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June 2011
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Open Thread

bullet image The Justice Policy Institute has released a new report: Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies

It’s clear that the prison industry sees the drug war as something important to their bottom line.

“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior.” – CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT


bullet image Krokodil

Russia has had some of the worst drug policies, pushing for abstinence over any kind of harm reduction programs. This is what you get.


bullet image A date to fill sane people with fear.

Sunday, 26 June, is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is leading a global campaign to raise awareness about the major challenges that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially to the young. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize support and inspire people to act against drug use.

“Inspire people to act against drug use.” Chilling. Especially considering the tendency for some countries to use this date to execute drug offenders.


bullet image Efficient

During the first five months of this year, China’s courts heard 25,986 cases involving drugs and convicted 24,815 criminals.

A 95% conviction rate.


bullet image Drug War Creates Distrust Between Cops and Communities by Leigh Maddox (retired Captain, Maryland State Police).

The 40-year-old “war on drugs” and the criminalization of addiction have placed communities at odds with law enforcement, prosecutors and courts — to the detriment of justice and respect for the rule of law. The violence driven by the astronomical profits of the illicit drug market and the life-long collateral consequences for those snared by drug laws will continue to exile generations from the mainstream.

It might be surprising to hear this from a cop like me, but the solution to our current human rights crisis will ultimately require the legalization and regulation of current illicit drugs.

[Thanks, Tom]

bullet image If the Law’s Unfit, You Must Acquit

Cool new illustrated guide to jury nullification by Ricardo Cortés. Downloadable for free: Jury Independence Illustrated

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35 comments to Open Thread

  • malcolm kyle

    Here’s an extract from Pat Gauen’s very well written article over at StLtoday.com:

    Perhaps the date ought to take a place in history beside Jan. 16, 1920. That was the effective date of Prohibition, which otherwise could have been called the “War on Alcohol.”
    That was a game, too. In the days before cop cars had two-way radios, rum couriers would simply try to outrun them. It was, no kidding, the birth of stock car racing, whose early stars included active moonshine haulers.
    Lots of folks liked liquor, but it was a scourge that killed people, ruined lives and had to be eradicated, according those who backed the 18th Amendment.
    These days, it is viewed as a failed experiment — a folly that lasted about 15 years, spawned enormous gang crime and corruption and did little to slow drinking.
    Alcohol is still a scourge, of course, killing slowly in the body and quickly on the highways. But society has blunted the consequences: Underage drinking is outlawed, and drunken driving taken more seriously. Products are inspected and labeled, so you won’t go blind or swill 100 proof thinking it’s only 50. And, of course, alcohol taxes make a dandy revenue engine.
    So we achieved a long-enduring, if imperfect, political equilibrium between public safety and individual rights.
    Many will say it’s blasphemy to equate Prohibition with the War on Drugs, but the parallels are hard to miss.
    Illicit drugs would seem to be an even worse scourge than alcohol. But, as with liquor, much of the accompanying violence is driven by a high demand deprived of a legitimate source. Al Capone could not compete with Anheuser-Busch in making beer for a legal marketplace.
    The physical consequences of drug abuse are awful. I truly wish our interdiction and deterrence programs did work. But despite the spending of billions of dollars, loss of many brave officers and imprisonment of thousands of offenders, it looks to me as if any kind of poison you want to smoke, snort, swallow or inject remains readily available.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/pat-gauen/article_f73edf09-a255-53dc-a665-f504123f8470.html

    • strayan

      Nice. By the way, ol’ Gil is being referred to as a Tsar on the UN website. I always thought that was an insult.

  • Servetus

    Here’s another piece on the private prison lobbyists who’ve spent a million dollars in the last three months lobbying for harsher prison policies and lengthier sentences:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/06/23/251363/cca-geogroup-prison-industry/

    A few other highlights from the Andrea Nill Sanchez article:

    while the total number of people in prison increased less than 16 percent, the number of people held in private federal and state facilities increased by 120 and 33 percent, correspondingly. Government spending on corrections has soared since 1997 by 72 percent, up to $74 billion in 2007. And the private prison industry has raked in tremendous profits. Last year the two largest private prison companies — Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group — made over $2.9 billion in revenue.

    Prohibition is responsible for the rise of the private prison industry and the corporatists know it. Eliminating the drug laws would not only put a $60-million+ dent in Dick Cheney’s stock portfolio, which is supposedly invested heavily in private prisons, it would end the perceived need for privatized prisons altogether.

