Tag Archives: Drug Policy Alliance

Libertarians were wrong about marijuana legalization

By Aron Ravin  This article appeared in the National Review on August 14, 2021.

At the outset, I’d like to lay my cards out on the table: I despise weed.  I think that I reeks, that it’s a waste of money and time.  I dislike cheap euphoria, and I think getting high promotes escapism.  Forever a nudnik, I do not, and do not plan to, partake in the devil’s lettuce.

Nevertheless, many people whom I respect and consider my friends are more open to Miss Mary Jane than I. So I take their arguments seriously when we discuss the issue of legalization. Some of the most common ones, which I’ll discuss at more length below, appear tenable on the surface, if not particularly convincing. Others that have tended to exist on the periphery of the debate — e.g., concerns about a nanny state and the problems of disproportionate sentencing — are much more compelling. Continue reading Libertarians were wrong about marijuana legalization

Drug Policy Alliance should have no influence over policy

The normalization and continued promotion of drug use kills people, harms individuals and harms society. The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) turned people against the “War on Drugs,” a term the government stop using in 2009. The DPA aims for legalizing all drugs, but now uses the term “decriminalization,” disguising their true goals.

DPA wishes to protect drug dealers so that they may never be charged with homicide if a person dies. A press release of November 2017, staked out DPA’s position against drug-induced homicide laws, claiming that “An Overdose Death is not Murder.”

For parents, whose children died after buying pills through dealers, friends or acquaintances, it’s a bitter pill to swallow: the DPA claims their children were already drug users, and no one should be held responsible for death.

Continue reading Drug Policy Alliance should have no influence over policy

What do left-wing and right-wing protesters share? – Use of marijuana

Belief in drug use seems to be common in those arrested

The FBI arrested Tim Gionet, also called “Baked Alaska,” for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6. Gionet is a far-right media personality. Gionet said he was given his nickname “because he is from Alaska and that he smoked marijuana at the time.”

Last summer, a police captain described the “blowing of marijuana smoke” into a Portland police building under seige.  Oregon has the most per capital pot shops of any state.   Certainly, the idea of free, open drug use played into the motivations behind CHOP, a police-free zone in Seattle.

Libertarian urges describe extremists on both sides, as they don’t care how drug use affects others. Looking into the background of some of the recent arrestees reveals the frequent involvement of marijuana or prior marijuana arrests.  In fact, anecdotal stories of lighting joints in the Capitol appeared in the news.

One man flashed a big smile and posed for cameras while holding Nancy Pelosi’s lectern. Could that smile reflect a marijuana high?  It turns out that he’s from Florida and his name is Adam Johnson.  He had a prior criminal history which includes “possession of marijuana and violation of probation charges.”

Another bold insurrectionist, Cleveland Meredith, came from Colorado to Washington, armed with weapons and high potency edibles.  “By his own admission, the defendant is a habitual user of marijuana and has a history of mental illness.” This statement comes from the government’s case for a pretrial hearing.  

Aymann Ismail, a reporter who covered the incident for Slate said, “When I was there in the riot, I saw aggressive instigators but also young people who were getting high, celebrating, and seemed to have no idea of what they’d done.”

What common policies do protesters on the left and right have in common?

Clearly protesters on both sides have diverse reasons behind their activities.  Those on the far left want to get rid of police, while those involved in the Capitol insurrection included paramilitary groups and police.

The left and right have some points in common, despite their differences.  Superficially, they’re very different, but delving into the issue more deeply shows deep alienation, something relieved by drug use, only to come back with a vengeance.

A BLM organizer and Proud Boys chapter leader came together for a podcast.  In the case of these two activists at the

Militant provocateurs with megaphones urging rally goers to “Breach the Capitol.”

the opposite end of the political spectrum, they stand for: police and prison reform, concern about the housing problem, end sex trafficking, stop the endless wars abroad, challenge the two-party system and end the drug war.

They don’t realize that the USA stopped using the term “war on drugs” more than 10 years ago.  The Drug Policy Alliance turned the war on drugs into a negative,  by convincing people that drug use is harmless. This ignorance causes so much damage, as drug use itself causes far more harm than government attempts to stop drug use.  

Another misunderstanding of these activists and their views is that we cannot have solve housing, homelessness problems or address police and prison reform until drug use in America goes down.  Drug use is going up, not down, which will lead to worse public health, and more rioting and restlessness.  

Whatever initial spiritual connection comes from common drug use, it rapidly breaks down and disintegrates, as happened during the Summer of Love in 1967.  

Zuckerberg still doesn’t understand addiction

Three years ago when Mark Zuckerberg traveled around the country, his biggest surprise was learning the extent of the addiction crisis.  He was genuinely concerned about the problem, realizing that he comes from a position of privilege, and that he didn’t face economic loss like so many other Americans. Perhaps his awakened awareness had something to do with why he and his wife donated $500,000 to pass Measure 100 in Oregon this year, the Drug Decriminalization and Addiction Treatment Initiative

The choice of the donation reflects a naiveté similar to the naiveté he had in 2017.  It doesn’t appear that Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan consulted treatment and addiction specialists before donating the money.  People who work in recovery are concerned the measure would largely eliminate the court system’s ability to mandate treatment for people.  The couple’s intentions Continue reading Zuckerberg still doesn’t understand addiction