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November 2011
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Drug war violence

At The National Interest: Re-Framing Drug Violence

If there’s a fire in your kitchen, the temptation is to throw water on it—but not if it’s a grease fire. In a similar vein, the U.S. government’s get-tough approach to drugs is counterproductive. […]

Like putting out a grease fire with water, employing the tools of war against the social phenomenon of drugs has been wholly destructive. […]

Accountability for drug violence must be laid at the feet not only of ruthless drug cartels but also of American analysts and officials too obtuse or self-serving to see the failure of their policies.

An effective analogy.

However, I think my own analogy may be a bit more apt:

“Some days it feels like I’m watching a house on fire. And one idiot wants to put it out with a machine gun. The other one wants to use grenades. And I’m standing there with a bucket of water and they look at me like I’m crazy.”

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24 comments to Drug war violence

  • Randy

    If I recall correctly, I don’t think it was the drugs that declared war, but rather it was the other way around.

  • Matthew Meyer

    Here in Redding, CA, they’re throwing grease on the fire. Really it’s not much of a fire, but they’re trying to make it one.

    Last night the City Council, acting on a flawed reading of the Pack / Long Beach decision, adopted an emergency measure that is supposed to make all the dispensaries in the city close.

    The area around here is rural, and cultivation and dispensaries are being severely restricted or banned in numerous localities in this part of the state. If they succeed in this it will really suck for a lot of people, some of them very sick.

    (Fortunately, people are fighting back, as in the Butte county referendum signature drive that succeeded in freezing an ordinance there that would have banned grows on <.5 acre lots in the county.)

    Local Prohibs are just loving the feds' push, making lotsa faux-conservative hay. Lotsa "what about the children"?

    Some locals are sticking up, but I'd really appreciate some special love from the people on Pete's couch. Check the article and comments:
    http://www.redding.com/news/2011/nov/15/medical-marijuana-businesses-banned-redding/?comments_id=930436

    Can we invent a DrugWarRant Flash-Mob?

    • MalcsSantaArrangement

      Sure thing Matthew! I’ll be there in about 30 mins to kick a few teeth out.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I still haven’t been able to figure out what Article 3 Section 3.5 subsection (c) means. It seems to say something specific but the way so many California authorities act it forces me to conclude that I just don’t understand the English language.

      CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
      ARTICLE 3 STATE OF CALIFORNIA

      SEC. 3.5. An administrative agency, including an administrative
      agency created by the Constitution or an initiative statute, has no
      power:
      (a) To declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a
      statute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional unless an
      appellate court has made a determination that such statute is
      unconstitutional;
      (b) To declare a statute unconstitutional;
      (c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce a
      statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit
      the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a
      determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited by
      federal law or federal regulations.

  • Francis

    I think any analogy should note that the prohibs started the fire and their attempts to fight it aren’t just ineffectual, they’re actively fueling the fire.

    • Francis

      I mean, forget water. How about just taking it easy with the gasoline ?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      I prefer carbon dioxide fire suppression systems. All fires require oxygen so none of that is it an electrical fire, a chemical fire, a burning bush fire, or just a regular old standard issue fire fire nonsense to muddle the issue, and who the heck doesn’t already have at least a few carbon dioxide tanks laying around the house?

      Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start The Fire”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFTLKWw542g&ob=av2e
      He said “Thalidomide”, hehehe.
      Avoid commercials on Vevo videos with a simple reload.

  • The drug war is flawed public policy. Half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts and the prisons is drug related. Nothing productive has been achieved from the drug war in the past forty years, further evidence that prohibition and criminal penalties don’t deter drug use. Rather, they create black markets where disputes are settled with guns instead of by courts – not to mention militarizing the police and criminalizing people who engage in non-violent consensual transactions. It is time to end the epic failure known as the war on drugs. More commentary and coverage at http://SpatialOrientation.com/tag/drug-war

  • Dante

    The article touches on a theme that all of us probably know all too well:

    The people in the Federal Government with the duty and authority to clean up all the corruption are the very same people benefitting from all the corruption.

    There simply is no way to convince/coerce/force the employees in our Federal Government to do the right thing. Like leaving an alcoholic alone in the ABC store overnight, we have allowed the power-junkies to have unsupervised, unabated, uncontrolled access to the power.

    Now they won’t give it back. What to do?

  • claygooding

    Mr Cain has come out of the closet,,,smelling of marijuana smoke!

    Herman Cain Says Medical Marijuana Regulation Should Be Left To The States

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/herman-cain-says-medical-marijuana-regulation-should-be-left-to-the-states_n_1097657.html

    Cain just threw what was left of his campaign in the GOP trash can,,or could this bring the debate to the next meeting of the mega minds in their candidates next debate.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Rick Perry said his foreign aid budget would “start at 0.” Well gosh Mr. Perry, that’s where most people start counting.

