The shocking story behind Richard Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’ that targeted blacks and anti-war activists

Scholar @Mark_J_Perry   June 14, 2018

This Sunday, June 17 will mark the 47th anniversary of a shameful day in US history — it’s when President Richard Nixon’s declared what has been the US government’s longest and costliest war — the epic failure known as the War on Drugs. At a press conference on that day in 1971, Nixon identified drug abuse as “public enemy number one in the United States” and launched a failed, costly and inhumane federal war on Americans that continues to today. Early the following year, Nixon created the Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement (ODALE) in January 1972 to wage a government war on otherwise peaceful and innocent Americans who voluntarily chose to ingest plants, weeds, and intoxicants proscribed by the government. In July 1973, ODALE was consolidated, along with several other federal drug agencies, into the newly established Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a new “super agency” to handle all aspects of the War on Drugs Otherwise Peaceful Americans.

But as John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s counsel and Assistant for Domestic Affairs, revealed in 1994, the real public enemy in 1971 wasn’t really drugs or drug abuse. Rather the real enemies of the Nixon administration were the anti-war left and blacks, and the War on Drugs was designed as an evil, deceptive and sinister policy to wage a war on those two groups. In an article in the April 2016 issue of The Atlantic (“Legalize It All: How to win the war on drugs“) author and reporter Dan Baum explains how “John Ehrlichman, the Watergate co-conspirator, unlocked for me one of the great mysteries of modern American history: How did the United States entangle itself in a policy of drug prohibition that has yielded so much misery and so few good results?” As Baum discovered, here’s the dirty and disgusting secret to that great mystery of what must be the most expensive, shameful, and reprehensible failed government policy in US history.

Americans have been criminalizing psychoactive substances since San Francisco’s anti-opium law of 1875, but it was Ehrlichman’s boss, Richard Nixon, who declared the first “War on Drugs” in 1971 and set the country on the wildly punitive and counterproductive path it still pursues. I’d tracked Ehrlichman, who had been Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser, to an engineering firm in Atlanta, where he was working on minority recruitment. At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away.

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Nixon’s invention of the War on Drugs as a political tool was cynical, but every president since — Democrat and Republican alike — has found it equally useful for one reason or another. Meanwhile, the growing cost of the Drug War is now impossible to ignore: billions of dollars wasted, bloodshed in Latin America and on the streets of our own cities, and millions of lives destroyed by draconian punishment that doesn’t end at the prison gate; one of every eight black men has been disenfranchised because of a felony conviction.

MP: As much as Prohibition (The War on Alcohol) was also an expensive, epic and misguided failure of government policy, it didn’t have its origins in any type of equivalent sinister and evil plot like the War on Drugs to destroy enemies of the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1919. In fact, President Wilson vetoed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, but the House and Senate both voted quickly to override the veto and America started the War on Alchohol Otherwise Peaceful Americans Who Voluntarily Chose to Ingest Beer, Wine, and Spirits in 1920.

If the real goal of the War on Drugs was to target, convict and incarcerate subversive anti-war “hippies” and black Americans, as Ehrlichman describes it, it sure worked as the chart above of the male incarceration rate in the US shows. During the nearly 50-year period between 1925 and the early 1970s, the male incarceration rate was remarkably stable at about 200 men per 100,000 population, or 1 US male per 500, according to data from Bureau of Justice Statistics. By 1986, about a decade after the War on Drugs started locking up drug users and dealers in cages, the male incarceration rate doubled to 400 per 100,000 population. Then within another decade, the male incarceration rate doubled again to more than 800 by 1996 before reaching a historic peak of 956 in 2008 (about one in 100) that was almost five times higher than the stable rate before the War on Drugs. The arrest and incarceration data show that the War on Drugs had a significantly much greater negative effect on blacks and Hispanics than whites, making the Drug War even more shameful for its devastating and disproportionate adverse effects on America’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

Since the 2008 peak, the male incarceration rate has been gradually declining in each of the last seven years of available data through 2016, possibly because of three trends: a) decriminalization of weeds at the city and state level, b) the legalization of medical weeds at the state level, and c) now legalization of recreational weeds at the city and state levels.

