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July 2011
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The Emperor Wears No Clothes

More and more, the attempt by the U.S. government to hide and obfuscate the truth about marijuana and the drug war just isn’t working.

Not that many years ago, this kind of editorial in an American newspaper would be unthinkable.

Colorado Springs Gazette: OUR VIEW: Government tells a big fat lie

Once again, government servants have told Americans that marijuana ranks right up there with heroin. The Drug Enforcement Agency ruled on July 8 that marijuana has “no accepted medical use” and will continue as a schedule 1 drug — the most forbidden category.

The DEA is a law enforcement bureaucracy. The medical opinions of law enforcement bureaucrats should be of little interest. We do not ask cops to make laws; we pay cops to enforce the laws established by constitutions or enacted by the people or the decisions of their representatives. […]

Nothing in the Constitution grants the federal government, let alone a lone bureaucracy such as the DEA, to regulate drugs. […]

This is the type of insanity that led President Ronald Reagan to say: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” […]

It seems clear that DEA officials want to demonize marijuana because it guarantees the DEA’s ongoing funding and growth. This ruling does nothing to harm the reputation of medical marijuana, and everything to diminish the reputation of the DEA. We must demand that government employees stop lying to the Americans they are paid to serve with integrity and truth.

The Gazette still has a rather backward view of recreational marijuana, but a very healthy suspicion of the veracity of our government drug warriors.

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26 comments to The Emperor Wears No Clothes

  • thelbert

    i be lovin’ life, and i hope the federales don’t like it.

  • vickyvampire

    The DEA and all its counterparts,are contemtible,Farcical that even their allies are laughing at them and deeply questioning their atrocities.

    FOX news had a segment another Pro-Legal,decriminalizing site link it and some of the FOX commentators were a bit flummoxed and laughted at DEA Keeping pot in schedule with Heroin,the look on their faces was are you serious DEA come on get real.

    I also checked back comments from story Christianity today had on Christians using Medical Marijuana and on occasion recreational Pot, comments ran in almost total support true,it anecdotal a small smattering of comments only about 300 I think, but they were fairly good on how many thought it was perfectly OK to be a good Christian and use Marijuana,medically and that to them Jesus would approve and the government was very misguided.

    Yeah Fucking DEA these are mainstream conservatives who usually don’t support stuff like even they are coming around, folk,more of them accepting pot has NORMAL and yet DEA is like NO no people you are deluded, we will have absolute control of your body.

  • John Thomas

    The DEA are nothing more than the goons of the American Inquisition. Their very existence is blight against humanity.

    End the madness, and bring back America. Vote to end the monstrously destructive, counter-productive fraud of marijuana prohibition!

  • Hopefully the federal government will collapse and we can take back this country!Obama ,, I voted for you but ,,, TOOOOOO many unkept promises ! Your OUT!

  • Duncan20903

    Don’t blame me, I voted for McGovern.

    I found this page using Google to search the news tonight. Pete seems to have some good SEO. Whitehat no doubt.

  • Ned

    If you chose to work in the DEA then you are among the most very programmed minds on the subject anywhere. Career success and longevity (making it to retirement and pension) are the personal goals and being a good apparatchik is the way to get there.

    For a long time not only have they been “just doing their job they were regularly lauded as hero’s and defenders of American morals and values. Expecting a 180 from them is something they’re just not going to do voluntarily.

    Their bosses, our “Democratically” elected representatives, firmly believe that the safest easiest thing to do is nothing. There is no leadership to bring about change because the only leadership that will get a response to actually do something as dramatic as end pot prohibition is poll numbers that make it clear that to do so isn’t a career ender. The real end of it will have to come from Congress and getting that bunch to act to pass it will mean national polls that solidly show well over 50% in favor. 51% won’t be enough.

    It’s very very hard to get the majority to act on behalf of a minority. Pot users even including medical users are very much a minority. Millions of people yes, but still under 20%. Like with gay rights issues, many millions of average folks must be firmly on your side or critical mass never gets reached.

