Eric Holder: “widespread incarceration…is both ineffective and unsustainable”

In news that is no less stunning for beingtelegraphed, the attorney general of the United States today is declaring America’s drug war-led over-incarceration a moral failure, and announcing new federal rules to deliberately evade mandatory minimum laws for drug offenses. Here’s The New York Times:

In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration will move on Monday to ease overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses. Continue reading

Father of 3 Imprisoned 25 Years for Selling Leftover Pain Pills

Due to the implementation of the misguided War on Drugs, the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. Victimless “criminals” fill overcrowded jails, leading to the early release of hardcore killers, armed robbers, and rapists. While drug abuse is certainly a serious problem, prohibition has been proven a complete failure when it comes to reducing addiction rates. In fact, the criminalization of drugs itself has caused a variety of new social ills which tear at the fabric of American society.

The Atlantic is reporting on the particularly depressing story of John Horner, the 46-year-old father of the three children depicted in the picture above. An injured friend, who happened to be a police informant, asked to buy some of Horner’s pain pills which were left over from when he lost an eye. He agreed and was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 25 years. His children have now lost their father for their entire childhoods, because someone talked him into selling leftover pain pills one time.

The War on Drugs’ Weird Sentencing

Often, we hear of first offenders getting outrageous, life-long sentences for selling petty amounts of marijuana to the same informant multiple times while owning a gun. Meanwhile, other people will take a gun and shoot a human being with it, fatally, and won’t be sentenced to as much jail time. Fundamentally, this makes no sense. Taxpayers pay for jails because they want dangerous people put in them. Someone with a cleanrecord who commits second-degree murder could in theory get out earlier than John Horner.

Also, taxpayers have to fund Horner’s incarceration, which, as the above-linked Atlantic article notes, will cost upwards of $475,000. In exchange for these funds, citizens will receive the ruination of three children’s lives, Horner will be immersed in a social environment with killers and gang members (increasing his risk of turning to criminality), and an additional cell will be taken up in the prison, leading to more early releases of killers.

Is John Horner Dangerous?

John Horner was a fast food employee who had run out of luck and couldn’t find a job. He has children to support. He lost an eye in an accident and still had some pain pills left over. A friend was injured and asked to buy them, and he sold them, just to the one person. It’s probably not his proudest moment in life, but does it mean he should be locked away from society?

He wasn’t running a pill mill. He wasn’t the leader of a violent drug cartel. The only thing he had on his criminal record was another unfair charge — when he was 18, he was convicted of statutory rape for having consensual sex with a high school girlfriend. Most people would find that conviction astonishing as well, as most statutory rape laws have exemptions for consensual scenarios between high school students around the same age who technically are over and under the 18-year line respectively at the time of the incident in question.

John Horner should not be in jail for 25 years. His children do not benefit from being left un-raised, demoralized by the fact that their father is a prison inmate. Will they turn to violent crime and theft in his absence? The War on Drugs is not only a complete failure, but it is becoming an aggressive menace to society, worse than the drugs themselves.

 

 

http://silverunderground.com/2013/04/father-of-3-imprisoned-25-years-for-selling-leftover-pain-pills/

The Anger Phase Of Humanity Is Coming

Rand Paul: Don’t Jail People for Non-Violent Drug Crimes

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(Breitbart) -Sen. Rand Paul, speaking on Fox News Sunday, said today that although he is against legalizing drugs, he doesn’t think people should be incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes. Paul stated:

I don’t want to encourage people to do (drugs). I think even marijuana’s a bad thing to do. I think it takes away your incentive to work and show up and do the things that you should be doing. But I also don’t want to put people in jail who make a mistake. There are a lot of young people who do this and then later on in their twenties they grow up and get married, they quit doing things like this.

Paul pointed out that both Barack Obama and George W. Bush admitted using drugs: “Look, the last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail for their drug use. Look what would have happened. It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky, but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city, don’t get lucky. They don’t have good attorneys. They go to jail for these things, and I think it’s a big mistake.”

Florida legislators introduce bills to legalize medicinal pot

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(Digital Journal) -Legislators in the Florida state House and Senate have introduced bills that would allow residents of the state to use marijuana for certain medical conditions
 
Last week, Robert and Cathy Jordan met with state Democrats who agreed to support legislation known as the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act. The bills, which were filed earlier this week as part of the act, came just two days after law enforcement officials raided the Jordan’s home, confiscating 23 marijuana plants. The couple says there were growing the plants because marijuana is the only thing they have found that will stabilize Cathy’s neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Although neither Cathy or Robert were arrested, Robert, a disabled Vietnam veteran, is angry with officials, telling the Herald Tribune:

 

“They explained to me that they had no choice because it’s the law. Well, guess what? I’ve got no choice in the matter, too. We’re going head-to-head now and one of us is going to fall. And if it’s me, somebody else is going to step up.

