Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
DrugWarRant
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
facebooktwitterrss
December 2009
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Authors

Another poll

I’m not familiar with Angus Reid Global Monitor, but here’s another poll, this one showing a majority supporting marijuana legalization, but also showing that we’ve got a long way to go to educate people about legalizing other drugs.

 

Support

Oppose

Not sure

Marijuana

53%

43%

4%

Ecstasy

8%

88%

4%

Powder cocaine

8%

89%

3%

Heroin

6%

91%

3%

Methamphetamine or "crystal meth"

6%

91%

3%

Crack cocaine

5%

92%

3%

Full poll results here, including the fact that 68% believe the “War on Drugs” has been a failure.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

54 comments to Another poll

  • claygooding

    As more people come out of the closet over this issue,more are actually daring to come out in favor of legalizing pot.
    I believe that the ONDCP has actually skewed their statistics of the numbers of people they estimate using marijuana. They sure wouldn’t want America to realize that the majority of Americans already use pot. The loss of marijuana as a whipping post will tear their budget up.

  • just me

    I find it ammusing ..sort of.. that only 6% favor legalizing meth when the same substances are in their cough medicines…how little they know.

  • Voletear

    I believe this reflects the preference of the reform community and the message it has been putting out for a long time which has been primarily cannabis based. We have to push the end of prohibition for other substances as well.

    People are, of course, dying every day behind the effects of prohibition on users of these other drugs. Users are likewise forced to live lives of degradation unnecessarily. There are many issues of compassion and humanity other than medical-cannabis. The war on pain doctors is outrageous and ripe for pushing prohibition’s approval ratings lower. The state of the nation’s treatment system is unbelievable.

    As cannabis loses the shackles of prohibition it is important to remember just how much work will be left to do.

  • Dreau Preau

    Unsurprising. Marijuana is and will continue to be the poster child of the legalization movement. Once we’ve got it legalized, success in its regulation will get others thinking differently about the idea of prohibition. Our argument can only grow as reason marches on.

  • DdC

    I believe that the ONDCP is skewed.

  • “Meth” (methampetamine) is NOT found in any cough medicines.

    You may be thinking of Dextromethorphan (DXM), a psychoactive drug that is not an amphetamine; or possibly pseudoephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor that differs from meth by one OH molecule chain.

    But your more general point is supported: meth is “legal”, or at any rate more legal than marijuana is, ay this point- it’s available by prescription as a med for ADD, like other amphetamines and Ritalin.

    I’ve never been able to find any figures for how many meth prescriptions get written in a given year.

    And while heroin is illegal, there are plenty of opiate pharmaceuticals out there which are not only legal by prescription, but commonly prescribed.

    I consider myself to be a moderate and an incrementalist as far as drug reform. I think the best way to go about liberalizing the drug laws is to proceed slowly. And as I’ve mentioned, all I’m really after at present is legal possession-cultivation-nonprofit transfer for cannabis- and full decrim for possession of small amounts of all other substances, which should nonetheless be treated as contraband subject to confiscation.

    My position is that once that cannabis liberalization is put in place, this society at large will finally be in a position to assess the consequences of having widespread legal access to marijuana. If the negative effects turn out to be trivial- my personal guess is that they will be- then and only then should a legal commercial market be considered.

    I support decrim because I don’t think the contents of someone’s pockets should be sufficient to brand them with a criminal record- unless they’re found with the substances in the course of committing another crime, or found driving while obviously impaired.

    This is balanced by the fact that if, for instance, someone commits an assault while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, I think they should be subject to HARSHER penalties, not have their conduct excused.

    I don’t care what you’re high on- but behave. Take responsibility for your altered state.

    But at this point, even I am getting ahead of myself…all I’m after right now is reform of the cannabis laws.

    It’s IMPERATIVE for folks to remember that we haven’t really won anything for sure, yet. “Medical marijuana” laws rest on very shaky ground- pretty much existing at the whim of the authorities presently in power. They could be challenged and reversed overnight. That is NOT true drug law reform.

    So let’s get ONE REAL VICTORY, before moving ahead with a smorgasbord approach to legalization.

    I’ve recently been detecting an undercurrent giddiness and optimism in the pro-legalization movement that I don’t think is warrnated in the slightest. Until personal possession-cultivation-nonprofit transfer of cannabis is legally protected, the movement has won NOTHING. We’re vulnerable to being sandbagged overnight. Possibly, all it would take to shift public opinion and empower the pro-Drug Warriors would be one Media Spectacle criminal case related to pot use- or even sale. That’s the media power of television. Reasoned argument would be brushed aside, given a case sufficiently sensationalistic to provide grist for the Media Machine.

    We CANNOT AFFORD to act as if we’ve won already, on the marijuana legalization effort. “1st down and goal to go” is NOT the same as putting points on the board.

    I’m also of the mind that thse issues surrounding legalization of other drugs require considerably more debate, on a substance by substance basis. Among other reservations against supporting full drug legalization at this point, I do think that the “Congressional regulation of Interstate commerce” clause serves a valid function, and it most certainly is Constitutional.

    Another factor in favor of postponing a movement for wider drug legalization is that there’s absolutely no way to consider all of the options in the absence of a debate over the wider phenomenon of prescription medicines.

    It’s well-known that there are all sorts of meds- including what we here in the States call “controlled substances”- available over the counter at pharmacies in other nations, such as Mexico and India. Maybe that sort of liberalization should be considered here in this country, too. But that’s a HUGE issue, and a component of the wider issue of health care reform. I see no point in bogging down by getting sidetracked into a debate on that issue, when as of yet the drug law reform movement has achieved nothing of a stable and enduring basis at the Federal level, even as far as Federal decriminalization and de-regulation of cannabis.

    Might I remind everyone- marijuana is still a DEA Schedule One substance, the most strictly controlled category. The recent endorsement for its rescheduling by the American Medical Association has changed absolutely nothing, in that regard. I’ve seen no moves by the Obama administration to make the necessary associated legal changes.

    And my current take on the Obama administration’s approach to drug law reform issues is that they’re dissembling and doing PR feints around the issue, while not seenking to enact any substantial changes of a permanent basis. Obama and the Holder Justice Department appear to be in support of a few liberalization measures in regard to the pot laws- but as a gratuity conferred from the top down and subject to reversal, rather than as authentic legislative action to cement the changes in place.

    That means that we still have work to do. There’s no sense in putting the cart before the horse, either.

  • daksya

    Word to cabdriver.

  • Engelbert Eggplant

    The alphabet soup agencies and people who make truckloads of money off the drug war don’t think it’s a failure. Personally I don’t think we’ll see any legalization in our lifetimes. Too many make too much money off how things are now.

  • Drugs have not changed; attitudes have (and not for the better). Back when narcotics were pure and cheap and readily available from Sears and corner drug stores, addiction to narcotics was considered better than addiction to alcohol. And why not – most doctors preferred dealing with opiate habitues, as, by definition, they were sedate and less problematic than alcoholics: opiate habitues rarely beat each other – or their wives and kids.

