The numbers

Numbers tell of failure in the drug war — in the New York Times.

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38 Responses to The numbers

  1. Jay Fleming says:

    Sounds like Mexico’s president-elect, Enrique Pena Nieto is a wise man. The only way to remove the bad guys from drugs, is to remove the enormous profits.

    Drug abuse, and there is a difference between use, and abuse, is a medical problem, not a law enforcement problem.

    We tried incarceration for the last 40 years, and it’s not working. President-elect Nieto is right, it’s time for debate on our drug enforcement strategy.

    Jay Fleming
    Mohave Valley, Arizona
    Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    • strayan says:

      Enormous profits are a good thing. Enormous expenses are the problem. Enormous expenses (both tangible and intangible), from things like interdiction and the risk of being caught or killed, are why we have prohibition related violence. Enormous expenses include the costs of hiring guards, arming them, bribery, the purchase of submarines and excavation (for tunnels).

  2. Mr Ikesheeny says:

    We don’t need a paywall to know which way the wind blows!

  3. The United States cannot afford to continue on with our current policies on the drug war. Change is needed now. If discussion will make that happen, it needs to be done and soon.

    America the prison capital of the world. 50,000 dead in Mexico. Talk is an imperative. Change was needed long ago. NOW is a good time.

    My opinion: talk is cheap. Action speaks louder than words.

    Waiting and talking has its price, and its a price no one can any longer afford.

  4. ezrydn says:

    We need to remove a two-faced leader first. Seems the 60’s song “For What It’s Worth” is finally swinging full circle. And, NO! A last minute “change of heart” won’t cut it. Call the P.O. for a COA card.

  5. I ran across this just recently:

    Obama Has Already Quietly Begun Revising the Government’s War on Drugs

    Sorry. I don’t believe it.

    • claygooding says:

      When Obama gave one of his first speeches he compared US policies too navigating a large ship,,not a speed boat,,and that to change any policy would take several adjustments to the course and could not be accomplished in one turn,,,however,,,he has been able to change the course with one turn since his election,,by re-scheduling marijuana from schedule 1.

      And he may do just that if he loses his bid for re-election,,I say let’s see if he does,,,Johnson/Gray will help him make up his mind.

  6. Duncan20903 says:


    From the “nobody gets jail time for petty possession of pot” category:

    Meadows, Christopher D., 19, of Flint; 45 days jail for possession of marijuana; June 15, Fullerton.

    • darkcycle says:

      We gotta start linking those on Kleiman’s blog.

      • strayan says:

        Oh look, Kleiman has a new book:

        Maybe we’ll find it in there.

        • B. Snow says:

          Oh, I truly *hate* that dude…
          That’s one opportunistic, smug, wishy-washy, sonoffabytch!
          Everything he talks about just makes aims to make the Drug War go on for WAY longer than it would without his “2 cents”, poking his head into TV specials about marijuana talking about it “being bad”, but having it illegal is “bad economically” – and whatnot. *ARGHH*

      • Peter says:

        sabet is another purveyor of this propaganda lie…in fact he may be the originator of it along with “drug-war lite,” the fair and balanced approach to caging citizens you don’t like…..

        • darkcycle says:

          Oh look! They will be pushing that book with a book tour! Dare I hope they will add Seattle to their schedule?? I would LOVE to ask Kleiman a couple of questions in a public venue. He seems to do a good job of ignoring my questions at his blog, lets see if he can ignore me in a room full of people.
          Anybody else interested in hearing this faux reformer, here’s the dates and places:

        • strayan says:

          I imagine Kleiman is going to be at the forefront of those taking responsibility for ‘reform’ when progress is actually made. He writes in such a way that he can side with anyone. That’s the annoying thing.

        • darkcycle says:

          You better believe it, strayan. He’ll crow like it was his own accomplishment, and he’ll take as much credit for it as they’ll hand out. My problem with Kleiman is he always starts with reforming the laws, but winds up defending them by the time he’s done. He minimizes the problems associated with all prohibition, and as far as he’s concerned, people like cj can just go rot. Abusers of harder drugs live half lives and may ultimately die from impure drugs or “hot” fixes because of prohibition. It’s all okay to Kleiman, because if we regulated purity or relaxed the prohibition, who knows? Your sainted churchgoing grandmother may just pick up and start humping the horse, and forth graders will be nodding off after recess, and the poor school custodian will have to clean the playground up of their used syringes and condoms…all the school bus drivers and fork lift operators will instantly become hopeless addicts and put all of us at risk. All at once, an epidemic will sweep the nation. According to Kleiman. So a few dead addicts and ruined lives is a small price to pay. What a tool.

