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Drug Czar Follies

Wow. Gil is just getting more pathetic every day.

Study: More Than Half of Adult Male Arrestees Test Positive for at Least One Drug

On one side are those who suggest that drug legalization is the “silver bullet” solution to our nation’s drug problem. On the other are those who still believe that the “War on Drugs,” law-enforcement-only strategy is the way forward. Our policies reject both these extremes in favor of a “third way” to approach drug control.

The foundation of this “third way” approach is peer-reviewed, scientific research that provides us insight into the disease of addiction and a roadmap on how to prevent and treat it. The “third way” approach deals in facts — not dogma — and relies on research — not ideology.

And then he proceeds immediately to distort and misinterpret data to fit his ideology.

(Interestingly, he does take a moment to indicate his admiration for Mark A.R. Kleiman, Jonathan P. Caulkins and Angela Hawken.)

I sure hope somebody at the ONDCP makes him actually read the comments to his OpEd. The commenters absolutely eviscerate him. It appears that Huffington Post readers are smart enough to know when someone’s trying to sell them a load of manure.

From Duncan in comments here at Drug WarRant comes Your Questions Answered: Driving under the influence of marijuana from Fox 31 in Denver.

The upshot is that in a (fairly unscientific) test, the measurements made no sense at all, and the law being proposed would clearly have done little to actually improve public safety. Clearly the safer approach was to give the officer the ability to determine who was driving badly, rather than testing for the amount of THC in the body.

But of course, remember the Drug Czar and his desire for scientific fact, not ideology to drive policy decisions?

The funny part about that is actually reading what the drug czar says. For instance the ONDCP page on drugged driving includes the following strategies:

The first one is: “Encouraging states to adopt Per Se drug impairment laws”; The second one is: “Collecting further data on drugged driving.”

That’s right. Push for policies and laws, and then try to find the science that agrees with your ideology (or just misrepresent the science so that it does).

That’s the drug czar.

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32 comments to Drug Czar Follies

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Now I’ve got the imagery of a line of former and current drugzars dressed up like the Rockettes and doing that classic kick line act. My god, Bill Bennett in a tutu (maybe for him it’s a fourfour), I could have lived my entire life without that picture in my head. Although I must admit that I’m shocked that John Walters has such attractive legs.

    • Duncan20903

      Gosh darn it, I can’t believe that one flopped. This is one tough room. C’mon, John Walters, pretty legs! Bill Bennett in a tutu! C’mon people…oh, never mind.

  • Francis

    These data were obtained from individuals booked for all types of crimes, from misdemeanors to felonies, and not just those arrested on drug charges.

    Wait, so you DIDN’T exclude drug arrests from your statistic attempting to show a correlation between drug use and crime (a correlation that, even if shown, would not demonstrate causality)? Um… anyone else see a problem with that logic? And I love that he’s bragging that the statistic is not confined to drug arrests (because, you know, THAT would have been kind of misleading).

    The ADAM program tests only for drugs marijuana, cocaine, opiates (including heroin and prescription pain relievers), amphetamines/methamphetamine, Darvon, PCP, benzodiazepines, methadone, and barbiturates — not alcohol.

    Well, of course not. What possible relevance could alcohol have in a discussion about “drugs” and crime?

    It is imperative, then, that we address our nation’s drug problem not just as a criminal justice issue but as a public health issue.

    They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So I suppose we should be flattered that the drug warriors have co-opted a phrase that’s so frequently used by reformers — with one tiny modification. I guess they think they can slip that “just” in there without anyone noticing. And to be fair, it doesn’t really change the meaning of the sentence, does it? It merely moderates it a little. For example, compare these two sentences: “You shouldn’t eat human flesh.” / “You shouldn’t just eat human flesh.” See? No real difference in meaning.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      The only problem I have with their logic is calling it that.

      The study is about ***illegal*** drugs! The relationship of ***legal*** drugs to crime is a whole different research grant.

      I’ll bet that if I were stranded on a desert island with a prohibitionist, that the thought of engaging in cannibalism wouldn’t even cross my mind. Those things are nasty! Just ask any Jew…there’s no way a prohibitionist can be kosher!

  • My apologies for the re-posting, but nobody really responded to the question I was trying to ask, namely:

    I’m curious as to whether small donors, like myself, could be persuaded to play a bigger part in financing signature-gathering campaigns by creating a donation system that would function similarly to Groupon, i.e. the total cost is determined for the signature-gathering phase of the campaign and potential donors are then invited to purchase a “coupon” of, say, $20 (one can of course buy as many “coupons” as one like). Just as with Groupon, the “coupon” would have an expiration date. If all the “coupons” are sold before this date, professional signature-gatherers are hired. If not, then the “deal” expires and holders of “coupons” can redeem them and use this money to fund other campaigns if they so choose. This way, each donor knows that the campaign is either going to obtain sufficient funding to get 100% of the required signatures, or is not going to spend anything.

