Odds and Ends

bullet image Hope for the future

Check out this outstanding OpEd by Brown University Junior Jared Moffat: U.S. drug policies are a crime against humanity

bullet image Myanmar declares a war on opium

Gee, I wonder why nobody thought of that before. A war on drugs? Yeah, that’ll work.

“Every year the international community spends millions of dollars (on anti-narcotics initiatives) in countries like Afghanistan and Colombia, and the outcome is not satisfactory,” Sit Aye, senior legal advisor to President Thein Sein, said in an interview. “Here, with international assistance, we guarantee to wipe out the opium problem by 2014.”

bullet image Abraham Lincoln Was A Hempster

Some enjoyable reading for Presidents’ Day.

bullet image Interesting reading over at Cato Unbound for those who like philosophical discussions about law and rights: What is Due Process?

It’s an entire series of articles and responses on the subject. I’m particularly impressed with much of what Tim Sandefur has to say in the discussion:

My point here is to explain briefly how the Constitution’s promise that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” means not only that government must take certain procedural steps (hearings, trials, and so forth) when it imposes a deprivation, but also that some acts are off limits for government, “regardless of the fairness of the procedures used to implement them.”

In a later response (Is Everything Congress Passes Really a Law?), Sandefur passes on this gem from Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 33:

acts of the [federal government] which are not pursuant to its constitutional powers…will [not] become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such. Hence we perceive that the clause which declares the supremacy of the laws of the Union…only declares a truth, which flows immediately and necessarily from the institution of a federal government. It will not, I presume, have escaped observation, that it expressly confines this supremacy to laws made pursuant to the Constitution

bullet image Somewhat odd article in Christian Science Monitor: Why military hawks are leading drug legalization debate in Latin America

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42 Responses to Odds and Ends

  1. Peter says:

    Definition of insanity: repeating the same mistake and expecting a different result.

    Leader of Myanmar: President Thein Sein

  2. claygooding says:

    That is another article from the CSM and you have to wonder if the recent retreat from supporting the war on drugs by many church leaders is having an impact on their editorial staff’s convictions.

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  4. addycat says:

    Pete, I’m really glad that you cited Timothy Sandefur’s arguments about substantive due process. I came across his arguments last week when I read the first article, “Why SDP makes sense” and I even felt compelled to email him to let him know how much I agreed with his notion of due process as the opposite of unfairness. Interestingly, in his reply he wrote at length about the unconstitutionality and immorality of the Drug War, even though I didn’t bring that up in my original email.

    My respect for Mr. Sandefur has led me to an interesting lesson. Even though we wholeheartedly agree about SDP, we disagree just as mightily about politics – I am extremely liberal, while he is extremely conservative. To me, this says that the true issues of our time are not about right vs. left, but rather authoritarianism vs non-authoritarianism. If we take individual rights seriously, then as Sandefur rightly points out we should do so whether encroachments happen through the executive or the legislature – we should never defer to unconstitutional legislation. As the legislatures in VA and others have amply demonstrated, the state is capable of the most egregious rights violations, such as legislating rape by ultrasound.

    Liberals and conservatives should get over our political differences and unite where we agree – to fight for civil liberties and for autonomy over our own bodies (might I add that our constitution does a miserable job at protecting us from infringements by private entities, which should also be addressed).

    • Windy says:


      The greatest threat America faces on a day to day basis are those who masquerade as protectors and defenders of the American people. D.C. has long since ceased to be of any value to the public although corporations and the obscenely rich find a home away from home in this ten square mile district.
      We are also standing on the edge of a precipice and if we don’t stand up and collectively demand a return to, and an affirmation of, who we are and what has bound us together for more than 200 years, we will be driven over the edge into an unimaginable abyss.
      As congress continues its daily deluge of anti-American legislation, its un-American activities, bear in mind that just because congress said it, doesn’t make it so.
      (snip SCOTUS decision)
      One of the gravest mistakes made by Americans today is the mistake of assuming that because congress passed a piece of legislation and the president signed it, the violations of rights and liberties, the assaults on the American people under the guise of [national security] or other created crisis are justified or legal.
      You have guaranteed rights only so long as you defend them from encroachment by the government.

    • For the record, I am not at all a conservative. I am a libertarian. For a series on the differences, see http://sandefur.typepad.com/freespace/2005/01/let_us_think_in.html

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  6. claygooding says:

    Action Alert


    Take Action North Carolina Legislature Considers
    Medical Marijuana Measure

    Urge Your Representative to Support HB 577

    Legislation that seeks to legalize the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana has been introduced in the North Carolina legislature.

