Know the Facts - Change the Law

Know the Facts - Change the Law
Life - Liberty - Pursuit of Happiness

Monday, April 28, 2008

Overcoming the Yellow "Journalists" and mentally ill "fans"

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Addendum Tuesday 4/22 - 3:00:

I have to laugh. I just got back from a writing workshop luncheon. After small discussion, befitting the small people the discussion was about, we quickly came to the conclusion that, much like prohibition itself, the "editorial" staff and the complainers are impotent and frightened by the success that the truth has in affecting people. So, make up a bunch of lies about what I said. They simply can't prove I ever wrote anything any differently than what they, themselves write. They suspend me and remove what I wrote with the goal of disrupting the timeline and hide the truth. They can't prove me wrong, which is why I had to be silenced.

I have given the staff at DOh a number of chances to answer the questions I have asked, which specifically ask point by point what rule of the TOS of Delaware Online did I break that was not instigated by one rabble rouser or another. I have waited long enough for a direct answer to specific questions with a proven timeline from their own web pages. They obviously have no rational defense for their actions.

I should not be surprised that someone has put pressure on the poor people frightened for their careers at Delaware Online. Someone TOLD them to shut me up.

They are all such drama queens, and so obviously deserate to silence the truth. They can't argue against the FACTS, which I discuss here (that they silence there). The only avenue left to them is character assasination. This proves how far the prohibitionists will go to try to silence the truth.

End addendum

I did have a long complaint about the unethical moron staff of Delaware Online suspending my account. But, they are obviously under pressure to supress the truth about ganja prohibition lies. Sad and funny at the same time. Sad because of the assault on civil rights, funny because if that's the way it is, it could not be happening to a more deserving bunch.

They are yellow because they can't tell right from wrong, and there is a huge yellow stripe down their backs from their fear of prohibitionist bullies. They must have some big, illegal skeletons in their closets that they are trying to hide...

Why is the GreenGanja member being reviewed? Permanent Link is the only blog message the member posted. What is the violation? Clearly, DOh is complicit in overtly censoring anyone even remotely supoprtive of legalization or Hempman. They rightly fear that the truth is revealing that prohibition is an unfounded nightmare justification for the selective persecution of people for something less dangerous than taking an aspirin.

Delaware Online continues to maintain my suspension with NO explaination. They have completely failed to point to a single item of the terms of service that justifies this suspension. They are being controlled by pigs who can not permit the truth to be told about ganja.

============================================================

I do have to thank DOh member m1811 for the head's up that the website I will be reviewing next exists. Good job, dude! I had tried responding to the head's up in another forum, but could not do it justice, so I feel that it needs to be addressed here. Here is the link that was sent to me: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/evidence99/marijuana

On the site, provided as a service by Harvard University to examine some of the issues about ganja, they provide some statistical data, most of it old and out of date - the website is from 1999 much of the data is even older than that, some succinct summaries of policies and problems, and they make some very interesting conclusions.m1811 was a bit obsessed with a certain, small portion of the medical statistics. You can read them yourself.

In addition to the dubious, vested interest sources of those statistics, I have already answered those antiquated claims and statistics with up to date, modern science in other blogs:

Pot Decriminalization Does Not Increase Marijuana Use, Scientific Journal Says
http://tinyurl.com/5h95l7,

American Psychiatric Association Assembly Unanimously Backs Medical Marijuana
http://tinyurl.com/5dy6rc, and

Surgeon General and Mainstream Medicine Endorse Medical Marijuana
http://tinyurl.com/6mttes.

I will not waste space on them here.

We are more interested with the conclusions on this website from Harvard.

For instance, they say: "Given this enormous investment of not only money but also human resources and time, it is necessary to evaluate whether or not the program(s) have been effective." That statement refers to the approximately $40 - $60 BILLION each year spent on ganja law enforcement(estimated from state and federal spending), and the terrible costs in disrupted society and ruined lives from selective enforcement, and that despite those exorbitant costs, we are not seeing any effect. It is also a reference to inflated ganja prices that are 100 times a realistic retail value, which inflates the drain on the economy through consumer spending by some $70 BILLION a year.

The same Harvard website says, "The current structure for punishing and apprehending marijuana users has been largely ineffective in curtailing its use and has unduly burdened the criminal justice system." This statement points out the problems we still have today: Despite exorbitant spending on persecuting a very small fraction of ganja consumers nothing has changed. Anyone who wants ganja can get it. The DEA, FBI and DAWN report estimate that over half of American adults have tried ganja, and that between a quarter and a third use ganja on a regular basis, defined by the DEA as twice a month or more. In Delaware, estimates taken from these sources are that there are about 250,000 ganja consumers here.

Also, they hint at the rising prison population, of which today more than 800,000 people in prison for simple possession (from data provided by the FBI UCR and the DEA) which amounts to about a third of all people in prison.It should be no surprise to anyone that violent and other truly dangerous criminals are walking the streets.

The statement "If the war on drugs is, or should be, concerned primarily with keeping drugs from America's youth then it has been an overwhelming disappointment." is quite succinct. When one reads the DAWN report, it becomes clear very quickly that rates of ganja use in youth and children has mostly continued to go up.

