Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
Join us on Pete's couch.

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
March 2016
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Apr »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Archives

Don’t worry. We’re just using it to fight terrorists…

I know this was already mentioned in comments, but feel it’s worth highlighting. Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism

What does this rule change mean for you? In short, domestic law enforcement officials now have access to huge troves of American communications, obtained without warrants, that they can use to put people in cages. FBI agents don’t need to have any “national security” related reason to plug your name, email address, phone number, or other “selector” into the NSA’s gargantuan data trove. They can simply poke around in your private information in the course of totally routine investigations. And if they find something that suggests, say, involvement in illegal drug activity, they can send that information to local or state police. That means information the NSA collects for purposes of so-called “national security” will be used by police to lock up ordinary Americans for routine crimes.

I’ve been writing about this since 2003 here at Drug WarRant.com — how the powers sought by the government ostensibly for going after terrorists would always ultimately be used to take away the basic rights of ordinary citizens.

This is why we must always be vigilant and not be taken in by appeals to safety by law enforcement groups seeking more access to private information.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

33 comments to Don’t worry. We’re just using it to fight terrorists…

  • claygooding

    Yeah,,and SWAT teams are used only for shots fired and hostage situations like they were created for.

    I trust them,,,to lie.

  • thelbert

    makes me glad i can’t afford a cell phone. when are the narks going to come up with bloodstream monitors with uplinks to satellites that help our overworked police state keep a handle on drug abuse amongst the proles?

    • Uncle Albert's Nephew

      They’re already drug testing sewer systems to monitor aggregate drug use in cities.

  • darkcycle

    We’ve known they do this for some time. Remember the “Parallel construction” issue? At least they are going to do it out in the open, rather than have the cops and DAs lie to the courts and the defense about it as they have been doing.

  • Servetus

    Ivan Šimonović, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, said last month: “People do not lose their human rights because they use drugs.” That’s not the case in the United States.

    Thanks to the NSA’s domestic spying program, US citizens will be exposed to police and prosecutorial harassment for exercising their rights to free speech and dissent on the Internet. NSA-supplied profiles of individual Internet activities will likely be collected by a computer algorithm, with results made directly available to the police for profile-enhanced surveillance of motorists, air travelers, or actual criminal suspects. It’s going to be open season for bullying by corrupt law officials if someone’s profile fails a political correctness test in the eyes of the local establishment. The right to privacy was supposed to eliminate this type of problem.

    Showing an interest in curtailing drug enforcement, or any other political malfeasance, is an activity that can put one at risk of being targeted by their local government or police in much the same way minorities are currently harassed if they fit profiles of drug consumers or couriers. COINTELPRO operated in this way with war protesters and civil rights workers. People who are LGBT, or whose profiles indicate they likely voted Libertarian, Democrat, or just for Bernie Sanders, could end up being treated as drug suspects if they happen to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Under such a system, voters will be forced to be extra cautious when choosing any new president who could make the lack of privacy even worse than it is now.

    • DdC

      I really don’t know what else I can say for NSA to tap my phone or emails. I don’t understand why they would, since I don’t give a rats ass who reads my stuff. Does anyone think they don’t already know? Or that its a secret? I think its a very weak society that has to peep into windows or tap emails. If a crime is committed and no one knows its even a crime. What is that except more profits caging innocents in profit prisons. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights is right about doing drugs not being a human rights issue. As if they actually give a damn about human rights period. Or the safety of the druggies. Putting people in cages for profit is a human rights issue they don’t seem to bring up. Freed slaves rounded up for labor after the uncivil war the same as rounding up growers and stoners for slave labor in Koch cages. The only difference is now they claim it is not racist since Caucasians are also of value doing mandatory minimums.

      • Servetus

        It says something about a government when it engages in domestic spying on its citizens. It says the governing status quo is scared witless. The system is corrupt, and it knows its citizens know it’s corrupt. Witness the drug war. Each citizen addresses this problem in their own way, either by retreat or advance, forcing the government into a self-protection mode for those who challenge it. Repression will increase as the government falters.

        There’s a classic flick on this topic involving the Stasi of East Germany, called The Lives of Others. It makes the point that a surveillance society sucks, no matter how successful, law abiding, or open a person may be.

