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August 2012
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Last Word

Lawrence O’Donnell has a very powerful Last Word on the War on Drugs.

Good stuff on network mainstream cable TV.

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27 comments to Last Word

  • darkcycle

    …cable. But it is MSM.

  • darkcycle

    It won’t let me post! Grrrrr!

  • claygooding

    Team this one up with his shame rant on marijuana prohibition delivered earlier this year and play them at the first presidential debate.

  • Dante

    Sooner or later, the incredible pressure of non-stop failure will crush the Drug War like a 75-foot tidal wave crashing down on a house made of toothpicks.

    I hope it takes out all the Drug Warriors hiding in there, too.

    • Cliff

      “Sooner or later, the incredible pressure of non-stop failure will crush the Drug War like a 75-foot tidal wave crashing down on a house made of toothpicks.”

      Or like a pissed off farmer who has tasted the sting of the jackboots’ “law giving”.

      From Signs of the Times Website:

      A Vermont farmer used his tractor to crush seven Orleans County Sheriff’s Department squad cars on Thursday because he was angry about being arrested on marijuana charges last month.

      “It’s more than half our fleet,” Chief Deputy Sheriff Phil Brooks explained to the Burlington Free Press. “We have 11 cars.”

      Roger Pion, 34, allegedly flattened five marked cruisers and two unmarked vehicles, including a van used for transporting prisoners. A car belonging the the department’s bookkeeper was also damaged as the tractor pushed it to clear a path to the squad cars.

      “It was a massive tractor,” Newport Express publisher Ken Wells told the Free Press. “It has four six-foot tandem wheels on the back. It was red. It must be at least a 15-ton tractor.”

      “It’s pretty much the biggest tractor you can get,” Police Chief Seth DiSanto agreed.

      The suspect ditched the tractor about two miles from the crime scene and then fled on foot before being apprehended, according to WCAX. He has been turned over to the Vermont State Police.

      Pion was previously arrested on July 3 for marijuana possession and resisting arrest. His court date had been set for next Tuesday.

      At least he pushed the book keeper’s car out of the way to get to the police cars he targeted. Most LEOs would have just crushed it along with the ones they were after because it was in close proximity to the law breakers and it would have deserved a good crushing (see SWAT teams killing family pets and innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time)

  • Cold Blooded

    I’d just say the drug war is no longer “well-intentioned,” at least not to the politicians and officials who know that it isn’t doing any good but keep it up to preserve their authority (and funding)

  • throw this one in, from LEAP’s Sean Dunagan (former DEA):

    At DEA, We Made the Drug Problem Worse, Not Better

    -snip-

    In 2010, while assigned to the DEA office in Monterrey, Mexico, my family was evacuated as a result of the city’s rapidly deteriorating security situation. As I drove them northward through the desert in a long caravan of heavily-armed Federal Police trucks, trying to comprehend the barbarity plaguing the region, I recalled a wonderful verse from the Tao Te Ching: /Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself/.

    That may or may not be a universal truth, but it certainly applies to drug prohibition. Why did the Zetas want to kill us? Well, we wanted to kill them. I’m not suggesting a moral equivalency, but I am suggesting that nearly all of the evils of the drug trade are
    Frankenstein’s monsters of our own creation. The violence of the drug world, from drive-by shootings in Chicago to internecine cartel wars in Mexico, is a direct and inevitable consequence of prohibition (/see: Capone, Al/). Most overdose deaths are attributable to impurities and inconsistent potency levels of drugs bought on the street—factors that would cease to exist in a regulated legal market. Most addictions persist because addicts are treated as criminals rather than patients. And, of course, being arrested for marijuana has destroyed far more lives than the drug itself ever could.

    Since leaving the DEA, I am proud to be a speaker with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) .-snip-

    • Cliff

      “Since leaving the DEA, I am proud to be a speaker with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)”

      It’s funny (in a sad way) how these people keep cashing their government checks and don’t “wake up” to the damage they cause until they retire from the DEA or other LE organizations. How many of these jackbooted thugs with government issued jewelry have the balls to up and quit when they awaken what they are doing?

      IMHO most of them just ride the government gravy train until they retire, willfully and arrogantly blind to their own contribution to the very problems they are so “outraged” about while the rest of us pay for their cushy tax payer funded retirement.

      Color me impressed, if and only if, they start giving up their retirement blood money to those whom they have hurt with their lies, brutality and thuggery.

      • insight… cognition… epiphone… it all comes when it comes, if it comes at all. I hold no ill will to those who once opposed but now stand with me.

        I tell it often so I’ll stick to the short version, as in… I didn’t learn how much I loathed bombing little brown folks until I found myself helping to bomb little brown people. Back in the day I mean… and I’ve stood for peace since that day.

        • Cliff

          Well played sir. Maybe I’m just envious of those who were/are able to make a good living plying their trade on the other side of our insane drug laws on our collective nickel. While we struggle, claw and scratch out our meager paying gigs, trying to dodge the slings and arrows aimed at our souls and characters. I’m so tired, it’s been a long slog and when you get a chance to vent some spleen, it is a little hard to resist. Sorry ’bout that.

        • thanks laddie… I know exactly ’bout that being tar’d thang. So many other things to do and we’re still fighting this crappy war… to quote Calvin, “Gack!”

  • some days it really makes me glad that so many spent so much of their lives so early working to generate the informational wave that drug policy reform is today. Little by little we worked to inform, to prod and poke those with the sense to listen. For awhile they were few, those converts/now believers… and today that wave has become near tsunami in its scale.

