cannabisnews.com: Drug-Agency Chief Expects Progress in Enforcement 





Drug-Agency Chief Expects Progress in Enforcement 
Posted by FoM on August 07, 2001 at 08:56:14 PT
By Sam Skolnik, Seattle P-I Reporter
Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
President Bush's choice to lead the nation's drug-interdiction efforts said yesterday that the modern-day rise of methamphetamine production and use -- which plagues this state more than almost any other -- is comparable to the erstwhile "epidemic" of crack cocaine.Asa Hutchinson, the newly designated administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was in town yesterday to address Washington's first statewide methamphetamine summit.
Tomorrow, Hutchinson is to start running the $1.5 billion, 9,100-position agency. The former U.S. attorney, elected to three terms as a Republican congressman from Arkansas, had a reliably conservative voting record and took a leading role in the 1998 impeachment of President Clinton.Hutchinson, 50, takes on an agency that, in addition to its traditional fight against illegal importation of cocaine and other drugs, is taking a broader role in battling meth -- in part by engaging in joint efforts with state and local law-enforcement agencies."We've made a huge difference with crack cocaine," Hutchinson told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "We can do the same thing with methamphetamines. Some of the reasons for the problem are that it's not just something that comes from South America. We produce it locally. The rural nature of it, and the inexpensive part of it -- all of this makes it a very attractive drug to produce."Washington state has been hit particularly hard by meth, a cheap-to-make and highly addictive stimulant, according to federal crime statistics. Hutchinson says that's partly because of the "combination of the rural nature and the forests, the access to some of the precursor chemicals, all of those combined."But there's no question in my mind that Washington state will get a handle on this," he said.As DEA administrator, Hutchinson said his priorities include backing up local law enforcement, bringing down major traffickers, and building and maintaining a technological crime-fighting advantage over drug criminals.Hutchinson alluded to a rift that may be developing between him and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld regarding the issue of whether -- and to what extent -- the U.S. military should be used in drug-interdiction efforts in South America and elsewhere."The fact is that interdiction works," Hutchinson said. "I think the question is whether we, budgetwise, can devote enough resources to consistently make interdiction a part of the law-enforcement arsenal."I know that that debate is going on. Secretary Rumsfeld expressed some reservation about the utilitarian value of his assets going in that direction. I think, I know, it's very important."While saying he didn't want to characterize it as a disagreement, Hutchinson said that "I just want to make sure that we have access to reasonable amounts of Defense assets to help our efforts."During his confirmation hearing Jan. 11, Rumsfeld said that "overwhelmingly," demand was the main problem in the drug war. He questioned the need for more military involvement to cut off supply.Hutchinson backtracked somewhat yesterday from an earlier statement that going after those who procure medical marijuana, which is illegal under federal law, would not be "a priority" in his DEA."It is the law of our land," he said. "The Supreme Court affirmed the law ... The specifics of that (policy) are still being formulated. I'm certainly not backing off of it the law, because you have to worry about sending a serious signal to society that this is still unacceptable."Hutchinson said he intends to use his post as a bully pulpit. "One of my goals is to give greater hope to America that we are making a difference, that there's not a reason to be discouraged about our anti-drug efforts."Complete Title: New Drug-Agency Chief Expects Progress in Enforcement Fight Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)Author: Sam Skolnik, Seattle Post-Intelligencer ReporterPublished: Tuesday, August 7, 2001Copyright: 2001 Seattle Post-IntelligencerContact: editpage seattle-pi.comWebsite: http://www.seattle-pi.com/Related Articles:DEA Chief Promises To End Inflated Arrest Datahttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread10532.shtmlNew DEA Chief Suggests 'Compassionate' Policyhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread10510.shtmlTranscripts: Greenfield at Large - War on Drugshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread10337.shtml 
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Comment #21 posted by Rambler on August 08, 2001 at 12:00:53 PT
Patrick
Try herehttp://www.usdoj.gov/dea/
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Comment #20 posted by Patrick on August 08, 2001 at 09:10:53 PT
Thanks again doc for your enlightened viewpwoint.
