Why California should just say no to a bunch of Czars

The LA times has an OpEd: Why California should just say no to Prop. 19 by Gil Kerlikowske, John Walters, Barry McCaffrey, Lee Brown, Bob Martinez and William Bennett.

I’d be happy to take it apart, but Jacob Sullum already has: Six Drug Czars, and Between Them They Can’t Muster a Decent Argument for Marijuana Prohibition

“Our opposition to legalizing marijuana is grounded not in ideology but in facts and experience,” say drug czar Gil Kerlikowske and his five predecessors in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece that urges Californians to vote against Proposition 19. They argue that voters should listen to them because they are “experts in the field of drug policy, policing, prevention, education and treatment.” If this is the best case the experts can make against marijuana legalization, they had better call in the amateurs.

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17 Responses to Why California should just say no to a bunch of Czars

  1. claygooding says:

    My response at Huffington Post:

    When you consider that every one of the drug czars has depended on marijuana for justification for over one half of the trillion dollars they have wasted on the war on drugs,what other response could they have? That and they are mandated to do anything necessary to keep any schedule 1 drug from being legalized in any form by congress.

    Schedule 1 drugs have no medical benefits. Never mind that 14 states and our nations capitol have medical marijuana laws,with hundreds of doctors writing recommendations for thousands of patients. Never mind all the studies which have shown that marijuana has many medical benefits,many of them paid for by the ONDCP and ignored when medical attributes and possible medical applications were reported by researchers,even though their studies were initiated looking for harm in marijuana,not medical efficacy.

    Never mind that these people lose billions in funding when marijuana is removed from their control. If the ONDCP and the DEA were working in the private sector where accomplishments are required,they would be job hunting.

    I heard America ranks the lowest in education but the highest in drug use? It’s nice to be number one, but there is a solution. All we need to do is prohibit education. If it’s as successful as the prohibition of marijuana,everyone will be doctors,lawyers and rocket scientist.

  2. Just me. says:

    The LA times has an OpEd: Why California should just say no to Prop. 19 by Gil Kerlikowske, John Walters, Barry McCaffrey, Lee Brown, Bob Martinez and William Bennett.

    Hey you frakking morons,heres ANOTHER example why California and America should legalise. Oh ya Thats right Gil, you and your buddies are still under the illiusion that you are winning this drug war. Well ,either your morons or your evil.


  3. paul says:

    The LA times editorialized against liberty? What a shock!

    Seriously, I can’t think of a single editorial from the LA times that I’ve agreed with since freshman year at CSUN. And that was a long time ago. The LA times is nothing if not consistent. They ALWAYS editorialize in favor of government and against liberty, pretty much no matter what the issue. They consider it their civic duty. It’s easy:

    Tough times? More taxes, increase spending.

    Good times? More taxes, increase spending.

    Crime up? Not enough police–hire more cops

    Crime down? The police are effective! Hire more cops

    Designate someone’s private property as a bird sanctuary? Yes!

    New stadium for the city? They’re for it. Light rail nobody will use? For it. Subway boondoggle? Yes. Costs lots of taxpayer money? No problem!

    You name it: if if costs lots of money, raises your taxes, or in any way expands the power of government, the LA times likes it. The LA times is second to none (except maybe the NY times) for their appreciation of government power, and their contempt for individual liberty.

    Fortunately, their days of cheerleading for big government are numbered. Every year I go home, I see the paper getting thinner and thinner. Nobody uses the classifieds now that Craigslist is here. Their fall couldn’t come fast enough for me.

  4. darkcycle says:

    Well. Five current and former drug czars, with their record of honesty and integrity. That arguement can be roundfiled without even looking at it.
    The drug czars have an incredibly inflated impression of their credibility. I don’t think anybody but the seriously butter-brained will listen. This whole prop. 19 thing may turn out well, or we may lose, but as my friend Louis says “whatever happens, it won’t be boring”.

