Your tax dollars at work

Big press conference today from all the dinosaurs of prohibition, with such names as Bill Bennett, John Walters, Peter Bensinger, Robert DuPont, Calvina Faye, David Evans, and more, pushing to get the Attorney General to speak out against the marijuana legalization votes in November. Here’s the press conference announcement. In small print at the bottom of the page:

This campaign was supported by Grant No. 2005-JL-FX-0128 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice….

Here’s another release from the event, featuring Calvina.

Here’s a slide, from the True Compassion site funded by our tax dollars, that apparently, in addition to being fact challenged, has less of a clue about the definition of irony than Alanis.

[Thanks, Tom]
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44 Responses to Your tax dollars at work

  1. divadab says:

    This is just great! We get to defend the Constitution on our own dime, against the people who are sworn to defend it but don’t. And we we get to pay their obscene salaries and benefits to boot!

    How is this different to paying tribute to an occupying army?

    When was America invaded by these scum?

  2. Nunavut Tripper says:

    The slide from True Compassion is a classic piece.
    Although it bashes tobacco it still fails to mention the radioactive Polonium 210 present in all commercial tobacco.
    And of course they fail to admit that there are much cleaner methods of delivery of cannabiniods than smoking and that even pot smokers have a much better health profile than tobacco smokers.
    Glad it’s your tax dollars being wasted on that not that I expect anything better from the Harper Government.

  3. claygooding says:

    The beast has felt it’s mortality and is starting to thrash wildly,and I love it.

    One day a group shot of those people on the press release list will be hung in every Post Office across the land as war criminals.

  4. Peter says:

    Calvina calls for more government violence against the people who pay for it:
    “The Justice Department needs to make it clear to these states that enforcement of federal drug laws will be swift and AGGRESSIVE for those in direct violation of the Controlled Substances Act.,” concluded Fay.”

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  6. War Vet says:

    These drug Warriors are disgusting and are a complete threat to the American way of life and liberty . . . these are democracy destroyers . . . they spit in the faces of every American war dead and degrade the veterans service to their country . . . didn’t we kill these typse of bastards in the 1770’s and 80’s and again in the 1940’s? They should all be hung for conspiracy to topple the U.S. Government during a time of war, especially since keeping drugs illegal created 9/11, our War(s) on Terror and a hazardous border with their creation of drug money.

    • Cliff says:

      Tarring and feathering is a lost art which should be revived and encouraged for application on the enemies of liberty and self ownership.

      • War Vet says:

        But wouldn’t tar and feathering those folks be a ‘soft on crime’ action? Public hangings -what happend to a nice day with the family at the gallows . . . incorporate public hangings of the drug warriors, we could teach our youth what true evil looks like and what true evil deserves as punishment.

  7. Curmudgeon says:

    just more evidence that marijuana causes brain damage…in those who oppose its use.

  8. Peter says:

    “If you would like to set up an interview about this issue with Calvina Fay or other experts who
    participated in this press conference, please contact Lana Beck at (727) 828-0211 ext. 102”
    Hey Pete, couldn’t you ask her?

  9. Francis says:

    Yeah, that slide is great. “There are no medicines that are smoked.” Well, I guess that settles that. I can just imagine the conversation with one of these clowns.

    Drug Warrior: There are no medicines that are smoked.
    Me: Well, that’s pretty clearly not true. Cannabis is medicine, and it can be smoked.
    Drug Warrior: What’s ‘cannabis’?
    Me: Oh, sorry, yeah you would probably know it better as ‘marijuana.’
    Drug Warrior: [angrily] MARIJUANA ISN’T MEDICINE!
    Me: Why not?
    Drug Warrior: Because it’s smoked, and there are no med-
    Me: no medicines that are smoked. Yeah, I heard you the first time. Hmm… well, you do know that there are other delivery mechanisms for cannabis that don’t involve smoking, right? I mean, it can be vaporized, made into tinctures, or — uh, what are you doing?
    Drug Warrior: [sticking fingers in ears] LA LA LA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! THERE ARE NO MEDICINES THAT ARE SMOKED! LA LA LA!
    Me: I’m gonna go now.

