Obama Ends the War on Drugs...Again

I had a look at the Obama administration's latest drug control strategy yesterday but did not see anything new or interesting that was worthy of comment. Apparently I missed some big news. Here is how NewsOne, which provides "Breaking News for Black America," headlined its story: "Focusing on Prevention and Neuroscience, President Ends Reagan's War On Drugs." The author, Paul Shepard, reports that "the White House announced a new direction in the War on Drugs, where stopping drug use before it starts and treating drug addition as a health issue will now be priorities." The White House has been announcing this new direction since 2009, when drug czar Gil Kerlikowske first declared an end to the war on drugs, but in practice it has carried on pretty much as before, in some ways (e.g., Obama's promise-breaking crackdown on medical marijuana) with even greater zeal. Although no one should be fooled anymore by Obama's pseudoscientific, quasi-medical, faux-compassionate rhetoric, it seems that some people are still desperate to believe he is as enlightened and progressive as his reputation.

Shepard, for example, considers this quote from Kerlikowske to be evidence of a real breakthrough: "Drug policy should be rooted in neuroscience, not political science." What Kerlikowske means is that consuming certain drugs (coincidentally, the ones that happen to be illegal) changes people's brains in such a way that they are no longer capable of making decisions for themselves, thereby justifying government intervention. Kerlikowske's idea of enlightened drug policy is forcing drug users to choose between a treatment slot and a jail cell. As Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance observes:

The Administration says drug use is a health issue but then advocates for policies that put people in the criminal justice system. Until the Drug Czar says it is time to stop arresting people for drug use, he is not treating drug use as a health issue no matter what he says. I know of no other health issue in which people are thrown in jail if they don't get better.

By describing drug use as a disease—as something that happens to people against their will, rather than something they choose to do—Obama and his underlings seek to persuade us that using violence to stop people from consuming certain substances does not interfere with liberty at all. To the contrary, such coercion promotes true liberty by freeing people from the slavery of their addictions. Seems pretty fucking political to me.

If Obama were as concerned about the racially disproportionate impact of draconian drug sentences as Shepard claims, wouldn't he have managed by now, more than four years into his presidency, to have commuted more than one? Ronald Reagan, whom Shepard blames for starting the drug war that Obama has now mercifully ended, had a stronger clemency record than Obama. But then, so did every other president, with the exception of George Washington in his first term and two presidents who died during their first year in office.

Shepard, by the way, specifically mentions Reagan's wife, Nancy, for her role in launching a crusade that featured "wholesale arrests and stiffer sentencing for anyone even suspected of drug involvement," sending "a clear message that government intended to empty the streets and fill the prisons until drugs were no more." In a 2010 interview for The Nation, Sasha Abramsky asked Kerlikowske to identify "major successes" in federal drug control. His response: "'Just Say No' under Nancy Reagan."

Addendum: My colleague Mike Riggs points out that The Root's Keli Goff also fell for the Obama administration's "public health" rhetoric, although she is a bit more cautious than Shepard. "Is Obama Evolving on Marijuana?" asks the headline above her post. The subhead claims "a new approach to drug policy could signal the end of the drug war." According to Goff, "the Obama administration's new softer tone, particularly on the issue of marijuana," suggests "the administration may finally be ready to put the so-called drug war to bed and replace it with a much more commonsense drug policy focused on rehabilitation, not incarceration."

The evidence for that thesis is pretty thin. Under "a public health approach," Kerlikowske said yesterday, "legalizing drugs, thereby making them much more easily and widely available, would not be a very wise policy." In other words, Kerlikowske's understanding of "public health" requires the government to continue arresting and imprisoning people for producing or selling certain drugs, including marijuana. Then again, he said, "we also don't think that people—particularly those that are possessing small amounts of marijuana—that having an arrest record, that being put into the system, is particularly helpful either." Goff is right that Kerlikowske here goes further than Obama did when he said last December, with reference to pot smokers, "we've got bigger fish to fry," which has always been true of the federal government. The observation that busting people for small amounts of marijuana is not "particularly helpful" may be as close as an Obama administration official has come to saying that people should not be arrested merely for smoking pot. If that is indeed Obama's current opinion, it has taken him more than four years to return to a position he advocated when he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

Since state and local police account for 99 percent of pot busts, including essentially all arrests involving personal-use amounts, that position has little relevance to federal policy. Still, with police make hundreds of thousands of such arrests every year, it would be nice to hear Obama himself directly say what President Jimmy Carter said 36 years ago: that pot smokers should not be treated like criminals because "penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself." But if people should not be arrested for actually consuming marijuana, why should others be arrested merely for aiding and abetting that offense?

