Drug War

Yes, the Drug War is in Practice Deliberately Racist and Classist


An interesting video interview from Brave New Films features former Drug Enforcement Administration agent and federal marshal Matthew Fogg, speaking from his experience about the class and race aspects of how the drug war is fought.

An excerpt from what he said on camera:

"When…we were setting up all of our drug and gun and addiction task force determining what cities we were going to hit, I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas.

That's when I asked the question, well, don't they sell drugs out in Potomac and Springfield, and places like that? Maybe you all think they don't, but statistics show they use more drugs out in those areas than anywhere.

The special agent in charge, he says "You know, if we go out there and start messing with those folks, they know judges, they know lawyers, they know politicians. You start locking their kids up, somebody's going to jerk our chain." He said they're going to call us on it, and before you know it, they're going to shut us down, and there goes your overtime.

What I began to see is that the drug war is totally about race. If we were locking up everybody, white and black, for doing the same drugs, they would have done the same thing they did with prohibition. They would have outlawed it. They would have said, "Let's stop this craziness. You're not putting my son in jail. My daughter isn't going to jail."

The phenomenon Fogg discusses is more ultimately about class than race, but the two are interlinked in America so thoroughly that's an understandable conflation.

The full video:

Read Matt Welch from the Feburary issue of Reason on "It's Not Just About Race, It's About Power." Previous Reason blogging on Fogg.

NEXT: How to Count the Defensive Use of Guns

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  1. Yet this will get next to no publicity compared to a couple asshole frat boys spouting racist crap.

    1. Hey! Some guys yelled some stuff!

    2. It’s actually fascinating to see this in action. An actual, recorded admission from a former DEA official that the drug war is prosecuted in an explicitly racist way (which has huge implications on exactly what the fuck the government thinks it’s doing with the drug war if it thinks that arresting white people will get the drug war shut down; it’s obviously not doing it for any reason even remotely related to people’s safety or their own good, but we already knew that) will probably get no publicity, but some frat idiots being dumb will be front page.

      It’s almost as if all the race-baiters don’t give a shit about actual racism and a perverted “justice” system and actually only care about getting to get in fights with their most hated enemies and nothing more. Almost.

      1. An actual, recorded admission from a former DEA official that the drug war is prosecuted in an explicitly racist way . . .

        Who the fuck is this guy? Another Jonathan Gruber basically.

        What he says means nothing because the people that the WoD profits will just spin his as some one-off crazy.

        1. The people who the drug war profits aren’t his intended audience, obviously. Most Ferguson protestors are unaware of him. I considered risking my neck going to Ferguson with a video display of Fogg, but couldn’t afford it. Instead, I promoted his youtube video while gathering signatures for LP ballot access in Chicago. If Libertarians didn’t have their heads totally up their asses, they would have been championing Fogg’s story for the past two years, like I have been.

          You see, socialist liberals play the race card because IT WORKS. It gets uncaring asshole socialists elected in Chicago, and has done so for many, many years. …But libertarians are too stupid, too comfortable, and too politically, strategically, and tactically inept to do the same, even though they’re the only ones who have any claim to playing the race card. …We actually have the facts on our side.

          But fighting hard means taking power away from sociopaths who are determined to keep it. …And we don’t pay anyone to take that risk, even though people are lined up to take the money, and make it happen. I’m one of those people, and for years, I’ve done a better job at it than anyone else. But I’m alone and waaaaay outgunned.

      2. It’s not like the idea that cops enforcing drug laws often act in racist ways is some idea that liberal journalists, politicians and academics haven’t covered quite a bit.

        1. Which would be admirable if their coverage didn’t inevitably castigate whites as somehow in the aggregate perpetrating a thoroughly racist form of prohibition, the solution to which requires re-education and bringing about parity in sentencing offenders. Rather than ending prohibition and giving cops and plebes that much less contact with which to generate friction. (And while we’re dreaming, disbanding police unions and engendering accountability behind the thin blue line.)

          No, argumentum bad policy must take the backseat behind argumentum white imperialist.

          1. You state this as if you were powerless to interact with the public and help reshape the narrative yourself.

            1. Was he not doing that in his post?

      3. Actually I think they do think it relates to public safety, but just that white or rich people are too entrenched to attack successfully at this time. That’s every “liberal”‘s fantasy: to get behind the little guys to the rich white people whom we can’t touch now.

      4. I mentioned Matt Fogg on the LP petitioning trail in Chicago to every person who would listen. By effectively playing the race card I brought many people into the LP, and that was with zero training dollars, and zero support from anyone else. There were a lot of people who listened. Imagine what the LP could do if they hired actual libertarians, and not idiots who allow their signatures to be thrown out (such people don’t bring anyone into the LP, nor do they advertise the LP in any attractive way. They part idiots from their signatures, and that is all. This is not “playing politics.”). Of course, Bill Redpath makes absolutely certain that the LP is “controlled opposition.” Much like Douglas Durham once did to AIM. Now, I’m not saying they’re both FBI agents, it could just be that Bill doesn’t know how to run an effective political party, or that everyone else on the LNC is even stupider (more strategically clueless) than he is. There’s a lot of evidence to support both theories, as there would be if he was a plant. It doesn’t really matter.

        1. ============Does Reason Employ Any Programmer Who Can Write a Script That Gives an Ongoing Character Count That Merely Truncates Comments With A “Read More” Dropdown Beyond 1,500 Characters? If Not, I Can Point Them In The Right Direction.====================

          Continued: …What does matter is that Libertarians pull their heads out of their strategically-uninformed asses, and read a few books on elementary political strategy.

          Most people in the LP get a “50/50” on philosophy, and a “0/50” on strategy, giving them a failing grade on running a political party. If there wasn’t a Libertarian Party, it would be necessary for small-L libertarians to gain ballot access in all 50 States (assuming they wanted to impact politics with a financing mechanism that real-people actually understand how to interface with). However, if there’s an existing “Libertarian” choice that can’t seem to do anything right, then Libertarians are just a “losing philosophy.”

          Far from it. Talk to any of the libertarian activists who have been fucked over by the LP and their idiotic management, and you’ll eventually get to someone who can give you a clear picture about why the LP fails, fails, fails, and then keeps failing. Big-L Libertarians only fail because they’re afraid of success, and want to fail.

