Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Sarah Palin would keep marijuana a “crime” for lacking the ability to explain things to her children.
Let me help her with an explanation.
Marijuanna was banned with no debate in Congress, and in response to shoddy yellow journalism. That;s some basis of justification fr spending $50 billion annually for this modern day inquisition as hypocrites favoring the cigarette industry.
Certain drugs are banned because they are supposedly bad. MJ kills no one. Yet the alcohol that her running mate’s wife made her fortune from is …?
Perverting Coca use to concentrated cocaine is …?Promoting concentrated drugs that are abuse prone and making them super expensive to fuel street crime is …?
Accordingly we must retain the pain rather then have Sarah Palin explain to her children that the government erred.
Prohibition Crime is the enforcement of the pharmacratic inquisition;.
Some more extreme examples:
Friday, September 19, 2008Posted by Steve Rolles at 10:50 AM
Let's raise a toast with the US Congress, that this week celebrated 75 years of drug legalisation and regulation. Yes indeed, it is a magnificent 75 years since the disaster of alcohol prohibition was ended, alcohol was re-legalised, and as this week's Congressional resolution recognises, our fine and noble 'State lawmakers, regulators, law enforcement officers, the public health community and industry members' established 'a workable, legal, and successful system of alcoholic beverage regulation, distribution, and sale' .a big HURRAH! for the legal regulation of drugs
It is worth taking a step back and considering the implications of all this for the way we deal with all those other drugs (y'know, the still illegal ones), particularly for all you politicians and Whitehall/Capitol Hill folk generally (*waves*). Deep-breath now. Read the complete resolution below, but change the references to 'alcohol' to a more generic reference to 'drugs'. You will find yourself acknowledging things like the fact that drug prohibition:"resulted in a dramatic increase in illegal activity, including unsafe black market drugs production, organized crime, and noncompliance with drug laws"or celebrating how drug regulation has"demonstrated the longstanding and continuing intent of Congress that States exercise their primary authority to achieve temperance, the creation and maintenance of orderly and stable markets, and the facilitation of the efficient collection of taxes"and how you continue"to support policies that allow States to effectively regulate drugs"
Now accepting, as so-called 'scientists' generally do, that alcohol is indeed a drug (one that is every bit as toxic and addictive as most of those that remain prohibited), this re-reading can only highlight the bizarre parallel universe in which illicit drug policy operates relative to legal drugs. But - barring the possibility of a Matrix-style awakening - this is no science-fiction story. These parallel universes are actually superimposed upon one another in the same reality, in the same law books, and by the same politicians and legislators. As this previous blog demonstrates you can do the exactly same thing with the UK's alcohol strategy and the effect is similarly disconcerting. It's almost like key legislators have been systematically spiked with some exotic hallucinogenic drugs for the past three generations and the drug war is all a terrible mistake based on a series of unfortunate out of body experiences.
It defies logic and reason, but then the entire prohibitionist paradigm always has. It is a faith based policy position, founded on a series of unquestioned 'beliefs' that it is both right and effective. (The UK Home Office actually describe how it 'fundamentally believes' the system works just fine thank you - before failing to back this with a single piece of evidence). These fundamental(ist) beliefs naturally do not require an evidence base, so the policy is never subject to meaningful evaluation, and the policy can never evolve in response to, say for example, decades of quite appalling failure, or adapt in response to, say for example, the fact that social and cultural landscape has changed quite a lot since the 1940's. All those annoying pragmatic and ethical principles that underly public health based models of regulation are completely superfluous.
Unless, of course, we are talking about alcohol or tobacco (see Transform's recent submission to the DoH tobacco control consultation). The parallel universe weirdness does not stop here - our very own Government ministers have gone as far as using the failure of alcohol prohibition to argue for appropriate legal regulation of tobacco and gambling. On the very specific basis that 'prohibition doesn't work'.
Short of asking our politicians to lay off the ketamine (it's Class C now after all), it's hard to know how to move forward with this, so profoundly entrenched is the Orwellian logic. It appears that Government are so dazzled by luminous absurdity of it all that their only response is to keep on digging, further and further down their own doomed drug-war k-hole. At least then they can't be accused of being inconsistent.
There is a way out of the hole course, and it has something to do with intellectual honesty, pragmatism, courage, and leadership. Unfortunately there's an election on the horizon - on both sides of the pond - so don't hold your breath.Whereas throughout American history, alcohol has been consumed by its citizens and regulated by the Government; (Introduced in House)
HCON 415 IH
H. CON. RES. 415
Celebrating 75 years of effective State-based alcohol regulation and recognizing State lawmakers, regulators, law enforcement officers, the public health community and industry members for creating a workable, legal, and successful system of alcoholic beverage regulation, distribution, and sale.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 16, 2008
Mr. COBLE (for himself and Mr. STUPAK) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Celebrating 75 years of effective State-based alcohol regulation and recognizing State lawmakers, regulators, law enforcement officers, the public health community and industry members for creating a workable, legal, and successful system of alcoholic beverage regulation, distribution, and sale.
