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The Drug War is a Gateway to Police Perjury

Michelle Alexander in the New York Times: Why Police Officers Lie Under Oath

Mr. Keane, in his Chronicle article, offered two major reasons the police lie so much. First, because they can. Police officers “know that in a swearing match between a drug defendant and a police officer, the judge always rules in favor of the officer.” At worst, the case will be dismissed, but the officer is free to continue business as usual. Second, criminal defendants are typically poor and uneducated, often belong to a racial minority, and often have a criminal record. “Police know that no one cares about these people,” Mr. Keane explained.

All true, but there is more to the story than that.

Police departments have been rewarded in recent years for the sheer numbers of stops, searches and arrests. In the war on drugs, federal grant programs like the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program have encouraged state and local law enforcement agencies to boost drug arrests in order to compete for millions of dollars in funding. Agencies receive cash rewards for arresting high numbers of people for drug offenses, no matter how minor the offenses or how weak the evidence. Law enforcement has increasingly become a numbers game. And as it has, police officers’ tendency to regard procedural rules as optional and to lie and distort the facts has grown as well.

We give law enforcement an extraordinary amount of power over citizens. Because of that, it is even more essential that their integrity be beyond reproach.

If there was no other reason to end the drug war, this would be sufficient — to reduce the culture and incentives that lead to law enforcement corruption and that break down the sense of trust between police and community.

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47 comments to The Drug War is a Gateway to Police Perjury

  • Dante

    No argument here – the police are liars. They are the real terrorists who pose a threat to Americans, not some uneducated goat farmer in the middle east.

    Here is the Catch 22:

    The police are entrusted with policing themselves (rather than allowing We The People to do it). The police lack the necessary character and integrity to police themselves, as do most humans. Therefore, the police NEVER, EVER do anything to police themselves.

    It (police lying, stealing, assaulting, misconduct, etc.) will never stop until their budgets, their cars, their offices, their guns, their armored personnel carriers and especially their immunity from prosecution is taken away.

    The police are the real terrorists.

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    • War Vet

      Could it be that the amount of ‘bad cops’ are increasing because of the precedents set by their peers. The small town I live in had one of America’s largest drug bust, but you won’t ever hear about it because they went after users and smurfs and not just dealers. They were busting people because they knew they bought cold medicine (without going over the limit) or a dime bag of weed . . . they busted many young adults who were simply the guy who knew the weed or speed dealer and thus the middleman.

      Don’t forget that the DEA did a terrorist attack against Mumbai, India in 2008. The DEA were warned that their snitch was sympathetic to Jihad . . . the DEA released him from prison and gave him a lot of money to go to Pakistan . . . David and his friends then left to India and attacked the Indian City killing over 100. Because the DEA were warned and because it is well know that jihadaists are jihadists, we can prove that the DEA are Islamic Terrorist sympathizers based on action only, though that may not be the mindset. But then again, knowing the consequences and going about shows and proves intent. If I knew jumping of the Empire State building would kill me and yet I did it, this shows that death was the intent of jumping off. But then again the DEA and DOJ know that drug prohibition directly funds Islamic Terrorism, yet refuse to stop the Drug War or at least stop 100% of all the illegal drugs in the world (regardless if it’s impossible, they still failed to do so), thus proving that the DOJ and DEA are via action only (not necessarily in personal belief –but that doesn’t change the result of the outcome), Jihadist Sympathizers. Further proof that the DEA are Islamic Terrorist sympathizers: they won’t let the U.S. military grow Hemp For Victory like we did for WWII and only a Muslim Terrorist (since that is our current enemy) would not want the U.S. to utilize American hemp for victory . . . to prove validity of the above: would the Taliban or Al Qaeda want the U.S. military to use hemp war materials to wage war against them? I doubt it. Not knowing one is a Jihadist Sympathizer doesn’t negate the actions committed . . . it doesn’t bring the dead back to life or un-blow up the Indian buildings or raise up the World Trade Centers . . . it doesn’t bring the murdered Marine in Arizona back to life. America has terrorist training camp inside her and they call those Police Academies . . . legalize drugs, then you reduce (not stop) Imperial American Soldiers going to war because of a drug money attack or finding a nation like Iraq to be a scapegoat because of a drug money attack in the first place . . . you shorten the length of war as well, thus making deployments shorter –thus reducing any wrongs that the U.S. military does do in the name of War. Every earthling has the right to live in a world or nation without terrorist, which gives the U.S. the right to send her troops . . . legalize every drug known to man, you reduce terrorism and American/NATO/U.N. deployments. What do you call people in 1942 trying to blow up or hinder an American War Factory: Nazi (or Jap) sympathizers . . . what do you call the DEA trying to keep hemp from being used by the Military during a time of War: Al Qaeda Sympathizers (at least in action only).

