Drug Czar Displays His Ignorance, Brags About His Limited Vocabulary

In May, when drug czar Gil Kerlikowske disavowed martial rhetoric in the violent crusade to save Americans from the psychoactice substances they enjoy, some critics of the policy formerly known as the war on drugs were encouraged. My colleague Radley Balko, for instance, argued that "rhetoric matters." But the comments from Kerlikowske, a former cop, reminded me of Clinton drug czar Barry McCaffrey, a former general who likewise preferred medical metaphors but "turned out to be so hardline that he refused to admit there was any evidence of marijuana's therapeutic value and could not stomach the idea of letting states set their own policies regarding medical use of the plant." While the Clinton administration's position on the latter question remains ambiguous, Kelikowske yesterday followed McCaffrey's example by declaring that "marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit."

The first part of that statement is merely misleading: Although no drug is 100 percent safe, the dangers associated with smoking pot (legal risks aside) pale beside the hazards of legal drugs such as alcohol. But the second part of the statement is flat-out false, just as it was when McCaffrey made the same assertion 13 years ago. It betrays either ignorance or dishonesty of such magnitude that it should disqualify Kerlikowske from his job (although in the real world it makes him ideally suited for it). As I said the last time I commented on an authoritative-sounding statement along these lines:

You could argue that smoking marijuana introduces hazards by exposing patients to combustion products, but epidemiological studies of pot smokers are mostly reassuring on that score. Furthermore, vaporization addresses this concern by releasing THC without burning the plant matter. You also could argue that smoked or vaporized marijuana has no meaningful advantages over Marinol, the synthetic THC capsule [approved by the FDA], although many patients would disagree, noting that marijuana takes effect right away, offers much easier dosage control, has less disturbing psychoactive effects, and does not require swallowing and keeping down a capsule (a challenge for people suffering from severe nausea). You could even say that raw plant matter is not an appropriate medication in this day and age, when every drug must be approved by the government in isolated form after rigorous testing.  

But if instead you say something like "marijuana has no medicinal benefit," you are either a liar or an idiot. Given all of the research that has been done on the therapeutic properties of marijuana and its active ingredients (including double-blind clinical trials that satisfied the standards of drug regulators in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere), this is not a matter of opinion anymore. Continuing to deny the well-established but politically inconvenient medical utility of cannabis is a good indicator of whether a public official plans to take a more rational, open-minded approach to drug policy.

Here's another one: Kerlikowske keeps saying marijuana legalization "is not in the president's vocabulary, and it's not in mine." I don't expect anyone in the Obama administration to endorse legalization, or even "decriminalization," of pot (although the president himself used to support the latter). But when Kerlikowske says the word is not in his vocabulary, it marks him as a dogmatic drug warrior who has never given the idea serious consideration, which presumably is how he wants to come across. We can only hope that Kerlikowske's mindless anti-drug rhetoric is a cover for a more tolerant stance regarding the decisions of state policy makers with bigger vocabularies.

More on Kerlikowske here. Nick Gillespie noted his comments about marijuana earlier today.

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  • ||

    The drug warriors have a real problem with marijuana. I would guess at least 40% or maybe more of the population who came of age post 1968 have smoked pot at some point in their lives and know that it is not any more dangerous than alcohol. So in claiming that it is dangerous and should be illegal, they are left defending a position that the majority of the country knows from personal experience is complete bullshit.

    At the same time, if they admit the obvious and legalize the stuff their credibility in claiming other drugs are dangerous is shot. Marijuana is becoming for the drug warriors what Guadalcanal was for the Japanese Army in the Pacific; an increasingly unwinnable war of attrition that by virtue of their commitment to it has become too important to lose.

  • ||

    Although no drug is 100 percent safe, the dangers associated with smoking pot (legal risks aside) pale beside the hazards of legal drugs such as alcohol peanut butter.

    That's better.

  • Mad Max||

    The Obama administration's position makes sense politically. In the Punch-and-Judy world of Democrat versus Republican, the Democrats feel it necessary to preempt any Republican attack that they're soft on drugs, especially the kind of drugs associated with left-wing, sandal-wearing, guitar-playing . . . you know.