    It wasn’t until religious leaders, starting with Bishop Charles Henry Brent in 1898, began demonizing narcotics; specifically opium, that attitudes began to move to the dark side, where they have remained ever since. The focus should not be on the use of drugs but rather the consequences of drug prohibition. Richard Nixon centered his war on drugs on the rubicon of restoring law and order. It would seem appropriate to employ the same rubicon in ending drug prohibition.

    Using medical marijuana as a strategy to move the drug debate forward has been a failure, and will continue to be so. We are now beginning to see a backlash against medical marijuana, as many folks viewing the issue as a proper medicine for seriously ill individuals now rightly consider it a Trojan Horse for full legalization of all drugs. We have painted ourselves into a corner, and now find our escape very difficult as the paint is stubbornly slow to dry.

  • damaged justice

    The people opposed to the possession, use and sale of currently prohibited drugs have more guns than those who are not opposed, and more willingness to use them.

    That’s it. Period, full stop.

    (This includes regular criminals as well as the ones with badges and uniforms.)

  • “Using medical marijuana as a strategy to move the drug debate forward has been a failure, and will continue to be so.”

    I used to think so. But in California, I’ve seen obvious signs of success, and continue to do so. I recall a few years ago, seeing a car driving around Sacramento loaded with small marijuana plants in the back seat. I thought to myself “whoa, prop 215 really has changed things!” And now, 7-8 years on, there are medical marijuana outlets all over the place, and people openly lighting up…and there’s no backlash or outcry at all. It’s widely accepted, commonplace. Culturally speaking, at least on this one issue, it’s as if the whole place has exhaled. Things feel markedly relaxed, and any attempt to reverse that in California would generate a huge public backlash. Remember, the attitudes of Americans in general toward the Government and the Establishment have been leaning toward the distrust and hostility for quite a while now, across the board. An attempt by the Feds to crack down at this point would very likely lead to consequences beyond their ability to control.

    A clear majority of Californians support legalization, and that number has continued to increase. I think it’s important to note that the obvious and evident signs of liberalization have led to no backlash whatsoever, outside of the most hidebound cultural conservatives. And even they are noticeably silent on the issue.

    I realize that attitudes are quite different in some other states and regions of the country.

    “We are now beginning to see a backlash against medical marijuana, as many folks viewing the issue as a proper medicine for seriously ill individuals now rightly consider it a Trojan Horse for full legalization of all drugs.”

    Again, from my experience in California: there’s no counter-movement here. To the extent that anyone brings up the idea that medical marijuana is a Trojan Horse for marijuana legalization, the response is “So what?”

    And I haven’t heard anyone outside of he Drug War hardliners claiming that medical marijuana is a “Trojan Horse for full legalization of all drugs”, a claim that frankly strikes me as hysterical. That’s LaRoucheian nonsense. I would think that even the Officially Deputized Drug Warriors would be ashamed of stooping to an insinuation that paranoid.

    The actual fact is- despite what Pete or some of the rest of the board feels about the issue- most of the pot smokers I know are very disdainful of the notion of legalizing drugs like methamphetamine or heroin. If you took a poll of their attitudes toward legalizing other drugs, the numbers in support would be greater than the single-digit figures found in the poll being quoted- but not by much. At least 4-1 against legalizing the more potent, “hard” drugs, would be my guess.

    “We have painted ourselves into a corner, and now find our escape very difficult as the paint is stubbornly slow to dry.”

    Again…I was fearful of that possibility, at the outset. But in retrospect, that does not seem to have been the case. In California, the issue of medical marijuana was seen as legitimate- rightly so- and the issue of non-medical legalization did NOT suffer, as a consequence.

    By the way: I left California in late 2005- and lived on the East Coast for several years. I returned in late 2008, and I’m happy to report that despite the State revenue problems, deficit, and budget cuts, and notwithstanding the problems brought on by the Fall 2008 economic meltdown- rumors of the Golden State’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. A bit of a rough patch, but we will get by. We still livin’ it up, out here…yeah.

  • just me

    Damn cabriver…! Your on it! Excelent post.

  • language matters: it isn’t about “legalizing drugs” — it’s about ending a failed social policy.

    it needs to be described that way.

    we’re in an information war people — we need to change the dialog.

  • aussidawg

    “The actual fact is- despite what Pete or some of the rest of the board feels about the issue- most of the pot smokers I know are very disdainful of the notion of legalizing drugs like methamphetamine or heroin.”

    The problem with only legalizing pot while keeping the other “hard” drugs illegal is obvious. The pitfalls of prohibition remain intact. We still have a black market, official corruption, and loss of personal liberties as a result. Alcohol, our current legal recreational drug is both physically addictive and causes violent behavior. As long as alcohol remains legal and is freely available to those of legal age, there can be no rational arguement for the continnued prohibition of other substances.

  • Voletear

    It’s not even necessarily about “legalization,” (of so-called “hard” drugs) – it’s about a lot of things, most notably Harm Reduction policies.

    Cabdriver, are you saying that the vast majority of the reform population is in favor of the status quo for users of these drugs? To what do you attribute this putative dislike of, and lack of compassion for, non-cannabis drug users?

  • Ned

    Cabdriver, why should cannabis to be saddled with “nonprofit transfer”? What is it about cannabis that requires it to be handled that way? I hear that mentioned constantly by various authority types, but their minds are so cramped by prohibitionist thinking that they have great fear of cannabis as a commercial product. Effective functional legalization will require a normalization of cannabis commerce to something resembling alcohol.

  • aussidawg

    Voletear, I agree on the harm reduction point. Switzerland (and Vancouver?) have a policy in place where heroin is legal for those addicted. This has not only cut property crime but increased the productivity and quality of lives for those that have not been successful in other treatment programs. Here in the good ol U.S. we have methadone maintencnce programs. Supposedly methadone is used to prevent the “high” associated with heroin. Treatment cannot be a positive experience you know!

    Heroin is illegal in this country for one reason and one reason only…the word “heroin” has a bad reputation. This is an efffective drug for pain control and is one of the most effective fever reducers known, yet it, like marajuana, has no medical use according to “our” government.

    This whole deal is about what a certain group of people (any guesses???) consider to be moral or immoral. IMHO, their religion is far more immoral than any substance could ever hope to be, and throughout history has caused the death of far more people than any substance could hope to kill. Perhaps, after all these years and all these problems, it’s time to prohibit organized religion and make hypocracy a felony.

  • Virtually every drug policy reform leader believes repealing drug prohibition to be the end game. So when marijuana use is settled law and reform leaders move on to the next drug or drugs, thinking the prohibitionists will roll over and play dead is wishful. They will force reform leaders to defend their position that medical marijuana was not a Trojan Horse for full legalization, and we’ll be faced with defending past actions at the expense of future ones.