The author asks, with supporting statistics "What if we legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes and nothing happened?" then quotes significant statistics from a government study that actually demonstrates that passage of Prop 215 legalizing medical marijuana in California actually resulted in "statistically significant reductions in use," that continue to decline. This is an exception to what is happening pretty much everywhere else in the U. S., except in states that have passed medical and decriminalization laws. This is significant for several reasons. These statistics illustrate that legalizing ganja does NOT lead to a gold rush of new ganja consumers, and in fact, legalizing ganja has had exactly the opposite effect.

The Harvard author also states: "In particular, given the known medical benefits derived from marijuana's use it is necessary to examine how the legalization of marijuana, particularly for medical purposes, would effect the current system and to analyze the shortcomings of the current regime." Even in 1999, Harvard is acknowledging that there are many known medicinal uses for ganja, and the ask why research into these known uses is being suppressed.

And, the website quotes one of their own, Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Associate professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and author of Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine. In that book, he says that the question is not "is it useful?" but rather, "why is the government so resistant to making it available to people who need the medicine?

The Harvard website goes on:"The fact that the government could better control marijuana if the government legalized it, lessen the burden on the criminal justice system, and there is enough evidence to demonstrate that the legalization of marijuana will not necessarily increase drug use and may in fact decrease it among young people, marijuana should be legalized and the current system dismantled."

Let's look at that last sentence again. Basically the author of the Harvard website says that even if there are some effects such as he points to elsewhere, they are insignificant in the bigger picture and "marijuana should be legalized and the current system dismantled." That's big. Harvard is saying that ganja should be legalized.

Also from the Harvard website, "In fact, even if marijuana were completely legalized for adults, it does not follow that marijuana is therefore advocated and sanctioned for use by children. Just as alcohol and tobacco are recreational drugs available to adults but not to children, it is possible to construct a legal regime whereby age restrictions keep children away from marijuana but adults are allowed to make their own choices."

Another of my readers Defcon4 states, "I agree that the individual should be considered when talking about MJ and alcohol use/abuse. Not everyone abuses. Some are destined to abuse (DNA, genetics, etc.) A lot of people can casually use either substance and be productive. Pre-existing conditions are a major factor. But nothing is 100%. Case studies are fine, but DO NOT represent every single individual or situation."

The answer is, all of this prohibition stuff is much ado about nothing. Every legitimate study from the Schaffer Commision to the Institute of Medicine has made that exact conclusion. These same studies also say that the very small number of people who get into trouble should not be used as a reason to arrest the other 99% who do NOT get into trouble. That is a significantly deficit method for making law.

Using that method of lawmaking, with 106,000 people literally dying from taking aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen EVERY YEAR (Mortality and Morbidity Reports), there should be a death penalty for the drug dealers who make and distribute those dangerous drugs. After all, there is no evidence that ganja use alone has ever killed anyone.

Prohibition is not a rational war; it never has been and it never will be. This is a moralistic war based on puritanical fear-mongering for the sole purpose of forcing people to not do something that a small number don't like. Period. http://tinyurl.com/5apy5z (This link will be updated as soon as I copy the entry here. For now, the link is unreliable, given that the unethical staff at DOh could suspend my account any time they get a cop up their ...)

Congressmen Barney Frank and Ron Paul have entered a new bill to end federal penalties for personal possession of ganja when the congress returns to session. Many feel that it will not pass, or if it does that the president, whoever it is, will veto it. Recent polls by CNN and Time magazine show that about 80% of the American people are tired of seeing their friend's and family's lives, careers and families destroyed by the selective enforcement of a law with no basis in science.Let's be clear on this. There is no rational reason for this bill to not pass. The only reason is that some cops like the law as it is, since it gives them "discretionary" (unfair) power over people.

Hundreds of thousands of psychiatrists and hundreds of thousands more physicians, nurses, social workers and other health professionals have all called for ganja to be legalized. They have unanimously said that the law is more dangerous than ganja.

The only reason left for keeping and enforcing ganja laws is the self-serving, mean-spirited ideology of using force to stop some people from doing something just because a few people don't like it.

I would like to thank m1811 once again for pointing out this Harvard website that supports legalizing ganja. I might have missed this one if not for his guidance. I do recommend that m1811 read more than just the one or two insignificant bits of old data that _seem_ to support his blinkered position next time, though. Science has gotten so much farther since those stats were published that they are useless, except as a snapshot of prohibitionist lies.


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Friday, April 25, 2008

International Terrorism funded by PROHIBITION

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I did not write this amazing bit of journalism. Nonetheless, it illustrates how corruption and international terrorism lives in the heart of prohibition. There are millions of dollars in money laundering, and amazingly guilty poiticians, bankers and business being given a free ride courtesy of the CIA, DEA and FBI. Even Homeland Security is involved in this true tale of prohibition corruption.

These are the vested interests who do NOT want to see prohibition ended. These are the REAL criminals who reap unbelievable untaxed profits FROM PROHIBITION.



http://www.madcowprod.com/04242008.html


Reporter threatened with being "cluster-sued!"

Documents Sealed in '100 Drug plane' Court Case
Reporter threatened with being "cluster-sued!"