    • Maria says:

      Don’t forget ointments and salves. It can be processed (felonious gasp!), at home, into a wonderful ointment that when spread on spasming muscles and inflamed skin relaxes and soothes them.

      But no, of course it has no medicinal value. /sarc

      I think it’s best to be on the same page when it comes to language here. For the drug warriors and the state ‘Medicine’ is anything patented and produced by big pharma, vetted and approved by the expensive FDA process, and controlled and purchased at a likely inflated price at a US Drug Store.

      Medicine can’t also come from a garden. It can’t also be prepared or processed at home. It can’t also have multiple uses or multiple preparations depending on it’s intended purpose. And it most definitively can’t also be used for sensual pleasures such as taste, smell, comfort, body sensations, or mental insight…

      Peppermint, aloe vera, comfrey, pennyroyal, cranberries, hoodia, echinacea purpurea, angelica, yarrow, ginger, fenugreek, opium poppy, ephedra, nicotiana, tansy, chamomile … cannabis.

      None of these are Medicine. Their extracts, synthesized / organic components can be researched, patented, and packaged into Medicines but they aren’t Medicine.

      And I do agree with them on that technicality … they are all plants that can have medicinal and healthcare uses (sometimes powerful, sometimes dangerous) in addition to industrial and/or culinary uses.

      It’s the inability of the State to understand a thing beyond a single neat classification that will be part of it’s unraveling. It’s the hypocrisy of the State in trying to stifle information and to spread false or even dangerous information that forces more and more people to view it with such contempt.

  10. allan says:

    was gonna post this on the open thread but thought no, this is (in)appropriately your tax dollars at work:

    Governments Secret War on Music Festivals

    On Tuesday, October 9th, 2012, Jimmy Tebeau, bassist for the Grateful Dead tribute band The Schwag and most recently JGB, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for the crime of “maintaining a drug-involved premises” on his 350 acre farm in a rural county in Missouri. The government closed down the farm, which was known as Camp Zoe and home to the music festival Schwagstock, in November 2010 based on the statute, which was originally drafted to go after crack houses, after a two year investigation into drug sales on the premises. Tebeau, who is currently touring with Melvin Seals and Jerry Garcia Band, was never charged with dealing any drugs […]

    somebody get that to Garry Trudeau please, it seems like a cause Jimmy Thudpucker would want to weight in on…

    here in Oregon and the NW the harrassment of festivals by LE is well known – Conde’s, Gideon Israel’s (both of which were taken down after HT and Steve Hager’s “Extravaganja” tour had visited their venues) and the Ruch Barter Fair (which went to the state superemes and they ruled in favor of the Barter Fair in Brentmar v Jackson Co., a decision that came after the Ruch group went broke) – and don’t forget Spanish Canyon, Utah, with a Black Helicopter invasion and everything.

    War crimes is what I call ’em.

    • stlgonzo says:

      This was a clear case of government using the “Drug Involved Premises” to take that 350 acre farm.

      Never charged with selling drugs himself but we are going to take your land anyway. Oh also we are going to throw you in jail.

      I think this means that the government can take any concert venue in the country that I have ever been to.

  11. claygooding says:

    Even though I know it may be months before a ruling is issued on the ASA hearing tomorrow but I can’t sleep,,it’s like waiting to go to a new job,,,,,,

  12. Servetus says:

    The Nine Prohibitionists of the Apocalypse are doubling down to save their legacy of devastation.

    If Colorado legalizes and the dominoes fall, the prohibitionists’ decades long display of bogus public service will end up being guillotined like some pedophile priest in the French Revolution.

    Rather than open their mouths now and guarantee their ignoble fate, the czars might want to think about relocating to Paraguay.

  13. strayan says:

    I don’t get the whole ‘Legalization May Cause A Federal v. State Showdown so nothing should be done at a state level’ angle the prohibitionists have taken lately. Can crazy Aunty Faye or crazy Unlce John please explain how people are meant to resist terrible laws other than by ‘vote’? Would they prefer militancy? Violent revolution? Civil disobedience?

