Radley Balko with more good stuff:

Daniel Chong is the entirely predictable result of dehumanizing drug offenders

“Drug people are the very vermin of humanity.”

– Myles Ambrose, director of the Office of
Drug Abuse Law Enforcement during the Nixon Administration.

After discussing several cases (including Daniel Chong and Jonathan Magbie, Radley concludes:

It’s important to understand that these stories aren’t the product of rogue cops, jail officials or prosecutors. For 45 years now, the government has been waging an all-too-literal war on drugs. Since antiquity, great leaders have known that to win a war — to condition the population to be comfortable with all the violence and sacrifice that winning requires — you first dehumanize your enemy. Understand that, and you’ll begin to understand why the DEA had no safeguards in place to protect Daniel Chong but plenty of safeguards in place to protect the privacy of the DEA agents who almost killed him.

This same dehumanizing of the enemy extended to those “traitors” who dared to give aid and comfort to the enemy by suggesting that there was anything wrong with this war.

Back in a 1999 Congressional hearing on drug policy in Washington, DC, here’s what some of our representatives, sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, had to say:

“Legalization is a surrender to despair,” said Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman, Republican of upstate New York. “It cannot and ought not be any topic of serious discussion in our nation’s debate of the challenges of illicit drugs.”

Suggesting the depth of hostility toward the notion of legal drugs, Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., asked whether anti-racketeering laws could be used to prosecute people conspiring to legalize drugs.

That’s right. Congressmen actually suggested that opposing the drug war cannot even be discussed and that those who do so should somehow be prosecuted.

This is the kind of hostility that those of us who chose to stand up sometimes faced (and that made many in the population afraid to speak up).

There really was that “vermin” notion that speaking out for legalization of drugs was somehow akin to legalizing child abuse, and that drug offenders were not worthy of the considerations you would give to “real” people.

A lot, fortunately, has changed since then (Bob Barr even changed). But that historical ugliness still persists in certain quarters.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Vermin

  1. claygooding says:

    It has changed a lot in the last 4 years,,from the days of standing alone on a mountain top we now stand in groups on top of mesa all over the country,,from attacking prohib articles with over one half the posts defending the drug war to 4>5% defending it is a huge leap,,,that and the lack of facts backing up their diatribes on drugs making the user evil is falling on deaf ears,,and only they believe it.

    Now comes the time to hit them where they live,,in their townhall meetings,,and the fact that the Jersey Outlaw Whale is banning medical marijuana advocates from them just cost him being elected as President,,he won’t even be able to keep his present office,,IMO..we can watch his numbers drop as his support evaporates.

  2. Common Science says:

    This sharp Balko article, in reality, pruned the viciousness of the DEA’s treatment of Daniel Chong. He was driven to hysteria by the fact that all his desperate efforts of screaming and constant kicking didn’t elicit a single response from the footsteps and agent banter he could easily hear from his windowless cell. Inconsolable near the end of his isolation, Daniel scratched out ‘Sorry mom’ on his left arm, from a broken shard of glass he created by biting his eyeglasses.

    As Radley pointed out, varying degrees of atrocities have been committed by all levels of the DEA since it’s creation. In just the past couple of years, the bile has been spewing from it’s lying-hearted head and her condemning finger has been pointed, in front of a hostile audience of authorities, at the Commander-in-Chief. This would seemingly be screaming for upper echelon intervention.

  3. divadab says:

    The “War on Drugs” is just persecution and Oppression of an out group. Unjust dominion, by definition an insult to any concept of personal freedom.

    Why do these drug warriors hate freedom, and therefore America, so much? How can we respect the government when it brings itself into disrepute by insulting its very first principle – Freedom?

    When will these drug warrior criminals see justice? They are Redcoats and Tories and should be punished.

  4. kaptinemo says:

    ” How can we respect the government when it brings itself into disrepute by insulting its very first principle – Freedom?

    Notice how the word ‘libertarian’ (note: lower-case ‘l’) is being dragged through the mud, lately? It’s being shredded and defecated upon continually at so-called ‘progressive’ Websites daily.

    When you call your first principles of government into question like that, Hell’s not far behind.

    • Windy says:

      That is why many (small ell) libertarians who really live up to the basic principle of libertarianism — the NAP (non-aggression principle) are starting to call themselves “agorists” or “voluntaryists” and even (like me) “anarchists” (an=no, archy=ruler/government, so anarchy=self rule), and please note we libertarian anarchists are NOT connected in any way to the commie anarchists who wear masks to vandalize, loot and burn.

