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10 billion dollars to hire mercenaries for a war that is not a war

Wired: U.S. Ready to Offer Mercenaries $10 Billion for a Drug-War Air Force

Unsure how your private security firm makes money as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down? One option: Go into the drug trade — more specifically, the lucrative business of fighting narcotics. The State Department needs a business partner to keep its fleet of drug-hunting helicopters and planes flying worldwide. You could make up to $10 billion-with-a-B.

Starting next month in Melbourne, Florida, the State Department will solicit some defense-industry feedback on a contract to help operate its 412 aircraft, based in at least eight nations, before it reopens the contract for bidding. Among the missions the diplomatic corps needs fulfilled: “Provide pilots and operational support for drug interdiction missions such as crop spraying, and the transport of personnel and cargo,” according to a pre-solicitation the department’s bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs released on Friday.

Must be some of that Third Way stuff the ONDCP keeps talking about.

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57 comments to 10 billion dollars to hire mercenaries for a war that is not a war

  • darkcycle

    10 BILLION for 412 aircraft? Four hundred and twelve aircraft???? That’s Twenty-four million, two hundred and seventy-four thousand,eight hundred and forty-four dollars and sixty-six cents…. PER aircraft!!!!!!!
    OUCH! My anus!

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    • Servetus

      The aerial fleet comes with a lifetime supply of pit crews who hide drugs inside the 412 planes that smuggle product out of Afghanistan.

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  • darkcycle

    …they aren’t BUYING them, they’re just maintaining them and certifying pilots!

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  • and the shit just Piles Higher and Deeper…

    another example of why even the legalization of ganja is but a baby step in ending this nastyass war. FTW, end the war.

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  • Obama is not ending the war in Afghanistan like he said. This sounds like an escalation of the drug war. Homeland security is handing out money to local police forces and public safety departments like they are Santa Claus.

    If the Government has a budget crisis, I can see why. This doesn’t seem to be getting discussed at all and now. Both parties are in on it.

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  • claygooding

    They are serious about maintaining the prohibition of hemp for damn sure,,and could care less about the constitution,civil rights or our economy.

    Fuck em,,keep it small and grow your own,don’t sell no marijuana and don’t buy any,,we can take the profit our government depends on away from them one person at a time.

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  • ezrydn

    Sounds like Unkle Sugar fell behind on recruiting for it’s “Air America” operation. Oh, you didn’t think that org. ended when we left Nam now, did ya? Who’s got the “6” of a Phantom Air Force? The State Dept.? Ask Chris, our Benghazi ambassador how that worked for him! When you call State for application, the tape ends with “this tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good Luck, Jim.” Truly, a “mission impossible.”

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  • Dante

    $10 Billion for a tiny role in the drug war. There must be hundreds/thousands of similar “arrangements” on the books.

    Makes you wonder what the whole thing costs when you add up all the tiny parts of the war on drugs, and if any drug warriors are comparing that gigantic cost to the disasterous and counter-productive results obtained thus far and thinking “This doesn’t work, and it costs a ton of money. We should do something different”.

    Probably not. Why?

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

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    • claygooding

      They have wised up and quit going through the ONDCP for splitting the funding up,now they hidey-hole enormous funding by charging it to other bureaucracies for distrbution,even though they are going for ONDCP projects.
      Expect even more hiding of funding as they start countering countries around the world legalizing hemp.

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      • I am sure this would be going on to the military budget somewhere–they can hide it there easy. Top secret information related to the security of the good ole USA. You will never see it in any FOIA info requests. Need to know basis only.

        You or any other member of the voting public doesn’t need to know.

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    • Common Science

      Afganistan has a knack for producing smack. So did/does Turkey. Both countries suffered governmental lack of ability to help farmers find viable markets internationally for their produce. Things have also been compounded for Afgan farmers with the constant drought situations over the last dozen years, and the roadways eroding with the lack of funds for infrastructure.