    Those who say “So what?” are those who believe the ends justify the means. Not exactly the best way to get things done, and makes us no better than the prohibitionists. If you look at the Netherlands, Portugal and now Mexico, countries that have far better drug policies than the U.S., it was not a grassroots movement behind medical marijuana that brought about such changes. It was a top-down decision by government that recreational drug users pose little or no threat.

    Until our government takes the same decision, we will continue to arrest more than 750,000 individuals every year for the simple possession of marijuana. Reform leaders have told me that those individuals are just “collateral damage” of the drug war. You may consider that progress, but I certainly don’t.

  • Ho ho, a lot to unpack here…

    “The problem with only legalizing pot while keeping the other “hard” drugs illegal is obvious. The pitfalls of prohibition remain intact..”

    If you think that there would be no positive impact on this society and this nation from allowing access to legal, inexpensive, and even FREE cannabis- I think you aren’t playing with a full deck. I contend that you’re living in a world of abstractions, to the point where you don’t recognize what a wider horizon of authentic, practical, real-time liberty is when it’s staring you in the face.

    Would some of the problems associated with legal oppression of illegal drug users remain? Undeniably. But I defy anyone to pursue the argument that permitting legal and inexpensive cannabis somehow amounts to a defeat, or that it somehow shuts the door on addressing any other injustice associated with the Zero Tolerance Drug War.

    “Cabdriver, are you saying that the vast majority of the reform population is in favor of the status quo for users of these [the harder] drugs? To what do you attribute this putative dislike of, and lack of compassion for, non-cannabis drug users?”

    In my observation, there’s a combination of reasons why people who confine their illegal drug use to cannabis do not support the legalization of other presently criminalized substances.

    But before I provide my views on that, I need to be clear about the terms being employed here.

    That’s a recurrent problem in debates like these, and an enormously frustrating one- because without a consensus of agreement on clearly defined terms, the drug war debate has a way of dissolving into a shell game- or, at best, a discourse where people are talking past each other.

    For instance: the Angus Reid Global Monitor poll being discussed as the topic for this letters thread uses, without further qualification, the word LEGALIZATION.

    Legalization- not decriminalization; not rescheduling and reform of prescription regulations; not medicalization of addiction.

    Frankly, I think the employment of the term by a public opinion poll is irresponsible, because it’s so vague and unqualified that it could possibly mean any of a number of reform and/or liberalization policies.

    That said: the definition that most people associate with the term “legalization” when they encounter it is- “legal commercial sales.”

    That’s a hugely unpopular position, when it comes to the case of hard drugs like heroin and cocaine.

    But just because someone doesn’t support a legal commercial market for hard drugs, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they have a ” dislike of, and lack of compassion for, non-cannabis drug users”. They may might conceivably support decriminalization of personal possession, in order to not brand people criminals simply for use and possession; they might support medicalization measures like methadone maintenance, or even allowing physicians to prescribe regulated doses to addicts; they might support a measure of easy access by the general public to more dilute and less potent preparations of substances that are of the same chemical family, which share similar effects.

    But none of those subtleties could ever be revealed by some dumb-ass poll that demands that the respondents make a two-valued false choice, between either Prohibition, or Commercial Sale for the General Public.

    (continued)

  • aussidawg

    Cabdriver, by any measure of common sense, alcohol is a hard drug. It is a physically addictive drug with a devastating withdrawal syndrome (delirium tremens) and induces violent behavior in users. This substance (ether with a water chaser) is as bad or worse than any other given substance. As such, as long as alcohol is a socially acceptable and legally regulated drug, there is no valid arguement against the legalization of other drugs.

    Obviously, you support legalization of cannabis. I do too, but that is not the battle. Prohibition of any substance is wrong. It is a violation of individual liberty that did not exist in this country until the early 20th century. Every one of the laws prohibiting the various substances were based on racial prejudices and lies. As such, said laws must be eliminated, period.

  • “Cabdriver, why should cannabis to be saddled with “nonprofit transfer”? What is it about cannabis that requires it to be handled that way?”

    Nothing “requires” that cannabis be relegated to the realm of nonprofit transfer.

    I’m of the opinion that it’s by far the most superior policy in this case, though, due to some properties of cannabis that make it uniquely suitable for such a policy.

    1) It’s easier to grow a year’s supply of cannabis than it is to brew 200 gallons of beer or wine- (at least, of drinkable quality.)

    2) It’s cheaper to grow 10 or 20 flowering female cannabis plants than it is to build a home brewery, too.

    3) 10 or 20 flowering female plants is enough to supply even a chain-smoking pothead, with enough left over to give handfuls to their friends and neighbors.

    4) Cannabis is one of the safest and most non-poisonous herbs around- less toxic than many ornamental garden flowers. That means it’s safe to grow at home, even around children and pets. (A lot safer than, say, tobacco.)

    5) If every third person who used cannabis grew a small garden of it, they’d have enough to supply everyone else who wanted some. Free, even.

    = By all rights, all that should add up to “zero government interference.” A rare, much esteemed, valuable- nay, priceless- quality, for such a commodity. Commonplace, non-toxic, non-addictive, simple and cheap to cultivate, most effective in ludicrously small amounts (as discordant as that might be to the Traditional American Way, of More Is Always Better.)

    “I hear that mentioned constantly by various authority types, but their minds are so cramped by prohibitionist thinking that they have great fear of cannabis as a commercial product.”

    You misunderstand.

    I do admit to trepidations about the prospects of “cannabis as a commercial product.” But not because of anything intrinsic to cannabis…it’s more about the problems I’ve observed when something that deserves to be a plentiful and freely shared product gets turned into “a commercial product.”

    Do that in this society, given the current political-economic-media status quo, and you’re running a grave risk of taking the keys away from individual citizens and handing them to 1) the government and 2) the corporate monopolists.

    Note: as of a couple of years ago, the FDA has now been granted the power to regulate the commercial production and sales of tobacco, a natural plant.

    The FDA hasn’t made it clear to the public what they intend to do, in that regard. But rest assured, they have undertaken the power to do it.

    And in the case of tobacco, there’s even an argument to be made that there’s a need to do so, at the commercial level.

    That need is absent, in the case of cannabis. Unlike raw tobacco, raw cannabis is not lethally poisonous. It is not addictive. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, there’s no history of cannabis being laced with glycerine to keep it moist in the pack, dusted with saltpeter to keep it burning in an ashtray, adulterated with other vegetable substances, or dusted with additional nicotine to keep it attractive to its users.

    But- will that stop the FDA from “regulating” it? Do ya think?

    And then there’s the “revenue enhancement” function of cannabis that’s being touted so vociferously by some in the cannabis legalization community…tell me, what do you anticipate that legal reefer would cost, with taxes added? How will the goverment keep home growers from undercutting the established legal market price?

    Would you rather see a commercial market granted to an FDA-regulated corporate monopoly, with home cultivation strictly forbidden as “tax evasion” and “bootlegging”- or the opposite: a ban on commerical sales for profit, while allowing general access freedom to cultivate personal use quantities, as long as monetary gain stays out of it?

