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Death Penalty for Drugs? Trump Makes the Loser’s Choice in Opioid Fight

March 19, 2018
U.S. President Donald Trump, center, with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Andrew Harnik/AP)

‘The Haymaker’ is Leafly Deputy Editor Bruce Barcott’s column on cannabis politics and culture.

Late last month, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan revealed that President Trump “often jokes about killing drug dealers.”

A senior administration official told Swan: “He’ll say, ‘You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.’”

What was a joke a month ago is now on its way to becoming policy.

Allow me to insert a fact: Instituting the death penalty for drugs does not work. The British government studied the question in 2014 and found no evidence—zero—that harsher penalties reduced drug use. “If anything,” said one minister, “the evidence is to the contrary.”

Lest you dismiss that report as some left-wing softy study, know that its results were co-signed by a Conservative Party leader who has since risen to the office of Prime Minister: Theresa May.

Nevertheless, sources who have recently spoken to Trump told Axios that the president “often leaps into a passionate speech about how drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should all get the death penalty.”

One more bit of fact: That 2014 British government study found that while harsher penalties only made the drug problem worse, a public health-based approach tried in Portugal, which combined drug decriminalization with other policies, actually did work. It showed “reductions in all types of drug use alongside falls in drug-related HIV and AIDS cases,” reported the Guardian.

Related

Data Dive: Legalization No Longer a Partisan Issue, Election Data Show

How a Joke Becomes a Law

The Axios report on Trump was disturbing, in part because this kind of jokey loose talk is exactly how Trump floats new policy ideas. First it’s a joke, then it’s an idea, then it’s policy, and then real people suffer real life-altering consequences. Like, for instance, death.

And now this: What was a joke one month ago is now, apparently, on its way to becoming policy.

Late last week, Politico got wind of a draft policy circulating among senior White House officials:

The Trump administration is finalizing a long-awaited plan that it says will solve the opioid crisis, but it also calls for law enforcement measures—like the death penalty for some drug dealers—that public health advocates and congressional Republicans warn will detract from efforts to reverse the epidemic.

Today, the president is expected to reveal that plan at an event in New Hampshire.

Nearly everyone who has ever considered, dealt with, read about, or come into near proximity to drug policy agrees that seeking the death penalty for drug dealers is stupid, cruel, and dangerous.

Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, urged the White House to rethink the proposal. “If this administration wants to save lives, it needs to drop its obsession with killing and locking people up,” she said, “and instead focus resources on what works: harm reduction strategies and access to evidence-based treatment and prevention.”

Sessions Wanted Death for Cannabis in ’96

The death penalty policy is being framed in terms of opioid street dealers, not cannabis retailers. (And certainly not the billionaire founder of fentanyl maker Insys Therapeutics, John Kapoor, who’s under federal indictment for racketeering; nor the five Manhattan doctors indicted last week for taking bribes to hook patients on the deadly drug.) But the blowback will assuredly reach the cannabis world.

In fact, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions once actually called for the mandatory execution of people twice convicted of selling marijuana, back in 1996. At the time, while serving as state attorney general, Sessions supported an Alabama legislative proposal that included death penalty provisions for marijuana. When Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asked him about it at Sessions’ confirmation hearing in Jan. 2017, Sessions just smiled and shook his head.

“Well, I’m not sure under what circumstances I said that,” he told Leahy.

Sessions was actually beaten to the idea by Newt Gingrich, who proposed executing drug smugglers in 1995. House Speaker Gingrich has since been roundly mocked and condemned for the suggestion, and it has haunted every one of his short-lived runs for higher office.

‘The Ultimate Penalty’ is Trump’s Solution

No statement, of course, is too outrageous for President Trump. Three weeks ago at the White House Opioids Summit, the president remarked that drug dealers “kill hundreds and hundreds of people, and most of them don’t even go to jail. You know, if you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty. These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them.”

What America needs, Trump added, is “strength with respect to the pushers.” Some countries, he said, “have a very, very tough penalty—the ultimate penalty. And, by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do.”

No, actually, they don’t. Countries with “the ultimate penalty,” like the Philippines, have both a drug problem and a mass murder problem. More on that in a minute.

