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Republican candidates waking up?

from this article in the Washington Post:

Indicating that he actually wants to win, Trump also softened his tone yesterday on marijuana legalization. It’s another issue on which he has shifted his position to be more in sync with the Republican base. Trump said states should be allowed to legalize marijuana if they chose to do so, per Jenna Johnson, while reaffirming that he supports making medical marijuana available to very sick patients.

Reason notes, though, that Sanders still has the best position on this issue:

Where Bernie Sanders Differs With Republicans on Marijuana
Repealing the national ban is a logical implication of federalism.

On the face of it, saying the federal government should not interfere with legalization is not as bold as calling for the repeal of the national ban on marijuana, as Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders did this week. But a federalist approach to marijuana, which is what most of the Republican candidates have endorsed, should amount to the same thing. “The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana,” Sanders said during his appearance at George Mason University on Wednesday. “States should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco….It is time for the federal government to allow states to go forward as they best choose.”

That is the federalist position, and Sanders correctly concludes that it requires removing marijuana from the list of congressionally prohibited substances. Mere prosecutorial forbearance, which is what the Obama administration has offered so far, is no substitute for a statutory change because it can be reversed at any moment by this adminstration or the next, exposing state-licensed marijuana businesses to the risk of raids, felony charges, prison, and property forfeiture. Furthermore, as long as marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, those businesses, which still qualify as criminal enterprises under federal law, will be unable to use the banking system or deduct business expenses on their tax returns.

As has been noted in comments here, legalization is probably inevitable at this stage eventually (although assuming so and relaxing our efforts is not an option). And in years past, I have indicated on this blog that I didn’t think it mattered a whole lot who was President – after all, our political leaders follow, not lead. At that time, our biggest efforts had to be focused on the people – getting them to push for legalization.

Well, we may now be at that point. And removing the federal-state conflict would be incredibly helpful. Completely taking marijuana out of the Controlled Substances list would simplify legalization efforts immensely, and make it possible to craft working legalization models without a cloud hanging over them.

As a side note, this issue right now also helps point out the problem with labels and candidates (and our polarized political system).

Theoretically, it’s a no-brainer that small-government conservatives should have been pushing all along for states rights in this area. And yet, the truly federalist position first comes from the Democratic Socialist. Explain that.

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64 comments to Republican candidates waking up?

  • Mouth

    The Colorado Debate seemed rigged. I wonder if they bought the debate. Get the moderators to ask inappropriate questions, then have the candidates scold them, restate the ridiculousness of such questions and then they look like the good guys. This enables them to have a good debate without having to answer real questions, by simply focusing on the moderators and their pathetic questions.

    Republicans only want small government (at intervals that best suit them) so big business and their shareholders can replace their power and duties.

    If done right, socialism could be Capitalism’s best friend. By giving the work force healthy and educated workers, seems like a boss’ wet dream. Machinery works best when maintained and maintained machinery keeps production running smoothly.

    Do any of the republicans need reminding what drug prohibition can do: finance very long and far off wars where thousands of Americans are killed and tens of thousands are wounded; compel Latin Americans to break laws and illegally immigrate for the safety of their lives and reinforces the need for Middle Eastern refugees to cross into Europe.

    What’s wrong with wanting to replace much of our oil with hemp. Most of America’s refined oil is within an hour’s drive from me and earthquakes are a brand new phenomena threatening it . . . and fracking doesn’t help either.

  • Mallam

    Theoretically, it’s a no-brainer that small-government conservatives should have been pushing all along for states rights in this area. And yet, the truly federalist position first comes from the Democratic Socialist. Explain that.

    Conservatives, in this country especially, have and always will be reactionaries. Not much explanation required. Corey Robin details this in his fantastic book, “The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin”

    It argues that conservatism from the 17th century to today is based on the principle, “that some are fit, and thus ought, to rule others.” Robin argues that rather than being about liberty, limited government, resistance to change, or public virtue, conservatism is a “mode of counterrevolutionary practice” to preserve hierarchy and power.

    “Leaving it to the states” is not a preferred position on any issue, for liberals/leftists/socialists/communists, especially to me as a socialist because the states with the reactionaries always have to be forced, usually by court orders (Bernie imo is more of a liberal than any kind of socialist, in any case). If there’s a way to legalization, federally, I’d take it in a heart beat. However, the way the country is structured with tobacco and alcohol, the “federalist option” is the easiest pathway and most workable model.

