More absurdities

Maia Szalavitz has a great article at Vice: Why Is it Still Illegal to Visit the US if You Admit to Using Drugs?

I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of people being denied access to the U.S. for merely admitting they used drugs, even though our current President has done as much. It’s a stupid and outdated customs inquiry.

Here’s a part of the article I really enjoyed:

VICE asked the Office of National Drug Control Policy (better known as the drug czar’s office) for comment on Shelly’s case and the law in this area. Drug Czar Michael Botticelli is a recovering alcoholic: His admission to occasional marijuana and cocaine use as well would mean that he himself would not be allowed entry into the country because of his past—were he not already an American citizen.

Since he has spoken widely about fighting the stigma associated with addiction and because he advocates reducing barriers to rehabilitation, I was curious about Botticelli’s views on this practice, which seems to punish both honesty and recovery. But his office declined to comment. [emphasis added]

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21 Responses to More absurdities

  1. CarolDuhart2 says:

    The more we push repeal, the more we find hidden boobytraps like this created by prohibitionists. Who thought that this was a good idea? The very people we don’t want in will lie, and the honest people we want will not. And in any case can we ever trust the answers anyway?

    Voted yes on Issue 22 (local parks) Issue 3 and no on issue 2.

    I’m tired of the “monopoly” complaint. The bottom line is pot would be legal and able to be sold in stores instead on the street. As for 10 producers, even without an explicit provisions, that’s what it probably would shake out to anyway. The costs of setting up on a large scale is pretty prohibitive, especially in the quasi-legal world of pot.

    I went to vote. I had to hand over my state id to someone with a tablet who certified that my precinct and id were correct. As I was going through this, I had a conversation about vote by mail. While I didn’t do it this time, I will for the Presidential next year. I trust the Postal Service far more than the machines at the precinct.

  2. Servetus says:

    Ohio’s patriarchal political family, the Tafts, are split with regard to Ohio’s marijuana initiative:

    Woody & Dudley Taft, brothers and great-great-grandnephews of the former president whose name they bear, are big supporters of Issue 3, and investors in a plan to bring 10 marijuana farms to Ohio.

    Their cousin, former Ohio Governor Bob Taft (1999-2007), has been just as vocal in opposition to this measure. He and Ohio’s former first lady Hope are still diligently employing the tired “Just Say No” philosophy, which was last and most relevant when Nancy Reagan uttered it on Diff’rent Strokes in 1983.

    The Ohio Weed Gummy Bears Dilemma:

    Governor Taft’s big charge that made its way into The Cincinnati Enquirer is that gummy bears and other kid-friendly edibles will chart a path right into the hands of our children, turning them into pot-infused little gummy junkies.

    This specious line of attack led Woody & Dudley to counter with a letter to the editor, entitled (by the newspaper) “Taft: Other Tafts Wrong About Marijuana”:

    “Bob and Hope are simply wrong that Issue 3 will legalize candies and other edibles that are “inviting to children.” The third paragraph of the amendment clearly states that edibles will not be “manufactured, packaged or advertised in ways that create a substantial risk of attractiveness to children.” What edibles are actually sold in Ohio will be determined by a newly created and independent Ohio Marijuana Control Commission.”

    • CarolDuhart2 says:

      The gummi bears is just another way of infantilizing the whole pot legalization thing. The elder Tafts are hoping that “for the kids” will scare enough adults into giving up their right to imbibe in peace to prevent a non-existent harm to children. As if under 21 adults will be able to purchase edibles from a legal shop that asks for id. If anything, kids are more likely to get edibles from family members or someone who cooks up a batch. That’s still going to be illegal if Issue 3 passes.

      It’s also the last resort for the prohibitionists. They have lost the rest of the argument: locking up adults for usage doesn’t pass the smell test of personal autonomy. Pot doesn’t pass the public safety test: where are the bodies of the people who are induced to do terrible things under the influence? And why are black people arrested for drug crimes far more than white users are? So they’e lost the safety and fairness argument.

      And it’s been 40+ years, folks. By now if pot lived up to the hype about dangerousness, we should be seeing aging addicts dying earlier of many causes. Unlike cigarette smokers, there seems to be no epidemic of disease caused by cannabis. People realize that, and threats of future harm no longer have the power they used to. When you can speak to someone who has smoked or whatever since the 60’s, or someone who used to smoke for a while and then quit, and they seem no worse than anyone else who’s aging, then the fear for the future is gone from the argument too.