Related

Liberty, Jobs, and Freedom: How Cannabis Became a Conservative Issue

What Actually Works: the Portugal Project

You know who does have much less of a drug problem than we do? Portugal.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, and heroin. Drugs were not legalized. Possession was still illegal, but those caught were issued tickets, and brought before panels that could refer them to treatment.

According to a 2009 CATO Institute white paper on the Portuguese experiment, none of the nightmare scenarios touted by preenactment decriminalization opponents — from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for “drug tourists” — has occurred.

Instead, the enactment of that 2001 policy in Portugal resulted in:

  • A decrease in teen drug use
  • A decrease in drug-related deaths
  • A decrease in HIV/AIDS rates among drug consumers
  • An increase in drug treatment enrollment

Sparking Hope at the United Nations

The Portuguese leader who enacted that policy, António Guterres, is now Secretary-General of the United Nations. At a meeting of the UN’s drug policy leaders last week, Guterres all but rejected the UN’s own ways of thinking on drugs. As Leafly’s Sara Brittany Somerset recently reported, the UN International Narcotics Control Board’s 2017 annual report scolded countries like Canada, Uruguay, and the United States for moving forward with cannabis legalization. Just a few days after the release of that report, Guterres stood up before its authors and defended decriminalization.

As Tom Angell reported at Marijuana Moment: “Current efforts have fallen short of the goal to eliminate the illicit drugs market,” said Guterres. “We can promote efforts to stop organized crime while protecting human rights, enabling development and ensuring rights-based treatment and support. I am particularly proud of the results of the reforms I introduced in Portugal.”

Trump, not a big reader of Marijuana Moment, is no doubt unaware of the Portuguese success story.

He is, however, keenly aware of the murder spree set off by Duterte in the Philippines. That, to the American president, represents strength. Make them fear for their lives. Since 2016, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has led a two-year reign of terror—he actually imported the American name, the war on drugs—that has resulted in the mass murder of an estimated 7,000 to 12,000 Filipinos.

In Manila, local police took Duterte’s expressed encouragement and formed extrajudicial killing squads, rounding up suspected drug users—not just dealers—and summarily executing them. Their bodies are often dumped in alleys or streets. You can see the deep trauma this is visiting on Filipinos in Daniel Berehulak’s extraordinary New York Times project, “They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals,” which documented 57 Manila drug-squad murders over 35 days in 2016; or in TED Fellow Ed Ou’s chilling documentary The Kill List.

The ‘Strength’ of Duterte

What does Trump think of Duterte’s reign of terror? He loves it.

By all indications, he wishes he had the “strength” of Duterte. When the American president phoned up his Filipino counterpart in April 2017, Trump didn’t express concern over Duterte’s drug war slaughter. No, Trump opened the conversation with a hearty congratulations for a job well done:

“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”

That quote isn’t conjecture. It’s from the official classified transcript of the call produced by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. That transcript was leaked to The Intercept last year.

This is Truly Trump’s Policy

Eighteen months ago, many legalization advocates speculated about Trump’s true thoughts on the issue. We tried to read the scattered tea leaves of his prior pronouncements. He believed in medical marijuana, he said. He was inclined to let the states handle adult use, but he didn’t like what he was hearing out of Colorado. We hoped for the best.

Republicans and Democrats must stand together against this nonsense policy.

Month after month, we have experienced a steady drip of disappointment. Jeff Sessions continues to spout untruths and nonsense about cannabis. He rescinded the Cole Memo. He continues to pressure Congress to eliminate the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer protections for medical cannabis patients, undermining Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), one of Trump’s most die-hard supporters. Trump could stop or reverse those moves with a phone call. He has chosen not to.

These latest “death penalty” pronouncements complete the replacement of hope with the cold, hard reality of Trumpian politics. The president has no true beliefs or values when it comes to the legalization of cannabis—or any other drug reform policy, for that matter. He is on the side he’s always been on: His own and no one else’s. If the murder of drug dealers makes him appear stronger in the macabre fantasy of his mind, then that is the policy he will choose.

