Drug Chief Hits a Governor's Call for Legalization

Drug Chief Hits a Governor's Call for Legalization
Posted by FoM on October 06, 1999 at 07:04:00 PT
By Reuters
Source: Boston Globe
LOS ANGELES Barry McCaffrey, coordinator of US antidrug policy, yesterday accused the governor of New Mexico of ignorance and irresponsibility for advocating the legalization of drugs. 
Responding to Republican Governor Gary Johnson's alternative to what Johnson has called the ''expensive failure'' of the war on drugs, McCaffrey said he was ''astonished. ... This is the same governor last year who vetoed a $2.6 million drug treatment program.''Obviously the governor hasn't seen the nature of drug addiction in the same manner that drug treatment professionals in that state and law enforcement have encountered,'' said McCaffrey.Johnson is the country's highest-ranking elected official to advocate legalizing cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. The 46-year-old governor, a triathlon athlete who admits having used drugs in college, said last week that legalizing drugs could be the best way to fight abuse. Saying his goal is to reduce drug use in the United States, Johnson suggested that legalization would allow the government to regulate drugs as it does alcohol and tobacco.McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the number of heroin-related deaths in New Mexico is twice the national average.''The problem isn't that they (drugs) are illegal. The problem is that they are ferociously addictive and they make people act in a compulsive manner. They make them unemployable and they get them involved in permanently altered and impaired brain function. That's the problem with these drugs,'' McCaffrey said.''In a democracy everyone is welcome to debate these notions. But if you are going to be a public official it seems to me you have to have informed and rational perspectives.''McCaffrey was in Los Angeles to speak at an antidrug concert for schoolchildren and to meet with Olympic champion Carl Lewis for talks on doping in sports.This story ran on page A16 of the Boston Globe on 10/06/99.  Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.U.S. Drug Czar Attacks Legalization Call - 10/05/99
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Comment #6 posted by agreed on October 06, 1999 at 20:37:39 PT
RE: The general and DARE
TRUE---what does it say about your policies when the only people you can convince (or brainwash i should say) into listening to your policies are kids in grade school? (i know most kids in my high school didn't even bother paying attention to DARE) Mr. McCaffrey should stop scaring kids that's mean!), and try doing a little homework about factual drug statistics (if there are any).
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 06, 1999 at 20:10:13 PT
Thanks Everyone!
Chris and all Thanks! Keep up the good work! Keep writing, and reading, and learning and we will win. We are intelligent people, of all different ages, coming from different backgrounds and it makes this big picture of the frustration that we all have in common and the reason why we show so much passion about this unjust war on our personal moral freedom! We are winning!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on October 06, 1999 at 13:39:18 PT:
Found the ONDCP again ... an info site sponsored by the ONDCP ...go there to send an e-mail occasionally so they know that we found them again ...Keep fighting the fight !!!!!!!!!don't let up the pressure on the evil Drug Czar ...
Hemp n Stuff
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Comment #3 posted by Chris Knestrick on October 06, 1999 at 09:36:32 PT:
I Wanted To Post This Here, Also
Thanks for eveyone's input yesterday - I think I found the information I need (or at least something close). I wrote a letter to the editor that I wanted to post here, tosee if anyone is able to find any mis-statements on my part. Unlike the "czar", I believe in checking my facts! :-) I know it's pretty long for a LTE, but I think I'vefound a supportive newspaper that will still print it.Dear Editors:This week, the Republican governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, has comeout in support of the legalization of marijuana and heroin as analternative to the current Drug War, which he classifies as a failure.Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey has attacked the governor's stance as"nutty," "bizarre," and most recently, "irresponsible." He asserts thatthese drugs "are ferociously addictive and they make people act in acompulsive manner. They make them unemployable and they get them involvedin permanently altered and impaired brain function." He further attackedGov Johnson by claiming that public officials must have "informed andrational perspectives."It seems that the "czar" could stand to take some of his own advice,especially with regards to marijuana:1) "ferociously addictive" - According to the Institute of Medicine'sreport earlier this year on marijuana, few users develop any sort ofdependence, and withdrawal is "mild and short-lived." The NationalInstitute of Drug Abuse shows the level of dependence, withdrawal, andtolerance of marijuana to be below those of caffeine.2) "unemployable" - A survey released in September by the Department ofHealth and Human Services reveals that 70% of all drug users arefully employed (this includes all illegal drugs, not just marijuana)3) "permanently altered and impaired brain function" - Noticeably absent inall the current research regarding marijuana is anything that wouldsupport this statement. The Institute of Medicine mentions this as apossible concern, and points out that while some studies have attempted toprove that heavy marijuana use (notice the czar does notdifferentiate between normal use and heavy use/abuse) causes long-termbrain changes, the results are not conclusive. Based on the currentscientific knowledge, this is nothing more than a scare story at it'sworst.I guess that no one should be surprised with McCaffrey's lack of knowledge- this is the same man who once blamed the fact that Holland has a murder rate that's twice that of the US on their liberal drug policy. Themurder rate in Holland is one-fourth of that in the US.McCaffrey has also misrepresented the results two Canadian reports on theeffectiveness of needle-exchange programs (which McCaffrey does notsupport). The researchers were so horrified that they took out anadvertisement in the New York Times to correct McCaffrey and urge the USto adopt similar programs because of their proven success.The American people deserve better than a man who does nothing butcontinue to perpetuate myths. Until we begin calling him on his lies, hewill continue to misinform the American public, making any sensible drugpolicy all but impossible.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 06, 1999 at 07:48:40 PT
I Agree!
Yes Rainbow, I noticed and I agree with you!
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Comment #1 posted by rainbow on October 06, 1999 at 07:21:19 PT:
The general and DARE
Did you notice that the general was addressing a DARE covention of kids. Probably the only ones he can still try to fool.If Jonson and the rest of us get our wish DARE is going to go down in flames - a failed social program.
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