    And since Obama himself used to do drugs, that makes it even more urgent that he become a fervent prohibitionist. It's one thing to show kids that you can do drugs and still grow up to be President, but it would set a *real* bad example if you could do drugs and become an anti-prohibitionist.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I'd like to ask all of you who voted for Obama and support(ed?) is administration to do me a favor. Go to a mirror in your house, stare at your reflection for a couple of minutes while asking yourself "Is this what I wanted?", and no matter what your answers to yourself are, proceed to beat yourself until you bleed from the ears.

    Thank you.

    And yes, McCain would have probably have been no better.

  • smartass sob||

    But if instead you say something like "marijuana has no medicinal benefit," you are either a liar or an idiot.

    There's no room to be both?

  • robc||

    I can say that I have no doubts that while he think he would have sucked, there is no way Barr would have sucked as bad as Obama.

  • robc||

    smartass sob,

    I can out smartass you: He said "or" not "xor".

  • ||

    I second Kyle's idea. I'd love to see some fucking mea culpas from those who voted for Obama. Some admissions that you were fools and got snowed. It happens to everyone at times, but it would be refreshing to see some of you admit it.

  • ||

    I am certain that if marijuana isn't legalized or decriminalized in the next three years, it never will be. I have never seen such coverage and I have never seen such honest coverage. I noted that in a CBS online article they mentioned how you can't OD and that marijuana dependency, if it exists, is easier to shake than say, heroin dependency.

    It seems that a more tolerant marijuana climate is becoming more ubiquitous. I have read stories about the number of marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles alone. So what are drug warriors gonna do? If they do nothing, I think the ubiquity and social acceptance will continue. If drug warriors go nuclear (meaning more than the occasional raid) against dispensaries, there could be detrimental political ramifications.

    Then there is the Portugal expement that shows that drug legalization doesn't lead to massive anal prolapse among sheep or the end of civilization.

  • Shannon Love||

    I find it telling that you can purchase any number of "nutritional" supplements that contain herbs or chemicals with powerful and dangerous drug effects with zero government oversight over even basic sanitation in the production process but you can't smoke a joint.

    I don't smoke marijuana, I find stoners annoying and I think most pro-marijuana arguments are just addicts justifying their addiction but quite clearly, the prohibition against marijuana as compared to other substances with drug effects has nothing to do with its physical or psychological dangers. Instead, we base our prohibition on how familiar the substance is and our associations with the kind of people we imagine use it.

    Yet another example of the systematically poor decision making of the real-world political process.

  • Xeones||

    Amen, robc. Although i'm partial to the idea that maybe the White House should sit vacant for a term or two from time to time. The Capitol, too.

  • ||

    Drug Czar Displays His Ignorance, Brags About His Limited Vocabulary

    Try to remember that the Republicans are the anti-intellectual ones, mm'kay?

  • ||

    Laddies and Gentlemen, Mr. Pete Townshend...

  • ||

    It is completely respectable to have not voted for McCain. He was and is a second rate Senator who main accomplishment was throwing out the 1st Amendment in the name of fair elections. But considering that everyone had the option of voting third party (Green or Libertarian) or not voting, there is no defense for voting for Obama. Even though voting third party in large numbers would not have deprived him of the election, it would have deprived him of a majority and made a statement. Also, you would have avoided the stain of voting for him.

  • The Chad||

    "But if instead you say something like "marijuana has no medicinal benefit," you are either a liar or an idiot. "

    Or both. Which would surprise exactly no one.

  • Adam||

    Jacob, you seem to be forgetting that lying is part of the legal requirements that Congress set when it created the ONDCP:

    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2007/10/09/theDrugCzarIsRequiredByLaw.html

  • Solanum||

    I'd love to see some fucking mea culpas from those who voted for Obama.

    I'll bet joe is a big enough guy that he'll come back with his tail between his legs and admit he was wrong, no?

  • Robert Gibbs||

    Unfortunately, Czar Kelikowske misspoke yesterday. He obviously meant to say that the administration is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.

