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September 2009
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Open Thread

Note: We’ve had another interesting visitor to the comments section of Where Kleiman gets annoyed once again that people are having a discussion — David Raynes of The International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy.

bullet image Absolute must-read — Simon Jenkins: The war on drugs is immoral idiocy. We need the courage of Argentina.

The global trade in illicit narcotics ranks with that in oil and arms. Its prohibition wrecks the lives of wealthy and wretched, east and west alike. It fills jails, corrupts politicians and plagues nations. It finances wars from Afghanistan to Colombia. It is utterly mad. […]

Making supply illegal is worse than pointless. It oils a black market, drives trade underground, cross-subsidises other crime and leaves consumers at the mercy of poisons. It is the politics of stupid. […]

The mountain that must be climbed is licensing, regulating and taxing supply, thus ending a prohibition now outstripping in absurdity and damage America’s alcohol prohibition between the wars.

From the the deaths of British troops in Helmand to the narco-terrorism of Mexico and the mules cramming London’s jails, the war on drugs can be seen only as a total failure, a vast self-imposed cost on western society. It is the greatest sweeping-under-the-carpet of our age.

It’s a scathing OpEd. Really brilliant.

bullet image Another good read today is Fresh thinking on the war on drugs? by Bernd Debusmann for Reuters

bullet image What’s with the drug czar’s continuing fear of words?

Asked if Washington could learn from Mexico and take the step to allow possession of small quantities of harder drugs like heroin, Kerlikowske said: “It is not something that has been discussed under any circumstances.”

Not “the notion has been studied and rejected,” but rather that it hasn’t been discussed… under any circumstances.

bullet image DrugSense Weekly

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13 comments to Open Thread

  • Jon Doe

    I guess the wordsmiths of Newspeak are finally running out of new terms to coin so they’re stuck with simply abridging the standard dictionary. Maybe that explains the Czar’s logophobia.

  • Brandon Bowers

    Damn, at least Walters was entertaining. Kerlikowske is just pathetic.

  • Bob smith

    Doubleplus good!

  • ezrydn

    From the simpleton words that have emminated out of Kerlikowske’s mouth since taking his position, I seriously doubt he has any idea at all as to what he can and cannot say. He always seems to be “in a fog.” He must be huffin’ that Ol’ Miss crap. It’s quite obvious he doesn’t think before he puts mouth in gear or he wouldn’t make the incoherent comments he makes. Realistically, this man has absolutely nothing to say nor add to any valid discussion. Watch, when (if) he’s asked about the patent, he won’t have a “clue.” Bets?

  • Cliff

    “Realistically, this man has absolutely nothing to say nor add to any valid discussion. Watch, when (if) he’s asked about the patent, he won’t have a “clue.” Bets?”

    This guy is a rear guard action, thrown in front of an advancing army to slow it down a little bit while the retreating army regroups hauls ass to the rear.

    They are out of ammo and their jerry cans are empty. The economic maelstrom is further sapping their moral and will.

    Their only choices are; to fall on their swords, have one final stand, or realize that change has been on the wind for a long time and it’s time to drop their weapons and stop fighting.

  • I wonder if it be possible to petition to have alcohol removed from the exemptions in the CSA? Can you imagine the uproar if alcohol were even schedule V (requiring a medical purpose to be dispensed under federal law)? Undoubtedly one can find ample documentation of alcohol’s abuse potential in federal documents.

  • Carlyle Moulton

    I have just read the Simon Jenkins article and it is dead right.

    I have posted the following comment after it:-

    To work out whether a policy is working one has to compare its results with its intended purposes. One of the results of “the war on drugs” is a high rate of imprisonment of poor Negroes in privately owned prisons in white rural areas. This prevents them from competing for jobs with poor whites, it provides jobs for other poor whites as prison guards, cheap prison labour for white owned corporations and profits to the shareholders in the private prisons. Most opponents of the war on drugs see these as unintended side effects, they are not unintended.

    Richard Nixon began the :”war on drugs” as a counter attack on the civil rights movement a correct name is “the war on niggers and poor people”.