  5. mike says:

    CNN Dr. Gupta MD today had on Dr. Sisley of the
    University of Arizona.
    She talked about not being able to conduct research
    on cannabis said it was a abomination.

    you can see transcript here

    please get this to as many Vets as we can.

    As i have not seen one Pol asked about this story on
    any Sun talk show today as many say they are for the Vets.

  6. DdC says:

    “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.” – Aldous Huxley

    Racism, Bigotry and Stigmatizing, Degrading or making examples are all tools of Fascism. Prohibitions are commodities they sell. The by-products are keeping competition off of the market shelves and undesirables out of the way. Private prison profits or the new old third rail of private profit rehabilitation asylums. Plus various expenses for the just us system and probation system. Prohibition is a business.

    Conservative Addiction Good, Liberal Addiction Bad!

    Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.
    — Aldous Huxley

    Drug Worriers preferred methods of treatment…

  7. kaptinemo says:

    I sincerely wish the old A Drug War Carol Website was still online, as they were able to graphically illustrate that kind of virulent prejudice underpinning the philosophy of drug prohibition…and accurately portray the malicious mindset that harbors it.

    • kaptinemo says:

      I went there. They have a password file on the downloaded book package that requires you to link to a site that wants you to jump through all kinds of hoops to get that password. That’s why I didn’t offer the link. If anyone else wants to do that, help yourself.

      • DdC says:

        That was why I bought it, but can’t figure how to get it online without a scanner. I tried downloading it and this link came up???

        • kaptinemo says:

          That’s the site I was mentioning. It’s some kind of site where (I’d bet) if you click on those links they offer, your system will get blasted with malware or worse. Like those ‘download manager’ programs that want to put all manner of crap on your browser.

          The book is great, I unreservedly sing its praises (and long-time readers know I don’t normally say that; it’s that good), but I’ll have to just buy the thing, someday.

  8. Frank W. says:

    “Kill the cockroaches!” Famously broadcast to Hutus in Rwanda at the start of the genocide.

  9. kaptinemo says:

    OT. Or maybe not, seeing the subject of this thread is how prohibs think of cannabists.

    I don’t normally do this, but in this case, given the circumstances, I feel it’s appropriate.

    A petition to not prosecute TN MMJ user and caregiver Joshua Mason.

    The details are just plain outrageous…as usual.

    • Windy says:

      Here’s another OT for this posting of Pete’s, but on topic for the whole site:

      YAKIMA, Wash. — When federal drug enforcement agents ordered him at gunpoint onto his knees in front of his barn last fall, Dean Holcomb was shocked.

      Yes, he had 38 marijuana plants growing on his small farm, located southeast of White Swan. But he also had three medical marijuana licenses from the state of Washington allowing him to legally grow up to 45 plants, taped in the window for law enforcement to see.

      But state law doesn’t matter to federal authorities, and Holcomb, 58, heads to prison later this month to serve a six-month sentence after he took a plea agreement.

  10. thelbert says:

    The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control. so says the Guardian. i’m sure the DEA agrees:

  11. Servetus says:

    Durham, North Carolina, police use non-existent 911 hang-up calls as a ruse to enter homes to search for marijuana:

    In February, Officer A.B. Beck knocked on the door of the defendant’s home in South-Central Durham. When the defendant answered the door, Beck told her—falsely—that someone in her home had called 911 and hung up, and that he wanted to make sure everyone was safe. The defendant permitted Beck to enter her home, where he discovered two marijuana blunts and a marijuana grinder.

    NC police are sending their citizens a message. The message is that people shouldn’t believe a single thing the cops say. That’s unfortunate. Losing the public trust will cost NC law enforcement in the long run.

    • kaptinemo says:

      Same old scheisse….and it goes back to education.

      Kids are not taught to question authority but to OBEY.

      They really are not taught much of anything anymore about their rights. They are not taught they may refuse an attempt by an LEO to enter their home without a warrant. And so The State advances, one crushed liberty – and person or family – at a time.

    • Windy says:

      This department is totally ignoring the 4th Amendment, if it were followed they could not do anything about what they found on such a warrantless search, nor could they have confiscated anything. People DO need to learn to “just say no” to the cops who come without a warrant specifying the places to be searched and the exact items for which they are searching.

  12. DdC says:

    White House Assails Legalization Of Pot
    Obama administration on Wednesday criticized drug legalization and warned that a declining perception of risk is leading more U.S. teens to smoke pot.

    The federal report urged Americans not to stigmatize those who are addicted to drugs but to make sure they’re informed of the risks of drug use.

