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Seattle Protesters Tell Drug Czar: Gil, Get With The Times

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Article By Stve Elliott

Marijuana advocates held a protest outside the Seattle Times on Friday as Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske met with the newspaper’s editors. The protesters, holding signs reading “Get With The Times” and “De-Fund The Drug Czar,” said they believe the Drug Czar was sent to change the editorial’s board’s minds.

Kerlikowske asked for the meeting with the editorial board soon after the newspaper called for the legalization of marijuana in a recent editorial, reports KIRO 7.

In an interview with KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Chris Egert on Friday morning, Kerlikowske denied the White House sent him to Seattle just to speak with the editorial board. He said he was in Seattle for a previously scheduled event.

“I can be absolutely clear: the conspiracy theories continue to live, but frankly, that’s one that is totally false,” Kerlikowske said.

Kerlikowske, a former Seattle police chief, now heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). He is required by law to oppose any efforts at marijuana legalization.

“The President has been clear,” Kerlikowske told KIRO 7. “The President opposes legalizing any drug, including marijuana.”

Kerlikowske claimed “America has bigger things to worry about than the legalization of marijuana,” or the idea of federal or state governments making tax money from legalized cannabis.

“If the future of our country and the future of Washington state is based upon how much money you can raise on selling marijuana, I’d say that is a very sad case,” Kerlikowske said.

“Nothing from Kerlikowske’s staff indicated that this was a special trip to try and change the edit board’s mind,” wrote Ryan Blethen of the Times on Friday. But, “It is true that the meeting was requested two days after our editorial ran in print on Feb. 20. It was published online Feb. 18.”
“It is very possible that he or somebody on his staff read the edit and wanted to get him in front of us because he was going to be in town anyway,” Blethen wrote.

“Fine with me. That is what we do,” Blethen wrote. “We form opinions, publish the opinion, then get lobbied by politicians and special interest groups.

“It really doesn’t matter if the White House sent Kerlikowske west to lean on us,” Blethen wrote. “He is the Drug Czar and we want to hear from him. We meet with all sorts of people and groups we don’t agree with.”

The Drug Czar claims that marijuana use is linked to mental illness and other health problems.

“The marijuana today is much more toxic or more powerful,” Kerlikowske claimed in an interview with Seattle TV station KING-5. “We know that drugged driving is a significant concern and even right here in the state of Washington, people picking up their phone, asking for help with a drug problem, it’s about marijuana,” Kerlikowske lied.

“The forces in pop culture that make light of the dangers of drug use, that there are no consequences for drug even, even promoting drug use as medicine [italics added], are profoundly disserving our youth,” Kerlikowske said, reports Heather Bosch at KIRO Radio.

“I think that is a twisted and distorted assessment of what’s actually going on in the drug policy reform arena,” said another former Seattle police chief, Norm Stamper.

Stamper, who now works with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), told Seattle’s Morning News that research shows there are medical uses for marijuana, and that the drug is not as dangerous as other illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Stamper said many cops share his view, but most remain silent about it.

“The problem that we have is that most of them will whisper their support for legalization,” Stamper said.

“He’s being less than honest with us, but that’s in his job description,” Stamper said of Kerlikowske’s position as Drug Czar.

Patient advocacy group the Cannabis Defense Coalition blanketed parts of downtown Seattle with “De-Fund The Drug Czar” posters to mark Kerlikowke’s visit to the Emerald City.

“Please also add your name to the petition to Defund the Drug Czar, and show your support for the Polis-Paul amendment to H.R. 1 which would eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy and save the government $1.5 billion over the next 10 years,” said CDC spokesman Ben Livingston.

The Washington Legislature is considering whether to legalize marijuana sales through state liquor stores.

Article by Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/03/protesters_tell_drug_czar_gil_get_with_the_times.php

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  • malcolm kyle

    Alcohol prohibition in the US run from 1919 to 1933 – Now google ‘The Great Wall Street Crash’ and see when that happened!

    During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?

    http://1929crash.com/

    China has recently been in negotiation with a number of countries, asking them to replace the Dollar with the Chinese Yuan as their reserve currency. This, when it happens, will remove the Federal Government’s ability to keep printing cash to cover the trillions it costs to fund prohibition. It’ll mean true freedom but the transition period may well bring consequences that are far more horrific than a slasher movie. — It never had to be this way; we should have learned our lesson from studying the mayhem that alcohol prohibition wreaked on us.

    We all have our victories and defeats as regards fear, but most of us strive not to let fear rule our hearts or our minds. Being free means being free to live and love as if death and fear had no power over us. Freedom also means that we have an ethical and moral responsibility to expose blind hate, lies and ignorance by shining eternal light, truth and love, sending such dark forces fleeing to the shadows from whence they came.