  • vickyvampire

    UNODC,Yeah right on Pete a day to fill sane people with fear.
    Please,most get the hypocrisy and lies about drugs,just ignore and partake and imbib, for years.

    Yes,Good article by Pat Gauen’s, here in Utah state I reside,they still see alcohol as an extreme scourge instead oh on occasion they try new things, they did loosen booze laws at tad bit to long to go into,but on other hand blunt it, in other ways to bizarre schemes that has public calling them Insane and religious nuts in letter to editor and editorials it does not make for good will in community.

    Cool guide for jury nullification also very funny,yeah whats not funny is jury are kept ignorant on purpose and when they use there constitutional rights are attacked by very folks,who say they respect law.

    Drug War creates distrust between cops and communities,Yes they make good salient points about unjust,uneven drug enforcement and gerneration feedback loop of folks of color that article states perpetuates fear,distrust and hatred for police, Yeah and other crimes go unsolved because people will not help for information to help cops in relating crimes for fear they will be looked at too closely and possibly found out about there drug use and or possession and it wrecks economy to, you all know that. There needs to be a tidal shift a least the conversation it going at full throttle on this now and some legislation going on even though its ,yes being constantly tried to be blunted back down.

    http://www.standard.net/topics/utah/2011/06/21/new-mix-facebook-crime

    http://www.standard.net/topics/standoff/2011/06/22/swat-leaves-standoff-scene-disarray

    Above Links to story that happened in Ogden Utah, a I think had out standing drug warrants cops surround Motel, He uses facebook to communicate to friends that help him with tips on situation Police not to happy, they say cause of first amendment can not shut down these kind of communications.and that those folks who helped him on Facebook should be charged with obstruction of justice.

    Second story same guy after he’s caught swat team,Leaves Motel room they used for 16 hours in damages worth 10,000 dollars owners of establishment are horrified, My question is could they not have waited for him to come out for a smoke or go shopping to capture him, no of course not, They would probably yell at me and say don’t you understand lady we took a dangerous drug user seller off street. u huh. There are pics accompanying story room is a mess, unbelievable

  • vickyvampire

    Yeah I guess the Guy shot himself,in chest and had kidnapped woman,all this would have possible been averted if drugs were legal, Warrant desperate guy looking at jail time now in serious condition in hospital.and when he and if he survives will be going to those private prisons,Like story posted above about prisons, that love Drug WAR TO KEEP IN PERPETUAL PRISONERS FOREVER.

  • jewel

    Would anyone care to inject some reason to this chaos here?
    Please!
    Malcolm, Darkcycle, Kapt, someone help!?
    http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/52247/

  • Tim

    Holy crap! There might be some verrrrrry interesting leaks about the WoD coming soon:

    Every week we plan on releasing more classified documents and embarassing personal details of military and law enforcement in an effort not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities fighting an unjust “war on drugs”

    This is how you end prohibition.

    • malcolm kyle

      Nice find, Tim! It’s going viral:

      Computer experts are trying to determine how an international group of hackers broke into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computers on Thursday and downloaded and released hundreds of law-enforcement files.

      The DPS files, posted on LulzSec’s website, include personal information about officers and numerous documents ranging from routine alerts from out-of-state police agencies to videos and photos about the hazards of police work and operations of drug gangs. The names of the files are as innocuous as “resume” and “evaluation form” and as provocative as “cartel leader threatens deadly force on U.S. police.”

      In its Web posting, the group said the files were primarily related to U.S. Border Patrol and counterterrorism operations.

      The hackers vowed to release more classified documents each week as a way to embarrass authorities and sabotage their work.

      Steve Harrison, a DPS spokesman, confirmed late Thursday that the agency’s system had been hacked earlier in the day. The agency had heard rumors that someone was working on hacking the agency’s system, but the DPS could not do anything until the system was actually breached, Harrison said.

      Gov. Jan Brewer was briefed on the situation, but her spokesman referred all questions to the DPS.

      http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2011/06/24/20110624dpshacked0624.html#ixzz1QAo0nNnp

  • Paul

    Regarding the conviction rate in China…the U.S. has similar rates. Prosecutors win around 85% of cases that go to trial. If you add in all the cases that are plea bargained, you probably hit the 98% zone.

    Basically, it means that if you are charged with a crime worth jail time, you’re almost certainly going to be found guilty, one way or another. The only real argument is over how much time you’ll spend.

