Archive for February 6th, 2014

by lizard

Cherrie Brady, Laura Lee and Susan Smith have some important things to say about Obama’s reckless marijuana comments, but first they want you to know how effective their crusade was in Montana against medical cannabis:

Safe Community Safe Kids was formed by a group of parents out of concern for the unbridled spread of medical marijuana in Montana and its effect on our children, families and community. With the help from parents and others across the state, we were instrumental in passing legislation on this issue.

In 2011, the Montana Legislature passed a bill to repeal the 2004 voters’ initiative on medical marijuana. When Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed this repeal bill, the Legislature unanimously passed another bill, Senate Bill 423. The governor refused to sign or veto this bill and because of his inaction the bill automatically became law.

Senate Bill 423 was designed to eliminate the growing medical marijuana industry and turn back to what the voters thought they were voting for, which was allowing patients with debilitating medical conditions to grow and consume marijuana for their own limited use under medical supervision. This was confirmed when the voters would not support a ballot initiative created by the medical marijuana industry proponents to overturn the legislative action. Montana has been the only state that we are aware of whose legislature passed a law to stop the industry that drives medical marijuana.

Good job ladies. You have kept Montana communities safe from the societal destruction of marijuana. I’m sure the people who claim to have “chronic pain” are much better off with oxycodone pills or alcohol, substances that are never abused and/or destroy lives.

It was terrifying to see actual storefronts spring up across the state. Thankfully, SB 423 seems to have produced the desired outcome: eliminate growth of businesses involved with medical cannabis. Now all that illicit drug money can stay in the black market, where I’m sure it never mingles with illegal guns, or other, more dangerous drugs, like meth. Or Heroin.

But these crusading moms aren’t done. No sir, they are OUTRAGED at president Obama’s recent “cavalier” comments regarding weed:

As parents we feel outraged with President Barack Obama’s recent cavalier statement in regard to marijuana. Obama stated, “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Obama’s dismissive approach to marijuana, alcohol and tobacco is sending out approval to our youth to make choices that are detrimental to their health, safety and welfare. We feel it is harmful and confusing to our youth for the leader of our country to suggest that the use of marijuana, alcohol or tobacco is just a bad habit or vice. His action undermines our ability to teach responsible and healthy behavior to our children.

These moms seem like they’re on top of it. They know how dangerously confusing mixed messages can be. Obviously they would never dream of consuming an alcoholic beverage in front of their kids, because then they might have to have a nuanced conversation about excessive consumption versus moderate consumption. And they better not let their kids hang out with kids who have parents that drink or smoke cigarettes. To be extra careful, probably no movies, TV, or music.

Finishing strong, these three courageous parents speak about responsibility, government accountability, and leadership:

As parents, we are the ones who have the responsibility to determine and teach what is best for our children. It is a poor decision for the president to undercut what parents across the nation are trying to teach children. Children should be able to look up to the leader of our country for inspiration. Obama’s example is frightening. He is performing very poorly as the leader of our nation on this issue.

It is our duty as citizens to hold the government accountable for their actions. Therefore we ask that Obama swiftly retract this statement and apologize to parents and children across the nation.

I like how these women seem to think they’re speaking for “parents across the nation” who feel “undercut” by some innocuous and—more importantly—ACCURATE statement by the president about cannabis.

As a parent, I can say quite emphatically that they DO NOT speak for me. The president hasn’t said anything I wouldn’t tell my kids, and I feel sad these women feel like their parenting ability has been compromised by a throwaway presidential quip.

The confusing reality is a MUCH LESS harmful substance—cannabis—is absurdly defined as a schedule I drug by the federal government while MUCH MORE harmful substances, like alcohol and cigarettes, are legally produced, marketed and sold to tens of millions of Americans.

If these parents are telling their kids marijuana is more harmful than alcohol and cigarettes, then they are lying, and lying to your kids is NOT good parenting. Once kids realize their parents haven’t been as forthright as they trusted them to be, then why believe them or any other authority figures when it comes to really dangerous drugs, like meth?

