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couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
January 2008



The Drug Czar’s Prescription

Recently, the Drug Czar’s office has, interestingly, cut way back on the marijuana rhetoric in order to focus on the cause du jour: prescription drug abuse. Of course, their office spouts statistics saying that teenage use of marijuana is down and prescription drug abuse is up, but as we know, they are adept at cherry-picking […]

Presidential campaign musical chairs

Dennis Kucinich is dropping out of the Presidential race tomorrow to focus on his House race. It’s a shame not to have his drug policy reform views in the race, but quite frankly, we didn’t really have them much when he was running. He never developed any traction or real notice (except in comparison to […]

Drug war insanity causes extreme dysfunction

I don’t think anybody can look at this story without realizing that we have a case of extreme dysfunction:

Elite army soldiers took over police stations along Mexico’s border with Texas on Tuesday, disarming police, checking for unregistered weapons and searching patrol cars and personal vehicles for any items that might link the officers to […]

Deep Thoughts… about the Drug War

by Pete Guither

In regulated markets, disputes are handled by lawyers. In the black market, disputes are handled by guns. I have no love for lawyers, but I’d rather get hit by a stray brief than a stray bullet.

The entire philosophy behind SWAT-style drug raids is that the death of a mother, a child, […]

The year is 2022 and drugs are legal

… in some places. One of the reasons some people have difficulties with the notion of drug legalization is that they simply do not have the ability to imagine what such a thing would be like. All they can do is parrot the prohibitionist’s nonsense scenario of shrink-wrapped heroin injection packs on sale for $1 […]

The Drug Czar comes up with option 4

You may remember that last Monday I speculated on how John Walters would react to news that seizures sharply dropped in 2007. I had given a few options, and was about to declare #2 the winner (ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist), when he managed to come up with a whole new option: Blame […]

Weekend Thread

“bullet” A note to all my readers: I don’t say this often enough, but I’m really grateful for all the comments and the emailed tips I get from you. Please note that even if I don’t use your tips — what I end up using sometimes is a matter of whim — I still appreciate […]

ONDCP – mutant spawning ground

Scott at Grits for Breakfast has a piece about a low-life named Jon Cole who has surfaced in the Republican primary for the Texas House (District 67). Apparently he’s using dishonest tactics that have angered everyone, including the Young Conservatives of Texas. Cole’s background? Working for the Drug Czar. According to his bio:

Working for […]

Open Thread

“bullet” Oh, look! The Afghanistan Opium market is getting some competition. Opium fields spread across Iraq as farmers try to make ends meet
“bullet” LEAP member Judge Eleanor Levingston Shockett died last week. She was an outspoken advocate for reform who had been interested in drug policy since 1958.
“bullet” The Drug Testing Medicine Show and Flea Circus is on the road again. The ONDCP held the latest of their little one-sided information propaganda sessions for schools in Washington State this week. But they can’t get away with it. DPA’s Jennifer Kern had an excellent OpEd published in the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The ACLU urged educators to reject the idea. And at the summits, volunteers passed out copies of the ACLU and Drug Policy Alliance’s booklet: Making Sense of Student Drug Testing.
Upcoming summits:

Jacksonville, FL, January 29, 2008
Oklahoma City, OK, January 31, 2008
Albuquerque, NM, February 6, 2008
Indianapolis, IN, February 13, 2008

“bullet” Strong editorial in the National Post: Emery Should Be A Free Man

Drug policy in Canada, particularly as it pertains to marijuana, is stuck in a sort of legal no-man’s-land. Politicians want to appear tough on crime, but at the same time are loath to make criminals out of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians — perhaps as many one or two million — who are casual tokers. They tiptoe up to the precipice of decriminalization, always to scurry back at the last minute for fear of offending the United States, or the many domestic voters who oppose more liberal marijuana laws. At best, our leaders can only ever summon the courage for a de facto decriminalization: Keep personal pot possession nominally illegal, but instruct Crown prosecutors not to prosecute most offenders.
The irony is: This gutless approach undermines the rule of law more assuredly than decriminalization or full legalization ever could. […]
Permitting Marc Emery to cut a deal with U.S. prosecutors is one of those cowardly half-measure that have come to symbolize Canadian drug policy. If Ottawa wants Canadians to respect the law, it either has to enforce it as written or — as we would prefer — change what is written to conform to the prevailing social norms. Our current neither-fish-nor-fowl stand makes a mockery of our criminal justice system.

“bullet” From the DEA press release about their new reality TV show on Spike TV this spring, produced by Al Roker Entertainment:

‹This job is a calling. We love what we do and you can see that on the show through the dedication and excitement of these agents,Š said Special Agent Mary Irene Cooper, DEA‰s Chief of Congressional and Public Affairs. ‹Nothing else I‰ve seen captures the day-to-day experiences of drug law enforcement work like this series. You see the thrills, you see the anticipation, you see the chase, you see the reality.

I’m guessing none of these people will be featured on the show…
“bullet” “drcnet”

Government sued for street value of pot

This one’s been sitting on my desktop for a week, but I didn’t want to let it go by… You know how the government always brags about how much marijuana it seized in a bust by assigning the highest possible street value for every bit of it? This could come back to bite them.

Dickes, […]