Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

Pertinacious Tom

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City of Oakland Joins World's Largest Pot Shop To Fight Feds

“In July of 2012, a civil forfeiture notice was taped to our front door, and we were shocked,” says Harborside founder Steve DeAngelo, “because our model has always been about legal compliance and responsibility."

...

“Nobody, including U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, has ever made any allegation that Harborside has violated California laws regarding cannabis—nobody,” states DeAngelo plainly.
I guess someone probably should have told him that guilt or innocence doesn't matter in civil asset forfeiture cases. There can be no question that his property committed a federal crime and is thus subject to forfeiture. The fact that no human is charged with any offense is completely irrelevant.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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A corporation can be charged with a crime.

Here's the federal instruction sheet on charging them.

So in addition to a new, parallel system of civil laws and a new set of constitutional amendments, we'll need to rewrite the whole criminal code.

Amazing that we got along for so long without anyone realizing the need to completely reinvent our legal system.

I still don't believe there is such a need. I think pre$$ corporations just want their monopoly on freedom of the pre$$ back. F them. Whoever they are.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Drug Task Force Launders Tens of Millions, Makes No Arrests

...After laundering the cash, police would skim a three percent commission fee, ultimately generating $2.4 million for themselves.

Notably, the Tri-County Task Force never made a single arrest. The task force countered that assertion, claiming they passed on intelligence that led to over 200 arrests made by other agencies. But a representative from the DEA said, “There’s no way we can validate those numbers. We have no idea what they are basing those numbers on.” Tellingly, “the task force did not document the names of the 200 people who were arrested,” according to The Miami Herald.

Thanks to the commissions from money laundering, the task force could indulge in a lavish lifestyle. Officers enjoyed $1,000 dinners at restaurants in the Miami area, and spent $116,000 on airfare and first-class flights and nearly $60,000 for hotel accommodations, including stays at the Bellagio and the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and El San Juan Resort & Casino in Puerto Rico. Police also spent over $100,000 on iPads, computers, laptops and other electronics, bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee for $42,012 and even purchased $25,000 worth of weaponry, including FN P90 submachine guns. (Bal Harbour, a seaside village of 2,500 residents known for having the nation’s top sales-generating mall, reported just one violent crime in 2012.)

Initially, to gain seed capital to conduct the sting operations, Bal Harbour tapped into equitable sharing, a federal asset forfeiture program....
Once again civil asset forfeiture abuse funds the drug war. And once again the drug war seems to cause more crime than it prevents.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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The NY Times Corporation $peak$

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.

The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.

...

We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.
Not long ago, you could only read such a thing from insignificant libertarian corporations like REASON, much like advocacy for gay marriage and 2nd amendment rights.

I'm glad to see the Johnny-come-lately heavy hitters like the NY Times Corp $peak out on these issues. It would be nice if they called out Obama as well as Congress. I looked into drug rescheduling a while back and came away with the impression that either Congress or the President could unilaterally reschedule marijuana. The links were lost with the disappearance of the Americans Terribly and Systematically Misled About Marijuana thread.

The implication of the NY Times Corp's last sentence is that Obama would legalize marijuana if only the do-nothing Congress would let him. That ignores his record of enforcement against cannabis dispensaries and the continued federal war on pot under his administration, as well as the fact that he has the power to reschedule marijuana and admit that it has medical uses.

It's the do-nothing Duopoly. What the NY Times Corp is asking them to do is give up some power. You don't get that by asking. You get it by voting differently.

 
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Pertinacious Tom

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jzk

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Drug prohibition kills at least 10,000 people each year, is the basis for half our prison population and has help decimate our inner cities.

All in the name of trying to prevent a few more people from freely becoming drug addicts?

WTF?

The basic rule is that when government comes to "help" it fucks everything over.

 

jzk

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How to light an economic fire of prosperity to our decimated inner cities:

1. Legalize drugs.

2. Eliminate the minimum wage.

3. Make welfare undesirable.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Dionne Wilson Asks A Good Question

...Wilson, now a program associate at Californians for Safety and Justice, was married to Dan Niemi, a San Leandro police officer who was shot and killed while on duty in 2005. Wilson says that at the time, she was a conservative who believed in how the U.S. criminal justice system worked. But although her husband's killer was caught and convicted—he's now awaiting the death sentence (a fact which Wilson says brings her no joy now, though she pushed for it during his sentencing)—coming to terms with Niemi's death eventually changed Wilson's perspective. "I was really wrong about how our system works," she told the crowd yesterday.

The then-23-year-old who shot her husband, Irving Ramirez, had been in and out of incarceration since he was young, mostly for drug charges such as meth possession. When Niemi showed up about a noise complaint, Ramirez was on probation—and carrying two handguns and some drugs; he shot her husband because he didn't want to go back to jail.

At first wondering why he was ever let out in the first place, Wilson now wonders why he had to go in. "I can't help but think how my life would be different, and my children's lives would be different... had we passed Proposition 47 years before," she said, referring to the California ballot measure passed in November 2014 that reduced most "nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes" from felonies to misdemeanors.

"I don't think that anyone can tell me that had we invested in people over prisons, my husband wouldn't be here today."

...
 

Pertinacious Tom

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Delusion with Job Security

"You can't fight markets," says David Shirk, associate professor of international relations and director of the Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego. "When a market reaches a certain size, you can't fight it."

