Five Stages of Grief Over Obama's Drug Policies
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 Five Stages of Grief Over Obama's Drug Policies
Posted by CN Staff on August 08, 2009 at 10:38:32 PT
By Stanton Peele
Source: Huffington Post
USA -- Like the stages people who experience grief due to a personal tragedy pass through, people concerned about modifying American drug policies have dialed through these five stages since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States:1. Unbounded enthusiasm. Drug reform advocates, along with other progressives, were wild with anticipation when Barack Obama was elected President.
Aside from his remarkable background and intelligence, he was extremely well-informed about drug reform initiatives -- including clean needle programs, discrepancies in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine (which punish minorities disproportionately), and noninterference with states that have enacted medical marijuana (MM) statutes. Moreover, he called the war on drugs an "utter failure."2. Anxiety. During the run-up to Obama's selection of a Drug Czar, a name often mentioned was Jim Ramstad, former Congressman and a recovering alcoholic who opposed all major drug reforms (e.g., needle exchange, methadone maintenance). Why would Obama even consider such a Neanderthal, his supporters wondered. Where was he coming from in all of this, they asked themselves through sleepless nights.3. Cautious optimism. Instead, the President selected Gil Kerlikowske, who was not known for being out front in reforming drug policies as Seattle Police Chief, but who also didn't fight the city's needle exchange program and low priority on marijuana possession enforcement, nor Washington state's MM laws. Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance and the country's leading reform advocate, declared himself "cautiously optimistic" due to Kerlikowske's middle-of-the-road stance, even as he was disappointed that Obama had chosen a law enforcement officer rather than a public health advocate to be Drug Czar.4. Euphoria. Not all drug policy change originates in the Office of National Drug Control Policy. And a number of local and state initiatives came to the fore, including continuing support by states for MM, some harm reduction measures, and - as the economic downturn hit hard - active contemplation of legalizing marijuana in order to tax revenues from its massive sales in California and around the country. Furthermore, the House Judiciary Committee eliminated the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity. Although he pushed none of them, these actions were all consistent with Obama's enunciated positions on drugs.5. Disillusionment. But, from the start, Kerlikowske sounded like anything but a drug reformer. Shortly after his installment as Drug Czar, he brashly announced that any type of drug decriminalization would be "waving the white flag" and that the "legalization vocabulary doesn't exist for me and it was made clear that it doesn't exist in President Obama's vocabulary." Since then, belying his own state's policy and Obama's and Attorney General Eric Holder's statements, Kerlikowske has consistently maintained that marijuana has no medical value. All in all, Kerlikowske's orientation towards drug policy seems like, well, a cop's. And yet he seems to reflect Obama's position on reform.Where oh where are you Mr. President? Hoping against hope that Kerlikowske is going rogue, the Drug Policy Alliance has started a letter-writing campaign to the President asking him to reassert the progressive views he had previously endorsed, and to rein in his recalcitrant Drug Czar. Of course, it seems unlikely that a control maven like Obama would really allow his Drug Czar to repeatedly defy the President's own inclinations in this area.A more realistic scenario is that the President - facing opposition to his key policies from not only red states and hard core Republicans, but increasingly also independent voters and moderate Democrats - is unwilling to forge ahead on drug reform. Liberalizing policies towards currently illicit drugs would strike Americans as intensely alien - even as young and old Americans are turning more and more to prescription pharmaceuticals for their highs (and lows), so that there is increasingly little space between substances deemed "illicit" and "legal."But Obama is not committed enough to drug policy reform to incur the symbolism taking any steps towards liberalization would send. Can you imagine what the Congressional hearings, town hall conflagrations, and shrieking of people calling "I want my country back" would be like if he tried? American prudery about drugs, alcohol and whatever else will not be reversed any time soon.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Stanton PeelePublished: August 8, 2009Copyright: 2009, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Justice Archives
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Comment #17 posted by museman on August 10, 2009 at 08:58:53 PT
'Drug Reform' vs freedom
Of course the lawyers, politicians (who are almost exclusively lawyers) cops, judges, etc., etc., -in fact, all supportive roles in the establishment, perpetuation, and maintenance of the Status Quo,- are going to act like their 'authority' is supreme above that of the people. And those still chasing the american carrot-on-a-stick, thinking that if they 'work hard enough' they will get let into the club are the fodder and foundation for the continuation of it all.Freedom is not a "law" it is an aspect of human life that existed before cops and armies. Law is not made to protect these inherent liberties, it is made to stifle them. The only 'protection' is for the elite.The concept of the "Emperor wears no clothes" applies directly to the root of the problem. No matter what is said, or written, or even fervently demonstrated on the street, as long as the majority are willing to abnegate their personal responsibility as human beings, as well as citizens of a so-called 'peoples' government, for the prime motivations