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Awesome Video: SSDP Confronts Drug Czar About Legalizing Marijuana

A huge round of applause to SSDP activist Daniel Pacheco for his gutsy performance at the drug czar's press conference this morning. Just Say Now caught the whole thing on video.

I doubt the drug czar had any clue this was coming, although he had no trouble regurgitating the predictable prohibitionist response. Fortunately, Daniel Pacheco was prepared for it and fired back brilliantly:

PACHECO: Respectfully, I do think that you’re downplaying the importance of marijuana in the drug cartels. We have statistics that say that about 70% of the profits of drug cartels comes from marijuana and when there are thousands of victims, pouring out of Mexico and Colombia, I would have to mention the recent death of at least 30 policemen during this month. It seems that downplaying the influence that drugs have on illegal organizations, is, well, disrespectful for the victims of the war on drugs.  

That's exactly what it is. There is nothing more shameful than dishonoring the memory of the dead by refusing to acknowledge and address the origins of such horrific violence. It's maddeningly absurd to watch the drug czar, of all people, attempting to pretend as though the problem with the cartels isn't drugs. How embarrassingly stupid can this debate possibly get? Drug cartels can't thrive without selling drugs any more than Burger King can thrive without selling burgers. It's such a simple truth, I can't believe thousands must die in a desperate attempt to disprove it.

Meanwhile, the drug czar's best defense against the argument that marijuana prohibition is funding these murderers is to claim that we don't have accurate data on the extent of their marijuana profits? It's just unbelievable. All of you drug war dirtbags have been saying for years that we shouldn't buy pot because it funds cartels. You can't have it both ways, buddy. It's such an impressively incoherent and contradictory disaster of an argument that you really can't blame the drug czar for trying so hard not to get dragged into any of this.

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Crime and Punishment

Director Kerlikowske is betting the drug war on his assumption that the entire criminal underworld is homogeneously lacking in moral principles.  This is incorrect, especially as it applies to cannabis.

There are people who traffic in victimless marijuana who would feel much differently if they had to go out and commit a really dangerous, high risk, victim-based crime like robbery, kidnapping, and so forth. 

For those who would still do so, law enforcement can be somewhat more effective in targeting and reducing victim-based crime.  In victim-based crime, there’s usually a complaining victim who comes forward to alert police that a crime has been committed.  That’s really helpful.  In drug prohibition, no victim acting as a plaintiff is the norm, and that isn’t helpful, because it reduces law enforcement’s effectiveness to less than zero.  Ineffectiveness that makes the situation even worse than ineffective has been true in all attempts to legislate morality.



I just sent the following to my state legislators and intend to send the same email to my so-called representatives in the federal government, after reading the results of PEW poll on crime and punishment (

It is time to revise sentencing guidelines and mandatory sentencing.  ONLY violent criminals (murderers, assaulters, kidnappers, etc.) belong in prison!  Non-violent crimes (property crimes and fraud, etc.) should carry a punishment requiring full restitution (making the victim whole, again) and some kind of community service, perhaps additional fines and, maybe (depending on the situation -- discretion comes in here), an ankle bracelet for a period of time.  It must also be made clear in the laws that unless there is a complaining victim, there is no crime -- therefore, such things as gambling, prostitution, and drug "offenses", etc. are not crimes and should carry no penalties, they are vices; and judgement on whether they are sins should be decided between the person with the vice and his/her concept of God.  When 75% of the people agree, you should listen!

Then I come here and find this post by you, Giordano, saying much the same thing.

great great great

great great great confrontation!  but yeah why did all those people shout NO, when he politely asked to approach?

It was a reflexive reaction,

It was a reflexive reaction, saying "no" when he tried to approach.  If politicians were really doing the will of the people, they wouldn't need things like bodyguards and bulletproof cars.  They'd be loved, not despised.

exactly. but i guess kickback

exactly. but i guess kickback money from big pharma, alcohol, and tobacco is worth screwing us over for.

Scott, let's not overrate things just you like this group

You overstated how awesome this video is. It's a bit on the humdrum side. Now compare this one to the one SSDP did with control-crazed Souder a few years ago. Now that video was was awesome! He ran away from them into his black chauffeur-driven BMW! He couldn't handle the facts. Now c'mon Scott, keep your superlatives within reason.


I stand by my assessment. What Daniel did took a lot more guts than just approaching someone on the street. He walked into a crowded press conference and made himself heard. Sorry if you didn't like it as much as I did.

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