Archive for the ‘War on Drugs’ Category

Ron Paul Debates For Marijuana Legalization

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Apparently the best advocate the drug warriors could find was Stephen Baldwin?

Tobacco and Alcohol Prohibition

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Yesterday was fight prohibition day for me.

Over on I published a commentary on Baltimore’s proposed ban on selling individual cigars that cost less than two dollars each:

Like most prohibitions – last time I checked drugs were also illegal in Baltimore, but readily available – this ban is destined to fail. Enterprising individuals will be able to buy these cigars by the box and then illegally sell them on the street to anyone willing to buy them, including children. And any health benefits are likely to be undone when, instead of smoking cigars, people will turn to more addictive and unhealthy cigarettes.

For those of us who enjoy premium cigars, the worst part of the ban is the precedent that it would set. The City Health Commissioner ominously calls the ban “a small but important step forward.”

The bureaucrat’s quote begs the question: What exactly is this a small step forward towards? The answer can only be one thing: further bans on tobacco products.

Meanwhile the Morning Sentinel, the local newspaper for the town of Waterville, Maine where Colby College is located (from where I graduated in 2005), published my letter to the editor regarding some thuggish comments made by the local police chief regarding drinking by (gasp) college students:

[Police Chief] Massey has a history of foolish remarks regarding Colby students and alcohol: During my senior year at Colby, he was quoted in the Sentinel threatening to arrest Colby students who responsibly acted as designated drivers.

That same year, as a member of Colby’s College Affairs Committee, I saw firsthand the time and effort that Colby administrators put into crafting a policy regarding students and alcohol. The task is not easy, because a substantial portion of Colby students are older than 21 and can drink legally.

And the hypocrisy of the law that treats 18- to 20-year-olds as adults who can vote or be sent to war but cannot legally have a single beer certainly makes the creation of a fair alcohol policy difficult, as it is neither wise nor desirable for Colby to treat adult students like children.

Waterville deserves better than a police chief who responds to good-faith efforts to encourage responsible drinking with lawbreaking. Perhaps someone should inform Massey that prohibition was repealed.

For background on Chief Massey see this post from Right Wing News.

The Drug Warriors Strike Back

Monday, May 26th, 2008

When you criticize the war on drugs, the drug warriors will come after you.

That’s what happened to to the distributor of a movie about the malicious prosecution of Tommy Chong (of Cheech and Chong fame).  Thousands of copies of the DVD were seized under the guise of being “drug paraphernalia.” (Here are items that could all more plausibly be considered drug paraphernalia: apples, pumpkins, gatorade, cola… you get the idea.)

Radley Balko reports:

Buchanan’s latest effort is a sting on companies that sell masking devices to help people pass drug tests. Earlier this month, federal agents raided nine locations in six states where they suspected sales of products like the “Whizzinator,” made famous by actor Tom Sizemore and Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith. There’s no specific federal law criminalizing the sale of masking products, and none of the sites raided by federal agents were actually in Buchanan’s district. My guess is that she’s likely to charge manufacturers who ship the products into states that do have broad drug paraphernalia laws, or that have specific laws against masking products, under federal conspiracy statutes.

But it gets better. In the raid on Spectrum Labs in Newport, Kentucky, federal agents seized 8,000-10,000 copies of the movie AKA Tommy Chong. The movie is a documentary critical of Buchanan and the federal government’s persecution of Chong. Federal agents apparently think it’s drug paraphernalia.

“It’s a way to punish the distributor financially,” Mr. Chong said. “There’s no way to get the DVDs back until the investigation is over.” Mr. Chong said he has no ownership in the film.

He called the documentary a “focal point” of the raid. It was released about a month ago, and sales were slow, Mr. Chong said.

“It’s selling like crazy now, thanks to Mary Beth. She’s brought us a nice publicity gimmick.”

Buy your very own copy of the movie here.

There’s a reason the tagline for this site is: “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

DEA Propaganda

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The following is word for word from one of the DEA’s website many propaganda websites:

A word about prohibition: lots of you hear the argument that alcohol prohibition failed—so why are drugs still illegal? Prohibition did work. Alcohol consumption was reduced by almost 60% and incidents of liver cirrhosis and deaths from this disease dropped dramatically (Scientific American, 1996, by David Musto). Today, alcohol consumption is over three times greater than during the Prohibition years. Alcohol use is legal, except for kids under 21, and it causes major problems, especially in drunk driving accidents.

It’s up to you to get the facts. To know the difference between fact and fiction. To think twice.

It’d almost be funny if the government wasn’t spending billions of dollars to lock up millions of people using this flawed reasoning.

RE: American Prisons

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Speaking of prisons, one thing that always struck me as the ultimate proof that the “war on drugs” will fail, no matter how much money and resources wasted is the fact that our prisons are full of illegal drugs. If walls, barbed wire, searches for everyone going in or out, and armed guards are unable to stop the drug trade, how can the state ever expect to control drugs when people aren’t caged?

Make no mistake, the war on drugs is completely incompatible with a free society.