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September 2003
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Drug Czar Attacks the Dutch

Sunday’s Baltimore Sun details one of our Drug Czar’s latest tricks. He’s already attacked medical marijuana patients, pushed for practically unlimited budgetary authority to demonize his opponents, attacked Canada, and now he’s going after the Dutch.

[Walters] was critical of the Dutch for failing to give police greater authority to move against drug gangs. The Dutch have been reluctant to enact laws that could be seen as infringing on civil liberties.

…there simply have not been adequate steps taken by the government of the Netherlands to control this,” Walters said.

“There is a limited ability to use wiretap and informant information that makes it harder when you have a criminal conspiracy to enforce laws,” he said.

Yep. Walters wants the Netherlands to give their police more powers and forget about the civil liberties of their citizens. Sound familiar?
What really ticks Walters off is that the Dutch have had better success with a combination of harm reduction, separating drugs, and easing restrictions on marijuana, than we have had with prohibition and interdiction.
Drug War Facts has some strong figures that show that United States, with its “superior” police powers is higher than the Netherlands in marijuana use, heroin use, incarceration rate, per capita spending on law enforcement, and homicide rate. Somehow, I don’t see how the Dutch are going to be thrilled to have Walters tell them what to do.
And an article earliier this year showed:

The latest United Nations study on global drug trends shows the Netherlands wouldn’t even crack the top 50 in marijuana consumption…
“Marijuana is just no big deal here,” said Henk Lokhorst, who lives just outside Amsterdam. “It’s lost that taboo feel. Most of my friends don’t smoke. It’s just not a part of their lives and not something you think about.”

Again, this shows how interconnected the war on drugs is with the war on civil liberties. Over the past decades, our rights have been weakened in the name of the drug war. This has opened the door to provisions in the Patriot Act and the proposed Victory Act (which intends to expand drug crimes by defining them as terrorism. At the same time, we learn that the Patriot Act (designed to combat terrorism) has been used for a potporri of domestic law enforcement purposes.

Justice Department officials said such criticism has not deterred them. Said Mark Corallo, a department spokesman: ”I think any reasonable person would agree that we have an obligation to do everything we can to protect the lives and liberties of Americans from attack, whether it’s from terrorists or garden-variety criminals.”

And where do we turn for protection from the government?
[See this startling analysis from TalkLeft for more on the interconnectedness of terror legislation.]

Training soldiers in the war against Americans

Officers Practice For War On Drugs – this bizarre article in the Nevada Appeal…

Officers took their places hidden in shrubs, behind trees and in unmarked cars surrounding the dark home.

Within a few minutes, officers broke down the door and had three suspects suspected of drug trafficking in custody. One officer was shot and a suspect may have been killed.

But if the raiders were going to make a mistake, Thursday was the day to do it.

“Something always goes wrong, but let it go wrong here,” said Paul Pabon, academy commander of the training division at the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

All around the country, drug task forces are using military tactics against our own citizens, often to prevent someone from flushing some pot. And just like in this training exercise, people get killed (only for real).
Now if they’d only run training sessions for the innocent people killed when a raid like this happens at the wrong address.

Urgent Alert

From Drug Policy Alliance: Please read this post and be prepared to call your Congressman tomorrow (Tuesday).

In a last minute effort to keep money and power flowing through the Drug Czar’s office, House leadership are playing political games to push a bill that would re-authorize funding for failed ‘drug war’ programs. Just scheduled […]

*A cowboy hero rides into…

A cowboy hero rides into the sunset Howard Woolridge and his one-eyed horse Misty are nearing the end of a 3,100 mile journey across the United States to promote drug policy reform. The trek started in Savannah, Georgia and will end on the coast in Newport, Oregon. This former police officer rides with a homemade […]

*Another Victim of the Drug…

Another Victim of the Drug War — Severe Pain Care

“Something is terribly wrong with the way some criminal justice authorities have begun to enforce the law against physicians and pharmacists who prescribe and dispense high dose opioids to treat chronic pain. The necessary balance in pain policy… has tipped drastically in the direction […]

*My 2nd Illinois Senate Candidate…

My 2nd Illinois Senate Candidate elimination…
Estella Johnson-Hunt (D)
OK, sometimes it’s just too easy. Sure, I admire the fact that Ms. Johnson-Hunt wrote “Hail To Thee, Chicago.” I am, uh, intrigued by her plans to require the state song at all official and school functions, to “introduce legislation requiring removal of fashion labels from the necks of garments,” to modify the 5th amendment to allow double jeopardy, and to “help develop and enforce stronger moral/dress code standards for performers’ attire and language on regular television programs and for on-duty employees in public places (no transparent/tight fitting clothing, exposed cleavage, or mini lengths).”
She is also a fan of mandatory drug and alcohol testing for a variety of people, and “Increased law enforcement efforts… that will result in capture and punishment of producers and suppliers of illegal drugs.”
If we can just arrest enough people, we’ll get rid of that pesky drug problem… So I guess we can eliminate Estella from consideration for a Drug WarRant endorsement.

*Is It Live, Or Is…

Is It Live, Or Is It Happy Furry Puppy Story Time? Welcome, and thanks for the link to “Drug War Rant: Give me a hit off that gravity bong or give me death!”

*Guest rant*

Guest rant Look, it’s this simple. Drugs are evil. And yet there are people in this country calling for legalization of marijuana. Why send a message to children that intoxication is a birthright? Do you think it’s right for children to be hooked on heroin? It’s just anti-American. You’re hurting your country. It’s simple logic. […]

*What is Canada sending US?*

What is Canada sending US?
MARIJUANA DISCOVERED IN GARBAGE HEADED FOR U.S.
What?
That’s right. A garbage truck, delivering garbage from Canada to the United States was discovered to be smuggling marijuana.
The driver, who was arrested, clearly has something to learn about hiding marijuana in a garbage truck.

“Upon opening the rear of the garbage truck, a plastic garbage bag filled with marijuana fell out,” Ms. Miles said, adding that an ensuing search revealed multiple plastic and hockey bags full of marijuana.

I have three responses to this story…

Why is the United States taking in other countries’ garbage? Don’t we have enough?
We want your solid waste, but don’t you dare send any of those green plants that can provide excellent medicine or nutrition and make people happy. We don’t want any of that trash crap leafy plant material.
Maybe it was, in fact, all trash. What they found in the truck might have been Health Canada’s pot.

*When scientists go bad*

When scientists go bad
The Billings Gazette gave a free pass to the DEA’s Big Sky Illicit Drug Conference, by giving lots of article space to failed researcher and professional DEA shill Susan Dalterio. Her claim to fame is over 10 years of research on stoned mice with highly disputed results so that even NIDA cut off her funding back in 1982.
She now teaches biology and goes around the country spouting such scientific pronouncements as:

People who smoke pot tend to have the same emotional maturity level as when they first smoked a joint, she said. Dalterio cited Austin, Texas, as a living example. It’s a place full of old hippies “stuck in the ’60s,” she said. “They’re interesting, but they’re still stuck.”

The article has so many factual errors or outright lies that it’s not worth giving a full point-by-point response. Most of them are already addressed elsewhere in this blog.
Articles like this just make me tired.