 

They’ve come and taken away the medicine that’s been keeping my wife alive for 20 years. I’m not going to let my wife die, and anybody who loves somebody would do the same thing.”

 
Marijuana plants grown by Robert Jordon

Screen Capture
Marijuana plants grown by Robert Jordon
 

Dave Bristow, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, insists his deputies did not know the Jordan’s were involved with the bill, saying Sonya Leigh Johnson, a housing inspector, had reported the possible presence of marijuana at the couples home. According to Bristow, Johnson was assessing a vacant home next door when she saw an extension cord running from an open window at the home she was inspecting towards the Jordans’ home. She looked through the backyard fence and saw the plants, took photos and reported it to the sheriff’s department.

 

Following the raid, Sen. Jeff Clemens introduced SB 1250 on Wednesday. On Thursday, Rep. Katie Edwards introduced the companion bill, HB 1139. Both bills would authorize “a qualifying patient to possess and administer medical cannabis, and possess and use paraphernalia for a specified purpose.”

 

The bills are about compassion according to Clemens, saying:

 

“When a patient comes into your office and tells you all the meds that they’re taking don’t work, don’t relieve their suffering, but marijuana does, it’s hard to look at that person in the eye and not do something about it.”

 

Not everyone is happy about the bill however, with Sharon Kramer, director of the Manatee County Substance Abuse Coalition, telling ABC Action News:

 

“It is naive to think we won’t pay a heavy price, especially impacts on the health and well-being of our next generation.”

 

Florida House of Representatives speaker Steve Crisafulli is not pleased with the measure either, saying he does not feel the measure will be something the legislature will focus on.

 

Clemens insists the introduction of the bill is the right thing to do for those suffering from debilitating illnesses however. He hopes images of a wheelchair bound woman suffering the affects of a fatal disease having her home raided will change opponents minds. He went on to say:

 

“This is a woman in a wheelchair simply looking to relieve her constant suffering who has tried medications that just don’t work. This is about helping people. It’s about compassion.”

 

Robert agrees, saying:

 

“I will replenish my wife’s medicine as soon as possible. It’s more of a crime for me not to

Illusion of Choice By George Carlin, Ron Paul, and Judge Napolitano

ENOUGH! (Guns, Active Shooters And Pharma)

The Market Ticker

I’m done being nice.

And I’m doubly-done with the damned leftists in this country performing the moral equivalent ofritual human sacrifice of children to advance their gun-control agenda.

That’s what I charge they’re doing.

And I’m going to back it up with mathematics, using just one of the common psychotropic medications used commonly today — Paxil.

This is from the prescribing information for Paxil:

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk:

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatricdisorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depressionand the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlledtrials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with majordepressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

That’s a problem.  What’s worse is this:

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for majordepressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

And it doesn’t end there:

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlledtrials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder.

Now let’s be frank: Mixed manic states are mental states during which all sorts of really ugly things happen, including panic attacks, agitation, impulsiveness, paranoia and rage — all at extreme levels.

In other words, if you miss someone being bipolar and give them this drug you may precipitate a full-on Hulk-style “rage monster” sort of attack!

How often does something like this happen?

Activation of Mania/Hypomania:

During premarketing testing, hypomania or mania occurred in approximately 1.0% of unipolar patients treated with PAXIL compared to 1.1% of active-control and 0.3% of placebo-treated unipolar patients. In a subset of patients classified as bipolar, the rate of manic episodes was 2.2% for PAXIL and 11.6% for the combined active-control groups. As with all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, PAXIL should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

So if you miss a bi-polar person in your “analysis” before prescribing, it’s more than doubly-likely that they will have a “rage-monster” episode than if not.

So let’s assume we’re not talking about bi-polar people — that is, let’s make the assumption that we properly screen for each person and perfectly identify all bi-polar people before we prescribe.

What is the expected number of people who will undergo some sort of manic episode, which includes the subset that will turn into rage-monsters and shoot up schools, movie theaters and other public places?

Answer: About 0.7% more that can be charged to the drug (the risk if you do nothing is 0.3%.)

