Policymakers and anti-addiction advocates now want to suppress opioid use, and to impose even greater restrictions on people who live with chronic pain. This isn’t going to address the addiction and overdose problem. Studies are now showing that when opioids aren’t as available and prices go up, addicts just switch back to street heroin. Pain patients, however, simply suffer. Their plight shouldn’t be an afterthought and shouldn’t be relegated to comments sections to stories that failed to consider their perspective. They are a crucial part of this story.
In a free society, it’s not up to business “leaders,” politicians, or the arbiters of public decency as to which industries shall be lauded and welcomed, and which shall be ignored and shunted aside. It is the market, which far more reliably reflects the true preferences and desires of the population than any political process, that is the one objective and honest measure of what it is that the consumers and taxpayers want. If consumers don’t want the cannabis industry in Colorado, it will surely shrink to insignificance. If, on the other hand, consumers do in fact want it, lawmakers possess no economic or moral grounds to declare otherwise.
The more the government acts to suppress a market with more police, severe penalties and new tactics the higher they drive up prices and the more incentive black marketeers have to invest in ways of protecting themselves against detection, arrest and penalties. One of the primary ways of doing this is to increase the potency of the product or to switch to higher potency products. It’s more bang for the buck. Instead of smuggling wine, a truckload of 10% alcohol, why not smuggle a vanload of whiskey that is 90% alcohol? Why try to bring weak potency marijuana into the country when you can smuggle marijuana that is 5 or 10 times more potent, or why not switch to cocaine and heroin smuggling where a million doses can be smuggled in a single suitcase? Marijuana is not a true gateway drug that leads people to heroin. Stricter prohibition leads black markets from weak marijuana to heroin.
My students are often skeptical of this analysis. Perhaps drug dealers are not smart enough to figure this out, they think. Then I ask them about what happens at an Auburn University football game. “If you went tailgating before the game, what alcoholic drink would you most likely see people drinking?” The answer is nearly unanimous – beer. Then I ask them, “Once you get into the stadium (where alcohol is prohibited) what type of alcohol are you most likely going to see consumed?” The students’ eyes bug out and I have seen a jaw or two actually drop because they know the answer is some type of high potency liquor. …
With prohibition, the more the government tries to enforce it, the higher the price and the more effort that will be exerted to overcome the prohibition, whether that is higher potency, more dangerous concentrated drugs, larger bribes, more powerful guns …
Los Angeles Times gets its hands on an investigation into border patrol practices by the Police Executive Research Forum, a “nonprofit research and policy organization in Washington that works closely with law enforcement agencies” that was “allowed to examine internal Border Patrol case files on 67 shooting incidents from January 2010 to October 2012.”
Some findings from the Times:
Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.
The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for “lack of diligence” in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency “consistently and thoroughly reviews” use-of-deadly-force incidents.
And our brave border protectors wanted to make sure we, or our elected representatives, never found out:
House and Senate oversight committees requested copies last fall but received only a summary that omitted the most controversial findings — that some border agents stood in front of moving vehicles as a pretext to open fire and that agents could have moved away from rock throwers instead of shooting at them.
The Times obtained the full report and the agency’s internal response, which runs 23 pages. The response rejects the two major recommendations: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can’t cause serious physical injury….
Mexican authorities have complained for years that U.S. border agents who kill Mexicans are rarely disciplined and that the results of investigations are not made public for years.
J.D. Tuccille blogged earlier today on Arizonans attempts to rid themselves of an internal “border checkpoint.”
Just a thought: we could cut a vast number of the reasons any of these confrontations happen in the first place with saner drug laws and saner paths for the legal ability to work in this country.
"Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border"
To the extent that conservatives still defend the drug war (and there are fewer and fewer willing to do so), … [t]heir argument is [usually] that drug use enslaves drug users with addiction, and that were drugs to be made legal, we’d all be robbed of the benefits of living in a populace of responsible citizens. Use and addiction would be common, thus shredding the moral fabric (or some other vague metaphor) that binds us all together. These arguments have been rehashed again since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. (See also Davids Brooks and Frum.)
