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July 2011
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2011 National Drug Control Strategy

The drug war affects every sector of society, straining our economy, our healthcare and criminal justice systems, and endangering the futures of our young people. The United States cannot afford to continue paying the devastating toll of the drug war and its consequences. In 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, the economic impact of the drug war on American society totaled more than $193 billion.

A powerful and true statement. Unfortunately, that’s not quite what the introduction to the long overdue 2011 National Drug Control Strategy actually says:

Drug use affects every sector of society, straining our economy, our healthcare and criminal justice systems, and endangering the futures of our young people. The United States cannot afford to continue paying the devastating toll of illicit drug use and its consequences. In 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, the economic impact of illicit drug use on American society totaled more than $193 billion.

As we’ve discussed here before, the $193 billion calculation, even in its most favorable light, refers almost exclusively to the costs of prohibition on society.

Only in government can you point to a massive financial black hole that you’ve caused and use it for justification for a budget to do more of the same.

Reading the strategy is a pretty depressing thing — it is, of course, based on justifying prohibition in any way possible.

In the section titled The Facts About Marijuana, the report starts going into this long involved diatribe about legalization and the medical marijuana movement

Making matters worse, confusing messages being conveyed by the entertainment industry, media, proponents of “medical” marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana use is harmless and aim to establish commercial access to the drug. This significantly diminishes efforts to keep our young people drug free and hampers the struggle of those recovering from addiction. […]

Despite successful political campaigns to legalize “medical” marijuana in 15 states and the District of Columbia, the cannabis (marijuana) plant itself is not medicine. While there may be medical value for some of the individual components of the cannabis plant, the fact remains that smoking marijuana is an inefficient and harmful method for delivering the constituent elements that have or may have medicinal value. […]

The Administration steadfastly opposes drug legalization. Legalization runs counter to a public health approach to drug control because it would increase the availability of drugs, reduce their price, undermine prevention activities, hinder recovery support efforts, and pose a significant health and safety risk to all Americans, especially our youth.

Many “quick fixes” for America’s complex drug problem have been presented throughout our country’s history. In the past half-century, these proposals have included calls for allowing the legal sale and use of marijuana. However, the complex policy issues concerning drug use and the disease of addiction do not lend themselves to such simple solutions. […]

Advocates of legalization say the costs of prohibition, mainly through the criminal justice system, place a great burden on taxpayers and governments. While there are certainly costs to current prohibitions, legalizing drugs would not cut costs associated with the criminal justice system (see figure). Arrests for alcohol-related crimes, such as violations of liquor laws and driving under the influence, totaled nearly 2.7 million in 200857—far more than arrests for all illegal drug use. These alcohol-related arrests are costly. Legalizing marijuana would further saddle government with the dual burden of regulating a new legal market while continuing to pay for the negative effects associated with an underground market whose providers have little economic incentive to disappear.

That last paragraph is really incredible. It takes a special level of mendacity to put such a load of crap out there.

And the administration makes it very clear that they are sabotaging the medical marijuana movement in order to help their friends in the pharmaceutical industry.

This Administration joins major medical societies in supporting increased research into marijuana’s many components, delivered in a safe (non-smoked) manner, in the hopes that they can be available for physicians to legally prescribe when proven to be safe and effective. Outside the context of Federally approved research, the use and distribution of marijuana is prohibited in the United States.

There’s a whole lot of stupidity in here, and I’m sure I’ll talk about more of it later. But I do want to also point out that the strategy is pushing the “drugged driving” meme again, even to the extent of setting a goal of “reducing the prevalence of drugged driving by 10%” by 2015. They even state the completely irresponsible “Preventing Drugged Driving Must Become a National Priority on Par with Preventing Drunk Driving.”

So, here’s a problem that they haven’t even defined yet. Nobody knows whether drugged driving is a serious problem at all, and all evidence is that “drugged driving” as defined by the administration is far less serious drunk driving. They don’t even know how many of these people are driving impaired. And yet they want to shift focus to spend as much effort on this unknown issue rather than focusing on the known one. And they want to reduce a number by 10% when they don’t know what it means.

Lots of nonsense dressed up in fancy-sounding statistics that mean nothing.

More of the same.

[Thanks, Tom]

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106 comments to 2011 National Drug Control Strategy

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Well I guess it’s a good thing that the Enron accountants are still able to find work.

  • Ben

    It’s so discouraging to have logic, science, reason, and goodness on your side, with millions of lives in the balance… And yet be utterly ignored by decision makers who choose violence, death, and imprisonment for citizens.

  • Tony Aroma

    When the Czar was presenting the most recent drug control budget to Congress, he was asked about “harm reduction” as part of the strategy. He said, basically, no. He did not even like to use that phrase because of its implications (e.g., legalization). The implication I took away from the Czar’s testimony was that this administration’s plan focuses on the exact opposite of harm reduction. So I think it’s safe to conclude that the main focus of this administration’s drug control policy is harm maximization. I’ve yet to see anything that refutes my conclusion.

  • pfroehlich2004

    Since Obama has delivered a resounding “fuck you” to the medical mj people, and since we will probably be up to around 20 mmj states by the day after the 2012 elections, I thought it might be interesting to try and calculate just how many dispensary raids the DEA could carry out in one year (assuming they did nothing else).

    According to Wikipedia, DEA’s got roughly 5,500 special agents. Assuming an average of 2000 hours worked per year, that comes to about 11 million annual man-hours (troll-hours if you want to be technical).

    I’d be curious to hear some estimates on the following:

    How many hours go into a typical dispensary raid (including the investigation and ensuing paperwork)?

    What’s the maximum number of raids that the DEA could realistically carry out in the course of a year?

    Also, does anybody know roughly how many dispensaries currently exist in the US? And how many of these were raided in 2010?

    • Swooper420

      I read somewhere that the cost of an arrest averaged $60,000 each, based on # of agents & the budget for the Agency.

      If anywhere near accurate, what in God’s name, are they doing??? It certainly isn’t stopping the flow of heroin or meth into the country!

      Face it…. “stoners” (their POV not mine)or more correctly the people who either use cannabis for social purposes and the people who find medicinal relief make easy targets for the DEA to bolster their numbers up and ‘deserve’ more funding from Congress.

      Cannabis users aren’t violent felons, yet more cannabis related arrests are made than for wonderful things like Murder, Rape, Armed Robbery, etc… crimes where people actually get physically &/or psychologically injured. In my neck of the woods, rape convictions stand in the 26% rate…but cannabis prosecutions and convictions are in the 90% range. We make easy targets. And this is in a State that has MMJ laws!!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Question: What would you call 5500 DEA agents at the bottom of the ocean?

      Answer: Mission accomplished!

      They just don’t write jokes like that anymore.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I’ve got to tell you that I’ve been having a very difficult time assimilating the fact that the Seattle Times has publicly endorsed cannabis law reform. Having a “major” media outlet on our side of the table is just boggling my mind. Well holy cow, how the heck am I going to reconcile the fact that there are now two of them?

      Medical marijuana: Research, not fear
      .

      “The DEA is right in saying there’s not enough scientific evidence about the medical uses of cannabis. But that’s because the government’s paranoia about the plant makes legitimate research on possible benefits all but impossible.”
      /snip/
      “Our prescription is for better knowledge. Marijuana is just another drug — one with psychotropic effects, for sure, but one that might be able to help sick people. Oversight of research-grade marijuana should be shared with an agency whose primary mission is medical research. Marijuana should be listed as a Schedule II drug to facilitate further research. The findings should be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, just as clinical trials are for any other drug. Then the nation can base its marijuana policy on information, not on entrenched fears or a patchwork of possibly well-intentioned but under-informed state medical marijuana laws.”

      http://discussions.latimes.com/20/lanews/la-ed-marijuana-20110713/10

  • denmark

    Could be depressing but what if that’s their point, their game plan? It certainly smacks all intelligent people involved in ending Prohibition squarely in the head. There are not any people I know who like to be told, in not so many words, that they’re wrong and stupid.

    Everyone who reads this should know that without the Medical Marijuana I’d most likely be dead or very close to it. Cannabis is slowly healing this ailing body.

    • Duncan20903

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      .
      I can’t prove it but most certainly believe that I’d be a long time dead, either from drinking alcohol abuse or my own hand, or perhaps both. I was one fucked up teenager. You, I was dropped on my head when I was a wee lad of 11 or 12 and things were never the same afterward. Coup-contracoup indeed. Make sure to your children or even yourself wears a helmet when riding a bicycle.

