Archive for the 'Drugs' Category

Credit where due.

Nov 30, 2011 in Drugs

If more politicians talked like this, and were actually willing to act on it, there might be some hope for America exiting this war on its own peaceful citizens. I’m doubly impressed that it’s coming from a Republican. Unfortunately, while President Obama has given some lip service to the senselessness of the Drug War and must surely know about the racial disparities in its enforcement, it hasn’t even been on his radar and the DEA under him is going bananas on harmless marijuana users. It sickens me to think that it’ll take a Republican with the “toughness” credibility to implement sane measures, because all it would take is a Democrat with actual toughness.

-hw

The modest credibility of CATO.

Nov 22, 2011 in Constitution, Drugs

At least those libertarians will take a break from bitching about the Constitutional income tax being “theft” to talk about actual government theft.

If you can’t acknowledge that we threw away most of our Constitutional rights over the Drug War, who are you to even talk about liberty? Especially those who would declare that freedom in America died the day we passed health care reform. Hmmm, requiring me to pay for the medical care I expect to receive, vs. breaking into my house and permanently confiscating my property without any conviction or even charges filed?

Where do your priorities point you?

-hw

UPDATE: Lovely Drug War nugget that connects to the Newt Gingrich Comedy Tour: Newt once proposed mandatory death penalties for those bringing more than two ounces of marijuana into the country. And yes, of course Gingrich has admitted to smoking pot, but check this out:

“See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral. Now, it is illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the morality… That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t.”
August 8, 1996, Wall Street Journal

I wonder if it’s moral again, and what determines that?

Humans are broken.

Aug 19, 2011 in Booze & or Drugs, Drugs, Straight-up madness, Where's the outrage?!?!

Because this article, like the hundreds before and after, will change nothing. In this case of Drug War madness, having an amount of marijuana that wouldn’t even merit criminal charges will get your kids taken away. But then there’s the real kicker:

Over all, the rate of marijuana use among whites is twice as high as among blacks and Hispanics in the city, the data show, but defense lawyers said these cases were rarely if ever filed against white parents.

The law is one thing, but the unequal enforcement creates one law for whites and another for non-whites. It’s a Jim Crow Drug War, my friends, and if you can’t address that when you discuss drug policy, you aren’t even talking about drug policy.

-hw

Freedom, liberty, honor.

May 26, 2011 in Drugs

Republicans, if this isn’t enough to piss you off, you can go straight to hell:

As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department initially claimed (PDF) Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home. After ushering out his wife and son, the police refused to allow paramedics to access Guerena for more than hour, leaving the young father to bleed to death, alone, in his own home.

So this is nothing new, and one hardly need have a gun to be murdered in one of these drug raids, but what a crystallization of everything the Drug War has done to destroy the land of the free. In this country, the real one, your doors and windows can be smashed in by a horde of armed men, and if you react defensively at all you will be gunned down in your pajamas, in front of your family.

Over pot.

Where’s the NRA on this one? The Tea Party, who tells us that having to get health insurance is tyranny, I look forward to their outrage. Veterans groups, I expect full-throated howls of wronged fury at the gunning down of a Marine reacting to a home invasion. I want anybody who continues to support no-knock raids by militarized police forces to be shamed. I want the Obama administration to be put to the test over their giggling about marijuana legalization (can you imagine this man being killed over suspicion that he had a case of Budweiser in his fridge?).

We’ve been watching the Drug War erase American freedom and rights for decades, and most intelligent observers have realized the destructive folly of it all for the past ten years. Yet we continue.

With the War on Terror shredding what’s left of our freedoms, America is getting sandwiched. Solipsism tells us that it’s always somebody else getting the brunt, and that they usually deserve it. Hopefully Jose Guerena’s story makes it clear that this can happen to anybody. This is the world you are living in.

-hw

Any day Michael Gerson is lambasted by people smarter than him is a good day.

