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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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February 2012
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Open Thread

The bizarrely silly musical “Sheep’s on the Lamb” (for which I am leading the orchestra, playing keyboard and penny whistle) opened last night to cheers from the good-sized house. Our final performance is tonight.


bullet image Here’s a fun video from the Daily Show that nicely lampoons the Florida welfare drug-testing law.


bullet image

In preparation for the Superbowl, here are some classic old ONDCP Superbowl ads.


bullet image Video: Feel the horror of going through a SWAT drug raid with children in the house. And these were actually pretty nice cops. But it sure doesn’t excuse this kind of raid.


bullet image Thanks for the nice mention from @alejoalberdi, who calls Drug WarRant “modelo de lucidez y compromiso en la lucha contra la idiotez prohibicionista.”

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48 comments to Open Thread

  • Duncan20903

    Gosh, Spanish has such a romantic feel to it, “la idiotez prohibicionista”… that’s so purty! I’m going to get that embroidered on a wall hanging.

  • .

    Graham’s 58-year-old grandmother was close behind him when the officer shot him with his Sig Sauer .9-mm, Kelly said. The victim’s 6-year-old brother was also in the apartment, but he did not witness the shooting.

    “He had some weed on him,” said a family friend. “It wasn’t a big deal. They shot him inside the house. … He didn’t have a gun.”

  • thelbert

    looking at that photo of kelly makes me feel pretty.

  • Francis

    Those old Superbowl ads are surreal. Murder, corruption, crime, financial support for terrorism – watching the drug warriors cite the worst consequences of the drug war in their propaganda. Christ, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’d love to see a remake where the actors portraying pot smokers are instead playing prohibition-supporting politicians, DEA agents, etc. “I helped murder families in Colombia. It was just innocent vote-buying. I helped kidnap people’s dads. Hey, I was just trying to get re-elected. I helped kids learn how to kill. I was just trying to appear ‘tough on crime.’ I helped kill policeman. I was just playing politics. I helped a bomber get a fake passport. I was just rewarding a few special interests. All the politicians do it….” etc. etc.

    By the way, but does anyone else think they’d be reluctant to run those ads today (for the same reason that marijuana magically went from 60% of the cartels’ profits to trivial)?

    • Actually, there were a couple of “remakes” in print. There were two full page ads that were run in major papers. This is one of them: http://www.theantidrugwar.com/pdf/Bushed_Ad2.pdf

      The other was done by the Libertarian Party and featured the drug czar, but I’m not finding it right now.

      • kaptinemo

        And keep in mind that these were exactly why the GAO wrist-slapped ONDCP for wasting a billion dollars on this crap, amongst other things. Heads should not only have rolled, but an entire federal agency disbanded for wasting the taxpayer’s dollars on such an obviously hopeless pursuit.

        Think about it: the DrugWar bureaucracy is immune from the usual processes of bureaucratic food-chaining (evaluations, big agencies eating little ones) regardless of whether it can meet any goals at all. With drug prohibition, failure is a feature, not a bug. A fact which will (only partly) lead to its’ abandonment. Only partly, for as with alcohol Prohibition before it, drug prohibition faces the same ignominious end: the Death of a Thousand (Budget) Cuts.

        The Great Depression caused the need for spending increasingly dwindling fiscal resources on social safety net programs and infrastructure creation and repair, erc. The cost of alcohol Prohibition could no longer be borne by a cash-strapped, revenue-starved government. Eventual repeal, solely on those grounds alone, would have been inevitable.

        Look around you. See anything that looks like history repeating itself? It shouldn’t take much imagination or time to see the startling similarities…and the solution to the ‘problem’ (that never had to be) of drug prohibition today is just as valid as it was for our forebears regarding alcohol. A point that shall become ever more evident as things get tighter and tighter…

    • Peter

      the last words of the subway ride ad are “it’s the money….”
      how ironic is that….

      • Francis

        I know, I loved that. I also loved the last words of the second “Anti-Terror” one: “my life, my body.” Get it? It’s intended to be ironic because obviously individuals don’t really own their own lives or bodies. They’re both actually property of the state.

        • Peter

          and the pregnant teenage white girl….straight out of the anslinger reefer madness playbook….they didn’t need to tells us that it might have been a black man..

