Obama's new Drug Czar budget tilted 2-1 for law enforcement vs. treatment

(The Raw Story via InfoWars.com) “We’re not at war with people in this country,” [US Drug Czar Gil] Kerlikowske told The Wall Street Journal in May.
However, if the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) budget for fiscal year 2011 is to be believed, Kerlikowske was full of hot air.
According to 2011 funding “highlights” released by the ONDCP (PDF link), the Obama administration is growing the drug war and tilting its funds heavily toward law enforcement over treatment.
The president’s National Drug Control Budget also continues the Bush administration’s public relations tactic of obscuring the costs of prosecuting and imprisoning drug offenders. “Enron style accounting,” is how drug policy reform advocate Kevin Zeese described it, writing for Alternet in 2002.
The budget places America’s drug war spending at $15.5 billion for fiscal year 2011; an increase of 3.5 percent over FY 2010. That figure reflects a 5.2 percent increase in overall enforcement funding, growing from $9.7 billion in FY 2010 to $9.9 billion in FY 2011. Addiction treatment and preventative measures, however, are budgeted at $5.6 billion for FY 2011, an increase from $5.2 billion in FY 2010.
In short, the Obama administration’s appropriations for treating drug addiction are just short of half that dedicated to prosecuting the war.

The problem, of course, is that when you have declared drugs to be illegal, you must expend resources to arrest, try, and convict the people who manufacture, transport, sell, buy, and use drugs. It’s really less about the the people who use drugs than it is about the people whose jobs depend on arresting the people who use drugs.
We’re in the middle of a recession. Jobless numbers are through the roof. If marijuana were regulated like alcohol or tobacco, you suddenly add a whole bunch of DEA, police, prosecutors, wardens, guards, and more to the unemployment line. Then add in the young people who have found marijuana growing and dealing to be the only living wage job they can find, now suddenly unemployed by marijuana re-legalization, and you’ll see unemployment figures that would guarantee an Obama re-election defeat in 2012.
Yes, a legal marijuana market would open up many jobs and industries and tax revenues heretofore unrealized, but transitioning to that market is going to take time. In the meantime, what jobs are open for former drug cops and pot dealers?
We bring this up to temper our disappointment in a man who in 2004 said our “War on Drugs is an utter failure and we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws” but in 2010 has turned into just another prohibitionist president.
(Find more information on this contradiction between the Obama Administration’s lip service toward treatment over incarceration, complete with quotes and informative graphs, at Pete Guither’s informative DrugWarRant blog.)

0 thoughts

  1. [Editor’s note: Why be delusional that a libertarian-leaning Republican (who, if elected in 2012 will be 77 years-old) that is unpopular in his own party [How many Republican primaries did he win? What percentage of support did he garner? Paul can’t pull more than 5% from Republicans, support is even less from Democrats and Independent voters. How does the LP candidates, like Barr, do in national elections?], specifically Ron Paul, is ever going to be elected president by a majority of national voters?
    Ron Paul’s legacy is not going to be president of the U.S. What it appears to be is that he is a very popular political figure, who is a clear-minded and full-throated voice for personal liberty, constitutional values and fiscal responsibility. For this he deserves immense credit for spending his time on earth going to almost anyplace–big or small–to spread the message of Libertarianism.
    NORML is a non-partisan organization that sees merit in having a political system that is not effectively a duopoly. However, this does not change the fairly clear reality that Ron Paul will not be elected president of the US in 2012 at 77 years-old running as a libertarian-leaning Republican or as a Libertarian.]
    LOL, non-partisan huh? You sure seem to be working pretty hard to discredit the guy. Do you usually do make an editors note when someone makes a claim of support for a canidate? If you do I haven’t seen it in the many years I’ve been on this site. Maybe the editor gets his info from fox news, who knows? Anyway, supporting Ron Paul for president isn’t delusional; supporting an establishment party politician is. Also, Ron Paul won every debate he was in!! Did you actually watch any of them? Did you know that Fox news did everything they could to keep him out of the primaries? What about the fact that seven of his interviews where not aired on network television due to the fact that the network heads thought that they would unfairly influence voters? You claim Ron Paul is unpopular in his own party? He raised more money in one day than any other politician in history, and yes, that includes Obama too. Wake up buddy. He is popular to anybody that actually UNDERSTANDS how a constitutional republic is supposed to operate.
    [Editor’s note: NORML is non-partisan even if the truth hurts libertarian-leaning supporters of Ron Paul. You cite Ron Paul raising more money than any other candidate…and the results were….??…..he did not, he could not win any serious amount of delegates to challenge the other Republican candidates.
    Ron Paul is a fine and smart man, he is a great American figure by any measure. But cannabis consumers and reformers are DELUSIONAL if they believe that Ron Paul has any viable chance to be elected president of the United States (let alone against an incumbent president who’ll have both the bully pulpit and half a billion dollars in political contributions to begin with)]

