Representative Cohen Introduces the Unmuzzle the Drug Czar Act

Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) has introduced federal legislation, House Resolution 4046, to remove legal restrictions prohibiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy from researching marijuana legalization. These restrictions also require the office to oppose any and all efforts to liberalize criminal laws associated with the plant.

“Not only is the ONDCP the only federal office required by law to oppose rescheduling marijuana even if it is proven to have medical benefits, but it is also prohibited from studying if that could be even be true,” said Congressman Cohen. “The ONDCP’s job should be to develop and recommend sane drug control policies, not be handcuffed or muzzled from telling the American people the truth. How can we trust what the Drug Czar says if the law already preordains its position? My bill would give the ONDCP the freedom to use science—not ideology—in its recommendations and give the American people a reason to trust what they are told.”

These restrictions were placed on the Office of National Drug Control Policy by the Reauthorization Act of 1998, which mandates the ODCP director “shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that–

(A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
(B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;”

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52 thoughts

  1. Who in they’re right mind would dream up a catch 22 act like this. It would appear the someone not only wanted to hide Marijuana but bury it so deep that it couldn’t ever be brought back.
    With all the lies and deception surrounding marijuana. There is something sinister going on.

  2. Interesting news, I saw this on another site before seeing it here. I’m a young man, and regrettable don’t know as much as I should about politics. So I have questions for those of you with more mileage.

    What kind of progress could we gain with legislation like this? Would it be considered a major success in the path of hurdles reform faces?

    I’ve seen recent news concerning the 18 congress members sending a letter to President Obama urging him to reschedule, would this put him in a better position to do so?

    Also, what relationship does the ONDCP have with the DEA?

    From what I’ve read there are many offices and agencies which all seem to have conflicting views, even internally. I read about Obama saying it’s not up to him, rather Congress. Then I see congress urging Obama to instruct Attorney General Holder to relist, all while the DEA James Capra standing firm on enforcing current policy and calling legalization “reckless and irresponsible”.

    Maybe someone can give me a clearer image of how this comes together. I need to be well-informed and accurate so I can be a better advocate.

    I ask these questions and your opinion now, but while I wait for a response I will be searching for the answers on my own. Would just like some input from others.

  3. It is fitting and correct that our representatives are finally acknowledging the fact that marijuana should finally be allowed to come out into the light of day so that the societal ills associated with it can be dealt with in a sane and rational manner! Responsible adults should have legal access to it. “Addicts” should be able to seek treatment without fear of legal ramifications. Non-violent “offenders” should receive pardons. Criminal organizations should lose their “market share” of the cannabis market. Mentorship and education should be energized to insure that this brave new world continues to advance not only peaceably, but prosperous as well. In my opinion, marijuana use entails a great responsibility not only to oneself, but to one’s community and country as well! There are so many considerations that time and space will not permit me to post here now, but we must all make ourselves worthy of these new and great responsibilities that will come upon us with these new and needful societal changes coming!

  4. Not only does the ONDCP oppose research to tell the truth, the director of the ONDCP is also required to lie, if need be, to prevent research or liberalization of cannabis.

    Cannabis was prohibited because of Hemp’s potential. ‘Marihuana’ was the smoke screen. DuPont, Mellon, et al made way too much money from the MSTA in 37 to conclude otherwise, in my opinion.

  5. A conflict of interest involving the government and the tobacco industry seems to me to underlie this prohibition against research which would soon discover that the 500-mg H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide “joint” causes health and behavior issues widely blamed on cannabis.

    And that legalizing cannabis itself would involve unambiguously legalizing dosage-restriction devices such as Vaporizer and Long-Drawtube One-Hitter (now banned as “paraphernalia”)which, together with the “e-cigarette” for nicotine addicts, would kill off the high-profit paper-roll formats and result in drastically downsizing certain huge army-like corporations.

    The conflict of interest consists, in part, of the TAX MONEY governments on all levels from federal on down collect on sale of $igarettes (but adding up to only a fraction of the $289 Billion a year “smoking” costs the US economy according to this year’s Surgeon General Report). And, in part, of the campaign money some leading politicians such as the Speaker have received from tobacco corporations.

    Not interested in seeing the leaders and employees of those corporations get “punished” for their role in maintaining the “tobacco” hegemony (200 million deaths since 1853– if CVS pharmacies or Philip Morris can soon make some money contributing to the supply of safe effective cannabis products, well and good. Meanwhile I find it encouraging that hundreds of SMALL companies have developed e-cigarette products and that something similar is underway on the cannabis side.

    More and better RESEARCH is the key.