While there could have been other factors that contributed to the nearly five-fold increase in the male incarceration rate between the early 1970s and the peak in 2008, research clearly shows that the War on Drugs, along with mandatory minimum sentencing in the 1980s and the disparate treatment of powdered cocaine and “crack cocaine” (powdered cocaine processed with baking soda into smokable rocks) were all significant contributing factors to the unprecedented rate of incarcerating Americans. Here are some conclusions from the 2014 book The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (my emphasis):

  1. The states’ combined incarceration rates increased across all crime categories between 1980 and 2010 (see chart above). Most striking, however, is the dramatic increase in the incarceration rate for drug-related crimes. In 1980, imprisonment for drug offenses was rare, with a combined state incarceration rate of 15 per 100,000 population. By 2010, the drug incarceration rate had increased nearly 10-fold to 143 per 100,000. Indeed, the rate of incarceration for the single category of drug-related offenses, excluding local jails and federal prisons, by itself exceeds by 50% the average incarceration rate for all crimes of Western European countries and is twice the average incarceration rate for all crimes of a significant number of European countries.
  2. Arrest rates for federal drug offenses climbed in the 1970s, and mandatory prison time for these offenses became more common in the 1980s. Mandatory prison sentences, intensified enforcement of drug laws, and long sentences contributed not only to overall high rates of incarceration but also especially to extraordinary rates of incarceration in black and Latino communities. Intensified enforcement of drug laws subjected blacks, more than whites, to new mandatory minimum sentences—despite lower levels of drug use and no higher demonstrated levels of trafficking among the black than the white population.
  3. As a result of the lengthening of sentences and greatly expanded drug law enforcement and imprisonment for drug offenses, criminal defendants became more likely to be sentenced to prison and remained there significantly longer than in the past. The policy shifts that propelled the growth in incarceration had disproportionately large effects on African Americans and Latinos. Indeed, serving time in prison has become a normal life event among recent birth cohorts of African American men who have not completed high school.

Bottom Line: Even without the nefarious, vile, and veiled origins revealed by Ehrlichman in 1994, the War on Drugs Otherwise Peaceful Americans Who Voluntarily Choose To Ingest or Sell Intoxicants Currently Proscribed by the Government, Which Will Lock Up Users or Sellers in Cages if Caught would represent one of the most shameful chapters in America’s history. But with its intention to destroy the black community and anti-war peace activists, which has certainly been “successfully” achieved for the black community, the shamefulness of the War on Drugs is elevated to a much higher level of despicable, evil immorality.

Mark J. Perry

Mark J. Perry

Scholar

CONTINUE READING…

TKP Thorne Peters–“I’m NOT crying – my eyes are running from the soapy tray.” May He Rest In Peace…

Thorne Peters 2019

On Sunday, November 3rd, at approximately 7 a.m., TKP Thorne Peters was found deceased in his single person cell, where he had spent 22 hours a day, in “protective custody”, since being committed to the Penal Farm in Memphis Tennessee in 2018.

The Detectives came to Linda Harrah’s home at approximately 2 p.m. and notified her of the situation.  I can’t even imagine what she must have felt when she heard those words, (of Thorne’s death) from them.  God Bless her.

He was 57 years old and while in prison had been writing a new book which he was going to publish upon his release from prison.  “Paper is hard to come by here”, he said to me in a letter.

  He always called me “Amore”, which at first I didn’t know what that meant, until I looked it up and found; Amore is the Italian word for “love”.  I will always hold that close to my heart.  He had written me several letters from prison, and they did not tell of any pleasantry at all.

The following is the last letter that I received from him, just a few days before his death.  Because of the circumstances I feel compelled to share it with everyone, especially his followers.

Felicitations Amore,

I have been crashed out hard over my latest victory.  I make the entire Courthouse shut down, and when the out of town Judge rules that ALL my evidence was on point and ALL 30 of the suspects were connected and therefore would have to take the Stand, they tunneled out of the Court to evade justice yet again.  11 years and the clock is ticking against me.

I had allowed myself a vision that when this trial began on December 9, 2019 and I lined up The Ministerz of Injustice for the big reveal that the evidence of their CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY of PUBLIC CORRUPTION would be so overwhelming in the glare of the WHITE HOT MEDIA SPOTLIGHT that would be forced to cover the story of the highest elected and appointed officials of law enforcement, politics, and the Judiciary taking the Stand to face dead bang, fatal blow evidence that my plight would reach the SAG and onto the Governor who would be forced to get involved and take a stand, and I could be pardoned by XMas.