April 24 2008
by Daniel Hopsicker







The biggest fish busted so far in the laundered-drug-money-for-American-planes scheme used by Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa cartel to purchase 100 airplanes in the U.S. has cut a secret deal with federal prosecutors in Miami, and agreed to testify against others involved, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.

The news is one of a series of recent developments in the scandal, which erupted in the wake of the massive drug hauls seized on two drug planes busted in Mexico’s Yucatan just eighteen months apart carrying, between them, more than ten tons of cocaine.

Also last week, a federal judge in Mexico City ordered the extradition to the U.S. of Pedro Alatorre Damy, identified by the DEA and the Attorney General of Mexico as the main money launderer for Joaquin Guzman, “El Chapo,” leader of the Sinaloa cartel.

And in another development which hits close to home (at least for this reporter) the MadCowMorningNews has been contacted by attorneys for two figures in the case, both threatening lawsuits.


Chickens make way home to roost

The first offer to sue came in a letter from a San Antonio attorney on behalf of Dennis Nixon, Chairman of Texas bank International Bancshares of San Antonio (IBC).

Based on the border with Mexico in Laredo Texas, IBC Bank was used in the money-laundering scheme, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

We knew little else about the bank, however, until we received the letter threatening a lawsuit, and we certainly had no idea at the time that the bank’s co-founder, top investor and principal owner, Tony Sanchez, had once the target of accusations that millions of dollars of drug money had been knowingly laundered through his Texas thrift, called Tesoro Savings & Loan.

Before failing in 1988, at a cost to American taxpayers of $161 million, the thrift was accused of laundering $25 million in Mexican drug money, not exactly the ideal credential for a bank founder and owner.

But, we soon discovered, it gets worse…

The drug money Sanchez’s S& L was accused of raking in allegedly belonged to the very same drug traffickers who had recently witnessed, directed, recorded and participated in the infamous torture-murder in Mexico of American DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena.


Gaping jaws, violated rectums, buried alive
Camarena's disappearance while on assignment in Mexico in 1985 had briefly strained relations between the U.S. and Mexico, especially after the agent’s body was found in a shallow grave, along with that of a long-time fellow agent and pilot.

Cadaver No. 1, as Red Cross doctors on the scene labeled it, had been that of a muscular Hispanic male in his thirties. The left side of the skull was caved in, three ribs were broken, as well as the right arm. The body also showed numerous lesions; a foreign object, possibly a stick, had been forced into the rectum.

The rectum of Cadaver No. 2, a heavyset adult male in his forties, had also been violated, the doctors said. The jaw was gaping, and the hands had broken free of their bonds, and doctors were of the opinion that the man had been buried alive.

Texas justice aside, we have decided that this is one lawsuit we will happily defend.


Guyanese pilot with U.S. all-access "hall pass"
At almost the same time as this news, we received a second letter threatening to file suit. The letter was from a Fort Lauderdale lawyer on behalf of Guyanese pilot Michael Francis Brassington, who we have reported to be linked to the massive corruption scandal roiling U.S. Customs in South Florida.

What lies at the heart of the 100 plane scandal, according to a high-ranking DEA official we spoke to in Miami, is a corrupt U.S. Customs operation run out of Florida.

Although DEA affidavits in the case suspiciously neglected to mention his name, Brassington had been the co-pilot on the Learjet belonging to terror flight school owner Wallace J. Hilliard busted on a runway at Orlando Executive Airport during July of 2000, the same month Mohamed Atta began flying lessons at Hilliard’s flight school.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, it was the biggest heroin bust in Central Florida history. The Lear was found to be carrying 43 pound of heroin, an amount which is known in the drug trade as “heavy weight,” as in "He's moving heavy weight every week.'

In innumerable television interviews with Rudi Dekkers, Hilliard's flight school front man, in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attack, Dekkers said Mohamed Atta told him that he was from Afghanistan, a country at that time dominated by the Taliban and Osama bin Laden producing well over half (it produces a much higher percentage currently) of the world’s heroin, and was


"Gang-sued' is new legal term

It goes without saying (or should) that the link between Mohamed Atta’s presence at Hilliard’s flight school simultaneous with the massive heroin seizure aboard Wally Hilliard’s Learjet has never been explained.

While the threat of being “gang-sued” from multiple directions at once is a daunting prospect for our ability to continue reporting the story, it also seems to be a sure sign of deepening scandal.

The first new development took place in a Federal court in Miami last week, where Pedro Benavides-Natera, allegedly one of the key figures in the money-laundering scheme which Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa Cartel used to finance the U.S. plane-buying spree, was about to go on trial on multiple felony money laundering charges.

Instead, he cut a deal, and will now presumably be testifying against others in the scheme, in which the ultimate target may be America’s current bete noire, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

As a result of Benavides’ plea deal, key documents to be used in his trial have now been sealed. As well, the multiple felony charges against Benavides, a Miami resident with dual Venezuelan-American citizenship, have been dropped to a single felony count, and he will learn his fate when his case is disposed sometime in the future.


Washing Medellin money in 1998
One of the people Benavides will presumably be testifying against is Pedro Alatorre Damy, owner of currency exchanges in Mexico used in the scheme, and identified as the head financier for the huge Sinaloa drug cartel.

Drug profits were allegedly funneled from Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers from Alatorre’s Mexican money exchanges to a Miami bank, then used to buy airplanes intended to ferry more cocaine shipments around the world.