of the power elite; money, propriety, and power (none of which they will ever be allowed to actually have, except for 'worthy celebrity') then it is all just hot air, like the emperors clothes; looks good, sounds good, means nothing.We have this situation, because deviance, deception, lies, thievery, and brute force has been used against us, but painted in 'pretty colors' to confuse us as to its real essence. Ignorance has flourished for millennia, happily maintained by the Status Quo of Kings, and Dynasties of Power.Oh we tried to break free many times, but the ruling factions long ago programmed our peasanthood deeply into us.Now as Yashua clarified; "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar, and render unto YHWH, what is His.", the 'dealing' with materialism, and the rule of mammon is a fact of life, but the false worship and misdirected belief in materialism is at the core of all things wrong in the world. As simple as that.One can accept the tools of reality that are available, and use them well, if possible, but one cannot view the tools themselves as the solutions, and then expect complete results. One does not get complete results from only a minor fraction of the process of living, but from the whole of it.Service is not equated (in the true sense of what service is) with monetary or material reward, that is the propaganda of the Status Quo. Service comes from the heart, not from statistical analysis of fractured parts of reality.Our society claims to be founded on 'moral' principles of 'right behavior' yet the facts are that the most corrupt of humanity are the ones who rule the world with their false values of economics and propriety -the scum always rises to the top- "Behold I have appointed the basest of men to rule over you."The idea that a piece of paper (certification, degrees, blah, blah,) can somehow make you an 'authority' is laughable to the liberated mind, but held in high esteem by the prevailing peasant consciousness of the consumer.The idea that one has to look outside of themselves for all the answers is a favorite ploy of the curriculum forced into the institutional 'school' system, the church, and every other institution funded and supported by the Status Quo.And this is the fundamental reason why cannabis is 'illegal' as well as other mind-expanding substances that could make one reconsider their choices of willing slavery, vs living a self-responsible life of natural liberties.All access and avenues to the natural are disappearing at incredible speed. One cannot 'legally' go out and experience the many natural wonders -created by YHWH, not man, without having the appropriate 'fee' in their posession. No matter that these things were experienced by many many generations before the false authority of the US Government decided to turn a personal profit off of YHWH's gift of Nature and Providence.The crimes are being committed agains us by the seemingly 'most legal' of the bunch, when in fact. these 'people' are the most heinous criminals ever to walk the face of the earth.It will continue, until a significant number refuse to bow down to the emperor, his invisible clothes, his numerous dog-enforcers, and his propogaters; the lawyers, doctors, corporate lords, al.CARPE DIEMLEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #16 posted by boballen131313 on August 09, 2009 at 20:43:40 PT:
Heavyweight Debate... Cannabis Advocates vs. Prohibitionists! The best of the best! Facts vs Fiction! Truth vs Fabrication! Bring on your best... it's bloody well time to settle this! Who has the guts to belly up to the bar? pun intended. Science vs Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Time to take off the gloves and teach some lessons. 
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Comment #15 posted by boballen131313 on August 09, 2009 at 20:31:37 PT
Honest, open, moderated debate would be refreshing. Steven Baldwin can please stay home. Let's bring up the scientists, for some reality debate. It's time to quit the non-sense! Peace, bob
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Comment #14 posted by gloovins on August 09, 2009 at 10:47:03 PT
Never underestimate the power of them.And hell, politicians are part of them...they make the laws. Do you think they like repealing them? No way, repealing makes em look bad and inept. They don't like to admit they are wrong. But, when polls show a majority are for not only medical but now just full blow LEGALIZATION well, now they are listening. When people realize that what they are saying about cannabis is simply not true...they get anxious & nervous because status quo land is crumbling. Prisons need laws to survive. California's are at like something like 300% capacity. It's insane but the corporate greed of the prison industrial complex is voracious and wicked. They truly have no problem taking away 10 years of someones life for growing a plant. They live and feed off the prohibition of cannabis and all awhile it's under the cover of "helping to protect people." What a crime in itself.The people I think have had enough and reality is setting in. Their policy of a complete attempt to prohibit something (prohibition) is seen now as sheer folly, and now quite dangerous. A more responsible route is regulation and taxes. This is how you get control. This is responsibility. You know, the ONDCP's official stance IS that it cannot support any type of legalization so I think that is why Gil K says stuff like it's not in his vocabulary. It can't be. He needs a job, remember? To support legalization, it would admit defeat to them. Thats how they see it. This needs to change. These people in prison for growing a plant need to be's doing no good to keep them there. Ok, if they sold to a minor or drove under the influence or commited a crime high ok but if they just grew a plant -- 1 or 100,000 who cares? Just makes me wonder how long prohibition can last as more and more people wake up to the reality of their FAILED & DOOMED policy & how destructive to this planet it is to try and suppress this plant rather than embrace it....