[Thanks to sam the man for the tip.]

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  • sloopyinca||

    Fuck Obama.

    BY the way, Chlamydia epidemic threatens Koala bears existence.

    No word on Drop Bears and herpes.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Warty doesn't like wearing condoms.

  • ||

    Aren't Tasmanian Devil's being wiped out by the Tasmanian Devil equivalent of HPV?

  • Hugh Akston||

    No, they're mostly threatened by rabbits in drag.

  • SweatingGin||

    Where do you think they caught the Hpv?

  • SKR||

    yes

  • Sevo||

    ..."stopping drug use before it starts and treating drug addition as a health issue will now be priorities"...

    My goodness! Why didn't anyone think of this before?!
    And has Holder heard about this?

  • Tonio||

    What about subtraction?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Just say "Meh."

  • SIV||

    Here is how NewsOne, which provides "Breaking News for Black America," headlined its story: "Focusing on Prevention and Neuroscience, President Ends Reagan's War On Drugs."

    Do they really think "Black America" is this stupid?

  • Paul.||

    There is no answer to this that isn't racist.

  • SKR||

    Black America is just as stupid as every other color America. So yes.

  • Libertymike||

    At least the 98% of the blacks who voted for the O-man.

  • Irish||

    I believe it was like 93%.

    Of course, 93% of Romney voters are idiots too, so it's not like this tells us anything.

  • Libertymike||

    Let's split the difference and say 95%.

    Did 95% of white folks vote for Romney?

  • Calidissident||

    No, but about 99% voted for Romney or Obama

  • ||

    This is of course of voters. Many people of all races were smart enough to not vote at all.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    ....

    Yes?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I'm also wondering how a law passed in 1970 qualifies as "Reagan's War On Drugs"?

  • SIV||

    It is actually Nixon and JFK's War on Drugs as the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 was passed to bring the US into compliance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. Not surprisingly, Wikipedia leaves this out. The signing of the Single Convention treaty isn't listed in Kennedy's many *cough* accomplishments but SOME US President had to sign it back in 1961.

  • juris imprudent||

    Shepard was obviously stoned when he wrote that.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't know about you guys, but I think that Obama has definitely been getting better and better with his hypothetical victories on the social, fiscal, and foreign policy issues that impact America. I can almost feel his purely imaginary efficiency at slaying these dragons get more refined; his life as a fantasy reformist becoming more and more distinguished.

    He's a real hero, that one.

  • Tonio||

    Lucy...football...Charlie Brown...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This was the moment when the rise of the prison industrial complex began to slow, and our criminal justice system began to heal.

  • sloopyinca||

    You know who else made bullshit platitudes?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Obi Wan Kenobi?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Obi.
    Wan.
    Kenobi.
    I'm sorry, what were you saying?

  • C. Anacreon||

    I wonder if you mean Old Ben Kenobi?

  • Paul.||

    Bernie Tiede?

  • ||

    Woody Hayes?

  • sloopyinca||

    OK, this is just gratuitous assholery. I'd say "bravo," but I want to punch you in the nuts too much.

  • ||

    What are you, a cop?

  • C. Anacreon||

    I want to punch you in the nuts too much.

    Just like Woody punched that young man, that one day that we will never speak of again.

  • Ted S.||

    He only punched one young man?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull?

  • SIV||

    "Drug policy should be rooted in neuroscience, not political science."

    I keep warning everyone about this "neuroscience" shit.

  • Irish||

    I keep warning everyone about this "neuroscience" shit.

    Goddamn right. The next step is arguing that anything that changes your brain means you are no longer in control, and therefore the government is allowed to take your rights.

  • sloopyinca||

    What do you mean "the next step"? They've been involuntarily committing people for decades.

