Archive for Prohibition

The Shocking Defeat of the United States

Posted in CRIME & CORRUPTION, Cultural Marxism, MEDICOPOLITICS, MIDDLE-EAST POLITICS, ONLINE DEBATE, POLITICAL ISLAM & JIHAD, U.S. POLITICS with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by drjgelb

https://youtu.be/XHbrOg092GA

Members of both the U.S. House of Representatives & the U.S. Senate have had to contend with the reality of their powerlessness for over a century, beginning as WWI ended in 1918. Woodrow Wilson warned the American people that as a result of the massive profits accruing to the military armaments industry & complicit military leaders, undue influence had reached such proportions as to dictate U.S. policy. President Wilson felt that he had failed the people by failing to stop these “men in suits” from obtaining so much power. President Roosevelt spoke several times of the gathering power & control of the military industrial complex and its ability to subvert elected government. He was careful with his words but those listening knew what he was warning the nation about. Harry Truman was shocked to discover that intelligence gathering was split between agencies & that he received information that could not be utilised because its meaning was so poorly communicated. He set up the CIA to co-ordinate the collation & presentation of all available intelligence into a comprehensible form and to ensure that the President was always fully informed. Little did he know that the CIA’s origin in the OSS made it a severely dysfunctional organisation from Day 1. Why? Because the OSS had placed the European Head of Intelligence for the Gestapo as the new CIA European boss and allowed him to hire & fire, leading to the placement of numerous former Nazis in the CIA as well as facilitating the escape of hundreds of war-criminal Nazis to Sth America. Truman stated in a public speech that he feared he had unleashed a “Gestapo-like” entity on Americans. Eisenhower became so alarmed at the actions of the CIA, the Deep State, that he referred to it as a malign “Shadow Government”. His warning, contained within his farewell speech, was chilling (watch it on You Tube) & so real were his fears that he changed the venue for the farewell speech at the last minute from the Capitol Building to the Oval Office, so he could complete his term & the speech without leaving the safety of the White House. JFK was a whole other story & it is now very clear that the CIA & its partners in crime, assassinated an elected President for daring to challenge their power.The 20 co-conspirators who met the night before the killing were the who’s who of the Bankers, Industrialists, Mafia & rogue politicians, FBI, CIA, the Generals etc of the U.S. and they employed a team of assassins the like of which had never before been gathered to murder JFK. Then, despite subsequent Presidents all being made aware of the facts, the Deep State doubled down and ensured that they remained the power behind the throne by intimidating, compromising and blackmailing every Federal politician elected as soon as they possibly could. This remains the case today. Massive colluders with the Deep State like the Clintons & Bushes are protected species & the Deep State will do all it can to see that no Justice ever comes for the Clinton Machine because both Bill & Hillary understood criminal hierarchies & understood the value of the Green Light they have been given. It is bullshit to think that the Intel Agencies are unaware of every last thing that HRC, Obama et al said & did and anyone observing the near perfect lockstep of CIA and the Clintons must realise the mortal danger one places oneself in if one objects too loudly! No wonder Jason Chaffetz had had enough! I wonder how harshly he was threatened and told to STFU. Under Obama, the Deep State was strengthened in every way, with virtually unfettered power to intimidate, lie to, monster, blackmail, defraud & sometimes even to kill those it designated enemies of the state for any or no reason. The American people MUST reject this creeping loss of the nation.

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CONSERVATIVES, GET YOUR STICKY NOSES OUT OF MY BUSINESS!!!