    Oh yeah, I know- YOU WANT BOTH!

    But, stepping back for a moment of practical reflection on “political reality”-

    by the time that “legal marijuana” goes through the legislative meat grinder- which option do you think you’ll get?

    Do you really think you’ll be able to have your double hot fudge sundae with nuts, sprinkles, and extra cherries on top, then?

    (Or maybe you’re imagining that you’re the one who will get in on the ground floor of the new licensing arrangements…my guess is that Brown & Williamson will get there, well ahead of you.)

    “Effective functional legalization will require a normalization of cannabis commerce to something resembling alcohol.”

    Oh, yeah…just like the products of those Federally licensed distilleries, like Jack Daniels.

    Except for it being, like, ten times as expensive.

    Or more.

    & even more than that, for the “certified organic” variety

    : )

  • DdC

    So it seems in 69 Leary has the 37 tax ax overturned, until the 72 bogus pack of lies C.S.A. rejecting the tax paid Shafer Commission. Ganja must have been totally without laws.(?) I was busted 4 times during that period, and no arrests. Few roaches at a grad party to a pound. Tennessee cops gave me joints back. I have to assume no one knew. We thought we were extremely lucky. This time when we expose the CSA and nullify it. Lets tell somebody.

    White Powders are made by subsidiaries of Agriculture Korps. Junkies make snitches to set up as man as possible. The Prison Industrial Complex including DEAthland and Pharmaceutical and Booze, along with the multitude of multi national Korps, selling synthetic alternatives to Hemp, comprising 98% of the stats. $650 million in propaganda to gather teabog ditzo’s against affordable health care. Self imposed slaves herded by self appointed moralists.
    $1 trillion spent is $1 trillion profit perpetuating the Ganjawar. ConPromise in a war zone is an evil necessity, not Victory.

    Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze or Ganja/Hemp. While GOPerverts and Demonkrats bicker over nonsense. Half the population can not vote. Half who can, do not register. Have registered don’t vote. The voters are split equally between the same WTO Neocon fascists. Meaning twice as many not registering and not voting could decide the outcome, but choose to be apathetic and keep the status weird in power.

  • ” Switzerland (and Vancouver?) have a policy in place where heroin is legal for those addicted. This has not only cut property crime but increased the productivity and quality of lives for those that have not been successful in other treatment programs.”

    Important note: that may be a worthy and beneficial drug policy option- but it isn’t full drug legalization. It’s merely “medicalization.”

    And thus, according to the sentiments I’ve been reading on this pages from the “nothing-less-than-full-legalization-of-everything” cohort, it’s an unacceptable compromise.

    No?

    “Here in the good ol U.S. we have methadone maintencnce programs. Supposedly methadone is used to prevent the “high” associated with heroin. Treatment cannot be a positive experience you know!”

    There are advantages and disadvantages to methadone maintenance vs. heroin maintenance. I haven’t studied the issue enough to take one side or the other. But either one is a “medicalization” policy. And fwiw, I’ve had people in methadone programs tell me that they got a buzz from the methadone they got (I used to drive for a cab company that had a contract to drive people to the clinic in the morning.)

    “Heroin is illegal in this country for one reason and one reason only…the word “heroin” has a bad reputation.”

    I think that’s true. But I also think that too much is made over that fact. In most cases, and by most methods of administration, even confirmed addicts can’t tell the difference between (for example) heroin, morphine, Dilaudid, and fentanyl in blind testing. I’ve met junkies who preferred oxycodone and hydrocodone cough medicines to street heroin, both because the buzz was more reliably powerful, and because it lasted longer. (And they weren’t cooking it down, they were just drinking it.)

    This starts to get into a wrangle over pharmaceutical policy- is Oxycontin a safe and powerful pain medication, or “hillbilly heroin”? What’s the difference?

    I haven’t studied that particular issue in detail- but my position is that to the extent that Oxycontin has displaced street heroin, it either represents and improvement or it doesn’t. If the total number of opiate overdoses has gone up, it’s a bad thing. If it’s gone down, it’s a good thing. I don’t have the figures handy. I’ll try to look them up, although I know that the Feds have a way of obscuring the numbers on stats like this one, by lumping categories together.

    Regardless- Oxycontin isn’t “legalized”, either. It’s medicalized, subject to prescription by physicians only.

    Once again: does that policy represent a “victory” for the prohibitionists- or an acceptable compromise?

  • “Virtually every drug policy reform leader believes repealing drug prohibition to be the end game. So when marijuana use is settled law and reform leaders move on to the next drug or drugs, thinking the prohibitionists will roll over and play dead is wishful. They will force reform leaders to defend their position that medical marijuana was not a Trojan Horse for full legalization, and we’ll be faced with defending past actions at the expense of future ones.

    Those who say “So what?” are those who believe the ends justify the means. Not exactly the best way to get things done, and makes us no better than the prohibitionists. If you look at the Netherlands, Portugal and now Mexico, countries that have far better drug policies than the U.S., it was not a grassroots movement behind medical marijuana that brought about such changes. It was a top-down decision by government that recreational drug users pose little or no threat.

    Until our government takes the same decision, we will continue to arrest more than 750,000 individuals every year for the simple possession of marijuana. Reform leaders have told me that those individuals are just “collateral damage” of the drug war. You may consider that progress, but I certainly don’t.”

    Daniel E. Williams…all you’re doing is speculating. Talking through your hat, with zero validity beyond your own dire imagination of the future.

    All of that stuff you’re positing as an inevitable set-up for massive defeat? Those are victories.

    How long have you been in the drug law reform movement, anyway? You don’t seem to have any sense of what it’s like to really lose one.

    Also, when it comes to heavy-handed moralism, you’re no slouch yourself. You’re basically depicting everyone in the marijuana law reform movement as collaborators with the Drug War, unless they agree with your personal opinion that it’s absolutely imperative to go all in and demand a policy of immediate full legalization of all drugs.

    Go jump in the lake.

  • “Cabdriver, by any measure of common sense, alcohol is a hard drug. It is a physically addictive drug with a devastating withdrawal syndrome (delirium tremens) and induces violent behavior in users. This substance (ether with a water chaser) is as bad or worse than any other given substance.”

    Hold on a minute. There are some serious differences between even 190 proof ethyl alcohol and the hard powder drugs, like heroin and cocaine.

    Serious difference #1- you can’t load up hypodermic syringe with enough ethyl alcohol to kill yourself. Very unlike the more powerful opiates out there. Also unlike pure cocaine- which has a higher LD50 than opiates, but not by much; and which has a nasty way of provoking heart attacks and stroke in sublethally toxic doses, particularly with advancing age and associated vulnerabilities to ischemic or hemorrhagic events.

    You can’t snort enough ethyl alcohol up your nose to kill yourself, either. You can kill yourself with distilled alcohol, but it takes some serious doing. But people can die from snorting a big rail of heroin. The CDC statistics bear out the differences rather dramatically- especially when one considers a comparative estimate of the aggregate number of incidences of ingestion, per chemical.

