Upcoming debates

bullet image Friday, March 9

The War on Drugs Has Failed. Is Legalization the Answer?
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University

Friday (tomorrow) at Noon Eastern: Russ Belville vs. Kevin Sabet (should be interesting!)
Live Stream

Here’s the rest of the schedule.

bullet image Tuesday, March 13

(Via Transform) Transform will take part in the most high-profile public drug reform debate we’ve ever been invited to (and as far as we can tell, that has ever been staged). The event, “It’s Time to end the War on Drugs”, is being hosted by Google+ and the world’s largest debating forum Intelligence². Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst and Danny Kushlick, head of external affairs, will join an eclectic mix of celebrities, public figures and politicians, speaking either for or against the title motion. Among them are Sir Richard Branson, Russell Brand, Julian Assange (unclear what his position is on this), author Misha Glenny, former president of Mexico Vincente Fox, Peter Hitchens from the Mail on Sunday, two senior figures from the UNODC, Geoffrey Robertson QC, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, and former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair. (For the full list of participants, see the event page.)

The debate begins at 2 pm Eastern.

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28 Responses to Upcoming debates

  1. Hey everyone, please take a minute to vote in this poll. I know they aren’t scientific, but it’s worrisome to see an online poll with less than 90% support for legalization!


    • John says:

      Click, click, click – done. No reason not to vote, registration not required.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      Less than 90%? It’s at 43% in favor at this moment…


      • Francis says:

        Seriously, and the poll is not even on full legalization. We’re talking about an online MEDICAL marijuana poll at 43%. What kind of Internet backwater have you stumbled upon, pfro? Are you sure that’s not a cached link from 1997 or something?

  2. strayan says:

    When I think of the unknowable amount of progress retarded by drug prohibition it makes me tear up: http://www.nature.com/news/lsd-helps-to-treat-alcoholism-1.10200

    Damn the prohibitionists, damn them to hell!

  3. Francis says:

    It’d be interesting to poll the audience before and after one of these debates because every time the drug warriors engage us on the battlefield of ideas, they lose. It’s that simple. They’re not advancing. And they haven’t been for a while (certainly not since the invention of the interwebs). Instead, they’re mounting a grim and increasingly desperate rearguard action to slow (not stop) our advance. It’s actually kinda sad. It certainly seems unnecessary. Malc, what are your thoughts on a one-time amnesty offer? Any drug warrior who, between now and say the end of the year, lays downs his arms (sometimes metaphorical, sometimes not) and denounces the drug war would receive mercy when finally called to account for his actions before the Malcolm Kyle International Tribunal for Drug War Crimes Against Humanity?

  4. claygooding says:

    No amnesty,,,there will be plenty of jail cells once we get the pot prisoners out.

    • Francis says:

      That’s a good point. And there may be contracts in place requiring 90%+ capacity. We wouldn’t want to default on our obligations.

    • Francis says:

      And besides, I wasn’t talking about a COMPLETE amnesty. What did you think I meant by “mercy”?

      • WhatWouldClintDo? says:

        Francis, maybe you’re on to something; there’s nothing wrong with a bit of compassion, so I suppose we could allow them to pick their own bridge.

  5. kaptinemo says:

    Not OT, since the subject is debate.

    Something interesting is going on over at Digby’s Hullabaloo

    2 days ago, Digby posted a blog entry about Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson’s article about the Obama Administration’s betrayal of his pledge to respect the MMJ operations in the various States that allow for them.

    Most so-called ‘progressives’ shy away from drug law reform despite being oh-so-softly, quietly, whisperingly for it. It might have something to do with the fact that their ideological forebears saddled us with this mess, and the ‘sins of the fathers’ are not being expiated by their ideological children as they should be, if only for ‘enlightened self-interest’ terms: the DrugWar costs them politically each time a minority voter has that franchise as a citizen stripped due to a drug conviction.

    I added my tuppence, and figured that was that. But she’s posted another blog entry, seemingly a somewhat defensive one, about the same subject…and has made a patently nonsensical statement in the course of doing so. In effect, claiming that libertarians caused the DrugWar to become so huge and so punitive because they wanted smaller government.

    Exact the opposite happened; those who wanted a big government were the ones who wanted drug prohibition, not those who warned against its’ inevitable, wholly predictable encroachment upon our rights and liberties.

    Typical ‘progressive’ retinal blind spot on this issue; even when you hold up a mirror, they just can’t see how they’re largely responsible for the origin of the madness, and its’ maintenance.

    Have fun. I know I will.

    • darkcycle says:

      Read her the riot act Kap’n. I’ll look in, maybe I’ll have time for a quickie.

