Date: February 24, 2008
Subject: John Walters' Lies
DrugSense offers a number of incredible, free services to drug policy reformers, researchers, and advocates (please see www.drugsense.org/ ). However, our main mission is to promote honesty and accuracy in the War on Drugs, with the goal of moving us towards a more evidence-based, public health-centered approach to substance use.
Although it would be nearly impossible to list all of the misinformation disseminated by the U.S. federal government in regards to the War on Drugs, we believe that it's useful to occasionally point out major mistruths. With this in mind, the following list embodies the three most recent Drug War lies told by John Walters, America's drug czar, as well as links to the articles on www.mapinc.org that help to dispel these misguided myths:
1. Canada is shipping "Extreme Ecstasy" to the U.S. The ONDCP's first major press release of 2008 made a disturbing announcement. According to Walters, there is a "dangerous new drug threat coming from Canada: Extreme Ecstasy." Less than two weeks after the January 4th press release, the head of the RCMP's national drug branch sternly rebuked the ONDCP claims. Supt. Paul Nadeau said he doesn't know why Walters would make such fictional statements without checking facts with Canadian officials. He added that he himself has never heard of "extreme Ecstasy.... it would appear that it's a term that somebody came up with in a boardroom in Washington, D.C." www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n077/a02.html
2. The War on Drugs is working. After government research suggested that cocaine prices had gone up 44% over a 9 month period, Walters declared that the federal government's international interdiction policies were affecting supply. This was quickly countered by experts like Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, who stated that "assuming that high cocaine prices are hurting cartels is like assuming high gasoline prices are hurting oil companies". www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n1291/a04.html
3. Cannabis cultivators are terrorists. "These people are armed; they're dangerous. [They're] violent criminal terrorists," said Walters at a press briefing in 2007, "who wouldn't hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties." Scott Thill of Alternet researched this claim and concluded that there is no existing data to support this absurd allegation. www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n1011/a03.html
It is always frustrating when a public official deceives the public with misrepresentation and half-truths; however, because of the "war" approach to substance use advocated by the U.S. federal government, these lies are leading to an unacceptable increase in:
* the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders;
* the demonization and stigmatization of substance users;
* the number of HIV/AIDS and hep-c infections;
* the misrepresentation of the potential harms of substance use, whether legal or illegal.
In other words, these lies are not only offensive; they are resulting in an entirely avoidable loss of freedoms, life and liberty. DrugSense would like to put an end to this misguided, misrepresented, and ineffective War on Drugs, but we need your help.
To help us keep the federal government honest, please DONATE TODAY by clicking drugsense.org/donate/ It's fast and easy. All on-line donations are secure, private, and tax-deductible.
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P.S. You might note that MAP is driven by volunteers who not only archive articles, but also respond to them with Letters to the Editor.
That's the beauty of MAP. We empower those who want to change policy.
Among them are:
I Apologize For Drug Czar: www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n083/a06.html
Voluntary Student Drug Tests: Bad Idea: www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n814/a04.html
Drug Testing Pitfalls: www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n926/a11.html
Bureaucrats Don't Want to Win the Drug War: www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v07/n1220/a01.html
You, too, can participate in reforming drug laws. Please see our Media Activism Resources ( www.mapinc.org/resource/ ), help Newshawk articles ( www.mapinc.org/hawk.htm ) or join our editing team by contacting Jo-D Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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