Tag Archives: the war on drugs

Knee Jerk Reactions

Looks like that ol’ drug pusher (tobacco) Jeff Sessions has enlisted an ally in his efforts to assuage both big pharma and the liquor industry’s insecurities…

WASHINGTON – Two days after downplaying the role of marijuana in the nation’s drug war, Department of Homeland Security John Kelly changed course on Tuesday, calling it a “potentially dangerous gateway drug” and saying his agency would continue to arrest and investigate those who traded in it in violation of federal law.

“Let me be clear about marijuana: It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs,” he said in his first major speech since being sworn in. “Its use and possession is against federal law and until that law is changed by the United States Congress, we at DHS, along with the rest of the federal government, are sworn to uphold all the laws that are on the books.”

Sooo…what? DHS now suddenly has police powers? Uh, methinks not. In fact the department is in legal hot water exactly because they’ve been masquerading as police. Moreover, none of what DHS is tasked with gives them any place in big pharma’s never ending, farcical “war on drugs.” 1

And that old canard about marijuana being a “gateway drug”? Bitch, please! You know what gateway drugs are? Pharmaceutical grade “diet” pills, mood elevators/inhibitors and, oh yeah, don’t forget hydrocodone and OxyContin – those ARE gateway drugs for, yep, you guessed it, heroin. 2

Marijuana advocates, who are watching closely to determine whether the Trump administration will deal a blow to state-level legalization efforts, decried the comments, saying Kelly was defying science in taking a hard line on pot. Eight states – Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington – and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana in some form and another 20 permit the sale of pot for medical purposes.

“DHS should stick to security and leave the science to the scientists,” Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Denver-based Marijuana Policy Project, told McClatchy. “This is a knee-jerk reaction among a certain generation of people that still think of marijuana as this vile, horrific substance and have yet to accept the fact that it is actually less harmful than alcohol.”

Indeed, but tiny Jeff Sessions 3 needs an ally since many in Congress are ready to admit the marijuana stupidity has gone too far.

It bears repeating over and over and over again that the ONLY reason marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug is because that black hearted asshole Nixon, along with his dolt of idiots of a staff, needed it for political reasons.

Knee Jerk Reactions

The difference between a policy and a crusade is that a policy is judged by its results, while a crusade is judged by how good it makes its crusaders feel.

— Thomas Sowell

Knee Jerk Reactions

It’s hard not to see Lilliputian Sessions’ efforts as a crusade when he refuses to let science stand in the way of incarceration by excluding the National Commission on Forensic Science 4:

“The reliance of law enforcement on questionable science and the overstatement of the reliability of that science has been a leading cause of the wrongful conviction of innocent people,” said National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) president Barry Pollack on Monday. “The reason the National Commission on Forensic Science has been so important is that it includes leading independent scientists, allowing an unbiased expert evaluation of which techniques are scientifically valid and which are not. NACDL is terribly disappointed that even while acknowledging the crucial role played by the National Commission on Forensic Science, the Attorney General has chosen to disband it.”

Stone them, burn them at the stake, throw them in ponds and see if they float…

Knee Jerk Reactions

Meanwhile, just north of us, in a civilized country

Knee Jerk Reactions

Show 4 footnotes

  1. With the possible exceptions of the Coast Guard, in an interdiction mode, though more and more that’s a “coals to Newcastle” idiocy; why bother when you can legally buy weed in one of 8 states and drive it home?
  2. Though, frankly? Opioids, per se, aren’t the problem, Chris Christie’s irrelevancies aside: thorough education as to the dangers of drug mixing, yanking crusading pols out of the doctor-patient relationship and supporting the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, while permitting legal access to heroin and other drugs would save more lives than ANY drug prohibition.
  3. Sessions’ height is listed at 5′ 7″, exactly the same as Tom Cruise. However no one believes Cruise, since he’s given to wearing “lifts.” A more realistic figure is would be 5′ 5″ in both cases. What IS it with little men and their need to project authority, ludicrous though it may be?
  4. NCFS is funded specifically to enable independent scientists to investigate/counter forensic laboratory methods or other issues that might lead to false criminal convictions.

