Exit Strategy

The Drug Policy Alliance has created a new document; An Exit Strategy for the Failed War on Drugs: A Federal Legislative Guide

The report basically recognizes that after decades of incorporating the drug war into the very fabric of the federal government, the U.S. needs more than just an understanding that the drug war has failed, but it actually needs an exit strategy. The Drug Policy Alliance provides 75 concrete actions that could be taken to help the federal government exit this failed drug war.

Here are some examples:

  • Eliminate abstinence-only zero tolerance policies.
  • Make harm reduction a cornerstone of U.S. drug policy.
  • Allow states to reform their drug policies without federal interference.
  • Reform the 1961, 1971 and 1988 U.N. treaties on narcotics drugs and support the rights of other countries to set their own drug policies.
    Reform civil asset forfeiture laws.
  • Limit the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority over the practice of medicine.
  • Restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals and people on parole and probation.
  • Eliminate random, suspicionless drug testing of most federal employees and reform the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
  • Sunset drug war programs.
  • Eliminate or cut subsidies to local law enforcement agencies for drug enforcement activities.
  • Prohibit federal agencies from undermining state marijuana laws.
  • Repeal federal mandatory minimum sentencing.
  • Reform federal provisions prohibiting people convicted of a drug law violation from accessing public housing, and prohibit federal housing authorities from punishing entire families for the action of one family member.
  • Encourage and allow for the establishment of supervised injection facilities.

Of course, most of these on their own are totally insufficient to eliminate or even significantly reduce the harms of the drug war, but you’re looking at such a daunting task as dismantling the federal drug war machine, it helps to have a defined set of concrete steps that can be taken.

This is one useful document among many. The Exit Strategy doesn’t, for example, provide a look at how legalization might be structured. For that, we turn to Transform’s excellent After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation

Speaking of legalization, thanks to Allan for providing us with a link to the draft regulations for selling marijuana in Washington State.

I think I got through about half of it before complete boredom set in (although there were a few light moments such as the example of a regulation-proper label for “Space Cakes”). I found myself wondering if they would be this exruciatingly, mind-numbingly detailed about the regulations for producing plutonium, and wanted to ask “Did anyone tell them this is just about pot?”

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52 Responses to Exit Strategy

  1. DonDig says:

    It really does point out how broad and insidious the whole drug war thing became however, (like this is a surprise or something). It is mind-boggling how wide the net became, and it will take a lot to undo it, but the lies have started to unwind anyway. Might as well get started, it won’t get any easier.
    Here’s another brick from the wall, we can set it over there, don’t get cut by the sharp edges.
    (Still cheered by the testimony of Rep Cohen the other day!)

    • Maria says:

      Much like a real net, that’s been used, abused, and stretched out for purposes it wasn’t ever intended, in some places it’s becoming quite frayed, tattered, and vast holes are appearing.

      The slack appears in one corner; threads and fibers pull tightly together in some other. Lines get unmoored. Curtains of clumped netting float by, only tentativly connected to the larger structure. Snaring even smaller fish, strangling rare sea birds, getting snagged on reefs, and breaking propellers miles away.

      Generally causing a tangled mess for everything around because the operators refuse to check out the vast amount of resources available on finally getting your shitty net out of the water and switching to mobile aqua-pods.

      • ElizabethC says:

        They forgot one thing: Focus less on media-friendly national and state drug trends statistics and more on statistics that assist local communities in gauging drug policy progress. Focus the drug war at the community level and people will become much more pragmatic when they see it’s in their backyard.

        *****Expand reporting requirements to show local-level trends in drunk driving accident rates, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, prescription drug and other hard drug overdose rates, and show the number of trauma center cases due to alcoholic-related violence at area hospitals, etc. This data should be provided in real-time so we can see what a toilet our drug war policy has created in our own communities. Local governments should be required to map on Google Earth all the drunk driving accidents in cities across the country, so police will spend less time pushing people from using the safer choice of marijuana. Wonder why MADD doesn’t push this? They receive federal funding and it would embarrass cities for supporting the alcohol industry while waging war on peaceful marijuana users. Only when the drug war hits Americans in their back pocket and property values are in jeopardy will the “white picket fence” Americans wake up. *******

  2. TrebleBass says:

    You forgot to put a bullet-point next to Reform civil asset forfeiture laws.