    LEAP is of course a growing force and its speakers come from a perspective that is hard to dismiss. LEAP itself arose because of that early seed planting. Of course there are those who surf and engage wwwebwwwide, many sitting here on Pete’s couch.

    It’s a real treat to go read an article and then scan down to comments and see Prohibitionists left with nothing but egg on their face as real information is shared with readers. Seeing Malcolm out there has become commonplace and Cliff Shaffer too… and just lots of folks making the points we’ve spent so long plastering across the interwwweb.

    Whether it’ll be enough, or in time… that’s the question bugging me these days.

  • Shap

    Lawrence O’Donell is a socialist, unlikeable hack. However, I’ll give the guy props for putting such a passionate, thoughtful piece together on an issue that clearly doesn’t get enough press. I will hate him slightly less now.

  • Servetus

    It’s become much easier to criticize the drug war because the net has brought together a number of great critics and autodidacts who can overturn the government lies. There is now an ocean of material available out there for people such as Lawrence O’Donnell to work with.

    Back in the day when it was just a group of loosely knit organizations and embedded academics challenging prohibition, it seemed as if no one could come up with any new reasons to abolish prohibition. Years would go by and the same old arguments against the drug war were trotted out time after time. People with real answers to the drug war had little or no ability to participate in the rare drug enforcement critiques that emerged at the public level, aside from LTEs and a few other incursions into the realm of communications via famous radicals like Abbie Hoffmann.

    The web has created a collective consciousness that pumps out new objections to the drug war on virtually a daily basis. The result: the opposition can’t keep up. They weren’t the brightest group to start with, and now they’re faced with a creative super-organism that can blast their BS with thousands of intellectual flamethrowers within minutes of bogus drug war information appearing online.

    From here on, the end of prohibition will be little more than the work of time.

    • claygooding

      Sometimes it seems that the only way we will see the end of hemp prohibition will be when the government goes belly up from spending money trying to keep it in place.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Let’s not forget the role that the death of the newspaper industry is playing. A couple of decades more or less from now will find newspapers in museums alongside the buggy whip and the 8 track tape player. These businesses are in their death throes. The only ones that are going to survive will be those who successfully transition to a web based media outlet.

      Not only do we blast their BS with thousands of intellectual flamethrowers within minutes of bogus drug war information appearing online, you can count on it happening. This dynamic means that we generate page views and return visits. Which in turn means that not only are the newspapers likely not going to attempt to stifle our observations, some are and others will join in baiting us to get those page views in their desperate attempt to transition to a web based medium.

      Perhaps you’re skeptical of my assertion. While I admit I have no direct evidence beyond the certainty that the newspaper industry will be a long time dead in very short order the basis of my assertion is the lopsided number of newspapers comments columns on which I find myself posting. Newspapers are where a significant majority of my comments land which is way out of proportion to their percentage of media outlets. TV stations also offer comments columns, but those media outlets just don’t appear to be baiting cannabis law reform advocates but just reporting the news. I fully believe that at least the Denver Post and the Seattle Times have employees who post in their comments columns for the sole purpose of baiting us. I suppose I could be reaching here; but I find it peculiar that SL10 (Denver Post) and bl boyer (Seattle Times) are such dedicated enemies of freedom as their posts paint them but never post to any other venue.
      ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

      I must admit that I never imagined that this issue would be covered in Accounting Today magazine.

      • darkcycle

        I do believe you are right. The first time I saw 7000+ comments I realized that we were riding a wave. I would be surprised if drug law reform wasn’t the single largest generator of page views for them. Quite the turn of events that has us in charge of the narrative, rather than a W.R. Hearst, isn’t it?

      • claygooding

        And with the loss of revenue to Dupont because of the loss of producing all those toxic chemicals required to make pulpwood paper,,add the loss of most paper products as schools and businesses go paperless,,,will they try even harder to keep hemp out of the market because hemp doesn’t require they’re chemicals to produce paper?

        As more countries drop from the STC in the UN,,lobbying for continued support for prohibition is going to get very expensive.

        It all points to a matter of time,as Servetus said,,,if I can last long enough I just may get to see my own hemp crop growing in my back yard without waiting for the dog killing squad to show up.

      • Ed Dunkle

        Good point. It still irks me that every daily newspaper in California opposed Prop 19. That’s your “liberal” media at work.

        The only paper I trust is the Guardian and that’s run as a non-profit foundation.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    This one is from the “oh my god! black swans really do exist!” category:

    Edward Bogunovich, 87-Year-Old Man, Accused of Growing More Than 400 Plants At His Denver Home

    • now there’s a senior role model! And a green thumb (a wrinkly one, granted) to boot…

      • claygooding

        Do you think he was supplementing his S/S check a bit?

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          I dunno. Maybe he’s a friend or a fan of Rick Simpson. Since I haven’t seen his grow it’s impossible to say. But I do know that when we see people getting busted with indoor grows with the plant count in the high 3 figures we’re most likely talking about someone who’s using the sea of green and/or making lots of cuttings. We of all people should know that a plant of cannabis is not a standard unit of measure. Just because cops amuse themselves counting stalks doesn’t prove that the number of stalks means anything other than extra overtime on the counting cop’s paycheck.

          I do believe his is the first mug shot I’ve ever seen where the person arrested looked genuinely frightened. I guess the thought of dying in prison isn’t particularly pleasant.

  • primus

    It was outdoors in his back yard.