  2. Obama has now lost my vote. The focus has to be on the state level now, guys. State’s need to change in order to force the federal government to change.

  3. YAY for all of us who make money from prohibition. its amazing to think that good nug can go for so much money! good thing for artificial inflation.

  4. They didn’t think twice about giving most of our jobs to other contries. Forcing us to find other ways to make ends meet. Law enforcement have the last few decent paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.Politicians too. Sure would have been nice if I could have voted (like them) on keeping my old job safe and secure.
    They conspire, and the corruption continues. And they call us criminals.

  5. We should be considering marijuana as a fix for big pharma and the painkiller industry. Opiates make massive profits while destroying lives and internal organs, with a few thousand o.d.s and deaths thrown in. The pot laws are based on petrified tax law based on racism (thanks, texas). The putrid and negative state of the drug war and the growing number of states legalizing points to brighter days for liberal states. We should also consider mj as health care reform. It can be used to wean from alcohol and tobacco, both of which are deadly and legal. The contradictions of nanny laws and real data have to be our focii in producing the men behind the curtain: the law employment racket, alcohol and big pharma. If we allow profits to win out over people, we will have failed our children’s children.

  6. “We’re in the middle of a recession. Jobless numbers are through the roof. If marijuana were regulated like alcohol or tobacco, you suddenly add a whole bunch of DEA, police, prosecutors, wardens, guards, and more to the unemployment line. Then add in the young people who have found marijuana growing and dealing to be the only living wage job they can find, now suddenly unemployed by marijuana re-legalization, and you’ll see unemployment figures that would guarantee an Obama re-election defeat in 2012.”
    Let me just say Bullshit. We would have been out of the recession by now if they(the Obama administration) would have legalized Marijuana when he took office. Don’t believe me? do the math a regulated Marijuana market nationwide would have given the government employees who would “lose” their jobs a position to transfer over to and as well as creating somewhere in the range of 15 million+ jobs. The saddest part is I don’t believe the “not for profits” have the people’s best interests in mind, after all they’d have to find real work rather than just blogging everyone’s frustration. Want to do something, take this bill http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=167809232&blogId=509354715 and flood all of the senators, representatives, judges, chiefs of police, not for profits, the drug czar, and the president and his cabinets e-mail accounts and mailing addresses. Make them address this bill, no it’s not perfect, but it is a solid framework for ending this prohibition nonsense.
    -Naxireal

  7. We need to take our country back! The hell with all this goverment crap. I am sick of this goverment do this, don’t do that. This is a free county, so far. Do not let this goverment take all our rights away. This goverment will try to steal all our rights. There are people that think, i am not doing anything wrong, why should i be worried? Well, you should worry BIG time, once those rights are gone, they will not be back.Why do you think our founding fathers gave us these rights, so big goverment doesn’t end up owning us. So here i email all of you, do not let this happen.Fight for our rights, to grow hemp, to smoke cannabis weather it is for medical or for pleasure! I can just see our founding fathers spinning in their graves, as i speak.George Washington would have wanted us to use hemp and cannabis.

  8. Its all about maintaining the status quo and protecting the rice bowl. Heaven forbid we look up from that rice bowl,open our minds and see that the benefits of legalization, regulation and taxation may just give us bigger and better rice bowls.