Posted in ONLINE DEBATE with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by drjgelb

October 30, 2013 0116h

How myopic American conservatives seem to be! Conservatives directly oppose the overwhelming majority view on several key issues related to personal morality, gender, sexuality and choice. Whether it’s trying to limit reimbursement for birth-control in order to limit its reach, or opposing women’s right to control their own bodies, or insisting on maintaining Prohibition of illicit drugs contrary to most international experts, American conservatives do not listen or respect the American people and their wishes. Instead, conservatives think they know better and that their morality is the only acceptable variety. I must disappoint you all……in a country like Australia, only a tiny minority express agreement with your views. Abortion is freely available and assisted by Government, political parties have left the public bedroom and are increasingly minding their own business at last. Prostitution is legal and very well regulated and there is general acceptance of each person’s right to decide their values for themselves. American Conservatives want to take America back 50yrs before the next generation of enlightened young Americans assume power and legislate proscriptive statutes into history. What about your beloved constitution Conservatives? What about majority rules? What about equality for all? At least tell yourselves the truth…….that you want everyone to believe what you do and you reject anyone with a contrary view.

This post by Steve Straub of “The Federalist Papers” (http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/current-events/first-amendment-under-assault#comment-145620) laments progressive gains in the U.S. and is commented on by a range of hard right-wing zealots that appear to be in a moral panic about the American public living their lives as they wish.

“There appears to be a full on assault on the first amendment, Christians and conservatives within the military.

Todd Starnes from FOX News reports:

Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A soldier who attended the Oct. 17th briefing told me the counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.” In my opinion the Obama administration is determined to transform the Armed Forces into a liberal/progressive institution by chasing out those opposed to their policy goals.”

My comment is expressed as politely as I can make it but I really feel like shaking Conservatives and telling them to fuck off and take their noses out of my business.

DRUG WAR FACTS SPEAK VOLUMES FOR THE IDIOCY OF CURRENT DRUG POLICY

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , , on October 6, 2013 by drjgelb

What can you do to encourage rational drug policy development?

Read the “Drug War Facts” book or Website so that you can take on discussion or debate on drug policy with confidence. Armed with the facts means emotive, hysterical and exaggerated arguments are totally unnecessary. The facts are so compelling as to shine a bright spotlight on the ideological, harmful and moronic drug policies known collectively worldwide as the “War on Drugs”. Here’s an idea to contemplate: A criminal named Richard M Nixon declared WAR ON DRUGS in 1970, without support from the vast majority of Medical experts. He possessed a vast knowledge and understanding of American History and was very familiar with the catastrophic impact of policies of Alcohol Prohibition imposed by the U.S. Government between 1920 and 1932. In those 12 short years, the American Mafia took control of every aspect of the Alcohol industry, from brewing, to transport, distribution, wholesale and retail sales, entertainment venues and bars and ensured public access to these venues by whatever means necessary……be it bribing law enforcement to look the other way, or constructing elaborate tunnels beneath city streets to link mob owned bars and clubs without putting patrons at risk of arrest and prosecution. And with such a monopoly, how much profit did the Mafia earn during “Prohibition”?

$2 Billion in 1920’s dollars!! Worth today an estimated $350,000,000,000!

This money bought the Mafia unprecedented Police co-operation and protection as well as political influence at the highest level, for the next 75yrs and supported a criminal enterprise that became, in New York at least, a rival underground government many times more deadly than that of the worst banana republic.

So here are the latest figures regarding the U.S. State & Federal war on its citizens:

WHAT’S NEW AT DRUG WAR FACTS – VOL. 3, NO. 9, OCTOBER 2013

ISSUE IN FOCUS: DRUG ARRESTS

The FBI recently released its Uniform Crime Report for 2012. They estimate that of the total 12,196,959 criminal arrests in the US that year, 1,552,432 were for drug violations. They further report that 82.2% of those, or 1,276,099 drug arrests, were for possession. To put these numbers in context, in 2012 US law enforcement also made an estimated 521,196 arrests for all violent crimes and 1,646,212 arrests for all property crimes.

In 2013, Professor Harry Levine of CUNY-Queens College estimated that on average, a marijuana possession arrest in New York City takes about 2.5 hours of police time. New York state essentially decriminalized simple marijuana possession in 1977.

[http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/3187#sthash.jnpMxMoa.dpbs]

If each drug possession arrest in the US took only 2.5 hours of police time, then it would mean 3,190,247.5 hours of police time were wasted in 2012 arresting drug users just for the crime of using drugs – not trafficking, not manufacture, just possession.

Next, consider this set of numbers. According to the FBI’s new UCR, quote: “In the nation in 2012, 46.8 percent of violent crimes and 19.0 percent of property crimes were cleared by arrest or exceptional means.” End quote. Those clearance rates are typical, in fact that’s the best property crime clearance rate in at least a decade and a half.

[http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/3493#sthash.0n5HWbtd.dpbs]

Marijuana arrests totaled 749,825 in 2012, down slightly from 2011’s total of 757,969. Marijuana possession accounted for 658,231 arrests – again slightly down from the 2011 total of 663,032. Looking at the year-to-year changes in arrest figures doesn’t reveal much, but examining data from several years can reveal trends. For example, in 2001, the U.S. had 1,586,902 criminal drug arrests out of a total 13,699,254 arrests. Of the drug arrests. 19.4 percent were for sale or manufacture, while the remaining 80.6% were for possession. In 2012, as I noted earlier, the 1,552,432 criminal drug arrests were 17.8 percent sale or manufacture and the remaining 82.2 percent were for possession. Back in 2001, 9.7 percent of all drug arrests were for sale or manufacturing of heroin,
cocaine, or their derivatives and 40.4 percent were for simple possession of marijuana. In 2012, only 6.1 percent of all drug arrests were for sale or manufacturing of heroin, cocaine, or their derivatives, and 42.4 percent were for simple possession of marijuana.

From 2003 through 2007, the US saw a rapid escalation in drug arrests. In 2003, the number jumped to 1,678,192 from 1,538,813 in 2002, then to 1,746,570 in 2004. Drug arrests in 2005-2007 topped 1.8 million per year, peaking in 2006 at1,889,810 drug arrests. The decline started in 2008, when US law enforcement made only 1,702,537 drug arrests.

http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/235#sthash.V2SF6wK6.j2I3uzQy.dpbs

“DEFELONISATION” – NEW WORD, NEW WORLD?

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , on October 5, 2013 by drjgelb

Today, comes news from “stopthedrugwar.org” that adds a further increment of hope to the mounting pile slowly accumulating on politicians’ doorsteps.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2013/oct/02/defelonization_next_step

“Defelonization”–The Next Step in Winding Down the Drug War.

Defelonization (with an “s” in Australia!) of drug possession is starting to take hold across the country. California looks set to join the list of states easing up, and Washington state could be next. Thirteen states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have already passed laws making simple drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony, and the momentum appears to be growing. A bill in California to do something similar has passed the legislature and is currently sitting on the governor’s desk, and efforts are afoot to push a defelonization measure through the Washington legislature next year.

An overcrowded California prison (supremecourtus.gov)

Such measures are designed to ease prison overcrowding, ease pressures on budgets, and help drug users by avoiding saddling them with felony convictions. They also reflect increasing frustration with decades of drug prohibition efforts that have failed to stop drug use, but have resulted in all sorts of collateral costs. In California alone, even after Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) prison realignment scheme, more than 4,000 people remain in state prisons on simple drug possession charges. At $47,000 per inmate per year [8], that comes out to more than a $200 million annual bill to state taxpayers. Under current California law, people convicted of a drug possession felony can be sentenced to up to three years in prison. More than 10,000 people are charged with drug possession felonies each year, although many of them receive probation if convicted.

California state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) moved to redress that situation with Senate Bill 649 [9], which passed the legislature on the final day of the session. The bill is not a defelonization bill per se; instead, it makes drug possession a “wobbler,” meaning it provides prosecutors with the flexibility to charge drug possession as either a felony or a misdemeanor. “Our system is broken,” said Lynne Lyman, California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance [10], which supported the bill. “Felony sentences don’t reduce drug use and don’t persuade users to seek treatment, but instead, impose tremendous barriers to housing, education and employment after release — three things we know help keep people out of our criminal justice system and successfully reintegrating into their families and communities.”