Now the reality of my situation crashes in upon my head.  I am buried under this jail.  Instead of detonating a weapon of mass destruction in Court, I am reduced to taking pot shots with my blunderbust from deep within the bowels of the belly of the beast.

I have to remain focused and dedicated.  I cannot be disheartened.  These victories are not pyrrhic.  I’m not playing Chess.  This is Chinese GO.

I have to keep accumulating ground.  This battle brought me more ammunition to continue.  As it was in the Revolutionary War, we won very few battles.  The victory was keeping the Troops moving and maneuvering.   I had them in my sights.  I have to regroup and flank them again. 

I am reduced to a HUNGER STRIKE to demand the Authorities investigate this case.  The hilarity is that DA AMY (WEIRICH) has to sign off on a case of PUBLIC CORRUPTION in order for TBI (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation), to proceed.  ROUND ROBIN.

Had I been brought back to Court to hear the ADA concede, I would have smacked him across his dickhead as I walked out and declared EXTREME EMOTIONAL DISTRESS as a defense.  The CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY would be back on point and the DIRTY 30 would be called to the Stand.

So, I deal POT at the Courthouse and they won’t charge me with a FELONY to take to SCOTUS.  They ignore that and charge me with MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION OF POT as part of a felony FTA (Failure to appear), that they prosecute across the Courthouse for 18 months, and 7 Courts, until all 10 ditch, (Judges recuse themselves from the Case),

I kicked their asses!  I am left here to celebrate alone in my mausoleum with a plate of gruel served on a soapy tray.  At least I can use that as an excuse.

I’m NOT crying – my eyes are running from the soapy tray.

October 28, 2019 will mark the longest I’ve ever done, (in prison).  January 20, 2020 will be half-way-home-day.  I can’t comprehend this time frame.  So I put my heart into doing ONE MORE DAY – an hour for every minute…

MWAZ!

KP

TKP1

These words of TKP Thorne Peters will be the last I will ever read or hear from him.  It is sad.  It is sad that a State (or a Country) can be so corrupt as to let someone die under such horrid conditions in a single cage without any sympathy or concern for them what-so-ever.  Unfortunately Thorne is not the first person this has happened to and will not be the last.  This is what we have become.  A Country that cares not for it’s Citizens, but only for their power and greed and punitive rights.  Rights?  Yeah, their rights!  Not ours.

We will never know how this Case would have ended, or if the corruption would have been exposed.  We only know how it did end, with a great person, and Activist dying in the Shelby County Correctional System – The Penal Farm.

The Book which he was writing will eventually be published and much more information about his days in HELL will be exposed.  We may never find out the truth about HOW he ended up dying, alone, in that CAGE, in one night’s time. 

Of course an autopsy will be performed – probably already has been, but will we ever really know the truth?  Most likely not.  It      really doesn’t matter what they tell us such as “no foul play is         suspected”, because there isn’t a chance in HELL that they will         incriminate themselves in this matter. 

Thorne was a self proclaimed Atheist, however when I wrote him letters I would always tell him God Bless You.  I believe God has/will bless him as he was martyred for his beliefs that humans should be free and have unalienable rights.  Everything he did was done to help humanity.

Oddly enough, in another letter from Thorne recently he stated;

I have been in this cell for a year.  I have another 26 months to go…so far.  If I am convicted at my next trial I will receive 36 more months.  I will be in this cell for the duration.  The aspect of such a trial and tribulation may drive me to find God…at least until I get outta here! 

We had disagreements on how he presented himself to others, such as when he downed people for medical marijuana activism – But in fact he was NOT downing them at all – Just trying to get their attention as to what they were doing – giving their own unalienable rights away to legislation which was, is, and will continue to be the downfall of all Humanity – If we do not stop it.

We are all fighting in the same War!  We are all fighting for everyone, not just a few!  All humanity deserves the same unalienable rights!  We may have differing opinions on how to do this – but we all want the same outcome – FREEDOM!

On November 4th, one day after the fact, the Commercial Appeal published the story of his death;

Thorne Peters, ‘The Kingpin’ who waged war against pot laws, dies in Shelby County prison

In their article they wrote the following;

This year the appeals court affirmed his four-year sentence, citing among other things the following Facebook post in which Peters threatened to shoot people who came to take his drugs:

“I was just sitting around hoping some sorry want to be wigger, (expletive) was going to stop by with his partner to rob me of all this weed and money, I’m holding, so I can take target practice on their sorry asses. If you know anybody that wants to try me, let them know, I will be up all night, armed and dangerous.”