Whereas throughout American history, alcohol has been consumed by its citizens and regulated by the Government;
Whereas prior to the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which established Prohibition in the United States, abuses and insufficient regulation resulted in irresponsible overconsumption of alcohol;
Whereas passage of the 18th Amendment, which prohibited `the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors' in the United States, resulted in a dramatic increase in illegal activity, including unsafe black market alcohol production, organized crime, and noncompliance with alcohol laws;
Whereas the platforms of the 2 major political parties in the 1932 presidential campaigns advocated ending national Prohibition by repealing the 18th Amendment;
Whereas on February 20, 1933, the 2nd Session of the 72nd Congress submitted to conventions of the States the question of repealing the 18th Amendment and adding new language to the Constitution that the transportation or importation of alcoholic beverages for delivery or use in any State would have to be carried out in compliance with the laws of the State;
Whereas on December 3, 1933, Utah became the 36th State to approve what became the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, the quickest-ratified amendment and the only ever decided by State conventions, pursuant to article V of the Constitution;
Whereas alcohol is the only product in commerce that has been the subject of 2 constitutional amendments;
Whereas Congress's reenactment of the Webb-Kenyon Act, passage of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, the 21st Amendment Enforcement Act, annual appropriations to support State enforcement of underage drinking laws, and the STOP Underage Drinking Act demonstrated the longstanding and continuing intent of Congress that States exercise their primary authority to achieve temperance, the creation and maintenance of orderly and stable markets, and the facilitation of the efficient collection of taxes;
Whereas legislatures and alcoholic beverage control agencies in the 50 States have worked diligently to implement the powers granted by the 21st Amendment for 75 years;
Whereas legislatures and alcoholic beverage control agencies in all States created and maintain State-based regulatory systems for alcohol distribution made up of producers and importers, wholesale distributors, and retailers;
Whereas development of a transparent and accountable system of distribution and sales, an orderly market, temperance in consumption and safe practices, the efficient collection of taxes, and other essential policies have been successfully guided by the collective experience and cooperation of government agencies and licensed industry members throughout our geographically and culturally diverse Nation;
Whereas regulated commerce in alcoholic beverages contributes billions of dollars in Federal and State tax revenues and additional billions to the economy annually;
Whereas 2,500 breweries, distilleries, wineries, and import companies, 2,700 wholesale distributor facilities, over 530,000 retail outlets, and numerous agricultural, packaging, and transportation businesses support the employment of millions of Americans;
Whereas the American system of State-based alcohol regulation has resulted in a marketplace with unprecedented choice, variety, and selection for consumers;
Whereas members of the licensed alcoholic beverage industry have been constant partners with Federal and State Governments in balancing the conduct of competitive businesses with the need to control alcohol in order to provide American consumers with a safe and regulated supply of alcoholic beverages; and
Whereas members of the licensed alcoholic beverage industry have created and supported a wide range of national, State, and community programs to address problems associated with alcohol abuse, including drunk driving and underage drinking: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
(1) celebrates 75 years of effective State-based alcohol regulation since the passage of the 21st Amendment;
(2) recognizes State lawmakers, regulators, law enforcement officers, the public health community and industry members for creating a workable, legal, and successful system of alcoholic beverage regulation, distribution, and sale; and
(3) continues to support policies that allow States to effectively regulate alcohol
Thanks to Bruce Mirkin
Friday, September 26, 2008
the criminal racketeering organization "World Forum Against Drugs"
http://www.wfad08.org/patronage.htmlThe organization rejects science in favor of believing that matters way less then 'legality'- rejects even distinctions between say smoking Marijuana and shooting cocaine.
We are honoured that World Forum Against Drugs will be organised under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Silvia. We also have the privilege to announce that H. M. Queen will open the conference on Monday the 8th of September.
All forms of differentiation between so-called “soft” and so-called “hard” drugs must cease. Extensive research confirms that the use of cannabis is detrimental to health, causes crime, and is addictive. Cannabis, and certain other drugs regarded in some countries as “soft”, should be viewed in the same way as other types of illicit/psychotropic drugs when it comes to control policy, rehabilitation and preventive measures.This organization devotes itself to the myth of "drugs" as something just consisting of whatever the UN has banned, and excluding anything else regardless of any actual health issues- e.g. they have no interest in the abuse of alcohol, cigarettes or prescription pharmaceuticals, all marking this as a fraudulent organization dedicated to criminal mercantilism.