Even Republicans got on board with the bill, helping to get it through the Assembly earlier this year.

California state Sen. Mark Leno (wikipedia.org); “I am proud that we got bipartisan support in the Assembly,” Leno told the Chronicle. The bill currently awaits Gov. Brown’s signature, and although his signature is not required for it to become law, Leno said he believed the governor would act on it, and he urged supporters to let the governor know now that they want him to sign it. “Anyone can go to the governor’s web site [11] and offer support through an email communication,” Leno said. “I am always hopeful he will sign it.”

While Californians wait for the governor to act (or not), activists and legislators in Washington are gearing up to place a defelonization bill before the legislature there next year. Sensible Washington [12], the activist group behind the effort, says it has lined up legislative sponsors for the bill and will pre-file in December for next year’s legislative session. State Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) will be the primary sponsor of this proposal in the House. Reps. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien), Jim Moeller (D-Vancouver), Jessyn Farrell (D-Seattle), and Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater) have all signed on as official cosponsors, with more to be announced soon. Sensible Washington hopes to have a companion bill filed simultaneously in the Senate.

Under current Washington law, the possession of any controlled substance (or over 40 grams of cannabis) is an automatic felony. Under this new proposal, the possession of a controlled substance — when not intended for distribution — would be reduced from a felony charge, to a misdemeanor (carrying a maximum sentence of 90 days, rather than five years). Laws regarding minors would not be affected. “Removing felony charges for simple drug possession is a smart, pragmatic approach to reducing some of the harms associated with the war on drugs,” said Anthony Martinelli, Sensible Washington’s communications director. “The goal is to stop labeling people as felons, filling up our prisons and ruining their lives in the process, for possessing a small amount of an illegal substance.”

He elaborated in a Tuesday interview with the Chronicle.

“We support full decriminalization, like the Portuguese model, but defelonization is a big step forward, and we feel that the public and lawmakers are ready for it,” he said. “We have to find a way to deal with the dangers of the war on drugs. Another reason is the massive disparity in our cannabis law — an ounce is legal, but an ounce and a half is a felony. This would remove felonies for cannabis possession, but we don’t think anyone should be hit over the head with a felony for personal drug possession.”Martinelli said Sensible Washington and its allies would be spending the next few months preparing to push the bill through the legislature. “We will be building public and legislative support, continuing to work on garnering media attention, activating our base, and getting more lawmakers on board,” he said. “We’re really trying to form a bipartisan coalition and get other organizations involved as well.”

One of those groups is the ACLU of Washington [13]. Sensible Washington and the ACLU of Washington were bitter foes in the fight over the state’s successful I-502 marijuana legalization initiative — Sensible Washington opposed it as a half-measure that endangered medical marijuana, a claim that ACLU and other advocates contested — but appear to be on the same page when it comes to this sentencing reform. “We support the decriminalization of drug use”, said Alison Holcomb, criminal justice project director for the ACLU of Washington. “We’re looking forward to working in collaboration with Sensible and its allies to achieve that goal.” Martinelli said he could now announce that the proposed bill has picked up its first Senate sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D), to add to its growing list of House sponsors.

Missing from that list of House sponsors is one of the most prominent drug reformers in the House, Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland), the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, but that’s not because he opposes the idea, Goodman told the Chronicle Tuesday. “As chair of the committee, it’s important for me to be an honest broker to get legislation through,” Goodman explained. “My position as chair is weakened if there is a potentially controversial issue and I’m seen as being on one side of it. It’s not that I oppose it, and I certainly will hold a hearing on it and move it, but my role is more to facilitate negotiations on provisions of the bill without being an interested party,” he said. “It is an idea that is certainly worth pursuing”, he said. “We need to reprioritize. The tough penalties we impose on people for merely possessing drugs is so arbitrary compared to the penalties for other offenses where there is direct physical harm perpetrated against others,” Goodman said. “And by now, we all acknowledge that drug possession is not merely an indiscretion, but might be linked to behavioral health issues. Our approach should be to facilitate therapeutic interventions. We have deferred prosecution programs already, but only for alcohol. Those arrested for drug possession are not eligible because it’s a felony. If we could make deferred prosecution available for drug cases, we could make much more headway on the problem,” he said. “And doing so would only codify what is already often existing practices”,he said. “Many or most courts and prosecutors are already pleading down felony drug cases to misdemeanors because of budget constraints and space limitations in the jails,” Goodman noted. “We can change the law to conform with that practice without an additional threat to public safety. Beyond that, we could remove the prejudicial effect of a felony conviction when it is so evident they hinder people from reintegrating into the community.”