  6. I have no idea how anyone could have thought such legislation, to muzzle the Drug Czar, was ever meant to be honest or have the best intentions regarding drug policy. It’s so obviously a blatant corporate profiteering attempt to circumvent what might happen if the majority of the American people came to find out the truth.

    It’s like how I heard that law enforcement officers are required to support the Drug War and prohibited from speaking out against it, or how veterans stand to lose benefits if they criticize any actions of the Pentagon (ie: if you oppose the war or speak out publicly against it, we cut you off to die). It’s so clearly an attempt to manufacture the illusion of assent from those who are closest to the situation and silencing those close to the situation who have recognized the truth. That way, they can always argue “Oh, so you’re against the war? Well, why don’t any soldiers or former soldiers agree with you, why do all military personnel and veterans support the war whole-heartedly.?” Or “So you oppose the Drug War and want to legalize MJ and liberalize our drug control laws? You think MJ has any medical benefit? Well, if you’re so smart, how come the Drug Czar’s office says different, that MJ is no good, and how come ALL law enforcement supports the Drug War? Answer that, smart guy!”

  7. Wouldn’t this policy be a moot point if marijuana is rescheduled to a schedule II substance like what those 18 representatives are trying to get Obama to do?

  8. Could someone with a lot of money get together with other people and sue the DEA and other LYING agencies please? Also since it’s a war on drugs bring war crime charges against them along with kidnapping, unlawful detention, assault, murder, attempted murder, robbery, extortion and anything I missed. I’d appreciate it. Thanks and have a great day.

  9. Also R.I.C.O. And organize crime related charges because the taking of possessions without due process is stealing and racketeering. These corrupt agencies are making the mafia look like an infant while they look like mike Tyson.

  10. don’t forget drug testing, with that in place this is a bigger waste of time and money than prohibition itself.

  11. Yes Demonhype, and RICO charges should be filed against these lying goons. Conspiracy is Conspiracy!!! They lied to congress to pass these laws, they continued lying all these years and it is a Conspiracy to avoid following the law all the while “pretending”, and poorly at that, to being enforcing the law.

  12. If I am correct, and I’m pretty sure I am, it was primarily the work of President Nixon that has caused so many of society’s ills related to marijuana prohibition; i.e. all the lies, propaganda, cover-ups and etc.

    Also, I believe that our current Vice President, Biden, played a role. It is incomprehensible that President Obama chose him as his second…

  13. With the propaganda and the RACISM (Harry anslinger) behind prohibition; how come the DEA, state and local police aren’t up on war crime charges of at the very least ethnic cleansing?

  14. also when they say-I don’t know who Harry anslinger was after they’re convicted. Tell them “ignorance isn’t an excuse!”
    -I’d rather be in Amsterdam!

  15. Passing a law that in anyway thwarts the advance of medical science threatens the health and lives of us all. It is a crime against humanity and should be treated as such.

  16. Restricting access to marijuana for medical research, then claiming the FDA should make the call on medical marijuana while you’re denying efforts at research that would demonstrate marijuana’s medical efficacy also qualifies as criminal.

    At the very least, we need an investigation into just how this impasse was set up within the government to assure that it NEVER happens again.

  17. I bet we could make things like paper and fabric and building supplies with hemp if we really put our minds to it. Crazy.

  18. End the DEA and the Drug Czar position. They lie and wage war on Americans. We need a march on Washington for free Americans right to not live in an abusive, overbearing, entraping, unconstitutional drug enforcement police state.

  19. Obviously a mafioso drug dealer thought of this legislation. Wake up, the DEA has been the mafia since 1973. While this legislation draws attention to the matter, its the whole C.S.Act that is unconstitutional by giving legislative authority to regulate drug policy to the executive branch.
    Supreme Court; More than half the states will have pro marijuana legislation this year;
    Nullify the C.S.Act entirely

  20. @ War Crimes, Dave Evans and scott: Absolutely! And in the spirit of the conversation and in regards to what scott said, I think the drug testing industry should be brought up on charges of fraud (and I don’t know what else would fit) for making false claims about their product. They claim it improves workplace productivity and safety when all independent studies show it reduces it or, in the best cases, show a non-effect. They also claim that it is accurate, to varying claims between 98-100%, and yet all independent studies have shown that 10-30% of all positive drug tests are false positives (and that isn’t even just the accuracy rate, because it doesn’t take into consideration the unknown of false negatives). And most damning of all, they claim it reduces drug use among employees and is a deterrent to drug use, when all independent studies are showing that it actually INCREASES hard drug use in the workplace.

    Seriously, this isn’t just a problem with selling something that doesn’t work, like selling a vial of water as an anti-fungal cure or something. What they are selling is actively spreading the problem they are claiming to cure. This is the equivalent of a anti-cancer medication that actually facilitates the spread of cancer, or an antibiotic that actually spreads the infection.