The Doctor hit the nail on the headů"In some people's concept of an ideal society, it would be no holds barred for any substance you might wish to ingest, but that would not necessarily be a good or healthy idea. There are definitely some bad things out there unsuited to a general audience, and it should be the province of medicine to help people identify what is safe and what is not. The involvement of government, law enforcement and their version of moralism to the current degree into this equation has been an unmitigated disaster.In my opinion, the people and politicians that are opposed to legalizing drugs, seem to think that legalization means our society will become a free-for-all of drug consumption. This is yet another myth that we need to expose to the public at large. Like cigarettes and tobacco we, as a society / community, will need controls and laws. Who better to tell an individual bent on shooting up some heroin, what is the potency and safe quantities for injection than a doctor or treatment specialist. Currently, the only source of this information comes from street dealers who really care less about health and safety. Legalizing drugs and placing them in the hands of "recreational drug consultants." would do more to lower overdose deaths than the continued zero-tolerancee policy and attitude.This idea, that our government can erase all illegal drugs from the planet, and that incarceration will stop and eliminate all demand for experimentation with substances is what I like to call a policy of zero-intelligence. When John Q Public starts to disseminate that approx. 40 billion of his tax dollars per year are being wasted on an impossible goal in a futile effort, his vote will swing. He does however, I believe want to be assured that his children will not become drug zombies. Preventing a society of drug zombies could be more assured if the current 40 billion spent for law enforcement, prisons, and weapons were to be redirected to education and drug clinics. PS. Does anyone know where to find our DEA's "mission statement?" I am curious to read from the horses ass, I mean mouth, just what their stated goal is.
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Comment #19 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 08, 2001 at 07:23:20 PT:
About Cannabis
The liberalization of cannabis laws should not be seen by the antis as an opportunity to intensify the War on Drugs on other fronts. The concept is failed, and success in legitimizing cannabis should be seen a reason to extend the policies to other drugs, as in Europe.
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Comment #18 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 08, 2001 at 07:18:39 PT:
Dear M
You are far too kind, but I am honored---Many complex questions are raised. I have not always totally agreed with Szasz; I do think that mental illness exists. I agree that our attitudes toward psychiatric conditions have been far too paternalistic, much as they are for "illicit" drugs.The longer I have been involved in this process, however, the more "radicalized" my concepts regarding drugs have become. I believe that the same is true of most people who genuinely open the floodgates, try to remain objective, and read everything they can on drugs, drug policy, etc.I see no logical alternative to decriminalization, and ending the War on Drugs. It is time to declare peace. I like the Swiss and Dutch models. Drugs should be legal and safe. It should remain a crime to sell drugs to minors(less than 18). I am no fan of alcohol abuse whatsoever, but things were much better when the drinking age was 18. Far too many young adults are being arrested for what everyone does on the sly.I do see a place, both for herbal cannabis, and for the various alternative delivery techniques, and some of the the synthetics in the pipeline. The cannabinoid mechanisms are so complex, and affect so many disease processes, that it certainly makes sense to have a large number of available tools to apply to the issues.In some people's concept of an ideal society, it would be no holds barred for any substance you might wish to ingest, but that would not necessarily be a good or healthy idea. There are definitely some bad things out there unsuited to a general audience, and it should be the province of medicine to help people identify what is safe and what is not. The involvement of government, law enforcement and their version of moralism to the current degree into this equation has been an unmitigated disaster.Not all physicians will be qualified or interested in this model. Rather, in the future we may see a new field of recreational drug consultants. There would need to be some transactional immunity for such a specialist, for no malpractice carrier would imagine writing policies for them!As to references, Szasz is interesting, as are Bonnie, Joel Miller, Dan Forbes, Dan Gardner, and the many others quoted in these postings. Good luck!
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Comment #17 posted by m segesta on August 08, 2001 at 06:47:01 PT:
Internecine wars, social theory, pot, and medicine
Doc --I can't thank you enough for your work here, in your lab, in your clinic, and in your publications. I say this both as a reformer and one who has been in years BP -- before pot -- literally disabled by migraine headaches.My question concerns the work we do here - specific to MJ - in the context of the overall drug war and how you would square (or compare) your views about drug abuse being a medical problem with more libertarian views, e.g., those of Dr. Szasz? See, for example, his recent book, "Pharmacracy" [, the ad for same in Reason Online [http://laissezfairebooks.com/product.cfm?op=view&pid=SZ8436&aid=10262], and an interview with him in the same journal [http://www.reason.com/0007/fe.js.curing.html].More particularly, how can we respond to his view that if one's main concern is the drug war overall (I mean, as long they are making our soceity "free" of any drug, the damage to civil liberties, and many other things, would likely be just as egregious as it is now), it may be counterproductive to legalize MJ? Moreover, what do you think of the idea that docs should be paid for their advice and knowledge of drugs, not their acting as "agents of the state" by "allowing" people to access certain drugs, which should be a right of any free person?I know you are extremely busy -- doing some of the most important work there is to do on this planet, as far as I am concerned -- so if a textual reply is not possible, could you perhaps just point us to an article, book, author, etc., that you feel provides the best response to what I call "pure libertarian" arguments and viewpoints, such as those held by Szasz?Thanks, and God Bless,M
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Comment #16 posted by m segesta on August 08, 2001 at 06:24:00 PT:
dddd....... 
