Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama rejects drug war sanity

I can understand why President Obama can't exactly embrace marijuana legalization. He's already pushing for a pretty full boat of policy changes and the media would have a field day with the pot-head prez. That's still not an excuse for the snarky answer he gave to the most popular question on his website during today's town hall meeting. Drug policy reformers are not just stoners as he implied with his flippant response. Serious economists, other educated professionals and three former Latin American leaders have been speaking out on this issue lately and his failure to address it at all seriously with even a sentence or two of explanation was disrespectful to them and the 40% of Americans who believe it should be legalized.

To add insult to injury, a week after AG Holder announced the feds weren't going to bust medical marijuana dispensaries any more, the DEA raided a dispensary in California today. They refuse to say on what grounds the raid was conducted but it's telling that no arrests were made.

This all on top of the current wrongheaded plan to escalate law enforcement on the border and equip Mexico with more weaponry to fight the drug cartels. One can only conclude the administration is establishing their drug warrior creds and has no interest in even listening to cogent arguments on a new common sense approach to drug policy. I suppose I didn't expect any better, but nonetheless, it's a bitter disappointment to see the change president reject any change whatsoever to failed policies of the past.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

It's kinda weird that he just dismissed it like that, completely without explanation. I mean seriously, when over 1% of America bothers to go online to ask the question, they deserve better than a laugh and 'no'.

Frankly, I expected better from him.

6:06:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

So did I sort of OMR. But the sad fact is drug policy reformers get no respect. Everyone assumes the movement is just bunch of potheads but in truth, most of the people who lead it, don't do any drugs at all. We see it as social reform. The stupid policies are more destructive than the use of the drugs. Problem is the victims of the policy are mostly poor people so no one really cares.

7:05:00 PM  
Blogger JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

The man isn't as liberal as some would like to think. And he is a top notch politician. He needs to pass a budget and get our economy on track. Taking a side on the legalization of marajauna isn't smart politics right now. As we tell the Republicans, be patient.

7:55:00 PM  
Blogger Blonde Wisdom said...

Well of course he's not 'embracing" the idea of marijuana legalization! For the most part, marjuana used for any reason other than for medical reasons can completely ruin people's lives! For example, let's just say a teenager like my brother could easily get ahold of weed and smoke right under his bedroom window ad just have some of his older friends get it for him. He will obviously destroy his life which could easily be avoided if he never had contact with lethal drugs like marijuana. If legization of marijuana was allowed, smoking weed could be easily compared to alcohol which as bad as it is for teens these days it can be started by simply hanging out with the wrong croud! Not only that but the next generation could grow up in an even more difficult situation than the one now because of thousands of fomrer teenagers addicted to marijuana and not even be alive to see the next generation because smoking weed and possibly geting second hand from others smoking weed so almost everyone would have cancer. Cancer from their parents coud also be passed on to their children to cause them to be not alive or have life-altering deficiencies but none of which I can think of right now, but it will be VERY HORRRIBLE and possibly be the the biggest downfall America has seen since the Great Depression. I completely support Obama for wanting to rotect the lives of the next generation and the generation now by not legalizing marijuana.

10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Truth, it's not so much he doesn't want to embrace the policy. It was his dismissive attitude about the question. That crack about his online community was uncalled for. What it says is there's a significant number of supporters who care about the issue. It's not a joke. We're serious.

Blonde, I have news for you. As long as marijuana remains a black market item, your teenagers can score a oz of weed a lot easier than they can a six pack of beer.

10:27:00 PM  
Blogger JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Libby: I hope you don't mind. Blonde is my youngest and she wanted a blog. I thought your site was one of the few I could trust to steer her away from the right wing tendencies she inherited from her maternal Grandparents.

What can I say about President Obama. I met him and he can be a smart ass. Qualities that come in handy against our right wing enemies. Self restraint and censorship are not his strong points. On the other hand, I like a Democrat that isn't afraid to smack down the media and Republicans when needed.

10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just 'saying NO' to legalizing drugs is the way Libs can seem tough on crime, and keep the related unions big and voting Democrat.

There is nothing positive about the 'War on Drugs', absolutely nothing. It just makes all drug related problems worse. It only exists to feed the Law Enforcement and Prison construction industries and Unions. Everything else is a total lie. Drugs being illegal is what causes ALL the problems. Where is Peter Tosh when we need him?
here's an absurd thought -
our Supreme God says
never use alcohol...

or any other drug
which may influence your mind

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
marijuana is evil

especially to stop pain
must use costly chemicals

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
disregard states' drug laws

the Federal Government
must protect the drug war

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never create more addicts

if it makes less criminals
and leads to less prisons

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
outlaw all alcohol

make cigarettes illegal
organized crime takes over
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon


1:20:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...


Nice post. 'Tis true - marijuana prohibition came about in order to employ the huge out of work alcohol prohibition industry and to keep a certain class of people off the streets, ie Mexicans and blacks. It's all there in the history nobody reads and nobody wants to print. It was all fake from the beginning and that includes forged medical data and fake stories by Hearst newspapers.

Actually the god invented by the people who wrote the bible never said anything about drugs and jesus was a drinker. Marijuana was used widely in biblical times and archaeology proves it. The biblical bogey man never said anything about abortion either, but of course he really exists as the tool of power to give authority to the powerful. God liked slavery too.

It's also interesting to note that there was no "reefer madness" before it was made illegal in 1937.

The argument about weed destroying lives can only be supported by selected anecdotes and of course that ur-stupidity the need to protect the children. Of course there's no arguing with people who see it that way since the conclusion is held for reasons unrelated to knowledge or experience or logic.

