Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Ignorance of American Drug Policy (RANT)

RE: CNN's Lemaitre: Those who still see drug problem in U.S. as a 'war on drugs' are living in the past

I think it is Lemaitre who is living in the past to OUR detriment.

If you still honestly believe Drug Prohibitionist polices are good for the US or the World I am BEGGING you to please take a deeper look. I promise you that you are holding onto inculcated biases and factual errors. Inquire again with an open mind and really listen to what people like LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition are saying. Read up on the History of Drug Prohibition and how the entire program began as a Racist movement and became a Political Tool. It had nothing to do with Health or Safety or Science, in fact the Science was flat-out ignored. And don't be swayed by overly simplistic raw statistics - demand a full and complete picture of the data.

We all have anecdotal stories about how we have been affected. I have lost three family members to drug related deaths. How can I possibly be FOR Drug legalization then? Because I cared enough to look beyond the surface appearances and I hope you will also. Two of those deaths were alcohol related and another due to dirty needles and an inability to get clean and relatively safe drugs. Every one of these three deaths was preventable, not by making drugs MORE illegal - but by legalizing them, Regulating the market appropriately, and getting treatment to those in need (not heartless incarceration). I can walk down the street RIGHT NOW and buy a wide array of illegal drugs if I was so inclined, their current illegal status hasn't made us more safe - it has, in fact, made the world a much more dangerous and violent place.

Go Read the report of the 1972 Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse: Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding. This makes it clear that they understood to a good degree the horrible consequences prohibition would have and the Nixon administration ignored the recommendations in order use drug law against his political opponents. A CSDP Research Report with a deeper look into the actions of Nixon.

Go Read the On Drugs: Report Of The Global Commission On Drug Policy, June 2011: Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption. Apparent victories in eliminating one source or trafficking organization are negated almost instantly by the emergence of other sources and traffickers. Repressive efforts directed at consumers impede public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS, overdose fatalities and other harmful consequences of drug use. Government expenditures on futile supply reduction strategies and incarceration displace more cost-effective and evidence-based investments in demand and harm reduction.

'Global war on drugs has failed,' key panel says. Commission criticizes US approach and argues that governments should end the criminalization of drug use

Please listen to what these experts are saying. Don't just assume you have all the facts (or even enough facts), strive to learn more.

And REALLY look and think about what happened with Alcohol Prohibition. Look at how it fueled and funded massive Organized Crime which caused corruption to run rampant as well. If we had never had Drug or Alcohol Prohibition in this country MILLIONS of innocent people would still be alive today. There is no difference between Alcohol Prohibition and our current Drug Prohibition in this respect except that Drug Prohibition has been TEN times the failure of Alcohol Prohibition. The scale of money that has been funneled to cartels, organized crime, violent criminals and terrorists is unimaginable and unprecedented and the levels of corruption resulting from this have been devastating around the world. TRILLIONS of dollars have gone into the hands of these criminals because of our Drug Policy.

We have GOT to stop punishing millions of innocent people for the drug addiction of a relative few. It is an absolute myth that all drug users become abusers. Drug abuse is PRIMARILY fueled by self-destructive drives of the individual who is most often self-medicating their emotional (and sometimes physical) pain. To take someone who is suffering and HEARTLESSLY throw them in prison rather than trying to treat them is an abomination.

Why not let that money go to LEGITIMATE business people who actually care about their customers health (so they don't pollute and poison the drug supply as they would be regulated as well) and all taxes to help fund actually helping that small percentage that have abusive relationships with drugs? And I'm not suggesting a WIDE-OPEN legalization, but a scaled one based on Scientific findings of actual harms (e.g., Cannabis is FAR less harmful than either Tobacco or Alcohol). On the other extremes, Heroin would only be available in a controlled fashion to those already addicted on the condition that they are treated.

And on the subject of treatment let's get far more aggressive with treatment and eliminate incarceration. Ibogaine could be used to treat most of the opiate addicts and could actually CURE many of them completely (in a course of psychotherapy with Ibogaine). But our ignorant drug policy currently has Ibogaine as a Schedule I drug.

There are so many lies misrepresentations of the truth in the Lemaitre response one hardly knows where to begin.

The assertion that we are making great strides against drug abuse is such a load of excrement that, once evacuated from his system, it must have left Lemaitre's head a complete vacuum.

As the War Noose tightens, drug use moves more underground and the statistics become less reliable. Current drug use statistics are also not accounting for the PLETHORA of new synthetic designer drugs that abound on the market right now (so-called Spice, JWH-*, etc). If you can go to the head shop and get a cheaper 'legal' high is it any wonder that cannabis use might drop a %? And new chemicals are coming out as fast as they ban them. Texas even managed a technical ban on Acetaminophen in a rather stupid attempt to categorically ban all such drugs.

If you insist on the government getting involved in the personal lives of citizens BEFORE THEY COMMIT ANY ACTUAL HARM (Drug policy is less justifiable than even thought crimes) then at least focus on real harms and look for real results.

"Each new generation of young people needs to be educated regarding the serious harms of drug use and how it can impair their ability to reach their full potential" -- yes they do and for that I recommend Erowid, ACLU, NORML, DrugWarFacts , or scientific reports on actual drug harms


  1. I found an excellent write up here: http://unitedstatesvmarijuana.blogspot.com/2011/08/dispatch-from-field-war-without-end.html

  2. There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others." - Harry J. Anslinger, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, testimony to US Congress supporting Marihuana Tax Act, 1937

    "…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races." - Harry J. Anslinger

    "Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men." - Harry J. Anslinger

    "You have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this all while not appearing to." - Richard M. Nixon, about the War on Drugs to Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, according to Halderman's diaries

    "Marijuana is taken by '.....musicians. And I'm not speaking about good musicians, but the jazz type... - Harry J. Anslinger, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 1948

    "Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death." - Harry J. Anslinger

    "Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind." - Harry J. Anslinger

    "In some districts, inhabited by Latin Americans, Filipinos, Spaniards and Negroes, half the violent crimes are attributed to marijuana craze. Dr. Lee Rice of San Antonio reports that eighty per cent of all the murders committed by Mexicans are done while the killers are drugged by marijuana." - The Christian Century (newspaper) - 1938

  3. Another article with good links to sources: http://www.alternet.org/drugs/retired-judge-reveals-surprising-rationale-americas-extremist-drug-laws

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