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September 2009
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Feds afraid of the discussion

There’s an amazing conference going on in El Paso, Texas this week, evaluating 40 years of the drug war, with an impressive list of speakers.

However, two of the speakers pulled out at the last minute: Drug Czar Kerlikowske and Border Czar Alan Bersin.

UTEP Assistant Professor Tony Payan, an authority on the two-year conflict between the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels, said the absence of Obama’s two top advisors suggests that the young administration is still uncertain about its own stand on the nation’s decades-old drug policy.

El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles offered this scathing assessment:

“I don’t know why you’re all so surprised about the federal government’s unwillingness to address this because, quite frankly, they’ve ignored the problem for years, and that’s why we’re in the situation we’re in now.

“As a matter of fact, the only reason that we’ve got national attention is because it’s on the backs of the dead people in Juarez.”

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6 comments to Feds afraid of the discussion

  • Mike R

    So what is it, exactly, that our drug czar IS doing? All I’ve heard from him thus far is a repeated, public acknowledgement of a limited vocabulary and a complete lack of knowledge on just about anything that you would expect a drug czar to …you know … be knowledgable about.

  • Mike R…. I agree 100%… it sounds like our drug czar knows as much about drugs as did Anslinger. They want to get away from the term “war on drugs”, but they are deathly afraid of the new term used by most, PROHIBITION. That one word makes people really think twice about cannabis, as well as all drug, laws.

    Now I try to educate as many people as I possibly can. I have found that there are some people that simply will not change their minds no matter how many facts and scientific evidence you give them. In fact, they tend to get mad and start to yell and just end up calling you a “dumb stoner”,which is quite ironic since us “dumb stoners” have all the facts and evidence whereas the prohibitionists have nothing but propoganda and false rhetoric with no proof to back up any claims.

  • Price

    Wow! You can’t fault Wiles for speaking the truth on this one….Perhaps he should consider joining LEAP and gain even greater credibility

  • paul

    El Paso has been saying we should end the drug war for years, now, and Wiles clearly reflects that. You can’t watch thousands of murders take place in the next city over the border without a sense of fear and horror. Lots of folks in El Paso must actually know some of the murder victims in Mexico.

    The drug czar clearly sensed this conference understood the meaning of the word “legalize” and intended to discuss it. So rather than appear to endorse the conference and its conclusions, he stayed away. If this keeps up, about the only kind of conference he’ll dare attend will be police conferences and events his office sponsors.

    By the way, I really like the use of the word Prohibition. It makes clear what we’re really talking about, and turns the tables leaving the other side on defense because EVERYONE knows alcohol prohibition was a failure. We’ve seen many examples of prohibitionists revealing their discomfort or annoyance with the term, so we know it’s working. Let’s keep it up.

    I noticed that the term “nanny” or “nanny state” has begun to sting the administration in the U.K. They don’t like it and try to deny it. But the shoe fits.

    If you hit your opponent in a soft spot and it makes him yell, keep hitting that spot.

  • kaptinemo

    The obvious reason why reformers began using the word ‘prohibition’ was as has been explained above. But it was also adopted for other reasons.

    The chief vulnerability of drug prohibition has always been economic. That was known as far back as the late 1970’s, but that vulnerability wasn’t well understood until the economic shocks following the ‘Dot Com’ debacle of the late 1990’s set off a whole subsidiary of economic earthquakes in its’ wake, which the latest troubles are the direct descendants of.

    When it becomes clear to the electorate that the government is broke, and that it has to focus on domestic policy to maintain social cohesion or face widespread disaffection, then you’ll see a greater emphasis on social safety net programs…which will lead to the long-needed (and equally long-delayed) debate as to what we can afford as a society and what we can’t …and never actually could. And that means the DrugWar. And using that word ‘prohibition’ puts the matter in the same economic and historical perspective as the last failed attempt at social engineering. A double-whammy it deserves to receive.

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