      The only reason that I tried cannabis was to make my parents have conniption fits. But I describe the experience as that of a circuit being completed in my head. Recently I saw some words regurgitated by Dr. Drew that described that very experience although he said that it means I’m a merrywanna addict. In 1992 when I read about the discovery of the endo-cannabinoid system in humans I got an object lesson in the superiority of believing my own eyes over the insistence of that which contradicts my personal observation. Endo-cannabinoids. Circuit completed. All I needed was to flip the breaker.

      I really think that a pay per view of somebody beating Dr. Drew silly. In this town it is well known that his fat and psychopathic wife beats him within inches of his life on a periodic basis so he’s used to it. They can make some money and bring a lot of joy to the lives of Dr. Drew haters everywhere just by broadcasting the event. Hell, I’d even buy the DVD.

      BTW I got the first good night’s sleep that I could actually remember and did go ahead and use the event to carry out the plan of giving my parents an apoplexy. In 2002 I was finally diagnosed with sleep apnea.

      • denmark

        The medical condition I’m dealing with is well documented Duncan20903. It took over-doing the medical tests and paperwork to prove the point. Ridiculously amazing the hoops and ropes that had to be jumped through when all the medical people had to do was to stop and listen.

  • Dante

    Why can’t we do this?

    From the article:
    “While there are certainly costs to current prohibitions, legalizing drugs would not cut costs associated with the criminal justice system (see figure).”

    See, they just made up stuff in order to bolster their argument. Why can’t we (anti-prohibitionists) do the same?

    I’ll start:

    Scientists have recently determined that a gene flaw which causes psychpathic behavior is most commonly found in two groups of men: Child Molesters and Drug Warriors.

    Or:

    Scholars produce decades of data to back up claims that police work causes brain damage and anti-social disorders, further proving that Cops R Bad, MKay?

    Or:

    Recent studies indicate a predominance of mentally-challenged, morally-bankrupt people gravitate towards a career in politics or law enforcement.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Well we could do that, but why would we? The only reason their argument is built on a platform of bald faced lies, half truths, and hysterical rhetoric is because that’s all they’ve got to use for argument. They get away with it because they should be telling the truth.

      It sucks that the wide spread perception is that they’re telling the truth and that we’re lying is highly annoying. But our deciding to use their tactics will backfire on us because we’ll get caught in a lie, and then we’ll never convince these people to consider our argument. Like Ben Franklin should have said, honesty is the better policy, and quite frankly, it’s working. Reality is that we’ve got them on the ropes and it isn’t going to be long before we knock their blocks off regardless of what the naysayers think. Here’s what it’s going to look like:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joDjwtjIQS8

      • Dante

        Sorry Duncan. My sarcasm is unpolished.

        Just indulging the curiously-satisfying urge to link “Child Molester” and “Drug Warrior”.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Actually the problem is that the Know Nothings have just murdered the arts of sarcasm and parody and it’s a crying shame. But it just doesn’t work when you’re dealing with people who will actually state that cannabis needs to be kept illegal because otherwise the criminals will get into real mischief. Well it sorta kinda works with a disclaimer but I think a disclaimer screws it up in and of itself.

        Don’t be sad that your sarcasm wasn’t detected. Be sad because there are people who could seriously proffer nonsense on that level of absurdity.

    • Windy

      That wouldn’t be making anything up (except the scientists-actually-studying-that part), because everything you wrote there is true, far as I can tell from what I read on the net and see on tv and in person. And Ron Paul is the single exception that proves the rule about politicians being mentally challenged and morally bankrupt.

  • Boycott Booze for the Right to Choose

    SOLID FACT: Heavily impaired marijuana users have far less desire than alcohol abusers to get behind the wheel. In fact, the more stoned you are, the more likely you are to stay home and order a pizza or Chinese takeout and watch funny videos on Youtube. Hell, many of the government’s anti-drug ads show marijuana users as lazy good-for-nothings just sitting around the couch in their parent’s basement. As a result, how often do you hear of stoned driving deaths, as you frequently do with alcohol on the weekend? That scenario is a “unicorn” to speak in a Former Drug Czar’s terms.

    In contrast, alcohol abusers in their moments of reckless and impulsive stupidity are more inclined to drive, go out in public to bars and nightclubs, literally paint the town red in their blood or somebody else’s, and be arrested for all sorts of public disorder. These are the arguments that reformers should be making.

    That’s why it’s incredibly stupid that colleges are arresting, suspending, and kicking students out of their dorms for sitting around peacefully toking while encouraging students to get loaded at the numerous bars and clubs that are strategically concentrated around their campuses. They even encouraging underage drinking by punishing marijuana users more severely.

    • Jake

      They have conflated the problematic effects of Alcohol, namely violence and lack of inhibitions, with the effects of Cannabis i.e. ‘Alcohol causes violence so if we allow Cannabis then we will get more violence’. Except that Cannabis doesn’t make you violent or likely to commit many of the crimes that the EFFECTS of Alcohol do..

      • Boycott Booze for the Right to Choose

        Exactly!

      • DdC

        Jake, they profit on misery, so you have to see them as an opposite universe of degenerates selling band aids to the lacerated public. They profit “treating” problems they create. Cures and Prevention doesn’t pay. Ending the war on some people doing certain unauthorized substances would be as bad for profits as curing cancer. Can’t have that.

        The Ganjawar is a Product Sold by D.E.A.th to Profit Fascist

        Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        Well what about the problems caused by those dope smoking, Cheetos eating, avatar reading, Cheech and Chong watching, stuck in Mom’s basement couch potatoes when they go out and scam 1/3 of the country into legalizing medical merrywanna so they can get high legally and do it in the face of an intransigent Federal government that has trillions with a T in resources at its disposal?

        You know if that were true, enjoying cannabis should not only be legal, it should be mandatory.

        Got to solve this problem
        Won’t you help me find the key
        The way that things are going
        I’ll have to buy the distillery
        She just stands there smilin’
        With a whiskey in each hand
        Got to think of something
        Don’t know how much I can stand

        That whiskey drinkin’ woman
        Is makin’ a poor man out of me

        ~Nazereth, “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman from “Hair of the Dog”
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm3QDYPzM8o

      • Jake

        DdC: If they profit on misery, their campaigning to keep Cannabis ‘illegal’ is a tacit acceptance that its effects are less severe than those of Alcohol i.e. There is more money to be made from the misery of prohibition than the “degenerate Spanish-speaking residents” high on the “killer weed” if it were more widely used (great page of links and quotes by the way!). In my post below I highlighted some more of this tacit acceptance/hypocrisy (and in some cases it is explicit knowledge!).. If only people would open their eyes..

        Hopefully the Murdoch-media will take a bashing on your side of the pond too and we can open some of those eyes…

  • Jake

    There is SO much wrong in that ‘strategy’.. to name but a few:

    – Addiction is a “disease” yet they choose to lock these patients up… how many other diseases do they lock people up for? Horrible cough… straight to jail. Obese.. get down on the floor!
    – According to Leonhart “The drug’s chemistry is not known and reproducible” (http://americansforsafeaccess.org/downloads/CRC_Petition_DEA_Answer.pdf ).. yet “While there may be medical value for some of the individual components of the cannabis plant…”, “the constituent elements that have … medicinal value.. So which is it.. it either does or doesn’t have medical value.. make your damn minds up you hypocrites!
    “smoking marijuana is an inefficient and harmful method for delivering the constituent elements”.. and back to Leonhart “When marijuana is administered by smoking, delta9-THC in the form of an aerosol is absorbed within seconds. The psychoactive effects of marijuana occur immediately following absorption, with mental and behavioral effects measurable up to 6 hours” doesn’t sound that inefficient to me!!

    Just self-fulfilling hypocritical nonsense!!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      There was a very serious discussion of locking up people with HIV back in the 1980s. It was actually approaching miraculous because back then only gay men and heroin addicts became HIV+. Hetero’s really thought themselves immune, believe it or not.

  • Cannabis

    Kevin Sabet strikes again, and much later this year, too. The 2012 National Drug Control Strategy will be delivered in August next year.

  • dt

    So if a patient wants to save money by using the plant form of cannabis rather than a pharmaceutical product like Sativex, and the patient is willing to accept whatever risks come with using the plant form, we should impose additional risks by subjecting the patient to criminal prosecution. How does that make sense?

    • DdC

      It’s not supposed to make sense, just dollars keeping competition out of the free trade market… And profits caging dissidents.

  • DdC

    The DEAth are un-American gestapo cartel, obedient to the international Corporatists dangling the politicians by their puppet strings. Its all about the money sillies. Drugs have nothing to do with this scam anymore than protecting kids. Just another control method to keep ideas out of our minds. Obombo will taste all the piss he wants until the people grow some balls and refuse.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
    [Who will police the police?]
    — Latin proverb

    The difference between a policy and a crusade
    is that a policy is judged by its results,
    while a crusade is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.
    — Thomas Sowell

    Is The DEA Legalizing THC?

