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June 2011
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Another open thread

I’ve returned from a wonderful and exhausting week in New York with a cold and broken wifi. They say they’ll get to it on Friday.

It does make it difficult to post (the iPhone makes it possible, but it’s cumbersome to do links and quotes).

Here’s a press release for you..

June 17: 40th Anniversary of Nixon’s Declaration of a “War on Drugs”

Dozens of Rallies, Vigils, Actions around Country Commemorate Notorious Anniversary

High-Profile DC Events Call for Exit Strategy from Failed Drug War

June 17 will mark forty years since President Richard Nixon, citing drug abuse as “public enemy No. 1”, officially declared a “war on drugs.” A trillion dollars and millions of ruined lives later, a political consensus is emerging that the war on drugs is a counterproductive failure.

The Drug Policy Alliance is leading advocates all across the country in marking this auspicious date with a day of action to raise awareness about the catastrophic failure of drug prohibition and to call for an exit strategy from the failed war on drugs.

“Some anniversaries provide an occasion for celebration, others a time for reflection, still others a time for action,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Forty years after President Nixon declared his war on drugs, we’re seizing upon this anniversary to prompt both reflection and action. And we’re asking everyone who harbors reservations about the war on drugs — to join us in this enterprise.

“The objective is to work with legislators who dare to raise the important questions, by organizing public forums and online communities where citizens can take action. We are enlisting unprecedented numbers of powerful and distinguished individuals to voice their dissent publicly, and organizing in cities and states to instigate new dialogues and directions in local policies,” Nadelmann added.

Fifty events will be held in 15 states, including major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans. The day of action will be highlighted by a high-profile event with elected officials in Washington, DC.

Prominent elected officials, celebrities and VIP’s, along with Nadelmann, will convene for a press conference on Thursday, June 16 at 1 p.m. at the Newseum in Washington, DC (555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) to set the stage for the anniversary and day of action.

The press conference and actions come on the heels of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which released a report on June 2 calling for a major paradigm shift in how our society deals with drugs, including decriminalization and legal regulation. The report sent a jolt around the world, generating thousands of international media stories. The commission is comprised of international dignitaries including Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations; Richard Branson, entrepreneur, founder of the Virgin Group; and the former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Switzerland. Representing the U.S. on the commission are George P. Shultz, Paul Volcker, and John Whitehead.

“What’s really needed is the sort of reckoning that identifies as the problem not just drug addiction but prohibition as well — and that aims to reduce the role of criminalization in drug control to the maximum extent possible while enhancing public safety and health,” Nadelmann said. “What better way to mark the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs than by breaking the taboos that have precluded frank assessment of the costs and failures of drug prohibition as well as its varied alternatives.”

Day of Action events include:

· Washington, DC: Leaders from African American and religious communities, including Rev. Jesse Jackson and Dr. Ron Daniels, will hold a forum at the National Press Club on June 17th to denounce current drug war policies. Leaders will call for a new direction in drug policy that reduces the role of the criminal justice system and that addresses the devastating impact of drug policies on black communities.

· Chicago: Hundreds of Chicagoans will gather at the James R Thompson Center to rally against the drug policies that have led to injustices such as the extreme racial disparities in Illinois’s prisons and jails.

· Los Angeles: Grassroots organizations and students, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Pico Youth and Family Center, Mothers United to End the War on Drugs, All of Us or None, Homies Unidos and other criminal justice organizations, will stage a Day of Action to call for an end to the war on drugs and mass incarceration. Also, the William C. Velasquez Institute will host a forum in Los Angeles with top Latino leaders to discuss the impact of the drug war on Latino communities.

· New York City: Advocates, community leaders and elected officials will attend a forum and silent vigil at the Harlem State Office Building to highlight the impacts of the drug war on NY communities. The event is being organized by Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH)

· New Orleans: Local criminal justice organizations will commemorate the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s declaration of the war on drugs with a Second Line March that is a “Funeral for the failed war on drugs.”

To see a compilation of events around the nation please visit: http://www.nomoredrugwar.org/take-action

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16 comments to Another open thread

  • vickyvampire

    I hope your cold gets better Pete chicken soup homemade always makes me feel a little better.and if you like hot chamomile tea is relaxing too,broken WIFI BUMMER.

    Jolly old Britain pharmaceutical company will make us all feel better in no time with a Cannabis pill its a Super Breed they say. Here’s Link to story

    http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/offbeat/super-breed-of-medicinal-cannabis-developed-by-british-drug-firm-

    I think we have heard this story before there is a pill its called Sativex it legal in England Oh wait it only given to few limited access will this be the same so many in pain and they with hold with there regulations lets hope it’s better this time don’t hold your breath..