May 12, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Drugs

Most 7/11 clerks would qualify, but this drizzling beatdown from Daniel Larison is to be savored:

At last week’s debate, one of the Fox panelists posed a question to Ron Paul about heroin and prostitution as “exercises of liberty.” Paul demurred a little, objecting that the panelist was putting words in his mouth, but then went on to object to the insulting paternalism that holds that drug prohibition is necessary to protect people from themselves. Paul was assuming that most people would be personally responsible and wouldn’t rely on government prohibition to steer them on the right path in these areas. Gerson could accuse him of having too much confidence in people, but that wouldn’t go over nearly as well as attacking him for having contempt for the poor and destitute. Most irritating of all, Gerson presents himself as a defender of the weak and downtrodden, when these are the Americans disproportionately harmed by the drug war that Gerson is quite happily defending.

Although I do have to recommend this column by Gerson, where he slaps around people even dumber than him: Ayn Rand fanboys.

Rand’s novels are vehicles for a system of thought known as Objectivism. Rand developed this philosophy at the length of Tolstoy, with the intellectual pretensions of Hegel, but it can be summarized on a napkin. Reason is everything. Religion is a fraud. Selfishness is a virtue. Altruism is a crime against human excellence. Self-sacrifice is weakness. Weakness is contemptible. “The Objectivist ethics, in essence,” said Rand, “hold that man exists for his own sake, that the pursuit of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose, that he must not sacrifice himself to others, nor sacrifice others to himself.”

If Objectivism seems familiar, it is because most people know it under another name: adolescence. Many of us experienced a few unfortunate years of invincible self-involvement, testing moral boundaries and prone to stormy egotism and hero worship. Usually one grows out of it, eventually discovering that the quality of our lives is tied to the benefit of others. Rand’s achievement was to turn a phase into a philosophy, as attractive as an outbreak of acne.

Yes, Ron Paul qualifies, but on the drug war issue Paul is right about Gerson, whereas on the issue of whether Rand is meant to be taken seriously by anybody over 19, Gerson is right.

-hw

Throw’em in the clink and smelt the key.

Apr 15, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Deficit, Drugs

Hey, budget hawks, turns out all that bullshit about throwing ever more Americans behind bars, usually over the insane Drug War on America that we can never seem to find the will to truly end, costs us something dearly. But hey, we better bust up some teachers’ unions…

Not all the money spent on incarceration was wasted, but the Pew study makes it clear that we’re now beyond the point of diminishing returns. Even as the prison population has ballooned, the study states that only about a third of the drop in crime is attributable to incarceration, and notably, 19 of the states in the study that cut their prison populations also experienced a drop in crime. The recidivism rate alone doesn’t always tell the whole story, since some policies can make it look like states have developed effective policies for preventing people from reoffending when they’re really just incarcerating more people who are less likely to recidivate.

And…

…the point here is that when ex-offenders don’t recidivate, that means they’re more likely to get jobs and be parents to their children. There is a serious negative cumulative impact created by ex-offenders being unable to find licit employment and lead productive lives, one that has a drastic effect on the poor communities in which their populations tend to be concentrated. So states have a public safety and fiscal interest in getting this right, but there’s more at stake here than just money.

Of course, the Drug War, while usually acceded to by cowardly Democrats, is and always has been driven by the very people who are so vehement about Big Government Spending. Well, seems to me that letting the government break the bank throwing people in jail for preferring kicks besides booze violates every tenet of such a belief system, but this would be, again, giving them some actual credit for meaning anything they say.

-hw

Awesome sauce.

Oct 27, 2010 in Drugs

Let’s keep that drug war going!

-hw

I can’t wait until Barack Obama tries to end the drug war.

Aug 17, 2009 in Barack Obama, Drugs

The public is ready, and as should be a surprise to no one, cops are calling for an end too. Peter Suderman hat tip here.

But just wait until the Birthers/Deathers get a hold of that cause. “Barack Hussein Soetero is a pot-smoking coke-snorting Negro trying to get in your daughter’s pants!” will be the general vibe. And the Drug War will rage on.

-jb

Tectonic movement on marijuana.

Apr 30, 2009 in Drugs

Who’s really standing in the way?

