Against The Drug War

  Against The Drug War

Posted by CN Staff on August 15, 2005 at 22:35:02 PT
By A.G. Gancarsk 
Source: Washington Times 

Washington, D.C. -- There has always been a certain resistance on the right to the war on drugs. One of the most persuasive texts on that front came in 1972, when the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse put forth a report entitled "Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding." This document recommended decriminalization on the grounds that marijuana and its users did not sufficiently endanger the public safety to warrant criminal penalties.
President Nixon had no apparent use for the findings of his own commission's study as he ran for re-election. But the report was not without its executive influence. President Carter, early in his term, referred to it when he argued that "penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to the individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use." Despite these strong words, Mr. Carter accomplished precious little on the national level in stemming overzealous enforcement of marijuana prohibition. His successors took a different tack than the one-term Democrat recommended, increasing penalties on drug users and helping the prison-industrial complex grow at nearly-exponential rates to house those caught in the web of illicit narcotics. But despite these efforts, America's drug problem is legendary around the world. With that in mind, as Congress wrestles with the specter of twained budget and trade deficits, it is fair to ask: Why does it seem like the war on drugs is not simply a failure, but the kind of failure that seems more egregious with each passing year?   Many conservatives have wondered the same thing, and have condemned the inefficacy of the effort, especially regarding cannabis. But their often emotional appeals have yet to resonate with national policy leaders. In that context, the utility of this slender volume becomes clear. Using arguments rooted largely in cost-benefit analysis, the authors neatly debunk the drug war as it is currently fought. Decrying the lack of "strong empirical evidence of substantial effectiveness" of the effort, the scholars suggest that the drug war's advocates be charged with providing said evidence.   And that is not a suggestion to take lightly. As the authors contend, the drug war has not succeeded in stemming the availability of either soft or hard drugs on the streets. There is little correlation, Mr. Boyum and Mr. Reuter claim, between even the toughest law enforcement and the reduction of drug use. Domestic drug use has yet to abate appreciably despite the staunchest efforts of police. Meanwhile, efforts by the United States to control the smuggling of narcotics into the country from foreign lands bear only modest returns. With enforcement bearing diminishing returns on all fronts, the authors, veteran observers of the drug war, argue that resources should be shifted from enforcement to a more "treatment-based" model.   It is striking how wide the gap is between action and perceived intent in the drug war. During President Clinton's tenure, for example, the decrease in viable drug markets was greeted with increased drug incarcerations. The authors point such incongruities out at considerable length, while making the case that initiatives like the public-school DARE anti-drug education program, "this is your brain on drugs" -- styled television advertisements and empty promises (like the vow made in the 1986 crime bill that America would be drug-free by 1995) have collapsed from their own unworkability. While that point has been noted elsewhere, the authors deserve kudos for showing, point by point, how, where, and why the drug war has failed.   There are areas where the book could have been improved. For example, the authors' understanding of street drug use reads curiously dated, overemphasizing the late 1990s club staple MDMA (ecstasy) at the expense of drugs that boomed more recently, like the rurally popular methamphetamine. But it may be too much to expect an up-to-the-moment understanding of the vagaries of the street drug scene from a self-described "analytic assessment of U.S. drug policy." For the most part, Mr. Boyum and Mr. Reuter succeed admirably here, taking a minority position on a hot-button issue and arguing it rigorously, honorably and unsentimentally, and recommending useful and timely reforms. Politicians thinking about running for president in 2008 would benefit from reading this book and internalizing its lessons.     A.G. Gancarski writes from Jacksonville, Fla.      An Analytic Assessment of U.S. Drug Policy  David Boyum and Peter Reuter   AEI Press, $20, 133 pages Source: Washington Times (DC)Author:  A.G. GancarskiPublished: August 16, 2005Copyright: 2005 News World Communications, Inc. Website: letters washingtontimes.comCannabisNews Justice Archives

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Comment #18 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 22:43:12 PT
I just read what someone said the cover was and I looked real close and it a bed sheet hung on a clothes line blowing in the wind. I agree with that. Still looks like an angel to me too.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 20:48:35 PT
Thanks for the email but Ed just posted so he can add his comments to this thread if he wants. Maybe he sent it to you before he posted here. He must have forgotten his original password because he re-registered this morning and made his post.
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Comment #16 posted by runruff on August 16, 2005 at 19:52:38 PT:
Dear Ed.I forwarded your E-mail on to FoM. She will know how to post your letter better than I could. I fumble my way around
myself but I hope I was of some help.Namaste
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 17:42:28 PT
It is interesting. To me it looks like an angel floating over the land ( prairie ). This was written during his Dad's time of dieing. Pegi and Neil moved up to Canada for the last 6 months of his father's life and then Neil almost died. He has When God Made Me on the new CD. Neil is a deeply spiritual man and maybe that's why I like his music so much. Not to mention he sure knows how to bring the house down with rock and roll. 
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Comment #14 posted by mayan on August 16, 2005 at 17:30:34 PT
That's an interesting cover on Neil's new one. I'm still trying to figure it out! 
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 16:06:17 PT
That's good. I have been a gopher for many years. I know how to find fascia, 16 d sinkers, floor joists, 2 by 4s, shims, rafters, trusses but never heard of a board stretcher. Thanks! 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 15:57:18 PT
Thanks we'll ask one of the guys tomorrow. The Amish fella isn't here anymore though. 
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Comment #11 posted by Toker00 on August 16, 2005 at 15:55:47 PT
Ok. It's when a carpenter tells his young inexperienced helper to go to the truck and get the board stretcher. Of course the young lad won't question what it is, and show his inexperience. He'll get to the truck and look and look to see what could possibly stretch a board, and when he returns empty-handed, the carpenter ususally just grins and the helper knows he's been had! No such thing,lol. (Not funny to everyone, and joke usually limited to the South)Peace. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #10 posted by Toker00 on August 16, 2005 at 15:48:22 PT
lol. It's a carpenter's joke. See if your Amish (sp?) carpenter gets it. Peace. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW! 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 15:36:30 PT
What's a board stretcher? 
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on August 16, 2005 at 14:28:47 PT
ThanX MaX
This is indeed clever. I made a hard copy. Perhaps soon we will read a headline: "Cannabis Laws Declared Invalid Worldwide." Hope your addition is coming along fine FoM. Tell the carpenter's not to forget their board stretcher when they leave!I need some permissions. Would it be possible to use some of you posters internet ID's in my activism/protests and possibly a quote or two? It would mean a lot to me, but I understand if anyone says no. I could ask you individually, or you may simply reply to this post. It's ok to tell me it's a dumb question, too.Almost finished with my signs! END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 12:56:48 PT
Max Flowers
I had to shorten the line to get the page back together right and I just wanted you to know that I did it.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 16, 2005 at 12:42:23 PT

This is off topic but I just found the cover art for Prairie Wind and I put it on my NY page.
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on August 16, 2005 at 11:47:47 PT