    And they are using federal and state dollars to do all of this. The government is paying for drug tests by allowing them to be written off of company taxes, and then incentivizing their acceptance of the free service by giving the company extra tax breaks and subsidies.

    I ask again, how are they getting away with this kind of fraud?

  21. Interesting law…..especially in a country that touts free speech. Also, the government has a fiduciary relationship to its citizens in that there is a power differential, and as such, if they’ve been required to withhold the truth and operate on lies, then there has been an injustice done…..this is not the most egregious human rights issue (I would be ashamed to liken this issue to that of civil rights for African americans, or compare our “plight” to that of North Koreans) but it is in essence a human rights issue. I was particularly outraged when my last employer imposed random drug testing, in that I felt they had no right to make decisions that impact my health. I may not qualify for medical marijuana (but at my ripe old age I’m sure I have something that would qualify me) but I feel that consuming marijuana is good for me, has helped to keep me healthy and to take that away from me is just wrong.

  22. Ladies and Gentlemen
    We’re stand right square in front of the core cause of every single problem facing this country today. And it is the lying liars and the lies they tell. OF, BY and FOR the PEOPLE has been sociopathicly stripped from the vernacular of the political thought process.
    NIDA, the DEA, the ONDCP, the FDA, and the AMA, are all complicit participants in this 70 year long violation of human rights. The arrogant strut of plausible deniability is now a contemptible provocation at every word that slips the lying mouth of the US Government. They’re not ignorant of their lies nor oblivious to the resulting harms, thus constituting criminal acts. Cannabis is being held in its Schedule 1 classification for the economic gain of industrial complexes that have absolutely no conscious at all. Our governmental agencies and those connect to them in these lies need to be sued for constitutional rights violations. President Barack Obama, Attorney General Erik Holder, and all of congress are trying pathetically to slide under the table what they think the American people are too stupid to see it through. The Presidential Pen that grants Executive Power without transparency has destroyed the american trust and corrupted the fabric of our democracy into plutocracy.
    While it is considered a “good start”, removing the so-called restrictions that “muzzle” the ONDCP, it will not stop them from continuing to carry out their mission of support for the prohibition industrial complex.

    A “good start” begins with the truth.

    It begins with President Barack Obama standing up in public and on record telling the American people that they have been lied to by their government.

    It begins with exposing the true racist and economic motives behind cannabis prohibition.

    It begins with the ONDCP and NIDA denouncing ALL the lies they have promote since the day they were create.

    It begins with removing the mandated lying power from the ONDCP and the rectifying of those lies to the near 2500 agencies it influences and funds.

    It begins with re-legalizing hemp back into the heart of agriculture and protecting it from the any lobby to undermine it.

    It begins with changing Cannabis from Schedule 1 Classification to Schedule 3 or 4 Classification.

    It begins with complete decriminalization of Cannabis for adults over 21 for personal use and declaring it a Fundamental Right under the Constitution for medical use regardless of age.

    Restructuring the ONDCP Reauthorization Act of 1998 and the CSA is a must. They need to be restructured to facilitate being guided by doctors, psychiatrist, and scientists. Not by biased corrupt rules, politicians, lawyers, or priest. As good intentioned as Representative Steve Cohen might be, his work will be for nothing without bringing congressional and public scrutiny to every dollar going into and out of the ONDCP and the DEA. The DEA and CSA were the brainchild of Richard M. Nixon. He wasn’t called “Tricky Dick” for nothing. This “ignorant racist”(yes redundant) has made Harry Anslinger look like a saint. Nixon knew that many would come after his racist promoting programs and try to take them apart, but in true narcissistic form and with convoluted executive power, he protected them. It has to stop.
    NIDA and the FDA are no more than manipulated scapegoat tools for the drug war complex that operates almost completely without any honest over-citing. Both are large scale waste of money. Take the sign off the door and fire every single person that draws a check. We’ve got doctors, universities, and hospitals with more than enough sense to honestly do objective evaluations of drugs and food in this country. They’re also much better places to watch money go into.
    The AMA was created by the petro-chemical-pharmaceutical industry leaders and their narrow-minded idea of how the medical profession should behave to support their multibillion dollar empire.

    It is NOT American. Nothing is further from the truth.
    It is NOT Medical. If it were, it would be apart from political control.
    It is NOT an Association. Its actions lack common purpose.

