Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rob Kampia on Glenn Beck

Kudos to MPP's Rob Kampia for sitting through this ridiculous interview about AB390, the bill that would legalize and tax marijuana in California.

Kampia remains cool while Beck makes a complete ass of himself during the segment, starting off with him giggling (for no apparent reason) and then asking Kampia, "do you smoke marijuana?"

Its seemed like Rob was waiting for some actual discussion on marijuana policy to occur. Something like objective, grown up, respectful, "fair and balanced" media. No such luck.

Watch as a little animated man has revolving thought bubbles pop up with "California Wants to do What?", "Legalizing Pot?", and my personal favorite, "Got Brownies?"

As all seriousness in the interview declines , and Beck's absurdity rises, he pulls out some cookies. Claiming that he's witnessed people smoking joints "next to a cop" in New York , Beck insinuates that no one is arrested for marijuana in the state. Kampia let's us know that there were more than 40,000 marijuana arrests in New York state last year.

If Beck actually believes his statement to be true, how could he not come to the conclusion that taxing the drug is the smartest move? He's witnessing people smoking, meaning marijuana is readily available, and the police aren't arresting the smokers, meaning they have better things to do. Astonishingly, he then calls himself a libertarian.

These are the types of interviews that make me so proud to be part of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and promoting open, honest, and rational discussion about drug abuse.

Beck should attend one of SSDP's upcoming conferences and sit in on a few workshops. We'll waive his registration fee.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dare to Act!

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is demanding that Dr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, give his explanation of a well known fact. In the Netherlands, where adults are allowed to buy and use marijuana, rates of use are actually lower than that of the United States. Significantly lower.

His explanation? Well... he's not quite ready to provide one. At least not one that the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union finds satifactory. Dr. Fredrick Polick, a dutch psychiatrist and leading European drug policy reformer, has asked Costa for his explanation on 4 occasions now.

The HCLU has created created a pretty nifty website to draw attention to this issue. I think you'll especially enjoy the personal introduction from Dr. Polick! You'll find descriptions and video for Polick's 4 "rounds" of questions and a 5th round asking you to put Costa on the spot next.

In 2008, Costa promised to publish a study that explains and provides evidence for his "availability increases use" theory. He's yet to publish it, but that doesn't mean he isn't working on it - SSDP is looking forward to reading it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Deadly Disaster in Mexico

I think people put it best when they say we'll need to end the drug war soon enough out of pure necessity. Take, for instance, this video of what's going on in Mexico:

More than 5,300 people were killed in drug cartel violence last year. Reporters are rightfully horrified to have their name linked to any Mexican drug cartel story. Innocent children are being maliciously slain. The Texas Guard has gone on high alert for the first time in history.

Yet, when asked on Fox News why the people in Mexico are protesting the army that was sent out to supposedly help them, Senator Dan Patrick of Texas replies,
"Well, we believe Bill, that it's the drug cartels who paid the people to protest."

Ignorant? Pathetic? Too horrified to face the truth? Who knows. What we do know is that if Mexico doesn't legalize and regulate drugs soon and take away the drug cartel's major source of power, there will be no way out.

The National Drug Intelligence Center has already concluded in its National Drug Threat Assessment 2009 that "Mexico drug trafficking organizations represent the greatest organized crime threat to the United States."

Lawmakers in Texas are currently worrying about a flood of Mexican refugees attempting to escape the violence pouring into their state, but nobody really seems to know what to do.
"This violence is happening because the [Felipe] Calderon administration is doing the right thing by cracking down on powerful drug cartels," Kudwa said in a statement. "The cartels are, predictably, fighting back to protect their lucrative criminal livelihood..."[Fox News]
How can people continue to blatantly overlook the solution and honestly believe that the violent tactics being used are the "right thing" to do? Obviously these tactics are failing everyone except for the drug cartels. Obviously we need to come up with a better plan. Obviously, we need to talk legalization.