    White House drug czar’s office said it wants to spend $25 billion next year…
    I think it is very reassuring,” said Kevin Sabet

    • claygooding says:

      If the ONDCP budget is only $25 billion it is the first time it has not increased by 20% and more since it started,,,which signals a huge cut in funding or clever bookkeeping and shuffling fundin to other bureaucracies.
      I vote the later since we know ONDCP/DEA handed off eradication teams to HS they are also shifting other parts of their policy responsibilities over to other agencies so the drug war cost is diffused,,if all you look at is the ONDCP budget.
      With the worldwide reform going on the cost of keeping countries marching to the goosestep becoming a tsunami,,I bet they handed off all foreign drug war budgets to the State Dept or one of it’s arms. Time will tell. And some nosy mf’er like me and this couch full of misfits(see”The Pirates!Band of Misfits for referencing)will hunt it out.

      Wish we had a couchshot to hang with my decoupage.

      • DdC says:

        Too Many Billions spent every year.
        More bait and switch treating drug “use” as abuse.

        The National Drug Control Budget: FY 2013 Funding Highlights


        The FY 2013 Budget proposes $9.2 billion in Federal funds for early intervention and treatment services for individuals with drug problems. This represents an increase of 4.6 percent ($403.0 million) over the FY 2012 enacted funding level. The major efforts and changes are highlighted below:

        The requested Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 National Drug Control Budget demonstrates commitment to these goals, requesting $25.6 billion to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States. This represents an increase of $415.3 million (1.6%) over the FY 2012 enacted level of $25.2 billion.

        FY 2014 Budget and Performance Summary

        Executive Summary In support of the 2013 National Drug Control Strategy (Strategy)
        , the President requests $25.4 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States. This represents an increase of $0.9 billion (3.7%) over the FY 2012 final level of $24.5 billion.

        FY 2015 Budget Request of the Office of National Drug

  13. DdC says:

    White House Admits Prison Won’t Solve The Drug Problem,
    But Drug War Grinds On

    Pot’s Legal – But You Probably Should Ask Your Boss. WTF???
    Boss’ and landlord’s are interfering with doctors and patients. Legally? Just not ethically or morally.

    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

    Cannabis Times Magazine

    Cannabis Times Interactive

  14. Dante says:

    Cops are the real vermin.

  15. CJ says:

    amen, cops are.

    theres still so much further to go…. in my experiences, i will say, definitely, there has been a major shift in public attitudes towards weed, definitely. Growing up it is massively noticeable to me now. It is totally fine to talk about it amongst people you barely know that you encounter, you’re not gonna hear any whispers behind your back. You MIGHT find some folks who are against it BUT even they are more likely to treat you with decency despite disagreeing with you. Infact, a little disagreement about marijuana legalization isn’t probably going to ruin a new relationship. It probably doesn’t matter too much.

    However, as regards hard drugs, that is just not the case. And I’m envious, sure.

    I’ll give you two examples, maybe more….

    I’ll never forget this one time, I was waiting for the train in Manhattan of course and it was quite late at night which believe it or not is not normal for me because usually i have gotten the days money or what have you well before evening and by then i am just relaxing my destroyed feet, aching sick body and just enjoying what little peace i can… so for whatever reason this one night it was a late night and i was waiting for the train. I was sitting there and an Asian American young woman was sitting waiting next to me. It was a long wait.

    Next thing you know she begins talking to me. It’s clear shes not looking for directions, now im not saying shes hitting on me, i dont think she was though i think at first she was testing to see if we could take the conversation that way.

    The thing is, lets get this clear right away, her scent was EXPLOSIVE with some kind of flavored vodka. She was DEFINITELY RIPPED and trying to hide it.

    She explained to me that her unusual social-ness was because of a conversation she just had had over dinner with friends about reaching out to total strangers, basically saying how awkward silence on a train is totally weird and just i guess how people act towards one another in general is weird however she picked an unusual person to test out her new idea of talking to strangers on because when you live on the sidewalk that is basically what you do all day everyday so our conversation never felt awkward or unusual to me, given my experience i handled it like an ace.

    So she started asking me about myself and i mean when the majority of your life is lived under the hammer head of drug prohibition, it’s not like i could have talked to her about the latest sports news or television shows or anything. The only thing I do on a daily basis is survive in life, i dont have the traditional escapes and thus ability to have sort of surfacey conversations.