    I just got back from Denver visiting a friend, and all of the reading about it in the world wasn’t enough to prepare me for how civilized and professional the stores were. I’m not a gardener, I don’t care about growing my own; I want to be able to go to a store and have someone go over product in a professional way. Obviously growing your own should be an option available in any legalized model, it’s just not one I would take advantage of.

  • Servetus

    Today’s Democratic Socialist is the 1950’s moderate Republican. Eisenhower couldn’t get elected today on the Republican ticket.

  • Peoria Dude

    “And yet, the truly federalist position first comes from the Democratic Socialist.”

    It didn’t, that is the explanation. As far as federal legislation that actually got media attention goes and was actually introduced in Congress, it most recently came from Barney Frank and Rand Paul in 2011 when their legislation proposed removing cannabis from the CSA schedules entirely. You can go back to legislation introduced by Ron Paul and Barney Frank in the 1990s that also proposed the same thing, removing cannabis from the CSA schedules entirely.

    But then you can also go back to Libertarian Presidential tickets since 1980 (including one of the Koch brothers as VP) that have also proposed removing cannabis from the CSA schedules. Ralph Nader as a Green Party candidate and an Independent candidate proposed removing cannabis from the CSA schedules.

    Bernie Sanders, after 24 years in Congress, with the first “truly federalist position”? Not by a LONG shot, sorry. I’m very glad, after 24 years in Congress, Bernie FINALLY got to this position, but he is NOT the first.

  • Servetus

    Republicans hate marijuana. It’s no wonder. Marijuana is known for its ability to pacify individuals, to enhance and enable positive socialization within groups of its consumers. Republicans, America’s anti-love war party, typically find this whole ‘love’ situation deplorable. How does a country fight wars and kill people if there is love and millions of peaceniks everywhere?

    A new science publication supports this proposition. The report demonstrates that our body’s own natural anandamide has a direct working relationship with the love-drug/hormone oxytocin:

    30-OCT-2015 — What happens when ‘love hormones’ and ‘bliss molecules’ collide? A whole lot of happy akin to smoking a joint, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) found that oxytocin—often dubbed the ‘love hormone’ due to the good feelings it produces during social interactions—is able to enhance pleasure by stimulating the brain’s marijuana-like cannabinoid neurotransmitters.

    “Why do social animals—us included—enjoy the company of their own species? Our study addresses this question from a neurobiological perspective,” explains Daniele Piomelli, the paper’s lead author.[…]

    “We describe a neural mechanism [in the paper] that reinforces social contact: this mechanism is localized to a specific area of the brain (the nucleus accumbens) and involves two main players,” Piomelli says of their findings. “The small protein oxytocin, which is produced by neurons of the hypothalamus, stimulates the formation of a molecule called anandamide, which enhances the pleasure of social interactions by combining with the same receptor recognized by the active ingredient of marijuana.”

    With a research focus on autism—a lack of interest in social contact is a “vital sign” of the condition—the results highlight the possibility of blocking anandamide degradation and creating an oxytocin boost designed to facilitate personal interactions. The hormone’s role in improving this aspect of autism has also led to the creation of an oxytocin nasal spray. A small Australian study published this week found that its participants—children aged three to 8—saw major developments in their ability to socialize during five weeks of using the spray, further suggesting that the love hormone’s properties can have a major impact.

    Marijuana’s ability to moderate symptoms of autism now makes sense. Perhaps it can subdue oxytocin-deficient Republicans as well. Warning: according to Dr. Nora Volkow’s theory of addiction, socialization can be addicting. Hopefully, if nothing else, the study will put to rest the mythology that marijuana consumption leads to violent behavior, insanity, or death.

    ***

    UCI Press Release here.

    LA Weekly Article here.

    Full Science Publication here.

    • Peoria Dude

      “Republicans hate marijuana.”

      93% of elected Democrats hate marijuana just as much as elected Republicans.
      97% of elected Democrats LOVE foreign wars, dropping drone bombs on innocent foreigners, and spying on innocent US citizens just as much as elected Republicans.

      Fewer people self-identify as Republican or Democrat now, than at any time in US history since the Civil War.

      Yipee-kie-ayyyyyyyyy

      • Daniel Williams

        Exactly.

      • Servetus

        Sources?

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          Since there are at least 3x as many registered Democrats today than the entire Country’s population in the 1860s I’m presuming that he meant that a smaller percentage of registered voters self identify with a D or an R.
          http://www.gallup.com/poll/180440/new-record-political-independents.aspx

          It’s still overly hyperbolical considering that the Republican Party was only 7 years removed from flipping their Whigs when their first Presidential candidate was sworn into office in March of 1861. Considering the primitive State of mass communications and the disruptions caused by the Civil war the fact that so many disenfranchised Whigs self identified as Independents in the 1860s renders the statistic irrelevant to today’s political landscape.

