Progressive Voter Guide To Drug Issues

Progressive Voter Guide To Drug Issues
Posted by CN Staff on October 10, 2008 at 09:16:18 PT
By AlterNet
Source: AlterNet
USA -- Twelve states now have medical marijuana laws on the rolls, and hardly a week goes by without the announcement of a medical study touting the healing effects of cannabis. Yet the drug war in the United States keeps on rolling: More than 870,000 people were arrested on charges relating to marijuana last year, and Congress approves larger budgets each year for the White House drug czar.What can we expect from Obama on drug issues if he's elected? 
"Bottom line," marijuana policy expert Paul Armentano recently wrote, "no administration since Jimmy Carter's has proactively taken steps to liberalize federal drug penalties, and there's little indication that Obama and Biden will possess either the desire or the political will to buck this long-running trend." We can expect even less from John McCain, given his history of statements on issues relating to the war on drugs.Nevertheless, nuance does matter at the scale of the presidency, and there are some major distinctions in the positions of the two candidates on drug-related issues. Read below to find out how Obama and McCain compare on everything from drug sentencing laws to drug use in politicians' personal lives.1. FEDERAL RAIDS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA USERS, DEALERS AND GROWERSIn the 12 states where medical marijuana laws are on the books, the federal government has continued to conduct raids, arrest dealers and issue harsh fines and penalties.Solution: The president can redirect law enforcement away from this issue and signal other priorities to law enforcement agencies.Obama's position: Obama has said he wouldn't use federal funds on raids in the 12 states where medical marijuana has been legalized.McCain's position: When asked in April 2007 if he would end the federal raids on medical marijuana patients, he answered, "I will let states decide that issue." However, his voting history in the Senate and his record on drug issues indicate that McCain would "stay the course."2. DECRIMINALIZING MARIJUANADespite majorities of state residents demonstrating overwhelming support for the decriminalization of marijuana (more than 70 percent of residents in Massachusetts, for example), the federal government lags far behind in de-prioritizing marijuana enforcement.Solution: Support the passage of Rep. Barney Frank's bill in Congress, the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008, which would remove federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce (28.3 grams) of marijuana. It would not change marijuana's status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act and would not change federal laws prohibiting the cultivation of marijuana, sale of marijuana for profit, or import or export of marijuana. It also would not affect any state or local marijuana laws or regulations.Obama's position: Obama's record is mixed. He has stated both support and opposition to decriminalizing marijuana. In 2004, he said, "We need to rethink and decriminalize our (nation's) marijuana laws." In 2007, however, he reversed his position, with his campaign saying he was opposed to it.McCain's position: McCain has indicated he wouldn't support decriminalizing marijuana.3. RECOGNIZING THE LEGITIMACY OF MARIJUANA AS A VIABLE PAIN-RELIEVING MEDICINENumerous powerful arms of the federal government -- the National Institutes of Health, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and others -- have filibustered or smeared valid medical research and reports indicating marijuana's viability as a pain reliever for numerous medical issues.Solution: Change the culture of federal government to reflect contemporary science and push for funding to pursue study on marijuana's medical properties.Obama's position: Obama has stated, "When it comes to medical marijuana, I have more of a practical view than anything else. My attitude is that if it's an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else."McCain's position: "Every medical expert I know of, including the AMA (American Medical Association), says that there are much more effective and much better treatments for pain than medical marijuana. ... I still would not support medical marijuana because I don't think that the preponderance of medical opinion in America agrees with (the) assertion that it's the most effective way of treating pain." (Obama's vice presidential pick, Joe Biden, has made very similar comments to McCain's on this issue.) 4. HARSH SENTENCING LAWS AFFECTING NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERSThe "War on Drugs" mentality in law enforcement has created a justice system that treats harmless drug offenders with the same level of punishment as rapists and murderers.Solution: Push for Congress and the White House to redress its sentencing guidelines for federal offenses.Obama's position: Obama has indicated that he would give some first-time, nonviolent offenders alternatives to serving time in prison. Obama has said he opposes "the blind and counterproductive warehousing" of drug users.McCain's position: McCain has indicated he would begin new prison expansion initiatives to cope with the rising number of convicted criminals, including those convicted of drug-related crimes. But in a recent speech to the Urban League, he spoke in favor of diverting more nonviolent drug law offenders to treatment instead of prison.5. REHABILITATION VS. INCARCERATIONThe U.S. justice system continues to incarcerate people for drug-related offenses, a primitive and crude approach with a high recidivism rate.Solution: Adopt an approach similar to that of other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, which have enjoyed far higher