Support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use is nearly twice as high among young adults (57 percent of those under 30) as seniors (30 percent), with middle-aged Americans split about evenly. Nearly six in 10 liberals like the idea; just 36 percent of conservatives agree. Politically, more independents are in favor (53-44 percent), Democrats divide evenly and Republicans broadly are opposed, 28-69 percent. Support’s highest of all among people who express no religious preference, 70 percent; and lowest among evangelical white Protestants, 24 percent.

As the opposition to legalizing marijuana dies off and governments desperately start looking for something new to tax in order to fill the coffers (in order to pay for all the things you keep telling politicians you want, remember), look for a snowball effect.

It’s not insignificant that there are Democrats against it, but let’s remember that there’s still 28% of Republicans who are okay with it. Scaredy cat politicians who don’t want to rock the boat need to see that the boat is where independents lean. Point to the country, and pocket the proceeds. You’re politicians, you do know how to do that, right?

BTW, realpolitik aside, it’s also the right thing to do. Pot criminalization criminalizes ordinary American citizens who choose to relax with a joint in their hand instead of a beer. Illegal trafficking results in thousands dead, while pot kills zero. The few attempting to argue for maintaining criminalization are scratching harder and harder trying to find something that will stick. All they have is inertia.

-jb

The crime created by marijuana prohibition.

Apr 13, 2009 in Drugs

Mexico can’t afford our money fueling their drug lords much longer:

As the bodies pile up on the Mexican battlefield, where rival drug cartels war against each other and the Mexican military, the government there is increasingly looking for an exit strategy.

Contrary to their public image, a major source of revenue for the cartels comes from the marijuana trade. Precise numbers are obviously hard to come by, but some U.S. government drug policy officials estimate that more than half of drug cartel revenue comes from the pot business — meaning it may be more accurate to refer to them as “marijuana cartels.”

Taking pot revenue away from the cartels could significantly weaken them, leading some leading Mexican officials to suggest legalizing and regulating the trade. The Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, became the latest on Sunday to call for the United States to seriously consider legalizing its appetite for marijuana.

Now, one could theorize that someday we’ll magically figure out how to stop people wanting to do drugs enough to make selling them unprofitable on the black market.

In fact, that’s what we’ve tried with our irrational and destructive Drug War policies. It has been a failure.

With that said, let me offer a caveat: Mexico, if that’s what you want, then take the first damn step. Right now it’s technically illegal to smoke a joint in Mexico, but absolutely nobody takes such a law seriously. I know for a fact that if you walk into the right bar in TJ late at night, there’s a whole lot more on the menu than carne asada.

So tell every farmer growing pot in Mexico, and everybody with some to sell, that it’s all clear and legal, and storefront businesses can distribute it along with liquor. Then wait and see what we do, while the blood stops flowing in Mexico’s streets.

-jb

End the war against (non-wealthy) Americans.

Oct 20, 2008 in Barack Obama, Booze & or Drugs, Drugs, Politics

Joe Conasan looks to the history of drug use shared by Barack Obama and Cindy McCain as parables to underline the case against jailing people and ruining their lives over drug use. Obama’s history is vague but widely known. Cindy’s story less so, though a recently canned (ghost-written) autobiography was planned:

But it is hard to imagine why she or husband John would want to excavate any unhappy memories of her Percocet period. Her battle with addiction included a series of major felony offenses in the early ’90s, which included falsifying prescriptions, stealing drugs from a medical charity she founded and underwrote with her family fortune, and inducing doctors and other employees of that charity to help her obtain Percocet and other Schedule III narcotics illegally. The Drug Enforcement Administration opened an investigation of her after a former employee, whose name she had used to obtain drugs, reported her criminal misuse of her charity. At the time, seasoned defense attorneys in Arizona believed that she could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on half a dozen counts (and that if her name had been José Lopez, she surely would have).

But Cindy McCain avoided prosecution by federal authorities. Instead, like so many other wealthy and high-profile drug offenders — and unlike so many of the young offenders Obama knew, whose crimes were no worse than hers — she was allowed into what is known as a “diversion” program. Rather than being sent to jail, she went into rehab. Now it’s as if none of those terrible things had ever happened to her — and why would anyone bring them up?