        • Francis

          Ha, yeah that attempt to link teen pregnancy to cannabis was just bizarre. My very strong suspicion is that Francis’ Law could be invoked here as well. I seem to recall recent stories highlighting the fact that teen pregnancy is down while teen marijuana use is up. Gee, I wonder if either of those have anything to do with the fact that teen alcohol use (which actually does “impair your judgment”) is down.

  • Reefer Madness

    Potsmokers are evil satanic nazi terrorists who lust after grandma and will raid the food pantry.

  • NowTheGoodNews

    A majority of Rhode Islanders appear to be fed up with the current marijuana prohibition. Of the 714 voters polled, 52% would like to see all penalties for personal possession and use of marijuana removed and marijuana treated in a manner similar to alcohol, where it would be taxed, regulated, and sold in state-licensed stores to adults over the age of 21. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the idea received bipartisan support and was backed by 55% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans. Legislation spearheaded by MPP to establish such a system will be introduced in Rhode Island this session.

    When Mason-Dixon Polling and Research asked the exact same question in 2008, only 41% of 625 voters surveyed supported regulated legalization of marijuana. That’s an increase of 11 percentage points among all voters in less than three years. The ’08 poll showed majority support among Democrats (52%) but strong opposition among Republican voters, with only 26% supporting and 66% opposing the idea just 33 months ago. This means we’ve seen support more than double among Rhode Island Republicans. So what’s going on here?

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Apparently Bob Watson has been working double time.
      ———-
      BTW Public Policy Polling has a very impressive track record for accuracy. They may take polls for money but they don’t deliver results to order like some polling companies.

  • thelbert

    looking at the photo of shrub i feel pretty and morally superior

    • Duncan20903

      I go to sleep when I’m tired.

      • darkcycle

        ….and as you sleep, the squirrels plot their next move.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          The squirrels have completed their research into live traps and have defeated them. Apparently peanut butter/oatmeal/almond extract isn’t totally irresistible to them. To be just a bit more irritating they’ve decided that it’s a good idea to spring the traps from the outside to taunt me. Unfortunately that means that their research into death traps is about to commence. There is such a thing as being too smart for your own good.

          I suspect we may need to rethink our disdain for the gateway theory. I’ve found it explained in detail:

          On 2/4/2012 at 2:28 PM Dudley Do Right said:

          I had a friend that used medical marijuana. He eventually flipped out, ate his chihuahua, found a gateway to another dimension, brought dinosaurs through the gateway, but unfortunately he returned to another dimension entirely, now there are giant lizards eating humans in some unknown to us dimension because of MARIJUANA!!! Woody in Reefer Madness was RIGHT!!! OMG stop reefer smokers they’re ruining everything travelling through gateways and all. Priamos will save us. Him and Diaz, once they’re done rolling up a fat confiscated joint that is.

        • ItWorks-TheyCroke

          *** WARNING: Do not use this method before checking your local city and state laws regarding animal cruelty.

          1) Fry bacon.

          2) Eat Bacon.

          3) Leave bacon grease to cool a bit until it starts to turn whitish but not hardened.

          4) Put a sponge in the bacon grease and push it down with a wooden spoon to saturate it.

          5) Leave the sponge compressed in the frying pan – weighted down with a wooden block – until the grease has solidified.

          6) Cut into juicy portions and use accordingly.

          Remember to use gloves throughout the whole process so as to avoid leaving tell-tale pheromones of ecstatic anticipation.

        • what the heck is that? Death by constipation? They fill up and explode? Squirrels going POP! around the neighborhood, might arouse suspicion…

          or is that a recipe? Fried sponge…

  • claygooding

    On the road again,,just arrived Lexington,SC on a family roots tour,,back out to the southeastern US to visit relatives on dads side of the family,,20 hour drive from TX to here and onward to Greenville,NC in a day or two to see my last surviving uncle and the patriarch of our family,,,and when he goes,I will be the patriarch,,they are not ready for that and i don’t think I am either.

    I have been hearing that Obama’s bid for the power to modify combine the bureaucracies is going to include merging the ATF and DEA into the FBI,,which might give a little more oversight over both those rogue agencies.

    It is their attempt to slink off the field while never admitting defeat.

    • thelbert

      these agencies have redundant layers of top “leadership”. those are the guy s that sucking the treasury dry. less cops means more justice .

