June 22, 2012

Alcohol Prohibition “Worked,” According To DEA Report, Released With Police Union Lobby

DEA director Michele Leonhart grilled in Congress by Congressman Steve Cohen
America’s embrace of alcohol prohibition from 1920-1933 generally ranks among the biggest mistakes in public policy in the 20th century. It was a period that resulted in a profound loss of personal liberty that gave rise to criminal syndicates that often used violence to control the black market of liquor sales.

But if you ask the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), alcohol prohibition was fantastic, and something we should reconsider as a society.

In reaction to the almost comical viral videos this week of Congressmen Jared Polis (D-CO) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) grilling the DEA chief Michele Leonhart over her agency’s marijuana policies, Republic Report took a look at the DEA’s official policy papers on the subject.

We found that the agency released a report along with a police union in 2010 detailing the many reasons why we should celebrate America’s experience with alcohol prohibition. A section devoted to “Popular Myths About Drug Legalization” claims that alcohol prohibition was wildly popular and that the ban on alcohol consumption had nothing to do with the spread of the mob:

The report goes on to mock the idea of marijuana legalization, and claim that there are no parallels between alcohol and weed prohibition.

Why is this story worth highlighting on Republic Report, a blog about money in politics and the corrosive influence of special interest lobbying?

It’s notable that this pro-alcohol prohibition paper was released in conjunction with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the umbrella organization for the many police unions and police departments across the country. As we’ve investigated in the past, police unions have become dependent on federal drug war grants, many of them targeted towards marijuana eradication, as a vital source of income.

Police unions have become an active force in fighting drives to restore common sense to our drug laws. Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, and public support for legalization has reached the tipping point. Unfortunately, police unions, in hopes of keeping the gravy train of federal grants flowing their way, have used their political influence to block efforts to relax marijuana laws. This means donations to politicians, cash to efforts to defeat ballot initiatives like Prop 19 in California, and in this case, a partnership with the DEA to make revisionist history part of the government’s policy position.

It’s almost akin to the EPA releasing a report claiming that mercury is healthy, and releasing those findings in conjunction with a coal lobbying group.

  • Asdf

    no pigs no grease for the machine

  • Seems like DEA chief Michele Leonhart has been digging into the stash of hallucinogens.

    • Much like yourself.

      • harry

        I would

  • eps62

    Misguided fool.

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  • It did work. As you suggest, “It was a period that resulted in a profound loss of personal liberty”. That’s what the DEA wants.

    • Joey Wolfson Alt

      Agreed it worked splendidly, the mob gathered all the money in one place, so the police could take it.

      • The mob, in the event you didn’t realize it, was and is the cops

    • I take exception to the section:

      “America’s embrace of alcohol prohibition from 1920-1933 generally ranks among the biggest mistakes in public policy in the 20th century. It was a period that resulted in a profound loss of personal liberty that gave rise to criminal syndicates that often used violence to control the black market of liquor sales.”

      It was not a period that resulted in profound loss of personal liberty, it was a time that people in the states expressed their will to see the destructive effects of alcohol stopped. While this could have been done within a State by passing state law; that is not what the people chose. The 18th Amendment was a Constitutional Amendment that was ratified by the States. It had a huge movement of support among the people of the states (the reason it was first proposed, then passed, and was then ratified). Every law is a limit to personal choices, but liberty is defined as staying within the boundaries of the creator God, which enable freedom from oppression (including oppression from vice as defined by his word – The Bible). For those who think the last statement has no basis in law I suggest you study natural law as it developed in the western world from the time of Christ forward (and don’t just limit it to Frances experiment in trying to redefine natural law by divorcing God from the basis of law and throwing away historical realities). It was an ideal that was supported earlier by President Lincoln.

      The point about the rise of organized crime and the black market – organized crime existed before the 18th Amendment, and the black market exists by definition wherever something is illegal.

      I also take exception to the original article that tries to call for prohibition based on the destructive effects in social science studies, but then states that marijuana is somehow safer than alcohol and gives a bogus site as its justification for stating such. Both are addictive and both are destructive to life and have social consequences. Both give way to encouraging criminal activity and to move to more destructive styles of life. That is what is shown by both social science studies and by practical living.

      • Please cite a peer-reviewed study that states that Marijuana is addictive, is equally destructive as alcohol, or leads to a destructive lifestyle or to additional criminal activity. Because as someone who follows these topics, I believe you’re talking out of your ass.

        • Because the peers themselves have been swayed so of course the peers will be biased. They HATE anything with moral values just like you.

          • Lying to make your point would argue that morality isn’t on your side.

      • Amen! But don’t waste you’re breath. We are in the end times and I can guarantee things ARE going to get worse. The low and peace does not come till the low level people are wiped who DON’T want to better themselves.