    If one declares normal human behaviour such as the use of certain mind altering substances illegal, one generates so many breaches of the law that prosecution is only possible for a tiny fraction of them. This provides the authorities with enormous discretion on where to concentrate enforcement. If they then expend all enforcement effort in army of occupation policing of poor communities of colour they only find criminals there and generate the perception that all members of these communities are inherently criminal, that their misery is not the result of discrimination but is self inflicted and that it is valid to deny them any help via government action.

    If respectable children of the white middle classes were having their lives wrecked by drug convictions at the rate that this is happening to poor blacks, the drug laws would not last very long, but the authorities know that vigorously enforcing the laws against the respectable would not be in their interests for future job security. Some respectable people are caught in the net, but their treatment is lenient and the total toll on them is not sufficient to prompt any backlash from those whose votes have influence.

    The war on drugs started in the USA where that egregious excess of political correctness, the abolition of slavery created an ethnic hygiene problem that white Americans have been trying to solve ever since. The drug laws provide a solution to the Negro question, albeit not as efficient as Mr Hitler’s methods. If one locks black women up for drug crimes until they are beyond breeding age that will eventually achieve the desired genocide. If one locks black parents up for long sentences their children grow up without the benefit of parents providing either resources or guidance and enhances the likelihood of them becoming criminal.

    If one does not believe the motives are bad, answer me this, why does the US strip drug offenders of any government assistance with education, and why do entire families loose government housing if one of their members is convicted of a drug crime even if it does not occur in the house?

    The war on drugs is actually a slow holocaust against Afro-Americans.

  • paul

    Carlyle Moulton:

    Clear, to the point, and absolutely correct. The stated intent of the drug war is not racist, but the end result is. I would like to add a few points.

    First, I don’t believe most prohibitionists actively think of themselves as putting the black man down, but some do, and Richard Nixon probably did as well. Nevertheless, the proponents of prohibition turn a blind eye to the racist nature of the drug laws and some of that willful blindness is racism of a more passive sort. The law is a mask for our cruelties.

    Mexicans Americans and illegal immigrants also go to jail in droves. These laws are also aimed at them. I wonder when Mexico is going to wise up and tell Washington that they are no long going to play ball in any of Washington’s evil schemes. We now have the hideous border fence, the drug laws, and an American inspired war on drugs in Mexico that has killed thousands. How much more are they going to take?

    As I understand it, the prison-industrial complex is a bit more, well, complex than you portray. A lot of minorities work as prison guards, and these are good jobs. But they are essentially betraying their own for a place at the master’s table.

    It is very obvious the policing of poor neighborhoods for drugs is intentional. The cops are not about to go door to door in Encino or Bel Air asking if they can search the house for drugs. They would all be out of a job the next day, and they know it. But they are free to do it in Compton.

    The war on drugs is the most evil thing we’ve done since slavery. We have got to put a stop to it.

  • Carlyle, Paul…you’ve said it all. I was all ready to go with a lengthy rant, but you went and said it all.

    And everyone knows that the best drugs are in Encino, anyway…Wall Street a close second.

  • DdC

    After the 60’s the “integrity” of the good ole boy caucasians stopped excluding other caucasians in their racism, creedism and class warfare. Outside of commies. The 70’s started including racism equality among all of the races, especially hippies, indians and farm-workers. Blacks and Gangs are still the easiest marks to profile and shovel through the prison industrial market. Corporate slave labor “renting” inmates for a few bucks a day while laying off thousands of workers. Low wage earners bring less income tax than the cost of incarceration. Unk gets refunds on everything it spends. Tax on $12k @ Mickey D or $35k x mandatory minimum.

    Its back to the time of classism, the higher priced tickets get an upper deck of the Titanic and first choice of life boats. Those with homes are less likely to get harassed than someone on the streets, subsidized renting or of a color in a neighborhood known for drug activity. The reason for racism is cheap labor, its really not personal on the big buck bigger picture. Racism is taught through ignorance and fear or selfishness. Slavery wasn’t a genetic dislike for darker skin, cheap labor. NAFTA GATT does the same without the direct ignorance of the Klan or supremacists. It creates more poor by eliminating more jobs.

