Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tunnel Vision

You may have read today's New York Times article detailing the monsterous failure that is "Plan Colombia". (Plan Colombia is the U.S. program that takes billions of taxpayer dollars and turns them into poisons to be sprayed on Colombian farmers and children. Brilliant.) If you haven't read it, I would suggest doing so, but if you'd prefer a summary, here it is:

America has spent $4.7 billion dollars over the past six years in hopes of eradicating coca, yet the cocaine market has been absolutely unaffected. Predictably, the drug warriors ignore this truth, and say stupid shit like this:
“Over the past five years, you see a compression on cultivation,” John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in an interview. “You see the remaining cultivation and trafficking in Colombia under pressure as you’ve never seen it before.”
Right, Johnny. And the world is flat too.

In addition to reading the obvious in the New York Times, I also spend my Saturdays reading the absurd in Tom Robbins novels. I was just reading Still Life With Woodpecker and found this quote particularly pertinent (and not particularly absurd)...
Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it was originally intended.

Little did the master of metaphor know that strains of optic fungi seem to be on the minds of drug warriors these days - quite literally. Our favorite dogmatic, do-gooder dignitary, Mark Souder, is disappointed with the failure of Plan Colombia... and now wants to spray a blindness-inducing optic fungus on the country.

Citizens of Indiana elected a man who would gladly turn a whole country of brown people blind in order to stop a few white people from bumping some white powder up their white noses.

Tunnel vision.

It's truly suprising the guy can find his little lawmaker while taking a congressional leak.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I goot a leter form teh Durg Zcar

Actually, I got a letter from the Drug Czar's legal administrative assistant, Tammye D. Johnson. The letter is in response to a Privacy Act request I made, out of curiosity, to see if the ONDCP has any records containing my name. It's not unreasonable to assume that the Drug Czar's staffers know who I am, since I've roused rabble at several ONDCP-sponsored events and publicly criticized their activities in many major newspapers.

Nonetheless, the letter asks me to provide ONDCP with more information on why I think they might have records on me.

Amusingly, Ms. Johnson makes two embarrassing spelling errors in her five-sentence letter:

"To assist us in a search for records related to yourself, please inform use [sic] of the type of business you may have conducted with out [sic] Office."

Even if the ONDCP doesn't hire staffers who know how to spell, at least we know their interns are drug-free. Thank God for that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

JUST SAY KNOW: You're invited to SSDP's Conference!

Register for SSDP's conference today

It is with excitement and much anticipation that I announce Students for Sensible Drug Policy's 8th annual conference: "Just Say Know!” This historic event, which will take place at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC on the weekend of November 17-19, promises to be the biggest and best SSDP conference to date, and we hope that you will decide to be a part of it.

To find out more details about the conference, including information regarding travel, lodging, events, financial assistance, and tabling, visit

For too long, our government has had a strict "Just Say No" policy regarding drugs. They have just said "No" to scientific research; "No" to public health; "No" to privacy rights; "No" to common sense; and a great big "No" to a better future. Over the past eight years, a chorus of young voices has swelled in opposition to the government's disastrous War on Drugs. Our counter-message has been simple but powerful:


-On Friday, November 17th, our DARE Generation Lobby Day will give hundreds of young people from across the U.S. the opportunity to bring our demands for sensible drug policies to Congress’s doorstep.

-On Saturday, November 18th, our Drug War Education Day will refresh and enhance these students' knowledge of failed Drug War policies, and will encourage them to discuss sensible alternatives.

-On Sunday, November 19th, our Activist Training Day will prepare a generation of activists to return to their campuses with the skills and know-how necessary to change destructive drug policies.

To register for the conference today, please visit

If you are a poor college or high school student - as most of our activists are - don't let the costs of registration, travel, and lodging deter you from deciding to attend! We will work with you to secure funding from your school, and help with your fundraising efforts. We will also be offering registration discounts and scholarships to offset the cost of travel and lodging for students. In short; if you want to come, you are coming!

More info on financial assistance can be found at

If you support the work that SSDP is doing, and are not a poor student, please consider giving to our Conference Scholarship Fund. Because “Just Say Know” will provide a generation of new activists with valuable knowledge, training, and lobbying experience, sponsoring a student is one of the best ways you can support the drug policy reform movement. And best of all, your generosity will be doubled, since every donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a good friend of SSDP!

To contribute to the Scholarship Fund, visit

As you likely know, Students for Sensible Drug Policy is one of very few national organizations that focus solely on student empowerment and campus activism. We believe in the power of young people, for no social cause has ever been successful without the foundation of a powerful student movement.

We know that you believe in that power too. And you’ll have the opportunity to see it in full force on November 17 – 19.

So what are you waiting for? Go to and start making your plans today!

I look forward to seeing you in November!

Micah Daigle, Field Director
Students for Sensible Drug Policy

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America Wins Drug War: Mexican "Drug Lord" Arrested!


We can all rest easily, the Drug War has been won!

Yesterday, Javier Arellano Félix, leader of a Mexican drug cartel was arrested. The New York Times reported:
Federal drug enforcement agents, aided by the United States Coast Guard, arrested a man they said was a top figure in one of Mexico’s most notorious drug gangs on a fishing boat off Baja California on Wednesday.

Federal officials said the man, Francisco Javier Arellano Félix, 37, was one of the last remaining ring leaders of the Arellano Félix gang. The group, based in Tijuana, is charged in several killings, including that of a Roman Catholic cardinal.
Awesome! No more Drug War, and no more drugs! I can retire!

At a time like this, a drug policy reformer like myself has to scratch his noodle and think, "What have I been doing with my life? Why did I ever want to stop the Drug War when in the first place since it is obviously doing such a stellar job at sweeping scum like Arellano Félix off society's doorstep? What shall I do now?"

I guess the only thing I can do is continue reading the story...
The arrest on Wednesday riveted Mexico, a nation long weary of intransigent drug violence. It was expected to deal a blow to the gang, though the authorities acknowledged that associates were probably waiting to take Mr. Arellano Félix’s place.
Hrm. Maybe it's not time to start contemplating my retirement plans just yet.

Right... I think this is part of the reason I wanted to end the Drug War in the first place. Something about a revolving door. Or Whack-A-Mole.

Something about drug busts becoming lucrative job openings...

But surely this arrest meant something. Surely, this is one dangerous criminal removed from society, and society is better for it. We can let the Drug War run its course and soon enough, all the scumbags will be locked up, right?


Wait. What's this?
“Javier was not an important capo,” said Jesús Blancornelas, the editor of Zeta, a Tijuana magazine, who has devoted his life to writing about the cartels. “He’s a member of the family, nothing more, dedicated to partying. I’d call him a playboy.”

Back to work...