  2. What’s you do to the site!?

    I LIKE IT.

    1. We fear change.

      1. Only bills will do.

  3. I’m just glad Obama came along and ended all this entrenched institutional racism in federal law enforcement.

    1. Obama came along and ended all this entrenched institutional racism

      Obama is the grand wizard of entrenched institutional racism.

      1. To hundreds of mostly black people in Chicago, I mentioned Matt Fogg, and this video, often writing it down on the cards I handed them. If anyone was willing to part with training dollars, I could have taken an entire State Legislative district with this message. But nope! I had to fight just to retain a tiny piece of the statewide contract, against Daryl Bonner. (All of whom’s signatures were thrown out for breaking IL election law.)

        The LP is terminally stupid, and criminally strategically inept. These are the people who espouse my philosophy and have gained ballot access in all 50 States. They prevent ballot access from simultaneously putting State Legislative Candidates on the ballot in every state. When paid petitioners act as VOLUNTEERS and double-circulate both State and Federal petitions, they get fired by Bill Redpath and replaced with mercenaries.

    2. “I’m just glad Obama came along and ended all this entrenched institutional racism in federal law enforcement.”

      Yep, makes me happy that someone else voted for him.

    3. Obama likes Nixon. He uses the same IRS tactics Nixon did.

      “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

      “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks” Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, “The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

  4. Rand Paul has stood up and said as much, yet the progtards call him a racist. You can’t fix stupid.

  5. . . . former Drug Enforcement Administration agent and federal marshal Matthew Fogg. . .

    And yet when he saw this, he *still* didn’t have any problems doing it.

    As a matter of fact, it doesn’t look like he actually started to *opposed* it until he retired – when he was no longer dependent on that drug war paycheck.

    Its damn hard to get a man to understand something when his livelyhood is dependent upon him not understanding it.

    So, while its good when an evil person comes around, its damn hard to accept the change isn’t also motivated by greed and personal gain.

    1. Anyone who would do the job in the first place is pretty much already a scumbag. Which is why we pretty much never see LEOs that decry the system right after they’ve gotten into it and have seen what it’s like. Nope, it’s always after at least years if not after retirement.

      1. Anyone who would do the job in the first place is pretty much already a scumbag

        This. At this point, why does it matter how much lower you can go? You kill a thousand people, what’s a million? All progressives would agree.

    2. True, but so what? The opportunity afforded by Matt Fogg is immense. He’s done more to end the drug war with these videos than thousands of idiotic strategically-inept libertarians have. Glad to have Fogg on our side. Let’s move forward and not be dipshits and waste the opportunity. Everyone should be singing his praises from the rooftops, because he proves what we’ve always said was true.

      Let’s unite around the goal of keeping people out of cages, not convincing Bill-of-Rights-supporters that they have to be anarchists or “Austrians.” Tell two people you know about voir dire, make sure they understand the implications of it, and tell them to tell two more.

      We only live once, but maybe if we can get these government tax-eaters off of our backs, we can live longer and better. Seize the opportunity, before the drug warriors seize your car, home, and bank account.

  6. I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas.

    Well, Marshall Fogg, if you want boost or strong-arm the money you need to feed your habit, and have phone numberavailable to call for a ready re-supply, living in an urban area makes perfect sense. The druggies aren’t so stupid. Heroin addicts do not generally live in the wilderness for a reason. Those that do probably have money and don’t commit crimes against their neighbors and local storekeepers.

    1. They ain’t busting as many heroin dealers as they are busting pot smokers.

      1. Why would a fed be involved with a user at all?

        1. DEA agents arrest users – *most* of their arrests are users. Use/possession is still a federal felony.

        2. I don’t know enough to rebut that. Sounds a bit crazy though, even for the USA. We have some lawyers on board at H&R.

          1. Bar-licensed attorneys fall far short of Giles Jacob’s ideal of “Every Man His Own Lawyer.” …Spooner proved that.

            The very last people on Earth who know anything about a solution to the drug war are defense attorneys. Even when they comprehend the power of jury independence, they’re too chickenshit to advocate it in court, and lose their precious licenses. (All apologies to exceptions like Clay Conrad, who wrote the book on the subject.) …Just like a modern “court of star chamber.” This is why Spooner fought against bar licensing as the worst of all evils, isolating the practice of law to the privileged classes.

            And, let’s face it, most attorneys are also a few neurons short of being engineers of any kind.

        3. It’s their snitch recruitment program.

    2. You’re a fucking idiot. First of all, he said “Silver Spring” Maryland. He was talking about heavily-populated white suburban areas that consume tons and tons of drugs. In fact, given equal usage rates such white areas consume far more drugs than blacks in black areas. The way it works in Chicago is thus: There are often cars backed up on the freeway exiting to buy heroin at a “spot” like Central and Maypole. The police bust the spot, and the low-level dealers are sent to prison, given criminal records, etc.

      Two weeks later, the spot is back in the same location. The very last thing the police want to do is get the drug money out of the inner city, or get the drugs out of society. If they did that, they’d be out of a job. But riding herd over blacks? Stealing rich whites’ cars and property?

      They’re all over that!

  7. Does anyone else find it extremely stupid that the left hates on libertarians more than anyone else about being racist when in fact libertarians are the most vocal opponents of racism, and that unlike so called liberals, they are actually sincere?

    1. Dude, that’s precisely why they hate on libertarians so much. Because libertarians usually put their money where their mouth is. Partisan fuckbags hate it when anything points out that they’re always more interested in partisan fighting than actual results or helping anyone. That all their rhetoric is bullshit designed solely to distinguish between TEAMs and nothing else.

      1. The progressive method is to put your money where their mouth is.

      2. True. People don’t react violently to winning an argument. They react violently to losing an argument. When we can take the moral high-ground with facts on our side, we win, and the National LP has to figure out a way to prevent us from winning elections by accident.(The best way to do this is to fire or blacklist LP activists who simultaneously circulate State Legislative petitions, often for free, while being paid to circulate statewide petitions. Ask Bill Redpath and Scott Kohlhaas about why they told the inept Sean Haugh to do this in 2008, and then wouldn’t accept phone calls asking why he did it. The LP lost 5 State Legislative candidates because of this, in PA, a state with difficult ballot access laws.)