The only reason to talk about past drug abuse by Barack Obama or Cindy McCain is to point out the waste and injustice of the ongoing drug war. Both of them broke the law, repeatedly, by their own admission, but neither deserved to go to prison and no useful purpose would have been served by punishing them.

Today we spend well over $50 billion annually at the federal, state and local levels on a domestic war that has never achieved any of its objectives and never will. If either of the presidential candidates still believes that this is a worthwhile investment of our money, despite his own experience, it would be fascinating to hear him explain why.

Like Rush Limbaugh, Cindy McCain exemplifies what the Drug War means to the wealthy: unless they’re drug dealers themselves, nothing. With the rich and the famous, we understand.

Obama has expressed interest in lightening sentences and promoting rehab…probably as much as he could get away with at this point, but unfortunate nonetheless (obviously McCain is a throw-em’-all-in-jail type, except for people like his wife). Armed with a Democratic Congress, Obama would be a fool to not go further. He is practical, not so much ideological, and well aware that drug abuse requires real solutions, not totalitarian measures and submission to fear, especially when such measures are refrained from when dealing with the upper class.

-jb

The War Against Drugs Americans.

Aug 21, 2008 in Drugs, Politics, Straight-up madness, Stupidity

We already accept this as ordinary when done against our own citizens. Is there any wonder the Constitution hangs by a thread? Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter, takes a look at the consequences of drug raids that target innocent people first and ask questions later.

Imagine being Georgia Porter, one minute cooking dinner, the next handcuffed on the kitchen floor, inches from the bloodied body of a dog who was part of her family. Imagine Cheye Calvo hearing the shots from upstairs, not knowing what was happening, and then finding himself handcuffed, helpless, forced to kneel in his underwear. Imagine Trinity Tomsic dealing with her defiled home–not only did the police slaughter their dogs, they tracked blood all over the house in a search that yielded nothing.

You need to imagine all these things because, in a way, we all live in that house. It’s called our country, and this is what’s starting to happen here.

Prince George’s official country Web site defines itself as “a county of livable communities.” That’s what we all wish for–a livable community, a home where we feel safe. We want to feel that if the bad guys come, we can call the police and they will be the good guys. We want to believe that if we’re innocent, armed men with government badges won’t handcuff us and shoot our pets and wave their weapons in our faces.

But more and more of us don’t believe that.

Politicians have been rendered impotent to advocate rationality in the face of things voters fear. If one stands up, they’re guaranteed an opponent who hammers them for not being “tough.” Under Bill Clinton the Drug War ratcheted up with almost no restraint, and under Bush all bets were off. Interestingly, the Bush administration went after marijuana with a special fervor (the case Davis cites was a marijuana raid). It seems that when a president smokes marijuana in his past, as Bush was recorded admitting, the country gets the lash even harder. Apparently, use of a drug doesn’t inspire empathy in a president, but rather overcompensation. Let’s pray that a President Obama breaks this pattern (abandon all hope if McCain gets in). Voters have grown tired of throwing people in jail and Gestapo-style home invasions destroying the lives of innocent people, especially over a recreational drug like marijuana which is exponentially safer than alcohol or tobacco. Those who take on the responsibility of voting need to responsibly address this issue.

Then again, they need to responsibly address a lot of issues. The human condition is not well.

-jb

ADHD as society’s disease.

Jun 16, 2008 in Culture, Drugs, Health Care, Science

Common sense suggests, for many, that ADHD as a “disease” is a crock of shit. Rather, it’s a set of personality characteristics developed for sensible reasons in our long, long history that becomes suddenly inconvenient and exacerbated when their bearers are planted in our high-speed information-plastered minute-managed era. William Saletan, an occasional wanker, had his curiosity piqued by a Northwestern University study that revealed nomadic tribes benefited from the genes typically associated with ADHD, moreso than settled ones:

