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December 2006
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Congress tells Drug Czar to shut up

Well, they didn’t really go that far, but they did put a good provision in the final ONDCP reauthorization bill (via Drug Policy Alliance)

(e) Prohibitions- None of the amounts made available [for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign] may be obligated or expended for…partisan political purposes, or express advocacy in support of or to defeat any clearly identified candidate, clearly identified ballot initiative, or clearly identified legislative or regulatory proposal.

This is great news — and it signals, perhaps, that Congress was not so amused by the Drug Czar and his minions flitting around the country in October to campaign against the initiatives in Nevada, Colorado, and South Dakota.
I don’t know, however, if this is only specific to the Media Campaign fund and whether the Drug Czar can use other money for this purpose. Anyone able to help out on that?
I did find another really annoying bit within the bill (Go to Thomas and search for HR 6344)

  1. FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:
    1. 60 percent of adolescent admissions for drug treatment are based on marijuana use.
    2. Potency levels of contemporary marijuana, particularly hydroponically grown
    3. marijuana, are significantly higher than in the past, rising from under 1 percent of THC in the mid-1970s to as high as 30 percent today.

    4. Contemporary research has demonstrated that youths smoking marijuana early in life may be up to 5 times more likely to use hard drugs.
    5. Contemporary research has demonstrated clear detrimental effects in adolescent educational achievement resulting from marijuana use.
    6. Contemporary research has demonstrated clear detrimental effects in adolescent brain development resulting from marijuana use.
    7. An estimated 9,000,000 Americans a year drive while under the influence of illegal drugs, including marijuana.
    8. Marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more of certain cancer causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.
    9. Teens who use marijuana are up to 4 times more likely to have a teen pregnancy than teens who have not.
    10. Federal law enforcement agencies have identified clear links suggesting that trade in hydroponic marijuana facilitates trade by criminal organizations in hard drugs, including heroin.
    11. Federal law enforcement agencies have identified possible links between trade in cannabis products and financing for terrorist organizations.

I love the way Congress avoids having to actually consider facts — they just make them up and call them “findings.” I guess they find them in that big box where they keep the Easter Bunny and their integrity.

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