Just as the first two American planes used in the scheme were discovered to have ties to the CIA, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and top Republican financiers, the Mexicans already charged in the case have ties to top officials in Mexico.

The family which controls the Casa de Cambio Puebla currency exchanges run by Pedro Alatorre has strong links to Mexico’s ruling PAN party, as well as to Vicente Fox, who was still Mexico’s President when the planes were caught.

In fact, the Mexico City newspaper Reforma recently reported that Pedro Alatorre Damy was already well-known to Mexican authorities during the 1990’s, and had been investigated and jailed, after the DEA and Mexico’s Federal Police found that he had been washing Medellin Cartel money through another now-defunct Mexican currency exchange, in August of 1998.


Must have asked for the 'good prisoner' discount
Alatorre, after spending five months in jail, was released.

Another person who Benavides may be called to testify against is Carlos Ayala Lara, who FBI affidavits filed in the case state is a top Venezuelan drug kingpin as well as Benavides’ former boss.

The FBI affidavit states that Benavides, arrested last October, had almost immediately confessed to FBI agents that his boss Carlos Ayala Lara used Alatorre’s Mexican currency exchanges to wire million to the United States, including several million dollars traced to the purchase of American aircraft.

Carlos Ayala Lara can apparently afford some pretty good legal eagles in Miami. In a prior brush with American law enforcement, he was allowed to keep half of the drug money which authorities confiscated from him.

There is some speculation Ayala may ultimately be linked to Hugo Chavez.


More 'bad apples' and 'rogue operations.'
Two years ago this month, an American DC9 left St Petersburg, FL and flew to Venezuela which belonged, or appeared to belong, to the Dept. of Homeland Security. Several days later, at an airport in Mexico’s Yucatan, this plane was busted carrying 5.5 tons of cocaine.

Then last September, a Gulfstream business jet took off St Petersburg, FL. and flew to Medellin, Colombia, where it presumably loaded its cargo before being forced down in the Yucatan carrying more than 4 tons of cocaine, as well as a large amount of heroin, which, except for news reports in Por Esto, a Mexican tabloid, has gone unmentioned.

The likely reason is simple: the heroin never made it into the evidence locker.

The Gulfstream had been previously used to fly extraordinary rendition, as well as a host of other tasks, for the CIA.

And the DC9 was painted to appear to be an official aircraft from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, without a word of protest from a major U.S. Coast Guard facility located less than 100 yards from where it was parked.

In an early Bush Administration reshuffling, both the Coast Guard as well as U.S. Customs had been placed under the Dept. of Homeland Security.


Maybe because they had pictures of him in a dress?

The resulting investigation led to the discovery of a scheme in which drug profits were allegedly funneled from South American traffickers through Mexican money exchanges to a Miami bank, then used to buy airplanes intended to ferry more cocaine shipments around the world.

Despite evidence to the contrary, American law enforcement has glibly pronounced innocent all of the Americans who sold planes to the Mexican cartel. They were victims of circumstance, and of the evil cunning of devious foreign drug lords.

The DEA’s assertion that there are no American drug lords is as unbelievable as the FBI’s J Edgar Hoover’s longtime insistence that there were no Mafia dons, and no organized crime in America.

Still, we wondered: Were any of the Americans who sold planes to the cartel also in business with them? Did any of the American planes’ owners have connections with the Mob? With the CIA? Or with major Republican Party financiers?

The answer to all three questions is “Yes.”


World class organized crime
The American ownership of the planes cannot withstand close scrutiny. Evidence was overwhelming that, despite some sham fast shuffling of registrations, both planes had been American-registered and controlled when they were busted, and that the names to whom the planes have recently been registered were known to have fronted in the past for a much larger enterprise, the CIA.

Collectively, the two planes from St. Petersburg carried more than ten tons of cocaine that—had they not been intercepted—would have made somebody richer than they already were by almost a half billion dollars.

This is world class crime. And no Americans are likely to be punished for it.

But observers can’t help but notice that the individuals and companies who owned the planes bought by the Sinaloa Cartel are inter-linked, and have ties to each other.

Americans who sold planes to the Sinaloa Cartel are even openly in business together, and Directors of each other’s companies.


"Scene-ster" and felon Adnan Khashoggi

Recent owners of the St Petersburg FL-based DC9, for example, have interlocking partnerships with recent owners of the St Petersburg FL-based Gulfstream II business jet.

Though only six of the planes sold to the cartel have been identified so far, they’re connected six ways from Tuesday. And their numbers include a bus-load of the usual suspects: Ramy El-Batrawi, a henchman for CIA fixer and Saudi arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi.

El-Batrawi had owned the airliners which Oliver North used to send TOW missiles to Iran, the beginning of the Iran Contra Scandal. His company, Jetborne, owned by Khashoggi, was called a CIA proprietary in the Iran Contra hearings.

However, none of the American sellers of the airplanes appear to be under investigation by any law enforcement entity in the entire united states.

Were the Americans who sold a fleet of drug planes to Mexico’s most powerful cartel just innocent aviation enthusiasts? Or do they, instead, offer the best glimpse anyone's likely to get of the world of the highly-elusive American Drug Lords?