Increased impulsivity, ADHD-like traits, novelty-seeking like traits, aggression, violence and/or activity levels may help nomads obtain food resources, or exhibit a degree of behavioral unpredictability that is protective against interpersonal violence or robberies. … It might be that the attention spans conferred by the DRD4/7R+ genotype allow nomadic children to more readily learn effectively in a dynamic environment (without schools), while the same attention span interferes with classroom learning in Songa, the settled community. 7R+ boys might develop into warriors (the life-stage of an Ariaal male that lies between childhood and manhood) and men who can more effectively defend against livestock raiders, perhaps through a reputation of unpredictable behavior that inspires fear. Among 7R+ men in the settled community of Songa, such tendencies might be less well suited to practicing agriculture and selling goods at market. It might also be that higher activity levels in 7R+ nomads are translated into increased food production, while such activity levels in settled men are a less efficient use of calories in food production.

As a friend of mine was told by a psychiatrist recently, paraphrased, “You’d be fine running around with a spear or sword in your hand.”

I don’t know whether the speculated reasons for the gene’s benefits will pan out. But the benefits do seem real. And that finding suggests two things. First, we should be careful about designating diseases and disease genes. Traits that are harmful in one setting can be helpful in another. Advantages or “defects” that we think of as natural may actually be products of our cultural decisions. As Eisenberg puts it, we might “begin to view ADHD as not just a disease but something with adaptive components.”

Second, our society may be the wrong place to assess a gene’s evolutionary harm or benefit. As the authors note, “[N]on-industrialized or subsistence environments … may be more similar to the environments where much of human genetic evolution took place.”

My experience is that our society is capable of inducing ADHD-like characteristics in anybody, and that while its qualities aren’t very helpful in the classroom (in fact, let me say they are a goddamned pain in the ass) kids pick up on the fact that surviving and succeeding in the adult world nearly requires it. As we facilitate the means of communication to “save time,” free time becomes, ironically, less excusable.

Research may provide new revelations in time, but I think it be a safe presumption that kids are better served being put in environments where their predispositions are more useful instead of being subjected to constant chemical infusion.

-jb

UPDATE: A cure exists!

[youtube RkzytidhP1M]

Land of the free…

Feb 29, 2008 in Drugs

…and the world’s largest prison population.

Maybe it’s time we stopped fighting a war against our own people? How many people are so authoritarian they can keep believing, “When you let people do what they want, more will mess up!” Perhaps they will, but how many of these people messed up in ways that require them to be locked up like wild animals? I think these questions have already been answered by most Americans, and we’re just waiting for our politicians to get some balls/ovaries and catch up.

-jb

Corporations and Government unite against the people.

Dec 19, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Corporate shenanigans, Drugs, Legal, Politics, War on Terra, Where's the outrage?!?!

One of the virtues of fascism is that corporations are easily integrated into the system. Corporations have the power to streamline and lubricate the mechanics of tyranny, privatizing what the government cannot get away with itself. If the government itself goes awry, watch out. One way the government always goes awry is through gradual mission creep and erosion of civilian protections. Crooks and Liars looks at an NYT article about how Bush’s surveillance state will inevitably spread beyond terrorism-related cases and become standard police procedure against U.S. citizens. The most obvious point-of-entry? The failed War on Drugs.

This article has exposed even more Bush administration lies and confirmed what many of us have suspected for some time. It’s not all about international terrorism. It appears the programs are being used for domestic crime fighting and there are more companies involved with the programs than previously revealed — and the programs include capturing data that is strictly domestic. In other words, the very core of our judicial system appears to have been thrown out the window and we still have no idea how bad things really are.

“What, me worry?” being the refrain of the right, I find it impossible to secure them any sympathy.

-jb

Three references to ducks.

Oct 04, 2007 in Drugs, Politics

In just the last few days, we’ve referred to ducks here, here, and here. That’s without referring to Republicans ducking out of debates hosted by blacks, Hispanics, and evangelicals.

Or using “walks like a duck, talks like a duck…” to call Bill O’Reilly’s amazement that black patrons in a black restaurant weren’t shooting each other and eating bananas racist…references to facts hitting Dubya’s brain like water off a duck’s back…or pleas that Democrats get their ducks in a row and stop being Bush-lite

Or mentioning that I have warm nostalgic feelings towards Howard the Duck. I also avoided pointing out that Duckie’s extended dance sequence in Pretty in Pink dates the film badly.

