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Drug Truth Network 03/20/08

The Unvarnished Truth About the Drug War From the Drug Truth Network:. (To downlad these 29:00 files, click on links below. To simply listen, go to www.drugtruth.net and select the arrow below the shows description.) Cultural Baggage for 03/19/08 Jim Hightower, author of "Swim Against the Current - Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow" + Cliff Thornton of Efficacy-Online re UN convention in Vienna & Obama's Preacher MP3 LINK: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=audio/download/1809/FDBCB_031908.mp3 TRANSCRIPT: (Will be posted late on 03/20/08) Century of Lies for 03/18/08 Doug McVay, director of research for Common Sense for Drug Policy and editor of Drug War Facts reports from Vienna, Austria on the 51st annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs with Boaz Wachtel, executive director of the Green Leaf Party of Israel, Richard Elliott, Executive Director, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Eric Carlin, executive director of Mentor UK and a vice chair in the VNGOC and Mike Trace, co-founder and co-coordinator of the International Drug Policy Consortium MP3 Link: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=audio/download/1808/COL_031808.mp3 TRANSCRIPT: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=node/1808#comments "World War Infinity Squared" NEW DTN Tee Shirt Design at http://www.cultural-baggage.com/drugtruth/teeshirt.htm PLEASE NOTE: We now have transcripts, potcasts, searchability, CMS, XML, sorts by guest name and by organization. Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed, listen online at www.kpft.org: - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada. Programs produced at Pacifica Radio Station KPFT in Houston. www.kpft.org Check out our latest videos via www.youtube.com/fdbecker: More than 50 Drug Policy Videos online) Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
Location: 
United States

4:20 Drug War NEWS Update: 03/17/08

Drug Truth Network Update: 4:20 Drug War NEWS from 90.1 FM in Houston and dozens of radio affiliates in the US and Canada & on the web at www.kpft.org. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada. 4:20 Drug War NEWS 03/17/08 to 03/23/08 now online (3:00 ea:) Select online at www.drugtruth.net Mon - Drug Trade Tyranny on Mexican Border - Wash Post, 1 of 5 Tue - Drug Trade Tyranny on Mexican Border - Wash Post, 2/5 Wed - Drug Trade Tyranny on Mexican Border - Wash Post, 3/5 Thu - Drug Trade Tyranny on Mexican Border - Wash Post, 4/5 Fri - Drug Trade Tyranny on Mexican Border - Wash Post, 5/5 Sat - Poppygate Report with Glenn Greenway Sun - NPR report on "The Wire" screenwriters article in Time Mag Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed (Now With Transcripts): - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: Jim Hightower - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: Doug McVay reports on UN Conf in Vienna Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. Check out our latest videos via www.youtube.com/fdbecker: Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
Location: 
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Europe: Vatican Updates List of Deadly Sins, Adds Drug-Taking, Drug-Selling

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano this week, the head of the Holy See's Apostolic Penitentiary announced that the Church had updated its list of mortal sins, and that drug-taking and -selling had made the list. The sale and use of drugs is sinful because they "weaken the mind and obscure intelligence," said Bishop Gianfranco Girotti.

Drugs aren't the only thing on the Vatican's mind. Along with drug-taking and -selling, the other new-fangled deadly sins are: polluting the environment; human experimentation, including cloning; excessive wealth; creating or deepening social injustice; abortion; and pedophilia.

The original seven deadly sins -- lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride -- were focused on individual behavior, but the modern version is aimed at the social context, said Girotti. "While sin used to concern mostly the individual, today it has mainly a social resonance, due to the phenomenon of globalization," he said.

Within the seven sins, drugs was not in the top tier. The greatest danger for modern man was the seductive allure of bioethics, according to Girotti. "You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor's wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos," he said.

