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More Drug Warrior Nonsense

Mark Kleiman, in a good post — Bullsh*tting Against Drug Legalization — takes a look at a new publication by the DEA and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (you know nothing good’s going to come from that alliance): Speak Out Against Drug Legalization

Kleiman handily dismantles the absurd claims in this government document that legalization won’t affect criminal activity and that there’s no proof of marijuana’s medical safety and efficacy.

The United States should be embarrassed by this document (of course, our government is way beyond embarrassment). It’s full of absolute nonsense. Check out this one example of a single bullet point:

• If we were to regulate marijuana, we would have to concede that it’s acceptable for society to profit from a person’s addiction. There were approximately 38,000 overdose deaths for illicit drugs and non-medical use of prescription drugs during 2006, according to the Center for Disease Control. How much are those lives worth?

Is there any kind of coherent thought there?

Or check out the coherence of this one:

The “legalization lobby” claims that the “European model” of the drug problem is successful. However, since legalization of marijuana in the Netherlands, heroin addiction levels have tripled. Their “Needle Park” is a poor model for America.

Then there are portions which are absolutely hilarious:

In addition, the idealistic goals of [alcohol] prohibition went beyond what many initial supporters of prohibition thought they were supporting, and lacked flexibility that would allow policy adjustments to changes in the facts surrounding alcohol. In contrast, our nation’s current drug laws are built upon the Controlled Substances Act, which contains a series of increasingly restrictive schedules that allow for the appropriate regulation of various drugs, as well as a mechanism to move substances from one regulatory status to another should new information about the use of a controlled substance be established.

or how about this one (John Adams must be rolling in his grave)

John Adams, who helped draft the Constitution and later became our second president, declared, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to govern of any other.” This means that any and all just laws must be based on moral considerations. Our elected representatives are therefore bound to legislate morality.

I expect the right-wing political preachers to interpret Adams’ statement that way, but not anyone with, oh, an education.

As a separate note in his post, Kleiman asks:

Footnote If the Tea Partiers and their tame politicians were genuinely against nanny-state big government and for states’ rights, wouldn’t they favor repeal of the Controlled Substances Act? Under the theories they espouse, wouldn’t hey regard it as unconstitutional? Just askin’.

Yeah. Now, I realize that Tea Party isn’t really an organized entity, and that there are many people who follow the Tea Party who are strongly opposed to prohibition. Yet it baffles me (and concerns me somewhat) that you hear so little about drug policy as a Tea Party issue. Because Mark’s right. It’s a natural for being a core view for the Tea Party, assuming that the Tea Party truly opposes big government, and not just partisan-selected big government.

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20 comments to More Drug Warrior Nonsense

  • Nick

    Thanks sooooo much Pete!
    The funniest thing about their little paper is that they reference themselves so frequently.
    If I wrote this crap in college, I’d be laughed at.
    So much for peer review.

  • here’s the base line drug induced death stuff:

    http://www.briancbennett.com/charts/death/icd10-drug-induced.htm

    and here are the tallies of the actual drug types involved:

    http://www.briancbennett.com/charts/death/icd10-drug-induced-drug-tallies.htm

    when i can get around to it, i’ll bust out full evaluations like i did for the 2003 and 2004 data.

    and here’s the fun part: the 2007 data isn’t even on the cdc site yet … heh heh heh

  • ???

    Wasn’t Needle Park in Switzerland? What does that have to do with the Dutch?

  • Jon Doe

    ???: And here I thought Needle Park was an Al Pacino movie.

  • claygooding

    the poor bastards are shivering peach seeds over the possible budget cuts when marijuana is wrested from their control by the people.
    having trouble breathing,sweat on hands and face,right eye twitching,,,,2 more days and the hours are dragging by.

  • thelburt

    “panic in needle park” is a book by james mills set in new york about a temporary shortage of heroin on the street.

  • Chris

    What a load of shit that paper is. I’ll actually read through it when I have time though.