        State legislative races are winnable. Double-circulating is doable. Yet, the LP’s #1 “go-to guy” REFUSES to double-circulate, yet is placed on the rehire list above a dozen or so dedicated LP activists.

        The LP is actually a means of identifying and neutralizing dedicated libertarian activists. If it were not, we would be winning individual freedom all across the USA.

    2. There is no bigger closet racist than a white progressive. I used to have a sales job where I’d do a lot of work in inner city Chicago and a lot of my liberal friends acted like I was wandering around a warzone.

      You know who never gets shot in inner city Chicago? White people who are there in the daytime. I wouldn’t want to be in the same area if it were after dark, but it’s perfectly safe in the day, provided you’re not actively engaged in gang activity. Apparently my super-duper anti-racist progressive friends are convinced that being near the scary, urban black people is practically a death sentence.

      1. “There is no bigger closet racist than a white progressive.”

        It isn’t just racism.

        I was at Occupy Denver, where I experienced the absolute joy of being told a female economics journalist didn’t know the true definition of capitalism, and was not as qualified to teach a crowdsourced class on economics as the white male philosophy professor.

        I’m a Texan, and frankly, a lifetime of dealing with middle-class rednecks had never given me such troubles.

        1. Occupy: People who can’t manage a decent campsite teaching you how to run the world.

          1. Disagree! And I speak from experience. Do tell, I’d love to hear what you base your opinion on.

            1. Hamster of Doom|3.9.15 @ 11:32PM|#
              “Disagree! And I speak from experience. Do tell, I’d love to hear what you base your opinion on.”
              I’m not arguing, but what was your experience?

              1. I lived on the ground at OD for months, handling their on the ground correspondence. I attended GA because I had to (I was reporting on it, after all) but my heart was with the encampment. Very different people, encampment vs committees. I considered it an education in human nature.

                GA and committees were almost entirely made up of people who saw themselves as the bureaucrats of the New And Improved World Order. We did not get along well.

                The encampment was another story. Those people, I still have their back. And vice versa. .

            2. My daughter spent a couple of weeks across the street from an occupied park. Her evaluation was that Boy Scouts were far better at camping. They at least knew how to bring their own food, prepare it, and clean up after. They can also keep themselves and their equipment clean without appropriating the restrooms of nearby businesses. She told several of the friendlier Occupiers they would benefit from a Hunter Education class.

              You’ve already commented on their world-running techniques.

              1. Indeed. Pardon the test, but I do find a lot of morons thinking they read a few MSM articles ergo they are experts on Occupy. I was there, and tend to find such opinions dickwaddish. I did not spend three months in a sleeping bag on frozen concrete in a Rocky Mt winter so some random douche who spent that time in his house could tell ME what really happened at Occupy.

                And you are broadly correct. Occupy had no idea what they were doing in re camping. City kids, doing city kid shit. OTOH, at Denver, the people living in the encampment were mostly not the same city kids trying to “run” things through GA and the committees.

                I found that dealing strictly with the encampment was the most productive, as these people wanted problems solved right now. When was dinner? Where was it coming from? Do we have enough bedding that everyone will be comfortable? Where is the nearest place to have a pee?

                And then you had the GA and committees. Idiots and progs, the lot of them. I could tell you stories.

      2. In “Chicago Gun Violence: Big Numbers, But a Surprisingly Small Network”, researcher Andrew Papachristos constructed social networks based on who was arrested with whom, which turned out to be about 170K people (less than 6% of the population of Chicago). The largest network in that collection of networks consisted of 107K people. He then analyze fatal and nonfatal shootings in Chicago and found that “70 percent of all shootings in Chicago, or about 7,500 out of over 10,000, are contained within all the co-offending networks. And 89 percent of those shootings are within the largest component.”

        So as long as you’re not part of one of those co-offender social networks, your chances of being shot goes down.

      3. Funny story. …And, even the ones who aren’t afraid of being in the city are the most racist people on Earth, because they still advocate voting for the prison industrial complex, even though they’re in the majority. They could steadfastly refuse to vote for any drug warrior, and stop putting poor black people in jail. …But they secretly believe that surplus order “keeps the negroes in line.” Like Doug Casey always remarks, it’s like an episode of “Jaywalking”

        …There’s nobody more regressive than a progressive!

        For an interesting story, a professor I once had (also in Chicago) told me about serving on a jury. He found someone guilty of cocaine charge, because he was too stupid and servile to say “not guilty.” Then he smoked pot with his students. I guess he never bothered to think about the fact that someone has to supply the illegal drugs to him for his use. That’s the kind of servility and stupidity you’re dealing with when talking to one of “Milgram’s 40” (I refer to the first study, when all 40 went past the first noises and objections, and 26 went all the way to “450 volts”), or “Hitler’s willing executioners.”

    3. “when in fact libertarians are the most vocal opponents of racism”

      I guess you haven’t read some of the threads here dealing with race…

      1. I guess you haven’t read some of the threads here dealing with race…

        Not to worry, Bo. They were Republicans in Libertarian’s clothing.

      2. Dead people don’t know they are dead, but everyone else does.

        Being stupid is the same.

        1. Bo is stupid and a progtard, it’s now plain to see. And a fucking kid (according to him). There isn’t any reason to pay him any heed.

          I was a leftoid in my youth until the unrelenting stupidity that I saw in my life with regards to government drove me to libertarianism. Enduring dealing with forest service little hitlers started it off.(Certainly not all USFS folks as I had great dealings with many in the agency). But those reasonable people are retired or purged.

          I worked on a salvage timber sale in in Idaho east of Boise, harvesting bug killed doug fir. Tens of thousands of acres of dead trees. Helicopter logging, getting some value out of a resource that would have eventually burned. No ponderosa pine was to be harvested. An extra heavy load of logs knocked over a 30 foot tall ppine with no commercial value and the smartass pilot made a smartass remark and a USFS puke who was listening on the radio shut the job down because he could. He was a temp and low level and got a God boner over a joke, was a triggering moment. Revenue was around 30 grand a day back then for our company (93) and this pissant prick thought he was striking a blow for Gaia. So we were shut down for a couple days over a joke by some low level douche who probably never got a USFS job because he was an idiot.