Other similar drugs have similar risk profiles; Paxil is not particularly-remarkable in this regard.

I note, and you should note, that 0.7% is a pretty low risk!  That is, 993 people out of 1000 can get a perfectly good outcome from the drug (or at least no harm) but that other 7 in 1000 have an outcome ranging from bad to catastrophically-bad.

Now let’s assume for the sake of argument that we are 99% effective in physician monitoring of these patients.  That is, we’re able to somehow confirm that they take the drug exactly as prescribed (no more or less), and we have enough time and physician resources to evaluate them on a regular and continuing basis.  This, incidentally, is a fantasy-land level of performance; no profession could possibly meet that standard of care, but we’ll use it to make the point.

But this level of performance, which we can never meet, would provide that of the rage monsters we potentially create with these drugs we catch 99% of them before the episode escalates into something “bad.”

That’s 1% of 0.7%, incidentally, or 0.007% of the total users who (1) have the bad reaction and then (2) we fail to detect via monitoring.  In other words, those are the people who shoot up the schools, movie theaters and US Representatives.

The last figures I have are that in 2005 27 million people in the United States, or close to 1 in 10 of all persons, are on some sort of antidepressant carrying these risks.

So if 0.7% of 27 million people have a manic episode caused by these drugs – that is, under perfect conditions where we catch every single bipolar individual first and never prescribe to any of them we will have 189,000 persons in a year who have a manic reaction to these drugs.

That’s horrifying.

But what’s worse is that if we assume 99% effective surveillance by the medicalprofession — that is, 99% of the time the doctor intercepts the person with themanic episode and modifies or terminates their use of the drug before something bad happens….

WE CREATE AND THEN FAIL TO DETECT, WITH NEARLY PERFECT PERFORMANCE (that we will never achieve) 1,890 RAGE MONSTERS EVERY YEAR WHO ARE MENTALLY CAPABLE OF COMMITTING A MASS HOMICIDE.

We’re surprised that there are a few of these a year, when we create more than 5 of them each and every day with near-perfect performance — and likely several times that many given the real-world monitoring that can actually be achieved?

We create these Zombies.

We prescribe the drugs to them.

We do this knowing that the risk exists and that at least one subset of that risk is materially higher for those under the age of 25 who are consuming these drugs. 

In point of fact, most of the rage monsters who have committed these crimes are under the age of 25 and either using or having recently terminated the use of these drugs.

Again I reproduce the information directly from the maker of Paxil:

There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depressionand the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlledtrials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with majordepressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did notshow an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24;

Something changes around the age of 24 with these drugs and their interaction with the human mind.  We don’t know exactly what it is, but we know that it happens.  We also know that these substances have a low but present risk of inducing mania, including rage.

Utterly nobody is bringing this element to the table in debate, but we must, as the rise of these incidents isdirectly correlated to the gross increase in the number of people, including most-especially young people, taking these drugs.  The number of users doubled from 1996 – 2005.

If you want to address a problem you must look at the data and follow it where it leads.

Where it leads is into a horrifying mess of prescription psychotropic drug use among our youth and the rare but catastrophic side effects they sometimes produce.

I have friends who have versions of the problem in their families among older individuals; members of the family who doctor-shop for prescription on top of prescription and are mentally questionable to start with.  We’re supposed to have some sort of reasonable check and balance on this and indeed Florida claims to have clamped down on the “pill mills” but I can tell you right now that this is utter and complete crap.  There is nothing preventing people from going to 10 different doctors until they find three or four that will write scripts and then abusing the drugs — and when they run out “early” calling up for a refill — and getting it.  It happens every damned day and if other family members try to intervene, including getting the physicians or the law involved (prescription fraud is supposed to be illegal!) they’re blown off!

It’s true that most of the crazy people in the world aren’t violent, and that being crazy, standing alone, is perfectly legal.  It’s also true that nearly all of the people who take these drugs won’t become violent — that’s a side effect that only bites a small percentage of the people who take the drug.

But the risk of turning people into rage monsters and suicidal maniacs appears to be mostly confined to those under the age of 24 according to the drug companies own information and this information is strongly correlated with the actual real-world data on these incidents.

We must have a discussion about this as a society.  We might decide that out of the 27 million or more Americans taking these drugs that enough get benefit that we are willing to accept the occasional school or movie theater shooting gallery as the price of prescribing these drugs to those under the age of 24.

If so then we need to be honest about the trade-off we have made as a society and shut the hell up instead of dancing in the blood of dead children to score political points and destroy The Constitution.