  • ||

    "I'd love to see some f*cking mea culpas from those who voted for Obama. Some admissions that you were fools and got snowed. It happens to everyone at times, but it would be refreshing to see some of you admit it."

    Everybody could see the GOP traveling down a path most of us weren't willing to follow. The hope is that the GOP get's its head out of its ass. If it does, you will owe me the mea culpa. If the GOP becomes even more of a religious right, anti-intelligence, populist freak show, then I will offer my mea culpa at that point.

    And John, we had to make sure the GOP lost. How quickly you all forget the last election. First it started out as a huge Jack Bauer fluffer session, then it went to "let's lock everybody up forever and oh yeah, children are the future" to full on crazy with Sarah Barraquitter showing the world just how poor our leaders are. The fact that the GOP piled on to the one candidate that appealed to me said everything I needed to know about the direction of the party. I appreciate all the folks who wrote in Ron Paul or went for Bob Barr.

  • ||

    "Amen, robc. Although i'm partial to the idea that maybe the White House should sit vacant for a term or two from time to time. The Capitol, too."

    If you want to have a pleasent thought, imagine if rather than hitting the Pentegon, the flight on 9-11 had hit Congress in full session and killed all 535 of them. We would have had an election with all 535 seats open. Can you imagine how much that would have opened up our political system?

  • The Chad||

    "I don't smoke marijuana, I find stoners annoying and I think most pro-marijuana arguments are just addicts justifying their addiction"

    that's an interesting way to preface your point, insulting and stereotypical. Arguing for civil liberties and against paramilitarized police and massive incarceration? Nope, you're just making excuses for your own addiction.

  • Xeones||

    Solanum, the Man from Lowell has popped up a few times since the Big Disappearance but pointedly refuses to comment on his own Obamafellation, focusing instead with laserlike intensity on technicalities in the subject at hand. He then vanishes once more like a bad smell on a strong breeze.

  • ||

    Yes Lamar because electing Obama and making sure the GOP lost was going to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, close GUITMO, end warrentless wiretapping, and repeal the Patriot Act. How is that working out?

    Further, even if the GOP does reform, it will be too late to stop cap and theft and socialized medicine. The damage will be done at that point. The only way to undo it will be to have a complete meltdown. Even if the GOP is reformed and wins in 2010 and 2012, it is doubtful they will get a fillabuster proof majority in the Senate. At that point the Dems just need to filabuster repeal of the insanity and they win. Since when did any government program or spending ever die? Worse still the porkulus raised the spending baseline by 50%. That means when the Republicans try to cut spending to say 2007 levels, the Dems and their shills in the media will be able to scream that the evil Republicans are cutting spending by 50%!!!

    Even if the GOP reforms, we are still totally fucked. You and everyone who voted for Obama and gave him a big majority in congress totally fucked the country.

  • ||

    "I don't smoke marijuana, I find stoners annoying and I think most pro-marijuana arguments are just addicts justifying their addiction"

    that's an interesting way to preface your point, insulting and stereotypical.

    In her defense, I suppose we don't know anything about the stoners she knows. If the only marijuana users I knew were the ones I used to play ultimate frisbee with, I would probably make that same statement (well, slightly altered to reflect that the pro-marijuana arguments are themselves valid but ASSERTED by people who don't care about the politics of it but simply want to get high without getting busted).

  • ||

    just addicts justifying their addiction

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  • ||

    John,

    You're missing the point. It was never about Obama doing anything. It was always about stopping the GOP. Obama's a one-termer who will hopefully not screw things up any worse than McCain would have. Hey, maybe McCain would have suspended his presidency to tend to the economy! It's just speculation, but the GOP was hard on expanding Gitmo, siccing Jack Bauer on everybody, generally freaking out based on the vague and never ending threat of terrorism, and attacking Iran, North Korea, who knows.

    I mean, no, I'm not happy about Obama and his health care stuff scares me. But citing to the crap Obama is trying to pull doesn't mean that McCain wouldn't also have a laundry list of crazy ass ideas. We just don't know. All we can do oppose Obama as much as we can because whether one ascribes to my theory or yours, opposing Obama is the only thing in common.