So call it a mild case of duckiness, severe affliction avoided.

-jb

Groan…

Apr 29, 2007 in Drugs

Sometimes people forward me stuff that’s supposed to be “witty” but in reality is denser than the earth’s core.

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I
pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as they see fit. In order to get that paycheck. I am required to pass a random urine test, which I have no problem with.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test.

Shouldn’t one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check, because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sit on their butt.

Could you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check.

Pass on if you agree

I don’t think anybody should be urine tested for a job, not without probable cause. If I’m doing my job, it shouldn’t matter if I’ve got everything from coke to elephant laxatives in my bloodstream. If my bloodstream is the only place where the drugs can be detected, then it’s nobody’s fucking business. If a person is screwing up on the job or acting goofy then I can see a rationale, but otherwise, let’s stop letting private industry agree en masse to negate our rights to be secure in our persons.

-jb

Hold up!

Apr 26, 2007 in Drugs, Ethanol

This ethanol crap has gone too far.

-mg

Recreational Pharmaceuticals.

Apr 15, 2007 in Drugs

I sincerely despise drug commercials.  What can you glean from them besides that they may help khaki and denim wearing yuppies ride around in hot air balloons and induce old couples to ride tandem bicycles?

The above is funny because it’s honest.  If other drug ads were truly honest they’d have slogans like these:

  • Provigil – May improve the symptoms of those suffering from ADD or ADHD.  Will definitely give you huge fucking migraines.
  • Effexor – Shown to be effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder.  Will also make your dick soft and rob you of your libido.  Discontinuation of taking Effexor may result in extended periods of shrieking caused by bone-crushing withdrawal symptoms.
  • Vicodin – You’re gonna love it! ™
  • Viagra – Now available without a prescription!

Let me just say this; I’ve ingested all manner of recreational pharmaceuticals over the years and the ones that messed me up the most were the ones my doctor wrote me a prescription for.

-mg

What you already know about the drug war.

Apr 06, 2007 in Drugs, Politics

Arriana Huffington lays out the obvious, but asks why Democrat presidential candidates are silent about it.

lamented the failures of our drug policy, acting as though he had been an innocent bystander rather than the chief executive presiding over these failures (indeed, the prison population doubled on his watch).

As a result of our political leaders’ neglect, the disparity has continued to wreak havoc on the black community. Even though the majority of crack users are white or Hispanic, 80% of sentenced crack defendants are black. The injustice is so egregious that a conservative Republican senator, Jeff Sessions, is now leading the charge in Congress to ease crack sentences.

“I believe that as a matter of law enforcement and good public policy crack cocaine sentences are too heavy and can’t be justified,” says Sessions. “People don’t want us to be soft on crime, but I think we ought to make the law more rational.”

There’s a talking point Hillary and Obama should adopt.

The Republican can get away with it in the old “only Nixon could go to China” way (anybody else getting sick of that?) but the Democrats remain fearful, thus reinforcing the underlying memes. Bill Clinton wasn’t soft on drugs, he was fucking vicious.

More importantly, the public is ahead of politicians on this issue. Support for treatment versus instant 10+ year jail sentences is already there. If the Democrats don’t watch out, the Republicans will snatch the title for ending the drug war. Then blacks might have some actual reason to treat them halfway seriously.

-jb

Nothing we didn’t know before.

Mar 25, 2007 in Drugs

Andrew Sullivan has latched onto the bleeding obvious and attempted to drive it further into the public consciousness: alcohol kills, marijuana doesn’t. Even cocaine is safer than alcohol, although people tend to do them together.

It should also be noted that alcohol frequently turns people into raging terrors, and marijuana turns them into video game experts.

Then there’s DJ Brian Pickrell’s world, where conservatives drink and liberals smoke weed! Stupid, especially when red staters love their crank so much. Either way, it’s still a good argument for legalization. What exactly is the fear, rampant liberalism? Excessive spiritualism vs. going to church?

Can America grow up and look at this issue without the childish stereotypes?