    Even though they lie and are wrong, their job is easier. It’s a war of words, all they need to foster is more fear and doubt to maintain the status quo, while we must persuade more people to do something that is considered radical and risky. We’re getting there.

  • knowa

    In the recent large scale bust in mexico one see miles and miles of unused land and then this hugh 300 pulse acre patch of black fabric covered cannabis fields. Now lets switch history for a minuet , Henry Ford would be dancing a jig. People are estimating a 1,000 gallons of HEMP fuel per acre, far exceeding corn or sugar cane, and may be much more with some genetic work. For penny’s a pound it Grows in the harshest of climate with out chemical or fertilizer. And little waist as the whole plant is usable. May be Ford Motor company could remake Henry’s Hemp car and we could drive for under one $Dollar$ a gallon again. Today we could have million of sustainable clean Green Jobs, replacing Saudi Arabia with a sea of green. In States from North Dakota to Florida. This could all be a reality if it were not for the DEA job security.

  • Francis

    “The Gazette is against bad things. We oppose recreational use of marijuana, unless legalized in our state.”

    Ha, this is exactly what I was talking about in my comment on a previous thread. How often those arguing against the drug war concede the premise that drug use is a “BAD THING.” It’s incredibly tiresome.

    • Francis

      What makes it particularly galling is that the above statement doesn’t appear to stem from ignorance. This same column goes on to note that marijuana causes exactly zero deaths each year and is “a drug that quite likely has the safest track record of any drug in history.” It seems like the anti-recreational use statement was just thrown in there to establish their “credibility” by demonstrating that they’re not (God forbid!) “pro-drug.”

    • Francis

      After thinking about this some more, I realized that there’s another (and possibly more important) reason individuals who come out against the drug war are so quick to concede the “drugs are bad” premise — it’s a way of signaling to your audience that YOU yourself are not a drug user (after all, you just said that drug use is bad). There’s an automatic assumption that many people make which is that anyone who publicly and passionately opposes the drug war must have a, shall we say, “personal” interest in the matter. Which frankly sucks because it has a chilling effect on the debate. For example, lots of people feel pretty comfortable discussing politics at work and taking strong positions on a particular policy or politician. But how many of us feel comfortable sharing our views on the drug war with our coworkers or boss?

      • Scott

        At least a fairly prominent member of our movement (who I cannot remember) once started a sentence, “While we know marijuana is not harmless…”

        I do remember being irritated by the statement, because I conducted some research, looking for conclusive (i.e. experimental) science proving any harm in moderate marijuana use.

        Locations for my research included the main prohibitionist sites (DEA, ONDCP, NIDA, etc.) When a citation was provided to back up the tough talk, I followed it only to find research suggesting (not concluding) that heavy marijuana use (or abuse) may or can cause (or is associated with) harm.

        The fact is there is no conclusive science proving any harm in moderate marijuana use.

        I hypothesize the lackadaisical effects come from the body recovering from the stress due to smoking, as vaporization does not apparently provide that effect fwiw.

    • B. Snow

      “The Gazette is against bad things. We oppose recreational use of marijuana, unless legalized in our state. We oppose rape, murder, violent crimes and crimes motivated by hate.”

      This just has to be someone’s (semi-cleverly disguised) “tongue-in-cheek” humor. The first sentence is Totally Laughable…
      UNLESS you believe that recreational MJ, actually IS just as bad as (rape, murder, violent crimes, and hate crimes), unless &/or until it becomes legal in the state = in which case it becomes totally fine, ya know – then it’ll be ‘peachy keen’.

      This was worded to avoid people from the ‘Social Right’ – saying the article is ‘promoting recreational MJ use’, or is has “permissive attitude toward it” OR a “permissive view of it”… or whatever

      You know, cause that’s what Good Ole’ Gil has been (effectively forced into) saying lately! The day he leaves to head up the Chicago PD with Rom Emanuel he’ll change his tune back to the pragmatic/”permissive” view that he had back when he was a Seattle Police Chief.

      (“In 2003, a ballot measure passed in Seattle that directs the police department to consider marijuana possession (for adult personal use) the City’s lowest law enforcement priority. Kerlikowske opposed the ballot initiative, but said such arrests were already a low priority.”)