  • Irish||

    Yes, but this gives them a better pseudoscientific basis to do so. It also is going to allow them to expand the number of reasons to involuntarily commit someone, since they'll discover more things that cause people to be 'unable to control their actions.'

  • SKR||

    oh sure, change your brain chemistry with meditation or some sweat lodge shit and that's ok. Change your brain chemistry with chemistry and go straight to rehab.

  • ||

    Oh god Irish, I'd gotten used to MonkeyAIDS's screeching over "new phrenology", but you too?

  • SIV||

    Being a college student at the time, I clearly remember when Nancy Reagan and the conservative wave in national government helped usher in the nation’s War on Drugs in the 1980s.

    Nancy Reagan controlled Congress?

  • Sevo||

    And as an adult now, he should know that Obozo continues the stupidity, but lies about it at the same time.

  • Libertymike||

    Maybe he should also have a better grip on the history of the drug war.

    Yes, the great patron saint of liberty, Ronald Reagan, dramatically escalated the WOD, but he and his size 2 fat ankled wife did not usher it in.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Eh, Reagan by that point was both suffering from Alzheimer's and Second Term Syndrome. It seems likely to me that this was almost entirely a Nancy Reagan project -- Reagan never showed any interest in drug policy during his career as an orator, a Governor, or throughout his first term.

  • Libertymike||

    So, he did not sign the mandatory minimums legislation?

    So, the dramatic increase in resources devoted to the WOD escaped his notice?

    How about all of the CIA drug running during his WH days?

    Was he ignorant of Ed Meese's actions at DOJ?

    Did he not sign all of the asset forfeiture legislation in the 80s?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Like I said, I don't think Reagan gave three hot shits about drug policy.

    Ed Meese and mandatory mins were during his second term; ditto asset forfeiture. All consistent with what I said above.

    As far as CIA drug running, you're going to have to be more specific: my drug warrior friends at the time were incensed by the fact that the Reagan admin gave money to states known to be funded by narcotics.

    I'd recommend Lou Cannon as a credible Reagan biographer who contextualizes the events of his Presidency and Governorship with great clarity.

  • Libertymike||

    You appear to be giving the Gipper a pass on SIGNING INTO LAW horribly statist legislation which has ruined thousands and thousands of lives.

    Face it, he was not friend to liberty.

    Murray Rothbard's assessment of Reagan is far more credible and reliable than that of Lou Cannon or Dinesh D'Souza or Peggy Noonan or Monica Crowley or Geroge Shultze or GHWB or Richard Reeve or Mark Levin.

    The guy was a big government guy. Look, he was an FBI stooge. He signed into law huge tax increases as governor and as President.

  • SIV||

    Reagan deserves props for defeating Communism.

  • Libertymike||

    He didn't do any such thing.

  • Libertymike||

    Government got a lot bigger and more intrusive under Reagan.

    He promised to make government smaller. He failed to deliver and his failure was spectacular.

    He promised to eliminate the departments of energy and education. He failed to deliver.

    How about the dramatic increases in FICA taxes RR signed into law?

    How about appointing people like Rudy Julie Annie as a US Atty?

    How about his nomination of Robert Bork?

    How about his nomination of Antonin Scalia?

    IRAN CONTRA?

  • Irish||

    I completely agree with you Libertymike, but some of your criticisms are a bit off base.

    How about his nomination of Robert Bork?

    Bork was fucking terrible. No argument there.

    He promised to make government smaller. He failed to deliver and his failure was spectacular.

    In Reagan's defense, many of the things he wanted to do he couldn't due to Democrat resistance. This also applies to the elimination of the departments of energy and education. How could he have done this? He could have stifled them during his own presidency, but in order to eliminate an entire department, you'd need congress to repeal its enabling statute.

    How about the dramatic increases in FICA taxes RR signed into law?

    This was inexcusable. You'll get no argument from me.

    How about his nomination of Antonin Scalia?

    Scalia's no worse than any other Supreme Court justice. I actually prefer him to pretty much everyone currently on the court. He has terrible positions on drugs and allows his anti-drug biases to override his supposed pro-constitution beliefs. However, I'd rather have 9 Antonin Scalias than the 4 liberals or Roberts.

