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Will Holder or the Senate Judiciary Committee be relevant?

So today, Attorney General Holder is supposed to be grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee (going on right now). There’s a general sense that he will address the administration’s “response” to marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado.

Update:

HOLDER: “We are in the administration at this point considering what the federal government’s response to those new statutes will be. I expect that we will have an ability to announce what our policy is going to be relatively soon.”

LEAHY: “I would think that — this is simply an editorial comment — but if you’re going to be, because of budget cuts, prioritizing on matters, I would suggest there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana.”

[Thanks, Tom]

There’s also a general sense that the timing of a couple of other things were not coincidental.

  1. A ridiculous letter from a bunch of former DEA heads, Drug Czars and other drug warriors, released through an organization with a history of torturing children.
  2. The release of a report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) — a completely unaccountable organization through the United Nations that supports the killing and torturing of innocents through encouraging the ratcheting up of the drug war internationally.

Both of these destructive groups want to save the United States and the world from someone eating a pot brownie in Denver, and are hoping the Senate will push Holder into kicking some heads in.

Jacob Sullum does a great job of covering this so I don’t really have to: Totally Disinterested Drug Warriors Demand That Holder Stop Marijuana Legalization Before It’s Too Late

However, I thought some of you might be interested in reading the section of the intro from INCB president Raymond Yans:

We note with concern, however, that in this debate, some declarations and initiatives have included proposals for the legalization of the possession of drugs for non-medical and non-scientific use, that is, for “recreational” use, that would allow the cultivation and consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes. Any such initiatives, if implemented, would violate the international drug control conventions and could undermine the noble objectives of the entire drug control system, which are to ensure the availability of drugs for medical purposes while preventing their abuse. Proponents of such initiatives ignore the commitment that all Governments have made to promote the health and well-being of their communities, and such initiatives run counter to the growing body of scientific evidence documenting the harm associated with drug abuse, including occasional
use, particularly among young people during their formative years.

Furthermore, such initiatives would create a false sense of security and would send a false message to the public, in particular children, regarding the health impact of abuse of drugs. Some have argued that these proposals would eliminate the illicit markets and organized crime associated with drugs of abuse. Yet, even if such initiatives were implemented, organized criminal groups would get even more deeply involved, for instance by creating a black market for the illicit supply of newly legalized drugs to young people.

I really love the phrase “undermine the noble objectives of the entire drug control system.” Wow. That takes some chutzpah.

And the notion that legalization would create a black market for the illicit supply of drugs to young people… Isn’t that what we have now?

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42 comments to Will Holder or the Senate Judiciary Committee be relevant?

  • darkcycle

    I had to read that last line three times. Wow. Just….wow.

  • Bruce

    The Hunger Pains in my Tummy accompanied by the Realization there are Frauds like these Busybody Worm Beings Gnawing away at the foundation of all that is Benevolent and Good in both Canada and US is quite Disturbing.
    Noble to these Clowns evidently involves being fitted with BORG Headgear and its associated Software, Liquids, Tranmitters, and Tubing.

    • War Vet

      Speaking of the Borg and Star Trek the Next Generation: they had an episode “Symbiosis” (22nd episode), where the crew discovers a drug producing planet supplying the addictive drug to another planet . . . the drug addicted planet provides food and necessities –wealth, while the producers only produce . . . the drug is so addicted that the drug using planet believes they will die if they don’t get their 72hr dose . . . the producing planet knows of the addiction, while the using planet believes it is a cure from a plague and its sickness like feelings.

      • Where no drugs have gone before

        .
        .

        That may well have been the worst episode of TNG ever. Golly, was Dr. Crusher acting like a shrill prohibitionist or what? For crying out loud she wanted Captain Picard to violate the Prime Directive to “help” those poor addicts. But that’s a prohibitionist for you.

        We should keep in mind that back in that day the Federal government in the person of the drug czar/ONDCP was buying and/or arm twisting product placement on popular TV shows.

        Do you recall the season 1 finale when they ran across a ship which held cryogenically preserved dead people? They managed to revive 3 of them. One of those 3 appeared to be a famous country music singer named L. Q. “Sonny” Clemmons who died from too much booze and (some) prescription drugs. He went to sick bay and tried to talk Dr. Crusher into giving him something. “I just got to have a little something to jump start the morning, and a little something else to shut down the night.” Dr. Crusher just said no.

        No, Timothy Leary’s head wasn’t on that ship.

  • Deep Dish

    Holder’s big announcement (paraphrased): “I have no idea.”

  • John White

    They just won’t accept that “We, the People,” may not join in lockstep with them. We have the right to chose and that right was exercised. Now, it’s in plain view that they’re out to strip us of that right. Good luck with that one. And, really, who gives a rat’s ass what the UN stinks?!!

