The stuff the drug czar isn’t mentioning…

Count the Costs has a new briefing out today: The War on Drugs: Creating crime, enriching criminals

This briefing summarises the crime-related costs stemming from the war on drugs, which include:

• Organised crime arising from the illicit drug trade, and its knock-on effects in terms of money laundering, corruption and violence

• Street-level crime committed by drug gangs and by
dependent drug users attempting to support their habits

• The criminalisation of users, excessive levels of
incarceration, and crimes committed by governments
under the banner of the drug war

• The economic costs of drug war-related crime, and the
criminal justice response to it

Prohibition Isn’t Free, folks.

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34 Responses to The stuff the drug czar isn’t mentioning…

  1. leon says:

    Well but we all know that our economy is the most valuable thing in the universe. And of course, as the private security sector benefits from it, the drugwar fuels the economy. So dont count the costs!

    Just say “Yay” to cuttings in social care and education and enjoy the new expansion of neo-fascism around the globe!

    Its so good for everyone!(definition of everyone here is the upper 2%)!


  2. claygooding says:

    Man,that is a two bonger!

  3. allan says:

    aaahhhhh… the key quote (for me):

    crimes committed by governments under the banner of the drug war

    about time somebody other than us said it… I’d love to hear Ron Paul (Paul is holding steady and as weird as he is, he’s the normal one among the R candidates – lord) or Gary Johnson (he’s not dead yet) say those 11 words (11 is a government dozen)…

    let’s call ’em what they are, and that is exactly what they are… government crimes, against the people. And, as the people are the sole, true and legitimate power of this government, we need to hit ’em hard.

    In Pete’s post the other day on ONDCP Tweetkers… Droop Dogg used the phrase pro-drug political campaigns… pharmaceutical companies have political campaigns? (I know they have politicians in their possession…) When the head Prohibition excrementalist uses the term (referring to us) pro drug I detect deeper desperation… that’s a Linda level term that is patently false and used only as an ad hominem.

    Gads… I love those 11 words… I just have to say it again, crimes committed by governments under the banner of the drug war… hell yes. That’s a verbal brick… fling it and fling it often.

    • claygooding says:

      Pharmaceutical companies have TV,,,think what we could do if we advertised 12 times a night from 7pm till 10pm.

      • allan says:

        interestingly I see TV commercials (local channel) for a local clinic that will help folks thru the process of getting their OMMP cards (had one for a year but it ain’t my way).

        For years Oregon city cops and county sheriffs made a habit of harassing indoor gardening supply stores. Now, never…

        We will overgrow the gummint.

        • darkcycle says:

          Oh man, Allan, you don’t know the half of it!! After Operation Green Merchant, people parked thier cars three blocks away from the grow store. Then we’d take a circuitous route back that in my case would involve stopping into at least two other stores on the return trip to the car. The Indoor Sun Shop in Seattle had cobwebs around the front door…even the employees came and went by the back door.
          Yesterday I drove my truck right to the store, parked right in front, and boldly strolled in the front door, wearing a “Canna Nutrients” hat. MMJ did that, mostly.

  4. Jose says:

    The Count the Cost brief brought to mind another problem I see with prohibitionists. It is the same issue I find when I get on the “government spending” soap box with people. The problem is the statistics and dollar figures on the cost of prohibition. The numbers themselves are so huge that an average person cannot wrap their mind around it. Most folks are so accustomed to dealing with numbers into the millions when thinking in terms of money. Trying to put it into context is like trying to convince someone that unicorns are real.

  5. divadab says:

    Unjust laws breed disrespect for government. I want to respect the federal government – but how is this possible given its disrespect for law, even the supreme law, our sacred Constitution?

    • Windy says:

      “Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark – Mapp vs. Ohio

      “Laws provide against injury from others; but not from ourselves. God himself will not save men against their wills.” — Thomas Jefferson

      “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficial … the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”
      “They [The makers of the Constitution] conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone – the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.” — Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928

      “Probably all laws are useless; for good men do not want laws at all, and bad men are made no better by them.” — Demonax – (Roman philosopher, circa 150 A.D.)

