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The arrogant lawlessness of drug enforcers

This story has already been discussed here a bit in comments, but it’s worth highlighting:

Once you’ve dehumanized drug offenders, it’s easy to steal their identities by Radley Balko

Consider what the federal government is arguing here. It’s arguing that if you’re arrested for a drug crime, including a crime unserious enough to merit a sentence of probation, the government retains the power to (a) steal your identity, (b) use that identity for drug policing, thus making your name and face known to potentially dangerous criminals, (c) interact with those criminals while posing as you, which could subject you to reprisals from those criminals, (d) expose photos of your family, including children, to those criminals, and (e) do all of this without your consent, and with no regard for your safety or public reputation.

The mindset that would allow government officials to not only engage in this sort of behavior, but to then fight in court to preserve their power to continue it is the same mindset that, for example, allows drug cops to compel juveniles and young women to become drug informants, with little regard for their safety — and to then make no apologies when those informants are murdered.

The list of atrocities and indignities routinely conducted in the name of the drug war is extraordinarily long.

The only true solution is to end it.

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65 comments to The arrogant lawlessness of drug enforcers

  • CJ

    The only true solution is to end it. I agree.

    But as we all know, this problem goes so much deeper. And to be completely honest here and totally frank, it is actually alot more deeper than people realize. This is my hypothesis.

    I think this really starts at the grade school level, elementary school even.

    We all know as it’s been covered on this site and others, the failures of DARE as well as the inane propaganda against drugs and drug users. I think though that while in the realm of drugs it is perhaps at its most severe, there is a great disconnect that goes so much deeper and may be the root of this issue.

    Allow me to tell you about a certain DA I encountered once, though I’ve seen his kind over and over, I’m sure many of you have as well.

    I was in Mount Vernon, NY, it’s not one of the 5 boroughs, I guess you could call it a county, it’s larger than a town though not by much. It is a poor neighborhood now but it was once nicknamed the Village of Mansions or something like that.

    It was my second or third court appearance for this one case I was dealing with. I had been homeless, in the heated waiting booth of the train line after midnight, a white guy in a black neighborhood. Long story short I was picked up I had a semi automatic switch blade knife, about 20 empty bags of heroin (empties are bags of dope that havent been ripped apart, they have what we call “corners” left inside them, small amounts that dont get emptied out of the bag when you empty heroin into a cooker. If you collect enough “corners” you will easily have another bag or two. Its a clever tactic to ensure you have something available when you have no means to get heroin or money so you can avoid withdrawal. It entails NOT ripping open the whole bag to get every single speck of heroin dust. Most people will just rip the whole bag apart. Anyhow, you can imagine why the cops/DA would be happy to see that. They were hoping it’d add to felony weight. Not likely. And lastly I had a dirty syringe)

    So the DA who I had been dealing with was out this particular day. In place was his assistant. A young Indian American man (not Native American but decended from or India.) Now as I sat in court I observed as he and the judge dealt with different things. One particular matter was a fellow who had not arrived for his case. When the judge assigned a warrant for the mans arrest, there was suddenly a change in the DA’s voice. His voice grew high pitched, happy and he THANKED the judge.

    Where does this OCCUR exactly, when one human being delights at the misfortune of another, indeed, glorifies in a matter akin to rewarded professional performance?

    I wonder. Because I don’t recall hearing much in the way of sadistic, “out of control” sociopathic (sp) DA’s in years gone by. I hear it now. I hear it about my generation, the generation before and the generation coming, which is quite scary.

    Is it that, some time ago, children would be so outgoing as to have enough to create multiple baseball teams amongst each other on a baseball field, as a means for fun, and now, kids race home, have no time for their friends/classmates in the playground, beause PS3/PS4, XBOX and iPhones await?

    As a kid myself I was antisocial and had only 2 friends really because I prefered to be with my family and at home. But I will admit, as a kid, when I was home, I spent most of that time playing NES/SNES and SEGA GENESIS. There was always a disconnect between me and others.

    But I’m not blaming video games or technology. It’s not about that. I’m just suggesting something has happened, is happening, that has made people so out of touch with one another to the point where yeah I think we fear eachother so we hate eachother. Particularly people whom we cannot judge to be like ourselves, in an instant. So, if you’re a khakis, polo and loafers type of guy and look to a ripped jeans, dyed hair, punk rocker, you cant identify instantly so you hate because you fear. In this case, that fear is probably based around “that is wrong. because if that is not wrong, then I am wrong, because I am NOT like that!”