  • darkcycle

    WTF? It’s all a big mystery? What a tool. Watch him make no pronouncement and then send his goons after legal growers. Not acceptable.

    • stlgonzo

      That is what I’m afraid of.

      “We can’t legalize Marijuana there’s to much money in it.”

  • Francis

    “Will Holder or the Senate Judiciary Committee be relevant?”

    That’s up to us.

    • Windy

      Most people may not know their true power, but I’ll bet those in government do know it and fear it and that is why they try so very hard to keep us divided, along party lines, by race, by income, by rural vs urban vs suburban, and in so many other ways. Unfortunately for them, “cannabists”, 2nd Amendment supporters and those who believe the government should be obeying the Constitution in ALL things are finding their strength in numbers and changing the balance of power.

  • claygooding

    This is exactly what we need,,the indecision,the lost in space and the lack of any practical reason for spending trillions more dollars chasing the impossible dream.

    “Any such initiatives, if implemented, would violate the international drug control conventions and could undermine the noble objectives of the entire drug control system, which are to ensure the availability of drugs for medical purposes while preventing their abuse.”

    Noble objectives??? Even noble objectives must to have obtainable results and then comes the pharmaceutical industries insurance policy,,being sure that drugs are available for medical use(as long as a corporation makes it)while preventing abuse.

    Where is the prevention targeted at most,,marijuana,,where s the most damaging abuse,,pharmaceutical companies,,,who are allowed to produce enough “medicines” for both the legal market and the “black market”,,,talk about playing with a stacked deck,,,thee people need exposure for the criminals they are,,corporations wanna be treated as people and I think we should imprison about half dozen CEO’s to show them what it feels like.

  • Rick Steeb

    “Sound drug policy must be rooted in evidence-based science, not driven by special interest groups who are looking to profit at the expense of our nation’s public health and safety.”

    Absolutely. The chutzpah of these prohibitionist parasites is without limit…

  • Servetus

    Seems our friends at the U.N. are getting a little too tipsy for their own good. Diplomats appear to have reinvented the three martini lunch:

    “A senior U.S. diplomat has gone on record chastising his international colleagues at the United Nations for being guilty of D.W.I. — Diplomacy While Intoxicated.

    Joseph Torsella, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. for management and reform, has complained that delegates from other countries have been turning up drunk for delicate budget negotiations.”

    And there’s this:

    “…witnesses have provided corroborating evidence to support Torsella’s claims. One anonymous diplomat was quoted by AFP describing envoys who turned up for sessions “falling down drunk,” while another said how “on one occasion the note-taker who was meant to be recording the talks was so intoxicated he had to be replaced.”

    It’s a sad day when the INCB chastises democratic movements favoring drug law reform while standing on john barleycorn’s shoulders. If the offending diplomats would only switch to pot, no one would notice they’re carrying a buzz.

  • Wow… call me underwhelmed. Again…

    Ya know, I am still wondering when the hell we’re gonna have this “discussion” about cannabis. If we let ’em, they’ll roll from one crisis to the next, always uttering “wait, uh, til we, uh, handle this crisis” and never managing to get around to it. Obama is in his 5th year. Holder has just finished his 5th month (since the election). WTF?

    OMG… I mean if them thinking about cannabis causes this kind of amotivational issue avoidance (AIA) maybe they ought stop thunkin’ and leave us alone!

    Crikey mates! Talk about a ‘roo-in-the-headlicelights paralysis…

    And a team player to the end Holder saw no problems w/ the Aaron Swartz case handling by federal persecutors.

  • wyndol morrow

    Every President of the U.S. since senior Bush has admitted to smoking pot. High officials have their fill of whatever they want, but don’t give a damn that ordinary workers need to enjoy peace after their labors.

  • Servetus

    Addiction: a medical problem.

    The brain dynamics of stress-related drug relapse in rats has been discovered and stopped by researchers working at Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania.

    According to the press release, “The advance could accelerate progress toward a medicine that prevents stress from undermining addiction recovery.

    http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2013/03/cocaine

    • Interesting take on addiction as a medical problem (disease):
      The production of stigma by the disease model of addiction: why drug user activists must oppose it

      Here’s a sample:

