How to move from outrage to reform?

Obviously, there’s been a lot of strife in this country revolving around race and policing.

This isn’t new to those of us involved in drug policy reform for many years. The racist underpinnings of the drug war itself, along with the militarization and us-vs-them mentality of policing that has come out of the drug war, has made this inevitable.

The drug-war-victims has expanded in some ways to include our entire country.

There is now, finally, a lot of outrage and a lot of anger, but unfortunately, I’m seeing it directed at entire classes, races, or occupations of people, rather than at the root causes.

How do we focus that anger and resentment into specific causes of action such as meaningful drug policy reform and criminal justice reform?

All I’m seeing is a lot of yelling and hurt.

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25 Responses to How to move from outrage to reform?

  1. Mr_Alex says:

    @DDC and Kaptineo

    Thought I mentioned the FBI did investigate Straight Inc in the 1990s as well and it seems no one was prsecuted:

    The FOIA file:

  2. DdC says:

    They’ve all been exposed, but I haven’t heard of anyone getting prosecuted either. After Sembler’s torture charges Bush made him an ambassador to Italy where he had a lot to do with their clamp down on drugs. Scum of the earth rarely get busted and even more rare to serve time. John Walters is still walking free. Anslingers punishment for terrorizing Americans was to terrorize the world with the UN Treaties. Even the so called common sense articles call for research when they haven’t looked at research back to the 1890s. Its a scam and the flim flammers are in charge. Parents need to protest how these government entities treat and do harm to the children all in the name of protecting other children. There is no logic or sense in prohibition other than keeping corporate competition safe from a superior resource. They know this. It’s not like its a secret. So far they haven’t had to care. Until the people stop this blind faith in anything DEA the country will be at the mercy of multinational corporatists and profits on perpetuating the scam.

  3. Freeman says:

    Yeah Pete, last week was pretty bleak. Tribalism is a huge problem, but how to counter when tribal impulses block out reason? One thought is to try to find a way to appeal to tribal impulses to get a foot in the door and then back it up with reason.

    I came across a thoughtful article earlier today that illustrates the idea. The author goes over the familiar data showing that black people are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by cops, but then he takes it further and analyzes the numbers around white people killed by cops:

    Again, this doesn’t change the fact that black people have it worse. But in any other rich country, the number of white people alone killed by police would be a national emergency. In Germany, with about one-quarter the U.S. population, police killed a total of 15 people in all of 2010 and 2011. American cops killed 494 white people in 2015 alone.

    Some white people react poorly to the Black Lives Matter movement because it seems on first glance to be concerned with black people only. But their actual policy agenda is largely a series of race-neutral reforms to reduce the incidence of police violence, and make it easier to seek justice when it does happen. Were this to be implemented nationally, it’s conceivable that white people would be the largest absolute beneficiaries, in terms of the number of prevented deaths and injuries.

    • Chris says:

      If I don’t get to vote on this, I’m going to be very disappointed, to put it mildly.

      • jean valjean says:

        Governor Rick Snyder should have been recalled over the Flint water disaster. Now here he is denying the votes of hundreds of thousands of Michiganders with this cheap trick. It’s time Michigan had a representative government, not this gerrymandered, bought and paid for oligarchy.

  4. Servetus says:

    The misery a government generates and organizes is expedited by more than three millennia’s worth of accumulated wisdom and experience in systemized repression, a legacy that includes the outright killings of citizens on their streets, in their homes, and in their groups.

    Many examples exist. Governments pit groups against groups to neutralize them. The historian Howard Zinn noted the early American government arranged for poor whites to discriminate against poor blacks for social dominance, resulting in repression for both—divide and conquer. Others cite King James VI of Scotland who relocated Scottish people from the Protestant Lowland (border Reivers culture), planting them in Ulster, Ireland. It was presumed from the beginning the two groups would refuse to get along with each another. They fought continuously, such that their time, energy, and other resources were wasted on conflict that conveniently failed to address an inferior English monarch. The British used the same grouping scheme when redrawing the maps in the Middle East after World War I.