    Oh there is a desperate disconnect. Police don’t even seem to think their share a species with everyone else. DA’s need court ordered psych evaluations, WEEKLY. These are the domestic terrorists, waging genocide right beneath our noses.

    I think after all is said and done though, if any of this situation pisses you off, like it does me, then you’re all right, just like I’m all right, even though we are (mostly) drug users. Yes as everyone knows I am a proud heroin user. I intend to try and get some very soon as a matter of fact though I do need a 3 bag minimum and can only afford 2 at the moment (hoping to get a little credit you know.) But the point is, if it enrages you, then you’ve not lost touch. It’s the fact that others are so out of touch that feeds the fire that is that eternal fire of humanity inside all of us that make us NOT like them.

  • Tony Aroma

    OT, just wondering if anyone has ever challenged the federal government’s mmj patent. If the fed’s position is that marijuana is not medicine, then any patents for such would be invalid. After all, how can you patent something that doesn’t exist? Seems to me, if you want to get into the mmj business, now would be the time to challenge those patents. That way, when it is eventually legalized, the field would be wide open. I think all mmj-related patents should be challenged, now.

  • divadab

    If all this energy devoted to unjust dominion were instead devoted to positive work, what a massive change it would make in our society!

    These dominionists, who are mostly probably authoritarian personalities (for what better thing for an authoritarian to do but be a cop?), are doing what they are told to do. That;s what authoritarians do. Change the law and they will change their behavior. But changing the law requires a corrupt system inhabited by pleasers whose jobs are bought for them by wealthy corporatists, to do something useful and courageous. This is the main problem, IMHO – a systematically corrupt federal political system.

    CHanging this corrupt federal system is almost impossible – otherwise why is a non-toxic plant that the majority of citizens believe should be legal continues to be prohibited? The entire edifice is devoted to changing NOTHING and continuing the concentration of the power structure in fewer and fewer hands.

    We are making significant changes only in States that have direct citizen democracy. Trying to get anything useful done at the federal level is an errand for someone who believes Obama’s meaningless marketing slogans.

  • claygooding

    The quickest way to end it is still removing the bounty money and seizure laws,,when busting druggos doesn’t gain them anything they may solve some of the violent crimes they ignore now chasing the big bust.

  • Howard

    At their inception the DEA adopted the attitude of the president who created the horrendous beast. Nixon’s quote;

    “When the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal.”

    The DEA just swaps out the word ‘president’ and inserts their acronym to justify their lawlessness. Just as they’ve done for over 40 years now. It’s an ongoing disaster.

    • Daniel Williams

      There isn’t any Republican politician alive that wouldn’t sell their first born to be favorably compared to Reagan. Mention Nixon to any one of them and they’ll all like…Who? So it would be easy to blame the whole thing on Nixon, mainly because it’s true, wipe their (dirty) hands clean and get the federal government out of the prohibition business. Yes, I know that’s quite the fantasy.

      But libertarian ideas have taken hold among many conservatives, mostly younger ones, and are having an impact, albeit a small one, on the older ones. They understand that if the Republican Party got the federal government out of our bodies (and bedrooms), they would send the Democrats into the political wilderness for decades. It could happen.

      And the Constitution, that document Republicans love to wave around, gives them all the cover they’d need, especially for the Tea Party crowd. It allows them to maintain their personal belief that drugs are harmful while, at the same time, advocating the issue be decided at the state level, not federal. And how ironic that Rand Paul, a Republican, is talking the best game! The Republicans can do this.

      All they gotta do is blame Nixon.

  • Freeman

    Totally agree. It’s like Charles P. Pierce concludes in his post about the Grand Jury’s findings in the case where the cops blew a toddler’s face off with a flash-bang grenade:

    It is hard not to conclude that, for the past 30 years, in the “war” on drugs — and in the “war” on terror that learned its basic law enforcement principles from the existing “war” on drugs — has resulted in a culture of armed impunity within police departments, and a culture within the general community that accepts this situation, as long as it doesn’t break down their front doors. No-knock warrants are inherently dangerous, especially if special tactical units are encouraged to treat every raid as though they were landing on Omaha Beach. But, as long as it’s Their children getting their noses blown across the room, and not Our children, that’s just the way things go. Sure, there’s a civil suit to be made here, and the federal government is looking into the case, but the underlying causes remain the same, no matter how carefully we reform the tactics. We want to feel safe. Anonymous and reckless deadly force used by law enforcement is the price we’re willing to have other people pay. (emphasis mine)

  • Howard

    Another recent example of arrogance regarding law enforcement and drugs (even though there were no drugs);

    Austin police raid pro-marijuana candidate’s home, find nothing

    http://tinyurl.com/omjq2r2

    What prompted the raid was a call about a suspicious person in candidate Kevin Ludlow’s home. It turned out it was his house cleaner who had permission to be there. But what was the probable cause for officers entering the home (without a warrant)? The officers claimed they smelled marijuana. As Ludlow ponders in the embedded video, how do you defend yourself against something that’s intangible?