      In spite of the apparent hard scientific backing of the neurosciences however, diagnosis of addiction is never made on the basis of the use of such technologies. Rather, when presenting for treatment, the drug user tells a story describing their behaviour, and on the basis of this is diagnosed as suffering from the disease of addiction, it is a story in which the drug user is compelled to present themselves as sick. Most of the criteria to be met to justify such a diagnosis are purely behavioural, rather than neurological. No tests are carried out; indeed none of the technology of medicine is employed at all. Rather, the story of one’s life, in particular of one’s use of the designated addictive substance is interpreted in a particular way and labeled problematic or addictive. There are no laboratory tests to identify a pathogen, no objective problem can be located on an x-ray. The tests that are used, if they can be called ‘tests’, are rather elements of a discursive formation that identifies ‘symptoms’ that are social rather than biological. AS Mariana Valverde has astutely pointed out with regards to the US National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence’s 26-point alcoholism test, it is “not an inquiry into drinking as much as a test of the soul’s relation to itself”[iii]. The difficulty of labeling addiction as a disease or medical condition is enshrined in the very definition itself. According to the International Classification of Diseases 10[iv] produced by the WHO, addiction is diagnosed when three out of a list of six criteria are met. The problem is that only two of the six criteria are objectively measurable physical phenomena, the others are based on users’ self-perception, elements of cognition, choice, and culturally variable phenomena. Hence a case of addiction could be diagnosed in the complete absence of any objectively measurable physical phenomena. Once so diagnosed, the subject is no longer in control of their destiny, instead they are othered, pathologised, infantilized, adjudged to be an affront to and beyond the norms of the self-controlled, autonomous individual that is the ideal of Western capitalist society, in Helen Keane’s words “[the concept of addiction] is tied to modernity, medical rationality and a particular notion of the unique and autonomous individual”[v]. I cannot but see this as highly stigmatizing. To recap, one tells a story in which one’s drug using has begun to interfere with other behaviours, in the jargon; it has become ‘problematic’. This problem needs resolution through the application, typically of a legally sanctioned medicine, for example, methadone, in place of the drug of choice e.g. heroin. Both however are opiates, supposedly inherently enslaving addictive substances. The sole difference lies in their legal declension, the one is a good opiate, the other bad. The difference resides only in the fact that that one is prescribed, the other not. Here again, not only the diagnosis, but the supposed treatment for the fictitious disease is purely socially constructed, purely behavioural. In other words, a stigmatized, criminalised behaviour such as the regular use of heroin is treated by subjection to a legally sanctioned ritualized behaviour – the consumption of methadone, backed up by a secular confessional, the weekly discussion with a drugs worker. The ultimate aim of such treatment is that one abstain from indulging in the problematic behaviour. What happens in treatment for drug related problems can, from this perspective, be seen more accurately as what Scott Vrecko has called ‘civilising technologies’[vi]. One could contrast this with other behaviours that can become all consuming, such as the pursuit of artistic excellence. The artist will practise their art, often to the exclusion of all other activities, but rather than being labeled pathological or disordered, they will be described as dedicated. The same applies to mountain climbing or the pursuit of other potentially dangerous activities, dedication to which is described as heroic – a mountain climber who dies whilst pursuing their chosen activity will be eulogized, seen as dying whilst doing what they love; the heroin user on the other hand who unfortunately dies as the result of their drug use will most certainly not be described in heroic terms! The only difference between the two categories of activity seems to be that the one is deemed illegal, whilst the other is seen as a heroic sporting venture.

  • Tony Aroma

    I wonder what “relatively soon” means. Is that geologic time? They’re been saying they’re going to have a response “soon” ever since the election.

    Not that I’m complaining. The longer they delay their response, the harder it will be for them to maintain their hardline position. If they wait until the retail industry in CO and WA gets started, there may be more states that have legalized by that time. And if they wait much past that point, it will be obvious that civilization has not in fact collapsed as they’ve been predicting. So delays by the Justice Dept just mean more momentum for legalization efforts, making them more difficult to contain as time goes on.

  • darkcycle

    At the same time it leaves those of us in the legal States who have businesses to plan and to run hanging out in space. It makes it very difficult to make plans for the new market. At this point there’s very little for me to fear, growing medical pot for other patients and for myself (especially on a small scale, like I do). In the former atmosphere, I could reasonably estimate my risk and my exposure. In the new regime, I hope to expand significantly and become part of the new economy. I can plan out the economic risks (like any businessman should be able to) but I cannot quantify the exposure risks. I mean, seriously, if I’m taking black market risks then you’d damn well better be prepared to pay black market prices…

  • Is the drinking age 18 or 21?

    .
    .

    I’ve heard people call the years between the idiocy of the 18th Amendment and the ratification of the 21st Amendment “The Noble Experiment.”

    My question is, “Are we now going to refer to the war on (some) drugs as “The Noble Objective?”

    • Francis

      A fourth man suspected of robbing a medical marijuana dispensary was arrested Wednesday morning after he barricaded himself inside the pot club, holding four employees hostage for more than four hours, police said.

      The suspect surrendered to a SWAT team after a police dog was sent into the building at Jennings Street and Wallace Avenue, San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

      A gang of violent sociopaths barges into a cannabis dispensary to rob it and holds several innocent people at gunpoint. A SWAT team shows up, and not only do they NOT offer the gunmen jobs on the spot, they actually arrest them?!