    Sure, prohibition is the law, does that mean we ought simply to accept rather than oppose it? Does that mean every law that already is, ought to be? Forever?

    • Duncan20903 says:


      William J. Clinton
      George Bush the lesser.
      Barack H. Obama.

      What do these three men have in common? Not a single one of them instructed the Department of Justice to petition the Courts to strike down the medicinal cannabis patient protection laws in any State using Federal pre-emption.

      Why is it always State and Local authorities who keep beating the dead horse of federal pre-emption? But damn if it isn’t amusing to see the Arizona authorities jumping on the federal pre-emption bandwagon.

  14. B.Snow says:

    “Throughout my career, many parents have come to me and admitted that they didn’t give marijuana a second thought until their child wound up in drug treatment for its use.”

    Certainly, I’m not the only one that sees what she’s just admitted here?

    That prior to being caught in possession or ending up in “drug court” for whatever reason & hence “in treatment” = as opposed to jail… “they didn’t give marijuana a second thought.” =Because they know darn well it’s not particularly dangerous!

    First time users of any age & some younger folks – that are known for being “less than responsible” or just inexperienced lacking a sense of ‘street-wisdom’, just generally/all around more immature than their peers, or unfamiliar with such altered states = CAN face problems and/or dangers.
    On the other hand some young adults (lets presume they are 18 or have the maturity level of an 18 year old for the sake of discussion), are going to perfectly fine.

    That’s IF they aren’t out driving around with friends or ditching school and partying ‘God-only-knows-where’ foreclosed homes or wherever they have to go to avoid authority (aka =Authoritarian) figures.

    I truly despise the “Partnership” commercial about “Enabling” – I see that and the other “Denial” commercial probably 6-8 times a day, at least. I don’t even want to think about how much it costs to air that crap over & over, on a daily basis, for months on end…

    It makes me think about the scene in ‘Training Day’ where Ethan Hawke spots that girl getting jumped in an alley (after skipping school) and he hops out of the car & runs to save her from the crackheads about to rape her = after he beats them down. And, Denzel Washington walks up – asks her what she’s doing and she replies “I was just going to a ditch party”…

    Then he delivers the line: “You almost became a part of the ditch party… – – …Well, Then tell your cousin’s (who she’d bragged to the punks – were gang members from *wherever* – that would likely come find & kill them) to get your back, and go on home – NOW!”

    It’s a *Love it or Hate it* kinda movie – But, that was a very REAL scene (or close to it, IDK about any cops that would’ve actually done/said all that Denzel- as “Alonzo” did but that girl getting raped in an alleyway = that shit happens!

    And that “Hooked on Enabling Mother” is trying to protect her daughter from just that sort thing, and we Americans *used to be* pragmatic enough in this country that most?/many?? Parents would say they’d rather have their kids at that sort of chaperoned party (even w/ the beer & maybe some weed) in the commercial.
    Rather than a party w/ no parents around, maybe in a bad neighborhood, maybe w/ gang members, or jocks on steroids, OR in/at = any number of other bad sorts of “parties” in unthinkable circumstances or places!

    Another example of *Our tax dollars hard at work* = Which disgusts me & it kinda makes me wish one of the Partnership nanny-stater moms, had a daughter end up in a ditch or whatever… = Yeah, I know – that’s awful, So’s their portrayal of the “Hooked on Enabling Mom”.

  15. john says:

    Your blog is way better.

  16. claygooding says:

    I think I have figured out why the government is ignoring science and common sense and refusing to discuss ending prohibition.

    If they allow states to legalize and the politicians to sin tax marijuana enough to keep the market price for marijuana above $20 per ounce it insures a continued “green market”,,because they cannot raise the cost of production.

    With an illegal market kept in place they can continue to prohibit industrial hemp,,the reason marijuana is illegal in the first place.

    The people get their marijuana and the people that paid for the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act continue to keep hemp off the open market and protect their profits,,,

  17. Duncan20903 says:


    Halloween isn’t for another 15 days but this year it’s going to be an anti-climatic event. There’s no way possible that anyone could come up with a more frightening group of zombies, brain sucking ghouls, stooges and scary monsters than the collection named in Pete’s blog entry.