And that leaves legalization advocates—Republicans and Democrats—with no choice but to stand together and oppose this nonsensical and extremely dangerous policy.

Related

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Bruce Barcott's Bio Image

Bruce Barcott

Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

View Bruce Barcott's articles

  • Jeffrey Avery

    there are many innocent people on death row,,and many innocent people have been put to death,,,so what happens when the gov’ gets it wrong……….it would be very easy to set up a person,,,,or to see that a personal consumer ,had twice the legal weight for personal consumption,,,just because he got a deal,or his soarce is unpredictable,so he ups twice as much,,,,now,he has distributor weight,,,or he/she has different drug habits(multiple addictions)…or if,i had 3 or 4 different strains of weed,now it’s packaged for distrbution…now,you’ll put us to death……want someone gone,an ennemy,neghbor perhaps,just stash some weght on them…..MURDER BY JUSTICE SYSTEM….i like trump,and voted for him—-but,he has gone off the rails,on this one….where do you draw the line,,how much weight,constitutes as a capitol offence/death sentence. and what ever line you draw,they’ll just stay slightly under that weight…until,you bring the line down so low,that they have no choice to become violent…..if he doesn’t handle it right,it’s lyble to blow up in his face,,,,,,,,i’m sure he’ll use those unconstitutional “no knock warrents” also…….i think i might vote dem next time,,,but it depends on the next set of idiots/morons………ps.i wouldn’t vote for hateful hillary ,if my life depended on it….so,no regrets…just need my mmj…..

  • Dante-the-cat

    Hey U.S. The fifties called – they want their decade back.

  • Jeffrey Avery

    peace out

    • Don Gray

      Nope just get your facts straight.You and other critics who are Trump bashers just look for any excuse no matter how miniscule to bash him. at least he is doing something instead of nothing to combat this Epidemic of drug addiction and deaths that you don`t seem to care about.

  • FlunkedAgain

    Donald Trump lost his older brother Fred to drug abuse. The Drug was ALCOHOL. Even though Donald doesn’t drink, he created and promoted Trump Vodka. I guess being a Merchant of Death for profit is appealing to Donald.

    Trump Vodka went Bankrupt, and was resurrected in Israel without Donald’s permission. Donald sued, and settled for a cut of the action. The Israeli version was found to be non-Kosher even though it was supposed to be Kosher. I have no idea if it’s still in production.

    Her’s an article about Fred’s drinking problem and Donald.
    (There’s a picture of Donald and he looks drunk to me. “DONALD TRUMP AND HIS FATHER, FREDERICK CHRIST TRUMP”)

    https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/politics/a13098008/fred-trump-jr-addiction-history/

    “”” In 2000, shortly after Fred Trump Sr. died, Fred Jr.’s son contested the will in Queen’s court. …. Donald Trump retaliated by cutting off medical benefits for Fred III’s critically ill infant son. …. “I was angry because they sued,” Donald told Jason Horowitz”””

  • lovingc

    As is usual with the moron in chief he is going backwards.The harsher the penalties the more the drugs they try to control are sold. The death penalty? The Donald is trying to make himself king again, moron is the appropriate nom de guerre for this idiot. He ignores anything that doesn’t tie in to his fantasies.This dangerous man has to be impeached immediately. Hurry up Meuller!

  • collins

    don’t get this. If you’re for marijuana for recreational and medical use, you’d likely be against the addictive and harmful opioids. In some cases, they do virtually the same thing, only weed rarely causes addiction. Very misleading title. Trump isn’t speaking about your local street weed dealer, he’s talking about doctors who prescribe overly strong and addictive opioids to thousands of patients. Go watch the 2 minute video of him speaking- you’ll see what he really means.

    • FlunkedAgain

      I don’t think Donald Trump is talking about Doctors, or Pharmaceutical companies when he talks about Drug King Pins.

      Do you remember when he said that Marijuana was an issue that should be left to the States? Donald Lies. He tells people what they want to hear, and forgets it.