    • Francis says:

      My take is that she is embarrassed by libertarians’ (loud) consistency on the drug war and the comparative silence (or worse) coming from so many “progressives.” But man, blaming libertarians for the drug war – that requires some impressive mental gymnastics. And yes, we libertarians have ADVOCATED for across-the-board smaller government, but that hasn’t exactly been the trendline. Instead, government has GROWN MASSIVELY and it’s done so across the board. So her thesis, shaky on a good day, is really just bizarre.

      • kaptinemo says:

        “My take is that she is embarrassed by libertarians’ (loud) consistency on the drug war and the comparative silence (or worse) coming from so many “progressives.””

        Francis, that’s been my view on this ever since I began investigating the history of the drug laws.
        When I was in high school, I didn’t know about the dissenting Constitutional arguments against the laws that were crafted early in the 20th century, laws like the 1905 Food and Drug law, and the Harrison Narcotics Act. I didn’t know how the ‘progressives’ of the day had circumvented the Constitution; such were not considered terribly important for me to know…thanks to the ideology behind public schooling.

        Learning how ‘progressives’ effectively opened Pandora’s Box by fabianistically using ‘progressive’ moves like first twisting the Commerce Clause out of its’ original, limited form (of meaning exactly what it said and nothing more) by requiring a tax to possess drugs, and then revenue agents to collect the tax, and laws to arm them to protect them, etc., was not something the ‘progressives’ who also created the public education curriculum wanted tender young minds to know…ever.

        Each tiny turn of the screw leading to more and more government intervention and power accumulation where it previously had no Constitutional footholds. And, to use an old Arab saying, you never let the camel put it’s nose in the tent because if you do, you will have the entire, smelly, spitting, sh*tting beast in there with you.

        Even back then there were people who understood that rule, and understood the dangers of allowing the binding chains on government to be loosened, no matter how ‘good’ the reason was. They were, then as now, castigated for being political and social anachronisms; their concerns were condescendingly referred to as ‘quaint’ and out-of-step with reality.

        And now, look around you. The Federal Government has become as dangerous as it has become bloated, and in the name of ‘protecting’ us from ourselves, is willing to kill us to ‘save’ us. A situation that modern ‘progressives’ bear no small degree of responsibility for, as they make the claim that their efforts are based upon Enlightenment principles…while they voted in lockstep with their political opponents to ratchet up drug law penalties, knowing that that hurts the minority voting rolls, and thus accommodatingly takes the pistol from their opponent’s hands and are shooting themselves in the foot with it while their opponents watch in amazement and delight.

        My first impulse on realizing that someone is ignorant of a vital fact is that I try to remedy that situation as best I can. But if I realize that someone is demonstrably stupid, I try to put some distance between me and them, as I consider stupidity as something that Mother Nature can only cure one way, and that terminally. But when their stupidity is enshrined into national law? And their ideological descendents won’t change the law out of cowardice?

        Times like that, I harbor the dark thought that Mother Nature moves too slowly to suit my taste, and maybe She needs an assistant…

        • darkcycle says:

          We do not agree on education, Kap’n. As bad as the educational system is, it has managed (’till recently) to do a pretty good job of conferring the essential attributes of a democratic society, literacy and critical thinking, to a large percentage of the population. The alternatives are pretty horrible IMO.

      • allan says:

        But man, blaming libertarians for the drug war – that requires some impressive mental gymnastics.

        more like mental masturbation. Gymnastics is hardly what happens in those minds. Gymnastics is awesome and the other, not so much.

  6. Ayuh says:

    Sabet is so pathetic. I’d love to argue him. Why bother repeating these tired old arguments? Let’s get to the point: prohibition is insane, stupid, and violent. Prohibitionists are insane, stupid, and violent.

    • allan says:

      getting to that point will be a brawl, not a debate. Which I’m down for… if that’s what it takes.

      We’re not the one shooting the place up.

  7. kaptinemo says:

    Sabet has spent his entire career, such as it is, in the ivory towers; he’s never had to get down and dirty in the trenches, where the Great Disconnect of high-falutin’, high-toned morality rhetoric in the ivory towers translates into torture-defaced bodies in vats of acid, decapitated heads in dumpsters, and little kids being shot point-blank in the back while laying face down during drug raids.

    You have to be able to grab such by the scruff of the neck, like any dog that keeps crapping on the rug, and rub their noses in their own feces, uh, er, sophistry, while repeatedly correcting their ‘mistake’…and this has to be done as publicly as possible. The cachet that far too many Americans are willing to extend simply because of a series of consonants after their name (‘Ph.D’ in his case) is what enables people like Sabet to snowjob the largely disinterested public.

    Rub their faces in their lies, and do it publicly, and that cachet will vanish like an ice-cube in a blow-torch flame. Which is why it’s so hard to get a paid, professional prohib to debate, because they know this all too well.

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