    The transition from suffering to outrage gives rise to an unstoppable force that forges its own path, rarely focused, and usually diverse. Demonstrating this fact is that some people imitate their governments to counter the same authorities. They make war on each other with guns made for use in wars. Hannah Arendt noted that even revolutionaries tend to draw upon the histories and structures of previous governments in conceiving new governments, thereby recreating previous social problems. Perhaps the best solution lies in not imitating governments.

    One cause of action countering human skirmishes has been known for centuries. Voltaire wrote that if just two or three groups inhabited a small geographical area, there will be conflict. If instead there were two or three dozen groups within the same geographical area, there was comparative tolerance and peace–tolerance because such things as cooperation and accommodation were all necessary for daily survival within the community. There is an amazing strengthening of communities that adopt a wider diversity, as it allows for better social adaptability to abrupt changes and national crises. Economies benefit from variety. The early American colonists were remarkably diverse, encompassing many outliers, despite the phony claims made by recent pseudo-historians. Adopting cultural diversity in a particular situation is likely to be a correct and useful cause of action for drug law reform, while simultaneously making for a larger selection of euphoriants.

  5. “Cops Fight For Their Right to Bust You for Weed”

    “Corney of the police chiefs association disagrees. His opposition stems from the ways in which he believes legal weed would affect everyday Californians.”

    “Enforcing the law isn’t what police agencies do anymore,” he says. “We enhance quality of life.”

    The first thing we can do to move reform along is to demand that police understand their job as an enforcement activity, not a social enhancement group or a community priesthood bent on teaching morality.

    Otherwise, I would like to know whose quality of life standards are we promoting? Serious consideration of this aspect to policing is needed. Corney of the police chiefs association may have something here. Pulpits are much cheaper to purchase than police cars and guns.

    • DdC says:

      I would like to know whose quality of life standards are we promoting?

      The standards of a Police State…

      Cops should have as much say about drug policy as doctors have to say about taking down a suspect. Or how to roll a proper joint. Why do we spend our taxes on such wimpy whiners? Anti-American thugs for profits. Along with their propaganda prohibitionists lies. Looks like if this country is ever to find Justice we are going to have to reel in the Blue Meanies.

      “Not only are we here to protect the public from vicious criminals in the street but also to protect the public from harmful ideas.”
      — Robert Ingersoll,
      then Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs,
      in a column by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post, June 24, 1972,
      p.31 (Ingersoll became the first director of the DEA in 1974)

      “Ideas are more powerful than guns.
      We would not let our enemies have guns,
      why should we let them have ideas.”
      ~ Joseph Stalin

      Is there any evidence the cops are abusing the citizens and taking advantage of the system for personal gain? Anything at all? One tiny bit of abuse?

      Ganjawar Puppycide

      Cops Confiscation Maliciously Punished Amputee

      Policing for Profit
      ~ DEAth Merchants
      ~ Who’s going to stop the thieves?
      ~ Why Police Officers Lie Under Oath
      ~ Drug mishandling may have tainted 40,000 cases
      ~ Rackets Driven by this Drug War
      ~ AÊ‚Ê‚hole police
      ~ Second Probe Raises Stink
      ~ WTF’s Up with New Mexico? Have they been annexed by Texas?
      ~ How to Prosecute Abusive Prosecutors
      ~ Money, Not Morals, Drives Marijuana Prohibition Movement
      ~ The Miscarriage of Justice Department

      “As someone who spent 35 years wearing a police uniform, I’ve come to believe that hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury every year testifying about drug arrests.”
      ~ Joseph McNamara

      The Joseph McNamara Collection
      ~ Stop the War – A Former Police Chiefs Plea to the New Drug Czar
      ~ America’s Plague of Bad Cops
      ~ Anguish in Blue Needn’t Become Deadly
      ~ Bombs and the Bill of Rights
      ~ Cops on the Dole
      ~ Cop’s View of the Drug War
      ~ End the War by Anthony Lewis
      ~ Has the Drug War Created an Officer Liar’s Club?
      ~ Reinventing the LAPD
      ~ The National Guard is Not a Police Force
      ~ Code of Silence Must Come to an End
      ~ Holding the Line Between Pursuit and Punishment
      ~ Drug Peace
      ~ Shootings by Police – Broken Trust
      ~ NY Times Letter to the Editor – April 18, 1999
      ~ cops against the drug war
      ~ police chiefs question merit of drug policy
      ~ Gil Puder R.I.P.

