So… it was eight years ago today that I dipped my toe in the waters of blogging with my first post at DrugWarRant.com.
I really wasn’t sure about this whole “blogging” thing at the time, but I wanted another way to express my concerns about the drug war beyond what the 200-words-every-30-day policy of the local newspaper allowed.
I thought that maybe I’d post something every week or so â€” not sure if anyone would actually read it.
8 years and 4,672 posts later…
I’ve learned a lot. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be able share some of that knowledge with millions of visitors.
This is, to my knowledge, the only full-time drug policy blog that has been around that whole time. But today, there are a lot more voices out there. And, my God, the army of informed citizens hitting every newspaper commenting section around the world today is staggering.
Yes, it’s been a tough road. The drug warriors have all the money, the propaganda machines, the criminal justice system, the political structures and the government. All we have is the truth.
But in the long haul (because that’s what we’re in it for), the truth is all we need. That, and the willingness to keep informing the people and motivating them to speak truth to power.
I’d like to hang up Drug WarRant. Eight years is a very long time. I’d like to put up a simple graphic with fireworks, confetti, and exploding champagne corks saying “The War is Over! We Can Go Home Now.”
But it’s not. We’ve made tremendous strides in these past eight years, but we can’t stop. So I’ll be back here tomorrow or Thursday with some new outrage, or a link to a piece of powerful and insightful writing that someone has ventured to speak. And I’ll be pissed off and hopeful.
I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the readers of this blog. It is the fact that you keep coming back and commenting (or silently lurking) that keeps me going. And when I see a reader who learned something or became motivated at DrugWarRant take that knowledge/motivation and use it elsewhere… wow! That makes it all worthwhile.
Thanks for a great and productive eight years. Next step: critical mass.
Dude, Pete, we have the truth AND the internet!
I lurk here and read daily, I rarely comment though, your other readers typically say what’s on my mind anyway. Keep doing your thing, please, it’s amazing to see you and the regulars of this blog all over the internet pushing for intelligent solutions to our massively unjust drug policy!
Thank you for pressing on Pete…I really enjoy DrugWarRant, I have never yet read one article that was wrong info; that says a lot…Truth on brother!
Pete, no thanks is enough thanks. I appreciate this blog, it’s the first thing I pick up in the morning after my coffee, and I leave a tab open to it on my browser pretty much all day, everyday. It’s my home page, and has been for a couple of years now.
I’m tipping my (coffee) cup to you now, sir!
Coincidentally, that mug has “We can win the war on drugs, Just lock up 100,000,000 more Americans” Followed by “DrugWarRant.com” written all over it.
congrats (and condolences) Pete — yours remains the BEST anti drug war blog on the net. looking forward to the graphic
you got my vote for best on the web. worth reading every day. i have learned a lot here. thanks Pete.
… preceded of course by a stupendous THUD! graphic.
I have learned so much from everyone, I’m amazed and humbled,and yes I do thank God everyday that Drug War RANT IS HERE Pete,Congrats, so I can learn from everyone,and laugh,and get sad,mad,and rant myself a little too.
8 years… a lot has gone on here in this humble corner of the wwweb. When I stumbled in here from somewhere it was like meeting a new friend. I had an Air Force instructor that used to let us young guy (and gals) students come over to his apt and have a beer and share a hooter (or three).
The use of the Pete’s couch theme so fits (for fans of sarcastic humor) this place. Pete is beholden to no org. DWR is anarchism at it’s truest essence. We’re all free to speak up and if we act or speak like numbskulls we get called on it. DWR is a display of the old saw that “anarchism is not chaos.”
I wish I could remember what google term search showed me Pete’s page… but when I enetered and read the comments and chimed in with my wooden nickel, I was made to feel at home by old friends like Hope and Kap and many others, passing names on my browser windows that I spent many an enjoyable Sunday evening chatting w/ at the DrugSense Chatroom. We shared links, had great conversations, great guests, friendships were made (and endure)… sounds like here huh?
Oh… and if you like Pete’s couch, you should’ve seen his basement! A bulletin board of ill repute was put to good use… dozens of ‘puter screens glowing in a smokey, shadowy environ, the occasional “aaarrr…” coming from Malcolm’s corner…
Thanks for being a class act Pete… you do good work.
Pete! I been on this couch eatin’ your chips for this long and you never told me you have a BASEMENT in this joint? What’s down there? I know a guy who knows a guy who can get us a pool table….