    I would be far less hesitant to donate to a signature-gathering campaign if it had such a system in place. What about you guys? Do you think applying the Groupon model could encourage more small donors to contribute and lessen our movement’s reliance on billionaires?

    (A quick summary of how Groupon works for anyone who’s unfamiliar: http://www.groupon.com/faq)

    • Francis

      I haven’t really looked into them, but I understand that there are “crowd funding” sites that hold donated funds in an escrow account. If the nominated target isn’t reached by the specified deadline, all funds are returned to contributors. It does seem like an elegant solution to the collective action problem where people don’t want to give unless they’re convinced others will also give, e.g., because the project is unlikely to accomplish anything unless a certain threshold is reached.

    • darkcycle

      Well, just to stand in as devil’s advocate (Francis, you’re the lawyer here, why am I doing this?), pfroe, unsuccessful initiative efforts cost money too. Even when you have volunteer staff, there are printing, transportation, and other associated costs to fielding petitioners. Your solution would make those initial steps more difficult.

      • If an initiative makes the ballot that’s already a partial victory. Even if it fails to pass, it garners huge amounts of free press, generates public debate, and ultimately shows us the true level of voter support. However, an unsuccessful signature-gathering campaign doesn’t really provide these benefits.

        As an example, I made a fairly sizable donation (for me) to the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine campaign. They collected less than half the required number of signatures. I doubt this had any effect on the level of support for legalization in California, but it did consume funds that could have been used more effectively elsewhere, say, to help fund ad campaigns for initiatives that did make the ballot.

        I actually would have donated more to RMLW if they’d had a Groupon-style donation system, but when I saw how desperate they were by late March, I decided to send my next donation to the OCTA campaign as they were already making good progress and had over three months before they hit their deadline.

        RMLW gathered 200,000 signatures. The amount of money that cost would have easily paid for a successful signature-gathering campaign in a smaller state like Montana.

        There are many, many people who have been working at this harder and longer than I have and it is not my intention to slight anyone’s efforts. However, I think it would be possible to collect and allocate donations in a more efficient way and that doing so could potentially encourage more small donors to contribute.

  • claygooding

    “”Study: More Than Half of Adult Male Arrestees Test Positive for at Least One Drug””

    Study: More than half of male citizens use at least one drug.

    • Duncan20903

      I think that it proves that people who are willing to break the law are willing to break the law.

    • christy

      What about female arrestees testing positive for drug use? It’s odd they devote a 177 page report to just male crime/drugs. I guessing there is a significantly weaker correlation between female crime & positive test for drugs, so not as useful in their propaganda but sexist nevertheless.

  • CJ

    the most horrific part of all of this is the fact that anytime you see or hear the term “disease of addiction” you can rest assured that you are being exposed to an out an out lie. The fact of the matter is, there is no such thing as a “disease of addiction” – credible science has rejected this. This is the dogma of the alcoholics anonymous organization, not based in any kind of credible science. Now, I can not imagine that Gilly boy has done any drugs in his life. I cant comprehend the US ever appointing a drug user as drug czar. Its akin to the old Department of Indian Affairs rampant in the 1800’s. They were always Indian hating white folks who helped thoroughly kill that great people. Eventually a Native American DID become President of that organization in one of the most incredible political moves ever. Noble as it was, that Native American was ultimately stopped at every turn when he tried to help his people and eventually he was forced out of his office. Now, Gil is not in AA, of course he’s not. The AA “disease” dogma is absolute nonsense and anytime you hear Gil or any Drug Czar talk about it, you have before your eyes a transparent statement and one of which is being said with the person saying it fulling knowing they are lying to you. Disease of Addiction? LOL. This guy, the more I read about Gil, this is what I genuinely think… I think this is a man of enormous ego, who realizes that his position is stigmatized and that those who’ve come before him are subject to much ridicule and not treated well by the public and wont be by history. Gil’s ego is such that he just cannot allow himself to suffer the same fate. Now there’s two options, knowingly suffer the same fate as those who’ve come before him by quietly maintaining the status quo or by doing what is inevitably going to be done and legalizing drugs; acknowledge the massive failures of drug prohibition and the basic injustice of government dictating anything to it’s people and then of course, risk the consequences of modern day public backlash. Nevertheless, history of course would treat him like a hero. So, what hes decided to do is indeed pursue a “third way” the “third way” that Gil is doing here is being done with the full knowledge that, he won’t be quite as bastardized as his predecessors and that if he is unfortunate enough to happen to be alive when drug legalization comes into place, he can always continue to lie and say “well, at the time, according to statistics & so forth…” as well as “I was the beginning of this, if you look at what my office did, at the time we did this that and the other thing that eventually allowed this to happen…” Essentially by trumping up new catch phrases that are more of the same old same old, he is trying to cover his tracks and his position in history. He is one of the most deceitful of the drug czars. One of the most transparent. I truly hope history and his contemporaries expose him as such; this is definitely one of the public officials worthy of a disgusting sex scandal or otherwise horrific debacle that should force about resignation.