    I just got back from NC and discussed mmj and prohibition with several of my relatives,,did not sense any hostility or negative waves from any of them,,and their children are all college age or older.

  7. J.J. says:

    Following that ridiculous quote from Myanmar President Thein Sein, the first sentence from the reporter is (presumably unintentionally) hilarious.

    “It is an ambitious goal.”

  8. Cold Blooded says:

    It should not be surprising that some military professionals would want to legalize (to some degree) drugs and undercut the black market criminals. The military can be very practical; the war on drugs is anything but practical. Why fight a battle with bombs and bullets when it doesn’t solve the problem; indeed, it makes things worse? You want to fight this enemy (organized crime; harmful drug effects) with unconventional means, economic means. Brute force in this case is the strategy of the stupid. On the other hand drug warriors are too blinded by ideology to care whether their prohibition works or not.

  9. Why a war on a substance that is addictive but not correlated with lung cancer etc?


    Or a war on a substance that is not and far healthier:


    All of this speaks volumes about the political dynamics of the government.

  10. vickyvampire says:

    Rand Paul has been blocking Federal Synthetic Drug Bans this Bill DEA says it will not effect there prohibiting it but just to get it to block that old bastard Rep.Charles Grassley is worth it.

    • paul says:

      Nice, huh? At least there is someone in the Senate who understands and cares about the kinds of laws they keep passing.

  11. OhutumValik says:

    A new, addictive and therefore dangerous over-the-counter narcotic drug has emerged and needs to be banned before children start ovedosing (via Time).

    FDA to Review AeroShot Inhalable Caffeine

    AeroShot didn’t require FDA review before hitting the U.S. market because it’s sold as a dietary supplement. But New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said he met with FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg and she agreed to review the safety and legality of AeroShot.

    “I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to overusing a product that allows one to take hit after hit after hit, in rapid succession,” Schumer said.

    He planned to announce the AeroShot review Sunday. /snip/

    The company said that when used according to its label, AeroShot provides a safe amount of caffeine and B vitamins and does not contain common additives used to enhance the effect of caffeine in energy drinks.

    It said each AeroShot contains B vitamins and 100 milligrams of caffeine, about the equivalent of caffeine in a large cup of coffee, and that AeroShot is not recommended for those under 18 and is not marketed to children. /snip/

    Schumer pressed the FDA in December to review AeroShot, saying he fears that it will be used as a club drug so that young people can keep going until they drop. He cited incidents that occurred last year when students looking for a quick and cheap buzz began consuming caffeine-packed alcoholic drinks they dubbed “blackout in a can” because of their potency.

    • strayan says:

      The only thing missing from Schumer’s drug panic is the caffeine/psychosis link.

      If they keep this up the general public might finally start to question the sanity of our drug laws and the people behind them.

  12. Servetus says:

    Bloviating anti-drug rant from Bill O’Reilly re Whitney Houston and Mexican weed, first segment of Keith Olbermann’s Worst Persons :


    • Duncan20903 says:

      This video is private.
      Sorry about that.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      It really is hard to believe that so few months after the untimely demise of Amy Winehouse at the hands of drinking alcohol that people learned absolutely nothing about waiting for the official cause of death before deciding that it was “drugs” that was the culprit.

  13. darkcycle says:

    Scotchy-scotch-scotch. Berakfast of Billo.

    • PimPomPoon says:

      Our Nation and our Constitution are constantly under attack from misguided, self-righteous neo-puritans and degenerate, authoritarian demagogues whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence in search of the absurd and unattainable utopia of an addiction/drug/risk free society.

      Try this simple Google search: “Fatty foods may be just as addictive as heroin and cocaine.”

      On July 9, 2009, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) released ‘The Economic Costs of Overweight, Obesity and Physical Inactivity Among California Adults’. The study found that the cost of obesity and physical inactivity had climbed to $41 billion in 2006, nearly double the amount reported in 2000.

      Does this mean that we should now target fat people for persecution and mass incarceration? Or that we should hand the market in Twinkies and Ding Dongs to street punks, Mexican cartels and the terrorists of al-Qaeda?

      “There are 100,000 total Ding Dong consumers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and Activists. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing is the result of Ding Dong usage. These Ding Dongs cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes and entertainers.”