Happy BlogbirthDay Pete!
Seconded, allan. I was directed here from StoptheDrugWar by a link posted by Scott Morgan and I’ve visited here every day that I have internet access (sometimes, on vacation, I don’t), since.
Thanks so much for all you do Pete. I discovered your blog about a year and a half ago and check every day. Keep it coming
Yeah Pete, thanks for the spot on your couch but dude, why does it seem to be getting bigger? It didn’t look that big when I sat down. Funny thing is it feels like this spot was made for my ass…. too comfy to want to get up. lol
Marking another opportunity to thank you for all of the work you have done here, Pete, you are thankfully responsible for sending my emotions all over the place, depending on the nature of the information you present.
Perfectly confident that the war on some drugs (Controlled Substances Act) will be repealed, likely as part of the necessary correction of the overreaching power taken from the Commerce Clause, I will do my share when I can to expand the choir being preached to (especially by teaching conservatives to avoid their hypocrisy).
Truth is an eventual thing. You never know when it will prevail, but it always does. The war on some drugs is too large (and destructive) a lie to hide forever.
May your voice resonate throughout the world for as long as the foolish war on some drugs rages on.
Keep up the good fight, Pete. I am relatively new around here but this blog is a daily stop off for me..With the exception of a very, very few moronic posts (and the authors are quickly clued in or ignored) the discourse is literate, knowledgeable and lively…Kudos and continued success…
Well done Pete – is it me, or are more and more people beginning to realise that PROHIBITION has got to end?
I love sitting on Pete’s couch. I just wish he would set out more snacks…..
Pete, thanks for all the work you do here.
Peanut butter’s in the pantry, and there’s still some popcorn stuck between the cusions if you’re real hungry…
We don’t just have the truth. We also have science, logic, and reason on our side. I wish they counted for more in this country!
Thanks to the education system.
You do us, and everyone online a great service for which we’re all indebted to you for your time and effort. Sometimes, you expose new news that others won’t comment on. At other times, you help pull some pieces together that have been “officially” left dangling.
I’ve been quiet lately due to “divorce proceedings” but I’m always here, bright and early, to see what the current sitrep is.
Thank you for your years of involvement, your friendship and, most importantly, your COUCH (Thanks, Jon-jon!). And thanks for giving me all these wonderful friends to work beside.
Thanks Pete! Every time my head is ready to explode from the hypocrisy of the drug war, I stagger to your couch for a dose of hope. Thanks also to the regular posters that have a talent for clearing the air with rational thought. Keep the faith.
It’s bittersweet to wish you congratulations on your 8 year blogiversary. I’ve only been a lurker and occasional poster for a couple of them. I actually found you while searching for information about Kathyrn Johnston.
Thank you for your efforts, your research, your commentary, and providing us with this resource.
“blogiversary”… that works! It is amazing how many keyword searches I do on drug policy where DWR turns up on the first page.
Happy Anniversary Pete!
Say, I’ll betcha in 2003 you would never have even fantasized this headline:
“Scaring the Cartels: Mexican Reformists Say Legalize Marijuana”
“A New Way to Fight Mexico’s Vicious Cartels: Legalizing Marijuana”
Just wait, one day you will get a letter from the ONDCP telling you that you won. Until then keep up the great work, Pete!
Good luck with that letter. People like those at the ONDCP could be burning in hell and still not admit defeat.
Pete, Thank You!
And another thank you from Nazi Canada.
I’ve been following drugwarrant for three years now and have learned more about the inner workings of government/business politics than from any of the other stoner websites with their ribald comments and endless budporn. Yawn.
Well Pete congrats. Another trip around the sun. That’s 584,335,740 miles in a year or in 8 years we’ve traveled 4,674,685,920 miles. @ 66,705 mph with stoners at the wheel. Not to shabby Pete. Hopefully we won’t need 8 more, But until we don’t I may have to mellow out some considering you’re 8 years older than when ya started…
Please Ddc,no mellowing out, Full thrusters ahead, Rock em, Sock em Baby,YAY HA HA.
What everybody else said, Pete, with leviathan cylindrical metal tubes attached!
The drug war has been going on for over a century, with some major victories (alcohol prohibition) and some major losses (1980’s), but I now see that our country is getting tired of all of it. NAACP coming out a huge step forward, but this “war on drugs” is ongoing fight and will not end abruptly like WWII with celebrations in Times Square. Nobody cracked open the champagne bottle when the Spanish Inquisition or Salem Witch Trials finally stopped. It just gradually goes away ….. and some other form of oppression will most likely take its place.