          My personal opinion is that it’s good news. It nauseates me when someone makes the bogus assertion that we have a “two party system” in the US.
          —————————
          Oh my word. Speaking of Abraham Lincoln…somebody needs to tell Jeb Bush that Abraham Lincoln he ain’t.
          http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/30/politics/jeb-bush-abraham-lincoln/

        • Peoria Dude

          Actually, the Whigs have less to do with that than the fact that the Democrat’s party was a racist, segregationist party until the 1950s & 60s when they finally caught up with popular opinion. Also don’t forget that women weren’t allowed to vote until the 1920s.

          So considering that our so-called democracy controlled by the Ds and Rs since the Civil War, left out a good 60% of the population from participating in elections until the last 60 years, it should be even more telling that today’s society is less enamored with the Ds and Rs now than when treated women and minorities as lesser human beings.

          Saying “Republicans hate marijuana”, is a bit hyperbolic itself and I responded in kind.

          Sure I pulled 93% and 97% out of my butt for illustrative purposes, but those were generously low estimates. Just look at all the elected Democrats in your state that have the power to do something/anything about our marijuana laws. In Illinois, it is more like 99.9993 percent of elected Democrats than hate marijuana as much as Republicans. State Representatives and Senators who can introduce and pass legislation to change cannabis laws. County board members that can decriminalize, at the very least. County Sheriffs and State’s Attorney. City council members. Etc, etc, etc.

          VERY, very few elected Democrats have done a darn thing about cannabis laws. Certainly less than 1% of those currently elected. But hey, keep on telling yourself the Democrats are just groovy and there is nothing better out there and we just might have legal cannabis all over this country in the next 50 years or so. Look how long it took the Democrats to finally get around to treating women as equals, and then also racial minorities. It took the Democrats 100 years for the latter.

          They’ll be due to finally get their heads out of their butts in the 2070s unless we really start putting on the public pressure like the Civil Rights movements from the 1940s until 70s. This Congress ain’t gonna do it in the next four years and our next D or R President ain’t gonna do it either. They aren’t losing enough elections yet because of their antiquated stance on cannabis.

          The only reason states have legalized is because the people voted for it through popular referendums. A lot of states don’t have that option and we don’t have that option federally either. That means we’ve got to start kicking out Ds and Rs who won’t do it, if we want to end this war. We’ve still got a LONG way to go before that starts happening more often, and that includes giving up this nonsense notion that Democrats are any better and deserve our votes because of their party label even when they’ve done nothing for us.

        • jean valjean

          Or check out the record of those two great Republicrats, Bill and Hill, on their substantial contribution to the drug war police state.

        • Servetus

          It all sounds like a false equivalency to me, as if no differences exist between Democrats and Republicans per se. I find them to be as different as night and day, especially when the topic involves separation of church and state.

          Regarding war and violence, I’ve witnessed Republican Southern Baptists explain to their children that God loves war simply because there have been so many wars fought throughout history. Part of the duty of religions it seems, the ad hoc reason they’re allowed to get away with so much else, is they provide cannon fodder for military campaigns, and probably troops for the drug war as well. As Napoleon noted, religions kept his dinner table filled with enough food and wine to serve dozens, while the peasants were forced to starve.

        • darkcycle

          WRT issues that could possibly upset the current corporate and banking ownership of our economy, both parties are indistinguishable. Neither will venture far enough out there to disturb the current status quo. In that I agree with Peoria Dude. I already know that I am going to vote third party with a high probability. BUT, Bernie comes as close as good enough for me with his positions. So, I will be pushing hard for the candidate who best represents my views.
          I both agree and disagree with your position in that reagrd, Servetus. There isn’t a cigarette paper’s worth fo difference between the two PARTIES, but there is still a candidate who is worth supporting.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          My only point was that the GOP was brand spanking new in the 1860s and that it isn’t a new political party today. Dragging a whole pile of other bullshit in to stink up the argument doesn’t change that fact. For crying out loud the population in the 1860s was racist. Abraham Lincoln was a racist.

          You people need to grow up.

          Toodles!

    • Windy

      Who has started the most wars? Democrat or Republican Presidents?
      https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061003172851AAZgpzV
      Final Score: Democrats: 16
      Republicans: 10

  • claygooding

    It should be noted that the IRS can accept monies from the sales and production of marijuana when nobody else can.

    • Peoria Dude

      It should also be noted that socialists are more than welcome to send 60% or more of their income to the IRS without having a government gun held to their heads forcing them to do so.