Drug Truth Update 03/13/08

The Unvarnished Truth About the Drug War From the Drug Truth Network:. (To downlad these 29:00 files, click on links below. To simply listen, go to www.drugtruth.net and select the arrow below the shows description.) Cultural Baggage for 03/12/08 John Baeza with 24 years of law enforcement experience now a speaker for LEAP, (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) + Poppygate Report with Glenn Greenway and a call for the first ever "Friends of LEAP" meeting, to make a coordinated contact with elected officials. MP3 LINK: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=audio/download/1800/FDBCB_031208.mp3 TRANSCRIPT: (Will be posted late on 03/13/08) Century of Lies for 03/11/08 Virginia McDavid, running for a congressional seat in the state of Texas dares to discuss the need for change to our drug laws + NPR interview of "The Wire" writer & extract from "Faces of Colombia" MP3 Link: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=audio/download/1799/COL_031108.mp3 TRANSCRIPT: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=node/1799#comments PLEASE NOTE: We now have transcripts, potcasts, searchability, CMS, XML, sorts by guest name and by organization. Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed: - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada. Programs produced at Pacifica Radio Station KPFT in Houston. www.kpft.org Check out our latest videos via www.youtube.com/fdbecker: More than 50 Drug Policy Videos online) Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
Location: 
United States

4:20 Drug War NEWS Update 03/10/08

[Courtesy of Drug Truth Network] Drug Truth Network Update: 4:20 Drug War NEWS from 90.1 FM in Houston and dozens of radio affiliates in the US and Canada & on the web at www.kpft.org. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada. 4:20 Drug War NEWS 03/10/08 to 03/16/08 now online (3:00 ea:) Select online at www.drugtruth.net Mon - "Voice of Colombia" (1/3) with Luz Elena Castro & Alejandro Magyaroff Tue - "Voice of Colombia" (2/3) with Luz Elena Castro & Alejandro Magyaroff Wed - Voice of Colombia" (3/3) with Luz Elena Castro & Alejandro Magyaroff Thu - Drug Truth Network Editorial with Rev. Dean Becker, speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Fri - Poppygate Report with Glenn Greenway Sat - Drug War Facts with Doug McVay Sun - Phil Smith, writes for Drug War Chronicle Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed (Now With Transcripts): - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: Elizabeth McDavid, Dem Cand for Tx Rep - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: John Baeza of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. Check out our latest videos via www.youtube.com/fdbecker: Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
Location: 
United States

