We don’t need no stinking silver bullets

Apparently President Obama told the other nations of this hemisphere that legalization is not a “silver bullet.” I’m sure it made the translators wonder if the President of the United States actually understands the English language.

When something is not a “silver bullet,” that means that it isn’t a one-shot quickie solution to everything, not that it isn’t something worth doing. Nobody was talking about silver bullets except the President, and he’s now implying that we shouldn’t do something to change what’s going on unless it’s a silver bullet.

Well what does that say about American exceptionalism, anyway? When our revolutionary soldiers were told that the British were coming, did they say, “Well, shoot. We don’t have any silver bullets. Guess there’s nothing we can do about it.”? Of course not.

And it’s not like the President has been dispensing many silver projectiles himself. Take a look in Afghanistan. He’s shooting blanks.

Even worse, the silver bullet is a really bad analogy to use when talking about a situation where tens of thousands of people have died because of our bad policies. We need less bullets of all metallic varieties, and legalization actually reduces the bullets.

Put your gun away, Mr. President. What we need now is brains, not bullets.

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35 Responses to We don’t need no stinking silver bullets

  1. Jeff Trigg says:

    or free the cannabis plant!

    Which side is Obama on? Locking himself in a cage for what he has done, or letting a plant be free and letting people be free to possess that plant. Obama either believes he belongs in cage, or he believes he should be free. Its fundamental.

    Obama and Dick Cheney and Joe Biden and people that think exactly like them are the ones who have claimed that prohibition is the silver bullet. If he wants to talk about how silver bullets aren’t effective, it is Obama’s prohibition stance that is the silver bullet that does not, and will not ever, work.

    LOCK UP OBAMA NOW! – (According to his own policies he should be behind bars. Lets hold him to it. Everyday.)

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Sorry, the statute of limitations deadline has passed. As you know, the LAW is the LAW (blah, blah, blah).

  2. Jake says:

    The whole “silver bullet” is such a tired and false argument. ‘Legalisation’ won’t solve all the problems so therefore its not worth doing.. prohibition, however, has many “unintended consequences” but they have to press on because it solves ‘some’ of the problems. So, on one hand they deride and reject a policy choice because it doesn’t solve all the problems and, on the other, actively prop up another policy that they ADMIT isn’t a “silver bullet” because they are willing to accept negatives associated with it. They are willing to accept any amount of negatives associated with prohibition but absolutely none with legal regulation. pure.corrupted.logic.

    Also, with Mexicans suffering under the “silver or lead” pathology, I find the “silver bullet” term in particular distaste..

  3. Metabaron says:

    So, following this logic, the current war on drugs is a “one-shot quickie solution to everything”? Then why does it last so long with more regress than progress?

  4. K.J says:

    This was an epic post. Love the work you do Pete, keep it up, for all of us.

  5. Francis says:

    Actually, legalization IS a silver bullet. According to folklore, the silver bullet is the only bullet that is effective against a werewolf, witch, or various other monsters; hence the use of the phrase “silver bullet” to refer to a straightforward and extremely effective solution to an apparently-difficult problem. Prohibition is a monster. It has terrorized, tortured, and killed far too many for far too long. And there’s only one way to bring that beast down.

    • Francis says:

      Legalization is not a silver bullet with respect to the problems of substance abuse and addiction. Of course, when the monster of prohibition is finally dead and no longer marauding our towns and countrysides, killing our women and raping our cattle, we might actually be able to focus on those problems. And the people that need help might be a little more willing to seek it — now that they don’t have to worry about being devoured by the beast.

  6. SelwynKosciuszko says:

    For decades the ‘war on drugs’ has been claiming lives and leaving countries riven with violence and corruption. A look at the figures shows that the stakes are incredibly high; UN estimates state that at retail level the illegal drugs trade is worth $332bn, making it one of the biggest commodity markets in the world.

    Up to 272 million people used illicit substances in 2010 and in turn governments across the globe annually spend $100bn in fighting the ‘war on drugs’.


  7. Peter says:

    No doubt the party workers and Michelle Obama will still be contacting us for donations and support in the coming months. I have my answer prepared, (hypocrisy, broken promises, orders from corporate masters) but would appreciate ideas from others on the couch.