    • claygooding

      Gil took a job and agreed to lie to the people paying his wages,,how can he or anyone stand on a claim of morality when they are standing in the sewer to begin with.

  • kaptinemo

    At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, I can’t shake the feeling that the ONDCP is actually America’s version of the Ahnenerbe, having to cherry-pick or dream up all kinds of BS to justify the unjustifiable.

    I suppose every government has this kind of barely known (to all but reformers, it seems) government agency that is able to operate in obscurity, as it doesn’t seem to do much damage to the general public (looks are deceiving) and isn’t very loud, so it doesn’t wind up on most people’s radar screens…until there’s some scandal involved.

    They’ve been real lucky with all the illegal crap they’ve been caught doing in the past, but someday their luck will run full-on into the approaching wall of fiscal cutbacks necessary if this country is to survive the coming monetary crunch the banksters created.

    The day some opportunistic pol in Congress shines the light on the ONDCP and reveals it to the public to be another pointless, parasitic agency devouring tax dollars and producing nothing but intelligence-insulting rhetorical manure and bad policy will be the day that the BS ends. Oh, speed the day!

  • kaptinemo

    I suggest that you do click on the Google search string I provided; I’m having my memory jogged by so very many illegal things they’ve done. Wasting 1 Billion dollars on an ad campaign that may have promoted teen drug use is just the tip of a filthy dirty iceberg.

    Again and again and again they’ve been caught…and released. Again and again and again they have violated the public trust…and yet are maintained. All because of their obscurity. That needs to end; they need to have all the, uh, notoriety they truly deserve.

  • Dante

    Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

    Everyone, anyone who even THINKS about using drugs (other than booze) is a criminal, and an addict. Probably smelly and poor, too. But mostly criminal. And did I mention smelly? Can’t have that.

    Criminals, addicts, and smelly poor people are “bad”.

    Good guys fight violent wars against bad guys. Violence against bad guys is good, and just, and holy. Violence is cleansing and proper, and benefits good guys.

    Therefore, violent, sanctimoneous and self-serving drug warriors are good no matter how bad they behave, and everyone else is bad no matter how good they behave. Now move aside so we can uphold justice by shooting your dog and stealing, uh, confiscating your car and stuff. Which we then sell to get more tanks and grenade launchers.

    /ridiculous sarcasm

    Can you spot the sanctimoneous, self-serving, violent and dishonest drug warriors in your community? It’s easy – they all wear uniforms with “Police” on them.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

    • BaggedAndBoiled

      “Can you spot the sanctimonious, self-serving, violent and dishonest drug warriors in your community?” .. It’s easy – look in their desks and you’ll find receipts for firefighting gear, women’s underwear, marijuana and expired condoms.

      http://citizensvoice.com/news/condoms-panties-receipts-marijuana-found-in-old-forge-police-desk-1.1316917

      The firefighting gear receipts could corroborate some information provided to investigators by a girl who says Semenza and Krenitsky molested her when she was 15 years old. The victim, now 23 years old, told Lackawanna County detectives and state police that Semenza bought her a firefighting uniform and other equipment, including a leather “New Yorker” helmet that cost several hundred dollars. The Citizens’ Voice does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

  • steves

    Hey Gil,

    What are you saying about your level of success in the “War On Drugs” when you have been battling for all these long years and still “More than half of adult male arrestees test positive for at lest one drug…”

  • Servetus

    Lessons in Stigmatization – Correlate the heretic with something that makes them look morally inverted:

    For the Cathari of the Middle Ages, tell everyone the Cathars kill all children born to Cathar men and women and toss the mummified corpses of the dead infants around a ritual alter fire at nighttime sex orgies.

    For witches, tell people the witches go into graveyards at night to rob the graves of recently deceased infants to devour the rotting corpses.