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      • War Vet

        The above ‘Terrorist’ portion comes from a University Logic Class and thus it is valid and thus accurate since something that is logical is considered to be the truth (or truth like: Truthlica?). If we throw the same ‘Sticks’ and ‘Stones’ that the Prohibs use against us, we might just break their bones. For Example (out of hundreds): If the American people viewed the actions of the DEA or DOJ (cops) to be similar to that of the Nazis conducting a violent Holocaust against the Jews, they might rethink drug prohibition (like the American Christians wanting to protect Israel at all cost). Proof the DEA are conducting a violent Holocaust against the Jews (smaller –very different from the German version, but still valid because it’s logical and 100% impossible to be wrong): The DEA allow terrorists to sell drugs under drug prohibition (since drug prohibition creates terrorist funding) . . . the vast majority of every attack against Israel from terrorists did come from drug money since Lebanon is North of Israel and Lebanon is know for growing illegal drugs that has been documented to be sold by Hezbollah and Hamas etc, yet the DOJ and DEA let drug prohibition exist, though it harms Israel and kills Jewish people, which is proof that the DEA are allowing and conducting a Holocaust against the Jewish state through prohibition . . . since if America legalizes all drugs, many nations just might do so as well, thus destroying the vast majority of the illicit drug trade used by terrorists. Because the WWII Holocaust as Duncan noted, is defined as violence against the Jewish people, as well as taking away their homes and property (like what war and bombs can do) and Israel is a Jewish state being bombarded by drug money bought weapons and since drug money is protected by drug prohibition and drug prohibition is being protected by the DEA and DOJ, this is valid and thus accurate proof that the DEA are Anti-Semtic in action and even in nature (though not in thought or belief, but the DEA and DOJ know drug prohibition creates drug money and they know drug money attacks Israel, yet they don’t stop drug prohibition, which foots the blame on them, since they know the consequences of their actions based on previous examples) and are conducting their version of the Holocaust against the Jewish people (though they are not the only victims). If this is not accurate, then it is physically impossible for one plus one to equal two since it takes two independent 1’s to create the different number of 2 i.e. DEA plus Drug Prohibition equals Dead Jews from a drug money financed attack. Kind of like we can prove prisons holding drug offenders are legally called Slave Plantations since they are making money off of free labor or at least getting paid to have prisoners . . . since we all believe it’s illegal (according to the Constitution) to arrest a law abiding citizen, since we believe drugs are not a crime. Just like we can prove Obama (like Bush etc even) is a slave master or slave holder. But then again, I believe Obama’s America might have placed more black men and black women in jail for drugs than Bush’s America, which begs the question: is Obama a bigger racist than Bush . . . not that I believe Obama is a member of the KKK or really even a racist –it’s just sticks and stones –logically thrown, thus valid since Obama’s War on Drugs mimics the actions of a ‘racist’ (and if Bush’s America or Clinton or Regan etc had more blacks in jail for drugs, then one of them would be the biggest racist since the War on Drugs is a politicaly correct version of Segregation).

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  • I think you paint w/ too broad a brush Dante. It’s not the officers (mostly), it’s the system they operate under.

    Also a good place to post the link to Phillip Smith’s police corruption weekly over at StopTheDrugWar:

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/27

    and the corruption page at Drug War Facts:

    http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Corruption

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    • Windy

      Allan, you may be forgiven for thinking that if you are not a regular reader of Radley Balko. Dante is more right than wrong, more and more cops every year are engaging in misconduct of some kind or another, and far too much of it ends with innocent people and animals getting hurt or dead.

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      • I read Radley often enough. It’s my own experience that draws me to say that. I’ve made a few friends among local sheriff deputies over the years and they’re no more screwed up than the rest of us. But this system is ripe for abuse. I would also point to LEAP as an example of why I say what I said…

        Working Conde’s HempFests just scraped the glittery patina right off the iconic groovy face of the hippies for me. After dealing w/ hippies, rainbows and drainbows, trustafarians and all their accumulated fringe followings and motley crews I basically figgered out that every culture, social group, band of gypsies… every human community has its Bubbas.

        I still think it too broad a brush. I feel ya but respectfully disagree.

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        • Dante

          I may paint with too broad a brush, that is true.

          My comments on law enforcement are the product of a life’s experiences.

          Before you quickly assume I mean that I am a notorious felon, think again. My experience is drawn from my family members who were employed by the criminal justice system. I grew up idolizing the police. I was accepted in their midst, and I was comfortable there.

          Then I saw and learned the awful truth. It wasn’t my neck they were stepping on, but it was painful for me nonetheless. There are only two kinds of cops – the dirty ones and the ones covering up for the dirty ones. There is no “third way” type of cop.

          I mean no harm, I only seek to inform. Respect.

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        • Respect…

          And I hear you… I’ve had my encounters w/ LE. I’ve also had my encounters w/ those they’re paid to deal w/ at a much more aggressive level than you or I should ever have to.

          Does all this suck? Truly. But unapologetically I havta say the finger pretty much always points back to we the peoples. We’ve been expressively warned by many since the nation’s founding to be vigilant. So much for that.

          Who’s fault is that we’ve been totally compromised, across the board by this megalithic beast we call government? Can we say “but the big bad men took away our stuff” with whimpering sadness and resignation? Or do we have to stand up and collectively say FTS! and put a stop to it?

          I’m just curious how many have ever had to play the enforcer? In whatever capacity… a bouncer at a bar, a homeowner stopping a burglar…

          I have. And when physical mayhem is possible in an encounter my stance totally changes. I’m not a big guy. 5′ 9″ and 150. I’m a nice guy. I smile a lot and make humor part of my daily life. People are easier to deal w/ when they’re smiling. In the military I was the young white guy the brothers called “Peabody” (any fans of Rocket J Squirrel and his friend Bullwinkle know). At that age there was nothing tough about me. But as an older guy, if smiling isn’t gonna work…

          So I’ve been called a thug more than once in my life. Because I had my thug switch to “On” and was up in their face. But never laid a hand on anybody to bring resolution. I worked as a doorman/bouncer at a dance club for a year, never had to lay a hand on anybody.

          But when I had two young fellas stick a big ol’ pistola in my face, I was powerless, except for my brains and voice. That was the best crisis intervention work of my life (literally). And no way I could play the thug when I’m being outthugged like that. And that’s a big part of police. We want them to handle those kinda folks.

          I’m not defending the brutes, thugs and corruption within law enforcement. I’m saying it’s our system and if we want it changed then we need to change it. And if you think the taxpayers’ police are brutish, what’s gonna happen when (oops… now that) private security forces get to play with guns in public? When Katrina hit, the good people of NO should’ve received help from the Nat’l Guard but got Blackwater, a crooked mayor and a broken police department instead. And that’s the bright side… and not an aberration. More like an example of what’s ahead.

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      • primus

        I had to stop reading his blog, it was too depressing. I agree with Balko and you that misbehaviour by police is increasing. It appears that much of society thinks that is OK. THAT is the problem.

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  • Peter

    sorry to go ot so early in this thread but martha mendoza of associated press has an article tagged drug money in my local paper. sorry no link. she treats the huge amount of money spent by ghe us military in crntral america- 20 billion- as a good thing and avoids any criticism of this miltarization of the drug war. i suspect that she has just cut and pasted a press release from the dea for this. the message is overwhelmingly that military involvement by the us in the drug war in latin america is the only right and proper course of action. shame on you mendoza, youre not even a hack. youre a stenographer.

