cannabisnews.com: Panel Advises Cutting Salaries At Agency





Panel Advises Cutting Salaries At Agency
Posted by CN Staff on September 13, 2006 at 11:41:39 PT
By Kevin Freking, Associated Press Writer
Source: Associated Press
Washington, DC -- White House employees who oversee the war on drugs could be in for a huge pay cut next year.Salaries and expenses at the Office of National Drug Control Policy would fall from $26.6 million to $11.5 million under the recommendation of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The director of the office, John Walters, earns $183,500. There are 111 full-time employees at the agency. The committee's explanation: The reductions are designed to "more closely reflect actual performance."
The committee also called for independent studies and documents such as travel records, salaries and contracts. Its frustration is spelled out in an appropriations bill that funds transportation, housing and various federal agencies. The full Senate has yet to take up the bill, but the committee passed it in late July.The legislation states that the committee's staff must make numerous inquiries before they can get information from the drug policy office. Plus, the office has prevented directors of various programs from meeting with the committee."This kind of unresponsiveness ... results in an unnecessary waste of time and energy," the bill states. "Numerous follow-up communications are required in almost every instance."A spokeswoman for the White House office said Tuesday that it has streamlined communications to be more responsive to lawmakers."The good news here is the agency is accomplishing its mission. Teen drug use is down, and I think members of the Hill understand that and appreciate that," said Jennifer de Vallance, spokeswoman for the drug policy office. "Based on conversations our legislative affairs staff has had with staff members on the Hill, we're confident that the funds are going to be restored."A spokesman for Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., who chairs the subcommittee with oversight over the drug office, did not indicate everything is now OK."Unfortunately, this has been a long-term problem," said spokesman Rob Ostrander. "The agency has a record of being unresponsive to committee staff. We hope that changes, because at the end of the day we need to ensure taxpayers' money is being spent wisely."In recent months, disagreement between the administration and several lawmakers has flared concerning the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Program, which gives additional money to communities with chronic illicit drug sales. That could be contributing to lawmakers' frustration with the agency.The administration wants the $225 million program transferred to the Department of Justice. Many lawmakers oppose the transfer for fear the program would become less of a priority.The committee recommended an increase in funding to $227 million. President Bush recommended a cut to $208 million: "This program is an important function of ONDCP and should not be transferred," appropriators said.Besides cutting salaries, lawmakers said they would request funding for a study by the National Academy of Public Administration. They also ordered a Government Accountability Office study on the distribution of grants. Plus, they directed Walters to provide quarterly updates on travel expenditures, staffing levels and plans for future hirings.Last week, Walters and other federal officials announced a drop in drug use among young teens in 2005, the third consecutive drop for that age group. "Twelve to 17 year olds are signaling a positive change in behavior that is strong, broad, continuing and affecting both males and females," he said at the National Press Club.Lawmakers outside the appropriations committee have also complained about the agency's responsiveness. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., took to the Senate floor last week and singled out Walters for criticism: "Under him, the office operates like an ivory tower rather than the command center for our national drug control policy," Biden said.On the Net:Senate Appropriations Committee: http://appropriations.senate.gov/National Office of Drug Control Policy: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Kevin Freking, Associated Press WriterPublished: September 12, 2006Copyright: 2006 Associated Press Related Articles:Success of Anti-Drug Ads Questioned http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22134.shtmlAnti-Drug Advertising Campaign a Failurehttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22110.shtmlGAO: $1 Bil.+ Anti-Drug Effort Ineffective http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22102.shtml
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Comment #25 posted by museman on September 15, 2006 at 10:31:35 PT
psych -wards are prisons
And If you've never been in one, and think other wise - you got the 'special' tour.Psychiatrists are some of the most deranged people on the planet, right next to lawyers and politicians. They've got their own form of 'status quo' that their thick-muscled pea-brained orderlies enforce quite radicly to the tune of forcing bedridden people to lie in their excrement - to enforce the idea of their 'authority.'The drugs that they DO FORCE THEIR patients to take are the most dangerous neuro toxic 'legal' drugs in existence.Very few people in any relative state of awareness are not going to 'voluntarily' submit themselves to something like shock therapy. Don't tell me you never saw or read 'One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest'?Psych wards can be and are for a lot of the people in them, worse than prisons. At least in prison you have a modicum of humanity, and some basic rights and liberties -more than a lot of psychiatric patients. If you want to talk to a lawyer,you can do it in prison. In a psych ward the shrinks and orderlies are god, and if they want to punish you for being too conscious of yourself, and not in a worshipful mood of these corrupted petty power mongers-called doctors, then they can withold cetain priviledges like phone calls, internet access, and letters - which they read and censor.Lets not confuse any of our institutions with the word "Benign" they are almost all suppositories of minor predators who couldn't get 'meaningful work' in other social power positions like politics or 'law.'