I think there’s good evidence that this is wrong on its face. Jacob Sullum’s book Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use, for example, presents compelling empirical evidence that the vast, vast majority of people who use drugs—even hard drugs—do so recreationally, don’t become addicts, and inflict little to no harm on those around them. But even if we accept the argument that legalization could lead to widespread use, significantly more addiction, and whatever itinerant harm comes with both, these arguments almost always fail to acknowledge the catastrophic harm inflicted by drug prohibition itself. If we’re truly concerned about policies that “degrade human nature,” “damage and undermine families,” and “deprive the nation of competent, self-governing citizens,” it seems like we should consider not only the effects of illicit drugs themselves, but also the effects of prohibiting them.
I don’t favor decriminalization. I recommend full legalization of all drugs. I have shown that prohibition actually creates all the social problems that we now believe prohibition is supposed to have addressed. Crime, corruption, overdoses, etc. are all the results of prohibition. Making them legal and above board will eliminate prohibition-related crime and corruption and result in much safer products. Every time the government cracks down on drugs, new and more powerful, more potent and dangerous drugs come to the black market.
Marijuana is a cop’s friend. Pot makes scoring arrest points and getting career boosts absurdly easy for a cop. Pot makes people visible, smellable, arrestable, and easy to handle. It’s a cop’s dream. When I look over my old arrest reports as a Miami cop, most of them are nearly identical: stopped car, smelled dope, found dope, arrested one and all. The prohibition against marijuana, in practice, allows cops to vacuum up thousands of petty offenders. In every city, thousands of cops, corrections officers, and judges make their living arresting and processing petty offenders. People with a joint in their pockets are arrested every hour of every day, all over America, by the tens of thousands… Half the criminal justice system would be out of business if dope were legalized. You’d see cops on strike holding signs saying, “Bring back our dope!
Marijuana is a cop’s friend. Pot makes scoring arrest points and getting career boosts absurdly easy for a cop. Pot makes people visible, smellable, arrestable, and easy to handle. It’s a cop’s dream.
When I look over my old arrest reports as a Miami cop, most of them are nearly identical: stopped car, smelled dope, found dope, arrested one and all.
The prohibition against marijuana, in practice, allows cops to vacuum up thousands of petty offenders. In every city, thousands of cops, corrections officers, and judges make their living arresting and processing petty offenders.
People with a joint in their pockets are arrested every hour of every day, all over America, by the tens of thousands… Half the criminal justice system would be out of business if dope were legalized. You’d see cops on strike holding signs saying, “Bring back our dope!
— Dale C. Carson, former Miami police officer (via anarcho-americana)
On police militarization and the drug war.
It is absurd and unjust that police arrest hundreds of thousands of Americans for marijuana possession every year. There is no reason why people who have violated no one’s rights should be subjected to the humiliation, inconvenience, and expense of an arrest, not to mention the lasting consequences of a criminal conviction. That injustice is especially disturbing given how racially skewed pot busts are: The ACLU calculates that blacks are about four times as likely to be arrested for possession as whites, even though they are no more likely to smoke pot.
It is nevertheless incorrect to suggest that many people are serving long prison terms merely for possessing small amounts of marijuana. A drug warrior can respond to Obama’s argument that pot smokers should not be subject to “very heavy criminal penalties” with an easy retort: They’re not. Meanwhile, the growers and distributors who are subject to such penalties are swept under the rug. That way Obama avoids addressing the moral incoherence of decriminalizing demand but not supply: If actually smoking pot should not be treated as a crime, then why should it be a crime merely to help people smoke pot, let alone a crime that can send you to prison for the rest of your life?
In August, the remarkable story of Charlotte Figi, a now 7-year-old girl whose dangerous, frequent seizures resisted all treatments until medical marijuana, prompted CNN’s medical expert Sanjay Gupta to overcome his own resistance to the drug’s use.