I would like to invite these parents to join the rest of us in reality, where the cost of enforcing cannabis prohibition is pointless, considering it has had no discernible impact on supply or demand.

The misguided, misinformed parents behind Safe Community Safe Kids may have won a little cultural skirmish with SB 423, but the end of cannabis prohibition is inevitable. Who knows, maybe some of the tax money can go toward treatment for those suffering from substance abuse.

That would actually make our community safer.

by lizard

Apparently it takes the death of a celebrity for mainstream news to suddenly realize there is a drug problem in this country. News outlets like CNN are describing the predictable market factors behind the significant increase in heroin use: increase in supply, decrease in cost, and competition among dealers resulting in higher potency.

What the news is failing to connect, though, is how the decade-long spike in use here in the states correlates perfectly with the increased production in Afghanistan—a direct result of America’s longest war. This NYT report came out just last November:

Despite years of international effort to reel back Afghanistan’s opium culture, cultivation and production hit record levels this year, and programs to counteract them have floundered, according to a new United Nations study.

Given how central an issue the country’s growing drug economy has become — driving official corruption, helping to fund the insurgency, creating instability in neighboring countries and intensifying a domestic addiction crisis — Western diplomats and officials said in interviews that the seeming failure of the drug war in Afghanistan will weigh heavily on the legacy of the dozen-year NATO military mission as it draws to a close next year.

“We have failed, we have lost — that’s all there is to it,” said one Western diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity so as not to offend Afghan government officials.

The new report, the Afghanistan Opium Survey for 2013, projects that the land area used for opium cultivation in Afghanistan, long the dominant supplier of most of the world’s heroin, reached a historic high in 2013 of 516,000 acres, a 36 percent increase from 2012. Now, 19 of the country’s 34 provinces are opium growers, also an increase, and overall production was up by almost half — 49 percent — from the previous year, according to the report, officially released on Wednesday.

When the American-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan commenced at the beginning of this century, opium production had been nearly eradicated by the Taliban. Our corporate media can depict the steady increase of production since the invasion as a failure, but I’m not so sure. I think it’s actually a feature of our presence.

Also, this isn’t new. CIA black ops have long required black budgets to fund their terrorism across the globe, including bringing in crack to predominantly black neighborhoods. Gary Webb dragged this dark reality into the light with his 3-part series, later turned into a book, titled Dark Alliance. Here is how the Los Angeles Times described the piece in 2006:

Many reporters besides Webb had sought to uncover the rumored connection between the CIA’s anti-communism efforts in Central America and drug trafficking. “Dark Alliance” documented the first solid link between the agency and drug deals inside the U.S. by profiling the relationship between two Nicaraguan Contra sympathizers and narcotics suppliers, Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, and L.A.’s biggest crack dealer, “Freeway” Ricky Ross.

Two years before Webb’s series, the Los Angeles Times estimated that at its peak, Ross’ “coast-to-coast conglomerate” was selling half a million crack rocks per day. “[I]f there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles’ streets with mass-marketed cocaine,” the article stated, “his name was ‘Freeway’ Rick.”

But after Webb’s reporting tied Ross to the Nicaraguans and showed that they had CIA connections, The Times downgraded Ross’ role to that of one “dominant figure” among many. It dedicated 17 reporters and 20,000 words to a three-day rebuttal to “Dark Alliance” that also included a lengthy musing on whether African Americans disproportionately believe in conspiracy theories.

After his career was effectively destroyed by sycophantic corporate journalists, Gary Webb allegedly committed suicide in 2004, and to this day it remains easy to ridicule anyone who cites Webb’s work as a loony conspiracy theorist.

CIA involvement in drug running is no longer just a theory—it’s a substantiated fact. To what degree and for what purpose remain a bit murkier to discern. Money is the obvious motive, but I think there’s more to it than that.

Don’t expect CNN to delve into any of this. The second Justin Bieber does something illegal again, this heroin crisis will be shelved to make room for the next worthless spectacle.

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