But if not, and you can count my vote among the “No” votes in this regard, then we must ban these substances from those under the age of 24 until we understand what’s different among that age group that alters the risk unless and except those persons are under continual professional supervision such as inpatient hospitalization.

Yeah, I understand this will cut into the profits of the big drug companies and thus is “unacceptable” to many political folks, not to mention that the media won’t even talk about the subject due to the advertising they run on their networks on a daily basis for this drug or that.

But unless we want to keep burying kids we had damned well better have that debate.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama and the rest on both the left and right who are refusing to go where the data leads are all practicing the moral equivalent of ritual child sacrifice, fueling the pyre under the bodies of our kids with the Bill of Rights.

Stand up America and say in a loud voice: ENOUGH!

FDA approves experimental tuberculosis treatment that carries increased risk of death

CAV logo

(NaturalNews) Bedaquiline, a drug developed by Johnson & Johnson for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, relies on a new mechanism of action that blocks an energy-carrying enzyme necessary for the growth of TB bacteria. Unfortunately, this medicine comes with some worrying side effects.

High liver toxicity, heart condition and death are shrugged off as inconclusive

Although the drug is effective according to preliminary tests, it carries an unusually high risk of liver toxicity, heart problems and even death. According to FDA advisers, patients who took Bedaquiline showed increased levels of liver enzymes consistent with liver toxicity, and long QT levels, which are evidence of a rare heart condition characterized by abnormal heartbeat. Long QT Syndrome can cause palpitations, fainting and sudden death.
Although the patients who took Bedaquiline were more likely to die than the patients who followed other treatments, Chrispin Kambili, the doctor in charge of Bedaquiline for J&J’s Janssen Therapeutics unit, said that his company was unable to find a common pattern to explain the high death rates and that the FDA advisers did not offer any “unifying findings”.
Consequently, the FDA approved the drug on Monday, right before New Year’s Eve, with financial analysts estimating that Bedaquiline will register annual sales of $300, a relatively modest amount according to industry standards.
CDC reports show that 1.4 million people died from TB in 2011 alone, with 9 million people have been infected. Other sources show that a new TB infection occurs every second, although the number of world infections has been steadily decreasing since 2006. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis affects about 650,000 people each year.

Natural treatments for tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can kill very quickly, and while most people prefer to use conventional medical treatments, there are holistic, natural health remedies available for those who seek alternatives. Since tuberculosis is caused by bacteria, natural treatments focus primarily on strengthening immunity and secondly on relieving the symptoms of infection.
According to the International Journal of Health research, consuming a handful of barberry berries each day can help alleviate TB symptoms thanks to a compound called berberine, which is a powerful bactericide. The same editorial mentions that diets low in specific nutrients, like vitamin B12, vitamin C and vitamin D, can weaken the body in its struggle with TB.
Getting plenty of sunlight (also known as heliotherapy) is crucial in boosting immunity. Before the development of modern drugs, sunbathing was one of the most widespread treatments against non-pulmonary TB, for two main reasons: UV light and hot temperatures can kill bacteria, and the natural production of vitamin D supports immunity.
Horsetail has also been found effective against TB. Since TB causes a decrease in silica levels, which is needed in small amounts for strong bones and joints, wound healing, and immunity, horsetail can help replenish silica and speed up the healing of pulmonary damage.

Quentin Tarantino Says Drug War, Justice System Are Modern-Day Slavery

The Instigators

The “Django Unchained” director told a talk show that as he researched slavery, he saw the same sort of injustices happening in America today.

(TheHollyWoodReporter) – Although race always has been an element in his work, Django Unchained has become the flash point for public examination of Quentin Tarantino‘s thoughts about African-Americans.

Tarantino’s new film is set just before the Civil War and features Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who seeks to save his wife by taking down the brutal plantation owner who owns her. The revenge in the film is a symbol for greater black liberation, but as he said during a recent appearance on a talk show in Canada, Tarantino does not believe conditions have wholly improved. Instead, he asserted, the dominion has simply shifted.

“This whole thing of this ‘war on drugs’ and the mass incarcerations that have happened pretty much for the last 40 years has just decimated the black male population,” the filmmaker said on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. “It’s slavery, it is just, it’s just slavery through and through, and it’s just the same fear of the black male that existed back in the 1800s.”

In addition, he says that the flesh-for-cash business of slavery mirrors that of the prison industrial complex.

