NORML's Deputy Director Debates The Drug Czar

Well, the ex-Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey that is. (As a rule, acting Drug Czar’s do not debate marijuana law reformers in public forums.)
Below is the clip from this afternoon’s edition of the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC.

Before anyone comments, yes I am well aware that the host — who was clearly favorable to NORML’s position — did not give us equal time. Then again, former General McCaffrey is a regular consultant to MSNBC (and a guest) so the deference was to be expected. That said, Ratigan, to his credit, did allow me the first and the last word on the subject.
Anyone who wants to read all of what I would have liked to have said, given the proper time, can see my recent commentary — Are U.S. Pot Laws the Root Cause of Mexican Drug Violence? — from last week’s online edition of The Hill, or you can listen to my recent appearance on I think they say it all.

0 thoughts

  1. We should have the right to choose to use a substance that is less harmful than Alcohol. Those who choose to use this substance should do so responsibly. To have the government choose for the people takes away the right to choose and use responsibly a substance that is SAFER than almost any other substance on earth, including the air we breathe! This is a matter of truth and personal freedom. We don’t need government to control our lives to “protect us from ourselves.”
    Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights! Don’t give up the fight! Don’t give up your rights!

  2. I as a supporter of this bill, though i live in Missouri, which seems to not be interested in medical marijuana in the slightest at the moment, think it was a good discussion. As long as the people have the final say we will have the honest public opinion regardless the outcome. With that said. . All Californians who support this bill please speak to your friends and families in a well researched, respectable manor about this matter so that educated support of this proposal will prevail against ill researched politically motivated inaccuracies. And not only in Cali, but in all the states that are proposing legalization and or medical allowance this year.

  3. Xenophobia is a dislike and/or fear of that which is unknown or different from oneself…..(Thanks for not sticking up for homegrown Americans editor)I really did not think you would come back with that response…I really like the Xenophobia name drop to…How long did that take you to search up on wikipedia???

  4. Paul, you made excellent points. Macafferey is a known liar, and for those who listened to you paid no attention to what Macafferey had to say. Those who don’t agree with us paid no attention to what you said. Of course those who don’t support us aren’t thinking clearly and may not have the capacity to do so. Those who haven’t made up their minds, or who are afraid to come out will be on our side. As you know better than I, we have the numbers, and they are growing all the time.
    Ratigan is a smart man. He came out last week in favor of relegalization, on his show, and he promised more of these mini-debates. Prohibitionists have no ammunition, and the more they speak, the more that becomes obvious, again to those with brains.

  5. Love the graphics they threw up. Visual works.
    Vast amounts of people relate to what they “see”. Whether what they’re seeing or perceiving is positive or negative. If a person doesn’t catch what they’ve seen right away it is stored, so to say, in the memory and brought back to life at a later time.
    When I navigate a new town or road I pay attention to landmarks, so I can find my way back out and to be able to find the same place with relative ease next time. By using visuals my destination has become familiar and easier to find.
    Puff, Puff … Pass – Priceless!
    Where did they get that I wonder?
    Pot Laws Up in Smoke? – Pun intended yes, however, Enough is Enough.
    And they showed your Book Paul!
    McCaffrey put down the Mexicans really, go back and listen to him near the 4 Plus minutes mark. McC also said “the struggle ahead”, there is no struggle mister, it’s only an illusion you’ve created through your ass backwards thinking.

  6. are people who fly planes,who teach, or enforce laws not allowed to take presription pills?The side affects of those medicines to my body makes me feel weird and disoriented.I’ve even passed out in the past and hit my head after taking pills that i were perscribed to.Cannabis can be used as a health supplement.Keep the fight going everyone,thanks to all who are helping!

  7. Paul, you’re a great speaker. You get right to the point, wasting no time by presenting the facts and you speak very clearly. I like that. Thanks for your continued efforts to reform our nation’s outdated and dangerous laws of prohibition.
    We need to stop criminalizing otherwise law-abiding, non-violent citizens who choose a substance safer than alcohol, cigarettes and even coffee.
    We are NOT criminals.