    Now, I’m not certain about these numbers, so if someone wants to set me straight then please do.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      You’re taking the progression too far. I’m not sure about your stats, but I do know that someone that goes to trial and pleads not guilty/insanity has less than a 1% chance of having the jury return that verdict. That doesn’t mean that less than 1% of the truly mentally whacked get sent to psychiatric treatment. In almost all cases where that happens all of the principals except perhaps the defendant agree that the defendant is in need of treatment and it never goes to trial.

      The prosecutors usually don’t take potential losers to trial barring extreme publicity where they might suffer political damage if they drop a case. Trials in the US are practically scripted by the time the jury is sworn in, and barring utter stupidity on the part of the prosecution it’s just a matter of playing out the script. Of course from time to time an idiot prosecutor insists on having the defendant try on the gloves worn by the person who committed murder without knowing if there’s any reason why they might not fit, and with nothing to gain other than the thrill of a Perry Mason moment.

      • Paul

        That’s what I meant, yes. I think we’re both agreeing here that if you are charged with a crime that’s worth time, you’re definitely going to jail or prison.

        All the high minded legal philosophy and declarations of “innocent until proven guilty” are just a veneer of justice meant to keep the masses thinking the system is at least somewhat fair, when in fact it is a well oiled conviction machine.

        The machine is SO skewed toward conviction that there are places now in which lots of indigent defendants are not assigned a public defender at all. They are just left to somehow defend themselves. There’s just not enough money for the public defender’s office, but there is plenty for the DA’s office.

        This is a mistake on the part of the cities and counties who allow this to happen, because they’re letting the mask slip. If defendants can’t get a lawyer, they simply cannot defend themselves at all and the conviction rates will reach 100% for such cases. Even the most blinkered law and order statist will be able to see that’s perhaps just a tad unjust.

        If you do read some tough on crime character complaining how “the cops arrest these scumbags, and the courts just let ’em go!”, don’t let it slip by unchallenged.

  • Paul

    Oh, and if you guys haven’t looked at that jury nullification pamphlet, you should. It’s nice, and I hope it gets widespread distribution.

    I know I sometimes write dark, despairing posts here about the rising police state in America, mostly because the drug war seems eternal and there have been so many discouraging setbacks and so many appalling stories. But I do see signs of hope, too.

    So many people have come to the same conclusions we have and now oppose the drug war. The anti-drug war movement has taken on a life of its own and shows real momentum. It is a perfectly respectable position to take–actually even the MOST respectable position to take in many circles.

    It didn’t used to be this way. Back in the eighties and the nineties, before the internet, I felt pretty lonely in thinking the war on drugs was a terrible thing. You didn’t get a lot of voices in the state-loving media taking that position. A few here and there (I remember George Shultz coming out against it), but not much. The political orthodoxy on drugs seemed monolithic and eternal at the time.

    But clearly, times are changing. Maybe we really will have our Berlin wall moment, maybe change will be gradual; who can say? But there is a lot more hope now than there ever was, even in the face of daily police state outrages and our crumbling civil liberties.

  • malcolm kyle

    Small amount of painkillers seized in deadly Hampton drug raid
    Warrant return doesn’t say whether prescriptions were valid

    http://www.dailypress.com/news/hampton/dp-nws-shooting-folo-20110621,0,5685652.story

    • malcolm kyle

      I guess the cops were just protecting him:

      Commonly used drugs – for conditions such as heart disease, depression and allergies – have been linked to a greater risk of death and declining brain function by UK researchers.

      They said half of people over 65 were prescribed these drugs.

      The effect was greatest in patients taking multiple courses of medication, according to the study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13880553

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    The Know Nothing prohibitionists remind me of Minnie Mouse, and the reason that she and Mickey were divorced. It took him a while to figure it out, but Mickey moved out left and filed the divorce action in short order after he figured out that she was just fucking Goofy.

  • jewel

    Thanks for responding to the SOS, DdC!!

  • Duncan20903

    Tommy Chong v Paul Chabot in a cage match to the death!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8WYfDE8KCk

    • Maria

      *sigh* and I can’t help but feel that Tommy got beat.

      My response to the same vid on Cannabis Culture:
      There is a venue and a forum for everyone. Just like not everyone can do brilliant stand up comedy, not everyone can do a coherent interview on live television.

      Tommy Chong has been and always will be a leader in the movement. He’s respected. He’s intelligent. He’s a fighter. He’s shown that one can be counter culture and build a successful career and life out of it, despite “the man” trying to fuck you over. He’s a brilliant combative spark. But that’s the issue.

