Ethan Nadelmann at the conference

Video of keynote address by Ethan Nadelmann at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Washington DC available here.

Early on in his talk, he discussed how we lose track of the lessons from history, and he mentioned about how few young people know about McCarthyism and what we went through in that period and reflected:

“and just thinking about the war on drugs and where we lie now, because what happened in the late 1980s and 1990s, and for that matter under Nixon in the 70s, but truly in the 80s and 90s and into the first decade of this century, was something like McCarthyism on steroids.

It resembled McCarthyism in that it played on real fears of the American people — fears about drugs coming into our country, fears about junkies and drug addicts and drug dealers, and all sorts of things. It played on that. But what it also shared in common, was the fact that almost everybody went along. Almost everybody went along. Not just white people, but black people and brown people leaders and followers, people around the world. It became almost a great global consensus where America and Cuba and Libya and Russia could all agree on something, which was that we needed a global war on drugs no matter the cost or the consequences.

And what pains me about today, is that we barely know our history. And that there has been no accountability. That the Joe McCarthys of the drug war still stand strong and still get honor in our societies and have not been called out.”


Later on in the talk, another good sound bite: “Drug policy reform is many things, but it is foremost a movement for liberty and freedom.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Ethan Nadelmann at the conference

  1. Duncan20903 says:


    So that’s why all I got were blank stares when I recently tried referring to “drug” tests as Urinary Loyalty Oaths (ULO)!

  2. jean valjean says:

    “And what pains me about today, is that we barely know our history. And that there has been no accountability. That the Joe McCarthys of the drug war still stand strong and still get honor in our societies and have not been called out.”

    Hillary Clinton for instance…..

  3. Servetus says:

    Ethan Nadelmann’s delivery was concise, knowledgeable, and powerful, as we’ve come to expect after many years of extraordinary work on his part as an activist. Ethan covered the issues so thoroughly it sounded as if he’d been reading Drug WarRant.

  4. Kiwi says:

    Wow; thud; thanks!

  5. claygooding says:

    I am still waiting for someone like Ethan to stress that over 80% of American voters support the use of cannabis under a doctor’s care is all the accepted medical efficacy required. That is an accepted medical use of cannabis.

    To stress that every human being has the inalienable right to produce and use nature’s bounty by their own hand as long as it doesn’t harm his neighbor.

    And to shout loudly that as long as the DEA/DOJ continue paying bounty money for marijuana arrests it will be drug war on the streets as law enforcement agency’s play Wheel of Fortune for grants,military surplus and seizures which MUST be spent funding more drug war.

    The drug war has become a self feeding cancer that must be cut out like the malignant tumor it has become and it’s supporters forced into rehab to replace the marijuana addicts that are not addicted.

  6. Mr_Alex says:

    I am going to put this up written by Wes Fager, lets see if the Prohibs like to tell us why is their Policy not formed by themselves but in fact formed by Melvin Sembler and Betty Sembler:

  7. strayan says:

    OT, they’re putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank:

    In 2014, Dr. Califf had significant financial interests in 14 different pharmaceutical companies!

    • DdC says:

      Looks like they know we know and so there is no reason to cover it up. Who ya gonna call? Ghost busters? If both parents are corrupt, what’s a kid to do? If its all corrupt, nothing will change. If there is someone to trust and bring justice, the results are you lose your parents, house and siblings. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

      We can’t fight the beast, but we can starve it. Put it on a diet so it serves us rather than enslaves us. Ganja has made an awareness in Wall St. Alternatives to Fat Pharma and Big Ag with Hemp. Less fossil fools and chemical cotton each time we buy hemp products. Now we need to grow it locally, as we are Ganja. Politics have been bought. This is another spit in your face insult to Americans. Like giving Pell Grants to drug worrier scum.

      Or taking children from their parents for choosing a less debilitating treatment. Or safer alternative than Big Booze ScAM has no time to demonize. The FDA apparently can’t differentiate tobacco from chemically adulterated cigarettes. More prohibition profits on the way. Who ya gonna call when people believe their own damn TV would never lie to them. Most don’t even realize they’ve been robbed of their Constitutional rights. They have faith and believe it can’t happen here.

      “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . .
      we need believing people.”
      Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi Vatican Concordant of 1933

    • claygooding says:

      The FDA was created by big pharmacy as a tool to take the little guys out of medicine production and remove cannabis from the medicine bags of every doctor in America.

      Doctors continued having it imported and smuggled in,,in order to stop world production they cranked up their Anslinger puppet and sent him into the UN and had it banned worldwide using threats,bribes and bullying.

      And big pharmacy doesn’t ask specifically to keep cannabis prohibited,,they hook legislators with an easy sell,,jut keep America drug free legislators jump to sign on for the funding and marijuana prohibition marches on.

      With the pressure increasing for legislators to act as successful legal marijuana policies set statistics and trends it builds the greed of every entrepreneur in the US to become involved builds. From the stock market to the store.

      When an international market develops the states will want in on that also,,some to avoid commercial production in their own states and some wanting to join in on the competition for the market dollars.

      Once more,,Greed of the few built the drug war machine and greed of the many will dismantle it.

  8. thelbert says:

    i hope everyone on the couch has a good thanksgiving. i’m directing some thankfulness at Pete for the work he does here. thanks Pete.

  9. Duncan20903 says:


    Back in March 2015 Business Insider ranked the economies of the 50 States. Colorado came in third, California 4th, Oregon 5th and Washington 6th.