    “At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking
    in order to make drug abuse the most expensive,
    unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of
    recreation a person could have.”
    – Donnie Marshall,
    Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

    “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.”

    When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly . . . [However, now] there’s a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there’s too much freedom. When personal freedom’s being abused, you have to move to limit it.
    — Bill Clinton, MTV’s “Enough is Enough,” March 22, 1994

    Profound Hatred for Democracy

    DEA Success Update: Let’s see.
    After 20 years of relentless federal Drug War activity,
    while the price of world-class marijuana
    has gone from $60 an ounce to $450,
    the price of quality cocaine has plummeted
    from $125 a gram to $30,
    and 30%-pure heroin has dropped
    from $700 a gram to about $100. Way to go, boys!
    — High Times, April 1995

    The Obama Admin’s Anti-Marijuana Manifesto
    Obombo’s Sublingual Attack on Ganja
    Obama: Drug Legalization is “An Entirely Legitimate Topic for Debate”
    Hil and Gil on the Drug War

    Not only are we here to protect the public
    from vicious criminals in the street
    but also to protect the public from harmful ideas.
    — Robert Ingersoll,
    then Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs,
    in a column by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post,
    June 24, 1972, p. 31 (Ingersoll became the first director of the DEA in 1974)

    I welcome the emphasis that is now being put on the drug problem. The efforts – to get to the people who are addicted, try to rehabilitate them; if they cannot be rehabilitated, at least to contain them; to educate people, to strongly discourage use of drugs by people who are casual users and first users, to stop this process among the young – all of these things are extremely important.

    But, I have to tell you that it seems to me that the conceptual basis of the current program is flawed and the program is not likely to work. The conceptual base – a criminal-justice approach – is the same that I have worked through before, in the Nixon administration when I was Budget Director and Secretary of the Treasury with jurisdiction over the Customs. We designed a comprehensive program, and we worked hard on it. In the Reagan administration we designed a comprehensive program; we worked very hard on it. Our international efforts were far greater than ever before. You’re looking at a guy whose motorcade was attacked in Bolivia by the
    drug terrorists, so I’m personally a veteran of this war. What we have before us now is essentially the same program but with more resources ploughed into all of the efforts
    to enforce and control.

    These efforts wind up creating a market where the price vastly exceeds the cost, With these incentives, demand creates its own supply and a criminal network along with it. It seems to me we’re not really going to get anywhere until we can take the criminality out of the drug business and the incentives for criminality out of it. Frankly, the only way I can think of to accomplish this is to make it possible for addicts to buy drugs at some regulated place at a price that approximates their cost. When you do that you wipe out the criminal incentive, including, I might say, the incentive that the the drug pushers have to go around and get kids addicted, so that they create a market for themselves. They won’t have that incentive because they won’t have that market.

    So I think the conceptual base needs to be thought out in a different way. We need at least to consider and examine forms of controlled legalisation of drugs. I find it very difficult to say that. Sometimes at a reception or cocktail party I advance these views and people head for somebody else. They don’t even want to talk to you. I know that I’m shouting into the breeze here as far as what we’re doing now. But I feel that if somebody doesn’t get up and start talking about this now, the next time around, when we have the next iteration of these programs, it will still be true that everyone is scared to talk about it. No politician wants to say what I have just said, not for a minute.
    — former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Oct. 7, 1990,
    addressing an alumni gathering at the Stanford Business School where he had returned to the faculty.

    • Windy

      The difference between a policy and a crusade
      is that a policy is judged by its results,
      while a crusade is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.
      – Thomas Sowell

      Which makes the “war on selected drugs” a crusade, for if it were judged on its results, it would have been declared ineffective and counterproductive and, therefore, been ended years ago. If the “war on selected drugs” had been judged on its Constitutionality, it would have never been begun in the first place.

  • vickyvampire

    More junk science coming from the government,what else is new.
    Cholesterol scares,Tobacco scares and come to find out Nicotine is actually somewhat good for you. Marijuana scares and it is very curative in so many ways, Coconut oil scares to much fat for you and it may help with Alzheimer’s.

    Almost everything that comes out of government mouth is a out right lie or falsehood.

    Oh Yes Swooper420 your comments about not stopping the flow of meth or heroin you are so right in my neck of woods Utah more and Heroin is becoming popular in last couple of years more and lots more confiscated every year no end in site.
    http://www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com/drug-abuse/heroin-use-rising-in-utah-county/

    Get over it Americans like there drugs legalize,them.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Decades ago the here to help government stooges announced that real butter is bad for you and recommended trans fat laden margarine as the healthier alternative. I also recall when eggs were dubbed unhealthy, which they’re not unless you have a cholesterol problem. Eggs provide more protein than any other food (at least animal based foods, I would be shocked if hemp seed did better). That’s mostly because they are easy to digest and digest thoroughly if I understand it correctly. You’re body uses somewhere around 90% of the food value in a beef steak just to digest it and that’s the opposite of eggs. Eggs are also very good for cannabinoidians as they’re very high in lecithin which keeps your brain from getting clogged with THC-cooh. If you’re a pothead who has lost your dreams lecithin will restore them. Not dreaming is not a good thing for your mental health. I am talking about REM sleep, not your desire to someday be hired by the POTUS to turn the White House lawn into a medicinal grade cannabis garden. But that’s what you get when you let special interests decide which is the healthier diet.

  • strayan

    Legalization runs counter to a public health approach to drug control because it would increase the availability of drugs, reduce their price, undermine prevention activities, hinder recovery support efforts, and pose a significant health and safety risk to all Americans, especially our youth.

    This is utter garbage. Tobacco use has fallen BECAUSE IT IS LEGAL; we can label every packet with health warnings, we can control the price, packaging, limits of sale, we can fund the prevention campaigns and pay for treatment. It might even be possible that youth are less likely to use tobacco than cannabis even though the former is sold through virtually every single supermarket and corner store in the country.

  • darkcycle

    …been here all day trying to think of something to say about this. Dunno. Maybe I thought that they were leaving that entire ‘strategy’ bullshit by the wayside. But no, here they are.
    One wonders how an agency can be LATE in releasing the same lie they told last year and the year before…I mean what is it that actually DELAYS this B.S. process? And how much more does this delay actually cost?…wait…I just realized what is going on.
    See…I just realized there must be a guy (Kevin Sabet?)whose only job is to come up with this strategy. By delaying and fussing, and hemming and hawing, he is cleverly able to turn this hourly wage, three month contract into seven months…thereby insuring he will be able to continue to eat at Wendy’s and binge on donuts WHENEVER he wants. Very Clever…. they got some sharp tools up ONDCP way.

  • Paul Armentano

    Only in an environment of absolute criminal prohibition can the administration claim, with a straight face, that allowing a grand total of 14 legally permitted scientists to study a substance consumed by tens of millions of Americans therapeutically and recreationally is progress. That’s not even enough for one scientist per medical marijuana state to actively assess how cannabis is impacting the state’s patient population.

    http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/strategy/2011ndcs/chapter1.html#FM

    “In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved 109 researchers to perform bona fide research with marijuana, marijuana extracts, and marijuana derivatives such as cannabidiol and cannabinol. Studies include evaluation of abuse potential, physical/psychological effects, adverse effects, therapeutic potential, and detection. Fourteen researchers are approved to conduct research with smoked marijuana on human subjects.”

    And this from the same administration that on Friday rejected the notion of even allowing hearings on the question of marijuana’s schedule I classification because, in their opinion, “there are no adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy.”

    BTW, according to the DEA’s 2010 white paper on cannabis, at that time there were a total of 18 scientists licensed by the government to work with marijuana in humans. I guess that four didn’t get their DEA/NIDA permits renewed. Perhaps next year there will only be 10. What a joke.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Paul, your problem is that you have an irrational logic and factual evidence fetish. If it helps even a little bit I share your disease and it sucks.

      “Where ignorance is bliss ’tis folly to be wise.”
      ~~~Thomas Gray, 1742.

      Oh, BTW, did you hear that Marc Emery has a very bad case of MRSA? Now that’s a dictionary picture example of irony. If he dies from it that will cause a particularly high intensity shit storm among the Canuckistani cannabinoidians. He says he’s feeling fine though.

      http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2011/07/11/Marc-Emery-Contracting-Superbug-Concerned-Feeling-Fine

      • DdC

        Marc Emery on Contracting Superbug: ‘Concerned’ but Feeling Fine
        Canadian marijuana activist Marc Emery, imprisoned in the United States for selling cannabis seeds and using the money to fund projects like Cannabis Culture, has contracted the antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA. Emery discusses his current health status in this exclusive interview with CC. full story

        Can Cannabis the Antibiotic Treat Anthrax?

