FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Drug Police

by FRED GARDNER

Tod Mikuriya, MD, once paid a printer to make up stickers that said “Drug Police: Armed Clergy.”  The message came to mind Jan. 24 when the New York Times ran a piece about Joe Paterno’s education at Brooklyn Prep, a Jesuit high school in Crown Heights (the ‘hood where I grew up). The article named these distinguished alumni of Brooklyn Prep: Joseph Califano, John Lawn, and Robert Bennett.

Califano went on to the College of the Holy Cross and then Harvard Law School. In the ‘60s he was a top aide to Lyndon Johnson. After Johnson was dissuaded from seeking re-election by the peace movement, Califano joined the powerful Washington law firm Williams & Connolly. Jimmy Carter made Califano his secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. After that stint he went back to lawyer/lobbying in D.C.  In 1992 he founded the National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse —the leading prohibitionist think tank— which he directs to this day. Califano is the author of 12 books —most recently “High Society —How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to do About it,” and “How to Raise a Drug Free Kid —the Straight Dope for Parents.”

John Lawn, who ran the Drug Enforcement Administration under Ronald Reagan threw out Judge Francis Young’s recommended decision in the suit brought by NORML to move marijuana from Schedule 1 (dangerous drug with no known medical use) to Schedule 2. The federal government had stalled for 14 years before Young conducted a hearing that itself took two years. Young famously concluded in 1988 that marijuana is “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man” and that provisions of the Controlled Substances Act  “require” its removal from Sked 1. Lawn sat on Young’s finding for another year, then nixed it with a stroke of the pen. NORML appealed and in 1994 the D.C. Court of Appeal confirmed that the head of a federal agency could indeed reject the findings of an administrative law judge.

Bob Bennett is the older brother of Bill, the Drug Czar under Reagan. (The family had moved to Washington, D.C., by the time Bill was ready for high school, so he went to Gonzaga.) Bob Bennett went to Harvard Law and spent most of his career at Williams & Connolly. His high-profile clients included Caspar Weinberger, Reagan’s Secretary of Defense who helped orchestrate the Iran-Contra weapons deal; Judy Miller, the NY Times reporter who fanned the flames for invading Iraq with false reports of weapons of mass destruction; and neo-con Paul Wolfowitz who got bounced from heading the World Bank after it was revealed that he had arranged excessive compensation for a lady friend. Bennett also served on the Catholic Bishops’ “National Review Board for the Protection of Children & Young People.”

Bennett and the other lads at Brooklyn Prep could have used some protection themselves.  “The prefect of discipline was the Rev. Frederick W. Engel, a tall priest with the fists of a trained boxer who could instantly silence an auditorium filled with 300 shouting boys,” wrote Joseph Berger in the Times.

“’It wasn’t hell you were afraid of, it was Father Engel,’ said Gerry Uehlinger, class of ’67, now a trial lawyer in Maryland… Paterno, class of 1944, also learned not to cross Father Engel.  ‘If somebody was out of line, he gave him a shot in the head,’ Paterno told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The quasi-religious zeal of the Drug Warriors is not that hard to understand.  “Father” smacked them around, so they have to smack us around. Forever and ever.  Armed Clergy, indeed.

A Modest Proposal for the Adelsons 

In your zealous support of the state of Israel you have given $18 million to Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign. Your friend Netenyahu has been waging war on Iran and a major escalation seems imminent. Countless deaths will result. Iran will retaliate. Bebi projects that not that many Israels will die, but who knows? And every Iranian family that suffers will produce lifelong enemies of Israel. The cycle of war and hatred and more war and more hatred cannot but end in a holocaust of some kind someday. Isn’t it obvious?

The answer is to move Israel to Nevada as the 51st state and call it “New Zion” and/or “Nev Zion.”  Making the desert bloom was Israel’s original specialty, right?  You could buy up the real estate tomorrow. The American people would go for it —financing the airlift would cost much less than what we, the taxpayers, spend to uphold the doomed status quo from year to year.

Newt can make New Zion his campaign issue. Evangelical Christians will appreciate that when Jesus returns to Israel, he’ll be returning to America, where everybody knows he really belongs.  Some doubters will say that Jesus might head for the current location, but Newt can mock them as disrespectful —as if The Lord would get confused.

The Israelis can take holy edifices like the wailing wall and plunk them down in Vegas like some promoter did with the Queen Mary in Arizona. Or you, Shelly, builder of the Venetian hotel, could construct even better versions of the crumbling temples. The Israeli military could be the New Zion National Guard.  The University of Nevada Las Vegas would,  overnight, have world-class math and physics departments, and the basketball team could change its nickname to the Runnin’ Rebbes.  As for the ultra-Orthodox who insist on staying where they are… they are free to do so.

New Zion is a time whose idea has come.

Fred Gardner is managing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice. He’s a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion. He can be reached at fred@plebesite.com.

Fred Gardner is the managing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s. He can be reached at fred@plebesite.com

More articles by:
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail