Category Archives: Drug War

Morning Links

Obama is worse for press freedom than Nixon says Pentagon Papers lawyer James Goodale.

The next country on the NATO target list is apparently Syria.  Pretty soon it will be easier to count the middle east countries that the west hasn’t attacked than the ones they have.

And if Syria weren’t enough to keep the war industry going, Obama is also going to be discussing the fate of Iran on his visit to Israel, where some officials in the U.S protectorate believe Obama has been dragging his feet on attacking Iran.  While Obama has clearly been pursuing a strategy to justify a war with Iran nearly identical to the Bush administration’s lead-up to the Iraq invasion, it has not yet culminated in an actual war as powerful Israeli political powers have wanted.

Mainstream press outlet, UPI, reports that  : The Iraq War killed 190,000 people, 70 percent civilians and 4,488 U.S. service members and will cost the U.S. taxpayer $2.2 trillion, U.S. researchers say.  But, a respectable 2006 study claimed death toll of 650,000 and there have been many more since then.  And this article says the dollar cost could total $6T.

Maryland Senate votes to decriminalize small amounts of pot and the House is also expected to pass it.  The federal government, corrupt as ever, remains under the control of the beneficiaries of the drug war.

Fifteen benefits of the drug war.  Not for you.  For the government.

Transportation Security Administration inspectors forced a wounded [active duty] Marine who lost both of his legs in an IED blast and who was in a wheelchair to remove his prosthetic legs at one point, and at another point to stand painfully on his legs while his wheelchair was examined, according to a complaint a congressman has registered with the TSA.  Nice work, TSA.

Know your rights at increasingly common U.S. police state checkpoints.

Tell your dog, Rover, to start saving more for his health care.  Obama care is expected to hit veterinarians by forcing them to pay an excise tax on any equipment that can also be used for human care.

There are no bad people…

There are only people with a great capacity to rationalize.

Pat HedgesThis is certainly the case with the state and federal officials who joined together to crucify Charles C. Lynch, who meticulously followed state law and set up a medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, California in 2006.   And no one was more enthusiastic in that crusade to destroy Lynch  than San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Pat Hedges (pictured at left).

While Lynch had the blessing of the city and repeatedly solicited guidance from the DEA on the federal ramifications of operating a dispensary under California state law,  he was still targeted by Sheriff Hedges.  Lynch was never charged under state law and Morro Bay police did not participate in the 2007 raid that started the train of events that would ultimately leave Lynch bankrupt.  But, the DEA was a willing partner in the sheriff’s campaign of against Lynch.

lynching-charlie-lynch-coverI just finished watching “The Lynching of Charlie Lynch” available in disc or streaming video from Netflix.  This documentary tells the story of a man who is, by any common sense definition, the epitome of a responsible member of the community and the absolute antithesis of a criminal.  His only crime was that he chose to follow the wrong set of conflicting laws and not a single member of the entire federal justice system had the courage or integrity to stand up and say “stop” to this vindictive little shit of a sheriff and his equally self-important buddies in the DEA.  About the only bright spot in the case was that the Judge, with no help from the Obama Justice Department, doled out the lightest prison sentence he could justify under federal mandatory sentencing requirements.

What is most disturbing about the Lynch prosecution is how clearly it illustrates the point that the federal government is willing to act completely contrary to the welfare and wishes of the population in pursuit of its own self-serving interests.   The only beneficiaries of the crusade against Lynch were members of the machine of state and most of that gain simply served to enlarge their already swollen egos.

I recommend the movie because it angers us and helps remind us that there are a lot of real casualties in the war against the drug warriors.  It’s the Charlie Lynches of the world who do the most to convince the public that the drug war is destructive and ineffective.  But it’s also the Charlie Lynches of the world who make up the wake of death and destruction left in the path of organizations like the DEA.  When it’s finally all over and the drug war is just painful memory, I wonder if we’ll ever see a monument to the fallen heroes who had the balls to challenge the mindless government automatons whose job it is to destroy other people’s lives in exchange for a weekly paycheck.

Of course, I’m sure the folks at the DEA easily manage to rationalize what they do.  Destroying people to save them probably makes perfect sense to them.

Medical Marijuana for dogs

People seem to become far more outraged by the suffering of dogs than by the suffering of people.  When the government raids a house in search of marijuana and winds up injuring or killing the occupants, it barely merits a glitch on anyone’s radar, but if the cops kill a dog during a drug raid, people are outraged.