While Sensible Washington and its allies are moving full steam ahead, passing the bill could be a multi-year effort, Goodman warned. “I anticipate prosecutors saying that if we set a certain possession threshold, drug dealers will make sure they possess no more than that amount and will play the system,” he said. “We have to figure out a way to find a threshold or divide possession cases into degrees. I hear the concern, but I’m not sure what the solution is. But this is a next important phase of drug policy reform: cranking down the drug war yet one more notch and doing what’s rational and fiscally responsible.” “There is lots of work to be done. We’ll see how this plays out in the legislature. It’s probably going to need more lobbying and more background discussion among more legislators,” he predicted. “So far, it’s not a real prominent topic, so it might end up being a work in progress. But who knows? It might catch on fire, and we’ll get a quick consensus.”

Defelonization News Feature State & Local Executive Branches State & Local Legislatures Washington Initiative 502
StoptheDrugWar.org • P.O. Box 18402 • Washington DC 20036
Phone (202) 293-8340 • Fax (202) 293-8344 • Email • Privacy Policy
Source URL: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2013/oct/02/defelonization_next_step
Links:
[1] http://stopthedrugwar.org/user/psmith
[2] http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/803
[3] http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/255
[4] http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/92
[5] http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/156
[6] http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/45
[7] http://stopthedrugwar.org/taxonomy/term/246
[8] http://www.lao.ca.gov/laoapp/laomenus/sections/crim_justice/6_cj_inmatecost.aspx
[9] http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0601-0650/sb_649_bill_20130912_enrolled.pdf

IS ANYONE ENJOYING THIS CRAPPY OLD MERRY-GO-ROUND?

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , on June 19, 2013 by drjgelb

Round and round and round we go! Where we’ll stop, nobody knows!!

And that’s Australia’s reactive, unscientific, vote pandering response to the issue of substance use, misuse and addiction.

Every time I see the familiar bust or raid on TV, I am struck by the complacent looks on the victims’ faces – they’ve done it all before and will do so again, the bored looks of futility on the faces of law enforcement, who know they’ll also be doing it all again and the drug policy chieftains announcing breathlessly that this bust will be the one that puts the squeeze on the Mr Bigs! It never does and it simply never will.

So when I saw the latest drug figures, up again, and the prohibitionists calling for more law enforcement, I get very angry!!!

This is what I felt compelled to write:

Dear Sir or Madam,

A commentary on the latest ACC report on illicit drugs in Australia recently stated, “In the latest Illicit Drug Data Report, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) reported over 76,000 illicit drug seizures and more than 93,000 illicit drug related arrests in the past year, the most this century,” Dr Jiggens said. “Over 23 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized. Australia’s streets have never been more awash with drugs. The ACC CEO John Lawler justified our war on drugs policy by calling this success. If this is success, what does failure look like?”

Given that the vast majority of Addiction Specialists both in Australia and Internationally, fully concur with the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s consensus definition of addiction and its call for an end to prosecution, incarceration, including without rehabilitation and cruel punishment of sick citizens, when will the National Drug Strategy cease its emphasis on Prohibition, Law Enforcement, criminalisation of non-violent users and aiding and abetting the stigmatisation and vilification of illicit drug users at the same time as increased access to alcohol continues to be facilitated. All available epidemiological evidence points to the inevitable failure of Prohibition and instead highlight its many destructive societal consequences.

