Monday, November 05, 2007

From My Next Column for Skunk Magazine

Most of you probably know that I write a regular column for Skunk Magazine, a great and irreverent pot magazine out of Canada. My column is called Drug War Follies, and here's a piece of the one about to hit the stands.
From Drug War Follies #24:
On Sept 22, 2007, Karen Tandy, the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s administrator, tendered her resignation to the Justice Department to go to work as a senior vice-president for Motorola, and for many of us it wasn’t a moment too soon. Tandy, a former prosecutor who once announced—at an international news conference—the name of a confidential informant, putting him on the run for the last several years, was the most recent architect of the federal onslaught against medical marijuana compassion clubs. She was also the person who declared that Marc Emery was the world’s number one pot-seller and who has been trying to get him extradited from Canada for selling a few seeds to her undercovers for years.
During her watch, which began on July 31, 2003, Afghanistan has again become the number one source for opium in the world, Mexico has been shredded by drug-money violence, and the price of hard drugs on the streets of the US and Canada has plummeted. To say she was ineffective would be giving her too much credit. She was pathetic. More than that, she was cruel and soulless, a by-the-book bitch who took enormous pleasure in having her g-men raid compassion clubs in California, pressure medical licensing bureaus to harass the late Dr. Tod Mikuriya, Dr Mollie Fry and other physicians who had the chutzpah to sign notes for sick people allowing them to possess marijuana. She salivated over the thought of putting Ed Rosenthal behind bars and shit a brick (we’re guessing here) when that didn’t happen.
If her position was to minimize the harm done by hard drugs, then her tenure was one of utter and complete failure. Good riddance.
The bad news is that there is a possibility that her replacement will be the DEA’s second in command, Michele Lionhart. Lionhart is from different stock but has the same M.O.: Do anything to make the arrest. If you can’t get the bad guys, go after someone smoking pot for muscular dystrophy.
Lionhart was one of the handlers for the infamous snitch Andrew Chambers in both St. Louis and later in Los Angeles. Chambers, considered the most prolific snitch in federal history, had a 16-year run from 1984-2000, during which he was credited with 291 investigations, 76 of which the DEA considered very important. But his testimony was often riddled with lies and numerous courts called him on it, including the 9th Circuit. That didn’t deter Lionhart, who once famously announced about Chambers to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that: "The only criticism (of Chambers) I've ever heard is what defense attorneys will characterize as perjury or a lie on the stand."
Chambers actually got to bullshitting so badly that in 2000 then-US Attorney General Janet Reno had to step in and retire him, something Lionhart felt terribly about.
If Lionhart does indeed get the nod to become the second female administrator of the DEA, no doubt her willingness to use known liars as informants will continue and the DEA will continue to foist its brand of "you’re going to jail whether you’re guilty or not," on the US public and its international allies.
What we’d wish would happen instead would be that the DEA hires someone with decency and integrity: someone, anyone, who recognizes that medical-marijuana laws are real laws and should be abided by. That the case against Marc Emery is immediately dropped as it is based on his illegal entrapment by DEA agents. That informants should be rarely used—if ever. And that the whole DEA should concentrate its work on major international drugs-for-arms players who are causing major pain and anguish in this world.
Of course, as those players have their hands in the pockets of world leaders, senators and congressmen, it’s unlikely that that will happen. Ah, shit. I hate reality.


bamboo said...

Nice work. Question for you- What are thoughts on former texas lawman Barry Cooper and his dvd's on how to avoid the law with pot? I saw his interviews with Mr. Emery and what he teaches goes against everything such groups as "norml" and "flex your rights" suggest. Him being a former cop- I tend to listen to him a bit more in terms of "how to avoid getting busted"....if I was into that sort of thing...which of course.....anyway..

Peter Gorman said...

I have only seen the previews, but he looks okay. One of these days I'll ask him for a copy and see what he's got to say through the whole video. Sorry I can't be more help here.

TexasStyle said...

Dear Skunk Magazine and Peter Gorman,
Hello I am a new subscriber to Skunk Magazine. I recieved my first delivered issue today, sat outside and enjoyed the gorgeous day. I just got some OG Kush and was enjoying it while I read Volume 4 issue 1. I was everything but dissapointed in the issue except I read "Drug Wars Follies" by Peter Gorman and it pissed me off a little bit. I wasn't pissed at the points to the article but the simple fact that Mr. Gorman chooses to promote and glorify Drugs such as LSD. Now lets clarify things, I am the farthest thing from a square and I am definetly not a saint, But LSD and Cocaine have nothing to do with Cannabis and should not even be in the same category and definetly not in Skunk Magazine. I just got done watching the old school Helter Skealter and if that true story is not enough to show what consistent use of LSD does then I don't know what will. Here in America we are fighting hard to legalize Mariquana in this Great country. Articles such as this are hurting the progression of legalization and are offensive to the real hardcore smoker. I admit to liking cocaine, but in my mind it is a party drug, not a productive drug capable of legalization. Mr. Gormon I understand you are OldSchool and I am well familiar with your times. But, I feel that Skunk Magazine should be for the Toker, not the Druggies. This article alone could be used as backing evidence that the mariquana industry supports other substances. We are having a hard enough time here in the States Sir, I ask you to please consider the Negatives as well as the positives to possibly hurting our sub culture. Again I am not trying to talk negatively about LSD and Cocaine(once and a while who cares), but I can't express anymore that these drugs can not be associated with cannabis and its culture. Peter Gorman, I hope that you make sense of this letter and understand my point. Love the magazine and will continue to be a subscriber, but please be more cautious of what you print.

Tony K.