Newsbrief: Judge Kane Speaks Out Again, Lambasts Federal Drug War 1/31/03

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Denver US District Court Judge John Kane, Jr., has once again strongly attacked US government drug policies. Kane has been a harsh critic of the war on drugs since at least 1998, when he signed on to a famous two-page ad that ran in the New York Times under this banner: "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." That ad, which called on United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead a major shift in global drug policy, was also signed by veteran newsman Walter Cronkite, former senators Claiborne Pell and Alan Cranston, former secretary of state George Shultz, conservative economist Milton Friedman and former New York police commissioner Patrick Murphy.

Kane has not been silent on the subject since, speaking out at events across the country over the past few years. On Tuesday he spoke at Denver's City Club luncheon at the Brown Palace Hotel and, according to the Rocky Mountain News (Denver), "won a standing ovation" from the crowd of business people with his attack on the drug war.

The war on drugs is costly, ignorant and futile, Kane said. Drug prohibition only encourages drug dealers to seek black market profits, even from children, he added. "I don't favor drugs at all," Kane said. "What I really am opposed to is the fact that our present policies encourage children to take drugs."

The war on drugs is a miserable failure, Kane said, noting that drugs have become ever easier to obtain and drug use has risen despite decades of prohibitionist policies. The senior judge recounted a story about a friend of his in his 60s who was being treated for cancer. The man joked to his family that he wished he knew where to get marijuana to relieve the effects of chemotherapy. The next day, the man's 11-year-old grandson brought him three joints. "Don't worry, Grandpa -- I don't use it myself, but if you need any more just let me know," Kane quoted the boy as saying.

The federal government has no real scientific basis for its drug policy, Kane said, nor does that policy fit with American notions of fairness and justice. "Our national drug policy is inconsistent with the nature of justice, abusive of the nature of authority, and wholly ignorant of the compelling force of forgiveness," he said. "I suggest that federal drug laws be severely cut back."

And the assembled business people applauded.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #274, 1/31/03 The Road to Mérida: Interviews with Participants in the "Out from the Shadows" Campaign | Road to Mérida: Dr. Silvia Inchaurraga, Argentine Harm Reductionist | Road to Mérida: Sala Errata | Ed Rosenthal Convicted, Faces 10-Year Mandatory Minimum for Oakland Medical Marijuana Grow | Bush Treatment Initiative Draws Mixed Reviews from Reformers | Into the Morass: Green Berets in Colombia as "War on Drugs" Morphs into "War on Terror" | Drug Czar Says Nevada Election Laws Don't Apply to His Politicking | Latin American Anti-Prohibition Conference, Feb. 12-15, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico | Cumbre Internacional Sobre Legalización, 15-Dec Febrero, Mérida, México | Cúpula Internacional sobre Legalização, 15-Dec de Fevereiro, Mérida, México | Newsbrief: Violence Continues as Talks Begin in Bolivia -- Coca Growers, Workers, Indians Present Demands | Newsbrief: DEA Moving to Schedule Two More Hallucinogens | Newsbrief: Utah Drugged Driving Bill on the Move | Newsbrief: Colorado Bill Equating Meth Manufacture and Child Abuse Moves Forward | Newsbrief: Asian Drug Abolition Mania Spreading -- Malaysia Calls for "Total War," Drug Free Southeast Asia by 2015 | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Judge Kane Speaks Out Again, Lambasts Federal Drug War | DC Job Opportunity at DRCNet -- Campus Coordinator | The Reformer's Calendar

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]