          Ironically we had a private job on a ranch a few miles away so we just moved over there and logged that job and went back to the USFS site with very little loss of production.

          1. Great story. Reveals the sociopathic “idealists” for what they are. Added to the deep file.

    4. Libertarians want to give people the means to help themselves. That’s mean and ignores all the privilege that white people have, and slavery, and segregation, and we just don’t get it. Pointing out that other ethnic and racial minorities have managed to overcome entrenched historical prejudices and achieve more or less parity with white anglosaxon protestants just further proves how much we don’t get it.

      Progressives want to give other people’s money to minorities so that they can live the lives progressives think they should lead, or else. Pointing out how blatantly demeaning this is and that decades of such efforts have made the problems worse in many ways just proves how much we don’t get it.

      1. And here is the thing – I don’t get it. I haven’t walked a mile in a black man’s shoes. I don’t know what types of challenges that person faces. But I believe that every single human being has the power to overcome adversity and achieve great things. Some people definitely face a harder road than others, but I believe in them enough to think they can still walk it, and I believe in the rest of the American people enough to believe that they’ll help others walk it if given the chance.

    5. I have a friend who’s a teacher in NYC schools.

      We talk politics every now and then. It tends to not go well – except for on the subject of ‘education choice’ as it relates to improving the lot of poor urbanites… its one topic that he fundamentally understands and agrees that the union dominated status quo is the worst enemy of improving education for the poor…

      …but i’ve often pointed out that “issue #2” is how the Drug War is ignored by the left (or tolerated) and he’s gotten uppity that “libertarian ideals about legalization would devastate ‘these communities'”….I point out that the Drug Was has itself “devastated these communities” and that the Feelgood handout policies of liberals have done nothing to actually help the poor.

      The more we talk about the issue, I increasingly find that that liberals actually suffer from an deep seated *fear* of ‘the poor’. So much of their “aid” rhetoric, the longer you pick at it, devolves to… “but if we *don’t* give them lots of free shit…. chaos! they might turn on us!” So they often excuse Tough On Crime policies as ‘necessary’, while simultaneously engaging in very-public chest beating/hair rending about the ‘unfair racism’ of it all. I’ve found similar attitudes when discussing the massive waste inherent in medicaid, food stamp policies etc…. where, when all the actual evidence piles up showing how inefficient they actually are, they just exclaim, “We’ve got to give them *something!* or they’ll riot!!”

      1. Where are these liberals you guys are talking too? Polls show that support for marijuana legalization, for example, is highest among liberal Democrats, then Independents, then Moderate-Liberal Republicans and Moderate-Conservative Democrats, and last conservative Republicans.


        1. Roughly one our of four conservative Republicans supported legalization, roughly 3 out of 4 liberal Democrats.

        2. Why, you’d almost think that liberal-run cities like NY and Chicago would be rushing to liberalize their drug laws.

          Of course, there’s never any gap between stated preferences and actual behavior. Polls are magic.

          1. “Polls are magic.”

            No, what’s magic evidently are Gilmore’s anecdotes!

          2. Why, you’d almost think that liberal-run cities like NY and Chicago would be rushing to liberalize their drug laws.

            Plus no liberals are even discussing liberalizing the laws for harder drugs. How could they? These are the same people who think the government needs to step in to stop poor people from eating too much sugar and that we need higher cigarette taxes to stop people from smoking, so they’re never getting on board with decriminalized meth.

            1. Liberals are MORE likely to support legalizing hard drugs than conservatives (though the numbers are low for both)

              “the idea of legalizing other drugs draws little support across the political spectrum. While Republicans tended to favor legalization the least, support among Democrats and independents didn’t reach 20 percent for any drug and was lower for most.”


              1. Apparently liberals are also vehemently “Anti-War” too. Until they take power.

                They really do say the nicest things.

                1. Almost amazing that they do so without collapsing in laughter!

            2. Y’all need to stop picking on those poor democrats. I mean they SAY they want to legalize things even though they had complete control of the government and couldn’t be bothered to do anything about the drug war.

              Ya bunch of racists snowcones.

              1. Can we agree that both Team Red & Team Blue support philosophically & ethically incoherent polocies?

                I cant speak for Bo, but I often get the impression that the criticism here in the comments is focused on critique of Team Blue. Sure, they control the executive, but I live in a Team Red controlled state where I am regularly reminded of the vileness of both parties.

                Reason is one of the best web mags out there, and the exception to the general rule of the internet that website comments are poisonous, navel-gazing malarkey. It would be a great loss to see the comments degenerate into the partison bloviating that infects every other political site on the internet.

        3. Which is why none of us are talking about weed. Gilmore is specifically talking about legalization of hard drugs, I was talking about guns, and we both pointed out the tendency for the left to essentially argue that welfare is a protection racket that stops the poor from mugging us.

          Of course leftists are more in favor of weed legalization. Now ask New Yorkers their opinions about people being harassed for selling loosies. I have a slight suspicion you’d get a different answer because they’re completely inconsistent and unprincipled.

          Incidentally, it should be noted that weed is a drug that upper middle class white people enjoy. Of course they want it legalized. It’s interesting their zest for legalization doesn’t extend to things that poor people use and rich people don’t.

          1. Weed’s a pretty big part of the WOD. And, would you like to bet if we dug up a poll on other ‘harder’ drugs we’d find the numbers of liberals approving decriminalization higher than the number of conservatives?

            1. Yes, but if we dug up a poll regarding cigarette taxes (which have created a de facto black market in New England and New York) or outlawing guns we’d find the exact opposite.

              There are like two things that are currently illegal which progressives would like to make legal and about 7000 things that are currently legal that they would like to outlaw. The fact that most of them are right on weed just makes the disconnect between their pot arguments and every other aspect of their philosophy more glaring.

