Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

So, President Trump has announced his nominee for the bench: Judge Neil M. Gorsuch.

A lot can happen between announcement and confirmation, so obviously nothing is certain yet, but it’s worth taking a look.

There are a lot of potential problems with this nominee, but there are also some potential bright spots (all from a surface and cursory reading of his Wikipedia entry).

He tends to favor state power over federal power, which is a bonus in this particular phase of drug policy reform. Additionally, he has written against judicial activism – in particular the notion of using the courts as a way to change culture in a way to serve society best, when that should be done at the ballot box. That also seems positive considering most drug policy reform has been happening at the ballot box and in the states. Additionally, he has written against the notion of federal agencies interpreting ambiguous laws instead of the courts.

In criminal law, he understands the importance of mens rea (the idea that the defendant knows that they are breaking a law), something which has been noticeably disappearing from a lot of drug laws.

Again, it’s important to note that Supreme Court rulings that affect drug policy cannot be neatly categorized as right vs. left, but rather tend to focus on more complicated issue of state vs. federal power, individual freedom, the power of federal agencies, etc.

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42 Responses to Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

  1. WalStMonky says:


    Oh my word, when I first glance at the headline above for a moment I thought it said Newt Gingrich. I might be lucky to still be alive because that almost gave me a friggin’ heart attack.

  2. Tom Angell says:

    Here’s some info I compiled on Gorsuch’s rulings in three interesting marijuana cases:

  3. DdC says:

    Well maybe, finally, we can use the “F” word in public. Fascism!

    In 2013, the 10th Circuit threw out a lawsuit against the city of Lafayette, Colorado, and its police. The parents of Ryan Wilson, a 22-year-old who died after being stunned with a Taser as he ran from officers, brought the suit. Gorsuch ruled that an officer didn’t use excessive force when he hit Wilson in the head with the stun gun—and killed him—in 2006. The court upheld a District Court’s decision that the officer had qualified immunity

    A Look at Neil Gorsuch, Possible Trump SCOTUS Nominee

    Marge Baker, executive vice president of People for the American Way, says Gorsuch’s record “clearly shows that he puts his own ideological views above the Constitution and laws.” She adds: “His decisions routinely support the interests of corporations over those of everyday Americans. If appointed and confirmed to our nation’s highest bench, he’d seriously endanger civil rights, women’s rights, and workers’ rights.”

    Gorsuch wrote. “Given the direction we have from the Supreme Court and this court’s precedent, and in light of the state of the law as of 2006, we cannot say the district court erred in its decision to grant qualified immunity.” The Supreme Court, he said, “has directed the lower federal courts to apply qualified immunity broadly” to protect all officers except “the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.”

    Death by Taser: The Killer Alternative to Guns

    Long touted as a safer alternative to handguns for law enforcement, tasers are potentially deadly weapons that have a growing history of abuse by police and security guards.

    Ryan is one of nearly 200 people who have died in the last five years after being shot by a Taser stun gun. In June, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it would review these deaths.

    Over the same period, Taser has developed a near-monopoly in the market for non-lethal weaponry. Increasingly, law enforcement officials use such weapons to subdue society’s most vulnerable members: prisoners, drug addicts and the mentally ill, along with “passive resisters,” like the protesters demonstrating against Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s attendance of a Rick Santorum fundraiser in Pittsburgh on Oct. 9.

    Amnesty International and other human rights groups have also drawn attention to the use of Tasers on captive populations in hospitals, jails and prisons.

    Taser deployment in jails and prisons has become increasingly commonplace, raising concerns about violations of 8th Amendment prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment.

    As increasing numbers of police departments obtained Taser stun guns, the weapons started to be deployed against civilians with greater frequency.

    Taser has triumphed in more than 20 liability dismissals and judgments in favor of the company

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.”
    – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    The DEA scheduling system has no scientific basis at all

    What the WHO doesn’t want you to know about cannabis

  4. Servetus says:

    WASP! (white Anglo-Saxon prohibitionist—and Protestant). Neil Gorsuch downplays his religion (Episcopalian), as it doesn’t show up in his Wiki bio. However, if appointed to the Supreme Court, Gorsuch would pursue a right wing authoritarian religious agenda that would likely target recreational drug consumption, as well as other types of drugs for other purposes.

    Gorsuch, despite a reportedly mild-mannered temperament, is known for his anti-choice and anti-LGBT stances [not Episcopalian church policy], pro-employer rulings in labor disputes, anti-regulatory attitudes, dismissal of scientific expertise, and pro-police bias in brutality cases, according to statements from public interest groups issued after the announcement. [Emphasis added]

    From Carrie Johnson at NPR:

    …he is skeptical of efforts to purge religious expression from public spaces (like Scalia)[…]

    Among other rulings that came to national attention, Gorsuch sided in favor of “religious freedom” claims made by the Little Sisters of the Poor and the owners of the craft company Hobby Lobby, who challenged language in the Affordable Care Act that required them to pay for contraceptive coverage for employees. The Supreme Court backed those Hobby Lobby challengers, in a divided vote, in 2014.

    The Episcopal Church describes itself as “Protestant, yet Catholic”[8] (Episcopalian-ibid). It would seem Neil Gorsuch is Catholic (anti-LGBT), yet Protestant? In such a case, Gorsuch might be expected to support Catholic Catechisms 2289-91:

    2289 — If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

    2290 — The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

    2291 — The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

    Contrary to the moral law indeed. Fascism is noted for its lack of a separation of powers, and it’s typical of fascism to lack a separation of state and corporations (Mussolini’s corporatism). Another fascism indicator is no separation of church and state. Gorsuch is being selected as a supreme court justice to help overturn Roe v. Wade. If that occurs, we can expect new drug prohibitions to arise.

