cannabisnews.com: Not a Drug-Ridden Society 





Not a Drug-Ridden Society 
Posted by FoM on April 21, 2000 at 16:54:52 PT
By William Raspberry, Syndicated Columnist
Source: Washington Post
For the moment, Barry McCaffrey, who heads the Office of National Drug Control Policy, doesn't want to argue drug policy. He wants to use this modest lunch in his office to get some facts out so that when people do argue drug policy, they can argue from agreed-upon facts.
He's talking about me, I suspect, but he's talking about lots of people, "including the president of the United States who said at least twice that the United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, uses half the world's supply of illegal drugs."Wrong, says McCaffrey. The real figure? Nobody knows for sure, but the retired general thinks it may be closer to 11 percent.Does it matter? Of course it matters, he says. You can't make rational policy until you have a clear idea of the problem the policy is to address. Painting America as a drug-ridden society leads to bad policy--as does the tendency in some quarters to conflate the various drug abuses into a single dreadful statistic.Apart from the different--and differentially addictive--drugs of choice, McCaffrey is saying, it is important to distinguish between two broad types of drug users."One group of people take drugs to feel better. The second group of people are using drugs to feel good."What is he talking about? "I've got underlying mental health problems, psychiatric problems," he says, lapsing into his habit of describing other people in first-person terms. "I'm a 14-year-old girl and I'm sitting there in this Rhode Island treatment center with 16 other girls telling this drug policy guy I wouldn't be alive today were it not for drugs. I was using drugs to self-medicate. I've got a severe mental health problem and, by the way, if you diagnose me with that mental problem at an earlier age, and start treating that, I won't turn into a chronic addict at 25."That's the first group of abusers. The second: "You go down to the Johns Hopkins Research Center, where they have laboratory rats and rhesus monkeys. If you take a male rhesus monkey and give him an option of pushing a lever to open a trap door to get at water, food, a lady rhesus monkey or cocaine, for sure he'll go for the cocaine. He'll wind up chronically addicted to cocaine. He'll malnourish himself. He'll go into neurotoxic shock and die. He will choose cocaine over any other reward--and it won't have anything to do with mental health problems or growing up with a bad rhesus monkey mother. It's the drugs."The point? Some drug abusers can stop on their own; some can't. Not everyone is equally susceptible to addiction. Or, to put it another way, our children have contemporaries who use drugs recreationally, often for years, without getting hooked. Drawing a link between casual use and hard-core addiction makes as much sense to them as drawing a link between the glass of cabernet you have at dinner and the stupefied wino collecting "spare change" for the next bottle of cheap wine.Then there are the others. "I'm not undisciplined or immoral or weak," McCaffrey relates. ". . . I'm exhibiting severe problems and mental health challenges. I'm malnourished, HIV positive and I've got a whole host of medical, social and legal problems. You can't, at this point, disentangle them, but for sure what the numbers tell me is if you get me off drugs, in mandatory treatment and testing, even for say 30 days, I've got the flush back in my cheeks, and a lot of my problems start disappearing. Keep me in treatment for a year, and the likelihood of my going back to work and remaking family connections skyrockets."But if McCaffrey is right--not just about our haphazard use of statistics but also about drug abuse typology--why isn't he screaming from the rooftops that throwing people in prison for abusing drugs (or, more accurately, for selling drugs to support their addictions) makes no sense at all? Why isn't he saying, as former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke was saying years ago, that the drug problem ought to be treated more like a medical problem than a criminal justice problem?And how do the facts he lays out support the administration's proposal to stick a $1.6 billion military, criminal justice and drug interdiction nose into Colombia?Maybe next lunch. Friday , April 21, 2000 ; A27  2000 The Washington Post Company CannabisNews Articles By William Raspberry - Syndicated Columnist:A Corrupt War on Drugshttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4165.shtmlA Fraction of Globe's Peoplehttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4003.shtml
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on April 23, 2000 at 09:10:03 PT:
Riddle me this:
Let's say you are in charge of a very strategic section of the Army: The Army Southern Command. It's strategic because ever since the Arab Oil Embarge of the last century (boy, that sounds weird, doesn't it?) we have been importing ever larger quantities of sweet crude from places like Colombia and Venezuela. And don't kid yourself: with our petroleum addicted economy, if any of these nations went under, we'd feel the pinch, right quick.You have to know all kinds of data about what's going on. Including what your own spooks and Agency people are up to; can't have them throwing a shoe in the works by some black ops going sour (a la "Clear and Present danger"; that movie is a d--- sight closer to what is actually going on down there than anyone cares to admit)and ruining some plan you are working on. So, McCaffrey had to know about what was happening Down South with Ollie North's 'Enterprise'. After the Boland Ammendment cut off lethal aid, the guns they were shipping to the Contras onboard those C-123's had to be paid for somehow. Does anyone here believe those planes came back... full of bananas? Especially the ones that were based in Mena. Mena, Arkansas, that is. The State where our beloved Prez hails from. Does anyone believe that McCaffrey hadn't gotten a even just a slight, tenuous sniff of trace molecules per million of the rotten stink emanating from Illopongo AFB in Honduras? Ask ex-DEA Agent Celerino Castillo; he *did* investigate what McC evidently wouldn't, and what did he find but an Agency hangar, with Agency planes in it... and lots of plasticene bags that you can bet weren't full of candy bars. For his troubles, Castillo was forced to retire. And the coke still pours in like a river.And it all happened under McCaffrey's watch as General in charge of the USSC. Never mind about supposed atrocities in the Gulf; there's lots of finger pointing that can be done on both sides of that one. After all, we made Saddam the monster he is. Nope, look to the 80's and answer my riddle: What has thousands of eyes at it's disposal but but feigns blindness about a river of coke pouring through its jurisdiction, thousands of ears that can listen to thousands of mouths talking about that river of coke but can't hear anything, billions of brain cells... and *acts* like it is literally the dumbest hominid to defecate between two shoes. Answer? It's the head of the USSC... and now the ONDCP.The coccaine blizzard of the '80s happened on his watch. He pleads ignorance of it.
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Comment #5 posted by LSN on April 21, 2000 at 20:53:28 PT
Impotent
Yeah. Looks like this guy doesn't have the mental faculty for such a job. I have to question his military records too. 
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Comment #4 posted by Mark Tide on April 21, 2000 at 20:16:45 PT:
Nominate Czar for Fragging
Would you go out on patrol with this maniac? Only for a particular purpose.For the uninitiated: "fragging" was what happened to hundreds of ? officers ? in Vietnam. It was life dos paddies.
Arcata Journal
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on April 21, 2000 at 19:11:58 PT
too good
Kaptin......Much to our chagrin,I think you are right,he actually believes that the proper length of incarceration is a cure for AIDS.I have a theory that an underlying severe derangement is quite common amongst the top brass/upper echelon of the military. My compliments on this priceless tidbit.I know that levity was probably not your focus,or intent,but the sardonic TJ2step/Immodium thing caught me off gaurd.A major chuckle was had over here........Thanx!.......dddd
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on April 21, 2000 at 18:09:19 PT:
Raving nutcase
Then there are the others. "I'm not undisciplined or immoral or weak," McCaffrey relates. ". . . I'm exhibiting severe problems and mental health challenges. I'm malnourished, *HIV positive* (emphasis mine) and I've got a whole host of medical, social and legal problems. You can't, at this point, disentangle them, but for sure what the numbers tell me is if you get me off drugs, in mandatory treatment and testing, even for say 30 days, I've got the flush back in my cheeks, and a lot of my problems start disappearing. Keep me in treatment for a year, and the likelihood of my going back to work and remaking family connections skyrockets."My God. He really believes it. He believes that you can go to rehab for AIDS. He really effin believes it! What does this guy think AIDS is? A case of the Tijuana Two-Step easily staunched by some Immodium AD? Blithering, buggering *fool*! I've only known one person with AIDS; time, any time left, becomes more precious than anything, and this flaming a------ wants to lock them up and put them through rehab so that when they die at least they'll have 'rosy cheeks'?I used to think this man was merely an opportunistic ticket puncher who sang whatever party line he had to for his supper. But after this... He's a loon. Certifiable. An escapee from the nuthouse at Crownsville (A Maryland facility for the insane).And this makes *policy*? *This*? 
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on April 21, 2000 at 17:53:24 PT
Berry nice
 I've always kinduv enjoyed William Raspberrys' sardonic commentaries. I think he makes a noteable observation in discussing the questionable mental health of the czar. In a twisted and abstract way,I want to feel sorry for Barry.We must admit he has been appointed to a position that is quite akward,and I have this distant,strange sympathy for him,which I think is due to the fact that;If we are going to start laying blame for the drug war follies,then we should include all the other crooked or misled demagogs on capital hill......wierd thought.............dddd
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