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  • claygooding

    Between the federal grant money and seizure laws the war on drugs has become the LE lottery,,get the right numbers and it could result in millions of dollars,even to a small town police dept.
    I wrote an oped in my paper here and brought that point out,,our local police spent more time on the bypass watching for a possible trafficker than patrolling the inner city and checking for burglaries and other crimes which resulted in them doing less bypass watching. They still don’t speak to me.

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    • War Vet

      That reminds me of a short fiction story I created about a Vet coming home on leave to see his wife and baby. The road she would be traveling down was very dangerous and they had a traffic cop who did literally reduce speeders and accidents since the cop at the dangerous intersection was in plain sight for all to see and it was known he was there by those familiar with the rout. The vet was eating food at the restaurant he and his wife met as coworkers not far from the intersection and some college student with a ‘legalize it’ sticker and dressed as a hippy got pulled over and forced into the burger joint parking lot. Several Squad Cars helped out the first cop car doing searches (with a fine tooth comb, harassing the kid about where his weed was at until they found a roach), including the officer at the dangerous intersection. The Vet heard ambulance sirens and later found out that his wife and baby had been killed at that very intersection because a speeding driver late from his lunch break noticed the cop wasn’t there (in his very own words on the report) and decided to drive fast thus running the red because he would receive no ticket because of not traffic cop parked as usual. Needless to say, when the vet returned home from his tour (since he was only given an extra few weeks to settle his accounts and he was SF, which meant he was badly needed and couldn’t end his deployment early), he punished all the officers involved in the lengthy drug search of the hippy college student . . . he believed only one car was necessary to do the search . . . here, it’s not uncommon to have up to 4-5 squad cars with two officers in each car search one car just for a drugs.

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    • Windy

      Clay, that may be a blessing rather than a curse (that the cops don’t talk to you anymore).

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  • Susan Nash

    It’s not just the grants causing this problem. Management fads to run government like business are part of the problem. Number of arrests becomes a measure of an individual officers performance in such a model. Outcomes like convictions are difficult to count from the police dept side because those statistics are kept in the court system which is usually separate from the police systems.

    You also have a loss of police discretion where in the past officers might have let minor offenders go, now they can’t because they can be held accountable for not arresting someone. Technology like video cameras, digital dispatch systems, gps etc means the officers actions are increasingly monitored by management.

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    • claygooding

      I agree that when the police departments became revenue makers for their agencies,traffic tickets produce a lot of revenue,it has been a downhill slide from there,,and the grant money is a huge part of the problem,,if the federal government quit paying the grants for marijuana arrests the number of people arrested for possession would drop,,as they have in CA just from decriminalization.

      Perhaps some of our CA couch creatures can give us some input on how and if the attitude of police has changed and if the numbers of searches has dropped.

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  • claygooding

    Suit says cops gave pot to protesters and the homeless

    http://tinyurl.com/aq5fene

    “”A half-dozen Minnesotans have sued the state and numerous law enforcement agencies, claiming that they were used as “guinea pigs” when officers supplied them with drugs as part of a controversial police training program.

    In the lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, the plaintiffs call the now-suspended Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) program, which is supposed to train police on how to spot drug use, “an unethical clinical trial” in which officers gave people large amounts of marijuana and observed them before abandoning them on the streets while they were still high.

    The plaintiffs say police targeted members of the Occupy Minneapolis movement and the homeless population, as well as individuals already addicted to drugs.”” ‘snipped’

    Thank you for such a timely crime by the crime fighters,,now to see if any go to jail for it.

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  • The criminalization of drugs and users is an insane act in our modern chemical society. There will never be a shortage of drug users. There will never be a shortage of enforcement targets either. A better cat and mouse game was never invented.

    The “serve” and “protect” motto’s of so many enforcement departments across the country have started to become synonymous with the thoughts “hunt” and “prey”.

    Making drugs and drug users criminal is turning the worlds Governments into the enemies of their own land and their own citizens into the source pool for new victims to keep it all going.

    Ending the drug war and all the insane amounts spent on a Federal level has to stop. Too many in law enforcement still feel all’s fair in war. That’s where the big money is.

