Tag Archives: War on Drugs

Wrong Ideas Are Sinking America

by Michael S. Rozeff

Recently by Michael S. Rozeff: Get Off the Road to War: Stop the Sanctions on Iran

The beliefs of America’s leaders are deeply ingrained. They have been recruited and made leaders because they have those beliefs and hold them quite inflexibly. For example, American leaders believe in making wars conducted by the state, including such military wars as Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, and such social wars as the war on drugs and the war on poverty. In this belief, America’s leaders are supported by large numbers of Americans, enough so that they can institute and carry on these wars.

Military wars entail the suspension of ordinary morality. They are viewed as extraordinary events in which ordinary people don uniforms, take up arms, fly airplanes, launch bombs, throw grenades and routinely kill other people without fear of punishment. War is supposedly a case when the ends justify nasty and immoral means. By creating the appearance of wars or semi-wars or crusades against drugs, poverty, terror, discrimination, obesity and diseases, to name a few causes, the same kind of suspension of morality can be invoked. The leaders make it seem “all right” to suspend people’s rights and to force them to do what they want.

Look at what the war on terror has done in this respect. It now is supposed to be all right to detain suspects, torture them, hide them away in prisons in foreign countries without charges, trials or due process of law. The President is taken to be doing the right thing by assassinating whom he wants to or arresting whom he wants to, even if they are Americans, and if only he suspects them of terrorist wrongdoing. The TSA is allowed to assault travelers sexually. Travelers are forced to pass through x-ray machines. Police have become militarized. Searches and seizures face vanishing barriers. Probable cause is a memory. Border crossings are no longer routine.

And all of this and more are things that America’s leaders want us to think are right. Well, they are not. They are wrong. They are as wrong as the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. They are as wrong as every one of the social wars instituted by the U.S. government. All of them violate rights. All of them violate any decent morality. All of them are pragmatically wrong as well.

By now it is or should be obvious that all of these wars, without exception, have been and still are losing propositions for America. This is beyond debate, but neither Democrat nor Republican partisans, who criticize the policies of their opponents, admit that their particular hobby-horses are failures. Both sides are always ready to tinker around the edges with a government program or add to it, but neither side presents radical criticism of longstanding assumptions and institutions. Meanwhile, the American people are largely fast asleep at the wheel. They present no systematic resistance to the immoralities of their state and empire.

Consistent failure of their wars does not sway America’s leaders, who are now prepared to start an aggressive war on Iran. The very concept of such a war is wrong. The policy of domination of Iran that goes back well over 50 years is wrong. It should be replaced, but this is not obvious to America’s leaders because they have been taught otherwise and have taken power while firmly believing the opposite. A notable exception occurred when Nixon went to China.

Obama hasn’t gone to Iran. He completely failed to follow up on his 2009 “new beginning” speech in which he mentioned a sound basis from which to proceed with Iran, namely, “mutual respect”. He and his appointees instead followed through with the very threats that he said at that time wouldn’t work: “This process will not be advanced by threats.” Is it any wonder the Iranians suspect duplicity?

In making all of its wars, military and social, the American leadership regards people as mere names and numbers, mere parts of a social puzzle that can be moved around and manipulated at their will. This is a wrong idea in practice and it is a wrong idea morally. It is at root immoral, since it is anti-person and anti-humanity. America’s leaders do not see their wars in that way.

America’s leaders believe in their own power and superiority, and this implies that they believe in the powerlessness and inferiority of the masses in America. A fortiori, they regard foreign states and their peoples as inferior and objects to be manipulated. These ideas are also wrong morally and practically. There is literally nothing that endows America’s leaders with an inherent superiority that justifies treating others as inferiors. Their power doesn’t make them superior. A robber who points a big gun at one’s head has power, but that doesn’t make him better or superior. His aggression in fact makes him morally suspect. Nor does the decision to pursue or attain power make one superior any more than does the decision to become a robber. Treating others as fodder for American bombs or as political or economic pawns that are subject to threats and manipulation is bound to backfire in the long run.

America’s leaders believe in their ability to achieve their ends, and they believe in the rightness of their having the power to choose and shape these ends. These too are erroneous ideas. Anyone but them can see easily that their wars have been failures for mankind. Had they been successful as leaders, these wars would have not occurred. They would not even have been regarded, even mistakenly regarded, as needed.

It is surely not right to believe that one or a few persons should have the power as leaders to choose the ends of everyone else or the power to shape those ends. Such an idea is obviously directly at odds with the idea of liberty for every person.

All of these wrong-headed ideas and beliefs of the American leadership are more and more clashing with reality. The false and immoral beliefs outlined above when put into practice are bankrupting the nation, causing misery and retarding the progress of Americans. More and more it is evident, even to the true believing leaders, that something is rotten in their empire. Some see the light and abandon their unworkable ideas. They leave government. Others remain but become cynical. Others retain their statist faith but are unsure what the sources of the rot are. They keep up the heart and soul of their failing philosophy of power while making cosmetic changes. They continue to repeat the past errors. They even redouble their failing efforts out of the erroneous belief that others before them just didn’t try hard enough.

Americans need to understand that there are educational and media institutions in place that support the state and empire by continually raising new crops of leaders who keep up these false beliefs and wrong ideas.