    This reminds me of a recent blog post of Pete’s where officers were seizing cash from motorists because the officers suspected that the money “might be” linked to criminal activity. How does someone defend themselves — by the side of the road — regarding something that “might be”? A similar intangible to the example above.

  • Servetus

    Dehumanization and persecution have long histories. The techniques of dehumanization have been practiced by theocracies for a thousand years or more to exploit the proletariat, eliminate competitors, create caste systems, maintain monarchies, colonize and oppress indigenous peoples, and justify slavery. When the truth wasn’t sufficient to dehumanize the other, prelates would step in and create bogus stories to fill the gap.

    Claims of ritual infanticide among heretics were popular in the medieval era of dehumanization. A heretical sect known as the Cathari were alleged to pass infants (supposedly born of Cathar orgies) through a fire until they expired. Witches were said to invade graveyards at night to dig up newly buried infant corpses and ghoulishly devour the bodies. Many of the stories are eerily reminiscent of some of the myths generated about drug consumers during the Nixon era, especially any involving sex or drug-induced orgies. Unlike Richard Nixon, inquisitors knew their gruesome stories were fake.

    Dehumanization is a basic element in conducting genocides as well as drug wars. Contrary to what individuals may believe, genocides do not form from the ground up like some grassroots movement. Genocide begins with leadership at the top. The process is one that requires planning and direction from a government, since governments are the only entities capable of supplying the massive materials and instructions needed to kill and then dispose of huge numbers of bodies. On average, two-to-three years of dehumanizing government propaganda aimed at a targeted group is needed to motivate a domestic populace to imprison or kill en masse.

    None of this bodes well for the act of dehumanization, which appears to be a red flag indicating a government is up to no good; for instance, one engaging in eliminationism. After all, if the intentions are noble, why not stick with the truth?

    • allan

      in CA, the decade of the gold rush (1840s thru 1850s) saw 90% of the indigenous population eliminated. Because of course, they were less than human.

    • Hello–I’ve seen and admired your comments on rant and would like to know if you might be interested in co-authoring my website/blog –End the drug war action center–I could really use help with search engine optimization, posting, and turning it into a real action center to end this damn WOD!!Please feel free to contact me at kempmwoods@yahoo.com. If you can get hold of Peter Guither I’d love to have him co-author too!

  • thelbert

    here’s what happens in a country that doesn’t have it’s head up it’s ass: http://tinyurl.com/ls35sqb

    • Crut

      Judges said it was “incomprehensible” that the public prosecutor’s office (OM) chose to take the case to court in spite of the arrangements.

      The righteous pride and ego boost that one gets from the false belief that they are right, and the other is wrong has led to many “incomprehensible” decisions.

  • allan

    OT…

    Attended Rick Steve’s Yes on 91 presentation here in Eugene and just got back, had to leave early to catch the bus so I only had to walk 2 miles home in the dark.

    It might bring a few couchilicious grins to know that in one night Rick Steve’s outdrew ALL of Sebat’s attendance. Close to 600 people there (and I have the pics to prove it! It was a great presentation, props to Anthony Johnson and the M91 crew for a pretty smart move bringing Rick in to follow after Sebat.

    And as far as I could tell the crowd was pretty close to 100% supporters.

    • NorCalNative

      If the mood strikes you, I know the couch would love to hear more about what went on there in Eugene.

      • allan

        I showed up at 6 to pick up my ticket. And I took my camera so I shot the marquee. Said howdy to and harassed my friends at the McDonald Theater – I’ve been part of their medical services crew for many years with Harmony Events Medicine. The house even bought me a brew before the talk… a good IPA, yummm.

        Of course my gal Elvy (Musikka) was there volunteering for M91 so got a couple pics of her.

        By the time the presentation began the floor level was seating 90% capacity and they had opened the balcony so 600 folks was a pretty accurate count.

        Dave Fidanque, top cat at the Oregon ACLU opened it up, talked ACLU, human rights, gay marriage, ending prohibition…

        Rick kicked ass. Head to head he would eat Kevin alive. The first 3/5 of his talk was on travel and it’s value. He basically called the US ethnocentric and stuck up (all sooo true). He talked about how Europe is transforming it’s drug policy landscape. He talked about the Netherlands and their coffee shops, the Christiana community, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland… and he tied all of it together beautifully in his oh-so-damn-charming way. Human rights, drug policy, handshakes over bombs, breaking down barriers instead of building them. I could have brought the man here and smoked a doob and talked stuff all night long.