      The U.N. could agree to turn a problem into a solution allowing Afganistan to produce opioid pain medications as they did with Turkey, severely reducing the illicit trafficking of opium there. The U.S. would save 50 billion dollars – and really help Afganistan attend to their own internal affairs in a civil, dignified manner.

      Sadly though, the Afgani people are aware that the drug lords are the ones that are funding the largest buildings being built in Kabul these days, and that the US gets to play, yet again, the faceless oppressor in another poor country.

      “Outsourcing belligerent activities on the part of the U.S. government is not new. It goes back to the Revolutionary War. Many such companies were involved in the Vietnam war, but they were only a minuscule presence compared to the major military effort by the U.S. there. What is new is that now contract employees are in the forefront of operations. In the Colombian war, private outsourced military men are out on the frontlines, while the real U.S. troops are hidden on bases as trainers. The exact number of contract employees in Colombia is not known. A recent State Department report states that there are only 200 U.S. military soldiers and about 170 American contractors working in Colombia. Historically, official counts of U.S. personnel and contractors tend to be underestimated in counter-insurgency operations.

      http://corpwatch.org/article.php?id=672

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  • stlgonzo

    Anyone here want to start an aircraft maintenance company? Imagine the extra money to be made smuggling drugs for the CIA while suppressing your competition with government coercion.

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    • claygooding

      I couldn’t pass the drug screen but I do have my Airframe ticket,,,thanks to another government program in the 90’s.

      Due to the oil collapse and inability to find work that even came close to my pay in cementing oil wells I qualified for retraining,,paid for with govt grants,I spent 18 months in OKC at an Aircraft Maintenance school and got my airframe endorsement but never took the powerplant test.

      Two week before walking across the stage and graduation Eastern Airlines folded and released 4500 experienced aircraft mechanics into the job market,,,,the class before mine had 80% of the class hired before they graduated,,mine had 10%. Since I graduated in the top 10% of my class I was called to interview for the FAA but I knew a drug screen they used(hair burn) would fail me I never went.

      I still carry my ticket on me but it isn’t valid so that was 18 months and thousands of tax dollars spent so I could return to truck driving.

      I could work as an executive or company rep that didn’t require testing but never on the aircraft.

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      • stlgonzo

        Could we just pay-off a drug testing company? When I had a piss test a couple of years ago I quit for a month, then walked into the testing place and could’ve smuggled gallons of clean urine in if I wanted. Those testers could not have been more disinterested it actually doing there jobs. The most ironic part is that the gal who was responsible for running the test told me she didn’t get tested for her job.

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        • War Vet

          Our State Government made me take an online drug test (not joking) as a quilifier to babysit (in a military setting) a hundred troubled teenagers at a state ran military acadamy.

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      • Duncan20903

        Of course you can pass the whiz quiz clay. Piece of cake.
        http://urineluck.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=268

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  • DonDig

    These things are going to become harder to pull off for the feds as more of us legalize pot. Eyebrows are being raised around the world already about this, and it’s going to be a tougher and tougher sell as more and more countries tell us to keep on moving and take our business elsewhere. The duplicity is so obvious no one misses it, and that will unwind even this new ball of yarn bit by bit. You can only be hit by ‘the hand that feeds’ so many times before you look for your dinner elsewhere.

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  • stlgonzo

    The rhetoric never changes, no matter the decade.

    Prohibitionists Respond to Repeal: Bootlegging, Racketeering, and Kidnapping Will Go Up Now! You’ll Come Crawling Back, Just Wait and See!

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bd9XAAAAIBAJ&sjid=y0QNAAAAIBAJ&pg=775%2C5195928

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    • Chris

      “U.S. Lifts ban, sets foreign liquor quota; 4-month supply is the aim”
      What’s different this time is that instead of importing cannabis due to legalization, we’ll likely be exporting it instead. Take that BC / mexico!

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    • Deep Dish

      NPR: “Why Drinking Tea Was Once Considered A Dangerous Habit”

      In a new paper published in the journal Literature and History, O’Connell explores the angst about tea by combing through popular pamphlets — or short works of fiction — published in the 1800s. The pamphlets were published by reformers who were trying to weave tales of morality and clean-living into story form.

