Rumors of a DEA Blog Prompt Curiosity & Concern

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Adweek profiles The Adfero Group, whose VP Christopher Battle is helping the DEA Foundation improve its image and promote its ridiculous museum.
[DEA] has also asked Adfero to create an interactive Web site that will include blogs and virtual tours of the museum. Right now, the only Web site that exists is a page about the museum on the DEA Web site. Plans to include a blog and a speaker's bureau are also under discussion.

A DEA Blog, huh? Sounds just awesome. Let's hope it's more interesting than the compost pile that passes for a blog over at ONDCP. I wanna see candid posts like "If Potent Pot Doesn't Kill These Hippies, We Will," or "Top 10 Sick People We Don't Care About."

So far the only thing we know about this blog is that it will be completely devoid of any intellectual value. They're already prepared to promise us that much:

The group's strategy going forward is to take its slogan, "Hope through education," and "take the debate about drugs out of the realm of statistics and policy and move it into the realm of personal stories," says Battle.
Is this a tacit acknowledgement that the discussion of stats and policy inherently disadvantages them? Because, as true as that is, I certainly wasn't expecting them to admit it. That should be their blog motto for sure, and I'm so glad they're giving our tax-dollars to a fancy consulting firm to help them brainstorm these sorts of things.

How about this:

"DEA Blog: Replacing Stats and Policy With Anecdotes and Hyperbole"

Location: 
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

don't fear the exchange of information

but don't you want to hear what they have to say? have it in print?
don't you want the chance to affect change in the minds of those who read it in a public forum?
how can blogging only be a good thing for citizens and not for policy makers? maybe they'll tell us why.

Oh, totally

I'm definitely excited to see what they'll come up with. The ONDCP blog has been very revealing, and I expect no less from DEA.

The only gripe here is that they're wasting our tax-dollars to stroke their own egos. But even that is preferable to them spending the money on virtually anything else they're likely to do.

deas blog

what a waste of time havent we heard enough from them

Matt_Potter's picture

I'm pretty excited

that they're making a blog. it's going to suck.

Great post man, taking the debate out of the realm of statistics and policy? What a load of crap

The stats add up

Just not in their favour, so rather than use objective data, we are going to reach for the subjective. Sounds like this is being run by religious folk...

Matt_Potter's picture

Do we know

if they're planning to allow people to add comments and discuss or will it be like the ondcps?

They could allow comments...

...but what if someone writes something about statistics or policy? See, DEA is trying to move beyond those things.

doubt it

Chances are if they do allow comments and posts that they will be either a) taken out of context or b) heavily edited (read: censored for your pleasure of course). That seems to me modus operandi for them to date. Personal stories? Let's think about that one. So, they are going to have lots of stories from former drug users who have now repented and tales from "innocent" people whose lives were saved by the police and DEA when they took some child-raping, property thieving, and generally immoral drug users out of their neighborhood right?

This will most likely be as "fair and balanced" as an o'riley interview. We'll just have to wait.

Matt_Potter's picture

I was thinking

I wouldn't be surprised to see some stories w/ children. Little girl's mom dies of a drug overdoes, little boy has no father figure because his daddy is in jail for doing very bad things....

Sweet! Personal Stories!

Facts and Stats aren't necessary if you create climate of fear.

I seem to remember there was this little film back in the mid 30s chock full of "personal stories".

What is the over/under on them posting a story about an axe murder in the next 6 months?

Wow

I want to develop that website. I would have it crash every 10 seconds, and have inappropriate banner ads...

Dea blog

I thought that was deawatchcom

Losers

Just to show that not everyone who responds here is a wasted, unemployed, pot-smoking, loser, I would like to add my two cents. Perhaps, as your mom and dad used to tell you, stay away from drugs or you'll amount to nothing, you may for the first time in your life be able to discuss your juvenile feelings with adults. That's a maybe and only if you can break away from the peer pressure that makes you all think alike, act alike and sound alike. You're sheep, all sheep, prancing along in step and not knowing or caring why. Grow up and be somebody. Or better yet, sit back and ponder why it is that all you can do is add to the bs and never be part of something that is creative, different, new, exciting, or, for that matter, meaningful? My guess is that you all must love re-runs of the Patti Duke show; you know, we look alike, we sound alike, etc. That and kiddy cartoons probably fill your down time of which you have an abundance.

