Archive for the Category »Drugs «

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Drug Dealing…Econ 0730…

While the central focus of a prisoner’s existence is the cause that put us in here and the terms and conditions that we have to serve, most of us cease being overly obsessed with the issue within a year-or-so.

The Real Plan Colombia…

The conservative and public myth is that most prisoners claim they’re innocent.  Actually, very few do.  However, many do accurately claim mis-charging and draconian sentencing.

Given all the hidden stats (youth, worker immigrants, security, etc.) there are close to 3 million souls in the American prisoner gulag.  The largest prison system in the history of the world. more…

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Commerce Clause vs. We the People…

Some of my readers behind the razor-wire have asked me to respond to the US Constitution’s Commerce Clause and drug laws.  They were prompted by their recent observation that a federal district court in Virginia overthrew part of Obama’s Health Care law citing that Clause.

With the caveat that I am not an attorney, have no exceptional knowledge of the law, and caution people to do their own research, I’ll speak to what I can.

There is no enumerated rule in the Constitution giving the federal gov’t power to tell people what they can or can’t ingest.  Contrary, Thomas Jefferson and others argued against any such rule.  He stated, “Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.” more…

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Snitches & Plea Bargains…

Without snitches and plea bargains, there would hardly be a prison system.  Cops would have to actually learn and perform detection work (which is mostly TV fiction), and prosecutors and judges would have to try cases.

Haji Juma Khan

In a system where an abundance of the criminalization of individuals includes a multitude of sin/religious, moral, and consensual crimes, over 90% of felonies charged are plea bargained to avoid trial.

This tends to have defendants grossly over-charged to begin with in anticipation that the charges will later be plea-bargained.  Kind of like the boosted “sales” in many stores…fiction to begin with.  Another gambit is charging, or threatening to charge, family members.  “Cooperate,” and they go free.  Conservatives prefer the idea of justice as “business.” more…

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Terminator Signs Marijuana Bill…

OK, here’s a piece of news that just came to my attention.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) signed into law a Marijuana Decriminalization Bill (SB-1449) last Thursday, September 30th.  Well, sort of…

Possession heretofore of up to an ounce of reefer in California was a $100 fine, plus an arrest record, court appearance, etc.  As of January 1st, it’ll still be a $100 fine, but like a traffic offense, no arrest record.

Interestingly, in a few weeks—November 2nd—California has another pot bill coming up, Proposition 19, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act.  If passed by a simple majority, it becomes effective the day after the election.  The latest polls show it passing (48% in favor, 11% undecided).

In terms of the American Tribune prison experience connection, more than 500,000 people in California have been criminalized for reefer over the past 10 years.  Last year alone witnessed over 60,000 busted in the land of sun & fun. more…

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The Emperor Wears No Clothes…

Some 55% of all federal inmates are incarcerated for drugs.  About 13% of the 2.5 million prisoners across the US—including all of the states—are convicted of marijuana “crimes” alone. 

Having served 20+ years in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), I thought I pretty much knew most of what there was to know about reefer and reefer cases.  I was wrong.

Jack Herer published the book shown here back in 1985.  Since then, it has gone into 11 editions and is easily considered the bible of the marijuana industry.  (Herer died last April 2010.)

Herer documents the usual information on marijuana, its history and benign if temporal criminal cultivation and use, but so much more… more…

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OJ & The October Rebellion…

One of my favorite times of the day in prison was early morning . . . just around 5-am when the cell doors are unlocked.  Cleaning time, showers, getting ready for work and the early morning news on the common-area TVs. 

PigShitAs a former professional journalist, I like to think of myself as a discerning viewer, but sometimes any fool could see the reality for themselves.

By viewing the raw footage early, and then catching the edited version later, the differences are often quite remarkable, or at least, they used to be (the corp-media has since closed this avenue for real news).

I recall one such as morning during the final assault by the “jack-booted thugs” of the ATF and FBI on the Waco Koresh Compound, April 19th, 1993.

The early news included un-edited clips of the para-military police agents surrounding the compound, shouting with glee and high-fiving each other as the main building burned.  Raw footage showed survivors–men, women and children trying to escape the flames–being gunned down like rabid dogs.  Later, all that was edited out.  Since then . . . the media has become far more adept…

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Immigration & Marijuana History…

Fleeing Drug Violence, Mexicans Pour Into U.S. By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. 

###End of NYT article###

In addition to the above article…sorry for the cliché, but George really is one of the nicest guys you’d want to know.  A throw-back to the hippie generation with long blond locks and matching trim beard.  Soft spoken, educated without a lot of formal schooling, and friendly to a fault…too trusting in fact.  His “crime”?  Cultivating and selling marijuana.  But it didn’t start with George…

Drug Victims...

Drug Victims…

One of the first marijuana prohibition laws in the United States was enacted in 1903 in Brownsville, Texas.  It pertained at the time exclusively to Mexicans.  The troubles south of the border were apparently causing many Mexicans to escape the growing hostilities by crossing to the U.S.   more…

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Medical Marijuana & Prison…

The New York Times reports that the US Veterans Administration (VA) has now been instructed to “ease the rules for users of medical marijuana.”  The VA has basically been told to ignore the use by military veterans of prescribed marijuana in those states where it has been declared legal.  (Vets who are found using illicit drugs often lose their VA medical benefits.)

Vet-Grown Reefer

     This is the first time that the gov’t has given an inch since its participation in the creation of the drug laws.

While it’s only a small step, it will be interesting to witness how it plays out with the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). more…

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Coca Comeback…

Not that it ever went away in the US, but apparently for the cocaleros and anti-narco military of Peru, business is booming.  A recent article in the New York Times speaks to the subject.

Coca police

Coca police

The article reports that given the “drug war” in Colombia, the cultivation of coca is moving back to Peru and Bolivia.  With mass markets in the US, Brazil, and Europe, this development is inevitable. more…

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Drug War Prisoners…

In the 20 years I’ve served in the federal prison system in a dozen different institutions, I’ve had many cellmates.  A few were predatory and even psychopathic, but the majority were, like myself, “drug war” prisoners with no history or tendency for criminal violence.

Don't I wish...

Don’t I wish…

Hans was a Lufthansa Airline pilot who was convicted of smuggling heroin.  Minh was a Vietnamese ship’s captain, stopped on the high seas with a boatload of drugs.  Salazar was a Cuban — a former member of the 2506 Brigade that was at the Bay of Pigs invasion in ’61.  He was later convicted in a cocaine smuggling operation out of Colombia.

There were a couple of Israelis and Palestinians (ironically, the closest of friends).  If I believed them and had to guess, I’d come to the conclusion that drugs are serious business in Israel and the Occupied Territories.  In the vacuum of normal commerce, I suppose that’s understandable. more…

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