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Archive for the ‘war on drugs’ Category

So I’m down in Louisiana handling family business that involves lawyers, land, and money, and sitting in the hotel lobby drinking some coffee and I tell the lady responsible for the coffee, “hey, I just got the last coffee out.” And she says “What? I just made a full pot!” and I shrug and say “Hey, this is Louisiana, Louisianians do like their coffee!” and she gets busy getting another pot out for the circling sharks.

From there the conversation moved on and a bubba who looks like your stereotypical Trump supporter asks “so where you from?” and I say “Louisiana originally, but living in California now.” And he says, “Why does everybody there hate Trump?”

“Mostly they don’t, they mostly just want to make money and he’s interfering with that.”

“People keep saying mean things about him though, like all those Hollywood movie stars.”

“I don’t know anything about movie stars, I’m up in the Silicon Valley. What we don’t like up there is that Trump wants to come into our state and tell us how to run it. He wants to deport a bunch of our workers, raise our taxes, and otherwise cost us a lot of money.”

“Well that’s just Trump getting even with people who don’t support him.”

“Maybe so, but it’s costing us money, so we don’t like Trump. Plus, he wants to take away our legal marijuana, and Californians do like their marijuana.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“Do you like bluegrass?”

“Sure!”

So I recount the story of the bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park, with the cops bopping at the back of the audience and utterly ignoring the vendors of marijuana brownies and other goodies openly walking around with hand-drawn signs advertising their wares for sale, complete with hand-drawn marijuana leaves. And end up with, “so California has been pretty cool with marijuana sales for a while, and now they’re going to make lots of money by legalizing the sales and taxing it, but Attorney General Sessions, the evil Keebler elf, says he’s going to dispatch the DEA to shut down all the legal marijuana sales in states like California.”

“Well, that’s just wrong. Marijuana ought to be legal everywhere!”

For a few moments, a die-hard Trump supporter and a die-hard liberal agreed on something: that marijuana should be legal, and Jeff Sessions was out of order sending the DEA to crush legal marijuana.

And that, my friends, is why Attorney General Jeff Session’s recent announcement that he’s going to dispatch the DEA to shut down legal marijuana sales in the states that have legalized marijuana is the most bone-headed political move since Sarah Palin announced she was a Russia expert because she could see Russia from her back yard. Even Trump’s *supporters* don’t back it. Hell, one of Trump’s biggest fans, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, came out and blasted it.

Not that the Trumpistas give a shit about public opinion, but this is going to put a lot of Republican Congressmen on the hot seat in the coming election. And like it or not, the Trump administration does need Congress in order to do much of what it wants to do. Jeffy’s little stunt ain’t making that easier. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Drug War Penguin

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A spoon, you say? A spoon with spaghetti sauce residue on it? What’s that got to do with the drug war, you say?

Ask Ashley Gabrielle Huff about that.

After a spoon was found on her during a traffic stop, a spoon she insisted was last used to eat Spaghetti-O’s at the office for lunch, Ashley Gabrielle Huff was kept in jail awaiting trial on bogus meth charges due to astonishingly high bail despite the fact that she had no criminal record, was married, had children in the schools, and otherwise was no flight risk. She was ready to plead guilty and forever give up her voting rights just to get out of jail if they gave her time served. Then the lab results came back, months after the spoon had been submitted to the state crime lab: Spaghetti sauce.

Just as she’d insisted from the beginning.

Our drug war is ridiculous. A spoon? That was all they had, a spoon, and purported residue on said spoon? Yet that was all it took to deprive her of her rights and put her in a cage for months.

The reason I bring this up is because there is now a widespread movement amongst progressives to reform the bail system to do away with injustices like that. Bail bondsmen in the state of California are outraged about it, but the fact of the matter is that most people in jail are not there because they’ve been sentenced for a crime. They’re there because they can’t afford bail. And while they’re in jail, they’ve lost their job, their children may be in foster care, their home was repossessed or they were evicted with no ability to retrieve their belongings, their college kicked them out for non-attendance and kept their tuition money, and otherwise had their lives destroyed.

It’s one of the few things that the progressive Left and the libertarian Right agree on: the bail system is broken, it enriches bail bondsmen and local sheriffs who run jails at the expense of poor people and taxpayers, and needs to be fixed so that people who aren’t a flight risk have bail set according to their income, not according to some fixed schedule writ in stone.

Which means: entrenched people who benefit from the current system are keeping it from happening.

For now.

— Badtux the Criminal Injustice Penguin

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“He (the paramedic) was used to O.D. calls by now, except for the ones in which kids were around. He once arrived at a home to find a seven-year-old and a five-year-old following the instructions of a 911 operator and performing C.P.R. on their parents.”

This is the saddest article I’ve read all week. What kind of life are those kids going to have?

A shortage of drug intervention services is one of the biggest problems they have with getting people off of opioids. The supply of addicts who want to “dry out” is far greater than the number of beds. Yet these people (the non-addicts in these communities) almost uniformly vote for the people who promise to screw them (i.e. Republicans), and against the people who promise to do better for them (i.e. Democrats). What. The. Literal. Fuck?