Class after class of American youth have been taught that Americans may kill other peoples to achieve American political aims and that this is good, for other peoples are children or savages or inept or ignorant or inferior, while the American ways are superior. Americans have in the past imagined themselves the reluctant killers and victors, without the aims of conquest of past civilizations. They have imagined themselves as the kind, generous, and beneficent empire while not counting those whom they have murdered. For America is good. It has a big heart. It may make mistakes, but its intent is noble. It has a good heart. These have been the myths cultivated in the breeding grounds of those who man the machinery of empire.

The murderous intentions and false ideas are coming more and more out into the open. The reluctance to kill is disappearing. How many Americans joke about “nuking” other peoples? In the 2007 movie “In the Valley of Elah,” one young soldier back from Iraq has these lines:

“You know Mike, he loved the army. Couldn’t wait to get there, save the good guys and hurt the bad guys.

“They shouldn’t send heroes to places like Iraq.

“Everything there’s f****d up.

“Before I went, I’d never say this, but you ask me now…they should just nuke it and watch it all turn back to dust.”

This captures a naive belief in American superiority and a belief that it was right to invade Iraq as if the invasion were some kind of heroic rescue operation. It also captures the psychology of blaming the victims and wanting to nuke them. Get them out of one’s mind. Remove the burden of having lived through war’s horrors and not having achieved anything.

Laurence Vance quotes from the deadliest American sniper in Iraq:

“Savage, despicable evil. That’s what we were fighting in Iraq. That’s why a lot of people, myself included, called the enemy ‘savages.’ There really was no other way to describe what we encountered there. People ask me all the time, ‘How many people have you killed?’ My standard response is, ‘Does the answer make me less, or more, of a man?’ The number is not important to me. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives. Everyone I shot in Iraq was trying to harm Americans or Iraqis loyal to the new government.”

This soldier believes in his right to kill, under the American flag, even if uninvited to a foreign land. He believes in the rightness of the American presence and cause, and therefore if someone is trying to kill Americans in Iraq, to him they must be evil savages. And he believes the converse as well. Since they are savages, we have a right to fight and kill them. The sniper’s account is valuable. It expresses openly a few of the hidden immoral presumptions of American leaders. It expresses the hidden beliefs of a great many Americans who, with their leaders, usually hide them.

Generations of Americans have been schooled in myths that have subverted mankind’s moral knowledge and replaced it with a devotion to the state and to empire, all the while proclaiming that Americans were doing God’s work. A system was erected by which youths were selected who were the most willing and able supporters of state and empire. Internships were granted as were scholarships and fellowships. Universities were funded to act as ways to filter and credential those willing to support the state. Military service became one route to election. The myth of public service was cultivated. Military service was made out to be attractive to young men (and women) with the requisite propensities.

A deep belief in the goodness of the state and of government was inculcated. A deep distrust of the masses and of freedom naturally accompanied it.

A system of ensuring the continuity of the empire and its guiding myths was built up. Now centered in Washington, D.C. but with tentacles that reach deeply into every major university and into a ring of centers, foundations, think tanks and the like, America raises up generation after generation of men and women of empire. The moral influences from other sources are dwarfed by the devotion of these cadres to their careers and to state and empire. While there are numerous cynics among them, many of them believe in the goodness and rightness of their chosen course. This is what allows them to be part of the machinery within which they pay others mercilessly to murder foreign peoples when they decide to. This belief in their own rightness and goodness is what allows them to cloak their deep immorality in the language of the morality that they have rejected and that is absent from their hearts, having been extinguished by long years of the opposite training.

By no accident, America is a ship headed for the rocks. This course has been built into America and Americans for many years. Entire generations have been born and bred to man the government that is steering the ship to its final collision. Generations of Americans have been born and bred to accept state and empire.

America’s leaders charted this course for America many decades before 9/11. For years the seas looked calm and the winds favorable. Most Americans were blind to the collision course, supported it and applauded it. Even as large an event as the Vietnam War did not cure the blindness. Economic woes have not cured it. An event like 9/11 made matters worse. Far from being a warning beacon to change course, 9/11 has been a Siren luring America to its destruction. In one of the worst decades for liberty in American history, Americans turned to aggressive wars, to more and more intense monetary and economic manipulations, to new forms of welfare, and to the destruction of the Bill of Rights. The ship is being torn apart on reefs and draws closer to the jagged rocks that threaten to sink it altogether.

America’s leaders are now bringing America again to the brink of a new war, with Iran the target.

The two options regarding Iran are now and always have been the same: develop peaceful relations based on mutual respect, live and let live, peace, neutrality and non-interference; or else attempt to control and dominate Iran for the U.S.’s own ends.

Option 2 is the empire’s option of choice. It is an option consistent with its immorality, self-righteous attitudes and long held assumptions.

Following option 1 means a comprehensive settlement of the issues relating to Israel. The U.S. keeps rejecting offers to negotiate such a settlement, not only because the U.S. prefers power plays, but also because U.S. foreign policy is catering to Israel in important respects, and any such settlement will have to settle thorny issues such as thenature and characterof the state of Israel that Israel’s leaders prefer to avoid. They’d have to give up something in order to get some of the things they want.