      Drug Czar linked to deception
      – Drug Czar is Required by Law to Lie
      – UK’s Drugs Czar Fired For Marijuana Truths
      – Cover-Ups, Prevarications, Subversions & Sabotage
      – Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
      – Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
      – GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab ‘Torture’ Centers

      “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)

    • Duncan20903 says:


      If the cops are playing the role of priests would it mean that we’re the altar boys? I don’t want to be an altar boy.

    • primus says:

      Whatever happened to “Police don’t make the laws, only enforce them”?

  6. DdC says:

    War On Weed’s End In Sight

    The end of the federal government’s War On Weed is approaching fast. No matter how the details work out, that much seems pretty clear at this point. What began roughly 100 years ago as a racist legislative overreaction to Latino workers’ preferred method of relaxing — and was then ramped up (under Richard Nixon) to punish hippies and minorities and college students — could once again become sane governmental policy, ending almost a century’s institutional demonization of a fairly harmless natural substance. When it happens, it will be the most significant governmental shift on a pointless and endless social “war” since the end of Prohibition. The only remaining questions are how the mechanics of the war’s end will work out, and how fast it’ll happen. But whether it ends with a bang or a whimper, that end is definitely now in sight.

    Consider the following developments (some very recent and some ongoing): Continued HuffPost

    ☛ DEA about to report
    ☛ Obama could act on his own, after the election
    ☛ Congress could act as well
    ☛ Democratic Party officially calls for change
    ☛ Legalize it
    ☛ Double the budgetary impact
    ☛ War On Weed’s end

    ~ One of President Obama’s campaign promises was to stop letting politics trump science in federal policy.

    ~ it is not ultimately the D.E.A.’s decision how marijuana is classified — it is instead the attorney general’s decision. Congress doesn’t even need to be involved with any shift in policy,

    ~ President Obama might just order this to happen on his way out of office, during the lame-duck period after the election, no matter what the D.E.A. has to say about it.

    ~ Even if the D.E.A. proves recalcitrant and the Obama administration isn’t bold enough to reschedule on their own, Congress may get involved.

  7. primus says:

    Sorry to be off topic, but this is too good to wait. Here in Canada, there is a pathway to legalization. Now, those in charge are asking for input. This link is courtesy of drug sense. The heading was far too long. Canadians I implore you to take this survey;

  8. Servetus says:

    PROPAGANDA ALERT: A new study from the University of New Mexico says it has biological proof that cocaine and methamphetamine causes its users to become neurologically immoral. The study, which was done on 211 prison inmates, attempts to upend the common perception that people are immoral because they use cocaine or methamphetamine, replacing it instead with some 1930s drug-fiend meme:

    13-JUL-2016 — There is strong link between drug use and criminal behavior, and up to 75 percent of inmates in the US have substance abuse problems. It is not known whether the criminal behavior is in part a result of the drugs’ effects on brain function.

    Kiehl’s team is the first to examine how the neural networks and brain functioning of chronic cocaine and methamphetamine users in US jails relate to their ability to evaluate and decide about moral situations or scenarios. Poor judgment about moral situations can lead to poor decision making and subsequent antisocial behavior. […]

    Compared to the non-users, the regular stimulant users had abnormal neural activity in the frontal lobes and limbic regions of their brains during moral processing.

    Specifically, lifetime stimulant users showed less activity in the amygdala, a group of neurons in the brain that helps to regulate and understand emotions. The researchers also observed a relationship in the level of engagement of the anterior cingulate cortex: the longer people had been using stimulants, the less activity in this region. This is an area of the brain that coordinates reinforcement, effect and executive action needed in moral decision making.

    “This is the first study to suggest impairments in the neural systems of moral processing in both cocaine and methamphetamine users,” says lead author Fede. “Although further research into the connectivity of systems in stimulant use is needed, this provides promising initial understanding of fronto-limbic deficits in stimulant users.”

    The research team acknowledges that people who are prone to regular stimulant use might already struggle with moral processing even before they begin to use drugs such as cocaine. The effects found related to use over time in the anterior cingulate cortex and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, another region implicated in moral decision making, however, indicate that methamphetamine and cocaine may have a serious impact on the brain.