Just Say Know Weekly News: 3/8/08

[Courtesy of Just Say Know] Visit Our Web Site: If you’re using internet explorer web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home If you’re using any other web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html Please pass this message on to ALL your contacts in the USA and ask them to join our mailing list using the form on our website. THANK YOU! We never share email addresses from our mailing list with anyone. Just Say Know works on your behalf toward drug policy reform, preserving and re-instating your legal rights. Drug policy and enforcement tactics are out of control and removing your rights at an alarming rate. Your financial contributions are greatly appreciated. To make a donation reply to this message with “donation” in the subject line and an associate will contact you by return email. Thank you for your consideration. Don’t hesitate to contact us by replying to this message; we appreciate your comments, questions and concerns. Together we will make a difference! The drug war is being used as an excuse to remove your rights, steal your property destroy your ability to earn a living and many other harms to citizens and society. There’s a mountain of evidence supporting the need for policy reform that makes citizens, their family, their livelihood and their property more secure. One very good first step will be taking away the ability of criminals to profit from cannabis. How? Just like it was done with alcohol, remove the prohibition and regulate legal adult use. As soon as alcohol prohibition ended, the crime and violence caused by alcohol prohibition ended. The year alcohol prohibition was repealed violent crime fell by sixty five percent. Tell your friends about the "Enough is Enough" petition to stop the reckless overuse of SWAT tactics and save the lives of civilians and police alike. This petition is sponsored by: StoptheDrugWar.org Click here for details. Feature Story: YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS DENIED BY THE DRUG WAR In the next few weeks we’ll be looking at several Constitutional rights and how the drug war has been used to remove them. This week we look at: FREE SPEECH Freedom of speech is being eroded in the name of the drug war, retaining this right is one of the primary benchmarks that define a free society. When government seeks to infringe on this right it’s a major step toward a tyrannical policy which we must not tolerate. The “bong hits for Jesus” case is a flagrant example of the wrong direction our policy is sometimes taking. In that case a high school student displayed a banner reading “bong hits for Jesus” in an attempt to catch the attention of news cameras. The act was nothing more than a youthful prank intended for no other purpose than to get his banner on the news. Morse v. Frederick, 127 S. Ct. 2618 (2007), was the result. A First Amendment student free speech case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that a school principal may, consistent with the First Amendment, restrict student speech at a school event when that speech is “reasonably viewed as promoting illegal drug use”. This banner in no way promoted drug use. A bong is sometimes used for smoking drugs but can also be used for smoking tobacco. The word “hits” is used to refer to taking a puff and also does not necessarily refer exclusively to drug use. Although the action in this case was a prank and obviously had nothing to do with any political issue, the right of students or any citizen to make a statement or express an opinion is necessary to allow for views about existing policy to be considered, discussed and changed when appropriate. Right now in the “land of the free” someone is being charged with a “drug crime” every 17 seconds. Any law that causes the arrest of non-violent otherwise law abiding citizens in such frequency is in dire need of revision. Students are often on the front line of policy change when their government chooses to follow a harmful path. Such was certainly the case with the Vietnam War. Young people had a major influence on ending that war. Restricting the voice of our students about illegal drugs is a direct move toward government oppression and promoting government policy against the will of the people. Since this ruling interprets the use of the words on the banner to promote drug use and particularly cannabis, it raises interesting questions. Cannabis has been proven to be one of the safest drugs and possibly the safest drug known. In all of recorded history there has never been a death attributed to the drugs in cannabis. We permit the use of aspirin, caffeine, alcohol and tobacco which kill thousands of Americans each year, so are we truly in danger because of cannabis which has never killed anyone? In the “bong hits for Jesus” case the “dangers of illegal drug use” was mentioned many times. There simply are no significant dangers from the use of cannabis. Here’s another notable free speech case. At issue in ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta (civil action no. 04-0262) was the constitutionality of Section 177 of a federal spending bill regarding the protection of the First Amendment. The law, known as the "Istook Amendment," cut off more than $3 billion in federal funding from local transit authorities nationwide that accept advertisements critical of current marijuana laws. The coalition of national drug policy reform groups filed the lawsuit on February 18, 2004 after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority rejected an advertisement they submitted that criticized marijuana laws. "This victory is just one of many recent legal victories for the drug policy reform movement," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "From overturning federal infringements on free speech to declaring DEA raids on medical marijuana patients unconstitutional, courts are realizing that the war on drugs is really a war on the Bill of Rights and they're striking down the excesses of the drug war left and right." These cases and many others over illegal drugs and Constitutional rights provide evidence of the lengths prohibitionists will go to in their quest for tyranny and profits. Since they’ve managed to influence our lawmakers into blindly following lies, and myths rather than seeking out the truth, the only way this will change is with your help. It is imperative that you contact your elected representatives and make them aware of the truth about drugs and how you feel about losing your rights to