success rates with rehabilitation programs.Obama's position: Obama co-sponsored the federal Second Chance Act, passed this year, which provides up to $360 million to support job training, counseling and mentorship for inmates released from custody. Obama has emphasized, as an alternative to incarceration rates, "training them in skills and literacy," which would be more effective at "reducing recidivism rates."McCain's position: McCain has paid lip service on some rehabilitation issues. In 2007, McCain indicated he thinks that rehabilitation for drug offenders can work as an alternative to incarceration: "Now I will agree ... that too often we put first-time drug users in prison. In my home state of Arizona, we have a program that puts first-time drug offenders, not dealers but first-time drug offenders, that they have the eligibility on rehab programs that is associated with very significant testing procedures. And if they successfully complete that rehabilitation course, then they are allowed to move forward with their lives. We have too many first-time drug offenders in prison." But McCain has recently called for greater penalties for drug offenders, including extending the death penalty for "kingpin" drug dealers.6. DRUG ERADICATION IN SOUTH AMERICAThe United States spends billions of dollars on "drug prevention" programs in South America, with no clear effects in curbing local production of these drugs, while devastating local economies and promoting the widespread spraying of herbicides, which contribute to the destruction of rain forests and uproots people from their homelands.Solution: Cut such funding and "assistance" to these foreign governments.Obama's position: He has lobbied in favor of increased funding for U.S. drug interdiction efforts in Colombia.McCain's position: He advocates more money and military assistance to drug-supplying nations such as Colombia to stop the flow of drugs into the United States. 7. MEXICO AND THE DRUG WARThere is a constant flow of guns, money and drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border as a result of the United States' prohibition of numerous drugs, putting billions of dollars in the hands of drug cartels, causing the deaths of thousands of innocents and creating a "narco-terror state."Solution: There are many progressive solutions to this problem, from decriminalizing the smuggled drugs in the United States to de-incentivizing drug smuggling across the border. Obama's position: He has called for increasing "technology and real-time intelligence-sharing to allow U.S. and Mexican authorities to track and dismantle drug-trafficking cartels," "investing in anti-drug education on both sides of the border to reduce demand for illicit narcotics," and "making a concerted effort to disrupt arms smuggling and money laundering from the United States that supplies Mexican drug cartels with weapons and funds."McCain's position: McCain believes the Merida Initiative, a plan to provide the Mexican government with millions in U.S. funds to combat drug-related crime, is a good first step in the cooperative effort. He recently commended Mexican President Felipe Calderon for his cooperation with the United States in drug prosecutions: "He's a good man," McCain said. "For the first time in history he extradited drug dealers to the U.S." McCain has called the surge in drug-related violence along the border "a serious challenge to the authority of the government of Mexico. ... What happens when drug cartels take over? Drugs flow into the United States of America. It is clearly in America's interests to cooperate." 8. RACIST DRUG SENTENCING LAWSIn federal court, crack cocaine offenses have historically generated sentences approximately 100 times greater than comparable powder cocaine crimes. This has disproportionately affected African-Americans across the United States.Solution: Emphasize rehabilitation and reduce the disparity in penalties. Obama's position: As Paul Armentano wrote for AlterNet, "Joe Biden was a key architect of the 1988 Omnibus Anti-Drug Abuse Act, which enacted mandatory sentences for minor crack cocaine possession (five years in prison for possession of more than five grams) and redefined low-level drug mules as drug 'conspirators' (allowing these defendants to face the same penalties as drug kingpins.") Biden has since recanted his position on this issue, and along with Obama, favors major reforms in federal sentencing guidelines. Obama supports eliminating sentencing disparities and applying guideline changes retroactively. He was co-sponsor of Biden's Senate equalization bill, which eliminates the five-year mandatory minimum prison term for first-time possession of crack cocaine and increases the amount of a controlled substance or mixture containing a cocaine base (i.e., crack cocaine) required for the imposition of mandatory minimum prison terms for crack cocaine trafficking, thus eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. McCain's position: McCain has voted in the Senate for mandatory prison sentences for drug crimes. 