  • DdC

    Dr. Gabor Maté: Obama Admin Should Heed Global Panel’s Call to End “Failed” U.S.-Led Drug War
    Jun 8 2011
    Democracy Now!: A high-level international panel has concluded the so-called “war on drugs” has failed and that governments should consider legalizing substances, including marijuana. The Global Commission on Drug Policy is comprised of 19 members, including several former heads of state. The Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House has refuted the findings of the commission’s report. We speak to Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian physician and bestselling author of four books, including In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. “On any level you care to name, the war on drugs is a failure,” Dr. Maté says.

    Dr. Gabor Maté: More Compassion, Less Violence Needed in Addressing Drug Addiction
    Jun 8 2011
    In part two of our interview about a new report declaring the so-called “war on drugs” a failure, Dr. Gabor Maté notes that “where violent suppression of drug activity increases, so does killings and violence related to drug use.” The Canadian physician and author also relates the study’s findings to his own work in a drug addiction treatment clinic in Vancouver. “The causes of the addiction in their life have to be understood and addressed, and they have to be treated with compassion,” says Maté.

    Three million children receiving stimulant drugs for ADHD
    A spike in diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mental disorders has fueled an unprecedented reliance on pharmaceutical medications to treat children, with long-term effects that remain unknown. We speak with Canadian physician and best-selling author, Dr. Gabor Maté. He argues that these responses are treating surface symptoms as causes while ignoring deeper roots. Dr. Maté says children are in fact reacting to the broader collapse of the nurturing conditions needed for their healthy development.

    Marijuana and ADD/ADHD thread
    Therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of ADD/ADHD

    Granny Storm Crow’s MMJ List

    Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
    “Why would anyone want to give their child an expensive pill… with unacceptable side effects, when he or she could just go into the backyard, pick a few leaves off a plant and make tea for him or her instead? Cannabinoids are a very viable alternative to treating adolescents with ADD and ADHD”

    Cannabinoids effective in animal model of hyperactivity disorder

    Cannabis ‘Scrips to Calm Kids? foxnews
    As a California pediatrician and 49-year-old mother of two teenage daughters, Claudia Jensen says pot might prove to be the preferred medical treatment for attention deficit disorder (search) — even in adolescents.

    Case Study: Inhaled Cannabis Improves Symptoms Of ADHD
    Oral administration of synthetic THC capsules (dronabinol) mitigates symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a case study published by the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM, Germany).

    Cannabis, the Importance of Forgetting

    • DdC

      Jury Convicts 70-Year-Old Lake Orion Woman in Marijuana Case
      An assistant prosecutor told jurors this morning to follow the law and not use sympathy when weighing the fate of a 70-year-old woman facing a drug charge.

      More Americans over age 50 are smoking marijuana

      Older Americans Overwhelmingly Support Legalizing Medical Pot

      And you (Can you hear and)
      Of tender years (Do you care and)
      Can’t know the fears (Can you see we)
      That your elders grew by (Must be free to)
      And so please help (Teach your children)
      Them with your youth (You believe and)
      They seek the truth (Make a world that)
      Before they can die (We can live in)

      Teach your parents well
      Their children’s hell
      Will slowly go by
      And feed them on your dreams
      The one they picks
      The one you’ll know by.

      Don’t you ever ask them why
      If they told you, you would cry
      So just look at them and sigh
      And know they love you.

      Thank God for Hippies

    • DdC

      Super Breed of Medicinal Marijuana Created in UK
      A British pharma group says they are working on a super strain of medicinal marijuana to treat a range of conditions including diabetes, epilepsy and Crohn’s disease.

      US CA: Extra-Wacky Tobaccy
      The Chico News & Review 09 Jun 2011
      It’s been known for a while that synthetic marijuana-a drug that consists of plant material coated with chemicals intended to make the user feel “stoned”-is a growing problem in the military and substance-abuse treatment programs because it cannot be detected in standard urine drug tests.

      Pot Potency? Boomers’ blissfully unfazed by mere facts

      The Counterculture Colonel

    • DdC

      Seized Drugs and Weapons in Canada
      National Post Editorial Board: Canada’s Utterly Failed Drug Policy
      Our drug laws fuel organized crime and divert police resources.

      U.S. Can’t Justify Its Drug War Spending, Reports Say
      Government reports say the Obama administration is unable to show that billions of dollars spent in the anti-drug efforts in Latin America have made a significant difference.

      CITY TARGETS LANDLORDS WITH PROPERTY USED FOR ILLEGAL PURPOSES
      Valley Chronicle, The (Hemet, CA)
      It took little discussion and very little more time for the San Jacinto City Council on Tuesday to paint a bull’s-eye on the backs of landlords who allow their property to be used for illegal purposes. City Manager Tim Hults used as an example of the kind of property owner who could find himself in the crosshairs as the one who leases property to the owner of a medical marijuana collective, of which there are several in the city.