“Especially having even directed a movie about slavery,” he said, “and you know the scenes that we have in the slave town, the slave auction town, where they’re moving back and forth — well, that looks like standing in the top tier of a prison system and watching the things go down. And between the private prisons and the public prisons, the way prisoners are traded back and forth.”

Tarantino’s words might spark some debate, not only from those politically on opposite sides of the great drug war debate but also from the film community. Graphic abuses of the slaves are depicted throughout Django Unchained, leading to a split between those who think his work is a painfully real look at the horrors of the time and others who believe the violence — along with the near-constant use of the N-word — in the movie is exploitative and not handled with respect.

As Tarantino told The Hollywood Reporter, though, no criticism he gets will impact his work.

“Not one word of social criticism that’s been leveled my way has ever changed one word of any script or any story I tell,” he says in THR‘s new “Rule Breaker” issue. “I believe in what I’m doing wholeheartedly and passionately. It’s my job to ignore that.”

US present in Afghanistan to develop, control drug trade: Iran MP

A US soldier passes by a poppy field in Marjah, Afghanistan (file photo).

 (PressTV) An Iranian lawmaker says the United States seeks long-term presence in the war-torn Afghanistan in order to control drug trafficking in that country.

“The US seeks long-term presence in Afghanistan with the aim of controlling drug trafficking,” Mohammad-Hassan Asafari, member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Saturday.

He added that the US has been deploying forces to Afghanistan for a decade to allegedly bring democracy and peace to the Afghans, but the US military presence has only brought insecurity and tension to the war-ravaged country.

Asafari stated that the US has sent its troops thousands of kilometers away to Afghanistan with the sole goal of taking drug cultivation, production and trafficking under its control.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still grappling with insecurity.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a recent report that narcotics production and drug smuggling have increased in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

The office added that some 95 percent of the drugs are cultivated in the southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan which are mainly controlled by American and British forces.

Son of top DHS border cop busted for running cocaine

Cocaine trafficking via AFP

 
 (Raw Story) -Four south Texas police officers, including the son of a top cop advising the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on border issues, were charged Thursday with accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to guard cartel cocaine shipments.

One of the officers arrested, 29-year-old Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza, is the son of Hidalgo Chief of Police Rodolfo Espinoza, according to south Texas newspaper The Monitor.

Another one of the officers, 29-year-old Jonathan Treviño, is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño. The elder Treviño also serves on the Southwest Border Task Force, a group established by DHS chief Janet Natpolitano in 2009 to advise her on border issues.

 

Two other officers, 28-year-old Fabian Rodriguez and 30-year-old Gerardo Duran, were reportedly members of the sheriff’s narcotics task force, nicknamed the “Panama Unit,” according to Government Security News. All four men were arrested on Wednesday.
 

Feds say Oakland can’t block seizure of Harborside Medical Pot Dispensary

(Activist Post) -The Feds are at it again. Their relentless attempt to shut down the largest medical marijuana shop in the world, Harborside Health Center, continues.

After losing a recent court judgement that said they couldn’t evict Harborside under federal forfeiture, the Feds are now making the argument that the state and city cannot stand in their way of seizing the dispensary.

Back in July, the federal government filed forfeiture proceedings against the property that Harborside rents. Although Harborside has not violated any state laws, action by the Feds essentially forced the landlords Anna Chretien and Concourse Business Center to file eviction charges with the Feds.

On Friday November 30th of this year a superior court ruled that Harborside cannot be evicted from their location simply because their product violates federal law. The granted stay of forfeiture was seen as a huge victory for Harborside and for state sovereignty in a never-ending battle by the Feds.

“We are heartened by the robust support provided to Harborside by our elected officials and the California courts,” said Harborside’s co-founder Steve DeAngelo. “The decision makes it clear that organizations that comply with state law deserve the protection of that law.”

“For years, in medical cannabis cases, California state courts have followed a principle that cities should not be able to ask a state court to ‘indirectly’ enforce federal controlled substance laws in a way that disadvantages cannabis patients and caregivers,” said Harborside’s lawyer, Henry Wykowski. “However, this is the first opinion that extends that principle to private actors, such as landlords.”

 

However, that small victory for Harborside was short lived. The Feds have now challenged the ruling saying that they have the power over states and cities because they have no ownership in the property being seized, and federal law supersedes state law.

