Apr 292013

President Barack Obama is famous for many things, including two best-selling autobiographical books. In those books, he openly admitted to using illegal drugs as a young man, specifically marijuana. So, one would think that he would be amenable to reforming drug laws and sentencing guidelines, or even legalizing marijuana.

Instead he has been two-faced on the issue. He suggests that things can be better managed and that drug prohibition has certain unintended consequences, but when it comes to actual policy and action, his administration has shown little open-mindedness when it comes to reform.

The two areas of major concern are his administration’s treatment of medical marijuana dispensaries and its statements regarding the continuation of prosecutions for federal marijuana violations in Washington and Colorado, where voters have essentially nullified marijuana prohibition. Even compared to the Bush administration, Obama has stepped up the battle against medical marijuana dispensaries.

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Jan 212013

Matthew R. Davies is a 34-year-old father of two young girls who has a master’s degree in business and has worked in various real-estate, restaurant, and mobile-home enterprises. He’s also a man who has no criminal record but who is now facing 15 years in the federal penitentiary.

Davies’ crime? He established one of the most reputable and best-run medical marijuana dispensaries in California, one that limited the drug to truly sick people.

While Davies’ store was fully legal under California law, it was illegal under federal law. That’s why he’s been indicted by the feds as a major drug trafficker.

As the New York Times points out, two of Davies’ associates are accepting a plea bargain that will enable them to serve “only” 5 years in jail. So far, Davies is rejecting the plea offer and instead is appealing to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to dismiss the charges.

The case exemplifies what can happen in those states where the citizens have voted to end or modify the drug war. Since possession or distribution of illicit drugs is still a federal offense, the feds maintain the legal authority to prosecute people within those states for violating federal drug laws.

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Dec 182012

Stephanie George, who is now 42 years old, has spent the last 15 years of her life in jail. That might turn out to be a short period of time, given that her sentence is life without parole. She has no hope of ever being released from jail. Her crime? Living in a house in which her boyfriend maintained a lockbox hidden in the attic that had a half-kilogram of cocaine in it. The judge said that the lockbox was evidence that George was helping her boyfriend sell drugs.

Forty-seven year old Kenneth Harvey received the same sentence — life without parole. His crime? He got caught with a vial of cocaine worth $300. Because he had two previous drug convictions, both of which he had received probation for, this subjected him to a mandatory life sentence.

Forty-one year old Scott Walker is also serving a life sentence. His crime? He was a drug addict who financed his addiction by selling drugs to friends. That earned him a mandatory life sentence.

Thirty-eight year old Reynolds Wintersmith is also serving a life sentence. His crime? When he was 17 years old, he got involved in selling crack. He has now spent half his life behind bars.

Robert Riley, 60, has been behind bars for 19 years. His crime? Conspiring to distribute hits of LSD dissolved on pieces of blotter paper. In order to pass the threshold that would give Riley a mandatory life sentence without possibility of parole, the feds added the weight of the blotter paper to the miniscule weight of the LSD.

No, none of these people killed anyone. They didn’t rob anyone. They didn’t steal from anyone. Their actions were entirely peaceful, voluntary, and consensual.

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Oct 192012

Do you want to live in an authoritarian society? Do you desire an intrusive government? Do you wish for a government that is a nanny state? Do you yearn for government bureaucrats to tell you what you can and cannot do? Do you like puritanical busybodies telling you how to live your life? Do you believe that the government should define and enforce morality? Do you reason that vices should be crimes? Then you should support the war on drugs.

Do you love liberty? Do you treasure freedom? Do you want to live in a free society? Do you prefer government at all levels to be as limited as possible? Do you think people should be responsible for the consequences of their own actions? Do you wish the federal government would at least follow its own Constitution? Do you reason that vices should not be crimes? Then you must oppose the war on drugs.

There is no middle ground. The war on drugs is a war on the free market, a free society, and freedom itself.

If you oppose drug use, you should oppose the war on drugs even more. If you consider drug abuse to be evil, you should consider the war on drugs to be more evil. If you think that taking drugs is a sin, you should think that the war on drugs is a greater sin.

Now, lest there be any misunderstanding, let me make myself perfectly clear. I don’t abuse drugs. I don’t use drugs. And I don’t recommend that anyone else abuse or use them either.

But not only do I not use what are classified by the government as illegal drugs, wouldn’t use them if they were legal, and would prefer that no one else do so whether they are legal or illegal, I would rather see people use drugs than the government wage war on them for doing so.

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Jul 112012

A friend just experienced a terrible drug problem. Not with illegal drugs, but with a prescription from her doctor. Her eighty-year-old memory sometimes stumbles, and so, without diagnostic tests, the doctor prescribed a potent Alzheimer medication.

Within a week, I received phone calls from her about two men and a woman who were breaking into her house repeatedly despite carefully locked doors. In the morning, when she arose, they would be sitting at the dining room table, where they would remain for hours, mute and motionless. Panicked, my friend began to squirrel away her valuables, only to forget the hiding places and have to spend hours searching and searching.

The hallucinations and paranoia became so pronounced that relatives talked of institutionalization. From one week to the next, a fully functional human being (on whom another person relied for home care) was close to being yanked away from her own life.

I made a brief online search and discovered that hallucinations were a known side effect of the Alzheimer drug. A few days after discontinuing use, my forgetful friend was back to normal; the “intruders” had vanished.

A casually prescribed pill came close to destroying her.

Who is responsible for over-prescription?

The Kaiser Health Foundation tracked the number of retail drug prescriptions filled at American pharmacies in 2010. The statistics were broken down per capita and by age. Children age 0–8 averaged almost 4 prescriptions; Americans age 19–64 averaged 11; those over 65 years old averaged 31.