  10. Duncan20903 says:


    I often wonder if news article headline writers ar just idiots or are they just targeting the sycophants of prohibition because the headline writers know that only a very tiny percentage of those sycophants read anything more than the headline. Here’s a dictionary picture worthy example:
    Study says that prenatal exposure to marijuana can affect your kid’s vision
    Just based on that headline, who the heck would have guessed that the effect referenced would be a significant improvement of those children’s visual acuity?

    A new study suggests that children who are exposed to marijuana in the womb show a significant improvement in their ability to track moving objects at age four…

    The researchers tested higher-level visual processing in a group of four-year-old children who were exposed to different combinations of marijuana, alcohol, methyl amphetamines, or nicotine while in the womb, compared with a non-exposed control group. Results showed exposure to marijuana improved global motion perception, a measure of processing within the brain’s dorsal visual pathway which is responsible for motion processing and visual-motor control.

    In contrast, exposure to alcohol had a negative effect.

    Marijuana is good medicine.
    I smoke it for my eyes to keep from going blind
    The more I smoke the more I see
    it’s opened up my mind

    ~~ “Good Medicine” from “Legalize Freedom” by the Inhalers (clip available at linked page)

    Well they’ve finally gotten the album cover art on line. I think many people here would enjoy a peek. It’s called “Uncle Sam Shakes Down a Citizen”:

  11. Servetus says:

    The Ohio marijuana legalization vote meltdown gathers further support that indicates the voting box results were rigged:

    “The results are not only impossible but unfathomable,” stated Ron Baiman, Assistant Professor of Graduate Business Administration at Benedictine University, where he teaches economics and statistics.[…]

    The Columbus Free Press asked Baiman to calculate the odds of the official vote count of Ohio’s Issue 3, to legalize marijuana, being correct – compared to the tracking polls charting voter preference leading up to this year’s November election. The Free Press supplied Baiman with poll results taken prior to the election by noted pollster Jon Zogby.

    The polls leading into the November 3 vote showed the referendum passing. But the official results claim it lost by 2:1.

    The standard assumption with such polling is that the undecided voters in the poll would have potentially gone 50-50. Thus half of them would be voting no and the other half would be voting yes on Issue 3. Baiman pointed out that with such an assumption being probable, the odds against the referendum losing 2:1 go through the roof. They are, he said, “one in a trillion.”

    If the marijuana referendum vote is found to be the result of fraud, Ohio may be forced to revamp its voting system for the 2016 presidential election. It would mean Ohio election officials wasted an election cheating scam on a marijuana issue. Now it won’t be available to use against presidential candidates.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      I seem to vaguely recall that somebody reminded me “that what comes around goes around.” I don’t know what it means, but it does sound way cool.

      Has anyone else ever heard that phrase before? I want to make sure I didn’t misspell any of the words in that platitude.

    • DdC says:

      Don’t leave out Kasich or…

      Regarding Issue 3 “Younger people will be using marijuana.”
      ~ Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

      July 20, 2015 – said he found at least four defects, rejects petition
      Jul 29, 2015 – rejects another petition to legalize marijuana
      Oct 6, 2015 – sues Toledo over marijuana
      October 12, 2015 – says trip to Colorado raises new marijuana concerns
      Oct 15, 2015 – campaigns against marijuana legalization, Issue 3
      November 6, 2015 – Marijuana could be legalized, but must be restricted

      “Ohio will be fundamentally changed if Issue 3 passes.”
      ~ Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

      DeWine is a long time wingnut drug worrier.
      September 09, 2015 – Supports Ballot Board Over Summary
      March 25, 2002 – Backs Administration on Colombia
      March 07, 1999 – Wades into Anti-Drug Morass with New Bill
      February 05, 1999 – angered by lack of funding
      February 01, 1999 – Introduces Anti-Drug Strategy!
      January 29, 1999 – Touts Drug Legislation!
      DeWine’s Drug Free Century Act

      “Drugs are a scourge on our society and a danger to our children,”
      ~ Ohio Republican Sen. Mike DeWine

  12. jean valjean says:

    More Vatican corruption revealed…. so the Vatican prosecutes the journalists. not the corrupt officials:

    “Both journalists expressed shock that it was them, not the protagonists of their books, who were under investigation. “Maybe I’m naive but I believed they would investigate those I denounced for criminal activity, not the person that revealed the crimes,”

    • Servetus says:

      Gianluigi Nuzzi, one of the journalists involved in receiving the Vatican documents, and author of Merchants of the Temple that relies on the pirated information of the two whistle-blowers, paints a picture of absolute financial chaos in the Vatican that includes both petty and severe corruption that’s been ongoing for decades.

      There’s no transparency. Its investment staff had the Vatican heavily invested into the manufacturers of military weapons, and practically no one knew about it. Open, six-figure bank accounts still exist at the Vatican bank in the names of dead popes. The corruption is so rampant, only a mere sliver of the money the Vatican collects actually gets to the poor. Pope Francis may or may not be able to reform the mess. The Vatican’s entrenched bureaucracy is being reactionary. It’s what happens when the company waits 1600 years to do an independent audit.

      One thing related to drugs, per se, that Nuzzi discusses is Vatican City’s tobacco concession. The commercial tobacco products aren’t taxed, and only the Curia is supposed to buy tobacco from the shop located on Vatican grounds. Nonetheless, the Vatican has been doing a thriving business selling cartons of cigarettes to certain people who resell the product tax-free outside the Vatican, presumably at a profit. We know the Vatican acts as if marijuana is the kiss of death, even though it’s killed no one. Their shady profiteering from massive tobacco sales strikes me as hypocritical.

      • thelbert says:

        big religion in bed with big tobacco and big armaments. cannabis will never touch the virgin lips of the whores of the vatican though. that’s comforting.

  13. primus says:

    Christian hypocrites–but that is redundant.

Comments are closed.