The collusion of Prohibitionist governments with the rise of the vicious black market drug trade by maintaining policies that have been proven to ensure massive profits for criminal cartels, is incomprehensible and immoral. Repeating the same strategy year after year and presiding over several well reported international tragedies in which democracies are usurped by the corrupting power of the drug dollar, is simply unintelligent in the extreme, or is sanctioned for scandalous motives not revealed to the public.

My attempts to share my 32yrs experience as a doctor, 29yrs in Psychiatry, with senior politicians in my State, have been met with little or no interest, unwillingness to discuss the science involved or straight out rejection of any alternative ideas to tackle the reality of human substance use and abuse. The strength of conviction and belief expressed by some key decision makers, in the face of crystal clear evidence that they are wrong, borders on delusional.

My question really comes back to a genuine request for a rational explanation as to why Prohibition, a strategy destined to continue to fail and to lead to such pain, suffering and hardship, continues to win favour amongst political, law enforcement and community leaders who are currently my age or younger and whom I vividly recall once held quite different views, much more in line with the realities of human behaviour. Some overseas nations are abandoning these failed strategies in favour of education, regulation and rehabilitation and these new strategies are proving far more effective in decreasing the harms caused by Prohibition for the entire communities.

Is it true that politicians do not believe that the public can be educated to embrace decriminalisation of controlled quantities of currently illicit drugs? Do politicians here, unlike their Portuguese and Swiss counterparts, lack the foresight to co-operate in the bipartisan development of a groundbreaking, best practice, integrated drug education, community based, case managed rehabilitation pathway and in the dismantling of the overburdened, ineffective, criminal justice system that has devastated young lives and ambitions for no return.

I look forward to a candid response that may invite further constructive dialogue.

Kind Regards,

Jerry Gelb

DR JEROME L GELB
Consultant Psychiatrist
http://about.me/drjgelb
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LIKE MINDEDNESS FROM VILNIUS, LITHUANIA AND UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS.

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , , on June 14, 2013 by drjgelb

I was excited to receive a response to my letter re Krokodil and the failed policies of Prohibition from Jean-Paul Grund, Senior Research Associate @ CVO—Addiction Research Center, Utrecht. I was even more pleased to read that Prohibition appears to be slowlyy crumpling!

Dear Dr. Gelb,

Cannot agree with you more!

Is lack of compassion not a sign of another mental/brain desease – Anti social personality?

I just returned from the International Harm Reduction Conference in Vilnius. You sound like someone who would fit well in this mixture of esteemed researchers, activists, providers and policy makers.

Best regards,

Jean-Paul Grund

I responded as follows:

On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 2:19 AM, JEROME GELB wrote:

Dear Jean-Paul,

Thank you for responding. We have had in Australia, what I suspect is commonplace elsewhere, namely a progressive takeover of government by lawyers………now 85% of Parliamentarians!!

This ensures the breakdown by stealth of the separation of powers so essential for a healthy democracy & entrenches conservative, punitive Prohibitionist policies on a range of matters once considered “personal ” or “private” choices”.

It appears to be exactly as you suggest, the psychopaths have taken control!! The primary features all fit: disregard for the needs or rights of others & the inability for empathy!! Add shallow, fatuous, cold & the ability to mimic emotion for personal gain and Voila! Perfect lawyer/politician. All the lawyers I went to school with or knew at university used recreational drugs and/or alcohol & plenty still do. Who knows what goes on in politicians’ private lives??? Hypocrisy of breathtaking dimensions has been revealed by people like Julian Assange but casting an eye over the history of alcohol prohibition in the U.S. 1919-1932, shows that the Mafia made a profit of US$2 Billion (the dollar then was backed by gold and paper money could be converted to bullion. If you had done so, that 2 Billion would be worth $70million for each million $ at today’s gold price!!)
That money found its way to the pockets of politicians from Presidents to local councillors and to the Judiciary, Cops & Juries and it flowed for nearly 75yrs, buying favours, freedom & protection for vicious killers & thugs who preyed on the public & introduced all the illicits using the identical business model.