              1. So by ‘hard drugs’ you meant…cigarettes? Come on, Irish.

                1. No, you come on.

                  Jesus H. Christ. On average, libertarians are more sympathetic to conservatives than progressives because

                  1) A lot of libertarians started off as conservatives
                  2) Across a broad range of issues, there is more overlap, or at least more common rhetoric, between libertarians and conservatives than libertarians and progressives.

                  1) and 2) are actually related.

                  We get it. You don’t like SoCons and neocons. Neither do most of the people here. You aren’t original. You haven’t pointed out some profound truth. You haven’t put anyone in a gotcha moment. You haven’t proven how smart you are. All you’ve done is manage to turn off like-minded libertarians (like myself) because you are so, damn, obsessed with trying to prove to everyone here how secretly conservative they are and how you are not. So mission successful. Now just stop it.

                  1. Bo is young and comes across as a child stomping his feet when the narrative doesn’t fit his views. A few decades of living might change his mind…it is possible.

                2. You are so fucking dense I’m not entirely sure light can escape your gravitation.

                  No, Bo, I didn’t mean cigarettes. I’m using multiple examples to illustrate a point, and your grotesque inability to see me making multiple simultaneous arguments proves nothing.

                  1. Even if liberals are ‘more likely’ to support hard drug legalization than conservatives, you’re talking about maybe 10% of self-described liberals as opposed to 4% of conservatives. Woop dee do. All we need to do is convince another 60 million Democrats to support legalization and we can finally have one major party on our side! Huzzah!

                  2. While talking about weed legalization, progressives are working their way towards outright criminalization of cigarettes (which I believe will occur at some point in the next couple decades) and want to use the power of the state to stop people from eating unhealthy food.

                  These are two separate arguments, both of which happen to be true.

                  1. Not only cigarets, but vaping apparatus too, apparently regardless of what’s being vaped, as long as it’s not cannabis. It’d be one thing if they just had something against tobacco, but it seems to be against inhaling anything with just 1 exception AFAICT.

                3. Well, and 33oz soft drinks, and…

          2. I truly believe that legalizing pot would result in a drop in the use of hard drugs.

            As it is, it’s fairly easy to find someone who will sell hard drugs. All you have to do if find a pot dealer. That’s your gateway to the black market. From there you go up the chain a bit, and before you know it you’ve got access to cocaine and heroin.

            Same idea with being introduced to hard drugs. The guy behind the counter of a pot boutique is as likely to offer someone cocaine or heroin as the guy behind the counter at a liquor store.

            So if marijuana was legal and sold like beer, the average pot user would be much less likely to be introduced to hard drugs, and the average hard drug user would find it more difficult to get a fix.

            However…. The police know this. They do the same thing. Only instead of looking for a score, they’re looking for a bust.

            Take away the ability of the police to shake down a street level pot dealer, and they’ll find it harder to bust people who deal in other drugs.

            This tells me that they don’t give a whit about actual drug use, or they’d support closing the gateway to the black market. They care about job security and the thrill they get when they toss a grenade into a crib.

      2. So you’re saying that these people…what’s the word…project their own prejudices and inner behavior on others while actively trying to prove to the world that they’re not thinking that way?

        1. “So you’re saying that these people…what’s the word…project their own prejudices and inner behavior on others?”

          Its almost like a liberal constantly accusing everyone else of being “right leaning”

          1. It’s funny, that just seems to me to be a child running around trying to get attention, and not understanding why they’re being ignored because they’re too socially retarded to get it.

            “Pay attention to me!!!” (knocks over glass of milk)

      3. The more we talk about the issue, I increasingly find that that liberals actually suffer from an deep seated *fear* of ‘the poor’. So much of their “aid” rhetoric, the longer you pick at it, devolves to… “but if we *don’t* give them lots of free shit…. chaos! they might turn on us!”


        I heard two leftists talking at work who seriously argued that if we didn’t give poor people welfare money they’d all start mugging people and there’d be more crime. Basically welfare is a protection racket – got a nice society here, be a shame if you stopped paying us off and something were to happen to it.

        Given that poor people in America tend to be disproportionately non-white, I wonder what this says about their real view of black people as opposed to the view they project in polite society.

        1. I think ‘protection racket’ is legitimate part of it…..

          …but a lot of it is I think something of a mental code they use to *justify* their own elevated class-status. its like a balm they apply to give themselves ‘permission’ to be privileged. Its a panacea for class-anxiety.

          I spent a number of years focusing on ‘ethical consumerism’, and the core driver of people spending money on “organic” this and “earth friendly” and “dolphin free” other thing was nothing to do with the actual substance of the product…. so much as it was “justifying indulgence” on moral grounds. The more they spent on these “socially conscious” products, the less guilty they felt about their relative ‘wasted wealth’ on other things. Because even though they were ‘middle class’…well, they were the *good kind*.

          A lot of progressive politics is so much similar self-absolution. By yelling about the “1%”, they absolve themselves of their own relative class-superiority.

        2. That was the unfortunate lesson taken from the race riots of 50 yrs. ago: Hey, here’s an idea?maybe we can buy these people, and their leaders, off.

        3. Given that poor people in America tend to be disproportionately non-white,

          That isn’t true overall, it is only true in urban areas.

          Of course, prog-ness is a particularly urban malady. Point out white poverty in rural areas and the prog will eventually drop the “redneck, bible-thumper” line or the stupid “What’s the matter with Kansas” trope.

          This is the basic trait of Tony and shreek; they couldn’t stand their idiotic progressive ideas getting trumped by rural reality so they moved to an urban environment so they could be in a prog mob instead. Bo with his constant fear of so-cons seems pretty much like them.

      4. I just straight out call these people racists. I point out that they literally want to put black people in cages. I hit them with the true facts of their uncaring support for sociopathy, and if they don’t change their mind, after acknowledging the facts of the situation, I insult them and have one fewer “fair weather friend.”

        Much like abolitionists refused to be friends with slavers in the 1800s, I suggest that if you take your philosophy seriously, you will refuse to associate with those who believe you, and others not “like themselves,” should be put in cages.

        This advocacy of ostracism existed long before Molyneux, and was far more intelligently advocated by the abolitionists. This doesn’t mean “cut them off” if they don’t instantly change their minds. It means cut them off if they admit all of your supporting arguments are right, and that it’s immoral to initiate force against people, and then still want to hang out with you while supporting the barbaric enslavement of the community they “teach.”

