Thursday, June 23, 2011

4 Hopeful Signs in the Fight Against Disastrous Drug War, Including a New Bill to End Federal Pot Prohibition | | AlterNet & My Rant RE: Alcohol VS Drugs

Various progressive news groups online magazines , blogs etc. often cover in a serious mannerthe issue of drugs and decriminalization of marijuana meanwhile even many so called liberals & progressives treat the issue as a joke as President Obama and his administration has. Others exaggerate the negative impact on society by more liberalized drug laws .

Many such liberals and others are quite content that their drugs of choice alcohol , painkillers, and others like prozac or valium are readily available.

Many Americans and for that matter Canadians see all users of illegal drugs as being not worth their concern. So a few million people in the USA and Canada are just written off as being low lifes, losers etc.

I fear though that many white American and Canadians are quite happy with these laws which discriminate against black people and other minorities and thereby keep these groups of undesirables under control .

So we fill our prisons with our fellow citizens for using a drug such as marijuana which is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco which are legal or taking legal yet harmful mood altering pharmaceuticals .

One wonders what is it that they fear that if people were to legally use marijuana would what destroy the nation, undermine our waspish racist sexist culture ruled by unethical corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and their even more corrupt super-rich friends who form the power elite in our nations.

Much of the concern over these illegal drugs is based in ignorance and racism. Opium for instance was equated with Asians and orientals , Hashish is often equated with Middle Easterners and Afghans and Pakistanis while Marijuana was associated in the 1940s and 1950s with African Americans , Jazz Music which was often disparagingly referred to as "Jungle Music" or later with evil "Rock Music" which like Jazz was seen or is still seen as the enemy of Western /White Christian European Civilization.

The liberals and conservatives who seem to be most concerned about the dangers and evils of these drugs often believe whatever nonsense they are told by the hyper Conservative Mainstream Media. So they believe all those who use marijuana are immoral beasts who are more likely to become thieves and rapists and the corrupters of youth.

So what these moralists and fear mongers tell us is that getting drunk a couple of times a week or even every evening after work is no problem and the more resistance one appears to have to alcohol especially hard liquor ie 12 year old scotch is considered a sign of manly men .
So it is connected to a form of idiotic machismo so that even women who want to be successful in our society should have a high capacity for alcohol and be able to drink as much as their male colleagues in order to be accepted and taken seriously by those in positions of authority and power. Even someone as progressive as Rachel Maddow has appeared to have a similar mindset when it comes to alcohol in that it is seen as something not just normal but a necessity for anyone who wishes to be taken seriously in our society. That is she accepts the old cliches about hard drinking journalists and lawyers, doctors and other professionals and energetic successful entrepreneurs .
Of course there is nothing wrong with the consumption of alcohol until it becomes a sort of fetish which everyone is supposed to take part in. In our society we are told never ever criticize anyone's drinking until they are in involved in some tragedy which has resulted from the use of alcohol such as a car crash or run over someone or been in a brawl or shot someone or physically or psychologically abuse their spouse their kids their family and friends (even then people make up excuses for their own boorish and brutal behavior)are diagnosed with an alcohol related disease .

If you want to test how deeply ingrained the use of alcohol is just tell your friends you are thinking of no longer using alcohol if you persist in not drinking and yet still going to your favorite watering hole note how colleagues, acquaintances and so called friends become a bit more distant and cold or they call you names and make snide remarks about you thinking you are better than them even though you tell them you have no problem with their drinking. The present author has had this experience a few times. Of course if you say your doctor said no more alcohol some people can accept that in the same way they are understanding of women who are pregnant and refuse to drink or that if they are Catholic for instance and give up alcohol temporarily for "Lent".

But on the other hand not being able to handle your alcohol intake is seen as a personal failing or as a major character flaw.
Several of my former wives and girlfriends tended to drink far too much and did all sorts of stuff pissing myself and others off and their excuse was "I don't remember " or "You know I was drinking and who knows what will happen when you are drinking". But myself I rarely forgot anything that happened while I was drinking and I came to believe that for many people these are just convenient excuses for bad behaviors . Or as some would say no one has a right to judge the behaviors of other people so if someone half drunk gets behind the wheel of a car and drives over some six year old that 's just one of those things or getting in pointless fist fights because someone made a snide remark .

We also recently saw the combination of Alcohol and the machismo surrounding sports in this case hockey so people in Vancouver rioted because their team lost and yet I'm told how sports and alcohol are two of the great cornerstones of Western Civilization I guess like racism, sexism and homophobia and elitism and making fun of those less successful.
Anyway that's my rant for today for what its worth. Just another day on the doctors couch.

4 Hopeful Signs in the Fight Against Disastrous Drug War, Including a New Bill to End Federal Pot Prohibition | | AlterNet
by Sarah seltzer
June 23, 2011
Although this new bill is largely symbolic, the fact that it's being introduced, and other small victories of late, bode well for a change in tone on this discussion.

It's been forty years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs." And we're not winning.
In local communities, Black and Latino men are being singled out unfairly and fed into the prison system for minor drug offenses; in Mexico, an unspeakably brutal drug war continues with no signs of cessation; sick people continue to be denied legal access to medical marijuana that could ease their pain.
But there are signs that things are changing, the first being a new bill introduced in congress by Representatives Barney Frank and current Presidential candidate Ron Paul, with several co-sponsors--including Representatives John Conyers of Michigan, Jared Polis of Colorado, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, and Barbara Lee of Oakland--which would completely end federal prohibitions on marijuana, so that the only policing of pot the feds could do would be to limit interstate smuggling. The rest would be up to the states--so that they could allow the use of the drug for medicinal reasons or even tax and regulate it, in theory.
New Bill in Congress
From the Marijuana Policy Project, which declares the bill the "first" of its kind,came this seriously-worded response: "Rep. Frank’s legislation would end state/federal conflicts over marijuana policy, reprioritize federal resources, and provide more room for states to do what is best for their own citizens."
It's hard to disagree with that. The open question, of course, remains as to whether the bill will get a robust hearing or a debate at all on the House floor, but it's creating a stir in the media, not the last because of Frank and Paul's name recognition and because of a growing consensus even among more conservative types that the war on drugs, particularly the war on "weed," isn't working.

...A new report from the ultra-serious Global Commission on Drug Policy opens with the following damning words, and just goes further from this beginning (emphases mine):

The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.
Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption. Apparent victories in eliminating one source or trafficking organization are negated almost instantly by the emergence of other sources and traffickers.Repressive efforts directed at consumers impede public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS, overdose fatalities and other harmful consequences of drug use. Government expenditures on futile supply reduction strategies and incarceration displace more cost-effective and evidence-based investments in demand and harm reduction.

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