I was not there when this was said (written) so I have no way of knowing the actual thoughts behind it at the time, but I would never believe for a minute that he would in fact do such a thing.  I am from Kentucky, and many times we have, in general conversation, made similar remarks amongst ourselves, just in jest – but we would never actually do such a thing and I believe it was in extremely bad taste to even print such a quote.

I also do not believe that he had a gun at his disposal – in his home!

Thorne was living what he believed in and did it to the best of his ability – and he was crucified for it.  He never hurt anyone. 

He believed in Our freedom, and he fought for it until the end.

In closing, I leave you with this,

God Bless Thorne Peters!

Untitled

Lord, please Bless Ms. Linda Harrah during this most difficult time.

 Image may contain: text

Edwin Marshall Davidson

It is a sad day and with a heavy heart I recognize that my Friend in deed Thorne Peters has passed away while being a political prisoner in Tennessee. Thorne fought for everyone’s freedom not only his own. There is no freedom unless everyone is free. The cornerstone of freedom of his Teaching is “No Men’s Rea”….

No Men’s Rea Which is short for the Latin Phrase “Actus Reus No Facit Reum Nisi Men’s Sit Rea”.This translates to English to ” For the act to be guilty, the mind must be guilty., And for the mind to be guilty the act must be criminal with intent to do harm to a person, property or puppy” . In short, no guilty mind, no crime , no time.

We are free to do what we want as long as we don’t hurt anyone. Thorne Peters taught of No Men’s Rea, how legislation enslaves us, Freedom ends where legislation begins and if we go free they go broke, touched many.

Thorne was standing up against to Shelby County law enforcement and judges and the Ministers of Injustice that conspired to deny Thorne his Justice, due process and conspired to frame him for something he didn’t do. Thorne was fighting the system from the inside by using his malicious prosecution and making those whom conspired against him accountable by putting them on trial.

Shelby County did their best to silence him. Thornes teaching will never be silenced. For those not familiar and blessed to know Thorne you can go to ThornePeters.com .There you will see his videos, his music and poetry he wrote. . For those who know Thorne please consider going to ThornePeters.com and clicking on the Freedom Fund. Their is still a lot of work to do for freedom, extra costs, dogs to feed and we need to help Linda Harrah to keep those home fires burning.

Thorne just finished writing a book and I believe the title is Fully Free from Jail. I hope it gets published soon as those were his last words to us. .

I want to share a fond memory many of us have of Thorne. Thorne was prosecuted a convicted in a kangaroo court for a crime he didn’t commit. On the day he was to go to court for sentencing Thorne had a surprise. Thorne set up a table and opened up Tennessees first pot dispensary on the court house steps. We thought he would be arrested and charged immediately. Instead, Law enforcement was hiding. News cameras were their. Thorne sold pot on the court house steps without being arrested for about 2 hours. Thorne was never, charged or convicted of it. Proving No Men’s Rea works.

There is a video at ThornePeters.com . As a disciple of Thorne I vow to put forth his Teaching and continue the best I can by his example. The Bible says their is no greater love then a man lay down his life for a friend. Thorne did that for his friends in deed.We were all his “friends in deed”. I can still hear Thorne when he would say ” May you look inward, outward and upward to find Peace Love and Stars”.

I love you my Brother. Your brother and friend in deed!

Edwin Marshall Davidson


DO NOT FORGET TO VISIT THORNEPETERS.COM AND VIEW ALL THE INFORMATION ON THE CORRUPTION.  DONATIONS WILL BE MUCH APPRECIATED AS WELL.  ARRANGEMENTS HAVE YET TO BE MADE.

friends indeed button image map


https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2019/11/04/thorne-peters-kingpin-dies-prison-shelby-county/4155825002/?fbclid=IwAR0o3R3GlbrdnMSIraRPtoKTRdeZdp9OQduakH_wTGwwbYrMIcYzvZpS40U

https://memphistruth.org/2019/04/18/amy-weirich-recidivist/

I Never Smoked Marijuana — But I’m Serving Life In Prison Over A Marijuana Charge

CESAL: I Never Smoked Marijuana — But I’m Serving Life In Prison Over A Marijuana Charge

By Craig Cesal

Aug 27, 2019

“I sentence you to a term of natural life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.”