      #snark

      • claygooding

        Poor guy,,I bet that you are not one of the 1% that that 60% involves.

        • Peoria Dude

          Yeah, well, 60% isn’t that far off for what some of our children will face when our debts come due. In my neck of the woods, Chicago pension debt, Cook County pension debt, Illinois pension debt, and then you’ve got the national debt. Illinois would need a 22% tax rate for the next ten years just to get caught up on on our pension debts. To pay off the national debt, we’d need an additional 17% of income from everyone to pay that off in the next 20 years. They’ll be paying 60% in income tax in the not so distant future, with half of that going to pay off debts. Don’t mock feeling sorry for me, feel sorry for the young people that will have to pay for our lack of math skills.

          Heck, EVERYONE, including minimum wage workers, is paying 15.3% of their income in taxes RIGHT NOW just for social security and medicare. Piece together all the piddly nickel and dime taxes and fees, and even the poorest of the poor are paying more than 33% of their income in taxes right now. Tax freedom days are in late April and early May in most states, and that doesn’t include the debts our children will face.

          Make it a 1%-er propaganda piece if you want to, but I didn’t see any of those people complaining about the poorest of the poor paying 15.3% of their income in taxes already. Heck, those people of social security age hold 92% of all the wealth in this country. We’re taking 15.3% from the young and poor and giving it to the old rich no matter what their wealth status is.

          Social security and Medicare are the number one reason why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer in this country the past 60 years. Why aren’t the anti-1%er socialists complaining about that? Because they want 60% tax rates, and we are well on our way there already.

        • darkcycle

          No, Dude, you’re kinda wrong. Like, a lot wrong.
          “Heck, EVERYONE, including minimum wage workers, is paying 15.3% of their income in taxes RIGHT NOW just for social security and medicare.” That is FICA and withholding. You don’t pay income tax on the first $7000 of income at all. Social Security is self sustaining, and will pay for itself until 2037. The Republicans (and not a few Democrats) want it eliminated, not because it’s insolvent, but because otherwise, the USG will have to pay back the funds they began raiding under Reagan.
          In terms of how much we spend on traditional Social Services, it is only about HALF what we spend on CORPORATE subsides. http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/
          “Heck, those people of social security age hold 92% of all the wealth in this country” That’s a ridiculous assertion. It has nothing to do with age. What percentage of these “people of social security age” hold all that wealth??? Oh yeah, about 1% of them do. Most are like my Dad, who has to somehow LIVE off his retirement savings and his paltry 600 dollars a month or so of Social Security income.
          “Social security and Medicare are the number one reason why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer in this country the past 60 years.” Not even remotely. That’s just so obviously not the case, it beggars belief that anyone buys that line. It was an unholy combination of trade deals that made it easy to destroy our manufacturing base and ship those jobs overseas, tax regulation changes that make it easy for giant corporations to move huge sums of money to places like Luxembourg and the Caymans, and the mega banks repeatedly defrauding consumers, eventually causing our entire credit economy to nearly collapse through credit fraud and deceit.
          That’s all I have to say about that. This is a blog about the drug war. Sorry to range so far afield, but wrong is wrong.

        • claygooding

          Apparently you didn’t actually look at Bernie’s tax plan,,I suggest you do so because it doesn’t raise taxes for the poor or even moderately rich,,it hammers anyone making over a million a year though and the more over that million you make the more you pay,,I like it.

        • My wife and I have been paying low six-figures in taxes every year for over a decade. Please explain to me why we should be paying more.

        • darkcycle

          Before you or I get taxed more heavily, I would like to see corporations and hedge fund managers put in their fair share. I’d like to see capital gains taxed, so the trust fund babies and the uber rich, who have accountants working fulltime to make their profits into fictitious losses pay into this society.
          One thing you taxaphobic people don’t seem to get, is that if you don’t pay for social services up front, you’ll pay for them on the backside. Don’t want socialized healthcare? Get ready when the people without insurance get REALLY sick, then they wind up tieing up that ambulance and emergency room you desperately needed. And it’s more expensive…emergency rooms always cost more. Don’t like food stamps and welfare? Well, it seems that people have an aversion to starving, or, worse, watching their children go hungry, so you get to pay for that with increased crime. And, golly. A hell of a lot of these people make ends meet currently by engaging in NON-violent crimes…or, as we say here sometimes…THE BLACK MARKET TRADE IN DRUGS. So, whiner, here you are, in your great benevolence, urging an end to the very thing that makes it possible for many of these people to eat, while you complain about this “six figure” tax you pay? Just call me unsympathetic to your plight.