  9. that was expected, looking for obamam methods of government… who voted for him for some changes in marijuana laws, was a freak wronger

  10. Who is Mr. Obama working for? It certainly isn’t the people of the United States of America…. How could you lie to your boss so much and get away with it? 🙂

  11. You know who else will be out of a job? NORML! It’s sort of ironic, isn’t it? NORML was created with the sole intention of seeking out its own termination. Although I guess any group who stimulates CHANGE would fit this description.

  12. And we’re all surprised by Obama’s increased drug war spending? He’s just fitting into the system as we all know. No surprise here… nothing to see here at all… move along people! It starts at the local and state levels, screw the feds, they just want control.

  13. what we need is an independent president thats doensent just listen to what side the on. democrats and replublicans are exactly the same thing. we need an independent pes. that sees both sides and belives what he believes in not what his friens believe in!
    [Editor’s note: Hoorah for an independent-minded President of the US!]

  14. The only way Cannabis will ever be legalized in the U.S. is for the people to be educated about it. Commentors here can say they wont vote for this or that,but it is just talk, nothing more.The energy that is spent on ranting will not do it,there needs to be more.For example,VoteHemp is having a Hemp is our History Week, May 17-23 2010, for people to organize events in their hometown as part of a National grassroots,media and public education campaign to”educate”people about Industrial Hemp. The website is http://www.votehemp.com. A pro-marijuana orginization should do the same or something similiar.

  15. Im in for that revolution!
    The reconstitutionalization of America!
    Get your supplies ready!
    No NWO Federal wars on the great people of this country! This is America!

  16. This information corroborates the way Obama acted and responded to the question of marijuana legalization on March. 26, 2009 at his online Town Hall meeting
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29892857/
    Does anyone know how the Tea Party views the complete legalization of cannabis? I will jump on board tomorrow if they back and support the absolute, complete legalization of marijuana.

  17. Keeping cannabis illegal in order to ensure full-employment for drug warriors is about as stupid as it gets.

  18. Regarding #5, I also support Ron Paul. And Editor, you state “NORML is a non-partisan organization”. If that’s true I don’t see why you considered it necessary to trash on someone voicing their support for a politician who is clearly not a shill for corporatism.
    Whether he wins or not is obviously not the primary focus, rather it is to refocus support away from the scum that fill the halls of our government, and towards true public servants who protect individual rights and uphold the Constitution. I don’t think that is unreasonable in the least.
    If you have friends, family, or know of potential MMJ patients who need or would like to know more about cannabis and hemp, have them check out the site: CannabisTV.org or CannabisTV.blip.tv
    [Editor’s note: Cannabis TV promoter is incorrect when insisting “Whether he wins or not is obviously not the primary focus, rather it is to refocus support away from the scum that fill the halls of our government, and towards true public servants who protect individual rights and uphold the Constitution. I don’t think that is unreasonable in the least.”
    Politics 101: Losers of political contests don’t have much impact on policy making. Refocusing reformer’s attention on politically unpopular and unelectable candidates is prescription for political failure and not advancing law reforms faster.]

  19. Callum you voted for him because you fell for the bullshit he fed..and the great actor that he is. I too voted for “him”. Not really a person but a fucking devil in disguise. I don’t know about you people, but I’m over this shit! Don’t conform, don’t obey. Resist!

  20. Ya but you cant say that the dea and other enforcement cops would be out of their jobs due to marijuanas legalization because of the other, more powerful, more dangerous, literally narcotic drugs still on the black market. Marijuana should be looked at no differently than tobacco. Actually if anything, it should be looked at in better light than tobacco. Obama and the pencil pushers in washington want to stay SAFE! If they legalize or even decriminalize mj, they will be breaking their foreign AND DOMESTIC treaties with black market dealers, cutting dealers/manufacturers profits and ergo endangering the people and themselves. If 911 was any kind of an example, people in this world will do anything to keep their dollar rolling in as easy as they can, no matter who they have to take it from.