      He’s a spark and he loses his cool on these shows. And when he does he becomes incoherent to the average person. Yes, my jaw dropped, but not because I was astounded that Tommy would tell anyone to shut up on TV. No. I was thinking what the “average” Joe would be seeing. And they are the ones we need on our side.

      Tommy Chong is wonderful but he is not the person we need on buttoned up news channels. I wish they’d had Montel, Gary Johnson, or Neill Franklin or ANY ONE of the SSDP people on with that self righteous evil scum Chabot. They would have handed him his ass on a silver platter in a way that wouldn’t have played INTO his hands as well. Notice that “you’re an addict” was Chabots response (and practically the final words) to Tommys righteous anger. We all know he’s not but tell that to the viewers… That’s the impression they are left with. A burnt out addict instead of an angry old man who had an off day.

      You can respect a man and also disagree with some of the things he does. And I respectfully disagree with how Tommy handled himself. That’s my opinion on that one interview.

      • darkcycle

        Tommy Chong fits more with the tenor they try to strike when talking about opposition to the WOD. They like him because he evokes the memory of the wasted stoner he sometimes portrays. I love Tommy, but his amazing comedic talent it hard for the average person to take him seriously.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        There really is a cohort of potheads who would do the best thing for the reform movement if they’d keep their mouths shut, and stay out of sight. Back in my days with DC NORML we called them the goofball brigade. They’re still out there. This cohort had a lot to do with the failure of Prop 19 because these idiots got it into their heads that Prop 19 was “going backwards” and also because they had the fantasy that Prop 19 was going to modify the CUA. This blog is no stranger to that stripe of pothead, but beyond bitching and moaning I haven’t a clue how to get them to shut up.

        While I don’t think that Mr. Chong necessarily fits into that group he certainly wasn’t prepared for Mr. Chabot. I think any one of the regulars here could have done a much more effective job and Pete would have kicked him to the curb. Figuratively speaking of course. I was kind of wondering if Tommy had a clue who Mr. Chabot is and if he’d read any of his work before sitting down for the debate. I do disagree that he totally lost. The “you’re an addict” response from Mr. Chabot was totally bush league and I’d be willing to wager that he was kicking himself afterward for losing his cool like that. But there again Tommy could have moved in for the kill had he been prepared instead of reacting emotionally and volunteering to join Paul in the bush league school of debate.

        Then there’s that ‘pothead drawl’ that is just Tommy’s natural way of speaking. It’s got a lot to do with how a man that’s highly successful in a cutthroat profession who’s managed to accumulate several millions in wealth can be presented (seen) as a ‘loser’ pothead.

        The best thing about Tommy is that he’s 73 years old and we should all be so lucky to be in half his physical shape when we get to that age.

        I often read people who are mostly observers, without much of an opinion one way or the other as far as keeping prohibition alive suggest that we send competent, articulate speakers to argue our case to the public. I just wish they’d offer some suggestions of how to get the media to stop seeking out our fringe element to interview.

      • DdC

        “From time to time, I say that the suppression of medical marijuana is murder. This is not quite correct. It is actually mass murder. It has caused the deaths of countless thousands of people.”
        ~ the Financial Times Limited, 1998
        (Ed. note: The FT is the London equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. This drug could be patented, so it is of interest to the financial community.)

        Hidden agenda for smart meters
        By Michael Smyth, The Province June 26, 2011
        Battle to curb $154m in losses to marijuana grow ops may ding all of us.
        The report adds some new categories: “illegitimate” power use by marijuana growers who actually pay their bills, and the amount of money B.C. Hydro must spend on upgraded infrastructure to deliver all that power to thousands of grow ops.

        Those paying get busted, what’s the incentive?
        So losing $154m due to prohibition is remedied by dna eating smurt meters.

        YouTube –
        * Smart Meter Health Risks Part 1
        * Smart Meter Health Risks Part 2
        * Smart Meter Health Risks Part 3
        * Smart Meter Danger in apartment buildings Part 1
        * Smart Meter Danger in apartment buildings Part 2
        * Smart Meter Danger in apartment buildings Part 3
        * Public Health Physician Warns of Smart Meter Dangers,
        Stresses Need for Analog Option

        Transmitting Smart Meters Pose A Serious Threat To Public Health
        Transmitting smart meters are being installed nationwide on gas, water, and electrical services, driven in part by funding for the Smart Grid Program approved as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This is of great concern because the exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation from these meters is involuntary and continuous. The transmitting meters may not even comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “safety” standards (see http://sagereports.com/smart-meter-rf/). However, those standards were initially designed to protect an average male from tissue heating (cooking) during a brief exposure. These standards were not designed to protect a diverse population from the non-thermal effects of continuous exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation. Therefore, these “safety” standards were not designed to protect the public from health problems under the circumstances which the meters are being used.