It is the responsibility of all those states that participated in Israel’s creation, those peoples who have been most affected by it, and those that have a stake in the region to settle these issues by negotiation. For the U.S. (or Israel) to go to war with Iran partly as an indirect result of failing to confront the issues is both morally wrong and irresponsible, being unresponsive to the underlying problem, which is the nature of Israel and its relations with its neighbors.

The wrong ideas of America’s leaders got us to this point, and now, if these ideas do not change or if Americans do not rise up and stop them from being put into practice, the leaders are going to pursue them to their logical and destructive end. A disaster for America and Americans looms directly ahead because a military attack on Iran opens up all kinds of unpredictable consequences, some of which could last for another 100 years. This is no way to build a constructive world.

February 4, 2012

Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.

Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of Michael S. Rozeff


10 reasons why even democrats, liberals and progressives are choosing Ron Paul over Obama

Thursday, January 12, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

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(NaturalNews) It’s a seemingly absurd idea on the surface: Why would democrats and liberals want to vote for Ron Paul (a Republican) over President Obama? Maybe because they want freedom instead of tyranny, it turns out. Because if you’re a total slave to the police state, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re on the left or the right, does it?
Here, I give you ten solid reasons why even liberals and progressives are supporting Ron Paul. And by the way, I don’t worship Ron Paul or any individual. What I honor is the principles that Ron Paul stands for — the very same principles President Obama has outright abandoned in his broken promises and disturbing reversals against the American people. Out of all the candidates, only Ron Paul has the ethical and moral strength to carry out his office from a place of principle rather than betrayal.

#1) Ron Paul supports decriminalizing marijuana and ending the War on Drugs. Obama does not.

Remember when Obamapromisedhe would decriminalize marijuana, but now his own administration continues to raid legal drug dispensaries in California? That’s a classic Obama lie: Say one thing to get elected, then turn around and do the exact opposite.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, openly supports decriminalizing marijuana and ending the failed War on Drugs. Although he doesn’tpromoterecreational drug use (and neither do I), he understands that treating weed smokers as hard-core criminals is ethical, morally and economically wrong. See my related article on Snoop Dogg and his recent drug bust in Texas: http://www.naturalnews.com/034612_Snoop_Dogg_marijuana_War_on_Drugs.html

#2) Ron Paul supports the freedom to choose what you eat and drink, including raw milk, but the Obama administration continues to run armed raids on raw milk farmers

Under Ron Paul, the FDA would be forced to end its vicious armed raids on Amish farmers and raw dairy producers. Obama has openly allowed such armed raids to continue under his watch, refusing to even take a stand for food freedom in America.

Ron Paul understands that liberty is the most important component of abundance. If you are not free to choose what you want to eat, smoke what you want to smoke, and choose your own type of medicine and health care, then you are a slave, not a citizen. Ron Paul seeks to get Big Government out of your life, away from your kitchen, out of your medicine cabinet and away from your children.

#3) Ron Paul would seek to eliminate FDA censorship of the scientifically-validated health claims for herbs, nutritional supplements and natural remedies

Under Bush and Obama, the FDA’s continued censorship of truthful statements about medicinal herbs, homeopathy and nutritional supplements has been fully supported by the White House. Obama is just a corporate puppet, of course, and that means he does whatever the powerful corporations tell him to do — especially the Wall Street and Big Pharma corporations. So it’s no surprise he hasn’t taken a stand to support health freedom for foods and supplements.

But Ron Paul has pushed the Health Freedom Protection Act year after year (http://www.naturalnews.com/019382_Health_Freedom_Protection_Act.html), tirelessly working tolegalize nutrition in Americaand restore Free Speech for Chinese Medicine herbs, Western medicine herbs and dietary supplements. Where Obama wants people to remain ignorant and malnourished, Ron Paul wants to restore your right to know the truth about supplements and natural medicine. As Ron Paul said in late 2005:

“The Health Freedom Protection Act will force the FDA to at last comply with the commands of Congress, the First Amendment, and the American people by codifying the First Amendment standards adopted by the federal courts. Specifically, the Health Freedom Protection Act stops the FDA from censoring truthful claims about the curative, mitigative, or preventative effects of dietary supplements, and adopts the federal court’s suggested use of disclaimers as an alternative to censorship. The Health Freedom Protection Act also stops the FDA from prohibiting the distribution of scientific articles and publications regarding the role of nutrients in protecting against disease.”

#4) Ron Paul would shut down secret military prisons like Gitmo, but Obama wants to expand those prisons and fill them with Americans!

It is now common knowledge that Obama lied when he said he would shut down Guantanamo Bay. As it turns out, Obama actually signed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) on New Year‘s Eve (when no one would notice). The NDAA grants the U.S. government the claimed “legal” right to “indefinitely detain” U.S. citizens, throw them in secret military prisons, interrogate them and even kill them with no due process. All this can now take place without a person even beingchargedwith a crime, much less given their day in court. (http://www.naturalnews.com/034537_NDAA_Bill_of_Rights_Obama.html)

Obama quietly signed this bill on New Year’s Eve, hoping no one would notice. This is how low his morals have stooped, by the way — to signing traitorous bills in the dark of night, on the evening before a major holiday where half the nation is hung over from alcohol. Why no signing ceremony with full coverage by CNN, huh? Maybe it’s because nationaltraitorsdon’t want their crimes against the United States Constitution to be filmed on camera.

