Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

June 12, 2009

Charles Lynch Sentenced to 1 Year and 1 Day in Prison

Read the news story here and reason‘s coverage here. The video below is Lynch’s response: While I’m not happy that Mr. Lynch is doing time for legally dispensing marijuana under California’s compassionate use law, he certainly could have received a much harsher sentence (up to 100 years). U.S. District Judge George Wu should be commended […]

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May 14, 2009

Drug Czar Calls For End To “War On Drugs”

It’s too early to tell if it’s a semantic change or a major step in the right direction, but these comments from President Obama’s “Drug Czar” are encouraging: WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s new drug czar says he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting “a war on drugs,” a move that […]

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Boy Scout Training: “Put him on his face and put a knee in his back”

From the “Not The Onion” files comes a tale that I can’t even believe, much less figure out how to respond to. Is this really what the Boy Scouts are becoming? The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in […]

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May 6, 2009

Quote Of The Day

From David Rittgers, Cato@Liberty: As I have said before, the quickest way to create an insurgent is to burn a man’s livelihood. This may be a competent counternarcotics tactic, but it is an epic failure as a counterinsurgency strategy. We can fight a war against the Taliban or we can fight the war on drugs, […]

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April 30, 2009

A new libertarian line-of-attack when debating medical marijuana issues with Republicans

For years, activists have been trying to pass federal legislation which prevents the feds from arresting patients (or doctors, growing clubs, etc.) when they’ve been prescribed medicinal marijuana by a physician in the states where such prescriptions are allowed by law.  Libertarians have often made valid points about Republican hypocrisy regarding federalism when it comes […]

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April 28, 2009

Fake Cops, Fake Raid, Real Guns

Here’s yet another example illustrating why the practice of SWAT style raids should be ended: robbers posing as cops. Here’s the news story from WRAL: This is the unedited surveillance video: As bad as this situation was, it could have ended much worse. It’s very fortunate that the armed robbers encountered the man on the […]

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April 27, 2009

Cato Report: Portugal’s Seven Year Experiment with Drug Decriminalization “a Resounding Success”

In July of 2001, Portugal tried something which would horrify policy makers the world over: the decriminalization of all drugs. As a result, Portugal turned into a country overrun with drugs, stoners, drug tourists, and criminals…right? Not according to a report by Cato’s Glenn Greenwald entitled Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and […]

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April 22, 2009

Supreme Court One Step Closer To Allowing Strip Searches In Schools

I’ve written in the past about the case of Savanna Redding, a now 19 year-old woman who, when she was thirteen years old was strip-searched by officials at her Arizona school who were convinced that she was concealing a banned substance; Advil. As it turned out, Savanna had no drugs on her, but the strip […]

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April 11, 2009

Reforming America’s Prison System: The Time Has Come

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) in his recent article calling for a major reform of America’s prisons in Parade Magazine brought some very disturbing, eye opening, statistics about America’s prison system to light. In summary this is some of what he found: -Since 1984, America’s prison population has quadrupled from 580,000 to 2.3 million -Though the […]

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April 1, 2009

Open Thread Question of the Day: How Can We Fix Our Prisons?

Our prison system, holding nearly 25% of the worlds reported prisoners, may seem like an April fool’s joke but certainly is not a laughing matter. I’m in the early stages of writing a post in response to Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) recent article in Parade entitled: Why We Must Fix Our Prisons. Sen. Webb is […]

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March 30, 2009

Maryland House Passes Mayor Calvo’s SWAT Bill by 126 to 9 Vote

Despite the objections of the National Tactical Officers Association, the bill championed by Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo passed the Maryland House by a wide margin: Delegates adopted a bill, on a 126 to 9 vote, that would require law enforcement agencies to report every six months on their use of SWAT teams, including what […]

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March 26, 2009

Obama’s Policy to Fight Mexican Drug Cartels is Doomed to Fail

The Obama administration, rather than dealing with the root cause of the violence along the Mexican border, has decided to adopt a policy to deal with the symptoms. The problem is that this policy will neither alleviate the symptoms nor come close to treating the problem. WASHINGTON – The Obama administration promised Tuesday to help […]

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March 6, 2009

The Hubris of the National Tactical Officers Association

In my report following the live chat @ The Agitator with Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo last week, I made mention of some very modest reforms he was pushing in Maryland. The bill would require all police departments with SWAT teams to provide monthly reports to the state’s Attorney General, local officials and the general […]

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March 3, 2009

A Song and Open Letter to a President Who is “No Stranger to the Bong”

Thank you, President Obama, for keeping your campaign pledge to end raids on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state laws in California and elsewhere. Thank you for reversing an inhumane policy established by the Clinton administration and continued by the Bush administration. Given the experience you and other elected officials have had with […]

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March 2, 2009

The Root of the Mexican Drug Cartel Violence Spillover Into the U.S.

For those of you who believe that Libertarians focus too much on the War on (Some) Drugs, perhaps it’s time to pay attention to the escalating violence in Mexico which is spilling over into the U.S. PHOENIX (Reuters) – Hit men dressed in fake police tactical gear burst into a home in Phoenix, rake it […]

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February 26, 2009

Hope And Change Update: Drug War Edition

Just in case you were wondering, the War on (Some) Drugs is still on.

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 1:00 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Individual Rights,The War on Drugs
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Live Chat With Mayor Cheye Calvo Tonight @ 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST) @ The Agitator

Check in this Thursday night at 8pm ET with your questions for Cheye Calvo, the Berwyn Heights, Maryland mayor who was subject to a violent, botched drug raid last year. Calvo’s pushing legislation that would bring transparency to how Maryland’s police departments use their SWAT teams. I’m hoping to be home in time to participate […]

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Only Fourteen Years To Go

Statistics guru Nate Silver posits that public support will be sufficiently strong that marijuana will be legalized by 2022: Firstly, although support for legalization has grown, it remains the minority position. Secondly, although there has been a long, slow-moving upward trend in favor of legalization since roughly 1992, there is no guarantee that public sentiment […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 10:21 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Individual Rights,Politics,The War on Drugs
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February 24, 2009

California Assemblyman: Legalize Marijuana & Tax It

One California Assemblyman is saying it’s time to consider treating marijuana like alcohol: An assemblyman from San Francisco announced legislation Monday to do just that: make California the first state in the nation to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in the same manner as alcohol. Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California’s […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 2:12 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Individual Rights,The War on Drugs
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February 23, 2009

It’s Time To Lower The Drinking Age

Last night 60 Minutes ran an interesting piece about the suggestion from some that the drinking age be lowered back to 18: (CBS) Last fall, a group of over 100 college presidents – including the heads of Dartmouth, Virginia Tech and Duke – signed a declaration stating that the 21-year-old drinking age is not working, […]

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