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Bill O’Reilly Thinks Medical Marijuana is a Sneaky Plot to Give People Medicine, Or Something

On the eve of their cable TV debut, Steve and Andrew DeAngelo of Harborside Health Center appeared on O’Reilly. He wasn’t very nice to them.

Bill O’Reilly’s indignant posturing is typical of the contemporary medical marijuana skeptic: I have no problem with medical use, but any plan for supplying patients is a fraud and anyone who grows or sells marijuana is a scumbag.

Apparently, it’s some sort of grand travesty that medical marijuana is widely available to many people with less-than-deadly diseases and disorders, but Bill forgot to explain why anyone should care if people with anxiety get to have marijuana. They shouldn’t have marijuana? I don’t understand what you want, sir.

Of course, O’Reilly is also impressed and/or incredulous about Harborside’s $20 million annual gross revenue, and he’s not alone in that regard unfortunately. But what, other than a towering exhibit in the efficacy of regulated cannabis commerce, are we supposed to see when we look at this? A whole hell of a lot of people have died in the drug trade over a whole hell of a lot less money and marijuana than this.

What we have here is the safest and most accountable kind of cannabis distribution that’s ever existed on the planet. Every day Harborside opens its doors, they’re keeping dozens of dealers off the street and stopping an incalculable amount of stupid crap from happening. The same can be said for many others in the medical cannabis industry as well, and if Bill O’Reilly is looking for villains in all of this, he won’t find them behind the counters of clean, regulated businesses.

Next time, instead of asking why people with anxiety can get cannabis in California, Bill O’Reilly should explore why federal law still treats cancer and AIDS patients as criminals. 

"Weed Wars" Reality TV Series Premiering Tonight

Check out this preview, then check out the show itself tonight. Check out the Weed Wars web site for more information and a photogallery.


Honduras Calls Out the Army to Fight Drug Cartels

The Honduran congress voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to send out the armed forces to combat Mexican drug trafficking organizations. The vote gives the military broad domestic policing powers, including additional powers in the fight against the cartels. Chronicle story here.

New Study Finds Traffic Fatalities Decline with Medical Marijuana Laws [FEATURE]

A study released this week has found legalizing medical marijuana has resulted in a nearly 9% decline in traffic deaths and a 5% reduction in beer sales in states that allow it. The study is the first ever to examine the relationship between medical marijuana and traffic fatalities. Chronicle story here.

Two Governors Call on DEA to Reschedule Marijuana as Medicine [FEATURE]

Two medical marijuana state governors, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) Wednesday called on the federal government to reschedule marijuana. In a joint 106-page petition to DEA head Michele Leonhart, they said marijuana needs to be classified as a drug with accepted medical uses so that states that have passed medical marijuana laws can regulate its distribution without fear of federal prosecution. Chronicle story here.

This Week in History

Events and quotes of note from this week's drug policy events of years past -- including the repeal of alcohol prohibition. In this week's Drug War Chronicle, here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

It's prison guards gone wild this week, plus a really sleazy deputy gets a sweet deal and a 'roided cop takes a plea deal. Chronicle story here.

Mexico Drug War Update

Mexican human rights activists have filed a complaint in the Hague against President Calderon for human rights violations committed by Mexican security forces, also mentioning crimes committed by drug cartels. That and the killings and arrests continue, with no apparent impact on the flow of drugs north. Chronicle story here.

Newt Gingrich Wants to Kill Dealers, Drug Test Everybody Else
Newt Gingrich (photo courtesy Gage Skidmore via
Ever since Newt Gingrich became the latest front-runner for the republican presidential nomination, a lot of people have been reminding us how horrible he is on drug policy issues. Heck, even Next Gingrich has been reminding us how horrible Newt Gingrich is on drug policy issues:

“I think the California experience is that medical marijuana becomes a joke.”

“My general belief is that we ought to be much more aggressive about drug policy.”

“In my mind it means having steeper economic penalties and it means having a willingness to do more drug testing.”

