Legalization now in Kerlikowske’s vocabulary – he just doesn’t know what it means

In El Paso

kerlikowske“Some think legalization will reduce the violence,” Kerlikowske said. “It will not. If drugs were to become legal, I doubt very seriously that (the criminals) would take up jobs at Microsoft or Intel. Criminals are not going to change.”

Such a bizarrely ignorant world-view. It requires:

  1. A finite and unchanging number of “criminals” world-wide – that everybody is specifically either a criminal or non-criminal for life and that can’t change, and that no enticements could turn a non-criminal into a criminal.
  2. That criminals would have the same power to bribe officials (and entire countries), and buy guns if all their money supply was cut off, and
  3. That they would still want to kill people on the border even if they had nothing to smuggle across.

This guy got a Master’s Degree? Somebody better talk to the Board of Trustees at University of South Florida.

Update: Lots more from Kerlikowske here. Some really amazing stuff.

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18 Responses to Legalization now in Kerlikowske’s vocabulary – he just doesn’t know what it means

  1. jackl says:

    Poor Gil, forced to lie by law and seemingly pretty boxed in right now with respect to allowing Mexico to try to fight the drug cartels for a while longer. The most interesting quote in that article was not Gil’s reflexive endorsement of Merida-ville but the academic who was quoted saying that Calderone was essentially naive and hinting the cartel thing was doomed to the usual fail, despite initlally promising statistics.

    Well, maybe legalization is too much to hope for…I’m just hoping for a more modest “Hands off California” (and other medimar states) policy.

    Like your new digs, Pete.

  2. CarolDuhart says:

    It also assumes that criminals don’t respond to the same laws of supply and demand as anyone else. I suspect most of the folks in the drug cartels are there because it pays well. Legal, the price goes down, and with weed, any farmer’s market can sell it or people grow their own.

    Besides, there are criminals and criminals. People whose only charge is posession should have their charges expunged, and with expungement and pardon, they could then go back into society with no problem. Lowlevel nonviolent dealers could be rehabilitated and given an opportunity to go straight. Only those who are violent or who have long records would be a problem, and there are far fewer of those to deal with.

  3. Chris says:

    Look on the bright side, he knows the word now now! Progress! Next, we can teach him what it means!

  4. ezrydn says:

    I thing Gil’s got it bass-ackards. We don’t legalize to attack the cartels. That’s just a byproduct of legalization. People are so focused on the cartels these days, they forgot what their original intent was. And, no, I don’t think they’d go away overnight. But, they WOULD go away.

    But, no, we need to keep the cartels active, for two reasons. One is so Congress can keep awarding money to a crime-driven war and, secondly, they have no other clue to go with. Gil said as much himself. “What’s the alternative?” What, indeed, Gil.

  5. The alternative is repealing laws that criminalize drugs themselves.

    What is the justification for drug control?

  6. Buc says:

    @ Carol:

    Why do dealers need to be rehabilitated? In your first paragraph, you made it clear that the reason people deal drugs is because they are affected by the laws of supply and demand. Dealers are rational economic actors who see a profit and are jumping at the opportunity, not sick people that need forced rehab.

    Selling illicit items in high demand will always draw people to do it because the amount of product sold needed to produce a large profit is very low compared to regulated items. This is what the entire economic argument of why legalizing drugs will reduce violent crime is based on. Regulated markets drive down price drastically and make the product less valuable to the seller. Therefore, with many sellers, the market controls the price and violence is not used to solve problems. Just like alcohol and tobacco regulation doesn’t produce violence, narcotic regulation wouldn’t either.

    To believe so implies that one believes that a direct side effect of any narcotic is the want to turn violent. Only the most naive, a group that includes every head of ONDCP, would believe that.

  7. jon says:

    A large number of ‘criminals’ are people out committing property crimes to fund their habit. You really have to have your head pretty deep in the sand to think the number of these types of crimes wouldn’t change in a regulated market where drugs weren’t a fortune. Not too many alcoholics or smokers doing home invasions for their fix. And this is what drug related crime is, not people on drugs going out and stealing because they’re already high; that’s a VERY small %, and alcohol-influenced crimes dwarf drug-influenced ones.

  8. Klay says:

    History shows that violent crime was reduced when prohibition ended. Make criminals in charge of the distribution of a substance they will do so without regard to age, fighting for territory – regardless of who gets injured.

  9. allan420 says:

    It’s another big fat one, pitched right over the plate by Chief Gil. As Klay points out and we know so well, ending alcohol Prohibition got crime out of the liquor biz and gave the country a ten year decline in violent crime.

    With cartels now in over 200 US cities (LE estimate) is there any doubt what ending drugs-Prohibition/legalization would accomplish? History lays it out fairly plainly.

    Thanks to any and all that helped add to Gil’s vocabulary.

    And one step at a time Gil… we understand the possibility of injuries to somnambulists. After all, we’ve waited this long so a few more weeks for you to catch up won’t hurt. Much…

  10. DdC says:

    10,000 deaths solely because of Kooky Drug Worriers.

    Help Wanted by Los Zetas youtube

    Mexican Drug Lord Billionaire – El Chapo youtube

    Yeah, the Free Mexican Air Force is flyin’ tonight April 29, 2006
    Owning marijuana, cocaine and even heroin will no longer be a crime in Mexico if the drugs are carried in small amounts for personal use, under legislation passed by the Congress.

