Some weekend reading and open thread

There have been all sorts of interesting things going on and flying around the blogosphere. Here’s a few to keep you busy.
“bullet” Let’s start with something light at Unconfirmed Sources: Mexican Troops Killed Fighting Hybrid Marijuana Plant [Thanks, Jay].
“bullet” Over at Catallarchy we have Drug War, same old same old — a man is arrested because both he and his son have allergies and when he bought some Claritin-D to send with his son to church camp, he exceeded the maximum allowed purchase by law.
“bullet” Ex-cop plans ‘Never Get Busted Again’ video [Thanks rachelrachel]

A one-time Texas drug agent described by his former boss as perhaps the best narcotics officer in the country plans to market a how-to video on concealing drugs and fooling police.

This made the drug warriors very upset.

“…for him to go to the dark side and do this is infuriating.Š

“bullet” John Markley has written a very good OpEd at LewRockwell: What They Think of Us — In it, he talks about how drug laws and others are really based on the fact that politicians don’t think very highly of the people — that we can’t be trusted to do the right thing.

In short, the American people are subjected to a nearly continuous stream of insults and calumny from their own elected officials, as well as from many pundits and intellectuals.

Fascinating article, although in my mind it was made slightly weaker by his attempt to include social security in the mix (I think the dynamics of that discussion are different enough to throw people off the case he’s making.)
“bullet” A man put up a billboard opposing snitching and it outraged the local community and mayor. They asked him why he would promote such an offensive notion as not cooperating with the police

Gonzales said the message really means to stop snitching wrongly. He says the catch phrase is being interpreted wrongly. “There’s a lot of people incarcerated for people snitching, so people can reduce their time.”
Gonzales‰ son is in federal prison for 15 years. He says his son was wrongly convicted on a drug charge after an informant falsely snitched in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.

“bullet” Ben Fulton has a well-written OpEd in the Salt Lake City Weekly: Speed Limit. I don’t agree with him fully on his conclusions about meth, but he does a very nice job of demonstrating the absurdity of the federal government’s war on marijuana, and puts the priorities in the right place — recovery services rather than prohibition
“bullet” Speaking of Meth, Maia Szalavitz had a good article (doesn’t she always) at the Huffington Post: Barack Obama’s Meth Menace

Unfortunately, in terms of drug policy, despite his candid and refreshing discussion of his own use, he apparently remains part of our on-going national nightmare.

“bullet” Libby at Last One Speaks notes that Tyrone Brown (the man who was sentenced to life in prison for smoking a joint while on probation), may be getting a reprieve.

Keith Dean, the Dallas judge who issued the unusually harsh sentence, has written a formal letter to the Texas parole board asking them to free Brown.
Dean, who was voted out of office just days after “20/20” ran the story, wrote that he supported the district attorney’s recommendation of release and agreed that “Mr. Brown has been rehabilitated and no longer poses a risk to others or himself.”

“bullet” Via TalkLeft, Bush issued 16 pardons. And some of them were drug offenses. But. Is it just me, or is the list of those pardons missing some of the more outrageous miscarriages of justice out there? I mean, really:

Thomas R. Reece of Cumming, Ga., violating the Internal Revenue Code pertaining to alcohol. Sentenced May 2, 1969, to one year of imprisonment.

We have people rotting in jail, and dying in jail, right now.
“bullet” The Drug War Chronicles brings us the best of times, and the worst of times.

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