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The Windy City Beckons

I’ve got a good friend flying in from Seattle to spend a long weekend and we’re going to spend the time in Chicago exploring the city (as we do every year) until Tuesday. And then my Dad is coming to town and we’re going to see all the shows at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival on Tuesday through Thursday. So while I’ll be checking it, posting will probably be a little light.

Keep sending me tips. I apologize that I seldom have time to respond to them and am behind following up on some that really interest me.

bullet image Obama administration clueless as to what to do about drug policy. If California legalizes marijuana, not clear what Obama administration would do

I realize that the current administration isn’t going to do anything to actively help reform. The best we can hope for is a kind of negligence. Something that looks like incompetent and inefficient efforts to be tough on drugs. It appears that they’d rather be seen as doing a bad job at being prohibitionists than as leading for change.

bullet image A fascinating This Week in History from StopTheDrugWar.org

bullet image Excellent overview of what’s going on with Prop 19 in California by Daniela Perdomo at Alternet.

bullet image Because it’s been working so well so far… US Congress Approves More Funding for Plan Mexico

A measure passed by Congress to provide emergency funding for the war in Afghanistan is also being used by US lawmakers to pump an additional $175 million into Mexico to support the drug war this year. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a budgetary bill referred to as the 2010 supplemental appropriations act, which along with providing $60 billion to war efforts in Afghanistan also allocates more funds to “international narcotics control and law enforcement” in Mexico.

bullet image Odd. What is this feeling? Not sure how to handle it. Today, I read the Drug Czar’s “blog” and… actually mostly agreed with it.

“I applaud the passage in the House today of the Fair Sentencing Act, which will dramatically reduce a 100-to-1 disparity between trafficking offenses for crack and powder cocaine,” said White House Drug Control Policy Director, Gil Kerlikowske. “The Obama Administration is committed to the fair and equal application of our Nation’s laws. The Fair Sentencing Act marks the first time in 40 years that Congress has reduced a mandatory minimum sentence.

Hmmm.

This is an open thread.

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19 comments to The Windy City Beckons

  • Rhayader

    Yeah the government doesn’t even need to help reform. They’ll either put their heads in the sand and ignore it, or do a half-assed enforcement that won’t come close to stemming the tide. The only other option is fighting the state in the courts — something I’m not sure Obama has the political will for.

  • claygooding

    Half-assed or full tilt,they have failed to protect the children following their present and prior tactics.
    If our drug warriors worked in the private sector where your policies and actions had to provide verifiable success,they would be job hunting.

  • ezrydn

    Pete,

    Enjoy your looooong weekend. You do enough around here to warrant some more time off. Just peek at your email once in a while, in case something pops.

  • Tim

    You know you’re winning when you see letters like this:

    Chris Foulds would have us believe marijuana is harmless. What about the damage to the lungs of smokers? Endless amounts of money on advertising to quit smoking and he wants more people to start? Including children? I hate walking past people smoking, it bothers my allergy and asthma. Now he wants us to have to put up with the horrible smell of pot? Hit the streets people, stop the insanity now! Foulds is under the influence and must be stopped.

    Frank Stevens
    Nanaimo

  • Just me.

    Money , money , money !! Thats all this is ever REALLY about…ITS BULLSHIT ! Dems and republicans alike, when will it ever end? When will you bastards in washington see life could be so much better if wasnt for your greed of money and power! Yes you make the lives of AMERICANS a living hell. Do our will, turn off the corporaate money flood and save your souls if you have one!

  • Chris

    Chris Foulds would have us believe marijuana is harmless. What about the damage to the lungs of smokers?

    It’s called a vaporizer, so that’s not an argument for the continued prohibition of the weed. Clearly the author of that letter has never heard of one. If smoking ever becomes a problem, people should be aware of them so that they can cut back on smoking, vaping whenever possible.

  • Duncan

    I find it fascinating that practically no one seems to understand the interaction of Federal and State law. It seems that most people think that the Federal code requires the States to duplicate Federal law.

    Another thing I find fascinating is that there are people who think smoking is required to consume cannabis. In addition to vaporizing there are edibles, actually my preferred delivery method, sublingual tinctures, topical salves and rectal suppositories. Natural THC isn’t good for IV or IM injections but the scientists have even developed a way to do even that after processing it somehow. Yet time and time again I hear these prohibitionist idiots conflating the dangers of smoking with cannabis use. How the heck can anyone who misses such a basic fact be taken seriously when they make their lame arguments?

