If we legalize drugs, who will care for the corrupt?

bullet image This is a huge story that’s been developing for awhile, but I just haven’t had a chance to address it. But this is really blowing up:

DA on verge of mass drug-case dismissals

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco prosecutors told judges Friday that they could not “ethically go forward” with 46 narcotics trials because of evidence problems arising out of the scandal at the Police Department’s drug lab – signaling that the district attorney is likely to dismiss nearly all 750 pending drug cases in the city.

“Based on what the district attorney’s office knows about the issues within the narcotics division of the crime lab, we cannot ethically go forward with this prosecution,” Assistant District Attorney Nancy Tung told a judge overseeing a case that was serving as a test of how much police and prosecutors had to disclose to defense attorneys about problems at the drug lab.

Prosecutors dropped that test case, a cocaine-sales trial, after having been deluged with 1,500 pages of police files about the lab that a spokesman for the district attorney called “troubling” and said pointed to possible larger problems in the Police Department.

[Thanks, Tom]

bullet image DrugSense. I often link to DrugSense Weekly and the Drug War Chronicle at the end of weekend Open Threads. They’re always worth reading.

I have an extra interest in DrugSense Weekly this time —

  • Their Letter of the Week is my letter to the editor that I recently had published in the Pantagraph
  • Their Feature Article is my post about Cognitive Distortion (discussing the reaction to my letter)
  • And one of their Hot of the Net stories is my post: “Department Of Justice – We Have Met The Enemy, And He Is Us”

Thanks for the nice recognition and the wider distribution!

bullet image There’s going to be a lot of stories like these coming out now that marijuana is on the California ballot:

High Anxiety: Pot Growers Fear Legal Weed

“The legalization of marijuana will be the single most devastating economic event in the long boom-and-bust history of Northern California,” said Anna Hamilton, 62, a Humboldt County radio host and musician who said her involvement with marijuana has mostly been limited to smoking it for the past 40 years.

Local residents are so worried that pot farmers came together with officials in Humboldt County for a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night where civic leaders, activists and growers brainstormed ideas for dealing with the threat. Among the ideas: turning the vast pot gardens of Humboldt County into a destination for marijuana aficionados, with tours and tastings – a sort of Napa Valley of pot.

Unusual alliances form in California to legalize pot

SAN FRANCISCO – Now that a proposal to legalize marijuana is on the ballot in California, well-organized groups are lining up on both sides of the debate. And it’s not just tie-dyed hippies versus anti-drug crusaders.

So far, the most outspoken groups on the issue are those affiliated with California’s legal medical-marijuana industry and law-enforcement officials who vehemently oppose any loosening of drug laws.

But the campaign that unfolds before the November election could yield some unusual allies: free-market libertarians joining police officers frustrated by the drug war to support the proposal, and pot growers worried about falling prices pairing with Democratic politicians to oppose it.

The trick will be sorting through the hype, and the reporters willing to cut corners for an interesting story.

Here was an interesting item in the second article:

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said it was too soon to speculate on whether federal authorities would sue to keep the measure from becoming law.

What does that even mean? Who would they sue? And I can’t see any court procedure they could use to prevent a state from passing a law. After it’s passed, there could be a court case examining the Constitutionality of the law given its conflict with federal law, but that’s different.

bullet image Marijuana Legalization on the CA Ballot: Separating Fact from Fiction by Stephen Gutwillig.

bullet image DrugSense Weekly – a weekly review of the most interesting or relevant articles in the press and on the web related to drug policy reform.

bullet imageDrug War Chronicle – weekly update of drug war news and analysis from Stop the Drug War.org.

This is an Open Thread.

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15 Responses to If we legalize drugs, who will care for the corrupt?

  1. allan420 says:

    the recognition of your work is well deserved… and… ya got the most comfortable couch in the DPR ring!

  2. ezrydn says:

    What would we have done if Johnny Pee hadn’t come up with “Pete’s Couch?” That’s the only thing I thank him for. All those years of investigation finally answered the “couch” question. And it turned out to be “Pete’s Couch.” I wonder if the man has any clue as to what he did?

    We know you’re good, Pete, and the press is finding out the same. I’ve found I’m turning more people on to DWR since California has become prominent.

  3. allan420 says:

    Yeah ez… the Pete’s couch thing is perfect. And it truly is a wonderful thing to behold. Certainly not all here are “stoners” but, enough are that we make a pretty sharp counterpoint to that lame attempt at stereotyping.