        Endocannabinoids

        Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA “Superbug”
        Chemicals in marijuana may be useful in fighting MRSA, a kind of staph bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics. Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests. full story

    • darkcycle

      Well, Paul, we all know what happens to the officially approved researchers when they don’t produce the officially approved results…Dr. Tashkin could remind those who’ve forgotten…

    • strayan

      It’s a good think we’ve got the DEA self-appointing themselves over the selection of scientists. To ensure objective and unbiased results no doubt.

  • thelbert

    the fact remains that smoking donuts is an inefficient and harmful method of ingesting the evil product of the deep fryer. the vast majority of scientists agree that smoked or eaten donuts are not medicine, therefore donut abusers should be locked up like any other lowlife substance abuser. i dare say that donut addicts have killed more people than have the users of cannabis. this may be because donuts have been linked to schizophrenia

  • Brandon Ellis

    When will the madness end? The blatant corruption that the drug war carries with it seems like it should be the catalyst that brings the oppressive machine down. Nice to see you posting here, Mr. Armentano, I enjoyed your book, keep up the good work!

  • DdC

    “Another fertile source of this species of derangement [moral insanity] appears to be an undue indulgence in the perusal of the numerous works of fiction, with which the press is so prolific of late years, and which are sown widely over the land, with the effect of vitiating the taste and corrupting the morals of the young. Parents cannot too cautiously guard their young daughters against this pernicious practice.”
    – Dr. W.H. Stokes, Scientific American, April 1849

    Drug War Clock
    Money Spent on the War On Drugs this Year
    It is Sun Jul 10 2011 7,900,000,000
    The U.S. federal government spent over $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $500 per second.

    After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals
    AP IMPACT: Associated Press Published May 13, 2010 (excerpted)
    Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:
    — $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries.
    — $33 billion in marketing “Just Say No”
    — $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders
    — $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons
    The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — “an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction” — cost the United States $215 billion a year.

    Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

    “Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use,” Miron said, “but it’s costing the public a fortune.”

    Lost political causes By William Buckley

  • Paul

    Hey folks,

    I know this isn’t on topic for this thread, but I just read this excellent op-ed and wanted people around here to give it a read.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2011/07/10/an-unhappy-ending-to-the-drug-war/

    The reason I like it is that it shows a moderate’s point of view about the drug war, and how the average thoughtful person may now be thinking about prohibition. He recognizes the drug war is more harmful that drugs themselves, but he also points how ending the war on drugs is not going to come up all roses, either.

    Well worth the read, IMHO. I’m interested to hear what people around here might have to say about it.

  • Steve

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t entrusting the same government who welded us into this current financial mess, be a little immature in assuming they’d make fair and equal policy regarding a complete overhaul of the laws pertaining to cannabis? I wonder what side the largest companies in the us, the pharmaceuticals will be on?

    Lets get one thing straight. It should be up to each individual state, and its’ legal citizens’ to determine legalization. Its not place for the federal government to tell a state what drugs should be legal or not in the first place. If a state wants drug X legal, and drug Y illegal, than no harm done.

    The federal government needs to ease its over reach into states, who by democratic vote, say otherwise. Supporting legalization of cannabis under the current crop of politicians is asking for trouble.

    Watch the draft bill of legalization be 3-4pg max, then over the course of the 5 years it takes them to make ANY major decision, it turn into a massive 400pg maze of endless bureaucracy and bottomless tax revenue that everyone wants from it.

    Its not regulated or taxed, yet its maintained a fairly balanced price per ounce, over the last decades despite its’ potency increasing atleast 10x since the 70s? Wow that’s a surprise!

    Yeah, lets entrust the same crooks who got us in this mess, to tell each state what to do along with the pharmaceutical lobbyists.

    Don’t forget about those who will lobby against legalization too. The beer and tobacco industries. But hey, I’m sure corporate Frito Lay profits will sky rocket with it legal!

    • Paul

      Oh, no, I don’t think the beer and tobacco industries will fight it–they will join it. Selling vice is what they do best, and they’re going to want a piece of the action.

      Philip Morris used to have trademarks on some likely MJ brand names, and they’ve probably kept them up. The day MJ becomes legal, expect them to jump in head first.

      • strayan

        Paul, do tobacco companies sell booze? If not why not?

        So why would they sell cannabis?

      • Paul

        Altria (ex-Philip Morris) sells wine. They used to own Kraft and General Foods, and RJ Reynolds was merged and spun out somewhere in the last 20 years or so. As I recall, Kraft owned Miller brewing company for awhile.

        The giant food conglomerates and the tobacco companies have been buying and selling parts of each other for decades. I don’t see any mention of ownership of hard liquor, and maybe there’s a reason for it–I don’t know. But I do remember Philip Morris had definitely thought about selling MJ if it was legalized.

    • DdC

      Is The DEA Legalizing THC?
      NeoCon Flicts of Interest Bush Barthwell & Bayer
      So, in other words, if a pharmaceutical product contains THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would be a legal commodity. But if you or I possessed THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would remain an illegal commodity.

      ‘Virtues’ of Ganja
      The Politics of Pot

      “Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission appointed by the Government of India (1893-94) and the New York Mayor’s Committee (1944 – LaGuardia)that the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects” “the long-asserted dangers of cannabis are exaggerated and that the related law is socially damaging, if not unworkable”
      1968 UK ROYAL COMMISSION, THE WOOTTON REPORT

      The Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie

      “We.. say that on the medical evidence available, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, and that decisions to ban or legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations.”
      The Lancet, vol 352, number 9140, November 14 1998

      Koch Roaches A.L.E.C. Drug Detention Centers

      LaGuardia Commission Report, 1944
      “Cannabis smoking] does not lead directly to mental or physical deterioration… Those who have consumed marijuana for a period of years showed no mental or physical deterioration which may be attributed to the drug.”

      The LaGardia sub-committee of New York 1944
      “The use of marijuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction and no effort is made to create a market for these narcotics by stimulating the practice of marijuana smoking”

      “Marijuana is not the determining factor in the commission of major crime….The publicity concerning the catastrophic effect of marijuana smoking in New York City, is unfounded”

  • Kozmo

    So the 2011 national Drug Control Strategy is simply “We are going to keep doing the same stupid shit we have been doing for the lat 50 years becuse it is working great. Even though every single shred of evidence shows exactly the opposite.”

    Brilliant !!!!!

  • gee, what a shock — the latest ndcs says the same bullshit as every other one they’ve released. *yawn* — and now we’ll get to read the same bullshit reactions from nadelmann and the rest of the clown cabal.

    but here’s the saddest part: the average person still just doesn’t give a shit. until we fix that, we’ll see the same idiocy over and over from the “leaders” on both sides of the aisle.

    why is it that so many people readily see the “keep doing the same shit and hope something changes” issue when looking at the ondcp side — but put the opaque glasses on so they don’t see it coming from the idiots at dpa, mpp and norml?

    LEAP is the only game in town worth a shit.

    • Paul Armentano

      Dear Brian,

      I’m sorry that my ‘idiocy’ has perpetuated the drug war in the United States and abroad. I’m sure that if you simply and unilaterally called all the shots it would have ended long ago. I’ll try to do better in the future despite my limited intellect and the previously stated ‘idiocy’ of my colleagues. I’m sorry our incompetence holds back local, state, and federal governments from implementing your master plan, which no doubt would otherwise be the law of the land if it weren’t for us.

      • darkcycle

        You are doing good work, Paul. I support NORML, and I’ll support you to the tune of another few Ben Franklins as soon as I’m done with this post.

      • DdC

        Paul, If one issue could be resolved with the help of NORML and the other reform groups it would be to get the political prisoners out of the cages. Charlie Lynch, Dr. Fry, Bryan Epis and Eddie Lepp, off the top of my head. They all need spotlights. Marc Emery should be made into a poster boy on government corruption. Where is sovereignty if such a sham can take place here in this day and age. It was more than clear Tandy singled him out for his political advocacy. Tax paid employees should never be permitted to influence or rather intimidate political elections or initiatives. Yet they do routinely. Marc was busted for selling seeds that every decent pet shop sells. According to the DEA by lumping in Hemp with Ganja. Its all the same. Concentrating resources on this one issue might make a difference. Free the Political Prisoners of WoD! I see this war more as fascism and profits behind the rhetoric. Nixon flat out lied and for this reason I’m not a big fan of politically appeasing “legalizers” either, but I do appreciate and thank you for your contributions.