      • collins

        If you listen to the video, he clearly gives an example of people going into hospitals with injuries, and coming out addicted to painkillers/opioids, which is a very serious issue. Also, he didn’t explicitly suggest or offer the death penalty, he just mentioned other countries with more severe laws on drug distribution.

        • FlunkedAgain

          This is the quote:

          “If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we are wasting our time,” Trump told the audience in Manchester, New Hampshire. “And that toughness includes the death penalty.”

          Check and see what he said in Manchester New Hampshire.
          The video is also posted.

          • collins

            Once again, he never officially announced any direct intention to execute drug dealers. Not saying he isn’t going in that direction, I just found it very ironic how the article was posted on Leafly, a marijuana themed website. As seen often with other biased news sources, they display catchy but misguiding titles: “Death Penalty for Drugs?”. Of course almost everybody on a website ABOUT weed would be drawn in and have an initial bias against Trump before learning the official facts. I agree with you if you say that drug dealers shouldn’t be executed, but if that is the direction Trump wants to go I’m not totally against it, having an uncle who recently overcame painkiller addiction (obviously I’m not against weed dealers or weed use, 420 blaze :))

          • FlunkedAgain

            The quote came from other sources. Google it.
            Trump explicitly called for the execution of Drug Dealers in his New Hampshire speech.
            Trump admires Despotic rulers, and Despotic rule.

          • Azwe Thinkweiz

            You are mad he wants to use Current Law!! I know the left loves its criminals more than honest citizens, but your just lazy with your two quote answers.

            The Justice Department said the federal death penalty is available for limited drug-related offenses, including violations of the “drug kingpin” provisions in Federal Law.

          • collins

            Nice. I already acknowledged it wouldn’t be surprising if he took that direction, but the fact is he hasn’t made any official word on whether he would actually propose legislation legalizing this. Regardless – not my point. When he says ‘drug dealers’, he isn’t referring to some
            El Chapo-esque type figure, or kingpins running major smuggling operations. Obviously these people are committing federal crimes and ruining lives, but he isn’t speaking about them. He is specifically speaking on, as he states in his speech, that he is going to target corrupt and malicious doctors who prescribe these extremely addictive painkillers and opioids on which patients become hooked on to during their stints in the hospital. So, unless some shady street dealers are lurking in doctor offices changing the prescriptions, its pretty clear who he’s speaking on. He states that doctors can cause the death of thousands of patients for prescribing these medications but not face any repercussions, which they certainly deserve.

      • Azwe Thinkweiz

        Wow, you are beyond uninformed. He says right in his speech that he will go after doctors. You should really try to get information directly from the source and bypass the biased media you obviously stand up for. Seriously. Go to youtube and watch the speech and form your own opinion. This may take some actual brainpower I must warn you. Its not for the average person to attempt so I can see why you avoid it.

        • FlunkedAgain

          Youtube?

          Trump can say he’s going after Doctors, but he won’t go after the connected ones.

          • Jeffrey Avery

            you’re more than probably rite on that one

    • Ken Bendell

      I don’t think the Don has a clue what hes talking about so for you to is pretty impressive.

      • collins

        Not a big fan of Trump but also not ignorant enough to believe everything he says is bad, or to blindly follow biased news sources.

  • Sativa53

    Probably aware that the Duterte has a Fentanyl problem himself…. excluding the fact that the ICC has charges on him that could lead to genocide.

  • Nely420

    Over 100 people in the United States die each day of the week from overdose. Learn the art of the deal. You start with the most outrageous stance so you can negotiate. You all can attack me but if you don’t understand the size of the problem and where these drugs are manufactured and how they get into the hands of our people that have become addicted from a legal prescription and then the doctor cuts them off instead of working them off the drug. That sends the person to the street to buy a drug that has no quality control and they overdose. We know who is supplying the drugs to the United States that is killing thousands. So why not make a dent in it?

  • Nely420

    By the way, the death penalty is already a law in the United States. If you kill somebody with drugs, you can get the death penalty. Remember when John Belushi overdosed? They were considering filing murder chargers on her. King Pin Drug dealers are killing people everyday.