    Doctors should be the controllers of medicine and shouldn’t be overruled by political influence. Drugs available to doctors for prescription use need to have a higher standard of saving life, not “an acceptable high risk of death”
    Rational Cannabis Regulation lies in the truthful manner in which we educate ourselves and those around us about it. Surely the Schedule 1 classification of Cannabis is a disservice to its incredible value to the human condition. Falsely vilifying it in the face of such overwhelming medical utility is a crime against humanity. We need to speaking openly and honestly about cannabis just as we would about the risks of aspirin, antibiotics or alcohol.

    If Representative Steve Cohen or anyone has a plan that can do that then I yield the floor to any distinguished gentleman.

  23. Very well stated Ray. But with this level of historic corruption and affluence of the 1% in politics do you really believe the C.S.Act can be “restructured?”
    Removing the “muzzle” on institutionalized criminal organizations sounds more like removing the muzzle off Hannibal Lector and asking him to start being fair and just all of the sudden.
    If we’re talking about justice and where to “start” I say “start over.”
    I used to think the DEA could exist more as a customs enforcement to protect international drug trades. I was concerned with Ron Paul’s “abolish the DEA” slogan because he wants to do the same to publuc education.
    But then I found out about the DEAs SOD evidence fabrication program. And kickbacks to CPS for closing fabricated drug cases. And how $10,000 bank tranfers mark up on the DEA and FBIs surveillance watch list.
    And besides, we already have a Customs. And the DEA’s international track record is more about proliferating the military industrial complex selling drugs to sell arms; contriving civil wars for profit whether it’s harvesting poppy and arming the Afghan conflict or selling weapons to all sides of the drug war in Mexico.
    The fact is the DEA was unconstitutionally organized under the C.S.Act, which must be nullified entirely. Robert DuPont should be tried for crimes against humanity in a Federal Court and sent to the prisons he created.
    I agree with you entirely that Universities and doctors (and I would include patients) are perfectly capable of researching and diagnosing medicinal marijuana without the oligarchy of the AMA’s strings being pulled by Pfizer or GlaxoSmithKline.
    The movement on marijuana legalization is an awakening of American justice and the fundemental principals of our Constitution. Cannabis legalization is by far the greatest civil rights movement in our country’s history, with countless martyrs who cannot and will not be muzzled by the tyrrany of those who would sell our liberty for the profit of the few by the incarceration and exploitation of the many.
    We are fighting for our civil right to the pursuit of happiness.
    What we have discovered after 75 years of prohibition is that the “Controlled Substance” is ourselves; The war on “drugs” is a civil war on ourselves. We will look the DEA, the profiteers of prohibition and those who would sell their souls for asset forfeitures and say, “You will want this cannabis education for your children.”
    And we will not stop our cannabis legalization movement until we put the Justice back in the “Justice” Department and the family farm is once again self-sustainable for all human beings of all races, nationalities and creed. …Until a baby is no longer taken from its mother’s breast and placed in potentially violent, unsupervised foster care for profit simply for the non violent marijuana she consumes to self medicate, then freedom in America will remain a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained.

  24. And I would still like to propose the “Reverse Everything Nixon Ever Signed Into Law Migraine Recovery Act of 2014.“
    It would be a helluva lot simpler than this piecemealing our justice system and equality back together.
    But if this is what it takes to educate the public and Congress, well then let’s break it down for the rest of America and increase the cannabis education. Cuz thats ultimately what this legislation is about; Shining some disinfecting light on the rotten roots of prohibition.

  25. @Ray Walker Jr. – I completely agree with your comment. I am totally disgusted with today’s lying politicians and big corporations that have been propping themselves up and bringing the rest of us down. It is criminal and should be treated as such. Unfortunately for most of us, the criminals are the ones controlling the military and our police force…

  26. I believe we can thank Richard M. Nixon for these laws. Nixon had a study done on cannabis and it came back saying the warnings were way over-stated. However Nixon was looking out the window at all the “Hippies” protesting the Vietnam War and Nixon Loathed the “Hippies”. So much so he destroyed the report (because all those damn Hippies were smoking pot)and ordered the creation of the DEA, drug scheduling, etc. and ordered that Cannabis be put in Schedule I, never to be heard of again. The man was a druid and I hope he’s burning in hell for what he did.

  27. @Julian: WELL SAID! There needs to be more awareness pushed among the public that the DEA is actually WORKING WITH THE DRUG CARTELS, is no better than a legalized drug lord itself, that it is in no way protecting us from anything and is in fact making the drug problem worse while focusing on the non-violent, harmless users of MJ because they’re the easiest to catch and the safest to deal with.

    Is there anything about the Drug War that has ever done anything else though? Even drug testing actually increases workplace hard drug use. EVERY technique the Drug War uses to control and/or eliminate drug use actually makes the problem worse. Does anyone actually believe this isn’t on purpose anymore?