Joe Garcia, a deputy special agent with the Department of Homeland Security and head of the San Diego Tunnel Task Force, would beg to differ. He and his colleagues have spent much of their careers doing just that, discovering more than 200 drug tunnels under the California-Mexico border since the inception of the task force in 1990.

"We want to make it so unattractive to do the type of work that they do, that they'll go somewhere else," says Garcia.

Garcia and his team are skilled at discovering tunnels and filling them up and have garnered favorable local press coverage on a number of big drug busts. But despite these high-visibility wins for Garcia's team, a recent report from the California Attorney General's office paints a picture of a California-Mexico border that's leakier than ever and reports that California has surpassed Texas as the nation's top methamphetamine entry point.

"For every mile of fencing we put up, for every extra thousand or ten thousand border patrol agents that we throw into the area, there's always some trafficker or some organization out there who's figuring out how to maneuver around those obstacles," says Shirk, who contributed to the Attorney General's report.

Garcia acknowledges that the team's initial approach felt a lot like "playing whack-a-mole," with a new tunnel popping up every time they shut an old one down. So, the team shifted its strategy and began targeting the heads of the organizations funding the tunnels, which reflects a broader shift in the U.S. war on drugs. Government efforts to systematically eliminate cartel leaders promptly destabilized the region and led to some of the worst bloodshed in the country's history.

"It was when the government decided to take on drug traffickers that the drug war became a literal war," says Shirk....
You can fight markets and make quite a career of it. You just can't WIN.

But since winning would destroy job security, maybe that's a feature, not a bug, in the system.

Plug a tunnel, another appears. Stop a SCUBA smuggler, they'll use a different boat, submarine, airplane, whatever.

Go after the leadership, new cartel leadership appears. Quite possibly more dangerous than the last batch.

Mr. Garcia's stated goal is that smugglers "go somewhere else." Ummm... as long as smugglers go, they are going to be able to make money in their market. Their market is here. There is no "somewhere else" there are only different ways of getting here.

The best we can do would be to make a legal route/method more attractive in the market. But Puritan Republicans are terrified that someone will use a drug other than alcohol, the only drug that doesn't destroy lives and deserves legal protection in a market. Democrats are afraid those Republicans will call them soft on crime and that Mr. Garcia's union will be unhappy. So we'll never end this stupid drug war.

The only winners will continue to be smugglers with high black-market profits and drug warriors working for governments.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Massachusetts may be first to try actually treating pot like alcohol

When the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts unveiled the text of its 2016 legalization initiative this month, the group highlighted several features of the measure but omitted the most interesting one. The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would allow consumption of cannabis products on the premises of businesses that sell them, subject to regulation by the state and approval by local voters.

That's a big deal, because until now no jurisdiction has satisfactorily addressed the obvious yet somehow touchy question of where people can consume the cannabis they are now allowed to buy. The legalization initiatives approved by voters in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska all promised to treat marijuana like alcohol, which implies allowing venues similar to taverns where people can consume cannabis in a social setting. Yet all four states say businesses that sell marijuana may not let customers use it on the premises.
Sounds like a good idea to me but I doubt the feds will tolerate it. Still too many drug warriors in high places.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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How ending prohibition is working in Colorado

Basically, much better than the drug warriors predicted, but not without problems. One of the things that turns out to have been needed is more new rules, specifically on edibles.

Those are good rules. They remind me of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1903, the only drug control law in our country that has ever reduced addiction. It worked by informing people of what was actually in "snake oil" and when they found the answer was morphine, they made different choices.

Rules that empower consumers by giving them information on edibles were a good idea and I'm glad Colorado opted for more big government rules in that area.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Saved By Cannabis

What medications have you been taking that were prescribed to you by your doctor?

I will just say that I tried and failed on 19 different pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve been a brain injury survivor for 25 years; I’ve tried everything there is. My doctors gave me megadoses of seizure medications. A medication that was normally prescribed to take 900mg… I was prescribed to take 4800mg a day. It’s not like like my doctors were trying to kill me, they just didn’t have the answers. They thought perhaps a higher dosage would control my condition better, but in fact it just ended up causing more damage.

I don’t blame any of my doctors; they were simply uninformed. I had to take this alternative treatment trial with cannabis independently. My doctors weren’t able or educated enough to tell me to do it. That’s what I think is sad; our medical professionals just don’t know or aren’t legally allowed to tell their patients about medical cannabis.
No known medical use my ass.

We know about medical uses but the drug warriors can't let go of their Reefer Madness-based fears.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Evidence continues to mount that the Demopublican Duopoly are in complete denial of reality about cannabis.

Marijuana – scientific name “cannabis” – performed like a champ in the first-ever placebo-controlled trial of the drug to treat Crohn’s Disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease.


The disease of the digestive tract afflicts 400,000 – 600,000 people in North America alone causing abdominal pain, diarrhea (which can be bloody), severe vomiting, weight loss, as well as secondary skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eye, tiredness, and lack of concentration.

Smoking pot caused a “complete remission” of Crohn’s disease compared to placebo in half the patients who lit up for eight weeks, according to clinical trial data to be published the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology...
Schedule 1 drugs like cannabis are supposed to have no known medical use and a high potential for abuse.

The list of medical uses known to doctors and libertarians continues to grow. Regrettably, I have personal knowledge of the fact that alcohol abuse is MUCH worse than cannabis abuse from observing people close to me.

 

tuk tuk Joe

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