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March 2005



More idiocy

This editorial in the Sentinel and Enterprise (Fitchburg, MA): More cops needed to win drug war
It’s an editorial that calls for a strong stance in the drug war and calls for more money to be spent to win it.
Now here’s the example that they use in the editorial to demonstrate how serious the problem is:

For people like Paul McNamara, a Fitchburg police officer, the war on drugs in North Central Massachusetts is not an academic exercise.

McNamara found himself fighting for his life one day while working on Fitchburg’s STRAIT (Strategic Tactical Response and Intervention team) unit.

A man attacked McNamara and Sgt. Joaquin Kilson on Crestview Lane after they stopped him for having an open container of beer.

“It was a fight for our lives,” McNamara told the Sentinel & Enterprise. “It went from an encounter of, ‘What’s your name,’ and ‘You know you can’t be drinking here,’ into hand-to-hand combat very quickly.”

McNamara said the man came to Fitchburg to buy drugs, but he must have already been high when he arrived.

“We were on the ground fighting, the three of us, and we didn’t know where our weapons or radios went. A woman nearby handed Sgt. Kilson his radio,” McNamara said. “It took four or five of us to arrest him.”

McNamara and numerous other officers and law enforcement officials literally put their lives on the line every day to fight illegal drug trafficking and use.

As far as I can tell from this story, the only “drug war” danger they faced was the beligerance of a beer drinker, and their own incompetence in losing track of their weapons and radios while wrestling with him.

Stupid Drug Wars

“bullet” Mexico: Arizona Daily Star

Mexico is mobilizing 6,400 soldiers next week to its northern states in response to a vicious drug war that has left nearly 200 people dead this year, officials said. …

Using Humvees, four-wheel-drive trucks and helicopters, the soldiers will work with agents from the Mexican Federal Attorney General’s Office to destroy drug crops in southern Sonora and launch operations against the clandestine runways drug traffickers use on the border south of Arizona.

The military buildup on the northern border will last one to two months, then the extra soldiers will leave, he said.

It comes during a tenuous time when Mexico’s powerful drug lords battle for control of lucrative areas along the border with the United States.

OK, let me get this straight. There’s violence between rival drug lords due to the profitability of the black market, so you solve that by sending in a bunch of soldiers to destroy crops and then leave? And this will do what to drug prices and profitability? And the violence of the rivals will stop? Hello? Is anybody home?
“bullet” Afghanistan: New York Times

The American military will significantly increase its role in halting the production and sale of poppies, opium and heroin in Afghanistan, responding to bumper harvests that far exceed even the most alarming predictions, according to senior Pentagon officials. …

To support the new effort, the Defense Department is requesting $257 million, more than four times the amount last year, in emergency financing for military assistance to the counternarcotics campaign, in addition to the $15.4 million in the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal 2005, which began last Oct. 1.

Cato responds:

In “Drug Prohibition Is a Terrorist’s Best Friend,” Ted Galen Carpenter, Cato’s vice president for defense and foreign policy studies, explains that “the harsh reality is that terrorist groups around the world have been enriched by prohibitionist drug policies that drive up drug costs, and which deliver enormous profits to the outlaw organizations willing to accept the risks that go with the trade.

“Targeting the Afghanistan drug trade would create a variety of problems. Most of the regional warlords who abandoned the Taliban and currently support the U.S. anti-terror campaign (and in many cases politically undergird the Karzai government) are deeply involved in the drug trade, in part to pay the militias that give them political clout. A crusade against drug trafficking could easily alienate those regional power brokers and cause them to switch allegiances yet again.”

Scientists Still Trying to Discover the Cause of Idiot Reporter and Judge

“News” Article in The Daily Telegraph (Australia) by Angela Kamper:

Chloe died because we all failed her

SMOKING marijuana drove Timothy Kosowicz mad and he strangled an angelic little girl. …

“This seems to be yet another example of the link between cannabis use and mental illness, a link which from my judicial experience and […]

Colorado Stories

For some fun weekend reading, check out these delightful articles — all in Colorado
“bullet” Putting The Kind In Kindbud in the Boulder Weekly. A fascinating story of the the Colorado Compassion Club and Thomas and Larissa Lawrence, including how they got busted by the feds, some of their techniques for growing medical marijuana, and how Thomas became the first person ever to receive drugs from the Denver police.
“bullet” Green Butter by Wayne Laugesen (also in the Boulder Weekly) is, to begin with, Wayne’s story of accidentally using the “green” butter (laced with pot) on his sweet corn at a neighbor’s dinner party. While the author doesn’t like pot (he’d prefer to stick with beer), he speaks up on behalf of the CU students who hold a 420 pot party each year (cops are threatening to come down hard on it this year), with an interesting view…

Get it, drunkards? If we don’t speak out for the potheads right now, in their time of great need, there will be nobody left to speak for us when they come for our drink.

“bullet” Students Call on CU to Ease Up on Pot in the Daily Camera — students are taking a slightly different approach in favor of marijuana:

Student leaders approved a referendum this week calling for CU to acknowledge the drug as a relatively safe alternative to alcohol. Sponsors of the proposal said they want the university to make that distinction in the way it punishes students. …

Campaign adviser Mason Tvert said violent crimes, such as sexual assault, that sometimes result from alcohol abuse are not found with marijuana use, which makes it a safer choice.

“We do not advocate the use of marijuana, but we are advocating for a better public policy that does not indirectly push kids toward drinking,” said Tvert, the director of SAFER, a Boulder-based nonprofit that aims to increase public awareness on the differences between the two substances.

“bullet” The Colorado Daily covers that story as well in It’s Green Prozac:

“There has never been a case of fatal marijuana overdose in history,” said Cisneros. “How many more students need to drink themselves to death before our colleges turn to safer, more sensible alcohol and marijuana policies?”