Queen Silvia and company need to smoke some caffeine pill as a start to see the fallacy of their attitudes of legislative crime mattering more than pharamacology. Of course they do not address how their policies create drug abuse by promoting concentrated forms of drug taking- as with opiates and cocaine.
I do not know if Queen Silvia is just an idiot or one who has sold her soul to some secretive society.
This woman is nominally "Lutheran" yet she supports the Vatican's pharmacratic inquisition.
That Sweden would allow itself to be so debased suggests that Lutheranism has been utterly rotted out by those that gave us this pharmacratic inquisition.
Why the drug war is a crime against humanity explained in plain EnglishNot just the people who sit back and do nothing, but the legislative, executive and bureaucratic criminals who enact, implement and enforce such 'laws'. Some examples below:
By Carmen Yarrusso
Online Journal Guest Writer
http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3608.shtml"It�s impossible to reason people out of something they have never been reasoned into." --Jonathan Swift
Like the Iraq war and the "war on terror," the so-called "drug war" is a government contrived "war" based on lies that generate massive profits for a few while causing massive suffering for many.
The drug war is futile by design (and thus never-ending) because it doesn't "fight" drugs -- quite the contrary -- it strongly encourages production and distribution of prohibited drugs by guaranteeing extremely high profits.
But the most insidious and evil aspect of the drug war is it manufactures its own enemies by criminalizing the most basic of human rights -- the right of sovereignty over your own body. The drug war could not exist without first inventing a bogus crime.
Our government wastes billions of tax dollars each year harassing and jailing millions of decent, productive Americans for a government-invented "crime." The use of drugs (even dangerous drugs like alcohol and nicotine) simply doesn�t meet any reasonable definition of "crime."
Real crime requires action that harms another. Real crime requires both a victim and a perpetrator. For example, robbery harms another and has both a victim and a perpetrator. Only a corrupt, depraved government could invent a crime you commit against yourself.
If you use certain drugs, our government claims you're both a criminal and a victim at the same time. Since the perpetrator can't be separated from the victim, the victim is further punished for the "crime." This pathetic perversion of justice is vigorously championed by our government for selfish political reasons.
More than 50 government agencies share billions of your tax dollars each year "fighting" a government-created crime. Of the millions of illegal drug users, the vast majority use marijuana. If marijuana were legal like alcohol, these government agencies would suddenly lose billions of dollars because millions of former "criminals" would suddenly be granted sovereignty over their own bodies. The vast army amassed to fight the drug war would need to be dissolved at great cost.
That's why our government strongly opposes even honest debate about marijuana legalization because this massive money-making scam would soon end.
Ingesting nicotine, alcohol, fatty foods, or certain drugs may be unwise. But why is it a crime? If a drug user or a non-drug user harms another they should be treated equally. But the bogus "crime" of drug use doesn't require harming anyone. Nor does it require a victim and a perpetrator. It only requires a government-invented, bogus criminal/victim, a drug user.
By using lies and deception our government convinces gullible Americans that simply putting something into your own body is a serious crime. But evidence clearly shows that nearly all the harm associated with drug use is caused by creating the bogus crime, not from the actual drug use. There are millions of drug users, but relatively few are harmed by their drug use. These few should be patients, not criminals.
But it's not just the millions arrested for drug use who suffer from this gross injustice. We gullible Americans have allowed our government to invent a bogus crime that causes massive misery worldwide while costing the taxpayers billions.
Consider the following list of easily avoidable human tragedies that are the direct result of a government-invented, bogus crime: A tax-free, unregulated, multi-billion dollar drug industry necessarily run by violent criminals; a giant law enforcement bureaucracy wasting billions in a futile attempt to curtail this drug industry, which, in fact, guarantees its extreme profitability; a deteriorating public education system robbed of billions to support this law enforcement bureaucracy; courts and prisons overflowing with non-violent "criminals" while murderers, rapists and real criminals go free; tens of thousands of children enduring the suffering and stigma of having one or both parents in jail for a bogus "crime"; the gradual erosion of our Constitution as more and more civil liberties are sacrificed to fight a crime "made in USA"; rampant corruption of foreign governments (like Mexico and Columbia), so driven by US drug profits that life and human rights are secondary; thousands of adults and children infected and dying from HIV because distributing clean needles is a "crime"; violent street gangs with little incentive for education or legitimate jobs reaping huge drug profits made possible by a bogus crime; a growing death toll from police breaking down doors to catch people using substances less dangerous than tobacco, alcohol or fatty foods; a growing cynicism and disrespect for all laws and authority fueled by the knowledge our government can arbitrarily invent a bogus crime . . .