    AAAS Public Release:

    Despite the disclaimer that prisoners made up the testing population, and the usual post hoc problems, journalists will now cite this study as if it were based on solid conclusions instead of conjecture. Prohibitionists will seize upon the vagueness of the small study to double-down on drug crimes and the despised drug criminal—the cocaine-crazed black motorist. More police shootings of blacks will occur. This is your country on prohibition.

    • DdC says:

      That’s New Mexico, Land of Anal Probes?

      So the most common drugs prescribed for ADHD and Obesity,
      Cause the patients to become immoral? Kids too. A multi-billion dollar business selling them heathen pills! While banning natural creations, also deemed immoral. Very confusing. Since Cannabis has been researched as causing no moral injury whatever.

      Wasting Obesity on Ganja
      ~ Cannabis could be used to treat obesity-related diseases
      ~ Cannabis holds key to weight control
      ~ Is Marijuana the Next Big Obesity Cure?
      ~ Cannabis Drug May Help Fight Obesity
      ~ Thalidomide studied as weight therapy

      ~ Case Study: Inhaled Cannabis Improves Symptoms Of ADHD
      ~ Marijuana and ADD
      ~ Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder
      ~ Cannabinoids effective in animal model
      of hyperactivity disorder
      ~ Cannabis ‘Scrips to Calm Kids? foxnews

      “In the United States right now
      there are three million children
      receiving stimulant drugs for ADHD.”
      (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
      ~ Dr. Gabor Maté

      Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1894
      “The commission has come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all. … …moderate use of hemp… appears to cause no appreciable physical injury of any kind,… no injurious effects on the mind… and no moral injury whatever.”

      Drug Companies Creating Immoral Patients…

  9. claygooding says:

    Our only path is start removing prohibitches and corporate bought Congressman until we get Citizens United overturned,,,until we can start removing the money in DC little will change at the federal level,,,and states attempting reform face the same task,,,remove the people paid to maintain prohibition.

    Bernie may have dropped out of the race but Ryan is losing in his congressional race,,to a reform candidate if I read the article right,,,so there is some good news,,,also hear that the DNC witch is behind in her polls in FLA by a reform candidate,,,so good news is bubbling up.

    How many reform candidates take seats will determine the next presidential campaign and could even shake up the incumbents that can read the writing on the wall.

  10. Dante says:

    “All I’m seeing is a lot of yelling and hurt”.

    Part of the problem (OK, almost all of the problem) is that law enforcement is trained to yell and then hurt people. The training is so intense it is tantamount to brain washing.

    So now we have legions of brainwashed goons who only know how to accomplish their goals with yelling and then (immediately) violence. This is the crux of the problem – law enforcement’s quick trigger and poor reasoning skills. To them, EVERYTHING is a threat that must be killed. Right now.

    The other side reacts to this lunacy with yelling and violence because it is the only way to get law enforcement’s attention. But the killing never stops, because law enforcement is brainwashed to kill. Dogs, children, old folks, even their fellow officers – they shoot everyone.

  11. Mr_Alex says:


    This might interest you:

    Dr. Bernard Rimland, the late founder of the Autism Research Institute, was one of the first health professionals to write on this topic. In comparing the overall safety of marijuana to more common medications like Risperdal, Dr. Rimland asserts that marijuana is a much safer substance.

    “…if one is going to need to use drugs, one ought to consider a relatively safe drug, like marijuana, if research bears out the good results that a number of parents have reported.” – Dr. Bernard Rimland

    • DdC says:

      Thanks Mr Alex, I’ll add it to the list of obvious…

      Being obvious isn’t prudent in the media. All of the evidence has always been there and the best the feds can do is S#2. While contently trying to regulate it back to the black market. I heard on fstv over 4600 Americans are killed in the work place each year. As they de-regulate corporate responsibility to maintain safe conditions. Or find it cheaper to pay the civil lawsuits to the families of the dead workers than comply with standards. Less inspections resulting in only 80 arrests since 1970. Neocons have been bastardizing this country since Nixon. The Ganjawar is the most obvious and censored.