      • The Joint Commision

        As someone who uses cannabis as a sacrament and has used it continually for 40 years with no negative side effects, oh and also have a satisfying career, you are talking out of your anal orifice.

    • J.M. Becker

      Prohibition related consequences are becoming more significant, they knew instinctively the threat of history would eventually come knocking. They needed to rewrite alcohol prohibition to stay ideologically consistent. More importantly though, prohibition is severely negative for society, and that’s assuming you desire substance abuse reduction! It’s just bad policy, plain and simple.

  • PartyGnome

    Sorry, but DENIAL is not a river in Egypt.

    • turfdome

      It’s usually what some people do when they’re told how the global warming thing was cooked to increase the UN’s control worldwide and in the US specifically. Environmentalism is a lot more about political power than ‘saving the planet’ anymore. to save face they changed it to ‘climate change’ as if any fool doesn’t know that the climate changes…is it hot in here, or is it just me? I can hardly wait for the next Ice-Age!

      • I just found out they now call it *Climate Disruption* I wonder if they’ll finally call it *Natural Climate Change?*………………nahhhhhhhh! it doesn’t generate enough money.

  • DebofAmber

    So the bureaucracy that exists to enforce laws that on ‘illegal substances’ has a study saying that laws and bureaucracy that limited alcohol worked? Of course they do. They need t be able to fight any move to lessen their budget or power.

    Conservatives can find ‘experts’ saying there is no climate change and the world resulted form intelligent design too.

    • And the people who love the destructive lifestyle of Alcohol will defend it like The Holy Grail as they drink their way to their deaths by the time they are in their 50s and 60s or at least have major health issues.
      Plus with the free National Health Care you will be put on a long waiting list as they want to kill older people first as they usually have more wisdom.

      Remember the population needs to be reduced 5.5million by 2025 for our world to be sustainable.

      I hope you’re happy with our new generation of zealots!

  • Fake

    We have always been at war with Eastasia!

    To suggest otherwise would be a thoughtcrime!

    • redditer

      1984.. one has to wonder how someone in 1948 predicted what the world was going to be like 60 years in the future.

  • standard oils prohibition plan worked since its goal was to limit bio fuels.

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  • genann59

    If you really want an Orwellian society, with pot keeping the masses quiet and happy, go for legalizing pot. As a former pot smoker, who soon realized that heavy pot use was making me useless for much of anything else, and quit using it, I do not for a second believe that pot use is no worse than alcohol use, since most people who drink alcohol do it responsibly, and too many pot smokers end up doing little but smoking pot and sitting around in a pot induced haze and not feeling like doing anything else. It both leads to the user becoming unproductive, losing their creative abilities, and becoming little but a slug on the wayside. Just the sort of person spoken of by Orwell, as one of the people controlled by the government by allowing them Soma use, a fictional drug at that time, to keep them content, happy and quiet and uninvolved in what was going on around them. That is what legalization of pot will lead to, so if that is you ideal of how you wish to see society go, go all out for legalization of pot. You will do the progressives a big favor, and help them in their march to destroy what is left of our once great country and way of life.

    • Steve_cronin61

      you are talking brave new world fool. not 1984. Read the fuccing books before you “wax poetic” on us about something you dont quite get.

      • genann59

        Actually read both, as they were required reading in high school when I went to high school, which is why I apparently got the two confused. And I believe I “get it” quite well, having experienced it and seen it in many of my Vietnam era friends.

        • It doesn’t matter how hard you tell the truth. If they don’t want to listen they don’t listen. A certain someone once got nailed to a cross for standing up to the *system* back then such as healing someone on The Sabbath which was considered a crime so I guess Jesus or Yeshua in Hebrew since Hebrew has no *J* is a criminal.

    • Jay Jefferson

      Tobacco’s legal, and yet most Americans don’t use it. In fact, tobacco use has plummetted in the last half-century because of awareness raised about the dangers of cigarette smoking. A government that forces everyone to “be a good citizen” sounds more Orwellian than letting people make their own decisions. You chose to just say no to pot. Great, good for you. But should I have the right to make that choice for you? If that’s not 1984, I don’t know what is.

      “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny.”
      – Thomas Jefferson

    • turfdome

      Soma, yeah that’s Aldous Huxley- Brave New World.

    • turfdome

      Besides that soma thing, as a former pot user, I’m sure you are aware that pot usage is rampant anyway (higher teen usage than tobacco now), I doubt the participation percentages would change much. Theoretically, since the human brain completes developing around 25 or so, we should raise the age of majority to 25 so that we can still punish youthful indiscretions, if that will make you feel better. Let’s just quit wasting $$$ on the DEA & cartels!