    RU-486, and the morning-after pill, will be removed from the pharmacies, and will instead be offered on the black market. Natural abortifacients such as the seeds of the Bird of Paradise plant, will come under DEA control, along with the plant itself. Drugs used for euthanasia also face federal obstruction, as Gorsuch has written extensively against the practice of assisted suicide. Given his visible ideological tendencies, placing Neil McGill Gorsuch on the Supreme Court will usher in a new, long-lasting era of Supreme Court political activism and neo-fascist drug prohibition. He must be Borked.

  5. Mr_Alex says:

    @Pete and DDC and Drugwarrrant commenters

    Just letting everyone know, Richard Mullinax a former Straight Inc patient who later became National Director at Straight Inc has died, he committed suicide 4 days ago, for anyone who do not know what he did, 10 years ago he responded to a request from the Survivors of Straight Inc and even issued a apology letter to the survivors, from what I was told it destroyed Richard Mullinax’s marriage.

    Mr. Mullinax’s Public Acknowledgment and Apology to Straight, Inc. Survivors

    January 1, 2009

    An Apology to Survivors of Straight Inc. from a Former Executive Staff Member

    This letter is in response to the Straight, Inc. Survivor’s Letter Requesting
    Acknowledgement and an Apology.

    My name is Richard Mullinax. From 1985 – 1989, I was a staff member at Straight Incorporated, a drug and alcohol treatment facility for adolescents. If my memory serves me correctly, the dates, locations and positions of my employment were as follows:

    Fall 1985 – Group Staff Trainee, Springfield, VA

    Fall 1985 – Spring 1986 – Junior Staff, Springfield, VA

    Spring 1986 – Winter 1987 – Senior Staff, Springfield, VA

    Winter 1987 – Spring 1987 – Executive Staff, Springfield, VA

    Spring 1987 – Fall 1987 – Executive Staff, Cincinnati, OH

    Fall 1987 – Spring 1988 – Executive Staff, Springfield, VA

    Spring 1988 – Spring 1989 – Executive Staff, Atlanta, GA

    There were brief periods between 1985 and 1989 that I was not employed by Straight, and I may have some of the months wrong above.

    For 19 years, I gave very little thought to my actions as a staff member of Straight. Then, in the Spring and Summer of 2008, I began to interact with Straight Survivors and listened to their experiences. As the weeks and months progressed, I became increasingly aware of the damage I caused to Straight Survivors as a staff member. After much reflection on the events of the 1980’s I have become very much aware that many Straight Survivors lost their integrity, innocence, sense of self worth, youth, ability to trust others, family relationships and more as a result of my actions as a staff member, and I deeply regret that I am responsible for this as a Staff Member.

    I realize now that many Survivors still suffer from diagnosed psychological disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, social phobias, panic disorders, etc. caused by imprisonment in Straight, Inc, and that many Survivors still endure vivid Straight, Inc. nightmares, can still hear the screams of children as they were abused, and cannot forget the abuse they personally endured or witnessed as vulnerable children. I am deeply ashamed of my role in this, including not putting a stop to it.

    By publishing this this letter in a public forum, I publicly acknowledge that
    Straight, Inc. unjustly committed various crimes, abused children, and utilized
    extremely unethical practices against innocent young clients, which included,
    but were not limited to the following:

    1) Brainwashing (aka coercive thought reform);

    2) Physical abuse;

    3) Usage of illegal and or unethical restraints – children routinely restrained children at the direction of staff for minor infractions (i.e. not motivating, not paying attention, etc.);

    4) Unethical forms of extreme humiliation, including but not limited to; beltlooping, no privacy/watched while urinating, defecating, or bathing, motivating;

    5) Food deprivation (ie. peanut butter diets, inadequate portions of food);

    6) Sleep deprivation – caused by unwarranted, prolonged daily group hours (12), other time spent in the building (up to at least 3 additional pre and/or post group hours), lengthy commuting time, and in many cases, due to intentionally withholding sleep as punishment for not “cooperating” to coerce compliance;

    7) Verbal abuse – unduly harsh confrontational tactics that included swearing, screaming, yelling, spitting, belittling, humiliating, etc., a child in front of a large group of child clients;

    8.) Sexual abuse; (while I was not aware of this while on staff, in recent months I have become aware, through the testimony of other Straight survivors, that this did happen)

    9) Psychological abuse;

    10) Coerced confessions;

    11) Unjustifiable and lengthy isolation in intake and/or time out rooms;

    12) Denial of necessary medical care;

    13) Kidnapping;

    14) False Imprisonment;

    15) Accepting clients with little/no drug history (the so?called “dry druggie” theory);(Specifically, I was personally responsible for conducting client intakes that resulted in children with little history of drug or alcohol use);

    16) Employing uneducated, unprofessional teenage staff. Specifically, I allowed myself to be employed by Straight as a counselor, knowing full well that I had no outside training and no education.

    Additionally, I apologize for the allowing the abuse, unethical practices and
    crimes to continue for years, and lending my name to, sponsoring, recommending,
    and endorsing Straight Inc., and for admitting children, their siblings and
    parents to Straight Inc., and for failing to properly and adequately oversee
    and monitor Straight, Inc.

    I regret my decision to go on staff and I regret my actions as a Straight staff
    member. I made the decision to go on staff and I made the decision to advance
    to Executive Staff. I am responsible for these actions and take full
    responsibility. As a former Straight client myself, I, of all people, should
    have known better.

