Ex-Drug Czar, 'Puff Daddy Johnson' Square Off

  Ex-Drug Czar, 'Puff Daddy Johnson' Square Off

Posted by FoM on March 21, 2001 at 19:13:33 PT
By Loie Fecteau, Journal Politics Writer  
Source: Albuquerque Journal  

 Gov. Gary Johnson took on former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey on national television Wednesday, with McCaffrey blasting Johnson for "irresponsible thinking" in pushing drug law reform.   Johnson and McCaffrey sparred over the nation's war on drugs on CNN's Inside Politics program. Johnson was filmed at the Capitol, where he had difficulty hearing some of McCaffrey's statements because of technical problems. 
  During an October 1999 visit to Albuquerque, not long after Johnson began his national campaign to change drug laws, McCaffrey had mockingly referred to Johnson as "Puff Daddy Johnson."   McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general, headed the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Clinton administration.   "I was ready for this," Johnson said Wednesday after his bout with McCaffrey on CNN. Johnson then hummed the theme from the movie "Rocky."   McCaffrey told CNN he thinks the country is "moving in the right direction" with its drug policies.   "We're dismayed by the kind of, to be blunt, irresponsible thinking that I'm hearing coming out of Governor Johnson," said McCaffrey.   McCaffrey said drug use in America had decreased by more than half since 1979, a figure Johnson disputed.   Johnson contends the war on drugs is a miserable failure.   "By no figment of the imagination is this something that we're winning," Johnson said on CNN. "This is a war against ourselves. There are 80 million Americans who have done illegal drugs. I happen to be one of them and, but for the grace of God, I'm not behind bars."   Johnson, who calls drug use "a bad choice," has acknowledged smoking marijuana and trying cocaine in his early 20s.   Johnson favors legalizing marijuana and reducing penalties for possessing other drugs. He said money now spent on law enforcement should be redirected to prevention and treatment.   McCaffrey said Congress has "put huge new resources into prevention, education and treatment with bipartisan support."  "People like Sen. Pete Domenici and a brilliant young Congresswoman Heather Wilson out in New Mexico have been part of the solution," McCaffrey told CNN.   Domenici, Wilson and Rep. Joe Skeen  —  the three Republican members of New Mexico's congressional delegation  —  recently made news regarding the drug war when they called upon John Dendahl to resign as Republican state party chairman after he publicly supported Johnson's drug reform bills during the legislative session.   Johnson said later he was unable to hear McCaffrey's comments about Domenici and Wilson. "I wish I had caught some of that," Johnson said. "I would have brought up John Dendahl. . . . He is a voice of reason in all this." Source: Albuquerque Journal (NM)Author: Loie Fecteau, Journal Politics Writer Published: March 21, 2001Copyright: 2001 Albuquerque JournalAddress: P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103Contact: opinion abqjournal.comWebsite: CannabisNews Articles - Governor Gary Johnson