        Eddy Lepp: Only Eight Years Left in Federal Prison by Ed Rosenthal
        Eddy Lepp is a Vietname War Veteran, Rastafarian Minister and Medical Marijuana farmer who was growing marijuana for patients under California State Law. He was raided and arrested in 2004 and is currently serving a 10-year sentence.

        Marc Emery Begins His Three-Year Countdown to Release From Prison
        On July 9, 2011, imprisoned marijuana activist Marc Emery will begin a three-year countdown to his early release date from a US federal prison, scheduled for July 9, 2014. full story

        Marijuana Advocates Sue Feds After DEA Rejects Weed as Medicine
        Without medical marijuana, Scott Rozman swears, he wouldn’t be alive today. full story

        White House Admits Marijuana Has ‘Some’ Medical Value
        Just days after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) insisted that there is no medical value to marijuana, the White House appeared to contradict the position, saying in a report that there may actually be “some” medical value to “individual components of the cannabis plant” after all. full story

      • norml has been at it for 40 years — but what exactly have they accomplished? nothing tangible. so if you think i should be handing you a medal — oops, not gonna happen.

      • Paul, last time I checked it was the written policy of NORML to support the right for you and me to smoke a joint without it being a crime, but supports criminal sanctions against those who deal cannabis. Where does NORML think we get those joints – the pot fairy? No, we get them from the guy with 5 pounds in his garage, risking his freedom so that we can enjoy ours.

        I attended the 2006 NORML convention in California and asked Keith why NORML had that policy. He stated rather gruffly to me: you try to convince Congress to support marijuana dealers. And when I asked St. Pierre, who was then taking the reings from Keith, the same question, he looked at me funny, as if he was unaware, and said he’d change it. But he didn’t.

        So umtil NORML changes that illogical and simply stupid policy, I agree with Brian.

    • denmark

      Been with NORML since 1972 Brian and share certain frustrations with them too, however, let’s not poop in our own nest.
      It has been a tough road to hoe man and right now it would probably be a good idea to put personal disappointments aside and focus on the big picture.

    • I’d add MAP to that brian… bless the MAPsters.

      @ Paul… while I share brian’s sentiment I think he’ll freely admit he is crankier than I am.

      I did my first legalization action back in the early ’70s. Some of us have been at this quite a spell so if the criticism stings a bit… so…? There’s always more to do, for all of us. Hindsight sucks. Learning from our mistakes doesn’t.

      What strikes me most perhaps is that with all these new tools of communication we enjoy now we (drug policy reform) seem to collectively suck at what we do. The metaphor of herding cats seems so damn apt… and pardon this old goat’s use of “when I was young…” but back when I was young I was one of those anti-nuclear weapons nuts that trespassed on missile bases. We had actions from California to Maryland… we worked with phone and flyers and people repeatedly travelling often hundreds of miles just for planning meetings starting months before an action. And when we had actions we had public attention. But I’m old and been fighting a long time, on many fronts. I hope you young’uns get it figgered out. It’s be nice to be legal before I bid adieu…

      LEAP has delivered two activist swipes with a broadsword – their work in CA last fall was inspiring and inspired. Pardon the pun but their leaping on the Global Commission report and the 40th anniversary was sweet… Norm Stamper delivering a politely worded cease and desist order to the ONDCP couldn’t have been better.

      Plodding bureaucracy (npo’s) lacks the immediacy of being upfront and in the face of power – the advantage of public actions and creativity.

      We can’t out debate the Prohibitionists (imho) by being as boring as they are. That’s what I hear brian saying. The uppers in dpr, those w/ some access to media need to use that. They need to mock these asshats, call them chickenshit to their faces (in a printable form of course). Get some attitude… say something shocking (but true, just colorfully presented) in front of the media and apologize later.

      They cannot, will not respond to queries on Prohibition spawned violence – the wrong address no-knock-raids (heck, the right address nkr’s…), the Goose Creeks, and every death we can name from Zeke to Peter McWilliams to Ronnie and Charity Bowers to Jennifer Odom and her crew to Katherine Johnston to Cheye Calvo’s dogs… and having seen the inside of the Terminal Island federal funhouse for myself, I’d easily call the imprisonment of Todd McCormick cruel and unusual.

      They are shooting at us!!!

      So yeah, I understand brian’s attitude real well. There’s no spark *! except for LEAP… part of being in a position (Paul) like yours is dealing with the inevitable criticism from your own. However you do that…

      I’m not big on criticism, always figgered a bit o’ praise worked better (it always does with me) than taking a bite outta someone. And… I don’t have to bite because there will always be somebody willing to do that…

      My mid-afternoon $.02…

      But I am feeling optimistic. I think every time we get them to speak on drug policy the dumber it makes them look to the public at large. So I hope they keep stepping in it. We may win this in spite of ourselves.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Say, does anyone have or know where to find statistics on deaths caused by FDA approved drugs? The best I’ve been able to find is at:
    http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000145#drugdeathchart

    and that chart is 6 years out of date.

    TIA!

  • dt

    When trying to convince people that weed should be legal, remember this: one hit is worth a thousand words. The plant has a natural defense mechanism against being illegal.

  • Eridani

    Even the Feds can’t ignore the substantial number of studies showing marijuana’s medicinal benefits. But they’re gonna make sure they can make a profit from it… By claiming that smoking the plant is is harmful. Now getting high is only half the fun. It’s great to spite the prohibitionists.

  • dt

    Everyone understands what the drug war is really all about, right? The philosopher Kenneth Burke called it “congregation and segregation.” It’s us vs. them – a basic tool of rhetoric, and anyone who is trying to control a group of people uses it. It’s funny to see people faulting the NORML guy and praising LEAP. The only reason NORML seems less effective is because they have been defined, along with all drug users, as “them.” LEAP seems powerful only because it’s “us” advocating a “them” position. It’s right there in their name.

    So how do you break down the us vs. them construct? How about a series of videos with celebrities coming out of the closet about their marijuana use. Just headshots of celebrities talking about their healthy relationships with marijuana. There’s something NORML could do that would actually be effective.

    • dt

      These amazing facades of medical, legal, and economic language have been built on top of this basic divide – us vs. them, drug users vs. “non-users” (everyone uses drugs, but usually not the segregated ones). As long as that divide exists, you can chip away at the facades all you want and they’ll always be able to rebuild. The medical and economic arguments are only going to go so far. We need to break into their minds using whatever symbols they identify with – celebrities, law enforcement officers…

    • LEAP seems powerful only because […]

      LEAP not only seems powerful, LEAP is powerful. Until 5 or 6 years ago when LEAP was formed who woulda thunk we’d have the voices of cops (and not just cops but narcotics officers, undercover types), judges, etc in such numbers as LEAP provides.

      40 years is a long ass time. How old is NORML? 38?

      I’m not dissing any group by praising LEAP. LEAP is LEAP, NORML is NORML. But when was the last time a NORML rep was a peer of the drug kzar and hand delivered a report to the ONDCP?

      LEAP is more than us v them. LEAP is us-and-them v them. As much as some of the most powerful voices against the VN war were vets, having a few police chiefs on our side is a distinct advantage. Besides Steven Baldwin what ex-potheads can the prohibs trot out?

      Consider the political/public profiles of LEAP and NORML and which group will most resonate with the general public. NORML may have a higher public profile but the image the acronym brings to mind is more Tommy Chong than Joe McNamara.

      The more the other orgs use LEAP as a resource (props to SSDP for doing so regularly) the better off we’ll all be.

      • DdC

        There have been cops with sense against the war for a while.
        Joe used to get down in the trenches with us at the NY Times Forum…
        Now if he can only get the grants loco’s like Daryl DARE Gates got.

        The Joseph McNamara Collection
        Joseph McNamara is a former police chief in Kansas City, Mo. and San Jose, Ca. He holds a doctorate in public administration and is presently a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

        * Stop the War – A Former Police Chiefs Plea to the New Drug Czar
        * America’s Plague of Bad Cops
        * Anguish in Blue Needn’t Become Deadly
        * Bombs and the Bill of Rights
        * Cops on the Dole
        * Cop’s View of the Drug War
        * End the War by Anthony Lewis
        * Has the Drug War Created an Officer Liar’s Club?
        * Reinventing the LAPD
        * The National Guard is Not a Police Force
        * Code of Silence Must Come to an End
        * Holding the Line Between Pursuit and Punishment
        * Drug Peace
        * Shootings by Police – Broken Trust
        * NY Times Letter to the Editor – April 18, 1999
        * cops against the drug war
        * police chiefs question merit of drug policy

        Joe McNamara’s conference October 07, 2000
        CRRH mailing list restore@crrh.org NY Times Drug Forum

        Howard and Misty Ride Again!