the drug war. Right now our lawmakers are hearing a lot more from prohibitionists than they are from those of us seeking drug policy reform. One of the best civic duties you can participate in is contacting your elected officials at least once a month and bringing the problems with the drug war to their attention. Be sure you know the truth about the issues. Your going to get the same old answers, so be prepared. Visit our web site and learn the truth so you can pass it on to lawmakers. You will be amazed at how often they recite political drug war propaganda such as “marijuana is a gateway drug”. When you hear that lie you can and should quell it immediately. An easy way to do that is to ask if that representative ever used aspirin, caffeine, alcohol or tobacco, or knows anyone who did. When they answer yes, ask if the use of those deadly drugs caused the user to begin using more harmful drugs, when they say no tell them; “most people use those drugs before using cannabis, so if they are not gateway drugs, why do you believe cannabis is?” If there is anything at all to the gateway theory it lies in the legal status of cannabis and it being controlled because of prohibition by gangsters who often sell many different illegal drugs which despite the drug war are easily accessible. Your right to free speech is under attack as you can see by just the two cases sited in this article. Free speech is the right that gives you the ability to voice your opinion to your elected officials about unfair laws without fear of persecution. Contact your representatives and USE IT before prohibitionists take free speech away from you, which they are working hard to do. The research we’ve done documents beyond a shadow of a doubt that the illegal status of cannabis was brought about by lies told on the floor of the senate. The cannabis plant has tens of thousands of uses in products which could benefit society. Cannabis continues to be illegal not because it’s a dangerous drug but most likely in order to prevent it from competing with the interests of oil companies, timber companies, alcohol companies, chemical companies and others that gain financially from cannabis prohibition. We could all benefit from this renewable natural resource which is safer for the environment than thousands of the legal but harmful and sometimes deadly materials it could replace. Cannabis is also a threat to pharmaceutical companies due to its medical uses and vast degree of safety when compared to FDA approved drugs that it replaces. All of these well financed special interest groups lobby Congress to protect their profits. As long as our elected officials don’t hear from the people the illegal status of cannabis will go on. Someone is needlessly arrested over cannabis alone about every 38 seconds in the USA. Since 12:00 AM January 1, 2008 over 158,600 people have been arrested in the USA on cannabis charges, mostly for simple possession. These people will have a permanent criminal record that will follow them the rest of their life. Even if they are found innocent they will still have an arrest record. It will almost certainly have negative affects on their ability to get and keep a job. This is just one example of how the drug war is doing more harm than the drugs it is trying to prohibit. Sources that contributed to this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_v._Frederick http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm http://www.mpp.org/news/press-releases/following-legal-challenge-from-ac... Be sure to click “Issues Need Your Immediate Attention” on our home page and use the links to locate and email your representatives about the Hinchey-Rohrabacher medical marijuana amendment which will prohibit the Department of Justice from using any funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. If you’re using internet explorer web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home If you’re using any other web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html The United States now has more people incarcerated than any other country on earth, far ahead of even more populous China. About half the prisoners are prisoners of the drug war. Does this sound like “The Land of the Free” to you? Its time to take action! Contact your elected representatives and tell them to end the drug war. You can look up your representatives by visiting our website and clicking “Tools” in the site map. If you’re using internet explorer web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home If you’re using any other web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html This country is still governed by the people but if you sit around waiting on someone else, it may be your door that gets kicked in, it may be you that ends up losing life, liberty, freedom, property and more, it may be you that gets shot by the government, it may be your children, money, livelihood or property that get taken away for possessing an herb created and given to you by God according to the Bible. The Bible was considered to be the inspired Word of God by the vast majority of the founding fathers of the United States and was used as a reference for writing many of our laws. Thanks to the drug war private property is sometimes confiscated with no evidence and no legal recourse. If you think this is a fairytale or only happens by mistake, or is a rare occurrence go here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/readings/hidden.html "Anyone concerned about the failure of our $69 billion-a-year War on Drugs should watch this 12-minute program. You will meet front line, ranking police officers who give us a devastating report on why it cannot work. It is a must-see for any journalist or public official dealing with this issue."-- Walter Cronkite, commenting on a video produced by “LEAP” Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. We think it’s a must see for every voter in the country too. If you haven’t seen it yet take a few minutes and view it now using this link: http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php?name=Content&pid=28 You can get a wealth of information by visiting our web site and clicking “Web Links” in the site map. If you’re using internet explorer web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home If you’re using any other web browser use this link: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html
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Jamaica: Government Considering Marijuana Legalization, Official Says