  • ||

    If marijuana were legal perhaps non annoying people would use it. There are a lot of people out there who currently don't touch the stuff because they don't want to assume the legal risk but would if it were legal.

  • ||

    people who don't care about the politics of it but simply want to get high without getting busted

    That desire is as valid an argument as any other. They have every right to put whatever they want in their bodies without fearing arrest.

  • Warty||

    I've noticed joe posting on thoreau's blog, and he still fellates Obama as much as ever. Obama will have to rape a puppy on national TV or something for joe to renounce him.

  • ||

    "It's just speculation, but the GOP was hard on expanding Gitmo, siccing Jack Bauer on everybody, generally freaking out based on the vague and never ending threat of terrorism, and attacking Iran, North Korea, who knows."

    We will never know what would have happened had McCain been elected. But I will make you a bet. I bet you Obama will get us into a sizable war of some sort before he leaves office. Weakness breads more wars than strength. I am very worried about a war with North Korea and Iran. They have sized up Obama and figured him for a chump. Sadly, every President, even a chump one, has to go to war if they are prevoked enough. My fear is that the NORKs or the Iranians are going to miscalculate.

  • Tricky Prickears ||

    proceed to beat yourself until you bleed from the ears.

    Yes, I already did that. Twice. Happy? And I would have voted for McCain had the republican party not forced SP on him. And Barr? No thanks. Did anyone vote for him?



    Marinol? ? A friend who was using it for Hep C treatments, threw it out. Said it did very little, and proceeded to fire up the kind bud .

  • polio robot||

    "...I think most pro-marijuana arguments are just addicts justifying their addiction "

    Just like those pesky drunks justifying their jones during the end of alcohol prohibition. I'm staking a claim to the ultimate ownership of my body and what I choose to consume should not be anyone's business, not even government.

    As long as I'm participating in a non-violent, victimless, voluntary activity and being responsible for my actions, then what's the problem?

  • ||

    Every president after Carter has been involved in a war of some type.

  • ||

    Obama will have to rape a puppy on national TV or something for joe to renounce him.

    Can the puppy afford health insurance?

  • ||

    Lamar,

    If cap and theft and Obamacare die in Congress and we stay out of a major war, then your gamble will have paid off. I agree with you the GOP needed to lose and needed the shit kicked out of them. If Obama can't get healthcare and cap and theft, he can't really do too much damage to the country. He is completely discrediting and destroying the Democratic Party. And he is making the Republicans have to start making sense.

  • ||

    Joe has the ability to turn on a dime with no shame. For four years he was on here calling me a fascist for defending GUITMO. I gaurentee you if he were still posting on here, he would, now that OBama is advocating the policies, be on here agreeing with me and telling me what a smart guy I am for my views on Iraq and detention. And he would be doing it without one trace of shame or irony.

  • Tricky Prickears ||

    Question.

    If marijuana were legal, would employers still be allowed to test for it in a pre-employment drug screening?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I voted for Barr. That guy is a pretty cool cat, when you get down to it.

    If marijuana were legal, would employers still be allowed to test for it in a pre-employment drug screening?



    Given that employers fire people for tobacco use, I would say "yes".

    And guys, really, j** is gone...please stop talking about it.

  • Billy Beck||

    Shannon, baby, you oughta try a better grade of pot smoker. They really do exist, whether you know it or not.

  • ||

    Tricky, those Hep C treatments are a bitch. I know someone who would have been so much sicker going through that without weed. I hope your friend is ok.

    In one of my classes at uni, we had a dual MD/PhD whose research was mostly in pot (both medical and social issues, found his site here). He said that Marinol lacked the complex compounds found in whole plants, and that might be why patients don't tend to respond as well to it. Also, since it's pure THC, it hits you like a ton of bricks.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Billy, Shannon's a man, yo.

  • Solanum||

    X, I recall the wee-man making an impromptu appearance in one of the Sotomayer confirmation threads a few weeks ago. He seemed careful not to wander off topic.

  • ||

    We can only hope that Kerlikowske's mindless anti-drug rhetoric is a cover for a more tolerant stance regarding the decisions of state policy makers with bigger vocabularies.