This sordid list goes on and on.
We're appalled when Islamic regimes invent bogus crimes against reading certain books, or listening to certain music. Using certain drugs is our government's version of the same thing. But the worldwide consequences of US drug prohibition are far more serious and severe. All of these "crimes" lack the moral basis of real crime. All are clear cases of a repressive government dictating the private personal behavior of its citizens.If real crime is knowingly causing harm to others, then the real crime here is not drug use, but making drug use a "crime." And the real criminals are not drug users, but ordinary people like us, who sit back and condone a ruthless scam that has been exported and exploited around the world leaving massive human suffering in its wake.
Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor
Virginia Legislative Criminal/Salvia Ban Sponsor
John O'Bannon (R)
The failure of this happening to G.W. Bush is a failure of our rotted out secretive society led 'governmnet'.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Sen. John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has admitted she smoked marijuana in the past, but says it's not an issue because it was legal under Alaska law. She says though, that marijuana should be illegal. So what she did should have been a crime. And she should be considered a criminal. But it wasn't, and she's not; so it's not an issue. That's a more convoluted obfuscation than former President Clinton's admission that he smoked marijuana "but didn't inhale."
While possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use is legal in Alaska, it's still illegal under federal law. That makes Gov. Palin a criminal in the eyes of the federal government. Does she think she should be sent to federal prison? Or should states be allowed to set their own marijuana policies and the feds should butt out? Eighteen states have marijuana policies at odds with federal law.
And what about the many law-abiding, taxpaying Alaskans who currently smoke marijuana. If marijuana is re-criminalized in Alaska like she proposes, many of these citizens will face arrest and life-long criminal records. Had Gov. Palin been arrested for marijuana, it is doubtful she would be running for Vice President now. In her heart-of-hearts does Gov. Palin really think that people who smoke marijuana belong in jail and not the Governor's Mansion or the White House?
These are not idle questions. The police make more than 1.8 million drug arrests every year in the United States, nearly 700,000 for nothing more than possession of marijuana for personal use. Those arrested are separated from their loved ones, branded criminals, denied jobs, and in many cases prohibited from accessing public assistance for life.
Even if someone is incarcerated for just one day, that can be enough for them to lose their job. In today's economy, losing a job can lead to months of unemployment, undermining families and costing taxpayer money. And a marijuana conviction can follow a person for life, making it harder for them to get a job and leading to reduced earnings potential.
College students who are arrested for marijuana possession automatically lose their student loans under federal law. Depending on the state, a marijuana arrest can make someone ineligible for food stamps and other federal public assistance for life, even if they need aid to feed and clothe their children.
A marijuana arrest, even for a minor offense, is enough to get a person kicked out of public housing and onto the streets. In fact, entire families can be kicked out of federal public housing for the violation of just one member, even if the marijuana offense occurred on the other side of the city.
And in some states, getting caught with marijuana is enough to lose your right to vote, in some cases for life. Of course in Alaska, you can smoke marijuana and get elected to public office. Gov. Palin is lucky. Millions of Americans are not.
It's long past time for Republicans and Democrats alike to admit that the war on marijuana is doing more harm than good. There's no need to be afraid of what voters might think; the American people are already there. Substantial majorities favor legalizing marijuana for medical use (70 percent to 80 percent) and fining recreational marijuana users instead of arresting and jailing them (61 percent to 72 percent). Twelve states have legalized marijuana for medical use and 12 states have decriminalized recreational marijuana use (six states have done both).
Democratic Congressman Barney Frank and Republican Congressman Ron Paul have introduced legislation in Congress that eliminates federal criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Someone should ask Gov. Palin where she stands on the bill. Pot-smoking politicians from Al Gore to Newt Gingrich have dodged the question of why they don't belong in jail but others do. Maybe Gov. Palin really is a maverick.
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008
Last week I wrote from the Democratic National Convention. This week I’d like to share some insights regarding the Republican National Convention.
It's hard to know what to make of Senator McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. She's admitted to smoking marijuana -- but then again that's also true of every Democratic nominee for president since 1992, as well as Newt Gingrich, Clarence Thomas and lots of other prominent Republicans. As for the current president, he never admitted it but others did so on his behalf. We've practically reached the stage where smoking a joint at some point in one's life seems a prerequisite for anyone under the age of 65 aspiring to national office.