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    • War Vet

      Cops are on a seek and destroy mission with the people, like in Nam . . . while the Military is on a ‘get to know and help the people’ mission in the Middle East. A reversal you can say.

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  • Francis

    Marijuana prohibition is certainly not the “harmless” policy its apologists make it out to be. Oh sure, it starts out innocently enough. “Let’s get a few kicks hassling some hippies.” But it doesn’t stop there. It inevitably leads to harder and more dangerous abuses of power, a crippling addiction to drug war money that drives its victims to lie, cheat, and steal, and–ultimately–to the death of a country’s civil liberties. Prohibition, not even once.

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  • Barack Obama infused 2 billion dollars into Byrne Grants as part of his stimulus package. Has there ever been a worse use of funds? How many more young lives were bludgeoned and how many families crushed by these additional arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations?

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  • The Drug War is a Gateway to… well… Stupid:

    Canadian kept out of U.S. for Super Bowl

    Canadian Myles Wilkinson says his all-expenses-paid trip to the Super Bowl was derailed by a 32-year-old conviction for possessing a small amount of marijuana.

    The Victoria, British Columbia, man told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. he won the trip in a fantasy football league contest and was looking forward to seeing the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers play in New Orleans Sunday.

    But when he got to Pearson International Airport in Toronto Thursday, U.S. customs agents told him he couldn’t enter the United States because of his 1981 pot conviction in Vancouver when he was 19 years old.

    “I had two grams of cannabis. I paid a $50 fine,” Wilkinson told the CBC.

    sigh…

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    • Peter

      yes but its much worse than just missing the super bowl. he is permanently excluded from immigrating to the us even if he qualifies for other reasons like having a us citizen spouse or children. this is a lifetime ban. possession of drugs is considered a class of super crime dor which no waiver of inadmissability is available. waivers are available for most other convictions including violent crimes

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      • Peter

        oh the irony. he gets to attend the bud light party in vancouver instead. big alcohol taking the piss

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  • Freeman

    Now who are we supposed to believe? Michelle Alexander says the drug war corrupts, Radley Balko says it’s real bad, but The Professor Who Spent His Whole Career Studying and Teaching Drug Policy says it’s insignificant:

    Yes, it’s fascinating that the Controlled Substances Act has led to only minimal corruption. Well worth a study to determine why. (One theory: overlapping jurisdictions.) But the fact is there.

    You can’t argue with fascinating facts, can you? That “study to determine why” should be real interesting, don’t you think?

    We’ve been led to believe that drug-war corruption is a large and growing problem, but The Guy Who Knows The Facts says it’s not really happening:

    James Wimberley says:
    January 15, 2013 at 2:59 am

    A situation like this is a breeding ground for corruption. How much money goes into the pockets of bent cops and prosecutors to turn a blind eye? The integrity of the criminal justice system should be Holder’s prime objective, ahead of enforcing the law as it stands (or in this case wobbles like a jelly).

    Mark Kleiman says:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Ans: Roughly zero in large jurisdictions. Corruption is too dangerous.

    So you see, corruption can only happen in tiny insignificant amounts in tiny insignificant jurisdictions and only effect tiny insignificant nobodys, otherwise the cops know there will be not-tiny not-insignificant consequences if they’re caught. Or something.

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    • SelwynGonzalesTucker

      Stephen Anderson, a former New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective, recently testified that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way for officers to meet arrest quotas. This practice has cost New York city $1.2 million to settle cases of false arrests. In Anderson’s own words: “The corruption I observed … was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” — Anderson was busted back in 2008 for planting cocaine on four men in a Queens bar.

      “This has been going on for forty years. These corruptions are emerging all over the country. It’s not systemic to a police department, per se, but it is systemic to the War on Drugs in the context that the federal government is basically corrupting local government with their funds and the helter-skelter way of putting these task forces together and diverting local police from their basic public safety duties to the priorities of the federal government in terms of the War on Drugs.”
      —Former Deputy Chief Stephen Downing, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department.

      According to Paul Craig Roberts, a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and former assistant secretary to the treasury under Ronald Reagan, “Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public.”

      http://www.newstatesman.com/north-america/2011/04/orleans-city-jail-police

      Here is part of the testimony of Judge Alfred J Talley, given before the Senate Hearings of 1926:

      “It has brought the sickening slime of corruption, dishonor, and disgrace into every group of employees and officials in city, State, and Federal departments that have been charged with the enforcement of this odious law.”

