Archive for April, 2009

John P. Walters and the Bush Administration Fail the Drug War!

Posted in Drug Reform with tags , , , , on April 29, 2009 by corecompany

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WSJ Photo Illustration/ Sergio Capursi;

John P. Walters’s recent piece in the WSJ is the kind of attitude and beliefs that keep people sick. The article focused on why we shouldn’t legalize drugs. Mr. Walters argues that legalization would “emasculate” prevention and law enforcement.  That would be horrible to make both of those systems ineffectual.  Prevention, enforcement, treatment, and all of it is effective to the degree that we can be honest about it. The honesty is that regulating chemicals would put huge funding into treatment and prevention, which would in turn support law enforcement and empower them to enforce laws that make sense and are realistic

            Walters goes on to argue that America would have twice as many users and addicts. Wrong again! First of all what does he mean “addict”? Does he mean people who meet DSMIV criteria? Does he mean people who break the law? If what he means is people who break the law, then legalizing would reduce the numbers of addicts dramatically. Just by decriminalizing Marijuana we could reduce the number of illegal drug users by half.  If he means that more people would meet DSMIV criteria because they could buy their weed at 7-11 there is no research to support that position

            Walters is misinformed, arrogant, and goes on to cite that he was a drug policy maker for the Bush administration. Impressive Mr. Walters, except that the DEA themselves admit that there has been no meaningful or measureable change in the availability of drugs on the streets. The Bush administration supported plan Columbia, a paramilitary venture attempting to control the available cocaine on America’s streets, the result? As much Cocaine on the street as ever. Addiction correlates to many things. Availability of intoxicants is not one of them.  My favorite part of the article is when Walters looks to ancient China to demonstrate his point. Ancient China! If we are looking at history why ancient China? Why not, hmmm? Ummm? I don’t know? Prohibition? There’s a historical lesson. People like to get high, legal, illegal, decriminalized, whatever the policy.  Alcohol as damaging as it is (certainly is far worse than all street drugs combined) would be worse if it were not regulated. The same is true of other intoxicants. Nice try Mr. Walters but you, and the Bush administration were as effective at fighting drugs as you were at fighting terror. Fighting a War on a health issue makes as much sense as fighting a war on an abstract concept like terror. Did the Bush administration think the terrorists would emerge from wherever they are with white flags? Does Walters think addicts will do the same?

 

Baby Daddy Levi Johnston is Tripp’in

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , on April 8, 2009 by corecompany

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While most of my comments are about drug policy; the Bristol Palin/Levi Johnston drama was too good to pass up. Plus who knows, teen binge drinking could certainly have contributed to the conception of their newborn son, Tripp. What is engaging about this is that Levi seems to be very genuine in his desire to be a father and the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin (Tripp’s maternal grandmother)seems hell bent on preventing that. It’s easy to imagine teenagers not being able to maintain a relationship in the spotlight of a national campaign, new parenthood, and the general growing pains of making the transition from kid to adult. I don’t think either is at “fault” nor do I think either is “bad”.

            Levis says he has no private time with his son, and that the Governor knew of the teen sex going on under her roof (a claim that she is denying). Teenagers having sex? Imagine that. A spokesperson for the governor called Levi a “liar” and accused him trying to profit from the situation. Seems to be a harsh tone to take. I have no idea what happened, but what I think is that they both got drunk at a beer party and nature took its course. Hardly the crime of the century. Being thrust into the national spotlight during this must have been really overwhelming for them both, now power hungry, moose hunting, spotlight seeking Palin takes shots at a scared kid? It’s reprehensible.

            In a television interview, Levi, who looks like he barely shaves, said he got an “amazing little boy out of it”. He seems to be an amazing little boy himself. I really hope the Governor puts her own ego aside long enough to be grateful that her grandson’s father seems to earnestly want a relationship with her grandson. That is hugely valuable and in my view, pretty admirable for such a young guy. The truth is, he could be off playing video games or smoking pot, or moose hunting rather than trying to get private time with his son.