Alaska has legalized marijuana for medical use. So have 11 other states. Yet, the federal government continues to persecute patients and caregivers in those states. I don't think Governor Palin has made clear what she thinks of this, notwithstanding the fact that she represents a state and a political party that believe strongly in the rights of states to regulate their own affairs. It would be nice if some journalist posed this question to her.
I've yet to find much information about Governor Palin's views and record on drug policy. She has said that marijuana should be illegal -- although presumably she's glad she never was arrested for her own use. But she's also made clear that marijuana should not be a top law enforcement priority. That's good -- and probably politically wise given that close to 50 percent of Alaskans think marijuana should be legal.
As for Senator McCain, it's hard to be optimistic that he'll do much good on drug policy. He has publicly mocked medical marijuana patients. Back in 1999, he introduced a bill that would have banned methadone maintenance as an approved treatment for heroin addiction, notwithstanding the scientific consensus that it is by far the most effective treatment available. The only good news was his recent speech at the Urban League where he spoke in favor of diverting more nonviolent drug law offenders to treatment instead of prison.
What I find most interesting this week -- from a drug policy perspective -- has nothing to do with what's on the main stage. Just down the road in Minneapolis, Republican Congressman Ron Paul is holding a shadow convention with 10,000 of his supporters. No one ever stirred up the libertarian wing of the Republican Party the way he did during the primaries. It was good to have him holding forth on ending drug prohibition the way that William Buckley, Milton Friedman, former Secretary of State George Shultz and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson have in years and decades past.
And then there's the campaign of Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr, a former Republican Congressman. He used to be one of the Republican Party’s biggest cheerleaders for the war on drugs but he’s now embraced drug policy reform in a big way. He and I were invited to debate one another at Fordham Law School last year but Bob Barr couldn't find enough ways to agree with me.
There's no question the Republican Party is evolving as its libertarian wing gains strength. And it's our job at the Drug Policy Alliance to meld the libertarian sentiments on the right with the social justice passions on the left into an ever more powerful movement for ending the nation's longest and most costly war -- the war on drugs.
Drug Policy Alliance Network
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I’m writing to you from Denver where I’m attending the Democratic National Convention (look for an email from me next week about the Republican National Convention). I thought you might be wondering how my colleagues and I feel about Sen. Barack Obama’s selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate. Sen. Biden is unquestionably one of the chief architects of the modern war on drugs but also an unlikely ally in some of our most important fights. He has been at the center of many of our national campaigns -- perhaps more so than any other senator.
In the 1980s, Sen. Biden played a major role in enacting the draconian mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that have filled our prisons with nonviolent drug law violators. And he sponsored the law creating the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) -- he actually coined the term "drug czar," giving Bill Bennett and other drug war extremists a national stage and increased funding and power. In 2003, he passed the RAVE Act, which makes it easier for the government to prosecute bar and nightclub owners for the drug law offenses of their customers.
On the other hand, Sen. Biden has been a strong supporter of treatment and prevention. For instance, he was one of only five senators to vote against confirming President Bush’s drug czar, John Walters, who has a history of short-changing treatment. And he helped write the Drug Addiction Treatment Act, which makes it easier for family doctors to prescribe buprenorphine and other replacement therapy medications from their offices, taking the pressure off special treatment clinics.
Earlier this year, Sen. Biden surprised many by introducing legislation to completely eliminate the 100-to-1 crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity, leapfrogging more modest reforms put forth by Sens. Kennedy, Hatch, Sessions and others. Like many senior members of Congress, Biden had voted for the legislation in the 1980s that created the disparity. Unlike most though, he has the guts and humility to admit he was wrong.
Sen. Biden’s groundbreaking bill has seven co-sponsors, including Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton. It is a sign of how politically popular drug policy reform has become among voters that a major presidential candidate not only co-sponsors a reform bill but nominates the bill’s sponsor as his running mate. That Sen. Biden is willing to be on the same ticket with Sen. Obama, who has indicated he understands the war on drugs isn’t working and called for a new paradigm, may be evidence that his own views on drug policy are shifting.
The Drug Policy Alliance and Drug Policy Alliance Network's relationship with Sen. Biden has certainly been rocky. We strongly opposed the RAVE Act, dubbing him the “Footloose senator” and leading a national grassroots campaign that forced him to change key elements of his bill. Now we’re working with him to eliminate the crack/powder disparity.
No matter who wins the White House in November or what positions they take, we’ll keep fighting for drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. We’ll thank policymakers when they’re right and criticize them when they’re wrong. We’re glad you’re with us.