      The second biggest business during prohibition in Detroit was liquor at $215 million a year and employing about 50,000 people. Authorities were not only helpless to stop it, many were part of the problem. During one raid the state police arrested Detroit Mayor John Smith, Michigan Congressman Robert Clancy and Sheriff Edward Stein.

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      • Peter

        when youre dealing with a made up victimless crime like drug possession, frame ups are easy. imagine trying to this with a burglary quota. it would involve getting the victims to go to court and lie about being burgled by the accused. so much more messy than planting drugs. there the only crime victim is the prey of the police

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Let’s not forget to mention New York City during the idiocy of the 18th Amendment.. Nobody ever mentions New York City because that city managed to avoid the crime problems of its sister cities in other States. But that’s only because the legislature repealed the State laws inspired by the idiocy of the 18th Amendment.

        Is anyone interested in seeing the picture of an actual speakeasy turned legitimate bar that’s still in operation? 2426 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, MD
        The State of Maryland did even better than New York. The State didn’t join the national insanity of passing any State level prohibition laws.

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    • darkcycle

      I can’t even bring myself to argue with him. Yep. Mark Kleiman. If it’s his opinion, it MUST be right. Who am I to assail his opinion with facts? (but I’m gonna read what you guys wrote…)

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      • Duncan20903

        Well isn’t he entitled to his own set of facts?

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        • Freeman

          Not only that, but his own “consensus reality”. All he needs is for Kevin Seebat to agree with him, and viola! Consensus reality is born!

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      • Freeman

        Yep, Always Right. That’s what the A.R. in Mark A. R. Kleiman stands for, right?

        Unless it’s something like “Automated Router”. But that would be calling him a tool. And that would be wrong. So, no.

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  • [...] If there was no other reason to end the drug war, this would be sufficient — to reduce the culture and incentives that lead to law enforcement corruption and that …www.drugwarrant.com/…/the-drug-war-is-a-gateway-to-police… [...]

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    • Jerry Lewis

      My question is how can a person make law enforcement and the judical system ,abide by laws that are in place to protect us ? In my case i have lost the right to report a crime that has been committed against me . For example , my truck was stolen but the police refuse to except a stolen vehicle report .
      When I sold my house , I didn’t get any offers until just before it was going to be forclosed on . Thats when i discovered the home was shown on MLS as SOLD the the entire time . Then it was sold for 80 thousand less than the appraisal and the escrow documents and instructions had been rewritten and my signture had been forged , but I couldn’t get anyone to accept a report or investigate the crime .
      I have filed complaints with every state and federal agency that governs over these crimes , with no success . I have contacted every attorney in Nevada and they say they don’t handle that type of a case . Even though they adverticze that they specialize in that area. It seems like I’m not talking with the people i’m contacting.
      What are your views on this problem?

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  • Servetus

    In the hands of its user, a drug is just a drug. In the hands of a bad cop, it’s a potential weapon.

    In Mexico, some cops carry small amounts of drugs for planting on motorists they randomly pull over. Pretending to find the drugs in the car, the police extort a small bribe for letting the motorist go. If the driver is found to have their own drugs in the car, the cop will take part of the stash as a bribe, and then set the motorist free. These are daily occurrences in some parts of Mexico, thanks to Drug War USA.

    Planting drugs on the innocent is a common scam. It’s been done by cops to discourage minorities from moving into or loitering in white-only U.S. neighborhoods. It’s been used by federal agents to attack political activists under COINTELPRO. And it has the potential to be used by the police in stop-and-frisks of black and Latino teenagers on city streets.

    No police officer, good or bad, should possess the kind of arbitrary power and prosecutorial discrimination a drug arrest poses over the ordinary civilian. It’s not worth the threat it poses to civil liberties.

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    • Blumenauer said he expects to introduce the tax-code legislation as well as a bill that would reschedule marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to enact medical marijuana laws without fear that federal authorities will continue raiding dispensaries or prosecuting providers. It makes no sense that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, in the same category as heroin and a more restrictive category than cocaine, Blumenauer said.