        Knowing how the Ganjawar piles up victims, and the lies and deceit cast over the decades. For our own good crap over and over. It’s hard to believe those pushing agenda’s ever have the well being of the people in mind. What might have been skeptical know totally seems plausable. 40 years of the Ganjawar has shown us murder of Peter and the Rainbow Farm. Millions in cages, lost jobs and murdered by physicians refusing them for organ transplants. Snitch collateral damage. Poisons and Pollutants in place of organics. When the G-20 corporations push an agenda governments fold like cheap cards. Fossil fools, Busses over Trollies, Nukes, NASA NIDA or Tuskegee. It’s not like its a conspiracy, its history. I’m not sure about smart meters but I’m sure the computer industry and electric industry prefer profits over public. Relying on the government to regulate as they try to gut regulation. Been here done that, now its a fix to catch pot growers? In spite of us being microwaved like a buritto.

        AEC, DOE, NRC, Nuclear Murderers
        After 15 years of investigating, I have concluded that the United States governments atomic weapons industry knowingly and recklessly exposed millions of people to dangerous levels of radiation. Nothing in our past compared to the official deceit and lying that took place in order to protect the nuclear industry. In the name of national security, politicians and bureaucrats ran roughshod over democracy and morality. Ultimately, the Cold Warriors were willing to sacrifice their own people in their zeal to beat the Russians. Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall from the foreword to Atomic Harvest: Hanford and the Lethal Toll of Americas Nuclear Arsenal by Michael DAntonio

        The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
        The United States government did something that was wrong, deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens. . . . clearly racist.
        ~ President Clinton’s apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to the eight remaining survivors, May 16, 1997

      • Maria

        I just wish they’d offer some suggestions of how to get the media to stop seeking out our fringe element to interview.

        And that’s the million dollar issue right there. The show producers contacted Tommy’s crew and they jumped on it. I can’t blame them for that.

        And our organizations are active, media savvy, open. They are constantly providing media contacts to the networks so that they have a ready pool of people to pull from for exactly these types of debates. It’s the producers who consciously choose not to use them. Instead they fall back on the recognizable icons, sound bites, logos, and yes caricatures.

        How does one get the media to act reasonably and fairly? To seek out appropriate guests for debate? To ask real questions? How does one get them to avoid sensationalism in favor of journalism? I doubt it’s possible. I suppose it’s partly on us, the consumers, to disengage from their soured tit.

        To get intelligent debate, interviews, discussion, opinions, or exploration of any topic I’ve had to seek out media offerings other than the traditional network news. Entities like Russia Today, No Comment TV, Al Jazeera, RSA, Journey Man Pictures, even TED talks, CSPAN, and VBS. They all have their slant and biases but they paint an astoundingly complex and living world, unlike the traditional segments of prime time network news.

        I’m getting dangerously into TL;DR rambling territory here, but Network news and opinion shows are doomed. They are like trees that have been living in a drought stricken land for too long. Unfurling their increasingly sickly little leaves as the seasons change but very much and irreversibly dead. They just don’t know it yet.

    • DdC

      Duncan20903
      June 26, 2011 at 10:22 am

      There really is a cohort of potheads who would do the best thing for the reform movement if they’d keep their mouths shut, and stay out of sight. Back in my days with DC NORML we called them the goofball brigade. They’re still out there. This cohort had a lot to do with the failure of Prop 19 because these idiots got it into their heads that Prop 19 was “going backwards” and also because they had the fantasy that Prop 19 was going to modify the CUA. This blog is no stranger to that stripe of pothead, but beyond bitching and moaning I haven’t a clue how to get them to shut up.

      So you’re a bigot and believe your version is the only way an American can look or act. You appease the very system perpetuating the war with common gutter trash. You would be a hit in the 50’s telling the blacks to stay out of sight. Truth is all that is needed or it won’t happen. Prop 19 is for the moneychangers. Prop 215 already legalizes it for individuals, including any one for any reason. It deserved to fail like anything that tries to take away what the people have for a few buyers club profits.

