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March 2009



About that cocaine video

I haven’t commented about the guy who’s been shopping around the video that supposedly shows Joe Biden’s daughter doing cocaine, because I just wasn’t interested.
Eric Sterling has it right.

This person is a disgusting sleazebag. […]
None of us would ever want a videotape of our child’s indiscretions made public. Persons who seek to profit from such indiscretions are contemptible.
All of us should empathize with Ashley Biden. Whether this video accurately depicts her or not, she has been victimized. We know that about twenty million Americans use illegal drugs, and that half of all American adults have used an illegal drug at least once. She is being held up to ridicule for something that does not deserve ridicule. Even if she had snorted cocaine at a party, her privacy has been terribly invaded. (It is worth noting that there will be people who will feel completely justified in attacking Ashley Biden because she is suspected of using cocaine. There will be people who will feel justified attacking Vice President Biden for the policy positions he has taken because his daughter is rumored to have used cocaine. He is not responsible for his adult daughter’s use of drugs.)

Well, it turns out that it’s even sleazier than we originally heard. The attorney that was shopping around the video has bailed, and now it appears that the guy with the video not only supplied the cocaine, but used a hidden camera to make the videotape.

Legal expert Stan Goldman told Look, this is very serious business — even the government cannot conduct this kind of activity (although federal agents can possess drugs without violating the law). He could be charged with possession of illegal drugs, distributing them and also trying to profit from their sale. Im not surprised that that the lawyer ‘brokering the deal ditched the guy because he could not be seen to be benefiting from the ‘fruits of the crime.’

I have plenty of disagreements with Joe Biden and his views on drug policy, but there’s no way that I would trade his daughter’s privacy for the mere opportunity of a cheap hypocrisy accusation. It is my hope that his daughter is left alone, that the videographer disappears (for his own good), and this “story” ends.
I also desire that every other person in the world who uses drugs without harming anyone else is left alone, and I will continue to fight for that.
One good bit of news. It appears that none of the newspapers approached was willing to bid on the video. Perhaps they have some ethics? (Or maybe they’re going bankrupt and just couldn’t afford it.)
Note: The Onion also has a funny take in their “person in the street” interviews…

George Furlong, Humane Officer: I don’t get it. What’s the hook here? Does she do cocaine really well? Is it an impressive amount of cocaine?
Peggy Bryan, Watch Assembly Inspector: If she was snorting it through one of those pocket Constitutions that Kucinich hands out, Ill go get my checkbook.

I’m starting to wonder if it’s intentional

President Obama’s no dummy. He’s intelligent and he’s educated. He’s from Chicago.
Is he purposely throwing softballs?

President Obama: Well, whats happened is that President Calderon I think has been very bold and rightly has decided that its gotten carried away. The drug cartels have too much power, are undermining and corrupting huge segments of Mexican society. And so he has taken them on in the same way that when, you know, Elliot Ness took on Al Capone back during Prohibition, oftentimes that causes even more violence. And were seeing that flare up.

Obama talking to CBS’s Bob Schieffer [Via Scott Morgan]
He’s got to be smart enough to know that talking about prohibition and Capone is just going to lead to talking about ending prohibition. Drug policy reformers have set that up for the past few years by heavily promoting the word “prohibition” in conjunction with the drug war. I even did some promotion of the Capone connection. A lot of people are going to make that connection.
Is he stupid? Is he brilliantly devious? What’s going on, here?

Coming out of the closet

Andrew Sullivan gets readers talking about the marijuana closet — the awkward place so many users reside that prevents them from talking openly. This convinces more to come out of the closet. Jason Kuznicki Positive Liberty comments on this development and hopes for more. I agree.

No more free rides?

Could it be that the mindless anything-goes-as-long-as-you’re-tough-on-drugs philosophy is showing cracks? “bullet” Editorial: Incarceration Lobby Deserves Tough Questions

Here’s a question to those who gathered in Sparta last week to criticize Gov. Jim Doyle’s public safety budget: Why does the United States, with just 5 percent of the world’s population, house 25 percent of the […]