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September 2011
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Just another drug warrior

It is not hard to see how critics of the war on drugs got the impression that Barack Obama was sympathetic to their cause.

Jacob Sullum does a fine job of analyzing Barack Obama’s record so far regarding drug policy, both candidate Obama and President Obama.

Barack Obama turns out to be just another drug warrior.

Kerlikowske’s earnest insistence that you can end the war on drugs if you stop calling it that gives you a sense of the chasm between rhetoric and reality in Obama’s drug policies, which by and large have been remarkably similar to his predecessor’s.

The jury is no longer out. The verdict is clear.

“I initially had high hopes,” says Marsha Rosenbaum, “but now believe Obama has abdicated drug policy to the DEA.”

It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want. But he clearly does not care enough to change the course of the life-wrecking, havoc-wreaking war on drugs.

Sullum ends with a powerful punch:

A misdemeanor marijuana conviction could have been a life-changing event for Obama, interrupting his education, impairing his job prospects, and derailing his political career before it began. It would not have been fair, but it would have spared us the sorry spectacle of a president who champions a policy he once called “an utter failure” and who literally laughs at supporters whose objections to that doomed, disastrous crusade he once claimed to share.

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29 comments to Just another drug warrior

  • the audacity of hype

    How bout that hopey changey.

  • malc

    There’s some heated comments on that ‘Reason’ thread:

    me/dwc|9.12.11 @ 12:41PM|#

    ….. “It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want.” Why, exactly,would it be going to far to say His Royal Hopeyness does care about the injustice of the drug war? I’m not following the logic. Obviously, if Obama cared about it, he would do something about it instead of ramping up the persecution of medical marijuana providers. You know why Obama scares me even more than that imbecile Dubya? It’s because he has this slick veneer of compassion and sanity and puts a pretty face on the undercurrent of jackbooted, brown shirted, fascistic inclinations.

    dunphy|9.12.11 @ 8:24PM|#

    “the govt will get my cheetos when it takes them from my cold, orange stained fingers”

    http://reason.com/archives/2011/09/12/bummer#commentcontainer

  • Francis

    I thought this comment raised an interesting point.

    teapartydoc|9.13.11 @ 5:59PM|#
    The idea of being able to create a set of safe harbors for recreational drugs is a fantasy. The regulatory and bureaucratic apparatus that is set in place by the medical-industrial complex will not stand for the creation of something that will expose the rational inconsistency of its very existence.

    How, if you are able to purchase pot or any other hallucinogen in an uncontrolled market free of the threat of prosecution, can you justify making someone go and kiss the ring of a doctor before trying a medication for overactive bladder? It makes no sense, and if they allow such a scenario, they know their goose is cooked.

    This whole mess began with physician licensing and it will have to end there as well. If you want the regime to fall, cut it off at the root.

  • Ben

    Obama has proven pretty conclusively that he cares more about re-election and political power than he does about the good of the country. We KNOW that he understands the drug war. He KNOW that he knows it is bad policy. And we KNOW that he will not lift a finger to do anything about it, because it would be politically difficult.

    Obama is the worst(and most common) sort of politician: the sort that does not care if he harms the nation(or allows the nation to harm itself), so long as he gets to stay in power.

  • ezrydn

    He sure screwed the goose early on, didn’t he? Remember the FIRST Q&A online where we had the #1 asked/voted question? He answered it 4th. And then, even went so far as to preface his answer with “I don’t know what that says about the online community.”

    Well, Mr. O, enjoy your 4. There will be NO MORE!! The online community will speak again and you’ll surely hear them this time, loud and clear! And it’s only 414 days from TODAY! Makes me all jiggley inside.

    • Swooper420

      Problem is, all the opponents to Obama would be worse than Obama vis a vis cannabis & prohibition.

      • TINMA

        YA, it doesnt matter who the head leech is,the machine behind the head leech will still have things the way it wants it.

        I thought people knew this.

      • Windy

        Actually, that is not true. Ron Paul would end the federal war on drugs and the foreign wars, too. Ron Paul will drag the federal government back into its Constitutional cell and return it to the Constitutional chains that “bind it down from mischief”.

  • Randy

    The simple fact of the matter there are too many people that derive their living from the prison industrial complex. The onerous drugs laws provide this complex with a steady stream of “customers” (aka drug law violaters). Reforming the drug laws will cut into that stream of “customers” which would likely translate into budget cuts and lost jobs.

    Obama knows where his bread is buttered. He understands he risks losing the votes of hundreds of thousands of police officers, parole officers, prison guards, etc. if he tries to shrink the prison industrial complex. And keep in mind that these employees of the prison industrial complex have spouses, children, friends and neighbors that vote too.

    In short, Obama is just another politician willing to countenance the continued injustice of the WOD if doing so will keep him in office.