    Dammit, they’ve curdled my milk. Again. 🙁

    • War Vet says:

      I wonder if we could still get candy for dressing up as Michele Leonhart, Kevin Sabet or ol’ Gil Kerlikowske . . . many believe a silver bullet in the head is the only way to stop those monsters before they do a fatal bite on a poor victim . . . Maybe it would be more family friendly to dress as Nixon or Charles Manson -and a lot safer.

  18. Uncle Albert's Nephew says:

    Just a reminder, Calvina Fay is a mouthpiece for Melvin Sembler. Ol’ Humble Pants Mel’s now an advisor to the Romney campaign.

  19. darkcycle says:

    Well, the ASA hearing starts today, as Clay noted. Does anybody have any idea where we might find news of how the first day went? Is there an ASA blog I’m not aware of, or something? I really would like to be in that court room. It’s kinda making me crazy, sort of like they are deciding MY case (if ya know what I mean).

  20. darkcycle says:

    Alternet steps in and takes on the New York Times “Pot for Parents” guy:

    • Maria says:

      It’s nice to see articles like the one written by Mark. It normalizes an act what should be normal. Makes the topic OK for dinner table conversations and cocktail hour chit chat. Hopefully makes people with some influence think.

      But we need the one’s like Emma’s to remind us that even under the same laws some realities are worlds apart.

      And that the Drug War is primarily a battle for control.

      “My Reality. Your reality. And never the twain shall meet.”

    • stlgonzo says:

      This is what I don’t understand about the people who are pro-legalization but not willing to support the ballot measure in Washington. Is it perfect? No. But will it go a long way to alleviating the effects of prohibition on the poor? Yes. You have got start somewhere.

      Radley Balko is always talking about “First World Problems”. Waiting for the perfect legalization bill because you are not directly impacted by the police state seems like one of those.

  21. mr Ikesheeny says:

    What of the scourge of Coca-cola and asperin that Jean Shepherd alerted concerned parents to.

  22. claygooding says:

    Appeals Court hears case on medical value of marijuana
    October 16th, 2012 Posted by Jonathan Bair

    This morning, the federal Appeals Court for the DC Circuit heard an appeal in the case called Americans for Safe Access v Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is an appeal of the DEA’s rejection of a petition filed in 2002 seeking to change the placement of marijuana as a Schedule I drug per the Controlled Substances Act. Based on the scientific evidence, ASA and our fellow plaintiffs feel that it is simply untrue that cannabis is a drug with a “high potential for abuse” and “without accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The hearing today offered a glimpse at the Court’s approach to this topic.

    In front of a packed courtroom in Washington, the three-judge panel questioned ASA’s Chief Counsel Joe Elford and a federal lawyer about the merits of the scientific case, and the crucial legal issue of “standing.” Standing is a legal concept that restricts the right to sue to injured parties – people who are directly hurt by what they are fighting, and can get relief from a legal judgement. The issue of standing has been the reason why two prior appeals of the DEA’s classification of marijuana were rejected. In the past, patients have not been part of lawsuits against the Controlled Substances Act. The three judges were Merrick Garland, Karen Henderson, and Harry Edwards.

    ASA’s Chief Counsel Joe Elford opened his appeal by arguing that the federal “Department of Health and Human Services plays a game of gotcha” by tightly controlling research access to cannabis and then claiming that there is not enough compelling research to justify reconsidering it as Schedule I.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration erred by determing that cannabis has a high potential for abuse when its findings determine its abuse and harm potential is less than other substances in less-controlled schedules, such as cocaine.

    Elford opened his arguments with the issue of standing. He pointed to the affidavit of plaintiff Michael Krawitz, a veteran denied access to Veterans Administration services because of his medically necessary use of marijuana. The Veterans Administrastion’s harmful policy is based on marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. He also spoke of the many members of Americans for Safe Access, who are fearful of the consequences of cultivating their own cannabis for their medical needs, and that a medical necessity defense in court could be allowed if marijuana were not in Schedule I.