    So basically it was right away that i told her that I was a herion user and because you need atleast 4-5 bags a day and they are 10 dollars a piece and basically in this prohibition world if you dont have a job, you dont have tons of money if you slip up and lose that job and dont replace that income immediately, you cannot just stop taking H like you could stop smoking weed for a few weeks or coke or even crack, no, you really have to do it every day and that is because of withdrawal. So yes you need that 50 dollars everyday and it goes without saying that you cannot spend a cent of that on travel or food so it’s very hard.

    Anyway, yes the drunk girl immediately assumed a holier than thou attitude towards me but not in a rude way so much. I mean, not knowing anything at all whatsoever truly about the topic what could she really say? All she could do was continue the conversation but she added this element of assumption that A. Im doing something I dont really want to be doing, and struggling to stop (FALSE) and B. I dont want to do what I’m doing. (FALSE) The pervasive “oh wow man, that’s harsh, it must be so hard to stop, but you will” i guess is nice enough, it beats being crucified but still proof to me of the huge gap even nice people display.

    The other example is from two weeks ago. It was unbelievable, i was on the train and this gorgeous blond was checking me out. I had on a chemical compound t-shirt and when i got off and was walking away i feel a poke on my back and i turn around and its her. LONG STORY SHORT here, i blew this, not because of heroin or anything like that, she ended up being this swiss irish model that was unbelievable and incredibly friendly and just the whole situation took me totally by surprise and that’s why i messed it up BUT for this discussion the important part is the beginning.

    The way things started off was horrible though i recovered and helped steer the convo in a different direction [ultimately failing to ask her number despite probably wouldve gotten it because i was a coward not because of how this started] but basically the t-shirt was the chemical compounds of heroin. So she had asked me right away what my t-shirt meant and i told her the truth.

    Her immediate response was “oh wow thats NOT cool” and “my father died from that stuff”

    i mean, what could you really do in this situation?? I didnt want to offend, i didnt know what to say so i didnt comment further but i was a little upset i wanted to tell her no darling your father was probably killed by prohibition making him find 100 dollars a day and or prohibition and how it helps spread AIDS it helps non chemists make chems in their apartment and thus unknown qualities etc. lead to hot shots etc. like no pretty face im sorry just be pretty dont say these silly things.

    Yes indeed i think that unless your talking to someone in the profession, most people will definitey villify you if you want to talk hard drugs.

    • claygooding says:

      My response would have been that if it had been sold to him by a drug store instead of a government designated outlet he probably wouldn’t have died from it.

    • Jean Valjean says:

      Hey CJ, good to hear from you again and read another of your reports from the streets of NYC…
      Your line about “you cannot just stop taking H” got me thinking back to the early 1980s when Nancy Reagan’s P.R. machine came up with the Just Say No campaign… at that time I used to attend a DDU (drug dependency unit) in London for free methodone and, if you were one of a select few, injectable ampoules of heroin… one day the doctor came in and, looking at this group of hard core junkies, some missing a leg, others with thrombosed veins in their hands which gave them fists like a bunch of bananas, one or too quietly nodding off in the armchairs…. all he said was “Just Say No.”
      He understood the irony of this absurd platitude which had been run out by these drug war goons in the White House.
      Oh, and by the way, my old dad gave me one very useful piece of advice: never talk to a drunk stranger….you’ll never get rid of them.

  16. Servetus says:

    New Research: “Scientists at the University of East Anglia have shown how the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis could reduce tumour growth in cancer patients.”

    Research published today reveals the existence of previously unknown signaling platforms which are responsible for the drug’s success in shrinking tumours.

    It is hoped that the findings could help develop a synthetic equivalent with anti-cancer properties.

    The research was co-led with the Universidad Complutense de Madridin, Spain. The team used samples of human cancer cells to induce tumours in mice. They then targeted the tumours with doses of the cannabis compound THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). They found that two cell receptors in particular were responsible for the drug’s anti-tumour effects.

    Dr Peter McCormick, from UEA’s school of Pharmacy, said: “THC, the major active component of marijuana, has anti-cancer properties. This compound is known to act through a specific family of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors. However, it was unclear which of these receptors were responsible for the anti-tumour effects of THC.

    “We show that these effects are mediated via the joint interaction of CB2 and GPR55 – two members of the cannabinoid receptor family. Our findings help explain some of the well-known but still poorly understood effects of THC at low and high doses on tumour growth. [Emphasis added].

    We might have had this information long ago had it not been for the inhumane exertions of vermin such as DEA Director Michele Leonhart and NIDA Director Nora Volkow.

    • DdC says:

      Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74
      The ominous part is that this isn’t the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia. The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research…

      Scientists Re-Re-Re-Discover Cannabis Stops Metastasis!

      Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Stops Metastasis In Aggressive Cancers!
      A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.

      New Study Explains How Pot Kills Cancer Cells

      A new study published in Nature Reviews-Cancer provides an historic and detailed explanation about how THC and natural cannabinoids counteract cancer, but preserve normal cells.

      The study by Manuel Guzmán of Madrid Spain found that cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell-signalling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumor cells, as well as by inhibiting the growth of blood vessels that supply the tumor.

      The Guzman study is very important according to Dr. Ethan Russo , a neurologist and world authority on medical cannabis: “Cancer occurs because cells become immortalized; they fail to heed normal signals to turn off growth. A normal function of remodelling in the body requires that cells die on cue. This is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. That process fails to work in tumors. THC promotes its reappearance so that gliomas, leukemias, melanomas and other cell types will in fact heed the signals, stop dividing, and die.”

      “But, that is not all,” explains Dr. Russo: “The other way that tumors grow is by ensuring that they are nourished: they send out signals to promote angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Cannabinoids turn off these signals as well. It is truly incredible, and elegant.”

      Free and Open Scientific Inquiry

      “At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse the most expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of recreation a person could have.”
      – Donnie Marshall, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

    • Windy says:

      Why develop a synthetic when the real thing works so well and is nearly legal everywhere? Big Pharma profits, that’s why.

  17. thelbert says:

    this might be a rerun, but here goes: it’s about an anti-cannabis cancer on the body politic.

  18. DdC says:

    Legalizing MJ Should Be a Top Security Objective

  19. Jean Valjean says:

    This quote from to the 1999 Congressional hearing on drug policy caught my attention….

    ‘McCaffrey assured the subcommittee that “I am not open-minded about drug abuse in America.”‘

    It tells you just what sort of hearing on drug policy this was when the subcommittee could be “assured” that a witness lacked “open mindedness” to the topic under examination.

    • B. Snow says:

      My favorite McCaffery quote:

      … speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, McCaffrey seemed to have no issue with adults who smoke pot. “Since I’m not in public life, I actually don’t care,” he responded to the question ‘why not just legalize drugs?’ “I care about 6th graders through 12th graders. If you’re 40 years old, and you’re living in Oregon, and you have 12 giant pot plants in the back of your log cabin, knock yourself out.”

      My second favorite being his more recent complaint:

      He says he won’t “make a peep” against legalization on TV because the networks “only wanted a rented idiot general who didn’t understand that marijuana was harmless and filling America’s jails.”

      Quoted -via- Russ Belville (HT article) = Tue Feb 25, 2014 = I can’t find the sources/links – (that I thought I had handy) for these quotes previously, I figure Russ-B is good enough for general conversation.

      There’s actually a video for that – “knock yourself out” quote – from a panel he was taking part in = discussing drugs before the Council on Foreign Relations – and he was trying to spin the conversation to how = He REALLY just cared so much about “The Chitlins”… and that’s why it should remain illegal NOT because he loves “hippie-punching” or anything… – Nope, its ONLY because he’s just -so worried- about “the message we’re sending to children.”

      And whenever I read someone spouting off – with some new version of the classic, “Think Of The Chitlins”.

      I find it helps if you imagine the people (ostensibly crying about how much more horrible their new “Marijuana is bad, M’kay…” factoid) as if they were speaking in the tone of Herbert “Herb” Morrison – the radio reporter best known for his dramatic report of the Hindenburg disaster” – “Oh the humanity…”

      I only suggest that because they always try to act as if some new facet of the debate – is a more serious “danger” to their chitlins, that’s somehow(?) as dire, and equally distressing as the Hinderburg going down in flames.

      Which of course it’s obviously not, this almost always triggers a reflex reaction in me = causing me to mock their audacity.

  20. DdC says:

    He was actually correct. You first must have a mind in order for it to be open.

    Marijuana Is at Center of Feud in Capital
    Mayor Vincent C. Gray urged district residents to boycott the beaches and resort towns of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, after its congressman moved to block the city’s marijuana-friendly law, claiming more teenagers will take up drug use.

  21. DdC says:

    DEA probing alleged prescription drug abuse in NFL, source says
    NFL’s Buzzkill

    In the Papers: Prison, Prostitution and Unhappy Cities
    High rates of incarceration and low rates of employment meant that African-American men are no better off relative to whites than they were in 1970.

    Rand Paul: Give kids a second chance after drug crime via @usatoday

    Rikers: Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail

Comments are closed.