      Moving Toward Another Police State

      Since President Nixon declared war on drugs 37 years ago, there has been a steady slaughter of innocent citizens due to mistaken drug raids conducted by heavily armed gangs of police amped up on adrenaline.

      He was left to bleed to death, as police refused to call paramedics until an hour after the shooting. His gun was found to be set on safety. He had not fired a round. No illegal drugs were found in his house.

      And, now thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, police can conduct such home invasions without the need of a search warrant. Yes, now if the drug Gestapo smells or believes it smells marijuana emanating from your home, it can bust down your door and ransack your house looking for banned drugs.

      Don’t resist. Not only might police pump you full of lead, but also many states have now made it a crime for citizens to resist police home invasions, even when the police have the wrong address.

    • DdC

      MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROTESTERS HURT 70-YEAR-OLD WOMAN’S CASE
      Sabbota believes law enforcement in general does not want change to occur in drug enforcement proceedings because current laws allow drug finances seized to be divided among police, sheriffs’ and prosecutors’ budgets. “Locals ( law enforcement ) wouldn’t get the money” if marijuana was legalized, he said.

      Mom Of 3 In Chronic Pain Is Not A Pothead
      She was fired though she didn’t use pot at work, was never high on the job and was by all accounts a fine employee ( top of her training class, she reports ). She also warned the company she likely would test positive and had produced, ahead of time, her doctor’s authorization to use the drug to relieve severe migraines and neck pain
      The Supreme Court sided with the company, saying the law is either silent or murky on workplace rules for med pot users and, besides, all pot is illegal under federal law, anyway.

      RANDOM DRUG TESTS ERODE OUR PRIVACY
      Personal privacy and civil liberties are essential to the success of a democratic society. Any public policy that erodes those values must be weighed very carefully. Random workplace drug tests, which infringe on privacy, can be condoned only when a strong case can be made that they are necessary for on-the-job and public safety. A proposed ordinance for mandatory random drug testing of all Chicago employees from aldermen on down doesn’t meet that test.

      http://www.chicoer.com/editorials/ci_18258374

    • DdC

      Uruguay To Legalize Marijuana Cultivation and Possession

      The Medical Marijuana Business
      Billionaire financier George Soros and his army of drug legalizers will be back in action in Nevada next year in their continuing campaign to legalize “personal doses” of marijuana. Although we’ve already defeated them twice on 60-40 votes, they keep trying.

      MONTERREY MUST BE THE LINE IN THE SAND IN MEXICO DRUG WAR

      Vapes On a Plane
      Flying the pot-friendly skies just got a little easier, now that it’s been confirmed that Health Canada-licensed medicinal cannabis consumers are able to legally consume marijuana both in the airports while waiting for their flights and while on the plane during the flight.

  • Nick

    Welcome back home Pete.
    Thanks for your contribution to others.

  • Windy

    Kent is a suburb of Seattle.
    http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/south_king/ken/news/123438904.html
    A crowd of more than 75 packed the Kent City Council Chambers Tuesday, June 7, after the city delivered letters to four businesses stating they were illegally dispensing medical marijuana.

    The people attending the meeting came in support of the medical marijuana businesses and asked the city to allow the facilities to remain open.

  • primus

    Sorry to hear that your wifi is cold and broken.

  • primus

    Vicky: something sucked the blood out of the link.

  • Jake

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-narco-contract-20110609,0,1742011.story

    “The reports specifically criticize the government’s growing use of U.S. contractors, which were paid more than $3 billion to train local prosecutors and police, help eradicate fields of coca, operate surveillance equipment and otherwise battle the widening drug trade in Latin America over the last five years.”

    now.. that’s a pretty big obstacle to reform..

  • pfroehlich2004

    For those of you who haven’t seen it, Jesse Jackson had an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times taking a rhetorical wrecking ball to the WOD. He doesn’t explicitly call for legalization and regulation, but he certainly hints at it. This could be pretty groundbreaking if it gets some black ministers to start preaching against prohibition.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/jackson/5805266-452/its-time-to-end-dismally-failed-war-on-drugs.html

  • jewel

    Justice at last!!
    I know this post is far down the list, but I couldn’t resist sharing the laugh. Hope somebody sees it.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43358296/ns/us_news-weird_news/t/angry-birds-dive-bomb-police-officers/?GT1=43001

  • rita

    Nadelman says that we need to recognize “the problem” as not just addiction but prohibition as well. He wants to “reduce the role of criminalization in drug control.” What he WANTS, what the DPA stands for, is legalizing marijuana and throwing the rest of us to the wolves. He thinks we need DIVERSION into TREATMENT as an ALTERNATIVE to PRISON. Well, I think that My life and MY freedoms are every bit as precious as the lives and freedoms of pot smokers. The idea of “reform” is based on the belief that there’s something good worth saving. I’d like to know exactly what part of US drug policy fits that description.