  • SIV||

    The ex-communists strongly disagree.

  • Killazontherun||

    Communism defeated communism. Reagan deserves props for recognizing that fact, realizing it was in its late stages, speaking consistently on that theme, and not trying to restart detente subsidies (even after the Afghanistan invasion there existed a huge lobby in DC trying to reignite detente) which only kept the Soviet Union propped up for another decade. Talk about what he accomplished in realistic terms, Reagan was no superman.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I grade modern Presidents on a curve. Reagan had serious deficits (especially on gun policy), but IMO drugs was not a significant one. Conservatives have a real problem seeing the flaws in Reagan, and libertarians have a similarly difficult time contextualizing the events of his Presidency.

    Murray Rothbard's observations of any British or US President influential in foreign policy is jaundiced by his biases. He's not a credible secondary source on that issue.

  • Irish||

    Murray Rothbard's assessment of Reagan is far more credible and reliable than that of Lou Cannon or Dinesh D'Souza or Peggy Noonan or Monica Crowley or Geroge Shultze or GHWB or Richard Reeve or Mark Levin.

    All these people have biases, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that Murray Rothbard is more credible than the others. Rothbard is a bit like Rockwell. He was an incredibly doctrinaire libertarian who really did not like anyone who didn't fall within the narrow bounds of his version of libertarianism.

    As a result, Rothbard is incapable of putting anything in context. To him, everything is either libertarian or statist, gray area be damned.

  • Virginian||

    As a result, Rothbard is incapable of putting anything in context. To him, everything is either libertarian or statist, gray area be damned.

    Yep. And he's not wrong about that. You're either a libertarian or a statist, and Reagan was a statist. But as TIT said, you have to grade modern Presidents on a curve. Coolidge could be libertarian, except he wasn't free trade. But if there was a more libertarian President this century, I don't know who it would be.

    Reagan was, essentially, a war President. His goal was to defeat the Soviet Union. That was it. Everything he did was in pursuit of that goal. Which means doing some things libertarians liked, and some they didn't like.

  • Libertymike||

    Just because Rothbard was a doctrinaire libertarian does not thereby mean that he is not credible.

    Do really think that people like Levin and D'Souza and Noonan and Cannon and Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and Monica Crowley and Dick Nixon and George Schultze and Reeve are the intellectual equals to Rothbard?

    Your assertions that Rothbard could not perceive gray area and / or nuance is laughable.

    Another far more credible source is Tom Woods or Professor DiLorenzo.

  • Irish||

    Your assertions that Rothbard could not perceive gray area and / or nuance is laughable.

    Really? Rothbard got in blow out feuds with other libertarians for not being sufficiently libertarian.

  • Libertymike||

    Context?

    Take the WOD and Ronald Reagan.

    What is a more nuanced, comprehensive approach to evaluating Reagan's actions and their effects regarding his drug war:

    (1)"Reagan had some serious defects, but imo drugs was not a significant one"

    or

    (2) Setting forth the following:

    the increased DOJ budgets allocated to fighting the war on drugs

    the increase in DOJ employees dedicated to the WOD

    the increase in property confiscated by the state in order to fight the WOD

    the increase in assets forfeited by people to the state

    the increase in prisons built in order to accommodate the WOD

    the increase in prison / corrections employees hired in connection with the WOD

    the lost productivity occasioned by the WOD

    the overall loss of liberty due to the WOD

    See, Rothbard, Woods, Butler Shaffer, Lew Rockwell, Prof. DiLorenzo et al have all examined, studied and wrote of the above.

    Cannon? Not so much.

  • SIV||

    I didn't like Reagan as President but then I watched the Berlin Wall come down and realized I was wrong.

  • Calidissident||

    Communism was falling with or without Reagan. At best, he hastened the collapse by a few years

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    LibertyMike,

    I agree that simply being a doctrinaire libertarian is not sufficient to make one a non-credible source, and Rothbard did make good observations about the Reagan Presidency -- but there is a difference between a polemicist and an academic historian.