        • Duncan20903 says:


          You’d better believe that after cannabis is re-legalized that history will be written that it was done in spite of our efforts, not because of them. Hell, they’ll probably blame us for an unnecessary extra 3 decades of the war on merrywanna because we got Ronald Reagan mad at us in the 1960s. Quite frankly I’ll be OK with that.

  7. kaptinemo says:

    Studies, studies, studies…been watching this stupid dance since 1972.

    How many freakin’ studies since then? I don’t know and I haven’t time to find out, just now.

    But one thing is certain: so long as government functionaries are able to disregard those studies at will without punitive consequences, the dance will continue.

    We need more Congress people like Polis and Cohen to go after those functionaries and rub their faces in their intransigence WRT those studies publicly. Look at what happened when they queried Leonhart; an eruption of angry fence-sitters, who normally couldn’t give two sh*ts and a damn about the subject, but who got a good look at what we have been putting up with for decades and began to question why this was happening.

    More of that, and it becomes an ‘issue’…as if it hasn’t been one hanging fire and spitting sparks for the past four decades. But it will become a public issue, with the inevitable question of why spend all of that taxpayer money trying to learn the truth about cannabis…and then just ignore the results when they almost entirely negate the prohib position?

    And that’s the real, raw, dripping red meat here. Money. Always the damned money, but that’s what most people care about. They’ll allow their civil liberties to be shot, stabbed, gutted, ground up, set on fire and the ashes cast into the wind, and respond with the dull look of a herd beast, but talk money and only then the eyes light up. Sad but true. And that’s the tack our allies in Congress must take.

  8. claygooding says:

    Lawmaker prepares to unveil marijuana proposal

    “”FRANKFORT — A Louisville lawmaker is preparing to unveil legislation that he will introduce in next year’s legislative session that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes.””

    And as the feds dance to avoid losing their rice bowl,,another state prepares to dance with them.

  9. Tony Aroma says:

    I guess there’s no reason to hold off on that big cocaine purchase any longer.

  10. Peter says:

    Oliver Stone on the drug war:
    “I would fight for decriminalization first, because that is the immediate by-product of this mess that we got ourselves into. It’s very hard to pull out of a $40 billion-a-year industry, which is the prison industry. It’s probably more than $40 billion. But they will fight you tooth and nail to keep these prisons as big as they are…”

  11. darkcycle says:

    Duncan, look at your facebook page, my friend! 😉

  12. Duncan20903 says:


    Jet lag?? From the “I love the taste of my foot” category:

    Medical marijuana proposal named for Gatewood Galbraith
    July 5, 2012

    The conservative Family Foundation of Kentucky also opposes the bill, saying the use of Galbraith’s name is “an opportunistic gimmick.”

    “In states where medical marijuana laws are on the books, ‘jet lag’ and ‘stress’ become qualifying ailments that allow for medical marijuana,” said Andrew Walker, an analyst with the foundation. “Over and over, spurious claims show that medicinal marijuana laws become subject to blatant and rampant abuse.”

    spu·ri·ous [spyoor-ee-uhs]
    1. not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.

    2. Biology . (of two or more parts, plants, etc.) having a similar appearance but a different structure.

    3. of illegitimate birth; bastard.

    Synonyms 1. false, sham, bogus, mock, feigned, phony; meretricious, deceitful.

    Antonyms 1. genuine.

    • kaptinemo says:

      Gatewood Galbraith’s gone? I didn’t know. Damn.

      I didn’t know him personally, but he was one of the most articulate reformers I ever heard speak, being able to hold his ground in a conversation, cannabis ‘augmented’ or not.

      Another good one gone…

  13. Here is the one I am a bit concerned with:

    The International Drug Control Treaties: How Important Are They to U.S. Drug Reform?

    • Peter says:

      id like to know more about the arm twisting, threats and bribes that went on behind the scenes in 1961 to get countries to sign up for the single convention. i think i can guess which country was the driving force behind it

      • Well, Wikipedia says “the conventions had to periodically be amended or superseded by new treaties in order to keep up with advances in chemistry”.

        Then marijuana was thrown in for good measure along with the synthetic opioids. Good question- who was behind that? Who had the patents on the synthetic opioids??