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Comment #24 posted by museman on September 15, 2006 at 10:16:18 PT
lucrative and profitable to lie
"Correction: Walters steals $183,500. Earning money means doing something worthwhile and ethical to get it. Being given money to lie to the public and facilitate innocent people being incarcerated is not the same as earning it."Well that pretty much sums up our entire government.
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Comment #23 posted by global_warming on September 14, 2006 at 07:57:42 PT
re: shocking news
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0914/p01s01-uspo.htmlCongress lifts blinds on its spending
After 2005's bribery and corruption scandals, Congress moves to list US federal expenditures on a searchable database.By Gail Russell Chaddock | Staff writer of The Christian Science MonitorWASHINGTON  Coming soon to a laptop near you: how government is spending your federal tax dollars - contracts, grants, and special projects sought by lawmakers.From wartime contracts for Halliburton to earmarks for the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center (think "famous groundhog") in Pennsylvania, all will be listed on a searchable database."This can be a very powerful tool in the hands of citizens," says Stephen Ellis, vice president of programs for Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group in Washington. "It will be the gold standard of information for debates over whether this is worthwhile spending or not."
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Comment #22 posted by whig on September 14, 2006 at 00:04:11 PT
E_Johnson
I'm telling you my grandmother was electroshocked for depression associated with psychosis due to long-term use of anti-Parkinsons medication (Levadopa -- synthetic dopamine).Don't have so much faith in this.FoM, when her children decided they had no real understanding of what was wrong or whether it would help, but they were led to believe by the assurances of the psychiatrist that was "caring" for her at the nursing home that it would make her happier. They wanted her to be happy. They decided to do what would make her happy.They burned her brain.Am I a little angry? Yep.
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Comment #21 posted by John Tyler on September 13, 2006 at 19:57:52 PT
on budget cuts
In the bureaucratic world having your budget cut even by a little is a big deal. To have your budget cut by a whole lot is a huge deal and to have all of your expenses, etc. examined (that means audited) too, is a really bad sign for them. If there are any irregularities, and there probably will be, the auditors will go for blood, because I suspect the ONDCP has few friends anymore. Here is what will probably happen. A lot or even all of the lower paid staffers will be layed off so the higher ups can keep their jobs. Unfortunately it is the lower level folks who do the actual work and carry out the commands of the upper level people. They make the travel and hotel arrangements, work the phone system and the computer system, schedule the appointments, make the copies, file the records, procure the office stuff, etc., etc. The upper level staff will barely be able to make their own coffee, or dial out. Will they even know whom to call when they mess up their computer logon ID? It's a big deal to have this even in the press. 
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on September 13, 2006 at 19:50:29 PT
lombar
What it would mean to me is that people could never rise up and change the direction of the country to try to fix it. That is really a scary thought to me.
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Comment #19 posted by lombar on September 13, 2006 at 19:37:53 PT
FoM
What I see is the ability to crush the insurrections being automated and easily controlled by a relative few.They should test them on congress first then let them decide. You only make things like this if you plan to use them. We don't test smart bombs and bunker busters on civilians, why should *this* weapon be different? This story is to condition the population to accept these things... *insane*!
Gulag Earth
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Comment #18 posted by E_Johnson on September 13, 2006 at 19:19:33 PT
Electroshock is not used for schizophrenia, people
Electroshock therapy has only been shown to be useful for certain cases of deep depression or bipolar disorder.They don't use it for people with a psychotic illness.Only people with severe depression who feel they haven't been able to get help any other way.People with severe depression are sometimes suicidal but they're not mentally incompetent like someone with paranoid schizophrenia who is hearing voices and having active delusions.Anyone in today's world who tried to use electroshock on a hallucinating paranoid schizophrenic would probably lose his or her license and be sued for malpractice.
