John P. Walters, President Bush's drug czar, said the people who plant and tend the gardens are terrorists who wouldn't hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties.Silly me. I thought maybe the reporter had taken Walters's statement out of context, but ONDCP calls it a "good story." Apparently, it is actually necessary to explain that pot growers aren’t terrorists and don’t want to help other terrorists kill lots of people.
Ok, let's begin. Basically, I think the difference between pot growers and terrorists is that pot growers grow pot and sell it to customers for profit, whereas terrorists build bombs and blow up innocent people for political and/or religious reasons.
Since pot growers are trying to make money and avoid law-enforcement, it isn’t in their interest to work with terrorists. Terrorists want to kill the pot grower's customers, and they also attract all sorts of unwanted attention from the military and various high-level federal agencies. Moreover, pot growers don't want to hurt or kill people. They sell pot, which is widely believed – correctly – to be relatively harmless. I've never heard of a pot grower who generally wanted to hurt people or who thought that what they were doing would cause mass casualties.
Some of the confusion here may stem from the fact that pot growers sometimes keep weapons around. This is actually to protect their valuable gardens from thieves, primarily wild animals. Incidents involving pot growers shooting people or fighting with police are incredibly rare. We know this, because if such a thing occurred, it would immediately be prominently displayed on the ONDCP blog and discussed endlessly by them. This has not occurred.
But perhaps the best evidence that pot growers don’t want to help terrorists is that pot growers never help terrorists. In the history of the U.S., no pot grower has ever been found helping terrorists get into the country or expressed any interest in doing so.
If Ed Rosenthal ever hijacks a plane and tries to fly it into the Sears Tower, I'll reconsider. But for now, I think it’s safe to conclude that pot growers and terrorists are two completely different things.
Politicization of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy At the request of Sara Taylor, the former White House Director of Political Affairs, John Walters, the nation’s drug czar, and his deputies traveled to 20 events with vulnerable Republican members of Congress in the months prior to the 2006 elections. The trips were paid for by federal taxpayers and several were combined with the announcement of federal grants or actions that benefited the districts of the Republican members. A November 20, 2006, memo from Ms. Taylor summarizes the travel Director Walters took at her request. An agency e-mail sent the following day describes how Karl Rove commended the historically nonpartisan Office of National Drug Control Policy and three cabinet departments – Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture – for “going above and beyond the call of duty” in making “surrogate appearances” at locations the e-mail described as “the god awful places we sent them.” Other documents include an e-mail from the Interior Department to Ms. Taylor’s predecessor stating: “these folks need to be reminded who they work for and how their geographical travel can benefit this President.” Chairman Waxman wrote to Ms. Taylor to request her attendance at a Committee deposition on or before July 24 and her possible appearance at a Committee hearing on July 30. He also wrote to White House Counsel Fred Fielding, the Republican National Committee, Director Walters, and the Secretaries of the Departments of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture requesting relevant documents.There's a complete set of links to the documents mentioned at the House Oversight and Government Operations Committee web site linked to in the title of the Waxman release. It makes some interesting--and damning--reading. Waxman looks like he will schedule some hearings on this soon. Gosh, it sure is fun when we have someone on the oversight committee who actually practices the first definition of the word!
Via DrugWarRant, here's a glimpse at the brilliant methods of ONDCP Chief Scientist David Murray.
First, recall Steve Kubby's brief imprisonment last year. Due to his unique medical condition, many people were concerned that Kubby might not survive being denied access to medical marijuana while in jail. He survived thanks to Marinol and said this about the experience:
"During that time I experienced excruciating pain, a vicious high blood-pressure crisis, passed blood in my urine and I lost 33 pounds. However, there was also good news. I learned that Marinol is an acceptable, if not ideal, substitute for whole cannabis in treating my otherwise fatal disease. Now I am a free man and I am profoundly grateful to be alive and to have friends and supporters such as you."
Testifying before Congress last week, David Murray then twisted Kubby's statement into a pretzel, casting it as a complete reversal of his position on medical marijuana in general:
Founding proponents of medical marijuana in the United States have reversed their key positions of support for medical marijuana. [...] Steve Kubby, another Co-founder of medical marijuana in California stated in a letter to supporters on April 14th, 2006 that "Marinol is an acceptable, if not ideal, substitute for whole cannabis in treating my otherwise fatal disease."
Steve Kubby was just glad to be alive. He lost 33 pounds. He was pissing blood. If that sounds like an endorsement of Marinol as an alternative to whole cannabis, your name must be David Murray. The guy gets caught lying every time he opens his mouth, but this is obscene and disgusting, even by Murray's rock-bottom standards.
It would serve the U.S. Congress well to understand that David Murray does things like this. His claim that Steve Kubby changed his position on medical marijuana is a perfect example of the boundless dishonestly of which he is capable, and in fact specializes in.
This is the typical behavior that can be expected from the very Serious, Scientific, and Responsible people at the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Don't bother asking why it is necessary for them to lie shamelessly about what Steve Kubby has said. They lie to our elected representatives only because they care about us. So we should be grateful that they are as good at lying as they are, lest we should be legally allowed to select medicines based on our experience rather than theirs.