As usual, every single "fact" presented here by O'Reilly is completely made up, as demonstrated in this fact-check from Jacob Sullum. But if Bill O'Reilly wants to spend his time on TV lying and complaining about drug policy reform in front of millions of people, I'm totally ok with it. Every stupid word he says about the drug war serves only to further legitimize the debate. People like O'Reilly are the reason we're winning, so the last thing we want from them is silence.
Of course, there’s also the perennial "America imprisons more people than anywhere else in the world!" meme. In fact, the only drug incarceration problem in America is that too few drug dealers are incarcerated.
Listen dude, I don't think you understand how this works. Putting drug dealers in prison doesn't change the number of drug dealers on the street. It never has, and never will. If you want to put more of them in jail out of spite, that's one thing, but I hope you don't seriously still believe we can arrest our way out the drug problem. Even the drug czar is beginning to doubt that.
It's one thing to daydream in smug self-righteousness of that magical day when every single drug offender is locked away forever. But even the idiots who say these sorts of things would be miserable if it actually happened. Why? Because the cost of doing that comes out of all our pockets, including Kurt Schlichter's. Unless you'd like to spend half your earnings every year keeping some guy in a cage and paying for all his food and clothing, then do us a favor and keep your mass incarceration fantasies to yourself.
Pete Guither and Tony Newman have more.
The Hemperor, Jack Herer has Died (SALEM, Ore.) - The sad news has been confirmed. Jack Herer, author of Emperor Wears No Clothes and renowned around the world for hemp activism, has died at 11:17 a.m. today, in Eugene, Oregon. Jack Herer suffered a heart attack last September just after speaking on stage at the Portland HempStalk festival. The last seven months have proven to be a huge challenge to the man, with several health issues making his recovery complicated. Jack Herer's health has been poor lately, this last week there have been reports of the severity, and an outpouring of prayers on his behalf. "It's shocking news, even after these last seven, trying months," said Paul Stanford, THCF Executive Director. "Jack Herer has been a good friend and associate of mine for over 30 years. I was there when he had the heart attack at our Hempstalk festival and I know he wouldn’t appreciate the quality of life he's endured these last months. Still he will be greatly missed. I honor his memory." "No other single person has done more to educate people all across the world about industrial hemp and marijuana as Jack Herer. His book is translated into a dozen different languages, it's a bestseller in Germany," added Stanford. "The Hempstalk stage will forever be the Jack Herer Memorial stage. And, a Memorial is planned to be built where he fell that day," Stanford said. "His legacy will continue to inspire and encourage for generations to come."
While Lindsay Lohan continues to party until the wee hours of the morning, and her family and friends grow increasingly concerned for her, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who is not treating Lohan, has some candid advice for the people closest to her.
The board certified addiction specialist tells RadarOnline.com, "If she were my daughter, I would pack her car full with illegal substances, send her on her way, call the police, and make sure she was arrested. I would make sure she was not allowed to get out of jail. I would then go to the judge and make sure she was ordered to a minimum of a three year sobriety program." [Radar]
You see, Dr. Drew is really concerned about her safety:
"I absolutely wish no harm to her, but I just have a feeling that something awful is going to happen to her, like she is going to lose a limb. I hope Lindsay gets help before something terrible happens."
Something terrible? Like getting framed for a carload of drugs by your own family!? Maybe they don't cover this in medical school, Dr. Drew, but you should really make yourself aware of the fact that many people have been accidentally shot by drug cops, sexually assaulted in jail, and otherwise mercilessly screwed over by the criminal justice system in ways that you and your massive ego don't have the luxury of predicting.
Planting drugs on anyone is a serious crime that could go wrong in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Anyone who endorses screwing around like this has no business practicing medicine, parenthood or friendship. You can get people killed with this sort of idiocy, and as much as it would reveal about the stupidity of the war on drugs, "Hollywood Starlet Shot in Face by SWAT Team" is a story no drug policy blogger wants to write.
There is a real drug war going on in America and the men and women who come to save you from your "illness" don't wear white coats; they come in body armor bearing machine guns with the safety off. So when you sell Beverly Hills addiction therapy as pop-culture entertainment media, you forget that those same rules don't apply in Ohio and any parent taking Dr. Drew's reckless advice is putting their family in the drug war's deadly crossfire.
When drug cops start making their own rules, it's time to take away their badge and gun. When celebrity addiction doctors do the same, it's time to take away their license and, more importantly, their microphone.
Of course, it's a win just to have these kinds of conversations on The Tonight Show, and you can't look for perfect messaging from entertainers. But seriously, what the hell was Leno talking about with this:
Leno: Well, here's my thing, here's my thing. California, they spend all this money trying to get things on ballots. But federal law trumps state law.
Maher: Oh, Jay you're such a buzzkill.
Leno: Well, it's true. No matter what the state says, the federal government goes "sorry, it's a federal law. You lose."