        A couple of interesting asides:

        One of my favorites of Rick’s travel episodes is his trip into Iran. It’s really well done and I can relate to it because I was friends in college with the Iranian students who were trying to remove the US installed Shah Reza Pahlavi at the time.

        The McDonald Theater

        http://www.mcdonaldtheatre.com/eventCalendar.html

        is a landmark in downtown Eugene. It’s also owned and operated by the Kesey family and drugs played… a minor role… in Ken Kesey’s life and literature.

        So yeah, Rick impressed me. And I already thought he be a pretty cool nerd.

        • allan

          here ya go, from Anthony Johnson at the M91 campaign:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7RBZAYY3I8

          Please share far and wide. Thanks. Rick has gotten a great response across the state and the media coverage has been extensive and excellent.

          –Anthony Johnson

        • allan

          I don’t often dig out the old crystal ball but…

          … I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that M91 passes in OR w/ 60+% of the vote.

          Just got a report from Medford that Rick’s stop there was 150+ (smaller venue, smaller local pop). A good friend will be going to the Bend appearance and I’ll see if he can give me a head count.

          You have nooo idea the pleasure I derive from this public drubbing of the anti campaign and Mr Sebat’s ego tour.

          Another note on Rick’s presentation, lots and lots of applause, he even got a hearty “amen!” out of me. 🙂

        • allan

          Nobody predicted Dwight “NotDwight” Holton would lose (to a woman no less!) by a 2 to 1 margin.

          If the “I’m-voting-yes-so-they-shut-up-about-it” vote comes out strong it could reach 70%…

  • CJ

    Allan, Eugune… Eugune… EUGUNE ORE? are you near Redmund Bend? Have you ever heard of Sagewalk? Spent some time there as a kid. Just wondering.

    Servetus, you’re referring to the sacrifices to Molloch, right? Also a popular ghost man in pot propaganda of years gone by.

    It was either the House I Live In or Breaking the Taboo that featured that Abe Lincoln history specialist, his definition and explanation of genocide was perfect and scary as he explained it in motion against drug users right before our eyes today.

    • allan

      indeed, Eugene, OR. We are west of Bend-Redmond on the other (wet) side of the Cascades. Not much for me to do w/ Bend and no, haven’t heard of Sagewalk.

  • kaptinemo

    Once again, we have a clear illustration of the dehumanization process: Themes in Chemical Prohibition, By William L. White from: Drugs in Perspective, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1979

    And again, the themes are:

    1. The drug is associated with a hated subgroup of the society or a foreign enemy.

    2. The drug is identified as solely responsible for many problems in the culture, i.e., crime, violence, and insanity.

    3. The survival of the culture is pictured as being dependent on the prohibition of the drug.

    4. The concept of “controlled” usage is destroyed and replaced by a “domino theory” of chemical progression.

    5. The drug is associated with the corruption of young children, particularly their sexual corruption.

    6. Both the user and supplier of the drug are defined as fiends, always in search of new victims; usage of the drug is considered “contagious.”

    7. Policy options are presented as total prohibition or total access.

    8. Anyone questioning any of the above assumptions is bitterly attacked and characterized as part of the problem that needs to be eliminated. (Emphasis mine – k.)

    About the only true thing NIDA wrote before 1980.

    The demonization process was part-and-parcel of drug prohibition because it perfectly dovetailed with the racial and ethnic prejudices of the dominant, largely WASP electorate then…as well as today.

    • kaptinemo

      An excellent treatise on the subject of White’s paper may be found here.

    • Hello–I’ve seen and admired your comments on rant and would like to know if you might be interested in co-authoring my website/blog –End the drug war action center–I could really use help with search engine optimization, posting, and turning it into a real action center to end this damn WOD!!Please feel free to contact me at kempmwoods@yahoo.com. If you can get hold of Peter Guither I’d love to have him co-author too!

  • Servetus

    More atrocities and indignities: the drug war is blamed for the murders of students in Mexico due to their leftist politics. The situation in Mexico is uncomfortably similar to students and others who were disappeared in Argentina’s Dirty War:

    An ambush on 26 September, begun by uniformed local police and finished off by an armed commando, left six young people dead and 43 students missing, nearly half of whom were last seen in police custody.[…]

    Politicians allied with cartels are blamed for the atrocity.[…]

    Meanwhile, militarizing Mexico in the name of narcotics control has worked against the peace and democracy the US claims that it promotes. Not only has the drug war made the already-lucrative drug trade more violent by increasing competition among the cartels, it also has established a network of state-crime alliances that can – and are – being used for political purposes.