      “Liberty is the breath of progress.” — Robert Ingersoll

  6. GoWestTheButter'sMelting! says:

    From the comment section:

    “You hear the guy in the background say, “Pardon me ,pardon me they’ve started the vote now” – Like they aren’t even listening to one damn thing that man is trying to say. And folks, they aren’t listening now. They wont listen till we make some noise, and it is coming!”


  7. addycat says:

    I have a theory that the Supreme Court could reinterpret the Due Process Clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments with a more originalist perspective. They would find that the Due Process Clause was written to prevent the ARBITRARY ENFORCEMENT OF LAW, not just to provide procedural protections in individual trials. Considering that there is more activity proscribed by criminal law than could possibly be investigated by law enforcement (and a large part of this problem is drug laws), the bloated criminal code ENSURES arbitrary enforcement of laws. Therefore the Court should strike down drug laws as violating due process rights of Americans. What do you all think?

    • dt says:

      The due process argument against the drug laws follows from Lawrence v. Texas and the privacy cases leading up to it. The majority opinion in that case is strongly pro-privacy, and its language could easily be applied to the drug laws.

      • Francis says:

        Agreed! From the Lawrence opinion:

        These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

        Come on, how are they NOT talking about psychedelics in that passage?

    • darkcycle says:

      What sort of case would be the vehicle that would bring this before the court? That is just the sort of big confrontational case they bend over backwards not to hear…

  8. Duncan20903 says:

    One year ago I discovered Patent Storm, the search engine for the US Patent and Trademark Office. A search for the keyword cannabinoid returned 4,917 items. Today’s search returns precisely 6000. That’s just a short hair more than 90 per month, almost 21 per week and just barely less than 3 per day. Not that anyone’s counting.

  9. Ron Combs says:

    Obama’s crackdown on the Grow-ops was for one reason only.So Obama could secure his campaign contributions from the drug cartels.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Pffft. Barry thought he could secure the votes of imitation conservatives by throwing us under the bus, and that we’d still vote for him because he thinks we’re stupid. He sure hasn’t gotten any love from the imi-cons, but he seems to have been at least somewhat correct about a lot of the idiots in our camp. If you listen closely you can hear them chanting, “thank you sir may I have another?” Who’s your daddy indeed.

  10. addycat says:

    This is from the DARE website. I just had to post it because it made me laugh.


    By Courtney

    When you are feeling very down,
    Your facial expression is a frown.
    It’s all because your friend just said,
    “Smoke pot with us, or you are dead.”
    Not just your social life is gone.
    Like playing chess, you’re just a pawn.
    Most likely, not great enough to win,
    But good enough to just begin,
    You’ve started the game, but you’re shouting out,
    “I want to quit! Please let me out!”
    “ You can’t turn back now!” your friends all say.
    “You’re cool. Don’t give that all away!”
    But you know in your heart
    That this is just the start.
    Try hard to turn away,
    Because tomorrow might be your last day.

  11. JustAnotherGrandsonofWigan says:

    Even Ethan is on a roll:

    ” .. We know that a monstrous empire like the Soviet Union can crumble when nobody thought it was possible. And we know that a black man with a name like Barack Obama can become president when nobody thought that was possible. We know that the inconceivable can happen, and part of what is incumbent upon us to do, is to keep envisioning the future. It’s envisioning a future in which drugs are going to be as much a part of our lives as ever, not because that is a good thing or a bad thing, but because that is simply the way it is. What we can change is not the realities or the existence of drugs in our society. What we can change, somewhat, is the harms that are associated with these drugs.”