      • Windy says:

        You’re right about most of it, however, we who have been using cannabis since the 60s or 70s are far healthier as a group than our peers who did/do not, and will likely live longer than those peers, too.

  3. kaptinemo says:

    Sociologically, cannabis policy has reached ‘adult swim’ levels, but the prohibs just refuse to leave the pool, still raucously splashing around, desperately hoping that they can ignore the increasing numbers of those legal (and politically active) adults, standing poolside with exasperated and disgusted looks on their faces.

    The political version of corporal punishment is called for. They can’t run and hide behind the cachet of their (no pun intended) high offices anymore. We vote, and we’ve proved that to the point of collecting political scalps, with Dwight Holton’s political career the biggest trophy…so far.

    (Points with thumb, over shoulder) Plenty of room for more bronzed political bollocks on that wall.

    Let your Congresscritters and Sin-a-tors know that you are fed up with paying for a drug war you didn’t ask for and seems to have been aimed primarily at those they want to continue paying for it. Tell them you want answers, not craven silence, from public servants paid to provide them. And tell them that since it’s you, not Mom and Pop, who pay the lion’s share of the tax bills, you are not going to ‘suffer’ their silence, or their inaction on this issue, either.

  4. DdC says:

    Your Government Is Lying To You (Again) About Marijuana

    FBI reports that 46 percent of all drug arrests are for marijuana.

    Seems obvious and clear cut if something like 80 million people smoked cannabis in the 60s and 70s. Then the numbers have held steady around 20 million. Someone should track down the 60 million who are walking around for 40 years totally addicted and they don’t even know it. Oh the humanity!

  5. Tony Aroma says:

    What’s going on in Ohio? No election results till 11 PM?

    • Tony Aroma says:

      Looks like it’s not even close to passing in OH, with 2 to 1 against (as of 9:45 PM). Just to be sure, the initiative against monopolies is ahead by a small margin. Bummer! But not surprising.

      • darkcycle says:

        AP just called it. It failed by a projected 65% to 35%. But it can’t be called a failure of legalization…people were saying no to a giant power grab.

      • Servetus says:

        Ohioans are a conservative group. A lot of German immigrants made Ohio their destination in the 18th century, so the state’s political base are Prussian-like, very regimented; and in Cincinnati, very white.

        Little more can be said of tonight’s Ohio election results, other than it demonstrates very little if anything good will likely come out of Ohio in the near future.

  6. Mr_Alex says:

    Not surprising, I have heard from people in New Zealand that those who advocate Cannabis reform in New Zealand who want to visit the US have been denied entry at the US border, these kind of policies are highly unfair and one Cannabis reform activist in New Zealand who was recently denied entry to the US has called this policy discriminatory

  7. DdC says:

    “The real menace of our Republic is the invisible Government which like a giant Octopus, sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states, and nation.”
    – John F. Hylan – Mayor NYC 1918-1925

    Watergate reporter, author Bob Woodward
    warns of ‘secret government’ in talk at Aurora eco-devo dinner

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the NY Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings, and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop OUR PLAN for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a World Government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual ELITE and World Bankers is surely preferable to the national auto – determination practiced in past centuries.”
    – David Rockefeller
    CFR Kingpin, Founder of the Trilateral Commission,
    NOW Godfather / June 1991

    IRS use of ‘Stingray’ devices to track cellphones sparks Senate inquiry

    “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States —in the fields of commerce and manufacturing—are afraid of somebody. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
    – Woodrow Wilson

    World Bank Makes a Gut-Wrenching Announcement
    That Will Rattle You to the Core…

    “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know that. A financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson.”
    – Franklin Roosevelt,
    – FDR to Col. E. Mandell House 11/21/1933
    (History points to the last truly honorable and incorruptible American President as “Old Hickory”)

  8. Duncan20903 says:


    ResponsibleOhio couldn’t have done a worse job in creating and promoting their now failed if they had actually been prohibitionists dressed in cannabis law reform advocates’ drag. I confess that I’m only presuming that someone actually checked to make sure they weren’t.

    65%-35%, wow, the prohibitionist parasites are certainly going to be feeling their oats. I’ll bet they don’t even notice that their arguments that it’s just money from “big merrywanna” that’s getting cannabis law reforms passed into law has been kicked to the curb. I guess that I think that we ought to just let them enjoy their moment. There’s another Election Day in just 365 days.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      They’re already out and strutting like they’re the proverbial cock of the walk in the comments column under this article:
      Ohio just rejected legalizing marijuana. What that means for the future of pot.