    So, the best case scenario is that he is lying? To cover a secret decriminalization cabal in the White House?

  • ||

    The Angry Optimist,

    Maybe he knows that, baby.

  • Xeones||

    S, that's because cries of "you're off topic!" are his only defense around these parts, and he knows it.

    TAO, we have to keep bringing joe up. He looms large, you know.

  • mr simple||

    I voted for Barr, though I considered it a generic LP vote. Although I would generally say you should vote for the person you think should be president, at least I can say I was trying to grow the brand. We need more viable parties. There's no excuse for an Obama vote; the evidence was there, all you had to do was look.

  • ||

    "people who don't care about the politics of it but simply want to get high without getting busted"

    That desire is as valid an argument as any other.


    Epi-

    I was referring to people who ASSERT political reasons for supporting legalization as a justification for wanting to get high. I completely agree that it's a valid argument; I just think you should come out and admit it (and certainly, if you want people to accept getting high as a normal behavior a la drinking I would think you'd WANT more people to come out and admit it).

  • Tricky Prickears ||

    Tricky, those Hep C treatments are a bitch. I know someone who would have been so much sicker going through that without weed. I hope your friend is ok.

    Thanks. He said the shots were like instant flu. Without weed he would have probably shriveled up to a 70 pound weakling. But they worked. He's fine now, for the most part. No liver cancer. Yes, cancer is contagious, when it's spread by Hep C.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Although I would generally say you should vote for the person you think should be president, at least I can say I was trying to grow the brand.



    I legitimately thought that Barr should be President, at least of any* of the major-party candidates.

    * I include five parties in that category, not just two.

  • ||

    Pot is illegal. Since I have gotten older I can't really drink like I used to without getting fat. Do you have any idea how badly it sucks to go through life sober?

  • ||

    I am sad that Obama turned out to be another politician who can't change a damn thing because he's too worried about everyone loving him, but I can say I'm glad I voted for him over McCain, who would continue the Bush push towards conservative authoritarianism. Now we're just getting some socialism-style big government.

  • hmm||

    They lied. Nothing new.

    Just look at it as an opportunity for enterprising individuals willing to take the risk to enter that particular market. Cause the morons in power aren't going to change direction anytime soon.

  • hmm||

    but I can say I'm glad I voted for him over McCain, who would continue the Bush push towards conservative authoritarianism.

    Don't take this the wrong way, but are you blind and deaf?

  • ||

    The drug czar is statutorily charged with fighting legalization even if it means lying:

    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2007/10/09/theDrugCzarIsRequiredByLaw.html

    If we can reschedule cannabis from I then we need to change that clause so he can tell the truth.

  • ||

    Sadly, yes. My weed hookup was dry for 2 weeks straight. I cried myself to sleep every night for those 2 weeks :)

  • ||

    Fuck -- forgot to quote the orginal comment :
    Do you have any idea how badly it sucks to go through life sober?

    Sadly, yes. My weed hookup was dry for 2 weeks straight. I cried myself to sleep every night for those 2 weeks :)


    Fixed that for me

  • ||

    the Man from Lowell

    really, j** is gone


    Come on, people. Not using joe's name does not exempt him from the drinking game. Drink up, bitches!

  • Spartacus||

    He said the shots were like instant flu.



    I can vouch for that. By the time the symptoms start clearing up, it's time for the next shot. I didn't have that much nausea, though, I was able to control it with ice cream :-). Body aches, though, were another story...

  • ||

    Tom,

    It sucks doesn't it? There are two types of people in the world I don't trust: people who don't like animals and teetotalers. I mean my God, what kind of sick mind wants to face the world completely sober.

  • Tricky Prickears ||

    who would continue the Bush push towards conservative authoritarianism. Now we're just getting some socialism-style big government.

    I see both parties pushing their own brand of Corporatism. Corporatism is not a "third alternative" or a compromise between free markets and Socialism. It is beast all it's own. And I believe people are starting to see it, they just don't know what they are looking at, yet.

  • ||

    Oh, and now that I see I've made a typo, I'm going to make a general internet communication statement: pointing out your own typo doesn't give you back any credibility. Just move along like everything's OK. Most people won't notice it.