    But who can blame him when he has so much catching up to do:

    ” .. You are definitely dumber than a bag of Hammers. I hope for your kids sake you pull your head out of your butt, take the cotton out of your ears and shove the cotton in your mouth, and watch and learn while the real world marches infront of you. Remember when you were a kid? Maybe you cant, let me remind you of a part most of us experienced in Junior high and High schools. I started to push boundaries that my parents and the law had in place. I tried smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, drinking beer, Boones Farm and Espinada, then I tried pot, speed, LSD, Cocaine, all to thumb my nose at the system and because I was curious. Guess what, I also joined the military, got out got married, raised a family, and now have grand kids. That is reality in everyday america. We have a prescription problem, we have a drinking problem, we have health problems caused from smoking, we have an overweight problem, the list goes on and one. The common ground of all of this is we cope with life in various ways. We self medicate by over eating, drinking, smoking, taking pills either from a doctor or off the street, We gravitate to that chemical that we feel helps us thru tough times. Whether or not it is socially acceptable is not the issue here. What is, is Like the writer of this piece when he simply states a fact, “WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING FOR THE PAST FIFTY PLUS YEARS IS NOT WORKING”. Do you know what the definition of insanity is? DO YOU? It is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Yes our taxes would have to decrease because we would not be putting those who self medicate behind bars. If just like PROHiBITION, you de remember this time in history and how well that worked. Same principal.”

  12. Duncan20903 says:

    Another entry in the “dueling headlines” category:

    Netherlands Stops Tourists Buying Marijuana in Coffee Shops
    ‎ ~ BusinessWeek – 9 hours ago


    Blog: Netherlands to ban marijuana for foreign visitors‎
    ~ National Post (blog)


    Dutch government delays plans to ban tourists from buying weed‎
    ~ Washington Post


    Dutch to delay until May a ban on tourists buying pot‎
    ~ USA Today

    • claygooding says:

      A friend told me that there was a rising effort from other business concerns besides the coffee shops that would be impacted if the tourist flow stopped.

      The Dutch have escaped a lot of the problems the economical situation has put other countries around them through,because of those tourist dollars. Could this be the equivalent to a fire sale?

    • stayan says:

      Why don’t they ban tourists buying beer?

  13. allan says:

    here’s a good one for y’all, I’ll leave the editorializing to you (and it’s strange Droop Dogg didn’t mention it either…):

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is About to Award Exclusive Rights to Apply Marijuana as a Medical Therapeutic

    Deadline for Comment: Monday, Dec. 19

    LOS ANGELES, CA – Dec. 15, 2011–The Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has just discovered that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is about to award an exclusive license to KannaLife Sciences, Inc. of New York to develop medical therapeutics based on the chemistry of cannabis. According to the notice in the Federal Register, public comments will be accepted through Monday, December 19.

    “We find it hypocritical and incredible that on the one hand, the U.S. Department of Justice is persecuting medical cannabis patient associations, asserting that the federal government regards marijuana as having absolutely no medical value, despite overwhelming clinical evidence,” said Union director James Shaw. “On the other hand, the Department of Health and Human Services is planning to grant patent rights with possible worldwide application to develop medicines based on cannabis.”

    While the Union applauds the U.S. government’s efforts into researching the medical value of cannabis, Shaw said, “they should have affirmatively rescheduled cannabis when they discovered it had medical efficacy and, of course, it makes no sense for the government to provide U.S. Patent 6,630,507, which the government owns, to a single company with exclusive rights.” He urged medical cannabis patient associations and patients using marijuana for medical reasons to protest this giveaway to one pharmaceutical firm.

    Comments need to be submitted in writing by next Monday to Betty B. Tong, Ph.D., Senior Licensing and Patenting Manager, Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville MD 20852-3804, fax (301) 402-0220, or

    More information on this issue can be found at

    • claygooding says:

      Naturally,the guy that owns the company is a merchant banker.

      Dean Petkanas,Greater New York City Area – Visionary Entrepreneur and Merchant Banker

      • allan says:

        Doug McVay (former editor of DrugWar Facts) replied to my posting the article on DPFOR w/ this:

        I should mention that Kannalife’s CEO is Dean Petkanas, who according to his Linkedin profile,
        was Vice President of Corporate Finance from 1989-1992 at the notorious Long Island pump-and-dump boiler room stock fraud machine which was Stratton Oakmont. I should also in fairness note that he was not convicted.

        Doug also provided links to the actual Federal Register notice published November 17, 2011 about this prospective grant of an exclusive patent license to Kannalife:

        • Duncan20903 says:

          It’s not like this is anything new. The original patent holder for synthetic dronabinol AKA Marinol® was The United States of America. If you want to know how Marinol® and 6630507 came into existence you need to bone up on orphan drugs and the Orphan Drug Act.