    Elford then turned to the issue of the merits of the DEA’s position on marijuana’s medical value, to prove their position was “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore impermissible. The contention that there is not a complete consensus was argued to be an unreasonable interpretation of the regulatory standard, and that many of HHS’s standards are inapplicable to an organic substance. Significantly, the lack of access to marijuana for medical research is a consequence of the scheduling, yet the lack of suitable research is cited by the DEA as a reason for maintaining the schedule. Despite this lack of research access, ASA cited a growing body of high-quality scientific and medical research into the benefits of marijuana.

    Judge Garland asked Elford if he was arguing that marijuana in fact meets HHS’s standard for studies. ASA’s counsel cited over 200 studies and argued that a circular standard is impossible to meet. He also said that, given that the schedule is relative, the DEA is ignoring even its own studies showing that marijuana has merely a “mild” potential for abuse.

    Joe Elford concluded by arguing that Schedule I was an inappropriate classification of marijuana and it caused harm to patients and prevented meaningful medical research. Rescheduling marijuana would allow for a reasonable policy solution for suffering patients and uphold the intent of the Controlled Substances Act.

    Judge Edwards asked about the standing of Mr. Krawitz, and his access to medical marijuana. The judges asked about access in medical states and noted that marijuana would not be legal just because it were rescheduled.

    Federal counsel Lena Watkins then presented her position against appealing the DEA’s decision to continue cannabis in Schedule I. She noted that state legislatures or popular votes do not determine accepted medical use. She said that research is inadequate and has not progressed, and argued that the government does provide access for research. Turning to the abuse potential, Watkins said, “marijuana is the most widely abused drug in America,” and dependency is a factor in making that assessment.

    The judges questioned the level of access provided for research, and Watkins said that fifteen studies of a specific federal “quality” metric have been allowed. Pressed to explain why these studies haven’t persuaded the DEA that marijuana has medical benefits, she said, “we don’t have the final results yet.” To many in the audience, the circular nature of the government’s position on the science of marijuana was clear. The judges then invited Elford to give a rebuttal.

    Focusing on rebutting the government’s claims about research, Elford argued that there has been adequate study and even more since this case was filed in 2002, and noted that he would like to admit additional evidence to the case. Summarizing by turning the government’s “no substantial evidence” argument on its head, Elford said that both sides agree more research needs to be done and that research can only happen if marijuana is released from Schedule I. Requiring the DEA to make scientific determinations on a new schedule would lead to better policy and more relief for suffering patients.

    The patients spoke out at a well-attended press conference after the hearing, and Americans for Safe Access is proud to have given patients a day in court. Many observers felt the judges were willing to consider the argument of Michael Krawitz’s direct harm from the Controlled Substances Act, and this issue of “standing” has been the Achilles heel of past lawsuits against Schedule I. However, Judge Garland asked at one point, “Don’t we have to defer to the agency? We’re not scientists. They are.”

    We’ll find out whether the judges felt the DEA’s science is adequate, or if patients can sue for a medical necessity defense against harsh marijuana laws, when the judges rule. We don’t expect it for a few months. This opportunity is thanks to the brave plaintiffs who took on the federal government on behalf of many others.

    • allan says:

      was just gonna post this, thanks Clay!

    • darkcycle says:

      Day one. It wasn’t thrown out on a pretense. Judge seems willing to entertain the arguments of standing. ASA lawyers did a good job of pointing out the problems with the DEA’s claim there isn’t adequate research. ASA lawyer successfully brought the issue of new research (since the filing) into court record and wasn’t shut down. Looks like a win. I’m calling the score ASA 1 and DEA 0, and it’s early in the first inning. Thanks Clay.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Don’t you think that when the prohibitionists claim that there isn’t enough “research” that they actually mean that there isn’t enough research that supports the conclusion that they want?

        I must admit that I find it morbidly amusing when the prohibasites claim they “don’t know the long term effects” as if they knew what the long term effects of any FDA approved substance on the day that approval was granted. Did they really know that thousands and thousands of men would suffer an FDA approved death from taking Viagra when that substance was approved? Dying to get an erection indeed.

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