Open Thread

“bullet” Kathleen Parker is on fire again at the Washington Post with Snap, Crackle, Pot – an excellent OpEd about Phelps, Lott, and the drug war, and she speaks with Howard Wooldridge of LEAP.
“bullet” Speaking of Phelps, the attorneys of two of the young men that Sheriff Lott went after have spoken up, and (no surprise) the only thing Lott was after was for them to incriminate Phelps.

The lawyers did not release the names of their clients, but Harpootlian said that his client didn’t even see Phelps smoke marijuana at the party. McCulloch said his client was out of town, and only lived at the home when the party happened. Both men have since moved.
“After they arrested him, they didn’t ask him where did you get the marijuana or who sold it to you. Almost all the questions they asked him were about Michael Phelps,” Harpootlian said. He added: “It was like they were busting the biggest heroin distributor in the country.”
The investigators appear to be trying to build a case against Phelps from others – a tactic normally used to bring down drug dealers with a large amounts of cocaine or methamphetamine, not someone who smoked marijuana five months ago, said Chip Price, a Greenville attorney who has dealt with drug cases for 33 years.
“Never have I seen anything like this on a simple marijuana case,” Price said.

“bullet” Mark Bauerlein in The Chronicle of Higher Education also sees clearly the stupidiy of the statement in the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. government claims, however, that increasing violence is an indication that the drug war is working. One of them is quoted as asserting that “There is violence ‘because these guys are flailing. We‰re taking these guys out. The worst thing you could do is stop now.”
Apart from the juvenile expressions, we may be sure that if the violence were going down, the same officials would claim credit for that, too. “See? We’re taking these guys down. They can‰t even fight back any more . . .:”

“bullet” Mark Kleiman and Harold Pollack give advice for the new drug czar at the American Prospect. Most of it’s pretty good. They do get into pushing a couple of pet ideas (like in #8/9), but that’s OK. And, of course, Kleiman has to find a way to get in his pathetic juvenile strawman dig with:

Tell libertarians, and some liberals, that the drug problem isn’t just some statist or reactionary myth: Drug abuse, and not just the drug war, causes great harms.

This is just some fantasy. I don’t know a single libertarian or liberal who claims that drug abuse isn’t harmful. What many do claim is that prohibition isn’t the tool for dealing with it. And some even claim that we can’t properly address drug abuse until prohibition is out of the way. And some libertarians claim that government isn’t the way to deal with drug abuse at all. But they don’t claim that the problems of drug abuse don’t exist.
“bullet” This is disturbing.

Many doctors may lose their ability to prescribe 24 popular narcotics as part of a new effort to reduce the deaths and injuries that result from these medicines‰ inappropriate use, federal drug officials announced Monday.
A new control program will result in further restrictions on the prescribing, dispensing and distribution of extended-release opioids like OxyContin, fentanyl patches, methadone tablets and some morphine tablets.

We don’t need to make it harder for doctors to help patients in pain. We’re already making people suffer more than we should.
“bullet” Being drug free when you’re on probation doesn’t even help you when you live in San Antonio.

In San Antonio, between 2/3 and 3/4 of positive urine tests from the Bexar probation department resulted in false accusations of drug use, Greg Harman at the SA Current reports

If you’re going to be thrown back in jail for drug use when you didn’t use the drugs, it’s not much incentive to stay clean, is it?
“bullet” “drcnet”

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