  • SIV||

    I've noticed joe posting on thoreau's blog

    Birds of a feather......

  • Hacha Cha||

    raw plant matter is still used in medicine, Tincture of Opium and Paregoric anyone?

  • Hacha Cha||

    cannabis will become CII or III once GW Pharmaceuticals finishes their Sativex clinical trials. just watch.

  • SIV||

    If marijuana were legal, would employers still be allowed to test for it in a pre-employment drug screening?
    In libertopia they would.
    Why would they not be allowed?
    I believe there are employers who test for tobbacco right now.

  • Matt||

    "...I think most pro-marijuana arguments are just addicts justifying their addiction"

    I know a lot of kids who's only political conviction is "legalize." They'll come up with any number of shallow, dumbass reasons to justify their use. It's not about individual liberty for a lot of those kids, it's about getting high and not having to worry about anything. If only a lot of those kids could see the bigger picture, the arguments for could be a lot stronger.

    Maybe it changes after college? I don't know.

    Personally, I don't do it, but there's no reason to keep it illegal. It's a sinkhole for taxpayer money, it's given the cops WAY too much leeway, and it crushes individual ownership of your body.

    Go ahead and do it. It's not my body and it's not my choice for you. Just leave me the fuck alone.

  • ||

    I've heard many people suggest that Mr. Obama is somehow secretly in favor of marijuana policy reform, but that it "makes political sense" to choose his battles and not take on such a charged issue while trying to tackle healthcare, iraq, afghanistan, the economy, etc.

    However, since two of the biggest issues, health care and the economy, have so much to do with revenue, I cannot understand how we could ignore the idea of legalizing marijuana.

    -- Marijuana is at least a 90 billion dollar per year industry.

    -- prohibiting marijuana costs taxpayers billions per year

    -- Keeping people in jail for put use costs billions per year.

    We could save the money that the drug war costs, and raise untold billions per year in taxes, to support nationalized health care or other projects.

  • ||

    John wrote: If you want to have a pleasent thought, imagine if rather than hitting the Pentegon, the flight on 9-11 had hit Congress in full session and killed all 535 of them. We would have had an election with all 535 seats open. Can you imagine how much that would have opened up our political system?

    Not really. The spouses of each of them would have been appointed by the governors of the states to the seats temporarily. Then those spouses would have run for the office and they all would win. And then it would be the same crap, except there'd be more toilets everywhere.

  • ||

    It sucks doesn't it? There are two types of people in the world I don't trust: people who don't like animals and teetotalers. I mean my God, what kind of sick mind wants to face the world completely sober.

    John maybe you and I aren't so different after all.

  • ||

    I've heard many people suggest that Mr. Obama is somehow secretly in favor of marijuana policy reform, but that it "makes political sense" to choose his battles and not take on such a charged issue while trying to tackle healthcare, iraq, afghanistan, the economy, etc.

    The smartest thing Obama could do is simply leave it to the states, and state that the government will respect state's rights on the issue, despite the fact that the Courts have ruled they have jurisdiction.

    Or you know, live up to the promise he made to send DEA agents after people who are adhering to their states laws.

    Just because he can enforce Fed laws against states that are decriminalizing/legalizing for medical use doesn't mean he should.

    Im not holding my breath. (Not for Obama or any federal level politician for that matter)

  • BakedPenguin||

    Pot is illegal. Since I have gotten older I can't really drink like I used to without getting fat. Do you have any idea how badly it sucks to go through life sober?



    I used to smoke a lot when I was younger, until it started getting me more anxious than high. I was speaking to a friend I used smoke with (a lot) who had/has the same problem. We both wished we could smoke without anxiety, because alcohol is such a crappy, crappy drug.

  • SIV||


    We could save the money that the drug war costs, and raise untold billions per year in taxes, to support nationalized health care or other projects.


    >

  • SIV||


    We could save the money that the drug war costs, and raise untold billions per year in taxes, to support nationalized health care or other projects.


    Best argument I've ever seen for keeping marijuana illegal

  • ||

    "We both wished we could smoke without anxiety, because alcohol is such a crappy, crappy drug."