    We explore outer space with various forms of space craft, but many choose to explore inner space via nature’s abundant chemistry – an infinite journey into the heart of God. Whatever, we are here to explore this glorious universe. The Prohibitionist’s brand of hateful, choking pseudo-Conservatism is the antithesis of all that. Like a lion who cannot grasp that he can do more than walk in a circle the size of the cage he’s recently been freed from, the prohibitionist is incapable of exploration beyond the boundaries of his own fear, prejudice and loathing. We are all free to choose how we walk our own path, but when we choose to go beyond this by supporting drug-war demagoguery, to the point of even threatening others with imprisonment and physical violence, we loose the right to expect any form of respect from the once free and prosperous society that we are helping to totally destroy.

    Thanks to prohibition we’re about to lose all semblance of that once ordered, prosperous and safe society. Myself, along with many others, have been debating prohibitionists on this for many years. We have shown what destruction prohibition has wrought on all the civil institutions of this once great nation, -we’ve always provided facts and statistics – they, the prohibitionists, have countered with either lies, personal abuse or even serious threats of violence.

    Ending the insanity of drug prohibition by legalized regulation, respecting the rights of the responsible users and focusing on addiction as a sickness, like we do with alcohol and tobacco, may save what remains of our economy and civil institutions along with countless lives and livelihoods. Prohibition continues unabated for shameful political reasons. It cannot, and never will, reduce drug use or addiction.

    Prohibition has permanently scarred our national character as well as our individual psyches. Our national policies and cultural practices have become pervaded by the fascistic, prohibitionist mind-set which has turned our domestic police force into a bunch of paramilitary thugs who often commit extra-judicial beatings and executions while running roughshod over our rights in order to “protect us from ourselves”.

    When we eventually manage to put the horrors of this toxic moronothon behind us, we’ll need to engage in some very deep and honest soul-searching as to what we want to be as a nation. Many of our freedoms have been severely circumscribed or lost altogether, our economy has been trashed and our international reputation for being “free and fair” has been dragged through a putrid sewer by vicious narrow-minded drug warrior zealots who are ignorant of abstract concepts such as truth, justice and decency. We’ll need to make sure that such a catastrophe is never ever repeated. This may mean that public hearings or tribunals will be held where those who have been the instigators and cheerleaders of this abomination will have to answer for their serious crimes against our once prosperous and proud nation.

    Each day you remain silent, you help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of your own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada­’s inquisition­, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate. If you’re aware of but not enraged by it’s shear waste and cruel atrocities then both your heart and soul must surely be dead.

    Prohibition engendered black market profits are obscenely huge. Remove this and you remove the ability to bribe or threaten any government official or even whole governments. The argument that legalized regulation won’t severely cripple organized crime is truly bizarre. Of course, the bad guys won’t just disappear, but if you severely diminish their income, you also severely diminish their power. The proceeds from theft, extortion, pirated goods etc. are a drop in the ocean compared to what can be earned by selling prohibited/unregulated drugs in a black market estimated to be worth 400,000 million dollars. Without the lure and power of so much easy capital, it’s also very unlikely that new criminal enterprises will ever fill the void left by those you successfully disrupt or entirely eradicate.

    Millions of fearless North Africans have recently shown us that recognizing oppression also carries the weight of responsibility to act upon and oppose that oppression. Prohibition is a vicious anti-constitutional assault on ALL American citizens by a criminally insane and dysfunctional government, which left unchallenged will end with the destruction of the entire nation.

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
    — Abraham Lincoln, November 12, 1864

  • Thomas

    ?”But the spirit explicitly says that in LATER TIMES some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. By means of the HYPOCRISY of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and ADVOCATE ABSTAINING FROM FOODS WHICH GOD HAS CREATED TO BE GRATEFULLY SHARED IN BY THOSE WHO BELIEVE AND KNOW THE TRUTH.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3

  • http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=202914.0

    Drug Czar sneaks around to the back door, flees from a couple of protesters after emptying his empty bag of old rhetoric on the news all morning!!!!!! http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/03/05/the-drug-czar-comes-to-town-and-nothing-much-happens&cb=ee11d8f3af3fe94e8a04b72cc19daed3&layoutId=PostComment&view=comments#comment-7046851

    After seeing the drug Czar’s bizarre bipolar behavior Friday, its clear that the Feds Kool-Aid has run out! A Defeated man, Gil exited out of an auxillary entrance after trying to put a juke move on protesters altogether. It was more embarrassing than frustrating as a peaceful OIF Veteran protester. I has trained never to never surrender, and after Gil’s acquiescent talks with The Seattle Times (The whole hubub and the “coincidence” that really riled people up in the first place) ;see The Stranger @http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/02/25/white-house-requested-meeting-with-seattle-times-editorial-board-to-bully-against-pro-pot-articles

    In summation, I’ll quote what Brendan Kiley of The Seattle Times said after Friday’s activities.”The White House’s drug czar is making the case in such an empty and specious way, he might as well be arguing for legalization.”

    PS: Kiro 7’s Online Poll shows a whopping 86% chunk of the public for Legalizing Cannabis

    PSS I think when Washington legalizes cannabis across the board, we will become the wealthiest state in the USA”-Jeanne Black-Ferguson, Grammas forganja.org.

    Thomas Studley
    OIF Veteran
    US Army Recon (Ret.)