    For Jews, tell the villagers that Jews poisoned the water wells, and execute any pointy-headed intellectual who claims the illnesses and deaths occurred from leaking sewage.

    For drug users, tell the public that half of all male criminals are drug users.

    • kaptinemo

      Yepper, and that was studied by Uncle Sam, too…until he went whole-hog, wingnut crazy as far as illegal drugs were concerned:

      Themes in Chemical Prohibition, by William L. White, from: Drugs in Perspective, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1979

      (Like I said, look at the date and realize there was a real cut-off as far as actual, useful sociological research was concerned with regards to the subject. After 1980, politics, not science, reigned supreme.)

      from the article:

      ” A review of chemical prohibitionist literature reveals eight themes which appear to emerge from the tactics of most such movements. The tactics utilized to produce these themes are as follows:”

      1. The drug is associated with a hated subgroup of the society or a foreign enemy.

      2. The drug is identified as solely responsible for many problems in the culture, i.e., crime, violence, and insanity.

      3. The survival of the culture is pictured as being dependent on the prohibition of the drug.

      4. The concept of “controlled” usage is destroyed and replaced by a “domino theory” of chemical progression.

      5. The drug is associated with the corruption of young children, particularly their sexual corruption.

      6. Both the user and supplier of the drug are defined as fiends, always in search of new victims; usage of the drug is considered “contagious.”

      7. Policy options are presented as total prohibition or total access.

      8. Anyone questioning any of the above assumptions is bitterly attacked and characterized as part of the problem that needs to be eliminated.

      It doesn’t get any plainer than that.

      • Peter

        I wonder what happened after 1980 to cause such a change? Oh, I know. Nancy Reagan and her astrologer took over national drug policy.

      • Matthew Meyer

        That is very nice, kap, thanks.

        • kaptinemo

          Actually, don’t thank me; I just provided a link. Thank Mr. White…who was instrumental in assisting Doug Snead of DrugSense in writing his treatise on Drug War Propaganda which took White’s work and made a sort of manual on how to decode prohibspeak. It’s well worth a look.

          Sad to see that honest scholars of White’s caliber are almost unheard of in government circles; all we have on the payroll anymore are sycophantic so-called ‘scientists’ and ‘doctors’ sucking up for a paycheck, as in “Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.’

          Intellectual prostitutes willingly pimping themselves for a grant. Sons and daughters of the cursed Murphy! (Hissed) Lysenkoists!. (Sign against evil) Great Flying Spaghetti Monster save us!

      • Having grown up in the 80s, it’s bizarre to read mainstream texts from previous decades and see how rationally the subject of drug use was treated.

        A friend of my parents had a gigantic collection of old LIFE magazines and I remember my astonishment at discovering this issue from 1957: http://books.google.com.vn/books?id=Jj8EAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=life+magazine+1957&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZKe3T-vAE6eZiAeGq4yACQ&ved=0CFAQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q&f=false

        • Matthew Meyer

          Well, it helps you get positive press when you’re friends with the publisher, as Wasson was with Henry Luce.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    A friend of mind was once arrested in D.C. for drunken driving (boo) back around 2007. He told me that he was kept in a cell separate from the people arrested for things other than drunken driving. In the morning, the certified urine collector came by and made everyone in the other holding cell give him a sample of their urine for his collection. At least in 2007 drunken drivers were exempt from being urine tested after arrest in DC.

    BTW, my friend is quite the malcontent and said that he was most disappointed that he didn’t have the opportunity to refuse to urinate on demand. He also noticed there appeared to be no reaction other than “it’s time to piss” in the group forced to urinate.

  • Will someone please point out the absurdity of Gil panning drug legalization while praising Kleiman, Caulkins, and Hawkin, all of whom support legalizing marijuana?

    • Freeman

      I’m not familiar enough with Caulkins and Hawken to comment on them, but I’ve been reading Kleiman’s blog for years. While he does technically support marijuana legalization to a degree, he would impose some pretty unusual restrictions on it. Alcohol-style regulation is not something he’s keen on (even for alcohol), and he has said here that he would ban cigarettes if he could. “It’s legalization Jim, but not as we know it” (Star Trek joke).

      His “support” for marijuana “legalization” is so lukewarm that it took me years of reading his blog to discover it. On the topic of drugs, most of what he talks about are ways to mitigate the collateral damage done by prohibition, which he “supports” to a far greater degree than “legalization” of anything.

  • Peter

    Holy shit Kapt. I just read the free opening pages of Drug War Propaganda by Doug Snead on Amazon. What a damning indictment of our rulers and opinion makers….needs to be much more widely read….thanks for the tip.