    The war on drugs has never controlled drug trafficking and has always been about social control. Now it’s Mexico’s youth that are paying the price of that duplicity.

    Both Mexico and now the United States have militarized police forces.

  • Jose

    The drug enforcers seem bad enough, but there is another aspect which I find equally disturbing. The drug enforcers cheerleaders. Here in the south we have these sanctimonious sadists, aka christian’s. It amazes me that we have made it to 2014 and these people are still unable to differentiate between a crime and a vice. It is a pity that they can expend so much mental effort worrying about what someone, somewhere, maybe, might possibly be doing that they do not condone. It even goes so far as punishing people for even thinking about it, i.e. soliciting, planning etc. I was raised in a VERY catholic household and even as I child I was unable to understand that frame of mind.

    Christians are so concerned about gay men and what they may be doing in their own privacy. But the same people have no qualms about an enforcer forcibly buggering a mans rectum with his fingers for something that could “possibly” be in there. During the Spanish inquisition these folks had something called the pear for people they did not like. So now the pear has been replaced with a sadistic enforcers fingers. How the hell do they perfectly blend masochism and sadism into a spiritual belief? I don’t think I want to know.

    Ages ago they could be seen cheering as a heretic anguished on the pyre. Now they can be seen cheering oppressive draconian laws when the law is birthed in our judicial system. Don’t worry if you have nothing to hide? Did they tell heretics “Don’t worry, if you have nothing to hide you won’t float!”.

  • Howard

    OT: Maureen Dowd, it’s now safe for you to return to Colorado (you nitwit);

    Rookie Cookie for Novices Unveiled in Colorado

    http://tinyurl.com/lkuokof

  • Servetus

    Knocked out for tobacco:

    Marcel Hammer was walking home from school with some friends around 3:30pm back on June 4. According to his attorney, a plain clothes cop jumped out of a van accusing Hammer of smoking marijuana. Hammer was smoking a cigarette. When the video begins, Hammer is lying in the gutter, between a car and the curb, with the police officer over him.”

    http://tinyurl.com/ojen79q

  • Pete’s title says it all. I think this goes well with the topic:

    “Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward”

    http://tinyurl.com/pxtd2f6

    http://youtu.be/CYAIYcu8glI

    This has been drug war for fun and profit. Its time to end this charade. There are too many pawns in this destructive game.

    • claygooding

      Even if other drug war profiteers were not supporting continued prohibition the CIA’s dependency on drug money may be an even bigger obstacle to overcome,,their influence at any committee hearing would make reform unlikely,,,the pawns we are fighting are supposed to be knights in shining armor but instead they are trolls hiding under bridges and destroying our country.

      • kaptinemo

        Hmmm. Sounds like an addiction, to me. (Muttering, deep in thought) What to do, what to do…

        (Cartoon animation of light bulb coming on overhead) I know just what needs to happen! Congress better call (bugle “ta-da”, followed by TV announcer echo voice)… Kevvie and Companyyyyyyyy…for an intervention! And if they don’t repent, then, to prison with them!

        Of course, that won’t happen. Uncle Sam has been aiding and abetting the illicit drug trade at least since 1940’s, beginning(?) in 1943 with the Office of Naval Intelligence’s deal with Lucky Luciano. In bed with and protecting both The Mob and the banksters profiting from it.

        There’s an old Scottish saying: Once you touch the Devil, you can never let go.” Uncle Sam’s been doing way much more than just touching. And it shows.

        The workings of government have been corroded by the corruption of prohibition evinced at the (hidden) top (why won’t Obama arrest the banksters?), down through the ranks to the beat cop on the take.

        So…how do you put an entire government through rehab, Kevvie?

  • I agree, and that’s why I have serious concerns regarding the drug reform drive towards strict drug regulation. The most damage for people using illicit drugs has come not from gangsters but from police, law enforcement and the state. I make the argument clear and strong here:
    The demons in drug law reform: A critical look at regulation and stigma
    http://julianbuchanan.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/the-demons-in-drug-law-reform/

    hope you find it useful – please circulate

    Best

    Julian

    • allan

      your last paragraph is your best.

      • kaptinemo

        Indeed. But I would also posit that the demographic change taking place in Developed Nations will eventually lead to prohibition’s end. The great scientist Max Planck put it best: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

        In this case, it’s not just a scientific truth at issue, but a public ‘truth’, as well, as in a cultural trait, of sorts.