    It really is. It makes you fat and sick. Also it just intensifies whatever mood I am in. If I am in a good mood, that is fine. But if I am upset or angry it just makes it worse. It has never been a drug that chilled me out.

  • Les||

    There are two types of people in the world I don't trust: people who don't like animals and teetotalers. I mean my God, what kind of sick mind wants to face the world completely sober.

    I trust Penn and Teller. They always admit when they're lying.

  • ||

    John maybe you and I aren't so different after all.

    Group hug!

  • ||

    We both wished we could smoke without anxiety, because alcohol is such a crappy, crappy drug.

    Say that again and I'll bust this empty 22-oz. bomber over your head!

  • ||

    ...a more rational, open-minded approach to drug policy.

    Has there been ONE politician who's ever had a rational, open-minded approach to drug policy in this country? Certainly not the originators of it (from the Harrison Act on). Certainly not Nixon who launched this idiotic and quixotic "war". As I recall, CA got medical marijuana via the initiative process - not from our enlightened state political leaders.

    Rational, open-minded approach -- are you stoned?

  • ||

    What is Sgt. Crowley's take on all of this?

  • Warty||

    What is Sgt. Crowley's take on all of this?

    I think he's out riding his white horse. It's symbolic, of course.

  • BakedPenguin||

    John - one thing I've considered is trying pot again, in conjunction with small doses of sedatives. Using two drugs at once can be really, really stupid, but since pot has no toxicity and doesn't suppress CNS or breathing functions, I don't think there's any danger. (I will read up on it more if I get closer to actually trying it).

    Of course, that would have to wait until I had access to a vaporizer, and with the current economy, it'll be a long time before I can justify spending any money on the chance I might enjoy the whole thing. Until then, I'm buying 40's, and getting ready to challenge ClubMedSux after a few.

    *smashes bottle against ground* Get out my face, bitch!!

  • ||

    And yes, McCain would have probably have been no better.

    I don't agree with that. I can't think of anything McCain would have handled worse than Obama so far, and I can think of plenty McCain would have handled better.

    Admittedly, I thought McCain would be just as bad back in November, and voted for Barr. But if I knew then what I know now, not only would I have voted for McCain, but I would have campaigned door to door for him until my toes bled.

  • ||

    the government rarely if ever admits mistakes, past or present. look how long it took to apologize for slavery (kinda fuckin pointless now, ain't it?}. That the Controlled Substances Act is one of the biggest mistakes ever and 99% unconstitutional (the other 1% being every congress(wo)men and president since 1972 in office since 1972) and it doesn't mean a thing. It can't be repealed because every incumbent who votes for it would be seen as 'soft on crime.'

  • ||

    I've heard many people suggest that Mr. Obama is somehow secretly in favor of marijuana policy reform, but that it "makes political sense" to choose his battles and not take on such a charged issue while trying to tackle healthcare, iraq, afghanistan, the economy, etc.

    Just like a battered wife says her husband really loves her, and doesn't want to beat her up nightly, but he's driven to it by his mean boss, the long commute home, and her inability to make soft-boiled eggs without the yolks being all runny.

    But it's not like our relatives can go on Jerry Springer and have that big bald guy come and rescue us from the president's policies against our will. No, we're on our own for this one.

  • johnny johnjohn||

    "Pot is illegal. Since I have gotten older I can't really drink like I used to without getting fat. Do you have any idea how badly it sucks to go through life sober?"

    Take some mescaline with a good friend. Very spiritual shit. Ever since I did it haven't had the desire to smoke or drink since. Psychedelics usually improve your outlook on life too.

    Mescaline's...sorta legal... you can find some on the internetz.

  • Aleister Rollie||

    What is Sgt. Crowley's take on all of this?

    I think he's out riding his white horse. It's symbolic, of course.


    Warty, you made my night with that ref.

  • ||

    What is Sgt. Crowley's take on all of this?


    I wouldn't ask him. You're liable to end up handcuffed in the back of a squad car.

