Drug Prohibition: Still Stupid

Pertinacious Tom

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Cannabis May Be Best Treatment For Fibromyalgia

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jzk

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The problem with the drug war is that it is not "winnable." It is a prime example of society's failure to understand how the market works. There is a market for drugs in the US. Take out a drug dealer, and that market still exists. So, the market causes that void to be filled by another drug dealer. The harder the government fights, the more profitable drug dealers become.

The only way to "win" the war on drugs would be a very severe punishment system such as a swift death penalty for possession. But the people would not tolerate such a thing. So it is unwinnable. Given that it is not winnable, we need to try something else.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Ted Cruz Flip Flops On Mandatory Minimum Sentences

A year ago, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley condemned a sentencing reform bill backed by Ted Cruz as "lenient" and "dangerous." Eight months later, it was Cruz's turn. Explaining his opposition to a sentencing reform bill backed by Grassley, Cruz described it as dangerously lenient.
Not long ago, Cruz understood why drug warriors like Grassley are wrong on this issue:

"Although there is nothing wrong in principle with mandatory minimums, they must be carefully calibrated to ensure that no circumstances could justify a lesser sentence for the crime charged," Cruz wrote in his contribution to a collection of essays published by the Brennan Center for Justice last April. "The current draconian mandatory minimum sentences sometimes result in sentencing outcomes that neither fit the crime nor the perpetrator's unique circumstances. This is especially true for nonviolent drug offenders. Harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes have contributed to prison overpopulation and are both unfair and ineffective relative to the public expense and human costs of years-long incarceration."
You can't win the R nomination if you go around talking about nonviolent drug offenders and their nonviolent drug crimes.
Senate watering down sentencing reform bill

One change involves Section 105 of the bill, which reduced enhanced mandatory minimum sentences for so-called “armed career criminals.”

Under the original proposal, certain felons who already had three violent felony or serious drug offense convictions, and were found guilty of possessing a firearm would face a 10-year enhanced mandatory minimum — lowered from the current 15-year minimum sentence.


But the bill’s authors are planning to get rid of this section altogether so that the higher, 15-year sentence remains intact, a senior GOP aide said Monday. The aide added that this section was the subject of the most complaints from conservatives.
People legally engaged in various forms of cannabis commerce in some states are committing "serious drug offenses" under federal law. And if they have a gun, they're "armed career criminals."

Treating these people the same as people who have committed violent crimes makes no sense to me, but that's what the Duopoly is up there doing.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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The problem with the drug war is that it is not "winnable." It is a prime example of society's failure to understand how the market works. There is a market for drugs in the US. Take out a drug dealer, and that market still exists. So, the market causes that void to be filled by another drug dealer. The harder the government fights, the more profitable drug dealers become.

The only way to "win" the war on drugs would be a very severe punishment system such as a swift death penalty for possession. But the people would not tolerate such a thing. So it is unwinnable. Given that it is not winnable, we need to try something else.
The states that have tried something else are (very slowly) learning that high tax rates and burdensome regulations result in black markets. The good news is that they are grudgingly reacting to this surprising discovery in positive ways.

The bad news is that the discovery is surprising to anyone.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Tom you really need to see someone about this talking to yourself thing. But until then carry on. You have the floor...
Shhhh..... didn't you get the memo? This is one of Tom's Constitutional blogs. ;)
I know most others are not interested but my view is that our drug war plays a major role in fomenting violence in our cities, it is responsible for such lovely policies as no-knock searches, civil asset forfeiture abuse, and mandatory minimum sentencing, and it corrupts our foreign policy with things like the DEA laundering cartel money and the ATF helping to arm cartels.

Why those issues are unimportant to non-libertarians mystifies me but I'll continue to post about them.

Coming to this thread, knowing what you'll find, and commenting on how it's only important to me is curious behavior. Why not just ignore me like everyone else?

 
G

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I'm not ignoring you and I do think these are important topics. I agree with pretty much all of that. I think the lack of responses generally means that most folks agree with you. Its just not as interesting to agree with someone here. You might get the occasional +1 sort of thing. But this place thrives on contention. Your subject is generally not contentious, so it doesn't generate the buzz or traffic some of the other topics do.

Just saying'

 

Pertinacious Tom

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I'm not ignoring you and I do think these are important topics. I agree with pretty much all of that. I think the lack of responses generally means that most folks agree with you. Its just not as interesting to agree with someone here. You might get the occasional +1 sort of thing. But this place thrives on contention. Your subject is generally not contentious, so it doesn't generate the buzz or traffic some of the other topics do.

Just saying'
Of course it's contentious. We're about to vote in another drug warrior to replace our current drug warrior in chief.

