One of the unchanging constants of the drug war is that the Government lies.
And yet, time after time, “serious” people in the media repeat those lies, mindlessly furthering the dissemination of Government lies and evading their responsibility to investigate the truth.
They should be outraged, screaming at the top of their media lungs, seeing the trust of the people so perverted, so undermined, so treasonously betrayed.
Others, academicians somehow ignorant of the role of a Government Of the People, By the People, and For the People, seem to think that the Government is merely another partisan with an agenda of its own that should be judged equally with other activists.
That’s also outrageous.
Let’s take a look at a sane world: You’d have legalizers on one side, pushing their agenda, pointing out the facts that support their agenda (that’s what activists do), and you’d have groups like MADD and Partnership for a Drug Free America on the other side, pushing their agenda, pointing out the facts that support their agenda. Both sides might select, out of competing facts in uncertain futures, those scenarios that look particularly good for their side. That’s a fully appropriate role for activists.
In the middle, not taking a side, would be the Government, the repository of as much information as possible, to help citizens sort between the competing interests.
But no, in this perverted system, we have the Government as an activist, not only exaggerating and cherry-picking the data, but actively lying.
This puts those of us on the side of legalization at a horrendously unfair disadvantage (which makes our successes all the more incredible and a testament to the truth being mostly on our side).
But people are so used to the Government lying, they forget to be outraged.
Maia Szalavitz, usually an excellent writer on the drug war, forgot who the players were in her recent article in Time Magazine: The Marijuana Number That Was Too Good to Check
Over the last few years, supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization have both cited the same statistic to back their cause: 60% of the profits made by violent Mexican drug lords come from marijuana. But now, it seems, both sides have been wrong.
Who are these two sides? Why, us, and the Government.
Turns out that the Rand study believes that 60% is too high, but they don’t know for sure what number is correct.
So was it the legalizers that made up this number?
Where does the 60% figure come from? It was released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy â€” the federal drug czar â€”in 2006, but its origins and exact derivation were not made public. With legalization advocates using it enthusiastically, however, the agency officially backed away from it in September, claiming that the models on which it was based “are dated and may no longer apply.”
Maia actually treats the Government as merely one side in a partisan debate and blames both sides for playing loose with the numbers, even when it’s the Government that supplied the number in the first place.
She has essentially said that the Government need not be held to any higher standard than a blogger or a special interest group. That’s… unbelievable.
She’s so used to it, she’s forgotten to be outraged.
The latest in Government lying, supported fully by a complicit Michel Martin at NPR, has to do with marijuana use and kids â€” another blatant attempt to spin legalization efforts as being responsible for increased use by children.
White House Turns Attention To Teens And Drugs, Michel Martin, host.
MARTIN: What leaps out at you about this survey? What do you think is the most important finding?
Mr. KERLIKOWSKE: I think there are two important findings. One is that this increase in drug use is led by marijuana. And the second part is that the age of initiation – the first time a young person started using marijuana – dropped from 17.8 years to 17 years, and that’s actually quite significant.
MARTIN: Because that’s an average. So one has to assume that if that’s the average, the actual earliest use for some people is much younger.
Mr. KERLIKOWSKE: And that’s exactly right. And the concern there is that for the six years that we have had that data, the number had always gone up. This was a year that it not only went down, but it went down by a significant number.
MARTIN: Why do you think that is?
Mr. KERLIKOWSKE: Well, I think there are a couple of reasons. One is that there is a huge amount of public attention to equating medicine and marijuana. And that is the wrong message. I have met with high school kids from Portland to the Bronx. And when they talk about medicine and marijuana, they say this is sending the wrong message to us.
So the age of initiation dropped from 17.8 to 17 years. What does that mean, exactly?
Well, Kerlikowske isn’t giving the whole story. Erin Rosa at the Narcosphere caught it in The Drug Czar Office’s Misleading Claim on Teenage Marijuana Use
After a closer look of the data cited by the ONDCP, the claim that teens today are currently using marijuana at younger ages is misleading. In fact, the same data shows that young people who recently tried marijuana are doing so at older ages.
The statistic used by the ONDCP comes from this sentence in the survey:
In 2009, the average age of marijuana initiates among persons aged 12 to 49 was 17.0 years, significantly lower than the average age of marijuana initiates in 2008 (17.8 years), but similar to that in 2002 (17.0 years).
The Office fails to mention in its press release that the .8 percentage drop in age among first time marijuana users was not based on a survey of teenagers, but came from an older demographic of those aged 12-49 years. There is no indication of when such behavior occurred, or that teens today are in fact trying marijuana at young ages.
In other words, when you ask a 48-year-old what year they started marijuana and they say age 18, that was actually in 1980, and has very little relevance to teens today. Those numbers are really quite meaningless.
If you take a look at recent initiates who initiated use prior to age 21, the age estimate has actually gone up in the last year.
And really, the only way to know for sure if there was an lowering of age of initiation this year is if they actually tracked that specific information, and they appear not to have done so (or, if they did, the numbers didn’t suit Kerlikowske’s agenda).
And once again, the Government is not only not held to a higher standard than a partisan special interest group, but no attempt is made to even hold it to a standard of basic truth.
That is outrageous, and so is the lack of outrage.
PASADENA, Calif.â€”President Obama’s drug czar is scheduled to visit a Southern California drug treatment center Wednesday to speak out against the November ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana use in the state.
Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske is planning to release new government data showing that California already has a much higher percentage of children in treatment for marijuana use than the rest of the country.
He also plans to highlight statistics indicating the state has a higher than average percentage of residents voluntarily seeking treatment because of problems with pot.
“Celebrity Rehab” host Dr. Drew Pinsky is supposed to accompany Kerlikowske on his visit to the Pasadena Recovery Center.