dddd- I think you hit the nail on the head with the "diversification" analysis -- the anti's "plan B" in case we win on medical MJ or MJ overall (from the anti point of view, the former is equivalent to, or wrose than, the latter because in our "Pharmacracy", as Dr. Szasz calls it, giving MJ the approval of physicians -- who Szasz sees as today's "high priests"/Catholic Church of years ago/religious inquisitions -- would be even worse for anti's than general legalization because medical MJ carries a Dr's endorsement, and in a pharmacracy, you can't get a much more effective "sponsor".....so diversify is all they can do to keep their jobs, confiscatory seizure laws, etc., though they would some "splaining" to do every time 60 years of their false rhetoric is paraded before them once cannabis is available and not found to as harmful as they predicted.....also, now that I mention "pharmacracy", I have to ax Dr. Russo something, infra.Be well, all of you -- Proud of You!M
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Comment #15 posted by freedom fighter on August 07, 2001 at 20:18:32 PT
Speaking of Methdevil
Saw on my local Foxnews a couple day agobusted 22 folks... seem peaceful enuff...What so weird about it is some folks wearingSPACESUITS, I supposed, to freak or encourage the population to start using meth??sigh!ff
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Comment #14 posted by dddd on August 07, 2001 at 18:34:31 PT
aocp
...I've thought the same thing about the whole drug warcaving in,,when/if Marijuana laws are reformed,,,butI think they have anticipated this factor...this is one reasonwhy they are diversifying,and creating new witch hunts,andsensationalizing Ecstacy,,oxycontin,,"club drugs",,and on andon......I've always thought that thousands of people would neverhave even considered trying new and different drugs,,if theyhadnt learned of their exsistance thru the media...,,they will hold out as long as they possibly can get away withon cannabis,,,but they will make sure to have an ample supplyof other demonized substances to keep the Gravy Train screamin'down the track......It's hard to imagine,,,but the Drug-Pig empire has all this downto a science.They know what they are up against,and they will gladlyspend millions of tax dollars to hire the best advisors,,,just like they'vebeen doing for years.......Just look at how successful they've been sofar!...They managed to rape the Constitution,and Bill of Rights before anyone knew what was going on.They have formulated a very effectivecampaign of disinformation,and media domination,,that has basicallyblinded America to real,,important issues.........This whole thing ismuch worse than most think it is......The founders of our country wouldbe SHOCKED,,,and they would be bewildered as to why there is no publicoutrage towards our bloated,criminal government......the situation isalarmingly astounding,,,and disturbingly astonishing...dddd
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Comment #13 posted by aocp on August 07, 2001 at 17:59:43 PT
re: dddd
There's no way they are gonna let their drug war end....they will simply adapt it,and adjust it any way they can to maintain the "Demon Drugs" image.........we may see Marijuana laws gradually reform,,,but the drug waris too big of an institution to eliminateI'm really curious to see how they'd revamp the drug war machine with regulated cannabis. I'm not knocking your suspicions, but it is my opinion that the drug war would be SEVERELY crippled and hopefully unsupportable with regulated (notice i don't use the term "legalized") cannabis. Not only would we see the loss of every "gain" by the pigz under cannabis prohibition erradicated, but such success would help keep people away from other more damaging illicits, thereby eliminating the need for crazy amounts of "protection" from EVIL inanimate objects like meth. Just a thought.
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Comment #12 posted by mayan on August 07, 2001 at 15:23:01 PT
If Interdiction Works, It Would've by Now! 
Exactly dddd! The kids are being conditioned to have no expectation of privacy or basic civil liberties so that when they reach adulthood they will be used to it. It is very frightening.As for this article - Hutchinson states,"The fact is that interdiction works. I think the question is whether we, budgetwise, can devote enough resources to consistently make interdiction a part of the law enforcement arsenal."In other words, interdiction costs too much.In other words, interdiction doesn't work. 
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Comment #11 posted by dddd on August 07, 2001 at 14:45:35 PT
dogs,,,metal detectors,,,random searches,,,
,,,drug testing.....I think the youth of today has for the most partresigned themselves to the new totalitarian school policies,,,that itjust seems normal to them,,it's what they've grown up with,,,,andit's for "The Greater Good"........We are witnessing a subliminal preparationfor acceptance of the new social order,and conditioning of the masses...dddd
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Comment #10 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 07, 2001 at 14:27:05 PT:
Talk to the Kids
about this, and they will tell you that they hate the mistrust inherent in this type of approach. Suppose they find a few drugs. Is that worth the loss of rapport with kids seeking good adult relationships?
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 07, 2001 at 14:20:56 PT
Thanks J.R. 