    There are other differences. But that one alone is enough to put the lie to the position that alcohol is “as bad or worse than any other given substance.”

    “As such, as long as alcohol is a socially acceptable and legally regulated drug, there is no valid arguement against the legalization of other drugs.”

    I just dispensed with the idea that heroin is no more dangerous than alcohol. It’s a more hazardous substance. Legalizing it would remove the hazards associated with impurity and unknown quantity. It would not get rid of the overall risk of overdose. And full legalization would lead to increased use.

    You will note that NONE of the European or Latin American countries being held up in various posts as examples of enlightened drugs policy have a regime of full, over-the-counter commercial legal sales of heroin, morphine, cocaine, etc. They’re all “compromisers” in that regard.

    Maybe you Uncompromising Legalizers ought to go lecture them on what sellouts they are.

    “Obviously, you support legalization of cannabis. I do too, but that is not the battle. Prohibition of any substance is wrong.”

    Hmm…how about prohibition of lead paint? What about arsenic insecticide? Or PCBs? Or Tris?

    If morphine is made available over the counter in a liquid suspension with a 1-bottle limit, as tincture of opium with some added compounding to make it practically impossible to extract the pure substance– but sales of the pure powder are prohibited in order to reduce overdose and discourage IV use– is that “morally wrong”?

    “It is a violation of individual liberty that did not exist in this country until the early 20th century.”

    In the first place: the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act was not a prohibition on narcotics. It was a truth-in-labeling regulation. And the Harrison Act of 1914 only made over the counter sales of hard drugs illegal. It did not prevent physicians from having the ability to prescribe heroin, morphine, or cocaine to their patients. Only at the point when physicians became unable to prescribe those substances to their patients did actual Drug Prohibition kick in. iirc, that happened some time around 1928. That’s what really started the War On Drugs, in my view.

    Up to that time, the drugs policies of the USA were roughly as liberal as they are in present-day Switzerland.

    Shortly thereafter, the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, and things really went to hell.

    “Every one of the laws prohibiting the various substances were based on racial prejudices and lies.”

    Partially true. But only partially. I maintain that there were, and are, sound public health reasons for medically controlling the sales and use of heroin, morphine, and cocaine.

    “As such, said laws must be eliminated, period.”

    Pardon me, but you sound like a pontificating adolescent.

    There isn’t a national government in the world in official agreement with that position. If anything short of full legalization for commercial sale is unacceptable- then why do I keep hearing all of this touting of the medicalization and decriminalization policies of other nations?

    By the logic of the position being assumed by the Full Legalization advocates, isn’t all that simply Oppression Lite?

  • Dear cabdriver~

    As a man of a certain advanced age, I found it prudent to take a short nap before re-reading your voluminous posts here in Pete’s place. And I have concluded that they have merit. Such merit, however, can be narrowly defined by the succinct words of Shakespeare: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” And at the risk of violating the wisdom of the bard, I’ll address what you consider my “speculating” on the future of drug policy reform.

    I was a teenager in 1965 as the counterculture first began to bloom, and have paid close attention to the vagaries of drug use and drug prohibition ever since. (I did need to make a living, though. So after college and a stint in the Army I worked 20 years the corporate world. In 1987 I became a partner in a start-up that built two successful cellular telephone companies, both of which sold for just under a billion dollars. I retired in 1995.)

    Regarding my drug policy bona fides: After retiring – and taking a much needed break – I wrote what turned out to be a very popular book, The Naked Truth About Drugs. (It may not be your cup of tea, but Albert Hofmann and Sasha Shulgin liked its taste, as both luminaries endorsed it.) I have lectured extensively, both here and abroad, on the absurdities of drug prohibition and its need to be repealed. My views have been published in various newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal. I have been interviewed on dozens of talk radio shows across the country. I was a VP candidate for the 2008 Libertarian Party’s national ticket, with repealing drug prohibition as my signature issue. And had not the wingnut faction of the LP party freaked after Bob Barr secured our nomination – by changing the VP nomination process at literally the 11th hour – I would have succeeded. But there’s always 2012…

    Currently I host the Opium Den, an online talk show. I have interviewed virtually every leader inside the drug policy reform arena, as well as some very interesting folks outside. All those interviews are available for download and listening at http://www.theopiumden.net – just click archives on the home page. You may not find them illuminating, of course, but I trust you’ll find them entertaining.

    You tell me to “Go jump in the lake.” Really? I’d have thought someone hiding behind the anonymity of a pseudonym would be more courageous and tell me what was really on their mind. So allow me the pleasure, in the full light of identity, to tell you what you lacked the balls to say: “Go fuck yourself.”

  • Daniel E. Williams:

    That part about “go jump in the lake?”

    I take that back.

    Everything else I said, I still endorse.

    I welcome discussion on the substance of the content.

    Yours truly, Robert D. Reed, Jr.

  • Voletear

    Is there any common ground here? I think there is. I think that common ground can be the medicalization of use and/or addiction of these substances.

    I hope I am not assuming too much when I say that most of the cannabis proponents working towards the medical-marijuana victories would prefer that full pot legalization was a done deal. I heartily concur but can see the value of the medical-marijuana movement to the larger goal of defeating the Drug War.

    Those of us who believe that the fight should not be as cannibo-centric as it has been will perhaps see that medical-maintenance in the addictions, in all it’s permutations, can be very similar, for us, as the medimar model is to cannabis proponents – a way from here to there. So, just as medimar advocates have had to put off the greater goal of full legalization, we who concern ourselves with the rights and welfare of addicts can also put off our larger goals for freedom of use in order to save lives today.

    All we need is the support of our friends. I submit that a message that calls for medical-marijuana – along with – the medicalization of hard drug use – as a solution – is a much stronger message than either approach alone.

  • DdC

    Stoners have always supported Hemp and RxGanja. Probably the best customers of Hemp products. Kept Ganja from extinction and were the first to provide medicine to the wasting AIDs patients.

    RxGanja promoters, I have seen turn against everyone, appeasing the liars for crumbs. Blaming stoners for the drug worriers. Willing to ConPromise on reality for personal gains.

    I’ve seen Hampsters condemn RxGanja and stoners and also appease the drug worriers for their own gains.

    Stoners support safe access to white powders, personally I prefer it behind the counter to avoid shoplifting. The harm and death is clearly from prohibition adulterations and inconsistent dosages. Same addictive overdosing drugs prescribed without incident.

  • to all those in the “let’s keep trying to get medical marijuana” crowd: do you not realize that opiates, cocaine and even methamphetamine are ALL already available for medical use!?

    exactly what in the hell do you think will be gained then by moving marijuana to schedule ii or iii?

    how does it alter one goddam thing about the drugwar in general?

    what in the hell are *you people* smoking?

  • Brian, I’m detecting some anger there. What for?

    “exactly what in the hell do you think will be gained then by moving marijuana to schedule ii or iii?”

    People holding prescriptions no longer get arrested.

    I could go on…but that should do, for now.

