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More Overreaching Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization by DEA Chiefs and the UN

Colorado billboard, 2012
The International Narcotics Control Board, a UN agency, and eight former DEA administrators came out swinging this week against marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. The INCB says the state laws violate UN treaties. The DEA chiefs want the Obama administration to sue to block the laws.

Both of those positions may be overreaches. It's true that federal marijuana legalization would require revision of the drug treaties, if the US is not to be in violation of them (or for the US to do what Bolivia did by withdrawing and then rejoining "with reservations"). Legalization by Congress even just within states that have enacted it is also a likely treaty issue. But Colorado and Washington aren't parties to the treaties, and federal law remains in force within those states. The states have simply ceased to contribute their own resources to a part of the prohibition program. Under our federal system they very probably have the legal right to do so.

And that is why the DEA chiefs have overreached as well. When one says that federal law is supreme in this area, it means that federal agents can use the powers they have to bring criminal or civil actions against marijuana users or sellers, despite the passage of state laws -- the Raich case decided that for medical marijuana, for reasons that would seem to apply to fully legalized marijuana too. But that doesn't mean the states have to help them. We have a federal system. As I've pointed out previously, no federal prosecutor in 16 years of state medical marijuana laws has ever argued in court that the states can't have those laws on their books. Clearly they've had incentive to do so, if they thought they could win that way.

I don't argue that we know for sure how these points will come out if they are adjudicated -- it is new legal territory. But most legal scholars seem to think a preemption ruling would be a long shot outcome. So that is how it looks to me.

[If you haven't already, please order the two recent reports, from the Cato Institute and the London School of Economics, addressing these two very issues -- available in harcopy on our web site for a small donation.]

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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They are all required by

They are all required by Congressional law to oppose any efforts for legalization including medical using any means necessary. Too bad they feel the need to continue the lie when they no longer hold the seat.

The Pharmaceutical industry provides chemical compounds to treat symptoms. Cannabis is not a medicine in the same sense as pharmaceutical medicine. It does not treat the symptoms, it treats the cause. The cause of various ailments, disease, disorders, boils down to one thing, the ECS (Endocannabinoid System) is not working properly due to a deficiency of cannabinoids. Science has proven exogenous (external) cannabinoids, which only cannabis produces, act identically to endogenous cannabinoids, those our bodies make naturally. No amount of pharmaceuticals can boost the ECS. Only cannabis can do that by means of the cannabinoids.

As Raphael Mechoulem, the man who originally discovered THC in 1964 and has been studying cannabis ever since, whose team discovered the endocannabinoid system in 1987, states, "There is barely a biological or physiological system in our bodies in which the endocannabinoids do not participate" Our bodies run on cannabinoids, some people don't produce enough, like a diabetic with insulin. When the body's own endocannabinoids are diminished, this causes a function issue within the body's systems.
No Congressional law can change that!

DdC's picture

The majority of drug worriers profit on the drug war,

More Overreaching Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization
by DEA Chiefs and the UN
by David Borden, March 05, 2013, 02:51pm
The International Narcotics Control Board, a UN agency, and eight former DEA administrators came out swinging this week against marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. The INCB says the state laws violate UN treaties. The DEA chiefs want the Obama administration to sue to block the laws.

Former DEA Heads: Nullify CO, Washington MJ Laws
Eight former Drug Enforcement Administration chiefs say the federal government needs to act now or it might lose the chance to nullify Colorado and Washington's laws legalizing recreational marijuana use. The onetime DEA heads plan to issue joint statements Tuesday saying the Obama administration has reacted too slowly and should immediately sue to force the states to rescind the legislation. The Associated Press received an advance copy of the statement Monday. One of the former DEA administrators, Peter Bensinger, told the AP that the more time goes by, the harder it'll be to stop the two states. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.

The ex-DEA heads are issuing the statements though the Florida-based Save Our Society from Drugs, a national group lobbying against legalization. One of the group's spokesmen is based in Chicago.

Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab 'Torture' Centers
11 Enemies of Marijuana Legalization

Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
Calvina Fay is the Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.) From 1976-1985 it was known as Straight, Inc. and had a reputation for abusing kids as a drug rehabilitation program. Mel Sembler and his wife Betty founded Straight, Inc. In 1985 it changed its name to Straight Foundation, Inc. in order to protect its money and its principals from civil suits. In 1995 it was changed again to Drug Free America Foundation. DFAF is a national and international drug policy think tank and provider of services for drug free work places.

This is dysfunction brought to the heights.
A Drug Warmongers Toll on Americans
Making Sure Drugs Kill

The former DEA administrators are Bensinger, John Bartels, Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, Asa Hutchinson, John Lawn, Donnie Marshall and Francis Mullen. They served for both Republican and Democratic administrations.

The Official Story Debunking “Gutter Science”

Corruption/Carlton Turner
Urine Testing Company
After his resignation, Turner joined with Robert L. DuPont and former head of NIDA, Peter Bensinger to corner the market on urine testing. Soon after Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty. Just as G. Gordon Liddy went into high-tech corporate security after his disgrace, Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.

"At DEA, our mission is to fight drug trafficking in order to make drug abuse the most expensive, unpleasant, risky, and disreputable form of recreation a person could have."
– Donnie Marshall, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

In my era everybody smoked and everybody drank
and there was no drug use.
-- x DEA Chief Thomas Constantine, July 1, 1998

Asa Isa Assa

DEA Success Update: Let's see. After 20 years of relentless federal Drug War activity, while the price of world-class marijuana has gone from $60 an ounce to $450, the price of quality cocaine has plummeted from $125 a gram to $30, and 30%-pure heroin has dropped from $700 a gram to about $100. Way to go, boys!
-- High Times, April 1995

The impact of legalization on treatment income
“Follow the money.” Always good advice when considering the motivations of prohibitionists. Certainly it’s true with the true drug warriors, including DEA, police unions, etc.

And, while the treatment industry is comprised of both the truly caring and the avariciously opportunistic, the general sense has been that most of their vocal opposition to legalization has come from those who see legalization as a threat to their revenue.

Well, Kevin Sabet has been pushing back against that with his own notion that legalization will actually result in an increase in profits for the treatment industry (and even for the enforcement industry).

Drug Worrier Kevin Sabet Gets Punk'd

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism,
as it is the merger of corporate and government power."

~ Benito Mussolini

Mooching Off Medicaid
"So ignore all the talk about too much government spending and too much aid to moochers who don’t deserve it. As long as the spending ends up lining the right pockets, and the undeserving beneficiaries of public largess are politically connected corporations, conservatives with actual power seem to like Big Government just fine."

The majority of prohibitionists profit on the drug war,
and that is their only motive.

"We have spent over a trillion dollars trying to eradicate the world's most beneficial plant off the face of the earth. Imagine what a better world this would be if that money had been spent on treatment, education and studying the medical benefits of marijuana."
-- Steve Hager - High Times Editor (1988 - 2003)

Where are all of the Taxbaggers and Norquest?

Shame on the Drug Worrier Profiteers
Money Grubbing Dung Worriers
Potential Prohibition Profits Outweigh Citizens Benefits
Prohibition Profiteers
Forfeiture $quads
Kochroach & Aleech
NRA Slavery: Another Fine Product Still Made in the USA!
Religious drug treatment in Texas
Corporate Welfare Rats

Trillion spent is a Trillion earned.
Sorta depends on what side you stand
whether its spent as wasted taxes or received as profits.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack Herer, 1993

DdC's picture

Won’t say why?

Former DEA chief won’t say why marijuana is different than alcohol
Asa Hutchinson, a former Administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, on Tuesday refused to say why marijuana shouldn’t be taxed and regulated like alcohol.

Chief Edward Flynn, U.S. drug czar discuss marijuana
Kerlikowske talked Wednesday of a 21st-century approach that looks at drugs as a public health problem rather than a criminal one.

Private for profit prisons into for profit rehab asylums...
The DEA gutter science believes one toke is abuse requiring treatment.

Does President Obama need treatment?

More Marijuana Arrests in US
Than Apprehensions for Violence in 2011: A National Disgrace

The most basic instinct of humans is self-preservation and keeping free from personal harm. So when you have a nation where police arrest more people for marijuana possession than for violent crime, it would appear that protecting citizens from physical harm takes second place to enforcing archaic laws demonizing a weed that induces euphoria and an urge to eat.