Losers posted by Anonymous

Your an uninformed idiot. I am a 49 yr old grandfather with a well adjusted family, a collage degree and an excellent work history. I am not afraid to sign my name either. Kevin Kneeland

losers?

p.s I definatleee wood snot wunt 2 b creeatiff hand differant if u wus part ov it.hale mening fool r u m8????????

I really love the DEA

The Maine DEA was the first to hold a gun on me. I was a very dangerous man with a hydro garden. They are a bunch of lying shit bags that can't do anything without a RAT to help them out. Kevin Kneeland

Losers, part 2

Kevin: With all due respect my dear friend you are precisely the type of pond scum that infects this otherwise fine world. At the age of 49 you should be doing something important with your life, at least that portion of it that has not been totally wasted. The fact that you are involved in this blog tells me that you fit the description that I gave above, which was really given to attract folks willing to self-identify -- something you quickly did. Your "collage" (the correct spelling of college is college, my dear friend) degree does not guarantee intelligence, only an ability to drain public funds while maintaining a modecum of academic performance. But because I am a nice guy, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and accept your statements on face value. You and I shall become the exceptions I talked about here. Come to think of it, I would say I'm correct, at least up until today.

Let's get serious here...

What is your point? You're insulting my readers, while failing to make any particular point of your own. And it's just hilarious that you mock us for taking time to discuss drug policy, while you obviously have time to condemn us for doing so.

If you wanna debate, let's discuss drugs rather than issue unverifiable characterizations of one another. Do you think it's odd that the DEA is promising to avoid discussing statistics and policy in its new blog? Isn't there something intellectually dishonest about replacing stats with anecdotes? Shouldn't the people responsible for enforcing our drug laws be competent enough to discuss the policies they carry out?

losers?

Sir, I know the type of person you are!Their must be a reason why you babble on and correct people who you think are losers.To scrutinize someones spelling is in "my opinion" a very sad and angry statement,only held together by a semi-intelligent structure of words.I dont know you and would not want too either.Tell me please,why you try to upset humans that don't bother you????I am intrigued

Losers, part 3

Scott: What's to discuss about drug policy? You're either in favor of drug control or you're not in favor of drug control. Each "side" in such a stupid debate can find lots of anecdotal and even empirical "evidence" to support their point of view. If, for example, you believe pot smokers should be locked up, what could I possibly say to dissuade you of that belief? Likewise, if you think pot smokers should be ignored and allowed to smoke their pot, what could I possibly say to dissuade you of that belief? It's a little like a Taliban trying to convince a Jehova's Witness or vice versa to change beliefs. How productive is that? Reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw: "Stop Continental Drift." Yeah, right.

Ok...

I sense that you're not really that interested in drug policy. I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise.

Could you stop calling us losers, though? I, for one, care about this issue for very personal reasons as do many others.

1. I've known two cancer patients that are now dead, and who insisted that marijuana helped them when they were alive.

2. I've had friends treated differently by the criminal justice system according to their race.

3. I've seen great students suffer the destruction of their academic careers because their recreational marijuana use was discovered.

4. I've voted for medical marijuana in D.C. at age 18, only to watch the U.S. Congress intervene and take away my voice in a democratic society because it disagreed with the will of the people in my city; a city which purports to be a beacon of democracy shining brightly around the world.

I could go on, but hopefully you get my point. Am I a loser because I care about these things? Do you stand by your characterization of me and the people who read this blog?

losers?

This guy who tries to be-little people is not worth the amount of words.He has issues that dont relate to me.When someone tries to get into your head by "baiting",simply wants to be "agent provocateur" and try stir up some hate and negativaty.Lets hope he in a fit of rage ,gets transported to another age.And that is that.pete.uk

Losers, Part 4

Scott: Stop making me cry in my beer with the sob stories. Get over it, man. Your dead cancer pals as best they could under the circumstances enjoyed the intoxicating effects of the pot, period. Had they been able to down a pint of good bitters or some Jack, they might have had enjoyed the same effect. Even if we accept that the cannabinoids in the pot they smoked activated their CB1 and CB2 receptors, thereby relieving pain, there were and are many other safer drugs that can provide similar or better physical effects without the toxic psychic side effect. Besides, inhaling any combustable gas, whether from tobacco smoke, pot smoke, or the rear end of a city bus, is not good for oxygen-breathers. Admittedly, your cancer pals may have weighed the risks and benefits and, for them, made the right choice. So what? Should their choice be mandated by some government, ours, for example, and forced upon the rest of us, or are we free to choose our own paths to glory?