In signing this, Obama violated his own oath of office, nullified the U.S. Bill of Rights, and essentially committed an act of mass civil rights violations against the People of America. Rep. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is one of the very few people who has openly and sternly opposed this unlawful NDAA which blatantly and arrogantly violates the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

This single point alone outweighs everything else you might think about Ron Paul. Even if you disagree with Ron Paul on other issues, none of that really matters if you’re rotting away in a secret military prison for daring to protest in a public park, for example. Without the Bill of Rights, nothing else really matters because tyranny takes over. The Bill of Rights must be defended first and at all costs. It is the only thing limiting the power of government and protecting the People from tyranny. Without it, we are all little more than slaves to a military dictatorship.

#5) Ron Paul is anti-war, Obama is pro-war.

Remember when Bush was the President, and everybody on the left was screaming about getting us out of all those wars in the Middle East? Funny how they suddenly fell silent when Obama took over the reins from Bush and continued running those same wars, isn’t it?

Ron Paul is solidly anti-war. Although he agrees with the need to “defend our shores,” he also believes that the United States has no moral authority (nor financial stability) from which to engage in running around the world as some sort of global police force, intervening in the business of nations,especially in the Middle East.

He is solidly against a war with Iran even as all the other candidates seem to be almost desperate to throwother people’s sons and daughtersonto the front lines of violent conflict. Only Ron Paul truly honors the troops by bringing them home. All the other war-mongers who say “support our troops” are really screaming, “Let our troops get killed overseas!” And unlike Gingrich, Ron Paul actually served his country as a military man, even with a child to care for:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-i-went-photo-going-viral-on-internet.html

#6) Ron Paul’s wants to end the Fed and stop bailing out wealthy banksters, while Obama is a Wall Street sellout

Don’t you find it astonishing that, under the Obama administration, wall street crooks like Jon Corzine have been involved in the theft of billions of dollars from American farmers and investors, yetno one has been indicted, prosecuted or criminally chargedfor those crimes?

Under the Obama administration, white-collar crime gets a wink and a nod. That’s because people like Vice President Joe Biden actually worship Jon Corzine

Wall Street crooks were some of the largest contributors to the Obama election campaign, and they continue to promote both Obama and Mitt Romney.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, gets no support from the criminal banksters. That’s because he pledges to reign in the Fed, end the disastrous trillion-dollar bailouts and halt the theft of money from U.S. taxpayers by the wealthy elite.

Once again, this reason alone is enough of a reason to vote for Ron Paul. He’s the only candidate who doesn’t support the financial criminals on Wall Street. Maybe that’s why the crooked corporate media keeps smearing him in the news… they’re all tied in with the same crooks who run Wall Street.

#7) Ron Paul does not need a teleprompter to tell you what he believes, and his message has remained consistent for over 25 years

Obama needs a teleprompter to figure out what to say. That’s because he’s mainly a puppet who says what he’s told to say and signs what he’s told to sign (like the NDAA, which he of course promised he wouldn’t sign but did anyway).

Ron Paul needs no teleprompter. He doesn’t have to keep track of which lies he told in which speech to which group. That’s because Ron Paul tells the truth every time, and his message is the same whether he’s in Iowa, New Hampshire or Texas.

Ron Paul isn’t sexy, trendy or hip. Instead, he’s honest, reliable and ethical. Gee, those might be good qualities for leaders to possess, ya think?

#8) Ron Paul is not really a Republican loyalist

This should come as quite a relief to the Democrats out there. Ron Paul is really aLibertarianwho is running on the Republican ticket thanks to the necessary mechanisms of our two-party system. Most of today’s Republicans are just as corrupt as status quo democrats. They start wars, stage false flag terror events and hand out trillions of dollars in bailouts and government contracts to their corrupt buddies.

Ron Paul is none of that. He’s a humble, highly intelligent and principled individual who often votesagainsthis fellow Republicans on bills that run counter to the United States Constitution.

If Ron Paul wins as a Republican, that would of course give Republicans some additional power in Congress, but Ron Paul answers to no one other than God and the People. As all the corrupt corporate lobbyists realized long ago, Ron Paul thinks for himself and cannot be bought off, no matter how high the offer. He sticks to principles, he honors the Constitution, and he is dedicated to improving the future of our nation, period!

#9) Ron Paul wants to legalize Free Speech (again)

Isn’t it interesting how many of the OWS protesters are now being forced to pay daily fees for the “privilege” of protesting? Gee, I thought America was a free country, and I thought you could peaceably assemble anytime you wanted and shout your grievances to your government. Guess not: http://naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=FF2F1E3B23AEACE48AB3559AB17B857F

Now the police state pepper spraying has begun, all under Obama of course, who now wants to send Americans into secret military prisons and deprive them of their due process rights. If you believe in the First Amendment and freedom of speech, youcan’tbelieve in Obama! He is the polar opposite of freedom (plus, he flat out lies a lot).

Ron Paul has fought for the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution fordecades, and he has a PERFECT voting record in defending it. He does not waver. He does not bend. He fights for your freedoms in a way that no other Democrat or Republican has ever done.

If you want Free Speech to be legal again in America, vote for Ron Paul.

#10) Ron Paul wants to criminally investigate the crooks in Washington

Most Democrats and Republicans are all crooks who just cover each other’s backs. Yeah, you raped a little kid, but I stole a billion dollars from the taxpayers, and we’ll just agree to both remain silent. Sound familiar? That’s what happens in Washington D.C. almost daily.