The War on Drugs

ISIS jihadis…er, I mean, Peyton C. Grinnell of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department in Florida has a message for you, heroin pushers/users! 1 You should seek help from your local office of Florida social services 2 agency, especially receiving a referral to The Recovery Village where both mental health and addition issues can be addressed! 3

Wait…that’s not what Peyton C. Grinnell said. What he really said was “…run and hide” before “”our SWAT team blows your front door off the hinges.” 4

…’cause THAT has worked really really well the last 50 years, amirite? I mean, what could go wrong?

The War on Drugs

Show 4 footnotes

  1. That’s not totes over the top…jeez, what a buncha queens.
  2. “This agency sucks in every facet and does more to divide and destroy the family structure far more than they do to assist one in preserving it. This isn’t assistance its a setup for failure to keep poor people stuck in a maze and job security for society’s leeches and parasites that claim to be here to help…”
  3. Or will be until the ReThugs eventually repeal and replace the ACA. Then you’re on your own, kiddo.
  4. The militarization of our nation’s police forces has now officially jumped the shark; that motley crew would fit right in at the Sidestreet Bar & Grill late Friday nights. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Peyton C. Grinnell!

What Could Go Wrong?

The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to (OMP). Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.

[…]

The office will also focus on combating opioid abuse, a regular emphasis for (OMP) on the campaign trail. The president later this week plans to announce an official drug commission devoted to the problem that will be chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). He has been working informally on the issue for several weeks with Kushner, despite reported tension between the two.

No, I’m not going to blast Kushner sitting in the WH doin’ “stuff.” That’s such an overtly screwed up idea it needs no explanation.

What I do find amusingly terrifying is the idea of Chris Christie charge of well…anything, much less a drug commission. That’s as stupid as installing Jeff Sessions as Attorney General; the outcome is sure to be FUBAR’d.

What’s Christie plan – having opioid users stop eating taking meds from their parents’ medicine cabinets? Yeah, that will work.

Exactly as well as Nancy’s infamous “just say no.” 1

But this White House has no intention of making these departments/agencies/commissions work. It’s all just kabuki for the masses.

What Could Go Wrong?

Show 1 footnote

  1. Nothing will work; people are going to do what people do. As for the kids; raise them properly. There’s no definitive solution here…

Clarence Thomas Condemns Civil Asset Forfeiture

Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case filed by a Texas woman who says that her due process rights were violated when the police seized over $200,000 in cash from her family despite the fact that no one has been convicted of any underlying crime associated with the money. Unfortunately, thanks to the state’s sweeping civil asset forfeiture laws, the authorities were permitted to take the money of this innocent woman.

The Supreme Court offered no explanation today for its refusal to hear the case of Lisa Olivia Leonard v. Texas. But one member of the Court did speak up. In a statement respecting the denial of certiorari in the case, Justice Clarence Thomas made it clear that he believes the current state of civil asset forfeiture law is fundamentally unconstitutional.

“This system—where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use—has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses,” Thomas declared.

Thomas is right, but one wonders if a.) there will ever be a “correct” case to come before SCOTUS, and b.) why in the hell a bill of sale and a public record of the sale of her house wasn’t enough evidence to prove the cash wasn’t really being used for drugs?
Clarence Thomas Condemns Civil Asset Forfeiture

The War on Drugs

Boss Hog, Head Lawman of These Here United States, appears to have a BBQ basket of reactionary leavings to scatter across the country 1 before he totters off this mortal coil…

One of the world’s largest marijuana festivals, which is expected to be held this week on tribal land outside of Las Vegas, has been facing a possible shutdown for the past two weeks, according to a letter sent by federal officials earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden, based in Las Vegas, sent a Feb. 16 letter to the Moapa Paiute Tribe reminding the tribe that the transport, possession, use and distribution of marijuana is illegal under federal law. The marijuana trade show and festival, planned for March 4 and 5, would be in violation of that law, according to the letter obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

“I am informed that the tribal council is moving forward with the planned marijuana event referred to as the 2017 High Times Cannabis Cup because it is under the impression that the so-called ‘Cole Memorandum’ and subsequent memoranda from the Department of Justice permit marijuana use, possession and distribution on tribal lands when the state law also permits it. Unfortunately, this is an incorrect interpretation of the Department’s position on this issue.”

Show 1 footnote

  1. Let’s see; the DoJ promises to i.) pull back from police abuse investigations; ii.) quit suing police departments over violating the civil rights of minorities; iii.) promises to crack down on “violent crime”; iv.) will allow men to own their wives; v.) promises to make African-Americans proud of their owners again.