  28. @billos: I’m an atheist, but there are times I do wish I believed in hell, and thinking about Nixon (and everyone who has ever supported the Drug War) is one of those times. Though I’d be more satisfied to make him watch, helpless, powerless, maybe as an invisible voiceless ghost, completely unable to express his opinions or do anything at all, as one of the more damaging and enduring of his life’s evil works is entirely destroyed by those evil “hippies”. The “hippies” win, the DEA and drug scheduling is eliminated, we turn to peaceful, effective, public health approaches to drug control, and history adds another tally on the reasons Nixon is one of the worst people in American history, one of the monsters whose narcissistic, authoritarian evil nearly crushed everything America truly stands for. School children everywhere are taught to spit on his grave.

    That, I feel, would be much sweeter than simply burning.

  29. Here in Idaho Governor Otter has ordered police to conduct a investigation of the private prison contractor that until recently operated the state prison south of Boise. The legal case involves possible falsified records, and under staffing. Thanks Mr. Otter you have taken a step in the right direction.

  30. @Julian and everyone
    I do believe the CSA as it stands is governed the wrong way, by the wrong people, to do more harm than than good FOR the people. I’ve been reading the CSA, on and off, for a few years now, and I still don’t know if its better to scrap it or rewrite it. It’s such a convoluted document that my efforts to understand how it could be changed without causing even further harm is difficult. Aside from the obvious and irresponsibly bias treatment of cannabis the examination of facts about who controls IT and who IT controls seems to be the source of its detrimental effects.
    Our government has since around the days of Harry Anslinger involved itself in the medical field and the international drug trade as if they both needed the same strong armed type of over citing. The CSA is further contaminated by international treatise that only protect corporate pharmaceutical monopolies at the hands of the DEA. The deals struck in the 1930’s still effect medicine today. We’re to assume that, somehow, that there’s some higher moral collective within the United Nations that is wrestling with the worlds medical dilemmas by restricting the international flow of cannabis and poppy plants. This IS a global prohibition industrial complex supported by international policy at the end of a DEA gun barrel.
    The phrase “Medical Science” has become as oxymoronic as “Military Intelligence” and “Postal Service”. The decisions of a doctor to prescribe CBD to a Dravet Syndrome suffering little girl should supersede the greed of monopolistic foreign or domestic corporate entities. Diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of any patient should rein supreme over most state or federal law. The fundamental right of medical care is being infringed upon by federal law, thus making the CSA unconstitutional. Medical care has wrongfully been assumed to have ever fell under the scrutiny of federal restriction. Had medical science been as advanced during the days of our forefathers, it would’ve surely been included right after “freedom of speech” and “bearing of arms” amendments.
    More than likely the path to changing the CSA lies not in expecting the “executive pen” to find a moral compass, but instead standing on the principles of “fundamental rights” and cause medically related issues to separate themselves from those of the more criminal in nature. Executive power making the change will, I fear, will only come to pass when corporate profits are assured ahead of human rights.
    Starting over with the CSA is mountain of a task. Its content revisions would have to expose the world its more than 30 years of injustice of lies and deceit. A day in public court that they will fight hard to avoid. To answer the question of “Can the CSA be changed?”, the answer is yes. The path to it is what I can’t see through. I do know that it will change soon because the legal weight of the grow public opinion is becoming far too heavy for our federal government to shoulder and given the liberal nature of the western United States it will probably begin in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

  31. Question: If as a condition of employment, or continued employment if your employer required you to bow your head and join in break room prayer would you do it? If your employer told you and other employs; be in the pew Sunday or don’t bother to come in Monday would you do it? If employers can drug test then it would seem that they can require you to attend church, and pray also. What’s it going to take for people to start saying no, and walking out on the drug testers?

  32. A bit of honesty would be such a nice thing! As it is, we (the majority of us) know that we have been systematically lied to about marijuana. For that reason, it figures that we have been lied to about other things; and indeed we have (e.g. they’ve been spying on us all and intercepting our communications…).

    All this cloak and dagger coupled with spreading lies is not doing anyone any good. Our Govt is on very shaky ground with the American people for good reason. I hope our future bodes better than our present and past. Honesty would be the correct path for us all to have a better future.

  33. Yes, lets be honest about this, I just don’t want our Government to be taken over by religious extremists. And I’m not talking about Islam, I’m talking about the LDS. church, Mormons. Do you know how humiliating and degrading it is to be made to pray to god you don’t understand, and attend a false church you don’t believe in?

  34. It is very important that you all contact every member of the senate and congress along with the White House to tell them how you feel.Silence does nothing for our fight to legalize marijuana.tell them what you think about the war on drugs.tell them how unfair the conviction rates are for minorities.Tell them how it stops young Americans from getting work after being charged with pot charges.Tell them how the money saved and created with legalization would be better used to inform our children with their attitudes towards harder more deadly drugs like Meth,Heroine ,cocaine …they do listen.Also tell them you will only vote for politicians who support legalization.