        That generational cohort whose cultural predispositions supported prohibition the most are literally dying off, lessening social and political support for prohibition…and prohibitionists.

        This is increasingly leaving the field clear for better educated, more knowledgeable voters (many with personal experiences of the substances in question, and therefore know lie from truth about them).

        This, and the advent of the Internet, is increasingly leveling the communications playing field, which has been dominated by governments and their propaganda.

        Because of these factors, what I call the ‘moral camouflage’ that hid the extant of the Prison-Industrial Complex’s self-serving aspects is becoming increasingly hard to maintain. The shiny moral paint is wearing off, to show the filthy rust beneath.

        Those government agencies and their industry allies who profited from prohibition are increasingly being exposed in the media as being just what they are. Their attempts at damage control have been, in a word, laughable, because they are trying to use a variation of a 1980’s propaganda theme (“What about The Children?!”) on the adults who were once the very same kids they propagandized. Those for whom the ‘war’ was ostensibly fought, and who know both the lies and the truth. That approach no longer has any traction.

        All the forces of prohibition can do now is attempt to delay the inevitable. Unfortunately, they usually are not sufficiently monitored for legal trespasses, and illegally use public funds in order to attempt to thwart popular reform efforts. A point not lost on their targets, who’ve had enough of being harangued by liars…and who demonstrate that every chance they get at the voting booth when a re-legalization proposition is forwarded.

        • claygooding

          The backbone of Nixon’s war on drugs has already died and been restructured by paying law enforcement to take up the flag of the original prohibition supporters of the 60’s,,and in the process of using law enforcement as their strong-arm enforcement the same thing is happening that always happens when money becomes involved as a goal,,,greed set in and now is exposing itself in all the violence as law enforcement plays the “Wheel of Fortune” game created by grants and seizure laws,,,searching for the “big bust” is killing us.

    • thelbert

      i have to agree with Allan. good read. the very idea that the state can own everyone’s body is crazy.

    • Viggo Piggsko Flatmark

      Good read, thank’s for sharing it.

    • NorCalNative

      Wow, what a great dose of sanity and fresh air from New Zealand!

      I like your stress on Human Rights/Harm Reduction FIRST, combined with home cultivation, and THEN figuring out the best way to regulate.

      I would hope my home state of California would keep your principles in mind when WE LEGALIZE in 2016.

      • Thanks NorCalNative

        Fresh air from New Zealand – but I’m afraid our drug policy here in New Zealand isn’t so fresh – we have no naloxone take home, won’t prescribe injectable drugs, charge people for manslaughter if they’ve assisted someone to take drugs who subsequently dies of OD, have no drug consumption rooms, we test people on state benefits and punish them if they repeatedly test positive for illicit drugs, employer drug testing is widespread and we’ve just set up Drug Abstinence Courts!

        While prohibition will end eventually I am concerned the state will secure some criminal or maybe civil powers over certain drug use and basically the usual suspects will continue to be harassed, controlled and punished.

  • kaptinemo

    On dehumanization: Straight from one of the originators (and later beneficiaries) of the Federal drug prohibition, one Richmond Hobson, putatively a ‘Man of God’:

    “If a peaceable red man is subjected to the regular use of alcoholic beverage, he will speedily be put back to the plane of the savage. The Government long since recognized this and absolutely prohibits the introduction of alcoholic beverage into an Indian reservation. If a negro takes up a regular use of alcoholic beverage, in a short time he will degenerate to the level of the cannibal. No matter how high the stage of evolution, the result is the same.”

    “In our great cities like New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia the ravages upon the average character have been so great, so many degenerates have already been produced, that the degenerate and corruptible vote not only holds the balance of power between the two great political parties and can dictate to both, but actually holds a majority of the votes, so that honest and efficient self-government as a permanent condition is now impossible. Immigrants coming in vast numbers from abroad remained chiefly in the cities. As young as our Nation is, the deadly work of alcohol has already blighted liberty in our greatest cities.”

    “If America degenerates the yellow man will be on hand. Some may make light of the yellow man; so did Romans make light of the ‘Barbarians.’ The yellow man is not degenerating. He can shoot as straight as a white man now, and undegenerated he can live on one-tenth of what is necessary for the white men while they are in the field doing the shooting. A race of degenerates cannot occupy the American continent.”

    “In America we are making the last stand of the great white race, and substantially of the human race. If this destroyer cannot be conquered in young America, it cannot in any of the old and more degenerate nations. If America fails, the world will be undone and the human race will be doomed to go down from degeneracy into degeneracy till the Almighty in wrath wipes the accursed thing out!”