  • don’t do the Haka in Utah

    In his 21-page opinion, Thomas found that “the officers did not use unlawful force. Therefore, the officers cannot be charged with criminal assault.”

    His finding supported the results of an internal police investigation, which also said the officers’ actions were justified. Thomas has said he opened his probe at the request of the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which disputed his conclusions and noted that his second-by-second analysis of the YouTube video shows police used force only 17 seconds after making their first command.

  • JuryNullificationNewPhaseEntered

    A North Dakota jury has acquitted one of two Lithuanian men accused of trying to transport nearly 50 pounds of marijuana from Washington state to Chicago two years ago. The other man had already voluntarily left the country – “it’s unlikely authorities will try to extradite him.”

    The two were arrested in November 2009 while transporting 50 pounds of Marijuana from Washington state to Chicago. They were stopped for speeding in southwest North Dakota.

    The jury deliberated for less than an hour before finding Arturas Teras not guilty of possession with the intent to deliver 50 pounds of marijuana.

    “You can’t ignore the elephant in the room,” Henning told the jurors.

    http://www.thedickinsonpress.com/event/article/id/55179/

  • Francis

    Very interesting article on psilocybin.

  • Peter

    just reading kitty kellys biog of nancy reagan who did so much for the cause of drug prohibition. was struck by a citation in her high school year book which remembers her “total incomprehension of science. “

    • Duncan20903

      Yes, I recall her yearbook, her motto was, “math is hard!” That caused quite a brouhaha back in the ’80s you know. Not everyone can be Einstein you know.

  • darkcycle

    For those of us who are math challenged I say pfooey. Math IS hard, at least the way it is presented in schools. It took a epiphany in sophomore year of college to change my perception of what was REALLY going on, and that allowed me to tackle it successfully. Because I had missed so much, from algebra to calculus, I still find it hard. In my job as a tester, it was just “plug and chug”. Standard equations applied in a standard way to information…so that was easy, you get good at it fast. There the difference between a good job and a bad one becomes one of accuracy handling the original data, because it’s how you treat the inputs that counts. I’m still math challenged and it is torturous to me, but I’m not afraid of it any more, and with motivation I’ll even take on a physics question or two. But I so completely understand the aversion to it that many people feel.

    • Duncan20903

      But a calculator, or hire a mathematician. Problem solved.

      • Duncan20903

        Fatal error: Call to a member function get_admin_option() on a non-object in /home/drugwarrant/drugwarrant.com/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/wp-ajax-edit-comments/views/comment-editor.php on line 74

      • darkcycle

        Oh yes, I have the very best statistical calculator available in 1989. It’ s a Texas Instruments, and it appears to be both indestructible and eternal.

  • thelbert

    that’s great malcom i;m going try that. i had a red tail hawk on the back porch a half hour ago. they like the fat sparrows that hang around my bird feeder. never had any squirrel problems, although i kinda like squirrels. i think they cute and morally superior. compared to shrub, of course

  • claygooding

    Drug War Budget Cuts Might Gut Prevention

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2012/02/03/drug-war-budget-cuts-might-gut-prevention

    “”[President Obama’s ‘treatment not jail’] drug policy and the budget to implement it will be substantially at odds,” Carnevale Associates write.

    And the President has little discretion: “Because of the structure of the drug budget, automatic cuts favor supply reduction programs and may have a disproportionate impact on demand reduction programs.”

    That means prevention programs could get whacked by 40 percent. Meanwhile, interdiction programs that do nothing to reduce supply or availability: 6 percent.””

    Here you go Kapt,,they are singing your song!

  • thelbert

    http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=103428 it’s so much fun to read of anguish in the ranks of narkdom. heres another link to drug agent hell: http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Blogs/109.php i like the way they squeal. the whining has begun, maybe in nov it will get even louder.

    • darkcycle

      Oh, they squeal like stuck…

    • Cold Blooded

      The guys at socnet (which is actually a pretty good site IMHO) should think about how harmful the war on drugs is to the cause of law and order. Unfortunately, if you immerse yourself in an organization for long enough, eventually you start to believe your own propaganda.

    • claygooding

      I thunk it will happen quicker than Nov,,like next month or when they start having budget cuts at the federal level.

