Back to Map

MAPTalk-Digest Thursday, December 18 2008 Volume 08 : Number 090

001 Traditional Media is alive and well 
    From: Richard Lake <>
002 US: What is the DEA Smoking?
    From: Allan Erickson <>
003 US: Web: Drug Czar of My Dreams
    From: Richard Lake <>


Subj: 001 Traditional Media is alive and well 
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 00:11:04 -0800

At 06:50 PM 12/16/08, Kevin Zeese wrote:

>Excellent. I've seen some of your articles and they are well done. A few
>other reformers do so as well.  No doubt there are many more people in ARO
>who could be doing the same.
>There are a lot of outlets and readers on the web and reformers  should be
>regularly published on web news sites and blogs.  Traditional media is in
>major trouble.  Advertising is way down as is readership/viewership. The
>peak for newspaper readership was way back in 1984 and had dropped about one
>third since then.  The tipping point between web vs. traditional media is
>coming quickly.  The reform movement should be all over it as it is much
>more friendly than the traditional media to the reform perspective.  If it
>done aggressively enough I expect we will be successful in forcing the
>traditional media to cover reform views more by normalizing our issues in
>the news.


Al Neuharth, an expert on the newspaper industry, has written in his 
USA TODAY Plain Talk columns twice this year about the continued 
success of the newspapers which are not among the top 100 in the 
United States.

His analysis follows studies which show that community newspapers, in 
small towns and in communities within the large cities, are doing 
well, often increasing readership in hard times.

Some suggest this is because those who become unemployed or who fear 
becoming so look to their community newspapers not just for jobs but 
also for ways to save money.

Mr. Neuharth writes that there are about 6,000 of these community 
newspapers in the United States. The large majority of them do not 
see the need to participate in Audit Bureau of Circulations audits 
(which are not free). About the only way to find out about their 
circulation trends is to call them and hope you get an honest answer.

However, they are superb targets for letters to the editor.

Unlike the top major newspapers who are tending to want shorter 
letters as they reduce the number of pages they print community 
newspapers often welcome letters of three or four hundred words - and 
longer OPEDs as long as they are not asked to pay for the OPEDs.

I see the success folks have with letters on our side every day. Just 
look at the newspapers our top 100 published letter writers are 
published in at The very large 
majority are community newspapers.

Of course the major on line forums are good targets for reform 
writers as you suggest, Kevin.  But the community newspapers are still also.

Many on line forums don't even come close to the readership of even 
the smallest of community newspapers where anything a reformer gets 
printed will have well over a thousand readers.

On the web we never really know how many folks read what we write, be 
it in forums, blogs, whatever, just as I will never know how many 
folks actually read this.

Richard Lake

Senior Editor


Subj: 002 US: What is the DEA Smoking?
From: Allan Erickson <>
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2008 21:03:17 -0800

What is the DEA Smoking?

- ---


Subj: 003 US: Web: Drug Czar of My Dreams
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 22:11:07 -0800

Newshawk: Kirk
Pubdate: Thu, 18 Dec 2008
Source: Huffington Post (US Web)
Copyright: 2008 HuffingtonPost com, Inc.
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Cited: Christian Science Monitor editorial
Cited: Obama Drug Czar Pick: No Recovery from War on Drugs
Referenced: Drug Czar of My Dreams
Bookmark: (Nadelmann, Ethan)

Drug Czar of My Dreams

For over 35 years America's war at home, the Drug War, has been 
raging. Owing in large part to drug war excesses, the United States 
now locks up more of its citizens than any nation on earth -- more 
than 2.3 million, with half a million of them behind bars for 
nonviolent drug offenses alone. That is more than Western Europe, 
with a much higher population, incarcerates for all crimes combined.

The historic election of Barack Obama signals a unique opportunity to 
begin to heal one of America's worst open sores and end the drug war, 
but that is not going to happen unless President-elect Obama 
nominates someone exceptional to the position of drug czar, or 
director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 
The appointment of "moderate" will not be sufficient, particularly 
when President-elect Obama's stated goals are to repeal the harshest 
drug sentences, remove federal bans on syringe-exchange funding to 
reduce HIV/AIDS, allow medical cannabis research, and support 
treatment alternatives for low-level drug offenders.

The Christian Science Monitor recently opined, "In his selection of a 
'drug czar,' President-elect Obama needs to place more emphasis on 
addiction as a health problem," Christian Science Monitor, December 
3, 2008. Columnist Maia Szalavitz, who covers addiction and treatment 
issues, perhaps put it best, "We need someone who knows the science, 
recognizes that there are many paths to recovery -- and understands 
that dead addicts can't recover," "Obama Drug Czar Pick: No Recovery 
from War on Drugs?", Huffington Post, November 21, 2008.

A significant reallocation of scarce resources from criminal justice 
to public health solutions is long overdue, but drug policy is 
multi-disciplinary and international in scope. We have had cops, 
doctors and soldiers. Call me crazy, but I think our drug czar should 
be an experienced drug policy expert who comprehends the full 
breadth, depth and importance of this issue on day one.

I have seen Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, and Judge Jim P. Gray 
suggested in comments appended to articles and blog posts on the 
topic, but I think Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the 
Drug Policy Alliance, personifies the consummate drug policy expert, 
in both domestic and international affairs, that I would like to see 
directing the drug czar's office.

To this end, I started a petition called, "Drug Czar of My Dreams."

Perhaps Nadelmann for drug czar is too much to hope for but, with any 
luck, this petition will at least encourage President-elect Obama to 
think twice about his choice of drug czar. In addition to your 
signature and feedback, I would appreciate your help with promoting 
this petition.


End of MAPTalk-Digest V08 #90

HomeBulletin BoardChat RoomsDrug LinksDrug NewsFeedback
Guest BookMailing ListsMedia EmailMedia LinksLettersSearch