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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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February 2010
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Open Thread

bullet image Reason TV interviews Gary Johnson. He talks about drug policy around the 4 minute to 7 minute mark.

“I’ve found, people armed with just a little bit of knowledge on this topic, move… move to a more rational position.”

bullet image ‘We Must Win the Battle’ Calderon shows that he still doesn’t get it. Newsweek’s Lally Weymouth fails to ask the $64,000 question.

bullet image Drug Czar Should Go by Timothy Lynch

Voters are disgusted by the reckless spending of politicians in Washington. The backlash is coming, so policymakers are now scrambling to do something, or at least be seen as doing something, about the enormous federal debt. Now is a good time for Congress to abolish government agencies that are outdated, dysfunctional or just unnecessary.

A prime candidate for abolition is the office of the so-called “drug czar.”

bullet image Businesses Should Stay on Marijuana’s Good Side by Mason Tvert

Sooner or later, these companies will come to realize that they must respect the fact that marijuana consumers and supporters of reform are everywhere. And if they expect to keep their business, maintain their market-shares, and ensure healthy bottom lines, they must end their anti-marijuana madness.

After all, it’s not just those prime-time athletes who enjoy marijuana, but in many cases the fans… and the bank account holders… and the on-line video watchers… and the mountain climbers… and, of course, the coffee drinkers.

bullet image People who will never make a living teaching economics.

Harmon says making legalization work is based on a mistaken assumption that the people growing it now will allow themselves to be taxed.

“To me it’s akin to saying, ‘I grow tomatoes and you’re going to tax tomatoes in my backyard. Am I going to voluntarily disclose I’m raising tomatoes and pay a tax to you?” he says.

Legalization, according to Chris Gibson a top antidrug trafficking official, does nothing to reduce the criminal element for marijuana. He cites the Mexican drug cartels as an example. They’ve been growing marijuana in America’s national forests for years.

“They’re going to be able to undercut that price and there is still going to be a black market out there for marijuana grown by them,” he says. “Who do you think people will go to: The taxed product or the cheaper (and) potentially more potent version?”

Looks like there’s no point taxing anything then, because people won’t pay it — they’ll just pay criminals to supply it for them.

The truth is that people will pay rather significantly more to get it legally. In a legal market, the criminal has to undercut by a lot to get any significant share of the market, and that doesn’t give them enough profit margin to run a successful criminal enterprise. The trick is very simple — to make the tax reasonable enough so criminals can’t both significantly undercut and get rich.

bullet image Interesting series by David P. Price at Wilson County News.

Burglars who break into our homes, ransack and steal our prized possessions are deemed lesser criminals than someone whose “victims go to him”! This is clearly distorted. Distorted by those who cling to the Ignorance of Power. They believe the way to stop drug use is arrest everyone involved and “throw away the key”. Forty years has shown this approach doesn’t work.

bullet image CBS representatives won’t let NORML purchase a Times Square Billboard during the Superbowl.

bullet image DrugSense Weekly – a weekly review of the most interesting or relevant articles in the press and on the web related to drug policy reform.

bullet imageDrug War Chronicle – weekly update of drug war news and analysis from Stop the Drug War.org.

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19 comments to Open Thread

  • DdC

    SPECIAL REPORT:
    HOW COURTS KEEP EYES OFF SEARCH WARRANTS

    Courthouses Throw Up Roadblocks To Prevent Scrutiny Of Documents

    B.C. courthouses are routinely breaking rules designed to let the public keep a watchful eye on searches and seizures done by their local police departments, the Times Colonist has found.

    Narco-Dollars for Beginners

    “How the Money Works”
    in the Illicit Drug Trade
    Part I in a Series
    By Catherine Austin Fitts

    Colo. judges play doctor with medical marijuana cards
    DENVER – Whether criminals on probation in Colorado can legally use medical marijuana depends on where they committed their crimes, according to a 9Wants to Know investigation. In some cases, people on probation with medical marijuana cards can smoke all they want, in others, a positive drug test can send them back behind bars.