Really, Jay? I wonder how far you'd have to walk from your studio in Los Angeles to find a dispensary selling marijuana in violation of federal law. Come on, man. We've moved way beyond that nonsense, and you don't have to be constitutional scholar to understand that state-level marijuana policies can be reformed dramatically by popular vote. All you have to do is read the LA Times any day of the week.
If the drug czar doesn’t even know what the hell the feds would do about this, I can't fathom why Jay Leno thinks he's got it figured out.
"Sting should stick to singing and not meddle in matters he doesn't understand. We do not need pop stars coming out and making irresponsible statements like that," said a spokesperson for DARE, which teaches schoolchildren about the dangers of drug use. [Daily News & Analysis]
How classy. I think it's pretty telling that Sting, an A-list international celebrity, was proud to associate himself with this cause, while the DARE spokesperson who chides him for it chose to do so anonymously. It's obvious who is more embarrassed by their viewpoint.
Note to anti-drug zealots: if your argument sounds ridiculous even to you, to such an extent that you don't even want your name attached to it, then just don't talk to the media. I know it sucks to see the political climate changing before your eyes. I know you can’t bear the thought that mainstream entertainers can now come out against the drug war and get nothing but positive press. But your stupid ideas are what got you into this mess in the first place, so opening your mouth right now isn't going help at all.
DARE's only accomplishment here was to erase any doubt about whether Sting's announcement is a big deal.
Hopefully we'll be seeing some more press on this, or better yet a wave of rockstars joining the cause and rocking out for justice. And can we please do one of those PSA-type ads where like 8 famous people take turns looking concerned and saying why some issue is important, except this time the issue is legalizing marijuana in California and the famous people are all super famous and not just cast members from various shows on whatever network you're watching?
If we can get Bono and Bill Clinton, we'll win with leaflets left over.
You Can Make a Difference
I am writing because I believe the United States -- and all of us -- must do precisely that in the case of what has been the most unsuccessful, unjust yet untouchable issue in politics: the war on drugs.
The war on drugs has failed -- but it's worse than that. It is actively harming our society. That is why ending the drug war is a matter of social justice. And it's why I hope you'll donate to the Drug Policy Alliance today.
Violent crime is thriving in the shadows to which the drug trade has been consigned. People who genuinely need help can't get it. Neither can people who need medical marijuana to treat terrible diseases. We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and sacrificing our liberties.
For too long, the war on drugs has been a sacrosanct undertaking that was virtually immune from criticism in the public realm. Politicians dared not disagree for fear of being stigmatized as "soft on crime." Any activist who spoke up was dismissed as a fringe element.
But recently, I discovered just how much that's changing -- and that's how I came to speak out on behalf of the Drug Policy Alliance. Join me in supporting them with a donation today.
I learned of DPA while reading what once might have been the unlikeliest of places for a thoughtful discussion, the Wall Street Journal.
It featured an op-ed that dared to say in print -- in a thoughtful, meticulous argument -- what everyone who has seriously looked at the issue has known for years: the war on drugs is an absolute failure whose cost to society is increasingly unbearable and absolutely unjustifiable.
Their work spoke directly to my heart as an activist for social justice -- because ending the war on drugs is about exactly that.
To me, it all adds up to a clear message of exactly the sort I've always tried to heed in my life: It's time to step out of our comfort zone and try something new.
That's where DPA comes in. Their focus is on reducing the harm drugs cause rather than obsessively and pointlessly attempting to ban them. I hope you'll assist their work by donating today.
I'm partnering with DPA because they champion treatment, advocate effective curricula for educating young people about drugs -- and from local courtrooms to the Supreme Court, they are utterly relentless defenders of the liberties that have been sacrificed to the drug war.
Now, political conditions in Washington seem finally to be aligning in favor of profound change in drug policy. But success is far from guaranteed. We must all work to ensure this issue becomes a priority and is acted upon in a meaningful and sensible way.
That's why I hope you'll join me in becoming a member of the Drug Policy Alliance today. We are building a movement that will put the team at DPA in a position to take maximum advantage of the political changes in Washington while continuing to fight for sanity in drug policy across the nation.
Everyone knows the war on drugs has failed. It's time to step out of our comfort zones, acknowledge the truth -- and challenge our leaders ... and ourselves ... to change.
The strong odor of marijuana wafting from the window of a Willie Nelson tour bus led to six members of the country singer's entourage getting busted in Duplin County for possession of marijuana and three-fourths of a quart of moonshine, law enforcement officials said. [News Observer]
Seriously, if anyone has a problem with what a bunch of aging musicians do in their tour bus, then don't go in there. If these guys were a legitimate threat to public safety, it shouldn't take a probable cause search to catch them. If they'd run a Church choir off the highway wasted on shrooms and moonshine, that would be a different story, but they're super old and it's clear by now that they can be trusted.
To dispel any confusion, I propose federal legislation clarifying the right of Willie Nelson and his associates to do whatever they feel is necessary in order to have an awesome time. The smell of potent cannabis emanating from their tour bus should be interpreted as a sign that everything is fine.