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March 2014
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Open Thread

bullet image War of Words: The International Narcotics Control Board vs. A Changing World. The INCB withdrew its head from its nether regions briefly yesterday to release its 2013 report. Phillip Smith comments.


bullet image This could be a surprise to a lot of parents…. DEA Official: ‘Every Single Parent’ Opposes Marijuana Legalization. Oh, yeah, and that was in testimony in Congress.


bullet image Washington, DC decriminalizes marijuana possession


bullet image The ONDCP comments on the President’s FY 2015 budget.

the President’s National Drug Control Strategy represents a 21st century approach to drug policy that outlines innovative policies and programs and recognizes that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern. The Strategy lays out an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, effective law enforcement, and international cooperation.

Yep. More of the same.

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34 comments to Open Thread

  • CarolDuhart2

    So who was it that voted cannabis legal in two states, approved medical in several more?

    And BTW, cannabis users are also parents too. And as long as they don’t get caught up in the prison-industrial complex, also vote as well.l

    • Uncle Albert's Nephew

      What he meant was that no “true parent” supports legalization. And yes that’s the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.

  • Crut

    Re: ‘Every Single Parent’; Oh wow, Sen Cohen needs to keep on keepin on!

    And most is wrong too! 55% of Americans [support this]. {snip} It’s not just the psychiatrists, and the Jews and the single people. Let’s get beyond Richard Nixon.

  • primus

    It would appear that they have found their whipping boy; law enforcement. The cop was castigated for his hype, for his lies, for his spin, by the congressman. The politician was visibly angry, almost foaming, when he called the cop on his lies. The cop tried again to lie, tried to dodge the question, was called out again, and the questioner looked even more angry. Now, they can say; It wasn’t us, we were being misled by the bureaucrats, the cops, the people we put in power, and it wasn’t our fault. We trusted them, they let us down. (A la Sanjay Gupta) That way, they can dodge the blame.

  • Howard

    Okay, since this is an open thread I have questions for the commenters on this site regarding activities taking place in Texas. A few posts back Allan made mention of RAMP (Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition) meeting soon in Houston. Recently the Marijuana Policy Project announced plans to open an Austin office to work on changing laws in Texas, with an emphasis on changing laws during the next legislative session in 2015 and with a stated goal of state marijuana legalization by the 2019 session. They plan to hire lobbyists and spend $200K a year toward these goals. When I first heard of these plans I thought, “Great”. But the more I think about it the more I feel their efforts might be better utilized in states that might be easier to tip over. In Texas we have no voter initiative process. And we have many state legislators (in gerrymandered districts with no election competition) who openly scoff at any suggestion of marijuana legalization any time soon.

    So, to my questions: Do any of you feel, as I do, that this effort by MPP might be better directed to other states where the odds of success are greater? Or, does it make sense to simultaneously work hard in tough states and easier states? I’m thinking of the biggest bang for the limited bucks here.

    • claygooding

      Howard,,we have one unknown,,how vocal are people going to be in the upcoming elections,,how many MMJ questions will Republicans have to explain they’re personal or party stance?

      The majority of Texans accept marijuana as a medicine and Republicans are hardline deniers that marijuana is medicine,,TX is a red state through tradition but their party stance on MMJ is going to cost them a lot of seats,,even in TX.

      Even influencing our Rep and Dems is the national level of reform candidates taking votes from incumbent marijuana haters,,,all this could be answered and solved a lot quicker if both national parties realize the pot vote is that important,,,especially MMJ.

      • Howard

        Clay, I suspect with MPP’s presence in Austin we’ll see more coverage as to where Texas legislators stand. One state senator, John Carona (R-Dallas) recently made his feelings known regarding the law being changed in 2015. He remarked that based on the conservative nature of the state (and state legislators) any suggestion of change was DOA. He also suggested that if it were up to him he would make the laws even tougher so people would “respect” them (dinosaur alert).

        MPP did state that recent polling numbers were “numbers they could work with”. But they acknowledged that without the voter initiative process their work is cut out for them. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

    • Jose

      Howard, it is painful to say this, they should spend elsewhere. However there is Wendy Davis… If she can get elected we will have someone in the gov’s mansion that is receptive to civil liberties without the christian sado-moral slant. She has already dipped her toe into the decrim side and seemed “cautiously” open to discuss full on recreational.