    “how does it alter one goddam thing about the drugwar in general?”

    see above.

    “what in the hell are *you people* smoking?”

    what are you NOT smoking?

  • DdC

    Cabby are you on crack? Pull over dude.
    The entire fucking scheduling is bogus.
    “Scheduling” may give “prescriptions” to those who can afford it or insured. Not Quality and consistant Ganja to smoke or grow free as cultures have done safely for thousands of years chicken lil. No Apothecaries. Mississippi schwag. Still controlled by the same lying mother fuckers since the 1900’s. Won’t remove the Nixon lies or the oil scums profits. Won’t permit the Indians a Hemp alternative. Or Mexicans a way out of migrating North. Family farmers without abortion causing poisons as used on US cotton. Babysteps in a time of perpetual war and retarded appeasers keep er going. The patients I care for benefit from the therapeutical properties of Ganja and it hasn’t one thumbnail to do with traitorous elected lobbyists. So kindly blow it out your drug worrier ass. Are you representing Bayer or just Barthwell, glad she found an occupation that suits. Grubbs the Cabby.

    States new game show, punking the sick people…
    Political terroriism on sick Americans and no fox alert colors.

    Cannabis News

    * Vote Moves D.C. Closer To Medical Marijuana
    * Trouble Ahead for Medical Marijuana in California
    * Colorado’s Marijuana Mess
    * Maine Marijuana Rules Will Take Time To Implement
    * Wisconsin: Let’s Help Patients in Pain
    * Spokane, WA: Council To Consider Marijuana Measure
    * Denver, CO: A Plan for Medical Marijuana
    * Pennsylvania: Lawmakers Ponder Medical Marijuana
    * New Mexico: Medical Pot Program Has Slow, Cautious Start

    MAP Inc.org

    * US CA: Tehama County Towns Wage Battle Over Medical Pot
    * US CA: OPED: Town Not Required To Accommodate Drug Dealers
    * US MO: Missouri Considers Making It Harder To Get Medicines

    CANNABIS CULTURE

    * No Negotiations With Terrorists: Ed Rosenthal
    We have been indoctrinated into the philosophy of “Don’t negotiate with terrorists.” I see some value in that approach. But let’s not just apply it to physical terrorists who threaten physical violence, but to political terrorists as well.

    * Bail Revoked for Heart Surgeon Facing Marijuana Charges
    * Marijuana Legalization Zeitgeist In America To Continue Into 2010: * Federal Government Lags Behind The States
    * US FL: Losing Rachel: Parents, Friends Agonize Over
    * Senate Accepts Bill C-15 Amendments

    I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare.
    I paint my face and travel at night.
    You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag.”
    ~ Ralph Reed,
    Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 11/9/91

    Keep your laws off my buds!

  • DdC

    Either they do know their appeasing is contributing to the perpetuation or they are ignorant. If they are ignorant they should not be paid tax dollars or permitted to panic the general public with unsubstantiated threats. Especially serving a religious crusade or for monetary gain. The greedy and the desperate both disregard others, I can understand why, and even forgive the desperate only trying to survive, the others are doing guerrilla warfare. Serving their own klans or parties and not a concern for the United States.

    As a Cannabis Home Health Aid I know of the importance of Ganja to patients. Long before Prop 215. In 20 years I have never ask a patient or their doctors for any incriminating evidence. Not a signature or a prescription. Or made a profit. Buyers Clubs seem like a convenience at prohibition prices, that would drop after Nixon’s lie is overturned and the perpetuators like this maniac are properly serving Justice. I have no problem as it is without the government Justice and Prison Industry intervention. Patients without resources do benefit.

    Local municipalities are illegally trying to control Apothecaries by limiting or out right banning. It’s a citizens initiative, above the corruption of politicians. Only another citizens initiative can adulterate it. As it stands it says “For Any Reason”. I would like a Quality Assurance similar to booze. Without the chemical adulterations. But haven’t ever needed one. If you can’t tell what it is or trust where it came from, don’t do it. For any adult old enough to shoot people. A political evil necessity, is still evil, bartering for crumbs and oh so thankful and polite.

    I see lots of things that surprise me. Super conservatives ok with relieving their loved ones pain and suffering, or despondency after white powders zombie them out. Liberals politically correcting them to agony. Or toughing it out for the sake of the kids and the gipper? Rox Cocktails schedule#2 triplicates requiring a doctors personal contact with the Pharmacist, delivered by 18 year old high school kids to the patients caregiver.

    The times I’ve witnessed professional affirmation in hospice cases including cops, fire and paramedics as long as it was known by the attending physician, no problems. Not unique and not always the case. But a hell of a lot of the legality fuss is over profits, not Ganja or Americans rights, health or best interests. Singling out advocates or profiling. That muck is what we need to clean up. Politicians will take as much power as we permit. The Patriot Ax used as we predicted, for drug cases. Snitches for 80% of the cases, 404 gag rules defending your life?

    Sneaky low down unscrupulous back stabbing cowardice racking up points like a scoreboard. In reality each point is an American traumatized/terrorized worse than criminals stealing or thuggery. This jackboot mentality is being done to sick citizens and healthy contributing members of society, choosing a safer alternative to relieve the daily doldrums. Acting locally has been a good first response in an emergency situation. Since 1996 Prop 215, there have been no real problems outside of prohibitions. By example, 10 years is more than adequate to prove this insane profit driven Ganjawar should end at the Federal level, free and clear of bogus political decisions over the laws of physics and properties of a plant.

    Garbage pharmaceuticals taken because the benign Ganja is too expensive and harder to get. Harder to smuggle. Caused by the appeasers. I agree with Brian. Scheduling Ganja will put Bayer and Barthwell in Business, along with the patents already established. Keep Buyers Clubs outlawed and Hemp and regular use a commodity for DEAth Merchants to sell. Boosh/Waldo was a punishment for bitching about McCaffrey/Klintoon. So I guess the lesson is beggars can’t be choosy. Take what they give us, eyes forward, shoulders straight, mouths shut, for our own good. Reality and the Laws of Physics are soooooo over rated.

    “The German people have no idea of the extent
    to which they have to be gulled in order to be led.”
    ~ dolf

    AMA Calls For Ending Nixon’s Lie? Nooooo

    Gulled: Date: circa 1550
    … to take advantage of (one who is foolish or unwary) : deceive

  • I’m not interested in scheduling cannabis, either. If there’s one psychoactive substance out there that deserves to be free of any scheduling, it’s cannabis.

    But ganja is already scheduled. Schedule One.

    Maybe you’re right, and re-scheduling it to 2 or 3 would functionally put it in the hands of Big Pharma- a bad move. A terrible move.

    That makes the question how best to get it to Schedule Zero, so to speak. (Preliminary opinion- there are easier ways to do that than attempting to overturn the entire Federal CSA.)

    And living in California- I assume that you do, too, DdC- my perception is that the by now-decade long liberalization of the cannabis laws is not due for a reversal. Simply in terms of the practical realities of it, it’s out in the open, and getting more normalized every day.