    • Disgusted Wisconsin

      Pot isn’t right for everyone. Some are challenged without it. You would be really challenged if you use it all day every day…

      • Because you are addicted! That’s what addiction is down to it’s purest form. Thanks for being a classic example!

    • mjnorl

      talk by yourself genann59. i smoke pot and i am a very success person on my country.

      i come from a very poor family but i was able to get a job and now i have 2 kids who are going to the most expensive school on the town. i owe 2 houses 2 cars and i am very respected on my work. 3 companies are always trying to hire me and i have never been fired on my life. i have climb from the very bottom to a decent position (i am not rich but… hey!!! i am still young maybe…) and i smoke pot everyonce on a while (about 6 or 7 times per year) since i was 13 years old. ( i am 36 now).

      your experience shows an example of how this could affect a life. but there is also a lot of successful people who smoke pot and they have not followed the path of destruction you mentioned.

      besides the so called war on drugs didn’t prevent you from being a hard abuser therefore at least in your case didn’t do any good. but it helped the drug cartels to fill their pockets with your money

      i am truly sorry you had such a bad time as hard abuser of this substance. but that was actually your mistake been a hard abuser. but i am sure if you look at your soul there was something which was not totally right and this convert a harmless habit into a race to destroy yourself. you for sure were going into this path of self-destruction with or without pot if you hadn’t had pot access you were chosen anything else you could reach. i.e. alcohol, compulsive sex, a violent life, suicide, food addiction or any combination of this ones. you were going to destroy yourself because your soul was sick the pot was only your soul’s way to manifest its sickness

      same thing with your feelas from vietnam after such a horrible experience like a war they will need to cure their soul to come back to the good path but repair a soul is lot more than quitting smoking a joint. actually it has nothing to do with pot.

      It requires to FORGIVE yourself and your enemies from any harm made in the PAST.
      It requires to be in PEACE with your PRESENT situation.
      and it requires to have clear what your GOALS are for the FUTURE.

      remember this i am telling you. it is wisdom from good experience and comming truly deep from my heart.
      and in case you are wondering… yes God is a specialist in guide you through these 3 steps

      • gena

        I did use pot and other drugs in the Army, but once I got out of the Army I quit using drugs completely. BTW, you say you are very successful but I have to say your grammar and spelling is very sub par. You say I was on a path of self destruction. Actually, once I got out of the Army I completed by BA and then obtained an MA degree with the VA’s help. I do not abuse alcohol, compulsive sex, my weight is in the slightly underweight level, nor do I have any combination of the maladies you say I have. You really should look inside of your own failings before you attribute those failings to others. I smoked pot when I was in the Army to be part of the group because after over two years in the Army I was about the only person spending the evenings in the craft shop or library and felt the need to “fit in.” Once I got out of the Army in 1972 and back in college I realized drugs and college were incompatible and quit using drugs altogether. I had many friends from the Army who remained fixated with drugs, I did not do so.
        Perhaps if you did not use drugs you might be able to use proper grammar but kinda doubt you actually have the mental capacity or education to do so.

        I did not see action in Vietnam, although both my ex husbands did. Neither of them were drug users, you really obviously know nothing of which you speak. I am a Christian, the only times I have ever been in jail have been for protesting abortion with Christian pro-life, which I was jailed for four times before it was made a federal felony. I am an active Christian who feels a personal relationship with Christ.

        • mjnorl


          first accept my apologies for my bad gramma. i thought you would realize i am not a native speaker. i also speak a very bad french but enough good to get some communication. the fact i don’t speak a good english doesn’t change the fact that in my country i have been successful and i am not afraid of fell proud about it. It took a lot of sweet and tears. just in case you wonder i have a very good spanish. and i don’t sound like this in my native language. i am actually very eloquent according to my workmates

          i didn’t say you were abusing of alcohol or whatever (sex violence etc) i wanted to mean that if you wouldn’t have had access to pot. you would substitute your pot habit with any of the mentioned behaves.

          so you were not turning useless as you stated?:

          “As a former pot smoker, who soon realized that heavy pot use was making me useless for much of anything else”.

          first you show yourself in your post as hard user all experienced pot expert who was turning useless. and then you suddenly turn into successful MA degree in the next post. well, that was exactly my point. pot users can become successful contributors for our society !!!! there is no need to for a prohibition.

          and what failings are you talking about? read the post again even with my bad english is clear i am not attributing those failings to you. i was talking hypothetically. that’s why i used “if you hadn’t had ”

          of course i don’t know the details of your life!!!! i was talking with a heavy pot user which wasn’t actually a heavy pot user just a guy who wanted to fit in.

          and BTW i do know what i am talking about. i have seen a lot of action on this side of the border due the so called war on drugs. and i have seen enough death people to tell you prohibition is just bad. as simple as that. bad!!!

          i am happy your are christian. really i am
          i am also pro life. good for you
          take care

        • The Joint Comission

          Wow you were able to use cannabis then quit completely! So it must not be that addictive if you were able to quit completely without any help from rehab! AMAZING!!!