9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, crap. I guess I haven't studied the latest Mexico news closely enough. My first impression has been "Yay!" because we're finally paying some attention to the really dire political and social situation there. A stable, increasingly more prosperous Mexico - across-the-board prosperous, not GWBush-style "haves" and "have mores" prosperous - could only benefit everyone. And we've been ignoring and/or exploiting Mexico for so long. I guess I got to the thought "Attention must be paid" (hence the "Yay!") and haven't delved further into the problem.

11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg, I don't how your comments keep appearing above mine, and I never see them until later. Well said.

Larkspur, always glad to see you here. If we were funding programs to help the people I'd be cheering too. This megafunding of escalation of the drug war is not going to help them at all. I'm afraid it will only make the violence worse and I wouldn't be surprised to see it spill over the border into the US even more, in retaliation.

1:24:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

You're right about Mexico Larkspur and Mexico can't solve it's own problems unless the tidal wave of drug money dries up. Weed is too cheap to grow to make it worth smuggling, unless it's illegal.


I think it's already spilled across the border.

But about Obama - everyone has his own axe to grind. The gun people are still in hysterics about what they imagine he's going to do while others are having strokes about what he hasn't done.

One things for sure, wars are lost by opening new and difficult fronts in every direction. First things first -- and Barak knows it.

2:34:00 PM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

"The gun people are still in hysterics about what they imagine he's going to do"

He already made a run at the AWB. What makes you think we are wrong about the rest? I get the distinct impression you do not understand our concerns.

2:38:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg, I think it spilled across the border years ago. And I think escalating the LEO presence with military backup is going to make it worse, not better.

OMR, I come from a gun owning family and support gun owner rights. Believe me when I tell you that Obama is not trying to take away your guns. The only threat to gun owners at the moment is a self-inflicted shortage of ammo because of panic buying, because too many people believe phony viral emails.

2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

"I get the distinct impression you do not understand our concerns."

And I have a distinct certainty that you don't know who you're talking to. It's the hysteria, I'm talking about and I mean nothing less than hysteria.

And who do you mean when you say "our concerns?" Are you not an American? or do you assume that I'm not? You also assume that I'm not a gun owner, that I haven't written a hundred thousand words about the fraudulent "assault weapon" nonsense and anti-handgun legislation and about the right to self defense and to bear arms?

I know unreason and hysteria and I know when the fear level makes us all fools who shoot ourselves in the feet. That's why I parted company with the NRA -- when they told me I should vote for a felonious demented enemy of democracy because she was "pro gun."

Rights always have to be defended, but I'm not hysterical enough to sell them all to the Republicans and the DHS while I'm pissing my pants about Nancy Pelosi kicking my door down and taking my guns. It ain't gonna happen.

3:00:00 PM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

Libby - You say that "Obama is not trying to take away your guns."

See, now, that kinda supports what I am saying. No one I know believes he is going to do anything like that. By choice or accident, this has been cast as an eithor/or proposition. Take all the guns (oh noes!) or perfectly acceptable. There is a sane middle ground.

Fogg - You are correct in that I have not read enough of your stuff to know your position. I will say in my defense however that the way you used the phrase "gun people" and "they" in the same sentence puts you outside that group. I am inside that group. Hence "our".

And yes, single issue voting is generally stupid.

3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

OMR, that's the panicked complaint I see most often. Maybe I'm missing something here. What exactly are you afraid of?

3:48:00 PM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

I think we most be talking to different people. Befor I started my current 'liberal immersion program', I mostly hung out on the gun/libertarian blogs, because, well, I have a lot in common with them.

Our concern is based mostly on the historical precedent, heavily influenced by the UK. It did not start with 'take away guns', it started with 'reasonable restrictions'. But those didn't work. So more restrictions got added. And those didn't work. And finally, it got to 'no guns, period'. And that didn't work. They have gone so far that every couple of years, they try to ban kitchen knives with points. I saw a picture of a set of tableware with a sign saying ID was required to purchase it, and while I hope that is a hoax, it is sad to say I am not certain.

The party line is that 'common sense' gun control is focused on controling crime, not going after legal gun owners. But the first thing they go after is 'assault weapons', which even the supporters of the ban will admit (in their more honest moments) have negligible effect on crime. How then can I reasonably view this as anything but a systematic chipping away at my rights?

The simple truth is that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that gun control proponents will ever stop pushing for more. So we fight them here, where we can still afford to lose.

4:08:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I guess you can't be expected to see my Molon Lave T shirt through your screen.

I'm an eternal vigilance person, but I'm aware that the slippery slope argument is a fallacy as well. We have been at risk from anti-liberty factions since before there was a US.

My argument only stated that everyone has his axe to grind, which remains true. Notice I didn't say "gun nut" I said "gun people."

The safety idiots will always try to force us to give up liberty for safety even lacking proof that the safety sacrifice actually works. Remember that the gun friendly Bushites told us we'd have to give up most of the bill of rights for safety reasons. Hell, they're still agitating for a 55 mph speed limit.

It's an eternal struggle but I prefer to remain rational so far as I'm able and to treat it as a education issue. Yes, I'm aware that you can't educate some people, but I face that with the crazy ideas people cherish about things other than guns. Fear is everyone's enemy.

4:28:00 PM  
Blogger OpenMindedRepublican said...

If there was any gun control measure that I believed would actually work, without removing the basic right to self defense and it's attendant requirements, I would support it. And I put a lot of effort into looking for one.

But I can't come up with any.
So I support the NRA. Yes, they are single issue sometimes to the point of stupid, but that's their job. Mine is to know when not to listen to them.

4:53:00 PM  

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