-jb

Efficacy versus trying to look like a tough guy.

Feb 20, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Drugs, Health Care

No, I’m not talking about Bush II’s moron approach to foreign policy, although certainly that applies.  In fact, it applies to all sorts of issues, but today let us look at drug policy.  Here’s a story of people who actually do things that will reduce drug usage:

In the shadows of Frankfurt’s gleaming glass towers an undistinguished six-storey building serves as a safe injection area for heroin addicts.

Along with the heroin room, there is a medical station, a counselling centre, a crack-smoking room and on the top two floors, a 24-hour shelter, complete with a cafe run by the addicts.

The results?

The introduction of heroin-injecting centres in Switzerland has reportedly led to an 82 percent decrease in its use since 1990.

Of course, who would want there to be fewer drug users if it meant less cause for grandstanding?  Why treat them when you can have a steady supply of people to throw in jail?  We’re not so big on solving problems, more on talking about solving them.

Like I said, this covers a wide range of subjects that tend to divide liberals and conservatives.  Here’s Iowa’s village idiot, Brian Pickrell, drooling on his keyboard:

Once again, liberals trying to show that “they care” (by distributing free condoms) rather than do what’s right. If they really cared about preventing HIV or AIDs, or the spread of STDs, or stopping unwanted pregnancies, they’d be promoting abstinence, instead.

See!  If liberals really cared about these things, they would stop using an effective approach and use one proven to be ineffective, but allows pathetic and most likely hypocritical moralizing!

Folks who like to solve problems will sometimes take approaches that don’t leave lots of room for personal aggrandizement, except through success.  The folks in Frankfurt can say, “We have dramatically reduced heroin use!” and can enjoy the social benefits.  But they had to do the hard work.

People like the world’s dumbest man, Brian Pickrell, would much rather go for the quick fix of looking tough before actually achieving anything.   Failure is a problem, of course, but that’s easy:  get tougher!

Sex, drugs, Iraq n’Roll, it’s all the same to them.  Talk lots of junk to cover up constant failure.  I choose differently.
-jb

Propagandist in action.

Dec 04, 2006 in Drugs

Whenever short on blogging material, I need only turn to the op-ed pages of The Washington Post.  Not as openly partisan as The Washington Times, the WP traffics in a far subtler form of propaganda, that of the beltway upper-class elite.  Their columnists regularly operate in the “wise old man” vein, handing down useful bits of information to us plebeian retards whenever we deserve some “insight.” 

One reliable technique is to give us mongoloids a friendly nudge. 

If addiction, sickness and community decay are concerns, then it must be said that drug legalization has failed as a social experiment — witness the massive problems of legalized drugs in other places (remember Switzerland’s Needle Park?)…

Yeah, remember Needle Park, idiot?  F’ing Switzerland, boy, don’t you know your local history?  That’s all you need to know about drug legalization to rule it out.  What, don’t recall that one?  Trust me, Kevin A. Sabat (speechwriter for two U.S. drug czars, dipshit!), I know what I’m talking about.

Actually, Switzerland tried a pretty stupid concept, in which they set up a public park where you could go shoot up heroin without being arrested.  All the drugheads hung out in one park and left the rest of the city alone.  Needless to say, it was a mistake.  It weren’t no Amsterdam-style cafe scene, shitkicker.

However since then Switzerland has practiced prescribing heroin to hardcore addicts and giving them private rooms to shoot up in.  They can’t leave with the stuff anywhere but in their bloodstream (if I were Dracula, I know where I’d be hanging out). 

Remember Needle Park?  Yeah, so does Switzerland, arschloch, but they still don’t fill their citizens with non-violent drug users, do they?

Sabat’s “third way” on drug use is no such thing.  He just proposes eliminating the discrepancy between crack cocaine and powdered stuff.  You know, the laws that meant black cocaine users did 10 years for 5 grams while white ones needed 500 grams to get 10 years.  Remember?

This is a joke, and a sad excuse for serious thought on the drug war.  The recommendation made is a no-brainer, easy to accept, but it’s couched in so many assumptions that it serves more as an effort to keep people from getting too many uppity thoughts about the war being waged on the American populace on a daily basis. 