      • B. Snow says:

        It means that they shouldn’t have had a fucking “Buddie” Mascot, or the ‘monopoly’ thing – there were people on ostensibly liberal shows (last night no less) talking about Responsible Ohio and Issue 3 as “Big Pot”, Saying that if the issue went thru they would take over the market forever and ever…
        Seriously, they were telling people to vote yes on issue 2 and issue 3 – and let the legislatureÄ£/courts decide?!

        All I could think about was the host letting the guest (who otherwise seemed to be pro-marijuana) talk about “Big Pot” without thinking about how big a political hard-on it would give Kev-Kev and friends = if they managed to make the anti-monopoly argument hold water…

        Because you/we Know damn well, that’s not how Kev-Kev is going spin it!

        The guest was allegedly a spokesperson for “Willie’s Reserve” (I think = I missed the first few seconds of the guest-spot) and “farm to table”, (“Farm-Aid”) style marijuana legalization?

        WTF PEOPLE??, let the perfect be the enemy of the good = nice work ass-clowns!

        • Duncan20903 says:


          Had I been an Ohio voter today that’s exactly how I would have voted, Yes on 2 and Yes on three. I think Issue 2 would have had the language specifically targeting Issue 3 struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court because it effectively changed Issue 3 when it purported to strip out the severability clause. Oh well, it’s all academic now.

          It wasn’t all bad news. The voters of Portage and Keego Harbor Michigan repealed their laws against the petty possession of cannabis yesterday. Not decriminalized, repealed.

          Portage voters OK marijuana amendment

          Keego Harbor legalizes marijuana use, possession

          Kentucky elected Matt Bevin as Governor, who stated that he supports re-legalizing medicinal cannabis.
          That which does not kill us makes us stronger. ~~ Friedrich Nietzsche

  9. Duncan20903 says:


    “Not approved by the FDA” How often do we hear that one? More specifically, how many times have we heard that from the agents of the State of Arizona or its local jurisdictions? Let’s put this one in the “hypocrisy in action” category:

    Arizona asks FDA to return seized shipment of illegal execution drugs

    Arizona’s attempt to import a lethal injection drug not approved for use in the U.S. was thwarted in July by federal agents who caught the shipment at the Phoenix airport, the Associated Press reports.

    The sodium thiopental had been used previously for executions in the U.S. but is no longer manufactured by companies approved by the FDA. The $27,000 shipment was seized after arriving on a British Airways flight at the Phoenix International Airport, according to documents obtained by the AP.

    Arizona Department of Corrections officials are challenging that federal enforcement.

    “The department is contesting FDA’s legal authority to continue to withhold the state’s execution chemicals,” says Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections.

    Arizona has asked the FDA to let the state have the seized shipment on the promise that it won’t use the drug without approval by the agency or a court. The FDA refused.

  10. pricknick says:

    Yet our government will still allow Justin Bieber to travel freely.
    Money talks.
    Except for the loss of 3 in Ohio. That’s one that money couldn’t buy.

  11. jean valjean says:

    Re: Visa denial

    It’s a horrible way to treat visitors to the US. Can you imagine how much worse it is when the same Bill Clinton/Newt Gingrich tough-on-drugs law is applied to the foreign-born parents and/or spouses of US citizens? The current regime has broken all records for deporting these so called “criminal aliens” who are guilty of nothing more than being honest. Thanks to Szalavitz for drawing attention to this little know aspect of drug war attrition.
    I’m not surprised Botticelli ducked the offer to try to rationalize what he clearly knows is the opposite of justice.

  12. Servetus says:

    The NIDA finally confronts the tobacco question.

    “Teen tobacco dependence should be treated with ‘same urgency as other drugs,’ study says”; from the University of Georgia, in the heart of tobacco country:

    3-November 2015 — Tobacco addiction in adolescents is oftentimes an overlooked issue because it doesn’t carry with it the stigma that alcohol abuse and other serious drugs do, according to the study’s lead author, Jessica Muilenburg, an associate professor at UGA’s College of Public Health and health promotion and behavior graduate coordinator.

    It’s the year 2015, and it’s taken this long for the NIDA grants committee to consider research and treatment for nicotine-related addictions in adolescents—because nicotine didn’t have enough “stigma”. Good going NIDUH. Looks like it wasn’t about the children after all.


    AAAS Press Release:

    “Substance use disorder counselors’ reports of tobacco cessation services availability, implementation, and tobacco related knowledge,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse under grant number R01DA028188 and is available at

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