The Ignored War

Of course, to us, the war on drugs is far from an ignored war — we’re dealing with it every day.

And yet, José Fernandez López in the Huffington Post points out that it is ignored in some of the most important places.

In one of his widely read columns, journalist Andrés Oppenheimer complained last week that President Barack Obama, in his speech to the United Nations, didn’t mention Mexico at any time and the impact that the war on drugs is generating in the country. “President Obama talked at length about Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Cote D’Ivori — about almost every major conflict, except the one right next to the United States,” wrote Oppenheimer. […]

Oppenheimer stressed that the war on drugs “is a bloody conflict that, in addition to leaving a huge death toll, is becoming the biggest obstacle to economic growth in the region by draining government resources away from education and health, scaring away investments, and killing tourism.” Nothing is truer than this. But in my opinion, this is not the only reason why it is inexcusable that the American presidents — the current and the previous — take the ostrich position and decide to ignore the problem on stages as big and important as the United Nations meetings.

And it’s not just on the international stage that this war is ignored.

Check out President Obama’s remarks to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner on Saturday.

He talked about the “hard-hit black community” and addresssed unemployment, and poverty, and education, and housing, and health care, but not a word about the drug war. He talked about marching against injustice even when they’re turning the hoses on you and in the face o troopers and teargas, but never mentioned the troops that occupy those communities today.

Yes, in the halls of power, it’s often The Ignored War. Because they don’t like our answer, and they don’t have one of their own.

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39 Responses to The Ignored War

  1. Just Legalize It says:

    It’s ignored because the ONLY way to stop it is legalization.

  2. DdC says:

    The Ignored War… Because.
    Warring profits, Winning loses profits.
    The more it is ignored, the longer it lasts.
    50 years of “programed news” eliminating the conversation. Lot of money time and effort to keep us ill informed. I don’t think he’s going to aid and abet the rational.
    Administrated education depravation.

    “Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.”
    ~ Dorothy Day

    I think it’s unhealthy to think they’re going to just blurt out something and change directions. The only way to keep out competition for Rx and Hemp is prohibition. The only funding profits for prisons and enforement is if it continues. Legalizing brings a threat to the fossil fools wallmart street moneysluts, and zero tolerance is ludicrous. They know it. These are not mistakes or memory loss. It’s like asking a lawyer to disregard a judges censorship gag orders. 95% of pot cases, defense attorney’s cop a plea for pisstaste and $4500 re-habilitation. Then cash your chck. Expecting an international corporation to not profit because it’s waste products are polluting the rivers. Or not go to the lie in Iraq. Everybody knows it was, and still is a lie in Iraq. We know lying about the drug war isn’t a problem for them. Yet some still believe it’s this evil government and not the corporate interest totally vested in the prohibition. That Obombo has some kind of magical power that can whoosh away the bad laws as any more than when Lincoln ended racism or slavery in private Koch tax paid prisons. Shaming Obombo or any drugthug about his Ganjawar record is a good advocation. Thinking he was or ever will be a common sense reformer of injustice is believing in cartoons. We the People, not We the Corporate Interest. Until that gets the front burner we will be fighting the. Eternal Battle Against Evil Drug Worriers. Imho the stars are aligning to bring troops home from overseas and finish Mexamericanada. From the shores of Tripoli to the Halls of Montezuma… Haliburton, a Kay eeee double el oh double good Company.

    “Even great men can be corrupted.”
    ~ J. Edgar Hoover

    J. Edgar (2011) Official Trailer U2b
    The film, which is based on the life of infamous FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover, has generated a lot of buzz, especially because of certain secrets in Hoover’s life, including one Eastwood addressed by commenting, “[Hoover] was a very complex person. The [closet] homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems.”