Jay Z: War on Drugs

Jay Z is saying what we have for years now: the war on drugs is bogus. It was initiated by a Nixon henchman as a means of disenfranchising black voters and has continued through the decades as a means of controlling the black population. 1

The war on drugs is simply a way of enforcing American apartheid.

Jay Z: War on Drugs

Show 1 footnote

  1. Though of late that war has broadened to encompass the rest of the population: see Missouri’s plan to start up a prescription drug database.

DEA & Marijuana Redux

As we mentioned the other day, the DEA has a pink-elephant-playing-tuba-really-fucking-loud-in-the-room vested interest in keeping marijuana listed in Schedule 1 (with the FDA, of all freaking agencies, chiming in.) And that’s not going to change; bureaucracies never willingly shed duties/people/authority, they only accumulate more and more. Especially when they have lots of guns.

So it appears we will have to rely, crazy as it seems, on Congress. 1 I know, I know; but there are members in that normally venal and corrupt institution who also believe this needs be changed:

“There are Americans who can realize real medical benefits if this treatment option is brought out of the shadows, and choosing to ignore the medical value of marijuana defies common sense and the scientific evidence.” – Sen. Cory Booker

“Bad news: @DEAHQ refused to reschedule marijuana. This has wide implications for med research, law enforcement & business. … I’ll keep pushing our federal agencies to reschedule marijuana as part of crafting a rational research & public health strategy.” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren

“Time for #DEA to remove marijuana from Sched 1 to expand #medicalmarijuana research & ensure families in need get legal access to treatment.” – Sen. Kirsten Gellibrand

“It’s well past time for us to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs. …Keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin is absurd. The time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. … If we are serious about criminal justice reform, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. – Sen. Bernie Sanders

“Disappointed by @DEAHQ. We must act to allow access to banking for marijuana biz in states with legalized marijuana” – Sen. Jeff Merkley

“The @DEAHQ is keeping federal law on marijuana behind the times. Will continue to press for rescheduling.” – Sen. Ron Wyden

No time like the present. You can easily write your Senator right here..

DEA & Marijuana Redux

Show 1 footnote

  1. Jelani Cobb @ The New Yorker believes it would also help if President Obama formally declared an end to The War on Drugs; don’t have any idea how likely that is other than “you’re kidding, right?”, so go ahead and write your Senator. You know, just in case…

DEA Marijuana Ruling Protects DEA

It seems Federal legalization of marijuana will come about only after we pry it from the cold, dead hands of the DEA:

On August 12, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), despite much speculation to the contrary, published in the Federal Register its long-anticipated decision rejecting two petitions, pending since 2009 and 2011, seeking to reclassify marijuana from its current Schedule I position to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). With input from the US Food and Drug Administration 1 and the National Institute on Drug Abuse 2 (both within the US Department of Health and Human Services), the DEA concluded in a lengthy decision that “marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” and “at this time, the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled clinical trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.” By maintaining marijuana as a Schedule I drug, it continues to be classified as a drug with “high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use,” thus making its use—even in states that have legalized medical and/or recreational use of marijuana—still illegal under federal law. But the DEA did loosen restrictions on the supply of marijuana for medical research, which could have a longer-term effect on the public policy debate regarding marijuana’s medical benefits and continued criminalization.

The DEA’s refusal to re-schedule marijuana is an obvious ploy (à la Prohibition) 3: they’re afraid of losing their budgets, toys and jobs.

Those running the DEA know full well that marijuana should have never been under schedule 1; it’s addition was one of the most cynical things the Nixon White House ever did. In addition the DEA is fully aware a majority of Americans would rather see Congress criminalized rather than pot. And those of you who have followed WNBTv’s reporting on marijuana and the war on drugs know for a fact the DEA is lying through its clenched teeth. However, in this generations’ take on Forrest Gump’s famous uttering (“Shit happens”), it is what it is.

Though drug decriminalization has been shown to work in other nations, America has always been willing to cut off its nose to spite its own face. Or, to update that expression a little, America has always been willing to allow the massacre of it’s children to keep its “right” to bear military assault weapons.

Guess the sensible among us will continue to do what we’ve always done: ignore the government.