    I am aware of several former Straight clients who have taken their own lives.
    Many of these people I knew personally. I can’t begin to understand the
    circumstances of each death, but I have no doubt that in some of these deaths
    Straight had a role in this. My heart aches for the victims of suicide and
    their loved ones. I wish I could bring them back.

    I would like to turn the clock back to 1985 and make better decisions. However,
    I am unable to undo the damage I have caused. I am unable to make any financial
    restitution to former victims, as well. However, in recent months, I have had
    the honor and privilege of interacting with former Straight clients who were
    victims of my actions and the actions of other Straight staff. It is my hope
    that these interactions have been a step toward healing the wounds that have remained for 2 decades.

    Along those lines, there is something I can do; I can make myself available to
    Straight Survivors. If you or someone you know feels it would be productive to
    communicate privately with me for any reason, please contact the moderator of this web site.

    It is my hope that other Executive Staff and administrators will take this
    opportunity to acknowledge and apologize for their part in Straight, Inc. If
    any former staff would like to communicate with me privately for any reason,
    please contact the moderator of this web site.

    In closing, it is my sincere hope that survivors of Straight can find the
    healing and closure that they need and deserve. I look forward to being a part
    of that healing.


    Richard Mullinax
    Straight Inc. Staff
    1985 – 1989

    January 18, 2011 – Amendment to Letter of Acknowledgment & Apology dated 12/31/2008

    It has been 2 years since I issued the above letter of acknowledgment and apology. After very careful consideration, I feel it necessary to amend my letter so as to avoid causing any further harm to Survivors of Straight, Inc.

    In the third to the last paragraph, I stated,

    ” … there is something I can do; I can make myself available to Straight Survivors. If you or someone you know feels it would be productive to communicate privately with me for any reason, please contact the moderator of this web site and request that I contact you. I am happy to do so, especially if it would help in the healing process.” In some public postings of the letter, I later added contact information.

    I believe now that I was in error in making this commitment for 2 reasons:

    1. This statement can be interpreted in many ways, one of which is that I was offering to counsel others on their own experiences in Straight, Inc. I am most certainly not a mental health professional. I was not a mental health professional in 1989 and I am not a mental health professional today. I did not intend to imply that I am qualified to, or would, offer advice, counseling, suggestions or direction of any kind.

    Since writing this letter, I have had numerous interactions with Survivors regarding the letter. While I have shared my own experiences, I have been cautious never to offer advice, counseling, suggestions or direction of any kind. Nonetheless, I believe it necessary to amend this letter for this clarification.

    2. By some estimates, there are over 50,000 former Straight clients. Had I considered this 2 years ago as I should have, I would have not made the offer of private interaction. To the best of my knowledge, I have kept my commitment to interact with Survivors, thus far. However, extending such an invitation to so many will eventually result in an inability on my part to meet that commitment. I believe this would be detrimental to Survivors and cause yet further harm. I was wrong to make a commitment I may eventually not be able to keep.

    I stand by the public nature of this letter and all other statements it contains, including and especially the second to the last paragraph.


    Richard Mullinax

  6. DdC says:

    Now if he had any morals
    Sembler would make reservations to join him.

  7. DdC says:

    Apart from his scantly-known views on pot legalization, it is worth noting that the Daily Beast referred Neil Gorsuch as the “dream candidate of the Christian Right” who is “enthusiastically pro-life and conservative on all other issues near and dear to evangelicals who held their noses and who elected a morally flawed president.”

    Where Does Trump’s Choice for the Supreme Court
    Stand on Weed Legalization?

    “This case owes its genesis to the mixed messages the federal government is sending these days about the distribution of marijuana,” Gorsuch explained. “So it is that today prosecutors will almost always overlook federal marijuana distribution crimes in Colorado but the tax man never will.”

    Joint Blog, which reported that a former student of Gorsuch’s asked him several years ago whether or not he supported legalization. Gorsuch responded by saying that, at the very least, he supports “the federal government getting out of the business of prohibiting in.”

    A Chicken Coup: Chicken Hawks and Chicken Littles

    • Will says:

      “This case owes its genesis to the mixed messages the federal government is sending these days about the distribution of marijuana,” Gorsuch explained.

      Since we already know that President Trump is not known for subtlety or nuance, his administration needs to make a black or white decision regarding cannabis. No more “grey area” policies of the previous administration.

      So, the only choices are;

      a) Decide that any and all cannabis related businesses that are operating in states where cannabis is legalized — recreational, medical or both — exist in flagrant violation of federal law(s) with respect to the CSA. Notify those businesses, and the people who own them, that their illegal activity needs to end. The only rational and humane way to do this is to allow these businesses a period of time (30 days? 90 days? or?) to unwind their operations. However, any remaining businesses still in operation after the ‘cease and desist’ grace period will subject themselves to the full array of enforcement methods the federal government has at its disposal. Basically it’s game over for state level legalized cannabis, full stop. One possible deviation: With President Trump’s stated support for medical cannabis he might decide to allow large pharmaceutical companies to take over all research and development of future cannabis based drugs — if they choose to — going through the already established FDA approval process.