When people claim medical marijuana eases their suffering from disease, people are skeptical, so they have no problem with the drug war denying those people access to pot.  But how about when it turns out that pot can relieve the suffering of a dog with some terminal disease?  Nick Gillespie writes about how the veterinary medicine establishment coldly denies that pot could benefit pets.

In my opinion, the pharmaceutical industry, whether for pet’s or people, supports the war on drugs because they don’t want the competition.  The same is true of the alcoholic beverage industry.  These industries don’t care about your mother on her deathbed or you dog suffering from cancer.  They care about their bottom line and the government is always a willing partner in helping them to squeeze the public.

“Legalize it and tax it!”

That is a mantra that always accompanies any discussion about legalizing pot.  Americans seem to take it for granted that anything that isn’t necessary for survival is a luxury that should be taxed.  If it involves a perceived vice, it’s almost as if guilt takes over and a subconscious need for punishment kicks in.

Colorado’s Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force seems to be taking this concept to heart.  From

The Denver Post reports that the task force wants marijuana to be heavily taxed. Amendment 64 calls for an excise tax collected at the wholesale level “not to exceed 15 percent prior to January 1, 2017, and at a rate to be determined by the General Assembly thereafter.” The task force says the initial rate should be the full 15 percent and recommends a special tax at the retail level on top of that, in addition to the standard state and local sales taxes. “Though the task force did not endorse a specific amount for the sales tax,” the Post says, “it gave a 25 percent rate as an example.” Both taxes would have to be approved by voters.

I can’t help but worry that if the drug war ever ends, the government will find a way of making legalization even worse than the drug war.  High taxes may ultimately result in a black market for legal pot just as high taxes perpetuate a black market in alcohol and tobacco.  It must be some kind of chicken and egg thing.  Do people get stupid after becoming affiliated with government or do they have to be stupid to get into government in the first place?

Prosecutors and DEA officials switch sides in drug war

From The Guardian:

After working to take down cartels, former officials say America’s ‘war on drugs’ is misguided and the human cost too high

US prosecutors and other senior officials who spearheaded the war against drug cartels have quit their jobs to defend Colombian cocaine traffickers, saying their clients are not bad people and that United States drug policy is wrong.

Senior former assistant US attorneys and Drug Enforcement Administration agents are turning years of experience in investigating, indicting and extraditing narcos to the advantage of the alleged traffickers they now represent.

Pardon my skepticism, but this seems less like an ideological change of heart and more like a career opportunity.  Compare it to officials in U.S. regulatory agencies quitting in order to take high paying jobs in the industries they used to regulate or in the affiliated lobbying organizations.  I know there are law enforcement officers who oppose the drug war, but I just choke on the suggestion that a career DEA agent or federal prosecutor suddenly sees the light and realizes that he has needlessly been destroying people’s lives all these years.

Morning Links from The Agitator

Here are a few interesting links picked up from The Agitator.

  • Philadelphia district attorney Seth Williams will no longer accept the testimony of six city police  officers.  So far, 270 cases have been thrown out, which seems to hint that there may be some question of the officers’ ability to tell the truth.  An investigation by the FBI is on-going but, of course, what is being investigated remains a secret.  As is typical of most cases of police misconduct, the cops have not been charged and remain on the force. I guess their job will be reduced to doling out street justice since they’re useless in any criminal prosecution..  From the article: “The Fraternal Order of Police has defended the officers, saying they were doing their job.”
  • Here is some helpful weapons training for cops who suffer from the handicap of trigger-pull hesitation when confronted by a threat from a child or pregnant women.  I’m guessing this might be an extension of whatever program was used to eliminate any hesitation an officer might have when it comes to shooting family pets.


  • Dayton, Ohio cops break down the door to a man’s home after noting that he failed to signal for a turn.  They apparently followed the man home, knocked at his door,  and when the man refused to answer, they used a battering ram to enter his house.  They then searched his house “for officer safety” and found drugs.  An Ohio appeals court declared the entry lawful based on precedent, but offered the consolation that they only did so because they had to.

Drug war idiocy, Tennessesee edition.