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Comment #13 posted by Skillet on August 09, 2009 at 08:40:14 PT
Sam your right on. It's the politicans and the lawyers (mostly the same) that I want out of my business. These people are so stupid as to regulate a plant for money and control of the people. We let them.  And now we want them in our health care system? I don't think so. Not me thanks. I know we need reform but lets not let the lawyers decide my health care. Obama is best served sticking with something easy he could actualy do some good at, like drug policy reform. 
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Comment #12 posted by Mahakal on August 09, 2009 at 08:06:16 PT
Smoked cannabis *is* medicine
Contrary to Gil Kerlikowske, smoked cannabis is effective for treating asthma, and allows much more accurate titration than other methods of ingestion, including vaporization. Less cannabis is needed to achieve the same effect by smoking than by eating, etc. Plus, research now shows that smoked cannabis reduces the incidence of head and neck cancers.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on August 09, 2009 at 06:47:04 PT
The drug czar corrected what he said. He said he meant smoked marijuana not marijuana. We can be wise and start to mention Edibles and Vaporizing to counter smoked. Drug reform is happening but it's being done quietly and without a lot of hoopla. 
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on August 09, 2009 at 06:23:08 PT
still naive
>?>>>>A more realistic scenario is that the President - facing opposition to his key policies from not only red states and hard core Republicans, but increasingly also independent voters and moderate Democrats - is unwilling to forge ahead on drug reform. Liberalizing policies towards currently illicit drugs would strike Americans as intensely alien - even as young and old Americans are turning more and more to prescription pharmaceuticals for their highs (and lows), so that there is increasingly little space between substances deemed "illicit" and "legal."No, this is where the media is failing us. They're just enabling the Democrats.How can it be fear of Republicans that is now stopping the Democracts from reforming drug laws? They just kicked the Republicans butts all over DC in the last 2 elections. Please, American media, stop the apologism for these guys.The reasons that the Dems don't do anything is because of fear of law enforcement. They are being controlled by law enforcement. Why else do you think Obama picked a cop? It's a shout-out to the entire prison/industrial complex...."I obey". that what he's saying. The Democrats drug czar says medical MJ doesn't exist, and 80% of the population supports that issue. It's not the Republicans or any other political party that's stopping the Dems from acting. It's the cops.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on August 09, 2009 at 04:57:37 PT
Comment In My E-Mail
This is from a person named Lee R.I was able to ask Gil a question. His answer actually surprised me a little bit (I thought he was going to take the "marijuana is dangerous" tack, but he went with some full-on revisionist history about marijuana prohibition.
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Comment #8 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 09, 2009 at 01:45:10 PT
Health Care Reform & Cannabis Law Reform
What the majority want, but what the minority is able to defeat by shouting the most outrageous lies.To paraphrase Anslinger, "If the monster Frankenstein came face to face with a public option on health care, he'd die of fright!"
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Comment #7 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on August 09, 2009 at 01:22:09 PT
The law still requires the Drug Czar to lie!
No matter what he or the President think, the head of ONDCP is required by law to say that marijuana has no medical use, unless I'm mistaken.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 08, 2009 at 13:37:22 PT
Everytime Obama got backed into a corner during the campaign he surprised me and came out swinging but in a nice way. I think of the words of Patrick Swayze in the movie Roadhouse when he was training bouncers. He said always be nice until it's time not to be nice. Obama has good timing and he can't say he didn't give the Republicans a say but all they've done is say no and act really out there in another zone somewhere. It's soon time not to be nice I think.
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Comment #5 posted by EAH on August 08, 2009 at 13:29:05 PT:
Obama's problem is that he is attempting to be reasonable in debating policies and reforms. He is repeating Clinton's mistake. As demonstrated by Reagan, Gingrich, and Bush II, once in power, push YOUR agenda hard, and resist compromise. Back up the other side, and don't stop. Had Obama been tough aggressive and unyielding on health care the Screamers would have had less 
opportunity to be unreasonable. He keeps operating like there is still an election to be won, it's over, he won, now impose the change.
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on August 08, 2009 at 12:42:15 PT
My thoughts exactly!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 08, 2009 at 11:48:43 PT
I don't think I ever knew how out there people could act. The only conclusion after seeing a lady who was on Medicare flipping out about a Public Policy is they don't like our new President period. That's what Medicare is. I do not understand the logic. Taking on drug policy with people acting the way they are would be political suicide. 
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on August 08, 2009 at 11:37:10 PT
Step #1a
Corporate goons take the new kid on the block into the back room for a little "educating".
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 08, 2009 at 10:47:56 PT
Just a Comment
I agree that Obama won't be pushing drug policy reform for sometime. We all have seen how people are flipping out just over health care.
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