Ron Paul thinks elected officials should follow the law. Shock! What a concept! Along with that, he also believes that Attorney General Eric Holder should not run guns into Mexico as part of a staged scam to blame the Second Amendment. Gasp!

Who else dares to say the bureaucrats in Washington are crooks who should be criminally investigated for their crimes against the People? You won’t find status quo officials pursuing any of this, of course, becausethey’re all corrupt!

Only Ron Paul stands out above the lawless corruption and criminal-mindedness of the status quo in Washington D.C. He is the “anti-insider,” the one man who actually threatens the entire corrupt system (which is why the press smears him every single day). This is why the recent voting in Iowa was falsified and rigged to make sure Ron Paul wouldn’t win (this was openly admitted by the Republican leaders on local radio). The crooks in Washington absolutely do not want Ron Paul to become President, and that alone should be sufficient reason to put Ron Paul into office!

You want real hope? Real change? Support Ron Paul

If you love the way things are today — unemployment on the rise, a government drowning in debt, soldiers coming home in body bags, your friends and neighbors rotting in prison after getting caught with a little weed — then vote for Obama! He’s happy to carry on the insane policies that have led us to this point in history.

But if you wantreal changein America, support Ron Paul.Make a donation today, so that he can raise the necessary funds to clobber “Mittens” Romney and win the Republican nomination. Then we’ll have a faceoff between Barack Obama and Ron Paul, and there’s no question Paul would win that contest if the voters still have a couple of brain cells functioning when they go to vote.

Make your donations at:
www.RonPaul2012.com

Or support the South Carolina money bomb by donating here:
http://ronpaul-2012.org/mbpledge_sc.html

Original Article:

http://www.naturalnews.com/034630_Ron_Paul_democrats_liberals.html#ixzz1kDlPDjcW

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Finally, Some Citizens Who Are Not Lap Dogs For Government Liars and Thieves (Er uh… Judges and Prosecutors)!

From: http://www.libertarianstandard.com/

A Drug War Mutiny

Posted By Brian Martinez On December 21, 2010 @ 1:32 am 

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”
Henry David Thoreau, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Of all the injustices perpetrated by the state, the war on drugs is one of the most outrageously evil.  Kidnapping and throwing people into cages for the non-crime of consuming disapproved substances, or for selling them to others, should be condemned by anyone with a sense of justice and morality.  It is the prime reason for using jury nullification : to acquit those accused by the state of violating an unjust law, regardless of the facts; to reject the law itself and the authority of the state to prosecute lawbreakers.

Typically nullification takes place during deliberation, when jurors simply refuse to convict, unconvinced by the prosecution’s case.  But it can be difficult to gain a seat on a jury if one’s intent is to nullify; prosecutors and judges are well aware of the growing nullification movement, and will take steps to screen out potential troublemakers.  Even though juries have a right to nullify, the state will do everything it can to empanel only those citizens who will remain “unbiased” — so long as they promise to convict the defendant if the facts warrant it.

But what if the entire jury pool refuses to hear a case ?

A funny thing happened on the way to a trial in Missoula County District Court last week.

Jurors – well, potential jurors – staged a revolt.

They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel.

No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce.

In fact, one juror wondered why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all, said a flummoxed Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul.

District Judge Dusty Deschamps took a quick poll as to who might agree. Of the 27 potential jurors before him, maybe five raised their hands. A couple of others had already been excused because of their philosophical objections.

“I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,’ ” said Deschamps, who called a recess.

Note carefully how the county prosecutor characterizes the jury pool’s action:

“A mutiny,” said Paul.

What is a mutiny?  A rebellion against authority.  Paul, like any other faithful agent of the state, arrogates to himself power that rightly belongs to the people he supposedly serves, and is taken aback by any challenge to his authority.  Jury duty is an obligation, and if the facts demand it, then one’s duty is to convict, and justice be damned.

The residents of Missoula County, some of them anyway, think otherwise.  They recognize the sheer absurdity of prosecuting someone for possessing a tiny amount of a plant that has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years.  Would they have convicted the defendant of the more serious charge he faced, distribution of a “dangerous” drug, itself a risible claim, particularly as it applies to marijuana?  People seem to have trouble accepting the idea that if it’s all right for someone to possess a drug, it must be all right for someone else to sell it to him.

But I will take the small victories, and hope for more like them.


Full-time software developer, part-time poker player, occasional blogger. I live in Denver, Colorado.
 

Brian Martinez
View all posts by Brian Martinez
Brians website

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Update: From http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/

“District Judge Dusty Deschamps took a quick poll as to who might agree. Of the 27 potential jurors before him, maybe five raised their hands. A couple of others had already been excused because of their philosophical objections. “I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,’ ” said Deschamps, who called a recess. And he didn’t. During the recess, Paul anddefense attorney Martin Elison worked out a plea agreement.”

I am having a difficult time understanding how if a prosecutor couldn’t convince even potential jurors there was a case that this guys attorney would ever allow him to agree to any plea bargain. (Ed)

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Marijuana Drug War Victims-This Needs To Stop!