The Jamaican government is considering whether to legalize or decriminalize marijuana as part of possible changes to the island nation's drug laws, an official told the Associated Press last Friday. The herb is revered by Jamaica's Rastafarians and widely consumed, grown, and trafficked in the Caribbean nation.

A seven-member government commission has been researching drug law reforms. Some Jamaican law enforcement officials have complained that marijuana cases clog the courts and jails.

"We have discussed it, and we are preparing a report to present to the prime minister," said Deputy Prime Minister Kenneth Baugh.

It wouldn't be the first time. A blue ribbon commission recommended in 2001 that the personal and religious use of marijuana be decriminalized, but lawmakers have failed to act since then, at least in part out of fears that the US would impose economic sanctions if they did. In 2003, the government said a decrim bill was coming soon, but five years later, we're still waiting.

Not So Fast -- Funny Numbers in the Same Old 2008 US National Drug Strategy Report

President Bush and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) head John Walters rolled out the 2008 US National Drug Control Strategy over the weekend. While the administration used the strategy to defend its policies and make some claims of victories in the war on drugs, critics called the strategy misguided, dishonest, and an exercise in propaganda.

http://stopthedrugwar.com/files/bush-walters-volkow.jpg
George Bush with drug czar Walters, December 2007
"Today, my administration is releasing our 2008 National Drug Control Strategy," President Bush said in his weekly Saturday radio address. "This report lays out the methods we are using to combat drug abuse in America. And it highlights the hopeful progress we're making in the fight against addiction. Overall, an estimated 860,000 fewer young people in America are using drugs today than when we began these efforts."

The administration drug strategy has three key elements, Bush said: disrupting supplies, reducing demand, and providing treatment. "Our drug control strategy will continue all three elements of this successful approach," he said. "It will also target a growing problem -- the abuse of prescription drugs by youth."

The administration's drug strategy is working, claimed Bush and ONDCP, citing declines in youth marijuana, methamphetamine, and Ecstasy use. The strategy also pointed to short-term declines in cocaine and methamphetamine purity and availability, but acknowledged an increase in the misuse of prescription drugs.

"Teen drug abuse is down sharply, and this will provide lasting benefits to our nation, since we know that most adults who get caught in addiction begin with use as teens," said Walters. "But there are still too many of our friends, our family members, our coworkers and our neighbors who are becoming lost in the maze of addiction. We need to find whatever ways we can to create a turning point in their lives -- a turning point that leads to recovery."

"Prescription drugs provide tremendous benefits to our nation," said Walters, "but when misused or abused they can lead to addiction, and worse. We are working with leaders in Congress to modernize our laws to address the problem of 'rogue online pharmacies' which skirt around the safeguards of legitimate medical practice and prescriptions. Prescription drug abuse is an area of serious concern, and we are now focusing our nation's supply, demand, and prevention policies with the goal of seeing the same reductions that we have achieved for illegal 'street' drugs."

But despite new emphases like that on prescription drugs, the 2008 strategy is largely more of the same old drug policies. It touts programs like the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, random drug testing of students and workers, drug courts, and continued interdiction, eradication, and domestic law enforcement.

And critics call even its claims of success into question. "This isn't a strategy, it's a grab bag," said Doug McVay, research analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy. "Anything they can spin as positive, they do. All in all, it's mainly a cute little propaganda piece. And what it obscures is the sad fact that they have gone back to that same old two-to-one spending ratio that favors law enforcement over prevention and treatment."

In an analysis by Appalachian State University criminal justice professor Matthew Robinson, coauthor of "Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy," Robinson dissects the strategy and finds it wanting on many grounds.

Although teen marijuana and other illicit drug is indeed down during the Bush administration, prescription drug abuse is up, as the strategy acknowledges. That makes it difficult for the administration to honestly claim that teen drug use is down, Robinson suggested.