Today CBS News follows up to note that apparently dozens of other families are now making the trek to Colorado in order to get access to the same strain of marijuana, known as “Charlotte’s Web,” for children also suffering from rare epileptic disorders that are defying treatment. They spoke to another family who came to Colorado and saw similarly effective results:
The family of 20-month-old Maggie Selmeski moved from Tennessee to Colorado last November seeking Charlotte’s Web. Her mom, Rachel, told CBS News’ Teri Okita that her daughter would suffer up to 500 seizures a day, and epilepsy medication did not help. However, Charlotte’s Web has reduced the seizures drastically, she said.
“I can watch people’s face as I tell them we’re giving her cannabis oil, and it’s like … a little questioning,” she said.
And then, of course, all this good news is followed by this sentence: “Doctors warn there is no proof that Charlotte’s Web is effective, or even safe.” Another doctor pointed out there’s no “peer-reviewed study” yet. It’s the kind of statement that tends to fall on the deaf ears of parents whose kids are having hundreds of seizures that defy all treatment and who are diplomatically being told not to get terribly attached to their progeny. These aren’t ulcer treatments the parents are looking for, and based on the reporting on children with this rare version of epilepsy, it’s not like they’re giving up tried-and-true conventional medical treatments for homeopathic remedies or magic crystals. Modern medicine was unable to fix these problems. What else are the parents supposed to do? (And do we need to get into how the lack of research into the effectiveness of marijuana as a medical treatment is a direct consequence of the country’s own drug policies in the first place?)
Prohibition of a vice pushes that vice underground. Instead fighting for market share with better products, cheaper products, or better service—as people in developed, prosperous societies do—they win market share with violence. Instead of resolving disputes in the courts, they resolve them … with yet more violence. See [a] graph of homicides before, during, and after alcohol prohibition, for example. Or witness the spike in violent crime in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the introduction of crack created new turf wars. Or look south to the carnage in Mexico in the 2000s when the Mexican government, at the prodding of the U.S., disrupted the country’s drug markets by bringing in the military to fight the drug war in a far more literal manner.
As I like to say,”when you can’t bring a lawsuit, you bring a gun.”
And this argument holds true with the prohibition of any inanimate object.
Video at the link above.
Caprice Halley, Tevin Ford and Robert Douglas were driving through a Chicago neighborhood when they were stopped by police. They were then removed from the vehicle, and police proceeded to open both men’s waistbands and search inside their pants.
The suit alleges police then walked Douglas to a nearby house, handcuffed his wrist to bars on the home’s window, and pulled his pants to the ground while bending him over and searching his buttocks in the open air.
Some of the brutal and dehumanizing police behavior was caught on camera by neighbors before the police moved to a more private area.
The plaintiffs claim police stopped when they saw neighbors looking, and then took all of them to an alley behind a church in the 9100 block of South Bishop Street, where they ordered Halley to remove her pants.
Halley, claims she “pleaded” with a female officer not to, but that the officers made her remove her tampon and submit to a body cavity search in the alley.
A female officer searched her, while a group of male officers watched and “made jokes and comments about Ms. Halley’s body,” the suit claims.
The suit claims police found nothing illegal, but that the female officer reached toward her own sock and pulled out a small bag of heroin that she said she found in Halley’s waistband.
Halley and Douglas were both charged with delivery and a possession of a controlled substance, according to the suit.
Why Marijuana is illegal - Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan is a total bro, but he’s actually really smart and a highly underrated political commentator.
The paper, which was completed in August and accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in December, makes these conclusions:
- This pilot study found positive trends in the reduction of anxiety following two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions.
- Anxiety remained at reduced levels at 12-month follow-up sessions, implying durability of effects.
- LSD-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in these subjects.
- The results of this small pilot study are promising, and should be pursued in larger samples.
The criteria for securing a search warrant have been relaxed [as a result of the Drug War]. In drug cases, the Supreme Court has permitted the issuance of search warrants based on anonymous tips and tips from informants known to be corrupt and unreliable; permitted warrantless searches of fields, barns, and private property near a residence; and upheld evidence obtained under defective search warrants if the officers executing the warrant acted in “good faith.” Taken together, these holdings have been characterized as “the drug exception to the Fourth Amendment.”