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couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
April 2007



Open Thread

“bullet” The Illinois State University chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy will have their Spring Hempfest this Thursday (April 19) from noon to 10 pm out on the quad. “bullet” If you’re near Portland, Oregon, you should check out a drug policy reform presentation by the excellent Norm Stamper tomorrow (April 18) at 8 […]

The logical disconnect in conversations with prohibitionists

Reformer: Two plus two equals four. Prohibitionist: No, you’re wrong. Apples are green.

Check out this article

The federal government should legalize and regulate drugs for recreational and medical use because they are too dangerous to leave in the hands of criminals, a former Michigan lawman says. Howard J. Wooldridge, a self-described education specialist in […]

Why do you think they call her Mary Jane?

Thanks to Peter Parker in comments, we find this hilarious blog post from Avi Green in Israel: Kirsten Dunst puts a cloud over Spider-Man 3. Apparently this guy found out about how Kirsten admitted to using marijuana.

There is no true way you can use grass without blowing your creativity to kingdom come. I can’t […]

How prohibition works

Black Market In Tobacco Makes Prisons More Violent by Dwight E. Abbott

The Department of Corrections (and Rehabilitation) knew it was going to happen before it banned tobacco products from California prisons. An ‹experimentŠ was conducted for several years earlier in the California Medical Facility state prison in Vacaville banning all tobacco. Within weeks, tobacco was being smuggled into the prison by visitors and guards. One $10, six-ounce can of Bugler tobacco then sold for $50.00, gradually increasing to $300.00. Individual cigarettes or ‹rolliesŠ (400 can be made), first priced at $1.00, became $10.00 each. Three months passed, and a pack of Camel cigarettes was selling for $150.00 plus. Violence erupted as profits proved tobacco to be more valuable than drugs. Everybody wanted a piece of the action.
No matter those disheartening findings, to “improve working conditions and cut health care cost among inmates,” the DOC bulled forward: there would be no smoking by inmates or guards beginning July, 2005. The results, as expected, mirror exactly what occurred at the California Medical Facility. Black marketing of tobacco became more profitable than marijuana or heroin…

If you want somebody to not do something, prohibition is your absolute worst choice in terms of financial and societal cost-effectiveness.

John Fugelsang with All the Wrong Reasons

If you’re in New York, John Fugelsang’s one-person off-Broadway show: ALL THE WRONG REASONS – A True Story of Neo-Nazis, Drug Smuggling and Undying Love. It sounds like it should be scathing and funny. Fugelsang has been a vocal opponent of the drug war. Nice to see him bringing it to the theatre. The show […]

Marijuana prosecution appears to be a political mandate

This is truly unbelievable…

SAN FRANCISCO – Federal prosecutors said today they would retry marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal on cultivation charges, even after a federal judge urged them to drop the case and chastised the government for lodging charges solely to punish the self-proclaimed “guru of ganja.” U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer demanded to […]

Comments were down, now back up.

Update: The comment function was broken, but it’s been fixed (Thanks, Lawrence) and so you should be able to comment again.

Open Thread

“bullet” A very nice article about the Northeast Regional SSDP conference: A look at a war we continue to lose, which starts out…

The war on drugs has long been about heavy bombing rather than thoughtful prevention.
Jails and prisons fill up due to mandatory sentencing laws. U.S. officials tell poor farmers in other countries that they have to destroy their cash crop because if they don‰t it will eventually go up the noses of bored Americans.
And the national drug appetite continues to grow and continues to demand more and more.
I remember once sitting in a college auditorium and listening to the petite Nancy Reagan bringing her ‹Just Say NoŠ message to students who probably had done more research on the subject than she had.
The first lady presented a scene of lightweight good intentions tossed at a heavy, ugly, far reaching problem.

Great job by Matthew Palevsky and the Brown SSDP chapter (along with the National board) in putting the conference together. Wish I could be there.
“bullet” Good article: Drug prohibition – lost liberty, money by Stephen Kershnar

Even if drug prohibition didn‰t involve a dizzying lack of respect for liberty, it probably doesn‰t pass a simple cost-benefit analysis. A corollary to the harm principle is something like the following: before you restrict liberty, you should have convincing evidence that the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs.

“bullet” If you’re in Austin, go see attorney Charlie Roadman’s second annual Marijuana Law for Musicians talk next Thursday. Learn the answers to the important questions like “Can the police search your guitar case?” Sounds like a valuable and fun session.

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“bullet” Those of you in the BC area should check out the No More Drug War Film Fest this weekend, featuring Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey and Waiting to Inhale at the Roxy Theatre in Victoria (2657 Quadra St.) on April 14 and in Vancouver at the Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St.) on April 15. Start times for both locations is 12:30 p.m.

Priorities and energies

Radley Balko has it right:

I don’t deny for a minute that racism still exists in this country… Nor would I deny that it still does real harm to real people, fairly regularly. I guess my point is that it’d be nice if all the energy spent the last two weeks expressing self-righteous outrage over […]

Dickhead, part 2

Kirsten Dunst:

“I do like weed. I have a different outlook on marijuana than America does. […] “I’ve never been a major smoker, but I think America’s view on weed is ridiculous. I mean – are you kidding me? If everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place.”

We’ve been trying to analyze […]