    “Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal,
    rape, and pillage with the sanction and the blessing of the All-Highest.”
    ~ George White, Federal Bureau of Narcotics & Central Intelligence Agency

    Doug Valentine on Anslinger Review by Carlo Parcelli
    Not that the FBN, anymore than the BNDD or DEA, was a sainted organization. From its inception in 1930 to just under a decade before its dissolution, it was headed by Harry Jacob Anslinger, who was recommended by then head of the Foreign Relations committee, Stephen G. Porter (R-PA), and that paragon of truth and beauty, yellow journalist, the Rupert Murdoch of his day, William Randolph Hearst. Anslinger was a bureaucratic brown-noser with little interest in real drug enforcement and little idea of how to proceed. His main concern was preserving his power and maneuvering his little fiefdom politically while in the shadow of J. Edgar Hoover’s far more powerful FBI. Lucky Luciano appropriately nicknamed Anslinger, Harry ‘Asslicker.’

    From Eugenics to Assassination Anton Chaitkin
    Former CIA staff member John Marks writes in {The Search for the Manchurian Candidate} that Overholser’s working group included counterintelligence agents inside the Manhattan Project atomic bomb project, and the FBI, which was under the direction of Dr. Overholser’s Scottish Rite comrade, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. The Overholser group gave marijuana to U.S. soldiers at Army bases throughout the country, supposedly to aid in the search for subversives.

    The Counterculture Colonel

    Church of Voodoo Pharmacology
    The Church of Voodoo Pharmacology is a popular and global cult which holds the paranoid belief that all scientific studies regarding illegal drugs are liberal conspiracies and thus completely false, and that all illegal drugs are without exception Satanic, immoral, life-ruining, addictive, and deadly. The actions of this cult are oriented towards demonizing and incarcerating all illegal drug users, and in some cases removing them from the earth in some type of Holocaust (see Rush Limbaugh). They strongly and unquestionably support the war on drugs. The official term for all those who disagree with them in any way is “pro-drug.”

    The Reefer Madness Teaching Museum
    Did you know that Harry J. Anslinger did not retire from the “Federal Narcotic Bureau” Pre-Curser To The Now DEA in 1962. He Was Fired! By President John F. Kennedy. For refusing to stop trying to censor the publications and blackmail and harassing the publishers of Professor Alfred Lindsmith of Indiana University who wrote among other works, “The Addict and the Law” (Washington Post, 1961).

    History of mafia in USA
    The rivalry between Hoover and Anslinger, in his prime a squat, bull-necked, bald, energetic man, was particularly intense. Each considered the other as both incompetent and a threat. But Hoover’s disregard of and disrespect for Anslinger was not shared by Hoover’s agents. In the early 1950s, Anslinger had provided them with a five-page list, four columns to a page, of the names and cities of over 300 crime family members. There were those who said the specter of organized crime was one that Hoover could not see because it had become visible to Anslinger first.

    Making the World a Safe Place for Hypocrisy

  3. Ben says:

    Obama wants this problem to just go away, without him having to actually DO anything about it. What a farce… The president cares more about re-election than he does about the good of the country. Otherwise, he would come out in favor of bold solutions to our problems.

  4. JDV says:

    Even the president is fairly powerless to change drug policy at this point. Any US president who came out in favor of legalization would be gleefully crucified by his political opponents.

    • Peter says:

      JDV….I think you’re right about that….deeply disappointed as i am with Obama, I still feel that a second term for him could free his hand to finally make some of the right decisions… the alternative of a new republican president with the need to be re-elected in 2016 would doom the prospects of change on this issue for at least another 4 years, for the same reason.

      • Brandon E. says:

        Barack Obama is not a viable choice for anyone serious about real drug policy reform. Banking on “maybe he’ll come through if we give him another four years” is dangerous. Ron Paul is the ideal candidate for anyone who wants to see a return to rationality.

        • DdC says:

          Ron Paul’s rationality?

          In Their Own Words: GOP Candidates And Science

          On Evolution

          I think there is a theory, a theory of evolution, and I don’t accept it. … The creator that I know created us, each and every one of us and created the universe, and the precise time and manner. … I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.
          —Ron Paul, Nov. 1,
          Remarks made at a state Republican Party meeting in Spartanburg, S.C.