These were the words I heard just months after the events of Sept. 11, 2001. You see, at that time, the news was filled with theories that drug dealers finance terrorists, and I had just been convicted of my first felony: conspiring to distribute marijuana. This was the newest foray into the “War on Drugs.”

The government never claimed that I bought, sold, or even used marijuana, but rather my business repaired semi-trucks for a company that trafficked marijuana. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, as I didn’t do anything with marijuana. I was wrong, according to the federal court in Gainesville, Georgia. My business, nestled near Chicago, was auctioned by lawyers in Georgia to pay for their services to secure the life sentence, after my home and savings were spent.

Two months ago, recreational marijuana was approved for sale by the Illinois legislature. Some of my business equipment is likely being used again to repair trucks that haul marijuana.

For over 17 years, I have watched robbers, rapists and even murderers come and go from prison. Last year, a guy in my cellblock who killed two federal marshals was paroled after serving 30 years.

I’ve been watching the news, and I’m waiting to see if we prisoners will get the right to vote.

Here at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, the cornerstone, engraved with “A.D. 1937,” reminds me that the prison opened the same year the federal government made marijuana illegal. The construction workers likely used pot while they built the prison. Looking out from my job at the prison factory, where we make blankets for the military, I can see “Death House” — where Timothy McVeigh and others died. He spent less time in federal prison than me, although his current housing is likely worse.

From Cellblock D, a couple of weeks ago before the time I wrote this, John Walker Lindh, the so-called “White Taliban” who shot CIA agents in Afghanistan, went home after serving his 20-year sentence. He came in after me, and with good time credits, served only 17 years.

To my knowledge, he never aided others who schlepped marijuana. Whew, that’s a good thing, or he’d still be here in prison with me. He was convicted of providing aid to terrorists, but for anything related to marijuana.

Prison is intended to teach offenders not to violate the law again, or simply, for those, like me, the judge deemed irredeemable, to teach the public, who may be thinking of something related to marijuana. At times, I scratch my head trying to fathom who is learning what as a result of my sentence. Bradley Manning made WikiLeaks a household word, and President Obama sent him home because he wore a dress. Maxwell Klinger, of “M*A*S*H” fame, had no such luck.

Obama also turned down my clemency request. Just what am I, or anyone else, supposed to learn from my life-for-pot sentence?

The Terre Haute prison abuts the Wabash River, which separates Indiana from Illinois. From the right places, I can see Illinois across the river, where I lived, and where marijuana distribution, and thereby marijuana conspiracy, is encouraged by state tax collectors. Did I merely have bad timing in selling services to marijuana traffickers from my perch in Illinois? Nope, federal DEA agents are still nabbing distributors in Illinois, well, because they still can. Oh, and the money from the marijuana dispensaries likely pay their salaries. Hopefully, I’ll learn my lesson in prison.

I imagine I can learn from the Federal Bureau of Prison’s paycheck collectors charged with caging me. The prison buildings are surrounded by tall fences, razor wire and cameras. No one from the media, from a family, or from an auditor can get in to see what staffers actually do inside the fence. Guards often go days without so much as seeing an inmate, if they even show up for work. Most will spend more years receiving retirement benefits from the job than they spent actually working.

A sentence of life means a sentence until death. Staff are flummoxed trying to discern what to put in the Federal Bureau of Prisons Form for my release date. Death won’t work. It must be a number. The last time I checked, they were writing 2028. Remember, nobody is coming over the fence and razor wire to check on the paperwork. But no release is imminent.

The sentencing judge determined I am a marijuana reprobate. I am thus irredeemable, and unworthy of anything other than final damnation in prison. Murderers are released after 13.4 years on average, according to the Department of Justice, and a terrorist can go home after 17 years. But I am a prisoner of the War on Drugs. There’s no hope for me under existing federal law.

I’ve learned my lesson, and lawmakers should be pushed to learn a lesson. Federal drug laws, especially marijuana laws, are long overdue for reform. The “fix” must also include sensible relief for prisoners of the failed War on Drugs.