  35. @Voice of the Resistance: I wrote a post on this kind of question myself, only in my case it wasn’t coerced religion, it was coerced corporal punishment, “A Modest Proposal regarding Workplace Whipping Programs”. I ask if employers are allowed to drug test, should they also be allowed to use corporal punishment in the workplace too? After all, I’m sure it would be quite an incentive that would improve productivity and safety and reduce slacking in the workplace, and apparently all we need to legally sanction employer violations of employees is the claim that the violation benefits the employer’s bottom line, whether it’s true or not.

    http://enddrugtesting.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-modest-proposal-regarding-workplace.html

  36. @Ray, (et all)
    Well, I went to wikipedia and read through the dreadful Controlled Substances Act. Im more convinced than ever to scrap that heap of civil rights violations and start our entire drug policy over from scratch.
    My favorite contradiction is where the C.S.Act says failing to follow drug enforcement would be a violation of international law through treaties with the U.N. The next few paragraphs under “treaties” goes into great length to explain how the U.S. Constitution trumps international treaties, and in fact any law passed by Congress is to be considered Constitutional priority.
    Of course we know the U.N. Itself is an institution of hypocrisy and paradox, riddled with contradiction and enchained by the military industrial complex. Just look at Mexico, Syria and Afghanistan.
    In Mexico, Mexican military generals, the DEA and Presidente Peña-Nieto are splitting up the richest asset pile-up ever of the richest man who ever lived since Mansa-Musa started the west-African slave trade: And that man is “El Chapo” Guzman. “46 cars,” countless weapons and other property. That is what all that wording in the “treaties” section means. So the DEA can be the “world police,” (translation; world cartel). So the DEA can play their chess game internationally, allowing cash-cow drug lords to build up their empires and arsenal (some of which the ATF sold them… See Fast and Furious… Weapons paid for by our tax dollars), then use our agents and military (also paid for by our tax dollars) to mop up the mess after the “Capo” falls. The DEA lines their budget with confiscated cash and assets. Senate oversight is useless with confiscated assets blurring the lines of blank checks that give kickbacks to the same Congressman on vital committees that fund the DEA. Who reads the evidence fabrication SOD program when Nixon’s Economic Stability Act has Congress too busy fundraising to even read the budgets they sign?
    Ive seen this “milk the cow” tactic on a smaller scale living in Austin Texas. The DEA busts a foreign national with some coke, takes his passport and issues him a “J” visa, (basically an enslaving document issued by the DOJ that says you’re legal and can see your family again as long as you risk your life every night and work for us). The DEA let a drug lord in Austin work for more than a decade, using their informants to bust the competition, milking the drug lord for cash, drugs and prostitutes all the way. Until one day the druglord gets so big the evidence fabrication gets entangled, too flagrant or the competition gets tougher (sometimes other agents, or as in the case of Whitey Bulger, the drug lord IS the agent) …and then one day the agents are ready to retire. So they bust the druglord, forfeit the assets and some new agents come along with some new blood on the street ready to exploit the institutionalized criminal system known as the C.S.Act. (Clearly, naming names could get people killed… Another catch 22 thanks to the NSA and institutionalized crime).
    An informant’s life is not as glamorous as hollywood movies like to portray. Agent-drug-lord-informants like Bulger in movies like the Departed live unhappy, miserable lives. Its not so much the lies and deceipt to others; its the lies and deceipt these double agents tell to their own spouse and kids. After so many marriages, needless violence and close encounters with death, the material wealth attained becomes less meaningful. The DEA creates stings in the informant’s own house then threatens if they tell their spouse why drug dealers are really showing up at 2 am every other night. (Hint: the real addictions are the agent’s mortgages and car notes). Prioritizing drug enforcement over treatment becomes self corrupting. The undercover agent becomes the drug addict. The double agent himself becomes him or herself a victim of the rules of the game; desperately groping for loved ones or something meaningful to cure the hatred and violence… Yet unwilling to surrender false righteousness to seek the very treatment the agents/informants deny. A closer reflection of this insane paradox of law enforcement is revealed in the movie “Training Day.” A powerful performance by Denzel Washington shows the fateful descent of power from a drug-lord-agent who discovers, as so many eventually do, that he himself is the “controlled substance.” (If you are a guilty law enforcer or know someone who is, look up Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and seek help while you still can. If you are an enslaved foreign national turned informant by a “J” visa, seek help through your local Consulate and contact NORML anonymously through a public library to protect your identity; No hay que suffrir solo; You dont have to suffer alone. There is help if you seek it).
    The rules are bent to prop up illegal drug sales, incite fabricated civil wars, just to make a few arms dealers rich and more powerful. What the Russians are doing in Syria we are still doing in Mexico; strengthening the drug wars to sell weapons to conflicting sides; at the expense of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
    And Afghanistan? The Cold War continues. While our athletes celebrate in Sochi, arms dealers in Russia are supplying the Taliban, the same way the CIA sold s.t.a. “stinger” rockets to the muhajideen when the Russians invaded in the 80s. And meanwhile more poppy and opium are exported today from Afghanistan than when the war began.
    A quick outline of how the military industrial drug prison complex works;
    1). The State Department hires intelligence contractors like Booze Hamilton (where Snowden worked) to find “credible threats to national security.”
    2). These intelligence contracts inherently incentivize agents to fabricate threats for profit.
    3).The DOJ, through the DEA dresses up like local Afghan Police to “eradicate” a poppy field conveniently around harvest time.
    4).This harvest activity tries to stay secret from the State Department that hires private armies to block the roads from the Taliban. (Hired mercinaries… Often by the same intelligence contractors who are hired by the State Department to fabricate “credible threats”).
    4). After the Russians are done arming the Taliban (and the stingers the CIA sold them start dropping large American huey helicopters), the mess gets bigger and the Defense Department and NATO sends our troops in. Now our soldiers are blocking the roads at harvest time, who are kept in the dark over covert operations. (Except for the soldier high on smack. He knows what’s up).
    5). The poor poppy farmer, now destitute and in debt to the Taliban has neither the money to escape his bonds and leave the country, much less purchase his ransomed daughter back from the Taliban. So he is forced to grow poppy somewhere else and the cycle starts over.
    6). Meanwhile, back in the U.S., another bag of Taliban heroin puts another victim 6 feet under while another gets his heroin smuggled into our “drug free” prison system so a private prison owner can meet his quota.