  21. Learn how to spell Obama, Also if you don’t want the editor to comment on your post, learn how to write up a comparable argument to the relevant article your commenting on if not, your surely to loose any argument regardless of the topic. A well thought and hypothesized argument will always win. Passion excites the present, Knowledge moves things into the future.

  22. Dear President Obama, you turned out to be a liar. Very sad for the U.S. and your family. What will you tell your daughter’s about how you lied to the entire U.S. over and over and over….. Let me guess, more professorial bullshit!

  23. This is an editor’s not from comment 5: NORML is a non-partisan organization that sees merit in having a political system that is not effectively a duopoly.
    Ironically, the very blog post that this editor’s note is on makes believing that NORML is non-partisan to be a very unbelievable proposition.
    The post overtly implies that an Obama defeat in 2012 would be bad. Also, it encourages us, the commenters and readers and drug reform supporters, to not be disappointed in Obama. Hmm, I could have said a couple years ago, ‘Well, if Bush told the DEA to stop raiding MMJ clinics, those people would be out of jobs. Be patient.’
    Okay, Obama’s 2010 War on Drugs budget is nearly identical to Bush’s budgets over the years. Yet, NORML, or more specifically, Russ Belville, who is seemingly speaking on behalf of NORML, is asking for patience with Obama while he has dedicated just as many resources as Bush to criminalizing inherently non-violent acts. It would be nice to see NORML, and other liberal-leaning drug reform organizations, come to the realization that maybe the reason Obama isn’t going to be an improvement for drug policy. What he said in the past about decriminalizing drugs is the past. It’s amazing what taking a federal position will do to your will to say anything that might jeopardize your job security.
    Obama has committed just as many resources as the W did to fight and prosecute the War on Drugs. Obama has appointed the same person to act as head of the DEA. Obama appointed a law enforcement officer, just like Bush, to head the ONDCP. In fact, Obama has not supported a single one of the ballot initiatives in any state to ease drug laws.
    Wake up and smell the roses. The Democratic party isn’t your friend. Neither is the Republican party. Stop making excuses for one while claiming the other is all about greed and corporatism and war. The two parties are consistently agreeing with each other on how to better terrorize the American people. It’s time for NORML to be consistent with regards to not supporting public policy people that aren’t making a difference instead of asking for a public opinion reprieve for them.
    [Editor’s note: Read what you like into Russ Belville’s blog post. However, NORML, the organization, is non-partisan.]

  24. This isn’t about the president. You libertarians really believe that if Ron Paul’s old-ass was elected anything would change? You must have been the same people who thought things would change when Obama got into office.
    It’s about enforcement. Enforcement receives funding based on arrests, and its a lot easier to arrest someone who is withdrawn and nonchalant with a bag of vegetable matter and no deadly weapons than someone making meth in their basement alongside their Ak-47’s….
    You all, including NORML (though at least NORML struggles withing the constraints of reality) can blabber on and on about democrats and republicans and libertarians and budgets, but I’m going to sit here and make myself not care, make myself hungry, and make myself tired whether or not it is legal to do so…its time for people to come forth and admit this…

  25. The government could just shift those enforcement jobs to regulatory positions so that bird dosen’t fly with me.
    It wouldn’t suprise me if a lot of those “treatment dollars” are being shifted into the prison system via some enron accounting…. You know how effective solitary confinement is for treating addicts in prison right? So we’re building mor solitary cells… or some lame crap.
    I swear these it seems things are always comming out when I can’t get my proper meds.

  26. Were talking about the world’s most useful natural resource known to man here, not just any plant.This plant has been known(FOR OVER 40 YEARS) by “OUR” government to SHRINK and or SLOW the growth of CANCER CELLS.But remember, a natural herb can’t cure anything,says the FDA.You can’t patent a plant.The legalization of Cannabis/Hemp would affect Big Pharm,Chemical Co’s,Lumber-Paper Co’s,Tobacco Co’s the Cotton Industry,Pesticide/Herbicide Co’s,Fuel & Oil Co’s,Paint/Varnish Co’s. The list goes on…On the other hand it could only possibly cure/prevent a multitude of illnesses,create jobs,create tax revenue,help whats left of our farming industry,save trees,eliminate a lot of pollution,rejuvinate our garment industry,And help WE THE PEOPLE INSURE OUR DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY.The scale is tipped in OUR favor people its up to US to get it done. PROFITS and GREED are being chosen over OUR COUNTRY’S WELFARE!