      While I don’t think that Mr. Chong necessarily fits into that group he certainly wasn’t prepared for Mr. Chabot.

      Tommy’s a comedian, Chabot is a lapdog pushing theoretical futures. To even give him an audience shows the gullibility of the public and control of the media.

      I think any one of the regulars here could have done a much more effective job and Pete would have kicked him to the curb. Figuratively speaking of course. I was kind of wondering if Tommy had a clue who Mr. Chabot is and if he’d read any of his work before sitting down for the debate. I do disagree that he totally lost. The “you’re an addict” response from Mr. Chabot was totally bush league and I’d be willing to wager that he was kicking himself afterward for losing his cool like that. But there again Tommy could have moved in for the kill had he been prepared instead of reacting emotionally and volunteering to join Paul in the bush league school of debate.

      You really wonder why Tommy Chong is the tokin speaker for the so called movement, along with the other 2 or 3 poster kids. Who controls the media controls the message.

      Then there’s that ‘pothead drawl’ that is just Tommy’s natural way of speaking. It’s got a lot to do with how a man that’s highly successful in a cutthroat profession who’s managed to accumulate several millions in wealth can be presented (seen) as a ‘loser’ pothead.

      Yes and only bigots would even bring it up. Those so afraid of being themselves they condemn others who aren’t. Long hair is natural, barbers are inventions. Stigmatizing is what prohibitionists do and religionists like Bill Bennett shame and blame bigotry Trying to copy them won’t bring Justice. Just ridicule from people seeing your plastic melt.

      The best thing about Tommy is that he’s 73 years old and we should all be so lucky to be in half his physical shape when we get to that age.

      You put importance in numbers over quality i see. Explains why you believe some Americans are less worthy than others. Get to the end no matter the means or groveling it takes. I say it’s better to die standing than to live on your knees.

      I often read people who are mostly observers, without much of an opinion one way or the other as far as keeping prohibition alive suggest that we send competent, articulate speakers to argue our case to the public. I just wish they’d offer some suggestions of how to get the media to stop seeking out our fringe element to interview.

      Take the free airwaves back for we the people. As long as GE and Disney and 95% of the entire media is controlled by 5 corporations the message will be skewed. They are selling a product. You really think any network will give a fair and balanced debate? Then you probably don’t wonder why its continued since 1937. Come on dunc, this isn’t sarcasm you just have a slanted ridgid view that parallels the drug worriers. Treading water neck and neck perpetuating profits stigmatizing hippies. You value Ganja by its cost, or a person by their bank account or type of car. Material girl keeping up with the jonzes. Thats what bigots do, ask Archy Bunker.

      these posts eventually get posted at the cybrary in case they don’t survive here…

      Thank God for Hippies

  • THX1138

    Source: TPM Muckraker

    Private prison companies have helped fuel government policies which lead to an increase in prison population and boost their profits, according to a recent report.

    The private prison population has grown 353.7 percent in the past 15 years, according to a study by the Justice Policy Institute. Major private prison companies have an incentive to encourage policies which keep that number on the rise.

    “Steady increases in the number of people in private prisons, especially those coming from federally contracted beds, translate into increased revenues for private prison companies,” the report says.

    “Since private prison companies are in the business to make money, policies that maintain or increase incarceration boost their revenues; from a business perspective, the economic and social costs of mass incarceration are ‘externalities’ that aren’t figured into their corporate bottom line,” it says.

    Some of the biggest names in the private prison industry have given $835,514 to federal candidates since 2000 and a stunning $6,092,331 to state politicians in the last five elections cycles, according to data in the report.

    “A lot of it is focused on the state level because a lot of the people in prison are in state facilities,” Paul Ashton, an author of the report, told TPM.

    “With most states and the federal government operating under record deficits and decreasing budgets, private prison companies have a growing desire to establish influential connections with policymakers, with two goals: pitching private prisons as a lower cost alternative to building or maintaining state facilities; and fighting policies that might reduce the use of incarceration,” the report states.

    The report also points to the revolving door between the private prison companies and the government agencies that have a say in their spending.