  • darkcycle

    Does anyone actually READ that garbage before it is approved and released? That is illogical and completely laughable. I mean I get the idea; let’s conflate marijuana and dangerous uncontrolled pharmaceuticals. They haven’t a leg to stand on, so that’s the best they can hope for. But they botched it! Let me tell you how it’s done when it is done well: You preface your argument with a statement about marijuana legalization, then you have to spend, oh, at least a few sentences about that drug, then you drag out numbers and examples but you bring out marijuana data first, then as you continue in your exposition you switch without telegraphing when, to general numbers, then to specific numbers culled from data on the dangerous drugs. while doing this, so’s not to be a bald faced, deliberate looking liar, you begin to use the general term ‘drug use’ to refer to ALL the data. Do it right and you can confuse an expert (for a little while, anyway). Do it wrong and you look deceitful.
    What they look like is piss-pants scared.

  • darkcycle

    Jeez, Louise, I just read the whole thing. It’s pathetic, self contradictory, and the way they play with definitions! The words in their mouths have a certain…uh…plasticity that has to be experienced to be appreciated.
    This was written for the rank and file, keep the officers philosophically in line. I don’t think it was really meant for normal people…just bullet headed thugs who need to be told what to think.

  • DdC

    Teabog ditzo’s are neocons. Not against taxes for the Military and Prison industrial complexes… Including cops bloated budgets. The Dick Armey are southern white trash evangelical wingnuts, not patriots. MSNBC finally “got it” about the “papers please” law in Arizonia being sponsored by the private prison industry. If they could only see the profit incentive in maintaining the status weird perpetuating the Ganjawar…

    … as well as a mechanism to move substances from one regulatory status to another should new information about the use of a controlled substance be established…

    Like using Barthwell/Bayers Sativex by lowering buds to a schedule#2 narcotic. Leaving Pot, Hemp and RxGanja prohibited for future profit and keeping cannabis products off the market shelf. I’m becoming a firm believer that Americans are really too stupid to have a say in their own destiny. So many willing to sell out to the moneysluts. Especially in the name of Liberty. Afterall they protested Health Care for christ sake…

    Calif. Proposition Could Quell War on Drugs By Cynthia Tucker
    CN Source: Philadelphia Inquirer October 31, 2010 California
    In 2000, Hollywood released a critically acclaimed and (I thought) important movie, Traffic, about the futility of the so-called war on drugs. I was naive enough to believe it would spark a national conversation about the stupidity of our generations-long policy of drug prohibition. It didn’t. We continued as we had since the 1960s: locking up drug offenders, spending countless billions on police and prisons, and abetting the devastating violence that attends the market in illegal narcotics. The United States, with about 5 percent of the world’s population, accounts for nearly 25 percent of its prisoners – largely as a consequence of draconian drug laws.

    How CA Pot Proposition is Agitating Latin America

  • Maria

    I really wish the mouthy mice would stop trotting out the dusty corpses of these grand but now long dead white men. Seriously complex men who cobbled together the US, worthy of our study and occasional admiration. So really, can they stop using their ripped out souls and out of context words as some sort of blessed cross against vampires?

    Hey, if we mention something (out of the many countless things) John Adams said, then these amoral legalizers will burst into flames like vampires! So there! Take -that- you heathens, what with your science and your data and your humanistic civil rights and your self ownership clap trap! John ADAAAAMS! Ooooeeee.

  • Servetus

    The prohibitionists’ mindless babble is exactly how Germany’s Nazi party confronted the arguments of their political critics. That and physical violence.

    Incoherence is a proven technique for those who promote tyranny.

  • Paul

    As a libertarian, I’m not really with the tea party movement. They do focus on economic matters, which makes them attractive for me, but in truth they are mostly a conservative movement.

    Generally, after they get done talking about the financial mess they switch to their favorite conservative issues, like immigration, law and order, God and country, etc. I’m not a conservative for very good reasons, and those issues are where we part company. I’ve never really understood the conservative mind, and I think they are not at all consistent on a number of important philosophical points.

    Nevertheless, I’m glad they are active. The economic crisis really does trump all issues and it is good to see people up in arms about Washington’s incompetence in managing the country.