9. AFGHANISTAN'S POPPY FARMS AND HEROIN PRODUCTIONAfghanistan now supplies around 93 percent of the world's opium, a number that has increased ever since Bush invaded Afghanistan. Various attempts at eradication have failed miserably.Solution: Drug Policy Alliance Director Ethan Nadelmann has proposed this concept: "Let's just accept opium as a global commodity, and let's think of Afghanistan as the global equivalent of a local red light district. It has all sorts of natural advantages in opium production -- it's a low-cost producer, and there is a history of opium growing there. With global opium production centered almost exclusively in Afghanistan, as it is now, there is less likelihood it will pop up somewhere else, possibly with even more negative consequences."Obama's position: He has called for more "agricultural specialists in Afghanistan ... people who can help them develop other crops than heroin poppies, because the drug trade in Afghanistan is what is driving and financing these terrorist networks. So we need agricultural specialists."McCain's position: In a 2007 speech, McCain said: "Ending the pernicious effect of drugs on Afghan society is no easy task, but it begins with projects that provide economically sustainable alternatives to poppy cultivation. In presenting such projects, however, it is necessary to realize that their success is intimately connected with the need for infrastructure, such as irrigation for crops and a road system that can bring goods to market. Britain, which has the lead on counternarcotics programs, can help marshal the international community to take a comprehensive approach to this pervasive threat that directly impacts our own societies."10. HONESTY ABOUT DRUG USE IN POLITICIANS' PERSONAL LIVESOne of the biggest issues at the heart of America's bad drug policies is that politicians don't have an easy time admitting drug use in their own lives, or in the lives of their family members.Solution: Greater honesty about drug use and better media reporting on hypocrisy.Obama's position: Obama has admitted to using drugs such as cocaine and marijuana with some frequency as a young man, but he has since suggested it was the wrong path to take. Still, Obama has characterized his drug use as irresponsible, as opposed to normal. "Growing up to be a man involves taking responsibility. By the time I was 20, I was no longer engaged in any of this stuff," Obama has said of his drug use.McCain's position: John McCain's wife, Cindy, became addicted to the prescription drugs Percocet and Vicodin in the '90s, stealing the drugs from her own nonprofit medical relief organization. She is also an heiress to a large beer distribution network. McCain has said repeatedly that he sees a distinction between alcohol and illegal drugs, even though medical professionals and drug experts view alcohol as a drug.Source: AlterNet (US)Published: October 10, 2008Copyright: 2008 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #20 posted by LaGuardia on October 11, 2008 at 09:22:55 PT
Drug Czar Office to Expire 9/30/10
I should add that the legal authority for the Drug Czar's office is slated to expire on September 30, 2010. See 21 USC 1712.If Congress renews the ONDCP, I bet that ONDCP would have a completely different set of legal requirements and would be able to consider a wider range of potential policy choices. On the other hand, ONDCP has been ineffective by just about any measure, so why keep throwing good money after bad?It will really be up to our lobbyist friends to help us with this issue; one more good reason to donate to NORML and MPP.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by LaGuardia on October 10, 2008 at 21:42:06 PT
Re: Drug Czar
I would also like to see the Drug Czar position eliminated, but I am pretty sure that Obama would appoint one anyway and that might now be such a bad thing if the person is a reformer.  You are correct that the drug czar is prohibited by law from promoting "legalization" per se but I think that the statutory language in question is pretty weak, all things considered:21 USC 1703(12): "[the Drug Czar] shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that-- 1. is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and 2. has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;"But that would not prevent a reformer from taking office -- even one who publicly opposed prohibition prior to taking office -- and making significant policy changes. It is just a restriction on spending once in office.Plus, what does "legalization" really mean? And what does "as necessary" really mean? Perhaps no action would be "necessary" at all, depending on the facts at hand? Further, I doubt that "decriminalization" is the same as "legalization;" they are in fact quite different concepts and, if Congress had intended to prohibit ONDCP from promoting "decriminalization," it would have presumably used that word too, but it did not. So "decriminalization" should be acceptable for the Drug Czar to promote, and taking action to oppose legalization may not be "necessary."It really would be up to the Drug Czar him- or herself to interpret what is "necessary" and what is not, and what constitutes "legalization" and what does not. That is the way it is now in fact . . .We may be used to the ONDCP being a propaganda organ that is run in an arbitrary and capricious prohibitionist manner, but it does not have to be that way (at least not in terms of having to promote prohibition in its current form; I would be all for a reformer being a little arbitrary and capricious in terms of disregarding silly legal restrictions like the law quoted above).I think that we all know that Washington bureaucrats routinely violate the letter of the law, but it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and years in court to even try to do anything about it (and a lot of the time those efforts fail anyway), so I think that there is some wiggle room on this issue. Further, I doubt that members of the public would have legal standing to challenge the Drug Czar's policies, so -- even if the Drug Czar were to technically violate the above-quoted law -- it is unlikely that anyone other than the President could do anything about it.There is also the possibility of the FDA finding that marijuana has a legitimate medical use (this would happen if the right appointments were made at FDA by the President, since it is really a political issue, realistically) and then much of the above-quoted law's restrictions would not apply. Rescheduling marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II or III (Marinol is Schedule III so there would be a basis for doing so) would likely achieve the same result.If the government can write legal opinion letters that legalize torture, it can also write legal opinion letters that would allow the Drug Czar to deviate from current drug policy. There just needs to be the will to do so. As we have seen with the current administration, nothing is set in stone -- legally speaking -- once you let some creative lawyers to get their hands on the law.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by Hope on October 10, 2008 at 21:17:12 PT