        • darkcycle: I always find it amusing when folks like you say corporations should be paying more in taxes, because corporations don’t pay taxes: they collect them from you and me. You may be unsympathetic to my tax burden, but I have great sympathy for your total lack of economic knowledge.

          And where did I say I wanted to end food stamps or think people should starve? Not only do you lack basic economic knowledge, you can’t fucking read. And the thumbs down on your silly and unintelligent comment came from me.

      • Tony Aroma

        Isn’t the Federal Reserve involved? Where does the money the IRS collects go? The Fed said they don’t want any mj money, so does that in any way affect the IRS’s ability to collect taxes?

        • Tony aroma

          According to Wikipedia:

          Just as an individual might keep an account at a bank, the U.S. Treasury keeps a checking account with the Federal Reserve, through which incoming federal tax deposits and outgoing government payments are handled.

          Since the Fed said they won’t accept any mj-related money, sounds like the Federal government now can’t use the banking system for money from mj-related businesses, like income taxes, for example. Sounds familiar.

      • Daniel Williams

        No, Socialists prefer to be holding the gun to our heads…

        • darkcycle

          …wasn’t it Eisenhower who raised the top bracket to 90%? Wasn’t he a Republican?
          They’ll all hold a gun to your head, Daniel. It’s just a matter of whose finger you want on the trigger.

        • Daniel Williams

          darkcycle: I agree that both like holding the gun. But it’s primarily the Socialists that don’t want anyone else to have a gun. For examples, look to many of the Socialist countries in South America – not a lot of guns in the hands of the people. That Bernie and many other Democrats want stricter gun-control laws is not so much that they want to keep their people safe but, rather, to keep themselves safe from their people.

          It is almost without question that our 2nd amendment was designed to keep America from being ruled by brute force. (Yes, all government is, by definition, force. But there are degrees. I’ve been to Cuba…) And until some politician admits that most of our gun violence is tied to the drug trade, and recommends repeal as a remedy, all the blather about ‘doing something’ is just pablum for the masses.

  • Servetus

    Student response to Sanders’ marijuana legalization proclamation is going viral:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sezhr7jbrlk

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Pete, are you sure that they’re just asleep? Did you check for a pulse? They look like they’re dead to me, but I don’t want to touch them and I left my latex surgical gloves in my other suit. Does anyone have a stethoscope?

  • O.B.Server

    Socialist, schmoslist. Conservative, conshemervative.
    To me those look like lying labels, intended to hide the initiation of force.

    Where do they stand on initiation of force? I.e., the non-aggression principle?

    Lemme guess. Candidate X is against initiation of violence, except where he likes it. Candidate Y wants to change the subject. Candidate Z euphemises away intended police aggression as “getting tough” to make up for past discrimination. To make “those people” really pay, to really stick it to them. For wot they done to us. They deserve it.

    Oh, brother.

    And that’s pot-prohibition, it is the initiation of force. Pot prohibition is the initiation of force against peaceful people using pot as excuse.

    The non-aggression principle. Don’t ignore it. Learn about it. Apply it, even to your own pet ideas.

    I think that’s where people go off the rails, politically. When it is boiled down, in terms of who does what to whom.

    They want to excuse their own initiation of force, while loudly decrying others’ initiation of force. And that forces them to go through some mental contortions, as they seek to make their own use of state violence righteous and correct; while at the same time arguing that others’ initiation of violence is evil.

  • Servetus

    More reasons most of today’s zombie-Republican candidates (AKA religious right wingnuts, etc.) oppose marijuana legalization are likely to include the loss to the criminal banking industry laundering the black market funds from sales of drugs like marijuana, and later cocaine and heroin once all drugs are decriminalized.

    Below, the IOR, or Istituto per le Opere di Religione, is the Vatican Bank. The excerpt notes one of many roles the IOR plays in the drug war:

    The Nugan Hand Bank had been established in 1973 by Nugan and Hand. Shortly after setting up headquarters in Sydney, the bank blossomed into twenty-two branches. One branch was set up in Chiang Mai, the heart of Thailand’s opium industry, in the same suite as the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA receptionist answered the bank’s phone and took messages when the representatives were out. Neil Evans, the former head of the Chiang Mai branch, told investigators that he had seen millions pass through his office, claiming that the bank operated solely “for the disbursement of funds, anywhere in the world, on behalf of the CIA, and also for the taking of money on behalf of the CIA.”