    From a drug reformer’s perspective, the tea parties are neutral, bordering on harmful to our cause. They are not philosophically consistent in their calls for more freedom, not really, so they have no trouble simultaneously shouting for less government but more prisons.

    The fact that they are so active and powerful right now means they will turn out in droves for this election, and this fact alone could cost us Prop 19 this Tuesday. The Democratic base is with us on 19, but they are demoralized by their corrupt and useless leadership–most of whom oppose legalization.

    If we miss it by a narrow margin on Tuesday, I think the tea parties will be part of the reason why. A narrow loss means we ought to try again soon, after conservatives have calmed down somewhat.

  • garrettt

    My philosophy is bong hits for freedom. Every-time i take a bong hit. We are closer to the over all goal. Works for me boys…

  • Ripmeupacuppa

    Here are the facts concerning the peaceful situation in Holland. –Please save a copy and use it as a reference when debating prohibitionists who claim the exact opposite concerning reality as presented here below:

    Cannabis-coffee-shops are not only restricted to the Capital of Holland, Amsterdam. They can be found in more than 50 cities and towns across the country. At present, only the retail sale of five grams is tolerated, so production remains criminalized. The mayors of a majority of the cities with coffeeshops have long urged the national government to also decriminalize the supply side.

    A poll taken earlier this year indicated that some 50% of the Dutch population thinks cannabis should be fully legalized while only 25% wanted a complete ban. Even though 62% of the voters said they had never taken cannabis. An earlier poll also indicated 80% opposing coffee shop closures.
    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/02/public_split_on_cannabis_legal.php

    It is true that the number of coffee shops has fallen from its peak of around 2,500 throughout the country to around 700 now. The problems, if any, concern mostly marijuana-tourists and are largely confined to cities and small towns near the borders with Germany and Belgium. These problems, mostly involve traffic jams, and are the result of cannabis prohibition in neighboring countries. Public nuisance problems with the coffee shops are minimal when compared with bars, as is demonstrated by the rarity of calls for the police for problems at coffee shops.

    While it is true that lifetime and past-month use rates did increase back in the seventies and eighties, the critics shamefully fail to report that there were comparable and larger increases in cannabis use in most, if not all, neighboring countries which continued complete prohibition.

    According to the World Health Organization only 19.8 percent of the Dutch have used marijuana, less than half the U.S. figure.
    In Holland 9.7% of young adults (aged 15 to 24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%). Few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.44%), well below the average (0.52%) of the compared countries.

    The WHO survey of 17 countries finds that the United States has the highest usage rates for nearly all illegal substances.

    In the U.S. 42.4 percent admitted having used marijuana. The only other nation that came close was New Zealand, another bastion of get-tough policies, at 41.9 percent. No one else was even close. The results for cocaine use were similar, with the U.S. again leading the world by a large margin.

    Even more striking is what the researchers found when they asked young adults when they had started using marijuana. Again, the U.S. led the world, with 20.2 percent trying marijuana by age 15. No other country was even close, and in Holland, just 7 percent used marijuana by 15 — roughly one-third of the U.S. figure.
    thttp://www.alternet.org/drugs/90295/

    In 1998, the US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey claimed that the U.S. had less than half the murder rate of the Netherlands. That’s drugs, he explained. The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics immediately issued a special press release explaining that the actual Dutch murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, or less than one-quarter the U.S. murder rate.

    Here is a very recent article by a psychiatrist from Amsterdam, exposing Drug Czar misinformation
    http://tinyurl.com/247a8mp

    Now let’s look at a comparative analysis of the levels of cannabis use in two cities: Amsterdam and San Francisco, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health May 2004,

    The San Francisco prevalence survey showed that 39.2% of the population had used cannabis. This is 3 times the prevalence found in the Amsterdam sample

    Source: Craig Reinarman, Peter D.A. Cohen and Hendrien L. Kaal, The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy
    http://www.mapinc.org/lib/limited.pdf

    Moreover, 51% of people who had smoked cannabis in San Francisco reported that they were offered heroin, cocaine or amphetamine the last time they purchased cannabis. In contrast, only 15% of Amsterdam residents who had ingested marijuana reported the same conditions. Prohibition is the ‘Gateway Policy’ that forces cannabis seekers to buy from criminals who gladly expose them to harder drugs.