  5. darkcycle says:

    OH gawd. I read their piece (of garbage). Misuse of statistics. Unsupported assertions. Hyperbolic nonsence. Everything I had imagined it to be. Should have taken my own advice and roundfiled it without looking.

  6. TrebleBass says:

    “between 4% and 14% of drivers who sustained injuries or died in traffic accidents tested positive for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.”

    between 4% and 14% of people in america smoke cannabis.

  7. johhny1 says:

    “experts in the field of drug policy”
    hey idiots cannabis is not a “dangerous narcotic”
    google “Harry Anslinger”
    “the Shaefer commission”
    educate yourselves . it kind of makes you look likr “experts in ignorance”
    I will translate that for , politicians are in bed with big Pharma , they pay for the campaigns with million dollar bribes .

    when these puppets get done taxing cannabis no one will be able to afford it!

    kind of like cigerettes!

  8. Bryan S. says:

    Well, I wonder what Gil did to get all the others together to make that public appearance? (Technically he might be able… Nay, even more ironically = REQUIRED to do ‘whatever it takes’ to kill Prop 19. In a “By any means necessary” style

    Oh wait, he didn’t have to do anything like that. It was a “cooperative op-ed”, that was supposedly written by all 6 of them… Really?
    Half a dozen politicians to write one weak-ass Op-Ed?

    And I know Barry McCaffrey doesn’t truly believe that nonsense (at least not anymore = assuming he ever did), Still, I have to give him the benefit of the doubt -that he was never that stupid. It was just part of his Job Description to act that way.

    His last memorable quote regarding adult recreational marijuana use at home/(in non-public places) was “go ahead, knock yourself out”!

    And I have to believe Bennett is smarter than that – even if he still takes the “conservative position” against legalization – for some other reason.

    Same goes for Kerlikowski, There’s no way in the world he really believes all the crap he’s “professionally shoveling” these days – it just his job. Even the slightest bit of research into his views on the subject in his prior position in Seattle – should show that, even if he doesn’t think it should be totally legal…
    He surely doesn’t believe it REALLY leads people to seek rehab for addiction to marijuana, that’s just a side effect of “alternatives to incarceration”.

    It’s like taking a Drivers Ed Class to erase a traffic ticket from your driving record (and avoiding an car insurance rate hike), and Everyone with “walking around sense” knows this to be the case.

    I mean the best REAL & Plausible statistic they could come up with was “8% of nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for marijuana” – that’s just weak.
    Translation = EPIC FAIL!

  9. ezrydn says:

    After reading the article, one thought hit me. What I would consider the world’s most highly abused drug, nicotine, is my example. Just as the tomatos and home beer, tobacco plants could be grown by a user, shreaded and used without the overburden of taxes that are tacked on. However, people aren’t that way. They go for the easier route, not necessarily the cheapest route.

    Pick one corner 7-11. How many packs a day leave that property? And how much in taxes are generated, per day? And that’s just ONE 7-11.

    People may attempt to “grow their own” in the beginning but when they see that it’s easier (albiet more expensive) they would/will change to a trip to the drug store, just as they head for the local 7-11.

    They’ve gone from “no way to check” drivers to some “4-hour mouth swab.” Keep up the work and maybe they’ll find a way to identify immediate active particle presence. No active particle, no impairment. Isn’t that the goal of the test?

    The article itself had a noticable aire about it. The undeniable smell of BS!

    • Pete says:

      And ezrydn, they’re lying about the mouth swab, too. Everything I’ve read about them says that the swab can detect 24 hours, sometimes considerably longer, depending on a number of factors.

  10. Bailey says:

    I think the most shocking thing is that after 20+ years of failure at ONDCP, the guys still call themselves experts.

    P.S. Isn’t Kirlikowski (supposedly) barred from trying to influence state & local elections as a federal employee?

  11. Pete says:

    Bailey, I believe you’re referring to the Hatch Act, which should bar federal employees from using their official authority to influence elections. However, unfortunately it’s been generally interpreted to mean partisan elections and not include voting on issues.