      In all fairness I have to say that my view may be faulty due to the fact that I live in a small town (~7k pop).
      Outside of the larger cities the evangelicals are very powerful. Out here polling places are normally in a church, many towns are still dry. I lived in a dry town, put booze on the ballot and the churches go foaming at the mouth,batshit crazy. Trouble is, people actually buy into it. These people just can’t get passed their need to control others. What I am getting at it is that if folks out here still think booze is “satans’ semen”, cannabis is going to be an even harder sell.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Had you considered the possibility that someone donated the money to be specifically spent lobbying for cannabis law reform in Texas? In North America when you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras.

      Texas MPP receives $100,000 in matching donations
      January 1, 2014

      Texas NORML has proven its ability to organize, endure and succeed. Now they’ve gotten a huge challenge and opportunity to raise much needed funds for Marijuana Policy Project.

      Because of their organizational ability and hard work to reform cannabis laws in Texas, a California donor has offered to match up to $100,000 in donations. For each dollar you donate, their donor will match it.
      /snip/

      • Howard

        Duncan, I emailed MPP and asked if they were going to set up a specific Texas fund based on the fact that they were going to set up an Austin office. The answer was, “not at this time but that would happen sometime in the future”, likely concurrent with the office being opened. I know about the California matched donations (I donated toward it). If the donation is matched 100% that will be great. I bet it will. But lobbying is very expensive, especially with an office and staff. And the beer/wine/liquor lobby is uber powerful in Texas. You can bet they’ll donate heavily against any attempts to loosen marijuana laws (as will other groups). Then there’s the religious contingent and their knee jerk reaction to fund anything opposed to their morals. There are a myriad of deep pockets in Texas. Where will the piles of greenbacks land? Hard to tell, but definitely a battle royale is on the horizon.

  • Servetus

    Mexican citizens are getting burned out by the drug war. No kidding:

    Research Connects Drug War Violence in Mexico with Desensitization in Social Media

    The researchers declined to infer an actual causal relationship between drug war violence and social media numbness. But De Choudhury said the results do show a significant correlation between exposure to violence due to the ongoing urban warfare in Mexico and anxiety and post-traumatic stress symptoms gleaned from social media.

    “General psychological research has demonstrated that prolonged exposure to violence, whether directly or word of mouth or through media reports, can have lasting and detrimental impacts including emotional numbness or desensitization,” said De Choudhury. “And our research finds that this holds true with social media. Strong psychological markers of desensitization followed rises of violence in the Mexican drug war.”

    • NorCalNative

      Funny how when politicians and law enforcement in the U.S. talk about “the kids,” all those Mexican lives lost to their prohibition fantasy means squat.

      • Randy

        Exactly. I recall that some opinion writer claimed that the violence in Mexico indicated that the drug war was being won. It might have been referenced by Pete some time back.

        With apologies to the late Sen. Goldwater, the drug warrior mantra goes something like this:

        Violence meted out in the service of promoting virtue is no vice.

        • B. Snow

          That was (in part at least) Secretary Clinton – if it’s the one I’m remembering… Or – she made a very similar statement, and then a Epically Nonsensical statement about “there’s just too much money in it…”

          Isn’t that about right?
          I’m sure Kerlikowsli made some similarly stupid comment.

  • mike

    One suggestion on MPP Bill language.

    Here in MI. there was no mention of using money collected from fees on Medical Marijuana cards,
    for combating false propganda against cannabis use.

    Here in MI. over 20 Million dollars have been LE. has
    requested three for themselves.

    No State has added language for using money collected from MMJ laws to go toward funding med studies or driving
    studies or industral use and products that can help USA
    farmers.

    After 70 years of lies about cannabis we can better write laws to give a even playing field to the truth.

  • mike

    One suggestion on MPP Bill language.

    Here in MI. there was no mention of using money collected from fees on Medical Marijuana cards,
    for combating false propganda against cannabis use.

    Here in MI. over 20 Million dollars have been collected, LE. has
    requested three million for themselves.

    No State has added language for using money collected from MMJ laws to go toward funding med studies or driving
    studies or industral use and products that can help USA
    farmers.

    After 70 years of lies about cannabis we can better write laws to give a even playing field to the truth.

  • Jean Valjean

    Re ONDCP budget comment: I thought kirli had got out of the prohibition business?

    • B. Snow

      I think per the ONDCP charter he has to be out of the ONDCP = because of his Nomination/Appointment to the “Customs & Border Protection” position, although IDK if that has gone into effect yet?