    The indicators of death, disease and corruption are even much better in the Netherlands than in Sweden for instance, a country praised by UNODC for its so called successful drug policy.

    Here’s Antonio Maria Costa doing his level best to avoid discussing the success of Dutch drug policy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lExNjEhdSkY&feature=related

    The Netherlands also provides heroin on prescription under tight regulation to about 1500 long-term heroin addicts for whom methadone maintenance treatment has failed.
    http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/free-heroin-brings-everyone-a-bit-peace

    The Dutch justice ministry announced, last year, the closure of eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. There’s simply not enough criminals
    http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals

    For further information, kindly check out this very informative FAQ provided by Radio Netherlands: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/faq-soft-drugs-netherlands
    or go to this page: http://www.rnw.nl/english/dossier/Soft-drugs

  • Peer Review

    Obsolete dinosaur desk warriors who would get laughed out of any proper military recruiting office lament the potential of funds drying up from their taxpayer tended trough.

  • Just me.

    Ya we all said it would get stupid..

  • If I had a rocket launcher

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

    Good god in heaven help us, our police forces are run by blistering idiots. You know it’s extreme when I start praying.

    Yes, Needle Park was in Switzerland. The same Switzerland that in 2008 voted by better than 2-1 to keep giving free heroin to their junkies. They did get rid of Needle Park though, because the Swiss have a major difference in their social make up than the brain free US drug warriors. The Swiss are interested in doing things that work, not swearing allegiance to a proven failure of public policy and thinking just another trillion with a T dollars will make what has repeatedly failed work.

    I think it mildly interesting that I’ve heard Needle Park referenced 3 times in the last couple of weeks and it’s been years since the last time. It really doesn’t have the same propaganda value to say ‘they closed down needle park! Drug legalization doesn’t work’ when I’m going to respond that they closed the Needle Park scheme but allow their doctors to prescribe heroin to junkies.

    But that’s Switzerland, the idiot referenced above is talking about Holland. The submission that heroin addiction in the Netherlands has tripled since tolerance for petty possession and distribution of cannabis was adopted is a bald faced lie. I’ll betcha Malcolm has some numbers at the ready on this subject.

    I don’t know which makes my brain hurt more, the fact that these prohibitionist assholes are willing to publish such absolute bullshit, or the fact that the American public is stupid enough to believe them. OK, I suppose it has to be the latter because if the public called them on it I’d be laughing my ass off. It also wouldn’t continue to escalate the nonsense if the Know Nothings couldn’t get away with telling such absurd, bald faced lies.

    @brian, your chart has deaths attributed to cannabis. WTF? Oh, OK I get it cannabis was present in these people not necessarily a causal factor of death. But if that’s the case the numbers of people with cannabis metabolites in their system is incredibly small. 165 out of 38
    ———————————————————

    A local boy kicked me in the butt last week
    I just smiled at him, and I turned the other cheek
    It doesn’t matter, in fact I wish him well
    because I’ll be laughing my ass off
    when he’s burning in hell. –Weird Al Yankovic “Amish Paradise”

  • you are correct, the tallies indicate all of the drugs that were present but not necessarily directly involved as the underlying cause of death. additionally there can even be more than one of the same type of drug listed in a death certificate — that’s why the tally totals are higher than the number of deaths

    and believe it or not, there are drug-induced deaths that the government characterizes as due directly to cannabis use — they are reported as being due to underlying cause of death code F12: “Mental and behavioral disorders due to use of cannabinoids”

    you can click the labels for “mental health” drug deaths in the first link above to get to them or use this link directly: http://www.briancbennett.com/charts/death/icd10-mental-illness.htm

    and gee, look at that, pot related deaths increased by 50% from 2006 to 2007 — better sound the alert!!!

    the real value in all of this is that their data helps us prove how out of whack their pronouncements about these things really are, and that any genuine effects of drugs in our society are incredibly small.