DEA Marijuana Ruling Protects DEA

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Who just allowed food makers the right to decide for themselves which additives are safe. Because…teh stoopid. In fact, food makers aren’t even required to inform the FDA of GRAS changes. And we’re supposed to take their views on marijuana seriously why?
  2. Which lately has been pooh-poohing research –this time by the John Hopkins School of Medicine— that shows psychedelics can curb addictive behaviors, something one would presume to be a desirable outcome by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. But, there we go thinking again.
  3. A quick aside: prohibition was the primary catalyst of the development of organized crime in this country; anyone see any parallels to the narco cartels? Anyone…anyone?

Kris Kobach’s RNC Platform

Shortly after Il Douche finished up with his dystopian ranting last night, I went back and perused the 2016 GOP platform.

Kris Kobach, at least as much as Brownback, is responsible for the majority of Kansan’s pain and suffering. And he’s been attempting for over a decade to expand that misery to the rest of the nation: He was a member of the GOP platform committees back in both 2008 and 2012. But this was the first year Kobach was part of finalizing the planks and he made the most of it, knowing full well that Trump could care less what’s in the platform. The entire document is a scary right-wing fantasy, but, again,  you can read it for yourself; I’m just going to touch on the “drug” portions here. The first comes under the Criminal Justice portion:

The progress made over the last three decades against drug abuse is eroding, whether for cultural reasons or for lack of national leadership. In many jurisdictions, marijuana is virtually legalized despite its illegality under federal law. At the other end of the drug spectrum, heroin use nearly doubled from 2003 to 2013, while deaths from heroin have quadrupled. All this highlights the continuing conflicts and contradictions in public attitudes and public policy toward illegal substances. Congress and a new administration should consider the long- range implications of these trends for public health and safety and prepare to deal with the problematic consequences.

The misuse of prescription painkillers — opioids — is a related problem. Heroin and opioid abuse touches our communities, our homes, and our families in ways that have grave effects on Americans in every community. With a quadrupling of both their sales and their overdose deaths, the opioid crisis is ravaging communities all over the country, often hitting rural areas harder than urban. Because over-prescription of drugs is such a large part of the problem, Republican legislation now allows Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans to limit patients to a single pharmacy. Congressional Republicans have also called upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure that no physician will be penalized for limiting opioid prescriptions. We look for expeditious agreement between the House and Senate on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which addresses the opioid epidemic from both the demand and supply sides of the problem.

And that’s it, folks! No prescriptive language, much less acknowledgment that the above issues could easily solved by finally legalizing drugs at the federal level – we just posted an item on the efficacy of marijuana and the causal relationship between that and a drop in prescription opioids. ReThugs aren’t into actually solving America’s problems, they just want to nag…

O.k., o.k., o.k. – there’s a couple more after thoughts elsewhere (dealing with veterans and Mexico, of all things.

Over-prescription of opioids has become a nationwide problem hindering the treatment of veterans suffering from mental health issues. We therefore support the need to explore new and broader ranges of options, including faith-based programs 1 2 that will better serve the veteran and reduce the need to rely on drugs as the sole treatment…

Seriously, didn’t I just cover that?

We thank our neighbors in Mexico and Canada who have been our partners in the fight against terrorism and the war on drugs. The Mexican people deserve our assistance as they bravely resist the drug cartels that traffic in death on both sides of our border.

Were I Mexican I would be beyond affronted; since 2007 more Mexicans have died for America’s drug habit than have died fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

And that is the extent of the GOP’s drug policy. All in all the rest of the document reads like a evangelical Christian Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei’s repressed sex fantasy.

Legalize drugs, work on the concomitant medical and social issues surrounding it (like alcoholism) and end 40 some-odd years of regressive and idiotic policy. Not to mention the needless deaths. Fucking morons.

For the nonce someone should horsewhip Kobach and all his ilk, tar and feather them and run them out of public life for good.

Kris Kobach's RNC Platform

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I’m sure the AMA will quickly endorse faith-based programs to relieve pain, having solid data on faith-based abstinence and faith-based MS relief to draw from.
  2. And…hey, wait a minute! Doesn’t Trump, along with 45% of ReThugs favor medicinal marijuana? Why, yes, Virginia, they do! Though Trump’s opinion varies dependent on the time and day you ask him, as well as how thoroughly baked he is.