Come on folks these people have, in some cases, had their lives ruined and even died as a result of having a small amount of marijuana or even just a pipe. Scripture says we are to stand up against injustice. If anything in our society is unjust it is the, so called, war on drugs. One person arrested for marijuana every 38 seconds. 100 BILLION dollars a year spent on this. Come on, Wake up.

Pay Attention here. The Government is taking peoples homes and even taking their children away. The founding fathers would have called this tyranny. This is EVIL

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS MADE SOMETHING ILLEGAL DOES NOT MAKE IT WRONG!

The Shady Side of Drug Prohibition

From http://timenolonger.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/the-shady-side-of-drug-prohibition/

The War on Drugs, harsher penalties for abusers and dealers, no tolerance policies… it is almost a staple of upstanding citizenry everywhere to support the idea of the eradication of drug abuse in society.

Drug prohibition is never questioned as being a good and moral idea by decent, law abiding people. It is most certainly considered a necessity that government and law enforcement do everything they must in order to halt the flow of drugs to our streets if you want to be considered a good, moral Christian.

It may shock you to know the reality that lurks behind the policies of drug prohibition. It should not be a shock to know that the occurrence of drug abuse in this country has not been quelled in the least… the evidence of that is abundant, in spite of the outrageous amounts of tax money spent on drug prohibition measures.

Approximately 6 billion dollars a year are taken from tax payers to fund the war on drugs – and yet here we are, still sitting in a cesspool of lives ruined from addiction and incarceration.

There are no shortages of illicit drugs to be found and there is no shortage of those supplying it or using it… what is a rational explanation for this after 41 years of pumping untold amounts of money and manpower in to this bottomless pit?

The only reasonable answer is that there is no real attempt to stop drug abuse, and prohibition has never existed as a means to the end of bettering society.

It should have been readily apparent following the prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900′s, and it should have been a lesson that people never forgot… but such is the nature of forgetting history and by necessity, repeating it.

Prohibition began with such proponents backing it as the WCTU, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Anything but the demure and upstanding ladies their title might make them seem, this organization was notoriously racist, and staunch supporters of the KKK and eugenics.

The modern elite would be proud of them today… they believed in the controlled breeding of human population.

The results of Prohibition were disastrous… leading from a market once controlled by your average businessman, to a market being controlled by murderous gangs of thugs enabled by corrupt law enforcement.

Why should today’s prohibition be any different?

Well it isn’t… perhaps these days we are less likely to run into types like Al Capone cashing in on the forbidden substance than we are to find inner city street gangs, but that is where the dissimilarity ends.

Law enforcement and government are still the corrupt enablers of the drug trade.

Harry J Anslinger-

He was the Assistant Prohibition Commissioner who was later appointed as the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics which, incidentally, was an agency under the control of the Treasury Department.

From the beginning, drug control policies were linked hand in hand with monetary gain.

Anslinger in conjunction with Du Pont, a petrochemical company, and William Randolph Hearst, notorious for giving rise to “yellow journalism” propaganda, led a crusade against marijuana in the early 1930′s.

The target of this campaign was not an attempt to stop its recreational use, but an attempt to halt it’s production as a competitor against paper and petroleum producers as a cheaper and more abundant substitute for those products.

It is the propaganda of that day which still persists in the minds of the public when they think about marijuana.

As much of a joke as an old film called Reefer Madness might be now… it is shocking how well these ideas about a fairly innocuous, wild weed has shaped the public opinion of it now.

The public is still told that marijuana causes all manner of social disability, an inability to function as a responsible adult, brain damage, lack of self control, lung cancer, addiction etc.. None of those claims have ever been scientifically sound – but to suggest that they are not to your average person on the street, 74 years after that silly film, is equivalent to saying “I am a pro-drug, pot head heathen.”

The CIA and it’s Long Drug Love Affair-

The CIA has been caught in the midst of drug smuggling so many times that if that entity were a single average citizen they might be termed the most notorious drug dealer in history and imprisoned for life… but this is the CIA – and they are above such laws.

The CIA has been involved in smuggling opium from China to Thailand, from Vietnam and Cambodia to the US, and assisting Laotian drug lords.

It has been a regular practice for the CIA since the 1950′s to fly drugs out of Japan and the Middle East in to the US… if there is a question as to how such a steady stream of illicit drugs make it into a country with such strict policies against it, here is the answer.

The DEA, military, and State Department all have their part as well in enabling the CIA’s black market monopoly on drugs. Agents have repeatedly blown the whistle on this kind of activity within their ranks, but it continues to this day because the CIA, just like the mafia of the Prohibition era, has a tendency to “whack” their enemies and competition.

Drug running is a high level business. The idea that the strung out, unkempt, seedy man on the street corner is the problem is an extremely naive one.

It requires an international and powerful force of operations to succeed in laundering money from the billions of drug sales made from the top down… it requires the directive of international banking systems to make a monster machine like this smoothly run.

Presidents and vice presidents have been firmly invested in the business of dangling the forbidden substances, which their own laws control, in front the public… creating drug awareness campaigns which amount to advertising their product, rather than exposing the dangers of the drugs themselves.

“If George Bush is prosecuted, and goes to jail for the crimes he committed when he was the Drug Kingpin of the 1980s, this will be the single most important historical event in decades. It will define a realm of possible action that many people right now feel is impossible, or unfathomable – that it would ever happen. It can happen, it must happen. This is the responsibility of the American people.”
– Jeffrey Steinberg

The Bush’s have a history of connectedness to drug trafficking and drug lords. As a result of Bush Sr.’s secretive arms trade with Iran, thousands of tons of drugs were exported to the streets of America.

