Debate Club

At U.S. News and World Report, there’s a Debate Club segment on Is it Time to Scale Back the War on Drugs? – featuring Aaron Houston (Yes), Neill Franklin (Yes), Paul Armentano (Yes), Kevin Sabet (No), and David G. Evans (No).

So far, in the debate club voting, the “Yes” arguments are clearly winning (no surprise, there).

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52 Responses to Debate Club

  1. Refreshing honesty from Kev-Kev today: ‘Is it time to scale back the war on drugs? No, but the war analogy is not a particular useful one.’

    Carry on as before. Just don’t call it a ‘war’ anymore.

    • allan says:

      ah, Kev-Kev… it’s neither he nor his “friends” that have SWAT busting down their doors and having their pets shot right in front of the kids.

      Neither have they the credentials of most any of LEAP’s (and Howard) top speakers – I’ll pit Jack Cole, Judge Gray, Dr McNamara and Pete Christ and Howard and all those others that worked on the front lines against these two prohibs anyday. A desk at ONDCP hardly qualifies.

      And, when and if they ever do mention the drug war perpetuated atrocities… they will gain a modicum of reputability and at the same time totally lose the debate.

      Paychopharmacological McCarthyism indeed. Another synonym for excrementalism.

      And Dave Evans? He’s just the evil witch of the east (Calvina’s) flying monkey.

  2. stlgonzo says:

    Former Drug Czar Advisor Says Obama’s “Third Way” Drug Policy Involves “Short Stints in Jail”

    “Decades of research have shown that treatment reduces crime and saves money. But newer interventions, like drug courts or interventions that combine positive drug tests with very short sanctions (like 1-3 days in jail) can significantly reduce drug use and help people live a better life. Using the judicial system wisely by enforcing abstinence with short stints in jail is an incentive drug users sometimes need—indeed it has shown to work better than traditional, voluntary treatment alone.”

    See Jail counts as treatment now….

  3. darkcycle says:

    Winning? I’d say. More like roundly thrashing.

    • Francis says:

      Seriously, Sabet and the other drug warrior are getting absolutely destroyed in the voting. And every comment I’ve seen so far is pro reform. However, I did find this line (from the accompanying write-up) irritating:

      Some go as far to say marijuana should be legal, which could fill state coffers through taxes and regulation.

      “SOME” go that “FAR”?! Jesus H. Christ. That’s the position of a (rapidly-growing) MAJORITY of Americans. Try and keep up, mainstream media.

    • Francis says:

      Ok, I think it’s safe to officially call this one for the reformers. Here are the scores:
      Neill Franklin (reformer) – 514 up votes, 6 down votes
      Aaron Houston (reformer) – 448 up votes, 7 down votes
      Paul Armentano (reformer) – 430 up votes, 5 down votes
      Kevin Sabet (prohibitionist parasite) – 8 up votes*, 304 down votes
      David G. Evans (prohibitionist parasite) – 7 up votes, 352 down votes
      And when you tally it all up you get: reformers 1,374 to prohibitionist parasites negative 641.

      *One of those up votes for Kev was from me so technically it probably shouldn’t count. (I know. I know. Sorry! I just wanted to make sure the button worked. I was understandably starting to wonder.) I can’t explain the other 7 up votes. Kev and his immediate family?

  4. claygooding says:

    I will be 63 Sat and in those years I was a soldier,a bike club enforcer,titty bar bouncer and bartender and been to two state goat roping championships and have only known two people that I would jump on and thrash without introduction,conversation or even a nod,,and Sabet is one of them.

  5. claygooding says:

    Just thought of a good legalization ad,,a judge,,a leo,,a fireman,,a banker type and Cheech and Chong standing next to each other with the question below:

    Which of these people smoke marijuana?

    Answer,,all of them.

  6. Tony Aroma says:

    The first rule of Debate Club: You do not talk about Debate Club.

  7. Dante says:

    How many more times do we need to have this “debate”?

    The prohibitionists keep getting thrashed, the poll numbers are all against them, the President’s town hall chats all heavily favor legalization, and ….




    Why? Because “there is too much money in it”.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!) It ain’t just dirty cops anymore, it’s the whole freakin’ Federal government.

  8. allan says:

    Hey Maalcooolm… there’s a fella just commented on Aaron Houston’s post, speaking bad about the Nederlands. Wanna kick him for me?

    • claygooding says:

      We need to bring a few pairs of steel toed boots to the couch,,as loaners.

    • Byddaf yn egluro: says:

      I’m in a ‘roadside service’ at the moment with just 2% battery. Will get to my destination in about 10 hours time, hook up and duly fulfill your request.

  9. Duncan20903 says:

    I’d really like to know where Mr. Evans gets his stats. I can’t believe that his numbers below came from anywhere except pulled from his ass. I call shenanigans.

    Illegal drug use is almost 40 percent less since its high point in 1979.

    Marijuana use is down almost 50 percent since its peak in the 1970s.

    Cocaine use is down by 80 percent since its peak in the 1980s.

    • He makes this claim quite frequently, but I’ve never seen stats to back it up. The only comprehensive drug use survey available online which goes back that far is Monitoring the Future, which only looks at teens and definitely doesn’t support his assertions.

      I think he might be referring to his own usage.

  10. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Justice Department officials today offered $1 million for the capture of the five Mexican “border bandits” who killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with an ATF-sourced weapon in the mountains south of Tucson.

    After two years they decided to catch these guys ?
    Must be an election coming soon.–abc-news-topstories.html

    • stlgonzo says:

      Is this a vain and vacant attempt to re-frame the story in a drug cartel scare story instead of the Fast and Furious story line?

    • claygooding says:

      “”Manuel Osorio-Arellanes, Jesus Rosario Favela-Astorga, Ivan Soto-Barraza, Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes and Lionel Portillo-Meza are charged with crimes including first degree murder, second degree murder, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, “”

      Conspiracy to interfere with commerce???? When did drug smuggling become commerce for the federal government,,about the time the ONDCP was created maybe?

  11. claygooding says:

    How marijuana could help cure obesity-related diseases

    “”A British company says that two compounds found in marijuana leaves could treat patients whose weight puts them at high risk for heart disease and stroke

    According to a new British study, marijuana leaves (not the buds that Willie Nelson loves so dearly) contain two compounds that boost the metabolism of mice, leading to lower levels of fat and cholesterol in the body — the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that marijuana may be useful in countering ailments related to obesity.

    One study in March found that a brain chemical similar in structure to an active compound in cannibis could help people shed weight, while another study last September concluded that pot smokers were less likely to be obese than non-potheads, though for reasons that remain unclear.”” ‘snipped’

    G&W is running articles making it clear that while nations may not grow or sell cannabis,,pharmaceutical companies can.

  12. claygooding says:

    Obama signs federal ban of synthetic drugs

    “”WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed a federal law Monday banning the sale of synthetic marijuana and bath salts, backing up the ban implemented by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) in March.

    Obama signed the new drug legislation, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which according to Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., permanently bans the deadly chemical compounds marketed and sold as bath salts and incense in all states. Congress passed the bill June 26.””

    Here you go cartels,,more cash for you and more prison inmates for US.

  13. The Fallacy of the DEA: Why the Agency Needs to Concede to Legal Marijuana
    Jamie Haase
    Former Special Agent, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    LEAP member says to the DEA – “However, when it comes to marijuana the ballgame is over”

    • Peter says:

      excellent article. puts leonharts abysmal performance in front of the recent congressional committee in perspective

  14. kaptinemo says:

    OT:Gabriel Nahas is dead at 92.

    from the article:

    “His research, which he did as a professor at Columbia University and reported in more than 700 articles in scientific journals, suggested that marijuana contributed to cancers of the head and neck, leukemia, infertility, brain damage and a weakening of the immune system. He also wrote two books on cocaine, which he contended could cause irreversible brain damage.”

    Dr. Nahas became known as much for his advocacy as for his science. He was the chairman of the scientific advisory committee of the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth, now the National Family Partnership. He was a consultant to the United Nations Commission on Narcotics in the 1980s and ’90s. In 1985, he appeared at an antidrug rally with Mrs. Reagan and the actor William Shatner, who was in costume as his best-known character, Captain Kirk of “Star Trek.” Dr. Nahas testified frequently at government hearings.

    His critics in the scientific community sometimes assailed his methodology, questioning the large judgments he made often based on small samples. Organizations promoting the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana painted him as a villain. The New England Journal of Medicine once described his work as “psychopharmacological McCarthyism that compels him to use half-truths, innuendo and unverifiable assertions.”

    Yes, that Nahas. Mr. “Monkey Smoke Asphyxiation” Nahas.

    The article spends a lot of time glowingly recounting his ‘career’. It’s enough to cause you to feel nauseous, so medicate beforehand…

    • claygooding says:

      during and after,,what a wretched life he must have led,,being that scared of nature’s drugs and helping the pharmaceutical companies put enough synthetic drugs in everyone’s home to kill everyone big enough to die..

      • Matthew Meyer says:

        The obit cited, interestingly, frames Nahas’s life as a struggle against fascism that found continuity in his career as a drug warrior. Saving people from the scourge of drugs is as noble as fighting Mussolini and Hitler for some folks. Imagine.

  15. ezrydn says:

    OT-We’re 2 weeks from moving out of triple digits to double digits (days left til elections). What’s sizing up around the states regarding our efforts? I’ve heard practically nothing this time around. Has Gov. Moonbeam flipped yet?

  16. Mr Ikesheeny says:

    In Aaron Houston’s column in US News & world debate club why should non corporate welfare applicants be subject to surveillance as what the editors of the publication insert into the column. By that I mean they have intentionally derail the earnest and constructive idea s of SSDP! I would still think twice about subscribing to that publication.

  17. Matthew Meyer says:

    OT: Rocio, Rocio, Rocio…

    “I’m 17 and still in high school. I see the effect of marijuana firsthand. I have a close friend who has good grades, a mindset to go to Berkeley and marry when she’s 25… I thought everything was fine…until she told me about a Sunday night where she took a hard fall in her front porch in the presence of her ‘homies.’
    She recalls it as an awkward feeling where she couldn’t talk and felt darkness all around, as if she might pass out. She also had trouble breathing and everything was a blur.”

    Help me out here, are these effects typical?

  18. cy Klebs says:

    I agree that taxing and regulation cannot hurt needed revenue for infrastructure environment etc. But the Senate minority leader and Gov. Willard refuses to consider normalizing, so why can’t corporations pay more taxes than my pop!

  19. darkcycle says:

    Scott has a terrific piece at
    “A Comically Dishonest…”

    • darkcycle says:

      Left this comment there, figured it should go here too:
      “How about where he said “Treatment, sometimes with enforceable sanctions: Decades of research have shown that treatment reduces crime and saves money. But newer interventions, like drug courts or interventions that combine positive drug tests with very short sanctions (like 1-3 days in jail) can significantly reduce drug use and help people live a better life.” I almost choked on that one. It’s good to know, short jail stays can help a person “…live a better life.” Maybe Kevin should try that? Along with the lifelong criminal record that comes with them. Make him a better person, it will.

      But of course he knows full well that most people entering treatment for the first time relapse within ninety days (70% of them!), so he wants seventy percent of these folks to spend MORE TIME incarcerated than they otherwise would for just a simple arrest. Sounds like he’s really, really interested in seeing that people DO go to jail for petty possession, because his “third way” will incarcerate 70% more people for more time. If the average stay in jail for petty possession is twelve hours, and the average number of days spent in jail living a “…better life” because you relapsed is three days, he’s asking that 70% of people arrested should spend 600% more time incarcerated for their crime than they do under the current laws.

      Hmmmm…do you think that’s intentional?

      Sabet is not just a dumb prohibitionist, he’s got a PhD, and has made drug policy his entire career. He knows to a nicety the effect of the proposals he floats. This new third way is a facade meant to disguise a massive ramping up of the war on users. Notice his proposals target only users, not traffickers, or money launderers, or drug kingpins. His proposals are aimed at the end user and will result in HUGE committment to private treatment companies and a huge influx of people into jail for petty possession.

      Perhaps he doesn’t believe people go to jail for possession. He seems intent on correcting that problem.”

      • claygooding says:

        If 70% more people spend 3 days instead of 12 hours,,the added expense on our local economies will really make everyone happy.

  20. Byddaf yn egluro: says:

    Giving evidence to MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Lloyd (former chief constable of Cambridgeshire Police) said: “Drug dealers all over the world are laughing at law enforcement.”

    “They like the status quo because it elevates the price of their drugs and boosts their profits”, he said.

    “If 20% of dealers’ drugs were intercepted at the UK’s borders, that’s not a bad tax rate”, he added.

    Mr Lloyd said increasing the risk to their business “has not worked”, but authorities could reduce drugs gangs’ profits by increasing the supply.

  21. Peter says:

    “If we’ve got a legitimate market, people will still seek to undermine the legitimate market,” he said.

    “There will always be a two-tier market.” Head of SOCA.

    Just like we do with alcohol Mr Pierce? I keep being accosted on the street by dealers offering to get me beer. Sometimes I get lucky and score some gin. If only I could just go down to the off-license and use my credit card…

    Yet another drug warrior using scare-stories and desperately trying to hang on to his budget and job.

  22. Servetus says:

    The drug laws continue to provide the motivating vehicle by which civil liberties are threatened. Perhaps with drug enforcement and political activism in mind, a new electronic privacy threat looms at political rallies and elsewhere, and it’s currently immune to wiretap and privacy laws. It’s called IMSI:

    “IMSI stands for ‘International Mobile Subscriber Identity’. The technology is essentially a mobile phone tower with ‘a malicious operator’. It mimics the behavior of a cell tower and tricks mobile phones into sending data to it, instead of to the tower.

    As such it is considered a Man In the Middle (MITM) attack. It is used as an eavesdropping device used for interception and tracking of cellular phones and usually is undetectable for the users of mobile phones.

    Once it has made a connection with the phone and tricked it into thinking it is a mobile tower, the IMSI catcher forces the phone to drop its encryption, enabling easy access to the contents of the device. The tool then lets the attacker listen in on mobile conversations and intercept all data sent from a mobile phone, remaining undetected. In some cases the tool also allows the operator to manipulate messages.”

    • claygooding says:

      I have started using my cell phone only when I have to,,if a land line is available,,the ability to track the phone’s location is enough reason not to carry one and scanners sold on the open market able to listen in just trash canned them for me.

    • Windy says:

      At The Agitator, Drew Johnson (one of Radley’s guest bloggers) writes:
      Text messages sent to friends and family are not private, according to a recent Washington state court ruling.;cnetRiver
      In a dissent, a judge said that under the state privacy law the police were required to get a search warrant to access the text messages, and suggested that the ruling could put any device at risk of search by police without a warrant.
      “Under implied consent reasoning, a police officer’s simple possession of a smartphone is sufficient to imply or infer consent of the communicating parties. This reasoning can easily and dangerously be extended to allow warrantless State searches of any digital device that police come to possess, all contrary to the Act itself,” the dissent said “Following the majority’s analysis, any communication that has a traceable electronic or paper trail will not be protected because consent to disclosure can be implied from the trail.”

      WA voters, please return libertarian, Richard B. Sanders to the WA Supreme Court to prevent further erosion of our liberty and privacy rights.

  23. Dr. Kevin Sabet’s Kinder Gentler Drug War

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