      In one pamphlet, “Cottage Dialouges,” written by the Irish Quaker author and reformer Mary Leadbeater, a dialogue between two women makes it clear that tea-drinking was considered a lavish, irresponsible behavior that could be habit-forming. Though the characters don’t know the language of addiction, they use the phrase “hankering after it” — as if to suggest that once you’d had your first cup of tea, it would [become] impossible to stop or control your longings. Adding to this suggestion is the fact that tea was sold at liquor stores.

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/12/05/166411859/why-drinking-tea-was-once-considered-a-dangerous-habit

      History doesn’t repeat it, but it rhymes.

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  • Fiscal cliff a certain reality. A reality that will finally wake people up to where their tax money is going. Smartest motherfucker ever was the one who developed the theory of running wars and government on a credit card….GUESS WHAT….The bill is now due !!!!

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    • DonDig

      The Federal Reserve is that credit card issuer. Check out “End the Fed” by Ron Paul. (It’s not the greatest literary work ever, but he clearly knows what he’s talking about.) Before the federal reserve system, a country could not realistically go to war, (without having the cash to pay for it), lest they would bankrupt the country. End of story.
      The federal reserve system became our unlimited credit line: hence our situation today. (Obviously a vastly simplified explanation, but it should serve.)

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Smartest [patient of Sigmund Freud] ever was the one who developed the theory of running wars and government on a credit card…

      IIRC that would have been Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War did almost bankrupt the Country and led to The Long Depression (TLD) which lasted 23 years more or less, well into the 1890s. The Great Depression gets all the press but it wasn’t anywhere nearly as bad as TLD.

      Public debt used create a level playing field, maintaining the security of property rights including self ownership of the citizens in particular and keeping the peace is absolutely not anything to fear. As a matter of fact such borrowing should be demanded as bureaucratic SOP by the body politic.

      What causes systemic stress is borrowing to serve the government’s immediate needs or even worse to pay the interest on money squandered decades ago. The feds have squandered over a trillion (with a T) dollars on the war on (some) drugs. That money had to be borrowed before they could squander it and we haven’t gotten any closer to the stated goals. It’s bad debt. But had the US put that trillion into the space program or rebuilding infrastructure we’d be at the same amount of public debt but such spending would be creating wealth rather than limiting it.

      Borrow a reasonable amount of money to purchase a home or education and it’s a good financial decision. Borrow the same number of dollars to buy Powerball tickets and it just isn’t a good move.

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  • darkcycle

    The Border Patrol now seems to be primarily a marijuana enforcement operation….. This is an unfortunate turn of events. Both for unsuspecting drivers and for them….I’m guessing this will not be very popular.
    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13094-securing-the-homeland-against-marijuana

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    • divadab

      It’s the low-hanging fruit. What the enforcers don;t seem to care about is that the enforcement of cannabis prohibition based on official lies and unjust dominion to favor monopoly interests makes thoughtful citizens disrespectful of the government. Because their prohibition is disreputable. It’s un-American, and so they are enforcing an un-American law.

      Why does the federal government hate America so much? This is the question of the century.

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    • divadab

      Actually, if they are making a dent in imported weed, they are protecting local growers from foreign competition. Thanks, Homeland Security!

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      • claygooding

        Aww shucks,,now the cartels will have to start using the homes,warehouses and properties they have snapped up during the last 4 years of a realty market that bottomed out,,saw a show the other day that stated that the only marketing of homes in the US were going to foreigners for cash,,,how true that is.

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      • darkcycle

        Diva, they have a checkpoint on 101 outside of Sequim (for those who don’t know, it’s nowhere NEAR the border, and the highway it’s on doesn’t even go to there. They may as well have a border Patrol checkpoint in the middle of Kansas.) They’re looking to grab you n’ me.

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        • claygooding

          If I remember correctly,they do have a BP checkpoint on I-70 in Kansas,,it was rarely open when I was driving,,only went through it a couple of times in many trips across there.