      But it seems likely, due to the recent public appearances of the “Deputy (Director) Botticelli Fife“, and the “Deputy Associate Director of what-sit”, I looked this up last night and it seems they created a handful of new Sub-Deputy Directors in charge of subsets = “of Demand Reduction”, etc.

      Wait, … AHA!
      (March 6th) Director Kerlikowske Confirmed by Senate as Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection

      “Today, the Senate voted to confirm Gil Kerlikowske to be the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a role to which he will be transitioning over the next several days.

      Once the transition is complete, Deputy Director Michael Botticelli will take on the role of Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy.

      While the staff of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is sad to see Director Kerlikowske go, we wish him all the best in his new position, and we look forward to the continued leadership of Deputy Director Botticelli.

      WOW!
      This is gonna be good… He’s gotten already a pre-appointment verbal beatdown – from Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, & Rep. Gerry Connolly!

      These are about to be ‘interesting times’ for the New Director ‘Botticelli Fife’

      You know, as in ‘Barney Fife’ = come on…
      Not even one tiny snicker? It’s like the third time I’ve said that – nobody’s an Andy Griffith Fan here? Personally – I’m not but I thought this was a good one its NOT – “Droopy Dog” good but I thought it was at least ‘in the ballpark’.

  • from the ’nuff said category, from Harrigan the Hooligan:

    “We also know that marijuana destroys lives and families, undermines our economy, and insults our common values. There are no sound scientific, economic or social reasons to change our nation’s marijuana policies,” Thomas M. Harrigan, the agency’s deputy administrator, told the House Oversight Committee in prepared testimony on Tuesday. “We must send a clear message to the American people and ensure our public safety by not abandoning science and fact in favor of public opinion.”

    Actually Mr Hooligan, there “are no sound scientific, economic or social reasons” for your job or the DEA.It is you and your agency that “destroys lives and families, undermines our economy, and insults our common values.”

    • NorCalNative

      He had to look at his prepared notes to come up with the quote you use. He had to get his propaganda in the right order.

    • kaptinemo

      “We must send a clear message…”

      How about listening for once, Mr. Harrigan? A message is being sent to you, to you and all your ilk, a message sent loud and clear and in unmistakable English.

      The prohibs think communication is being a radio station that broadcasts continuously, but has no call-ins. That could only work so long as the money was there…as well as the political support.

      The money’s gone and the political support is waning in the face of the rise of the DARE Generation to its’ social and political maturity. They’ve heard enough prohibitch BS, as they heard it all their lives, and they’re not having it any more.

      And they are sending a message, by voting to re-legalize, to Mr. Harrigan and all his friends who’ve gotten fat and happy off of this monstrosity of a DrugWar: GAME OVER.

      And that’s why the prohibs are finally on the defensive. Their ‘radio station’ is losing wattage, their ‘signal’ is getting weaker, their regular listeners are literally dying off, the younger ‘market’ rejects their fare, while ours is increasingly more appealing. And they know it…which is why they’ll scream their tired old BS even louder, until they get laryngitis. Oh, speed the day of that blessed silence!

  • Jean Valjean

    Cohen should have asked the weasel what his job prospects would be like if/when cannabis is legalized.

  • primus

    Would you agree that this ranks as a THUD? Thumbs up if you agree, down if you think it’s a minor tap.

  • No More Lone Wolf. Ha!

    Thuds. I know 500 of them.
    Taps, sigh. :Bugle soumds:

  • curmudgeon

    …substance use is not a criminal justice issue, but at most a minor public health concern. There, ONDCP, fixed it for you!

  • darkcycle

    Sanjay Gupta “I’m not backing down, I’m doubling down” on MMJ:
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/05/health/gupta-medical-marijuana/index.html

    • good on Doc Gupta! That is an excellent article, thanks dc for posting it!

      Editor’s note: Don’t miss “Weed 2: Cannabis Madness: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports,” at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Also, Dr. Gupta will be answering your questions on Reddit at noon ET Friday.

  • thelbert

    first, a little girl with gravet’s syndrome shows the world that cannabis is not the devilweed that some prohibitches would have you believe. not very long ago epilepsy was thought to be the work of demons. nowadays, you don’t find that much ignorance in america. people are realizing pot is no more harmful than coffee or meat. time is on our side, live to be 100. that’ll learn ’em

  • my new (now almost weekly) post at Cannabis Now:

    A Tale of Two Nations: While Cannabis Science Progresses Abroad, American Politicians Still Skeptical

    as always mates, comments here or there most welcome.