Drug Policy Alliance Network
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Smoke anything other then carcinogenic tobacco,
and get assaulted by criminal sociopaths who would go to any length to prevent you from getting high
As a reminder of what BS the 'drug war' its notable how jurisdictions that are so gung ho on the 'drug war' have such significant stakes in maintaining this criminal mercantilsm.
hoovis @ 9/1/2008 3:09 AM
I'm not a member of law enforcement, but a gun enthusiast who frequently checks out the site for its firearms related content (which I think is very good). Anyway, I felt compelled to comment on this article, simply because I don't see any good reason why a police department servicing civilians needs to have an APC in its arsenal. I can really seen no legitimate use for such hardware that wouldn't warrant a call to the National Guard. In what situation would a county police department need to use an APC (complete with a .50 cal machine gun)? For those concerned about the militarization of civilian police forces and the bad things that happen as a result of the use of excess force during (what should be) routine police work, this is disturbing. Thanks - Burt Hoovis
The South Carolina Tobacco Legacy
Tobacco has been an important crop in the state since the colonial days. English colonists arriving from Barbados and settling near Charleston first brought tobacco seeds into the state over 300 years ago. The first permanent settlement in the new colony of Carolina (present-day North and South Carolina and Georgia) was in 1670 to Albemarle Point on the Ashley River. The colonists later laid out a capital city, Charles Town, across the river on a more defendable peninsula. The city, with its almost land-locked harbor and system of forts, would later become the most important seaport of the Southern colonies.
Since the colonists were already familiar with the island leaf culture, they immediately began producing tobacco. Only a shortage of manpower hindered greater tobacco production. To increase the labor force in South Carolina, land was offered to those who would come and inhabit the area and plant tobacco. The golden leaf prospered for the next 200 years in South Carolina until the Civil War and Reconstruction brought tobacco as well as almost all of South Carolina's agriculture, industry, and commerce to halt.
Plantations spread up and down the tidelands during the 1700's. Towns emerged and the colony was divided into North and South Carolina in 1713 by Parliament because of religious differences and lack of defense for the large area. South Carolina grew and prospered. The British Navy protected commerce, indigo was subsidized by Parliament, and rice was allowed direct export to France. South Carolina reluctantly supported the Declaration of Independence and participated in the Continental Congresses, because the colony was already thriving under good trade policies for tobacco and other products and was undisturbed by Parliamentary restrictions that the colonies to the north found infuriating. However, in March of 1776, South Carolina also declared its independence from England. After the American Revolution, South Carolina introduced regular warehouse and inspection procedures. Much of the leaf from the state was sent to Virginia and North Carolina, where processing and manufacturing centers were evolving.
With the invention of the cotton gin in the mid-1800's, many planters turned away from the leaf and toward the boll. Cotton made the slave system profitable, and federal efforts to restrict its production polarized the North and South. By 1860, South Carolina ranked third in per capita wealth in the United States, and cotton, rice, and tobacco cultivation dominated agriculture.
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union and plunged headlong into the Civil War. The war proved to be a devastating blow to the people and the economy---the state's greatest tragedy. The army of the North cut a path of destruction across the state, ravaging almost half of the tobacco crop. As the textile industry developed in South Carolina during the late 1800's, agriculture in general began to decline, but tobacco made a comeback toward the end of the century after a new type of leaf was introduced into the state from its neighbor to the north.
By the end of the 19th century, the economy was renewed, and South Carolinians were again growing tobacco---the new variety, "bright leaf". Bright leaf tobacco, which turned a lemon yellow during curing, was a lighter, finer leaf and sold at premium prices. Because of the oversupply of cotton and its increasing unprofitability, "bright leaf" tobacco production spread throughout the sandy areas of the coastal plain. Tobacco acreage planted fluctuated with prevailing cotton prices.
W. H. (Buck) Daniel, a native North Carolinian and a Confederate soldier imprisoned in New York, pioneered the development of bright leaf tobacco in South Carolina's northeast Pee Dee area. He founded a supply store, the first tobacco warehouse in Mullins (Planters Warehouse), a redrying plant, and the Bank of Mullins. He also helped organize the Merchants and Farmers Bank of Marion, the first institution in the Pee Dee to make direct loans to farmers and to finance crop production.
Frank M. Rogers was also a pioneer of the bright leaf. He began planting in 1882 in Florence County, he broken even in his second year, and he made a profit in his third. In 1886, many of Rogers' neighbors joined him, and a $50 prize was offered for the best tobacco in each county. Rogers won the money.
