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Some Find Hope for a Shift in Drug Policy
NYT ^ | February 15, 2009 | WILLIAM YARDLEY

Posted on 02/16/2009 7:45:30 AM PST by SolidWood

SEATTLE — Washington State law prohibits the possession of marijuana except for certain medical purposes. Hempfest is not one of them. Yet each summer when the event draws thousands to the Seattle waterfront to call for decriminalizing marijuana, participants light up in clear view of police officers. And they rarely get arrested.

“Police officers patrolling are courteous and respectful,” said Alison Holcomb, drug policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

One reason for the officers’ approach, said Ms. Holcomb and others who follow law enforcement in Seattle, is the leadership of R. Gil Kerlikowske, the chief of the Seattle Police Department and, officials in the Obama administration say, the president’s choice to become the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, known as the drug czar.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: drugs; medicalmarijuana; obama; potheads; warondrugs; wod
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To: DJ MacWoW

I want your honest answer. If those states voted to legalize marijuana, would you have a problem with that? Do you think they have the right to legalize marijuana?


101 posted on 02/16/2009 6:57:38 PM PST by ozarkgirl (Sarah Palin: pro-life, pro-guns, pro-family, anti-government corruption!)
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To: microgood

I think the police have over-reacted. Not all dealers have armory’s in their homes.


102 posted on 02/16/2009 6:58:39 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: ozarkgirl

Interstate commerce clause would make it very difficult for states to legaliza marijuana. The only reason they have so much power over alcohol laws is due to the 21st Amendment.


103 posted on 02/16/2009 7:00:09 PM PST by Clemenza (Red is the Color of Virility, Blue is the Color of Impotence)
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To: ozarkgirl

Then I will tell you again that I believe in state’s rights. Some states had legal abortion, which I am against, before Roe V Wade. It was their voted on choice.


104 posted on 02/16/2009 7:00:23 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW

I feel the same, I am a strong defender of states rights. I think the federal government has gotten WAY, WAY too powerful and WAY, WAY too invasive.


105 posted on 02/16/2009 7:04:01 PM PST by ozarkgirl (Sarah Palin: pro-life, pro-guns, pro-family, anti-government corruption!)
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To: DJ MacWoW
I believe in states rights.

I take that to mean you are against using the Commerce Clause to legislate crime, health and social issues.

Now, do you think using the Commerce Clause to legislate a national prohibition on marijuana is in keeping with its original understanding?

106 posted on 02/16/2009 7:06:10 PM PST by Ken H
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To: ozarkgirl

I may not like some things that states vote in but I firmly believe that they have the right to do so over the feds. I also believe that education should not be a federal issue. Nor welfare. Or healthcare etc.


107 posted on 02/16/2009 7:08:10 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: Ken H

Does it matter what we believe? Didn’t matter when porkulus was being passed.


108 posted on 02/16/2009 7:09:24 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
I stated before that we have enough drunks on the roads. We don’t need to add the drug addicted.

Then make it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, since the laws work so well. Oh wait, it already is.

I guess one thing that favors your argument is that it is almost impossible to tell if someone is under the influence of pot, where it is easy to tell if they are drunk. So if a cop pulls over someone on pot, they will never be able to detect it unless they smoked it in the car and they smelled the smoke.

But if a cop cannot tell they are under the influence, then ?????
109 posted on 02/16/2009 7:11:45 PM PST by microgood
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To: narses
“Wrong. You advocate for pot yopu admit to smoking it, that is what you are. Get used to it, you’ve earned the title.”

I'm sure you used to wet your bed but I don't call you a bed-wetter.

You started the name calling because you are incapable of having a real debate. You can't have a reasoned debate like a grown up so you start attacking people. That's fine. That's who you are. I don't waste my time with people like you.

110 posted on 02/16/2009 7:12:13 PM PST by SmallGovRepub
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To: DJ MacWoW

I agree. Everytime the feds step into something (i.e. welfare) it becomes a bloated and misused program.

Anyway, gonna go play a game online. I think you are far more reasonable than when I first thought. :)

I don’t think marijuana is that big a deal. I think alcohol has destroyed many a family and I’ve not seen that happen with marijuana. Yes with other hard drugs but not marijuana. And no, I don’t smoke marijuana. Did in high school and just out of high school but that was many, many years ago.


111 posted on 02/16/2009 7:14:27 PM PST by ozarkgirl (Sarah Palin: pro-life, pro-guns, pro-family, anti-government corruption!)
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To: microgood

Look, if it’s easier to get pot, more people will. AND drive high.


112 posted on 02/16/2009 7:14:42 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: ozarkgirl

Enjoy your game. Hope to chat again sometime. :-)


113 posted on 02/16/2009 7:15:59 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
I think the police have over-reacted. Not all dealers have armory’s in their homes.

It is much worse than that. In 1980 there were 900 SWAT Teams in this country. Now there are over 50,000. The worst abuse has been by paid criminal informants who get paid by the bust. One of the DEAs leading ones admitted to fingering dozens of innocent people who were convicted on his testimony alone.

Here is a good article about some of these abuses:

Stop Abusing Snitchin'

Two things that always happen under prohibition is corruption of the police and declining respect for the laws:

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."

Albert Einstein, "My First Impression of the U.S.A.", 1921

114 posted on 02/16/2009 7:22:54 PM PST by microgood
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To: microgood
corruption of the police and declining respect for the laws:

That's happening anyway. There is a general disintegration of society. Legalizing drugs won't change that. I honestly believe that this "great experiment" is nearly at an end. And I believe that the "slippery slope" hastened it. 20 years ago, Obama would have NEVER been elected. But here we are with the chief socialist firmly ensconced in the WH.

115 posted on 02/16/2009 7:28:34 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
Does it matter what we believe?

Well, you have been partaking in this debate, so you must think so. Anyway, quit dodging and answer the question.

Didn't matter when porkulus was being passed.

So? I'm trying to determine your view of the Commerce Clause as it relates to the topic of this thread. It's a simple YES or NO question, which you should be able to answer with a simple YES or NO:

Do you think using the Commerce Clause to legislate a national prohibition on marijuana is in keeping with its original understanding?

116 posted on 02/16/2009 7:29:21 PM PST by Ken H
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To: DJ MacWoW
Look, if it’s easier to get pot, more people will. AND drive high.

Maybe in the short term. But it would make it harder for children to get since there would no longer be dealers.

I know if they legalized pot, I would stil not use it, nor would I use heroin or cocaine or crack. I don't use tobacco either and it is legal.

What it would do is eliminate 85% of the drug trade with all its costs and negatives, which makes it worth a try. At least then you could focus on the more serious drugs which are used by a much smaller group.

They claim there are 15 million regular pot users in the country, but it is probably more like 30 million. And the vast majority of them have jobs and are normal members of society. The only ones that get busted are in the urban areas and are mostly unemployed minorities.
117 posted on 02/16/2009 7:31:22 PM PST by microgood
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To: Ken H

Truthfully, I hadn’t thought about it. But the clause only relates to interstate trade. In the case of Gonzales v. Raich, it was misused.


118 posted on 02/16/2009 7:37:21 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
That's happening anyway. There is a general disintegration of society. Legalizing drugs won't change that. I honestly believe that this "great experiment" is nearly at an end. And I believe that the "slippery slope" hastened it. 20 years ago, Obama would have NEVER been elected. But here we are with the chief socialist firmly ensconced in the WH.

While I agree with much of this, I think a lot of it is due to people expecting the government to do things that families should be handling themselves, and by launching the drug war, the parents were saying we need the government to raise our children for us, and protect them from these drugs. My grandfather's generation did not need to government to raise its children, which is why there was no large drug war until 1970.
119 posted on 02/16/2009 7:39:42 PM PST by microgood
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To: microgood
Maybe in the short term. But it would make it harder for children to get since there would no longer be dealers.

Again I believe that this is a naive view. Do you honestly believe that kids under 18 don't get older kids to buy alcohol for them?

I still disagree.

And I need to go to bed. Have a good evening. I enjoyed the debate. :-)

120 posted on 02/16/2009 7:41:21 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
What does what USED to be in Coke have to do with allowing the dysfunctional to have another legal panacea?

Only refuting your assertion that these drugs were never legal and this has nothing to do with prohibition.

More legal mind altering substances is not what people need.

More liberty is what people need.

121 posted on 02/16/2009 7:44:07 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.)
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To: microgood
which is why there was no large drug war until 1970.

Yeah. Right after the hippie revolution. *eyes rolling* A generation of spoiled brats. My generation.

The 60's did a lot of damage to our society.

Night! :-)

122 posted on 02/16/2009 7:44:22 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
That’s pretty funny considering hookah’s are middle eastern.

I'm not laughing Ms. Taliban.