  12. Servetus says:

    Should Prop 19 pass, the Insidious Six face a far greater threat to their reputations and public service careers than anything they’re predicting might happen with cannabis legalization.

    Legalization will bring a greater public familiarity with cannabis than has heretofore been possible with an illegal product. As the dire predictions of the Insidious Six fail to materialize, it will become increasingly evident to even greater numbers of people, both inside and outside of California, just how much of a farce prohibition has been since marijuana was criminalized in 1937.

    Under Prop 19, the Insidious Six will eventually be relegated to the same war criminal status as Henry Kissinger. It’s no surprise the Czars are speaking up. Now is a really bad time to be, or to have been, a Drug Czar.

  13. claygooding says:

    Th federal employees under nearly every bureaucracy will be voting against Prop 19,since they all receive funds from the ONDCP.

    ONDCP budget summary / Federal Drug Control Spending by Agency


    There are many federal employees that receive their wages or part of them from the prohibition.

  14. Duncan says:

    Pete, I frequent a couple of pothead forums and the consensus there is that oral swabs are the easiest to avoid getting a positive. They certainly know what’s up on the subject of beating a whiz quiz. Then there’s hair testing, for which they consensus that the only way to reliably beat the test is body waxing. I have never understood why hair testing didn’t end up as the most popular testing method among prohibitionists. It’s almost like they don’t want to catch the heroin, cocaine, or meth users.

    The Australians use oral swabs on drivers and claim that it only tests positive for 4-5 hours. They set up random roadside tests and claim it’s hard for someone to drive around for a month without running into one. A positive on the oral swab gets you a blood test. Now they are actually testing for the presence of active THC, not metabolites so that could be the difference. The Aussies don’t suffer the idiocy of impaired driving. BAC limit for a per se conviction of drunken driving is .05 BAC. The oral swab is another test that’s most peculiar by its absence in the US. I’ve speculated that the prohibitionists might be unaware of its existence and usage in Oz and New Zealand because the people over there call it cannabis, and the know nothing prohibitionists only know it as “marijuana” so it doesn’t come up when they Google. God I really do hate the m word.
    Wow, all 6 of them. I guess they wanted to make sure to cover all of their talking points. I think this is evidence that they’re really worried that Prop 19 will pass. I don’t recall any comparable all out frontal assaults in past years. I seem to have a vague recollection of a bunch of POTUS’s writing a similar letter including Carter. I recall when we had decrim ‘in the bag’ in 1978 because Carter supported it. Then the idiots from NORML got caught tooting cocaine in the White House and everything spun around 180 degrees practically overnight. That really is how long it has taken to finally be approaching the level of support that we had in 1978.
    Did everyone hear Jacob Sullum of Reason Magazine examined the polls on Prop 19’s support and noticed that when an automaton asks the question support is up to 15% higher than when a live person does the questioning?


    Where do these idiots come up with the idea that brewing alcohol is some how difficult? Christ on a crutch 1/2 the reason why humans chose booze over cannabis was because they were nomads. Then there’s the issue of dying from water borne diseases. It’s why the people at the wedding where the good fairy Jesus turned water into wine were bent out of shape. They didn’t want to get drunk, they wanted to not get sick and die.

  15. Steve in Clearwater says:

    Six is the number.

    And the number of the counting shall be six

    Seven thou shalt not count to

    Nor shalt thou count to five

    Unless then thou proceedest to six

    (INSERT FLASHBACK VIDEO CLIP HERE……It’s late 1996…Gerald, Betty, Ron, Nancy, George and Barb are filming an important PSA to be broadcast statewide throughout California

    ..One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six….THROW THE HOLY HAND GRENADE OF ANTIOCH at the Killer Prop 215 Bunny!!!”
    “Well that worked out well!”

    “You tit, Ron. You made me soil me armor!”

  16. i give none of them any quarter — by championing the drug war they have amply demonstrated themselves to be either idiots or completely lacking in integrity.

    i’d love to see every single one of them dangled from a flag pole by the nuts for being such traitorous assholes!

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