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Jun 222012

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 37,792 people died from drug overdoses in 2010. That exceeds the number of Americans killed in car accidents (35,080). It was the second year in a row that drug deaths outnumbered traffic fatalities.

The majority of those deaths were caused, not by heroin or cocaine, but by prescription opioid painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).

There is no question that abusing drugs — legal or illegal — can be dangerous, destructive, and deadly. Taking certain drugs can be addictive, result in financial ruin, and lead to crime to support one’s habit. I would even agree
with those who consider drug abuse to be evil, immoral, and sinful.

But it’s not just drugs that have their victims. The War on Drugs has many victims as well. Not in any particular order, here are twelve victims of the Drug War.

The first victim of the Drug War is the Constitution. There is absolutely no authority given to the federal government by the Constitution to wage a war against drugs, concern itself with any substance that Americans choose to ingest, or ban the manufacture, sale, or use of any substance. None whatsoever. If marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, crack, heroin, speed, and LSD were the deadliest substances known to man, the federal government would still have no more authority to ban them than it would have to ban baseball, hot dogs, or apple pie. When the government decided to prohibit the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” during the Prohibition era, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution had to be adopted first. The same should be true of drug prohibition.

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Jun 172012

That we, as humanity, have never been more enslaved is irrefutable.  Almost all of us, except the smart few who escape, are forced, by extortion, to hand over half of our incomes to the state.  We’re forced to pay rent in the form of property tax to live in a house and like any good mafia, the state takes a cut of almost any transaction we do in the various forms of sales taxes, cigarette, alcohol and gasoline taxes, just to name a few.  We need permission to travel, permission to work and we are nearly constantly being surveilled in everything we write, do or say.  And, in many countries, if we break one of millions of ubiquitous laws, most of them non-crimes with no victim and no violence, we’ll be kidnapped and put in cages.

But, how did we allow ourselves to become this way?  Some subscribe to the thought that there are certain financial elites who have conspired to enslave humanity… and that is almost certainly the case to a certain extent.  But, just how easy did we make it for them?


I began to think about this after one man out of 7 billion on Earth had his face chewed off by a naked man in Florida recently – putting the odds of something like that happening to you at about 1 in 7 billion.  Horrible?  Indeed!  The 24 hour per day news crews rallied their satellite vans and prepared for wall-to-wall coverage and they very quickly had found the true culprit.  Bath salts!

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Jan 122012

“The drug war is not to protect the children, save the babies, shield the neighborhoods, or preserve the rain forests. The drug war is a violent campaign against black men and by extension the black family, among many others.”— Wilton D. Alston, “How Can Anyone Not Realize the War on (Some) Drugs Is Racist?” LewRockwell.com (June 24, 2011)

After more than 40 years and at least $1 trillion, America’s so-called “war on drugs” ranks as the longest-running, most expensive and least effective war effort by the American government. Four decades after Richard Nixon declared that “America’s public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse,” drug use continues unabated, the prison population has increased six fold to over two million inmates (half a million of whom are there for nonviolent drug offenses), SWAT team raids for minor drug offenses have become more common, and in the process, billions of tax dollars have been squandered.

Just consider—every 19 seconds, someone in the U.S. is arrested for violating a drug law. Every 30 seconds, someone in the U.S. is arrested for violating a marijuana law, making it the fourth most common cause of arrest in the United States. Approximately 1,313,673 individuals were arrested for drug-related offenses in 2011. Police arrested an estimated 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009. Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent were charged with possession only. Since 1971, more than 40 million individuals have been arrested due to drug-related offenses. Moreover, since December 31, 1995, the U.S. prison population has grown an average of 43,266 inmates per year, with about 25 percent sentenced for drug law violations.

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Oct 202011

“On July 29, 2008, my family and I were terrorized by an errant Prince George’s County SWAT team. This unit forced entry into my home without a proper warrant, executed our beloved black Labradors, Payton and Chase, and bound and interrogated my mother-in-law and me for hours as they ransacked our belongings… As I was forced to kneel, bound at gun point on my living room floor, I recall thinking that there had been a terrible mistake. However, as I have learned more, I have to understand that what my family and I experience is part of a growing and troubling trend where law enforcement is relying on SWAT teams to perform duties once handled by ordinary police officers.”—Maryland Mayor Cheye Calvo in testimony before the Maryland Senate

Insisting that the “damage done by drugs is felt far beyond the millions of Americans with diagnosable substance abuse or dependence problems,” President Obama has declared October 2011 to be National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. However, while drug abuse and drug-related crimes have unquestionably taken a toll on American families and communities, the government’s own War on Drugs has left indelible scars on the population.

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Aug 152011

“The drug war has arguably been the single most devastating, dysfunctional social policy since slavery.”

- Norm Stamper, retired Seattle Chief of Police

The most destructive and devastating war in American history was not the Vietnam War, not World War II, not even the Civil War. The most destructive and devastating war in American history is the 40-year War on Drugs. It is a war in which thousands die each year, which wastes billions of dollars, and which has put more people in jail than any other nation in the world. It has come to the point where the War on Drugs is deadlier and more destructive than all the dreaded drugs scattered upon its battlefields.

Like all our nation’s wars, the War on Drugs was manufactured out of fear, based on lies, and has proven ultimately to be a miserable disaster not only for the American people, but for the world. Sadly, any war is such a profitable and advantageous enterprise for power mongers that they learn nothing from history, in fact, choose to ignore history’s lessons. America’s first failed experiment with Prohibition in the early 20th Century, when the social evil that had to be exorcized from society for the public good was Demon Alcohol, provided a great windfall for organized crime. Today, the people who benefit the most from the insane and senseless War on Drugs are the organized gangs of the world: the 20,000 street gangs in the U.S., the international drug cartels — and the federal government.

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