A couple driving through Tennessee on their way home from a funeral in Ohio were stopped by police. According to the Columbus Dispatch:

They were in the westbound lanes of I-40, a few miles east of Memphis, when a black police SUV with flashing lights pulled them over, [Mrs] Jonas-Boggioni said.A second black SUV soon pulled up behind the first one.


“They were very serious,” she said. “They had the body armor and the guns.”

Black SUVs are becoming the vehicle of choice for official government business these days sort of like white Toyota pickup trucks have become a favorite of the Taliban.

“What are you doing with a marijuana sticker on your bumper?” he asked her.

She explained that it is actually a Buckeye leaf decal, just like the ones that Ohio State players are given to put on their helmets to mark good plays.

“He looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language,” she said.


Marijuana has seven leaflets, which should be required knowledge for anyone charged with the task of destroying the lives of people caught with it.

Ideally, the 65 year old woman should have said,“It’s not a marijuana sticker you dumbass moron and even if it were, how does that justify your pulling me over?  This was once referred to as ‘The Land of the Free’ until you idiot drug nazis turned it into a police state.”   At that point, ideally, the cops would have apologized profusely for being dunbasses and promised to never do something so stupid again.  But, it’s not an ideal world, so cops are completely free to harass people with essentially zero probable cause and if you get angry about it, they will arrest you, make your life miserable, and the entire law enforcement and judicial apparatus will back them up when they do so.

Before they let her go on her way, the officers advised Jonas-Boggioni to remove the decal from her car.

“I said, ‘You mean in Tennessee?’ and he said, ‘No, permanently.’

“I didn’t take it off. . . . This little old lady is no drug dealer.”

Cops inevitably compound their ignorance with even more displays of ignorance.  They mistake the citizen’s self control in the face of such harassment as a sign of respect when all the citizen is doing is desperately trying not to bruise the fragile ego of today’s neanderthal drag warriors which would almost certainly result in immediate arrest, if not a beating.

Where, oh where, would we be if not for the gallant front line troops protecting our safety, heritage, and freedom by relentlessly pursuing marijuana monsters (real or imagined)?  Well, we’d all be a lot better off, that’s for damn sure.


Morning LInks

  • No more Saturday mail delivery. which is expected to save about $2 billion annually (equal to about an eighth of its annual losses).  The postal workers union is condemning the move, which is probably the best indicator that it’s a step in the right direction.  Interestingly, this decision is being made by the USPS without Congressional approval (like so much of what happens in the Executive Branch these days).
  • Media outlets are reporting on a secret CIA drone base in Saudi Arabia from which drone attacks in Yemen are launch.  While the American media has known about this base for some time, they withheld reporting on it at the government’s request because “the goddamn American people have no business knowing what their government is doing in their name.”  [That last comment is really more of a paraphrasing of American governmental attitude than a specific quote]
  • 18 y/o girl gets 30 days in the slammer for flipping off the judge.  This is right after the judge doubled her bond because of her lack of contrition.  The girl was charged with possession of the prescription drug Xanax.  Most media hasn’t even batted an eyelash at the harshness of the 30-day penalty. While it might not have been in her best interest to piss off the judge, like her, I have no respect for a justice system that would charge and prosecute someone for possession of Xanax to begin with.
  • A new report says the that the Britain’s MI5  wants to install black boxes on UK networks to enable them to monitor virtually everything their citizens say and do online.  While there is some speculation that encryption would render such a system useless, the part of the report that deals with that issue was redacted because, as is the case in any modern democracy, the government can’t have the population knowing what they plan to do.

Morning Links

You can have all the free speech you want as long as it doesn’t paint Israel in an unfavorable light.

The UK uses the identities of dead children for undercover cops.

Having trouble attracting babes?  Become a serial killer.  Maggie McNeill explains why many  women are attracted to “Bad Boys“.

In the Your-Tax-Dollars-At-Work category, a 50 year old Canadian Super Bowl contest winner denied entry to go see the game because of a pot conviction back in 1981.

Thousands of hookers flocked to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, right?  Wrong.  And the myth is repeated every year for every major sporting event.

U.S. ramping up military drug war tactics in Latin America because, according to drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, the strategy has been working so well.

Massachusetts Dept of Transportation removes violent video games from rest stops and one mayor launches a campaign to get parents to remove them from their homes.  Because, while the government can’t really protect us from actual violence, they certainly can take action against harmless portrayals of violence.