  27. It wasn’t until after Obama laughed while retelling his revision to the number one question asked to him, that I personally began investigating libertarianism. I will only vote for politicians that unequivocally promise to legalize cannabis. To claim statistics of the last election apply to the general public today is very untrue, eyes have since been opened to what actions need to be taken. Also, as a 20 something individual, I’d be more than happy to vote for a candidate “too old” that actually would try to legalize cannabis in the first days of office. Libertarian and Green party politics are what interest me because I have not heard from any other political party a promise for full legalization of cannabis.

  28. * Another reply to this Ron Paul hater moderator*
    “[Editor’s note: Cannabis TV promoter is incorrect when insisting “Whether he wins or not is obviously not the primary focus, rather it is to refocus support away from the scum that fill the halls of our government, and towards true public servants who protect individual rights and uphold the Constitution. I don’t think that is unreasonable in the least.”
    Politics 101: Losers of political contests don’t have much impact on policy making. Refocusing reformer’s attention on politically unpopular and unelectable candidates is prescription for political failure and not advancing law reforms faster.]”
    How much more wrong can you be?? Libertarian minded republicans are running for office in nearly every state(and many are polling well by the way) because of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidency run! The “tea party” was started by Ron Paul. Auditing the Federal reserve is catching main stream appeal and is why Ben Bernanke was “held” in the senate until the senate had a vote on S.604. Not to mention Campaign for Liberty, the organization started by Ron Paul is one of the fastest growing political organizations in America!
    Did you forget America was founded as a libertarian country? Is your vision so short that you can not see fundamental changes in American thinking? It has been happening since America was founded. I suggest you do some research into the history of American political parties. Maybe the sun will shine on the path leading our vision.
    [Editor’s note: Wouldn’t it be easy to attack the editor for hating Ron Paul when such is not the case. The editor has donated to Ron Paul numerous times for almost 20 years, has a signed photo of Dr. Paul and the editor…and generally agree with him on most topics.
    That does not abrogate that fact that Ron Paul is not going to be elected president and that the United States of America–founded by libertarian-leaning, fabulously wealthy, highly educated, slave owning, sexist land barons over 200 years ago–is not, and has never been libertarian.
    You and others, like the editor, may want it to be, but that is not within the realm of political possibility anytime soon.
    When there is only one elected political figure out of 539 in Washington (including the President) who is a full-throated libertarian, who has to run on the Republican ticket every time to get elected, it can not be said with a straight face or sane mind that America supports and elects Libertarian candidates.]

  29. Obama’s a conservative and he lied to all of our faces.
    i can’t wait to get his ass out of office.

  30. Anonymous #8 you seem to think our money is backed by gold. Thet ended almost a hundred years ago when they created the privately owned Federal Reserve. Our money is backed with debt. If all debt were paid there would be no money in circulation. You need to google the movie “money as debt”. It explaines how the system works and it’s even animated.

  31. That super blow hard Rush Limbaugh gets one right every once in a while. He said people were projecting their own political desires onto Obama and fanticizing that the two were one. My favorite cartoonist Tom Tommorrow of THIS MODERN WORLD recently made the same argument. Name one politician this could not be said of. If you heard Obama say he was going to legalize marijuana it was a halucination. In fact he said he was not one for legalizing marijauna. He did say he would not use the federal goverment to interfere with Medical marijuana in the states that have passed such measures. Maybe the editors could weigh in on weather or not he has in good faith tried to do that.
    In short I’m somewhat dissapointed in Obama to date on a number of issues but his stance on MJ is not one of them.
    Also I like Ron Paul on a number (but certainly not all) of issues, but i’m not impressed with him on MJ reform. Let me explain. Ron Paul is against the Federal Drug War, not the local one. After dropping out of the 2008 race Ron Paul endorsed the Constitution Party. Read it on his own website here. http://www.ronpaul.com/2008-09-23/ron-paul-endorses-chuck-baldwin-for-president/.
    The Constitution party IS NOT in favor on legalizing MJ. As they clearly state in thier party platform. “The Constitution Party will uphold the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs and to enforce such restrictions. We support legislation to stop the flow of illegal drugs into these United States from foreign sources. As a matter of self-defense, retaliatory policies including embargoes, sanctions, and tariffs, should be considered.” Read it for yourself on their own website here.
    http://www.constitutionparty.com/party_platform.php
    Two things fuel politics in the USA, money and votes. MJ prohibitionist offer politicians lots of both. MJ reformers, not much of either. CHANGE MUST COME FROM WITHIN.