Craig Cesal is serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole in Indiana’s Terre Haute prison for a “marijuana” offense. He co-owned a towing company that recovered and repaired trucks for a rental company, some of which were used by smugglers to transport marijuana. He graduated from Montini High School in Lombard, Illinois in 1977. His daughter, Lauren, has obtained more than 300,000 signatures on a petition calling for clemency.”

CONTINUE READING…

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Additional Links of Information for Craig Cesal:

https://www.facebook.com/FreeCraigCesal/

https://www.change.org/p/free-my-dad-serving-life-without-parole-for-marijuana

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/12/02/he-got-life-without-parole-for-pot-and-he-was-just-denied-clemency/

http://www.pow420.com/craig_cesal

https://www.civilized.life/articles/marijuana-lifer-craig-cesal/

Marijuana Arrests Are Increasing Despite Legalization, New FBI Data Shows

Tom Angell Contributor i  Policy

Marijuana arrests are rising in the U.S., even as more states legalize cannabis.

There is now an average of one marijuana bust roughly every 48 seconds, according to a new FBI report released on Monday.

The increase in marijuana arrests—659,700 in 2017, compared to 653,249 in 2016—is driven by enforcement against people merely possessing the drug as opposed to selling or growing it, the data shows.

Last year, there were 599,282 marijuana possession arrests in the country, up from 587,516 in 2016. Meanwhile, busts for cannabis sales and manufacturing dropped, from 65,734 in 2016 to 60,418 in 2017.

The increase in cannabis possession arrests comes despite the fact that four additional states legalized marijuana on Election Day 2016.

While among those states, legal recreational sales were only in effect in Nevada by the end of 2017, the prohibition on possession for adults was lifted soon after the successful votes there as well as in California, Maine and Massachusetts.

“At a time when more than 100 deaths per day are caused by opioid overdoses, it is foolish to focus our limited law enforcement resources on a drug that has caused literally zero,” Don Murphy, federal policies director for the Marijuana Policy Project said in an interview.

“Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” added NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”

Overall, marijuana arrests made up 40.4% of the nation’s 1,632,921 drug arrests in 2017.

Drug arrests as a whole also increased last year, up from 1,572,579 in 2016.

There is now a drug bust every 19 seconds in the U.S.

I’m a 15-year veteran of the cannabis law reform movement, and I know where to look to spot the most interesting legalization developments. I’m the editor of the cannabis news site Marijuana Moment, and I founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow me on Twitter to s…

MORE

Tom Angell publishes Marijuana Moment news and founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Follow Tom on Twitter for breaking news and subscribe to his daily newsletter.

CONTINUE READING…

TKP Thorne Peters Sits In The ‘Hole’, Over Five Months After His Arrest…

Untitled

#NOMENSREA #IAMTHELAW      “When we all say it we all go free”.

Thorne Peters has authored nine books, and is working on the tenth one from the Shelby County penal farm in Memphis, TN.,  He is a  songwriter, singer,  and human rights activist.   But it seems that they can offer him neither pen nor paper in order to work on his case nor to write his book.

Thorne Peters currently sits in “the hole” at the Memphis penal farm as he fights for everyone’s rights, #NOMENSREA against Cannabis Prohibition.

Thorne Peters entered the public eye in 2009, when he made local news for operating a “420” friendly nightclub in Millington. The self-proclaimed “Poet Laureate of Planet Earth” was an easy target for local media when he turned down a guilty plea and decided to do 19 months in jail while waiting to go to trial  LINK

Below is the latest message from TKP Thorne Peters from the Penal Farm in Memphis Tennessee.  Please listen to his message, and then write him a card or letter (address below), and let him know you are thinking of him, as well as all the others who have been unjustly caught up in the drug war, most notably the war on Cannabis!

Please listen to entire video!

Untitled

NEXT:

Please call AMY WEIRICH; D.A., Memphis, TN (901) 222-1300 and say “Try THE KINGPIN! There is NO MENS REA!”

And also call the Tennessee Governor at (615) 741-2001 and say “investigate THE KINGPIN conspiracy… #NOMENSREA

 THEN:

Visit ThornePeters.com and click the ‘420 NITE CLUB BUST’ and ‘CONSPIRACY’ banners to get the story on the now TEN YEAR CONSPIRACY against THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS that lead to this moment.

And last but not least, please DONATE to the “Freedom Fund”!