      The measures have little chance of passing, said Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug policy adviser. Sabet recently joined former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former President George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum in forming a group called Project SAM—for “smart approaches to marijuana”—to counter the growing legalization movement. Sabet noted that previous federal legalization measures have always failed.

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  • n.t. greene

    “Who watches the watchmen?”

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a serious question that goes unasked by most. The police are, by the general public, perceived not as the money hungry agencies they are but as the infallible “protect and serve” stereotype instead.

    I, for one, fault MSM pretty significantly for this. They’re patting everyone on the head when they should be critically analyzing them.

    But I guess widespread police corruption (at the level of funding, not necessarily on the individual level) does not make good news in a country where “corruption ” is basically absent from the media vocabulary in reference to US forces.

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    • claygooding

      When 1/2 the shows on television are cop shows that portray honest,diligent,hard working police trying to solve violent crimes it makes it hard to decide if the cops or pharmaceutical companies are the top advertisers during prime time.

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      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        So why in the 20th season did the Law & Order writers have Lt. Van Buren sick with cancer and start using medicinal cannabis? Oh, it worked too.

        Remember, there’s no medicinal cannabis patient protection law in New York State.

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        • War Vet

          http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2007/sep/28/feature_israeli_police_will_no_l

          Off topic to your comment, but in defense to my wanting to use the word ‘Anti-Semite’, with regards and respect to your argument:

          Israel in 2007 according to the ‘Stop the Drug War’ website, decriminalized first time possession of all drugs (up to a quarter gram of coke and smack even), which is far better than what our DOJ has done, thus showing that their law enforcement is softer on drugs. Do their cops wage the war on drugs with the same zest and zeal as ours? Maybe the word anti-Semite was not logical . . . maybe Holocaust like is more logical –kind of like the definition of Metalica is metal like, though not quite metal (when not referring to the musical group) or Replica is defined as similar, but not original: thus original like.

          Here is the proof: Since the DEA and American DOJ don’t belong to Israel, we can separate them from their Israeli drug enforcement counterparts, whom do appear softer on the War on Drugs, thus not so similar when it comes to law enforcement’s approach to drugs . . . which means we can separate the American DEA and DOJ from their Israeli counterparts to show a distinct difference (like why is the American drug enforcer to be called the Anti-Semite like individual and not the Jewish one: well, Israel is softer on the war on drugs, and America’s drug prohibition has resulted in fewer drug money financed attacks on American soil, unlike Israel, whose attacks originate from drug money mostly coming from drug sales in Iran, Russia and Europe and not so much Israel’s own drug use, which means it’s not fair that America’s drug prohibition results in no rocket attacks falling on our nation . . . drug sales from Europe and Canada and Asia etc results in fewer terrorist attacks in America with rockets, mortars, bus bombs etc.). Since hardcore right wing Christians believe in the protection of Israel and since Drug prohibition is allowing terrorist to rocket and mortar Israel with drug money financed fighters and weapons, would it not be logical that a Right Wing Christian is Pro-Drug legalization since to be Anti-Drug Legalization would be to accept the attack of the Jewish State as a reasonable consequence to keeping drugs illegal? Since it can be proven that drug prohibition blows up buildings in Israel through drug money, why would conjuring up a quasi-emotional image of a ‘Holocaust like action’ being conducted to the Jewish people in Israel through drug prohibition’s ability to finance enemies of the Jewish people and State, be wrong –since it’s America’s War on Drugs and Drug prohibition that caused this whole global uproar? If Anslinger never did the voodoo he did so well, Israel might not have outlawed drugs like America did if America never outlawed drugs. Because the DEA know that drug prohibition creates illegal drugs sold on a black market and they know the drug black market kills Jews through drug money financed terrorist attacks, would not the term Holocaust-ic or Holocaustica not be appropriate, even though those are not real words, but the definition of a Holocaust like being or setting would be logical since the DEA know their laws are killing the Jewish people through the cause and effect of drug prohibition funding terrorism . . . especially considering that if the DEA and DOJ just decided to boycott the drug laws, which creates illegal drug money, the death of hundreds (maybe thousands throughout the history of all the attacks utilizing drug money financed terrorists/Palestinians since the 70’s or 80’s) of Jews would stop coming from what drug money finances.