  • DrZarkov99

    Rather than engaging in misdirection, ridicule, and name-calling, why doesn’t the author present facts that show that the DEA report is wrong? The answer is that the report is correct. There’s a difference between what’s popular and what’s effective. Prohibition was popular, and effective in reducing per capita alcohol consumption, until the government desperately needed more revenue and decided it should supplant the mob in the role of provider. As a result, we have come to accept tens of thousands of deaths annually as the cost of the freedom to consume alcohol. As bad as our educational system is today, do we really want a nation of even more incredibly stupid “stoners” from expanded marijuana consumption? I’m not a tee-totaler myself, as far as alcohol goes, but have never indulged in any form of drugs, primarily based on personal observation of the effects. I have yet to find a Libertarian honest enough to objectively present both sides of the probable result of unfettered drug use.

    • How about when the DEA injected wood alcohol into contraband to make the contraband product suspect nationwide? That was successful too, and so was Stalins murder of 22 million, and Mao’s murder of 60 million, and Hilters murder of 6 million.

    • turfdome

      Doesn’t change the fact that ‘Regulating Intoxicating Substances’ is NOT among the enumerated powers of the federal government! Did you know that prostitution is legal in Nevada? And AIDS cases have not shot sky high there? Talk your state into passing the laws if you feel the need to tell others how to behave. I just look on it as less competition from the stoners & Darwin Award winners.

      • Did you know that more prostitutes are arrested in Nevada and it’s in fact NOT legal?

        • The Joint Commision

          Please I have lived in Nevada more than 30 years. While prostitution is illegal in Clark county, it is in fact legal in rural counties. Please stop, your making yourself look stupid or worse.

    • Jay Jefferson

      Pol Pot was very succesful in “cleasning the cities” too.

      • Yeah as the stupid people die off.

    • All Marine

      You say “I…have never indulged in any form of drugs….” Are you not aware that alcohol I a narcotic-habit forming drug? Tobacco is the same. Both are habit-forming drugs. More
      people die on our streets from alcohol than from marijuana.

      • mjnorl

        and now that you mention tobacco. this kills more people around the world than any other drug including alcohol. actually i am on favor of drug legalization but i am also in favor of remove any government medical assistance in case of any cancer related with smoking tobacco. by the way i smoke tobacco. i just can’t quit but still i find unfair to let other people pay for my bad habits.

    • Disgusted Wisconsin

      Really??? The good doctor shows us why we continue to have this conversation long after the evidence is in on the support of legalization. No matter the evidence there will always be a group of right leaning hillbillies that believe that pot is evil as well as immoral. These are the people who know the “probable result” of the effects of “unfettered use of drugs” on society.
      My uncle is the same way. Alcohol OK everything else bad… He’s all for filling our prisons with non-violent so called “criminals”. You know the filthy potheads and the like…

    • Cyanessense

      Not all drugs are the same. If you have never tried them, you are not AT ALL in any position to comment on what should e done with them. Drug abuse is a symptom of a sickness of the soul. The top most destructive drugs in a persons life, opiates, amphetamines and cocaine, are ALL used daily by thousands of regular citizens who do not abuse them and are not desperately addicted to them. Oxycontin, adderal/dexadrine…cocaine is used as a topical anaesthetic to this day in hospitals. You are speaking from a position of ignorance.

    • mjnorl


      in my country we had 80 thousand confirmed deaths due the war on drugs (this are government official numbers) but there is still 20 thousand of people whose disappeared.

      this are lot more deaths than our last revolution war. 10 thousand were kids under 10 years old. this numbers obviously show how innocent people has been affected by this war.

      my question is. why some innocent people needs to pay the highest price (their lives) in order to prevent some irresponsible people from putting drugs into their bodies?

      i find fairer to let the druggies freely kill themselves. with whatever they want to use even rat poison. of course the collateral damage of let them kill themselves is still there but for god christ!! 100 thousand!!!!????? for sure it will not reach 100,000 with a legalization policy.

    • The Joint Commision

      Your thinking is wrong, Alcohol is a drug. Once you stop the reefer madness you find that normal people can use this drug and still be productive members of society. Almost like yourself with alcohol.

