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Don Winslow writes a letter

Best-selling author Don Winslow took out a full page ad in the Washington Post yesterday as an open letter to Congress and the President: “It’s Time to Legalize Drugs.”

Let me come right our and say what you won’t tell
the American people. The War on Drugs is unwinnable.
It was unwinnable for Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan,
Bush, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama. At forty-four years,
it’s America’s longest war and there’s no end in sight.

The people who benefit most from the War on Drugs are the traffickers. Every dollar we spend on drugs and every dollar we spend trying to interdict them raises the profits of the Mexican cartels and makes them more powerful.

So in the very act of fighting this war, we lose it.

Cops standing in front of big drug seizures look great on the evening news. But it sells a lie that we’re winning, just like George Bush on an aircraft carrier declaring that a war was over that still rages on today.

It’s not only that we can’t win this war, it’s that we’re destroying ourselves fighting it. We are literally addicted to the War on Drugs. A half-century of failed policy, $1 trillion, and 45 million arrests has not reduced daily drug use—at all. The U.S. still leads the world in illegal drug consumption, drugs are cheaper, more available, and more potent than ever before.

Our justice system is a junkie, demanding its daily fix of arrests, seizures and convictions. It needs drugs. It’s as hooked as that guy sticking a needle into his arm even though he knows it’s killing him.

It continues on, with lots of good material, and ends with:

How much more money do we have to waste, how many more families have to be destroyed, how many more people have to be killed before you summon the courage to tell the truth to the American people?

The War on Drugs is not only futile, it is wrong.

The answer is legalization.

The only way to win is to stop fighting.

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18 comments to Don Winslow writes a letter

  • DonDig

    .
    It’s been said here a thousand times, and it is ultimately the only way to get sane about this.
    When this happens about ten thousand more times… IDK, what is the threshold for change?
    Bravo.

    • Will

      “When this happens about ten thousand more times… IDK, what is the threshold for change?”

      As long as prohibitionists repeat the same lies, drug law reformers are going to have to repeat the same truths. Over and over again. It is tedious and monotonous but it has to be done.

      A couple of recent examples: During the recent CBD hearings in DC, Diane Feinstein mentioned that while she wanted CBD research to move forward, she wanted it known that she was adamantly opposed to recreational marijuana because, “Marijuana is a gateway drug”. She made that statement as a point of fact. It isn’t. But her statement was not challenged by anyone at the hearing. It’s 2015 and drug law reformers still have to counter that fallacy.

      During the same hearing Dr. John Ingram mentioned the need to study CBD/THC combinations with respect to possible treatments for epilepsy because “THC can be pro convulsive”. He made this statement because he felt THC should not be eliminated from the discussion (he was even concerned about CBD only concoctions). The implication was, I assume, that proper CBD/THC ratios need to be understood because too much THC can cause seizures in some epileptic patients. Kevin Sabet was on the same panel. When it was Kevin’s turn to speak, he thanked the doctor for pointing out that “THC can cause seizures”. That fast, Kevin Sabet took that part of Dr. Ingram’s testimony out of context. Don’t be surprised if Kevin starts stating — as a point of fact — that “THC causes seizures”, without any of the qualifiers stated my Dr. Ingram regarding specific patient populations.

      This is why we have to constantly — tediously, maddeningly — chase down the lies of prohibitionists. Old lies and new lies they are likely to create.

  • Will

    .
    .
    “To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice”

    – Confucius

    • Frank W.

      “Handle a large kingdom with as gentle a touch as if you were cooking a small fish.”

      =Lao “Confucius was a brown-noser” Tzu

  • joe minella

    The drug war is a crime of F-R-A-U-D: (look up any definition of the word. It fits.)

    Merriam‑Webster . 1. a : deceit, trickery; specifically : intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. b : an act of deceiving or misrepresenting : trick.

    a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.

    A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

    • leanna

      Very well put

      • Hydrogrind

        Too well put. Like a prohibitionist playing chess against a “lazy stoner”, thinking he got a brilliant strategy conjured up at the front with his Queen and Knight, just to get back rank mated with a lone rook on the next move.

        • B. Snow

          You’re “doin’ it wrong” too…

          via IMDb quote link

          [after playing out all possible outcomes for Global Thermonuclear Drug War]

          Joshua/WOPR: Greetings, Professor Falken.
          Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
          Joshua/WOPR: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

          Just a tiny strike/change of the description – *and voila* = it goes from cold-war to drug-war, simple enough and just as accurate.