      *multiple sources – including Wikipedia & Time Magazine*

      Although, Time Magazine also added,

      “Kerlikowske opposed the ballot initiative, but said such arrests were already a low priority and that his department was focusing its drug arrests on cocaine and heroin traffickers.”

      Although sadly, someone quoted in that article, regarding his appointment = was a bit premature in their celebrating…

      • “Oh God bless us … What a blessing — the karma gods are smiling on the whole country, man.”
      — Joanna McKee, director of Green Cross Patient Co-Op, a medical marijuana advocacy group, Seattle Times, Feb. 12, 2009.

      At least Gil isn’t as zealously enthusiastic as some of his predecessors, in that aspect we kinda lucked out. We’re semi-fortunate, because Kerlikowske doesn’t seem to really ENJOY his job = like Bennett, Walters or McCaffrey did, a small blessing? Sure, But we KNOW it could be way worse.

      And if Obama DID (still) supported Decriminalization of MJ or legalization or any rational policy – the Republicans in currently office would oppose it 98%+ like they do everything else he’s wanted to pass, Hell – they opposed ‘universal health care’ for crying out loud! And the watered down bill that went finally went thru… It’s the first fraking thing they want to repeal = ASAP.

      (2012 Presidential Candidates Ron Paul & Gary Johnson would support a change like this, but I can’t see them getting the Republican Nomination due to their stances on issues just like this one – they’re not “socially conservative” enough.

      And lets face it Ron Paul just claims wanting to “turn it over to the states to decide” – where he would (likely) do a 180 and oppose it – except for the fact that he’s not running for his House Representative District this time, so it’s all or nothing for him = he may go Independent/Libertarian – if he doesn’t pull of a miracle & beat all the ‘Far Right’ Repubs’s running for the Rep. Nomination…
      Might be good overall in preventing the “far right” from winning & turning us into a pseudo-Theocracy!

  • Scott

    “This ruling does nothing to harm the reputation of medical marijuana, and everything to diminish the reputation of the DEA.”

    Legitimate diminution of prohibitionists’ reputation should be the primary objective within our movement.

    We are constantly fighting the assumed credibility naturally accompanying the community leadership positions dominated by the prohibitionists, especially in the area of law enforcement.

    I hold the mainstream media primarily responsible for the false sustaining of prohibitionist credibility.

    We need to encourage them to reverse that position in accordance with the journalism code of ethics, while doing what we can to increase our credibility in the court of public opinion.

  • ConservativeChristian

    Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
    The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. Email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and ask them to sign on as a CO-SPONSOR of HR 2306.
    For more info, here’s the USA Today article
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2011/06/ron-paul-barney-frank-marijuana-/1
    And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom-loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

  • darkcycle

    The tenor of the media has certainly changed faster than the laws. Until recently there was no serious conversation in the media. I seem to recall the mood changed about the time Obama was elected. Now that’s a change I can believe in. Too bad Obummer decided to have nothing to do with it.
    The media’s awakening to this issue is going to have an effect, though it might not be seen immediately. As time goes on the serious discussion will evolve (likely along the lines of threads we’ve posted here again and again). As the public discussion evolves, and the government’s position DOESN’T, the government and the ONDCP,White house, and DEA…indeed the entire drug war apparatus, will become targets of ridicule. After that happens, it will be difficult for congresscritters to vote to fund it.
    There is a curse in Celtic lore, known as the “Glam Dicin”. It is the Killing Satire (Duncan, listen up!). It was used to bring down Kings and Clan Chieftains. And it worked. A satire good enough was supposed to get the people laughing at the King, and get them thinking of the satire (and laughing at the King)every time the King tried to accomplish something. It was said that the satire would result in the madness and death of the cursee, but those were metaphorical for the death of credibility, and the madness that comes when you are thwarted at every turn by people who just no longer take you seriously. That was the true “death of a King”. Ridicule of the Drug War is fast becoming the modern “Glam”.