      –Or, conversely–

      b) Take a good look at the 800 hundred pound legalized cannabis gorilla in the room and realize that federal prohibition of cannabis is no longer enforceable. Momentarily ruminate (but not too long) on the fact that with 29 states and Washington, D.C. having some kind of legal cannabis laws on the books, it’s game over for federal cannabis prohibition. Especially since the trend is undeniably moving toward even more states likely to legalize cannabis, for whatever purpose, in the future. Based on these observable facts (no ‘alternative facts’, please) the only solution is for President Trump to issue an executive order removing cannabis from the CSA entirely. No mamby-pamby rescheduling to II or III or any of that nonsense. No long and drawn out special investigative committees to look into the plausibility of such an action. Worried about violating ‘international treaties’? Mr. ‘Art of the Deal’ can renegotiate, revoke or ignore them. “Very simple, not a problem” his tweet should read. The states then take over and eliminate, modify or strengthen cannabis laws as they see fit.

      Finally an end to the Obama administration’s pathetic lack of solid guidance and definitive action on the subject. It’s yes or no time for the Trump administration. Time to choose one way or the other and get it done. Next!

  8. Servetus says:

    Anne Gorsuch-Burford, deceased mother of Supreme Court nominee Neil McGill Gorsuch, is receiving media attention for her disastrous two-year role as Reagan’s EPA director, wherein she was forced to resign after being cited for contempt of Congress. Both Ms. Burford and her son Neil appear to have been highly capable humanities majors in college who didn’t need no stinkin’ science, something obvious in Ms. Burford’s botched tenure as head of a science oriented government agency.

    Neil Gorsuch’s attitudes about marijuana might hinge on his mother’s cancer and death at 62 that likely resulted from Anne being a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker. Since Neil Gorsuch appears willfully ignorant of science, he may be like some prohibitionists who regard marijuana as being no different from tobacco in its long term health effects. After all, joints sometimes look like cigarettes. It’s doubtful Gorsuch ever read the Tashkin study, where it was shown that smoking marijuana in combination with tobacco reduces the incidence of certain types of cancers known to be induced by smoked tobacco.

    The political destinies of Ms. Burford and her son would have been conditioned by right wing politics in Colorado. During the McCarthy era and beyond, 15% of Colorado citizens belonged to the John Birch Society. Contact with the John Birch Society would have meant contact with Fred Koch and later the Koch brothers, Charles and David. Failed Interior Secretary James G. Watt was closely associated with Anne Burford. The Gorsuch-Burford family would have been well acquainted with Colorado’s arch-right–wing Coors family, owners of the Coors beer company, and famous big donors to right wing political causes.

    It was the social milieu of extreme know-nothing politics that spawned the man now being considered for a position on the Supreme Court. He wouldn’t be its current nominee without it. We cannot expect Neil Gorsuch to have a clue about how the world or universe works, but we can expect his diminished intellectual capacity to further empower anti-environmentalists and prohibitionists.

    Bios of Anne Burford:

    • Schedule I Surfer says:

      …We cannot expect Neil Gorsuch to have a clue about how the world or universe works…

      And these nut jobs wonder why we do drugs.

  9. DdC says:

    Now that Donald Trump has nominated right-wing extremist Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, we need an all-out effort to stop his nomination. And that requires mobilizing immediately to demand Senate Democrats do everything they can to stop him.

    Support efforts to stop changing Senate rules

    Santa Cruz REJECTS Trump’s nominee

    Call Senators: Filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court nominee
    Unfortunately, some Senate Democrats are already squishy on using a filibuster to stop Gorsuch. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said “We should not repeat the Republican wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right,” referring to Republican obstruction of Merrick Garland last year.

    Senate Dems block today’s Pruitt confirmation hearing
    League of Conservation Voters

    Senators: Reject Judge Gorsuch and any SCOTUS nominee who will not protect our fundamental rights and liberties!

    Gorsuch Nomination an ‘Affront to All Who Care About Women’s Health and Rights,’ Ness Says, Urging Senate to Refuse to Confirm Him

    Should Democrats accept Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee?

  10. Skulls and Boners Club says:

    “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” Henry Kissinger, August 29, 1967.

    From the school yearbook of Neil Gorsuch who founded his elite school’s “Fascism Forever Club” which combatted left-wing faculty.

    A fan of Kissinger and unconstitutional acts. Sounds like a perfect fit for Empire.

  11. Condi says:

    Might also note that Gorsuch has been a fascist from the jump. .

  12. DdC says:

    “We should resist the temptation
    to identify our religious convictions
    with the platform of a party
    or the platitudes of favored politicians.”
    –Ralph Reed, 1996

    As if they’re giving him enough rope to hang himself.

    ☛ Mike Pence Will Be the Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in U.S. History Jeremy Scahill

    So the infrastructure of Drumpf Inc is led by a Billionaire and highly goyish, hardcore conservative evangelical Khristzions. After all, in the minds of the Supremacist, the Jews killed Jesus and were given the Christian Holy Land from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Take out the 7 “radical Muslim” countries and claim Israel as a state. With Faux News Bill O’Really all out of sorts that there are actually other religions holidays. The Liberals are always trying to kill Christmas for Bill and now his GOPerversions are behind a group of creepy old white dudes not even recognizing Christmas or Halloween. Down right UnAmerican.

    Christian voters don’t vote for candidates,
    they vote party line. ~ Ralph Reed

    ☛ Meet the Evangelical Christians Behind TedcRUzMP
    — They’re Super Jewy

    On the one hand, surely it feels creepy to watch a group of highly goyish, hardcore conservative evangelicals blow the shofar, wear the tallit and observe Passover. These aren’t Jews for Jesus; they’re not here to convert us. These are Jesus people for Judaism, creating a new hybrid religion in front of our eyes

    And their politics are indeed extreme. Wilks’s foundation is bankrolling far-right anti-abortion groups, Kim Davis’s lawyers and several organizations that have been designated as hate groups.