          On Climate Change

          While it is evident that the human right to produce and use energy does not extend to activities that actually endanger the climate of the Earth upon which we all depend, bogus claims about climate dangers should not be used as a justification to further limit the American people’s freedom. —
          —Ron Paul,
          Speech on House floor opposing cap-and-trade legislation, June 4, 2009

          Fool me twice shame on the same neocon swift boat teabog dipshits. We believed Clinton would use the second term for social reform. Especially the Ganjawar. After his huge campaign payback fiasco pushing hillary care and DADT. Then he spent it defending himself for it and from bj’s and attacking Kosovo. Obama got into the same payback mess. More Hillary care and now resending DADT. Obama has never claimed to be a reformer. Nor does he have any power to shut down the profit machine for wall street’s drug war. But if someone was going to get the people to overturn the CSA. It would be in Obama’s second term. Paul has a snowballs chance in hell of even getting in over Willard and Whacko perry. Then he would find his own Libertard Party against him once the war profits were seen in jeopardy. Wall street crude oil plastic, chemical cotton and cattle etc. know competition is kept at bay with prohibition. I can’t imagine them going along because its good for America. The dick armey of social misfit conservatudes still want to shut down the government as blackmail to more regulation gutting. More kids getting sick from pollution and work hazards. Corporate Banksters would have Paul or Johnson shot before they could touch the Fed Reserve. The seniors would have him shot trying to shutdown SS. Paul would make a good Secretary of State. Kucinich or Nader for a true President!

          he is making America mad enough to change it ourselves.

          Well I don’t know if he is making us mad enough, but I agree it is ourselves who will make the changes. Republicans make me mad enough but would have never made the offer for suggestions. Obama may not have a backbone or clout to take on wall street. But he is giving us a playing field far more democratic than previously given. Internet meetings and we the people concerns are at least being written about. Spreading the word in all sorts of places never heard before. Critical Mass is approaching. Now is not the time to sit down and stay quiet. I’m encouraged by the kids protesting against the machine in NYC. Wish I had a bit more energy of the youth to join them.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          Darn it, I wish I could take back that thumbs up. I hadn’t assimilated “Ron Paul is the best choice” when I clicked and certainly don’t believe that to be true.

          Better than Mr. Obama no doubt, but I’d entertain the argument that a third term for George Bush the lesser would be better for the country than Mr. Obama being returned to the White House.

        • Windy says:

          DdC, I could not care less about how Ron Paul feels about evolution or climate change, since the former won’t affect anything he does as president and I agree with him on the latter. Anyone who throws him away for those unimportant views is tossing out the baby with the bathwater. He is our ONE chance to turn this country back onto the path of Constitutional governance, with an accompanying end to drug prohibition, the Fed, the war on terror, and foreign adventurism.

        • DdC says:

          Windy the man’s beliefs are part of his resume. I wouldn’t give the keys to the loony bin to the inmates either. His principals are skewed, why would I want to give him weapons to enforce them? Obombo’s second term may not be better than his first but it’s a thousand times better than Nazi Boosheney or any other Neocon. Paul seems to cater to the same moneysluts. High on self professed morals and principals low on common sense.

          Pawn Rauls Spawn…

          Are we the people naive or just stupid? These wingnuts are living in fantasy land. If you truly believe the corporations killing workers and bystanders from pipe lines or coal mines, causing the regulations. Would be better regulating themselves. The Banksters are better off regulating themselves. Those exploiting foreign countries outsourcing American jobs are ok without checks and balances or oversight. tsk tsk tsk. Pisstaste those on welfare but not Goldman Sucks? Fuck individual Americans, the international corporations have first dibs on birthrights. Free Speech for bricks and dead tree buildings while they pepper spray American kids for speaking freely against the Wallmart St moneysluts. Pretty cheap and selfish, selling out America because someone promises they won’t bust you for heroin. The right to profit on pollution, explosions and cave ins. Wars and Sickness Business. No thanks. Maybe when they stop being more concerned with international corporate interests Liberty than individual Americans Liberty. Neo-libertarians?