"Since this is the same time during which youth use of various drugs fell, is it possible youth began using more non-medical pain relievers as a form of drug substitution? ONDCP provides no evidence to assess this possibility," Robinson noted. "In the 2008 Strategy, ONDCP still does not consider the possibility that young drug users have not really stopped using illicit drugs like LSD, Ecstasy or meth, but instead have merely switched to more readily available prescription drugs. If true, this would suggest drug replacement rather than successful prevention."

Similarly, ONDCP's claim that drug use is down is the result of cherry-picking statistics, Robinson argued. While claiming success in reducing overall drug use, ONDCP only provides numbers on teen drug use -- not adult drug use.

"It is dishonest of ONDCP to claim success in meeting its goals of reducing drug use by 10% and 25% over two and five years, respectively, when ONDCP is only assessing drug use trends for young people and not adults," Robinson pointed out. "How can we know if ONDCP's efforts work when we are only shown data on youth drug trends and not adult drug trends?"

"ONDCP likes to play goofy with the math," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML. "NORML has been looking at these things for 30 years now, and they never achieve their stated goals. These guys have a $23 billion a year budget. If they were in corporate America, they would have been fired for incompetence."

The strategy's claim that it is balancing treatment, prevention, and law enforcement is also belied by the hard numbers, Robinson wrote. Despite budgetary sleight of hand beginning in 2003 that makes the proportion of drug war spending devoted to treatment and prevention appear larger than it really is, the treatment and prevention share of the budget continues to decline, with law enforcement -- the drug war -- garnering 65.2% of the overall budget next year, up from 56% in 2003.

"Unfortunately for ONDCP and our nation, research shows that the most effective and cost-effective drug reduction approaches are demand side approaches such as prevention and treatment," Robinson noted, adding that research has shown both treatment and prevention provide more bang for the buck than spending on law enforcement. "Most of the money in ONDCP's FY 2009 drug war budget is truly intended for 'fighting' the drug war, not for those efforts that are more cost-effective and efficacious -- preventing drug use and drug abuse and for healing drug abusers through treatment."

For NORML's St. Pierre, the strategy's section on medical marijuana was especially offensive. Titled "The Medical Marijuana Movement: Manipulation Not Medicine," the boxed section had little to do with policy but much to do with politics. It attacked medical marijuana, suggesting that each California patient was receiving 41 joints a day, and cited San Diego police complaining about nuisances around dispensaries.

"The section in there about medical marijuana is utterly gratuitous," said St. Pierre. "It doesn't have anything to do with the drug strategy; it is essentially just bullet talking points. And it is just downright silly. They try to say there are only 13,000 medical marijuana patients in California when we know the real number is probably ten times that. There are almost 19,000 patients in Oregon. It is utterly disingenuous of ONDCP to base its California numbers on a patient registry there, when there is no statewide registry."

ONDCP might have talked to other police departments in California that are not hostile to medical marijuana, unlike the San Diego police, who cooperated with federal agents to raid dispensaries there, said St. Pierre. "Did they talk to police in San Francisco or Los Angeles or even Modesto?" he asked. "Again, it looks like they are cherry-picking."

The drug strategy is 79 pages packed with figures, charts, and assertions. This article has only skimmed the surface of the claims and counterclaims around it. Readers who want to dig deeper are invited to read both the strategy and Robinson's analysis for more detail.

In the meantime, Robinson donned his professor's cap and tried to come up with a letter grade for the drug czar's effort. "I might give them a D for effort because the report is well-documented and has lots of pretty graphs in it," said Robinson, "but overall, it's just dishonest, so I would have to give them an F," he concluded.

To earn a passing grade, the drug strategy would have to be revamped, Robinson said. "It would need to clearly state the goals and budget of the drug war, and then it would report data on each of the goals, all the relevant data on drug use trends for every drug and age group, and data on availability, price, and purity for drug seizures. It would also present information on the cost of the drug war, including law enforcement and incarceration costs; deaths and illnesses associated with drugs, and data on crime and violence. It would have to be much more comprehensive, with all available data reported and long-term trend analyses," Robinson said.

