview is here.

Let it Grow

Maine Public Radio reported the desire by some to reverse the voter’s clear intention and switch to a plan of centralized large scale grow centers. Why did they ask us to vote on it if they were just going to do their own thing anyway? I’ve been waiting for my chance to advocate for free markets, well here it is. Just let the people file the paperwork and get to growing. Keep the damn govn-mt out of my marijuana!

Totally Wasted

Mother Jones has a great new issue out devoted to the War on Drugs. Every article so far has been money. Check it out!

But then, the drug war has never been about facts—about, dare we say, soberly weighing which policies might alleviate suffering, save taxpayers money, rob the cartels of revenue. Instead, we’ve been stuck in a cycle of prohibition, failure, and counterfactual claims of success. (To wit: Since 1998, the ONDCP has spent $1.4 billion on youth anti-pot ads. It also spent $43 million to study their effectiveness. When the study found that kids who’ve seen the ads are more likely to smoke pot, the ONDCP buried the evidence, choosing to spend hundreds of millions more on the counterproductive ads.)

I also went ahead and threw up some new Rec List headings at right, since Reefercake signaled approval.  I don’t mean to dominate that column, and hope that fellow editors feel free to post their recommended links too.  I originally conceived of it as being a revolving set of links with old stuff falling off, but now that it’s grown long I kind of like that too.

At any rate, here is the full lineup of articles from MoJo:

Americans for Responsible Bong Hits

During our drive up to Phishcapades, Dick Vinegar and I had a nice conversation on the topic of LEGALIZE IT. Dick, the realist, said no fahking chance, the country is miles away from making that a reality.  My position was, essentially, if not now, when?  My reasons for optimism are ill-formed and diffuse.  Prisons are over-crowded and under-funded, therefore amnesty for non-violent drug offenders is the obvious place to start. Rising unemployment and no health care got the people in a state of concern?  Give them leave to self-medicate with reefer.  Tired of nagging questions about torture regimes, corporate bailouts, and war without end, while the country continues its slide into oblivion?  Change the conversation – to reefer!

That said, Barney Frank introduced a new bill to Congress last week: H.R. 2943, the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009.  This is basically a national version of the recent Massachusetts law that decriminalized weed and brought us the Great Reefer Cloud of Aught Nine that took shape over Great Woods during the clip above.

Frank has filed a bill that would eliminate federal penalties for personal possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana.

It would also make the penalty for using marijuana in public just $100.

“I think John Stuart Mill had it right in the 1850s,” said Congressman Frank, “when he argued that individuals should have the right to do what they want in private, so long as they don’t hurt anyone else. It’s a matter of personal liberty. Moreover, our courts are already stressed and our prisons are over-crowded. We don’t need to spend our scarce resources prosecuting people who are doing no harm to others.”

Digby and Dick Vinegar are certainly right to have no expectation that this bill can pass the neanderthals in Congress.  Much like their unrepresentative stance on health care reform and the public option, these clowns are blithely dismissive of the will of the people when it comes to reefer. At least not until such time as the tobacco companies get their processing plants in order and tell their lobbyists to give the ok.  As with the fight for gay marriage equality, the prospects for near-term success are all at the individual state level.  In the meantime, it can’t hurt to contact your local rep and let him or her know that you and everyone else you know who secretly smokes pot (which is everyone else you know) will have their back.

Ask Your Doctor About…….

I watched this advertisement for the wonder drug “Abilify” the other day and started laughing out loud when the narrator with the smooth, calming voice began to read off the side effects. I thought I was watching one of SNL’s commercial parodies.

Actually it is quite sad. Sure bipolar disorder is a very serious mental disease, but is this the right way to treat it? And is it not hypocrisy that medical marijuana is only allowed in thirteen of the fifty states?

Reality Check

I wasn’t going to waste my time bitching about Dr. Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General just on the basis of his piss poor performance vis a vis Michael Moore’s Sicko.  Then I read this and was compelled…

Why I Would Vote No On Pot

That’s the title, the rest is crap, and there’s really no point in quoting any more.  Suffice it to say, mister teevee doctor published an article in Time magazine the week before the 2006 midterm election in order to discourage residents of Colorado and Nevada from voting to decriminalize reefer. Oh yes, he’s very familiar with the medicinal properties of the miracle herb…

But I suspect that most of the people eager to vote yes on the new ballot measures aren’t suffering from glaucoma, Alzheimer’s or chemo-induced nausea. Many of them just want to get stoned legally.

Yeah, no shit, asshole.  Got anymore brain busters?  What do you care anyway?

Why do I care? As Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, puts it, “Numerous deleterious health consequences are associated with [marijuana's] short- and long-term use, including the possibility of becoming addicted.”

Oh, addiction, riiiiiiiight…

Bottom line, there are any number of sniveling media peons who are glad to mouth whatever status-quo gate-keeping bullshit happens to be the order of the day.  Gupta seems to be happily in their number.  Hell, it’s probably why Obama picked him.  That doesn’t make him any less of a gutless asshole.  (Or, as it’s called in DC: “centrist”)

I mean honestly, to write an article in a national magazine disparaging pot on the eve of an election under the auspices of medical authority?  Were you in the running for bootlicker of the year?  If so, congratulations.  I eagerly await your expose about the unsung nutritional benefits of American beef.

And so, Dr. Gupta, you are my Hypocrite of the WeekTM.  Witness this classic performance nitpicking the movie Sicko.  Be sure to hang in there for Moore’s real-time response around the 5 minute mark…

Here’s the head-to-head on Larry King…

 As Krugman notes in the link at the top:

appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.

Pinko Update:

Let the vetting begin!

Drug War Propaganda

Just went fishing for the latest in war on drugs propaganda from the white house.

The science in this study is a joke. They point out that less kids admit to having used drugs and then give the credit to the widespread increase in school drug testing programs. Never mind the fact that when presented with a police state atmosphere at schools, kids may be less honest about their activities.

I am no fan of kids using drugs or alcohol. However, I feel the crux of the issue is misinformation about drugs, i.e. reefer madness, that gives kids a fundamental misunderstanding of the relative dangers of different drugs. In other words a kid may smoke pot, find it quite harmless, and then say why not try meth? And if booze is legal, why not down a fifth of jack and puke your guts out?  The illegality of pot contributes to its gateway phenomenon. So whenever some utterly hypocritical bastard tells you pot is a gateway drug, tell them that if it was legal, it would not be a gateway. The logic is pretty simple…is it not?

Cops, come and try to snatch my crops

The internets win again!

It’s called an informant plant. The Odessa narcotics unit illegally compelled an informant to plant drugs on Yolanda Madden. The informant testified in federal court he planted the drugs on her and he passed a polygraph confirming the same. Yolanda also passed a polygraph along with a hair follicle and urine test. Our broken criminal justice system ignored the evidence and railroaded her through court sentencing her to 8 years in prison.

Her father hired KopBusters, a new reality show produced by NeverGetBusted, whereby Barry and Candi along with their detectives set up stings across America to catch crooked Kops.

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster’s attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster’s secret mobile office nearby.

The attorney was handcuffed and later released when eleven KopBuster detectives arrived with the media in tow to question the illegal raid. The police refused to give KopBusters the search warrant affidavit which is suspected to contain the lies regarding the probable cause.

Not much more to add to this.  Hope the media attention gets this woman some justice.  Her whiteness and overall lack of blackness at least gives her a shot.  The larger issue with these drug raids is the twisted incentive system set up by the forfeiture laws that allow the police to snatch not only crops but your whole damn house.

Here’s our boy in New Hampshire from way back in September 2007…

Smile, you’re on YouTube! Now we’re holding you to it!