  32. “Editor’s note: Hoorah for an independent-minded President of the US!”
    Of course, Hoorah only if NORML tells me it’s ok.
    “Politics 101: Losers of political contests don’t have much impact on policy making.”
    Riiiiight. Because crossing our fingers that an establishment democrat or republican is going to help reform marijuana laws is such smart politics. What did Bush say? Fool me once?
    And YES, we get it. Ron Paul for president does not make sense. Of course, not for the reasons you’ve expressed, but because Ron Paul as president with no support in congress would be useless. BUT, the fact of the matter is that Ron Paul supporters along with all others who believe in small government have been working together to make real change. We have quite a few congressional candidates for 2010 who are actually polling top in their races right now. But where we are going to make real progress is by getting everyday people involved in their local governments, and it has been extremely successful. The funny thing is that we support NORML’s cause and I think most would want to work with you, but at least the editors here would just rather insult us and single us out. You keep on telling yourself you are non-partisan then.
    [Editor’s note: Why are so many Ron Paul supporters so hyper-sensitive? Does the truth hurt that much? So narrow are their views that criticizing delusional political aspirations–where Ron Paul and libertarians somehow become politically popular–that those who point out the obvious are cast as partisans for the other two parties.
    There are no political handicapping reports, including the Cook report, that indicate any great swell in declared Libertarian Party candidates (or alike) other than Rand Paul. Who, if his last name was Smith, would be a nobody in KY politics.]

  33. “In the meantime, what jobs are open for former drug cops and pot dealers?”
    How about putting those resources towards; squads trained specially in investigating and arresting pedophiles and other violent criminals, patrolling our neighborhoods and interstate highways to better “serve and protect” while acting as true public servants and offering roadside assistance to motorists, visiting schools to educate children on general life skills as well as what to do in emergency situations and the importance of non-violent conflict resolution, maintaining efficient and consistent security around our airports and harbors to protect U.S. citizens against real threats, providing additional guards for those prisons housing truly dangerous criminals, patrolling schools and riding on buses to provide even greater safety for our children, acting as guards on rail systems and subways for increased safety on trains, acting as air marshals for increased safety in the air, patrolling inner city streets with a broom in one hand to increase safety and decrease litter, organizing after school programs for children who can’t afford sports and have no one at home to care for them immediately after school, organizing before school programs for students who need guidance/assistance, organizing and maintaining safe driving courses for teenagers, organizing and maintaining substance abuse clinics and education, … yeah its tough to create new jobs for those poor, displaced DEA agents.
    Take the money out of enforcement, put it into education and true public service. Problem solved.

  34. One thing we have to realize is the president can’t change the law. Only congress can. All a president can do is sign the law or veto it. BUT, he did say legalization was not in his vocabulary. But have you noticed when politicians finally get the message they learn a new vocabulary real fast?

  35. This seems to be getting more of a political blog than a pro-cannabis. So what we need is a “classical” liberal. If everyone doesn’t know what a classical liberal is. Look it up. Regulize

  36. I think the pot dealers would keep their jobs. You said it yourself, it would take time to establish those businesses. If you’re talking about the run of the mill late teen to early twenties pot dealer then they could probably get a job at the local dispensary. The cultivators would also start growing full time and supplying the dispensaries. Hemp would also be back on the market to be used for resources such as paper and fuel.
    Legalizing Marijuana would save more lives then the pot dealers and cultivators would suffer from. If you’re talking about the gang and mob or hard drug offenders then they would already be dealing harder drugs than marijuana anyway.