I was thinking that, too, but he's a member of Congress. I don't think they choose them from people currently serving in Congress. I agree with FoM. Why do we need one? Head liar, perpetrator, and deceiver, with a big salary sucked out of taxpayers, rich and poor, sustenance and labor? Some things are necessary. Even when times are hard, we have to have them. A dang Czar isn't one of the necessary things.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by fight_4_freedom on October 10, 2008 at 21:05:34 PT
My suggestion for the next Drug Czar would be
Dennis Kucinich. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 10, 2008 at 18:37:20 PT
About a Drug Czar
A drug czar can't be involved in drug policy reform I don't think so that eliminates many people. I don't know who would be a good drug czar. I don't think we need any Czars in America anymore.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by FoM on October 10, 2008 at 18:35:06 PT
I agree. I have never been more hopeful for a positive change of direction in my life. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by LaGuardia on October 10, 2008 at 18:30:45 PT
You are welcome. There is reason for legitimate optimism, now more than ever.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by FoM on October 10, 2008 at 18:13:22 PT
Thanks for sharing how you feel. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by LaGuardia on October 10, 2008 at 17:51:36 PT
Just Say "No" to "Just Say No"
I'll roll the dice with Obama; at least he was a smoker for years and may be swayed in favor of reform once he is in office. A lot of Obama's vagueness on this issue is likely to cover his ass; he has relatively little to gain by publicly supporting drug law liberalization before the election and a lot to potentially lose. I think that Obama knows that the stoner vote will not go to McCain because McCain is part of the past and is still stuck on the "no hope in dope" trope.I think that the real test will be who Obama -- if he does get elected -- would appoint as drug czar. If it would be a Barry McCaffrey-type we would be in trouble, but if it would be a Norm Stamper-type (the president of LEAP and the former Seattle Chief of Police) I would see a light at the end of the tunnel. I think that the second scenario is much more likely.The politicians are going to catch on eventually that this is not the '80s or '90s anymore and that the public supports reform on this issue. Certainly the media (fictional TV, movies, and -- increasingly -- the press) is getting on board . . . smoking pot is now portrayed as being equivalent to drinking during alcohol prohibition . . . which is to say that smoking pot is being increasingly portrayed as equivalent to jaywalking. Consider, for example, that "Weeds" has won eleven Emmys total from 2006-2008. Plus, almost everyone I know thinks that pot smokers should not be arrested, but many are either afraid to say so or are apathetic (either they think that pot smokers should not be arrested but won't do very much about it because they do not have a dog in that fight, or they are afraid of attracting too much attention to the fact that they smoke). I try to lobby these individuals on a one-on-one basis so that they think marijuana law reform is okay to discuss and that seemingly responsible, gainfully employed citizens like myself support it. Winning hearts and minds one-by-one is the key to victory, in my opinion.Marijuana decriminalization is really not very controversial with most of the under-50 crowd (and some of the over-50 crowd), unless you listen to the ones whose livings depend on arrests and convictions -- cops and district attorneys -- who are worried that fewer crimes will mean less business for them. Their souls will be reckoned with eventually (most of them are going to hell), but they will keep fighting tooth and nail for the status quo for as long as they can, all while wearing the mantle of righteousness. It is awfully hard to convince someone of the truth when his or her livelihood depends on not believing it.Hasta la victoria siempre!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 10, 2008 at 12:51:09 PT
EJ Comment #7
I agree with what you said about Obama. John, Bobby and Martin's Spirit is alive and well. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by E_Johnson on October 10, 2008 at 12:25:13 PT
observer, that's why everyone should boycott Salon
Nobody in drug reform or even in the Libertarian party has any business reading Salon.Talk about being thrown off the bus. And that's the journalism bus, the one that cries and whines all the time about what the "mainstream media" doesn't cover. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by mykeyb420 on October 10, 2008 at 12:13:06 PT
more B.S. from SF CA
Pot clubs could start taking names
By Joshua Sabatini
Examiner Staff Writer 10/10/08 The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the federal government may prosecute people who use medical marijuana. Cindy Chew/The ExaminerSAN FRANCISCO – The City may soon force medical marijuana dispensaries to have on file a list of the names and addresses of those who purchase the drug as state officials crack down on pot clubs.