  • Greg1353

    Since getting high initially “feels good” I am not surprised that that those that support alchol and drug use ignore the clear record of destruction produced by there use/abuse. The loss of life and injury exceededs that of any war, the finacial loss exceeds that of any recession, the personal relationship loss of family & friends is immeasurable. As a retire police officer I have seen first hand the highway accident victims, the spouse and children subjected to physical and emotional abuse, the finacial devistation from the unemployed/underemployed drunk/pot head. I resent the lie that opinion of Law Enforcement is motivated by a desire for “the gravy train” of federal grants. Wake up you so called libertarians, drug anarchy is not what society needs.

    • Jay Jefferson

      Tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, McDonalds, skiing, and sky diving can ruin peoples’ lives too, and yet they’re all legal. Raising awareness about the dangers of such things is one thing, but prohibiting drug use has only made those same drugs you fail to ban and worse more popular. The untold millions that remain behind federal bars for no more than smoking a joint is a crime against humanity. The drug war has ruined more lives both directly and indirectly than the drugs ever will.

      • Pateboo

        When someone turns 21 what happens quite often? Their friends take them out for a drink, just because it’s LEGAL. A 19 year old mother in AZ recently left her infant in its car seat on the roof of her car and drove away while high on pot. The infant still in the car seat fell into the street and somehow managed to survive. The mother drove all the way home before she noticed her baby was missing. Now if the mother did something that stupid while high on something ILLEGAL, what do you think she’ll do if it’s LEGAL. There are enough stupid and worthless people as it is already, do we really need to encourage there being even MORE?

        • Jay Jefferson

          NO. When someone turns 21, they’ve already drank anyway, just on the low. 18-20 year olds actually binge drink until they die in some cases because they don’t know when they’ll get their hands on alcohol next. A “this is the only chance I have to get drunk” mentality sets in, and they go crazy when alcohol’s around. If it were legal, 18-20 year olds could enjoy beer in moderation without having to settle for tequila shots at a frat house. Because prohibition still applies to them, they often can’t seek medical attention either without getting criminalized. Back in ’04, Lynn “Gordie” Bailey Jr., a 19 year old Colorado Boulder student, died of alcohol poisoning because people were afraid to call 9-11 to get him help. In 1980, Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) over the death of her 13 year old daughter by a 46 YEAR OLD repeat drunk driver named Clarence Busch. He wasn’t 18 years old, he was 46! Should we raise the drinking age to 50? Should we continue prohibition? Al Capone would’ve had a field day.

          As for that stoned lady in the car, her crime was driving wrecklessly with the baby on board. People get drunk and do the same thing. She should be charged for endangering her kid and for driving under the influence, not for endangering herself with a substance less dangerous than alcohol.

          “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

          Those were smart men who declared independence from Britain and wrote our Constitution. They would surely tremble at the thought of the government forcing everyone to “be productive citizens.” That sounds much more Orwellian than recognizing peoples’ freedom to do what they want so long as they don’t infringe on someone else’s right to do the same.

          • Then those people should be held accountable for the death ofLynn *Gordie* because he would STILL BE ALIVE TODAY if they dialed those 3 numbers.
            I can’t believe all the fools and retards today who can’t think for themselves!

            In Britain it’s actually 999 you dial.

    • turfdome

      Doesn’t change the fact that ‘Regulating Intoxicating Substances’ is NOT among the enumerated powers of the federal government! Did you know that prostitution is legal in Nevada? And AIDS cases have not shot sky high there? Talk your state into passing the laws if you feel the need to tell others how to behave. I just look on it as less competition from the stoners & Darwin Award winners. And I doubt you have seen families destroyed by pot, except as a result of being busted and labeled a criminal for it.

      • All Marine

        I guess you live in Nevada to indulge in in your pleasure. The issue is really one of a degraded, immoral society that is hell-bent to destroy itself. This is helping to take America down day by day. Minds that are drugged make no rational, logical, nor common-sense decisions.

        • Jay Jefferson

          You mean like…. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Alice Cooper? Don’t tell me their drug use hindered them any, and it was alcohol that got Cooper. But hey, let’s assume you’re right. If drugs are legal, that means no more violence, shootings, murders, overdoses, or new worse drugs to replace illegal ones. Once people can actually see what’s in cocaine, crystal meth, or other drugs, and the effects can be studied legally and documented, then horror stories will come out about their use. Wouldn’t stories of meth mouth, crack o.d.’s, and lung cancer in cigarette smokers make less people do them than simply banning a substance? Oh wait a minute, they already do, and it’s much cheaper than throwing them in prison for an activity that hurts no one else but drug users themselves. Portugal, the Netherlands, Vancouver Canada; places whered drug use has been legalized/decriminalized have seen a steep drop in drug use by the population. Compare 16.2% of Americans thought to use Coke with just 1.9% of people in Holland; if only the drug war could come close to achieving half of that much of a drop. It can’t, it hasn’t, and it never will.