        Gilbert William Harold Puder
        July 11th, 1959 – November 12th, 1999
        A Great Loss For The Anti-Prohibitionist Movement,
        An Even Greater Loss For Canadian Law Enforcement.

        Puder burst onto the drug war debate scene last year when the then Vancouver Police Chief tried to silence his criticism of prohibition at a conference sponsored by the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver libertarian think-tank.

        * Gil Puder, RIP By Dana Larsen
        * leap: Gilbert William Harold Puder
        * Gil Puder, R. I. P. by Richard Cowan

      • DdC

        Reconsider, The Quarterly
        ReconsiDer: Forum on Drug Policy is a nonpartisan, grass roots membership organization that works by consensus and through the volunteer efforts and contributions of its members. It is a New York State not-for-profit corporation, with its headquarters in Syracuse. It is supported by individual contributions and grants.

        Its unifying belief that the War on Drugs has failed grounds its fundamental purposes: to effect substantial change in United States drug policy; to promote, support, and engage in open discussion of alternatives to the War on Drugs; to form numerous chapters that challenge citizens and local political leaders to rethink drug policies; and to help enact pragmatic legislation that reduces harm and preserves liberties.

        Gil Puder — This “White Knight”
        risked his career to oppose the Drug War.

        Joseph McNamara — A retired police chief
        tells how and why the Drug War cannot help but breed gangster cops.

        Nicholas Bakas — This Secretary of Public Safety for New Mexico explains why he’s on the governor’s side when it comes to rethinking the drug war.

        Nick Pastore — Tells how, as police chief,
        he used community policing to help save crime-ridden New Haven.

        Peter Christ — This retired police captain
        tells Rotarians we’ve got to legalize. And they listen.

        Jack A. Cole
        — An undercover narcotics cop looks back in sorrow.
        And much more…

        Portland NORML 1998 News
        About Cannabis and Drug Policy

        weedvote.com

        New Rules On Border Gun Sales
        US: MapINC Recent Media Headlines

      • Paul Armentano

        Allan et al,

        I’m certainly not here to bash LEAP; they are colleagues of ours. But it also sounds like folks wish to apply very different standards to LEAP than they do to reform groups like NORML, DPA, MPP, etc. We get criticized for not tangibly changing state or federal laws to the extent or with the speed advocates would like (most of whom have no idea how difficult this process really is). But LEAP gives a few speeches and everybody thinks this is a major accomplishment.

        Really? LEAP’s mission statement is to legalize and regulate all illicit drugs. Where is the tangible evidence that their tactics have brought them any closer to this goal? Sure, they hand delivered a report to the Drug Czar’s office. The flip side? The Drug Czar refused to speak with them and ignored their report. So, in short, the entire effort was a media spectacle. Yes, there is value inherently in such events, but sure enough when/if NORML, DPA, MPP and others engage in similar symbolic events many claim that we are simply wasting everyone’s time.

        What legislation on the local, state, or federal level has LEAP coordinated to amend drug penalties — much less passed? After all, that is what folks complain groups like NORML and MPP haven’t sufficiently accomplished, despite each of our groups being able to point to local and statewide victories (AZ, CA, CT, DE, KY, ME) in just the past few months. Now, if the goal is increasing public awareness and shifting public opinion (which seems to be the standard you wish to hold LEAP to), it’s clear that groups like NORML and others have done a tremendous job in recent years shifting public opinion regarding marijuana policy — moving Gallup’s numbers from the low 20 percentile for the mid 40 percentile . LEAP is also increasing awareness (among those who hear them) I’m sure, but in terms of actually polling data, well under 10 percent of the public support legalizing other illicit drugs. So while they are making strides and are terrific messengers, it is certainly clear that they have a long way to go — and in tangible, objective terms, it remains difficult to measure said impact.

      • Paul Armentano

        Ultimately, of course, everyone has a choice. Support the group that you feel is best engaging in the sort of reform tactics you desire with your wallet (or your time). If that group is LEAP, then by all means send you tax deductible donation their way. If you think it’s NORML, send a donation our way. Or send both groups a donation — or choose to assist an entirely different organization entirely. Either way, you are helping to implement change on some level and doing more than 99% percent of the general public.

      • the thing that LEAP is doing that all of us need to be doing is presenting the complete picture of why the only coherent thing to do vis-a-vis drug use is to legalize and regulate all intoxicating substances in an “equal” manner.

        they deliver that message to groups that are the last people you’d imagine would listen to the message that the only way to “win” the drug war is to end the drug war. they are telling that message to rotary, lions, eagles and all the other civic groups you can name, vfw’s afl’s etc — the list is lengthy, impressive and international. in short, they weave together the big picture so that the average person can understand it. what needs to be done before any time is wasted pissing away resources on legislation is a public re-education program.

        not a program that tries to paint pot in the most favorable light possible — but a program that makes it abundantly clear that the entire drug war needs to go. pot smokers should be the people most interested in putting an end to the drug war — but it’s going nowhere if they seek to end the war against only pot.

        say what you want about how great pot is — but say it in the overall context of how fucked up the drug war is, and why the laws against pot are the most obvious example of what’s wrong and apply *equally* to all other intoxicating substances as well. the data and the history are all available — and i defy anyone to show how any of it can legitimately justify continuing the drug war.

        the problem of the moment is that the messages from those deeming themselves the “leaders” are the same tired bullshit that has not significantly altered the state of affairs for the past 40 years. and the historic records are available to prove that statement.

        there is a reason that the polls about drug legalization are dismal. certainly there are many, not the least of which is how poll questions are worded. but ultimately, the only thing that matters about polling data is that it indicates that the dpr “leaders” are doing a spectacularly shitty job of re-educating the public.

        thus, the low numbers in support of regulation of all drugs are not a reason to poo-poo the work of LEAP — rather, they are an indictment of the fools yammering in the same incoherent manner year after year, decade after decade in a psychotic spiral dance with the enemy.

        the public needs to be educated, but so do the drug law reformers. it all has to go, so that’s the message. you like pot? good for you — but tell your story in the bigger context and we may just have a chance.

        arguably, the weedies are the largest and most valuable of the resources we have available — however, they too need to be re-educated to the extent that they can paint the big picture rather than just focusing on weed as the most magical thing of all time.

        the messages from the dpr community are weak and ineffective. they are as irrelevant as the arguments they seek to refute. worst of all, they actually give more credence to the prohibitionists by addressing their claims as though they possess actual merit.

        it hasn’t worked for 40 years — so quit trying to sell us the bullshit that we’re making any progress. shit, just read some of the comments you can find on nearly any article you can find on Pete’s site. i’m sure you can find tons of the “oh boy, obama’s gonna help us” .. “that mother fucker screwed us like everybody else does” variety. and the theme repeats across the different memes: everybody sporting wood over the latest line of bullshit that we’re getting somewhere, followed by the “those goddam mother fuckers screwed us again.”

        we’re only going to win by re-educating the public. and not about the medical properties of matanuska thunderfuck. we all need to start aiming higher or we’re never going to hit the target.

        so “leaders” let’s see if you have what it takes to put together a goddam coherent game plan, muster the troops and win the goddam war. if you’re just going to trot out the same tired ineffective bullshit, then i’ll gladly continue to point out how full of shit you all are.

      • Windy

        DdC, thanks for that link to The Joseph McNamara Collection, I’ve been having an online argument with a local cop about the drug war and that ammo was just what I needed (I hope) to open his eyes.

      • DdC

        Remember Windy, Opening a cops eyes is good as long as you don’t hold your breath waiting. More important on forums is the lurkers getting the information. Many don’t want to engage in the banter but do pick up useful info on the sidelines. Many cops, rehabs and drug war associations already know the answers and simply avoid the questions. That too can be a positive thing if the lurkers witness the diversions and silly answers they sometimes give.
        Good luck.

        Every once in a blue moon they come around…

        The Drugs Debate thethinkingpoliceman

        @ all commentators – Thanks for your comments. I give up. Legalise and be damned!
        Lex Ferenda said…

  • Servetus

    Even though the justification for the 2011 NDCS is purely ideological, the report focuses on enforcement procedures that include data gathering on drug users and other activities supporting further persecutory efforts designed to control drug use.

    Persecution as a means of social control is the only type of control the prohibitionists believe they know: ‘thou shalt not…and if you do, we will kill you, socially or for real.’

    Prohibitionists cannot justify their anti-drug ideology to millions of people, so they use force to implement it. It’s an old story. Would any modern-era, informed citizen believe that Judaism could be eradicated and replaced with Catholicism using methods similar to the Spanish Inquisition or the drug war? Probably not. History is a valid empirical parallel. The Spanish Inquisition not only failed to eradicate Judaism, it took down the Spanish Empire with it. The same pitiful fate can be anticipated in any country, and for any government, that implements U.S. drug prohibition policies.