Untitled

Above:  Thorne Peters, The Kingpin, speaks at Overton Park before going to 201 Poplar, Memphis City Jail and Courthouse, to smoke pot on the steps and go to jail at 4:20pm on 04/20/2010. LINK

Untitled

Above:  Link to TKP Thorne Peters YOUTUBE Channel.

Please follow Linda Harrah on Facebook for updates!

Please write to TKP Thorne Peters at this address:

Shelby County Correctional Center

RNI# 389985

1045 Mullins Station Road

Memphis, TN  38134

RELATED:

THORNE PETERS ARTICLES ON KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY

TN Department of Correction

A Perfect Storm : Investigating Tennessee’s Prison System – WSMV Channel 4 I-Team Special

We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die

Juwan being interrogated

We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.

What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.

Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.

But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.

Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.

It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN PETITION!

Stop Tossing Billions Into The Tax Pot Trying to Fight Pot

June 16, 2013
By Joe Rothstein
Editor, EINnews.com

 

 

Jerry Duval began serving a 10-year sentence for distributing marijuana last week. Duval has a kidney and pancreas transplant, as well as glaucoma and neuropathy. His family grew marijuana on his Michigan farm, in part to treat his ailments. Duval’s son, Jerry, was given a five-year sentence.
It will likely cost taxpayers more than a million dollars to keep Jerry Duval in jail and tend to his medical conditions, part of the soaring cost of the Obama administration’s continuing crackdown on pot growers and users.

In 2011, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, 757,969 Americans were arrested for drug violations involving marijuana; 87 percent of the arrests for mere possession.

The same day Duval reported to a federal prison, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law a measure that makes pot available to medical marijuana card holders in his state. The new act legalizes marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries and even allows for home-growing until 2016. Marijuana tax revenue will pay to regulate dispensaries and to support the state’s education budget.
If you consider it a gross injustice that Jerry Duval began serving a 10 year prison sentence for doing what on the same day Nevada’s governor made legal, welcome to the club. A rapidly growing club.
With Nevada, 16 states have decriminalized marijuana. In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington state approved normalizing marijuana sales, considering them under the law little different than tobacco or alcohol. In Colorado, more voters approved legalization than those who voted to reelect President Obama, who carried the state.
A similar measure will be on the ballot in Arizona in 2014, where a recent poll showed 56 percent support for personal use. In Illinois, 63 percent of voters support legalizing medicinal marijuana. In Kentucky, 60 percent.
Despite all of this, the federal government continues its crackdown. Even in states that have approved the use of medical marijuana, U.S. Treasury officials lean hard on banks not to loan money to growers or distributors. The IRS has disallowed normal business expenses. And, irony of ironies, the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau even prohibits gun sales to medical marijuana users.
Meanwhile, you and I and all U.S. taxpayers pay tens of billions of dollars each year to fill prisons with non-violent drug users in an endless “war” that does society more harm than good.
Legalizing hemp in the U.S. not only would create a rich new crop for farmers, but it would introduce a product that can be made into paper, paneling, plastics, clothing and could be the basis for a valuable new biomass industry.
Instead, keeping the plant illegal continues to enrich murderous cartels, street gangs and violence.
You would think that after 40 years and a trillion dollars or so the “drug war” would show some victories. And there have been–—for the gangs that continue to prosper. Arrest one drug lord or street peddler and there are plenty of others ready to take their place. Why? Because despite its illegality in the U.S. there’s a huge and lucrative market for marijuana and decades of trying to stamp it out hasn’t made a dent.
After 2012’s legalization votes in Colorado and Washington state President Obama said he had “bigger fish to fry” than to comment or get deeply involved in the decriminalization issue.
True enough. But that also goes for his administration. Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved or redirected for more useful purposes by calling off the enforcement dogs and letting states decide, one-by-one, whether to permit the use of pot, and on what terms.
Tens of billions in new legal revenue could be generated—along with countless new jobs—by legalizing hemp and creating new products for agriculture, energy and manufacturing.
Tens of thousands of Americans could avoid prison, fines and the threat of arrest just for growing, smoking or sharing a weed wrapped in paper.
In April, the President’s drug war “czar,” Gil Kerlkowske, reaffirmed the administration’s unyielding position on drugs in a highly publicized white paper. But then he gave a wink and a nod to recreational users, signaling that maybe, just maybe, the administration would ease up on prosecutions.
That’s hardly enough. Medicinal and recreational pot is either legal or it’s not. Polls and local elections show that most Americans see no reason to keep marijuana out of the hands of those with medical conditions where it might help. Nearly as many see not a dime’s worth of difference between legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana sales the way we do with alcohol and tobacco.
Jerry Duval didn’t get a wink and a nod. He has no business being in jail. The federal government had no cause to put him there. Neither do others who will certainly fall victim to this discredited, expensive and idiotic enforcement policy.
(Joe Rothstein can be contacted at joe@einnews.com)