NOTE: Recently we incorrectly reported that money was wired from Mexico to an account at Commerce Bank in Miami, whose Chairman, we incorrectly reported, was Dennis Nixon, also the South Texas Co-chair of John McCain’s campaign.

Dennis Nixon's International Bancshares of San Antonio has no connection to Commerce Bank in Miami. We regret the error.

We have since learned that court documents show that Carlos Ayala Lara, the target of the current FBI investigation, also laundered money through the Texas bank.


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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Argentine Federal Court Declares Prohibition of Personal Posession of Ganja UNCONSTITUTIONAL

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In a move that mirrors statements made by both Argentina and the director of the United Nations Office of Drug Policy, an Argentine federal court has ruled in favor of decriminalizing personal posession of ganja.

Also worth noting is that many of the statements by the court mirror the situation here in the states. Laws that were said to originally be about going after "drug kingpins" end up arresting and incarcerating 88% of the people for small, personal posession amounts.

Argentina Court Rules for Decriminalization of Cannabis Possession

Buenos Aires, Argentina: In a ruling on Wednesday, a federal court in Buenos Aires ruled that the criminalization of the possession of personal amounts of cannabis and other drugs is unconstitutional, according to the Argentinean newspaper El Financiero. The case stems from the conviction of two teenagers arrested for possession of marijuana cigarettes and ecstasy at a rave in May of 2007.

The Argentinean Supreme Court still must review the case before it becomes law.

Should the Supreme Court rule in accordance with the lower court, it would pave the way for the striking of the convictions of thousands of Argentinean citizens for minor marijuana possession offenses, which would ultimately result in the suspension of their sentences and their release if still imprisoned.

The law, when drafted, was based on the concept that the arrest of drug consumers attacked the base of a chain that led to narcotraffickers. However, in its ruling, the court stated that the law had generated "an avalanche of cases targeting consumers without climbing up the ladder of drug trafficking."

The ruling is in accordance with the political views of Argentinean president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who favors decriminalizing the consumption of drugs. Last month at a UN meeting in Vienna on drug laws and enforcement, Argentina’s Minister of Justice, Anibal Fernandez, said that the policy of punishing drug consumers was a "total failure."

In contrast, Thomas Shannon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said that cooperation on fighting drugs is an area of converging interest for the United States and Argentina after meeting with President de Kirchner earlier this month.

For more information, contact NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre at (202) 483-5500.





UNODC Director Declares International Drug Control System Is Not 'Fit For Purpose' Is he condoning drug use or facing the FACT that prohibition is a mean-spirited failure?


In a major blow to unthinking adherence to ganja prohibition, Mr. Costa, the director of the United Nations agency has called for a complete revamping of international drug control law. His report, which will repurpose the commision, calls for a commitment to base reform on empirical evidence and not ideology.
This will prove problematic for those who are vested in moralistic attacks on cananbis consumers, since there is empirical evidence on ganja that shows that compared to other common activities, cananbis consuption is relatively safe, and for suffering people it is a beneficial and valuable medication that may be the only one that works for many people.

Just as important, Costa's report shows that prohibition law is responsible for creating and maintaining a violent back market where prices have been inflated 100 times the actual value of ganja.

In an extraordinarily candid report, the head of the UN agency responsible for overseeing the international conventions on drugs, describes the multi-lateral drug control system as not 'fit for purpose'. He also explains how the international regime has created significant unintended consequences.

The report, "Making Drug Control 'Fit For Purpose': Building On The UNGASS Decade" was made available, but not widely disseminated, at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna earlier this month. (The report is available in scanned PDF at the Transform website.)

It states:

"There is indeed a spirit of reform in the air, to make the conventions fit for purpose and adapt them to a reality on the ground that is considerably different from the time they were drafted. With the multilateral machinery to adapt the conventions already available, all we need is: first, a renewed commitment to the principles of multilateralism and shared responsibility; secondly, a commitment to base our reform on empirical evidence and not ideology; and thirdly, to put in place concrete actions that support the above, going beyond mere rhetoric and pronouncement." (p.13)

"Looking back over the last century, we can see that the control system and its application have had several unintended consequences -- they may or may not have been unexpected but they were certainly unintended." (p.10)

"The first unintended consequence is a huge criminal black market that thrives in order to get prohibited substances from producers to consumers, whether driven by a 'supply push' or a 'demand pull', the financial incentives to enter this market are enormous. There is no shortage of criminals competing to claw out a share of a market in which hundred fold increases in price from production to retail are not uncommon". (p.10)

"The second unintended consequence is what one night call policy displacement. Public health, which is clearly the first principle of drug control was displaced into the background". (p.10)

"The third unintended consequence is geographical displacement. lt is often called the balloon effect because squeezing (by tighter controls) one place produces a swelling (namely an increase)in another place" (p.10)

"A system appears to have been created in which those who fall into the web of addiction find themselves excluded and marginalized from the social mainstream, tainted with a moral stigma, and often unable to find treatment even when they may be motivated to want it." (p.11)

"The concept of harm reduction is often made into an unnecessarily controversial issue as if there were a contradiction between (i) prevention and treatment on one hand and (ii) reducing the adverse health and social consequences of drug use on the other hand. This is a false dichotomy. These policies are complementary. (p.18)
"It stands to reason, then, that drug control, and the implementation of the drug Conventions, must proceed with due regard to health and human rights." (p.19)

Danny Kushlick, Transform Drug Policy Foundation Director said:
"This report is a welcome contrast to the politically motivated rhetoric that has dominated much of the Commission on Narcotic Drug's deliberations in the past. Mr Costa is to be congratulated for clearly stating what many in the drug policy reform movement have been saying for decades. That, for all its good intentions, the international drug control system has created unsustainable negative consequences and that its fitness for purpose in the modern world, and possible reforms, must be fundamentally explored.