    They sleep in tents on Sukkot, but reject Christmas and Halloween.

    Of the remaining Republican presidential hopefuls, Ted Cruz has emerged as the candidate of the Christian right. Yet he is also the candidate of the 1%, with just four people donating over $31 million to his campaign: eccentric billionaire Robert Mercer, longtime friend Toby Neugebauer, and two brothers, Farris and Dan Wilks.

    The Wilks brothers are billionaires, after all. And they use their money to promote a Christian-Dominionist-anointed presidential candidate, to use the apparatus of the state to enforce a theological view of conception, and to continue to fight the lost legal cause of “traditional marriage.” They’re not into “live and let live.”

    I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare.
    I paint my face and travel at night.
    You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag.”
    –Ralph Reed, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 11/9/91

  13. Servetus says:

    More on the Anne Gorsuch Burford connection, Trump is imitating Ronald Reagan in his choice of appointments. Neil Gorsuch is a double whammy appointment, anti-environment and anti-Roe v Wade. More on the Gorsuch family links to Coors and Watt. From Jeffrey St Clair at CounterPunch:

    February 3, 2017 — …Sagebrush leaders … fill important posts [in Reagan’s] administration. These Reagan rebels, headed by James Watt (who ran Coors’ Mountain States Legal Foundation) and Anne Gorsuch, called themselves “the Crazies on the Hill.”

    Watt, a millennialist Christian and rabid anti-communist [i.e., fascist], was given the Department of the Interior…. He proclaimed he would make the “bureaucracy yield to my blows”…Watt proposed the sale of 30 million acres of public lands to private companies, gave away billions of dollars worth of publicly owned coal resources, fought to permit corporations to manage national parks, refused to enforce the nation’s strip mining laws, offered up the Outer Continental Shelf oil reserves to exploration and drilling, ignored the Endangered Species Act, and purged the Interior Department of any employee who objected to his agenda.

    Watt defended his actions on religious grounds, arguing that conservation of resources for future generations amounted to a waste of “God’s gift to mankind.”

    “I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns,” Watt warned. Use it or lose it.

    Former drug czar and anti-education secretary Bill Bennett’s career was launched by Reagan:

    December 8, 2016 — Reagan also ran on a platform to eliminate the Department of Education, created just years ago by his predecessor Jimmy Carter. William Bennett, Reagan’s Education Secretary, launched the most sustained verbal attack ever made by a high official on the federal student-aid program, according to the New York Times.

    If Betsy DeVos doesn’t get to be education secretary on Monday, she can always become the new drug czar.

  14. DdC says:

    If they’re dumbing down the population with alternative facts 24/7. They may as well profit on it too. Like Rayguns selling Peeble Beach Betsy DeVoid can sell the schools to the Koch Prison Industrial Complex or Haliburton School of Fracking or Monsanto Frankenfud. I just saw released tapes on Trump You! Now the King of Debt has the briefcase with the red button. Is it any wonder why America has a prescription drug and drinking problem?

    “Naturally the common people don’t want war…but after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship…all you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” Herman Goering ( One of Hitler’s top men, during the Nuremberg Trials)

    Candid discussions with the Heartland Institute’s director Joseph Bast about why they’re so vehemently anti-science on climate change.

    Secretive Computer Scientist-Turned-Hedge Fund CEO

    “We realized that if the science was true that would allow liberals to justify pretty much any kind of regulation, so we took another look at the science.”

    Naomi Klein – Bill Moyers Interview

    In World War II, the government quickly restructured the biggest U.S. industries for the war effort. That fear—of federal intervention—appears to a major driver behind Mercer’s career path and political activism.

    Why Do YOU Think They Call it DOPE?
    * Cannabis Hemp: The Invisible Prohibition Revealed
    * The Elkhorn Manifesto
    * Marijuana and Hemp: The Untold Story
    * The Nation of Apathetic Puppets By John Pilger
    * Maintaining Dysfunction

    Reagans 100th birthday
    Nancy Reagan’s Role in the Disastrous War on Drugs
    Resident Ronald Reagan, at the urging of then Vice Resident George Bush, appointed Carlton Turner as the White House Drug (czar) Advisor in 1981. Soon after Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty.

    “Marijuana leads to homosexuality …
    and therefore to AIDS.”
    ~ Carlton Turner –
    Former Drug Czar (Reagan)

    The Lost Opportunities of Iran-Contra
    Documents: Feds allegedly allowed Sinaloa cartel to move several tons of cocaine into United States in exchange for information about rival cartels, according to court documents filed in a U.S. federal court. Drug kingpin Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman and the son of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia, believed to be the brains behind the Sinaloa cartel. George H. W. Bush The Mena Connection – Exposing the CIA, Bush, Clinton and Criminal Conspiracy Coverup.