    Keep in mind, the eugenics movement was just gathering steam in America back then, hence the great concern for ‘degeneracy’ and ‘miscegenation’, which lead to things such as forced sterilization laws. One deadly fad (Hitler got the ideas for his later eugenically-inspired horrors from us, remember that) whose influence has maintained long after its popularity vanished.

    The above quote of the (ahem) ‘Reverend’ Hobson was the voice of the sentiment behind the earliest of our drug laws. This sentiment of drug users being ‘degenerate’ and thus non-Human, and thus a threat to (White) ‘racial purity’ and therefore civilization, itself, was the ideological foundation of our drug laws. That alone, and not one scrap of scientific evidence.

    Like a ‘Doomsday Weapon’, set to blow up years or decades after a war has been lost, the DrugWar is the ‘Doomsday Weapon’ of a racially and ethnically bigoted past that keeps blowing up futures, both personal and national. As a national policy, it’s long past ‘retirement’; demolition is more appropriate.

  • Julian:

    Great article.

    In the US government, control of local enforcement seems to occur serendipitously with the carrot approach of money, funding and federal “help”. It always comes with suggestions for proper use. Promise of future funding smartly entails the recipient pleasing the benefactor. This is “the stick” that goes with the carrot.

    This is how government control in the US over studies and addiction treatment are maintained. Always with the treating philosophy and methods necessary to please the benefactor. Bias is built into the system and its attendant corruptive influences are maintained with the flow of money and grants.

    Its a hard system to beat. Its the system that runs our treatment industry, justice system, enforcement and regulatory systems. Its the machine that runs the drug war. It may by nature entail dismantling a corrupt system of funding and control. The treatment industries are fighting tooth and nail to continue their current drug war windfall (and justice and enforcement).

    Cutting the strings of the Nanny system would sound good to me .

    “hijacked by drug reform entrepreneurs” is bad but overshadowed by what current retired government officials have done for years (i.e. DuPont, Bensinger, etc.)

  • Tony Aroma

    Kind of scary. I guess they didn’t get the Cole memo.

    U.S. DEA ‘most interested’ in U.S. investors in Canadian marijuana firms

    With marijuana still illegal on a federal level in the United States, American investors in Canadian medical marijuana can be seen as violating the Controlled Substances Act, according to some U.S experts. And the use of the banking system to transfer the proceeds of such investments could be seen as money laundering.

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has already been tracking investments made in state-sanctioned marijuana business in the United States.

  • DdC

    Marlise & Gov.Johnson, Cannabis Oil,
    Why He’s Behind It

    Is legalized marijuana a threat to beer?
    The legalization of marijuana in two U.S. states, could put pressure on drinks makers, or provide a big opportunity.

    Pot Shields Liver From Alcohol Damage

    As someone who has spent a lot of time on the frontline of the cannabis revolution, I’ve paid a heavy price. About a year ago, I decided that I could no longer bear to live in the Police States of America. On July 14, 2014 I fled Babylon and became a resident of an Independent Territory called St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands. During my four months of living on island and following the local news, I have compiled the following statistics:
    Drug Raids = 0,
    DUI checkpoints = 0
    Incidents of Road rage = 0
    Incidents of police abuse = 0
    Encounters with rude or unpleasant police = 0

    The DEA did do a one day helicopter overflight, but no arrests or raids resulted. This November residents of the US Virgin Island will vote on whether to allow medical mj and to decriminalize one ounce or less of ganja. Pass the spliff, Mon. One Love!
    ~ Steve Kubby ecp

    I’m Short, Not Stupid Presents: ‘The Gunfighter’
    VICE United States vice.com
    The wonderful Western-themed short film The Gunfighter by Eric Kissack explores the issues that come with an all-knowing narrator who is voiced by Nick Offerman.

  • claygooding

    http://tinyurl.com/n4tawj5

    GOP lawmaker: Legalize pot to aid state budget

    “”The state’s Legislative Council recently estimated Colorado can expect to bring in about $175 million through the fiscal year that ends in 2017.

    Orr said he plans to talk with Republican leadership in the coming weeks to try to build support for his proposal. Leadership in the House and Senate did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Orr’s idea.””‘snip’

    This is going to be an exciting year because that B-B I have mentioned before has now become a hundred million dollar boulder rolling around in legislators brains (location unknown) and now it is becoming painfully obvious to everyone NOT making money from prohibition continuing to outsource marijuana to criminals is insane.