    The money taken from the bank by the CIA was used to purchase weapons from international arms dealer Edwin Wilson for guerrilla forces in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, and the white Rhodesian government of Ian Smith. Wilson was a former CIA operative who was later convicted of selling arms and explosives to the Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi. Funds were also shelled out to undermine the liberal government of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who had pulled Australian troops out of Vietnam and condemned the bombing of Hanoi. These actions were orchestrated by Theodore Shackley, the CIA’s deputy director of operations. After Whitlam was removed from office by John Kerr, Australia’s governor-general, in 1975, the black ops money flowed to Italy and the IOR, for support of the Christian Democrats.

    The bank also imported heroin into Australia from the Golden Triangle.

    This dirty work was done by Australian police officers in service to the CIA, according to the Commonwealth-New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking. In 1976, one such officer, Murray Riley, organized five shipments of heroin into Australia, mostly in false-bottom suitcases. For each shipment the branches of the Nugan Hand were used to transfer the purchase money from Sydney to Hong Kong. Over one hundred pounds of heroin was involved in each importation, and much of this was eventually shipped from Hong Kong to the United States. Riley was also involved in two heroin importations in July and September 1977. – “Operation Gladio, The Unholy Alliance between the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia”, P. E. Williams, 2015, p. 149.

    The Vatican Bank still launders drug money from all over the world, despite Pope Frankie’s admonishment to the IOR to be good from now on for goodness sake.

    According to Williams, the IOR bank’s fee for their drug money laundering services ranges from 15-to-20 percent of the total deposits. With that in mind, the IOR could set up offices in Colorado and other marijuana-legal states which suffer from federal legal problems over bank deposits from marijuana sales. That way the Vatican would still get its cut.

    • Mouth

      Servetus–I used to live 10yards away from a CIA prison camp at Camp Cropper right next to Baghdad International. No one ever believes me when I tell them that we had Chinese Triad, Latin American traffickers, Russian Mafia, Italian Mafia and Saudi and Egyptian bankers. We had to know this because bombs are the best way of creating a prison break, so we had to know that some guy with a thick Italian accent or a Mexican in a jumpsuit were not friendlies, but escaped prisoners. (They say Mexico doesn’t really border Russia, so being closer to Soviet grade weapons nearer to the source would cost less than buying them in Mexico or the States–no wonder we had Mexican Cartel representatives in Iraq and coca production is very low in the Middle East, so a potential trade deal as well.)

      My Company was actually tasked out with guarding Wahhabi Extremists who would later create what is now ISIS (I get a creepy feeling when I realize that I’ve literally stared into the eyes of ISIS extremists).

      Since Actions always speak louder than words, one must realize that one of the main goals of the GOP is for all Islamic Extremist groups to be armed with never ending drug money (since they don’t have factories in Iraq or the Stan, like the NVA and Germans did).

      If drugs weren’t illegal, we’d have a very short war where Dick Chaney couldn’t have Halliburton operate and where hundreds of Indians from India wouldn’t be shipped to Iraq to work on American bases–cooking, cleaning and repairing for a dollar a day/hour. Keeping dope illegal guaranteed Bush that he’d have a war with an enemy capable of keeping us and the contractors busy working.

      • Mouth

        Would the old President’s brother in Afghanistan be the CIA’s new operation or is he passé now?

      • Servetus

        Mouth – More info on Operation Gladio shows how it played an important part in U.S. covert and military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Opium production was encouraged by the military industrial complex:

        On January 27, 2000, a catastrophe occurred for covert activity when Mullah Omar and the other leaders of the Taliban announced their plans to ban poppy production within the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. This decision sent shock waves through the US intelligence community. From 1976 to 2000, the Afghan opium poppy harvest had grown nearly tenfold, climbing from 250 to 2,000 tons during the covert war of the 1980s, and then from 2,000 to 4,600 tons during the civil war of the 1990s. The country’s economy had transformed from a diverse agricultural system based on herding, orchards, and sixty-two varieties of field crops into the world’s first opium monocrop.

        Thanks to the Taliban prohibition, the opium poppy harvest fell from 4,600 tons in 1999 to 81 tons in 2001. The situation had to be addressed by the military-industrial complex in a forceful way. With the outbreak of the “war on terror” and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, the ban came to an immediate end. Within a year, the UN reported that the poppy crop had rebounded to 3,400 tons. By October 2013, thanks to the US occupation, the opium harvest had climbed to an all-time high of 5,500 tons. — P. L. Williams, “Operation Gladio,” p. 279-80.