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        • divadab

          JObs for the boys and girls in the MaryJane boondoggle! Break the Constitution! Throw your weight around! Kick a hippy!

          Coming to a police state near you! Oh – it’s already here? Surely our “COnstitutional Scholar” President will end this abuse of the 4th amendment.

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        • Windy

          diva, the “Constitutional Scholar” president only studied the Constitution in order to find ways to get around it.

          If you want to know what a REAL Constitutional scholar has to say about the Constitution read Ron Paul’s writings, or better yet take Michael Badnarik’s 8 hour Constitution class on YouTube (it is WELL worth your time to do both).

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      • TINMA

        Yep, the harder they squeeze the more that ballon pops out somewhere else.

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  • ahem… the feds speak up:

    The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado and Washington State. The Department’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged. Neither States nor the Executive branch can nullify a statute passed by Congress. In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change that will go into effect on December 6th in Washington State, growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Members of the public are also advised to remember that it remains against federal law to bring any amount of marijuana onto federal property, including all federal buildings, national parks and forests, military installations, and courthouses.

    – United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
    Western District of Washington

    http://www.justice.gov/usao/waw/press/2012/December/Statement.html

    so there..

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    • claygooding

      I might smoke in a National Forest but those other places don’t sound that interesting.

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      • War Vet

        Dude, I used to road trip around the base . . . the best hilly and country land out there . . . many a mile of road without a single -tank or leg on the road. Don’t give up on not smoking on a military base man . . . most of them look like National Parks anyway.

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    • darkcycle

      They are still just re-stating the old line, Allan. That’s what we get from them about MMJ, verbatim. The question remains what do they plan to do about this?

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      • Common Science

        There they go. Flags are down all over the field. Delay of game again!

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        • Not this time. Too many people watching.

          Truth be known-there is nothing they can do except become totalitarian. Like China.

          Or they can invent a new strategy. Like following the US Constitution.

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    • N.T. Greene

      Yeah, it’s against federal law. For now.

      …for now.

      Really, they’re kind of reminding me of a young chess player who, upon finding himself basically in checkmate, sits and glares at the board, trying to figure out what went wrong or how to get out of it — only to find that they could only win by cheating, and that they may as well lay down their king and walk away from this one.

      But hey, it’s the last round of the tournament kids. They’re going to see to it that this game times out.

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    • Windy

      They certainly do not know much about the Constitution in the DoJ, the States absolutely CAN nullify a law passed by congress, what the hell do they think the 10th Amendment states, quite clearly? And the CSA was enacted by the Executive (Nixon), not congress, which was illegal in the first place; plus the CSA is unconstitutional on its face, since “The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement.” Any law which criminalizes the use of any ingestible substance violates the unalienable right of the individual to self-ownership and self-determination, and therefore is unconstitutional. Additionally, nowhere in the Constitution is the authorization for the fed gov to criminalize the private daily activities of individuals as long as those activities do not violate the rights of other individuals. It took a Constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol and another to repeal it, there is no Constitutional amendment prohibiting any drug or giving the fed gov the power to control drugs (pharmaceutical, OTC, illicit, or natural herbs).
      Further:
      “The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.
      “An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.
      Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principals follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it . . .
      “A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one.
      “An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law.
      “Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.
      No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.”
      – Sixteenth American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Section 177. (late 2nd Ed. Section 256)
      Why this unconstitutional basis of the federal drug laws is NEVER argued in court by defending attorneys in drug cases is a question I often ask. So far no one has given me a convincing answer and usually all I get is a shrug.

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      • The reason that defending attorneys don’t argue the unconstitutional basis of the federal drug laws in court is because the court is part of, and subordinate to, a larger system of courts that has at its head the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court has decided definitively (incorrectly, but definitively) that federal drug laws are just fine and dandy.

        While a lower court can buck the higher court in an effort to make a slight change or push a definition, they’re not going to do so if the certainty of getting overturned is extremely high, and in this area it would be 100% certain as the court currently exists. Therefore, any attempt by an attorney to put forth such an argument could be seen by the judge as frivolously wasting the court’s time, putting the attorney’s reputation in jeopardy.