  • primus

    The two emotions at play in politicians’ minds are greed and fear. As they see that there is less to fear politically from re-legalisation of cannabis, and as the tax revenues become more known, their greed will overcome their fear-based reluctance to accept changes. The fact that anyone in opposition is at the same time being lambasted for that position is additional motivation for them to ‘evolve’. Isn’t it interesting that so many Republicans, who don’t believe in evolution, are ‘evolving’?

  • N.T. Greene

    OT: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.12703/full

    This was brought up on a prominent YouTube show, though I had to hunt down this study text myself. Please assist me in giving it a thorough wringing out, as it’s pretty dry material and I feel like much of it has been debunked or at least treaded before.

    • Tony Aroma

      They are reporting correlations only (and speculation). A correlation does not imply causation. For example, just because early use of mj is associated with psychosis, doesn’t mean mj use CAUSED the psychosis. It could very well be the other way around, that people with pre-psychotic tendencies use mj to self-medicate their symptoms. Or there could be no causal relationship whatsoever. CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. Anyone that suggests it does, either does not understand the scientific method, or is intentionally trying to deceive.

      They go on to “conclude” that mj use PROBABLY causes other problems, but have no data to back up their speculations. (So why even mention it?) Since the “science” in this paper is so shoddy, I’m guessing it was NOT a peer-reviewed paper. It’s just a propaganda piece.

  • kaptinemo

    OT: This is how to hit the prohibs between their eyes; How a Twitter Campaign Exposed the Madness of Banning Medical Marijuana

    From the article:

    “Hunt and his family live in Arkansas, where cannabis is completely illegal. He’s a professional creative director and media producer by trade, so when he came across the infamous youtube video “ Rick Simpson: Run From the Cure,” detailing how Canadian cancer patients were making and consuming highly-concentrated cannabis oil to cure their cancers, he quickly dove head first into the research. He gained a thorough understanding of cannabis and how it works in the body as a medicine. He decided he wanted to take the message mainstream, thus the #illegallyhealed campaign began.

    “Illegally healed. Those are two words that just don’t belong together,” says Tony Baker, a co-founder of the campaign. “You should not have to do something illegal in order to become healed.” Emphasis mine – k.)

    The ramifications of this are manifold…and just about all of them good for reformers, and horrible for the prohibs. For this forces into the public’s view the fact that a potential cure for cancer was discovered in the 1970’s and was mysteriously shelved.

    As they say where I grew up, Pull a string; get a snake.” This is big, bigger than most can yet realize at first. As this gains traction in the social sphere(s), it will emerge in the political sphere…with potentially explosive results. It could potentially shatter the prohib position once it forces its way into the LameStream Media’s attention via alternate media.

    Oh, boy; this Winter may not be so cold, after all. Things might be about to heat up…

    • allan

      We’ve been waiting for THAT story to hit mainstream for a looong time! Yeah, let’s hide a cancer cure…

  • kaptinemo

    OT: from the WaPo, we have Simple vote on legalizing marijuana in D.C. is not so simple

    The usual trolls haven’t shown up yet…which means that Team Reform has taken it by storm. As usual.

  • primus

    There are a couple of naysayers, but they have been neatly eviscerated by the overwhelming majority.

    • kaptinemo

      Dueling with one who calls himself ‘hill_guy’ now. Maybe s/he really works on Capitol Hill. If so, then, as a favorite childhood character from a 1960’s Saturday morning cartoon used to say, in a gravelly and menacing voice, “It’s clobberin’ time!”

      A sure sign of rhetorically sparring with a bottom-feeder prohib: they always start with the ad hominem attack, first. I almost feel guilty in responding, but it’s a dirty job, and someone has to do it…

  • primus

    Hill Guy seems to have withdrawn from the battlefield, right after you threw down the gauntlet. I loved the way you phrased it. ‘Pee your pants scared’ indeed.

    • kaptinemo

      He claims to be a reformer, but his approach thoroughly pisses me off; he reminds me of what ML King said about ‘white liberals’ wanting to move ever so slowly and softly towards equal rights…while also remembering a poem that was written about and for African-Americans, but could just as easily have applied to all cannabis consumers:

      What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore–
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over–
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode? – Langston Hughes

      WE’VE WAITED LONG ENOUGH, DAMMIT! Our dream of TRUE personal sovereignty, (hand raised, fist slowly balled as in strongly grasping) taken back, not governmentally bestowed, has been deferred long enough.

      National Re-legalization by 2020! If any pol or bureaucrat wants to get in front of a generational electoral tsunami that wants cannabis legal again, if they are so foolish as to slather the soles of their feet with SuperGlue and stand in front of a political and social steamroller like this issue will prove to be, I’ll happily pay for the glue and the petrol. As should we all.