So how is that strategy coming along?

bullet image Comedian Lewis Black starts talking about the legalization of marijuana

Enough is enough. And I don’t even smoke the stuff, but if we are going to pay for anything we have to find ways to raise money, and here’s one. Marijuana is a huge industry, and people are not going to stop smoking it. Critics are concerned that kids will get a hold of the stuff. Like the kids don’t already get a hold of it! It’s insane.

[Thanks, Tom]

bullet image Crack babies leading ordinary lives. It’s been some time now since the hysteria over crack babies has been dispelled, but it’s good to remind people that such destructive media over-reaction is more damaging than the drug itself. Sure, pregnant women shouldn’t take certain drugs, but that doesn’t mean that you doom a generation (or, for that matter, over-react in crafting oppressive and racist legislation).

“Honestly, I had the perception that crack babies were born messed up, that they went through their life having problems,” said Jeff, who was a B student in high school, played sports and has worked part time since he was 14. He works at Starbucks and attends Howard Community College, aiming for a degree in accounting. “I don’t see other kids doing things that I don’t see myself capable of doing.”

Researchers say the hysteria that surrounded crack-exposed babies teaches lessons on how to deal with the increasing number of children being born with prenatal exposure to methamphetamine. “We think everyone has learned from looking at the cocaine-exposed kids not to get in a uproar before we have data,” said Nicolette Borek, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which oversees 15 studies of children exposed to cocaine before birth.

Many of those babies were born prematurely, with low birth weights and unusually small heads, but overall, they are “doing a lot better than we thought,” she said. “One of the messages of this is really how resilient children are and the brain is. Your exposure does not doom you.”

[Thanks to Jay]

bullet image Petition to Reschedule ‘Marijuana’ to Recognize Medical Benefits in Final Stages of Review by DEA – a press release from

As scientists and researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US participate in the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, a coalition of medical marijuana advocates is calling on the Obama administration for prompt action on an eight-year-old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use. The petition, filed in 2002, argues that marijuana should be classified as a drug with “accepted medical use” based on growing scientific evidence and acceptance in state law. Since the petition was filed, even more scientific studies and state laws have recognized the medical efficacy of marijuana.

Unless someone can enlighten me further on the press release, this appears to be merely a reminder that the petition is out there, waiting for the government to act.

It’s also a reminder that with marijuana, the DEA has stacked the deck against the statutory provisions that allow procedures for petitioning for rescheduling. The built-in tactics and procedures are intended to allow for surreal levels of delay and obstruction.

The first petition was filed in 1972. It was finally killed by the DEA in 1994, 22 years later. A 1995 petition was killed in 2002. The one from drugscience, mentioned above, is the third petition.

[Thanks to Tom and claygooding]

bullet image I guess we’ve been over-reacting to all the thousands of deaths in Mexico. Turns out they mostly had it coming.

President Felipe Calderon insisted Friday that few innocent civilians have fallen victim to Mexico’s bloody drug war, saying nearly all those killed are people tied to cartels wrestling for power.

Speaking during a tourism conference, Calderon said criminals constitute more than 90 percent of drug war’s death toll, which stands at nearly 23,000 in just over three years.

Fascinating. I wonder how he knows? Perhaps all criminals in Mexico carry ID cards. But then, there’s all those deaths that involved dismemberment of naked corpses… maybe they have “I am a criminal” tattoos?

bullet image ONDCP’s McLellan to resign

Thomas McLellan, the former Penn professor whose appointment last year as the top federal official on addiction treatment was widely seen as signaling a dramatic shift in drug policy, is planning to resign.

“There’s no deep dark secret here – I’m just ill-suited to government work,” McLellan said in an interview with the newsletter Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

McLellan was supposed to be the big treatment guy for the ONDCP, the one to show that they really meant their supposed switch to treatment over enforcement. This doesn’t look good for the drug czar’s office, particularly with the grilling in Kucinich’s committee, and the long delay of the drug strategy report.

The release of the National Drug Control Strategy, a detailed blueprint for how the federal government deals with issues of illegal drugs and underage drinking that is written by McLellan and Kerlikowske, has been expected for more than two months but repeatedly delayed. Both men have talked in bits and pieces about its emphasis on treatment, and it was not known whether the delay had anything to do with McLellan’s decision.

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

bullet image RIP Jack Herer (in case you missed the good discussions in the comments in our open thread, or the link to the coverage by NORML).

Sorry for being off-line for the past few days. A student group that I advise was having a four-square marathon to raise money for student scholarships. It went for 65 straight hours, and now I’m trying to catch up on sleep.

This is an open thread.