    One recent example: Harley Lappin, who retired as head of the Bureau of Prisons after he was arrested for drunk driving, was recently named the chief corrections officer at the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest provider of private prisons to federal, state and local government. Lappin said in a press release announcing his new position that the company “has an outstanding track record of working well with its government partners

  • Maria

    Dear gods. I looked into “Krokodil”. This drug is the most disturbingly fucked up thing that I have seen in a long long time. It’s beyond horrific.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Oh my, Federal indictments were handed down against 6 in an Oregon grow of 91,000 plants. 60,000 qualifies for the death penalty under Federal law, though not likely to be allowed by the SCOTUS.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/25/us-oregon-potfarm-idUSTRE75O08S20110625

  • DdC

    It’s insanity on a massive level that the same republicans and democrat terrorists worriers. Crying out loud over the deaths of Americans by foreign religious zealots. Are the very same religious zealot republicans and democrat drug worriers. Terrorizing sick Americans and healthy Americans for using cannabis. The same religious zealots claiming Pro Life usually also claim to be Pro War, Pro Death Penalty and Pro Drug War. They also cause more abortions than RvW spraying poisons on the food, grain and cotton crops. Not used on organic Ganja or Hemp. Pro Business, Prohibitionist Prostitutes selling misery treatments. Let the war be over and the suffering of Americans over an old reliable remedy be ended. It’s over and those who keep lingering and stalling and lying. Those who cause Americans to suffer are being confronted. Questioned over their allegiance to the country or international banks and corporations. When you cause your neighbors to be caged for a moment of relief from cannabis let alone permitting a normal life. You have to live with their relatives and friends glares. Anyone who knows someone who gets sucked into the criminal system of justice over drugs will come out of it with a different picture. A re evaluation. Even with 24 7 cable enewstainment spouting gossip. Reality teaches the hard truth that at the end of the day. Relieving spasms or stress is not a bad thing in need of punishment.

    The politicians and parties all have their own version of how to treat the symptoms. In whatever topic. Medicine, Crime, Dictators or Drugs. None want to touch curing or preventing the disease. It’s up to Americans to think for themselves, on local levels avoiding Washington and Wallstreet self interests. Provide your communities with what you need for all of the citizens living there. If they actually had someone who died of a cannabis overdose, like thousands have from aspirin. Or actual groups of people with hospital records how cannabis has caused permanent or temporary brain damage. Then they would have headlined it longer than any play on Broadway. Why wouldn’t they. Instead they try to prove cannabis causes lung cancer and discover it protects the lungs from smog, cigarettes and corporate pollution. They at NIDA have tried thousands of hypothesis to prove the dangers of Ganja and none of it is taken seriously, because its reverse engineering. Throw it at the wall and see if it sticks. Bicycles don’t cause road rash. Asphalt does. Abusing bicycles might lead to road rash or an enjoyable ride through the woods. If you leave that part out betcha many might avoid bicycles. Some might even want them prohibited.

    No victims. No crime. Treating vice is about revenue not the health of the practitioner. Criminalizing any vice causes the danger. Schizophrenics find a temporary pause in their constant chaos. A-motivated humans find solitude with Ganja. It’s the individuals choosing what makes their horrible conditions less horrible if even for a moment. A break for some with migraines, like a pounding of pain with every wave that hits the shore. Each tic of the clock. Constant pounding taunting between stabs. If Ganja can remove that even for an hour who has the right to terrorize them for it? Exactly how low can the bar go before people see that buzzwords replace real everyday Americans. With families and kids living normal lives or whatever lifestyle the Constitution permits. Faces, so many profiting on this prohibition disregard or dismiss if calloused enough. These are citizens who deserve the essentials of life in this country. Including what they choose to do with their own bodies. Change the word pot with any other stigmatic word of the past and feel the shame of your drug worrying gossip, What you are doing to citizens of this country, spread out to all 4 corners of the planet, Besides we can’t afford it.

  • Servetus

    Police in Brandenburg discover a large plot of cannabis; 84-year-old woman using it to feed her rabbits.

    Woman tells police, “The rabbits really like it.”

    http://www.thelocal.de/national/20110625-35889.html

  • denmark

    Anybody interested? Good idea, the sob stories usually work and these will be TRUE sob stories people tell.

    On Tuesday, June 14th, Rep. Jared Polis will take the floor of the House and share some of these stories in an effort to convince his colleagues in Congress to bring this war to an end.

    fearlesscampaign dot com

    http://bit.ly/jWx1Wd

  • thelbert

    there is an article at http://www.thenewstribune.com about hempfest in tacoma,wa. seems police needed to limit the liberty.