          Well, I suppose the graphics circa 1983 would be slightly different as well – but that’s not the point.

          We’ve learned that the “Cold-War” was unwinnable, BUT we’re still banging our metaphorical heads against the wallTrying(?) to learn the same basic lesson applies to the “Drug-War” just as well.

          Sadly, I don’t think Kev-Kev ever learned that Tic-Tac-Toe is B.S. (a crucial prior step in the movie) = Hence, I expect him to keep playing – seeing that his current employment is dependent on him doing so.

          I think Nora may just be someone who learned that sometimes you can ‘resign’ a chess game with dignity and try again.

          ie: She can admit defeat on cannabis -And Then- go on to “fight another day”, and try to maintain her “brain scans of an addict” theories (aka ‘addiction as a general disease unto itself’ nonsense).

          Kennedy surely has other options, But as for Kev-Kev? I’m thinking = not-so-much…

  • Servetus

    The drug war affects everyone. Even US Federal employees are being discriminated against, persecuted and abused by it. Nothing has changed with regard to prohibiting marijuana use by those employed by the federal government. A federal employee suffering a life threatening illness is forced to make a choice between their job and its medical benefits, and the use of cannabinoids for medicine. The drug war also affects the quality of government employees:

    It may now be legal in Colorado, in Washington State and elsewhere to possess and smoke marijuana, but federal laws outlawing its use — and rules that make it a fireable offense for government workers — have remained rigid. As a result, recruiters for federal agencies are arriving on university campuses in those states with the sobering message that marijuana use will not be tolerated.

    Imagine the federal job recruiters’ dilemma when the only available applicants are those who for some strange reason are anti-marijuana. Given its current anti-drug guidelines, government employment is the last refuge of the conformist mediocrity, the non-curious, the non-ambitious, and the fearful. It’s no wonder people regard so many government bureaucrats as total duds. Dud employees are the toxic result when employers filter job candidates for drug use.

  • Mr_Alex

    If anyone wants to know who runs Parents Opposed to Pot on Facebook, I have been told it is none other than Betty Sembler using a sock account, so it seems Betty and Melvin Sembler are back to their old tricks again

    • DdC

      P4P: Parents 4 Pot
      Parents-4-Pot is a dedicated voice for all families who support the end of hemp and cannabis prohibition. We strive to defeat the social stigma surrounding adults who use cannabis responsibly. We support a parent’s choice to use medical cannabis to treat their children’s illnesses. Our work helps families with cannabis related issues through education, direct action and organizational support.

      Parents Opposed to Pot
      We do not oppose treating childhood epilepsy with a marijuana derivative, but wish for safe implementation, with sound medical input. We’ll expose the problems that have come when medical marijuana programs are implemented haphazardly, without safeguards to protect children.

      Parents Opposed to Pot
      P O Box 2462
      Merrifield, VA 22116-2462

      Parents Opposed to Pot
      Kimberly Hartke, with Parents Opposed to Pot

      • Mr_Alex

        Parents Opposed to Pot literally blocks anyone that uses facts on them, they are a Fact Free Zone

        • DdC

          They sound like prohibitionists.

        • Mr_Alex

          They also follow Governor Christie, a mate of mine tried to use research on them from PubMed, then the next moment they started blocking my mate, Parents Opposed to Pot is affiliated to Project SAM and also they have connections to Christine Tatum and her husband Christian Thurstone

        • DdC

          Countries should be more like people,
          and only have one asshole.

        • kaptinemo

          The great thing about this time in reform history is that the prohib crazies are consolidating. They are glomming into one big mass of mania.

          And they are not very good at covering their slime tracks – Straight, Inc. morphed into DFAF without kiddie torture, but we saw them try to camouflage themselves and distance themselves from their monstrous parent org, but were caught out, anyway.

          They honestly think they can hide their sins in this day and age. Like the little kid who covers his eyes and says you can’t see him. ‘Internet-naive’ thinking.

          The more they consolidate their neuroses, the more likely said neuroses will erupt publicly. In fact, with such as Nancy Grace(less), you see that becoming more and more the norm. As they give voice to their Inner Wacko, the fencesitters will be turned off.

          We should thank them for revealing their true selves; they make the job of their eventual consignment to History’s dungheap that much easier to accompish.