  • Revolution is the only recourse!
    robertsrevolution.net

    • DdC

      Robert with a government of we the people, who are you going to rebel against? You want a revolution against everybody? The corruption is the problem, not the government. The Constitution isn’t the problem in need of a revolution. The bastardizing and flat out disregard for the Constitution is the problem. As long as people elect and appoint Wall St. employees, such as the FDA. Neocon Fascism wins. So lets overthrow the rebels and bring back the rights for the people over profits. End the Drug War,

    • ShowMeTripe

      Robert, I followed your link; there is absolutely nothing of substance there. Please go away!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Do you have any communist revolutions in stock? I really do miss the commies. Just having the hope of a nuclear war and the end of the world as we know it possibly close at hand gave living just a little more zest, a little more substance. There’s no one more alive than a person suffering from terminal cancer with only 6 months to live. It also distracted the idiots.

      go ahead!
      Drop that bomb!
      Drop that bomb on Viet Nam!

  • The American public is not the enemy.

    Enemies of the United States SHOULD be monitored by the NSA. I was told that the purpose for the Patriot Act was to stop terrorists too. Using this as an excuse to profile every citizen of the US and report on his illegal habits to the police is antipathetic to everything I ever learned in school about America and what it stands for.

    The basic rights of Americans citizens should not be taken away by royal decree as the price for ensuring safety from our enemies.

    “Don’t worry, we are just using it to fight terrorists.” Right.

    I feel like Obama just said “Here, pull my finger”

    This sure stinks.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    This one is destined for the “who are you gonna believe, me or your own two eyes?” category:

    Santa Ana police officers charged with stealing snacks during marijuana dispensary raid

    I sure hope that these 3 don’t get any jail time. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to do jail time for stealing snack food? That would have to be almost as embarrassing as getting jail time for a criminal mischief conviction.

  • Scheduling marijuana to schedule two as is being provided for in the CARERS ACT is a mistake.

    Putting marijuana under schedule two keeps it squarely still under the control of the DEA and continues the merri-go-round with recreational marijuana swinging in the wind.

    When Bernie Sanders left Michigan 12 medical marijuana dispensaries were raided by what I understand were State and County law enforcement. Watch what the DEA is doing with the opiate situation and you are seeing what they will do with medical marijuana regulations and restrictions when marijuana becomes schedule two as provided for in CARERS http://tinyurl.com/hmr8nvd.

    States set their own marijuana laws while being led around by the purse strings of a federal government still fighting a drug war. Now, the DEA and State and County law enforcement who play ball will be in on the enforcement financial bonanza’s and incentives that can only be provided for by federal sized dollars.

    Now, with federal NSA sized data being fed directly into the enforcement picture, let me ask –what drug war and who are the combatants? Why the new inclusion of data?

    How many more marijuana victims will there be on a drug war enforcement level with PRISM no longer needed? I envision a lot if this scenario continues the way it is unfolding right now.

    I hope Bernie makes it past Hillary or the road looks like it gets long.

    From a Constitutional standpoint, this NSA stuff is a disaster.

    Marijuana needs to be legalized for States to do with as they wish in federal law. Otherwise CARERS is more like divide and conquer. Schedule two is a hard pill to swallow for marijuana – and unjustly deserved.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Synthetic dronabinol is in Federal schedule III.

      BTW, the States with State sanctioned retail cannabis vendors haven’t broken any laws. There’s nothing in the Federal Controlled Substances Act criminalizing the adoption of zoning regulations, creating a medicinal cannabis registry, engaging in the mundane administrative tasks required for of implementing and enforcing, etc. etc. etc.

    • Tony Aroma

      Very good point! Moving to schedule 2 or 3 would probably make research easier, but it won’t help with access. Dispensaries would still be illegal, so would possession without a prescription, and home growing. States would either have to continue on as they have been, without regard for federal laws, or trash their existing mmj programs and start over from scratch.

    • DdC

      We’ve or I’ve been making that claim since 2009. Yet ole Rad Rush keeps hiding in denial along with the big bucks trying to buy another monopoly like the failed one in Ohio. Is your post copyright infringment Tony? Kidding.

      Is The DEA Legalizing THC? 03/02/11
      So, in other words, if a pharmaceutical product contains THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would be a legal commodity. But if you or I possessed THC extracted from the marijuana plant, that would remain an illegal commodity.