Drug Truth Update 03/06/08

The Unvarnished Truth About the Drug War From the Drug Truth Network:. (To downlad these 29:00 files, click on links below. To simply listen, go to www.drugtruth.net and select the arrow below the shows description.) Cultural Baggage for 03/05/08 Catherine Austin Fitts, former HUD asst sec discusses the economic nightmare of the drug war + Poppygate report & Drug War Facts. MP3 LINK: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=audio/download/1791/FDBCB_030508.mp3 TRANSCRIPT: (Will be posted late on 03/06/08) Century of Lies for 03/04/08 Phil Smith of StopTheDrugWar.org discusses empowerment of criminals through the drug laws + Al Byrne of Patients Out of Time re med marijuana convention MP3 Link: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=audio/download/1790/COL_030408.mp3 TRANSCRIPT: http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/?q=node/1790#comments PLEASE NOTE: We now have transcripts, potcasts, searchability, CMS, XML, sorts by guest name and by organization. Next - Century of Lies on Tues, Cutural Baggage on Wed: - Cultural Baggage 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD - Century of Lies 12:30 PM ET, 11:30 AM CT, 10:30 AM MT & 9:30 AM PT: TBD Hundreds of our programs are available online at www.drugtruth.net, www.audioport.org and at www.radio4all.net. We provide the "unvarnished truth about the drug war" to scores of broadcast affiliates in the US and Canada. Programs produced at Pacifica Radio Station KPFT in Houston. www.kpft.org Check out our latest videos via www.youtube.com/fdbecker: More than 50 Drug Policy Videos online) Please become part of the solution, visit our website: www.endprohibition.org for links to the best of reform. "Prohibition is evil." - Reverend Dean Becker, Drug Truth Network Producer Dean Becker 713-849-6869 www.drugtruth.net
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Drug Policy - Public Health or Criminal Justice Issue? - UBC Continuing Studies

[Courtesy of UBC Continuing Studies Series] 

If you missed this engaging series of free panel discussions facilitated by Stephen Owen, UBC Vice President, External, Legal and Community Relations, webcasts of each session are available below.

In communities across Canada, discussions are going on – public and private – about how to deal effectively with the growing problem of illicit drug use. Decisions are being made about how to educate our young people and how to allocate public money.

Vancouver has been at the centre of the drug debate since 1995. It has led the way in taking public action, researching the effect of different strategies and considering current community attitudes.

At this time of escalating concern about drug and alcohol problems, and drug-related crime, this series looks at a wide spectrum of perspectives and research – often conflicting – to consider what information is useful in guiding us as parents, co-workers and citizens.

Drug Policy

 

February 13:

Where Should Public Health End and Criminal Justice Begin?

 

To view a webcast of this session, please click here webcast.

With Larry Campbell, Canadian Senator, past Vancouver Mayor and past BC Coroner; Dr. Brian Emerson, BC Ministry of Health, medical consultant and Secretary, Health Officers Council and Inspector Scott Thompson, Vancouver Police Department, Drug Policy Unit.

 

 

February 20:

What Do We Tell the Kids?

 

To view a webcast of this session, please click here webcast.

With Dr. Rick Mathias, UBC Professor of Health Care and Epidemiology (with expertise on toxicity of drugs on the body); Sergeant Bob Hall, RCMP (responsible for drug prevention initiatives for the RCMP in BC); and Dan Reist, Director of Communication and Resource Centre, Centre for Addictions Research (developed substance abuse and mental health programs and resources for BC schools).

 

 

February 27:

How Should Public Money Be Spent?

 

To view a webcast of this session, please click here webcast.

With Philip Owen, past Vancouver Mayor and leader of the Four Pillars Approach; Stephen Easton, SFU economist and Senior Scholar at the Fraser Institute (author of The Costs of Crime: Who Pays and How Much ) and Penny Ballem, past Deputy Minister, BC Health and Health Care expert.

Location: 
Vancouver, BC
Canada

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School