Thank you from the UK. You make my bus to work interesting, informative & worthwile. Plus some ideas on here have helped me to get informed opinion published in the UK media letters pages. Bit by bit the straw house will crumble thanks in part to this kind of selfless dedication.
in my daily rounds of drug-war news reading, i’m always the most excited to read your hard-hitting entries. keep preaching the truth friend, they can’t suppress it forever!
Thank you for providing a sanctuary of sanity in an insane world! When I found your site a few years ago I realized I was not a lone alien on some foreign planet:>0
You have given me hope and inspiration.
Thanks as well to all the wonderful and inteligent people who contribute here.
I for one have been inspired by you and your readers. I been at this 4 years now. The drug war is not the only injustice in government I fight. The drug war is just the tip of the preverbial Iceberg.
Amen and doggone it! Too true and too too sad…
Ah yes thanks for the correction. Im sloppy sometimes.:/
…And yes very sad. Everything I see politically is ugly these days. Playing games for power and wealth at the peoples expense…as my username says..
This Is NOT My America !!
Yes, my other important fight is that of criminal cops, and I lay that problem at the feet of the drug war, too — if not for the drug war the militarization of cops would have never happened, nor the huge increase in the numbers of cops of which too many are sociopaths. Radley Balko over at The Agitator is to the police misconduct fight what Pete and Scott Morgan are to the drug war fight. The three of you are my heroes!
Too bad these cops dont realize they are just pawns…a means to an end.
All politics is ugly these days. This is the result of party politics. The loyalty of the politicians is first to the party, because they truly believe that they can’t win an election without the party behind them. Publicly, they claim to work for the voters, but they privately pretty much do what they want, so long as the party approves. Their belief that they can’t be elected on their own is correct because the sheeple will only vote for a party candidate. Why? Because the sheeple are lazy, and it is much easier to just pigeonhole the candidate into what the voter assumes the party stands for, and forget about it. Therefore, the party dictates to the candidate, and the politician will rarely cross the party because they are weak. Some, like Ron Paul, are strong and can speak for themselves, but most are weak and can’t. By continuing to elect these weaklings, we perpetuate whatever is ‘in’. Teaching the sheeple is and exercise in futility. Democracy is doomed.
Thank you, Pete. Thank you so much for DrugWarRant. It’s important.
Allan…Bravo DrugSense! Very much a beloved Alma Mater for many of us!
Well, maybe not “Many” of us, but “Some”. Four?
Much of the discussion and info that shows up on Peteâ€™s blog couldnâ€™t be found anywhere else. The shadow government may suppress a lot of what gets into print by restricting grant money, threatening contact privileges with journalists, and so on, but those types of controlling schemes evaporate with the web.
Free speech and freedom of the press still present mutual conflicts. But not here. Ph.D. and academic politics, and trivial pursuits like U.S. style government, are challenged on what is a truly egalitarian stage. Here on Peteâ€™s couch, a purer form of democracy exists. We can kick anybodyâ€™s ass and not worry about repercussionsâ€”because, hey, weâ€™re just bloggersâ€¦lol.
I think what Pete has accomplished with Drug WarRant will be considered a benchmark for what can be achieved when a think tank evolves via the web, versus one appointed by a committee or the usual despots, such as the case with the redoubtable jokers at the Heritage Foundation or the despicable ONDCP. Government may not work at times, but the web most certainly does.
Sorry I haven’t been around much, been real busy at work and elsewhere. But I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to say ‘Thanks!’ for the past 8 years.
This blog, perhaps more than any other, has thrown the lie of the ‘lazy stoners’ back in the face of those promulgating that lie, by all the activism it has spawned over the years.
Without fail, in just about every thread, you read intelligent, thoughtful analyses and opinions, not to mention you receive a plethora of links to sources of factual information of vital importance to any reformer. Which adds to the rising numbers of people who’ve simply had enough of this prohibition nonsense. They’ve had enough…and they’re making that displeasure known.
Every politically and socially motivated reformer is ramming a jagged thorn in the side of the prohibs, a thorn that gets pushed deeper and deeper with every passing year. And inscribed on the side of a great many of those thorns are the letters ‘D-W-R’. And the prohibs know it, all too well…
What Kap said. Thanks SO much, Pete!