123 posted on 02/16/2009 7:45:50 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.)
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To: DJ MacWoW
Look, if it’s easier to get pot, more people will. AND drive high.

Does everyone drive drunk simply because it's legal and available?

Does everyone smoke cigarettes because it's legal and available?

124 posted on 02/16/2009 7:49:50 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.)
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To: microgood
But if a cop cannot tell they are under the influence, then ?????

How does a cop tell if someone is under the influence of valium or some other prescription drug?

There's no odor...

125 posted on 02/16/2009 7:52:00 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.)
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To: Ol' Dan Tucker
How does a cop tell if someone is under the influence of valium or some other prescription drug?

It can be difficult. And if they cannot tell, is it really a problem (they obviously followed you and if they pulled you over for something else, and could not tell from your driving that you were under the influence, does it really matter)?

Funny you should bring up valium. Apparently pot operates on the body in a way similar to valium, only on a much smaller scale (valium is way more potent than pot).
126 posted on 02/16/2009 7:57:19 PM PST by microgood
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To: DJ MacWoW
Truthfully, I hadn't thought about it.

Well, that's part of the reason we have a massive fedgov legislating crime, health and social issues, IMO. Supporters of a particular policy jump on board when the fedgov does something they like, and they often don't stop to think about the Constitution.

I think it shows a degree of contempt for the Constitution. Fair statement?

127 posted on 02/16/2009 8:32:04 PM PST by Ken H
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To: microgood
And if they cannot tell, is it really a problem

Exactly.

128 posted on 02/16/2009 8:46:50 PM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.)
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To: Ken H
I think it shows a degree of contempt for the Constitution. Fair statement?

No considering I seldom post or pay attention to threads like these. The public is being steam rolled by the Fed. It's like having a thousand cracks in a vase and only two hands to stop the leak..............pick two. But which two?

129 posted on 02/17/2009 6:03:36 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW

The fact that the Netherlands, which has essentially legalized these drugs has HALF the drug use rates of the USA, is a fact, not an opinion.

The opinions that legalization would cause spiraling drug use in the Netherlands were WRONG.

If your goal is to REDUCE drug use, this is the solution.


130 posted on 02/17/2009 8:45:38 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Beware Obama's Reichstag fire.)
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To: MeanWestTexan

I see. So we should just legalize all drugs since it’s been proven that easy access means drug use goes down, right?


131 posted on 02/17/2009 9:23:24 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
The public is being steam rolled by the Fed.

So why are you not arguing against Fed involvement in this issue?

It's like having a thousand cracks in a vase and only two hands to stop the leak..............pick two. But which two?

But are you not using using one of those hands to support, rather than oppose, fed control of a health, crime, or social issue? Now that you've had time to think about it, let me ask again:

Do you think using the Commerce Clause to legislate a national prohibition on marijuana is in keeping with its original understanding?

YES or NO?

132 posted on 02/17/2009 10:00:48 AM PST by Ken H
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To: Ken H
But are you not using using one of those hands to support, rather than oppose, fed control of a health, crime, or social issue? Now that you've had time to think about it,

YES! Singlehandedly! It's all ME!

Dude, you are too much.

133 posted on 02/17/2009 10:28:07 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
You're still dodging.

Do you think using the Commerce Clause to legislate a national prohibition on marijuana is in keeping with its original understanding?

YES or NO?

134 posted on 02/17/2009 10:50:36 AM PST by Ken H
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To: Ken H
No, I'm not but you are browbeating and I don't respond to that well.

Does your pot mean that much to you?

135 posted on 02/17/2009 10:55:06 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: DJ MacWoW
I will never understand people who say things like this.

I will never understand so called "conservatives" who claim to support freedom but allow and support government to interfere in our private lives by telling us what we can or can not put in our body.

136 posted on 02/17/2009 11:59:36 AM PST by 08bil98z24 (War on Drug supporters are enemies of the Constitution.)
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To: 08bil98z24

Other people have the right to be safe from those who believe drugs are fun.


137 posted on 02/17/2009 12:04:38 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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Comment #138 Removed by Moderator

To: DJ MacWoW
No, I'm not but you are browbeating and I don't respond to that well.

You refuse to answer a simple YES or NO question on a constitutional issue, so you ARE dodging.

My point about your contempt for the Constitution is validated.

139 posted on 02/17/2009 12:07:49 PM PST by Ken H
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To: narses
Those who advocate legalizing pot are still potheads.

Those supporting the WOD are definitely not conservatives, and sure as hell do not care about freedom or liberty.