If people agreed with me, more of them would mention Gary Johnson. But virtually everyone here is getting ready to vote for more of the same. How can it be that they disagree with more of the same when they quietly vote for it?

 

Pertinacious Tom

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There are exactly two legal users of cannabis in America.

There were 13 when Saint Ronald shut down the research program that allowed them access. The rest have since died.

One of them speaks out.

10 federally-supplied joints a day for over three decades and he's doing pretty well, wants the same freedom for others.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Behind? Looks to me like Austrailia is at least discussing rescheduling cannabis next month. That's way ahead of us in my book.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the Therapeutic Goods Administration had undertaken public consultation on down-scheduling medicinal cannabis with an interim decision due in March.

"This will simplify arrangements around the legal possession of medicinal cannabis products, placing them in the same category as restricted medicines such as morphine, rather than an illicit drug."
 

Pertinacious Tom

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If you get a PM from Tom ray, don't open it.
The notion that only pot smokers see the stupidity of prohibition pretty much only comes from anonymous Aussies.

I used to get this from Americans too but most now seem to know about medical users like the kids with seizures and my father so they understand that only assholes go around calling people who want to end prohibition criminals.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Drug War Fails In Afghanistan

Sopko said Afghan farmers were producing more opium "now then they did during the Taliban years." In fact, the U.S. spent $43 million in 2001 in support of the Taliban's poppy eradication efforts, just six months before 9/11 and seven months before the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that toppled the theocratic regime. "It has been a successful export for the last 15 years that we have been there," Sopko said.
 

tuk tuk Joe

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Drug War Fails In Afghanistan

Sopko said Afghan farmers were producing more opium "now then they did during the Taliban years." In fact, the U.S. spent $43 million in 2001 in support of the Taliban's poppy eradication efforts, just six months before 9/11 and seven months before the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that toppled the theocratic regime. "It has been a successful export for the last 15 years that we have been there," Sopko said.
That's nonsense, the USG is doing everything in their power to stop the drug scurge.. And besides Killery will put a stop to it! :ph34r:

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Obama's Solicitor General asks court not to hear Nebraska and Oklahoma lawsuit against Colorado

I'd like to see the court tell those two states to take a hike but I don't know about the legal justification.

In their challenge to Colorado's law, filed in December 2014, Nebraska and Oklahoma said marijuana is being smuggled across their borders and that drugs threaten the health and safety of children.

Nebraska and Oklahoma noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law and said Colorado has created "a dangerous gap" in the federal drug control system.

Oklahoma and Nebraska's lawsuit was filed under a rarely used Supreme Court process, known as "original jurisdiction," in which the justices hear disputes between states that have not first been handled by lower courts.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in court papers filed on Wednesday that the case was not the type of dispute the court would normally hear.

"Entertaining the type of dispute here - essentially that one state's laws make it more likely that third parties will violate federal and state law in another state - would represent a substantial and unwarranted expansion of this court's original jurisdiction," Verrilli said.
I have to agree with Nebraska and Oklahoma that state legalization creates a gap in federal law enforcement. I think it's the enforcement of prohibition that creates the most danger, so I'd dispute that it's a "dangerous gap" but there's no denying it's a gap.

My conclusion: end the federal war on cannabis to make that problem go away.
SCOTUS told Nebraska and Oklahoma to HTFU

...Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito, dissented from the Court's decision not to hear the lawsuit. "The complaint, on its face, presents a 'controvers[y] between two or more States' that this Court alone has authority to adjudicate," he writes. "The plaintiff States have alleged significant harms to their sovereign interests caused by another State. Whatever the merit of the plaintiff States' claims, we should let this complaint proceed further rather than denying leave without so much as a word of explanation."
The effect on other states was the main rationale used in Gonzalez vs Raich so it is a bit curious that the court decided to just ignore it this time around.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Erlichman Says Nixon's Drug War Targeted Political Enemies

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Of course, Nixon didn't invent lying and dividing people just to get more power for government. He was following in Anslinger's footsteps...

...

History repeats itself to this day.

"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 Anslinger, first Drug Czar.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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This girl used to measure her time between seizures in hours, back when she was using legal pharmaceuticals to try to control them.

Now she's using illegal cannabis oil.

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One year and counting as of March 19th.

But only a pothead would think that a year without seizures is better than hours, right Life Buoy?

From the Team Alexis FB page:

Alexis Bortell, a young Texan forced to flee the state in order to receive effective treatment for her seizure disorder celebrated one full year without a single seizure yesterday. Alexis’s parents sought refuge in Colorado where physicians were able to successfully treat her seizures with cannabis oil.
 
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