Rep. Polis talks marijuana policy with Wolf Blitzer on CNN youtube

Make GOP End the Drug War
If Republicans want to pretend they're for less government, let's force them to get serious about it.

Let’s assume that the New York Times was right this week when it asserted that in 2013, “the only issue that truly unites Republicans is a commitment to shrinking the federal government.” Even though there’s ample evidence that the GOP doesn’t actually want to shrink the government, let’s nonetheless assume that Republicans are trying to rhetorically brand themselves to the concept of small government, past votes be damned. And let’s assume that gerrymandering means the GOP will control at least one house of congress for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

Does that, then, mean the next four years will automatically be mired in stalemate? Not necessarily, if Democrats call Republicans’ bluff and use the GOP’s small government argument for progressive ends. Indeed, with House Speaker John Boehner showing a penchant for violating the so-called Hastert Rule and allowing transpartisan bills to pass, the “small government” argument could be a perfect instrument for congressional Democrats to pick off just enough Republican votes to pass meaningful legislation in five key areas:

1. Ending – or at least limiting – the Drug War:
To know the Drug War has been a disastrous failure at the policy level, take 10 seconds and look at this animated graph. And it hasn’t just been any run-of-the-mill policy failure involving unjust incarcerations, negative health consequences and little success in combating drug addiction – it’s also been an extremely expensive Huge Government boondoggle. Yes, depending on how you count it, government has spent somewhere between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion on the Drug War over the last 40 years. According to the conservative Reason magazine, the Drug War now costs about $120 billion a year in direct expenditures. With Republicans showing a willingness to at least entertain questions about America’s existing drug policy, the “small government” argument could be the key to ending America’s longest war. Read the entire article at Salon.

The Conservative Argument for Legalization
Fellow Conservatives: Our Position Is Hypocritical

Making Sure Drugs Kill
"You Can't Stop AIDS Without Ending the Drug War"
U.N. told to find alternatives to war on drugs

UN: Colorado, Washington Legal Pot Violates Drug Treaties

A United Nations-based drug agency urged the U.S. government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.

The International Narcotics Control Board made its appeal in an annual drug report. It called on the U.S. government to act to "ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory."

"The entire international system is based on countries respecting the rules, and there's a broad fabric of international treaties that are part and parcel to that," added David Johnson, U.S. delegate to the Vienna-based board.

Last fall, Washington and Colorado became the first states to pass laws legalizing marijuana. Pot remains illegal under federal law.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he was in the last stages of reviewing the Colorado and Washington state laws. He was examining policy options and international implications of the issue.

The federal government could sue the states over legalization or decide not to mount a court challenge.

The International Narcotics Control Board is the independent monitoring body for the implementation of United Nations drug control conventions. Its head, Raymond Yans, called on Holder to challenge the state laws soon after voters approved the measures. Read the entire article at Daily Camera.

Why the Federal Government Will Not Reschedule Marijuana

Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

US, International Drug Warriors Attack State Marijuana Legalization

In Prison Debate, Race Overshadows Poverty
The way to stop filling up prisons is to end the War on Drugs, curb inequality and change our perspective on class

More Overreaching Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization
by DEA Chiefs and the UN
Legalizers, Common Sense & Wrong Dollars
No, thats just what they'll be expecting us to do...


Will Holder or the Senate Judiciary Committee be relevant?

So today, Attorney General Holder is supposed to be grilled by the Senate Judiciary Committee (going on right now). There’s a general sense that he will address the administration’s “response” to marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado.

Update: HOLDER: “We are in the administration at this point considering what the federal government’s response to those new statutes will be. I expect that we will have an ability to announce what our policy is going to be relatively soon.”

LEAHY: “I would think that — this is simply an editorial comment — but if you’re going to be, because of budget cuts, prioritizing on matters, I would suggest there are more serious things than minor possession of marijuana.”

There’s also a general sense that the timing of a couple of other things were not coincidental.

1. A ridiculous letter from a bunch of former DEA heads, Drug Czars and other drug warriors, released through an organization with a history of torturing children.