        • As many posters on here prove it. I have been put on medication when I was little and it dumbed me down but once I got off of it I was able to get my GED and fully completed driving school on my own.

          Next I am going to take a course where they train you how to deal with emergencies like a simulation of a flat tire or what to do if you get pulled over by the police to minimize you’re chances of being screwed.

    • Greg-let’s learn how to write before espousing our opinions on drug control-

      “That that”-why are you stuttering?
      “ignore the clear record of destruction produced by there”-Should be “their”
      “Exceededs”-What does that mean?
      “Finacial”-I think you meant “Financial”
      Try inserting an “and” after “recession”
      As a “retire”-do you mean “retired”? How old are you?
      “Spouse and children”-so one family is all you saw?
      Finacial devistaton=financial devestation
      And your second to last sentence is barely English, I do not even know where to start.

      YOU are not what society needs, you uneducated pig. Go read a book.

      -Your friendly libertarian

  • No. NONONONONO. The so-called “War On Drugs” is already perpetuating a criminal class and unimaginable crimes.

  • Hey, I got an idea. Why don’t we put it on the ballot and let the American people decide what they want instead of the government telling us what we can and can not do. That would be something new now wouldn’t it.

    I have seen the effects of alcohol and the effects of pot and I will tell you if someone must use something to adjust their attitude I would vote for pot. I have seen alcohol ruin so many families and cause so much violence, something you do not see with pot users.

    • Because we now have a President that takes the reins of government and imposes his own will on the people, because ‘it is the right thing to do.’


      • J.M. Becker

        @yahoo-YKSNMOOKV2VNV4QX4ICC3IJ4ZY:disqus: Please stop using prohibition as a hammer to whack the Obama Administration, the rabbit hole is deeper than one executive administration. The only thing they could possible do, is reduce federal enforcement. As you already know however, most the enforcement happens on the state level by local police/sheriffs.

        More importantly pro civil liberties Democrats (Ron Wyden), work with the Republican libertarians (Rand Paul), to fight on these type of issues. I’ll cut to the chase though, there are more authoritarian pro DEA R’s and D’s. If you think civil liberties are a partisan issue, you are completely right-wing media brainwashed.

        Here’s a simple rule,
        If the personal liberties exercised, are from a breathing human, than you can find cross party support. If the liberties have to do with corporate, business or “free market”, than you’ll only have Libertarian support. I also want to clarify, there are also very few of them if you haven’t paid attention, so cross-partisan coalitions are a necessity. You’re type of conversation hurts your own allies, and sometimes you have to choose if change is more important than party affiliation.

    • Reastlund

      I’ve seen just as many potheads lives ruined.

      • Cyanessense

        Ruinede how? By incarceration and a criminal record? Most of the top successful people I have known smoke marijuana. The smartest, best educated, financially successful, motivated…Stoned. It is claimed that smoking marijuana demotivates people. Is it possible that people who lack motivation to begin with might find that the state of being stoned simply compliments their already sedate lifestyle?


  • Yeah well you think the courts, the jails, the city officials don’t have a vested interest in the money that is brought in–hand-over-fist–in marijuana sanctions, marijuana detection, marijuana enforcement, marijuana education, etc? Without contraband of marijuana, Mexico would itself go bankrupt and that is why, even though Mexico itself has legalized all personal use of all drugs, President Obama in conjunction with the government of Mexico, has ramped up all federal efforts to make certain that marijuana remains illegal, and expensive and a cash crop to drug cartels–he knows which side of his bread is buttered.

    • Disgusted Wisconsin

      Too much cash for some in keeping it illegal. Well said..

    • mjnorl

      Hi Lili Q

      i am mexican, you are right with the fact that if we stop selling pot to USA our economy would suffer a lot. (not bankrupt but it will suffer a lot for sure). i would like to point that Mexico has not legalized the personal use of any drug except for alcohol and tobacco.

      actually our laws are more strict with pot smokers than yours. for instance if you got caught with a small amount of pot (personal use) with you. on some of your states and if it is your first offence you could get a fine and probably need to go by a judge’s order to a therapy or social work. here in mexico there is not such a thing like “first offense” nor “therapy” you go jail and period. we have had 80 thousand killed people due the drug war since the last 6 years and 20 thousand mexicans are reported as disappeared in the last 6 years. so in case you don’t get jail you would certainly get killed.

      this of course keep the pot price enough high to feed the underground mexican economy and also the underground US economy of course.

  • WhatWillYouDoWithoutFreedom

    Here’s something to think about. If we can stop a nuke from crossing the Mexican boarder why can’t we stop the flow of drugs? There is only on answer. Someone high up is regulating what crosses the boarder.

