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MAPTalk-Digest Wednesday, December 10 2008 Volume 08 : Number 086

001 Repealing Today's Failed Prohibition
    From: Richard Lake <>
002 Beefing Up Drug War??
    From: "Larry Seguin" <>
003 Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul for Drug Czar
    From: R Givens <>


Subj: 001 Repealing Today's Failed Prohibition
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2008 07:21:12 -0800



DrugSense FOCUS Alert #388 - Sunday, 7 December 2008

Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop wrote the column, below, which ties 
the ended Prohibition 75 years ago this past week to the modern 
version - the war on drugs.

The column is worthy of your letters to the editor. Newspapers that 
have printed the column are shown as December 2008 news clippings at:

Please also contact your local newspapers and ask them to publish the 
column. Just tell the newspapers that the column is by Froma Harrop 
and is available from Creators Syndicate. The newspapers will know 
how to obtain the column for publication.

The reason for the column and the quotes from Law Enforcement Against 
Prohibition  and Criminal 
Justice Policy Foundation is because of their 
new joint effort "We Can Do It Again: Repealing Today's Failed Prohibition."

Please go to the website to help with this effort


Froma Harrop's syndicated column is copyrighted by Creators 
Syndicate. The text of the column is as follows.

America ended Prohibition 75 years ago this past week.  The ban on 
the sale of alcohol unleashed a crime wave, as gangsters fought over 
the illicit booze trade.  It sure didn't stop drinking.  People 
turned to speakeasies and bathtub gin for their daily cocktail.

Prohibition -- and the violence, corruption and health hazards that 
followed -- lives on in its modern version, the so-called War on 
Drugs.  Former law-enforcement officers gathered in Washington to 
draw the parallels.  Their group, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition 
(LEAP), has called for nothing less than the legalization of drugs.

And before you say, "We can't do that," hear the officers out.  They 
have an answer for every objection.

Doesn't the War on Drugs take narcotics off the street, raising their 
price beyond most Americans' means?

Obviously not.  The retail price of cocaine is now about half what it 
was in 1990.  When the value of something goes up, more people go 
into the business.

In some Dallas junior high schools, kids can buy two hits of "cheese" 
- - -- a mix of Tylenol PM and heroin -- for $5, Terry Nelson, a former 
U.S.  Customs and Border Patrol officer, told me.  Lunch costs more.

Wouldn't legalizing drugs create new users? Not necessarily.  LEAP 
wants drugs to be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.  Regulations 
are why it's harder to buy alcohol or cigarettes in many schoolyards 
than drugs.  By regulating the purity and strength of drugs, they 
become less deadly.

Isn't drug addiction a scourge that tears families apart? Yes, it is, 
and so are arrests and incarceration and criminal records for kids 
caught smoking pot behind the bleachers.  There are 2.1 million 
people in federal, state and local prisons, 1.7 million of them for 
non-violent drug offenses.

Removing the stigma of drug use lets addicts come out into the open 
for treatment.  We have treatments for alcoholism, but we don't ban alcohol.

LEAP's members want to legalize drugs because they're tired of being 
shot at in a war they can't win.  They're tired of making new 
business for dealers every time they arrest a competitor.  They're 
are tired of busting people in the streets of America's cities over 
an ounce of cocaine, while the Andean region produces over 1,000 tons 
of it a year.  They're tired of enriching terrorists.

"In 2009, the violence of al-Qaida will be financed by drug profits," 
said Eric Sterling, head of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, 
which joined the call for legalization.  As counsel to the House 
Judiciary Committee in the 1980s, Sterling helped write the anti-drug 
laws he now opposes.

Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that legalizing drugs would 
save federal, state and local governments $44 billion in enforcement 
costs.  Governments could collect another $33 billion in revenues 
were they to tax drugs as heavily as alcohol and tobacco.

No one here likes drugs or advocates putting heroin on store shelves 
alongside ibuprofen and dental floss.  Each state or county could set 
its own rules on who could buy which drugs and where and taxes levied 
- - -- as they now do with alcohol.

What about taking gradual steps -- say, starting with marijuana.  And 
couldn't we first try decriminalization -- leaving users alone but 
still arresting dealers? Those were my questions.

The LEAP people want the laws gone, period.  "We're whole hog on it," 
Nelson said.  Keeping the sale of drugs illegal, he said, "doesn't 
take the cartels out of it."