        The opium trade acted to save the U.S. economy in 2008:

        The US banks developed an incredibly complex system for transferring illicit funds into the country for investments in real estate, corporations, industries, and government bonds. The financial institutions that participated in this process, according to Canadian commentator Asac Ismi, included the Bank of Boston, Republic National Bank of New York, Landmark First National Bank, the Great American Bank, People’s Liberty Bank and Trust Company of Kentucky, Riggs National Bank of Washington, Citibank, and American Express International of Beverly Hills.’ Manufacturers Bank, Chase Manhattan, Chemical Bank, and Irving Trust have admitted not reporting transfers of substantial amounts of money to the US government as required by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, and the Bank of America has been fined $4.75 million for refusing to provide documentation for transfers of more than $12 billion.

        In an attempt to address this problem, the US Congress has passed several laws, including the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986, which called for stiffer enforcement by public regulators. All of this legislation was to no avail. The banks continued their laundering and the sum of dirt money circulated throughout the country grew exponentially. No decisive action by government officials was ever adopted, since the high profits of the drug trade served as one of the main components of the US economy. Indeed, Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Organized Crime, has argued that the United States was saved from total economic collapse in 2008 by the billions which flowed through America banks from the drug trade. These funds, Costa argues, represented the “only liquid investment capital” available to financial institutions. An so it came to pass that the land of the free and the home of the brave, thanks to Operation Gladio, became a narcocapitalistic country. – ibid, p. 280.

        The complete story of the drug trade in the Middle East is very complex, but well detailed in Paul William’s book, which I recommend for those who want to know how the U.S. government really works. In effect, its wheels are greased with opium.

        • Mouth

          I had always heard that it was Wachovia bank that enabled them to discover all the drug money keeping the banks afloat during 2008. It doesn’t surprise me that there are a lot of other banks to that list.

          I’ve read that our CIA facilitated the opium trade of Italy and Marseille. Mr. Williams seems to have some good credentials. I like reading about situations I’ve actually walked through.

        • Servetus

          Yes, it’s the military strategy of a country, the current military strategy of the United States, one that often seeks to colonialize a foreign entity rather than liberate it, because its easier and more profitable to do it that way.

          Using the methods of colonialization, the country’s economic infrastructure and government are smashed. Its culture is destroyed by destroying its art works and great works of architecture, the way George W. Bush did when Iraq was invaded and standard operating invasion procedures were ignored, resulting in the looting of Iraq’s art and historical museums. The destruction makes the foreign entity dependent upon the charity of its conquering nation.

          Its natural resources come under the control of the conquering nation. As part of the process, a society’s (or culture’s) native medicinal science is marginalized by being ignored or prohibited, in the same manner in which the Spanish conquistadors prohibited the cocoa bean in 16th century South America, peyote in Central America, and later marijuana in Mexico. Robbing people of their homeland and their personal freedom involves robbing them of their identity and replacing it with something inferior, something guaranteed to reduce nationalist self esteem. The culture’s ethnobotany is part of that identity.

          There are no legitimate morals involved here. As Ronnie Reagan proclaimed, governments are amoral. He meant his government, of course. The current drug finance scheme, used not just by the US, but by governments and shadow governments throughout the world as a means of acquiring operating capital for black ops and other political and economic power games, is a perfect scam until it gets revealed. Then it doesn’t work anymore, because people watch for it.

        • DdC

          Money Laundering and The Drug Trade:
          The Role of the Banks
          HSBC, Western Union, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase&Co, Citigroup, Wachovia amongst many others have allegedly failed to comply with American anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

          A PAGE FROM SUSURLUK:
          DRUG MONEY IS BAILING OUT THE BANKS

          “For years and years, information and evidence being collected by the counterintelligence operations of certain U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies has been prevented from being transferred to criminal and narcotics divisions, and from being shared with the Drug Enforcement Agency and others with prosecutorial power. Those with direct knowledge have been prevented from making this information available and public by various gag orders and invocation of the State Secrets Privilege. Why?”
          ~ Sibel Edmonds

          Drug War Bailing Out Banksters

    • claygooding

      If the legal growers and business offered to pay black market fees they could have banking right now.

  • O.B.Server

    This dirty work was done by Australian police officers in service to the CIA, according to the Commonwealth-New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking. In 1976, one such officer, Murray Riley, organized five shipments of heroin into Australia…

    Well then, that (Gladio, police drug smuggling, police blowing up people, and blaming the Red Brigades, the RAF, etc) must have been a very special, extended police application of Romans 13.

    Let me explain.

    Since government is run in the late-Praetorian style (i.e., by police/military/intel agencies calling the shots, at least since the time they “offed” a President in broad daylight, in 1963), then cooperation with that, the de-facto government, is just what Romans 13 tells us to do. Right?