    And you can spare me the rhetoric. I’ve heard it before. Moreover, I agree with you.

    I’d prefer you cut to the chase, speak directly to specifics- both as far as your objections to various provisions and proposals, and what you’d prefer as enacted policy.

    I admit, I’m still behind the info-curve as far as the looming ballot California State ballot initiative on legalizing cannabis- I’ve heard that Dennis Peron and some of the other people in the movement have some serious objections to the provisions. I’m going to be doing my own research, but if there’s anything you can add on that score, I’d like to hear about it.

  • cabdriver — ’tis better to remain mute and assumed dense than to speak and remove all doubt.

  • Brian- do ya think you’re helping things any, in that regard?

  • If I appear “dense” in this discussion to some people, it’s because I’m having a great deal of difficulty in getting a clear idea of specific goals around here- what the other posters would consider “success”- or even “progress”- as far as drug law reform.

    That accounts for much to the length of many of my previous posts- half of which amounted to re-quoting excerpts from other posts; and the other half of which amounted to attempts to tease out coherent positions from what was being said, mostly in the form of rhetorical generalities.

    But apparently people are awfully touchy about having their ideas questioned around here, because so much of what I’ve received by way of reply has been awfully non-responsive in terms of talking about IDEAS and POLICY.

    If you think I’m to be satisfied merely with snarkiness and personal attacks, instead…you’re bound to find out otherwise. I know how to cut through kudzu on the Internet. And I don’t get chased out of Internet discussions by personal attacks, or cussing, or sarcasm, or any of that other lameness.

    Mostly, what I’m reading in the other posts here is a massive amount of fist-shaking and recrimination- not so much at me, but at The Enemieez.

    I find that sort of High Dudgeon boring. I know about it already.

    I’m after actual policy discussions. Good ideas. Strategy and tactics.

    To give the other commentators an idea what I’m looking for- I’ll go first. These are my aims.

    I want the the legal persecutions to cease, and the illegal market in marijuana destroyed.

    I want it to be so cheap and plentiful that no one ever feels it to be a profitable enterprise to burglarize someone else’s pot patch ever again.

    I want it to be grown in the sunlight, again.

    That means I want the ability of any adult to grow their own supply without any licensing or ID requirement, as long as it’s a modest quantity. No $$$-making plantations.

    What I want pretty much obviates the idea that marijuana would ever be sold for $10 a gram, or even $5 a gram.

    I think logic dictates that as long as a substance is worth $140 an ounce, some people will think it worth breaking into someone else’s house in order to procure a supply.

    I’d rather have it be so common a commodity that it’s more like tomatoes than single malt Scotch.

    I have no interest in incorporating it into some government’s revenue stream, in the name of making it a commercial commodity. I have a strong suspicion that the government will demand an awful lot of control, in return.

    And I’m ready to hear any objections to my position.

    Once again- thus far, I’ve heard precious little discussion here of actual POLICY.

  • DdC

    NO More Policy, it’s a plant. 215 has it covered in Cali.

    Note. Compassionate Use Act not the MMJ Act

    or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.

    Any individual who provides assistance

    A designated primary caregiver who transports, processes, administers, delivers, or gives away marijuana for medical purposes.

    This is a state rights tenth amendment issue, not Federal. As long as any prohibition exists in any state because of Federal CSA. It will remain prohibition priced and considered commerce that could effect non-complying states… and the dangers described will remain. Removing the CSA for Ganja/Hemp is all I’m concerned with here.

    Though making QA street drugs available in clinics would lower the victims. It would also remove the Narks power to use snitches, making up 80% of their cases.

    If the CSA is removed and each state has no bogus reefer madness to reenact prohibition on state levels. Then the price will drop. But the bottom line now is to move the Ganja to a schedule#2 and have the Big Pharma synthesize or use the Canadian sativex sublingual applicator Bayer invented, and Barthwell gets big bucks to promote to the US. All based on gutter science that smoke is bad. With the only comparison being “cigarettes” with hundreds of chemical adulterations not added to Ganja, no comparison. Or with organic tobacco. But this is a Liberal “crusade”. Klintoons pet, Both sides make Ganjawar profits. Probably one of the few bipartisan issues in existance. Thousands of years of use and no victims means it is not a danger and therefore requires no more policy than caffine or sugar.

    If you’re in Cali you know since we gathered sigs for prop 215 Wilson Lungreen fought us, caged us and finally counties and towns started implementing it and the only real problems have been the prison industry and cops whining and reefer mad idiot politicians trying to tweak it. It is what it is, for compassion to tokers, prevention is as much a right as treatment. Again a citizens initiative requires another citizens initiative to over turn it. Not politicians, not Jerry Brownose or Obombo tossing us a blind eye.

    So what have we leaned kids.

    Toking as an alternative to booze is legit under Prop 215, Compassionate Use Act not the mmj act. Its not a manufactured drug with white powder side effects requiring more white powders. Its not anything but a useful plant and nature can’t be taxed, or should it be regulated outside of not destroying it for profit as we do the trees and by digging up minerals. In this combat zone drug war we have to survive and buyers clubs help seniors and conservatives without connections. SB 420 or any local tweaking policy is appeasing the cops and not in the best interest of the people. That is why it was rejected by the courts. Same thing with Mendo or Arcata or Scam DEAgo trying to overturn or subvert prop 215. So we’re back to the beginning, overturn the bogus CSA concerning Ganja and that will undo the totally fascist anti-American act of adding RxGanja and Hemp to the mix, by tricky Dickhead Nixon, Not even included in the overturned unConstitutional marijuana tax act of 1937.

    This is a microcosm of the shit we’re in. Its makes obvious what this multinational corporatist government is planning and implementing in some cases. Iraq or bailing out Bansters all keeping the tax payers paying for it in the dark and afraid. So that is why some of us are passionate about doing it right and honest and what’s best for the people, not the corporations or politicians. If there was no medicinal value first, they wouldn’t still be rolling 300 joints for 4 remaining IND patients every 25 days. Secondly they wouldn’t have put a patent on certain cannabinoids. Thirdly Barthwell, xDEA wouldn’t be still propagandizing about harmful smoke while she’s selling satevex for Bayer,

    Until the CSA is overturned Cali is protected with prop 215 as long as it is enforced and chicken little’s don’t try to tweak it. Reformers begging for babysteps don’t even advocate the bennies of removing prohibition laws. Especially concerns of right wing prohibitionists. The abortions caused by pesticides not used on Hemp. The oil wars not needed with biomass or biodiesel. States rights. Poor Mexicans having a crop for staples or cash and not the need of crossing deserts for two bit maid jobs, picking fruit or busing tables. The budget could be pulled out of the red. Free medicine. Fill the textile mills shutdown by NAFTA/GATT. Ancient temple incense with trace amounts of Ganja, did Jesus inhale? Well I’m sure its 4:20 some where.