      No medicinal value is moronic. Everyone knows by now that’s simply not true. Menace to society is another untrue stipulation to keep it locked up and not competing with fat pharma. Addictive? Buzzword with no meaning. People take medications for BP daily the rest of their lives. Diabetes and any long term treatment the body requires weaning to come off of is addiction. Prohibition causes the harm in doing drugs, addictive or not. They not only know this, they preach it and are proud of it.

      Cannabis has no debilitating withdrawal and so it is more a craving than physically addictive. By the definition of the CSA Cannabis not only doesn’t have all of the criteria. It has none of the criteria. Probably why there is no Science backing up why Cannabis is a S#1 narcotic. Every new article just makes it obvious Neocons don’t care about the people, just the profits. For 45 years. The DEA scheduling system has no scientific basis at all. No medical schools teach endocannabinoid science to our future doctors. Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74. Its pretty damn clear to anyone truly wanting to look. Just not interested I guess. Now its hitting more than stoners and they still wait for a savior to lead them to the promise land.

      There just can’t be that many imbeciles, over that long a time holding public offices. Who just don’t know. Someone knows its a scam. Someone knows its Wall St profits at stake regardless of the benefits to Americans. IF they know they are doing harm to citizens and have continued for 45 years. Me thinks maybe we the people following the status quo TV memo readers are the morons and in the majority. Wearing their political savior buttons like medals of honor. Cheering those who will take more and cage more and kill more waiting on a treatment.

      The Ring of Fire

      ☛ The DEA scheduling system has no scientific basis at all

      No science behind lumping Hemp and Medicinal cannabis with crack and pcp. But there are no doctors taught so who will question them on anything they do? When doctors give up their training and experience treating patients to nark cops, patients die.

      ☛ Only 13% of the medical schools surveyed mention the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors.

      I don’t think there is a clearer example of just how low and immoral the DEA is. Knowing what it can do and banning anyone from knowing. Is that even definable?

      ☛ Cannabis Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in 74

  12. B. Snow says:

    I think we can look to the Police themselves…

    An Example: Dallas PD Chief David Brown (who noted in a nation-wide broadcast) – that we’re asking cops to deal with every problem that pops up, and paying them $40,000 a year.

    That’s plain Crazy – the newest problem in Dallas has been “loose dogs” = semi-wild & are frequently seen running the streets of poor/dangerous neighborhoods like they own the place… They kinda do!

    A pack of stray dogs snatching-up small kids That Is an absolutely more concrete “danger to the public” – Especially compared to young people smoking a little weed, getting snitched on by a nosey neighbor lady or some other self-righteous handyman, cable guy, or plumber that sniffs out weed in a neighborhood is going to be asked “Are they in public view? Or, obviously threatening the public safety?”

    “Are they out arguing in their yard or on the corner with guns, More importantly are they brandishing guns?”

    “NO… Okay, Well you don’t worry about them then, = you go inside and worry about yourself,.. You stay safe – call back IF there’s violence beyond pushing & shoving or an actual drawn out fistfight, or gunshots. And we need more info than just “hearing gunshots”, Cops have to know where to go find an incident and some evidence.

    That’s the sort of criminal justice reform that we’re going to have occur. “If you smell something say something” = Nope, See that’s not the phrase – and even if you see a joint, or vaporizer, or whatever If its not plainly dangerous = they’re going to be told to go mind their own business and call back when there’s an actual problem!

    Not this tired Nixonian, *Scary Trump* griping about and “Law and Order 100%” = Stomping out the counter-culture & jamming up stoners & peaceful protesters…

    “Or we won’t have a country” = FFS, WTF Kinda Argument IS THAT? It’s a damn words-salad falling outta his mouth regularly like a fraking catchphrase = It makes no sense!

    (Maybe its Twitter-ese he’s only read and not heard until he started repeating it Ad Nauseum… I can’t believe he’s “creating a thing” like that… *Sigh*)

  13. Sageroo says:

    Sensible gun control and stopping treating poor black people like infants and telling them straight to their faces that they need to address problems within their own communities: Fatherless homes, tribalist identity politics and this disgusting “thug life” mentality of dealing with legitimate problems with violence.

    Ending this stupid drug war is of course also a step in the right direction… but nobody listens.

  14. Frank W. says:

    Norm Stamper is on “Democracy Now” today.

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