140 posted on 02/17/2009 12:09:15 PM PST by 08bil98z24 (War on Drug supporters are enemies of the Constitution.)
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To: 08bil98z24

You want to debate by attacking me instead of my opinions.so we are done.


141 posted on 02/17/2009 12:12:06 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: narses
Yeah, thought so. Sorry, potheads opinions are just noise.

How does it feel to have the WOD fail?

God created man, along with plants, earth, and everything else. God created a gene in people that allows some people to enjoy mind altering substances.

Move along and go pretend to be a conservative somewhere else.

142 posted on 02/17/2009 12:12:54 PM PST by 08bil98z24 (War on Drug supporters are enemies of the Constitution.)
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To: Ken H

It isn’t the Constitution that I hold in contempt. There are those that debate via beating on others with words and attitude. We are done.


143 posted on 02/17/2009 12:13:27 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: narses
Wrong.

That sums up pretty much everyone of your posts on this thread.

144 posted on 02/17/2009 12:14:35 PM PST by 08bil98z24 (War on Drug supporters are enemies of the Constitution.)
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To: Ken H

Btw, I believe that there is no way to turn back the encroachment of the Fed except by civil war. How many Americans do you believe are up for that? I’d say a few.


145 posted on 02/17/2009 12:23:00 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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To: MeanWestTexan
Good points. Here are some numbers on addiction which bolster your argument:

U.S. Department of State

International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 1997

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

SINGAPORE

The GOS [Government of Singapore] nonetheless is concerned about the increase in addiction rates and recidivism among drug offenders who have undergone treatment. There are currently about 9,000 addicts undergoing rehabilitation in Singapore treatment centers, the same number as in 1995.

THE NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands has extensive demand reduction programs and low-threshold medical services for addicts, who are also offered drug rehabilitation programs. Authorities believe such programs reach about 70-80 percent of the country's 25,000 hard-drug users (in a total population of 15.1 million). Because of the focus on disease prevention and care programs, the health condition of Dutch drug addicts is relatively good. The number of hard-drug addicts has stabilized and the average age of addicts has risen to 31 years. HIV infection among addicts is relatively low because of an extensive needle exchange program. The death rate also is low.

--http://druglibrary.net/schaffer/GovPubs/ncsr/ (scroll down to the country of your choice)

_____________________________________

"Iran has the highest proportion of heroin addicts in the world and a growing Aids problem." [2004 BBC report]

--news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/this_world/3791889.stm

_____________________________________ 

"There were an estimated 980,000 hardcore heroin addicts in the United States in 1999, 50 percent more than the estimated 630,000 hardcore addicts in 1992."

http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs07/794/heroin.htm

_____________________________________ 

Crunching the numbers, the addiction rate for Singapore was about 0.30% (population ~3,000,000 in 1996), vs about 0.17% for the Netherlands. Note that Singapore's numbers are only for addicts under treatment, whereas the Netherlands' are the estimated total number of addicts.

The US population in 2000 was about 280,000,000, so the rate of heroin addiction was about 0.35%.

So much for a REAL War on Drugs controlling addiction.

146 posted on 02/17/2009 12:26:59 PM PST by Ken H
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To: 08bil98z24; narses; SmallGovRepub
Let's knock off the personal attacks.

Thanks.

147 posted on 02/17/2009 12:29:12 PM PST by Admin Moderator
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To: DJ MacWoW
Btw, I believe that there is no way to turn back the encroachment of the Fed except by civil war.

That encroachment was made possible by the elastic Commerce Clause, which gave the green light to the fedgov to control social issues, health, education, the environment, etc.

You support that encroachment when fedgov is acting on a policy that you agree with. And worst of all, you don't seem to care whether it is in keeping with the original meaning of the Constitution.

The contempt charge is upheld.

148 posted on 02/17/2009 12:40:36 PM PST by Ken H
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To: DJ MacWoW
But no one has the right to jeopardize anothers safety.

Gun grabbers make the same argument to justify a pre-emptive grab of guns. Gotta be careful here.

149 posted on 02/17/2009 12:44:52 PM PST by dirtboy
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To: Ken H
The contempt charge is upheld.

I came to the conclusion several posts ago that boredom is deadly. I do not intend to fight with you. The beauty of FR is that one can walk away from "over-enthusiastic" posters that become belligerent.

I truly hope your day is productive and peaceful.

150 posted on 02/17/2009 12:46:10 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you. Ben Franklin)
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