    • War Vet says:

      They forgot a lot of things on that list (though it’s still a good list). One such thing on the list is the proper kind of flag pole to be used when flying the American Flag: all flag poles must be adorned just above the gold or copper colored eagle –a spike used for impaling future tyrants and traitors who seek to undermine the Dream of a free melting pot democracy through illegal laws like the CSA drug laws etc.

  3. claygooding says:

    Whatever the ONDCP/DOJ/DEA decide as their exit,,it needs to happen pretty quick,,now 94% of voters believe no one should go to jail for small quantities of marijuana according to ASA today.

    Add that to Cohen’s diatribe at Holder and any plan to crack down hard on marijuana users is going to blow up in his face. Even stepped up drug screening will be shot down.IMO


    “”When asked, “Which approach do you think government and law enforcement should take toward someone found smoking marijuana or in possession of a small amount of marijuana?”, six percent of respondents said possession should be punishable with jail, 20 percent said it should result in mandatory substance abuse counseling, 32 percent said users should incur a fine, and 35 percent of respondents said people caught with small amounts of marijuana should not be punished at all.”” “snip”

  4. Jose says:

    I bet DupedPont has no shame knowing that he is philosophically a human carrion feeder. If the war on drugs was a medieval battlefield then he is the grackle plucking eyes from the wounded while goading his handlers for more bodies.

    • Jose says:

      Sorry, I meant post above to go to the previous DuPont thread.

      • War Vet says:

        What you did wasn’t as bad as placing someone in a round room and then telling them to go pee in the corner. I’m sure a bastard like DuPont should never escape being locked up in any comment on this couch . . . even if Pete’s posting something on ‘irrigation’ for pot plants.

  5. Duncan20903 says:


    Oh well shit. Jimmy Carter Endorses SAM, Opposes Marijuana Legalization

    Warning: Article quotes David Frum and Kevin Sabet.

    • allan says:

      Oh Jimmy… sad, sad, sad… shame, shame, shame

      • DdC says:

        “Don’t Step On the Grass, Project SAM”

        Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.

        Starin’ at the boob tube, turnin’ on the big knob
        Tryin’ to find some life in the waste land
        Fin’ly found a program, gonna deal with Mary Jane
        Ready for a trip into hate land
        Obnoxious Joe comes on the screen
        Along with his guest self-righteous Sam
        And one more guy who doesn’t count
        His hair and clothes are too far out
        While pushin’ back his glasses Sam is sayin’ casually
        ‘I was elected by the masses’
        And with that in mind he starts to unwind
        A vicious attack on the finest of grasses

        Well it’s evil, wicked, mean and nasty
        (Don’t step on the grass, Sam)

        And it will ruin our fair country
        (Don’t be such an ass, Sam)

        Well, it will hook your Sue and Johnny
        (You’re so full of bull, Sam)

        All will pay that disagree with me
        (Please give up you already lost the fight, alright)

        Misinformation Sam and Joe
        Are feeding to the nation
        But the one who didn’t count counted them out
        By exposing all their false quotations
        Faced by a very awkward situation
        This is all he’d say to save the day

        Well it’s evil, wicked, mean and nasty
        (Don’t step on the grass, Sam)

        And it will ruin our fair country
        (Don’t be such an ass, Sam)

        Well, it will hook your Sue and Johnny
        (You’re so full of bull, Sam)

        All will pay that disagree with me
        (Please give up you already lost the fight alright)

        You waste my coin Sam, all you can
        To jail my fellow man
        For smoking all the noble weed
        You need much more than him
        You’ve been telling lies so long
        Some believe they’re true
        So they close their eyes to things
        You have no right to do
        Just as soon as you are gone
        Hope will start to climb
        Please don’t stay around too long
        You’re wasting precious time

        Why Do Democrats Defend the Drug War?

        Go to Hell Dung Worrier Sabet, You’ll be among lots of friends.