        I’m not saying this is a good system, or a valid system under a plain reading of the Constitution, but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate.

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        • War Vet

          On laws: aside from the fact the CSA might be unconstitutional, but American farmers have legal precedents legally allowing them to grow hemp at this time (unless we can prove WWII didn’t really happen) in the form of ‘hemp for victory’ crops. If we can prove America was attacked on 9/11 and if we can prove U.S. troops have been deployed to the Middle East because of the 9/11 bandwagon, we might be able to prove that any cop or court who would keep (or punish) pot (hemp) from being grown as ‘terrorists’. Hemp was good for WWII and could be good today and only growing hemp for today’s war is the only way we can prove hemp is or will be a flop or a success for the war. The majority of the people who did not want farmer John in 1944 to grow hemp for the American war effort was a Jap or Nazi sympathizer/spy/saboteur . . . logic dictates we can prove based on the same above data that anyone (or most) who will not allow or want American hemp to be grown ‘for victory’ today are in fact Muslim Terrorist Sympathizers/spies/saboteurs. Is there a reason why we aren’t arresting judges, attorneys and cops and trying them for treason (given we can prove 9/11 was actually real and deployed American troops in a war zone is and has been happening since 9/11) for not allowing hemp to be grown during a time of war? How is it even legally possible for the DEA to keep American grown hemp illegal during a time of war when we can prove WWII really did in fact exist, thus providing us logistical and legal precedents to grow hemp for the American war effort? Hey-Hey DEA, how many U.S. Soldiers did you kill today?

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    • Clay…I have smoked in a National forest, and it was very interesting !!

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  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    I just don’t have the words to emphasize this as strongly as it should be emphasized. If you find yourself needing to get rid of a dead body don’t put it in the trunk with your cannabis. Those dogs at the checkpoint are almost never trained cadaver dogs but they will find the cannabis under the dead body.
    Pound of marijuana found in trunk with dead Frederick businessman

    I know you’re thinking “but Duncan, I almost never have occasion to need to get rid of a dead body.” I’ve no doubt that is true, but you never know when you might cross paths with a drunken Sabet in a dark alley just by happenstance. When opportunity knocks you really should want to be ready to open the door.

    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    Sheesh, yet another blue ribbon panel of Know Nothing prohibitionists.

    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-

    Arizona judge rules Arizona medicinal cannabis patient protection law is legal. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne plot their next move in the comfort of the Governor’s lair. It sure looks like they’re getting high to me.

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  • good background article on US and its drug war mercenaries, over at Wired:

    Pentagon’s War on Drugs Goes Mercenary

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  • darkcycle

    Three and a half hours. I’m watching the Mann film “Grass”.
    Then maybe Cheech and Chong. I believe it’s fitting. In the C&C films, the stoners always win.

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  • TINMA

    Hey wait, dont we have a budget crissis? Well ya couldnt tell it from this couch fellas.

    Think those bricks need to start falling in other countries also….and fast.

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  • Curmudgeon

    Happy legalization day to all the Washington couch sitters. Colorado will joint you in legal puffing as soon Gov. Chickenpooper gets on the pot and signs off on certifying the election. Ya think WA & CO should make legalization day state holidays?

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  • I like the helpful information you provide to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check once more here frequently. I’m relatively sure I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

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  • Dante

    “It’s against Federal Law”.

    “It’s against Federal Law!!!”.

    “IT’S AGAINST FEDERAL LAW !#*!?&!!!”

    Funny, so is torture and that didn’t stop the Feds from doing it. Warrentless Wiretaps are also against federal law, and the feds did that too (still are). So is war based upon lies. So is Extraordinary Rendition. So is detention without charge. So, fuck federal law and the horse it rode in on. When the feds begin to obey their own laws, maybe we can talk. Until then, suck egg.

    Turnabout is fair play, drug warriors. How are those budget cuts coming along?

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