          Basically I’m looking at a ‘sticks and stones’ model attacking the DEA by conjuring up their actions to elicit emotions similar to the emotions we get when we think of Holocaust against the Jewish people. Would Hitler disapprove of drug money financing terrorists who kill Jews . . . would Osama? Would they disapprove of the War on Drugs, which has the consequences of killing Jews? I don’t think so . . . I think Hitler would approve of the American War on Drugs having the consequences of killing Jews (do you think so), so how would the emotional image of the word Holocaust like not be appropriate when depicting the choice of the DEA? The DEA and DOJ chose to keep drugs illegal, though it directly created the attacks and murders of the Jewish People in Israel and they know it and it has been documented by governments around the world to do so. I think knowing the consequence of an action and doing the action proves intent (You know jumping off the Empire State building will kill you, you do it anyway, thus you intended to die) . . . thus we can make a logical argument that says the intent of keeping drugs illegal was to also (out of the hundreds of reasons to) kill the Jewish people and attack their state through the consequences . . . those are the actions of an Anti-Semite as well. There are a million ways to attack the DEA . . . I just think this could also work as well when creating a collage of bombardments against the DEA and DOJ’s War on Drugs. I don’t personally think the DEA and DOJ are Anti-Semites, but their actions against the Jewish people do resemble elements that could fit the definition –or at least Holocaust like: the use of the Law has been used to kill the Jew though legal means . . . it happened in the 40’s as it does today –using the law to kill a group of people, whom happen to be Jewish . . . using the Law to destroy Jewish property since bombs destroy property and the bombs are protected by the drug laws.

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  • Duncan20903

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    IIRC the first time I ever heard the phrase “in denial” was in 1990 at a court ordered drugs re-education program. It struck me as just plain stupid. If I say I’m an addict that’s proof that I am. But if I say I’m not, that’s also proof that I am. Why the hell do they bother to ask anyway?

    But in the last year the prohibitionists have been doggedly determined to get me to acknowledge that the phrase “in denial” is not meaningless pap. Lately the prohibitionist have claimed:

    1) The prohibasites deny that there’s any additional cost for enforcement of cannabis laws.

    2) The prohibasites deny that black market vendors will give up control of the market if the cannabis retail supply chain is decriminalized.

    3) #2 actually doesn’t actually matter because the prohibasites deny that gangsters make much if any profit from selling cannabis. Heck, organized crime might even lose money on cannabis transactions.

    4) The prohibasites deny that anybody could collect any taxes on legal cannabis.

    5) The prohibasites deny that anyone goes to jail for pot.

    6) The prohibasites deny that prohibition causes any systemic corruption among our public servants.

    7) The prohibasites deny that police ever lie when under oath. If the cop says he smelled the “odor of burnt merrywanna” coming from the car in front his while moving at 35 MPH you know that it’s true.

    8) The prohibasites deny that we cannabinoidians can accomplish anything while commenting on our victories in Colorado and the State of Washington.

    9) The prohibasites deny that prohibition is an epic failure of public policy. They actually think that it works. Go figure that one out because it’s beyond my ken.

    Indeed, it certainly appears that the evidence is trying to convince me that “denial” is a piece of reality.

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    • Freeman

      Excellent points Duncan. One nit on #7: it’s easy to tell if the guy doing 35 in front of you has a lit reefer in the car when you’re following on a motorcycle. But that doesn’t mean cops don’t lie in court — I’ve seen that lots of times.

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      • Duncan20903

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        I’ll take your word for it because I don’t have a death wish so I never ride motorcycles. But #7 came from an actual case in Florida (I think) a couple of months back and the cop was driving a patrol car, not a motorcycle.

        Bikers don’t waste your breath. My decision was made because of the 4 or 5 times when I’ve almost wasted bikers when turning left. I think a very significant majority of licensed drivers are inept on the road. If I’m almost wasting motorcyclists out on the road bikers should be afraid. Very afraid.

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