Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
April 2007
« Mar   May »



Christopher Hitchens: Legalize it

An excerpt from his 21 Solutions to Save the World:

The largest single change for the better in U.S. foreign policy, and one that could be accomplished simply by an act of political will, would be the abandonment of the socalled War on Drugs. This last relic of the Nixon era has long been a laughingstock within the borders of the United States itself (where narcotics are freely available to anybody who wants them and where the only guarantee is that all the money goes straight into criminal hands). But the same diminishing returns are now having a deplorable effect on America‰s international efforts.

Only one year to go…

In 1998, countries around the world joined the United Nations International Drug Control Programme in their pledge that the world would be drug free by 2008.

Since this date is approaching so fast, I decided to have a conversation with drugs about the imminent end of drugs on earth. I talked with spokesperson Mary Jane.


Act Now! A real possibility to change the financial aid law.

At the end of this week, or early next week, the U.S. Senate committee that handles education is considering repealing or scaling back the law that strips financial aid from college students with drug convictions. SSDP’ers have been on top of this and the prospects for reform look very good. They also report “that the […]

I Don’t Care What the Judge Said

Take a moment and read this beautiful story over at The Conservative Voice by Joel Turtel about jury nullification. Quite inspiring.

[Thanks, Casey]

A masterpiece of chicanery

This is a work of art. Dick Morris and Eileen McGann have the slimiest piece of work I’ve seen in some time in today’s New York Post: A Drug War Dilemma. The piece is actually about the Colombia free trade agreement (which Morris and McGann support), but the authors have chosen to frame it as […]

Odds and Ends

“bullet” Why are we so terrified of a psychotherapist who admits to having used hallucinogens that we won’t allow him to enter the country to visit his family? “bullet” Clergy in Illinois Join Push to OK Medical Pot

“It comes down to, what do we think God is up to?” said Pastor Bob Hillenbrand of […]

420 recap

Sorry I’ve been out of touch the past few days. It’s a very busy time at the university, with only a couple of weeks left for the year. And each year in April, the students have a four-square marathon to raise money for scholarships. Four-square? Yes, the game you played in 5th grade, although our […]

420 Open Thread

My posting is a little light right now due to a variety of events (and very little sleep) — and I know there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on, so talk amongst yourselves. “bullet”

View RSS feed

Measuring Prohibitions

Radley Balko has an absolute must-read post over at Hit and Run

The more appropriate response to “more users” argument is “so what?” A slight rise in the number of recreational drug users is only a problem if you believe that there’s something inherently immoral and destructive about smoking a joint or snorting a line […]

A soap company takes on the police

After what’s happened Orange County recently, I need to plug a wonderful company that makes organic soaps from ingredients including hemp oil — Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Go buy something from them.
Here’s what happened: Don Bolles, drummer for “The Germs” was arrested for

…felony drug possession after police alleged an 8oz bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap tested positive for the illicit drug GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate). […]
Mr. Bolles, drummer of the legendary punk band The Germs, was arrested following a police traffic stop and spent three and half days in various jails in Orange County before being released early Easter morning. During a consented search of Mr. Bolles vintage 1968 A-108 van, Newport Beach police found a bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner’s soap which is made with organic coconut, olive, hemp, peppermint and jojoba oils. Felony drug possession could mean 20 years in prison if convicted.

See also Punk rocker caught in soap opera.
Well, the first point to be made is that Bolles needs to watch Busted and not consent to a search. The second is, what is wrong with the police in this country? Why were they testing soap? And yes, the field drug test came up positive for GHB.
Fortunately, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps was all over this, and now it gets really interesting…

The Bronner family, makers of the popular organic Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, has learned that the confirmation drug-testing at the Orange County crime lab of soap taken from Don Bolles does not contain GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate).

Jailed for no reason based on a faulty test. Was it a glitch?
Says Bronner:

“Our customers need to know now this whole soap opera is a mistake by police who tormented an innocent 50 year old man with jail. We purchased the same NarcoPouch¬ 928 GHB field test made by ODV, Inc. that was used by the police, and ran tests on our soaps. We confirmed that the test is useless when used on soap since every test came back positive. We also tested other common brands of soap including Johnson & Johnson’s popular Neutrogena brand, as well as Colgate-Palmolive’s popular Tom’s of Maine brand, which gave the same false-positive tests as well. What kind of justice system allows police to use field drug tests that deprive citizens of their God-given liberty, that test positive for something as common as soap? What kind of policies and regulations are in place on police drug-testing practices and products, such that a US citizen can be tossed in the slammer over Easter weekend for possession of soap? Police departments nationwide should immediately stop using the ODV, Inc. field test for GHB as it is not accurate when used on soaps and who knows what other common household products.”

Way to go, Dr. Bronner!

[Thanks to Tom, David Borden and others]