Libertarians Target 'Drug Warriors' for Defeat 

Libertarians Target 'Drug Warriors' for Defeat 
Posted by CN Staff on May 29, 2002 at 11:28:28 PT
By Jim Burns, Senior Staff Writer
The Libertarian Party, which advocates the legalization of marijuana, is targeting both Republicans and Democrats in the November election, depending on the candidates' drug policies. Lawmakers who support the war on drugs may find a Libertarian candidate opposing them.Although drug legalization is a major concern for Libertarians in this midterm-election year, the Libertarians deny they are becoming a one-issue party. And don't call them spoilers, either, said the Libertarian Party's Political Director Ron Crickenberger.
"We don't feel you can spoil something that's rotten already," he told . He said that fielding Libertarian candidates is a "very powerful weapon that we have where we can significantly influence the Congress and the makeup of state legislatures." The party plans to run Libertarian candidates against Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Henry Bonilla (R-Texas), Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) and Bob Barr (R-Ga.). Those lawmakers have been targeted for defeat because of what the Libertarians describe as their heavy-handed support for the war on drugs and their vocal opposition against the legalization of marijuana, a key issue for the Libertarians."It will be incumbents we are going after," said Crickenberger. "We are not going after one party or the other, we're going after incumbent drug warriors who have a really bad record of instituting these policies that are causing a lot of harm to America," he said.Barr, because of redistricting, is in a primary battle against his House colleague, Republican John Linder. Crickenberger said he would like to see both of them go. Barr opposes drug legalization because he thinks it would result in more crime, not less."Legalizing drugs, for medicinal purposes or otherwise, will not eliminate illegal trafficking of drugs nor the violence associated with the illegal drug trade," Barr said in a statement on his website. "A black market would still exist unless all psychoactive and addictive drugs in all strengths were made available to all ages in unlimited quantity at no cost." Barr said, "A study of international drug policy and its effects on countries has shown that countries with lax drug law enforcement have had an increase in drug addiction and crime. Conversely, those with strong drug policies have reduced drug use and enjoy low crime rates." Cleland opposes legalization of "any currently illegal drug," as he put it."We know that every year drug abuse costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $70 billion. To put this figure in perspective, $70 billion would buy four years of undergraduate education at a public college for 1,738,000 students. Yet $70 billion isn't the highest price this nation pays for drug abuse. Our nation's highest price is counted in shattered families, in lost futures, and lost lives. Drug and alcohol abuse is a leading cause not only of our highway fatalities, but also of America's high crime rate," said Cleland in a statement.Going after 'drug warriors' Statements such as those from Barr and Cleland are the kind of talk that angers many Libertarians."What we are attempting to do here is take out the worst drug warriors on both sides," Crickenberger said. "We are not necessarily concerned about taking away votes from Republicans. We are trying to take away votes from the worst drug warriors," he said."If we can take out, or help to take out, a few of the drug war leaders in the course of the general election, we feel we will have a big impact on the issue in Congress," he said.Crickenberger said the Libertarian strategy to target drug-war supporters developed after a year-long planning process in 2001. "There is a window of opportunity for significant drug reform in a Libertarian direction over the next few years, and we can play a critical role in bringing it about. It's not that we thought this was the absolutely issue we could address, but it was the most important issue that we could do something about," Crickenberger told Libertarian Party has about 30,000 members and contributors throughout the United States. It plans to hold its annual convention in Indianapolis July3-7. The Party will draft its platform and conduct campaign seminars at that time.Crickenberger said the drug issue is one of several imporant concerns for the Libertarians."Our candidates will continue to talk about a lot of different issues," he said. But he said the party plans to focus on the drug legalization issue for the next few election cycles "until we see whether or not this strategy that we have adopted is viable and is working."Crickenberger said the drug issue includes several other topics of concern to Libertarians. For example, he said the war on drug "is being used to abrogate our civil liberties -- from our gun rights to our personal privacy to our financial matters."Complete Title: Libertarians Target 'Drug Warriors' for Defeat in NovemberSource: CNSNews.comAuthor: Jim Burns, Senior Staff WriterPublished: May 29, 2002Copyright: 1998-2002 Cybercast News ServiceContact: shogenson cnsnews.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:The Libertarian Party Libertarians Embark on Spoiler Campaign our 'Freedoms' We Helping Terrorists by Not Legalizing Drugs? 
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Comment #25 posted by boppy on May 30, 2002 at 14:54:35 PT
One thing a Libertarian told me who was running for city councilman in Indianapolis was that if you ask the opinion on any subject to 10 different Libertarians you can get 10 different opinions. It's OK to disagree and not ruffle any feathers unlike the other 2 parties.