Regarding #2, you're right again, my friend. OJ was cut loose after butchering his old lady but poor, sweet Paris had to do hard time in the slammer for a couple of DUIs and a suspended license beef. Get smart, pal, the color of justice is not red, white, brown, or black, but GREEN. You're innocent 'till proven broke!

Regarding #3, you've got this one ass-backwards, Scott. They suffered the destruction of their recreational marijuana career by an attempted academic use. One is incompatible with the other. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all the genuises who smoke pot and the professors, too, but those are the exceptions, you know, like the guy who smokes three packs of Camels a day for 85 years and lives to be a 100. For every one of these counter-culture genuises that make it, I guarantee you there are hundreds of others doing 12-steps, believing in higher powers, and trying to regain their sobriety and marbles before they check out.

Regarding #4, it's time to put down the weed, junior, and grow up. The first thing you want to do is read Article VI of the US Constitution. Not Amendment Six, but Article VI. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you know what the Constitution is and can locate a copy, perhaps at your local library. When you read that document, consider that it was passed by the will of the people, or as Lincoln (the president, not the car) would say of democracy, of the people, by the people, and for the people. In short, your disagreement with the Constitution and the laws that derive therefrom, my friend, does not invalidate it or what it stands for. Look up the definition of E Pluribus Unum, our nation's motto, and it may enlighten you even more on this point.

Lastly, do I stand by my characterization of you and your pals as "losers?" You're damn right. Your whiney expressions of self-pity and victimization because the rest of the world doesn't understand you or do what you would like it to do are the hallmarks of losers. A winner by my definition is someone who understands how things work: why, for example, the pot measure was defeated in DC and what the role of the congress is in regulating the laws of the nation's capital, etc. Losers don't give a damn about educating themselves or in knowing how anything works. Instead, they cry like babies in the night when they don't get their way and invoke everything that is sacred as an excuse for their whining (e.g., Thomas Jefferson wouldn't stop me from smoking pot. George Washington actually grew the stuff on his farm. This or that besmerches the image of Washington, D.C. as the "beacon of democracy shining around the world." etc.) Horsefeathers, I say!

Get a job or do something to earn a few bucks (other than sell dope) and go visit some other countries in the world -- besides Holland, that is, and then re-appraise the situation. He who knows but one country knows no country. You only get one shot at this thing called life, so don't blow it on dope and cheap cigars.

Cheap cigars and warm beer.nirvana?

My god you have some time on your hands.What you said to that guy who's friends died of cancer is a sad,sad way of replying to someone being logical and compassionate.My friend is dying of cancer(dont dribble in your beer mate,which incedently is a drug)and I grow very fine weed to help with radiotherapy and to get him eating more.It works!My dad,who was from ukraine had a saying for people like you"if you touch shit it smells" and im of to wash my hands and flush your bull-shit down the bog.

Wow!

You care much more than I thought. Your instinct to defend the status quo is as strong as our opposition to it. Who are you? What brought you here?

I've explained why I care about these issues. Perhaps you could tell us something about yourself.