        Drug Worrier Kevin Sabet Gets Punk’d

    • Francis says:

      “I do not favor legalization. We must do everything we can to discourage marijuana use, as we do now with tobacco and excessive drinking,” President Carter told the crowd.

      Wait, tobacco and “excessive” drinking are illegal? And if we only have to discourage “excessive” drinking, why do we have to “discourage” (via the coercive power of the state) all cannabis use, particularly when you consider the fact that cannabis is infinitely safer than alcohol by every objective metric?

      • Jean Valjean says:

        Sadly, Jimmy seems to have lost it here (and I’m sorry, Francis, it comes of posting in haste before I’ve read the whole thread, but you beat me to the point that Jimmy is now a logic-free entity) and I can only assume he is now in his dotage. Like most of his so called “greatest” generation, he is on the way out, along with prohibition itself. Amen.

  6. allan says:

    it’s shockingly sad (for me) to see the dawdling pace the black community is taking in the march against the WOD. Russell Simmons has a black-oriented protest planned in DC next month (LEAP will be there) but who has heard anything about it, anywhere?

    Here’s a fair piece addressing the black community:

    End the War on Drugs Now!

    And speaking of blacks and the drug war, here’s another excellent piece from Kristen Gwynne, over on Alternet:

    Stop-and-Frisk Trial: NYPD’s ‘Top Stopper’ Stopped Almost All Blacks, Was Never Questioned For It

    • Time2Tell TheTruth says:

      I often point out the fact that blacks dont participate in nearly the numbers they should in many situations that directly affect them, This is the best example of the slave mentality at work. Many are affraid to shake the bee hive for fear of being stung. They sit and await instructions, approval,and discipline from MASTER. Churchs and so called leaders are no different either, since Master controls and owns everything they have access too they fear losing what few gains they’ve been allowed to make. I still recall in the 80’s as a young black man attempting to do something my father could have never imagined doing and his response ” They aint gone let you do that, you gone get yourself killed ” The overseers patrol (police) our neighborhoods as a constant reminder of Masters authority anyone caught in violation will be punished Severely

      • divadab says:

        Wow! I guess this explains why a group of black men, cheeba smokers all, wouldn’t sign a legalization petition.

        I’m an immigrant and this is sad news ( I mean NEWS! ) to someone who bought the legend of America.

        But the slave-OWNING mentality is deep here – I guess this explains why American businesses are so dang hard on their lowest-paid workers. WHite collars? They’re like us. Blues? Slaveys!

        SO doesn’t keeping cheeba illegal keep the slaves from the thinking man’s medicine? Can’t let them slaves get too smart for their own good, right?

      • War Vet says:

        That’s pretty powerful truth. I’ve always believed that the drug laws destroyed true prosperity after the end of segregation. I believe Gangster Rap came more out of the drug laws than it did out of segregation and slavery (at least according to the lyrics when the rappers sung about selling drugs, being in gangs whom sell drugs and battle for turf/money, being harassed by cops seeking an easy arrest over drugs, drug laws creating more gangs to sell the drugs and drug laws making it harder for the black American to get out of the ghetto) . . . I really believe Dr. King Jr. and the rest created the total end of segregation, but the drug laws came and systematically destroyed their rights, separated families, created more crime and more gangs (to sell the drugs), which made segregation once again mandatory via the cause and effect of much larger and destructive ghettoes and ‘profiling’.

        I still believe Yo-MTV raps was the best source for understanding the full events around Iran-Contra and the invasion of Panama. Lil Wayne and DJ Screw etc can quote word for word about Dick Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’ agenda and speech and its consequences better than any news article or Wiki-link out there. Of course Art is a reflection on life. Nothing makes me filled with blood lust more than seeing a cop profile and thus search a black vet who served this country . . . If he went to war, he’s forever my brother and every civilian cop who arrests a vet of any color for drugs has the right to have his (insert word of choice here) taken away from him. I don’t call American cops ‘British Red Coats’ for nothing. One day, we shall become a true democratic melting pot and that’s why I fought and do this.

    • Klingon, On Screen says:

      Congratulations to Our Agent, on His Success.

      Seriously, …There are no Words.
      Reparations for the Victims Upon Cementing Your Exit-Strategy.