    D'Souza, Noonan, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Monica Crowley are all to varying degrees polemicists and pundits. So is Rothbard. I would rather read something by Rothbard than by any of the other people on that list, but he is what he is. I mention Lou Cannon because, not only is he an academic historian with a very good reputation on this topic, he also does not share the political biases of the conservative movement (he's a New Deal democrat). Citing him is akin to citing Orlando Figes' work on the USSR's early years in a discussion of the topic. Both are credible secondary sources in a way that Rothbard and the rest of that list are not.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Cali,

    Communism was bound to failure, but it wasn't bound to collapse in the way that it did. To use an example, no one thinks that N Korea is a success story -- but we would all be very surprised if it dismantled itself in an entirely peaceful manner. Very few people thought that the USSR could be dismantled in the way that it was. Reagan was one of those people, and his predictions of what would happen if his policies were implemented were right on the money.

    Correlation =/= causation, and you can argue how much Reagan's policies actually contributed to the results, but there was a correlation and a successful prediction. In the context of the pie-in-the-sky promises of OIF, an accurate prediction from a US President on foreign policy is something that I miss.

  • Killazontherun||

    SU maintained an empire whose lines of commerce were in a constantly shifting dissarray. Their collapse was inevitable. Korea is a small hermit kingdom, they can be stuck in the stone ages without it effecting anyone outside of that culture. Its a terrible comparison.

    Reagan didn't predicate the collapse of the SU on a plan he layed out. He said the collapse was inevitable not that it was conditional..

    The defense build up he is credited for not only started under Carter but the budget and force readiness numbers the Reagan administration used were not changed. They carried out the plan as it already had been concieved under Carter. The Afghanistan invasion gave all the momentum the defense industry needed to get everything they wanted regardless who happened to be sitting in the oval office.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Killaz,

    As far as the historiography goes, Russia had periods which were every bit as isolationist as the Hermit Kingdom. The foreign policy might have had to go and some things might have had to change, but the USSR was perfectly capable of maintaining the Warsaw Pact together -- those were perfectly defensible borders, and it could have retreated into itself, coming out only to duel with its bugaboos in the West. In fact, many of the hardliners wanted to do just that during Glasnost.

    Reagan predicted a collapse no matter what. Lots of people did that. What he did that was controversial was to predict a *peaceful* collapse based on the strategy that he pursued, and that prediction was borne out.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hold the Warsaw Pack line when reforms in Eastern Europe meant the economies of Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany were going to outstrip Russia? No, the Kremlin saw the writing on the wall and knew that path of trying to control events with an iron hand would have been political and likely very real suicide.

  • SIV||

    Bullshit In the 1980s no one but Reagan thought the USSR could fail. A democrat would have subsidized communism for the sake of "stability"

  • Calidissident||

    "Bullshit In the 1980s no one but Reagan thought the USSR could fail"

    Really? Reagan was the only one? Ludwig von Mises predicted half a century before that the USSR would fail (and why). And even if Reagan predicted that the USSR would fail, that doesn't mean he caused it.

    "A democrat would have subsidized communism for the sake of 'stability'".

    Perhaps, even then, that's a pretty low bar to get credit for.

  • Zeb||

    Didn't Reagan Illegalize LSD while governor?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No. There was a bill to criminalize LSD during campaign season as a response to a murder (IIRC; it was some sort of violent crime). All of the candidates for governor released a statement in favor of the bill -- unsurprising, since it was one of those SAVE THE BABIES laws. The bill was passed into law by Reagan's predecessor.

  • SIV||

    LBJ signed the 1966 law making LSD illegal under federal law.There was a bunch of other good stuff outlawed by the same act.

  • sloopyinca||

    In all seriousness, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If people are gonna give Michelle Obama shit for her fucked-in-the-head "War On Obesity", Nancy Reagan should get shit for her "War On Drugs" bullshit from the early 80's.

  • Libertymike||

    How about giving her shit for her hideous cankles?

    It is so funny to see a petite woman (I think she was mostly a size 2-4) with god awful fat ankles.

    I once had a girlfriend who was about 5'4 and a buck ten with great abs but she sure had some cankles.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not a foot guy. I can ignore unattractive ankles.

  • dinkster||

    Procrustes had the solution you seek.