2. The release of a report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) — a completely unaccountable organization through the United Nations that supports the killing and torturing of innocents through encouraging the ratcheting up of the drug war internationally.

Both of these destructive groups want to save the United States and the world from someone eating a pot brownie in Denver, and are hoping the Senate will push Holder into kicking some heads in.

Jacob Sullum does a great job of covering this so I don’t really have to: Totally Disinterested Drug Warriors Demand That Holder Stop Marijuana Legalization Before It’s Too Late

However, I thought some of you might be interested in reading the section of the intro from INCB president Raymond Yans:

     We note with concern, however, that in this debate, some declarations and initiatives have included proposals for the legalization of the possession of drugs for non-medical and non-scientific use, that is, for “recreational” use, that would allow the cultivation and consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes. Any such initiatives, if implemented, would violate the international drug control conventions and could undermine the noble objectives of the entire drug control system, which are to ensure the availability of drugs for medical purposes while preventing their abuse. Proponents of such initiatives ignore the commitment that all Governments have made to promote the health and well-being of their communities, and such initiatives run counter to the growing body of scientific evidence documenting the harm associated with drug abuse, including occasional use, particularly among young people during their formative years.

     Furthermore, such initiatives would create a false sense of security and would send a false message to the public, in particular children, regarding the health impact of abuse of drugs. Some have argued that these proposals would eliminate the illicit markets and organized crime associated with drugs of abuse. Yet, even if such initiatives were implemented, organized criminal groups would get even more deeply involved, for instance by creating a black market for the illicit supply of newly legalized drugs to young people.

I really love the phrase “undermine the noble objectives of the entire drug control system.” Wow. That takes some chutzpah.

And the notion that legalization would create a black market for the illicit supply of drugs to young people… Isn’t that what we have now?

Oh, no! If we legalize, North Korea will… wait.. what??? dwr

I’m really kind of surprised that Forbes Magazine is giving space to an absolutely ignorant nut-job like Paul Johnson.

The War On Drugs: A Defining Moment

Johnson attempts to explain some of the terrible things that might happen if we legalize drugs…

     Another possibility to consider is that a rogue state, such as North Korea, will enter the burgeoning drug market. North Korea’s evil regime survives by performing tasks no other government is able or willing to contemplate. For instance, it has supplied nuclear technology to other rogue states in contravention of all international law. Both Syria and Iran have paid North Korea in gold for its aid in their nuclear efforts. There is no way to stop these transactions as long as China refuses to take punitive steps against its former military and ideological ally.

     Recreational drugs are comparatively easy for a ruthless and determined government to grow and/or manufacture. Supplying these drugs to Americans is precisely the kind of prospect that would appeal to the North Korean leadership. They’ve always claimed that capitalist democracies are essentially corrupt and decadent. This would enable them to “prove” it, especially if the release of vast quantities of cheap soft drugs into Western cities were followed by an increase in the supply and use of hard drugs, as many experts believe would be inevitable.

     China, which has a drug problem of its own, might be prepared to act against North Korea in this context. But it would extract a high price from the West, which might result in the balance of power in the Pacific tilting in China’s favor.
        I’ve been discussing possibilities. But in the world of highly dangerous drugs, it’s safer to treat possible outcomes as probabilities. If we allow this drug use to become legal, we’ll be embarking on a voyage into horror with our eyes open.

This has got to be the stupidest reason for not legalizing that I’ve heard yet. It doesn’t even make enough false sense to debunk. If marijuana is legal, why in the world would we buy it from North Korea?

Somebody at Forbes has got to have some egg on their face. * full size image

We might want to consider

We might want to consider these outfits such as S.O.S., and a couple others. One in particular was actually closely tied to our last five Presidential cycles. Romney's Election campaign contribution committee, for example, was headed up by one. So quite obviously, policy is set by contributors and some running the contributions. Several of these orgs obviously benefit from Prohibition and the Budget assigned by the ONDCP. Direct links to drug war funding may be only one aspect of crony capitalism, but at least we can find out if orgs running campaign contributions for elections, are essentially, doing it to maintain access to tax dollars/ONDCP/DEA funding.

Penalizing, retraining and participating in something like the Drug War, should be seen as detrimental to the voters at large when they are running a large part of an election.

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