  • thelbert

    not hard at all to laugh at a naked tsar

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    I’ve finally located the list of States which have useless medicinal cannabis laws like Virginia’s on the books. Well maybe not totally useless.

    Virginia’s medicinal cannabis law passed in 1979:
    http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+18.2-251.1

    Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

    I deleted the States which have passed useful laws since 1996 and added Virginia which MPP seems to have missed.
    http://www.mpp.org/news/press-releases/2006/thirteen-existing-state-laws-permit-medical-marijuana-distributi.html

    For those keeping score at home 10+16=26 and 26/50 is what is known as a “majority”. Toss in DC for good measure. Believe it or not Delaware put us over the hump.

  • LightenUp

    I really enjoy getting high on marijuana. I’ve been doing so since age 15 and I’m turning 60 soon. I use it responsible and have never had a problem with it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with responsible use! It is an incredibly safe alternative to alcohol; although I also enjoy the occasional mixed drink and beer… My Doctor says I am extremely healthy for someone my age. He doesn’t know I use marijuana. The Obama Administration should try listening to the people for once. After all, we listened to him! But, in hindsight, listening to him was probably a huge mistake…

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      So are you willing to “out” yourself? The prohibitionists have a totally distorted image of people who enjoy cannabis from time to time. They don’t even realize that we do enjoy it and that it’s use enhances our life. They actually think that we’re desperate drug addicts who do nothing but work to get the next “fix” while also collect welfare or SSDI payments and only stop smoking pot to go out on the freeway driving while causing highway mayhem and human tragedies.

      One of the really strange things they think is we potheads, on the dole and stoned 24/7/365 need to be warned that we’ll never get hired for a good job because of the mandatory urine test. Hello? Hello?? Remember we’re the ones on welfare and suffering terminal couchlock, hel-loooo???.

      Like Mrs. Gump always said….
      ———————————————————————————

      After reflection I think Maryland should be included on the list if the States with useless medicinal cannabis laws. It may not be a particularly comprehensive patient protection laws but it does give some limited amount comfort. I do know of one case where this really top notch attorney talked PG County into giving his client a pass under Maryland’s law despite him being busted with 30 (maybe 31?) plants…in PG County. I hate even driving through that county. They’re the ones that shot Mayor Cheye Calvo’s dogs dead a couple of years back.

      27 of 50. Wow.

      • Windy

        Duncan, as soon as the number of States with medicinal cannabis laws hits 34, we’ve won. It takes 2/3 of the States to ratify an amendment to the Constitution, and 2/3 of the States legalizing cannabis for medical use should also force a change in the federal laws on cannabis.

        I just wish it were 27 States that had legalized cannabis for ALL uses, including cultivation and distribution, not just medical use — that would have us much closer to completely ending the unconstitutional war on drugs.

      • thelbert

        i don’t have to out myself since the neighborhood kids figured out that ain’t carrots in my garden, most of the neighbors know what i’m growing. i think most of them approve, at least the gendarmes haven’t shown up.

  • Servetus

    As pot mythology crumbles, so goes prohibition. Prohibitionists are saddled with the big lie, and they can’t go anywhere without it. Big lies may work in the beginning, but they’re not sustainable.

    Of note, Colorado Springs is a really conservative community. Based on the article and some of its postings, the ‘keep your filthy paws off my medicine’ approach appears to resonate with the culture and politics there.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Gosh, what a Homer Simpson moment I just had. D’oh!

    The reason that the Emperor doesn’t have any clothes to wear is because industrial hemp production is forbidden in his little (Barney) fifedom. It only took me 21 years to figure that out. Sorry Jack, RIP.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Shocking news. Governor Christie has announced that he’ll let the NJ medical cannabis patient protection law take effect without further stonewalling. What’s next? Arizona Governor Brewer deciding to quit trying to sabotage Prop 203?

    Holy cow.

  • Avon Barksdale

    “Don’t matter who did what to who at this point. Fact is, we went to war, and now there ain’t no going back. I mean, shit, it’s what war is, you know? Once you in it, you in it. If it’s a lie, then we fight on that lie. But we gotta fight. ” – Slim Charles – The Wire S03E12