  8. Mr Walters you are certainly right about one thing… Drug dependency does have the potential and often DOES cause life-long problems. However, it has been my experience that these ‘problems’ are often legal ones not physical one’s as far as marijuana is concerned. Just ask any addict which he would rather suffer- Marijuana addiction? Or prison time for use? Anyone who’s been to prison can tell you the conditions are far from healthy. So why then Mr. Walters would we prefer mass incarceration of marijuana users? It does happen, and you know it happens. It’s happened to ME. While I was serving my time in jail for a minor marijuana related offense, another inmate offered me cocaine, I refused knowing that it would only get me into more trouble. I was brutally attacked and severely beaten. I was labeled a Narc for the rest of my incarceration. All because I decided to smoke pot. You know what? I still smoke it. I have also prayed that god may forgive my attacker. It’s time to reevaluate your policy Mr. Walters. Good people are using marijuana as well as the bad people. The good people are being thrown into jail with some of the worst people society has to offer. Now you tell me, how is this helping? How is this safe? How is this a better alternative? How?? While I certainly support marijuana legalization, I can also see the problems this may cause. Yes, I do think more people would use it. Yes, I do think it would be easier to obtain. We would see history repeat itself when alcohol prohibition was lifted. One thing is for sure though, the physical health problems would NOT be as severe. We have to do something about the current policy. It may not be wise to LEGALIZE pot, but I think it would be very wise to at least DECRIMINALIZE IT. There is no reason bright people with good futures should be rotting in jail because of their decision to engage in it’s use. Once you are released from jail, it can be very difficult to rejoin society as a functioning member. You could argue that perhaps people will need to think about that before smoking pot BUT Most people like to think that their government are the good guys, and wouldn’t directly put them in harms way. You tell people that pot is bad for their health, and then you send them to jail for use? To Jail? Since when is jail good for someones health? I don’t understand your logic Mr. Walters. People are getting assaulted behind bars and sometimes even murdered. You’re right about another thing Mr. Walters the marijuana laws are allot more lax then they were in your day. Instead of getting 20 years for possession one might only get 30 days… That’s 30 days in very harsh environment for indulging in a rather peaceful activity. Just because someone goes to jail does not mean that they will be subject to the same conditions as every other inmate, but as long as theres that possibility, we have a very grave problem and also a public safety issue I might add. Once your convicted of a marijuana related offense, you can’t get a good job, you can’t go to school, you can’t even join the Army. It’s not fair Mr. Walters. Here in America, we like to be fair. Don’t we?

  9. Paul. i was somewhat disappointed with the way you responded to Judge Napolitano’s inquiry when he asked you to walk him through what would happen to the drug cartels if the U.S. legalized cannabis. I feel
    like you missed an opportunity to educate the public in a very important way, and that is giving
    them a detailed description of the collapse of the underground market. Having that vision in the minds of voters could go a long way. Instead you just simply
    restated what Judge Napolitano had already summed up. However, I am happy to say that I was impressed with the rest of the interview. You really drove home your point and, I believe, struck a major blow to the D.E.A. strategy of blatantly lying to the public in order to prolong their reign. I hope when the tidal wave of truth that has been building for the last 7 decades finally crashes down on America, we can use
    it’s momentum to prosecute the sorry sacks who have profited off the persecution and injustice of cannabis users all this time.

  10. Let the people vote on it and we’ll see. If Americans want to smoke pot then let us. We drink ourselves to death, we smoke tobacco (tobacco is addicting and marijuana is not [plus 12 cigs a day compared to 1 joint a day]), and we overdose on prescription pills. Marijuana is an anti-depressant that will not kill you. If you think that it hurts your lungs, what is the argument for brownies? No harmful affects at all.

  11. is this guy seriuos?i mean who really cares what barry has to say,he’s a nobody anymore.dont let them fool ya they say alcohol n cigs r bad but they love that tax check when it comes in.what a freakin joke.well while the polatitions have their heads up their rear ends i will still buy super ganja’s to ya barry,puff,puff,give.WAKE UP GOVERNMENT>

  12. Someone, somewhere, with power to influence policy, is making money off the spoils of the drug war and keeping marijuana illegal. How do you stop it? Stop buying pot for 2 weeks (across the country), and see who starts squirming.

  13. I just wanted to say a couple things.First agreed that guy is a moron and second California would be crazy not to legalize it. If you think about it people are going to smoke anyway and why would they want to miss out on all that reveue? Viva La Pot!

  14. oh yeah, another one bites the dust, that old dude with the green military jacket on is a dummy. Get with the times GRAMPS. Bet your great grandaddy smoked the bud and he’s gonna kick your butt when he meets you in hell for killing those babies in the ‘nam. eat crap.

  15. I will smoke until the day i die. Illegal or not.i am an American citizen. i was under the impression that i had certain unalienable rights. such as life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. no offense to the government but im very sure our founding fathers are and have been rolling in their graves. many many brave men and woman have died for this country. i find it a mockery in itself to sit and have to feel like a criminal because paid liars like him try and control us all.
    When Injustice becomes law Rebellion becomes duty. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH.
    did everyone forget what this country was really founded for? so we didn’t have morons like Mr drug czar telling us what we can and cannot do!

  16. What does the names Mc Caffrey and Walters bring to mind? You’ve got it! [Nothing else] need be said. Just consider the source. Just let them babble all they want. Actually, they are sworn to lie, and cover their ass with more lies. “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

  17. i see people drink and smoke in front of there kids i dont say a thing let them deal with it when the kids get older.smoking pot is still wrong too them.not too me.i never learnd too drink.i cant stop.i can smoke okey

  18. I am a truck driver and I have the same rights as you! who do you think you are?you may kiss my ass I’ve never been so ticked off” some of u crackheads are worse than the assholes in the DEA

  19. A damning indictment:
    Walters, McCaffrey, et al., need to experience the same type of slow,
    agonizing death from the same illnesses worse-case medi-cann patients endure;
    for which these so-called “drug-warriors” failed to show compassion towards,
    by interfering with their choice of remedy…
    A plant which has been utilized safely for over 5 millennia…

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