With the increased demand by manufacturers for more bright leaf, officials, newspapers, and warehousemen promoted production. The Atlantic Coast Line Railway prepared and distributed over 20,000 pamphlets, aimed at persuading coastal plain farmers to abandon cotton for tobacco. A Charleston newspaper, The News and Observer, distributed seeds and instructions and hired professional demonstrators to advise prospective growers. Auction warehousemen from North Carolina went into the coastal plain to teach cultivation. Local growers organized markets, and in 1890 other manufacturers were persuaded to send buyers to Marion County for its first marketing season. Prior to this, growers had to send their crops to northern manufacturing centers. By 1900, South Carolina ranked sixth in the tobacco producing states. Ten years earlier, it had been 19th.
The manufacture of tobacco products in South Carolina was short-lived. At one time tobacco manufacturing employed as many as 500 people, but competition from the north proved too much for South Carolinians.
In the 1940s, South Carolina growers began to produce another type of tobacco in the northwestern Piedmont---Turkish tobacco, an aromatic type used in blended cigarettes which were popular during and following World War I. Overseas markets gradually regained preference, and South Carolina returned to bright leaf and other crops.
Today, tobacco barns still dot the Pee Dee area of South Carolina where most of the tobacco crops are grown, harvested, and sold. The golden leaf remains closely woven into the economic and social fabric of South Carolina, and because of improved quality, South Carolina tobacco is among the best in the nation. No other crop brings so great a per acre profit to the Palmetto State.
Laws within U.S. jurisdiction violate Constitution and may constitute criminal racketeering under R.I.C.O. act broader then that already prosecuted.
The Pharmacratic Inquisition- Deceiving the Masses
Tobacco Versus Coca
Ladies’ Home Journal stirs the pot in this excerpt, which follows after this one.
Pharmacies became a target of the female-dominated temperance movement because regulating their wares was a way to secure some of that elusive legal protection for women and children. In 1892, Ladies’ Home Journal editor Edward Bok barred patent-medicine advertising from the publication. Over the next several years, he published numerous pieces revealing the true ingredients of many patent medicines and explicitly called the WCTU to action. In 1904, Bok declared that Doctor Pierce’s Favorite Prescription, a favorite patent preparation of pregnant women, contained not only alcohol and opium, but also the potentially deadly plant extract digitalis—too late, it tuned out: Pierce had changed his formula since the magazine secured its sample. After losing a $200,000 lawsuit, the Journal hired lawyer-cum-journalist Mark Sullivan to help continue Bok’s crusade in a more law-savvy, less financially dangerous manner.
Sullivan delivered, contributing to exposés on unethical patent-medicine business practices. One Washington journalist made a career of securing testimonials from senators and representatives, charging companies $75 for the former and the relatively cut-rate $40 for the latter. Sullivan also helped Bok uncover the brisk business in supposedly confidential letters from female nostrum users, which, along with the writers’ addresses, traded hands by the thousands among patent-medicine companies—and anyone else who was willing to pay for them. When companies wrote these women back—after employees had giggled over their missives’ “spicy” parts—they frequently answered with a form letter, and sometimes with the wrong medication. “The medicines are put up by young girls who are constantly making mistakes and sending men’s remedies to women, and vice versa,” Sullivan writes in a 1906 story. “They can’t do otherwise because they have to send out a certain number of treatments in a given time.”
As such pieces galvanized women against the industry, Jane Addams, the legendary Chicago suffrage and anti-war activist, campaigned for a ban on common patent-medicine ingredient cocaine, which passed in her hometown in 1904. In 1905, muckraking journalist Samuel Hopkins Adams published an 11-part investigative series in Collier’s Weekly exposing much of the patent-medicine industry as fraudulent. Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle followed soon after, helping convince President Theodore Roosevelt and the American public that a law regulating both drugs and food was needed. Historian James Harvey Young describes the coalition that got the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 through Congress as made up of “agricultural chemists, State food and drug officials, women’s club members, the medical profession, sympathetic journalists, [and] the reform wing of business.” The Equal Suffrage League, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and the WCTU were all involved.
Women’s groups that supported the Pure Food and Drugs Act were concerned with protecting consumers from adulterated products. The American Pharmaceutical Association, however, didn’t have such untainted motivations.
Public opposition to patent medicines came at a time when American drug use was declining, after a peak in the 1890s. It was the corruption of the industry, as exposed in the Collier’s investigation, that was the most troubling drug issue for most Americans. Big Pharma was happy to play along. It was in its clear interest to have its intoxicants marketed through doctors rather than through unregulated pharmacies: It would disassociate its products from patent medicines and help crush competition from smaller firms. In 1903, the American Pharmaceutical Association had already proposed legislation that would make the sale of cocaine, opiates, and chloral hydrate illegal without a prescription. Congress implemented the law in the District of Columbia, and a few state legislatures followed suit.