      I think Ron Paul is hypnotizing these guys. But he really does look pretty darn good in a Speedo for a man of his advanced age.

    • Windy

      Yeah, he’s just stealing Ron Paul’s position on the war on drugs (and Perry on his foreign aid position), but the only one of the candidates who can actually back his positions up (with proof that he’s held those positions for 30 years) is Ron Paul. All the rest are just saying what they hope the voters want to hear,; not one of those other candidates actually holds to any principles.

  • Ben

    Pete, is this a site you’re affiliated with? Didn’t know your content was syndicated.
    http://cannabis.hawaiinewsdaily.com/2011/11/16/drug-war-violence/

    • They just re-run my articles. It’s not really syndicated. They’ve asked me in the past and I have agreed, because I generally have no problem with people distributing my work as long as there’s a link. Right now, though, there’s no easy link back to this site, so I’m contacting them about that.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    I just stumbled on the answer to one of the most vexing questions I’m sure that most of us share. The question goes without saying.

    The answer to 1984 is 1776.

    I heard it here. If you think you might enjoy watching Sims verbally abusing the TSA I highly recommend this clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UajULx-mkYE

    “Traveler wearing Speedo at Airport talks about TSA (Trained Slavery Acclimation)”

  • drug war violence…

    well… since it’s close enough to veterans day… let’s remember that there have been military US fatalities in the Latin American Drug War This from my letter-to-the-editor Sept 2000, Bergen (NJ) Record – http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v00/n1434/a03.html :

    In July 1999, five American soldiers died while on interdiction duty over the skies of Colombia. The pilot, Capt. Jennifer Odom, and her crew, Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Moore, Pfc. Bruce Cluff, Capt. Jose Santiago, and Pfc. Ray Krueger, all died when their plane, a high-tech DeHavilland RC-7, crashed or was shot down in southern Colombia.

    Interestingly enough, Capt. Odom’s commander in Colombia was Col. James Hiett. Hiett and his wife were involved with smuggling cocaine and laundering drug money and were arrested five months after the crash.

    While Capt. Odom’s name has been often mentioned I think her crew was named only once outside my lte.

    And a couple more veteran fatalities in the WOD:

    Cops Execute US Marine On Porch Steps In Delaware

    US AZ: Complex Drug Probe Triggered SWAT Raid

    The Arizona story on Jose Guerena is recent and his wife has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. In my mind the Guerena shooting is as newsworthy as the shooting of Rep Gabby Giffords. In many senses it is more newsworthy. The SWAT team fired over 70 rounds… from the doorway.

    There is much to gnash teeth on in the drug war. The violence tho’… will be a deal breaker. Beyond the community of dpr, who knows who the hell Jennifer Odom was? And the same with all those names – Zeke and Katherine Johnston and Peter McW and Patrick Dorismond, et al – that the sado-moralists are responsible for yet unwilling to own.

    The violence disgusts me beyond the sheer stupidity of building a massive, powerful and heavily armed bureaucracy to enforce laws based on common racist bullshit.

    Babies, pets, grandparents… all are fair game/collateral damage…

    This… this feeling when contemplating the darkest corners of the WO(s)D cannot be softened… but it can be ended.

  • ThudsRus

    .
    .

    “Furthermore, if there is more than one resident in the house or flat who wishes to grow their own cannabis, they may grow 4 plants EACH, so long as they each care for their own plants.”

    http://pr.cannazine.co.uk/201111171520/green/eco-news/uk-cultivator-growing-cannabis-legalised-in-switzerland.html

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Well it looks like Harry J was right, heroin is a gateway drug to cannabis.

      So do the Know Nothing prohibitionists trumpet the fact that 4 is less than 5 or what?

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    What, do I look like 17th century French Royalty to you DC?

    I recall reading sometime long ago that her signature line lost something in the translation, and “cake” was actually some kind of bakery byproduct that was discarded as unsaleable. The more accurate translation would have been “Let them dumpster dive.”

    Well, Mr. Cain’s got the babes mad, but Ron Paul has them strung out and begging for it. I don’t know, it must have been the Speedo. You know how they say that everything’s bigger in Texas. You know, he just might make a go of this thing after all.
    http://pinups4ronpaul.com/

    What self respecting he man wouldn’t want to own at least one of these T-shirts?
    http://www.zazzle.com/talent_scout_pin_ups_4_ron_paul_shirt-235598235787362558?rf=238145480802522686

  • darkcycle

    Uh,I believe the cake was found to have maggots,and I can’t wear a speedo anymore. Since I lost all that weight it looks like a pair of underwear stuck to a fence post.