  7. Servetus says:

    Not just a police state, but as of last Monday, a military police state. Few noticed the change:

    For the past 30 years, police departments throughout the United States have benefitted from the government’s largesse in the form of military weaponry and training, incentives offered in the ongoing “war on drugs.”

    …By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

    The situation in Mexico has been duplicated domestically. American citizens are now at war with their own military.

    For the government, it’s too little, too late. We shall defeat the military as decisively as we’ve defeated the prohibitionists on every front of the drug war. As exit strategies go, the U.S. military needs to find one fast.

    • DdC says:

      Boston Marathon tragedy now pretext for more military?


      Mr. Speaker, in a police state the police are national, powerful and authoritarian. Inevitably, national governments yield to the temptation to use the military to do the heavy lifting. Once the military is used for local police activity, however minor initially, the march toward martial law with centralized police using military troops as an adjunct force becomes irresistible.

      Throughout our history, law enforcement in the United States has remained for the most part a local matter. In recent history, especially since the 1970s, the growth of Federal agencies to enforce tens of thousands of regulations, not even written even by Congress, has changed our attitude toward the proper use of police power as established under the Constitution. While this is annoying to many Americans, many of whom are voicing their resentment, the principle of a centralized police power has become acceptable and unchallenged by our political leaders today. continued…

      PATRIOT Ax Targeted Drug Offenders

      “No class or group or party in Germany could escape its share of responsibility for the abandonment of the democratic Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler. The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it. ….the 63% of the German people who expressed their opposition to Hitler were much too divided and shortsighted to combine against a common danger which they must have known would overwhelm them unless they united, HOWEVER TEMPORARY, to stamp it out.”
      -William L. Shirer, author;
      “The rise and fall of the Third Reich” **p.259**

    • DdC says:

      We not only seem to be rapidly slipping into fascism with the Military policing the streets. We also have the problem of cops taking over Military roles… Pete assembled this list a while back.

      Exporting DEAmocracy
      This is part of our global contribution. The drug war has become the preferred foreign policy approach toward controlling much of the world. We export our drug war, our tactics, and, most of all, our DEA. (Now with offices in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Canada, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Haiti, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Thailand, Mongolia, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caldeonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna, Western Samoa, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kiribati, Nauru, Philippines, Burma, South Korea, Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Laos, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Greece, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Bahrain, Chad, Dijibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Russia, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Western Sahara, Channel Islands, Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Azores, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Gibraltar, Portugal, Principality of Andorra, Spain, Spanish Enclaves (Ceuta & Melilla), Algeria, France, Monaco, Morocco, Tunisia, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Slovak Republic, Ukraine.)

      Begging the Question…

      Where are all of the Taxbaggers and Norquest?

    • War Vet says:

      Call me a dreamer . . . call me someone grasping onto hopes that may never exist: But I do what I do so all of you can be proud of the U.S. Military –if not now, then one day . . . to officially clean us from the wrongs we have committed and to inoculate us from any future ills that could come from us.


      I’ll fight tooth and nail to restore the honor of the soldiers and vets and fight even harder so they can see the wool that covers their eyes. Why? Because Iraq, 9/11, Afghanistan and our recession was all about the Drug War (The War on Terror is just the polite and friendly name for the War on Drugs). The Drug Warriors and their drug money funded terrorist pets pissed me off when they had to turn my HS graduation year and first month of university/adult life into a terrorist act called Sept 11th 2001 . . . my graduating class was the first class to be affected and thus deprived of our national innocence (as a whole) and the American Dream because of 9/11 and the recession it created from two long expensive wars. At least the Class of 2000 or 1993 etc had a year or more of the ‘innocent’ American adult life trying to reach that American Dream. The War on Drugs is beyond personal for me. I tell you the truth: there is more joy in being arrested for drugs (which has happened to me) than 9/11 and what it created for our nation. Drug legalization has really nothing to do with legalizing drugs . . . drug legalization for America in the 21st Century is all about 9/11 and what followed. Remember, you cannot spell Al Qaeda without a D or an E or an A. I’ve been out of the U.S. Military for nearly 4 years, but I’m forever in the Army since that Oath to defend against all foreign and DOMESTIC threats is a life long oath akin to marriage . . . this nation I shall defend against the DEA and corrupted DOJ. If the DEA really wanted to keep this drug war up and running, they should have never created this very much aware and pissed off Vet and paid for his education and world travels . . . I’m a corrupted government’s worst nightmare. I’ve been known to cause U.S. Spy Drones to crash by angrily shaking my fist at them.