    Ganjawar Puppets Cave… again May 03, 2006
    After intense pressure from the United States, President Vicente Fox has asked Congress to reconsider a law it passed last week that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs as part of a larger effort to crack down on street-level dealing. In a statement issued late Wednesday, Mr. Fox said the law should be changed “to make it absolutely clear that in our country the possession of drugs and their consumption are and continue to be crimes.”

  11. CarolDuhart says:

    What I meant was that low-level dealers with a record and a long history of being outside the work system would need to be “rehabilitated” in the sense of retraining and reorienting into the local world of work. There would need to be a “rehabilitation” program so that they could find something else to do and could clear their records of felonies.

    The violent folks I’m thinking of are cartel heads, enforcers, whatnot who have perhaps killed and maimed people in the pursuit of protecting profits. Those people are few and would need to serve time for the violent offenses. Legalization wouldn’t add to this number of course, and once those people die or have served their time, the problem posed there would largely end.

  12. DdC says:

    It’s another big fat one, pitched right over the plate by Chief Gil. As Klay points out and we know so well, ending alcohol Prohibition got crime out of the liquor biz and gave the country a ten year decline in violent crime.

    Yes that is or should be more than obvious. The ingredients of the stew. But what is always missed is who’s eating it? Yes Gil stirs the pot, and as booze prohibition over dramatically continues to show us the violence is do to the prohibition, and the audience assumes there must have been a terrible drinking problem to warrant such measures. Even more so with Ganja… not because of its dangers. That is a pure lie from Nixon during Watergate, covering up the schedule #1 narcotic fast track classification. The competition. btw the Growers are public servants helping tokers.

    Rockefeller changed a minor state by state Woman’s Temperance League rhetoric into a Nationwide Constitution changing Prohibition financing the organizers and greasing the palms of Congress with his 1937 $5 million donation influx. Not because he cared about the safety of society and kids. Because 90% of the “stills” were producing fuel for the farmers and not buying his fossil fool crude oil. Once his refineries were established it was repealed. Even old Randolph Hearst gave support to ending booze prohibition. The same yellow journalist creating the banner reefer mad headlines.

    Ganja/Hemp’s thousands of products are why it’s illegal. The profits in maintaining the dysfunction are a plus, but only a subsidiary to keeping this viable versatile cheap plant off the Wallmart St Market. These are the media hobgoblin sighters and politikops breeding red herrings. Same shadow manipulators scapegoating tobacco with chemical cigarettes never mentioned, yet always copmpared to Ganja as a smoking danger.
    That’s the Ganjawar.

    I see in the near future a crisis approaching

    The Elkhorn Manifesto

    The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer

    Nixon lied to schedule Ganja #1

    “I am against Prohibition because it has set the cause of temperence back twenty years; because it has substituted an ineffective campaign of force for an effective campaign of education; because it has replaced comparatively uninjurious light wines and beers with the worst kind of hard liquor and bad liquor; because it has increased drinking not only among men but has extended drinking to women and even children.”
    — William Randolph Hearst,
    initially a supporter of Prohibition,
    explaining his change of mind in 1929.
    From “Drink: A Social History of America” by Andrew Barr (1999), p.

  13. DdC says:

    That should be 1920 donation

  14. In addition to Pete’s very relevant points:

    Mr. Git No Vocabulary absolutely needs to analyze things:

    1) in the short run and
    2) in the long run

    In the short run the problem he and his ilk have created and bloated out of proportions WILL cause some very bad issues with the cartels that are now dependent on the money.

    In the long run legalization will remove plenty money from them and with less money it’s a much less attractive career path.

    The long run analysis must also factor in the fundamental difference between “malum in se” crimes and “malum prohibitum” crimes. Clearly the latter – aka. “victimless crimes” – exerts a much greater pull on potential drug dealers.

    By eliminating the actual “stepping stone” of malum prohibitum crimes any person would have to go from law abiding citizen to full-on murderer, robber and violence criminal.

    That’s a huge step that will deter people from choosing crime. Today people are getting sucked in on the victimless crime, but after a time they get weaved into the really bad stuff with guns, threats, shooting, etc.

  15. BruceM says:

    If drugs were legal, then people who use/sell them would no longer be “criminals” … what a moron.

    Why would Obama appoint someone like this to any position in government? Yet another Obama failure.

  16. kaptinemo says:

    I keep thinking that I’m witnessing the ‘end of days’ when it comes to the ONDCP. And Mr. Kerlikowske has been chosen (and probably knows that he has) to preside over its’ dissolution. When you think about it, it makes even less sense to maintain the office from a political point of view with purported ‘progressives’ in the ascendancy. To try to do so is to make a laughing-stock of the entire idea of ‘science-driven policy’ as promised by the Prez. For the entire issue of drug prohibition is based upon prejudice and lies, not science. Let’s see what these so-called ‘progressives’ will do when the cloud-cuckooland policy rubber hits the fiscal concrete road.

  17. Pingback: More silliness from the Drug Czar « Drug WarRant

  18. BluOx says:

    ObfuscationalNonsense DirectedatCannabisProhibition. But poor ol’Gil is probably the last DrugCzar and knows it.I only hope he can handle the pressure.

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