"It is to be hoped that the issues that the Director has raised are seriously debated by and amongst member states in the coming year of review for the UN drug strategy. Despite the positive words from the UNODC director this substantive debate has clearly not begun yet."

ENDS

Contact: Danny Kushlick, Director +44 (0) 7970 174747 -- Steve Rolles, Information Officer +44 (0) 7980 213943

Notes for Editors:
"Making Drug Control 'Fit For Purpose': Building On The UNGASS Decade" is available in full on the Transform website (scanned pdf -- 3 megs). It has not been made publicly available along with the documentation on the UNODC (as of this writing)
In its review of UK drug policy of 2002 the UK Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee made 24 recommendations including:
"That the Government initiates a discussion within the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of alternative ways -- including the possibility of legalisation and regulation -- to tackle the global drugs dilemma." (recommendation 24)
In 2003 the UK Government published the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit report on drug policy, demonstrating that global supply side enforcement was responsible for many of the harms associated with the trade and use of heroin and cocaine. Full report available here -- Transform briefing on the report here )


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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Law enforcement officers call for an end to prohibition

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Is the War being waged on Americans effective for controlling drugs?

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The short history of prohibition laws is that America has had some sort of prohibition law since the "noble experiment" of alcohol prohibition (1920 - 1933). Prior to that, three states had alcohol laws in 1906 and over the next ten years twenty more states passed some sort of alcohol prohibition law. There were no ganja laws until the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act. There is an excellent historical discussion of the progression of prohibition laws previously published in the Virginia Law Review now available at THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT AND THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE: AN INQUIRY INTO THE LEGAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

There are studies that examine the parallels and divergences between alcohol temperance and ganja suppression. For our discussion, we are only interested in one major difference: there was significant, open public debate about temperance. Ganja prohibition was slipped in with no public debate. In fact, the day the first ganja law was introduced, congressional records show that no one knew what it was about and it passed with no discussion; all of the scientific and medical communities that opposed ganja control laws were simply ignored.

Today, ganja prohibition exists with no permitted public discussion. Yellow journalists are forced by manipulation by the law enforcement community to suppress the truth that ganja decriminalization is supported by every major medical and psychiatric organization but one, which group has not presented any opinion about decriminalizing ganja. In fact, most people oppose the present prohibition scheme that treats all users as dysfunctional. The prohibitionists get quite rabid in attempting to dominate every conversation about law reform with their lies and misdirections.

Another set of facts about prohibition law that the cops hope that people never discuss is whether the law is having the effect it is purported to seek to address. Just as significant, are all of the goals rational and based in scientific fact? Integral to any discussion of law is how will enforcement be financed, and are the goals fiscally attainable? Let's examine some of the stated goals of prohibition and the costs in socioeconomic terms.

A significant fear that prohibitionists promote is that decriminalizing ganja will lead to wider use. In fact, in countries and states where ganja laws have been relaxed, the rates of use have actually gone down. (read the blog about Yellow Journalists which has a discussion of a Harvard website that provides statistics on this).

Not only is more widespread use an unfounded fear, but even the most draconian laws and enforcement have had not effect. The fact is, anyone who wants ganja can get it. According to DEA and FBI statistics, a little over half of adults have tried ganja at one time or another and between a quarter and a third of adults use ganja on a regular basis. In Delaware, that equates to some 250,000 regular ganja consumers. Prohibitionists hate these numbers. It comes from government statistics, so if they want to argue the point they will need to provide better stats to support their contentions.

A subset of this fear of spreading use is that decriminalizing ganja will lead to more youth getting involved with ganja. I refer again to the study on the Harvard website I mention in another blog, which provides government statistics that show that decriminalizing, removing the rebel status of ganja, results in declining use in youth. Because prohibition results in a profitable black market, which has none of the legal incentives to restrict sales to youth that legal businesses have, prohibition actually results in more exposure of youth to access to ganja.

The wrong message is continued government benign neglect that empowers a massive and corrupt black market leaving children to the amoral tender mercies of addict dealers, gangsters and other social predators who all thrive in the illegal economy. The right message is showing that we care with strong government institutions watching closely enough over well regulated merchants who 'just say no' when children come in to buy, whether it be tobacco, alcohol or ganja.

Another subset fear that prohibitionists promote is that decriminalization will result in more addicts. But, according to The National Institutes on Drug Abuse Genetics Working Group "drug abuse and dependence comprise a complex set of genetic disorders..." Addiction is a biological malady that impacts 25% or more of our population no matter how many police and prisons we have.