Medical marijuana advocates are alarmed over the proposed requirement and are working to squash the provision quietly introduced by Mayor Gavin Newsom. They fear it jeopardizes the confidentiality of patients and puts them at risk for legal persecution.“Medical cannabis dispensaries shall maintain a current record of their members, including each member’s name and address,” a provision in Newsom’s proposed bill says. The legislation introduced Sept. 16 amends The City’s existing law on medicinal marijuana clubs.Medical marijuana remains illegal under federal law, but legal under state and city laws. These opposing laws creates an ongoing tension between medicinal marijuana providers in San Francisco and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, although The City has long embraced the pot clubs.Newsom’s legislation came after State Attorney General Jerry Brown issued on August 25 guidelines for medicinal use of marijuana.The guidelines include provisions such as selling to legitimate patients only and operating as nonprofits.Brown said the guidelines were an effort to bring medical marijuana growers, dispensers and users into compliance with Prop. 215 -- passed by California voters in 1996 -- which decriminalized use of marijuana by ill patients.Medical marijuana advocates in San Francisco were generally supportive of Brown’s guidelines, saying its sends the right message to stamp out those selling the drug for non-medicinal purposes.However, one state guideline has raised the ire if medical marijuana users claiming The City has wrongly interpreted it. The guideline requires medical marijuana dispensaries to “maintain membership records on-site or have them reasonably available.”Advocates say Newsom is wrongly interpreting the “maintain member records,” using that guideline to require a list of names and addresses.Kevin Ryan, Head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and a former U.S. Attorney, said “[The name and address provision] is a reasonable interpretation of what the attorney general is getting at,” Ryan said. “The goal is to make sure the attorney general isn’t going to be shutting down these dispensaries.”Shona Gochenaur, the executive director of Axis of Love, a medical marijuana activist group, said she interprets “maintain membership records” differently, such as being able to show the number of members and proof they were verified as a medicinal marijuana patient. “Nobody is going to be comfortable having a list of names. [The DEA] could charge everyone on that list with conspiracy,” she said.The clubs are constantly under threat of being raided by the DEA and this year the federal agency sent letters to landlords renting space to pot clubs warning them they could face prison time since selling of marijuana is illegal under federal law.San Francisco has a history of sanctioning the use of medical marijuana, protecting those administering the drug and those using it. As recently as January, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution reaffirming that the City and County of San Francisco is a sanctuary for medicinal cannabis. The city is also in the process of issuing business permits to qualifying clubs, under existing regulations.James Anthony, a Medical Cannabis Dispensary attorney, said the Ryan’s interpretation of the guidelines “potentially threatens the patients’ health privacy rights and their fifth amendment right against self incrimination.”jsabatini sfexaminer.comMedical marijuana guidelines
Highlights in Attorney General Jerry Brown’s August 2008 guidelines for medical marijuana use under Proposition 215:*Must operate as a nonprofit
*Cost of marijuana can only cover overhead costs/operating expenses
*Maintain membership records onsite or have them reasonably nearby
*verify individuals status as a qualified patient or caregiver
*provide adequate security to ensure patients safety and prevent loitering or crimeSource: Guidelines for the security and nondiversion of marijuana grown for medical use
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by observer on October 10, 2008 at 11:37:28 PT
Political Cannon Fodder
In 2004, he said, "We need to rethink and decriminalize our (nation's) marijuana laws." In 2007, however, he reversed his position, with his campaign saying he was opposed to it.In other words: cannabis users are expendable. They're political cannon fodder to be used without regard to anything but the expedience of the matter at hand (in this case, election). Any time there's a decision to be made, like "Should I not jail these pot smokers?" vs. "Should I pander to the Republican base of scapegoat-haters, so I can win (re-)election?" guess which choice gets made. Carter and Clinton did the same thing. Political parties toss pot smokers overboard faster than their opposition can scream, "Soft on drugs!" We've seen this so many times before. The Aussie Greens sloughed off cannabis smokers last year like they were so much human waste. Just like the Swedish green party did, when they began to taste power. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by E_Johnson on October 10, 2008 at 11:09:46 PT
