Tag Archives | War On Drugs

U.S. Government To Abolish Minimum Drug Law Sentences

Eric_Holder_official_portrait_smallFinally something to like about Attorney General Eric Holder? Politico reports:

Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on the federal government to rein its use of one of the most ubiquitous tools in the war on crime—minimum mandatory sentences—and he’s making a unilateral move to cut down on such sentences in drug cases even as Congress debates a broader rretreat from the once-popular sentencing concept.

“Some statutes that mandate inflexible sentences–regardless of the facts or conduct at issue in a particular case–reduce the discretion available to prosecutors, judges, and juries,” Holder is to say in a speech to the American Bar Association Monday in San Francisco, according to advance excerpts the released by the Justice Department. “They breed disrespect for the system. When applied indiscriminately, they do not serve public safety. They have had a disabling effect on communities. And they are ultimately counterproductive.”

Holder plans to announce that he’s instructing federal prosecutors not to charge garden-variety drug dealers with crimes that lead to lengthy mandatory minimum sentences.

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DEA Secretly Using NSA Eavesdropping Data For Drug Prosecutions

DEA

The phone, internet, and email data gathered by the NSA isn’t kept for terrorism investigations, but rather is secretly shared with law enforcement across the country for use in drug prosecutions and more. Prosecutors then pretend they acquired the information through other means. Reuters reveals:

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated.

The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.

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The Five Stages of Destruction as it Relates to America’s War on Drugs: “The House I Live In”

via chycho
drug arrests
At approximately 1:27:00 into the following amazing documentary, The House I Live In, reflecting on the work of Raul Hilberg , Richard Lawrence Miller provides a summary of the step-by-step process of destruction as it relates to America’s War on Drugs (relevant video segment follows the full documentary):

1. Identification – a group of people is identified as the cause of the problems in that society. People begin to perceive their fellow citizens as bad or evil. Their lives become worthless.

2. Ostracism – we learn how to hate these people, how to take their jobs away, how to make it harder for them to survive. People lose their place to live and are often forced into ghettos where they are physically isolated, separated from the rest of society.

3. Confiscation – people lose their rights, they lose civil liberties. The laws change so that it becomes easier for people to be searched and for their property to be confiscated, and once you start taking people’s property away, it makes it easier to start taking people away.

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How to Make Money Selling Drugs: The War America Keeps on Losing

How to Make Money Selling Drugs?

via Salon How to make money selling drugsAndrew O’Hehir

A slick documentary with a jokey premise argues that the “war on drugs” has been a soul-destroying disaster

Despite its slick packaging and overtly facetious premise, director Matthew Cooke and producer Adrian Grenier’s faux-educational documentary “How to Make Money Selling Drugs” packs a wallop. While imparting lessons about the economic realities of the drug trade – a thriving, booming and ever-diversifying realm of entrepreneurial capitalism, in spite of the massively expensive attempt to shut it down – Cooke’s film reminds us that America’s destructive global misadventures of the last 20 years have a corollary that’s every bit as bad right here at home.

If anything, the “war on drugs” has been even worse and even stupider than the “war on terror,” although they’ve become so intimately interconnected in moral, technological and philosophical terms that it’s not like we get to choose.

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Designer Drugs Make Government’s “War” on Drugs Redundant

4mmcThere are so many new synthetic “designer” drugs becoming available on the streets that governments just can’t keep up, reports the Guardian, concluding that “The war on drugs has not been lost, it has been made obsolete”:

The term “designer drug” became popular with the acid house and ecstasy boom in the 1990s, but it was never really accurate. The main ingredient in ecstasy pills – MDMA – was first synthesised in 1912 and began its life as a recreational drug in 70s California, years before it became notorious on the rave scene. The drug was never created for the party crowd, but the “designer drug” label stuck as the perfect phrase both to glamorise and demonise the fashionable new high.

There have been some genuine attempts at designer drugs through the years – where people have attempted to create new recreational substances to evade drug laws – but most have been abject failures.

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Out of All Drugs Legal And Illegal, Which Ones Kill?

Picture: William Rafti (CC)

Picture: William Rafti (CC)

If we were to have a sane and adult conversation about drug use and abuse in America instead of waging a war on drugs the same way we wage a war on terror, we might come to the realization that  we’re letting the bad ones in our homes freely while some of the most helpful to improving the quality of life of the average person carry some of the highest minimum prison sentences of all, while touting an infinitesimal number of related deaths.  Some of you may have read Thad McKracken’s well thought out article on the state of drugs in society today.  The numbers fall in lockstep with his thoughts.

It turns out that, aside from Alcohol, Big Pharma is the #1 killer  while drugs that have been used traditionally as entheogens hardly appear in the statistics at all.  Drugs like LSD, DMT, Marajuana, Peyote and other psychedelics are used as a religious sacrament in many belief systems around the world, but are vilified because of their tendency to provide people with what Terence McKenna simply called ‘funny ideas’.… Read the rest

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Happy 420!

via chycho

Cannabis_sativa_thumb

April is indeed one of the most exciting months of the year. On April 19 we have the pleasure of celebrating Bicycle Day, and on April 20 we follow it up with 420.

April 20 has been designated as global cannabis appreciation day. It is a day to let the world know that this beautiful plant genus is part of our society and one of the most important bounties of nature. As our civilization expands and evolves, it has become essential for us to recognize and celebrate this day and share the wealth and knowledge that comes from harvesting and consuming what we have so generously been provided.

As for how this day came to be chosen as an official holiday for the 420 community, in the following 2002 interview, Steven Hager, at the time the editor-in-chief of High Times magazine, explains its origins.

The earliest use of the term began among a group of teenagers in San Rafael, California in 1971, calling themselves the Waldos, because ‘their chosen hang-out spot was a wall outside the school’.

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Police Kill Woman Fleeing Drug Warrants

Emily_Josephine_KrumreiI feel safer now, don’t you?

Via Information Liberation:

A police officer in the suburban Dallas community of Richardson, Texas, shot and killed a woman with outstanding drug arrest warrants as she fled from an attempted traffic stop Monday morning. Emily Krumrei, 32, becomes the 9th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

Emily Josephine Krumrei (Smith County SO)According to the Dallas Morning News, citing Richardson police spokesperson Sgt. Kevin Perlich, an officer “was attempting to get a violator to pull over in a parking lot” for reasons that are yet unclear, but Krumrei fled in her Lexus. Shortly thereafter, an officer in a squad car saw her and attempted to stop her, but she refused to pull over.

Krumrei turned onto the southbound frontage road to the North Central Expressway. There, Perlich said, “a third officer near the frontage road was working a traffic accident.

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The House I Live In Takes a Hard Look at The War on Drugs

America’s longest war? The war on drugs. And many contend that it’s the most unsuccessful war as well. For the past 40 years, the war on drugs has resulted in more than 45 million arrests, $1 trillion in government spending, and America’s role as the world’s largest jailer. Yet for all that, drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available than ever. From director Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight) comes an unflinching look at how the War on Drugs has disproportionately disenfranchised, incarcerated, and impoverished African Americans. Trailer below – the film debuts on PBS on April 8th. For some more clips, visit the Independent Lens site.
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