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January 2008



Freedom is the default position

I just saw a fun interview on the Colbert Report with Judge Andrew Napolitano (author of A Nation of Sheep) I haven’t read the book, so I can’t necessarily recommend it, but he sure knows how to say some great common-sense stuff (some paraphrasing here):

Freedom is the default position. Anything the government does takes […]

The White House doesn’t trust U.S. science, so it turns to New Zealand

Two studies:

A major study by a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years. Funded by the United States National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse. Largest study of its kind involving 2,240 people. Conclusion: No evidence of any association between marijuana and lung cancer, and even a suggestion of a protective […]

Elevator Arguments

Tonight, I gave my Elevator Arguments presentation to the Illinois State University chapter of SSDP. It’s always a lot of fun. The idea is to develop the skill of being able to make an argument for drug policy reform quickly (in the time you might have riding with someone on an elevator). And not only […]

Ryan Frederick update

Radley has the update:

Ryan Frederick was arraigned today. He was charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and . . . simple possession of marijuana.
That‰s right. Though police still haven‰t told us how much marijuana they found, it wasn‰t enough to charge Frederick with anything more than a misdemeanor. For a misdemeanor, they broke down his door, a cop is dead, and a 28-year-old guy‰s life is ruined. Looks like the informant mistook Frederick‰s gardening hobby for an elaborate marijuana growing operation, and those Japanese maple trees for marijuana plants.


Drug War Victim – Jarrod Shivers

Although Radley Balko’s been on top of this one, I haven’t talked about it yet. I’ve been waiting for a little more information, and it’s coming painfully slow. That, in itself, can lead one to suspect that there is some fishiness in the case. Regardless, it appears certain to me that police officer Jarrod Shivers […]

Open Thread

“bullet” Communities that feed on prisons. Jeralyn at TalkLeft talks about the New York Times article. Unions, the prison industry, and prison communities are fighting to keep prisons open and stocked because they’ve got their entire existence pegged to prison income.

Count me among those with no sympathy. America’s over-incarceration policies mean corporations make billions […]

Heroin users, Prohibitionists, Critics and Enablers

Mark Kleiman points to an excellent NPR story about an incredible, easy-to-use nasal spray that can save lives when applied quickly after a heroin overdose.

The nasal spray is a drug called naloxone, or Narcan. It blocks the brain receptors that heroin activates, instantly reversing an overdose. Doctors and emergency medical technicians have used Narcan […]

Think of the children

From the Drug Czar: Students Push For Random Drug Testing

Fear card used again

No surprise, but still…

The Bush administration announced yesterday that it is seeking $200 million to help cities fight violent crime, citing as one of its reasons, the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s decision to give convicted crack cocaine offenders a chance for an earlier release. Speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Attorney General Michael B. […]

Open Thread

“bullet” Jacob Hornberger says that Lou Dobbs should take responsibility for the death of a border agent.

What Dobbs fails to comprehend, however, is that he himself, along with other supporters of the war on drugs, are morally responsible for the death of that Border Patrol agent. That is, Dobbs and other drug-war supporters cannot escape moral responsibility for the agent‰s death by simply pointing to the legal (and moral) responsibility of the drug dealers who killed him.
“Dobbs and his drug-war cohorts just cannot let go of their beloved war, not even when it has gone on for more than three decades, with nothing but death, destruction, corruption, and failure to show for it.”
If the drug war had been ended years ago, as libertarians have long advocated, there would be no more drug gangs and drug lords. Those types of people survive and prosper only in black markets, not regular markets. If drugs were legalized, the people selling drugs would be pharmacies and other normally operating businesses, just as they were before U.S. officials made the sale and distribution of drugs illegal.

“bullet” Interesting article from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, which puts Walters’ recent outburst against Chavez in some additional perspective:
Colombia: The Blitz is On

A prime weapon in the U.S. inventory to reduce Ch˝vez to size and build up Colombia‰s President Uribe is a recent government-funded report produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which claims that the South American nation, Colombia, is safely ‹back from the brink of crisis.Š But in terms of its conceptualization and implementation, the contracted document and the campaign surrounding its publication raises serious questions. These include the conservative organization‰s objectivity due to its longtime advocacy of Plan Colombia, and its vigorous support of the pending free trade pact with Bogot˝.
The CSIS Colombia project is more about being part of a well-timed public relations campaign than about bona fide research.

“bullet” Richard Holbrooke, former ambassador says we’re Still Wrong in Afghanistan

“I’m a spray man myself,” President Bush told government leaders and American counter-narcotics officials during his 2006 trip to Afghanistan.ć He said it again when President Hamid Karzai visited Camp David in August.ć Bush meant, of course, that he favors aerial eradication of poppy fields in Afghanistan, which supplies over 90 percent of the world’s heroin.ć His remarks — which, despite their flippant nature, were definitely not meant as a joke — are part of the story behind the spectacularly unsuccessful U.S.ć counter-narcotics program in Afghanistan.

“bullet” If you’re on Facebook, consider donating $10 so that SSDP can earn $10,000.
“bullet” A student newspaper at Arizona State University goes a little deeper into the drug trade than most I’ve read.
“bullet” “drcnet”