We need to think carefully, critically about legal marijuana

• Published October 03, 2012

As I visit with people, read newspapers and watch the news, it is clear the people who wish to legalize marijuana are passionate about their cause. The advocates for legalization of marijuana assert that if Initiative 502 were to pass, that it is good public policy that will help the state economically and provide the law enforcement the opportunity to be better stewards of our resources, as we will not be enforcing “minor” marijuana possession laws.

I ask each of you to carefully and critically evaluate what is being said about the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in the U.S. Those who support its legalization, for medical or for general use, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.

ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO USE LESSONS

Important lessons can be learned from those two widely-used legal drugs. While both alcohol and tobacco are taxed and regulated, the tax benefits to the public are vastly overshadowed by the adverse consequences of their use. Alcohol-related costs total more than $185 billion while federal and states collect an estimated $14.5 billion in tax revenue. Similarly, tobacco use costs more than $200 billion but only $25 billion is collected in taxes. These figures show that the costs of legal alcohol are more than 12 times the total tax revenue collected, and that the costs of legal tobacco are about eight times the tax revenue collected. This is an economically disastrous trade-off.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM MISCONCEPTION

There is a common misconception that the principle costs of marijuana use are those related to the criminal justice system. This is a false premise. Studies have found that the percentage of people in prison for marijuana use is less than one half of one percent (0.1-0.2 percent).

An encounter with the criminal justice system through apprehension for a drug-related crime frequently can benefit the offender because the criminal justice system is often a path to treatment. The future of drug policy is not a choice between using the criminal justice system or treatment. The more appropriate goal is to get these two systems to work together more effectively to improve both public safety and public health.

DRUG-IMPAIRED DRIVING

Drug-impaired driving will also increase if marijuana is legalized. Marijuana is already a significant factor in highway crashes, injuries and deaths. In a recent national roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of weekend nighttime drivers, 8.6 percent tested positive for marijuana or its metabolites, nearly four times the percentage of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 g/dL (2.2 percent). In a study of fatally injured drivers here in Washington state, 12.7 percent tested positive for marijuana. These studies demonstrate the high prevalence of drugged driving as a result of marijuana use. Law enforcement agencies do not have sufficient resources for dealing with drug impaired drivers.

INCREASED USE BY OUR YOUTH

Studies have shown that expanded availability and perceived social acceptability will increase marijuana use among youth. The percentage of kids in drug counseling for marijuana addiction has been increasing annually, and the resulting negative effects place our youth’s development and our future workforce at risk.

MARIJUANA PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION IS BIG BUSINESS

The production and distribution of marijuana is already big business and many times controlled by violent drug cartels. As a law enforcement executive, I am concerned should this initiative pass that violent drug cartels are well-positioned to take advantage of lower marijuana prices by buying up the supply to resell here and throughout the United States. I have questions regarding where marijuana production will be allowed, dealing with fire hazards, security and safety issues posed by these grow houses, which have serious potential to impact the quality of life in our community. Imagine Washington as an attraction that fuels the illicit drug trade for the entire United States. Is that what we want to develop as one of Washington’s prime industries?

COSTS WILL OUTWEIGH THE SUPPOSED REVENUES

Are we serious about introducing more mind-altering substances into our society because it might produce tax revenues? Marijuana still remains illegal under federal law, thus are any locally imposed taxes legally uncollectible? The question is: Can a state compel a person or business to pay a tax that might subject them to prosecution by the federal government?

Drug use is damaging to our communities, our youth and everyone we are sworn to serve and protect. How could we make access to drugs easier? As protectors of public safety, I see only problems associated with Initiative 502 as it threatens to undermine our communities’ public health and safety.

John D. Snaza is the sheriff of Thurston County.

Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/10/03/2272182/we-need-to-think-carefully-critically.html#storylink=cpy