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Comment #24 posted by cltrldmg on May 30, 2002 at 11:37:08 PT
Hey, sorry for misinterpreting you in that thread the other day. I thought you were repeating the 'either you're with us or against us' bullshit, and jumped to the wrong conclusion. I totally agree with you about the two party system. That and the electoral system is what is responsible for a lot of the problems, prohibition only being one of them. I don't think you can just change the politicians, you'll have to change a fundamentally undemocratic system first.
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Comment #23 posted by Sandino on May 30, 2002 at 10:29:22 PT:
More shrub Stuff
Here's another link to some very interesting shrub art:Fuckyouverymuchbush: dddd, I hear you can find some real cool babes in the Santa Rosa area of Northern California. I went to school at Sonoma State University, which is just down the road from Santa Rosa. But if you go there watch out for the DEAth squads, who seem to be raising their ugly heads everywhere. Down With the Evil Empire...S.A. Homes  
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Comment #22 posted by 2Spooky on May 30, 2002 at 07:56:58 PT
Hey! The dancing Shrub is pretty good! LOL!
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Comment #21 posted by SoberStoner on May 29, 2002 at 23:17:16 PT:
"We know that every year drug abuse costs U.S. taxpayers nearly $70 billion..How much does the drug WAR cost you soundbite spouting moron?and then you have the audacity to claim family breakups over drugs without mentioning that most of the times it happens is because someone is in a CAGE because of your stupid war.god i want to go to rallies for these people so i can be the one asking the right questions to these people. if these reporters wont be the journalists they claim to be, i'll be more than willing to do their job for them.SS
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on May 29, 2002 at 22:35:48 PT
Hey now we're Chicks! I've been called many things in my life but not a Chick too many times. LOL! You don't need to go find another web site. All you have to do is yell, Yo! Any Chicks come here? No don't do that! LOL!
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Comment #19 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 22:35:14 PT
Here's the deal
 ...I dont think your concerns about the racial aspects of the Libertarian party are well founded...,
If we put it on a constructive level, I think there are ways to wean black voters from their excessive confidence in the Democratic Party.Supporting Dionne Warwick was a really good start. That's an opening that could be well exploited with the right resources and targeting.Los Angeles is filled with successful black entertainment industry people now. When people have a lot of money, and are involved in creative enterprise, and have felt the sting of censorship as well, that makes them open to a more Libertarian message.
The Democrats would feel VERY threatened by any Libertarian incursions among the growing black upper middle class in Southern California.
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Comment #18 posted by dddd on May 29, 2002 at 22:26:23 PT
....Thank You FoM......
.......I'm glad EJ finally told me she was married......heck,,EJ's married,,and so are you,,I guess I'm gonna have to find some other website where there are more availiable chicks......(...hope ya'all dont mind me callin' you "chicks"......It's a rather silly term,,in the same class as "groovy",,or "far out man".....I guess it probably makes me feel younger somehow to say "chicks",,and I hope it makes you feel the same.......dddd
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 29, 2002 at 22:03:22 PT
I just want you to know that you often say things I wish I could say but won't. I go cool, wow, he said, yup, that's good, thanks alot, saved me from trying to say it and still be thought of as a sort of nice person! LOL!
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Comment #16 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 21:49:48 PT
Libertarians, someone please tell Ted Brown...
The man really needs to mention marijuana in his campaign. This is a scientific district, he should be ragging on the Drug War's damaging effect on the role of science in society. Why should scientists have to promise to be drug agents too? Why head down such a slippery slope of social engineering?He's not stimulating anyone's imagination the least bit, I'm afraid, with just a laundry list of Libertarian positions.
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Comment #15 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 21:40:31 PT
Thanks dddd
By the way I'm married but thanks for the compliments :-)
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Comment #14 posted by dddd on May 29, 2002 at 21:32:31 PT
......I have realized that there exsists a credible likelyhood,,that you think I am a bit too freeform outspoken,and maybe too boisterously radical in my excessivly verbose commentary demeanor.....and I cant blame you,because I admit that I have a tendency to be an annoying offbeat crackpotesque rambler.........But,,,if you are serious about going into political realms,I would be happy to volunteer my assistance..I think you have the potential to be excellent,and successful in political endeavors. ...I dont think your concerns about the racial aspects of the Libertarian party are well founded...,,and I am also curious as to what the alternative party for you would be?...Would you ever consider it a possibility,to try and run as a Democrat?,,or is that a stupid question?
...Go for it EJ!....Intelligent,and good people like you are one of the only significant hopes for changing things.I'm quite certain that it would be a daunting challenge to actually run for office,,but someones gotta do it,,,and for whatever it's worth,I want to encourage you to seriously consider it...You are good.....
your supporter,and fan..................dddd 
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Comment #13 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 21:03:50 PT
Anyways the Libertarian spot is filled
This really boring guy Ted Brown is running. He's not even mentioning marijuana or the DEA or anything current at all. He just says "End the War on Drugs" which is not going to spark the imagination at all.I would run very differently from him. For one thing I would be aggressive in Hispanic and black areas reminding voters of the very intense deliberate racism in the history of the war on pot, and reminding them of the role of freedom and civil liberties in the struggle for racial and gender equality.And that's just the start.