Losers, Part 5

Ok, Scott, now listen up. I'm only going to say this once, understand? You're about to get a lesson from a pro that would cost you upwards of $500/hr if you had to pay for it. My time is money, big money, but I sense that lurking somewhere down deep inside your loser persona is a potential winner and so I am going to donate the next few minutes of my precious time to delving into that tangled mess of juvenile theories that you forgot to outgrow and see if I can enlighten you a bit. Who knows, I may save a life and, as John Donne tells us, we are all interconnected in a metaphysical way so that, in effect, by helping you I am helping myself and that’s always a good thing.
Let’s begin by getting our definition straight. What you like is status quo and what I like is progressive, or vice versa, depending upon the time of day and the suborbital axis of Ganymede. In fact, my friend, these “designations” are of no value to you or to me and the sooner you come to realize this, the sooner you will begin to lose the “loser” title. Why? you may ask, and now I shall tell you.
Recall what I said the other day about educating yourself to the structure of things. Drop the rants, the whinings and the goofy criticisms clichéd with meaningless references to history or sacred monuments. Such utterances type you as a naïve blunderer, moving aimlessly from point to point, much the same as a pinball moves among the lighted mushrooms (now, don’t get any ideas here!).
OK, here’s my Yellow Book lesson for the day. Whether you know it or not, you have been selected to act in a symbiotic fashion by another living species called cannabis sativa L. This, of course, you don’t know, and could not have known, which is why what I have to say to you is so important. Few will ever get the chance that you are about to get.
In pot, the psychoactive molecules, and in particular, tetrahydrocannibinol (THC), serve no purpose in the life cycle of the plant. The evidence of this can be seen in the foliage of hemp, a subspecies of cannabis, that have only minimal THC content, yet they share the same biological structure of the basic pot plant. OK, so why is THC present in one variety but not the other? Good question, Scott. The answer that the plant wants you to give (and yes, plants can want you to do and say things and I’ll show you how shortly) is that those THC molecules were placed there by Nature to provide medicinal benefits for humans like us suffering from hangnails, cancer, stress, glaucoma, underarm perspiration, bad breath, AIDS, and so forth. You get the picture, right?
But along comes moi, the breaker of the “cannabis code.” What I have discovered and will now share with you is this. Many years ago, long before you were born, certain plants needed to adapt in order to survive. This is straight Darwin stuff here. Those that did not survive went out of existence, which, by the way is a necessary phenomenon for evolution anyway so it’s not a big deal to “lose” a species in this zero-sum game. To avoid extinction, many plants developed in ways that made them attractive to other species, including birds, fish, insects, and even humans. Birds would eat the seeds and propagate the plants, thus ensuring its survival. Fish did the same for aquatic plants. Insects played a large role in this, too. But humans, aha, they were the best at it because they were mobile and smart enough to cultivate and grow plants that could nourish them.
Now, here’s where it gets good. Some, not many, but some, plants developed molecules that could provide pleasurable symptoms to other species and thus attract them to help cultivate or propagate them. The catnip plant, for example, developed a scent that attracted and pleased cats. The pot plant did the same for humans, as did the opium poppy and perhaps to a lesser extent at the time, the coca plant. The best example of this, or at least the most obvious one, involves the tobacco plant. Many plants were “content” to simply satisfy the taste buds of mammals and we call those fruits and vegetables.
Martin Booth, in his wonderful and informative book, “Opium: a history” (1999), has a brilliant hypothesis that opium farmers in places like Afghanistan develop a low grade addiction to opium as they harvest the gum using small scrapers and palettes. As the scraper knife collects the gum, it become sticky and gum backs up on the blade. The farmers lick the blade to keep it moist so the gum doesn’t stick as much. This constant licking of the scraper knife, Booth says, produces a low grade addiction to opium and forces the farmers to continue cultivating the plant year to year. The opium gum itself, he says, has no biological purpose in the plant. There are 250 species of poppies in the world, he says, and the Papaver somniferum variety is the only one that contains opium. Why? For the same reason you’re attracted to pot.
So, my friend, if you are into pot, it’s not something you choose to do, that is, an exercise of your free will or anything like that, but something you must do because you are the instrument of the plant’s survival. This effect, I grant you, is even more pronounced in heroin addicts whose slavish addiction is no different from that of Booth’s opium farmer.
Yes, I know this is deep stuff, too deep, perhaps, for you. Your adherence to the status quo, the conventional sheep-like bumper-sticker mentality of the average pot head, unfortunately does not permit you to venture beyond your comic-book interpretation of the world. The search for truth, for those of us who are aware of our existence and its importance, cannot simply be passed along through a string of strangers like one passes along a hot dog from the vendor to the customer at the ball park. Although I can tell you these things, and have, you must discover them for yourself. Only then will you be free to act in a way that gives meaning and purpose to your life. Otherwise, you will be forced to continue your existence solely for the benefit of a certain plant that is using you as a host to ensure its future while, at the same time, ensuring the loss of your own. It’s the ultimate invasion of the body snatchers, if you ask me.
Until you do discover this truth for yourself, you will remain just another loser among losers. But then, the hive is always in need of obedient worker bees incapable of asking or caring why but living only to defend the propagator.

losers?

you love the sound of your own opinions.you are a bit sad as time is precious and you ,generously,giving a lecture.what could be said was ok but fucking hell.how long did that take you?you consider pot-heads sub-human,but insist in your world all is well as you have a brain like e.t.im from cambridge,uk.I know many pep's that would tell you about evoloution.they would not be arrogant like you,but you would be out your depth matey.