    John P. Walters is uniquely qualified for his “Drug Czar” job. He was actually involved in the Iran-Contra Drug Trafficking Cover-up. John Negroponte covered up reports on human rights abuses committed by the U.S.-backed Honduran military linked to “death-squad activities.” Otto Reich “Under Reagan, headed the Office of Public Diplomacy. “The purpose of his office was none other than to get the American people to side with war over peace, using propaganda methods determined to be ‘improper,”

    “Today, America would be outraged if UN troops
    entered Los Angeles to restore order.
    Tomorrow they will be grateful!
    This is especially true if they were told
    that there was an outside threat from beyond,
    whether real or promulgated,
    that threatened our very existence.
    It is then that all people of the world
    will plead to deliver them from this evil.
    The one thing every man fears is the unknown.
    When presented with this scenario,
    individual rights will be willingly relinquished
    for the guarantee of their well-being
    granted to them by the world government.”
    – Henry Kissinger
    (Bilderburg Conference 1991 Evians, France)

  15. Servetus says:

    “A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends.” – Vice President Henry Wallace, 1944. —

  16. Servetus says:

    Trump will expect Neil Gorsuch to support White House anti-immigration, anti-drug policies, and the wall. Much about Trump’s border wall and his views on illegal immigration can be laid at the feet of Gen. Kelly, the new US secretary of Homeland Security, who has focused on drug interdiction. General John Francis Kelly filled General McCaffrey’s old job as head of the US Southern Command overseeing Latin America and the drug war. From a July 5, 2014 article by Molly O’Toole:

    U.S. Southern Command’s Gen. Kelly calls U.S. border insecurity, Latin America’s broken societies and ‘insatiable’ American drug use ‘existential’ threats to national security. […]

    Kelly said that budgets cuts are “severely degrading” the military’s ability to defend southern approaches to the U.S border. Last year, he said, his task force was unable to act on nearly 75 percent of illicit trafficking events. “I simply sit and watch it go by,” he said. But the potential threats are even greater. Kelly warned that neglect has created vulnerabilities that can be exploited by terrorist groups, describing a “crime-terror convergence” already seen in Lebanese Hezbollah’s involvement in the region.[…]

    “All this corruption and violence is directly or indirectly due to the insatiable U.S. demand for drugs, particularly cocaine, heroin and now methamphetamines,” Kelly told Defense One, “all of which are produced in Latin America and smuggled into the U.S. along an incredibly efficient network along which anything – hundreds of tons of drugs, people, terrorists, potentially weapons of mass destruction or children – can travel, so long as they can pay the fare.”[…]

    Historically, U.S. security forces have played a dark role in the struggles of Central America, and Kelly said the military has refined its mission there to be “sensitive to perceptions of militarization of the region.” Much of the most recent relationship with the region has remained focused on military assistance to fight the drug war. The extent of joint operations with the American DEA, FBI, CIA and military and their Central and South American counterparts is unprecedented. Much of U.S. assistance to Mexico and Central America has come under the Merida Initiative, intended to strengthen these countries’ own security capabilities. Since Congress first funded Merida in 2008, lawmakers have appropriated about $2.4 billion to Mexico and approved Mexico’s purchase of 18 Blackhawk helicopters.[…]

    • Servetus says:

      Why a Mexican border wall and not a Canadian border wall?

      Donald Trump keeps talking about the threat from the U.S.-Mexico border. But he may be looking in the wrong direction. FBI reports reviewed by The Daily Beast reveal that far more suspected terrorists try to enter the country from the northern border with Canada than from the south.

      And then there is this:

      Both the Associated Press and the Mexican press published information on the call from confidential sources. Veteran Washington correspondent Dolia Estevez reported that Trump told Peña Nieto “in a threatening tone”:

      I don’t need Mexicans. I don’t need Mexico. You are going to pay for the wall whether you want to or not.

      Even worse, on the bullying call Trump actually threatened to send in the U.S. Army to invade Mexico if Mexico didn’t control the “bad hombres” that “massacre our people” by trafficking prohibited drugs. This from the AP:

      “You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

      Wall or no wall, Trump (and Bannon) want to turn Mexico into the next Syria, ostensibly to stem the flow of illicit drugs. More likely, they just want to beat up on Mexico. The threat of a 35% tax on goods shipped from Mexico has already caused a devaluation of the peso.

      • NorCal Cabin Fever says:

        The Wall we NEED is around the 4th-grade intelligence of Agent Orange. We’re being led by someone who can’t read and is basically a functional illiterate. A functional illiterate who is also a malignant narcissist.

        What could possibly go wrong? Walls are for pussy grabbers who need sanctuary from blowback.

      • DdC says:

        Why a Mexican border wall and not a Canadian border wall?

        Canada is primarily white. Terrorist are Brown.unless they’re elected or super rich, The only time they threatened Canada with border sanctions is when they threatened to legalize pot during Clinton and Bush. Now they’re threatening again so maybe he’ll make an exception at the risk of losing KKK support.

        Canada’s Supremes Cower Under DEAth Threats

        I’ve predicted Endocannabinoid Deficiency is the root cause of the DNC groupies and republicans fear centers growing in size. With Drumpf lies making it worse on citizens and his ability to kick his own Authoritarian Addiction. Now his agenda to terrorize 7 countries who have never attacked America leaving out the main country supporting terrorism, Saudi Arabia. Still the worst terror attack on Americans was the Controlled Substance Act terrorizing 30 million citizens with arrest records and sick people living in stressful conditions caused by the prohibitionist government.

        Trump’s Lying Is Changing Our Brains Like It Or Not

        Unreported airstrikes and collateral damage or in reality dead people. Terrorists come in all shapes and then jerk flags to justify it.

        US not reporting all airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan

        The U.S. Military’s Stats on Deadly Airstrikes are Wrong.
        Thousands Have Gone Unreported

        A Chicken Coup: Chicken Hawks and Chicken Littles

        By far the most numerous and most flagrant violations of personal liberty and individual rights are performed by governments … The major crimes throughout history, the ones executed on the largest scale, have been committed not by individuals or bands of individuals but by governments, as a deliberate policy of those governments … that is, by the official representatives of governments, acting in their official capacity.
        –John Hospers

  17. DdC says:

    Has Trump Set the Table for the Reichstag Fire?
    On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom discusses how Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch could be dangerous for the separation of church and state with Rev. Barry Lynn. Then, Thom talks to Sarah Badawi of Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Nuchhi Currier of the Woman’s National Democratic Club about Steve Bannon’s dangerous nationalist views, and how the public is reacting to Republican pushes to repeal Obamacare.

