The 'War on Drugs' is Over
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The 'War on Drugs' is Over
Posted by CN Staff on May 16, 2009 at 05:24:51 PT
Source: Los Angeles Times
USA -- The Obama administration is saying all the right things about the jumble of ineffective and vindictive laws, policies and practices that have made up this nation's so-called war on drugs. Shortly after he was confirmed, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he would halt Drug Enforcement Administration raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. Then the Justice Department urged Congress to eliminate the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity in convictions for dealing crack and powder cocaine, which imposed long prison terms on predominantly black defendants.
The most recent reassurance comes from the new drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, Kerlikowske said it's time to retire the phrase "war on drugs." Good. It's as misguided as the policies it frames. "Regardless of how you try to explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' ... people see a war as a war on them," he said. "We're not at war with people in this country." These sensible pronouncements inspire hope that the administration is moving toward a more rational approach to drugs. There is much to do.For example, the DEA apparently did not get the memo about raids; it carried out one the day after Holder's announcement. And although Holder's refusal to deploy federal resources against the clinics is a welcome respite, we're still left with the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws. Also, as a candidate, Barack Obama said he supported lifting the federal ban on needle exchange programs, which study after study concludes slows transmission of HIV/AIDS. President Obama's budget, however, leaves it in place. Administration officials say he now believes the public needs persuading.It's in that context that Kerlikowske's comments matter: By thinking of drug users as combatants in a war, the nation militarized a health problem. The phrase itself shaped flawed thinking and yielded disastrous policies. When he campaigned for the presidency, Obama promised bold change on drugs. The old paradigm should follow the now-discarded phrase into history.Note: The Obama administration is moving toward demilitarizing a health problem.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Published: May 16, 2009Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles:New Drug Czar is Right, End The War on Drugs The War on Drugs: The Moment is Now
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Comment #7 posted by VocalCitizen on May 17, 2009 at 15:51:58 PT:
Change will come at state level...
Bug your governor. Pester your state legislators. Irritate your mayor. Take stacks of fact-filled fliers to crowded places. Change will come once we as a collective rise up together and educate those citizens still plagued with "reefer madness syndrome".
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Comment #6 posted by Dr Ganj on May 16, 2009 at 15:36:43 PT
The War Is Not Over In Pomona!!
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Comment #5 posted by bionic man on May 16, 2009 at 11:36:58 PT
WOD and Texas
The state of Texas voted unanimously in the House to increase the penalties for anyone who possess any amount of marijuana in the same place as someone under 18, to 1 year in jail and $4000.00 fine. HB3680 passed the house and now goes to senate. June 1 is the end of this leg. session, so hopefully time will run out.
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Comment #4 posted by AdaptBones on May 16, 2009 at 09:26:46 PT:
Sam, perhaps (and I hope) all of this movement in our country might actually produce REAL change, like having more than a 2 party system of government. Wouldn't that be wonderful? To have more than two choices? And BobbyRa you nailed it on the head. I agree this is a nice first step but realistically nothing has changed with regards to the most pressing problem: people are still being destroyed by the WOD. Until the actions match the words there has been no change to my personal danger and the WOD still rages strong. What Gil and the rest need to do is go reign in anyone involved with any branch of enforcement and let THEM know about the change, because they haven't gotten the message yet. When that happens I will breathe a little easier. Blessed be.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 16, 2009 at 08:18:08 PT
>>Note: The Obama administration is moving toward demilitarizing a health problem.What a great way to sum it up. We in the US need to look in the mirror. Does any other country on Earth have thousands of military personnel in dozens of other countries? We have military personnel in 150+ countries.After winning WWII the feds kept right on going. They never brought troops home from WWII! And things got a little slow overseas they brought the war home. They made sure all the addictive drugs got introduced and then forced the trade into the hands of poor minorities so they could fill the prisons.This is why I supported Nader and only vote for Libertarians and Greens, they are the only parties in favor of complete de-militarization. At home and abroad.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 16, 2009 at 07:55:16 PT
Right now not much has changed but this is the best possible first step. We need to change the perception of the drug war. Change can't come until we approach it in a way that society in general can understand. Step one has been taken now.
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Comment #1 posted by BobbyRa on May 16, 2009 at 07:46:39 PT
If he is talking about the future, fine 
But as of today, I can be arrested by one of my local police forces for comsuming a medicine (marijuana) that I know is best for me. Until this changes, I feel like this is a war on me and others not fortunate enough to be in a MMJ allowable state.Have a great day all.  
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