        Every single person in the USA could afford to use cocaine once or twice, and go on to careers as lucrative as the presidency. That’s a TRUE FACT. If cocaine and heroin are legalized the only change will be that fewer people overdose due to wildly-fluctuating dosages.

    6. Whenever someone says “disadvantaged” I hear “inferior.”

      1. You need a dictionary then.

        1. It’s the same thing. The only difference is that by saying “disadvantaged” instead of “inferior” you’re shifting the blame. “Disadvantaged” means racist capitalists are holding them down!

          But either way the message is the same: you can’t do anything without a helping white hand from government. But it feels a lot better to support that helping hand because you feel that they are oppressed by outside forces than because you feel that they are inferior.

          Now if someone says that minorities shouldn’t get that helping white hand from government, then they’re racist. They support the racist capitalists who are holding those poor minorities down!

          1. Clearly the two are synonymous in the mind of the Left. Remember, you can only have Equality of Outcome with Equality of Opportunity, and you can only have Equality of Opportunity if you have complete and total Equality of Wealth. So if two people start out life with $1000 separating them, then they will forever be doomed to have an inferior and a superior. This is the entire dogma of the modern Left.

          2. A trope I particularly despise in media is Your White Jesus. Y’all recognise it. Planet/Ecosystem is in trouble. Your White Jesus descends fro on high and, in a matter of days or weeks, masters years of the noble savages’ training and not merely excels, but surpasses them. Then he uses his White Jesus power for good to save the practically-perfect-in-every-way and yet totally helpless natives.

            Avatar. Ferngully. I rear up and hiss every time I see this trope.

  8. Want to know what’s really ironic about this?

    If we had the strict gun laws progressives want, they would be enforced in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reason.

    This is why we’re fucked. Conservatives refuse to acknowledge this is happening while progressives just want to replace the War on Drugs with a War on Guns that will effectively be waged in exactly the same way.

    No matter who wins, this is therefore bound to happen, it’s just a matter of whether drugs are the excuse in a Republican administration or guns are the excuse in a Democratic administration.

    1. “If we had the strict gun laws progressives want, they would be enforced in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reason.”

      Indeed. The late conservative criminologist James Q. Wilson once wrote about how the great thing about Massachussets gun laws were that you could stop and frisk people and lock up the ones that had concealed guns, which he assumed probably had other warrants out on them.

      1. Many gun rights activists on Usenet (Christopher C. Morton being one example) actually make the point that strict gun laws “would be enforced in exactly the same way and for exactly the same reason”.

      2. Of course he’s also presuming that the people who have carry licenses in Massachussets’ discretionary system (the politically-connected) won’t be dressed like the kind of folks who need stopping and frisking.

    2. We have to start learning to point out to them that this political position is called “totalitarianism.” We have to learn to ask them, in conversation and debate, if they enjoyed the book “1984.” If they say they did, then ask them, point blank, “Did you sympathize with Winston and Julia more, or O’Brien and Big Brother?” If they say the former, don’t let them hold onto their fucked-up Stalinist views. Point out how many people Stalin killed. …Even if it makes you less popular, and gets you invited to fewer parties.

  9. And why the fuck are there even such things as “drug laws”?

    1. Because we know whats best for you, peasant.

      /The aristocracy

    2. That is a serious question. I can give you two reasons:

      1) parents of children under 12 yo are in almost universal agreement that their children with not use illicit drugs and want law enforcement, a service they already pay for, to help them stop it.

      2) property owners know that obvious drug use (including alcohol) lowers the value of property in their neighborhood. A home is the biggest investment they have. They don’t want the value of that home to plummet.

      Reason 1 is immutable. The reason 2 is the low end of the housing bubble in a nutshell. Home owners, no matter how deeply they are leveraged, will still treat the bank’s property as their own. Fantastic.

      1. There are drug laws & drug laws, so I’ll address the ones targeted at stopping people from using drugs for enjoyment (whether they say so or not). I analyzed this in an article in Nomos ~30 yrs. ago, and concluded something very different from what I believe drives most public policies about most things. I concluded that the great majority of support for the narcotics laws comes from people who are kept in a medical-legal fog by a relatively small number of people who support the policies out of sadism.

      2. This is why there are drug laws:

        “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

        “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks” Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, “The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

        1. There you go! Perfect reply.

  10. This reminds me of an incident in HS where six white guys got busted dealing pot and pills on campus. All the guys were popular and came from middle to upper middle class families. A few of them were on the football team and a few were in AP classes. When the shit hit the fan the police came in and arrested them at school, it was a huge show. The word around campus was they were all being expelled and would spend some time in jail. Fast forward two weeks, they were all back at school and none of them got anything more than a slap on the wrist and a verbal undressing by a judge. If that had been a group of the Mexican kids I attended school with they would never have set foot on that campus again, and I believe they would have gotten a bit more than a tongue lashing from the court. Lucky for them they were “good kids” from “good families” and not some punk cholo’s from the hood.

    1. This may be true for juveniles in high school. Adults will get prosecuted no matter what country club their parents belong to.

      1. CatoTheElder|3.9.15 @ 10:09PM|#
        “This may be true for juveniles in high school. Adults will get prosecuted no matter what country club their parents belong to.”
        I’ve yet to see evidence of that in the Bay Area. Got any cites?

      2. Really? How many Hollywood celebrities/sports stars/politicians go through rehab after rehab without ever seeing the inside of a prison.

  11. One of the few (and I mean few) issues where libertarians and liberals actually significantly agree is on the drug war and legalization, especially in that the WOD has particular harms for minority communities. It’s also one of the areas that conservatives resist our point of view the most. The upshot? Most of the people posting on this thread complain about the stupid liberals.

    Incredible. You guys have gone off the rails and essentially have turned your political philosophy into just
    being reflexively anti-leftist.

    1. A similar area was police brutality. During the whole Ferguson, Eric Garner thing the headlines on Reason H&R and Think Progress were significantly overlapping. Meanwhile on TownHall and such there were defenses of the police and attacks on the ‘Dem politicians’ that were throwing the cops ‘under the bus.’