– Badtux the Baffled Penguin

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What in the world has gone wrong with white culture and the white community? When will white community leaders come out against this opioid epidemic that is destroying their community and condemn it in no uncertain terms? Why are white people destroying their communities and themselves?

It is clear that white people have a toxic culture that leads them into drug addiction and clearly the only solution is to increase enforcement of “broken windows” laws in white communities. We need to put policemen into white communities who stop white people on the street and frisk them for opioids and weapons. We need to start pulling over the cars that the drug dealers typically drive, large SUV’s driven by white people, and having drug dogs sniff them for any scent of opioids. Whenever two white people are together in public we need to have a policeman walk up to them and ask them what they’re doing and frisk them for drugs if they don’t answer in a way that satisfies him, because this is a sign of a drug deal going down, because why else would two white people get together in public?

I know that the bleeding heart liberals like the ACLU will frown upon this, as will leaders in the white community, who refuse to see the toxic effects of this opioid epidemic and refuse to allow our police officers to do their job in their community. But I’m sure that you’ll agree that white people simply aren’t qualified to know what’s best for their community, their community has been dysfunctional for so long that they think it’s actually *normal*. Imagine that. White culture, with its appalling “country” music encouraging drunkenness and infidelity and its horrific history of violence and mass murder, as “normal”. Ugh.

[/snark].

(If problems in the white community were covered by newspapers and pundits like problems in the black community. Inspiration: https://medium.com/…/the-media-treats-white-drugs-addicts-l… ).

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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I understand that the roads around Golden Gate Park were total gridlock due to the massive cloud of smoke that filled the entire area. Like, nobody felt like going anywhere anymore and all was groovy, man.

Y’know, I’ve noticed something about marijuana laws. You got places like Alabama where a joint will get you 10 years in the joint. You got places like Oregon where a joint is totally legal. Now, let’s look at the demographics of Alabama, which has lots of suspiciously dusky folks, and the demographics of Oregon, which is pretty much lily white. Naw, that doesn’t have anything to do with it, does it? Does it?!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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My costume this year is Mark Zuckerberg. All you need to do is wear a hoodie and flash around a lot of (Monopoly) money while behaving crassly like nouveaux rich always do.

Meanwhile, The Mighty Fang, my favorite kibble monster (like the Cookie Monster, except it’s kibble crumbs that end up all over when he’s done chowing down), wants to remind you that this is his favorite day of the year, and that while National Cat Day was a couple of days ago, *every* day is Cat Day in a cat-owned house.

kibblemonster2

Bernie Sanders says he’d remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances list if elected. The Executive Department does have that authority, though there’s a procedure that must be followed that’s detailed in the Controlled Substances Act. But that procedure can be pretty much pro forma if the President really wants it to be.

It’s estimated that around 15% of people in prison today are there for possessing or selling marijuana. It’s not a huge number of people anymore, not like during the heyday of Reagan and “Just Say No”, but it’s still a non-trivial number and the costs of keeping them in prison is probably around $6B per year. Six billion dollars. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s not a trivial amount either. Six billion dollars per year would rebuild numerous crumbling bridges or repave thousands of miles of potholed roads. It’s kind of odd that we’re spending so much money on imprisoning those who buy or sell an herb that has never killed anybody, that is so non-toxic that it is impossible to overdose on it, and that grows in ditches in much of the United States.

And thus far, there has been only one Presidential candidate who has acknowledged that fact — that we’re spending over $6B/year and ruining people’s lives for no sane reason — and come out for removing it from the controlled substances list. Huhn.

My mother is a diehard Republican. But she’s fascinated by the possibility of a Bernie Sanders / Hillary Clinton ticket (with Sanders on top). Due to Sanders’ age she would want someone younger but still President-ready to be his Vice President, but she’s unimpressed by the fact that all the current Republican candidates have expressed a willingness to cut her Social Security…

– Badtux the Random Penguin

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Now look. My mom won’t cook okra gumbo anymore because it requires so much stirring, and there’s a lot of folks who think okra is sorta slimy and icky, even though us native Southerners know that it’s delicious fried and when used as a substitute for file’ for gumbo. But does that really justify the Georgia State Patrol launching a War on Okra?

What, you thought I was joking? Nosiree, the Georgia State Patrol did indeed raid a retiree’s garden in Cartersville, Georgia, siezing his illicit okra plants. Oh sure, they later claimed it looked like marijuana (hey, they’re both green and have leaves, right?). But we all know the true story: okra is a gateway vegetable for our children. First they’re eating okra. Then they’re eating eggplants and cucumbers. What next, turnips? Spinach? The horror, oh the horror! Think about the children, our poor children!

As for this Dwayne Perry fellow in Cartersville, well, I guess he isn’t going to be having much okra and tomato relish or fried okra or okra gumbo this year. But remember, okra and marijuana do share one important trait: Nobody ever died from smoking either of them. Which makes a war on okra make just as much sense as the war on marijuana… I mean, if you’re going to declare war on a harmless plant, why not?

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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