Will we ever learn from history? Einstein doubted we ever would!

And who am I to argue with Einstein!

Kind Regards,

Jerry Gelb

Finally I received this!

Dear Jerry,

Its a sad world we are living in. But, we are fighting back and the gathering in Vilnius that I just came from is a good crowd and an example that we can make a difference. Although the pendulum seems to be swinging in different directions at once (QM? ;), overall the system of prohibition is slowly crumbling. Check out some of the presentations on international drug policy that will be uploaded to the website of the conference/HRI (http://www.ihra.net/conference).

Are you on Facebook?

Have a nice day,

Jean-Paul

Jean-Paul Grund, PhD
CVO – Addiction Research Center, Utrecht
Department of Addictology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Prague

I NEED SOME HELP TO CHANGE ATTITUDES & MAKE PROGRESS

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , on May 22, 2013 by drjgelb

Prominent experts in Addiction are calling for the establishment of a Supervised Injecting Facility (SIF) in Melbourne. The State Government isn’t listening. I wrote to a Professor involved in Addiction research who is advocating for a SIF, possibly in Richmond, an area where IV drug use is prominent.

“Dear Sir,

When the current VIC Government came to power, I wrote to the Premier & Police Minister requesting that serious consideration be given to the establishment of a supervised injecting facility (SIF) in Melbourne, based on evidence of their efficacy internationally (over 600 facilities) and in Kings Cross.

I received a shocking, prejudiced & ignorant response from the Victorian Government. Apart from stating “Never, ever” to the very idea, the response made two key points:

1. It would send the “wrong message” to Victorian youth”.

2. The response acknowledged that Government policy re SIF would lead to more overdose deaths than would otherwise occur but this was a price the Government was prepared to pay to protect young Victorians!

I rebutted these excuses in my reply to the above, quoting research done in Australia & Canada & pointing out the views on this matter by leading AOD researchers & clinicians. I got NO response whatsoever from these miserable politicians!

My question to you is, are you able to bend the Government’s ear to this issue & convince them that it’s a no-brainer that’s long overdue!

85% of politicians today are lawyers. They craft the legislation, determine whether alleged breaches of the law have occurred, choose to prosecute or not, try the charges, judge defendants, impose penalties that can include long term deprivation of liberty & administer Corrections. They review legislation & propose reforms when & how they wish. Other lawyers determine whether or not reforms will or will not be implemented. When things go badly wrong, a senior lawyer is often tasked with leading an inquiry into what went wrong and why, from which more recommendations flow. The above circus, in which one privileged profession has assumed the vast bulk of available power & influence on how our country is run, is ironically called a Democracy!

This bizarre situation has led to experts being ignored and or overruled by politicians with the massive conflict of interest of requiring public support to remain in power, influence & wealth.

Why my little statement on Civics? ……..to emphasise that I will understand if you, like me, have tried and failed to be taken seriously & have had your expertise ignored or dismissed.

If you have not attempted or recommended the establishment of a SIF, perhaps you could tell me why not?

Finally, given the extreme unlikelihood of our political system changing anytime soon, let’s hope that the mooted Heroin Vaccine, arrives very soon. With Addiction still not considered a “disease” by some experts (NOT the American Society of Addiction Medicine), the Government and much of the public, we continue to allow stigma & bigotry to blight the lives of its victims. Worse still, thousands of sick citizens are incarcerated in prisons, their freedom lost, due to the predictable behavioural symptoms and consequences of the disease of “Addiction” and the failed, irrational policies of Prohibition.

Please reply – I don’t know what to do next to effect change. Assisting in the sounding of the alarm has been Step One, even if the Government simply hits the “SNOOZE” button but I’d much prefer to facilitate meaningful attitudinal & practical change.”

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