Open Thread

bullet image Gil Kerlikowske: Please Put Our Money Where Your Mouth Is

In other words, despite the ample evidence that treatment is the answer, and despite Kerlikowske’s willingness to admit that our status quo drug policy simply isn’t working, we’re actually increasing expenditures on strategies that have proven ineffective. While the minimal shift in spending on treatment is a positive development, it means little in the face of the billions that will continue to be spent on law enforcement.

bullet image UN Office on Drugs and Crime Launches Public Service Announcement on Transnational Organized Crime

Um, really? The way to fight Transnational Organized Crime is to create a Public Service Announcement?

But apparently, it's also a priority of the U.S.

Raising awareness of the cost of transnational organized crime to people and businesses is a priority action of President Obama’s Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. The presence of the global illegal economy and the activities that sustain it – from bribery and money laundering to drug trafficking, environmental crime, and counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals – threaten foreign direct investment, economic growth, market integrity, and the ability of companies everywhere to maximize profits.

bullet image Belize

Marijuana possession may be decriminalized in Belize as the Central American nation joins a list of countries from Mexico to Uruguay whose leaders have called for alternatives in the U.S.-led war on drugs.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s government has appointed a committee to evaluate the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana

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32 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Duncan20903 says:

    Those A64 guys from Colorado sure know how to get people to look at their billboards. Who’da thunk of using Pat Robertson except for them? linky

  2. Dante says:

    “While the minimal shift in spending on treatment is a positive development, it means little in the face of the billions that will continue to be spent on law enforcement.”

    Bottom Line: The billions being spent on law enforcement means paychecks for cops. To cut that, you have to fire cops en masse. The cop unions are politically powerful and will do great harm to the political futures of anyone who dares to cut their jobs.

    So our elected leaders have a choice: Do the right thing for 99% of Americans, or bow down to the 1% of the population who are cops.

    If history is any guide, our elected leaders will continue to be servants of the cop unions rather than serve the interests of the vast majority of Americans. Until that changes, nothing will change. They even have a motto explaining it:

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

  3. I actually thought the video was not that bad except for the fact that they left the rest of the story out of the video.

    Sending hundreds of thousands of people to involuntary treatment that don’t want it in lieu of prison is the wrong way to go. So is sending them to prison in the first place.

    The video is a good reminder that drugs should be taken out of the hands of criminal organizations by ending their prohibition which is what puts it in their hands in the first place. What a good video for ending the war on drugs. What a bad way to do it.

    Including some data about how Governments make it all happen by way of prohibition would actually make it a very accurate video.

    Including a section on how Governments use the drug wars to achieve their own ends as in the CIA contra affair would be accurate and priceless.

  4. Servetus says:

    UNODC: “The presence of the global illegal economy and the activities that sustain it – from bribery and money laundering to drug trafficking, environmental crime, and counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals – threaten foreign direct investment, economic growth, market integrity, and the ability of companies everywhere to maximize profits.”

    Does this mean I’m supposed to get all upset over someone who sells fake Rolex watches? Because I don’t.

    I thought the UNODC’s focus was on drugs. But then there’s nothing like prohibition to put the ‘organize’ in organized crime. Smuggling drugs and other items to sell on the black market requires a very sophisticated organizing ability. It’s hard to imagine where organized crime would be these days had it not been forced by prohibition to learn the useful organization skills which lend themselves so well to other types of crime.

    • Yikes: Google Wants To Help With The War On Drugs?!

      I like the slant by: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

      Is Google the new drug warrior? It certainly is a concern.

      • Maria says:

        Hrm, lately Google seems to be wading deeper into the waters of morality and social policing.

        • kaptinemo says:

          Insanity. Conferences…against those who settle scores with AK’s? Like bringing a flower bouquet to a knife fight…

          Google HQ is criminally placing its’ employees in the gunsights of those who have no compunctions against pulling triggers. Might as well have put bright, neon orange targets on their backs.

          Expect to see a few Mex Google employees hanging from bridges, and soon. Stupid, stupid, STUPID.

        • Maria says:

          I suspect that Google has more money and resources for security and employee protection then the Mexican police and media combined. But that’s definitely a point they should be considering and I doubt they have fully done so.

          Google has a vast and powerful portfolio of tools and technologies many of which are freely/cheaply available to the public. Many more are only available to corporate or government entities.

          In the right hands and combinations these tools are game changers in every sense of the term.

          Whatever Google itself does will have an impact, that is certain, what they do exactly and what sort of impact is way up in the air. They have a history of fumbling and stumbling and botching good intentioned roll-outs. The fact they are getting into such dangerous social policy territory causes me to shake my head.

  5. Reps. Ron Paul, Barney Frank join forces to back bipartisan medical marijuana bill

    HR6154 To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana

  6. ezrydn says:

    On the video, has the UN ever heard the cliches “Put the cart before the horse” or “Close the coop after the chickens are out?” Another “We can stuff the genie back into the bottle” BS. No, you didn’t learn a simple economic truth, i.e., anything, once legal, cannot be successfully moved into illegal status. Not where consumption is involved.

    After all, who made the cartels? Users? Or, Prohibitionists?


    A BILL
    To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide an affirmative
    defense for the medical use of marijuana in accordance
    with the laws of the various States, and for other
    1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2
    tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Truth in Trials Act’’.


    • claygooding says:

      It will be interesting to see the ONDCP/DOJ/DEA continue to list marijuana as schedule 1,,even with an amendment in the constitution recognizing it as medicine.

      • I like this: “(e)” -No plant may be seized under any Federal law otherwise permitting such seizure if the plant is being grown or stored pursuant to a recommendation by a physician or an order of a State or municipal agency in accordance with State law regarding the medical use of marijuana.

        Answering to your statement, I think the DEA would be forced to change it.


    Unless the US becomes able to decipher without prejudice the difference between a non-problematic drug user and a dependent drug user (there is no difference right now) it is unethical to discuss quasi-compulory drug treatment as a solution from Gil or Barry. Its a railroad.

    That’s what Obama is planning as his big solution, no?

  9. Its Christie’s solution. Treat em all.

    • claygooding says:

      I can’t get a response on what happens to indigents and the poor that can’t afford rehab costs but I would bet that if tax dollars are used it is as or more expensive than prison and that if not and you can’t afford it,,you go to prison,,then it is a change of policy with no change of the numbers of people going to prison over drug charges.

      • Rita says:

        Speaking for myself, when I was forced into treatment I was also required to apply for AHCCCS, which is Arizona’s medicaid. AHCCCS won’t pay for dental care or eyeglasses for adults, but it paid for me to sit in a room 4 hours a week and be screamed at by recovering alcoholic counselors, whose only qualifications for the job is their own unhealthy relationship with drugs, about the evils of addiction, in between smoke breaks, of course. And since the registration on my car was suspended for no insurance while I was in jail, the good taxpayers of Arizona paid for a cab to take me 20 miles each way twice a week as well.

    • Right. Who runs the rehabs? Private or Government? Its a setup or forced coersion through Government brainwashing for punishment. Not a pretty picture. Having a Government redemption program?

      • claygooding says:

        China called them reeducation camps and I keep seeing those industrial complexes bought by FEMA that have been refitted with 8 foot fences with razor wire on the top and security cameras surrounding them(saw several in a video on youtube). It was reported that crews were brought in and worked on the warehouses for several months and no activity around them now for a couple of years.

        If the plan is forced rehab in a controlled environment,,they started planning this a few years ago when Fema bought those properties.

  10. claygooding says:

    Congressional Medical Marijuana Bill, the ‘Truth In Trials’ Act, Would Correct Unfair Federal Trials

    Late on Tuesday, U.S. Representative Sam Farr (D-CA) and 18 co-sponsors (15 Democrats and three Republicans) introduced HR 6134, the “Truth in Trials” Act, bipartisan legislation to allow defendants in federal criminal prosecutions the ability to use medical marijuana evidence at trial, a right not currently afforded them.

    This could be a game changer for sure.

  11. darkcycle says:

    Wonderful interview with Dr. Gabor Mate up at alternet. There’s a man I truly respect and admire. If You haven’t read “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts”, you owe it to yourself.

  12. strayan says:

    Kleiman has dropped by in the last thread.

  13. Duncan20903 says:


    I’ve been really jaded and cynical in the last couple of weeks. But then again before Election Day 2010 I never had the possibility of my fellow potheads working against re-legalization even cross my field of vision.. Go Steve go, with your help we just might snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Medical marijuana grower, others sue to stop pot legalization initiative
    July 19, 2012

    The state’s most famous purveyor of medical marijuana and others have sued to keep a marijuana legalization initiative off the November ballot.

    Claiming Initiative 502 could be “ruinous” to the state budget, opponents filed a lawsuit late last week in King County Superior Court claiming the ballot should warn voters of the measure’s costs.

    Evaluators at the state Office of Financial Management have not yet said whether they believe the measure — which would regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession – will have positive or negative financial impact if passed by voters.

    Yeah right, Mr. Sarich has motivation beyond how much money is in his pocket book. Tell me another fairy story daddy.

    Perhaps we could sell the idea of re-legalization by pointing out this cohort of clowns (supposedly on our side of the table) want it to lose?

    We have met the enemy, and he is us. ~~ Pogo

    • darkcycle says:

      Well, we should just root for the DEA in that one. The way they’re going, he’ll be in custody and out of business by election day.

    • kaptinemo says:

      Just like Santayana said. ‘Not learning from history’.

      Obama’s DoJ launched its’ attack after studying Prop19’s defeat…and who was behind it. Nothing like having Fifth Columnists in the ranks to stab you in the back. And that’s what the growers and dispensary operators did in CA. Stabbed relegalization in the back. It’s cold comfort that they are now being jacked up like the very people they helped screw over. Karma always wins.

      The lesson should be to pass any damn relegalization bill no matter how much it smells, as that’s the only protection you have against the Feds. Think of relagalization legislation as being like garlic, holy water and silver crucifixes. It would serve to keep the Fed bloodsuckers away…

      • darkcycle says:

        Damn skippy.

      • Windy says:

        I’ve opposed 502 in the past, also, due to the fact that it could potentially put a LOT of people behind bars who now do not have a very great chance of having to face that situation (due to the per se driving portion); and it seems to reduce some of the protections medical users currently have; I also think the age at which use should be legal would be better set at 18, such age limits are arbitrary at best.

        However, I am coming around to Duncan’s POV — that any re-legalization (for recreational users) measure is better than none. I expect I will vote for 502, unless a better measure is also on the ballot (which could happen).

  14. Windy says:

    This comment was made by one of my FB friends, I think it is a good comment so I wanted to share it with all of you:
    Wayne Padgette
    “Not every patient needs to be institutionalized, but some do. I once worked in mental health, and when a person was admitted, they were placed in what appeared to be an appropriate care level. If they demonstrated stability that permitted greater freedom, it was granted. If they abused the freedom, it was retracted. Basically, the level of care was adjusted to fit the person’s condition. It tended to work well.

    “However, in today’s society, it is more along the line of mentally ill people are not being properly cared for, and hardly any are institutionalized (unless they attack a prominent person, as in the case of John Hinkley, Jr.) and people without mental illness are imprisoned because they seek pleasure in burning a plant and inhaling the fumes. Society is upside down, those who are likely to do harm are not prevented from doing so, even with plenty of evidence that it is likely (all in the name of ‘civil rights’), and those who are likely to harm nobody are somehow the criminals.”
    I would add that all too many of the mentally ill (who are not cared for as they should be and are therefore “on the streets”, meaning homeless more often than not) are either imprisoned, or beaten or even killed by police.

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