Glorious!

Where shall I send the $500 check?

One question though...

If one believes, as you clearly do, that marijuana is terribly harmful, isn't that a design flaw? Most plants offer something helpful to people, i.e. fruits and vegetables are good for you. You're saying that of all the helpful plants out there, just a few have learned to trick people into liking them, while actually harming their users.

I think these harms are relative. I agree that one can overdo it with pot, but most marijuana users are doing fine. Absent intervention from the criminal justice system, pot smokers mostly quit on their own. It seems excessive to invest in a result that will occur independently in most cases anyway.

Do you think marijuana users should be arrested?

Losers, Part 6

In my rush I neglected to explain that the properties that evolved in the plant world to ensure propagation and that enticed or attracted humans by their pleasurable sensations occurred many years ago, in evolutionary terms long before any of the modern dangers existed. If this is something that interests you, I would recommend reading some of the recent literature on the incidence of pot smoking and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, aka ADHD, or just ADD if present without the hyperactivity (as with some adults). Pot smokers are four and one-half times as likely to have untreated ADHD. Cigarette smokers are about twice as likely to have untreated ADHD. When treated, these ratios fall to zero, meaning they are the same for folks without the ADHD.

The manifestations of ADHD are today vestigial but at one time served us well when we needed to have diffused attention to survive in the wild, much the same as any of today’s wild animals. As we evolved and became more cognitive, we needed to focus more and many of the primordial dangers were either under control or no longer extant. In time, those of us who may have carried the gene (yes, there is a powerful genetic influence in ADHD approaching 80%) realized the difficulty of concentrating, a function one needs to exercise more as a child when learning than as an adult when one might compensate better for the deficits.

Pot wasn’t dangerous for the cavemen but it can produce some serious psychic problems in today’s world. For one, the potency is much higher. Secondly, most of society’s desire to regulate this plant derives not from its biology but from its effects on people and the potential for those people, in turn, to harm others. The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act did NOT outlaw marihuana. If you Google the act, you’ll find that, like the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act of 1914, it placed a use-tax on the distribution of this substance and created a two-tier system of taxing physicians and pharmacists who were permitted to lawfully prescribe and dispense the drug and a much higher “illegal” tax for those who were not registered with the government and authorized to prescribe or dispense the drug.

It was not until 1970, that pot was actually made unlawful as a medicine in the United States. By then, medical science had reached a level where its pharmacology and pharmacodynamics could be well understood. As for your question, should marihuana smokers be arrested, I would say not if that’s the only “crime.” Since a 1962 Supreme Court decision a person cannot be arrested for being an addict no more than for being a prostitute or drunk – unless, of course, they commit a crime under the influence, in which case they can be prosecuted for that crime. Most people don’t realize this, especially when they compare US drug laws with laws in other countries like those in Europe where it is against the law to be an addict.

The pot smoker, however, would have to possess pot in order to smoke it and the possession of pot is outlawed. Very few people are incarcerated in the United States for possession of pot. In fact, to get into jail these days anywhere in the U.S., you really have to try hard, perhaps get arrested for drugs several times or have aggravated circumstances attached to the charge. Pot head researchers doing their biased research love to cite how many billions of heads are doing hard time for “mere possession” of pot but when the grownups look at the same data, they point out that 95% of drug cases in the US are plea-bargained, meaning only very few go to trial and hardly none go to trial on all charges. Most plea-bargains will reduce a distribution or sale charge to a possession charge for the first several offenses, unless, of course, there are other factors involved. So the geniuses that pull their data from prison records always find tons of people doing time for “possession” but what they really need to find out is what the original charges were before they were reduced.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this stuff. If you were not such a loser, you would be able to figure all this out on your own and then make up your mind, if you have one, to do the right thing, which is stay away from pot. Don’t do it simply because I tell you. I mean, that would really be a loser act. Losers can only follow other losers. They never can follow a winner. It’s like trying to put a square peg in a round hole; it ain’t gonna work, period. But, and here’s another secret, losers can discover things on their own. They can quietly and even secretively study and self-educate themselves to know the truth. Once they do, they will even begin to recognize the tell-tale signs of biased “research” by what I call the “loser-industrial complex” – that formation of commercialized losers whose livelihood and continued existence often depends on a stable inventory of losers. You know the kind of talking about: the scraggy-looking PhD who never transitioned from the hallowed halls of academia and today makes a living handing out free needles at a needle “exchange” program somewhere. In his spare time, Dr. Syringe writes glowingly of the wonders of his program, citing others in similar straits who someday hope he’ll return the favor.

