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What Do You Know, The Ex-Drug Czar Is Still Full Of S—-t!

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 7, 2009

    Update: Today’s blog post is also featured on Huffington Post. Please feel free to post your feedback there as well.

    In a revelation that I’m sure will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, it turns out that ex-Drug Czar John Walters is still full of s—-t.

    Responding on CNN last night to California Gov. Schwarzenegger’s call to debate the merits of taxing and regulating the adult use of marijuana (E-mail the Governor here), Walters demonstrated that he remains an unrepentant liar — even though he’s no longer paid by the federal government to be one.

    To summarize: in under five minutes Walters manages to falsely claim that:

    Today’s marijuana is far stronger — and thus more dangerous — than ever before. Actually, the Feds’ own data indicates that the average strength of domestic cannabis hasn’t changed in over ten years; that marijuana — regardless of THC content — is relatively non-toxic and incapable of causing a fatal overdose; and that most folks — when given the choice — prefer to consume milder marijuana over highly potent pot.

    More people seek drug treatment for pot than all other drugs combined. Technically true, but only because between 60 percent and 70 percent of individuals enrolled in substance abuse ‘treatment’ for cannabis are small-time pot offenders who were referred there by the criminal justice system. In fact, according to the latest federal data, nearly four in ten people admitted to substance abuse treatment programs for cannabis did not even use it in the month prior to their admission.

    Nobody is actually in jail for marijuana-related offenses. Ah yes, the “unicorn” theory. Never mind those 50,000 or state and federal inmates serving time for pot offenses the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics talks about. In John Walters fantasy world, they simply don’t exist.

    Consuming cannabis leads to violent behavior and other criminal acts. Apparently, when pot doesn’t make you “docile and unresponsive, to the point of helplessness,” it makes you unpredictably violent. Or not. Look, I asked this question on Monday and I’ll ask it again: Read about any gang-related violence surrounding the sale of alcohol lately? How about vicodin or paxil? Didn’t think so. Consuming marijuana doesn’t cause violent or criminal behavior, but criminals and violent people do engage in the black market trafficking of illicit drugs. The irony, of course, is that the very ‘violence’ that Walters claims to lament — that is, when he and his colleagues over at the DEA aren’t hailing the increase in drug-related violence as a good thing — is a direct consequences of the public policy (prohibition) he reflexively endorses.

    **Side note: Maine Gov. John Baldacci just signed legislation into law on Friday making the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana a civil violation, punishable by a fine and no jail time. (Read more about this law in this week’s NORML News stories.) Expect to hear Walters ranting and raving about marijuana cartels setting up shop in the Pine Tree state any day now.

    Finally, for good measure, Walters even resurrects the claim that there are now more medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of San Fransisco than there are Starbucks — an allegation so absurd that the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper laughed it out of the room some six months ago.

    So here’s my question: Gov. Schwarzenegger — as well as U.S. Senator Jim Webb — have called for a “debate” on whether or not to legalize the use and distribution of cannabis for adults. Webster’s dictionary defines “debate” as “to argue opposing views.” But as Walters’ comments so adeptly illustrate, the opposing side has no actual “views,” it only has lies and seven decades of bulls—-t.

    Therefore, I say we skip the public debate and go straight to the public ‘debunk’ (verb: to expose the fallacy or fraudulence of). I’m sure we can find Mr. Walters a seat at the head of the table.

    151 Responses to “What Do You Know, The Ex-Drug Czar Is Still Full Of S—-t!”

    1. champagne2878 says:

      excellent article

    2. burt says:

      this is like the second or third Harvard professor debating for legalization. i shouldha went to Harvard haha

    3. Dave says:

      Wow what a tool.

    4. Allyson says:

      god, the thing that pisses me off the most is that people are actually going to BELIEVE him without looking into it theirselves. it makes us, the ones that know the truth, have to work 10 times harder to get the truth out there, and even when we do, there’s gonna be some asshole like Walters telling people that WE’RE the ones full of it. it’s just not fair! why do people have to lie?!

    5. Travis says:

      Two steps forward and two steps back. It must truely be a generational thing. I’m a 28 year old college graduate. My twin sister and I both smoke pot on a daily basis yet our mother, (who is similar in age to Mr. Webb) sees marijuana as completely taboo and refuses to even examine that maybe it isn’t quite as bad as she’s been led to believe by the US propaganda machine. It is this mind numbing behavior (no pun intended) that infuriates me to no end. The ONLY thing that I dislike about pot is the act of having to buy it. I live in Texas where it is still the equivelant of rape or murder to the judicial system if you want to get high. Please end this childish game of control, medical or otherwise it just doesn’t matter. I’m going to get high whether or not Jim Webb or any of the other control nazis want me to or not.

    6. FiddleMan says:

      Alcohol is 5 Times Deadlier than All Illegal Drugs Combined / DEA are Real American Terrorists!

      Prison Reform NEEDS TO Seriously Consider Legalizing Cannabis! This is really a matter of American Constitutional Rights and Simple Basic Human Rights.

      Total Alcohol and Tobacco Deaths per Year (U.S. Only): 520,000 deaths – over one-half million dead Americans.
      All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect Deaths per Year (U.S. Only): 17,000 deaths.