    Like the Ganjawar, it only pays if it perpetuates, not win or lose. Not legal or zero tolerance, keep it going. Maintain a labor pool large enough to keep notions of living wages or whistle blowers at bay. Pollute all you want cause everyones too job scared to speak up. Homeless deterrents to advocating. Piss tastes and no knock entries, mandatory profits/sentencing. 3 stripes and eliminate the problem while collecting taxes on $35k a year and giving salaries to prison paraphernalia companies + tax.

    Police Actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia and right chere in river city permit profits to go straight to Halliburdon, Dyncorps, Lockheed, Sikorsky, Black Water, Pisstasters, Probies and Private for profit Cages, all while keeping thousands of Hemp and Ganja products prohibited off the market, preventing competition for the thousands of synthetic alternatives presently being used, all with side effects selling even more, Plus tax. Can’t profit on WAR. Mission Accomplished.

    So it seems the brainwashers “programming” the O’Really’s and Limpbogs “shows” to spew hate on certain groups, to divide them and maintain chaos the same as the Romans and Sanhendren have been doing for 2000 years. Tain’t nuthin gnew! Tiring though, you would think maybe we could put aside our temporary differences to stop this runaway Wallmart St train and the various police actions that fuel it.

  • DdC

    American Drug War
    Showtime Official Site :: Schedules :: Program Details
    Really goes in depth including how prohibition creates slavery and ethnic cleansing.

    “”The masses have little time to think. And how incredible is the willingness of modern man to believe. The German people have no idea of the extent to which they have to be gulled in order to be led. Another weapon I discovered early was the power of the printed word to sway souls to me. The newspaper was soon my gun, my flag – a thing with a soul that could mirror my own.””
    ~ Adolf Hitler 1930s
    “Rauschgiftbekaempfung” Meant literally “The combatting of drugs” It was the unholy alliance of Nazi eugenics and american prohibition.

    Slavery: Another Fine Product Still Made in the USA!
    12/17/01 excerpted

    Which western country never fully abolished slavery?

    SLAVERY IS STILL LEGAL in the USA. Contrary to what we may learn in school, the American Civil War did not see the complete abolition of slavery in 1865. The 13th Amendment to their constitution reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime…”

    Great numbers of newly freed blacks were quickly ‘convicted’ and forced to work without pay in state prisons. For those unfortunates all that happened was that ownership of slaves transferred from private parties to the state. Today, with the advent of private, profit-making prisons and prison factories slavery still exists and is moving back to the private sector.

    UNICOR operates 90 prison factories and is rapidly expanding. San Quentin inmates enter computer data for the Bank of America. Prisoners in New Mexico take hotel reservations by phone. Hawaiian convicts pack golf balls and at Folsom they manufacture stainless steel vats for beer brewers. The list goes on and on.

    November -*- F.A.M.M. -*- F.E.A.R.

    The Racist Ganjawar

    Thank You Miss Rosa

    Human Rights and the WoD

    Heston died, NRA’s Mandatory Minimum didn’t

    Slavery & WoD.jpg

    Pastor killed in drug sting Sep 4 2009
    Family and friends of a Lavonia minister gunned down Tuesday by an undercover police officer continue to look for answers about how he died.

    Mexican Police Tortured Federal Agents Sep 2 2009
    Ten Mexican police officers have been detained in connection with the torture and murder of 12 federal agents during a major escalation in the drug war.

    As soon as you’re born they make you feel small. By giving you no time instead of it all. Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all. They hurt you at home and they hit you at school. They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool. Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules. When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty hard years. Then they expect you to pick a career. When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear.

    Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV. And you think you’re so clever and classless and free. But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see. There’s room at the top they are telling you still. But first you must learn how to smile as you kill. If you want to be like the folks on the hill. A working class hero is something to be. If you want to be a hero well just follow me.
    ~John Lennon U2b
    Working Class Hero lyrics

  • DdC

    OK, Sorry… but somethings need refs.
    Here is the post and the Ref’s for 9.6.9/9:47pm post

  • Hi,

    Am fairly new to this forum and just had the urge to introduce myself and say “howdy”.

    Cheers!!!