    There is no possibility that a government can use force to convince successful and socially productive drug users that their personal lifestyles and situations are in any way harmful to themselves or society. Simply stated: a government cannot force people to be stupid. Depriving them of their freedom changes nothing.

    By contrast, prohibitionists are stupid because they succumb to being automatons. Trying to instill reason or empirical evidence into them is like trying to code emotion into a machine. Professional persecutors are oblivious to empirical evidence and reason. They’re like a cult; a cult that attracts authoritarians, religious crackpots, sociopaths, sadomoralists, and a non-thinking proletariat, all of whom end up joining the evil empire of hate mongers because civil society might not have anything to do with them otherwise.

    The Achilles’ heels of the prohibitionist movement are its ideology and its enforcers. The destructive impact of prohibitionism on society, through its use of heinous methods of drug enforcement, is adding to prohibition’s eventual downfall, just as similar destructive penal practices brought down the European inquisitions.

    Anti-drug ideology is self-effacing, and prohibitionists who believe their own hype are just plain crazy. Focusing on prohibitionism as a destructive human mental defect similar to racism, xenophobia, and ethnocentrism, motivations which the drug war includes as part and parcel of its ideology, will further undermine it.

    And forget researching drug users. Focusing some government funded data gathering on creating an overall picture or demographic spectrum of the prohibitionists themselves would be priceless.

    • Peter

      Servetus:
      Great piece of analysis. The Inquisition is looking more and more like an appropriate analogy for the drug war. A lot of the false consciousness and scapegoating that is so characteristic of prohibitionists, professional or amateur, is generated by news media like that owned by Rupert Murdoch. The implosion of News International in the UK is looking like one more crack in the wall of drug war propaganda, as pumped out by Fox News and the religious right. Unfortunately, this government doesn’t have the balls to gather an “overall picture or demographic spectrum of the prohibitionists themselves” but I think a psychological study is in order, perhaps the American Psychiatric Association might take it up.

  • DdC

    American High Society
    Celebrity Stoners

    Good points dt. As for celebrities and even our forefathers are good examples of how normal it is to use organic Ganja. Or Poppy and Coca. Peyote, Shrooms and Tobacco. It’s the human crap that gets ya.

  • DdC

    Personally I would choose those groups last as I find hero worship and celebrity anything, obnoxious. Classism, a division in itself. But its a plastic world and the plastic people dig it and for that reason it seems to work. Except when they use celebrities to demonize the use. Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan for example. Or when Ashcroft hung Tommy Chong for 9 month’s like a redneck trophy kill. Or making an example out of Marc Emery. Personally I like to show the drug worriers their own hypocrisy. In their face. Polite if mutual. Rude if necessary. The Christian anti choice are a favorite target and the easiest are the Fundies. Not that they will get it, but most of the posts are for lurkers. Most of the email feedback I get is from those not posting themselves. Especially on the redneck boards. And sinfull pleasure showing an Op Rescue in the Bible Belt how their cotton crop aborts as much as clinics.

    Pro Life? Not even anti abortionists…
    Tobacco and alcohol use by pregnant women has adverse effects on the fetus. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a leading cause of mental retardation. MSMA “can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans” and is converted in the environment to inorganic arsenic, a known human carcinogen. About 4 million pounds of MSMA is applied every year to golf courses and cotton fields in the United States to control weeds. Pesticide Exposure in Farm Families Linked to Spontaneous Abortion. The suicide rate among India’s farmers from the cotton failures are global news. Monsanto has a sub name to offset the google hits and headlines with criminal charges for contaminations. Switching cotton fields to hemp fields would improve: the quality of our soil, the durability of our clothes, the safety of our ground source water, the quality of our air, and the preservation of forests cut for paper (not to mention saving hundreds of thousands of lives prematurely ended by disease caused by pollution) In 1993, two hundred and fifty thousand tons of pesticides were used to grow cotton world-wide.

    Or the Cops how their dirty little drug war treats returning Vets. Those hooked on medical morphine from wounds or those in greater numbers with PTSD, Their shame and blame game turned on them. Show tax phobic teabog dippies how much tax is spent on Koch Bros private cages or Califano’s plea bargain 30 day $4500 rehabilitation. Might as well give that money to the users, at least someone wins.

    Kochaine A.L.E.C. Drug Detention Centers = $72,000.00 a head… Tax paid.
    Ganjawar: Slave Labor, Rape & Pillage Deterrent
    At the same time, the United States blasts China for the the use of prison slave labor, engaging in the same practice itself. Prison labor is a pot of gold. No strikes, union organizing, health benefits, unemployment insurance or workers’ compensation to pay.

    Until the truth behind the rhetoric is seen. The symptoms and remedies will continue to divide us and them. Means to an end, or a continuation as long as they control the message. Same as Mussolini, same as the Romans, same shit different day with the Ganjawar. Corporatism is as oppressive as the government. If the government is coerced into following orders of their financiers then it is fascism. That in and of itself is an intangible we have lived with forever in some form. When it produces victims then it is wrong. Selling schwag buds or busting people for chronic, both produce victims and are wrong. Those who set aside the humans and follow the intangible rules and create victims are guilty as anyone robbing or shooting someone. Trauma and being terrorized have no specific criteria. Whatever it is, it is wrong and the fact no one sees that and keeps this tit for tat perpetuation. It seems more and more its supposed to continue because that is where the money is for those waging the war. Paid for by us in the middle wanting peace.

    Ganja 4 PTSD
    Many Veterans are the Enemy of the D.E.A.th War
    Sam Stone came home, To his wife and family After serving in the conflict overseas. And the time that he served, Had shattered all his nerves, And left a little shrapnel in his knee. But the morphine eased the pain, And the grass grew round his brain, And gave him all the confidence he lacked, With a Purple Heart and a monkey on his back.

    People dumbed down on daily fixes of programmed news on tv, radio and in print. Fitting in to the soap opera scenes, keeping up with the jonzing. Day to day routines, calloused and hard nosed, stiff necks and closed minds. Fear driving them into losing their own identities. One on ones I find less opposition. Whatever profession, cops, nurses or born again evangelicals. They may not stay tuned in long, but they can’t just deny what they can see or hear. Written words are human inventions but suffering homelessness is real. When its a Vet busted for Pot treating shell shock, keeping them clean and working. Kids losing their parents or farmers losing their land because they have no crop to keep up with the Big Ag poisons undercutting prices. Hemp could fill the needs of many, including the poor for cheap nutrition. Makes em think. Or at least a close facsimile to thinking.

    Starving Babies and Illegal Food
    In 1937, Ralph Loziers, general counsel of the National Institute of Oilseed Products, told the Congressional committee studying marijuana prohibition in 1937 that, “Hempseed… is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hempseed in the Orient as food. They have been doing this for many generations, especially in periods of famine.”

  • Duncan20903

    So how do you break down the us vs. them construct? How about a series of videos with celebrities coming out of the closet about their marijuana use. Just headshots of celebrities talking about their healthy relationships with marijuana. There’s something NORML could do that would actually be effective.

    A few days ago I got an email from Neill Franklin of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (also LEAP) and the project they’re working on is your suggestion above with the exception of the subjects being the everyman who’s been screwed.

    Friend,

    As you know, the stigma surrounding cannabis causes many folks who consume it to keep quiet about it.

    But the only way we’ll end the prohibition of cannabis is by bringing to light the personal stories of those who have been most negatively affected by it. That’s why I’m writing you today.

    If your life or the life of a loved one has been impacted negatively by the prohibition of marijuana, we need to hear your voice, right now.

    In order to make your voice heard, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR) has created a simple, easy way for you to record a short video of your story. CCPR will review every video submitted and put together a website to highlight some of the most compelling stories. Will you make a video now?

    Click here to record and submit a video of your story to the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform.
    /snip/

    • dt

      I wonder what would happen if one of the reform groups approached the tobacco companies and tried to get them to invest in advertising for marijuana legalization? Just saturate the airwaves with this stuff and win.

  • palemalemarcher

    Just a short post about a movie I just screened, Super 8. The director must have drunk McCaffrey’s Kool-aid as in the strategy of Willie’s czar was embedded messages. Has anbody seen that flick?

    • dt

      lol are you thinking of the stoner character? Yeah that was lame. Falling asleep during intense battles? Not unless it was opium he was smoking. J.J. Abrams is good enough but he doesn’t treat his audience as very intelligent. Compare his stuff to Source Code, for example. There’s an incredible movie.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    I think we should be gracious and chip in and give Ms. Leonhart this self help book:
    http://evolutionforum.info/yabbfiles/Attachments/head-up-ass-dummies_005.jpg
    She must live in mortal terror of the flatulence.