    “This vice brings in 100 million francs each year.
    I will certainly forbid it at once –
    as soon as you can name a virtue that brings in as much revenue.”

    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

    Virtues’ of Ganja

    Ganja 4 PTSD & Depression
    300000 Iraq & Afghan Vets Suffer PTSD & Depression
    Many Veterans are the Enemy of the D.E.A.th War

    Organic Cannabis/Tobacco vs Chemical Cigarettes

    Con Flicts of Interest Bush Barthwell & Drugs

  • cabdriver~

    I believe Brian is helping things quite a bit by simply stating the obvious.

  • Yes, I’d say “Sativex” has Big Pharma Monopoly written all over it…

    I’d say it’s going to be very difficult to do much with the CSA to remove cannabis from the Schedulings- at least pro-actively. Offhand, it appears that the cannabis normalization movement needs to continue to entrench itself. I suppose that eventually there will be hearings on “re-scheduling”- and that’s when cannabis advocates need to show up with as much research data ammo and medical backup as possible.

    I’m not sure what sorts of statistical studies are being done with the MMJ population right now, but I’d support doing as many as possible. The evidence keeps mounting that overall as a med, MMJ isn’t broken, and doesn’t need fixing.

    Amazing that an entire cornerstone premise of the drug war could be presumed over smoked raw material versus some semi-refined product for vaporization. From Anslinger’s claims, to that- it’s like a last-ditch stand. Desperation. The PTB deserve to have that scheme thoroughly exposed for what it is.

    Because at that point, the mask is off- it’s really about nothing more than disempowering ordinary citizens, and hoarding the various potentials of cannabis into the hands of a small elite class. Now that the potentials are irrefutably recognized, they’re trying to take it out of the hands of the people. Disgraceful. I’d have to say it’s par for the course, though.

    The fact is, even if it comes down to trench warfare and massive civil disobedience by continuing an underground cultivation and distribution market- we’ll beat them. But the cost will be so unnecessary.

    You would think that the people running governments would recognize that there are looming planetary challenges that are going to swamp out their petty agendas of total control. But, if they have to learn the hard way…the persecuted, marginalized, illegalized have developed a lot more in the way of survival strategies than the elite controller types.

  • Daniel E. Williams:

    Not gonna let that “go jump in the lake” thing go, are you?

  • Voletear

    So much for “common ground”, I guess. C’mon people, the Enemy is Out There and just received 2 billion to use against us.

    As Cabdriver has asked for specific proposals I would just say, at this point, that I would be quite satisfied, until we can all celebrate total victory, with a liberal system of maintenance in the addictions. This is simple; whatever someone finds themselves addicted to, they would be able to get from properly trained doctors. Thus we would have the “Swiss Fix”(heroin-assisted treatment)in the US. Similar options would be open for the other drugs. Combine this with the proper Harm Reduction methods and we would have a lot of progress.

    I also have a an idea covering recreational use over the entire drug spectrum. I think one way to do this part of it would be to make it legal to grow and use any plant or the natural products thereof in a form that comes from the plant itself. Obviously this takes care of cannabis. Opium would be legal but heroin would not as it requires chemical manipulation to produce it. Coca would be legal but coke would not, etc. Penalties for violation would be mild.

  • cabdriver~

    I could care less about your “go jump in the lake” comment. Really.

    Your other comments are, by and large, random ramblings and contradictory. Railing against the machine (and those who challenge your assumptions), as you do in most if not all of your postings, fails your own litmus test of seeking to have a discussion of “actual policy.”

    For example: “The fact is, even if it comes down to trench warfare and massive civil disobedience by continuing an underground cultivation and distribution market – we’ll beat them. But the costs will be so unnecessary.” Really? What we have now is trench warfare and massive civil disobedience – and we’re not beating anyone.

    And for you to think that the “the persecuted, marginalized, illegalized [not a word, by the way] have developed a lot more in the way of survival strategies than the elite controller types” is, not to put too fine a point on it, moronic and delusional.

    But keep posting, please. Because whenever a serious debate on important social issues takes place, a little comic relief is a pleasant diversion and always welcome.

  • Daniel E. Williams:

    “I could care less about your “go jump in the lake” comment. Really.”

    I was able to tell by your first reply to me that “you could care less.” Considerably less. I wish you would care less.

    I’m sensing that this thread is devolving into a personality dispute, when I’ve explicitly made it clear that I’d prefer it to be a discussion of ideas- and one that doesn’t have to be any more disputatious than necessary. But there’s only so much I can do in that regard.

    As far as matters of morale- let’s just call our respective positions relative and subjective, shall we? Because we’re evidently using different criteria for assessment.

    And, well, perhaps it’s simply a matter of temperament. I prefer to accentuate the positive.

    In the poll being discussed, 68% of the people view the “War On Drugs” as “a failure.” What do you suppose those numbers were 25 years ago?

    If “we’re not beating anyone”, then why haven’t the poll numbers shifted toward more popular support for the Drug War, rather than shifting decidedly against it over the decades?

    If “we’re not beating anyone”, then what explains this?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/20/marijuana-critic-hired-by_n_327898.html

    What does that story indicate to you? Does that represent progress over the state of affairs 25 years ago- or is it actually somehow evidence of regression? Do you view it as evidence that the proponents of drug law reform in this country are getting our asses kicked?

    People have always resisted their oppressors and oppressors, sometimes demonstrating a staggering amount of resourcefulness and fortitude. It’s an indomitable quality of the human spirit. I question how it is that you prefer to characterize that history of resistance as “moronic and delusional.”

    Any other examples of “random ramblings and contradictory” from my earlier posts that you’d like to bring up? Because rather than personal invective or prophecies of gloom and doom, I really do want the discussion to center on specifics concerning ideas and policy, and productive suggestions.

  • Correction on that last: from “oppressors and oppressors” to “oppressors and jailers”

  • Voletear:

    You’ve pretty much summed up my present position on the issue of drug law reform.

    It isn’t specific enough to enact as legislation, of course. Legislation and regulation are matters of fine detail.

    But as a general statement of principle, it works.

  • cabdriver~

    Tell ya what – why don’t we take our little back and forth from time-shift mode to real-time this Thursday night inside The Opium Den. We can discuss the current state of drug policy and what we believe to be the best course of action going forward. It’s live, and usually with a decent listening audience. And then it goes to archives for posterity.

    If this offer appeals to you, just let me know. I look forward to it, and trust you will appreciate the opportunity to share your vision with all The Opium Den listeners.

    Game on?

  • Hope

    I love being around intelligent, bright people that want to get something done… to right a terrible injustice.

    Even when you’re grumbling, griping, growling, and bickering. You’re doing something right. We’re moving towards our goal.

    You’re irritated… and you’re moving a society, a nation, a world towards a better way.

  • Hope

    The anger and the irritation create energy, combustion of some kind, seems like, but the cooperation gives us movement.

  • Daniel: I’m booked up through the New Year.

    January, February, March are all open.

    I’ve done radio before. I can’t say how good I am at it, but I like doing it.