“I think if you are, for example, the leader of a cartel, sure.” (When asked if he supports killing drug smugglers)

“Places like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that. They've been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country.” [Yahoo News]

Well yeah, by hanging people. They’ve been killing people for marijuana, which can’t even kill you by itself. And Newt Gingrich thinks that’s cool, even though he himself has smoked marijuana. It makes you wonder why Newt Gingrich doesn’t go track down the people who gave him marijuana in college…and kill them.

Seriously, this guy is such a screwball he should be hosting a show on AM radio, not polling in first place among republican presidential candidates. I mean, Singapore? Really? I’ve been following the drug war debate for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of the worst drug warriors in the world perform live: John Walters, Bill Bennett, Nora Volkow, David Murray, Kevin Sabet, to name a few, but I’ve never heard anyone come along saying that we need to be more like Singapore.

It’s an idea so violently ignorant, so recklessly unhinged, that only a lone fool acting alone would propose it, perhaps months after the resignation of the people whose job it is to stop you from saying such things.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Drug Reform Ally Barney Frank Retiring from Congress


Advocates of drug policy reform are losing a key ally on Capitol Hill. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced Monday that he will not seek reelection and will retire at the end of this term in January 2013. Chronicle story here.

Evanston, Illinois, Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

The Chicago suburb of Evanston has decriminalized the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana in a bid to cut costs and save youth from criminal records. Chronicle story here.

Supreme Court Takes Up Crack "Pipeline" Sentencing Cases

Should people convicted of federal crack offenses before the Fair Sentencing Act was in effect, but sentenced after it was in effect, be sentenced under the new law or not? The US Supreme Court says it will decide. Chronicle story here.

Vancouver Mayors Say Legalize Marijuana

Four of Vancouver's last five former mayors called this week for end of marijuana prohibition, saying anti-pot policies have failed to reduce marijuana's availability and that prohibition has fueled violence in British Columbia communities. Chronicle story here.

Gingrich Would Execute Mexico Drug Cartel Leaders

Republican presidential nominee contender Newt Gingrich said Saturday he would favor the use of the death penalty against Mexican drug trafficking organization leaders. The comments came in an interview with Yahoo News in which the former Georgia congressman and Speaker of the House also called medical marijuana in California "a joke" and suggested he would try to make life miserable for US drug users as a means of driving down drug use rates. Chronicle story here.

New Drug Policy Videos from HCLU

In "The State of Harm Reduction in Europe," the film crew of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union interviewed activists and professionals attending the first meeting of the European Harm Reduction Network (EuroHRN) in Marseilles, France, to provide an overview of the progress, the backward trends, and the current state of affairs of harm reduction across the European continent.

One of the most powerful speeches at the recent International Drug Policy Reform Conference was Marilyn Howell's recounting of how MDMA helped her daughter gain dignity and quality of life in her final days. Watch her presentation courtesy HCLU below or read more information here.
Three videos from the "Drug, Set and Setting -- Today" panel at the conference bring us speeches by Julie Holland, Gabor Maté and Carl Hart.
Explore HCLU's video collection through the links above or click through to their YouTube page for more footage from the conference.

Two More Drug War Deaths

A man gets shot and killed in a drug raid and a young woman dies after trying to hide drugs inside her body. They are the 43rd and 44th persons to die in US domestic drug enforcement operations so far this year. Chronicle story here.

Obama Pardons Three for Marijuana, Frees Crack Prisoner

President Obama has pardoned three marijuana offenders and commuted the sentence of a woman serving more than 20 years for a crack cocaine offense. Chronicle story here.

One Dead in Houston Drug Stakeout Shoot-Out

A Houston-area drug stakeout turned into a deadly melee when hijackers attempted to rip off a drug-laden truck deputies had under surveillance. Chronicle story here.

San Francisco Marks 600th OD Death Prevented

San Francisco distributes the opioid antagonist naloxone as a harm reduction measure to reduce overdose deaths. It's saved 600 lives in eight years. Chronicle story here.

This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Cops stealing dope from the evidence room, cops helping drug gangs, cops doing drug rip-offs to help drug gangs. Just another week of drug war law enforcement corruption. Chronicle story here.