The total sales of illicit drugs in the years following were in the hundreds of billions, half of which occurred in the States. Bush Jr and his brother Jeb were videotaped picking up kilos of cocaine in Florida

In this country, one in every 18 males are in prison. 70% of those in prison are minorities. We have the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. While violent crime rates have remained steady… drug charges have skyrocketed and the War on Drugs is cited as the force behind this.

Incarcerated Americans 1920-2006

We have to come to a simple conclusion… a war against drugs in this country is not about keeping people off of drugs… it’s about greed, it’s about a need to control the masses, it’s about eugenics.

There is no coincidence involved in the fact that the highest incidence of drug use and incarceration on drug offenses occurs in the inner city, the poor areas of the country, the areas in which house minority groups… mostly black minority groups.

It’s easy for people to sit back in their comfortable suburban white town where “things like that don’t happen”, and blame a culture to which they have not been exposed, or in which they were not raised… but make no mistake, this inner city disease is a planned one… it’s just one more way to reduce the number of capable, thinking individuals who have historical reasons to distrust their rulers.

You are in no way safe from the atrocity of the so-called War on Drugs if you are not a minority though… it may be your well-educated, young middle-class white child who one day takes a ride with someone carrying a few bags of marijuana and ends up spending the rest of his life paying for laws designed to make criminals of everyone they can.

Do we really believe that the end of prohibition of drugs is going to lead to worse than we have in this country right now? Are people not capable of making decisions about what they choose to put into their own bodies whether or not the government intercedes to add to the unfortunate results by making it a crime punishable by losing years of one’s life behind bars?

Have we ever known the prison system to rehabilitate drug users? How far in the future is the day when your own home is broken into by overzealous militant police forces searching for a gram of weed because your ex girlfriend, coworker, friend, or some other grudge-holding person made an anonymous claim that you had drugs?

We need to rethink what it means to support this never-ending “War on Drugs”… because so far, the casualties have been human lives, not drugs.

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Prohibition never really works

August 26, 2010

Advertiser

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Soon, StatePolice helicopters will swoop over West Virginia hilltops, spotting lush marijuana patches. The tall plants, worth millions in the underground dope business, will be chopped down and burned. Other clusters missed by troopers will be harvested secretly and funneled into the illicit trade.

There’s another option: Pot-growing could be legalized and licensed by the state, creating legitimate jobs and a flood of state revenue.

Gradually, efforts to decriminalize dope keep expanding — especially in Latin America, where tens of thousands of people are killed in battling over control of the billion-dollar drug flow into the United States. More than 28,000 have died in Mexican violence.

Last year, the ex-presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil issued a joint statement saying the U.S. war on drugs is ineffective. They proposed legalizing small amounts of pot for personal use.

This month, former Mexican President Vincente Fox took a bolder stand, calling for legal “production, sales and distribution” of all narcotics.

Prohibitionist policies have hardly worked anywhere,” Fox told a Miami Herald correspondent. “Prohibition of alcohol in the United States [in the 1920s] never worked, and it only helped trigger violence and crime…. What I’m proposing is that, instead of allowing this business to continue being run by criminals, by cartels, that it be run by law-abiding business people who are registered with the Finance Ministry, pay taxes and create jobs.”

On Aug. 6, Mexico’s public safety chief estimated that drug cartels pay $100 million per month in bribes to local Mexican police, so they’ll ignore truckloads of dope passing through their districts. Officers are offered a choice of “plomo or plata” — either take a silver payoff or a lead bullet.

The U.S. war on drugs fills jails and prisons with vast numbers of petty American dope abusers, roughly 2 million per year. U.S. taxpayers shell out billions for the endless crackdown and imprisonment. Yet the narcotics flow doesn’t diminish. Mammoth policing achieves little. Maybe it’s time to try other approaches.

Most U.S. politicians pose as “tough on drugs.” They fear that appearing “soft” would bring defeat in the next election. But some should be willing to study possible changes.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman supported legalization, at least for milder narcotics — a step that could pump an estimated $50 billion a year into the U.S. economy.

The war on drugs has raged for 40 years. Will America spend another century getting nowhere, jailing 2 million Americans per year, at horrendous cost? Or will leaders consider other options?


Our ‘war on drugs’ has been an abysmal failure. Just look at Mexico

The west’s refusal to countenance drug legalisation has fuelled anarchy, profiteering and misery

Simon Jenkins

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 9 September 2010 20.30 BST

Article history

It is wrecking the government of Mexico. It is financing the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is throwing 11,000 Britons into jail. It is corrupting democracy throughout Latin America. It is devastating the ghettoes of America and propagating Aids in urban Europe. Its turnover is some £200bn a year, on which it pays not a penny of tax. Thousands round the world die of it and millions are impoverished. It is the biggest man-made blight on the face of the earth.

No, it is not drugs. They are as old as humanity. Drugs will always be a challenge to individual and communal discipline, alongside alcohol and nicotine. The curse is different: the declaration by states that some drugs are illegal and that those who supply and use them are criminals. This is the root of the evil.