-jb

Snake Oil Nussle’s new shuck

Oct 12, 2006 in Drugs, Uncategorized

Besides the Christian Bible, Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith has got to be the most frequently invoked but least read volume on the literary landscape. In todays health-care debate between gubernatorial hopefuls Jim Nussle and Chet Culver at Drake University, Jim Nussle laid out his solution for high pharmaceutical costs and the mythical “invisible hand” plays a big part of it:

On drug costs, Nussle proposes a telephone hot line and Web site that Iowans could check for local prices on prescription medicines. The system would work like gas-station price signs, which fuel competition, he said.

This is absurd. Competition rarely exists within the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not as if a patient diagnosed with depression can go shopping for a cheaper version of Effexor. The price is dictated by those that control production so any sort of savings are made at the cost of the re-seller (on razor-thin margins, at that) and even if a more reasonable generic exists the original patent holder is more than likely to produce their own off-brand than cede good business to a competitor. Furthermore, price is rarely a factor when it comes to choosing drugs because these decisions are made by medical professionals, not the end consumer.

-mg

The New Drug War: Making Sure Americans Pay Full Price

Jul 24, 2006 in Drugs, Uncategorized

Seizures of drugs being imported from Canada are on the rise as US Customs is making a broad attempt to protect the profits of state-side manufacturers. It seems that the government is more concerned about the health of pharmaceutical corporations than they are the health of their own citizens and once more the conservative anti-free market movement has targeted businesses that seek to satisfy the demand for lower prices:

For their part, drug companies didn’t wait for Customs’ policy change to fight the imports. Canadian pharmacies serving Americans say the big pharmaceutical companies have starved them of inventory since 2003.

Sen. Nelson has asked the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee to look into allegations that British drug company GlaxoSmithKline PLC conspired with other big drug companies to put Canadian pharmacies that filled American prescriptions out of business.

The allegations stem from a civil lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch against Glaxo. The suit alleges that Glaxo “orchestrated a concerted pharmaceutical industry boycott of Canadian drug imports to protect drug company profits,” in violation of the state’s antitrust statutes. Large numbers of Minnesotans buy medicine in Canada.

Mr. Hatch has subpoenaed 45 secret documents from Glaxo that he says prove the conspiracy. According to people familiar with the case, the documents show that the boycott was first discussed by representatives from Glaxo and a half-dozen other big drug companies at a meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., in December 2002. At another meeting, representatives from the same companies met with federal officials and discussed using the threat of terrorism to dissuade seniors from buying Canadian drugs, these people say.

Glaxo has been fighting in court for two years to keep the documents confidential. The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to rule in coming weeks on Mr. Hatch’s motion to make the documents public. A spokeswoman for Glaxo, Gail Renegar, says the company’s actions complied with U.S. law banning foreign drug importations and thus should exempt Glaxo from antitrust scrutiny.

This is how serious the administration takes the war on terror. Like any other despot they have no compunction about using the specter of terrorism to deter its own citizens from making choices that might endanger their profits. Note also that Glaxo is a British company which means that federal officials are looking to protect the revenues of foreign drug companies rather than the health of their own constituents.

-mg

Republicans think that prescription drugs from Canada are going to provoke terrorists.

Jul 13, 2006 in Drugs, Uncategorized

A prescription drug bill that would allow for the creation of a loophole allowing some Canadian pharmaceuticals to enter into this country is being attacked by some Senate Republicans as a potential method of terrorist attack:

“Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said the proposal was an attempt to push the FDA into reversing itself while ‘creating a massive hole on our capacity to secure our borders and protect ourselves.

If I were a creative terrorist, I would say to myself, `Hey, listen, all I’ve got to do is produce a can here that says “Lipitor” on it, make it look like the original Lipitor bottle, which isn’t too hard to do, fill it with anthrax,'” Gregg said, referring to the cholesterol-lowering drug.

No offense Judd but the easiest way for a terrorist to smuggle weaponry into the United States from Canada is in a bale of prime British Columbia hydroponic sensemilla.

-mg