      “Ding Dongs lead to pacifism and communist brainwashing.”

      “Ding Dongs are the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”

      “You eat a Ding Dong and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

      – Harry J. Anslinger ..

      Ding Dongs are a gateway food: They impair a person’s ability to make healthy choices. They may lead directly to Ho Hos, Ben and Jerry’s, and cheese cake! – Are you listening FDA? This is outrageous! CREAM FILLINGS ARE A SCAM!!! — you literally couldn’t dream this s**t up!

      • kaptinemo says:

        (Classic stereotype of addiction: sweating buckets, eyes wide, hands shaking while furtively stuffing handfuls of Ding Dongs into mouth while chewing, crumbs being violently ejected with each bite)

        I guess I’m doomed, then…

    • PimPomPoon says:

      They removed my comment at ‘truthout’ – I’ve just re-posted. .. It’s gone again ..

      • Servetus says:

        Truthout may not like your random use of commercial product names and trademarks. You may want to try replacing ‘Ding Dong’ et al. with something like ‘stuffed goat scrotums’, and related terminology.

  14. kaptinemo says:

    Wanna bowl full of deep politics? You’ll need a very long spoon…

    How America’s Sick Drug War Brought Death and Terror to Colombia

    I’ve been saying for years that the drugs were only most the convenient excuse to meddle in other affairs in these countries. I’m not the only one thinking that…

  15. thelbert says:

    amen, brother poon, i have to admit that if weren’t for ding dongs anonymous i would still be enslaved to the creme filling.

  16. Eridani says:

    A guarantee to wipe out the opium problem by 2014? What exactly is the problem? That people are using the drug to get high? My guarantee is that the inane leaders of Myanmar are going to be pleasantly surprised in 2014 when, not only will there still be an opium “problem,” but the government’s finances will be many billion kyats in debt. It is shameful, depressing and just plain insane that other countries are following in the footsteps of the US in terms of drug policy. I weep for Myanmar, just as I do for this country.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Nah, Myanmar will join the list of countries that have successfully wiped out the use of Opium, like China and Afghanistan (Taliban). How will we know they’ve wiped it out? They’ll assure us that they did so, just like the Chinese and the Taliban did.

  17. claygooding says:

    Prison Break Epitomizes Mexican Drug War Woes


    “”Officials in Mexico are offering a reward of nearly $1 million for the capture of 30 inmates who broke out of a prison in the northern state of Nuevo Leon on Sunday.

    Among the fugitives is Oscar Manuel Bernal Soriano, who is known as el Arana, or the Spider. Bernal, the former head of the Zetas in Monterrey, was serving time for kidnapping soldiers and assassinating a local police chief.””

    The Zetas are only in existence in their present strength because the US trained them and will only exist as long as we keep letting them control the drug market.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Rats, I only know where 29 of them are. I don’t suppose that’ll get me 29/30th of the reward, now will it?

  18. allan says:

    More good stuff from Tom at LEAP:

    Audio: Norm Stamper debates US Atty Benjamin Wagner on NPR/PRI’s “To the Point”

    The medical marijuana segment begins at 8:05 in to the clip and Norm joins the discussion at 25:30.


    • claygooding says:

      I listened to the entire discussion and surmised that the man from the AG was uncomfortable talking about his own thoughts,,give the government an inch and they take a mile seems to also apply to a lot of the people involved in the CA mmj policy and a lot of their recent raids may have been only people breaking state and federal law,,,the only problem I have is that we cannot get a single government spokesman that will even debate the subject,,they all throw double talk and run away from the microphone.

      Given that CA was the first state to try and get a system going and really had no model to go from,tmk and they need to adj some of their reg that will,sadly for many,reduce the numbers of patients qualifying for mmj,,this means training for Doctors and dispensaries/caregivers to recognize and discourage a lot of their present cardholders.

      Or better yet,,just legalize the shit and end the mmj debate.

  19. allan says:

    the first article, from Jared Moffat (class of ’13)… Jared is Prez of Brown’s SSDP chapter. I like SSDP almost as much as LEAP. We now have 6 chapters in OR. This might be our year here if we get out the student vote and w/ 6 SSDP chapters in the state the odds are increased…

  20. thelbert says:

    we all know the first priority of narcotics enforcement is to protect the children. this is how the brethren of the battering ram spend their off hours:http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-officer-dui-death-sentencing-0222-20120222,0,4975917.story?page=2

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