Cop Says Marijuana Legalization Could Cause Window Washers to Fall From Large Buildings and Land on People

Yeah, marijuana legalization sounds like such a great idea…until a bucket of soapy water, or even an entire human body, comes crashing down on top of you and turns your peaceful life into a nightmare.

Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department’s Robert McMahon is charged with enforcing the law on marijuana use. But he is very concerned about the many hidden ramifications of decriminalizing cannabis, making it legal for anyone to grow and smoke hemp. He’s afraid of what the second largest city and most populous state in the country would look like in 20 years if weed is made legal.

"I think that anytime that an intoxicant is made legal there are social costs associated with it. And I point directly to cigarettes and alcohol as examples,” he says. "We’re talking about loss of work and collisions, work-related industrial injuries. Somebody comes to work stoned, and they are working some heavy equipment or up on a high-rise — a window washer that’s stoned — not only could he [or she] injure himself, but some of his or her negligence could cause someone else to be injured." []

No, it won’t. This will never happen, not even once. Under California’s current marijuana policy, the number of stoned window washers falling from buildings and f$%king people up on the streets below is exactly zero. Mathematically, even a one-hundred-fold increase in marijuana use would still produce no incidents of buckets, hippies, scaffolding and other random crap collapsing and crashing down on people from above (0 multiplied by 100 is still 0, you may recall).

Yet, as dumb as this all sounds – and it sounds pretty damned stupid, doesn’t it? – I am not at all surprised to find opponents of marijuana reform attempting to exploit the natural human fear of having stuff fall from the sky and land on your head. I would, and I’m being completely serious here, be far more surprised if no one in the fanatical anti-cannabis crowd ever bothered to argue at any point in this debate that the legalization of marijuana could easily result in window washers falling from the sides of skyscrapers and maiming pedestrians on the sidewalks of American cities.

If one were to calculate the totality of idiotic nonsense put forth routinely by these people, you would be certain to conclude that the likelihood of this particular stupid idea being introduced by them is extraordinarily high, higher by far in both literal and figurative terms than any window washer on the planet. 

Video: Former Drug Czar Gets Destroyed in Legalization Debate

Posted in:

This recent debate between former Drug Czar John Walters and blogger/author Glenn Greenwald is worth watching in its entirety.

Since 98% of Greenwald’s writing isn’t even about drug policy, it’s easy to forget what a powerful advocate for reform he really is. His opening statement is impressive and couldn’t easily be improved upon. Walters is terribly boring and dispassionate by comparison, aside from being completely wrong about everything.

Many of us, particularly Pete Guither, have salivated for years at the thought of standing onstage across from Walters and taking him apart as Greenwald does here. It’s a rare and interesting event, but it also serves to illustrate something I’ve struggled at times to explain to enthusiastic young reform activists: our opponents don’t vanish in a puff of smoke when you beat them in a debate. They don’t break down like Michael Douglas in Traffic, and proceed to rebuke everything they stood for the day before. It’s not that easy.

Still, there was a time in the very recent past when someone with John Walters’ towering drug war credentials would never even entertain the idea that another approach existed. That he must now take the stage in defense of his own legacy is an interesting thing to see, even if every word out of his mouth is what we expected to hear.

In so many ways, not even George Soros has done more to devastate the popularity of prohibition in America than former Drug Czar John Walters. Any time this man wants a microphone in front of his face, we’ll do well to make damn sure he gets it. 

Copenhagen Moves Closer to Legalizing Marijuana

The Copenhagen city council has advanced a plan to create a system of legal, regulated marijuana sales, but it will require approval by the Danish parliament. Chronicle story here.

CBS Marijuana Poll: Medical, Yes; Legalization, Not Quite

Americans support medical marijuana even thought they are skeptical about how much use is actually medical, according to a new CBS News poll. And support for legalization is at 40%, lower than other recent polls. Chronicle story here.

Seattle Pilot Program Offers Treatment Not Arrest [FEATURE]

Fed up with endless recycling of low-level, problematic drug offenders through the criminal justice system, Seattle and King County have embarked on a "treatment not arrest" pilot program designed to break the cycle. Chronicle story here.

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