  37. 8,000,000 private sector jobs lost in only one year and now all of a sudden their concerned about it? Don’t worry though we just dropped .3% so feel good about that (sarcasm in case you missed it). At least we now know where the money is going to create or save jobs. To the government and big business. Take away from the private sector and give it to the government and the businesses/corporations that guide it’s agenda. Use tax dollars to do what? Increase big business and government. And with more big business and government comes? More control? Does this sound familiar? Something wicked this way comes. Is it better to be thought of as a fool or to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt? Everyone should do the latter. Freedom from?

  38. Wow Editor, I’m surprised at the tone of some of your responses here, seems kind of bush league. I’m not even saying I disagree, but some of your replies sound pretty amateurish.

  39. I don’t care how many cops lose their jobs. I’ve never seen a police officer do something useful before, much less a DEA.
    Let them and their families starve, kinda like how they’ve starved hundreds of other families by imprisoning the breadwinners or blackballing their permanent record.
    Have a taste of poverty you spurious assholes, not because we hate you, but because you deserve it.

  40. Because NORML editors, with all due respect, the reason why there is a war on marijuana IS NOT because our government has a hate for marijuana, it is because our government is corrupt. By nature, you are lobbying for ONE ISSUE, marijuana reform. But until GOVERNMENT ITSELF is REFORMED, marijuana NEVER will be. It is that simple. We get little pieces of good news here and there, but they are quickly forgotten by the reality of things, when we realize the drug war is getting increased funding in this kind of economy.
    We need to reform the WHOLE government before we can expect marijuana reform. I understand that you are supposed to be non-partisan, that is fine. I know you can not throw all your support behind just one movement, but you shouldn’t discourage any and put them down. Kuchinich is the liberal counterpart of Ron Paul who also has a huge up and coming movement. Why can’t you just let us give our point of view and make our suggestions without putting them down and telling us they are not viable. Embrace all attempts at true reform.
    People come up with outlandish ideas on here all the time, and we don’t understand why you just pick on us. We are not being sensitive, you are telling us our work is not viable. Why don’t you embrace ALL attempts at political change? And by embrace, I don’t mean you have to write articles saying “yes the Ron Paul people are right, lets all throw your support behind him.” We are just asking you stop placing editor comments on our ideas and let people make up their own minds.
    [Editor’s note: Just because you are so jaded to believe that “because our government is corrupt. By nature, you are lobbying for ONE ISSUE, marijuana reform. But until GOVERNMENT ITSELF is REFORMED, marijuana NEVER will be.” does not make it so.
    Government is not corrupt per se, some people who occupy some positions in government maybe be corrupt, but only anarchists and the most jaded argue that ‘government’ is corrupt.
    You can go and pursue your Quixotic quest to destroy what you perceive to be ‘corrupt government’ with supposed political white knights like Ron Paul, but cannabis law reformers need not be saddled with your government-destroying mission.
    Interestingly, 120 million Americans live under local and state governments that passed or allowed binding initiatives that has brought decriminalization; almost 90 million live in states with medical cannabis laws…in California, right now, someone is buying medical cannabis from a vending machine.
    Citizens equal government.]