    • mjnorl

      mmmm i disagree mr freedom. the fact of US can prevent a nuke to get into your country is more related with the source of the nuke (which is very well controlled around the globe by international political measures your country would take against any country which dares to introduce a nuke in USA).

      even if your high powers wanted to really stop drugs crossing you border they would find this an impossible task your borders are too big to be protected from small drug smugglings

  • WhatWillYouDoWithoutFreedom

    To think that the DEA will be honest in its evaluation of drugs, would suggest that they are trying to put themselves out of job. A bureaucrat is nothing more than someone that has to justify their own existence and the DEA if full of nothing but a bunch of Bureaucrats.

    • Disgusted Wisconsin

      All Police can be put in that catigory as well. Work is work. In their case it’s ruined lives and a ruined country are all we the people have to show for it. The police just keep getting more powerfull and the people less.

  • CatKinNY

    Lee Fang: This got more comments than anything you have previously written, and that’s kind of sad.

  • Jay Jefferson

    The Drug Encouragement Administration had little legitimacy before, but this report has really shot themselves in the foot. Before the drug war, did anyone snort amphthetamines? Did people shoot heroin? Prohibition of any product will only create more of a demand for it, or worse, will create a worse product. Think supply and demand. Since marijuana is illegal, a worse drug called K2, or “spice,” is now on the market AND IT’S LEGAL in most places. It’s synthetic marijuana with a laundry list of chemicals replacing the natural THC. It doesn’t show up on drug tests, making it popular among high school kids and college students, but it induces nausea and hangovers. It really fucks with kids’ heads, making it more along the lines of using cocaine.

    As for cocaine, had it not been illegal, crack cocaine would’ve never been invented as a cheaper alternative. Illegality made “Florida snow” so expensive, yet people still wanted it. In the late 80’s, as crack grew more expensive because of its illegality, crystal meth filled the gap because it was marketted as “poor man’s crack.” See a similar pattern here? These worse drugs never would’ve existed had there never been a drug war in the first place, and less people would’ve gotten hooked on drugs anyway. During alcohol prohibition, my grandpa and his step uncle made good money as rumrunners because more people wanted alcohol. Why? Because it was illegal. If you tell a kid enough not to climb a tree, even though they never would’ve thought about it before you brought it up, what do you think they’re going to try to do?

    In the end, legalization of all drugs can only get less people hooked on drugs, will put drug cartels out of business, will generate much needed revenue once some more than others are taxed, will free our overcrowded jails of millions of non-violent drug prisoners, and will put a grinding halt to worse drugs from being invented. Don’t worry, age restrictions and advertisements can be used by the states as necessary just like alcohol and tobacco are now, although lowering the drinking age back to 18 is another debate. If you’re a conservative, like me, this should serve as a rallying cry to stop one of the biggest rogue government agencies of them all.

  • turfdome

    Perspective is an interesting thing…let’s compare the millions of Americans that have died using FDA-approved, doctor prescribed pois…er pharmaceutical ‘medicines’ with the virtually zero that have died from Pot and even more concentrated cannabis derivatives. Then tell me it’s not really about ‘the money to be made’… Saving people from themselves is not the top priority here and Jay Jefferson is completely accurate about all the ‘unintended consequences’ of the punitive governmental methods that have been utilized.

    • donchart

      Agreed, look up the stats, more people die every year just from Oxycontin than ALL illegal drugs combined.

  • turfdome

    Shut down the: DEA-wated money & horrible social consequences; FDA-just a partner for big Pharma foisting poisons on the public and trying to cut out the competition from natural (unpatentable) therapies that work better with out the ‘side effects’; DOEducation- obvious waste of money here, 40 years of negative results, couldn’t have designed a ‘better’ way to ruin our education system; DOEnergy- obvious waste of money, transfer NRC to DOD, end the rest; HUD-horrible results for horrendous piles of cash; ICC-does it do ANYTHING useful or helpful?; FCC-surely could be combined into some other useful department; EPA-really? the Employment Prevention Agency? We could probably pass 5 environment-related laws and have the US Marshals or FBI enforce them and have better results for a lot less money;…this is a start, what’s your ideas about the one’s I’m forgetting here?

    • turfdome

      How could I forget the IRS? Pass the Fair Tax and it’s not needed at all anymore, ending its horribly punitive and inefficient methods and repercussions.

  • False.

