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Odds and Ends

There’s been all sorts of stuff to read this holiday weekend. Here are a few more …
“bullet” Radley’s got a piece at FOX News about the good folks at LEAP

For several years now, LEAP has been looking for a debate with the country’s top drug policymakers š anyone from DEA Administrator Karen Tandy to Drug Czar John Walters to powerful prohibition politicians like Indiana Rep. Mark Souder.
So far, they’ve had little luck. That’s too bad. If the drug war is still as important and necessary as our leaders in government say it is, it’s champions should be able to defend it–especially against the law enforcement officers they’ve asked to fight it.

I feel their pain. I’ve been wanting the same thing myself.
“bullet” Libby talks about North Dakota hemp efforts over at Detroit News.
“bullet” Tanya at Blame the Drug War covers a scathing report in Canada.

VANCOUVER, OTTAWA — The federal investment in the war on drugs has been an abject failure, according to a report to be published today.
Canada’s drug strategy, renewed with much fanfare in 2003, has put too much emphasis on law enforcement instead of on means to combat illicit drug use and minimize its human toll, says the report that is to appear in the HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review.
The criticism appears unlikely to sway the federal Conservative government from its intention, confirmed by a Health Department spokesman, to tilt the strategy even further toward pure law-enforcement measures.
The study, which found that critical programs in prevention, treatment and research are being underfunded, comes five years after Canada’s Auditor-General issued a scathing report that said the country’s drug strategy focused too heavily on enforcement and needed a more “balanced approach.”

More Open Thread

“bullet” Water Drinking Contest Turns Deadly

A Sacramento woman is thought to have died of water intoxication after taking part in a radio station‰s water drinking contest.

If only they’d stick to safe things like marijuana.

[Thanks, Allan]

“bullet” Interesting read by Christopher Hitchens — A Life of Living Dangerously (in the January issue of Maxim) about the nanny state:

I have what is sometimes known as a life, which luckily for me involves self-employment as a writer and speaker. It’s always amusing, but it involves a fair bit of stress, travel, late nights, and the suchlike. And you know what? I think I can handle it on my own. There are times when a cigarette will help me-due to its famous nicotine content-to stay awake and to concentrate. (Nicotine can even ward off Alzheimer’s, say the doctors, if you live long enought to get it, that is.) My metabolism can process Scotch whisky without any undue difficulty, and there are moments when the glow can help me write, or even talk. It wards off boredom, which presses in on me from every side in a country increasingly run by tedious idiots. Some of my writer friends do really well with the help of a joint, and good luck to them, but dope gives me heartburn and makes me less aggressive, and I don’t need either of those results. Very occasionally, a snort of cocaine can be a good thing, but I despise people who make a habit of it. (Outside my house is a school with a sign that says DRUG FREE ZONE on its fence. Uh, huh. I am never more than two telephone calls away from a score if that’s what I choose, and I gather from well-informed sources that the stuff often comes direct from the police department.) I have no use for breakfast, but at lunch a T-bone with about eight cloves of garlic, rammed home with some rich Burgundy or pinot, often appeals. (The New England Journal of Medicine now admits that two proper drinks a day are more or less essential for the heart: I was in possession of this information while doctors were still nervously covering it up.) I don’t drink any sort of coffee except espresso, and was delighted to learn recently that decaffeinated beans raise a person’s level of bad cholesterol. I have no intention of telling you about Viagra-related matters, but I will say that when my cock talks, I listen.

“bullet” Via Grits for Breakfast, in the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Big score holy grail for drug officers. A depressing read. Makes you really realize how incredibly stupid all this is.

Over a nearly three-year period, 6,121 drug confiscations sent by Atlanta police to the GBI crime lab tested positive for cocaine. Just six were more than a kilogram, a little more than 2 pounds. On the other hand, more than 4,000, or 64 percent, were less than a gram, which is roughly the weight of a single raisin.
Coffield, a former police union leader, said a joke has circulated for years: “The Atlanta police narcotics unit is solving the cocaine problem one rock at a time.”
“All they care about is numbers,” said Coffield, expressing a complaint being voiced by current Atlanta officers and city officials.

“bullet” An ignorant article in the LA Times by Chris Kraul: U.S. fears ‘Colombianization’ in Ecuador’s drug war. Completely lacking in the article is any reference to the utter failure of the supply-side drug war and the culpability of the U.S.-led drug war in creating and exacerbating the problems in Colombia.