      So of course, most people here attacked the conservatives, right?

      LOL, no, no, no. They attacked the ‘progs’ because even though they agreed with us that the police actions were unjustified they seemed more concerned about the racial aspects than the governmental power ones. Well of course!

      1. I recall seeing a number of people here posting articles from the New York Post and mocking them for their cop fellating ways.

        And whenever I post an article about conservatives being shitheads, Reason posters agree with me that conservatives are being shitheads.

        You have very selective memory.

        1. It was a lot more derision about ‘progs’ than conservatives, which of course is the same for everything. On most other issues though it makes at least some sense, but when you’re talking criticisms of cops it’s not even close.

          1. Stick around sparky, when the reps gain total control again the comments will more than likely go that direction. (Like during the halcyon days of the Bush admin.)

            Of course, a lot of the derision of progs is because of how nakedly hypocritical they are in just about everything.

      2. Dead people don’t know they are dead, but everyone else does.

        Being stupid is the same.

    2. The leftists support ending the drug war because they are libertines, not because they are concerned with human liberty

      1. Who cares? It’s not like we get lots of agreement about most of our issues from large chunks of either two parties. Let’s not look gift horses in the mouth.

    3. Someone else can deal with Bo; not me.

    4. You mean liberals like Barack Obama, who snickered dismissively at the question of legalization during his YouTube town hall?

      Or liberals like John Hickenlooper, who for months after said that Colorado voters were stupid and short-sighted for approving Prop 64?

      1. Pot is to liberal politicians as spending is to conservative politicians – a subject the politicians don’t actually give a fuck about but which matters to the base.

        Conservative voters want less spending and the Republicans refuse to give it to them. Liberal voters want liberalized pot laws and the people they vote for claim they’re stupid for back-talking their intellectual superiors.

        1. I think Irish’s answer nails it.

          Of course Democrat pols are worthless on this issue. I’m talking about the regular people.

        2. I say the WOD is a progressive policy. If you really mean ‘liberal’ as in liberal, that’s obviously wrong.

          The progressive dream is that some inner-city Black kids will score a perfect 2400 on their SAT test, from across the country, just the like three Chinese kids did from one Arcadia High School. We just need to provide the oppressed with the proper learning environment, free of drugs, and other distractions.


          Ain’t gonna happen. I don’t want it to. I am OK with the diversity.

          1. The WOD is a progressive policy. Sure, DEA was a Nixon project, but its funding has increased in every single administration since. However, the original WOD legislation — the Harrison Narcotics Act — was proposed by the progressive Democrat Skull-and-Bonesman Francis Harrison, passed by a progressive Congress, and signed by the progressive Woodrow Wilson. Prohibition, another progressive agenda item, passed shortly later. The Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, during the progressive FDR administration. It was shepherded through Congress by the racist, progressive prohibitionist g-man, Harry Jacob Anslinger.

            So, yeah, the WOD has a solid progressive pedigree.

            1. Mandatory minimums were introduced by beloved liberal Democrat Tip O’Neil in 1986. He explicitly said that he wanted to outflank Reagan on the drug issue, which had become an issue after Len Bias OD’d on coke.

    5. I’m a huge lurker on these pages but for goodness sakes your pedantry is ridiculous.

      Now that I got that out of the way, the left gives lip service when it comes to decriminalizing drugs because it’s easier to march and protest then to actually do something about the issue. I’m from Chicago and I bet dollar to donuts if I ran for Mayor with an R or L next to my name and promise to decriminalize weed and other drugs (it’s a stretch because of the federal laws) they wouldn’t vote me at all. All the mayors who have ran and won have received major donations from the police unions and the libs that lived in the city and vote knows this. When the libs especially in the urban areas stop voting for candidates who take money from the police unions then things willa ctually change.

      1. You’re not going to get anywhere with this little dipshit. Save the wear on your keyboard.

        1. Perhaps he needs to do more squats.

          1. An excellent suggestion.

    6. The progressives (I hate to use the word liberal to describe people who are not at all liberal) see it as a race issue. They don’t see it as a liberty issue. If the WOD was applied equally to whites and minorities, the the progressives would have no problem with it. Same with cops killing people. If the cops killed minorities in proportion to the racial distribution of their neighborhoods, then the left wouldn’t care. The left care more about who (principals) is being impacted than why (principles).

      1. Exactly. I had a friend who was protesting shutting down Lake Shore Drive and I told him perhaps his efforts would be worth more if he saw this as a freedom and liberty issue as opposed to a racial issue. He kind of gave me a blank stare and that’s pretty unfortunate because he shows passion but directs it wrongly.

      2. Socialists. Aside from genitalia there’s really nothing ‘progressive’ about what they believe in unless you count progress as ever more government.

    7. Agreed. We should unite with leftists on this issue, no matter how stupid and evil they are on other issues. We should unite with them on jury nullification, and point out that the only “deal breaker” is not supporting jury independence (nullification of victimless crime laws).

  12. I do not doubt this guy’s story, even though he is a DEA Special Agent, which makes him disreputable in my estimation. However, his story is not a good argument for legalization.

    There is a huge problem with this line of argumentation: the drug warriors can just prioritize resources to sweep up and convict poor and working class whites to get a quota.

    The drug warriors do have incentives to prosecute the easiest targets, but they are just as happy to arrest and convict a white girl as a black man.

    The war on drugs is wrong because it violates fundamental human liberty, both directly and indirectly, not because its enforcement has a disparate impact on certain minorities. Even if the disparate impact could be eliminated, the war on drugs is an outrageous violation on basic human liberty.

    1. Where in the constutition is a right to do drugs enumerated?

      1. The 9th. And also, you are thinking about it in the wrong way. The Constitution is a limiting document. The correct question is “Where in the Constitution is the government granted the power to criminalize drugs?”

        And of course, the actual enforcement of the WOD necessitates the violation of pretty much every single portion of the Bill of Rights.

      2. Also, Cato never mentions the Constitution. Your question assumes that the Constitution is a perfect protector of fundamental human liberty when it clearly is not.