    “If the DEA was not already a laughingstock for having lost the war on drugs so convincingly, it has now declared that marijuana is not medicine, despite more than a dozen states having said otherwise. Despite thousands of cancer and HIV patients having said otherwise, despite the federal government’s own National Institute of Health having said otherwise.
    http://coloradoindependent.com/93630/u-s-rules-marijuana-has-no-medical-use

  • warren

    The big danger is from the morons who believe this.

  • Malcolm Kyle

    This superb and powerful Op-Ed by Edward Xiao has just been published at Digital Journal

    “As part of this assignment, I have to address whether or not I think the War on Drugs was good for the country. As my article, professional studies and research have shown, the answer is a resounding “no.” The War on Drugs was a waste of time and resources, things that could’ve been better spent on other government programs. That applies especially to today. In this day and age’s floundering economy, America needs all the resources it can get, and prolonging the War on Drugs would be counterproductive to that.”

    “So end the War on Drugs. Let the American public breathe free as it’s rid of the misinformation that started with Nixon’s campaign against narcotics. In the face of all these lies and damning statistics against criminalization, it wouldn’t be a far cry to say that the American public would be ecstatic at the termination of the War on Drugs and beginning of legitimate drug policy reform. You might even say they’d be intoxicated with joy.”

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/309082#ixzz1S1DUf2Ah

  • Malcolm Kyle

    And here’s an equally lucid & powerful Op-Ed in the Eurasian Review by Antony Gregory

    “One last note for conservatives: U.S. politicians have used the Mexican drug violence as a rationale for calling for more gun control. This happened in the 1920s too, in regard to the organized crime that resulted from alcohol prohibition, and culminating in the first federal gun laws. They can take away all our freedoms, tens of thousands will continue to die in the drug war, and drugs will still be readily available. Drugs are notoriously available in prison, despite the totalitarian controls and surveillance inflicted upon the inmate population. The drug warriors can turn all of America into a prison and the drug war will be no closer to being won. Our neighboring countries can descend into full-blown war zones, and the drug war will be as futile a program as ever. Anyone pretending to care about the huge loss of life on the border and in Mexico, the rapacious violence of gang activity, the loss of our freedoms in this country, or fiscal sanity, has to confront the truth head on: The drug war is an absolute and inevitable disaster on every level, and it must be ended immediately and completely.”

    http://tinyurl.com/5s5qp5b

  • vickyvampire

    Yes,everyone you can not reason with prohibitionists,even when science and reason makes them look like fools and a cult.

    In Utah where I reside,LDS church abstains from tobacco,caffeine if it a hot drink,tea and alcohol,the science on these is incredible for your health. You would think there enlightned phd Harvard grads from that relgion would change things other churches have updated certain things this is a most obvious thing to update Tea is one of the best drink for antioxidents you can drink, and booze in moderation helps your heart also and many other things.

    Many I quess just choose to ignore this information, ,I’m sure they have been made aware of it by friends and experts.

    Read on net that Mormons they abstain from these things just to be different and apart from others, OK WELL i SWEAR I read about a year ago or so in paper and if I find the info will link it that UTAH is one of the states that has a high rate of colon cancer and altzeimers now recent research show Coffee and Tea may help in these not developing need I say more. pro-prohibitionists whether through greed or crazy to me in my opinion religious fanaticism about food and yeah I know it no ones business to tell anyone what to eat or drink

    but maybe inadvertently like the government harm their own people by brainwashing them from using normal everyday substances like coffee that many benefit them in incredible ways just like Cannabis.

    I swear it’s 2011 but on some days I feel that parts of the country are still in the dark ages. Holy crap.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      But I thought the LDS church also requires its members to abstain from thinking. Perhaps that’s why they never update their dogma?

  • thelbert

    this just in: Rep.Brian Bilbray’s daughter Briana Bilbray has skin cancer and has announced she is using cannabis to counter the poisonous effects of conventional slash and burn medicine. i am pretty sure Mr. representative Bilbray is typical hardass “republican” liberty limiter. he is also a pharmacist in his spare time.

  • DdC

    Ending Marijuana Prohibition Starts With You
    July 13th, 2011 By: Sabrina Fendrick, NORML Women’s Alliance

    ON MARIJUANA, JUST THE FACTS
    All research-grade marijuana in this country is under the control of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whose mission is to research the addictive properties of drugs, not their potential medical benefits.

    How Marijuana Legalizers Can Win Over Social Conservatives
    By keeping marijuana illegal we are actually giving our children easier access to it. full story

    Challenging the DEA’s War on Medical Marijuana
    The federal agency insists it has no legitimate use. So are all the cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis patients lying? full story

  • tintguy

    Off topic but wouldn’t a good selling point for our cause be the fact that leagalizing would take the addict out of the distribution chain thereby disrupting a large portion of the positive word of mouth advertising that the street level sales depends on?
    Just a thought that I haven’t seen pushed in the movement. Is there a reason this has been left out Pete?

    • Malcolm Kyle

      You must have missed it; I’ve posted on this phenomenon – pyramid selling to fund an addiction – many times over the years:

      … “I believe that when we legalize and regulate the market, consumption and addiction of at-present prohibited substances will actually drop, especially in the countries with the strictest prohibition laws. We saw this happen when alcohol prohibition was lifted so I fail to see why this wouldn’t be repeated with heroin, coke and meth. A very large percentage of those addicted to these substances are forced, because of the way prohibition inflates prices, to become dealers themselves. The grossly inflated prices are also an irresistible magnet to hundreds of thousands of people who would otherwise be living in relative poverty. This pyramidal effect means that there are far more dealers desperately trying to push their wares than there would otherwise be under a sensible regime of legalized regulation.” ..

      http://ukcia.org/wordpress/?p=657

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I often point out that the black market offers a built in reward for recruiting new users because one way to pay for a degenerate addiction is to deal drugs to other users. Most often this one is used when I’m speaking of the Swiss HAT program and why such a program helps to minimize heroin addiction. But it also applies only to black market vendors/product. E.g. the degenerate addict who prefers drinking alcohol can supply his addiction with a “will work for money or food god bless” cardboard sign and a busy traffic intersection.” $5 a day buys you all the drunk you can be:
      http://www.bumwine.com/md2020.html
      (Did you know people with talent can make $50 an hour doing this? They actually get together and compare notes in order to maximize income. That’s why so many carry that classic cardboard sign.)

      There’s so many arguments in favor of eliminating the black market that it’s impossible to use them all in a single day. One reason why this point isn’t more often made is that those with no experience in the black market have no frame of reference and therefore it’s meaningless to them. Outsiders have a knee jerk default to larceny and burglary as the means of paying for a degenerate addiction that’s supplied only by the black market so this argument only resonates with people that have been on the inside, AKA “preaching to the choir.” Don’t get me wrong I think there is a valid reason to preach to the choir, which is “to get them to sing.” But when the audience is outsiders certain arguments may as well be delivered in gibberish because they’re just not going to grasp the meaning. It’s a great argument but only for people who have an understanding of the realities of underground markets.

      • tintguy

        Thanks for your efforts gents (and I kinda figured it had been covered in the comments section ’cause ya’ll don’t miss a beat) but I still don’t see how that’s not an easy sell even to those who have no understanding of the black market. Everyone knows that’s how Avon got it’s start and continues to depend on such a statagy.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Now this dude is pissed off about the war on (some) drugs:
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/photos/2011/apr/29/361980/

  • Duncan20903

    Another Marion Barry busted for drugs in DC, this one for pot and PCP. What in the world did D.C. do to god to be sentenced to having the Marion Barry albatross around it’s neck forever?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/police-marion-barrys-son-had-pcp-large-amount-of-marijuana/2011/07/13/gIQApZkwCI_blog.html

    People still take PCP? I thought that nonsense cured itself? I got that once by accident, from the proverbial “laced” cannabis, and I don’t know how that shit ever caught on*. Say, did you know that PCP is still in schedule II? (don’t be confused by the PCP precursors in schedule I, phencyclidine is in schedule II)
    http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html

    (*staying in a motel one night in 1988, bereft of brain activity and bored I started going through the bureau drawers. Found some pot wrapped up in aluminum foil, Slightly greasy, otherwise no indication that it was actually ‘loveboat’. When I was in high school PCP was widely used and had a very distinctive odor, which I later learned is from not being produced correctly. Done right, there’s no odor, just a slightly greasy feel to the vegetable matter it’s applied to as a carrier. I flushed the rest of that shit down the commode)

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