Forchion's grandfather defense
I haven't had an attorney review it (and the "ibids" need to be checked to ensure they're correct), but as far as I can see it is a brilliant piece of legal research. Forchion's original web document linked above is, unfortunately, just chock full of typos, and thus would be difficult to use as a reference without cleaning up, so I cleaned it up as best I could and will post it here as I think it could possibly be very important to anyone here as a defense option. I know I feel better keeping a copy of it around.==============================================(A) - Relevant Federal Statutes and "The Grandfather Clause"The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 ("the FDCA"), 21 U.S.C. §301 et seq., is designed to protect public health by regulating "new drugs" that are intended for use in interstate commerce. Barnes v. United States, 142 F.2d 648 (9th Cir.1944); United States v. Kordel, 164 F.2d 913 (7th Cir.1947); United States v. Two Bags, Poppy Seeds, 147 F.2d 123 (6th Cir. 1945). There exists, however, a "grandfather" clause which exempts certain old drugs from this "new drug" status. 21 U.S.C. §321(p)(1); United States v. Rutherford, 442 U.S.544, 546-48 (1979); Rutherford v. United States, 541 F.2d. 1137, 1140-42 (10th Cir.1976) (reversed on other grounds, 442 U.S. 544). As explained by federal regulators, when Congress revamped the FDCA in 1939, it "accepted those drugs marketed prior to 1938 which had been subject to the 1906 provisions of the FDCA [requiring drugs to be identified in recognized medical authorities such as the National Formulary, United States Dispensatory, Pharmacopeia of the United States, or other similar sources] provided these very old drugs retain their exact formulations and are never promoted for new uses." 57 Fed.Reg. 10499, 10503 (1992) (citing 21 U.S.C. §321(p) and (w)). As further explained, these pre-1938 drugs "are politically 'grandfathered' drugs" and "need not meet modern standards for safety and effectiveness." Ibid; United States v. Rutherford, 442 U.S. at 546-48; Rutherford v. United States, 541 F.2d. at 1140-42. As will now be shown, marijuana is one of those "very old drugs" that was grandfathered in as a medicine back in 1938. Marijuana (more commonly known as cannabis) was widely recognized for its medicinal use in the medical journals of that time, and brand-name companies, such as Parke-Davis and Eli Lilly, were cultivating "home-grown cannabis" and selling the "flowering tops" of the plant for use in the treatment of illnesses such as anorexia, chronic pain, spasticity, and nausea. (B) - "Medical Marijuana" Is A Bona Fide Medicine Within the meaning of the Grandfather Clause Exemption first, it bears emphasizing that federal regulators readily recognize "medical marijuana" as an authentic pre-1938 medicine: "Cannabis sativa L. was one of the first plants to be used by man for fiber, food, medicine, and in social and religious rituals. There were approximately 20 traditional medicinal uses of cannabis ... in Western medicine from the mid-19th to the early 20th century ... In 1941, marijuana passed out of the National Formulary and the United States Pharmacopeia."  54 Fed. Reg. 53767, 53774 (1989). Next, recorded documents existing within private and public libraries, now located on the world-wide web (internet), further reveal evidence of marijuana's recognition and acceptance as medicine prior to 1938. Defendant submits the attached declaration and supporting exhibits which verifies the pre-1938 acceptance of marijuana in the United States Dispensatory, Pharmacopeia of the United States, and Materia Medica acknowledging marijuana's use in the treatment of pain relief, epilepsy, appetite loss, depression, vomiting, etc. Companies such as Parke-Davis, Eli Lilly, Merck, and Squibb made extensive use of marijuana for commercial medicinal purposes and not only manufactured and sold marijuana preparations, they cultivated "home-grown cannabis" and then sold the "flowering tops" of those plants by the gram, ounce and pound. Thus, the "medical marijuana" that the defendant is charged with possession of, is identical to the type of marijuana that was cultivated and marketed for medical use back in 1937. Since "medical marijuana" is a federally recognized pre-1938 medicine, not a Schedule I substance, defendant's conduct does not constitute an offense in violation of [federal statutes]. In fact these statutes are seriously flawed in that they erroneously classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug; Schedule I requires substances in the Schedule I classification to have no medical value in the U.S. It is common knowledge that marijuana has medicinal value. The fact that marijuana has medicinal value and is used medicinally in the US, makes it by definition not a Schedule I drug.Currently there are several ongoing federal programs that distribute marijuana for medical purposes under the 1978 Compassionate Use Act.
Despite the so-called illegality of it, physicians often tell patients to use marijuana for a wide variety of ailments and symtoms. My physicians are aware of my use of marijuana and do not condemn its use.Defendant is also aware of recent federal studies such as the March 1997 release of the IOM (Institute of Medicine) report titled "Marijuana as Medicine." This report and its findings alone disprove the government's patently false claim that marijuana has no medical value.  
 (C) - The Burden Is On The Government To Refute Defendant's Claim That His Activity Falls Within The Grandfather Exemption In Rutherford v. United States, 541 F.2d. at 1140-42, the court noted, then emphasized that it is the government's obligation to refute a valid claim that a drug falls within the grandfather exemption. 542 F.2d at 1143 ("FDA would have to present substantial evidence to support the proposition that Laetrile is not grandfathered by the exemptions"). Moreover, once the FDA issues its determination, that ruling is then "reviewable by a district court." Ibid (citing Weinberger v. Hynson, Wescott & Dunning, Inc., 412 U.S. 609 (1973) To date, defendant is unaware of any administrative (or court-reviewed) finding refuting defendant's claim that "medical marijuana" is a legal pre-1938 grandfathered drug.It is anticipated that the government will claim the medical use of marijuana was repealed or otherwise un-grandfathered when Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act and placed marijuana into Schedule I. See 21 U.S.C. §812(I)(c). As will now be shown, the pre-1938 recognition of marijuana as medicine and its acceptance as a grandfathered drug has never been repealed nor has cannabis been removed from its grandfather status. First, as explained in 57 Fed.Reg. 10499, "[t]here is nothing in the Controlled Substances Act, its legislative history, or its purpose that would indicate Congress intended to depart radically from existing Federal law" regarding the identification and use of drugs. Id. at 10503.Rather, the CSA must be read in conjunction with the FDCA and "viewed in light of the prior legal status of these drugs under the FDCA." Id at10504. When the CSA is examined in conjunction with the FDCA and "viewed in light of the prior legal status of these drugs under the FDCA," it becomes evident that Congress continued to recognize the validity of drugs, including "medical marijuana," qualified under the FDCA's grandfather clause. As set forth in 21 U.S.C. §812, Schedule I substances are defined as follows: "Unless specifically excepted ..., any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, which contains any quantity of the following ... (10) Marihuana." 21 U.S.C. §812 Schedule I(c). The "unless specifically excepted" clause must be read to refer to 21 U.S.C. §321(p), where Congress "specifically excepted" and accepted as medicine those drugs marketed prior to 1938 which qualified for the grandfather clause exemption. See 57 Fed.Reg. at 10504 ("Congress put pre-1938-grandfathered drugs into Schedules II, III, IV and V of the CSA."). If Congress had intended to repeal marijuana's pre-1938-grandfather recognition under §321(p), it would have made clear its intent to repeal medical marijuana's exempt status. Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill, 437 U.S. 153, 189-90 (1978) (collecting cases) ("intention of the legislature to repeal must be clear and manifest"). Next, in Rutherford v. United States, 542 F.2d 1137, the court discussed the possibility that the drug Laetrile may qualify for the grandfather exemption but could also be un-grandfathered if the FDA found that Laetrile was "dangerous to health." Id. at 1142 n4. To date, neither Congress, the FDA, nor the DEA have declared medical marijuana "dangerous to health." In fact, marijuana is listed in a widely recognized source as "generally recognized as safe."2 Thus, unless the government can prove otherwise, defendant's possesion of "medical marijuana" is a statutorily recognized activity in accordance with 21 U.S.C. §321(p). Accordingly, defendant's conduct does not constitute an offense within the meaning of 21 U.S.C.§841(a)(1): "Medical marijuana" is not a Schedule I substance; "medical marijuana" is a bona fide pre-1938 grandfathered medicine subject to FDCA regulation. (21 U.S.C. §301 et. seq.) (D) - Marijuana Is A Natural Medicine Marijuana is scientifically not a Schedule I drug as the goverment alleges in these charges. Currently 35 states have recognized the medicinal value of cannabis. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical reasons (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington). 20% of the American people now live in states where marijuana is a medicine. FOOTNOTES(2) Duke, James A: "Handbook of Phytochemical Constituents of GRAS Herbs and other Economic Plants" (1992) at p. 128. 