Under the current prohibition policies, if a goal is to keep children from becoming addicts the law has been dramatically ineffective. The real result has been that the black market gives those with the worst incentive, drug dealers and their addicted users. Illicit ganja sales amount to a highly inflated eighty billion dollar hit on the pockets of consumers every year, and even the limited enforcement of ganja laws costs another seventy billion dollars a year. A better way to address the harm of addiction would be to regulate, tax and license the criminal anarchy out of the distribution of drugs as completely and effectively as regulations today protect consumers from predatory practices in other commerce.

Most revealing about this claim about ganja is that the fear itself has no foundation in science and medicine. As former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders points out, which I address in another blog, the American College of Physicians has provided scientific proof that ganja use is not a predictor of either addiction or trying other drugs. There are no facts to support that fear, they point out.

These aspects of increased use, addiction and stepping stone theories are only a part of the rationals on which prohibition is provably a complete failure in achieving its goals.

I just got the following message from a former police officer.


For Immediate Release April 22, 2008 Medford, MA- A burst of gang violence in Chicago between April 18 and April 21 left at least 37 people shot, 2 stabbed, and 9 dead. Thirteen of the victims have been identified as Chicago Public Schools students. The 36 separate incidents of violence included gang shootings, drive-by shootings, and shots fired at police with an AK-47. In response to the weekend’s surge of violence, Chicago police will disperse gun, tactical, and gang teams, as well as SWAT officers in battle gear. As summer approaches, police anticipate that gang activity will continue to increase. The gang violence of the 1920’s is the same 80 years later: it is driven by a prohibition that increases crime, violence, disease and death. The land of Al Capone should read the history books: just as alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s caused Chicago to erupt in gang violence in Capone’s era, drug prohibition is the root of gang warfare in Chicago in 2008. The black market drug trade fuels the violence, and as long as prohibition continues, the resulting violence will only increase. For More Information Contact: Mike Smithson LEAP Operations Director speakers@leap.cc



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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Read what REAL Psychiatrists and REAL physicians have to say about cannabis, instead of believing prohibitionist lies

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Read what REAL Psychiatrists and REAL physicians have to say about cannabis, instead of believeing prohibitoinist lies
Posted 4/16/2008 10:07 PM EDT on DelawareOnline.com
(Could this post be why the piggies and DOh want to silence me?)

Instead of believing the regurgitated nonsense of some flakes who are dedicated to protecting vested interest ideologue, learn the truth about marijuana from hundreds of thousands of REAL psychiatrists and REAL doctors who have all called for the decriminalization of marijuana.
American Psychiatric Association Assembly Unanimously Backs Medical Marijuana
http://tinyurl.com/5dy6rc

Now, what is so difficult to understand when the largest professional group of psychiatrists issues a no holds barred statement that "[We] support protection for patients and physicians participating in state approved medical marijuana programs." and that "anti-medical marijuana groups...have been aggressively using false information tactics. These groups allege that there are various links between mental illness and marijuana, ignoring the fact that it is well documented that medical marijuana can be therapeutic."

Or when an international group of psychiatrists says that "[T]he negative effects associated with cannabis use are small compared with the negative effects associated with other pleasure drugs, such as nicotine, alcohol, and cocaine." and that "[P]rohibition and criminalization [are] not very likely to lead to different [cannabis] consumption rates or less risky drug use patterns, whereas it may lead to increased contacts of its users with the criminal scene and the legal system, leading to negative effects on their future development."


Pot Decriminalization Does Not Increase Marijuana Use, Scientific Journal Says
http://tinyurl.com/5h95l7


Those are clear statements from science based studies, and not from those paid to produce negative "research."

WHY can not those who lie about ganja admit that several hundred thousand doctors say, "Marijuana has not been proven to be the cause or even the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse," or that marijuana use does not cause any physical problems more severe than a sore throat.

Surgeon General and Mainstream Medicine Endorse Medical Marijuana
http://tinyurl.com/6mttes

Instead, prohibitionists love to refer to old websites, and those who do actual research know just how unreliable just any website is, let alone those that are parrots for vested interest ideologists like the DEA or any other police.

They demonstrate just how mean-spirited they and the law actually is by ignoring hundreds of thousands of REAL psychiatrists and REAL physicians in favor of superstitious thinking and by adhering to antiquated, delusional beliefs.


(note: links are to DOh blogline and may not always work, since they randomly suspend my account there with no explaination.)


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Pot Decriminalization Does Not Increase Marijuana Use, Scientific Journal Says

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Pot Decriminalization Does Not Increase Marijuana Use, Scientific Journal Says
Posted 4/15/2008 6:02 PM EDT on DelawareOnline.com
(Could this post be why the piggies and unethical staff at DOh want to silence me?)

Pot Decriminalization Does Not Increase Marijuana Use, Scientific Journal SaysAmsterdam, the Netherlands: Liberalizing marijuana laws is not associated with increased cannabis use among the general public, according to a scientific review published this month in the journal Current Opinion in Psychiatry."[T]he vast majority of people who use cannabis do so for a limited period of time with few or no negative consequences," states the review. "[T]he negative effects associated with cannabis use are small compared with the negative effects associated with other pleasure drugs, such as nicotine, alcohol, and cocaine. "[P]rohibition and criminalization [are] not very likely to lead to different [cannabis] consumption rates or less risky drug use patterns, whereas it may lead to increased contacts of its users with the criminal scene and the legal system, leading to negative effects on their future development.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the review, "Decriminalization of cannabis" appears in the journal Current Opinion in Psychiatry.


