Fixing Our Drug Policy Will Require a Hatchet, Not a Scalpel

I have a new piece at Huffington Post discussing recent claims from the Drug Czar's office that the Obama Administration is working hard to "reform" our drug policy. We've reached an interesting moment in the debate when both sides are wrapping themselves in the flag of reform. 

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They need to reform the way they talk to American citizens

Their attitude sucks. And they need to reform the way they decide what behavior is criminal. When you make behavior that doesn't violate the rights of others illegal, the law becomes an object of contempt, ridicule and hatred.

 Nothing can destroy a

 

Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence

        — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark - Mapp vs. Ohio

It should never have been illegal in the first place

I can kind of see why people were afraid of marijuana in the 19th century but by even the 1930s it was clear that pot wasn't poison. It doesn't hold a candle to the toxicity of alcohol. With every passing year it gets more and more obvious that making it illegal was and is unhinged. Smoking pot might give you lung cancer someday. You might get psychologically dependent. Those things are bad, but getting ARRESTED for smoking pot can destroy your life. It's insane and must stop.

You're right that it should never have been criminalized

However, in the 19th century cannabis was used for more than just medicine and it was acceptable.  You could find it on the shelf of every apothecary (what we, today, call a pharmacy) back then.  It wasn't until the 30s that it was demonized, criminalized and prohibited.

Also, smoking pot won't give anyone lung cancer, it appears that it helps prevent lung cancer, and cures many other cancers.  

The worst side effect of smoking pot is the possibility of arrest, which is actually a side effect of prohibition, not pot.

legalization

We as a nation need to stop kicking a dead Horse legalize Marijuana and stop treating a good percentage of our population like criminals! If you want to hunt Criminals you only need look as far as the Crack and Meth users. The Majority of criminal acts in my local area are performed by meth users. I know of several that I made the mistake of renting one of my properties to they literally support themselves and their extended family/gang by stealing from local stores and anything else they can get their hands on. I know many Marijuana users and every one of them is a productive tax paying member of our community! All of them are legitimate Business owners or members of management in responsible positions who under federal law are criminals This is obscene to my mind. Our Governments resources need to be directed where they will do the most good for our Nation as a whole. I dont believe even jailing meth users is the correct thing to do locking any one up for using a substance is just wrong now the criminal acts they may perform to support their habit is another thing entirely. Our Government needs to realize the fact that untold numbers of productive other wise law abiding American tax payers Smoke Marijuana and shouldnt be treated as criminals because of a law that was written to allow our Government a reason to deport Mexican people fleeing poverty and seeking a better life here many years ago. Its out moded thinking and its time is long gone we as a Nation need to get past this and move on How long can they keep treating ever growing numbers of citizens as criminals? 

  This Federal prohibition is stifling medical Marjiuana research that could possibly provide relief from many conditions and illnesses and removing untold millions of tax dollars that are badly needed in every state from being collected! Its time to rethink our federal policies on drugs an there is only one way to accomplish this. I believe we are still living in a Democracy everyone who has any interest needs to get off their butts an let the Federal Governement know how we feel. I believe this Nation was founded on Government of the people by the people and for the people! So I have on Question for you What are we? The People! No one can effect change but us the People! We need to bombard these Politicians who are currently running for the top seat in our Nation and everyone down to town council members and county supervisors  with Requests that they stop this prohibition and stop making other wise productive Americans into criminals. I rest my Case.           

Government Rhetoric Changes But Drug War Continues

Tom Barry has a piece at Alternet that underlines the strategy being used by the administration to clean up the drug war’s image by linking it to illegal immigration and burying it in a graveyard of bureaucratic mumbo jumbo:

As promised, the Obama administration has dropped the drug war rhetoric that has framed U.S. drug policy over the past four decades. Instead, the administration has reframed the drug war as part of a combat against transnational organized crime.”

Yes, that’s right.  It’s no longer a drug war, it’s ‘transnational organized crime’, and with this generic terminology we’re supposed to forget all about a government policy that has created what it sought to prevent.  Now you see it, now you don’t.

What’s next?  Will the government claim we need ‘peace with honor’ in the drug war, allowing politicians to use that excuse to extend the drug war just like Nixon dragged out Viet Nam for another five years with his ‘peace with honor’ scam?

Stay tuned for the new war on words.

Giordano  

Wait. . .

‘Transnational organized crime', huh? Isn't that what they call it when cartels cross our borders to sell us drugs because we can't buy them normally?

Did no one tell them that prohibition is the cause, not the solution to this problem?

When is a war not a war?

Two points make a line, three points a trend. Obama declared the drug war a non-war. Libya was a non-war from the start regardless of the number of bombs dropped. I'm waiting for the third non-war. I nominate Guatemala. If their military combats drug traffickers, the impoverished nation stands a reasonable chance of becoming a failed state. They are starting from a much weaker position than Mexico. Obama, if reelected, could easily justify troops there to combat cartels and rebuild the tiny nation. Sadly, I believe we already have a third, forth, fifth, and more non-wars. Bombs dropped from drone aircraft in Pakistan, Yemen, and other nations are sustained, though one sided conflicts. Proxy wars in the name of the non-war drug war in South America are fueled in part by our tax dollars and military aid. We kill or pay others to kill for us around the world in the name of the non-war on terror. Is Obama's declaration of a non-drug war a road to reform or is it taken from the Orwellian vision in 1984? Unlike the book, we have some significant resources like DCRnet, LEAP and many others to bring the truth to light. I hope for future actual reform, but I'm skeptical. Wouldn't it be easier to feed the addiction to war?

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