Hemp World
I used to get overtaken by really negative thinking when I was on prednisone but now that I don't have to take it any more, my mood just can't sink that low. Besides -- I don't think RFK was the Great White Hope people make him out to be in their mist-filled hindsight. It's a fantasy that he could have beat Nixon. His death didn't do much to change the outcome of that election. People were frightened by too much social change and they voted for someone who promised to save them.With Martin Luther King, the widespread social backlash against his murder helped the civil rights movement in long run.Nobody stopped anything by killing MLKII. It was a savage, futile act -- with an emphasis on FUTILE.So you are wrong to imply that these savage acts have any deciding power in the overall direction of the country.You can kill people, but the ideas remain alive and taken up by new people. So these are tragic events, but they don't decide a single thing, politically. There's no such thing as a political Messiah. If Obama wins, it will be because conservative ideology has become exhausted by failure of application.He's not the Messiah. He's just the current leader of one half of the split American political dialect, and he's the leader of the half that has all the political momentum right now.He didn't create that momentum. That momentum created him, and if aliens kidnapped him tomorrow, that momentum would persist and we'd find a new leader right away.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by museman on October 10, 2008 at 10:05:40 PT
problem and solution
Problem; WOD; resulting in untold, needless global suffering of the people, and untold needless wealth to the rich people, strained national relations, -an incredible waste of resource, time and humanity.Solution; END IT
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by HempWorld on October 10, 2008 at 09:42:53 PT
Dear Hope, thanks but this is not what history has
shown and taught us. It has shown that US 'democracy' is maintained by assassinations, voter fraud, purging of eligible voters and computer fraud, just to name a few. This and a two-party system, that does not exist in any other 'democratic' country of the world, ensures that no policy change will come from within.
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on October 10, 2008 at 09:39:37 PT
In fact I'll say something very bold
The drug economy is the only hope left for liberalizing and modernizing Afghanistan.We're fighting at cross purposes over there. What we should be doing is getting the opium lords to fight on our side against the Taliban.But hey -- try convincing the extremist Protestants who run national policy that drug money can be a force for good. HAH!I just watched a documentary on Miami where politicians admitted at the end that the entire Miami skyline was financed by cocaine.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on October 10, 2008 at 09:34:55 PT
But is that really true
"Obama's position: He has called for more "agricultural specialists in Afghanistan ... people who can help them develop other crops than heroin poppies, because the drug trade in Afghanistan is what is driving and financing these terrorist networks. So we need agricultural specialists.""But is this true? I listened to an interview with a development worker and she said it's nonsense. The people in charge of the opium business are no longer the Taliban. According to her, the opium industry in Afghanistan has been taken over by the same kind of hard-edged "business types" who run the cartels everywhere else in the world.And that's believable to me, because the Taliban are hard core religious ideologues and religious warriors. When would they ever get the time to take care of a big business like opium?I can see those idiots ruining a business, but I can't see them building one.I believe that development worker. I suspect we're largely being sold a pack of lies when it comes to the link between opium and terror in Afghanistan.I'll bet that the opium wealth is creating a new kind of nouveau-riche tribesman in Afghanistan, and will eventually work against the Taliban because the nouveau-riche tend to be very materialistic in their value system.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Hope on October 10, 2008 at 09:32:54 PT
I so hope you're wrong about that last part.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on October 10, 2008 at 09:29:15 PT
Change the culture of federal government to reflec
t contemporary science and push for funding to pursue study on marijuana's medical properties.Yeah right! Dream on! By the way, what is this 'culture'? Isn't this called fascism? You think this is just going to go away?This will never happen and if Obama is trying to make a change for the better, he will be shot like a dog by the powers that be, just like Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
On a mission from God!
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment