Monday, March 23, 2009

Charles Lynch Mar, 23 Sentencing Hearing

It was somewhat difficult to find but I believe that today the judge postponed the sentencing. He wanted to wait till there was clarification from the Attorney General about the future of federal prosecution of medical marijuana offenses. Should be quite interesting to hear how the Dept. of Justice handles this.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Charles Lynch To be sentenced Monday

Charles Lynch was interviewed on the Al Roker special about marijuana policy. Charles was a dispenser of medical marijuana in California. His business was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, he paid local, state, and federal taxes, and he was lisenced to do business in the state of California. He was arrested by the DEA, indicted by Federal Prosecutors, and tried in Federal Court in the 9th Circuit.

He along with many others are caught in a vice between state and federal law. I for one am wishing him well on Monday.

You may read about him at:
friends of Charles Lynch and
Media awareness project

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Using the Drug War for Your Political Preference

I've been watching the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings today and am reminded of an interview I saw on c-span this week end with Garry Leech. You can read about the hearings
here Reuters article .

Garry Leech is a remarkable writer and journalist. He wrote Columbia Journal which you can read about here Colombia journal. The ineffectiveness of the US war on drugs in Columbia and it's relationship to our failed policy in this hemisphere is a tragedy. We have wasted human and financial resources, and not made the world safer.

The Drug war has been used by those of every political persuasion to promote their agenda and their pet political projects. At this time, the chaos and violence in Mexico and on our southern boarder is being used by those who would like to promote tighter gun control, those who would like to use more military force to tighten our boarders, those who would like to strengthen control of money flow across boarders.

In every way the Drug War is used to take away civil liberties and and give government more control in order to keep us safe. It is used as a reason to give federal money to local law enforcement, give government more power to scrutinize our bank accounts, funnel money to local court approved mental health agencies, and gain approval for military intervention in foreign countries. The Drug War also is the rational for more citizen surveillance, and helps gain approval of the public to militarize law enforcement both inside our boarders and abroad.

Presently the gun control lobby is intent on encouraging more control based on the flow of fire arms across the Mexican boarder. There is a saner way to take the profits and power from drug suppliers. Legalize, tax, and regulate
Beth Curtis

Friday, March 13, 2009

Response to John Walters Op Ed in Wall Street Journal
john walters op ed in wsj

I haven't been able to forget the opinion piece by John Walters in the Wall Street Journal. John Walters opinion piece was titled Drug Legalization isn't the Answer. In reading the opinion, I must conclude that Mr. Walters believes that we should continue fighting the War on Drugs in the same manner we have for the past 30 years. In deed he seems to imply that our current methods should be escalated and enhanced. What a waste of time, money and human treasure.

A majority of the population believes that the Drug War has failed and that drug policy has failed. The Drug War has done immense damage to our credibility in many foreign countries. It has militarized our law enforcement and given us the aura of extreme hubris around the world. It has placed non-violent offenders in prison for life. We have children raised without the parents who love them because we have not learned the lessons of prohibition. Families and communities are marginalized and destroyed. Marijuana is a plant whose use does not cause social problems. The problems are caused because we have declared war on it. Alcohol is the real gate way drug, but we know we cannot revisit that failed policy.

The most recent pew report shows that we now have 1 in 31 citizens under the control of the criminal justice system. This includes those incarceratedm on parole, and on probation. Why would we continue on this path? I believe it is because The Drug War has many constituents, law enforcement with their ever expanding warriors, federal state and local prosecutors, the private and public prison industry, prison guard unions, and even the mental health industry with it's legion fo drug counselors with court mandated patients.

Every family has members with alcohol and drug addiction. Now as a result of this war more and more families have family who are incarcerated. If we tried to resume the same war on alcohol we could double or triple these numbers. Why don't we legalize and regulate and tax. Take the illegal profit oout of the drug trade. Government could then begin a civil approach to law enforcement.

There will be lots of resistance to ending the War on Drugs. Tere are many businesses employee groups, and not for profits that have financial interests in escalating this failed war. We should find the courage to accept the failure and try a more civil approach.

Just a thought

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tonight I'm thinking about the opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. John Walters wrote an article about why drug legalization was not the answer. Not only did he say it was not the answer, he elaborated and made it clear that he thought that there should be more of the same and if we just doubled down we would have success.

It is astounding that someone who knew about the war on drugs would have the hubris to proclaim that it could be won in the current fashion.

The newest pew report now says that one in every 31 citizens of the US is under the control of the criminal justice system. It is costing billions of dollars - although they are going to workers in the prison industry, law enforcement, prosecutors, court system, and mental health industry - the War on Drugs has failed and is destroying lives and making us a less civil society.

We have a war on people and plants.
beth curtis