City fathers (and some mothers) buy into this trash science because they’re afraid of being criticized as cruel or unwilling to stop AIDS, STDs, or any of a number of diseases of the month that the Dr. Syringes of the world warn will befall us if we don’t follow their advice. The LIC (loser industrial-complex) cannot overcome the problem the public thinks justifies it for to do so would, in effect, be putting itself out of business. The drug treatment folks are part of the LIC, too, telling their patients (customers) that relapse is common and expected. They can be likened to hotel owners needing a steady stream of return guests to insure a decent income. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not down on all these different groups or people and I do believe, sincerely, that some provide a genuinely good service for humanity. But many, my friend, are frauds, pure and simple.

That’s all I can help you with for now. As I said, being a loser you really need to learn this stuff for yourself but I’m willing to spend a little time now and then to help you see the way. Never do anything simply because I tell you to. That would be as wrong as if I were to do something that you told me to do. Seriously, you have offered some really silly ideas compared with the wisdom of my words. Nonetheless, as you begin to break out of the loser mentality you will begin to experience, perhaps for the first time in your life, the freedom of being an individual and not a member of the little garden club you’ve joined to propagate the plant in question. As you move further and further away, you should experience a feeling of self-assurance, of confidence based on knowledge and understanding. Your reliance on bumper-sticker philosophies will subside and the propaganda you were fed for so long by plant propagators will be replaced with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Anonymous

You are correct about the spelling error. I realized my mistake after I hit send. It is hardly the point. I don't think I qualify as pond scum. I do find it a bit ironic that most of us want to keep drugs including tobacco and alcohol from children, but a few want to refer to marijuana use as juvenile. It just seems a bit of a contradiction. I wonder what is so terrible in your world that causes you to be so filled with hate for people that want to live differently from you. There most likely are a few skeletons in your closet. If you intend to insult me further, expect no response from me as I find it pathetic. I don't mind engaging in meaningful discussion. I somehow feel that won't happen. Kevin Kneeland

Loser, Part 7

Kevin: I tried, I really tried, my dear friend, to understand your email but, alas, I wasn't able to grasp the meaning, if there was one. Some of it sounds like psychobabble from some self-improvement course that failed. I cannot insult you for that is something only you can do for you. When you stop feeling sorry for yourself, let's talk again.

You should start a blog

If you aren't already scheduled to write for the upcoming DEA Blog, I really hope you'll start one of your own. I've enjoyed this conversation considerably, and while I'm more aware of many of your arguments than you suspected, I still really appreciate hearing what you think (except for the part about how we're losers, over and over again).

The only thing that would help me at this point is to know specifically what your credentials are. I'm surprised you haven't volunteered this, since I'm sure you realize there's nothing we can/would do to you. As you stated earlier, the two so-called "sides" in this debate are more or less incompatible. Unfortunately, ONDCP is so polished and politicized that I can't even learn anything from them. I'm much more interested in opposing viewpoints than you may have suspected, but there's really a shortage of good straightforward pro-drug war rhetoric for me to read.

What do you recommend? Have you written anything on these subjects? If you'd like to share this privately, contact me at smorgan-at-drcnet.org. And maybe let me know what brought you to our site in the first place.

Otherwise have a nice day, seriously. And we'll do our best not to ruin the world with our naivety and loserdom.