In a brief, Justice Department attorney Kathryn Wyer writes:

Plaintiff, the City of Oakland, has initiated this separate action in an attempt to halt forfeiture proceedings that the United States has initiated against an Oakland property housing a marijuana dispensary. Plaintiff’s lawsuit was filed after the time to assert a claim in the forfeiture action itself had passed. And in any event, Plaintiff lacks any ownership interest in the property. Plaintiff therefore lacks standing to participate in the forfeiture action

The brief further notes that the Controlled Substance Act applies to all states no matter if they have changed their own laws or not:

Plaintiff argues that the United States is stopped from seeking forfeiture of the Oakland property because it had adopted a ‘policy of nonenforcement’ of the CSA against all those in compliance with state law. Even assuming that the marijuana dispensary operating at the Oakland property – which is alleged to be the largest on the planet, with annual gross sales revenue of $20 million – were in compliance with California law, this claim cannot succeed.

…the United States has never misrepresented the fact that marijuana distribution, possession, and cultivation remain illegal under federal law…

Wyer even takes a swipe at the state and city for only sticking up for Harborside because “it has received a windfall of millions of dollars in tax and sales revenues through the operation of illegal marijuana dispensaries within its borders.”

Indeed, Harborside has been a major benefit to the state of California and Oakland, as it’s estimated $20 million in annual sales operating as a non-profit have generated over $3 million is local and state taxes. Yet, apparently Wyer thinks that is a bad thing.

Clearly the Feds have little respect for state rights, property rights, medical rights, and local sovereignty — all of which are being tried in this case. Meanwhile, one of the most respected, lawful, and successful medical marijuana treatment centers is facing closure.

A recent Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans want the federal government out of state marijuana laws:

Even 43% of people who think marijuana should not be legalized believe that the Feds should leave the states alone.

Bill Clinton says war on drugs not working

(Digital Journal) -As government officials and residents of Washington and  Colorado wait to see how the Justice Department and federal law enforcement  agencies will respond to the legalization of marijuana, politicians and  celebrities are questioning current drug policies.

On Thursday, Digital  Journal reported that the Washington law which made it legal for adults  21-years-old or over to possess one ounce or less of marijuana went into at  midnight on December 6th, 2012.  Colorado passed a similar law in November,  although it is unclear when the law will go into affect.

A spokesman for Seattle’s  U.S.  Attorney’s Office issued a statement on Wednesday saying:

“Regardless of any changes in state law, including the change  that will go into effect on Dec. 6 in Washington state, growing, selling or  possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal  law.”

Officials with the White House and  Justice Department are still deciding what actions, if any,  should be taken  regarding the new laws.

As the legal limbo surrounding the  Washington and Colorado laws continues, a documentary entitled “Breaking  the Taboo” premiered on Friday.    The film focuses on The  Global Commission on Drug Policy’s attempt to break  the “political taboo”  surrounding the U.S. led War on Drugs, as well as showing how it and  global policies have failed over the last 40 years.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film  includes interviews of former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

During the Clinton  administration, the position of Drug Czar was raised to cabinet-level  status.  Nearly 60 percent of all federal and 25 percent of all state prisoners  were imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses during the Clinton Presidency.  In  Latin America, the use of military and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)   forces grew considerably and marijuana arrests soared. Despite Clinton’s  reputation as being one of the harshest Presidents to date when it comes to the War on Drugs, he now believes that the war is not working.

In the film, Clinton is quoted as saying:

“What I tried to do was to focus on every aspect of the problem.  I tried to empower the Colombians for example to do more militarily and  police-wise because I thought that they had to. Thirty percent of their country  was in the hands of the narcotraffickers,”

Clinton continued by saying:

“Well obviously, if the expected results was that we would  eliminate serious drug use in America and eliminate the narcotrafficking  networks — it hasn’t worked.”

Cater offered his support to the  legalization of marijuana, reminding the film’s audience that he proposed  decriminalizing the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in 1977.  He  also warned against filling prisons with those who were “no threat to society:   He felt the money spent on law enforcement efforts and the housing of prisoners  charged with minor marijuana possession crimes would be better spent on more  intensive treatment options for those addicted to drugs.  He goes on to say:

“These ideas were widely accepted at the time. Penalties against  possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use  of the drug itself.”

Rafael Lemaitre,  a spokesman with the  White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told US  News he believes law enforcement efforts will always play a major role in  preventing drug violence, but he also acknowledges that the drug problem is as  much of a public health issue as it is a criminal justice issue.

The release of “Breaking the Taboo”  comes three months after another documentary,  entitled “The  House I Live In“, was released.  In that film, David Simon, creator of the  HBO TV show “The Wire”,  said:

“What drugs haven’t done, the war against them  has.”