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Comment #12 posted by Sandino on May 29, 2002 at 20:09:06 PT:
The shrub Shuffle
Check out the current moves of the slick one. It takes a while to load, but is well worth the wait.The Dancing shrub voted for Harry Browne in the last presidential election and have no regrets.
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Comment #11 posted by Lehder on May 29, 2002 at 19:39:44 PT
if you have more than a casual interest in this, then i hope you proceed. you would be a class act. get some advice from ethan nadelman.
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Comment #10 posted by Lehder on May 29, 2002 at 19:10:55 PT
second thoughts
no, i would not keep medical mj a "surprise" issue - but i would not espouse anything beyond booting asa out of established state law. med mj would be an electrifying issue and contribute to an actual victory - but i think it does not fly alone and a different principal issue is i will shut up and mind my own business. i can't even vote for you. best wishes.
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Comment #9 posted by Lehder on May 29, 2002 at 19:04:46 PT
rabble rouser
it's easy for me to be an arm chair politician or an arm chair rabble rouser, and i have no intention of running for any office. but these are my thoughts if i did: first, i would realize that i had to be prepared for a lot of abuse - "you just want to get high," etc. etc. and more, etc. and have my answers ready - as bush did his. i think i would not run with any mj-related issue as my main issue - i'd find some other issue that i was genuinely concerned about, that had a wide appeal, and make that my main issue, med mj and loyalty oaths secondary issues. i'd run as an independent, a republican or a democrat. i would be fully prepared and fully expect to lose - this may not be to everyone's taste and is certainly not the american way - although it may be possible to find a principal issue of sufficient power and appeal to actually win! in fact, if there's another issue important to you and you think you could win, then why not keep some of your cards face-down as johnson did? you know, once esconced in a national office, you are in a position to empower many people on a local level whose views are to your liking, even if no headway could be made in congress itself. let congress know only upon your arrival that they're dealing with an intelligent person and no Cherry2000.
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Comment #8 posted by MDG on May 29, 2002 at 17:25:07 PT
You've got to be kidding me.
Don't just say "it's no accident" and "people can make excuses for that" without giving something to back it up, especially if you load the statement with "there are only white people and some of them say things about black people that are disturbing to me". Just replace "white people" with "pot smoking Jews" and you sound like Richard Nixon! If you disagree with Libertarians on issues, don't run as a one, but don't just say, "Libertarians are all white people; many are racists." If you gave me a quote like "Libertarian Joe Smith used 'the N-word' twice on Feb. 12, 1996" it would make him a jerk, it wouldn't make all Libertarians racists. Is that "making an excuse"?
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Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 16:12:57 PT
I would have a problem with running as a Libertarian, because I think it is not an accident that it's an all white party.People can make excuses for that, whatever, but I do get the creeps when I end up somewhere where there are only white people and some of them say things about black people that are disturbing to me.
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 15:40:24 PT
Hey that's not a bad idea
I'm in a district where there are a lot of scientists who have to sign this ridiculous drug free certificate to get their money.Running for Congress would be one way to start a discussion on what it is proper for politicians to ask scientists to do for their research and education grants.I don't think it is proper to ask scientists to become hall monitors in the war on drugs.If we can ask scientists to become drug police, then what else can we ask them to do? Someone who is doing DNA research should focus on DNA research and not be asked by Congress to become a professional social engineer as well.
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 15:33:59 PT
Get me a staff and I will
I could conceive of being the wicked ice breaker at this oh-so-polite tea party.But I would need assistance, I'm really overcommitted for the next year as it is. I mean, contractually, things I can't just choose to do later.
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Comment #4 posted by boppy on May 29, 2002 at 14:51:58 PT
Where does Barr get stats like that? Does he pull them out of his ass? Does he actually believe figures like $70 billion a year (for shattered families, lost futures, lost lives)? How exactly is it lost? More money is wasted for prohibition. I hope the Libertarians nail this guy.
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Comment #3 posted by Lehder on May 29, 2002 at 14:43:28 PT
second the motion
programmers would respect a physicist far more than they would a slimy lawyer or big shot. give some thought to an appealing platform. i think either congresswoman or mayor would be a good office. isn't it true that the mayor can fire the police chief? 
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Comment #2 posted by Ethan Russo MD on May 29, 2002 at 14:30:50 PT:
E_J, You Gave Me the Opening
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on May 29, 2002 at 14:22:55 PT
How to break the medical marijuana blockade?
What would be a good political strategy in a Congressional district where both the Democratic and Republican candidates are former federal prosecutors with a heavy vested interest in maintaining a solid wall against medical marijuana at the federal level?Is there some way for a strong third party to tip the balance?This is in a district near a major tech school with a lot of programmers who are closet potheads.
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