        1. Have you heard of Washington v. Glucksberg?

          1. Congratulations, you managed to address none of what I said.

          2. “Have you heard of Washington v. Glucksberg?”
            Have you heard of “You’re an Ignoramus”?

      3. I assume you’re being sarcastic?

      4. Michael Ejercito|3.9.15 @ 10:59PM|#
        “Where in the constutition is a right to do drugs enumerated?”

        Sorry if someone already addressed your idiocy, but its in the same clause as the “right to eat a hotdog at the ballpark”.
        How stupid are you? Obviously stupid enough to post that comment.

      5. Your rights don’t HAVE to be enumerated.

        Also, if you want drugs to be made illegal there’s a mechanism for that built into the constitution. The progressive retards of the early 20th century understood that. Too bad their kids/grandkids didn’t.

  13. The phenomenon Fogg discusses is more ultimately about class than race


    “About” implies cause. The effect of the WoD can easily be seen as inherently racist or classist. But the cause, as Fogg clearly points out, is Public Choice theory. The Police State is incentivized to perpetuate itself. And that means generating objective results. And that means arrests. And that means you go after the easiest targets.

    Saying that it’s “about” class or race implies that the motivation of the average jackboot is that they disdain coloreds or poor people. I don’t accept that that’s the average. I do accept that they firmly believe in their own righteousness, that and means enforcing the law (whatever law), and that means showing results, and that means going after easy targets.

    1. Good point.

      Its worthwhile noting that while effects of policies might be called ‘racist’ or ‘classist’, the reason they become that way isn’t because of those things being prime motivators.

      1. Oh yeah?

        “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

        “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks” Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, “The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

  14. Jesus Christ. I’ve been gone for a week, and he’s even worse than before.

    1. The Corrizo Plain is worth the trip, just so you know.

      1. Isn’t that where it usually gets the most rain.

        1. Professor Higgins would have it that way, but he hasn’t been there.

      2. Did you go last weekend?

        We had some good weather last weekend, and supposedly even better this weekend.

        1. Toward the end of the week a week-plus ago; return from a bizz trip, and a rental car is the tool for a 20-mile ride on a gravel road.
          Weird quasi-development, and I’d love to hear the story. See here (enlarge to see it if required):
          Several square miles north of Soda Lake is marked off as if it will be city blocks. And driving north, there are street signs next to Soda Lake Road, just as if they labeled the non-existent streets heading off, straight as an arrow through the tumble-weed. Very strange.
          And then, a good bit of the north end is now photo-voltaic solar ‘farms’; your tax dollars at work via one rent-seeker or another.
          Still, the scarp on the east side is as clearly visible as any I’ve seen, the east-side gullies are all shoved north at the bottom; very clear visuals of the fault movements.

          1. Are those the same farms that were generating power at night?

            1. If the tech were economically workable, that would be a location from which to make money. There’s some blowing dust, but there’s scant fog and the mountains to the west scrape the cloud cover off, so you’re going to get sunlight as best you’ll find.
              So *IF* p-v were ever to make money, this might be the place, but I have two questions:
              1) I live in SF; the heart-land of concern-trolling, and I don’t recall a single mention of covering that amount of ‘pristine’ landscape with solar farms, nor any hint that someone might not like the associated grid towers near a ‘national monument’.
              2) Those p-v cells cover (guessing) several square miles of desert floor formerly heated by the sun X-hours of Y-days per year. Those square miles are no longer being heated that way, and that is a ‘ton’ (3100 pounds!) of heat that is now directed elsewhere. Which desert lizards are suffering and don’t the greenies care about the childrunz?!

              1. They’ll be fine…

  15. And right on cue Cracked has an article on being a CI for the pigs. How fucking useless and evil it all is.

  16. There is no peak derp, just as there is no peak oil, exhibit #3,793,201:
    “Backers of failed S.F. soda tax propose warning labels on ads”
    “San Francisco would become the first city in the country to require warning labels on advertising for soda and other sugary beverages”

    Beautiful place and the proggies have yet to make it uninhabitable, but it’s not for lack of trying.

    1. I’ve only been there briefly but the strongest memory for me is the near-overwhelming smell of urine mixed with pizza.

      1. Mostly urine, depending on the neighborhood.

        I thought you lived close by?

        1. I’m in the Northstate but not within easy distance of SF. I haven’t been there in years. Ironically I’ve been to Santa Cruz and San Jose more recently than SF.

          1. I consider both of those places easier to get to than SF.

  17. determining what cities we were going to hit, I would notice that most of the time it always appeared to be urban areas.

    Well, duh!

    1. most of the time it always

      If it’s not apodictic, it’s got to be contradictory, huh?

      1. Robert, I guarantee you will not win the pedant award here if someone chooses to challenge you.

        1. I mean, Bo already has that award all sowed up.

  18. the original laws were written by very racist people. before moving on, consider liberalizing laws on the plants that powder extractions come from. laws against plants conflict with science, medicine and reason.

  19. “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks” Haldeman, his Chief of Staff wrote, “The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

  20. It certainly is. But on the flip side, it’s not rich (or for the most part white or Asian) people who are committing drug related murders, either.

    Violent crime is going to attract law enforcement attention and resources. Inner city first, the rural areas, then finally rich people/suburbs.

    1. Prohibition crime is always attributed to the substance prohibited.

      And who is most attracted to becoming a distributor in a prohibition regime? The poor.

  21. I think it’s more classist than racist.

    I live in a relatively poor rural area. About 8 years ago I was the target of a drug raid made up of Highway patrol and County police simply because I bought over the counter cold pills (because I have allergies).

    1. The only Claratin that actually works for me is the stuff I have to sign for due to an amendment to the PATRIOT Act that attempted to shut down meth labs. As I understand it, meth is imported from Mexico now. So, once again, Mexicans are taking away good American jobs.

  22. The drug war is really about being able to steal as much as possible, without being politically stopped from stealing as much as possible. That’s why blacks are targeted. Matt Fogg is right about this. However, the drug police still target poor whites and dissidents as well. Those who break the law and are servile are “caught and released,” often as snitches, sometimes just after being dominated, stolen from, and threatened.

    –The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave!–

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