  • WOW They have done such a great job with illegal drugs, sure add alcohol too! sarc=off

  • Never mind the $60 BILLION that the U.S. spent last year on attempting to interdict drug traffic across borders. Do you know that a small part of the money spent on trying to interdict these so-called harmful substances could be used by our govt. to buy every gram of weed, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, manufactured and transported to America? If they really wanted to stop the indroduction of drugs to this country all they would have to do is shut down the CIA. The CIA uses the money they make on sales to fund ops that are “off the books” which means every op except running their campus.
    Did you know that before the Taliban attacked America they (Taliban) had almost wiped out the Poppy in Afghanistan from cultivation? And that now Afghanistan is listed as the largest producer of Heroin or Opium from Poppies in the World, just ahead of Mexico (no 2).
    There are rumors that in order to buy more votes from minorities , Ob(l)ama is going to try to legalize Pot, well that won’t make me vote for that aashat, but I will be glad if he does,and repeals the Treaty on Dangerous Drugs, bc, I feel that society should be the final arbiter of who gets “high” and who is allowed to breed themselves out of existence, NOT THE GOVT.

  • The Taliban did not attack America, Al-Quida did. The reason Afhgans like them is because they brought justice, however horrible, to an otherwise totally lawless and corrupt country, yes, with their terrible methods, they did wipe out the poppy trade. But the U.S. can’t behead and stone people so we will never wipe it out. It’s a useless cause and ruins many lives needlessly. All drugs should be legal….n o drug is any worse than alcohol….if people want to kill themselves, let them.

  • Tippywicks

    How stupid can one get??? From my own family background I know that my grand father made his own beer. A gand uncle was involved in stilling spirits and had to leave for CA and was never heard from again. So the feds once again want to control every aspect of our lives? No. It didn’t work and we all know of the crime it brought on. Stupid.

  • sooner4ever

    It’s also what the muzzies want, so they won’t have to deal with it when they go to impose Sharia law. This is pretty shallow.

  • has there been a single reported case where an individual’s death was attributed to smoking or ingesting marijuana?

    • donchart

      Nope, 0 deaths attributed to the drug (This does not count driving under the influence etc).

  • Superiorsavior

    I think we’re kidding ourselves if we say people who drink alcohol wouldn’t toke the safer alternative, weed, if it weren’t for the artificial risk of the law and more importantly the norm that it’s “immoral.” Being easy to find on shelves puts beer in hands, if weed were as readilly available more people would smoke. Prohibition DID cut use.

    All this goes to show use isn’t the issue. It’s the harm done by the drug. Prohibition raised harm. There’s no use spending taxpayers money to ban something just to ban it. The ban is a means to the end of cutting harm and it’s not a very effective one. Weed isn’t harmless nor is alcohol but cutting use isn’t the only or best way to cut abuse.

    • donchart

      Agreed, although it did curb “use” of the total amount of alcohol, alcohol poisoning went up 600%.

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  • Phakt

    It worked great for the black market and organized crime.

  • Actually they are right. There was an increase in mob ganstas in the late 1800s long before Prohibition was even thought of. The gangsters simply took advantage of the Prohibition era but the laws did NOT create the criminals. The police themselves were corrupted which means the police needed to be held to a higher standard.

    We need more responsibility and more accountability but of course have the punishment fit the crime like if somebody is mentally ill they don’t deserve to be put to death if they kill someone going crazy but if it’s proven the crime was organized then they deserve much higher punishment to scare other criminals away.

  • Prohibition does NOT create criminals only create the criminals! Just like guns do not kill people. It’s people that kill people and they’ll use whatever the fuck they can find including knifes.

    They won’t tell you about this on the news on both sides of the politics but there has been MAJOR knife attacks in China’s schools over the last few years.

    A few months ago something like 20 children were stabbed in Beijing in China from such an incident and this isn’t an isolated attack either as China a lot of people are alcoholics which means you are addicted and can’t *live* with out it.

    Here is the China stabbing link to the most recent one. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2Fblogs%2Fheadlines%2F2012%2F12%2F22-kids-slashed-in-china-elementary-school-knife-attack%2F&ei=IlGOUeaTN-msiAL4_4HwBw&usg=AFQjCNH7HxLlUNs-Fkl4Gin1MUice96QLQ&bvm=bv.46340616,d.cGE

    Umm I did the wrong one. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/22-kids-slashed-in-china-elementary-school-knife-attack/

    • lets see…
      Chenpeng school knife attack – 22 kids injured, one adult injured – no fatalities
      Newton school shooting – 20 children killed, 6 adults killed, 2 adults injured.

      If you can, with a straight face, say that these events are equivalent, then you seriously need to up your meds.

      oh, and alcohol was ruled out in why the chenpeng stabber snapped. He was a doomsdayer under the influence of, of all things, a lightning cult. So i’d chalk this one up to an unbalanced asshole tipped past the breaking point by religion.

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  • harry

    no parallels between weed n alcohol, none, 1’s highly intoxicating, is mildly intoxicating, 1 kills hundreds of thousand, pot kills 0, that’s why pot should be illegal

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