From Nixon to Now

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. By Kevin B. Zeese
    Source: Playboy Magazine

    A Flawed Drug Policy Marches On. There's one thing you can say for the war on drugs: It's consistent. The effort is tinged with the same hypocrisy, dishonesty and propaganda that characterized President Richard Nixon's launch of it during the early Seventies.
    Earlier this year the National Archives released tapes Nixon made in the Oval Office during 1971 and 1972. Transcripts highlight the prejudice, ignorance and self-deception that precipitated a national tragedy.

    While the president appointed a commission that called for decriminalizing the possession and small-scale sale of marijuana, Nixon pushed for an "all-out war, on all fronts," against pot smokers. Within a year marijuana arrests had jumped threefold, to 420,700 from 100,000. And since then, more than 15 million people have been arrested in the U.S. for marijuana.

    What was Nixon's big hang-up with weed? He saw it as a tool used by those who opposed him. The president claimed that "radical demonstrators are all on drugs." He told confidants that "every one of the bastards out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. I suppose it's because most of them are psychiatrists." Nixon saw the drug war as part of a larger cultural war: "Homosexuality, dope, immorality in general - these are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the Communists and left-wingers are pushing the stuff. They're trying to destroy us."

    In his notes from the time, Nixon aide Bob Haldeman reported that the White House saw tough drug laws as a way to keep the black community in check. "The whole problem is the blacks," Haldeman wrote. "The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." The Nixon legacy? More blacks in prison, and fewer voting. While blacks make up approximately 15 percent of drug users, they represent 55 percent of drug convictions. Thirteen percent have lost the right to vote because of felony convictions, often for drug offenses. In Florida alone, and estimated 204,600 black men cannot vote - enough to have easily turned the presidential election, even allowing for quite a few dangling chads.

    While speaking with entertainer and antidrug crusader Art Linkletter, Nixon dismissed any comparison between the mood-altering effects of alcohol and those of drugs. He asserted that while people smoke to get high, they don't drink to get drunk but only to have fun.

    That simple but absurd distinction has influenced domestic policy for 30 years. The feds are punitive on pot use but compassionate about alcohol abuse. Critics of the drug war have called for an end to treating drug users as criminals. They point to the cost of this jihad. The government's response? Clever accounting. The drug war budget already does not include the cost of military personnel working on drug enforcement, such as the soldiers and civilian contractors employed in Colombia by the U.S. Now the White House also will exclude the expense of prosecuting and/or imprisoning offenders. According to drug czar John Walters, these are indirect costs for his office.

    It gets better. This year, for the first time, the cost of treating alcoholics - people addicted to a substance that's legal in every state - will be added to the budget. So much for Nixon's distinction between tokers and tipplers. Why these Enron-like tricks? The easy answer is that they allow President Bush to cut the federal drug budget from $19.2 billion to $11.4 billion without any sacrifice. More important, Bush and Walters can maintain that the split in the budget between enforcement and treatment costs approaches 50-50 (the actual split is 70-30). This not only allows the administration to claim the higher ground - it's compassionate conservatism at work - but it also reflects a growing belief among the public that incarceration is not the way to battle what is being recognized as a public health crisis.

    Unfortunately, it's all lies. The leaders of the drug war have become comfortable with their ability to churn out propaganda. They can assert with straight faces the $3 billion annual cost of incarcerating offenders is not a cost of the war. This sort of dishonesty shows the drug warriors realize they are losing support. According to one national survey, three in four Americans believe the war is a losing cause. Voters in California and Arizona have told authorities to provide treatment to offenders rather than send them to prison. More reforms are sure to follow.

    News article courtesy of Mapinc. --

    Source: Playboy Magazine (US)
    Author: Kevin Zeese
    Published: Sunday, September 1, 2002
    Copyright: 2002 Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

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  2. This article was in playboy??? Maybe I should start reading the articles lol
  3. Funny, Cheeba!

    We get Playboy and I read that article last week. There's also a good one on free speech.

    It's in the forum area.

    The paper is even different!!!!!! Hard to miss!!! Just messin' with ya, Cheeba!

    Well, I guess Jordan would come before the articles. She did for my man...I don't think he's read anything in it but the jokes. It was probably a conspiracy between someone in the government and someone at Hef's to distract the reader...ha, I mean, looker...from the article by using this one particular girl.

    Nah...but I sure wouldn't put it behind them.

    Things are getting heated up. We've had alot of people speaking up and asking for changes and pointing out that the drug war has accomplished nothing and has wasted so much freakin' money. There's a possibility for major change. We all just need to stick with it!

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