          I’m really not impressed at this point. 6630507 was granted in 2003 and has been for sale under the sweetheart terms offered to any pharmaceutical company that would adopt & provide it a home. Those who think that a patent means that something is valuable or even works should acquaint themselves with the list of US Patents granted for perpetual motion devices.For those not familiar with perpetual motion devices, the simplest representation is taking an electrical outlet extension cord, plugging it into itself and generating a never ending stream of electrical current.

          In 1980, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) began experimental distribution of a new drug called Marinol, an oral form of THC (the primary active ingredient in marijuana), to cancer patients in San Francisco. Simultaneously, six states conducted studies comparing smoked marijuana to oral THC in cancer patients who had not responded to traditional antivomiting medication. These state-sponsored studies revealed that thousands of patients found marijuana safer and more effective than synthetic THC. Meanwhile, the NCI experiments showed that some patients responded well to Marinol, although one patient reportedly stormed into her doctor’s office and accused him of trying to poison her with the drug (the doctor later dropped out of NCI’s experimental program). Confronted with two different medical recommendations, the government chose to dismiss the state studies and give Marinol the green light. In 1981, the government sold the Marinol patent to a small pharmaceutical company named Unimed based in Somerville, New Jersey. By 1985, after one unsuccessful attempt at FDA approval, Marinol was finally approved as a Schedule II drug (a relatively quick approval by FDA standards).


          Marinol qualifies as an orphan drug in AIDS.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        KannaLife Inc. looks like a joke to me. I’d love to be wrong about this, but I don’t think that I am. I smell a pink sheet scam IPO where the only money made is from the sale of stock to the gullible. Check out Mr. Petkanas’ (CEO) pedigree on the company website. He’s played this game before right down to the orphan stock angle with XKEM. Go read XKEM’s SEC filings, now there’s a regular laugh riot, all the way down to the factory and primary market for their product being based in Nigeria. XKEM is fresh out of bankruptcy court and trades for $0.0001 per share. XKEM is central to this company and the analysis that it is likely a scam.

        [case no. 08-30512 in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois (Eastern Division)]

        Presented for your amusement, somebody, please, buy this company! Nigeria for Nigerians indeed:

        Ramesh C. Pandey, PhD – Chief Scientific Officer is also an XKEM alumnus.

        Bhairab Pandey, BAMS who sits on the KannaLife Scientific Advisory Board managed quality control and quality assurance issues for XKEM.

        Thomas Kikis – President & Chief Visionary Officer (Chief Visionary WTF??) gained valuable experience for running a “phyto-medical company specializing in the research & development of pharmacological products derived from plants” at Ovie Entertainment, LLC, a production company where he co-produced Darkon, a real-life role play documentary about fictional action board characters in the game Dungeon’s and Dragons. Mr. Kikis also worked at MTV Interactive, a unit of Viacom, where he was responsible for projects involving interactive strategy, solutions, branding and design. At MTV, he worked on the redesign of the website, on the online branding campaign for the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards, and he helped introduce the first interactive web/TV game show, “webRIOT,” starring Ahmet Zappa. I’m sure that Mr. Kikis’ Bachelor of Science in Communications Management from New York University and a degree from the New York Film Academy will prove invaluable in developing and exploiting medical therapeutics based on the chemistry of cannabis.

        As disgusting as I find stock scams and their perpetrators it’s amusing to me that they’ve discovered medicinal cannabis. They don’t pick their framework industries at random, and this most certainly isn’t the first one formed, not even the first one this year. It sure seems that the scamsters are early to the game in this case, but that just makes me wonder if there isn’t a quiet buzz (NPI) over medicinal cannabis in the financial markets. The public never hears about these things until the wise guys are ready to start monetizing their positions.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          It certainly is pleasing to see that my friends here are able to smell a rat. I should have more faith; I wouldn’t have spent so much time this morning deconstructing the likely reality of KannaLife if I had. Tip of the pin to allan and Doug McVay, I hadn’t yet dug up the Stratton Oakmont connection. But to be fair, we should note that convictions in stock swindles are not all that easy to get or even particularly common. Bernie Madoff was the exception, not the rule. I never shorted a stock which had promoters with connections to Stratton Oakmont which turned out to not be a scam. Just those two words have me itching to short KannaLife, and overwhelmed with warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia for my years as a short seller.