  • Just me

    “They’re going to be able to undercut that price and there is still going to be a black market out there for marijuana grown by them,” he says. “Who do you think people will go to: The taxed product or the cheaper (and) potentially more potent version?”

    This is one reason why our country is where it is right now. People like this guy thinking if you cant make a buck on a thing it isnt worth doing.

    I could care less if everyone grew thier our cannabis and NO taxes were collected. The fact that the violence and corruption could be seriously reduced if not eliminated, stopping a persecution of a whole group of people, returning our country to a more constitutional veiw by stopping our violation of rights and privacy, stopping the waste of taxes(our time =our life). Its worth it to stop this insane war if not just to stop one more death due to it, for isnt that the reason…’cough’…that this war is raging? To stop death?

    No it does no good to treat the desease if it kills the patient(US citizens and children).

    WHO REALLY CARES IF WE GET TAXES! Oh ya…those greedy bastards that could careless about thier fellow man..as long as a thing produces a buck…oh yes the almighty dollar!

    There are days I feel the only way things will ever change in this greedy country is for the economy to implode!
    Hummm…theres a storm coming I have a feeling. Could be a bad one.

  • Just me

    Something else people need to realize about drugs and this horrible war if they dont already…

    On the streets of America, cops can,by their own admition, arrest the corner drugdealer , the supplyer and there are ten more waiting to take thier place.

    Now look at the carnage south of the border, Our and Mexicos government are trying to get rid of the cartels…say they do..guess what…there are going to be someone there to fill that vaccum.

    As long as there is demand for drugs there WILL be someone suppling them. The only way to stop the demand is arrest everyone…and even at that…we cant keep drugs out of the prisons.The only answer left is ending the drug war.

    So is there any doubt this war was a failure from the start? So why are we still waging an unwinnable war? Follow the money…whose profiting? Thats why.

  • claygooding

    Why tax anything? These people don’t seem to realize how much our economy will be stimulated when we aren’t sending billions of dollars out of this country for something we can grow here.
    People can brew their own beer now,cheaper than they can buy it,but don’t. And it will be the same way with marijuana. And if they want to keep criminals out of the marijuana business,it cost just a few dollars to grow a
    pound of marijuana outside,don’t price it so high that it leaves enough profit margin to support criminal activity.
    The prohibition is what has made marijuana into the gold mine it is now. Chris Gibson is just protecting his organizations budget. When the DEA no longer has marijuana to justify their budget,they can spend more time fighting the drugs that are dangerous.

  • Cannabis

    Why did KATU hide what exactly Chris Gibson does and who he works for? He is the Director of the Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, which is run by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP): http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/HIDTA/contact.html

  • Shap

    I don’t know about you guys but every time I go to a liquor store there is always someone standing outside of it asking me if I wanna buy cheap tax free rum that he makes in his bathtub. The decision between giving him or the liquor store my business is always incredibly difficult but for some reason I’m willing to shell out the extra bucks for Captain at the liquor store. Anyone see where I’m going with this….

  • ezrydn

    To me, the best arguement is that one way, you buy known content consumables at a reasonable price. The other option is you spend less for an unknown content comsumable. What else in your daily purchases do you do that with?

    Given the opportunity, we all fall into the “convenience” cycle, rather than the “cost” cycle. It’s human nature.

  • Chris

    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n094/a03.html?134
    Ah gotta love local news. I drive by this guy’s hydroponics shop all the time!

  • Cliff

    “I don’t know about you guys but every time I go to a liquor store there is always someone standing outside of it asking me if I wanna buy cheap tax free rum that he makes in his bathtub.”

    I don’t know about you, but I hate having to dodge all those bullets from all the drive by shootings between rival alcohol distributors over turf.

  • Paul

    Yeah, and I got mugged the other day by an alcoholic who couldn’t come up with 2 dollars for a bottle of Thunderbird. It’s terrible these days, what with the burglaries and the car break-ins from all these damn alcohol addicts stealing for their next fix.