  8. allan says:

    while exit strategies are great, the pressure on the powers that be to utilize these strategies must come from us.

    As always, I’m a LEAP fan. Kevin Booth’s “American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny” will debut on June 6th.

    From Neill Franklin:

    On June 6, “American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny” http://www.tugg.com/titles/american-drug-war-2 will premiere in theaters, and YOU have the opportunity to attend a special screening of the film on its release date!

    From director Kevin Booth comes a riveting follow up to 2007’s “American Drug War: The Last White Hope.” In “ADW 2: Cannabis Destiny http://www.tugg.com/titles/american-drug-war-2 “, we meet the Hyde family. After surviving brain surgery, Proton Radiation and high dose Chemotherapy a 2-year-old boy named Cashy Hyde lay in a coma not eating for over 40 days. His parents are told by the doctors to make funeral arrangements, however Cashy’s father Mike Hyde had been reading on the Internet about a new version of an ancient medicine derived from Cannabis. Unbeknownst to the hospital staff the Hyde’s start secretly injecting the illegal drug into their dying son’s feeding tube and soon a “miracle” takes place. When the hospital staff learns that it is Cannabis they want nothing to do with it.

    Featuring LEAP speakers LAPD Deputy Chief Stephen Downing and Lieutenant Diane Goldstein, among other experts in drug policy reform, “American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny” http://www.tugg.com/titles/american-drug-war-2 is a film you don’t want to miss. But the producers need the help of all our LEAP supporters to ensure this film gets the attention it deserves. Below is a link of the cities the film is currently booked to play on June 6th – each screening will be co-hosted by a LEAP speaker.


    Here is the tricky part – to ensure this evening happens, each theater must pre-sell approximately 50+ tickets in order cover the cost of the theater rental. If you’re interested in attending, please pre-buy your tickets http://www.tugg.com/titles/american-drug-war-2 before May 30th in order to ensure the screening will happen. If the threshold is not met, your credit card will not be charged and the event will not happen. BUT we really want to see this national campaign succeed, so please help us spread the word and we look forward to seeing you in person on June 6th!

    Thank you,

    Major Neill Franklin (Ret.)
    Executive Director
    Law Enforcement Against Prohibtion

  9. Jean Valjean says:

    “He also said that he didn’t believe in imprisoning users of marijuana, but favored SAM’s approach of arrests with treatment referral and health assessments…

    We must do everything we can to discourage marijuana use, as we do now with tobacco and excessive drinking…”

    So when will we see tobacco and alcohol consumers facing “arrests with treatment referral and health assessments?”

    Jimmy, you’ve just joined the dinosaurs of the drug war. Extinction looms.

  10. DdC says:

    “Pot Pigs” go on sale in Seattle by Thom Hartmann

    A butcher in Seattle has a new spin on high-quality meat. BB Ranch, and their butcher, William von Schneidau, have introduced “pot pigs” in celebration of marijuana legalization in Washington State. Schneidau teamed up with a local cannabis farmer, who’s donating the leftover pot stems, seeds, and stalks, which are then added to the pigs’ diets for fiber.

    The website for BB Ranch states that proceeds from a celebratory “pot pig dinner” will go to local charities that support sustainable local farming and the culinary arts. Unfortunately, SeattleMet News says you won’t get intoxicated from eating the meat, but the pigs are a bit more mellow because of their diets. BB Ranch is certainly using a new take on sustainable farming, and they’re putting a whole new meaning to the term “pot-bellied pig.”