  • Sevo||

    "Nancy Reagan should get shit for her "War On Drugs" bullshit from the early 80's."

    I seem to recall that she did;
    'Nancy's going to end poverty. She's started a "Just say no to being poor" campaign'.

  • SIV||

    Nancy deserves shit but "Just Say No" was probably the least objectionable aspect of the "War on Drugs".

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Drug war's been around for over 150 years, it's just increased in scope and funding.

  • SIV||

    99 years by the US government.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I like to start counting from the First Opium War, just for the people who think Ron and Nancy cooked up the Drug War in between seances.

  • SIV||

    The Opium wars were against prohibition.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The First Opium War was the English getting pissed that the Chinese had burned $20,000,000 worth of opium.

  • SIV||

    So they fought and won a war to freely trade opium to willing Chinese buyers. The opposite of prohibition.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It was more about balancing the cost of the tea they were purchasing from the Chinese, as well as opening ports for their use. John Quincy Adams believed that the opium was not even a legitimate casus belli and that the real cause of the war was to allow the British East India Company to open up the Chinese markets for their goods.

    But anyway, the ultimate reason I cite to the Opium Wars is that one of the results of the Opium Wars was that the Chinese immigrants to America introduced opium here, which led to our first moral panic about "evil Orientals" luring innocent children and women into lives of sexual slavery and degredation with their demon opium and the outlawing of opium dens in 1975.

    A tenuous link, but it's there.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Her astrologer did.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    These control freaks are the sick ones. I want their heads examined! I call for a sanity intervention for everyone of these motherfuckers. I'm convinced their brains are diseased.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Statists are content with turning over the War on Drugs from cops to MPH's, who, seemingly for the most part, are basically cops with medical degrees .

  • ||

    I wonder if he feels contempt for the fools that shill for him no matter what he does, or if he condescendingly favors them like little retarded children.

  • Sevo||

    Fool or knave? Probably fool; not bright enough for knave.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Obama seems to feel contempt and loathing for everyone, including himself. He's the ultimate alpha, in that way.

  • Jerry on the boat||

    I think he gets a kick from trolling us. He probably wonders how far he can take it.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Obama loves all the little children of this nation, no matter their ages. He hugs each of them to his breast as they cry in awe and love. One day he shall hug each and every one of us tight enough to end our suffering forever.

  • Irish||

    Praise him, for the father is risen.

  • ||

    "I will love him, and hug him, and squeeze him, and I will call him George."

  • sloopyinca||

    We all know that hugging can be fatal.

  • sloopyinca||

    The aftermath?

    Read it and weep.

    FTA: The officers, who were suspended with half pay after the December 2011 incident, will return to work with the Royal Grenada Police Force and be reimbursed for their lost salaries, said Anselm Clouden, a lawyer for one of them.

    and

    Oscar Bartholomew, 39, was allegedly beaten into a fatal coma by the five officers after he hugged a female plainclothes officer he’d mistaken for a friend, his relatives said. The Toronto resident was in his native country to visit family for Christmas.
    According to Grenadian media reports, the officer yelled “rape” when she was hugged by Bartholomew, and the other officers jumped him. He died 24 hours later in a prison cell, the Star reported.

    Fuck, man. I don't even know what else to say.

  • Irish||

    Didn't police officers beat a retarded man to death in America for almost no reason one time? I feel like you posted something about that.

  • Generic Stranger||

    One time?

  • sloopyinca||

    "All I wanted was a Snickers" were Otto Zehm's last words.

    There was actually a story on it today. A cop is going to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges from his false testimony in the grand jury where the officer that started the beating could have been indicted for manslaughter or murder. Based on that false testimony, no charges were filed, although the feds did convict him on "civil rights violations" and he was locked up for four years.

    The cop that helped him in the grand jury is being forced to retire early, pay a few hundred dollar fine and will not serve a day of jail time.

  • sloopyinca||

  • SusanM||

    "...he felt “threatened by a plastic bottle of soda the victim was holding.”"

    It's a good thing he didn't have the snickers in plain view.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, some guy in LA sometime in the last year or so, I think.