      The balanced approach that wasn’t balanced at all was the carrying point last budget hearings and it gave them more time to get it set up,,now no treatment centers have appeared to do any policy change,so it’s arrest and imprisonment only this time,,and where are they going to put the inmates,,prisons closing and being penalized for over crowded conditions now.

      The “pot” is boiling over and they are too stupid to turn the fire down.

    • Jose

      On the socnet link I noticed the following signature line on a post…

      “Conduct every traffic stop extending the olive branch of peace; while having a tactical plan to kill everyone inside the vehicle.”

      Hence, I always warn my son that the person pulling him over can and will take his life no matter who is right.

  • darkcycle

    The problem is, the whole “budget/debt” discussion was Washington Kabuki at it’s worst. It was all a combination Republican stunt as well as a successful effort to bring the topic of austerity to a public still reeling and incredulous at the magnatude of the government largess to the criminal banksters. Yep, remember the dead parrot sketch from Mont Python? The one where the man returns the dead parrot to the pet store, and is offered a dead parrot dressed up as a terrier instead? They sold us a dead parrot dressed up as a terrier. It would be funny if itreally did bite them in the ass, but I suspect they knew how they were going to get around those triggers before they even presented the bill.

  • thelbert

    rather than get rid of the nark forces completely , i think they will be made to contribute to efforts against real crimes. this could only make the streets a little safer. cops seem to be very picky about the kinds crime they are willing to work on. of course narcotics officers can steal and deal with near impunity. i’m expecting some electoral justice in california this november. it will be interesting to see how long the dea and the bne in calif. can hold out in the face of economic reality. i like a government that caries on with foolisness to the absolute last minute. gives me real confidence for the future.

  • thelbert

    when they started cracking down on dispensaries i wonder if they could see the next move. mmj is all over craig’slist . just type in 420 and 400 or hits come up with a good portion of those being for mmj. how come no news of this from the likes of bonnie dumanis? are their heads completely up the ass. are they going to shut down craig’slist? are the coppers going to stop looking for bank robbers and atm thieves? tough choice.

  • thelbert

    meant to 400 or so hits. that’s on the san diego version of Craigslist. i grew enough last year for my household, but some of that stuff looks pretty. the days of the freewheeling narcotics squad are numbered.

  • Star Tribune reports on a heartbreaking incident.

    Man accused of shooting 6 officers during Utah drug raid says he’s devastated by suffering

    SALT LAKE CITY – A man accused of fatally shooting a police officer and wounding five others during an Ogden drug raid last month says he feared for his life because he thought people were breaking into his home to rob and kill him.

    Matthew Stewart told The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/zMxrig ) that he never heard the drug strike force members identify themselves or announce they were at his home to serve a search warrant the night of Jan. 4.

    Stewart, in an interview Friday at the Weber County Jail, said he was asleep when he heard his alarm clock and then a noise that sounded like glass breaking. A shootout between the suspect and officers followed a short time later.

    “Some parts I remember vividly. Other parts it was like I was running on instinct,” he said. “When you’re convinced that you are getting robbed and most likely killed by a group of armed men, your instincts kick in.”

    Stewart, 37, has been charged with aggravated murder in the death of Ogden officer Jared Francom and eight other felony counts. Weber County Attorney Dee Smith has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

    Five other officers were shot and injured, some critically, but have since been released from hospitals.

    “I’m totally devastated that anybody had to suffer over any of this. This never should have happened,” Stewart told the Tribune. /—/

    Stewart said he had no idea he was under investigation by the strike force. While he declined to say whether he was growing marijuana in his home, he did say he believes marijuana should be legal. /—/

    Stewart, who’s seeking new counsel to replace attorney Randall Richards, thinks he was struck twice during the shootout. Doctors had to remove portions of his intestines, and he now is using a colostomy bag.

    “I’m still having a lot of trouble dealing with the colostomy,” he said. “It’s a big psychological blow, but it’s also real difficult in here.”

    Stewart said he also was struck in the leg and can’t stand in one place long without “blinding pain” in the leg.

    Near the end of the interview, he suggested more facts of what happened Jan. 4 would emerge.

    “I’ve always been a big fan of the truth,” Stewart said. “It’s tough for me to stay silent on some issues.”

  • You’re welcome, Peter. Keep up with the outstanding work.