  • ezrydn

    At an airport, I asked a TSA agent “I see the signs say ‘No Smoking.’ What about vaporizing?” He didn’t have a clue about what I was talking about. A great session ensued wherein this ex-Deputy Sheriff TSA Agent, was enlightened to vaporization. I had just picked up a new “Magic Flight” vaporizer and showed it to him.

    He noted ‘no visible smoke and no smell.’ Said he’d bring it up an some meeting they’d be having. Gave him enough facts to present a viable discussion vehicle. He seemed to like the idea and said he could see how this could “catch on” when “the public learns about it.” I told him, they already have! LOL

  • darkcycle

    Mandatory minimums do nothing to help Curly and Obama’s pals in the treatment industry, now, do they? I’m not surprised. I’m applying the principal I call “darkcycle’s razor” (as opposed to that other guy’s razor), ergo, the most cynical interpretation is most likely. Mostly when applied to government policies, but there, it enjoys quite a success rate.

  • Update: having a good time in Chicago. No wifi in my hotel room, so it’ll be hard to keep up the next couple of days. If anything major happens, let me know. (I can always get email on my iPhone.)

  • Maria

    Wait, what?
    Protect the people from supposed cannabis caused lung cancer by putting them in jail, taking away their homes and shooting their dogs!
    The mental contortions are mesmerizing.

  • BruceM

    Only in America could a 100:1 unjustified irrational disparity be changed, though pointless “compromise” to an 18:1 unjustified irrational disparity. “It’s wrong but let’s make it less wrong” – only in America. To me it seems like saying let’s lynch light brown people instead of dark-skinned “African” people.

    ezrydn: you just contributed to getting “vaporizing” banned a little bit faster.

  • ezrydn

    Rather get the battle over quickly than let it sit and linger. Engaging the enemy is something I sort of enjoy.

    Anything you do, you can always find a dark side to it, if you’re so inclined. After all, isn’t educating what we’re all about? How long do you believe you could keep vaps “secret?’ When you see an “envelope,” probe it!

  • Hope

    There was already, not too long ago, a major effort by the ban stuff people to ban the popular e-cig type vaporizer… commonly used for vaporizing liquid nicotine.

    It failed… spectacularly.

  • Shap

    Obviously the 100:1 ratio was to stop the creation of crack babies because it makes perfect sense that crack has a distinct effect on fetuses that powder cocaine doesn’t.

  • Ed Dunkle

    Yes on 19 only has $62,000 in cash. If the poll numbers hold up this could be an excellent opportunity to help push public policy in an historic way. You can tell your grandkids that you helped defeat marijuana prohibition. Yes, I know this is obnoxious, but in the U.S. you get the legislation you pay for.

  • Just me.

    Humm, so the drug war is escalating? Drug cartel has put a bounty on an AZ sherrifs head? ! million dollars for his death. Next question is… will the feds also escalate the WOD . The would seem to be a declaration of war on the US . Just what the feds need, another reason to spend more money on useless efforts.

  • kaptinemo

    Uncle Sam still doesn’t understand that he’s got nothing in his pockets but (very!) spare change.

    The economy is still moribund and it’s becoming clearer by the day that we are once more in one of those ‘jobless recoveries’ that recover nothing.

    Only this time, with all the high-paying formerly middle class jobs gone to China, and with 5 applicants for each low-paying job left, how much longer before the situation becomes socially explosive? How much longer before Uncle Sam realizes that anything left has to be re-directed towards a social safety net, or face revolution?

    One good hard shove, and the Potemkin Village of the US economy goes over a very tall cliff. Revenue is desperately needed to stave off that possibility. And one sure source of revenue would be re-legalized cannabis.

    And to those in California, who’ve ‘enjoyed’ paying current black market prices at your clinics, how about sending what you pay for the privilege to be soaked at those prices and send some to the initiative’s coffers? It would make it certain the jackboot will be lifted from your necks. And it would start the ball rolling in the other States.

    Just saying…

  • ezrydn

    And for those of you who lounge around on Pete’s couch that are Vets, you have a new calling. Since the VA will now allow you to be a cannabis patient AND receive your pain meds, IF…IF you’re in a Compassionate state, NOW, Yes, RIGHT NOW, you need to get involved in making your state a Compassionate one. If not for yourself, at least, for those brothers you risked your life with. They and a lot like them need YOU right now!

    Lock and Load, Rock-n-Roll Time.