… Read the rest
In my syndicated newspaper column this week, I follow up my recent Pando report about marijuana legalization by firing up the flux capacitor and taking readers back to the front lines of the drug war circa 2006. It is worth taking a moment to go a little deeper in this space, because there is a key “you gotta see/hear it to believe it” revelation that doesn’t fully translate in a written recounting of that era.
Back then, in a precursor of what was to come under President Barack “Choom Gang” Obama, President George W. Bush was intensifying the federal government’s specific crusade against marijuana, a drug Dubya had suggested he personally used. Yet, in their eagerness to demonize cannabis and make it seem uncool, Bush and the hard-core prohibitionists in his drug czar’s office accidentally admitted that marijuana isn’t all that dangerous.
Tag Archives | War On Drugs
David Sirota asks the fundamental questions about marijuana use that the rest of the media hasn’t thought to, at Pando Daily:
… Read the rest
Since my home state of Colorado legalized marijuana last week, the primary question I’ve been asked by friends, family and colleagues in emails, text messages and phone calls is some version of: “Are you high yet?”
I laugh along with the tongue-in-cheek queries. Look, I’d probably be ribbing my pals too if the shoe was on the other foot (er, weed was in the other bong?). What’s not such a laughing matter, though, is when the juvenile focus on getting high become the prism through which the national media caricatures our fight to finally disrupt, and ultimately end, the destructive drug war. When that happens, my state’s forward-looking attempt to answer some deadly serious criminal justice questions is flippantly marginalized as nothing more than a punchline for new riffs off “Half Baked” one-liners.
In a lengthy article for GQ Jason Kersten reports that “The Feds can’t see them. Or hear the digging. They don’t know how many there are or where they are headed. They know only that the tunnels are coming. And when they cross our border, when the soil gives way and the drugs start flowing, it’s already too late”:
… Read the rest
On a quiet night along the Tijuana border, you can almost hear them coming: the faint scraping of metal on dirt, falling clumps of earth, muted voices in the depths. At any given moment, there are men underground here, chipping their way toward the United States with antlike determination.
Many of the drug tunnels will be discovered and shut down before they’re operational, but it doesn’t matter; more will come. The economics are unassailable. A good tunnel can take nine months or more to build and cost up to $2 million, but if it can stay open for only a few hours, the cartels can move enough marijuana through it to satisfy entire time zones—making enough money to pay for twenty more tunnels.
It’s like a scene from Breaking Bad where Hank is absolutely convinced there are drugs stuffed up his suspect’s rear end. In New Mexico (natch), real life police subjected a man to eight searches, including digital penetration of his anus, three enemas, two X-rays and a colonoscopy. And they still didn’t find any drugs! Reuters reports:
… Read the rest
A New Mexico man has filed a lawsuit claiming police subjected him to repeated anal probes and enemas after a routine traffic stop because they suspected he was hiding drugs.
David Eckert, 54, claims violations of his civil rights in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico in August but not make public until this week, his lawyers said on Wednesday.
“This suit is about stopping officers and doctors from subjecting people in their custody and control to unlawful sadistic medical procedures that violate the most intimate parts of the human body,” attorney Shannon Kennedy said.
Gallup on new poll results revealing a dangerous drop in the number of squares:
For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana. And now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized. This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.
Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans’ tolerance for marijuana legalization. Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating.
This is how kids spend their days in school now – as suspects planted with drugs in simulated SWAT raids? Via Indiana’s Brazil Times:
… Read the rest
An 11-year-old student was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for treatment for “minor injuries” sustained following a bite from a Brazil Police Department K-9 officer at the Red Ribbon Awareness week kick-off event.
According to the report, the officer and his K-9 partner, Max, as well as another K-9 team carried out a simulated raid of a party with actors in place to help “educate the Clay County fifth-graders on drug awareness.”
He added the juveniles in the scenario met with officers prior to the start and were asked to remain still when the dogs searched for narcotics. A very small amount of illegal drugs were hidden on one of the juveniles to show how the dogs can find even the smallest trace of an illegal substance.
“Michelle Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture, in honor of the late George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African American professors at the University of Chicago.
“The Annual George E. Kent Lecture is organized and sponsored by the Organization of Black Students, the Black Student Law Association, and the Students for a Free Society.”
Esquire declares that the War on Drugs is over, and drugs won:
The world’s most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first “global snapshot” of four decades of the war on drugs. You can already guess the result.
To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time.
Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they’re also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
Via the Huffington Post, the militarization of our police can be turned back, and Radley Balko explains how:
… Read the rest
Today in America, SWAT teams are deployed about 100 to 150 times per day, or about 50,000 times per year – a dramatic increase from the 3,000 or so annual deployments in the early 1980s, or the few hundred in the 1970s. The vast majority of today’s deployments are to serve search warrants for drug crimes. The question is, how could the U.S. roll all of this back?
End the Drug War – Even decriminalization would take away many of the incentives to fight the drug war as if it were an actual war. Your average small town SWAT team would probably continue to exist, at least in the short term. But these teams are expensive to maintain, and without federal funding, it seems likely that many would eventually disband.
End The “Equitable Sharing” Civil Asset Forfeiture Program – Under civil asset forfeiture, police agencies can seize any piece of property – cash, cars, homes – that they can reasonably connect to criminal activity.
Perhaps to be on the safe side, we should prohibit growing plants in general. NBC 5 Dallas–Fort Worth reports:
A small organic farm in South Arlington is demanding an apology from police who raided the property in early August. Officers raided the Garden of Eden, a 3.5-acre farm, searching for marijuana in the gardens, according to search warrants. Police did not any drugs.
Quinn Eaker, a resident, told NBC 5 that the six adults who live at the farm were handcuffed when SWAT officers from the Arlington Police Department came to their home with weapons drawn. According to a statement posted on the Garden of Eden’s website, the raid of the farm lasted for an estimated 10 hours.
Code compliance officers mowed the grass on the property and removed wild, cultivated plants including blackberries and okra. Eaker said that the plants police mistook to be marijuana were likely tomatoes: “They can’t even tell the difference between tomato plants and a marijuana drug cartel.”