          Rand Paul Takes Brave, Lonely Pro-Explosion Stance On Gas Pipelines
          Hm, let’s see, what normal, boring, uncontroversial public safety measure can some branch of the Paul family tree make hilarious through his comical lone opposition to “people not being incinerated in fiery explosions all the time?”

          Rand Paul Opposes Pipeline Safety
          Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes federal regulation on philosophical grounds, is single-handedly blocking legislation that would strengthen safety rules for oil and gas pipelines. The pipeline industry and companies in his own state support the bill. A gas pipeline rupture last week was felt in three counties in Kentucky. Paul won’t discuss why he’s the only senator putting a hold on the legislation, AP reports.

          List of pipeline accidents

          What was safe work practices and safety standards is now sold as wasted taxes. Same misguided delusions as putting someone in prison rather than giving foodstamps to prevent them from having to steal. Cages cost a lot more than raising minimum wages. Bailing out banks or funding police actions protecting wall st is a waste of taxes. Tax the wealthy and leave the nurses, teachers and poor alone. Rand Paul no more than a common rich brat bully. Like teaching racism generation after generation. Rand Paul is a product of his daddy’s teachings. No thanks.

          * Gas Pipe Explosion Kills at Least 13 in Nanjing, China
          * Kenyan Gasoline Pipe Explosion: Dozens Killed In Blaze
          * San Bruno Gas Pipeline Explosion Death Toll Now Four
          * Fatal Carlsbad, New Mexico, Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion Oh well…

      • darkcycle says:

        PETER! He has NO INTENTION of making any “right decisions”. From Torture to the Banksters to Libya, he has made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons to benefit the wrong people.
        He is a corporate lackey who is more concerned with which boards of directors he will sit on when his term is over than the welfare of the people who elected him.

        • Francis says:

          Agreed. As a not-so-wise man once said: “Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

        • tensity1 says:

          Nice, Francis, I needed a laugh.

          What sucks is that I think Peter and darkcycle are both correct. A republican gets in, and drug policy is probably screwed for a while, but short of Obama saying, “I’m ending the drug war” and actually taking a concrete step in this term, I’ll not support him.

          I’ll probably end up voting for Ron Paul if he gets on an independent ticket, even though I’m not down with all of his policies. I dislike being a one-issue voter, but MJ legalization/ending the drug war is important enough for it, IMO. Ron Paul still looks alive, so how did his heart get ripped out of his chest? I think he took the unofficial motto of my unit (2-22IN, “Triple Deuce,” back before the past wonderful decade of war) and, umm, took it to heart: “We have no heart.”

        • dt says:

          Romney or Perry will probably get the nomination, not Paul. Can you imagine how screwed drug policy would be with a Mormon president? Forget about marijuana legalization – the fight would move to keeping caffeine off the schedules.

        • Windy says:

          Ron Paul CAN achieve the nomination if drug law reformers cross party lines to become delegates for him at the GOP caucuses and conventions, and vote for him in the primaries, even if it requires changing your registration and party affiliation. And, if he gets the nomination he WILL win the election.

  5. claygooding says:

    He is doing his best to change drug policy,,he is making America mad enough to change it ourselves.

  6. Brandon E. says:

    So the NYPD has enough firepower to take out a plane. This would be a little bit more comforting if as the writer mentioned, the officers of the NYPD knew when they should or shouldn’t use force. Drug war money financing city cops to blow things out of the sky in their cities, and we’re fourteen trillion in debt. The stupidity of it is almost unbelievable.

  7. Peter says:

    Off topic but i find it interesting what ads get bundled up when i click on DrugwarRant. Today it is NIDA’s lying “Drug FaCTS Week,” the teaparty’s “repeal Obamacare” and the pro-settler Fellowship of Christians and Jews. I don’t know about the rest of you guys but these organisations are wasting their ad budgets appealing to me on this site.

    • darkcycle says:

      I think the idea is to get the opposition to fund (in part) their own demise. It always give me a warm fuzzy to know those ads are padding Pete’s coffers while simultaneously generating NO business for the advertisers.