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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on August 16, 2005 at 07:55:03 PT

Medical Cannabis
Legal Medicine in the USA by Grandfather Clause Exemption, as proved in New Jersey Court by Ed Forchion. Edward "njweedman" Forchion  -vs- 
 State of New Jersey in Canada by Ontario Court of Appeal and British Columbia Court abrogation (Unconstitional under Charter of Rights and Freedoms); no new legislation passed by Parliament.Mass transit users, car dealers, orchid cultivators, tomato and lettuce grow-ops. I rest my case.
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Comment #3 posted by ekim on August 16, 2005 at 06:53:55 PT

every American politician knows it. 
  Tuesday, August 16, 2005 
News of the North
A good interview with Marc Emery in the Vancouver Courier. He talks about the bust and the history of his activism and reveals some little known details of his personal life. Meanwhile, California state judge James Gray, in an address before the Canadian Bar Association in Vancouver said that the war on drugs isn't working and every American politician knows it. But instead of making changes, politicians would rather continue receiving war-on-drug funding."Our biggest cash crop in California is marijuana," said Gray. "That shows you how good of a job we're doing. We couldn't be doing worse if we tried."Gray wants to see a push in America to decriminalize marijuana and treat it like alcohol, but says there is too much money in the war on drugs for the government to stop."It is big business to prosecute the war on drugs," he said. "And people in the government do not want to give up that business. They realized that 70 per cent of people that use illegal drugs only use marijuana. If you legislate marijuana, you lose your enemy in the war on drugs and the funding that goes into it." 
The Judge had nothing but praise for Vancouver's approach to drugs and urged them to continue the good work. This of course is why the DEA is so hellbent to destroy the Vansterdam scene. It's another living testament for sensible drug policy and a living proof that debunks their lying propaganda as they continue to lamely insist that marijuana is so much stronger now and is the cause of teenage admissions to drug treatment programs. Both claims long debunked on both sides of the border.
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Comment #2 posted by Treeanna on August 16, 2005 at 06:25:59 PT

That book is available as a free download at the publisher, too.,filter.all/book_detail.asp
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on August 16, 2005 at 03:16:05 PT

Common Sense and Money
Hope conservatives can read the fine print on their bank books.Oil and Drugs
Cindy+Over the weekend, as the camp prepared for the arrival of the counter-demonstrators, a huge diesel pickup truck rumbled into camp with its nose menacingly pointed towards the tents. It sat for a while, and everyone waited to see what would happen. Ann Wright, the main organizer of camp activities, finally approached the truck and met the driver. He was a father, Wright discovered, and his son had been killed in Iraq.  He did not agree with this protest, he said, but wanted to know if his son's name was on one of the crosses in the Arlington West cemetery. Ann Wright invited the man to walk the rows of crosses and find his son's name. They found it. Ann and the man from the truck sat down in front of the cross, wrapped their arms around each other, and wept. Later, the man shared a beer with Cindy Sheehan and told her he loved her. That is a victory, one that surpasses any sort of mean politics.
 Cindy's Victory' By William Rivers Pitt
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