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Comment #17 posted by ekim on September 13, 2006 at 19:13:32 PT
beware committee wants --meaner and leaner
In recent months, disagreement between the administration and several lawmakers has flared concerning the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Program, which gives additional money to communities with chronic illicit drug sales. That could be contributing to lawmakers' frustration with the agency.The administration wants the $225 million program transferred to the Department of Justice. Many lawmakers oppose the transfer for fear the program would become less of a priority.The committee recommended an increase in funding to $227 million. President Bush recommended a cut to $208 million: "This program is an important function of ONDCP and should not be transferred," appropriators said.Lawmakers outside the appropriations committee have also complained about the agency's responsiveness. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., took to the Senate floor last week and singled out Walters for criticism: "Under him, the office operates like an ivory tower rather than the command center for our national drug control policy," Biden said.
http://www.leap.cc/events
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 13, 2006 at 19:06:18 PT
Lombar
If people would rise up and try to start a new country like has happened all thru recorded history they could be stopped easily it seems. That would mean any time the people seemed to get a little to gutsy they could do something to them. I really am shocked that the thought of such a weapon would even be talked about yet considered. How has this happened?Words under picture in article: Secretary Michael Wynne says nonlethal weapons should be tested on U.S. civilians before being used on the battlefield.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 13, 2006 at 18:56:27 PT
BGreen
My thinking about using shock treatment would be the family member that has the legal power to decide for a person who isn't capable of making the decision would decide. You must have faith in a person that is given that power and many of us in our lives will need a person to decide for us if we aren't physically or emotionally able. That's just my opinion.
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Comment #14 posted by BGreen on September 13, 2006 at 18:26:51 PT
I was thinking the same thing, whig
I'm not disputing E_Johnson's experience or knowledge on the matter, but I also wondered how you can be competent enough to make choices like electroshock, regardless of it's efficacy.Another thing that crossed my mind was that some things a doctor tells us will make us better just flat doesn't. My mom has recently had two surgeries recommended by two different doctors for two different things that actually made her feel worse and become much more dependent on hard-core pills to try and alleviate some of her pain.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #13 posted by mayan on September 13, 2006 at 18:24:53 PT
Chop! Chop!
The committee's explanation: The reductions are designed to "more closely reflect actual performance."Slam!!! Chop!Chop! It's about time.Hee-Hee! Lombar, how do they know those weapons are "nonlethal" if they haven't been tested on humans yet? I guess some of us unlucky U.S. citizens will soon find out, we'll just have to wait for the next staged terror attack.THE WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Video: Venezuela's Chavez says Bush planned 9/11 attacks:
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Video_Venezuelas_Chavez_says_Bush_planned_0913.htmlVideo: C-SPAN "9/11 Press for Truth" press conference:
http://911blogger.com/node/2826David Ray Griffin Interview on BBC's Heaven & Earth (video): 
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9181676883393469552&sourceid=docidfeed&hl=nlGreens Call for a New Probe of Unanswered Questions:
http://www.911citizenswatch.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=946
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Comment #12 posted by whig on September 13, 2006 at 18:07:07 PT
E_Johnson
My grandmother was given electroshock, and although it was consensual in the sense that she was relatively incoherent at that point and could not make decisions for herself, her children did give consent.She never spoke again, as far as I know.
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Comment #11 posted by Max Flowers on September 13, 2006 at 17:56:22 PT
Correction
 The director of the office, John Walters, earns $183,500Correction: Walters steals $183,500. Earning money means doing something worthwhile and ethical to get it. Being given money to lie to the public and facilitate innocent people being incarcerated is not the same as earning it.
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Comment #10 posted by lombar on September 13, 2006 at 17:33:43 PT
OT-I'm not sure if I saw this here first or...
what but its pretty frightening if you read between the lines. Someone is anticipating the mobs of peasants storming the gates with the pitchforks and torches ... makes you wonder what will be the domino that sets the whole progression to total surveilence police state... wait a minute, they were two big dominoes, 5 years ago. I just can't believe what I am reading ...!!!There is a rather interesting discussion proceeding at slashdot.They will create automated platforms with these things mounted on them, just like the "predator" and the "dominator" which, being on TV leads me to conclude they have FAR more effective stuff that they don't tell about. Automated weapons platforms that can be controlled by few, the air force that has created 'hunter-killers' straight out of the Terminator wants to test 'non-lethal' weapons on the people of the USA? I cannot convey the depths of my dismay at reading this ... accept your lot sheep or we will just blast you with microwaves and boil your nerves until you submit!The day after 9/11 and this is in the news? Wake up US citizens... 
 Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs
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Comment #9 posted by E_Johnson on September 13, 2006 at 17:10:15 PT
You're 30 years behind the times whig
I am a caregiver for two mentally ill adults. When they need to go into the hospital, it's all about saving them from hurting themselves or someone else like me for example.Electroshock treatments are purely consensual. Medication is too. Involuntary hospitalization only happens when someone is in imminent danger of harming themselves or others.I've been through nightmares. Once I came home to find all my household furniture had been placed outside on the lawn because my deranged family member believed there was a burglar inside trying to steal it.I'll tell you from personal experience -- it is REALLY REALLY HARD to get the police to come and take a severely mentally ill person to the psych ward.The police suddenly become the advocates for civil liberties that we wish they would be when it came to marijuana.They have to actually see this person being a danger to himself or to you. They can't arrive thirty minutes later and be told that he WAS threatening suicide or he WAS being belligerant and violent in the house.I'm glad I stuck it out. I had to have my family member thrown in the psych ward a few times, but now he's on the right medication and having a fairly decent life and so am I, and I am glad that I made the decisions that I made.
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Comment #8 posted by global_warming on September 13, 2006 at 16:34:37 PT
Have You Not Heard
If you can hear God, or see God,You are "mentally ill" today, in the middle of River City,Best you find a good lawyerWho will defend your right of religionWho cannot share your "ecstasy" or "prison"When the Sun goes Super NovaAnd this Universe disappears and the Night Engulfs EverythingThen shall "we will rattle our charms and toysOur useless trinkets and waysShall stand before EternityBe Blessed
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 13, 2006 at 16:14:42 PT
Whig
I am only talking about the mentally ill that are really in bad shape and really don't understand things like we do. Some people need help and jail doesn't help anyone. Reagan and his religion and thinking god will make you better and we don't need mental health hospitals always really bothered me.
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Comment #6 posted by global_warming on September 13, 2006 at 16:12:54 PT
re: Wasted Money and Religion
Where do "you" stand?Do you believe there is no God?Do you "accept" your "Secular" "Existence"?Do you believe in "God" and a "Holy" "Universe"?How will you vote on "Homosexuals" and thier marriage?Have you accepted your "Secular" place?Do you object?My question is,If you do "not" believe in a Higher Power, A Universe that is filled with Wonder and Mystery,Than you bow your head, before your Secular God.If you have managed to get a glimpseTwinkleWhether through Cannabis Or Kind and Christian GoodnessYou are Welcome
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Comment #5 posted by whig on September 13, 2006 at 16:10:00 PT
FoM
You're right that mental hospitals might be better than an actual prison cell. But the patients may still be kept from leaving and given some pretty bad treatments. They still use electroshock in some cases.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 13, 2006 at 16:02:26 PT
Whig
I don't know about that but between prison and a hospital I would prefer the mentally ill had a nurse instead of a jailer.
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Comment #3 posted by whig on September 13, 2006 at 15:50:23 PT
FoM
Of course those mental health hospitals can be prisons too.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 13, 2006 at 15:34:25 PT
Wasted Money
I really mind wasting money. I do not mind spending money for something important though. I really mind how much money has been spent on chasing Cannabis. Prisons are full of marijuana related offense people and also many people who are just mentally ill and since we don't have adequate mental health hospitals since Reagan change it now these sick folks do something wrong and they might not even realize how wrong it is and they go to prison. The inner cities need new schools and help for the young and poor in the cities. What a waste of our money this has been.
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on September 13, 2006 at 15:08:46 PT
Finally Some Good News
Its nice to see drug abuse among "children" dropping, if that is truly an accurate statement. On the other side of that slippery prohibitionist tongue I still keep hearing that more and more "children" are "checking" into drug rehabilitation treatment centers then ever before.This does not explain the spike in "boomers" using illegal drugs, and the fact that these boomers are "not" children, in fact many of these boomers are sick and dieing people, who have had their lives totally destroyed by these mentally ill prohibitionists and their delusional war on Cannabis.Cannabis is "not" a hard drug, Cannabis is a benign plant, a natural herbal substance with healing properties for both the flesh and the soul (your mind).There may be some people who need deeper healing and pursue harder means and substances, beyond Cannabis, I for one really feel bad for their affliction, but it is not my place to interfere nor is it my heavily taxed dollar to chase them down, or hunt them down like animals.Where are the Beams and the Marshes, oh, I forgot, they are too busy reading the scriptures, too busy to see.
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