          Don’t make too much out of their grab for 6630507. I’ve been saying for months that 6630507 is worthless, and the fact that this company is in a position to license it just underlines that likelihood in my mind.

  14. LangLeveDeKoningin says:

    While bullets fly into El Paso, bodies pile up in the streets of Juarez, and thugs with gold-plated AK-47s and albino tiger pens are beheading federal officials and dissolving their torsos in vats of acid, here are some facts concerning the peaceful situation in Holland. –Please save a copy and use it as a reference when debating prohibitionists who claim the exact opposite concerning reality as presented here below:

    Cannabis-coffee-shops are not only restricted to the Capital of Holland, Amsterdam. They can be found in more than 50 cities and towns across the country. At present, only the retail sale of five grams is tolerated, so production remains criminalized. The mayors of a majority of the cities with coffeeshops have long urged the national government to also decriminalize the supply side.

    A poll taken last year indicated that some 50% of the Dutch population thinks cannabis should be fully legalized while only 25% wanted a complete ban. Even though 62% of the voters said they had never taken cannabis. An earlier poll also indicated 80% opposing coffee shop closures.

    It is true that the number of coffee shops has fallen from its peak of around 2,500 throughout the country to around 700 now. The problems, if any, concern mostly marijuana-tourists and are largely confined to cities and small towns near the borders with Germany and Belgium. These problems, mostly involve traffic jams, and are the result of cannabis prohibition in neighboring countries. Public nuisance problems with the coffee shops are minimal when compared with bars, as is demonstrated by the rarity of calls for the police for problems at coffee shops.

    While it is true that lifetime and past-month use rates did increase back in the seventies and eighties, the critics shamefully fail to report that there were comparable and larger increases in cannabis use in most, if not all, neighboring countries which continued complete prohibition.

    According to the World Health Organization only 19.8 percent of the Dutch have used marijuana, less than half the U.S. figure.
    In Holland 9.7% of young adults (aged 15 to 24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%). Few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.44%), well below the average (0.52%) of the compared countries.

    The WHO survey of 17 countries finds that the United States has the highest usage rates for nearly all illegal substances.

    In the U.S. 42.4 percent admitted having used marijuana. The only other nation that came close was New Zealand, another bastion of get-tough policies, at 41.9 percent. No one else was even close. The results for cocaine use were similar, with the U.S. again leading the world by a large margin.

    Even more striking is what the researchers found when they asked young adults when they had started using marijuana. Again, the U.S. led the world, with 20.2 percent trying marijuana by age 15. No other country was even close, and in Holland, just 7 percent used marijuana by 15 — roughly one-third of the U.S. figure.

    In 1998, the US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey claimed that the U.S. had less than half the murder rate of the Netherlands. That’s drugs, he explained. The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics immediately issued a special press release explaining that the actual Dutch murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, or less than one-quarter the U.S. murder rate.

    Here is a very recent article by a psychiatrist from Amsterdam, exposing Drug Czar misinformation

    The Dutch justice ministry announced, in May 2009, the closure of eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. There’s simply not enough criminals

    For further information, kindly check out this very informative FAQ provided by Radio Netherlands:
    or go to this page:

  15. claygooding says:

    I wonder if this qualifies mmj to join OWS?

    Now that the feds have moved mmj to control by the bankers.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      That’s nonsense clay. 6630507 is not “mmj” and control of a single patent is not control of the whole kit and kaboodle. That’s presuming that KannaLife gets control of the patent. At this point all that’s happened is an application has been filed. Any Tom, Dick, or Harry Inc with the resources can grab control of a patent from the orphan drug program. Anyone with the procedural knowledge can file an application to take control of such a patent. It’s much more meaningful IMO that the very real companies in this field have rejected this patent as having any commercial value for so long.

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