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Calling out the Big Lie on Drug Scheduling

As a word of background, this is my first diary here for some time, but I am not a complete noob to the FDL experience. What is fascinating to me after having taken a couple years away from watching the day-to-day performances of the kabuki theater is that significant progress has been made in reclaiming the notion that our discourse should be reality-based rather than personality-based. It is much more acceptable today in online places to critique specific policies than in the 2007-2009 time period (although, personally, I will always look back fondly on how much Jane Hamsher and FDL was able to upset the tender sensibilities of those poor Democratic loyalists just doing their best to [not] change things in DC).

Yet, there is still a lingering, almost subconscious yearning to Photoshop over the blemishes. It exists in the caveats and qualifiers, the tone and approach, to some stories. I’m interested in approaching important issues in a more direct and, importantly, plainspoken manner. If someone is being deceptive, then they are being deceptive. There’s no good faith explanation or contextual understanding – let’s just observe that they are lying, no punches pulled.

Okay, get on with it already

Specifically on drug policy, there have been many exciting developments over the past five years. As time goes on, more and more people see that drug prohibition is an utter failure, and thus, more things are happening at local and state levels all over the country. Plus, there’s the looming demographics (for those who don’t know, there’s a massive divide on drug policy between younger and older citizens).

Yet, there is still a subtle deference to Administration framing on drug policy. This does us a tremendous disservice, I would suggest, because once the framing of the Big Lie stops being challenged, then all the other small problems naturally follow. The Big Lie, quite simply, is that the drug war generally, and marijuana prohibition in particular, is the responsibility of Congress, not the Administration. The President’s hands are tied. It’s all the fault of the Republicans.

Blah Blah Blah.

Anytime that anyone from the Administration (or carrying the Administration’s water) so much as hints that any actor other than themselves is responsible for the drug war, we should feel comfortable clearly stating the simple fact that they are lying. It is the Administration that schedules drugs, and it is the Administration that determines federal law enforcement priorities. That’s how Congress wrote the laws. If anybody has any doubts, talk to Vice President Biden. He was one of the chief Congressional advocates of the drug war. Or talk to Secretary Sebelius. She overruled the FDA’s own recommendations on another drug, Plan B.

Congress doesn’t control drug scheduling and enforcement. Republicans don’t control it. Teabaggers don’t control it. Evangelicals don’t control it.

The President controls it.

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