      All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect (yes, this would include Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, etc. – all hard drugs and soft drugs – all illegal drugs) deaths compared to the annual deaths caused just by Alcohol and Tobacco = 0.03269. This means that all illegal drug use put together is less than 03.27% as harmful as Alcohol and Tobacco use. Wow!

      Deaths per year caused by the two legal drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco, are over 30 times more than all illegal drugs combined! Even with 30 times the total number of hard drug users in the U.S. the death rate would still be lower than the annual U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco death rate!

      Now let’s look at just the deaths due to Alcohol: 85,000 deaths. 17,000 (All illegal drugs) / 85,000 (Alcohol) = 0.2. This means that all illegal drug use combined is only 20% as harmful as Alcohol use. So – Alcohol accounts for 5 times more deaths per year than all illegal drugs combined! Wow again! – Put that in your beer mug and drink it!

      So when you hear a Drug Warrior (such as John Walters) say that “Legalizing Cannabis sends the Wrong Message to our children” – “The Message” that they are really telling our children is that (when the children reach legal age) they will NOT be allowed to use a safe recreational drug like Cannabis but they Will be allowed to use Alcohol as a recreational drug, even though legal alcohol kills 5 times more people per year than Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Crack, Heroin and all of the worst illegal drugs combined!

      Now let’s look at Cannabis.
      For those who do not know, Cannabis is the genus name for the very common plant that Harry Anslinger called “Marijuana”, so that he could confuse/trick the public into thinking that Cannabis was some new type of dangerous drug as well as to use racism in quest for criminalization back in the 30’s. (I refuse to use Harry Anslinger’s derogatory terminology)

      Total Cannabis Deaths throughout All of Recorded History (Worldwide): 0!!!. Usage of Cannabis (Marijuana) has never killed anybody – ever!

      Hmm, we can’t even get a percentage of Cannabis Deaths (0) compared to Alcohol and Tobacco Deaths (85,000) since Cannabis has never ever killed anybody can we?

      So – Alcohol and Tobacco kill over a half million Americans in one year and Cannabis has never killed anybody (in the whole world – ever), yet we allow the U.S. Government to support the Alcohol and Tobacco industry while they arrest us, put us in cages and steal our homes/cars/money for using Cannabis – a safe alternative to Alcohol?

      The Pharmaceutical Industry also “pushes” many extremely deadly poisons that could easily be replaced by Cannabis and Cannabis Derived Drugs. “Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs” kill around twice as many people per year as “All Illicit Drug Use Combined” – and that Cannabis use has never killed anyone!

      I wonder how many people die yearly from Alcohol and Tobacco who would prefer Cannabis instead? Cannabis is a completely safe alternative to Alcohol. Alcohol almost killed me. I would love to use Cannabis as a substitute for the deadly drug Alcohol! The problem is that I live in a country where Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is NOT possible – I live in the United States of America – Freedom is NOT an option here. The American public is completely terrorized by the U.S. DEA.

      Terrorism is, most simply, policy intended to intimidate or cause terror. It is more commonly understood as an act which (1) is intended to create fear (terror), (2) is perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a materialistic goal or a lone attack), and (3) deliberately targets (or disregards the safety of) non-combatants. (Wikipedia)

      Therefore, the U.S. DEA, who break into peoples homes, incarcerate people for exercising their Constitutional Freedom to use Cannabis as a safe alternative to Alcohol (or even as medicine), revoke student aids, separate families, cost people their jobs, take their driving privileges, take their homes, take their right to vote, and kill family pets, are indeed Terrorists! We need our government to dismantle the U.S. supported and funded American Terrorism Group also known as the U.S. DEA. We the People are PAYING for our own Terrorization with our own taxes!

      The U.S. – with 5% of the world’s population – cages 25% of the world’s population caged population. Many of the people who are kept in cages should not be. Many people who are forced to live in cages and suffer the brutality of the American Prison System are otherwise law abiding citizens who have simply exercised their Constitutional Right of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

      Legalize Cannabis Now!

    7. mark says:

      you can bet that even tho walters is retired he still has lots of buddys whose incomes depend on drugs being kept illegal. as this movement gains strength it is my prediction we will see some really outlandish shenanigans from the likes of the dea, cia, big pharma etc. etc. ad nauseum. they will not give up their money or their power without a fight.

    8. kalibud says:

      Lets ‘debunk’ the shit out of all the people opposing cannabis legalization for there own personal issues or beliefs

    9. Derrek Landauer says:

      I find these types of segments frustrating. I cannot for a moment comprehend this man’s ability to lie bold face to everyone. I suppose it could be argued that he actually believes his own propaganda – but at any rate, why does the media perpetuate this crap? The segment CNN ran prior to the false debate took the California Governor somewhat out of context eluding to the idea that he may be for Legalization as well (which his uncut speech would say otherwise). I suggest to you that CNN is molding the news to simply fit their viewpoint (or at least one that gets ratings). It’s bad to run 7 min “debates” after a 10 second segment. Our big media has gone the way of ADHD which allows them to easily manipulate the message broadcasted. These guys are on nearly 24/7 – why are the in such a hurry – it isn’t like they report the news or anything!?

    10. danny says:

      if they arnet putting pot offenders in jail anyway then why waste the time and effort arresting them…?

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