    This is because, according to the favoured governmental interpretations of Romans 13, we must all obey government all the time unconditionally. And of course, since government is, by definition “public” (as opposed to private) – then government interpretations of scripture (Rom.13) must be the accepted interpretations. Because, you see (continuing to reason by equivocation), scripture is of no private interpretation.

    So voila. Q.E.D. Proved. Pravda. Government is always correct about the Bible and Romans 13 says just what government says it does. So therefore it is right, acceptable, and proper that police should break the laws they are publicly sworn to uphold. For they serve a Higher Law: the (Government) Leadership Principle. They have (secret) orders: and orders must be followed.

    This dirty work was done by Australian police officers in service to the CIA, according to the Commonwealth-New South Wales Joint Task Force on Drug Trafficking. In 1976, one such officer, Murray Riley, organized five shipments of heroin into Australia…

    So after cashing those paychecks and bonuses, NSW Police Officer Riley went back to busting as many pot-heads in Nimbin as he could – to save kids from the harder stuff? Or, was it off to Kings Cross, to beat up prostitutes and crack some heroin addicts’ skulls?

  • Will

    I wonder where candidate Gil Fulbright stands of the legalization issue?

    Wherever he stands, you can bet he’s paid to be more honest than most.

    /satire

  • Mr_Alex

    I managed to talk to some people on some Cannabis forums and it seems Randy Philbrick and Bridget Klotz has a nasty reputation and apparently I was warned about Randy Philbrick and Bridget Klotz by a person who apparently lost his home and car due to asset foreiture that Randy Philbrick and Bridget Klotz are not only Police informants or shills but they are also DEA (Drug Enforcment Agency informants and shills) and was told they usually inform Harold Patin who runs Auntie Cannabis is Anti Pot on FB who still has connections with the DEA, also I was warned that Bridget Klotz and Randy Philbrick have dobbed in to the Police or DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency via Harold Patin) over 100+ people

  • Will

    OT, Willie Nelson’s Crusade to Stop Big Pot

    Willie’s concerns and Kevin Sabet’s concerns certainly don’t align with each other.

  • claygooding

    The problem big marijuana faces is that after a few years and people become familiar with marijuana plus medical research will help end reefer madness any decent initiative can fix the rich getting richer model.
    It can be taken out by another initiative,,which will be much easier to get signatures for and pass the next time.
    The same can be applied in the greedy politician infected states also

    Let them spend their money and take cannabis away from them later…

  • Servetus

    On the Entymology of the Drug War, the word ‘prohibition’ can be found in the very useful Online Etymology Dictionary:

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=prohibition&searchmode=none

    prohibition (n.)

    late 14th century, “act of prohibiting, a forbidding by authority,” from Anglo-French and Old French prohibition (early 13th century), from Latin prohibitionem (nominative prohibitio) “a hindering, forbidding; legal prohibition,” noun of action from past participle stem of prohibere “hold back, restrain, hinder, prevent,” from pro- “away, forth” (see pro-) + habere “to hold” (see habit (n.)). Meaning “forced alcohol abstinence” is 1851, American English; in effect nationwide in U.S. as law 1920-1933 under the Volstead Act.

    People whose youth did not coincide with the twenties never had our reverence for strong drink. Older men knew liquor before it became the symbol of a sacred cause. Kids who began drinking after 1933 take it as a matter of course. … Drinking, we proved to ourselves our freedom as individuals and flouted Congress. We conformed to a popular type of dissent — dissent from a minority. It was the only period during which a fellow could be smug and slopped concurrently. [A.J. Liebling, “Between Meals,” 1959]

    Related: Prohibitionist.

  • Windy

    I posted this to my FB page last night because I agree with it (edited to correct grammar and spellings):
    Quote of the day:
    Jw Gardener wrote:

    I don’t like the words drug war to describe it. I like the words War against the American people. Because drugs don’t happen by themselves, it’s people. It’s people’s lives that are ruined. Drugs don’t have lives. Drugs are objects. Can you have a war with a object? I don’t think so. But you can have a war on your own people. Making hundreds of millions of people criminals. Kicking in innocent people’s doors. Raping people on the side of the road through cavity searches, and blood tests. Violating the people’s rights. Not the drugs’ rights. It should be one’s own choice what materials go into one’s own body. My country doesn’t own my body. They couldn’t make me do a damned thing. What are they going to do, kidnap me, lock me in a cage? Take away my rights? Our rights are already gone. And our cages are our lives. End the war on the American people yesterday!