    Pot Pig Gig March 22, 2013
    Now that pot is legal in Washington State cannabis farmers are having the same problem other farmers have always had. What to do with the parts of the marijuana plant that weren’t good for, well, pot! It turns out that all those useless stems, root bulbs and over sized leaves are great feed for pigs so the folks at Top Shelf Organic are donating their waste to the ranchers at Bucking Boar Farm in Snohomish. This cooperative act of sustainable farming not only reduces waste costs for Top Shelf and reduces…

    Youtube Pig Gig

    • Windy says:

      There are other markets for those “waste products” from marijuana farming, too. For instance eating or juicing those leaves (raw) is particularly good for human health (and do not produce a high). The stalks are as useful as bamboo for the same purposes for which we use bamboo; and also produce a pretty high quality fiber (some say better than hemp) for rope and fabric. Then there is also pulp for a high quality paper that lasts more than double the life of wood pulp paper.

      • Windy says:

        I forgot to add that the seeds are very nutritious, too, for people and birds, it would be a pity to waste them by turning them into fuel.

  11. allan says:

    Totally off-topic, but near to my heart, Wounded Knee II was 40 years ago. I know some of the people that were there… a shameful event indeed. But I thought maybe some of the vets and others on the couch might enjoy the flashback and a look at some of the things we’ll do fighting the good fight:

    Memories of the Wounded Knee Airlift April 17, 1973

    Live long and prosper…

  12. darkcycle says:

    Well, spent a few quality minutes with the WSLCB document (and a cup of coffee, per Petes heads up). As far as pproducer rules go, I don’t see anything too onerous. The 1000 foot rule seems over the top by about half, but they had to have something for the “What about the Chillens?!!” cohort. I’m positvely inclined so far.

  13. claygooding says:

    My sister and me had that talk we have when we start seeing classmates in the local obituaries,,

    I told her if I got where i had to be plugged into a machine and living on fluids to just unplug me and let me go,,

    Bitch unplugged my computer and poured out all my wine….

  14. allan says:

    because of my recent stumbling upon a newspiece about a SUNY anthropolgist giving a lecture that included my old Grampa Semu and Rolling Thunder, and oh so much more (Hopis, Gary Snyder, the Human Be-in, Firesign Theater, WW II conscientious objectors…) (Unexpected Histories: Hippies, Hopis and Ammon Hennacy Well that stimulated something and the last week I’ve been digging around, jumping thru names and keywords and I stumbled onto a piece by the late Allen Cohen, he who started the San Francisco Oracle in 1966 in the Haight-Ashbury.

    I was struck by his description of the hard drug issue in the Haight in the mid to late ’60s and the hippie answer to it:

    The presence, use and abuse of methedrine and heroin soon became a problem in the Haight. Methedrine caused anxiety and paranoia and severe depression during the comedown. It was known to be a brain cell destroyer in whose wake violence often erupted. We looked upon heroin as an anti-consciousness drug, because its addictive properties and expense would turn a person away from his goodness for the sake of his habit. In the Haight a heroin addict might steal your hi-fi, forge your check, and most frequently steal the drugs or the money in a marijuana or LSD deal.

    Most of us felt that there were drugs that were positive, therapeutic, and physically harmless, and drugs that were harmful to the human body and/or mind. Generally, we thought, as shared victims of the legal prohibition against drugs, that all drugs should be decriminalized, and addiction treated as a medical problem.

    At the Oracle we decided that we had to get the worst cases of psychotic breaks and drug abuse out of the increasing pressure of urban life. In late spring of 1967 Amelia Newell donated the use of 30 or 40 acres, and what was known as the Stone House near Gorda, a tiny town just south of Big Sur, for an Oracle retreat.

    Jim Cook and Alan Williams went there to keep the action flowing. We sent people there every weekend in a truck along with 100 pound bags of brown rice, beans and vegetables. At times there were 100 people at Gorda recovering and recuperating, taking LSD and peyote, drumming and dancing around nightfires, meditating and hiking in the Big Sur wilderness. It was a free pre-Esalen experience for those who really needed it.