    SOLUTIONS:
    1).Legalize drugs.
    2). Where the constant 1.3% of violentlty addicted society can receive treatment without prosecution we can treat hard drugs as a health issue, not an enforcement priority.
    3).Repeal the C.S.Act entirely and replace it with a health system Written by doctors and patients.
    4). Replace the Afghan Poppy fields with industrial hemp. Afghans (especially women) already skilled in textiles such as traditional rugs could seek employment, eliminate the “opium ghettos” and grow their own medicine, food, fuel and building supplies.
    5). Lobby for and elect Congressman who share these views. Pick up the phone, connect to the links, and always research. In an information age with easy access to internet there is no excuse to deny or ignore Democratic participation.

    That is why electing Congressman who are pro marijuana is revolutionary in our times. There is a wild epiphany going on in the American conscience that is both terrifying and liberating. The truth has never been more available to the average citizen, and yet the average American has no clue how our government, much less our economy works (or doesnt work…)
    The most beneficial effect of the marijuana and drug legalization movement has on society is how much it motivates and inspires us to learn our history and find solutions for our Democracy. We’re ALWAYS learning something incredible about our laws and culture. And getting involved us just as easy as clicking on the “action alerts” on this web page. Despite all those who would exploit justice for profit, it’s a good feeling to know there are so many more who believe in the justice and equality legal marijuana can bring. We owe it to those at NORML that kept tge faitg when, not long ago, it seemed legalization was unattenable in our lifetime. Just look how far weve come. Now imagine where we can go.

  37. 1. “The most beneficial effect of the marijuana and drug legalization movement has on society is how much it motivates and inspires us to learn our history and find solutions for our Democracy.”– @Julian

    If I may give it names: Inspirational Use, Educational Use, Occupational Use– all more important for the entire society than “Medical” and “Recreational”.

    2. “Replace the Afghan poppy fields with industrial hemp.” And the other kind too, plus hand-made cheap Long-Drawtube One-Hitters, a domestic industrial renaissance. But the other, even more forward-going hemp use: Reforestation (or do you say Rieferforestation.

    (A) Pick up, clip, capture, haul away deadwood now causing wildfires costing US economy over $3 billion a year.

    (B) Truck workable logs, poles to Creative Reuse Carpentry Centers replacing live-cut lumber in carpentry and manufacturing.

    (C) Haul dry dust, stubble, litter, weedstalks to gullies, gorges, ravines, dry creekbeds and form elongated biomass mounds to stall stormwater runoff and permit local evaporation and rainfall.

    (D) Plant hemp to grow long roots gripping and holding material against erosion.

    (E) After 1-2 crop years of rich hemp litter deposition seed with fast growing invasive perennials– ailanthus, eucalyptus, cottonwood, willow.

