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June 2011
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Drug Bust

Excellent OpEd in the New York Times by Charles M. Blow

Friday marks the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest, most expensive, most destructive social policy experiments in American history: The war on drugs. […]

So began a war that has waxed and waned, sputtered and sprinted, until it became an unmitigated disaster, an abomination of justice and a self-perpetuating, trillion-dollar economy of wasted human capital, ruined lives and decimated communities. […]

An effort meant to save us from a form of moral decay became its own insidious brand of moral perversion — turning people who should have been patients into prisoners, criminalizing victimless behavior, targeting those whose first offense was entering the world wrapped in the wrong skin. It feeds our achingly contradictory tendency toward prudery and our overwhelming thirst for punishment.

He goes on to note the Global Commission Report released last week and then says:

The White House immediately shot back: no dice. The Obama administration presented a collection of statistics that compared current drug use and demand with the peak of the late 1970s, although a direct correlation between those declines and the drug war are highly debatable. In doing so, it completely sidestepped the human, economic and societal toll of the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, many for simple possession.

No need to put a human face on 40 years of folly when you can swaddle its inefficacy in a patchwork quilt of self-serving statistics.

Powerful writing.

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20 comments to Drug Bust

  • Sargent Stadenko

    We’ll bust all those dopesmoker pukes and lock em up and throw away the key no matter what the cost. Have you seen my beer, vicodin and cigarettes?

    • DdC

      In my era everybody smoked and everybody drank
      and there was no drug use.
      ~ x DEA Chief Thomas Constantine, July 1, 1998

  • skootercat

    Art Linkletter: When people smoke marijuana, they smoke it to get high, in every case. When most people drink, they drink to be sociable. You don’t see people…”
    Richard Nixon: “That’s right, that’s right.”
    AL: “They sit down with a marijuana cigarette to get high…”
    RN: “A person does not drink to get drunk.”
    AL: “That’s right.”
    RN: “A person drinks to have fun.”

    • “The next year, 1972, Linkletter announced that he had changed his position on marijuana. According to the New York Times, ‘After much thought and study he had concluded that the drug was relatively harmless.'”

    • DdC

      Art Linkletter’s daughter committed suicide. Art blamed Timothy Leary for her death. Then Linkletter spread the gossip about his daughter jumping out of a 6th story window while doing LSD. After toxicology reports said she was clean he changed the story to her having a flashback. The person with her at the time said she committed suicide and was distraught about her identity, her career and if she could make it on her own. Sounds like daddy was opening doors she wanted to open herself. Art Linkletters gossip went on to demonize acid and now time served is dependent on the weight of the dose, including the paper. More drug war lies leading to innocents dying and ruined for life with a criminal record. Fuck Art Linkletter!

      snopes.com: Death of Diane Linkletter

  • Cannabis

    What will the end of the drug war look like, the last helicopter out of Vietnam?

  • Rookie

    We will never know what the end of the Drug War looks like. It will never end.. It should be so obvious by now. There are too many politicians, lawyers, jails, and so on and so forth involved. Follow the money..How would local Police Forces ever justify the Huge Swat Teams, Mobile Command centers ect? Bigger Question is how would they ever pay for them without the Federal Funding to fight the War…

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      So what is your purpose here Rookie? Why in the world would you come to a forum of people determined to change the laws and berate them for tilting at windmills? What purpose does doing that serve?

      Aside from that your assertions are demonstrably wrong. We have had huge successes in lowering penalties for recreational use, and have gotten 17 States and DC to change their laws affecting medicinal cannabis patients in the face of an intransigent Federal government with the ability to borrow trillions to squander trying to control us. If they’re really in control as you seem to think they’re doing a pretty darn poor job of it.

      If you want to subscribe to such nonsense it’s fine, but it’s simply rude to post such a nonsense opinion in this forum. Like I tell the Know Nothings:

      We’re not going anywhere.

      We’re not going to quit enjoying cannabis nor trying to get medicine to as many sick people as humanly possible.

      There’s just under a century of evidence supporting the assertion that it’s a fool’s errand to try to stop use.

      If the powers that be were in such total control Marie Antoinette would have been buried in one piece, we’d still be British subjects, and private possession/cultivation of cannabis would still be illegal.

      I feel sorry for you. It must really suck to live in a world where you’re controlled by a large cohort of powerful conspirators. Even worse, that control only exists in you’re personal fantasy land so you’re volunteering to be controlled. I do pity you. Go buy some booze and drown your sorrows.

      Toodles!

  • Matthew Meyer

    May be powerful writing, but all I can see is the grammar error: “a direct correlation…are highly debatable”!!! Sheesh, New York High Times…

  • DdC

    “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.”
    ~ Turkish Proverb

    Nixon’s 40 Year War On Drugs… Drugs Won

    “You’re enough of a pro,” Nixon tells Shafer, “to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”
    What was he smoking?