In 1905, Congress banned opium imports and prohibited the drug’s use in the Philippines. Opium smokers quickly switched to morphine, heroin, and cocaine, which were still legal. In opium, politicos had found an issue that they could use to win favor with China in opposition to Europe, which had violently forced opium into Chinese lungs as a method of commercial subjugation. Allying with China against opium was a useful foreign-policy tool, though it wasn’t especially interesting to Americans back home.
Although temperance advocates included drugs in their condemnation of insobriety, booze remained a much bigger public-health concern among most progressives. Reliable estimates put the number of drug addicts at only around half a million nationwide, out of a total population of under 100 million. In 1910, President William Howard Taft told Congress that cocaine was “the most dangerous drug in America,” but attempts to push comprehensive drug prohibition through went nowhere. So drug opponents took a more modest approach. Hamilton Wright, the U.S. Opium Commissioner, led the effort, with the press as his able assistant. A 5,000-word profile of Wright published in the New York Times in March 1911 begins, “Read this paragraph and gasp.”“Of all the nations of the world,” Dr. Hamilton Wright, who knows more of the subject than any other living man, told me the other day, “the United States consumes most habit-forming drugs per capita. Opium, the most pernicious drug known to humanity, is surrounded, in this country, with far fewer safeguards than any other nation in Europe fences it with. China now guards it with much greater care than we do; Japan preserves her people from it far more intelligently than we do ours, who can buy it, in almost any form, in every tenth one of our drug stores. Our physicians use it recklessly in remedies and thus become responsible for making numberless ‘dope fiends,’ and in uncounted nostrums offered everywhere for sale it figures, in habit-forming quantities without restriction.”
Elsewhere in the piece, the Times, perhaps the first to militarize drug-policy debate, calls Wright’s effort a “battle with the evil” and suggests that “it is to be devoutly hoped” that he prevails. As with many of today’s drug epidemics, it took the media to alert the citizenry that there was one. “Few people realize how serious the opium habit has become in the United States,” the story maintains. “Ask most men where most opium is used and they will answer, ‘China,’ without the slightest hesitation; but the fact is definitely otherwise. Our per capita consumption equals and probably exceeds that of the dragon empire, and there the habit is being intelligently killed, while here it is increasing with so great a speed that we may well stand startled at the contemplation of its spread.”
Wright proposed going after the pharmaceutical industry. “As a result of the illicit traffic in these drugs the pharmaceutical profession in this country has lost much of its dignity,” he told the reporter, “and this is fully justified by facts; the medical profession must include within its ranks a multitude of arrant knaves, the greater number of them, possibly, themselves victims of the drug and robbed by it of all sense of their responsibility to their patients and society.”
But Big Pharma would make that strategy problematic.
Wright’s plan was to limit narcotic sales to licensed, monitored pharmacies, which could deal only with patients with prescriptions. He refused to compromise with the pharmaceutical industry, which sought to use his legislation only to put smaller vendors of patent medicines out of business. His bill died in House committees in 1911, 1912, and 1913, blocked by Big Pharma.
Wright, a State Department official, had better luck internationally. In 1906, at Wright’s urging, Roosevelt called for an international convention on drugs. Underscoring China’s interest in the issue, it was held in Shanghai in 1909, with a follow-up conference—this one with treaty-making authority—taking place two years later. The Hague Opium Convention, the beginning of the international antidrug effort, was contentious, because many of the 13 participating countries benefited from the opium trade. Nonetheless, Wright succeeded in getting participants to pledge to pass laws regulating opium, morphine, heroin, and cocaine—thus obligating Congress to enact his own legislation.
Despite the international mandate, Wright was still stymied at home. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, a fervent prohibitionist, convinced Wright to sit down with the drug lobby. A few compromises later, the legislation was finally moving. Marijuana, then still known as cannabis, was excluded from the plan. So was chloral, a sedative popular at the time but almost unheard of today. (Mary Todd Lincoln took it for insomnia, though it was supplanted in the 20th century by Quaaludes, Benzedrine, and other depressants. Anna Nicole Smith’s death, however, was reportedly the result of chloral-and-Benzedrine cocktail.) Pharmaceutical bookkeeping requirements were standardized and simplified so the reform wouldn’t be costly to major firms. The large companies didn’t want an overly complicated system of paperwork, but they weren’t opposed to regulation per se—after all, it impacted smaller, undiversified companies the most.
The labeling regulations of the Pure Food and Drug Act had already dented the business of the once-secretive patent-medicine vendors. Now their profits from soon-to-be-regulated drugs would be vulnerable to investigation. Big Pharma was winning.
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2008 at 4:55 pm by Ryan Grim and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.