 I'm surprised how many people so far think dogs are ok in school. We need to do what we can to keep drugs out of the schools   Such scrutiny is inappropriate in the classroom  Day 19, 05:13 PM EST (Results are delayed 15 minutes)Total Votes: 1,629  percent votes  Yes (1,133)   (70%) No (496)   (30%) 
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Comment #8 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on August 07, 2001 at 14:13:38 PT
Vote!
  Vote.com has a question on whether we should allow the use of drug-sniffing dogs in public schools. Click below to cast your vote!
http://www.vote.com:80/vote/33303529/index.phtml?cat=6834323
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 07, 2001 at 13:34:12 PT
dddd
Hi dddd,I agree with you and Dr. Russo. Just thinking about Meth makes me tired anymore! That's silly I know but the truth. One thing I do remember is that I didn't have any yellow waxy buildup on my kitchen floor in those days from yester year! LOL!
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Comment #6 posted by dddd on August 07, 2001 at 12:20:57 PT
.....METH!.....
.......Dr. Russos' apraisals are typically superb....It is cyclical.Iremember the early 70s',,in high school,,,"criss-cross",speedwas very popular.......Meth is a beast,as far as drugs go,,,but theshowcasing of it as a problem has both popularized it,and is alsodesigned to demonize it as the new darling of justification for thedrug-pigs.Yes,,,FoM....You are right about it being used as an excuse to furtherintrude into our lives,,and break down our doors...There's no way they are gonna let their drug war end....they willsimply adapt it,and adjust it any way they can to maintain the "Demon Drugs"image.........we may see Marijuana laws gradually reform,,,but the drug waris too big of an institution to eliminate,,,,,,,that is,,unless everyone wokeup and elected Harry Browne,,or Ralph Nader as president,,,,,,but that'sabout as likely as Gary Condit saying;"yea,,I had the bitch whacked,,she knewtoo much".....dddd
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on August 07, 2001 at 11:51:33 PT
Thanks Dr. Russo
I agree Dr. Russo. I guess because they said it is easy to make that I thought there would always be a supply. It's not like Cocaine because you need Coca to make Cocaine. I was familiar with Meth in the 70s and it was a hard drug to not want to take. It took a few years until I didn't think of it. Meth went away when Cocaine started and Cocaine isn't as strong as Meth and I was glad when it dried up and hoped it wouldn't surface again.
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Comment #4 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 07, 2001 at 11:37:04 PT:
Meth Problem is Cyclical
FoM, the problem with meth was also big at other times in history, and is probably more a function of socio-economic factors. If people have fulfilling jobs and lives, they are less likely to pursue meth or other addicting drugs.It is again clear that the black market status exacerbates the problem. If the illegal market was eliminated, there would be the possibility of getting real help to those in need, and they might actually be interested in it once the the threat of incarceration were removed. It's a medical problem!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 07, 2001 at 11:25:32 PT
Question about Methamphetamine
Last night I watched a program on MSNBC about Methamphetamine. I know most of the shows are hyped but how can we solve the Meth problem? Meth is a powerful drug. What will happen if the police start crashing in doors of Meth users and particularly those who manufacture it? The thought scares me. I'm afraid more people will be killed.
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Comment #2 posted by Doug on August 07, 2001 at 09:28:25 PT
The Myth of Having an Effect
"We've made a huge difference with crack cocaine," Hutchinson told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "We can do the same thing with methamphetamines."I believe the reason the crack cocaine "epidemic" receded was because people started to realize that this drug caused many problems in the users. Young people could see first hand the effects in their elders, and it wasn't good. In addition there was too much violence, and so the people involved managed to turn down the level.So the police response had very litle to do with the reduction in crack use, and if there is a reduction in meth use in won't be becassue of the police either. The best police action can do is not make the problem any worse.
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Comment #1 posted by Patrick on August 07, 2001 at 09:14:23 PT
The Supreme Court MD. Experts in medicine.
"While saying he didn't want to characterize it as a disagreement, Hutchinson said that "I just want to make sure that we have access to reasonable amounts of Defense assets to help our efforts."I bet Hitler said the same thing about containing and exterminating the Jews.Hutchinson backtracked somewhat yesterday from an earlier statement that going after those who procure medical marijuana, which is illegal under federal law, would not be "a priority" in his DEA."It is the law of our land," he said. "The Supreme Court affirmed the law ... The specifics of that (policy) are still being formulated. I'm certainly not backing off of it the law, because you have to worry about sending a serious signal to society that this is still unacceptable."So what he is saying is that if you are sick and dying, we are gonna arrest you for taking medical marijuana. However, if you are a drunk cop on your way to work drunk (twice the legal limit) and happen to run over and KILL innocent people you don't have to go to jail!Signals Asa? Signals?
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