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:
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!
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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
Reeferendum is going to be a big part of this site. Until mary jane is legal this country is in a state of perpetual hypocrisy. Anyone is allowed to poison themselves by binge drinking grain alcohol, but those who use a natural plant with scientifically proven medicinal properties are subject to legal penalty. What is up with that? No one is saying it shouldn’t be regulated, but there is no doubt that the right to fire up a bowl or flip on the vaporizer in the privacy of your own home is fundamental. We’ll have more on the past, present, and future of this issue. For now, let us celebrate our solidarity in song…
Lots of good news at the ballot box last week, as it seems that in addition to all those other wars, we’re now losing the Drug War too. The reefer reform lobby saw victory on 10 of 11 statewide ballot initiatives, proving once again that the people know better than Uncle Sam when it comes to Aunt Mary.
Congratulations to Massachusetts, which is set to become the 13th state to decriminalize the reef. Interestingly enough, Michigan became the 13th state to legalize so-called medical marijuana. I say interestingly, because lucky number 13 has long been the numerical symbol for marijuana… and Massachusetts and Michigan both begin with “M”, which is the 13th letter of the alphabet… Don’t get me started on the legend of the G-13… (perhaps Sunshine could chime in on the comments?)
Aw, dude, that cloud has a vein in it… and it’s bleeding on me, man! The cloud is bleeding on me! Wait, go back…
Let’s review that list of states that have decriminalized the maryjane (that is to say, possession of small amounts of marijuana is now a fine rather than a jailable offense): Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, and Mississippi… what’s missing from that list of “M” states? God damn right, Maryland. If Missouri and Montana turn before Maryland, so help me… (The remaining states that round out the 13 are Alaska, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon.)
But honestly, why are we just nibbling at these trifling, archaic reefer laws? Last I checked, we’re staring down the worst economic slump since the Great Depression. Estimates about the value of the United States’ domestic reefer crop vary anywhere from $4 to $25 billion (source: Reefer Madness, by Eric Schlosser, 2003). In fact, here’s a nice little passage from that book:
In 1997 the Austrian economist Friedrich Schneider calculated the rise of America’s “shadow economy” by tracing changes in the demand for currency. According to Schneider, in 1970 the size of the underground was between 2.6 and 4.6 percent of America’s gross domestic product (GDP). By 1994 it had reached 9.4 percent of the GDP – about $650 billion.
Granted, reefer only accounts for a small portion of our black market. But still, let’s get it out in the open! I find it interesting that in 1933, Congress got the ball rolling to repeal Prohibition just as FDR was coming into office. That year was dedicated to jump-starting the economy by any means necessary… Sound familiar? Don’t forget, booze had been outlawed by the 18th Amendment, so rolling that back with another constitutional amendment required ratification by each state, no small feat. By comparison, decriminalizing ganja, which is not explicitly outlawed by the Constitution, should be a breeze.