    • allan says:

      No answers here beyond what you already have. It’s kinda funny (not) but I’ll be going down to re-register as a Dem. Here in OR the Repubs aren’t running an AG candidate so the Dem primary between Judge Ellen Rosenblum and US atty Dwight Holton (Boo!) will decide who the state’s next AG will be. Dwight is one of the federal thugs/assailants attacking cooperative gardens here.

      If any of you have friends in OR who are Dem, urge them to vote in the Primary (May 15 I do believe) for Ellen. If you have friends/fam in OR who are independents (like me) tell them they have until the 24th of April to re-register as Dems so they can vote. After the primary they (as I will be doing) can then change back to independent.


      • allan says:

        oh… and so folks can know about Ellen: http://ellenrosenblum.com/

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Why don’t you run as a Republican?

        • allan says:

          Don’t have boots high enough to wade into that… but thanks!

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Did you know that it was Oregon’s Republican Governor who signed the first State law that decriminalized petty possession in 1973?

          Anyway hip boots wouldn’t help much. That particular brand of sewage is highly corrosive and would eat through the rubber in a heartbeat.

        • allan says:

          I did know… I think most impressive for me was the total cooperation across political party lines when Oregonians needed to save our public access to our shores. The Oregon Beach Bill is a much-to-be-admired and much-more-often-duplicated effort.

          The Vortex show another, when the state saved Portland from the hippies… a Repub guvnor there. But we have our black eyes as well. So. Oregon Barter Fair.

          I think we get it right more tha most. Heck, Mark Hatfield’s last act as Senator was to save Opal Creek w/ federal protection. Miracles happen. Not enough compared to the bad shit but hey…

  8. claygooding says:

    Senate considers bill to decriminalize marijuana


    CONCORD, N.H.—A Senate committee will hear what the public has to say this week about decriminalizing a person’s first two marijuana possessions under one-half ounce. The House passed the bill last month 162-161 with Republican House Speaker William O’Brien abstaining from voting, which allowed the bill to move to the Senate.

    A first offense would be a violation punishable by a $250 fine. The second would be $500. Subsequent offenses would be misdemeanors subject to a year of jail time and a $1,000 fine. Offenders under 21 could also be ordered to take a drug awareness program. All offenses are currently misdemeanors punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and a year in jail.

    Gov. John Lynch has promised to veto the measure.

    The Judiciary Committee hearing is Thursday afternoon.

    • Peter says:

      dont you just love the arrogance of gov john lynch promising to vet this extremely mild piece of legislature before its even debated. also, just read a very lame ap article on huff about the trade talks in cartagena. journalist mention in passing that decriminalising mj would be “unpalatable” to the public in us without any supporting facts. obviously has his orders.

  9. Duncan20903 says:


    Well I was thinking that it might be fun getting high on 4/20. Actually, I was rather looking forward to the event. But I’ve got to admit that a cannabis free 4/20 celebration staged by the Mesa Prevention Alliance has me thinking of flying west to participate in that instead. I’ll bet that they have Kool-Aid at the refreshment table! Hey lookie there, they have free roller skating too! That’ll keep all the kiddies off of “drugs”, no doubt.

    A 420 alternative

    Mesa Prevention Alliance

    Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2012 12:12 pm

    Tribune East Valley Tribune

    The number 420 is a slang term for marijuana, and the drug’s users rally on April 20 to celebrate the substance. But anti-marijuana activists are staging a counter-4/20 event in Mesa to offer a healthy alternative to youth. The Mesa Prevention Alliance is offering free food, music, raffle prizes and memberships to youth programs from 4:20 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 20, at two locations.

    Where have you gone Charles Darwin? You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

    • darkcycle says:

      OOOH! Sounds fun! Lets both go!

    • Francis says:

      I want in too! But I’m not sure I understand how roller skating and a rock climbing wall represent a safer alternative to more traditional celebrations of the holiday. (I’m pretty sure those two activities have been responsible for more deaths than cannabis.) Oh, and it seems rude to show up empty-handed. We should probably plan on bringing some type of donation. Maybe some baked goods?

    • Duncan20903 says:


      These people just aren’t able to understand how a cohort of amotivational couch potatoes managed to steal a day from the calendar. They also don’t seem able to grasp that the day is now our property, and we just aren’t going to give it back.