  • ||

    I have often thought that guys like the king of shitweasels and televangelists must be extremely jaded. I am pretty sure, in the beginning anyway, they must know they are shoveling complete bullshit, then they watch people eat it up like it is manna from heaven. What must that do to your head?

  • American||

    As long as parents lack the ability of the willpower to control their children, and we have drugs on our streets, we will have a drug war. Parents want it and they are willing to pay taxes to support it. It will only end when the culture swings back to the point at which a drug war is unnecessary because strong families and social pressure will prevent serious(crack, meth, ect)drug use from being the massive problem that it is. Socialism failed at being a substitute for private business, now it has become a substitute for family.

  • I Dug It||

    Parents want it and they are willing to make us pay taxes to support it.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Oh great, fuckbucket is back. at least he's using his own damn name, this time.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Sup bro? How is that subscription to Blacks on Blondes working out for you?

  • American||

    There's one big problem with your idea. It won't work at that temperature because silicon is less electronegative than hydrogen.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I think saline looks more natural.

  • Calidissident||

    Marijuana is illegal, and it's hardly a massive societal problem (even ignoring the fact that the WOD does nothing to stop kids or anyone else from using it)

  • Jordan||

    "Focusing on Prevention and Neuroscience, President Ends Reagan's War On Drugs."

    Shriek writes for NewsOne?

  • Irish||

    They're getting their talking points mixed up. I thought all the drugs were legal and no one ever got in trouble until evil Richard Nixon made the drug war.

    Now it's Reagan? I'm confused.

    Well, thank God they at least refrain from attacking congress, since it was controlled by Democrats that entire time.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It sure would have been embarrassing if liberal icons like Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson had been behind the push to make the War on Drugs a federal issue and to escalate it in the House and the Senate.

  • Libertymike||

    The Republicans controlled the Senate from 1981-1987.

  • Irish||

    We also did some crazy shit internationally that was related to drugs, and most of that was the result of the president's foreign policy.

    Regardless, the Dems were on board the whole time and frequently called for drug war escalation and mandatory minimums, facts which have gone right down the left wing memory hole.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Which in no way contradicts what I said.

    Is this just part of the libertarian penchant for vehement agreement?

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I thought that the official start of the WOD was the Controlled Substances Act passed under Nixon. Reagan certainly made it a priority more than his predecessors had, but I wouldn't say he started it.

  • Irish||

    It was Nixon. I think Democrats are trying to pin it on Reagan now because at least Reagan had a Republican Senate. If you pin it on Nixon, you have to deal with the fact that the Democrats controlled both houses of congress when the law passed, and the Democrats don't want to take any responsibility.

  • SIV||

    I'd mark the official start as Wilson signing the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.

  • I Dug It||

    To the contrary, such coercion promotes true liberty by freeing people from the slavery of their addictions.

    My eyes have been opened! I love Big Brother!

  • gaoxiaen||

    Prison is Liberty.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_n.....r-on-drugs

    Steven Benen over at the Maddow Blog concludes that there's no reason to see increasing Republican support for Obama's plan...Oh, except for the fact that the GOP already has leaders who are willing to go all the way to legalization on drugs and not on some lame excuse for a third way like "treatment", but whatevs.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    *"no reason not to see", I mean

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I swear, reading this makes it sound like Obama has been on the vanguard of drug policy reform instead of the timid, Johnny-come-lately who got dragged, kicking in screaming by the real leaders on this issue...Ron and Rand Paul.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I thought that Ron and Rand were racists who wanted blacks bound up and serving whites, as is the case in every free market.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    And Benen won't pass up an opportunity to knock down Rand. I think, if memories serves me correctly, that he was a proponent of the "Rand is just chasing black helicopters!" narrative of the March filibuster.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not sure I'd call Rand a real leader on this issue.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    There's a lot to be desired, but unlike Obama who views this as a public health issue, Rand has the right perspective by viewing it as a criminal justice/civil rights issue.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't know if I'd say the GOP has "leaders" who are willing to legalize drugs. Rand Paul is one of the most (if not the most) anti-WOD Republicans, and he's pretty mushy when it comes to legalization, and he's not in leadership either

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Irish||

    HM, I think you have a problem.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Satyriasis?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Priapism.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    His problem is that he likes big, greasy, asses.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fair enough.