Ending this "war" won't be easy.  Too many police, drug agents, 
bureaucrats, lawyers, judges, prison guards and sprayers of poppy 
fields have a stake in it.  But Prohibition was repealed 
once.  Perhaps it can happen again.


Prepared by: The MAP Media Activism Team


Subj: 002 Beefing Up Drug War??
From: "Larry Seguin" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2008 16:52:01 -0800

Below are two recent articles from my local papers.

Sounds like some backroom-drug war deal going on!


- -----------------------------------------------------------------


The online version of Army Times, posted on Sept. 30, states that the Army's
3rd Infantry Division 1st Brigade Combat Team, which has spent 35 of the
past 60 months on combat tours of Iraq, will now be deployed as of Oct. 1,
to assist with "civil unrest and crowd control" in the United States of
America. Future deployments of other fully armed combat units stateside for
the same almost unprecedented mission, are planned.


- ----------------------------------------------------
Pubdate: Wed, 03 Dec 2008
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)



Leave Law Enforcement To Civilian Agencies

One of America's cherished traditions is the separation of civilian
and military law-enforcement responsibilities. But terrorism is being
invoked to undermine that historic principle with plans by the Bush
administration to expand the military's role in domestic security.

The Pentagon plan will create three rapid-reaction forces capable of
responding to emergencies. One 4,700-person active-duty unit already exists
at Fort Stewart, Ga. The three units will join National Guard and reserve
troops in supporting local and state officials.

The teams would be trained to respond to a domestic chemical, biological,
radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive attack, but they could also
respond to other domestic catastrophes. President Bush after Hurricane
Katrina suggested having the military take the lead in responding to natural
disasters with authority over state and local responders.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently ordered a review to determine if the
military, Guard and reserves can respond adequately to domestic disasters.
The militarization of domestic law enforcement is alarming.

Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy warned that it is at "odds with our
longstanding tradition of being wary of the use of standing armies to keep
the peace." It also runs contrary to the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old
law that has barred the use of the armed forces for domestic law

The mixing of military and civilian duties blurs lines of responsibility.
The armed forces are not trained for law enforcement; they are trained to
fight the enemy. Responding to a threat on the streets of Fallujah or
Baghdad or Kabul is not the same as enforcing laws here at home.

Will troops be required to observe the same legal restrictions as city or
state police? What will be the lines of authority? Will they be taught to
read "suspects" (not terrorists or a threatening enemy) their Miranda
rights? Will the same civilian rules on the use of force apply to the
professional military?

Diverting armed forces to domestic security will further strain the armed
forces in carrying out their primary role of protecting against attack or
threats beyond our borders.

The National Guard, under the control of governors, has responded to natural
disasters, riots and other domestic emergencies. But some critics say they
are not up to the task. If not, then provide them and local police with the
training and resources to meet the challenge.

Americans have long been averse to having the military patrol our streets.
Let's not out of fear reverse that principle.


Subj: 003 Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul for Drug Czar
From: R Givens <>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 09:01:28 -0800

If we want CHANGE in drug policy we need to get the right people into 
positions of power.

Let's stop the kidding around and insist on a true exponent of CHANGE 
to run the drug war. We need REPEALERS not go-along get-along 

Just allowing medical marijuana is NOT enough. Decriminalization is NOT enough.

Marijuana should be legal for adult use. That means we stop arresting 
users AND growers AND dealers.

Regulate the marijuana industry and put some taxes into the system.

We must not compromise on this fundamental point when there is so 
much more that needs to be done.

If we cannot end marijuana prohibition during the Obama 
administration, we'll never do it.
R Givens

>Buford Terrell <>
>posted to <> (share your vision):
>Jim Ramstadt is exactly the WRONG person to appoint as head of the ONDCP.
>While he has worked to cover mental illness under health insurance, 
>his basic positions on drug use and drug law have been wrong-headed 
>and have ignored clear, scientific evidence.
>He has not only consistently opposed needle exchange programs for 
>intravenous drug users, he continued to oppose those programs even 
>after overwhelming evidence showed that they decreased drug use and 
>dramatically decreased the rate of blood-born infections like HIV 
>and hepatitis C.
>He has also insisted on strong federal law enforcement actions 
>against those following state medical marijuana laws.
>The attitudes simply continue policies that have failed for over 80 years now.
>ONDCP should be headed by someone who has a strong grounding in 
>public health or epimediology; not another politician or policeman.

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------


End of MAPTalk-Digest V08 #86

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