    • Pete says:

      Actually, Peter, if you’re talking about the Drug Facts Week ad at the top of the right column, that’s mine and it leads to my version of Drug Facts Week. I’m working on increasing the visibility of my version in Google searches and it’s going great. Mine is

      I’ve been getting a number of visits already from people searching for drug facts week.

      By the way, if you do a Google search and see a Drug Facts ad (highlighted with a different color at the top) there, don’t click on it. That’s my advertising and it costs me based on clicks.

  8. Duncan20903 says:

    Oh my. It really seems that Time is on our side.

    Want More Crime in Your City? Close Your Local Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Says Study

  9. palemalemarcher says:

    Peter is just keeping on for Representative R. Paul. I believe variety shows being ready for normalization of cannabis.

  10. claygooding says:

    re: Petitions

    It appears the Prez may not answer the petitions,,but pass them to the appropriate federal bureaucracy,,,meaning Kerli of ONDCP fame will be answering ours,,,especially the one wanting to close his office.

    And the TSA answering why we should not shut them down,,,I wonder if they will bring their wife and kids on and have them beg for their jobs.

    A Petitioning System Goes to Pot, and More

    Now here is a classic propaganda technique used on us for years,,,dismiss marijuana issues as a joke,,but now we have the internet.

    Every one here needs to go to the NYT link and express your displeasure with Mr. Shear and his dismissal of an attempt to stop the wasting of billions of dollars by our government as a joke. You can use the reduction of cartel cash flow or any of our nearly countless reasons to end prohibition,,but do it in a civil
    manner,,,make them look like the villains,,not us.

    • divadab says:

      The NYT closed off comments on the article, but not before several thoughtful, well-written, anti-prohibition responses were posted.

      It’s a game of inches, overcoming vested interests in a fraudulent oppressive system, but we ARE winning. But the enemy is still dangerously, deliberately ignorant because why? Their jobs depend on prohibition! We must continue to expose these oppressors for what they are – racketeers in human suffering in the guise of public safety. Disgraceful.

  11. OhutumValik says:

    Sorry for the offtopic, but — people, are you aware of the recent CPS factsheet “Misleading and Irresponsible Drug Prevalence Statistics: The Global Commission on Drug Policy’s provocative claims of non existent rises do not further rational drug policy debate”?

    Here’s an article:

    Here’s the factsheet itself:

    I bet many who frequent this blog signed the Avaaz petition that was launched at the same time with the GCDP report — and now it appears that the report has “made up its own numbers”, erroneously attributing them to UN statistics.

    Now I feel a bit of an ass. I do not doubt that the prevalent UN drug war model has failed, but it certainly doesn’t help the cause if GCDP really did pull these numbers out of their ass in order to accentuate the threat.

    Are both sides of the drug war lying now, or have I missed something?

  12. Scott says:

    fwiw, I just want to share my comment posted at the Wall Street Journal in response to a conservative opinion piece on illegal immigration:

    One apparently counterintuitive thing America can do to strengthen its borders is to repeal the Controlled Substances Act (i.e. end the war on drugs) on the basis that the Commerce Clause (i.e. “To regulate Commerce, with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”) can not be rationally applied to ban the non-economic possession of a drug. To abandon rationality is to abandon interpretation, which is to abandon law.

    Our border patrols have their hands full not only with illegal immigration, but very well-armed drug smugglers.

    Also, drug cartels (with their overwhelmingly dominant revenue stream from drug sales) are wreaking havoc to a point apparently destabilizing our southern neighbor, standing up to their nation’s military with support by our nation (see the Merida Initiative for more on that support). Over 40,000 people have died, and there apparently is no sign the situation is improving.

    Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss such repeal on the speculative basis that drug abuse would rise as a result.

    However, despite decades of fighting the war on drugs at a taxpayer cost of billions of dollars annually, there has never been a cost/benefit analysis even suggesting we live in a more drug-free America (we do not even have a drug-free prison system).

    While prohibitionists proclaim disaster will strike if we weaken our drug laws, the fact is we already have weakened them many times over the past few decades.