  • Calidissident||

    And yet you married an Asian woman

    (I know, I know "RAAACIST!")

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I know, right?

  • Virginian||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....kHGLkCYnMY

    Can anyone translate this shithead? I know he's lying on an Obama level, but I'd like to know exactly how bad.

  • Paul.||

    He appears to be a sweaty crank junkie they pulled off the street.

  • Virginian||

    He's actually an Argentine cabinet official.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    When I get off work I'll watch the vid and provide a paraphrase.

  • Paul.||

    Awesome. I would like a translation. My spanish is hella rusty and weak, but it appears that he starts to answer her second question, backs off, indicates he doesn't know the answer, and then someone steps in and takes over, sending his sweaty ass back on the street.

    Now I'm really curious. I'm doing the rewind-listen-rewind-listen-rewind-listen...

    If anything, my espanish will be eslightly estronger by the time I'm done.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    "How high is real inflation?"

    A: Official stats of the Argentinan Ministry of Economics document inflation in the country, and are the only office entrusted with the mandate and technical ability to measure inflation.

    "But how much is it?"

    A: [Hemming and hawing] I think it's 10.2% annual inflation according to the latest report. I could be wrong.

    "What are you going to do about IMF sanctions for flawed statistics?"

    A: I repeat... can you cut for a second?

    1:35 time:

    I want to go. I want to go and what's more, talking about inflation and stats in Argentina is complex, OK? I'm sticking to my answer and want to talk about something else.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Let me know if you want the lady who comes after paraphrased, as well.

  • Paul.||

    A: [Hemming and hawing] I think it's 10.2% annual inflation according to the latest report. I could be wrong.

    Nice job. I'm embarassed that I never heard the number given.

    I want to go. I want to go and what's more, talking about inflation and stats in Argentina is complex, OK? I'm sticking to my answer and want to talk about something else.

    Ok, I thought that's what he was saying, I definitely heard him say that something was complex or "too complicated". So my spanish isn't quite as bad as I thought it was.

    Thanks for the xlation trouser.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No problem.

  • Boisfeuras||

    He appears to be a sweaty crank junkie they pulled off the street.
    He's actually an Argentine cabinet official.

    Where do you think Kirchner found him?

  • Paul.||

    My spanish is rusty, in the first answer, he didn't answer her question directly, verified by her asking "but how much is it" at 0:40.

    What he said in answer to the second question is spoken too quickly and his accent is difficult for me to grok.

    He started with "i think that" then he said something about "cumulative 12 months", and then cumulative annual, but fuck if I ever heard a number. But she switched her question which makes me think that somewhere in there, he gave her a number.

  • Paul.||

    Ha! It looks like after the woman who took over for the guy responds, the interviewer seems frustrated that no one knows or can answer her questions. That much I was able to get from her spanish which is clearer to me.

  • Calidissident||

    Here's what I got (Immaculate Trouser, help me if I got something wrong, which I probably did)

    He says at first that the level of inflation measured by the government office is the only possible inflation rate. When she asks him how much it is, he says that in the past twelve months, it's been 10.2%. Then, apparently he was tired and so the meeting was interrupted. He then says that the statistics in Argentina about inflation are "complejo" (complex). I didn't fully understand the last thing he said, but I think he said something along the lines of "I prefer to go with the last answer I gave you"

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's pretty good. Are you the guy who went to Argentina on a business trip?

  • Calidissident||

    It was a college trip (I'm a business major) but yeah. Learned all about how shady, burdensome, and incompetent their government is

  • Paul.||

    "I went to Argentina once... everyone seemed to just be sitting around-- it was beautiful!"

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Good times. Quite scary to see where a great country with wonderful people can end up with the wrong policies, no?

  • Paul.||

    Is this like how Clinton ended Homelessness?

  • Irish||

    Or how LBJ ended hunger and poverty before Reagan cut food stamp funding by 5%?

    Now there are poor and hungry people because of 1 billion dollars cut from food stamp programs 30 years ago. Thanks, Reagan.

  • sam the man||

    Only been commenting for a month and I already contributed to an article, I feel accomplished.

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