      I really do find the existence and the widespread although sometimes begrudging acknowledgment that we’ve established our very own holiday an absolute head shaker. Every flipping news media outlet in the land is going to cover the event, the FDA announced that cannabis isn’t eligible to be medicine on 4/20/2006, at the least California and New Mexico’s Legislatures have passed laws that were referred to as SB-420 and now the hall monitors of America are offering cannabis free celebrations. I can’t be the only person in America that thinks the birth of a holiday is a stupendous achievement. Shit, even the drunks had to piggyback an unrelated holiday. What is it about St. Patrick that drives people to drink?

      • darkcycle says:

        Yep. Twenty years ago, 4/20 was a dumb in-joke. Ten years ago the joke was out, but it was treated like one. Now, as much as they hate it, it’s virtually accepted. There are 4/20 celebrations all over the U.S., and at almost all colleges and Universities. And yes, it will be acknowledged on every major news outlet.
        Best of all, it is a public day set aside where people everywhere thumb their collective noses at the prohibition laws. In the court of public opinion, that is big. Very big. Everyone gets a day to openly laugh at the Emperor’s new clothes.
        It’s the “Glam Dicin”, the killing satire. The Satire so close to the reality that the very act of laughing at it takes away all the King’s power.

        • Francis says:

          And yet I STILL don’t get the day off from work. That’s some BS right there. But based on that trendline… official federal holiday within 10 years? It should at least be on the “diversity” list of holidays and religious observances in my employee handbook.

        • claygooding says:

          It is going viral worldwide. It’s too bad all that energy couldn’t be spent marching on every courthouse carrying candles for the victims of the war on some drugs.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          Don’t fret comrades! There will be reparations! Off with their heads! Viva La Revolución!

  10. Duncan20903 says:


    Research into “silver bullet” “cure” for addiction not progressing well. Now that’s the prohibitionist mindset for you. Let’s develop a drug to prevent drug use. Holy mind boggling bullshit Batman!

    Heroin vaccine won’t ‘cure’ what ails addicts
    Even if it proves effective, it can’t cure the underlying factors that make people prone to drug use, including poverty, violence and lack of opportunity.

    By Angela Garcia

    April 15, 2012

    My aunt Marion is in the hospital dying of liver and kidney failure, the result of her 20-year struggle with heroin use. I was told of her imminent death the same day news broke about a vaccine against the drug. “Breakthrough heroin vaccine could render drug ‘useless’ in addicts,” one headline read. “Scientists create vaccine against heroin high,” proclaimed another.

    Meanwhile, my aunt finds temporary relief in the ever more frequent administration of opiate pain medication — the very kind of drugs she used illegally.

    • allan says:

      kinda like when Dr McCoy in that Star Trek Saves the Whales movie calls the 20th century medical practices in the SF hospital “midieval”…

      the Inquisition continues. [insert fave Monty Python quote here]

  11. Duncan20903 says:

    Colorado Democratic Party endorses Amendment 64

    The dominoes continue to fall. I must say I very much appreciate that they didn’t wait for Friday.

  12. The only silver bullet will be to re-take Washington come November.

    Obama is not on my voting list. Neither is Romney. These guys don’t even represent any of my thoughts.

    2012 will be no same old for me.

  13. allan says:

    a not-bad piece by Bernd Debusmann:

    Obama and the failed war on drugs

    (Reuters) – Long before he was in a position to change his country’s policies, Barack Obama had firm views on a complex problem: “The war on drugs has been an utter failure. We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws. We need to rethink how we’re operating the drug war.”

    That was in January 2004, during a debate at Northwestern University, when he was running for a seat in the U.S. Senate. To make sure his student audience understood his position on the controversial issue, Obama added: “Currently, we are not doing a good job.”

    To look at a classic flip-flop, forward to April 2012 and a summit of Latin American leaders, several of whom have become vocal critics of the U.S.-driven war on drugs, in the Colombian city of Cartagena. More than three years into his presidency, Obama made clear that he is not in favor of legalizing drugs or of ending policies that treat drug users as criminals.


    • allan says:

      the pre-Obama arrival funtime adventures of the SS and US military personnel will indeed drown out any hearing of the drug policy part of the discussions in Cartagena. If the press dug as hard into the drug war as it does on distractions like this the wod would end soon thereafter.

      Unfortunately John Stossel isn’t Uncle Walter… (RIP)

      • Peter says:

        you almost wonder if the whole scandal wasnt a put up job, some sort chaff to distract the media and public awY from the very real embarrassment of dissent on the wosd. the administrations hypocrisy has been buried under an avalanche of moral outrage

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