    Portugal decriminalized all drugs a decade ago. Where is the disaster?

    Almost a third of our states decriminalized marijuana. Where is the disaster?

    Almost a third of our states legalized medical marijuana. Where is the disaster?

    Prohibitionists have an extremely strong incentive to prove those disasters happened, and yet they never do, because the fact is the disasters never happened (and the mainstream media never reports that).

    Our border patrols need any advantage they can get. Securing our borders involves doing more than just building a wall (or a better one) for smugglers to catapult over, dig under, et cetera. It involves doing what we reasonably can to naturally help our neighbor stabilize itself to reduce the incentive to leave, giving the people there a chance to rise up against the corruption to create a better hemisphere for mutual benefit.

    Repealing the Controlled Substances Act would cut off the serious financial supply line for gangs of all sizes (including those within our borders), eventually greatly reducing the quality of their weaponry, leading to a safer environment for law enforcement to thrive in.

    Repealing the Controlled Substances Act in favor of a constitutional and effective method for dealing with drug abuse is a sensible, American action. Let “We the people” finally put serious pressure on our public servants to take it.

  13. Francis says:

    Of course no one is talking about the war on drugs. Why would they? Gil ended it, remember? (BTW, does anyone remember who won?) It’s too bad they didn’t do the full Vietnam strategy: declare victory and go home. Instead, we got a very half-assed version: declare the war “ended”… while continuing to fight it. Um…yeah, that’ll fool us.

    • Francis says:

      I think I’ve figured it out. When Gil said that the war on drugs had ended, he was only referring to the end of “major military operations.” We’ve now entered the post-war “peacekeeping” phase of the mission. Obviously, the drug warrior “troops” will continue to occupy the country during this phase of the mission which may last… well, let’s just say it could last a while. And just because the war is over, that doesn’t mean the violence will stop entirely. For example, we can expect to see about 1.5 million drug-related arrests this year and perhaps 20,000 or so drug-related SWAT raids. But you can hardly describe that kind of isolated violence as a “war,” right?

  14. darkcycle says:

    YES! You have it. They’re PEACEKEEPERS. Then, when the pressure to stop the “peacekeeping” gets too high, they’ll bring in the private contractors.

    • allan says:

      oh hush! That’s a terrible thing to say! Oh wait… we already have private contractors fighting the drug war… (what else can you call million dollar snitches, the Seed, DFAF, PDFA, etc, and mercenaries fighting Uncle Sugar’s drug war in Latin America and Afghanistan?)

  15. claygooding says:

    The Obama administration and the Bush Bunch used the tactic on America,,,declaring the wars in the Mideast over,,and they lost a bunch of people in the last week to the one in the Pakganistan police action by unknown assailants.

    The difference is that in the police and drug warriors attacks on the American,they only lose people when they “accidently” find a real criminal…

    The number of leo killed in the WoD is a direct correlation to their effectiveness in the ratio of friendlies versus the enemy killed.

    Anyone have the number of LEO’s killed during drug raids?

  16. claygooding says:

    The NYT has had Mr Shear’s article under maintenance after the 23 comment,,the majority of them disputing both Mr Shear’s article and his attempt to derail marijuana legalization with standard propaganda to act like legalization is a joke issue. My response did not make the paper yet.

  17. We need to end the drug war. No more senseless violence. No more senseless arrests. We’ve gained NOTHING productive from the epic failure known as the war on drugs. More coverage at

  18. Seth says:

    The simply fact is drug law reform is such a controversial topic. Firstly, few people realise that legalisation could actually reduse the negative social impact of drug use, and, secendly, the conservative right has a large say in things. Unless you can persuade them, very little will change.

    They might allow for decriminalisation, but that’s no real solution. Decriminalisation does not take law enforcement out of the equation, it simply means drug users go to drug rehab instead of prison. Moreover, decriminalisation certainly does not get rid of organised crime. Drug users still need to buy their stuff from someone. If you cannot get it at the local pharmacy, then you have to visit your local drug dealing mafiosi.

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