    The other thing that’s really awful is how so many people died or went blind this year drinking all that store bought liquor. Never know what goes into that stuff, you know.

  • Just me

    I hear they are going to bulid new prisons because of the rise in arrests of moonshine runners. The prisons are over filled by the bathtube ginners.

  • Paul

    You heard right! Moonshiners take up 50% of the prison space in Federal prisons, and cost billions of dollars each year to house them. And there’s hundreds of thousands of moonshiners wasting away their lives in state prisons right now. They totally clog the courts and the probation system.

  • Chris

    Well, when you guys put it that way it just sounds crazy.

  • kaptinemo

    Nice to see the economic aspect is being taken seriously. It can’t hurt for companies to realize that they’ve been catering to an incredibly small and extremely shrill minority (drug prohibitionists) at the expense of alienating scores of millions of people.

    I’ve long held that cannabists constitute the single largest voting bloc in American politics. What goes without saying is that they also constitute the single largest economic bloc, as well. If we ever decided to become more cohesive as a political force, we’d be unstoppable. Imagine: Scores of millions…withholding their money from the economy, or targeting certain businesses for their support of drug prohibition. And of course, voting for candidates who favor reform. Millions of swing votes at a critical election can break any ties and force those who take us lightly to rue their dismissive attitude.

    We have the power, and in truth we always did. It’s long past time to flex those muscles and prove it.

  • @Shap~

    What if that guy outside the store had better and cheaper “bathtub” cannabis?

  • DdC

    Ron Paul & Gary Johnson for President in 2012!
    Marc Emery
    I have met Gary Johnson and he is terrific.

    He will compete with Ron Paul for the Republican nomination in 2011 and 2012, ultimately I think they will be on the same ticket and they can defeat President Obama.

    Former NM Gov. Gary Johnson’s Vision For a Truly Free America
    U2b February 05, 2010

    Gary Johnson on Cannabis Culture.

  • DdC

    Taking Issue With Medical Marijuana

    Jennifer Alexander, an OMMP cardholder, said public awareness on the issue could make the difference when it comes to resolving the complicated policy debate.

    “I don’t think these things are out in the public enough because until I became a patient I wasn’t aware of a number of things going on with this, and then I became a patient and I’m like, ‘Oh, you guys have been doing what, for how long?’”

    Alan Ericson, another OMMP advocate, agreed.

    “Absolutely!” he said. “This issue hasn’t been publicly debated on any kind of level, other than locally, and it needs to be.”

  • DdC

    From: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    Howard Zinn, 1922 – 2010

    Howard Zinn, historian and activist, whose book, “A People’s History of the United States,” was made into a movie narrated by many of Hollywood’s biggest stars, died at age 87 on January 27.

    On February 21, 2008, Jack Cole took the liberty of sending Howard a five page email explaining LEAP’s position on the war on drugs. Six minutes later, he received an email response saying, “OK, Jack you can list me as a member.” In so doing, he joined intellectual luminaries such as Noam Chomsky and Milton Friedman who understood, from quite different frameworks, the futility and corrupting barbarity of this war.

    Howard Zinn, 1922-2010 Cybrary

    Funnyman Lewis Black Gets Serious About Pot
    Jeremiah Vandermeer
    Usually Lewis Black has my eyes welling up from incessant laughter, but this clip of the gruff Daily Show comedian speaking seriously about marijuana legalization nearly brought tears to my eyes.

    Lewis Black: Baby Boomers Should Legalize Pot U2b

    How Rich People Smoke Pot

    Ibogaine Pioneer Howard Lotsof Dead at Age 66
    Feb 10 2010
    Lotsof originated numerous patents for ibogaine in treating addictions and provided data to the National Institute on Drug Abuse that laid the groundwork for still ongoing research on ibogaine and its use as an anti-addictive substance.

  • 1766580 beers on the wall. sck was here