  • ||

    I wrote a letter,and in small words,asking him if sleeping pills are a medicine and if so,how many does America take a night,at what cost,and with how many dangerous side effects? Do the side effects include possible death?
    Whereas,they have proven that marijuana cannot be overdosed,and that should a person eat too much marijuana,all that would happen is that they would go to sleep,would that not qualify marijuana as a sleep aide for insomniacs and people with sleep disorders? And without the toxic effects and dangerous side effects of pharmaceutical sleep aids. And if eaten,bypass all the lung health issues that smoking medical marijuana raises.
    But,after considering it,it will do no good. Because they know marijuana has medical benefits,or they wouldn't have the patents on medicines derived from marijuana.
    This means that we cannot out buy Big pharmacy,they have already paid all right places for keeping marijuana illegal,and their profits safe.
    And the new drug czar,the DEA and all the federally supported organizations whose budgets are dependent on marijuana remaining illegal for them to get their share of
    next years budget. When you consider that more than 1/2 of the War on Drugs budget is for marijuana removal,it is foolish to expect any bureaucrat to do something that will reduce his budget,they never reduce,only grow,like a cancer.

  • ||

    Oops,sorry to compare ONCDP with cancer,when even cancer may go into remission,or be cured,whereas the DEA has no limit on how much they will lie to protect their budget. Or any of the anti-drug cartel organizations involved in the war on drugs.

  • ChrisO||

    Federal, state and local governments have no legitimate interest in what I choose to ingest. Be it food, drink or pharmaceuticals.

    I don't expect Democrats to embrace such a position, because they are all in favor of pervasive regulation. Fiscally conservative Republicans might, if we could find enough of 'em to overpower the god botherers and "national greatness conservatives."

  • ||

    Anything that continues the prohibition just underwrites the existence of a green market and people willing to provide the substance,no matter what the punishment or obstacles to overcome. China has a death sentence for transporting marijuana,and caught a Nigerian bringing kilo's into China in his suitcase.
    Our own task force of drug warriors,federal law enforcement,federal prison guards and complete prison systems can't stop marijuana in their own prison system.
    And drug cartels will exist as long as there are high profits in any market. There is now a black market on tobacco,with the rising costs
    and expected increases because they put a federal agency in charge of it.
    Everything they do is just job security for them,and organized crime,for whom they are creating cornucopia of opportunities to widen their market and increase their profits.
    The sad part is that tobacco is truly a dangerous drug.

  • ||

    Without Marijuana the drug war would be a pillow fight.............no way in the world it could become legal- what would all the drug warriors do then?- Chase murderers and kiddie porn and rapists and burglers etc etc.

  • JT Barrie||

    Yeah, that Carl Sagan sure could be annoying. If he hadn't used such fancy words and complex scientific principle I'm certain a lot of other people would have found him annoying too. Of course police don't go after world class scientists to make their pot busts so his use wouldn't get press coverage.

  • ||

    While they have spent billions of dollars trying to eradicate a relatively harmless drug,the DEA aand FDA have allowed the other drug cartel to fill our medicine cabinets with enough poisons and drugs to kill more people than alcohol and tobacco ,plus all the illegal drugs put together. The biggest atrocity we have in this country is agencies like them that live off the tax trough and attack the wrong people. The war on drugs should have been monitoring Libby and Squibb just as hard as they are our borders.

  • ||

    Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225:

    Responsibilities. --The Director-- [...]

    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that--

    1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
    2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

  • ||

    This law mandates that the DEA and all the agencies under the ONDCP are required to deny any medical uses for marijuana regardless of scientific proof or data.
    And the #2 rule is the catch 22 that they built in to protect big pharmacy and/or the black market.
    The FDA cannot approve marijuana as a medicine until enough studies and data is presented to verify medicinal applications. And the DEA is the authorizing agency for any studies of marijuana,hence the studies and testing will never be allowed to prove any medical uses or even that marijuana is safer than alcohol or
    tobacco.
    And they are also in charge of refuting any studies that claim medical uses for marijuana
    or provides any information supporting legalization. That is why we hear of a study proving medical application is always followed by a report that contradicts or casts doubts on the favorable study. Even if they have to lie or submit false data to disprove it.

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