    (F) After a decade or two seed with permanent pines, hardwoods.

  38. “ailanthus”

    Mexweed, dude this species should not be used!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve seen you say these same things over and over. Why do you think planting a species that kills native bacteria and makes it more difficult for native species to germinate and live in said soil is a good thing???????? This is literally one of the worst things you could think of to plant. Lets see, it displaces wildlife, kills native wildlife, poisons the soil it grows in, birds have a difficult time making nests in these trees, no insects can eat the leaves except for non-natives we don’t want here either and it also makes honey taste like crap after bees collect the foul nectar from the flowers.

    Lets *not* plant some.

  39. Oh yeah, its wind blown seed always find their way into every crack and crevasse where they germinate against man made structures. The roots are starchy and shrink and swell. Every time it rains the roots swell cracking whatever structure they are next to and a group of 3 years old’s will start physically digesting a foundation. These plants slowly break bridges/overpasses speeding up replacement by years if not carefully controlled which just about never happens.

  40. In fact it is such a bad weed, the government should be teaching people how to correctly kill them. Cutting the trees down doesn’t actually do anything. They regrow from the roots and these reshoots grow at up to 5 meters a year. The wood has a nice texture for carving and that is just about the only use to people for it.

    It might be used in cities to absorb pollution, the ridiculous growth which means it processes a lot of pollution, but we don’t seem bright enough to use it this way… Instead we just let it break man made structures and kill off native wild life.

  41. @Dave, I’m not out to accuse you of being a “lazy stoner” but many of these objections to Ailanthus are based on not wanting to put in the labor time to manage it properly.

    Like Cannabis, within a single year some shoots are big and strong enough to harvest and make a sanded and/or varnished safely usable walkstick, croquet mallet handle or kids’ toy blocks. If you have a piece with a pith hole 1/4″ in diameter you can widen it at one end to tightly insert a screened socketwrench or barbed hose nipple, and insert 20 inches of flexible pvc tube at the other, voila a Long-Drawtube One-Hitter.

    Ailanthus leaves are so easily identifiable that if one germinates where it is not wanted you can find it and remove it in plenty of time before it goes to seed. Take the kids out armed with anvil pruner, ratchet pruner, handsaw and hatchet, harvest all wildfireprone deadwood and live but unwanted species including Buckthorn (makes excellent deco hand-antlers). In a few years every neighborhood will have a wood processor/pulverizer to grind unworkable, weak or rotted pieces, any species, into woodflour for Brownpost and Drygorge Abatement .

    Meanwhile in cities worldwide there are millions of big Ailanthus serving as street trees, just put in the time and trim as needed. (Next week we’ll discuss Siberian Elm?)

  42. Mexweed, I’m not sure where we got you’re information from… This plant harms the very environment you’re talking about rehabilitating. Nature does not want or need us to care for her as much as we need just stop abusing her. There is no way to manage feral Ailanthus. It would be possible if only male plants were being cultivated. We would need a program for this to work and no “Ailanthus leaves are so easily identifiable that if one germinates where it is not wanted you can find it and remove it in plenty of time before it goes to seed.” this doesn’t work at all. Like with the War on Drugs, we’d see some sort of progress by this point if that was a working option. Ailanthus keeps spreading despite all kinds of non-lazy tree cutting we’ve been trying for decades. I’m give you a free clue. Take it. Even pulled seedlings regrow if not treated with glyphosate.

  43. It is such a big problem, they are talking about bringing in Chinese insects to eat them. But I feel this would just be another in a long line of problem creation type “solutions”.

  44. I have not read every comment in detail , but has Rep .Cohen addressed Federal or state Congress that it cost more money to house, feed, to provide uniformes ,etc., etc., etc. to house a young a young adult for a small amount of cannabis than send another young adult,(probably of a lesser I.Q.) to college for a year. why should cannabis be scheduled as a class drug, along with cocaine meth, and other highly addictive drugs. how many people that acholics have killes in auto accidents, fits of rage, robbery murder, ect., ect., ect. I’ve read reports that not ONE single person has overdosed on cannabis. many have realized its medical uses, to lessen the pain caused by chems. to treat cancer and other serious health problems. it is probably a better better use for depression, anxiety and some other problems used to posion a person’s body. But the big chem. cos. and big government won’t realize its positive uses until the government its potential for tax renevews. they just scratch their heads and turn their backs. probably just plain STUPID! listen to what over 50% of americans want you to do. wake up Washington!

  45. will I get into problems with the local or state law enforcement agencies for backing Rep. Steve Cohen’s introduction of bill 4046? if so, would Rep. Cohen help me out?

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