    “I want a Goddamn strong statement on marijuana, I mean one that just tears the ass out of them. You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish.”
    – Richard M. Nixon

  • Base on the moon

    Has anyone made fun of his last name yet? For writing this?

  • DdC

    At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse the most expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of recreation a person could have.
    — Donnie Marshall, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

    “We have spent over a trillion dollars trying to eradicate the world’s most beneficial plant off the face of the earth. Imagine what a better world this would be if that money had been spent on treatment, education and studying the medical benefits of marijuana.”
    — Steve Hager – High Times Editor (1988 – 2003)

    Diehard or Easy, Just Die!

    WAR ON DRUGS A SUCCESS
    Peter Bensinger was administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement
    Administrationfrom 1976-1981 and director of the Illinois Department
    of Corrections from 1970-1973.

    Jesse Jackson’s recent column “on a failed war on drugs” demands a rebuttal based on science and the facts. Rev. Jackson, to his credit, has preached against using drugs, but his conclusion that the drug control effort has been wasted is dead wrong.

    DEA Success Update: Let’s see. After 20 years of relentless federal Drug War activity, while the price of world-class marijuana has gone
    from $60 an ounce to $450, the price of quality cocaine has plummeted from $125 a gram to $30, and 30%-pure heroin has dropped from $700 a
    gram to about $100. Way to go, boys! — High Times, April 1995

  • Duncan20903

    How about an update from the world of black market drinking alcohol vendors in 2011?

    Wow, doesn’t this sound just like the Mexican cartels? News reporter confirmed by police to be no more:

    “Father of underworld reporting, J Dey shot dead in Mumbai”

    /snip/
    “He has written about Dawood Ibrahim, Chotta Rajan and others and it is reported that he was working on a series of Dawood when was shot dead today. He has been rushed to the Hiranandani hospital nearby, which has confirmed him as dead on arrival.

    Mumbai police sources too confirmed that he is no more. There are reports that there were four assailants on two motorcycles who shot him at point blank range. He was shot outside the ‘Spectra’ building near the D-Mart shopping centre in Hiranandani, Powai.”
    /snip/
    http://rtn.asia/628_father-underworld-reporting-j-dey-shot-dead-mumbai

    Oh for the love of Canada:

    “…Investigators believe that a bootlegging operation was operating from the home and the residents were selling alcohol from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. Police said the alcohol was being sold at twice the price of liquor stores.

    “Probably the majority of people that are willing to go to a bootlegger to buy alcohol in the wee hours of the morning, they’re unprepared, probably have addiction issues and are probably willing to pay the inflated prices,” he said.

    According to University of Victoria Centre for Addictions Research of B.C. statistics from 2008, the Northern Health Authority had the highest estimated rate of hospitalizations for conditions attributed to alcohol (674 per 100,000 residents), “implying a high degree of alcohol-related harm.”
    /snip/

    Wow, they were actually willing and able to quantify the harm of drinking alcohol.

    http://www.theprovince.com/news/Mounties+swoop+after+hours+bootlegging+operation/4824010/story.html

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Another piece of evidence supporting the assertion that if you prohibit something that has a demand, that supply will rise to meet that demand.

      Today’s story fellow travelers concerns the scourge of foregoing pasteurization, and a group of scofflaws who decided to milk the fast money of the raw milk trade.

      From time to time we deride the argumentums ad liberi (appeals to the childrens) and the nitwits who believe it. But no one can deny that innocent youth will drink milk before ascertaining whether their particular glass of milk has been pasteurized or raw milk bought on the black market.

      Does anyone have a clue how dangerous bootleg raw milk can be to youth? Well neither do I but I know it can’t be just an incidental danger. We need to show these black market milk maids who’s boss. But for now we should be relieved that armed SWAT teams are taking very seriously the threat to society of these dastards.

      I was kind of surprised to learn about the people who ran the criminal milk pushers cartel at first glance but decided that it actually follows logically later. Learn about the criminals and gangsters who line their pockets selling raw milk poison to childrens. Good lord the mustache on that woman is so flippin’ hot, wow:
      http://www.tinyurl.com/the-cow-says-moooooo

      A blast from the past, Weird Al Yankovic proves that white boys can rap:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg

      • Billie Budd

        I think those Amish should be rounded up and interred on work farms in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio…just think of the wrong message being sent to the children…

  • Is there any chance of Obama returning his Nobel Peace Prize any time soon? The longer the delay, the greater the embarrassment. Ah, wishful thinking: you also had a dream!

    Gart Valenc
    http://www.stopthewarondrugs.org

  • liberalize

    I find Charles Blow’s writing to be terribly ineffective.

    The Drug War is a huge, Big-Government program that destroys the lives of youth, minorities, and particularly males and does so at great cost to the taxpayers.

    The Tea Party and Black/Latinos in America need to get together and say, “stop putting our money in a giant hole and setting that ditch on fire.”

    Alas, people refuse to look at the real enemy; they refuse to see that The Powerful continually play divide-and-conquer.