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Surgeon General and Mainstream Medicine Endorse Medical Marijuana

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Surgeon General and Mainstream Medicine Endorse Medical Marijuana
Posted 4/13/2008 7:17 PM EDT on DelawareOnline.com
(Could this post be one of the reasons that the pigs and DOh want to silence me?)

By Dr. Jocelyn Elders, AlterNetPosted on March 26, 2008, Printed on March 27, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/80582/

One of America's largest and most important groups of physicians has moved to cut through the clutter of political controversies over medical use of marijuana. Lawmakers and the public alike would do well to pay attention.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group in the United States. Its 124,000 members are doctors specializing in internal medicine and related subspecialties, including cardiology, neurology, pulmonary disease, oncology and infectious diseases. The College publishes Annals of Internal Medicine, the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world.

In a landmark position paper released in February, these distinguished physicians are saying what many of us have been arguing for years: Most of our laws have gotten it wrong when it comes to medical marijuana, and it's time for public policy to get in step with science.

Right now, the laws of 38 states and the federal government bar use of marijuana as a medicine. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical use and being unsafe for use even under medical supervision.

ACP's position paper urges "reclassification into a more appropriate schedule, given the scientific evidence regarding marijuana's safety and efficacy in some clinical conditions." The document goes on to call for protection of physicians' right to "prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law" and "strongly urges protection from civil or criminal penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws."

ACP supports its position with 10 pages of scientific documentation and references. They cite data showing relief of the nausea, vomiting and wasting that can worsen the misery of cancer, AIDS and other diseases; of the pain and tremors associated with multiple sclerosis; and for relief of pain caused by a variety of other conditions. They note that marijuana in combination with some pharmaceuticals may produce more benefit than either drug alone.

ACP calls for more research, but then adds a critical point: In some areas, the efficacy of medical marijuana has already been established, and it's time for studies designed to determine the best dose and route of delivery.

The ACP position paper demolishes several myths, starting with the notion still proclaimed by some politicians that marijuana is unsafe for medical use. The College notes that the most serious objection to medical marijuana -- potential harm to the lungs from smoking -- has largely been solved by a technology called vaporization, already proven in scientific studies.

The ACP position paper also explains that there is no reason to believe that protecting medical marijuana patients leads to increased drug abuse. "Marijuana has not been proven to be the cause or even the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse," the doctors write. "Opiates are highly addictive, yet medically effective ... There is no evidence to suggest that medical use of opiates has increased perception that their illicit use is safe or acceptable.

This is an historic document! Large medical associations are by their nature slow, cautious creatures that move only when the evidence is overwhelming. The evidence is indeed overwhelming that, as ACP put it, there is "a clear discord" between what research tells us and what our laws say about medical marijuana.

It appears that voters and lawmakers in a number of states will consider medical marijuana proposals this year, and Congress will again be asked to stop federal attempts to interfere with the 12 state medical marijuana laws already in place. It's time to end that "clear discord" and put science ahead of politics.

Dr. Joycelyn Elders served as U.S. Surgeon General from 1993 to 1994, and is currently distinguished professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in Little Rock.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.


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American Psychiatric Association Assembly Unanimously Backs Medical Marijuana

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The American Psychiatric Association Assembly, a top medical organization in the United States, has issued a unanimous statement in support of the decriminalization and medical use of marijuana.




This move debunks a lot of the nonsense from some of the anti-medical marijuana groups. They have been aggressively using false information tactics. These groups allege that there are various links between mental illness and marijuana, ignoring the fact that it is well documented that medical marijuana can be therapeutic.



Far from being a fringe group, the American Psychiatric Association Assembly is an extremely well respected medical organization in the United States. They have issued a very strong and direct statement which their members support unanimously that urges legal protection for patients who have a doctor's prescription for marijuana.



The American Psychiatric Association is the main organization for professional psychiatrists in America. It has 40,000 members and 16 allied organizations, including the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Association for Social Psychiatry, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, and the American Association of Emergency Psychiatrists.


The paper from the APA Assembly refers to 12 states that already have medical marijuana laws, and says, "The threat of arrest by federal agents, however, still exists. Seriously ill patients living in these states with medical marijuana recommendations from their doctors should not be subjected to the threat of punitive federal prosecution for merely attempting to alleviate the chronic pain, side effects, or symptoms associated with their conditions or resulting from their overall treatment regimens. ... [We] support protection for patients and physicians participating in state approved medical marijuana programs."

There have been many incidents of police arresting those with prescriptions for medical marijuana, as it is still illegal under federal law. This paper was released in hopes that this would no longer happen. As an 83 year old lady (whose name escapes me presently) once said, "What the hell is wrong with being euphoric if you're dying of cancer?" Good question!



In Delaware, there are no laws protecting patients, and no law defining who should be protected. A sensible police officer would look at the proof that cannabis is medicine, that every legitimate study on cannabis use shows it to be relatively harmless, and err on the side of protecting patients. Even recreational use has not PROVEN to be all that dangerous, despite the abuse of prohibition based documentation to the contrary.



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