      AMA Ends 72-Year Policy: Ganja is Medicine 11/10/09
      The AMA Medical Industrial Complex has permitted millions of Americans to suffer needless anxiety and physical harm from drug thugs for 40 years.
      DdC November 28, 2009
      Vested Ignorance will always lie and cheat to maintain their dysfunctional profits. If left to the Politikan ConPromisers, as I suspect. The AMA would lower it to a schedule#2 and permit Big Pharma to control it.
      DdC October 31, 2010
      Like using Barthwell/Bayers Sativex by lowering buds to a schedule#2 narcotic. Leaving Pot, Hemp and RxGanja prohibited for future profit and keeping cannabis products off the market shelf.

  • Emotionless monotone voices “willingly” (or else) stating in unison…

    We the people humbly serve our mighty oligarchy.

    They protect us.

    They feed us and give us health only when it pleases them.

    More power to our oligarchy.

    More regulations (euphemism for prohibitions).

    More taxes.

    More monopolies.

    More submission.

    We are free.

    They are brave.

    Help us, dear oligarchy. You are our only hope.

    We are cattle.

    You are the chosen ones.

    Mold us and posterity to your comforts.

    U. S. A.

    Or…

    Law abuse ignited the bloody revolution starting this country.

    Law abuse is complexly strangling the innocent to ever-increasing oppression (stressors increasing more drug/etc. abuses to increase even more law abuse in response).

    A nation that believes relatively rare abuse justifies judicially blanket rights infringement against use (e.g. silently illegal death to the ninth amendment of the Bill of Rights) will logically fall hard, because stupidity (e.g. never judicially implementing an actually unalienable right to liberty — that right being the only possible path to actual exceptionalism — logically against all forms of discrimination) obviously is purely destructive.

    To define risk is to define liberty, and that fact can never be reconciled with an unalienable right to liberty. Either liberty is unalienable or not. Any exception “to protect the children” begins the slippery slope of “protective” rights infringement degrading any point in even having fundamental rights (as we all can clearly painfully experience and witness).

    Without rational doubt, law can only ever address the crossing of the threshold of objectively (so fairly, so justly) conclusively proven harm (not risk) in a nation with an unalienable right to liberty.

    Effective education is the only logical option for a free nation when it comes to managing risk — a positive thing upon considering the Information Age logically gives way to the Education Age (if we’re smart enough to get there).

    That’s a critical part of the people’s right to know, logically speaking, but democracy pathetically votes to let the crickets keep metaphorically chirping, while the mainstream media “maturely” continuously floods us with murder/fire/car-accident/destructive-weather/celebrity reports that have no relevance to most lives (placating the sleeping giant that is the masses).

    Join too many of your follow Americans and keep burying your head in the sand (with your exposed ass for oligarchical rape) to stay safe?

    Not me.

    Read this, oligarchy dominated by reason abusers and thugs recording and leveraging our lives for your comforts…

    Your treason will end one way or another in strictest accordance with reality’s scientific and unavoidable (literally supremely dominating) need for balance.

    The only question that apparently ultimately counts is how are “We the people” involved in that correction — by peaceful pressures to maturely dismantle the selfishly hideous risk-based judicial monstrosity as ironically the fundamental human-made stressor causing severe mass destruction when applied against privacy, or by another seriously violent formation of another national declaration to repeat the cycle — understanding that only a nation against all discrimination can be truly successful (and actually optimally — including innovatively — free).

  • Servetus

    Science comes to the rescue of gummy bears. A new laboratory technique employing flash chromatography and careful sample preparation appears to accurately determine amounts of cannabinoids contained in edibles:

    SAN DIEGO, March 15, 2016 — As more states decriminalize recreational use of marijuana and expand its medical applications, concern is growing about inconsistent and inaccurate dosage information listed on many products, including brownies and other edibles. But now scientists report that they have developed a technique that can more precisely measure cannabis compounds in gummy bears, chocolates and other foods made with marijuana. They say this new method could help ensure product safety in the rapidly expanding cannabis retail market.[…]

    “Producers of cannabis edibles complain that if they send off their product to three different labs for analysis, they get three different results,” says Melissa Wilcox, who is at Grace Discovery Sciences. “The point of our work is to create a solid method that will accurately and reliably measure the cannabis content in these products.”