Losers, The Final Chapter

Thank you, Scott, for the kind words. I am going to leave you all now and move along. But, before I do, I would like to leave just a few remaining thoughts that might help, you know, like seeds planted that germinate and grow at a later time. That's how I'd like you to remember some of what I've told you.

There is no "drug war." Anyone who tells you that there is, is playing you for a fool and looking to recruit you for some agenda. The original expression, "drug war," goes back to a 1912 or so Washington Post editorial supporting the passage of a federal drug control law, the one that eventually became known as the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act of 1914. The metaphor has been used by many presidents: Hoover for his "War on Waste," Kennedy-Johnson for their "War on Poverty," Nixon for his "War on Cancer," and Reagan for his "War on AIDS." There have been many more "war-ons" over the years and I'm sure you can probably think of a few that I may have forgotten. What links all these "wars" besides the office of their declarants is that none has been “won.”

Nixon often is credited with declaring a “war on drugs,” but he actually never said this. He did say something close to this, I grant you, but not this. The media invented this “war on drugs” metaphor and others followed. Today, it is universally but incorrectly used to describe a public policy that regulates harmful substances.

The real question here and one that requires some fairly sophisticated understanding and ability is the role of government to protect its citizens. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness may be offered in the Declaration of Independence as a raison d’etre for the revolution and the subsequent formation of these United States but how to ensure these benefits has created some controversy over the years. There are some who think, for example, that the proper role of government is somewhat passive, to exist in a virtual state and protect our freedom to exercise our wills as we see fit. Others may argue that, while this is admirable and to some extent idealistic, it does not take into account the fact that there are evil people in the world who seek to take advantage of our freedoms for their own ends and that those ends are inimical to the common good. The expression “common good,” itself, is an intriguing concept worthy of intense scrutiny. You may think liberalizing pot laws is something that should be done for the “common good,” whereas I may not think this way or accept the premise.

To begin the scientific examination of these deep questions, I would draw upon philosophy and economics more so than political science for they give us a certain consistency that political science lacks. I planted clues in my previous writings in hopes that you might bite the hooks but, alas, you are still mired in the loser mentality that I have tried hard to help you overcome. Let’s take the word “truth.” What does this word mean to you? Is it, for example, something you believe in, perhaps, believe very strongly? Or is it, perchance, something else?

I submit that beliefs are not necessarily the same as the truth. I may believe in Santa Clause but I have no way of showing you that he exists or that my belief is “true.” You, on the other hand, may believe that smoking pot is good for you, but like my Santa Clause, you have no way of showing me that this is “true.” Oh no, you say, I can show you lots of studies and research papers from around the world that “proves” that no one was ever harmed by pot so, therefore, it must be good for you, right? Wrong, my friend, my loser friend. Here’s why.

Truth must conform to reality. It must be independent of “belief” systems and it must be objectively demonstrable and scientifically provable by means that are also objectively demonstrable. Science and truth and close to each other in many ways because the objective of science is truth. Beliefs, on the other hand, rest on cultural interests that are mostly subjective and emotional. My strong belief in Santa Clause, for example, is a cultural thing for me and is reflective of my subjective awareness and my emotional needs.

Were I inclined to use science to support my belief – a practice I will discuss in detail shortly – I could design an experiment in which I could hypothesize that Santa Clause exists and that he delivers gifts to people all over the world at least once a year. My research methodology could involve a survey of 25% of the world’s population from which I could extrapolate a findings generalizable to the Earth’s entire population. Indeed, a sample of 25% of any population, randomly selected, would have tremendous power (expressed in degrees of freedom). My research questions would be few: 1. Do you believe Santa Clause exists? 2) Does Santa Clause come to your home every year? 3) Does Santa Clause deliver gifts to you when he visits your home every year?

Suppose I randomly selected my sample from the entire world’s population. Suppose the results of my survey showed a large percentage of respondents, perhaps a third, that a. believe in Santa Clause, b. said that he visits their home each year, and c. said that he brings gifts when he visits. Would my hypothesis be supported? Could I then tell everyone that I had scientifically “proved” the existence of Santa Clause and that he delivers gifts to people all over the world at least once a year?

If you answered, Of course not! I would commend you for achieving step one in my loser 12-step program.

Ok, what about the cultural and emotional stuff, where does that come in here? Good question. The democracy that you spoke of the other day for which the United States is such a shining example of, provides a system of governance in which people exercise the right to establish and maintain – and enforce, when necessary – cultural norms. The latter change with time. Here’s an example of this. In 1857, Justice Taney of the US Supreme Court voiced the common belief of the time in his notorious Dred Scott Decision. While there were some, no doubt, that disagreed with the decision – just as there were probably some who disagreed with Gonzales v. Raich, a Supreme Court case decided in 2005 – most people, in general, accepted these decisions as correct for their time.

There are many other examples and I’m certain that you may be able to think of some from a bygone era. Politics is how we settle the day-to-day disputes among people over cultural norms. When enough of us feel strongly enough about something, it becomes law or we change the law or even repeal it. A good example of this is the Volstead Act (Prohibition) enacted in 1919 by a Constitutional Amendment, perhaps the most democratic process we have for passing law, and repealed a little more than a dozen years later by essentially the same people. Were they correct in 1919 or in 1933? I would say that they were correct both times. That’s the beauty of politics. Unlike science that gives us immutable truths that are so today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and for all time, cultural norms change and politics change to reflect them.

Now, how does this all come together to make sense in this lesson? Here’s the punch line. The pot laws we have are reflective of our cultural norms for this period. We didn’t have them a hundred years ago or, in some cases, just a few decades ago, and we may not have them in 30 or 40 or 150 years hence. No one, including even me, can say for sure what the future holds on this. Those laws were not based on science. This is important, so I’ll say it again: These laws were not based on science. If they were, we would have to have them forever, since science, if truthful, cannot change what is objectively demonstrable and true.

Thus, when pot heads base their best arguments on scientific “findings,” they become chagrinned that no one takes them seriously and laughs off the “findings” as either junk science or biased research, or both. The reason for this is simple. Their “proof” of pot’s safety, for example, is akin to my “proof” of Santa Clause. It should be no surprise that the response is the same.

Thus, the question before the house is this. Do the people have the right to establish, maintain, and enforce, if necessary, their cultural norms via the laws that are passed by their elected representatives? If we answer “yes” to this one (you’ll be close to Step 2 in the Loser 12-Step program), then we have to take the good with the bad. Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that you are a racist black guy who thinks white kids shouldn’t be allowed to attend your school, that they should be satisfied to attend their own schools on the other side of town. Now let’s assume that after many years of public acceptance of your viewpoint, someone comes along and files a lawsuit claiming, among other things, that this process violates the Constitution. The Supreme Court hears this case and agrees the plaintiff and orders an end to this arrangement. In time, people come to hail this decision by the Court as not only the right one for the time but long overdue. Congress, likewise, picking up on where the Court left off enshrines the Court’s legal philosophy in a set of new laws called “Civil Rights Acts.”

But you, the racist black guy, you don’t agree with any of this. You think that the Court was wrong. Moreover, you don’t give a damn about these new laws and you decide that, as far as you’re concerned, nothing’s change from before. You decide to ignore the law, despite knowing that most people, even most black people, agree that the Court was correct and the new laws are right.

OK, now let’s do a little substitution thinking. Instead of the civil rights issue, let’s substitute the drug laws. For over a hundred years or so, the American public had no concern for such laws and Congress had no desire to enact them. Then came the late 1880s and the Progressive Era of the early days of the 20th century. After far more history than I need to recount here, the public and Congress were united in the desire to regulate certain drugs deemed harmful. Their desires were based on a perceived need at the time for preserving cultural norms. For the most part, that same need exists today, which is why a majority of our people support the continued control of drugs, including pot.

Are there folks who disagree with these laws and with the Supreme Court’s decisions, for example, in Raich? Of course. And, like the hypothetical black racist above, they will continue to ignore the law and follow their own beliefs. They also will be known as losers for truly that is what they are in every sense of the word.

This is as far as I can take you, my friend, and from here on out, you’ll be on your own. If you are able to fathom the above and despite what it may mean in terms of your wasted life, so far, you decide to give knowledge a try over emotion and peer influence, then you will have successfully reached Step 1 in my 12-Step Loser Reduction Program. The remaining eleven steps can only be achieved on your own. My coaching days are over. Good-bye and good luck!

So...

Do you think he typed that all with one hand?

ill fucking kill any dea

ill fucking kill any dea officer

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