      According to Andraychak, the grow operation appeared to be in compliance with the code for public health permits.

      “The focus of the investigation is the armed takeover robbery,” Andraychak said. “The marijuana grow is very secondary.”

      Wait, and they didn’t themselves rob the dispensary, shut it down, and arrest the employees?!

      I don’t know, darkcycle. That seems like a pretty good story to me.

      • La mordida es bueno

        .
        .

        Of course they arrested the perps. What the heck else did you think that the dispensary would get for its weekly contribution to the cops retirement fund? 🙂

  • […] mum on federal response to legal pot in Colorado, WashingtonDaily CallerThe Denver Channel -Drug WarRantall 55 news […]

  • one song playlist

    What good is a choir that only sings one song?

    The drug kzar at Marquette: Chief Flynn, U.S. drug czar discuss marijuana

  • Thinking Clearly

    More Marijuana Arrests in US Than Apprehensions for Violence in 2011: A National Disgrace
    http://tinyurl.com/bu2lqlo

    As to relevance: I really think Obama is hoping that Congress will solve his difficulties for him.

  • strayan

    OT

    Has anyone noticed Mark Kleiman has been dead silent about cannabis policy for nearly 3 months? samefacts.com has gone from several cannabis related posts per month every month to absolutely none.

    Internal disagreement?

    • Internal disagreement hasn’t prevented them from posting on topics before. I think it’s something else. Perhaps an uncertainty as to what direction to go — what, in fact, they’d like Holder to do, if anything.

    • Freeman

      Has anyone noticed Mark Kleiman has been dead silent about cannabis policy for nearly 3 months?

      Yes! I’ve noticed that myself. No idea what’s up with that. On Holder’s hearings, he’s discussing drone strikes and extra-judicial killing. Last thing I recall him saying about drugs is that he thinks the CO and WA “experiments” should be allowed to proceed.

      The frequency of his postings is also down considerably from the norm. Maybe he’s working on another book. “Marijuana Policy for Dummies”?

    • I don't feel confused!

      .
      .

      I thought that the professor had signed himself into the FDA and DEA certified Pinsky Rehabilitation Center for Adderral® and other FDA approved stimulants addiction. Am I confused?

      Now let’s not be so critical of the poor man. He is in favor of re-legalization. Of course he wants a list of restrictions that could choke a hippopotamus and makes rational people ask “why bother?” But those are just sniggling details.

      I’m almost certain that we can get some compromise on making 99 the legal age for choosing to enjoy cannabis. We can probably even get him to agree to FBI vetted, urine screened, cavity searched visitors on the island where he would have us sequestered. Perhaps even allowed to leave our own private Devil’s Island if there’s a truly compelling need, e.g. your entire family is collateral damage in a mistaken address no knock raid. C’mon, the man is nothing if not reasonable.

  • ezrydn

    So, I take it Holder DIDN’T broach the subject? I listened as it “droned” on but heard not one word on the subject. Could that mean the lack of the question shows the extent of the Senate’s concern? Possibly.

    • darkcycle

      HOLDER: “We are in the administration at this point considering what the federal government’s response to those new statutes will be. I expect that we will have an ability to announce what our policy is going to be relatively soon.”

      LEAHY: “I would think that — this is simply an editorial comment — but if you’re going to be, because of budget cuts, prioritizing on matters, I would suggest there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana.”

  • claygooding

    The feds have a hell of a decision to make,,do they show the world that a vote by the people means nothing in the country claiming to be the flagship for freedom?

  • warren

    Will the fuds prove that democracy is a joke?

  • allan

    I know there are a lot of vets here… my friend Tim King (editor at Salem-News.com) is a USMC vet and Salem-News has done yeoman’s work covering PTSD (Doc Phil Levecque is one of those covering the issue regularly in S-N).

    Tim is also a very experienced news cameraman and film/vid guy. He’s trying to get funding to do a documentary on PTSD:

    A kickstarter campaign has been launched to fund the production of a documentary to aid those afflicted with PTSD, as well as their families. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects millions and while the emphasis of this program is military veterans, the program will benefit all who watch it by providing the history of this disorder and methods in dealing with this complex problem. This is a project worth supporting.

    Learn more and know your support will make a difference for many:

    PTSD Documentary

    Thanks folks.

    • allan

      heh… I’ve been emailing w/ Tim tonight and it reminded me that I owe him an oped. And that made me go back and look at a piece I wrote for him in aught9… A Dictionary For Gil

      And that made me think of this:

      Hey Gil! I bet “legalization” is in your vocabulary now!

      It has a certain ring to it…

  • The Drug War Should Be Over, Because We Lost

    http://tinyurl.com/ape3lr3

    This hits the nail on the head.

  • mr. ikashini

    But what of Poruigaul and the Netherlands?