By outlawing products – poppy and coca – that are in massive global demand, governments merely hand huge untaxed profits to those outside the law and propagate anarchy. Repressive regimes, such as some Muslim ones, have managed to curb domestic alcohol consumption, but no one has been able to stop the global market in heroin and cocaine. It is too big and too lucrative, rivalling arms and oil on the international monetary exchanges. Forty years of “the war on drugs” have defeated all-comers, except political hypocrites.

Most western governments have turned a blind eye and decided to ride with the menace, since the chief price of their failure is paid by the poor. In Britain Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Gordon Brown felt tackling the drugs economy was not worth antagonising rightwing newspapers. Like most rich westerners they relied on regarding drugs as a menace among the poor but a youthful indiscretion among their own offspring.

The full horror of drug criminality is now coming home to roost far from the streets of New York and London. In countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, drugs are so endemic that criminalising them merely fuels a colossal corruption. It is rendering futile Nato’s Afghan war effort, which requires the retraining of an army and police too addicted either to cure or to sack. Poppies are the chief source of cash for farmers whose hearts and minds Nato needs to win, yet whose poppy crop (ultimately for Nato nations) finances the Taliban. It is crazy.

The worst impact of criminalisation is on Latin America. Here the slow emergence of democratic governments – from Bolivia through Peru and Columbia to Mexico – is being jeopardised by America’s “counter-narcotics” diplomacy through the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Rather than try to stem its own voracious appetite for drugs, rich America shifts guilt on to poor supplier countries. Never was the law of economics – demand always evokes supply – so traduced as in Washington’s drugs policy. America spends $40bn a year on narcotics policy, imprisoning a staggering 1.5m of its citizens under it.

Cocaine supplies routed through Mexico have made that country the drugs equivalent of a Gulf oil state. An estimated 500,000 people are employed in the trade, all at risk of their lives, with 45,000 soldiers deployed against them. Border provinces are largely in the hands of drug barons and their private armies. In the past four years 28,000 Mexicans have died in drug wars, a slaughter that would outrage the world if caused by any other industry (such as oil). Mexico’s experience puts in the shade the gangsterism of America’s last failed experiment in prohibition, the prewar alcohol ban.

As a result, it is South American governments and not the sophisticated west that are now pleading for reform. A year ago an Argentinian court gave American and British politicians a lesson in libertarianism by declaring that “adults should be free to make lifestyle decisions without the intervention of the state”. Mexico declared drugs users “patients not criminals”. Ecuador released 1,500 hapless women imprisoned as drug mules – while the British government locks them for years in Holloway.

Brazil’s ex-president Fernando Cardoso and a panel of his former judges announced emphatically that the war on drugs had failed and that “the only way to reduce violence in Mexico, Brazil or anywhere else is to legalise the production, supply and consumption of all drugs”. Last month, Mexico’s desperate president, Felipe Calderón, acknowledged that his four-year, US-financed war on the drug cartels had all but failed and called on the world for “a fundamental debate on the legalising of drugs”.

The difficulty these countries face is the size of the global industry created by the west to meet its demand for drugs. That industry is certain to deploy lethal means against legalisation, as the alcohol barons did against the ending of prohibition. They have been unwittingly sponsored for decades by western leaders, and particularly by the United Nations which, with typical fatuity, declared in 1998 that it would “create a drug-free world” by 2008. All maintained the fiction that demand could be curbed by curbing supply, thus presenting their own consumers as somehow the victims of supplier countries.

The UN’s prohibitionist drugs czar, Antonio Maria Costa, comfortably ensconced in Vienna, holds that cannabis is as harmful as heroin and cocaine, and wants to deny individual governments freedom over their drug policies. In eight years in office he has disastrously protected the drug cartels and their profits by refusing to countenance drug legalisation. He even suggested recently that the estimated $352bn generated by drug lords in 2008-09 helped save the world banking system from collapse. It is hard to know whose side he is on.

The evil of drugs will never be stamped out by seizing trivial quantities of drugs and arresting trivial numbers of traders and consumers. That is a mere pretence of action. Drug law enforcement has been the greatest regulatory failure in modern times, far greater in its impact on the world than that of banking. Nor is much likely to come from moves in both Europe and America to legalise cannabis use, sensible though they are. In November Californians are to vote on Proposition 19, to give municipalities freedom to legalise and tax cannabis. One farm in Oakland is forecast to yield $3m a year in taxes, money California’s government sorely needs.

This will do nothing to combat the misery now being visited on Mexico. The world has to bring its biggest illegal trade under control. It has to legalise not just consumption but supply. There is evidence that drug markets respond to realistic regulation. In Britain, under Labour, nicotine use fell because tobacco was controlled and taxed, while alcohol use rose because it was decontrolled and made cheaper. European states that have decriminalised and regulated sections of their drug economies, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal, have found it has reduced consumption. Regulation works, anarchy does not.

In the case of drugs produced in industrial quantities from distant corners of the globe, only international action has any hope of success. Drug supply must be legalised, taxed and controlled. Other than eliminating war, there can be no greater ambition for international statesmanship. The boon to the peoples of the world would be beyond price.


Think For A Moment

Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper on Ending the Drug War

Five Ways the Drug War Hurts Kids: A Conversation with Neill Franklin of LEAP

Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized: An Expert’s Perspective


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