    I wonder if our future generations will look at the anti-drug propaganda film/vids like we look at Reefer Madness? My daughter never got my references until she watched it… lol… and she was raised to be a discriminating media critic so to say she was incredulous would be understatement. My kids grew up with me and drug policy. In fact… my daughter remembers my DrugSense chat sessions a decade ago or more with Kap, Hope and a few others here. lol… she remembers Big Bong’s Burger Bar too. Hmmm… people in CA might consider jumping into BB’s franchise!

  4. Servetus says:

    In warrior lingo, Pete’s couch comes equipped with the Internet equivalent of remotely controlled 16-inch guns. People with one-to-five decades worth of unspent ammunition targeting the drug war and its apologists have been given access, thanks to Pete, to the great electronic equalizer.

    There can be no doubt that DWR and its allied blogs rule the web. When the dust of battle finally settles on the drug war, history will remember what was done here.

  5. Richard Steeb says:

    Anyone who advocates the continuation of cannabis prohibition to maintain their profits, be it the DEAthugs, the prison guards’ union, or the Humboldt County herb farmers can go vigorously pound sand and rot.


  6. ezrydn says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. If the growers in Humbolt feel they need to voice what the Cartels are thinking, then they belong to the same low class of citizenry.

    They seem to think they’re “special.”

  7. denmark says:

    Yes Pete, your contributions are and will continue to be extremely important while all the laundry is separated into neat little piles. While I’m fairly new here it’s also all of you who comment and contribute that round this experience out.
    It does amaze me that the cloud of confusion just doesn’t want to go away. It really doesn’t have to be this way, but then again mankind, in this case those who oppose freedom of what to put in our bodies, just can’t see it. It’s simple in the end really, legalize it. Let the veil of illusion and lies fall away due to their own weight and the sky will remain the sky.

  8. Ripmeupacuppa says:

    Do the Humboltbootlegertonians really feel that way, or is it some brilliant ruse to get extra support for re-legalization?

  9. DavesNotHere says:

    This Steve Chapman piece at the Chicago Tribune and wherever else it runs helps.

    A cure for Mexico’s violence

    The most viable option is the one that is considered unthinkable. The head of Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has said that “legalization is not in the president’s vocabulary nor is it in mine.”

    No, but failure is.

  10. truthtechnician says:

    As someone who lived in Humboldt for years, I’d like to point out that their reputation as pot mecca is largely self-imposed. Honestly, there’s just as much bud being grown in the Bay Area inside warehouses as there is in the forests of Humboldt County.

    More proof: If Humboldt County really grew more ganja than other parts of Cali, the prices would be radically different. This is not the case. The price of bud there is more or less the same as in the Bay Area.

  11. denmark says:

    Can’t smoke pot right now, job and living circumstances.
    Anyway, back around 1986, or something close to that year, we had a neighbor go to Humboldt County to pick up a few kilos of cannabis. We were poor but we found a way to put our money in for two ounces.
    We were not disappointed, some of the best stuff I’ve ever had.

    And unfortunately I can believe that dispensary owner’s, not all, don’t want cannabis legal. How frakking selfish of them. They should be contributing 50% of their profits for three months or more towards the California legalization movement.

  12. ezrydn says:

    Since this is an open thread, you should scoot over to http://www.greenpassion.org and check out the two DVD ISO torrent they’re offering FREE. I just burnt it and it’s full of turn of the century documentation that’s great to have as a backup. While you’re over there, you might also want to grab Granny Storm Crow’s MMJ Resources list. It covers many of the lab trials that cannabis has gone through.

  13. BruceM says:

    Why are law enforcement officers/employees allowed to voice an opinion on such matters? Aside from the fact that they have no legitimate interest in the outcome (the key word there being legitimate), they shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it any more than soldiers should be allowed to propagandize issues about ongoing wars/conflicts/military policy.

    If cops want to enter this debate, they should have to leave their jobs first. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with it, it’s a matter of public policy.

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  15. Zeb says:

    There is nothing in the constitution that says a state state law cannot be different from Federal law. Only that the federal law is supreme when there is a conflict and can be enforced even in states that do not have a similar law. There is no conflict, in the sense of direct contradiction, between federal drug laws and state law that does not happen to make a certain substance illegal. The states enforce their laws and the Feds theirs. The Feds cannot force a state to pass a particular law or to outlaw a particular substance.

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