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." — Albert Einstein
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that President Obama and former President George W. Bush “got lucky” by not being arrested for smoking marijuana as young adults:
“Look what would have happened. It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky. But a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys. They go to jail for these things. And I think it’s a big mistake.”
Earlier this week Paul introduced a bill with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that would relax the mandatory minimum sentences handed out to marijuana offenders who do not pose a violent threat to the public. The bill has gained the support of some influential conservatives, including anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.
Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, And Nick Gillespie Have Intense Discussion About Operation Fast and Furious
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran a series of “gunwalking” sting operations between 2006 and 2011. This was done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States. “Gunwalking” or “letting guns walk” was a tactic whereby the ATF knowingly allowed thousands of guns to be bought by suspected arms traffickers (“gunrunners”) working through straw purchasers on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.
The stated goal of allowing these purchases was to continue to track the firearms as they were transferred to higher-level traffickers and key figures in Mexican cartels, in theory leading to their arrests and the dismantling of the cartels. The tactic was questioned during the operations by a number of people, including ATF field agents and cooperating licensed gun dealers. Operation Fast and Furious, by far the largest “gunwalking” probe, led to the sale of over 2,000 firearms, of which nearly 700 were recovered as of October 20, 2011. A number of straw purchasers have been arrested and indicted; however, as of October 2011, none of the targeted high-level cartel figures has been arrested.
Firearms “walked” by the ATF have been found at violent crime scenes on both sides of the Mexico–United States border, including scenes involving the deaths of many Mexicans and at least one U.S. federal agent, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The “gunwalking” operations became public in the aftermath of Terry’s murder. Dissenting ATF agents came forward to Congress in response. As investigations have continued, the operations have become increasingly controversial in both countries, and diplomatic relations have been damaged as a result.
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ATTENTION FELLOW RICHMONDERS!!!!
The organization I’m in SSDP (http://www.facebook.com/groups/35249929164/) will be having a concert/rally to enjoy good music and have public speakers talk about why the war on drugs needs to end. If you happen to be around the area I highly recommend showing up. IT IS A FREE EVENT!!!
All we ask is for you to show up and have a great time.
Here’s the link for the event: http://www.facebook.com/events/413119672038191/
Drug War Update with Judge Andrew Napolitano
We all have the natural right to put into our bodies whatever we want!
Cannabis is found in the home of the director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, a grandmother is arrested for purchasing Sudafed, and the Judge catches up with Ethan Nadelmann (of the Drug Policy Alliance) on the status of the cannabis legalization movement.
Live Internet Town Hall: an interactive discussion on U.S. marijuana policy
TONIGHT @ 5PM PST / 8PM EST
Hosted by Gary Johnson and Marijuana Policy Project’s Rob Kampia
Your participation is welcome.
"The state’s exercise of power over people through the criminal justice system is often also justified as a means of rehabilitating them. Again, this is an after-the-fact justification: imprisonment had been around for a long time before state officials took the idea of rehabilitation seriously. But if people are going to be imprisoned anyway, doubtless it’s a good idea (from the standpoint of the state) to have a modern-sounding reason for incarcerating them.
The idea of rehabilitation is surely, in principle, a good one: it would be nice if people who didn’t care about others’ interests changed their attitudes and their behavior in positive ways. But giving the state responsibility for rehabilitating people is very troubling.
First, it gives the state the authority to decide what kinds of character traits need to be eliminated or encouraged. Thus, it injects the state into a highly contentious area of debate within any society and expects it to exercise a level of competence of which it’s not really capable.
Second, it gives the state enormous power over individuals—not only power to regulate their conduct, which is bad enough, but power to regulate their characters and personalities.
Third, it gives the state this power without any clearly defined limit. Just what is a satisfactory level of rehabilitation? How long does it take for the right kind of rehabilitation to occur? Who’s to say that someone is suitably rehabilitated? There are no objective standards on which everyone can agree, and the person to be rehabilitated can thus be entrusted indefinitely to the merciful care of the state.”
— Gary Chartier, The Conscience of an Anarchist (page 73)
Gary Johnson: Pardon Non-Violent Marijuana Offenses
GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson at the 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference
As the federal government’s crackdown on the state’s medical marijuana industry expands, the Department of Justice has targeted Richard Lee, the leader of the movement to legalize pot in California, The Bay Citizen has learned.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag sent a letter to the landlord of Lee’s medical marijuana dispensary, Coffeeshop Blue Sky, ordering its eviction, according to people familiar with the situation.
Lee, a soft-spoken libertarian who uses a wheelchair, is the founder of Oaksterdam University, which offers cultivation classes and business training for the cannabis industry. Last year, he poured $1.5 million into Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization measure that voters rejected.
[…] Medical marijuana advocates said Friday that targeting Lee seemed politically motivated because of his leading role in legalization efforts and the medical marijuana industry.
“It smacks of politics,” said Dale Gieringer of the marijuana advocacy organization California NORML. +
Ron Paul: Eat, drink, smoke whatever you want
“Where I think we have fallen down—and this is across the political spectrum—is this idea that it’s your own body. That means, if your spiritual life, which is a serious responsibility, and your intellectual life is a serious responsibility, why is it that…if we assume that you can have free decisions there, why shouldn’t you have free decisions on what you eat, drink, smoke and put into your own body?”
[Republican presidential candidate Gary] Johnson made a bold prediction: that Colorado will be the first state to tax and regulate marijuana. “The notion of legalizing marijuana, I think it’s gonna happen and we’re gonna wake up tomorrow and be surprised,” he stated. “‘It’s just gonna be a domino that falls. I think it’s gonna be Colorado voting to legalize it in 2012. Do that and this country takes a giant step - just gigantic steps - toward a rational drug policy, which looks at drugs first as a health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. This right now is very doable.”
Pictured are NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, former governor of New Mexico and 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and NORML founder Keith Stroup at the 2010 Just Say Now! Conference