    AAAS Press Release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/acs-ntc021916.php

  • Mr_Alex

    Last night on facebook was quite funny, the prohibs admitted that they want Big Pharma to have control over Cannabis sales and profit, they were called out on their hypocrisy

    Also i managed to talk to Maia Szalavitz via pm on fb, it is the Semblers that are using the Anti Cannabis groups to stop reform and another interesting revelation on Kevin Sabet, he was trained up by Melvin Sembler and Project SAM is apparently a Sembler entity

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    It wasn’t that long ago that darkcycle opined that he expected Mr. Trump to self destruct and that his 2016 bid for the Republican nomination would end up being nothing more than political arcana lost in the footnotes of our government’s history. I wonder, could a forged baseball be the catalyst for that event?

    Pete Rose’s attorney: ‘We do not know how Mr. Trump got the ball’

    Now just how ironic would it be if the forged signature of a baseball player cashiered from the Hall of Fame for skulduggery led to the demise of Mr. Trump’s Presidential aspirations?

    On the other hand we may get to see if Mr. Trump has any talent for plausible deniability. You can’t be the POTUS without a firm grasp of the mechanics of plausible deniability. You know, I don’t think that we’ve seen Mr. Trump throw anyone under the proverbial bus. You also can’t be the POTUS without throwing some people under a bus. I do hope he doesn’t do it tomorrow in DC because it could turn ugly, maybe even cause some riots with the subway shut down unexpectedly and without notice.

    The DC Metropolitan area is going to give our nation a lesson in gridlock. It might even exceed the apocalyptic traffic jam on 9/11/2001. Now that was a traffic jam.

    • darkcycle

      I’m currently unable to process the fact that he has smeared and vilified every single non-white, non-Xtian ethnic group in this country, yet still has managed to all but sew up the nomination.
      At this point, I am less concerned with a baseball allegedly not signed by a liar and compulsive gambler that I am with the safety of my family as this horror show unfolds.
      I am reminded of a facebook post that a friend left asking “where’s my flying car? I thought we were supposed to have flying cars by now.” To which I responded, “only people over 55 were promised flying cars, people UNDER 55 were promised a nightmarish dystopia on a climate ravaged planet. Our leaders are trying their level best to deliver on that last promise.”

  • Servetus

    PROPAGANDA ALERT: ‘Marijuana use disorder’ is NIDA’s latest attempt at fear mongering with respect to cannabis.

    The press release gives a vague description of marijuana use disorder:

    To be diagnosed with the disorder, individuals must meet at least two of 11 symptoms that assess craving, withdrawal, lack of control, and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities. Severity of the disorder is rated as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the number of symptoms.

    Nora Volkow chimes in:

    “These findings demonstrate that people with marijuana use disorder are vulnerable to other mental health disorders,” said Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), which contributed funding to the study. “The study emphasizes the need for such individuals to receive help through evidence-based treatments that address these co-occurring conditions.”

    The study authors note the urgency of identifying and implementing effective prevention and treatment for marijuana use disorder and call for more research to understand the combined effects of marijuana and alcohol. “We feel strongly that more public education about the dangers associated with marijuana use is imperative,” stated Hasin. “This is especially critical since we are learning more about public beliefs that marijuana use is harmless.”

    Yes, according to the NIDA, if someone has mental health disorders, and they smoke marijuana, it constitutes a marijuana use disorder. Other than that, no additional connections need exist. A call for more research is made, of course, since none of the NIDA’s previous research appears to condemn marijuana.

    Nora Volkow might want to investigate a different research topic with respect to cannabis, one known as ‘faith derangement syndrome’. Faith derangement syndrome occurs when religious crackpots impose their questionable beliefs about drugs onto others in ways that harm people or society in general.

    AAAS Press Release: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/cums-mud031616.php

  • it’s quite the crew… Pete’s couch is the modern equivalent of Cucko’s Nest – minus Nurse Wretched. Bat-shit crazy but some of the sanest folks I know. Well done lads and lasses!

  • n.t.greene

    “A well intentioned man is often at the root of a great injustice. No man is truly evil, only misguided — some are more misguided than others, though.”