    The retreat functioned well for about nine months until early ’68 when a young man came through with a rifle, took LSD, and shot a neighbor’s cow that in his hallucination was turning into some unruly beast. Then the Highway Patrol with cars, motorcycles, and helicopters descended on this Haight-Ashbury extension, hostel, and dry dock, sending 100 hippies scurrying into the hills in the nick of time. Amelia Newell, who was innocent of everything but a charitable heart, went to court, and had to make restitution for the cow.

  15. thelbert says:

    mmmm…dead cow. did they save the meat, i wonder. here are some interesting comments about the horrors of legal pot at the tacoma news tribune.: http://tinyurl.com/d2mhm6d
    [Open in new window]

    • claygooding says:

      Evidence mysteriously missing,,smell of charcoal permeated the air,,deputies said.

  16. allan says:

    Zack Galifianakis to Brian Williams on NBC’s Rock Center:

    “I got your text earlier… I don’t sell pot anymore”

  17. Duncan20903 says:

    It appears that the body politic in Latin America is doggedly trying to come to its senses:

    Americas Coalition Suggests Marijuana Laws Be Relaxed

    “This takes the debate to a whole other level,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates more liberal drug use laws. “It effectively breaks the taboo on considering alternatives to the current prohibitionist approach.”

  18. jean valjean says:

    tammy de weerd:
    sorry so late on this but it seems tammy has a history of misapplying public funds. when her 18 yo daughter was charged with underage drinking she used city funds to hire a pr company to spin the story

    • allan says:

      and older sister Tara had a meth problem

      • jean valjean says:

        wonder how they spun that? adhd perhaps. im sure the drinker didnt find herself in enforced treatment

        • War Vet says:

          Allan says: “Older sister Tara had a meth problem”.

          Jean Valjean says: “Wonder how they spun that?”

          Exactly . . . the older sister was alrady spun on speed . . . no need in spinning it any further.

  19. 1- Denounce the UN ‘Narcotics’ Convention.

    2- Repeal the CSA as unconstitutional delegation of personal decisions to a politically corrupt Congress that bans substances without any scientific requirement.

    3- Release all non predatory drug statute convicts from incarceration.

    4- Establish a program of restitution.

  20. claygooding says:

    Federal Appeals Court ruling:


    On Friday, a federal appeals court panel issued a sweeping decision that held the reduced sentencing ratio should apply retroactively to all cases, not just because that was the intent of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, but because failure to do so would be unconstitutional. In a powerful statement about the troubling history of drug sentencing, Sixth Circuit Judges Gilbert Merritt and Boyce Martin write:

    The old 100-to-1 crack cocaine ratio has led to the mass incarceration of thousands of nonviolent prisoners under a law widely acknowledged as racially discriminatory. There were approximately 30,000 federal prisoners (about 15 percent of all federal prisoners) serving crack cocaine sentences in 2011. Thousands of these prisoners are incarcerated for life or for 20, 10, or 5 years under mandatory minimum crack cocaine sentences imposed prior to the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act. More than 80 percent of federal prisoners serving crack cocaine sentences are black. In fiscal year 2010, before the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act, almost 4,000 defendants, mainly black, received mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine. […]

    The Fair Sentencing Act was a step forward, but it did not finish the job. The racial discrimination continues by virtue of a web of statutes, sentencing guidelines, and court cases that maintain the harsh provisions for those defendants sentenced before the Fair Sentencing Act. If we continue now with a construction of the statute that perpetuates the discrimination, there is no longer any defense that the discrimination is unintentional. The discriminatory nature of the old sentencing regime is so obvious that it cannot seriously be argued that race does not play a role in the failure to retroactively apply the Fair Sentencing Act. A “disparate impact” case now becomes an intentional subjugation or discriminatory purpose case. Like slavery and Jim Crow laws, the intentional maintenance of discriminatory sentences is a denial of equal protection.

    This should free some people!

  21. jean valjean says:

    anyone know who the pols were who sponsored the 100 to 1 crack law? im sure bill clinton had a hand in it

  22. allan says:

    International report sees merit in decriminalizing drug use

    An Organization of American States report says decriminalization could be one of many “transitional methods” in a public-health strategy that could stem the illicit drug business.

  23. UnSustainable Affairs Commission says:

    You Have Two Paths to Choose From.
    Pick Your Selection With Care.

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