Update: To those who write with assumptions about me based on my lack of including some major piece of news on my blog…. This is not a news aggregator — go to MAPinc if you want to read about everything (and help them out — they could always use some more newshawks). I write about and share things of my choice — that may be some insignificant tidbit that I find of interest at the moment, and not include some major piece of news that everyone else is talking about. I value all the tips and suggestions I receive immensely. Some I use, and some I don’t. There isn’t necessarily a dark design involved in that process. It’s a blog, and it’s the nature of blogging. </vent>

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12 Responses to So how is that strategy coming along?

  1. smartazz pvnk says:

    We must keep the kids safe at all cost. Enroll them in catholic daycare just to be sure. Calderon must be getting tired of the cartels pwning him, I feel so bad for him. *sniffle* Does the czar have a Lenin bust and hammer and sickle flag in his office?

  2. UseYourCompassion says:

    What is the point, about crack babies “doing better than we thought”?????? That it’s not so big a deal to force your baby do drugs? Ugh.

    • Pete says:

      UseYourCompassion — you appear to have picked a name that you don’t understand. The point about crack babies not all being idiots and predators like they were expected to be is that you don’t abandon kids because of media hysteria, nor do you write laws because of it.

  3. Ed Dunkle says:

    ” Recently nominated DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will make the decision on rescheduling marijuana at some point in the near future.”

    Thanks, Obama!

  4. Just me says:

    65 Hours, whoa Pete, Id be lucky to got 65 minute. Good job!

    Yes it is a big deal, I can see your point of making light of the fact, but yes it is a big deal. My position on that is this. If you give drugs to kids, born or not, there should be legal consequinces.

    What is the point, about crack babies “doing better than we thought”??????

    Even though these kids arent harmed as much as people once though, we shouldnt allow mothers to put them in that situation..The mother can do to her self as she pleases for all I care…but give the kid a chance to decide for them selves.Its idiots like these as to why we still have a drug war.

  5. ezrydn says:

    All those “crack babies” that the media was so hysterical about are young adults today. If we go by what we were told, they’re in every one of our communities. So? What do you see? I’ve been asking this same question for a couple of years now. Where are the horrible miscreants we were told to expect? How many mothers were prosecuted worse because of what didn’t occur? Just “collateral damage” from a non-existent explosion.

  6. denmark says:

    Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access recently said: “Grant the rescheduling permission to move marijuana from Schedule I to either a lower Schedule or completely off of the Controlled Substances Act schedule list.”
    Completely off, that should be the mantra of talking heads within the movement.

    As far as resignation of McLellan goes, the government will give an employee the opportunity to “resign” or they are outright fired.

  7. Pete says:

    Just Me — I was able to take some short naps during that time (it’s not like I was actually playing the whole time), but that’s not the same as getting real sleep in a bed. We did have one student in the marathon that broke the single person record of non-stop play: 37 straight hours (the only time he had to eat or go to the bathroom was the amount of time in line to go back in again). Crazy.

  8. Cannabis says:

    Kind of weird about Tom McLellan. Everything pretty much seemed all right a couple of months ago in the story “Penn professor works to transform drug-control policy” in The Philadelphia Inquirer. The interesting part is that the story was posted three weeks after the National Drug Control Strategy was due. The annual strategies are due from the President to Congress no later than February 1 of each year.

    For more information please read the CRS report RL32352 “War on Drugs: Reauthorization and Oversight of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,” by Mark Eddy, updated April 23, 2008. Click here to download. The WikiLeaks CRS homepage is down, so please use this mirror for other CRS reports. Older versions may be found at Open CRS.

  9. claygooding says:

    We will probably never know the real reason McLellan quit,but rumors are flying,everything from disagreeing with Kerli’s future policy changes too failure to procure financing for across the country rehab centers for Kerli and the judicial system to start putting drug users through,instead of prison.
    Since Mclellan’s wife works for one of the largest rehab
    companies in the US,I lean toward them not being able to get the money to build all those rehab centers.
    It is kind of like Kerli’s drugged driving ploy.trying to
    scare America enough to buy those marijuana use detectors from Motorola and an exDEA administrator,for a problem that highway statistics say doesn’t exist.
    I went and read the press release on the petition,and supposedly the petition is relying on the recent CMCR
    study and the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics,which ended yesterday.
    Also the fact that 14 states now have accepted medical uses for marijuana is a strong argument for one of the main deciding factors on drug classification by the CSA.
    I am searching for any news article now about the conference but expect we will see something tomorrow.

  10. Servetus says:

    A suitably unflattering obituary for Daryl Gates, the “Sultan of SWAT”:

  11. me! says:

    hmmm, keep the kids safe, crack babies yes there is a fine line and them kids dont need that. and “weed” now what is wrong with it really! i dont smoke it but i havent heard one bad thing about it. the only down fall is how high you get maybe make a limit. make the laws just like the alcohol. and alcohol is worse than “weed”. i dont know i just think the law is stupid i mean look at what cigarettes do to you. you never hear about “weed” doing that to you….

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