    How Trump is Blowing Up the Separation of Church & State

    Could this Kill the Anti-Trump Resistance Before It Ramps Up?

    Indivisible: A Practical Guide For Resisting Trump

    12-29-2008, Wall Street journal. Igor Panarin,
    a Russian professor predicted the USA break up.

  18. Elizabeth Warren barred from Senate debate for ‘impugning’ Jeff Sessions

  19. DdC says:

    A glimmer of sanity in a wag the dog world of an infowars president.

    H.R.715 – Compassionate Access Act
    115th Congress (2017-2018) | Get alerts

    Sponsor: Rep. Griffith, H. Morgan [R-VA-9] (Introduced 01/27/2017)
    Committees: House – Energy and Commerce; Judiciary
    Latest Action: 01/27/2017 Referred to House Judiciary (All Actions)
    ☛ Bill Seeks to Reschedule Marijuana Under the CSA

    ☛ Thousands Call for Full Weed Legalization at Tel Aviv Rally

    ☛ Meet the ‘Nuns’ Who Grow Medical Marijuana

    ☛ The CEO of the ‘Uber for weed’ says These Mints are the Next Big Thing in Marijuana

    ☛ Joints on Your Pillow: The Growing World of Cannabis Tourism

    • NorCalNative says:

      DdC, I’m having trouble finding any glimmer of sanity in H.R. 715. What am I missing because it looks like stuff you’ve trashed in the past? I think NORML is wrong to ask people to support this incremental bullshit.

      Marijuana is NOT two cannabinoids isolated from the rest of the plant and NEVER will be. Marijuana equals whole-plant or it’s a meaningless term.

    • DdC says:

      You’re right NCN

      I first heard of it on the CA NORML site and then looked it up. Since Ryan has already stopped any new cannabis legislation I don’t think it has a chance. I do agree with you after a second look at it. More incrementalism. At best its a missleading headline. Sorry and thanks for the catch. Now we need warning labels on NORML?

  20. Servetus says:

    Do your favorite songs no longer produce the same feelings? Something may be amiss with your opioid receptors. From McGill University in Quebec:

    8-FEB-2017 — “This is the first demonstration that the brain’s own opioids are directly involved in musical pleasure,” says cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin, senior author of the paper. While previous work by Levitin’s lab and others had used neuroimaging to map areas of the brain that are active during moments of musical pleasure, scientists were able only to infer the involvement of the opioid system.

    In the new study, Levitin’s team at McGill selectively and temporarily blocked opioids in the brain using naltrexone, a widely prescribed drug for treating addiction disorders. The researchers then measured participants’ responses to music, and found that even the participants’ favorite songs no longer elicited feelings of pleasure.

    “The findings, themselves, were what we hypothesized,” Levitin says. “But the anecdotes — the impressions our participants shared with us after the experiment — were fascinating. One said: ‘I know this is my favorite song but it doesn’t feel like it usually does.’ Another: ‘It sounds pretty, but it’s not doing anything for me.'”

    Things that people enjoy – alcohol, sex, a friendly game of poker, to name a few – can also lead to addictive behaviors that can harm lives and relationships. So understanding the neurochemical roots of pleasure has been an important part of neuroscience research for decades. But scientists only recently developed the tools and methods to do such research in humans.

    AAAS Public Release: Sex, drugs, and rock and roll chemistry in the brain

    In the U.S., pleasure is a major taboo. It’s also known as hedonism. So it’s no wonder research on the topic doesn’t get funded by the NIDA. Also, the study probably couldn’t have been done in the U.S. because the college students in the study were given opioids for research reasons rather than medical needs.

    In a separate study that was funded by the NIDA, “…the commercial weight-loss drug lorcaserin, when given to rats who had been self-administering oxycodone, appeared to reduce their use of and craving for the opioid. ”—AAAS Public Release: .

    The idea that someday pills may be mailed from a doctor’s office to a person’s home that can alleviate opiate addiction must be driving the addiction treatment industry mad with fears of their own obsolescence.

  21. Servetus says:

    Chocolate is in the news as the chemical connoisseurs at the American Chemical Society present their latest video on the chemistry of people’s favorite guilt-ridden pleasure.

    Chocolate, or cacao, has a history of prohibition. It was among the many ethnobotanicals banned by the Spanish Inquisition during the colonial period in Central and South America as part of a successful effort by the Spanish that enslaved indigenous Americans by robbing them of their identity and culture. The process is analogous to robbing Joe of his six-pack identity by prohibiting cheap beer. The sordid history of chocolate may be why we don’t hear much about Spanish chocolate. Heretics such as the Dutch, Belgians, and Germans stepped in to seize the chocolate market, which has been profitable ever since.

    Chocolate has many scary chemicals, about 800 in the aroma alone, making it a prime target for fear-mongering prohibitionists. It also has a psychoactive chemical or ‘love-drug’ in it called phenylethylamine, which sounds suspiciously like 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenylethylamine, commonly known as mescaline. From the ACS:

    Not all things bode well for the chocolate industry. Here is CNN’s take on the St. Valentine’s Day confection:

    The dark ingredient in your chocolate.