    Sadly, Obama’s WOD rhetoric was the only thing I liked about the guy. And he seems to have ditched that completely.

  • darkcycle

    I do believe that the O-bomber has blown his own presidency up.
    The proof is in the Democratic strategy for re-election….”It doesn’t matter how bad your guy is if you can make the other guys look worse.” Only….it’s not working. One simple reason…it’s truly hard to imagine a Repugnican doing worse.

    • Swooper420

      Try remembering Dubya. He & his cronies got us INTO this mess…..

      • darkcycle

        Obama had the opportunity to do the right thing. Bush wasn’t smart enough to know the right thing from a pile of dead rats. In my book that makes Obama worse, not better. I remember Dubya, I did NOT put on a set of blinders when Obutfuk got in.

  • Dante

    Bottom Line:

    Obama is a fake. A phony. A charlatan. I believed his campaign promises, my bad.

    The Republicans are going to have to work REALLY HARD to lose the next election.

    • damaged justice

      Work really hard? Nah, they’re experts at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. When you’re one wing of the bifactional ruling party, you quickly learn how to play the game of “controlled opposition”.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Here’s an item of special interest to us in that article. It seems Pete has passed up the chance to blow his own horn:

    Despite the implication, Kerlikowske, whose statutory mandate requires him to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize” prohibited drugs, assures us that legalization “is not in the president’s vocabulary, and it’s not in mine.”

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    God in heaven help us, the City of San Jose has banned cheerleaders from wearing mini-skirts in school. Is nothing sacred??
    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_18888474?nclick_check=1
    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    On the subject of the audacity of hype, do people actually Google “barack obama” and go from website to website in an attempt to denigrate Mr. Obama with vapid platitudes and name calling that 1st graders would consider childish? God, and I thought that I have no life.

    I was sad because I had an IQ that’s too low to qualify me as a “genius” until I met a man who had no brain. D’oh!

  • claygooding

    Living in the US is such a sexual existence,,molested by the police,raped by Congress and sodomized by local and state governments.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Mr. Obama’s 2012 campaign slogan: “Who’s your daddy?”

      Almost as if choreographed his supporters respond in unison, “thank you sir, may I have another?”

      http://tinyurl.com/assume-da-position

      • darkcycle

        I dunno there, Duncan. Democrats are like a herd of cats in the best of times, and it’s pretty crowded down here under the bus. Here’s just a few reasons his bis base is going anywhere but out to vote for him:
        Escalation in Afghanistan, Guantanamo still open for business, continued and expanded illegal spying, bailing out the Banks while doing nothing to help victims of illegal foreclosure, let alone helping anyone in need stay in their homes. Didn’t even alow single payer to enter the conversation about the healthcare bill, PASSED a healthcare bill that is nothing but Romney-care in drag, and cedes everything to the insurance industry, cuts threatened in Medicare and S.S., 50,000+ troops and 150,000 mercenaries still in Iraq, no justice for torturers,…and shall I go on?…O.K. then, expanding and starting new wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, endorsing Nuclear power in the face of a nuclear accident of Hollywood proportions, even when the ENTIRE world is moving away from it because it is manifestly unsafe and an ecological catastrophe that can harm everyone, everywhere, and for some recent news, allowing Mexican troops to operate on U.S. soil, and allowing Keystone XL to open up the Canadian tar sands, where their is enough dirty carbon to render this planet uninhabitable. Period.
        That’s just off the top of the head, mind you, and I’m sure I’ll think of more reasons not to vote for George W. Obama again, but that’s all I’ll burden the nice people here with…

        • tensity1

          Thanks for summing that up for us. Those are pretty much the main reasons I’m disappointed with The Man. And that damn laugh at us.

        • darkcycle

          You’re welcome, Tensity, I have more…
          And yeah, he pissed a lot of us off there when he treated us like a joke in a Cheech and Chong movie. I think they actually believe their own propaganda about amotivational potheads. Maybe he though than we’d all just turn the set off, have another toke and forget all about it. He was wrong.

    • TINMA

      As discusting as it is,its true.

  • claygooding

    I hope his legs grow together and he has arthritis so bad he can’t roll his own joints for the rest of his life!

    Pete,,,does the reply button take too much memory to respond to posts?

    apparently Osama Obama is not a favorite with the Black voting block either,,with his failure to actually advance equality in any effective manner,,tmk.

  • claygooding

    You had a reply button on each comment before,,,

    • darkcycle

      I still have it, Clay, it’s right next to the date/time stamp under your name…
      Hey, where ya been, buddy? you dropped off there for a bit it seems…

  • warren

    He or family may have been threatened with serious bodily harm by the gestapo opps I meant the dea. I would not put anything past this rogue outfit of bozos.