  41. Let me also add, the Ron Paul/liberty movement might not pull numbers in national elections, but we are placing a lot of people in local government. The weekly legislation roundups you post rarely have anything to do with federal government, but all with state governments. That is where change needs to happen. So if the liberty movement is placing a bunch of liberty-minded people in state government positions, people who want to end the drug war, then how is that a bad thing and how is that not viable? Change is going to have to happen from the bottom up, not top down.
    It’s very stupid to think Ron Paul could do anything as president, with his age and with his lack of major support in congress. We have 3 candidates running for congress and a handful for the house that are all polling well. Even that is not going to change anything immediately, but it is a start. It is really the local and state governments where we can work together and make real change in marijuana reform.
    Please stop making editor comments like “Ron Paul is not viable for pres… blah blah” or “what liberty movement.” Let us comment and let others make up their own minds. We don’t mean to suggest people should stop following NORML to follow the liberty movement; if that were the case then I would understand your comments, but it surely is not.
    Let me make a few more small points:
    People who would vote for Ron Paul usually are people who would vote republican. “Republican” presidential candidates are neo-cons who do not support marijuana reform. Voting for Ron Paul for pres would mostly take away votes from neo-cons, so who cares that he isn’t a viable presidential candidate? You let lots of stupid comments slide without making editor comments, so just let the Ron Paul for pres ones slide too so it does not appear you are picking on the liberty movement.
    Even if the liberty movement was not viable (which it certainly is as I said we get people involved in state government) who cares??? The liberty movement still places people into office that support marijuana reform. If the movement doesn’t have a majority of support in the country, it still places representatives into office that will vote in line with NORML’s goals. No need to say we are not viable. Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. Our net influence still helps fight the same cause NORML is fighting for.
    Do you see why we think your remarks ARE partisan? We don’t understand why you feel the need to put us down. We are working for the same cause. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, but ANYTHING helps as long as we have the common goal of marijuana reform. Please let readers of the blog make up their own minds.
    [Editor’s note: Let’s be clear who the partisan is here…
    When you write “Let me also add, the Ron Paul/liberty movement might not pull numbers in national elections, but we are placing a lot of people in local government.”, who is we?
    You are the partisan…the Ron Paul/Liberty movement supporter…unlike NORML, which is non-partisan. You just have a hard time taking any editorial commentary you disagree with or take offense because of YOUR partisanship for Ron Paul/Liberty Movement.
    You want to destroy government, NORML is legalizing cannabis. There’s a difference.]

  42. ONE last thing… I wanted to thank the editors very much for posting all of my comments without editing them. It shows that you are honest and aren’t afraid of criticism. With the process of moderating comments you could easily just moderate out my critical ones, giving you the upper hand. You have been nothing but fair, and I hope we can understand each other and coexist. Cheers!

  43. Now that I got that off of my mind, let me clear up a few misconceptions:
    Ron Paul supporters call ourselves “Ron Paul” supporters because of recognition. We aren’t blind followers of one man. We all disagree with him now and again on various things. We are more of a gathering of people from all backgrounds brought together by his 2008 big who believe in freedom, hence we support NORML’s cause. We think local government is where change can happen and work it’s way up, and our goal is to get involved that way.
    The new teaparties were started by Ron Paul / Liberty supporters but we feel it has been infiltrated by pro-war neo-cons. It does not represent us!!
    The 3 main issues that bring us together are anti-war / bring ALL troops home and build up defense, not offense; classical-liberalism which is small government with an emphasis on local government; and most importantly for here, ending the disasterous drug war. Check out campaignforliberty.com mises.org ronpaulforumns.com
    If you don’t like what we’re suggesting, check out Kuchinich and what his supporters are doing. He is the neo-liberal counterpart who is a friend of ours despite our differences. Hey imagine forward thinking logical politicians of different political philosophies WORKING TOGETHER to repair this country!!!!
    Obviously work with what we have now. Hold Obama accountable for his promises. He still has two years to do something good. But let’s consider alternative politicians in 2010 and 2012 if no changes are made. If we don’t have any good alternatives, vote out the incumbent whether you have to vote R or D against your wishes. It might suck to vote that way for you, but it sends a message that if you are doing a shitty job, you will LOSE YOUR JOB. Then we might have good candidates in following elections, whether hey are like Ron Paul, Kuchinich, or what Obama was promising during the campaign.

  44. I don’t usually like to get political here but…
    Brian: Voting for someone who does not promote my ideals just to unseat someone who does not promote my ideals??? How does that get me the representation I need?
    Editor: After decades (or perhaps more) of corrupt people making (re-interpreting?) the rules of governance, how does it not make sense to assume that government is corrupt? (Aside from the fact that optimism is healthier for the mind than pessimism.)
    Just asking.

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