Archive for the ‘The Drug War’ category

No New Deal on Drug War

July 1, 2012

The drug “war” pours billions of dollars a year down a bottomless rat hole. But who cares? It’s only money. The problem is, it pours millions of human lives down the same rat hole. All for nothing. Nothing at all. They do it to save us from a harmless drug that grows naturally along the roadways. A toxic dose of it has never been discovered. A McDonald’s Happy Meal will kill you quicker.

But the very suggestion that anti marijuana laws be repealed was laughed off by Obama. He’s not alone in that reaction. It’s a joke. It’s laughed off by everybody.

The next time a child is killed in a drive by shooting or a little old lady is murdered because the police had the wrong address, I’ll try to remember to laugh my ass off.

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Not Much of a Surprise

July 5, 2010

Marijuana Prohibition and Racism without Racists

Excerpt:
“Young blacks and Latinos use marijuana at lower rates than young whites. So why are police in California arresting young blacks and Latinos at higher rates than young whites, and at greater numbers than their percentages of the population?”

Why, indeed?

Portugal’s Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results

May 18, 2010

In the face of a growing number of deaths and cases of HIV linked to drug abuse, the Portuguese government in 2001 tried a new tack to get a handle on the problem—it decriminalized the use and possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other illicit street drugs. The theory: focusing on treatment and prevention instead of jailing users would decrease the number of deaths and infections.

Five years later, the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006, according to a report released recently by the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C, libertarian think tank.

read the whole thing here:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=portugal-drug-decriminalization

No New Deal on Drug War

March 30, 2009

The drug “war” pours billions of dollars a year down a bottomless rat hole. But who cares? It’s only money. The problem is, it pours millions of human lives down the same rat hole. All for nothing. Nothing at all. They do it to save us from a harmless drug that grows naturally along the roadways. A toxic dose of it has never been discovered. A McDonald’s Happy Meal will kill you quicker.

But the very suggestion that anti marijuana laws be repealed was laughed off by Obama. He’s not alone in that reaction. It’s a joke. It’s laughed off by everybody.

The next time a child is killed in a drive by shooting or a little old lady is murdered because the police had the wrong address, I’ll try to remember to laugh my ass off.

The Drug War II

August 17, 2008

I’ve been thinking about the drug “war” a lot lately. I have a lot of questions and would be open to suggestions and thoughts. How can we end at least the grossest stupidities of the drug “war” and restore our lost civil liberties?

One of the worst things is the illegal seizure of people’s money, euphemistically called “forfeiture.” If you are caught with any amount of cash much over $100 the police can seize it without even suspicion of wrongdoing. No warrant necessary. If the money tests positive for drugs–and most American money will–then you can be charged. You’ll never see that money again, the police can have it. Most often it goes into the police department bank account, though it varies from place to place. Furthermore they can and will keep it even if you are found innocent.

Check this out. It’s the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Politicians are extremely reluctant to restore anyone’s rights once they have been removed–especially if the the rights have to do with anything that gives people pleasure (sex, drugs, rock n roll, whatever). Pleasure is something you get from sitting in church listening to someone else read excerpts from Deuteronomy. It’s not something you get from stimulating your body in various ways. That’s just pure evil and should be illegal in all cases without exception.

Ok, maybe I exaggerate just a tad.

Nevertheless, the illegal seizure laws can be softened through clever political manipulation until someone gets the balls the challenge the forfeiture laws all the way to the Supreme Court where I am 95% certain it will be declared unconstitutional. The reason I’m not 100% certain is because Scalia will probably assert that “seizure” meant something different 200 years ago, and therefore it’s constitutional now. He’s an originalist, don’t you know.

What I am proposing for the time being is a limit on what can be seized. I’m thinking anything under $100,000 in cash is off limits. There are too many stories of someone being suspected of some petty crime who happens to have $500 in cash in their wallet. It gets seized and becomes $500 that poor person will never see again. In fact, if they decide to test it for drugs, that poor person may never see the light of day again.

The forfeiture laws constitute unreasonable seizure and are blatantly unconstitutional. Politicians don’t care about that but putting a limit on seizure might be politically viable. Find out who your congress people are and write to them. I am. Meanwhile I’ll be extra careful not to have more than $20 cash in my purse at any given time.

That Damn Drug War

August 13, 2008

I was listening to NPR this morning and the topic happened to be women in prison. One of the little human interest features was about a woman who clearly was stopped Driving While Black and got caught with a couple of baggies of marijuana in her possession. She was arrested and convicted of trafficking (the fact it was individual bags was enough for a charge greater than simple possession). She was pregnant at the time of her arrest and now she and her infant are in prison. Her husband is in prison for marijuana possession. Her two older children are living with relatives.

This is a story of traumatized children and two ruined families all to “protect” us against a harmless drug.

Yes, marijuana is utterly harmless. If you smoke it a lot, you’ll have the same hacking cough a cigarette smoker will have. You’ll probably gain weight. That’s it. There is no known toxic dose.

We already have lots of laws in place to deal with people who abuse alcohol and cause harm to others in the process. There is no reason the same laws and institutions cannot be applied to marijuana and other harmless drugs. If you drive under the influence you should get a DUI. If you commit a crime under the influence you should be charged with a crime and public intoxication.

If a civil liberty is defined as a behavior or action that causes no harm to anyone (including yourself), then criminalizing harmless drugs is a violation of civil liberties.

Here is a list of criminalized drugs and their relative harmfulness. You will notice that there is no known lethal dose for marijuana.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/03/drugs_and_toxic.html

So a woman and her baby–her entire family–have been harmed by the Drug War, not the drugs.