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Comment #9 posted by FoM on March 22, 2001 at 12:25:43 PT:
Updated Article From The Albuquerque Journal 
CNN Lets Drug Foes Go at It
What's New
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on March 22, 2001 at 07:43:18 PT:
Thanks again, FoM
For supplying the link to the transcript. It once again re-inforces my belief that people like Barry are fundamentally incapable of holding any kind of reasonable debate; they simply refuse to consider that they might be wrong.But what's really interesting? Barry refused to address the assertions that Woodruff had made at the very beginning of the segment:WOODRUFF: Three out of four Americans say they believe the country is losing the war on drugs. A new survey by thePew research group shows the same number, 74 percent, believe we will never be able to solve the problem of drugs coming into the country because the demand is so high. Almost as many people, 68 percent, say Latin American countries will never be able to control drug trafficking on their end. He ignored them. He heard them; he wasn't hampered as Governor Johnson was by a bad connection; he had plenty of opportunity to rebutt those statements. And...he....didn't.Moreover, he almost immediately begins to dissemble about the shameful lying he did with regards to playing fast and loose with the facts regarding his 'successes' as DrugCzar - and the highly unethical and dangerous legerdemain he enagaged in regarding the First Amendment violations of his TV and movie script approval scheme:BARRY MCCAFFREY, FORMER CLINTON DRUG POLICY DIRECTOR: Well, first of all, Judy, many of us have tried to shift the metaphor to a cancer affecting American communities. Drug use in America is down dramatically, by more than half since 1979. Adolescent drug use in the last two years is down 21 percent.A lot of the numbers are moving in the right direction because we have put huge new resources into prevention, education and treatment with bipartisan support out of Congress. People like Senator Pete Domenici and a brilliant young Congressman Heather Wilson out in New Mexico have been part of the solution. So, we do believe if we stay on focus for the next decade, drug use, which today is down to around 6 percent from around 14 percent, will drop even further. This is a problem of shaping youth attitudes, and then providing effective drug treatment to the five million chronic addicts in America. WOODRUFF: Well, how does that square, then, with the fact, as I understand it, that two-thirds of federal drug dollars right now, go to law enforcement and not treatment and prevention? MCCAFFREY: Well, you know, there's a lot of mischief in these numbers, and we shouldn't argue about facts. The facts of the matter are in the last -- since FY 96, we've increased the prevention education budget by 55 percent; drug treatments up by 35 percent. The research budget for Doctor Alan Leshner over in the National Institute of Drug Abuse is now over 600,000 million bucks. Drug courts have gone from a dozen to almost 800. Ah, Barry, if you were Pinocchio, the sheer weight of your nose would tip the Earth off it's axis and send it spinning out of orbit.The man couldn't tell the truth to save his life.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 22, 2001 at 06:50:28 PT:
Don't Forget To Check The Shows Transcripts
I thought I'd bring this back up to the top for those who missed the program! Inside Politics Partial Transcripts Governor Gary Johnson vs. Barry McCaffrey 
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on March 22, 2001 at 05:26:18 PT:

Dammit, I missed it!
But it is interesting to note that a year ago, Barry went all the way out to New Mexico to bad-mouth Guv Johnson. But the Guv was in DC for the week that Barry was in NM; Barry could have saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel costs (you don't think he flew coach fare did you?) by waiting a couple days, staying in DC and simply walking 6 blocks and meeting with Johnson while he was Back East.But it was never Barry's intention to debate Johnson; he had gone to meet with anti pols in NM to stir the pot in Johnson's home State. And he left during the time that Johnson would be in DC. And came back only when the brave Governor from NM wasn't in the Nation's Capitol, anymore.Children, can you say "intellectual coward"? Sure you can!
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Comment #5 posted by sm247 on March 22, 2001 at 04:24:01 PT

Same here rambler
Wish I had seen it too !!!Too bad I would have recorded it too.
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on March 22, 2001 at 01:33:33 PT

I wish I could have seen Charles Barkley making this comment,NewMexican.I think that these cool,black,NBA stars,and there weedwise habits,are goingto do good things for the cause of freedom to use Marijuana....dddd
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Comment #3 posted by New Mexican on March 22, 2001 at 01:16:57 PT

Thanks for your persistance and responsiveness FOM
Gary Johnson was great today! Let's e-mail him and thank him for his common 'sense'! On days like today I don't feel sodisenfranchised from the U.S.A. The stock market will bringsome 'instant reality checks' and people get upset whenthere is economic waste as in the law enforcement 'porkbarrel' and the military as well. By July, I predict the landscape having changed so much do to world affairsmad cow/bush in mouth disease, the Koreas, the fake energy crisis, etc., the bush pretension will have all the makings for a backfire effect, creating the opposite of what they desire. Common sense will prevail and we'll wake from thenightmare called prohibition. Tomorrows headlines: Bush officially declares war on worlds' population, resources,and language...what next? Star Wars! Missle defense sheild!Charles Barkley hosted the Pacers/Toronto game as asked everyone at the table out of noshere: What do you guys thinkabout the statement that 60 percent of the NBA smokes pot?No response from anyone but you should've been there. Peace. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 21, 2001 at 20:21:50 PT:

Inside Politics Partial Transcripts 
Governor Gary Johnson vs. Barry McCaffrey
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Comment #1 posted by rambler on March 21, 2001 at 20:04:00 PT

wish I had seen it
I'm surprised that McCaffrey would have entered into such a debate.Too bad about those mysterious "technical problems" from McCaffreys end.
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