      • Servetus says:

        It was the infamous Harry J. Anslinger of the United States who proposed, and was later able to implement, the Single Treaty. Later he growled, “They’ll never legalize marijuana now….”

        And it was the infamous and evil Dr. Robert DuPont, who when confronted with the question of which drugs to include within the CSA, said of marijuana that the line has to be drawn somewhere. Talk about arbitrary and capricious.

  14. Economics 101 Tells Us That the War on Drugs is a Complete Failure: Prices Are Going Down, Not Up – By Professor Mark J. Perry

    • Duncan20903 says:


      The prohibitionist parasites claim the the extraordinary decline in the wholesale price of cocaine is evidence that the war on (some) drugs is working. They presume that the supply has held steady over that time but that demand has decreased driving the price down. Just forget about the other day when they asserted that one of the reasons to keep it illegal is to drive up the price in order to lower demand.

      Oh, look at this comment in the comments column from the article linked above. Gotta love how they arbitrarily pick the high point on the graph to start with.:

      Prices of many illegal drugs are falling, because demand has been falling faster than supply.

      U.S. Illegal Drug Use Down Substantially from 1970s
      17 April 2012

      “The Obama administration is working to reduce the demand for illegal drugs inside the United States.

      Drug use in the United States “has dropped substantially over the past thirty years,” thanks to local, state and federal government efforts, as well as international cooperation.

      “The rate of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly one-third the rate it was in the late ’70s.

      More recently, there has been a 40 percent drop in current cocaine use and meth use has dropped by half.”

      • I come across this claim pretty frequently, but I’ve never seen data to back it up. Is it publicly available or is it special secret information that only drug czars and their minions get to see?

        Monitoring the Future goes back to 1975, but it doesn’t tell us about drug consumption among the over-18 set.

        • Duncan20903 says:

          One way that they use to purposefully cause people to infer that (some) drug use is declining is by not including pharmaceuticals diverted to the recreational market because those substances aren’t “illegal” despite the fact that possession without a prescription can land you in a jail cell.

          I think it’s morbidly amusing that the authorities want to take credit for the reduction in cocaine use and abuse. I think that Ockham’s Razor demands that we conclude that cocaine use is down because people realize that it sucks to be a cocaine addict.

          Conversely they don’t want to take the blame for the skyrocketing use of diverted opioids.

          (links working now)

          In 1992 there were 13,671 Americans in “treatment” for opioids other than heroin addiction.
          By 2009 that number had skyrocketed to 142,770.

          Anyway, the guy that wrote the comment I quoted above was quoting John Walters. That’s another funny one. If I link to a NORML post that shows results from a respectable 3rd party source they’ll say, “that’s meaningless because NORML is biased!” Then they’ll turn around and cite unsubstantiated claims from the ONDCP as if they were gospel.

          Here’s a link to Mr. Walter’s screed:

        • pfroehlich2004:

          the nsduh studies (formerly known as the nhsda) are geared toward measuring use by age-defined demographic groups and has always delineated their findings based on the 12-17 year old demographic and various groupings for those 18 and over.

          additionally, the mtf hass been measuring use among college students and those age 19 to 28 for the past three decades and two decades respectively.

          as usual, you can find the data on my site

      • Servetus says:

        According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) rising domestic production of cannabis is the situation in Europe, with increases in consumption of the herb versus decreases for hashish.

        Increased marijuana production should continue in the U.S. as well, bringing down wholesale prices.

  15. claygooding says:

    Medical-marijuana backers hand in stack of signatures

    “”LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Supporters of a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas have turned in petitions to try to get on the November ballot, while other measures are waiting until the deadline to submit their signatures.””

    Another few million for Kerli to spend in yet another state,,,

  16. Tony Aroma says:

    They’re looking at the wrong numbers when assessing the success of the drug war. It’s not about health, or safety, or reducing the number of drug users. That’s just what people like the Drug Czar say in public. The drug war is really all about punishing the users of certain drugs. When you look at those numbers, the drug war has been extremely successful, beyond even Nixon’s wildest dreams. We punish more drug users than anybody, anywhere, ever. I’d say that makes the drug war a smashing success!

  17. Duncan20903 says:



    Marijuana legalization advocates submit signatures

    Say, if all 3 ballot initiatives for limited re-legalization pass on Election Day, which State gets bragging rights for being first? I’m thinking Colorado because that State’s balloting closes before Oregon or Washington due to the different time zones.

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