    More on the healthy passion of chocolate:

  22. Marijuana Law Reformers React to Attorney General Jeff Sessions

    Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch says Trump’s attacks on judiciary are ‘demoralizing’
    Seems comforting somehow.

  23. DdC says:

    Dems said they would block anyone not standing up to Trump yesterday. Like Trump, what they say is what is needed to be said. It has little or no bearing on what will be done or what has been done. End justifies Means. Since Sessions its clear they care less about what the people think. They have the majority. Now the gutting and cage filling. Black and @hite TV and purity tests.

    The Violence of Silence

  24. DdC says:

    Business The Huffington Post
    An Open Letter to Jeff Sessions From A Doctor Concerned About Marijuana
    Let me start by introducing myself. I am Dr. David Bearman, I am considered to be one of the most clinically knowledgable physicians in the field of medical cannabis in the United States. I have spent 40 years working in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs. I was a pioneer in the free and community clinics that are now available to Americans everywhere. I was even a member of then-California Governor Ronald Reagan’s Interagency Task Force on Drug Abuse. I urge you, if confirmed, to take medical cannabis seriously and not only allow state programs to continue to flourish but urge the president, the DEA, Congress and FDA to work on seriously reconsidering America’s current drug laws and policies. continued

    ‘Come after me’: Pennsylvania pol goes off on ‘gibbon’ Trump in profanity-laced Facebook post

    Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach went after President Trump on Tuesday, branding him a “fascist, loofa-faced, s***-gibbon,” and challenging him to “come after me.”

    Leach, a Philadelphia-area Democrat, posted a Politico report on Facebook about the president’s recent White House meeting with county sheriffs from across the country. During the meeting, one sheriff brought up civil asset forfeiture, a practice allowing law enforcement to seize money and property belonging to individuals accused of committing a crime, even before a verdict is handed down.

    The sheriff, from Rockwall County, Texas, griped about a Texas state senator seeking to change the law so that a conviction would be required before a suspect’s assets could be seized.

    The sheriff joked that “the cartel would build a monument” to the legislator.

    “Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump responded.

  25. President Trump Speaks to Sheriffs Like an Old School Drug Warrior

    The simple minded thinking of the drug war warriors sounds like an old rerun of Nixon era strategic thinking on fighting a drug war.

    We have left the simpleton solutions to the simpleton minded.

    “THE PRESIDENT: How much of your crime is caused, do you think, by drugs generally?”

    “SHERIFF MAHONEY: Eighty percent?”

    “THE PRESIDENT: Eighty percent. So without drugs, you would have a whole different ballgame.”

    “SHERIFF MAHONEY: I have a jail, over 1,000 beds. Eighty percent suffer from chronic drug and alcohol addiction.”

    “PARTICIPANT: Mr. President, I hate to interrupt — it used to take 90 days to take a load of heroin from the border to get it into the (inaudible) mainstream. Now it’s taking 14 days.”

    “THE PRESIDENT: Okay, well, we’ll have it take infinity, okay? (Laughter.)”

    Mr. Trump also signalled again that the push to end the abuse of civil asset forfeiture is over and we’ll be returning to swiping innocent people’s stuff to enrich police departments …

    – Right up the alley of the eager justice minded sheriff’s crews who listen to Trump with visions of dollar signs in their happy simple minds.

    Trump appears to be ushering in an era of ignorant drug war bliss. Even Barnum and Baily is ending their circus. Trump needs some lessons in how to end a circus.

    Right now he sounds like PT Barnam. There’s a sucker born every minute in the world of drug war.


      … “Trump shouldn’t let a member of his own cabinet pigeonhole him into flip-flopping on his campaign position and promises, nor should the president buy into Sessions’ ridiculous and outdated approach to cannabis. If Trump does anything other than responsibly work to reform our nation’s failed drug policies, Americans must remember to speak out against these unjust laws and continue to fight for our country’s most disenfranchised. We must remind each other and our elected officials of our moral obligation to disobey unjust laws, and to respect the will of the voters and what the majority of Americans want: End cannabis prohibition now.”

    • Will says:

      And this part of the exchange TC;

      PARTICIPANT: You shouldn’t be allowed to profit from the illegal proceeds. So if you’re going to sell narcotics and sell illegal drugs in our country, you also cannot profit from that. And so we seize those profits.

      THE PRESIDENT: So do we need any legislation or any executive orders for that, would you say, Dana — to put that back in business?

      MR. BOENTE: I don’t think we need any executive orders. We just need kind of some encouragement to move in that direction.

      THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Good. You’re in charge. (Laughter.) I love that answer, because it’s better than signing executive orders and then these people take it and they make it look so terrible — “oh, it’s so terrible.” I love it. You’re encouraged.

      PARTICIPANT: Thank you.

      THE PRESIDENT: Good. Asset forfeiture. You’re encouraged. Okay. Yes, sir.


      So, now we’re back to the Simpleton-In-Chief, who needs no in-depth description of the scope of the issue (nothing about seized assets without a criminal conviction). Just ask for what is needed. Get the shortest, most simplistic answer possible — “just need kind of some encouragement”. Then, “You’re encouraged” is uttered and the problem is solved.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually asks if an executive order is all that’s needed to ‘delete’ the 4th Amendment.

  26. DdC says:

    Donald Trump Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch on Marijuana

    Donald Trump Removes Marijuana Opposition from White House Website
    Will Donald Trump Nominate Marijuana Legalizer to Head the FDA?
    Donald Trump Is Too Authoritarian to Trust His Marijuana Policy

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