President Obama's National Drug Control Strategy in 2010 first proclaimed the major policy goals of the administration's approach to the drug problem and the goals were to be met by 2015. Not only have they not been met, in critical instances, the policies have been going in the wrong direction, rapidly.
We learned last week that, in the midst of the ongoing opiate overdose crisis, heroin overdose deaths rose an additional 28 percent between 2013 and 2014. That's on top of the 340 percent rise in heroin deaths since 2007, such that beyond the 8,217 deaths of 2013, we now have another 10,574. That is, we now see a 440- percent increase from the Bush years.Read more
Congressional lawmakers and presidential candidates are currently debating criminal justice reform, offering to lessen the legal consequences for “non-violent drug offenders.” For most, the underlying motive is compassion for drug offenders, giving them the chance to avoid a criminal record.Read more
“We … say for first time non-violent drug offenders, no more prison. They are going to mandatory inpatient drug treatment because this is a disease, and the war on drugs has been a failure. . . . And what we need is a country and a President who will stand up and say this is a disease and we need to fix it.”Read more
Libertarians in Colorado are flying high after their success in getting marijuana legalized in the state. In our little town of Aspen, there are now seven stores in which eager consumers – I perhaps should say addicts because one user recently held up a store, threatening staff with a hammer, because he absolutely positively had to have the $11,000 worth of weed – can satisfy their desire for the stuff. Score one for libertarians.Read more
Vice President Joe Biden posed for a picture with a man wearing a marijuana themed t-shirt on a recent visit to Colorado. The t-shirt, from High Times, reportedly says, "I got high in Colorado."
Here's the picture:
The picture was shared on Twitter by BambuCycles:
President Obama this week told an audience in Jamaica that U.S. efforts against illegal drugs were “counterproductive” because they relied too much on incarceration—particularly for “young people who did not engage in violence.”Read more
Barack Obama took a shot at the war on drugs at a town hall event today in Jamaica. The president, responding to a question from an audience member, even went so far as to call the effort "counterproductive."
The questioner started, "My question has to do and surrounds U.S. policy as it regards the legalization, the decriminalization of marijuana."Read more
California’s terrible drought has become -- like just about everything else in the United States -- a political issue.Read more
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized pot legalization in recent remarks in Aspen. "This is one of the stupider things that’s happening across our country," said Bloomberg.Read more
For at least eight months in 2013 and 2014, letter carrier Devona Charley of Washington, D.C., delivered more than just letters and junk mail. The twenty-seven year old now-former U.S. Postal Service employee was sentenced to a year and a day in prison plus 6 months of home detention, part of three years of a supervised release plan imposed by a plea agreement on drug and bribery conspiracy charges.Read more
A poll reported in the Washington Post on September 23 offers positive news for those troubled by the movement to legalize marijuana. It also does not augur well for those pushing more states to follow Colorado and Washington, where legalization is already underway.Read more
A leading drug policy researcher, David Murray, has a must-read piece up at the Hudson Institute website, "Comparing Marijuana and Alcohol: Seriously." Murray's article is a devastating deconstruction of claims that marijuana is relatively safe, or at least safer than alcohol. And, as he points out, it thereby undermines much of the basis of the New York Times's blithely irresponsible editorial endorsement of marijuana legalization.Read more
President Obama visited Denver this week, was offered marijuana, and laughed. His administration made possible the open marketing and use of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state by directing that federal law not be enforced. The president is joined by Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul in supporting marijuana legalization. As Clinton recently told CNN, "On recreational marijuana, states are the laboratories of democracy.Read more
President Obama was asked whether he wanted to smoke marijuana by a fellow patron of a Denver bar last night. The offer came from Instagram user manton89, who posted video of the ask on his Instagram account. "Asked him if he wanted a hit of pot...he laughed!" writes manton89 .
A voice can be heard asking President Obama, as he glad hands his way through the establishment: "Do you want to hit this?"Read more
When asked during a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour last night whether she used drugs, Hillary Clinton was admirably firm. Had she done marijuana? “Absolutely not,” she replied. “I didn't do it when I was young, I'm not going to start now.” She is, however, more wavering when it comes to exposing other people’s children to the impact of drug use.
While she opposed marijuana decriminalization during her first presidential run in 2007, by 2014, following the enabling by the Obama administration of legal, recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, candidate Clinton is now more receptive to a drug experience.Read more
Like many supporters of marijuana law reform, Democratic congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon makes his case for legalizing pot by...talking about how terrible alcohol is.Read more
The legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington has spawned reports of increased use, declining perception of risk, increased neonatal risk, drug tourism, diversion of public assistance to fund use, creation of significantly more powerful forms of the drug, and new financial rules to permit money from drug sales to enter the banking system. President Obama, moreover, proclaims marijuana use is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco—virtually assuring that the legalization of marijuana will be a defining domestic policy of his presidency.Read more
The legalization of marijuana has acquired an aura of inevitability. But is there really no choice? Must Americans resign ourselves to the social acceptability, legal entrenchment, and widespread availability (including to our kids) of marijuana?
We are convinced this headlong rush into disaster can be stopped—if, that is, political leaders can be found who have the nerve to take on the conventional wisdom.Read more
A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that "[m]arijuana use makes tobacco use more pleasurable and may increase the user’s risk for becoming addicted to nicotine." Experiments involving rats found that those animals exposed to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, self-administered nicotine at higher rates than rats with no such exposure. This connection raises concern that pot may be a "gateway" drug to nicotine.Read more
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