    • DdC

      The audience that can’t separate Tommy Chong the person from Tommy Chong the comedian caricature of a fictional early 70’s hippy. So exaggerated it makes people laugh. Maybe thats why he’s a comedian? Those who can’t tell the difference are more of a threat than any amount of Ganja. To think Tommy Chong as a leader in the movement, whatever that is. now that’s comedic. He has no knowledge of the Legislature or probably much on where the profits are directed. I see Tommy as an earlier Al Jolson. The reality of the drug war and why it exists is what the “movement” is avoiding and actually appeasing the profiteers/ As a slave would beg for mercy and be thankful for 10 lashes over 20.

      The truth, is the only thing that will save us as a country. As long as people remain gullible servants to the DC and Wall St war brokers. Believing the political correctness. That Tommy Chong has any barring on the situation at all, it and the profits on misery will continue. We can’t appease our way out of evil, it only leaves us with lesser evil. 1/16th of the population or less decide who gets elected to any office. Half are ineligible, half of that don’t register, half registered don’t vote, leaving two parties split down the middle. Paid employees of an inhuman corporation with no ability to vote, but granted free speech to buy politicians. As long as people blame the government and not the oppression from whatever source. We’re fighting each other in battles that have nothing to do with the war.

      It’s all sold in sound bites to a public constantly bombarded with fear and violence. The one rare exemption has been the internet. To think Tommy or any group stigmatized is to blame for pompous puppets serving international banks and corporate interest. Decade after decade the same neocons chasing idealistic treatments for symptoms they create. Most like Tommy are a wound of diversion. A red herring to focus on hate, to form gossip to degrade and humiliate. Shame and Blame then Tame or be Slain. To separate American citizens with their own Constitution. Written without an inkling of thought that a business could be granted rights meant for human citizens. Or the incentive to rent prison cells with taxes, including free health care. But not until you graduate to criminal.

      Politicians heading op Science. Granting grants to corporate interest. Shelving cures to sell more treatments. Outlawing competition. Booze removed ethanol. Hemp and Ganja are renewable. Entheogens interfering with synthetic white powders and non renewable resources. Population increases, raw material supply goes down, prices rise. Out source labor, profits rise. Prison labor or undocumented takes Americans jobs. Try to find work underground with a family, a house and a skill replaced by disposable workers. A Vet in a cage for relieving PTSD, because the flag jerking drug worrier legislator has ties with Big Pharma. The DEA in scores of countries attached to the other Homeyland Insurance agencies. Outsourcing police actions. Neocons cannibalizing the country. Picking what they want and pay back nothing. Just blame people. In your face Classism and the generations fall right into it. As long as money rules the government corporations will decide the laws. If you’re not with them you’re against them. I think its a clear message. Or wait for the movie.

      Tommy Chong Discusses Marc Emery and Marijuana Laws in Fiery CNN Debate
      Cannabis-inspired comedy legend Tommy Chong appeared on CNN yesterday to discuss a new marijuana bill introduced in the US congress by Ron Paul and Barney Frank. In an jaw-dropping piece of television, Chong tells a lying Drug Warrior to “shut-up” and also talks about the man on his t-shirt, imprisoned marijuana activist Marc Emery. full story

      Did William Shakespeare Smoke Weed?
      A team of scientists has submitted a formal application to the Church of England for exhumation of William Shakespeare’s remains so that they can find out about his life and death, and if he smoked weed. full story

      ‘The Wire’ Creator David Simon Has a Counteroffer for Eric Holder Jun 14 2011
      TV show producer answers AG Holder: “The Attorney-General’s kind remarks are noted and appreciated. I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of The Wire if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanising drug prohibition.” full story

      How Magic Mushrooms Can Improve Your Life in the Long-Term
      A team of researchers has recently documented a safe, long-lasting way of improving both your life and your personal feelings of well-being: shrooms. full story

  • rita

    Regarding “Drug war creates distrust between cops and communities”: Hogwash. It’s the cops who create the distrust, because it’s the cops who have created the drug war. Drug laws encourage violence among drug dealers, but drug laws do NOT cause the violence of police raids. I get so sick of reading retired (always retired) cops blaming their former comrades’ despicable behavior on the drug war. The law says I can’t possess this or that. NO LAW mandates the use of deadly force against my family in order to find and confiscate (steal) my personal property. In fact, drug cops break more laws in ONE day than most of us do in a lifetime. And unlike our crimes, every single one of theirs has victims. Stop pretending they don’t have a choice.