  • Nely420

    I think Leafy needs some contributors with a different view point on the world. I am seeing the same type of writing that made me quit reading the Rolling Stone. The story is based on when Trump said, “maybe we should have the death Penalty for these king pins.” The main stream media takes that blurb and all of a sudden, Trump is making laws and sentencing Johnny pill crusher to lethal injection. Wow, what a leap

    • FlunkedAgain

      “If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we are wasting our time,” Trump told the audience in Manchester, New Hampshire. “And that toughness includes the death penalty.”

      Google it.

      • Azwe Thinkweiz

        Wow, you managed to repeat what MSNBCNN said and added google it. What a powerful statement. Did you bother to watch the speech or do you only parrot what others say? The Justice Department said the federal death penalty is available for limited drug-related offenses, including violations of the “drug kingpin” provisions in Federal Law. “Google it!”

        • FlunkedAgain

          I watched the speech. Did you?
          Were talking about what Trump said in New Hampshire.

          • Azwe Thinkweiz

            Yeah. So what is wrong with what he said? Its current Federal Law. Was this law ok while Obama was POTUS? It seems to just be Trump with you based on your posts.

          • FlunkedAgain

            Bye.

        • FlunkedAgain

          Your timeline is messed up.

          • Azwe Thinkweiz

            Right, you said it and MSNBCNN repeated what you said. Good for you.

  • Jacek R

    There were supposedly videos issued to doctors claiming that opioids were safe and non-addicting. Whoever falsely created these videos and then peddled them to the street soldiers (doctors) should be the first ones to experience King Trump’s death proclamation. Perhaps before they start offing illegal street peddlers, they should look into the doctors who prescribe heavyweight opioids to teen-age girls who are having menstrual cramps.

  • 360dunk

    Because nothing says democracy and the right to a fair trial like the Duterte regime. You really want to align yourself with the Filipino idiot-in-charge? You support vigilante groups murdering fellow citizens over drug use? Why are we going backwards?

  • Ken Bendell

    and since the CIA has been using drugs to control the lower class and shipping them in themselves is Mr Trump gonna start with himself?

    • Azwe Thinkweiz

      No, He would start with Obama and work backwards through the presidents. What a dumb argument with zero facts.

    • Nely420

      Funny to think that people blame Trump but don’t understand that the deaths started long before Trump. Trump is the first person that I can recall insisting that the manufacturers are the first to be held to account. Even “never Trumpers” have to admit that he wants to stop the destruction of the neighborhoods and get people back to work. Its also funny most are using Facebook as the news source. Isn’t that like using Wikipedia as a reference on a college paper?

      • Jason

        The problem with your statement is Trump isn’t looking at the manufacturer, as mentioned in the article. Insys founders and doctors who wrongly prescribe are as guilty as drug pushers. Bring them all to justice if your Prez is so tough…as usual that pos will bark loud and bite like a poodle. Wake up

  • DonR

    As usual, we get half the story when it comes to anything ‘the powers that be’ want to get rid of. Street “fentanyl” is a problem, fentanyl is not. I have been using it since 1978…..when I administer an anesthetic to a patient. Fentanyl is a powerful, but quite effective narcotic that works better than morphine or meperidine (demerol) in blocking the pain of surgery. I can’t even imagine performing heart surgery without it. So, in the end, the problem is not the drug, it is what people do with it. We don’t have an opioid crisis, we have a responsibility crisis. Everyone is blaming someone or something else, but never taking a look in the mirror and asking, “So, what are you doing about it?”.

  • John Braget

    Trump needs to go after big pharma the DEA and the cartels operating with in this country and leave everyone else alone. His best bet would be to leave the country and let people that know what they are doing run it.

  • John Braget

    If he doesn’t go after the DEA it will be for nothing. The only ones that will suffer the death penalty will be the users.

    • Azwe Thinkweiz

      You don’t seem to understand the basics of Federal Law and State Law. The Justice Department said the federal death penalty is available for limited drug-related offenses, including violations of the “drug kingpin” provisions in Federal Law.

  • John David Chadwell

    The main supplier of the opiodes in this country, lies in the hands of one main organization, the federally licensed drug dealers, called DOCTORS!

  • Mike the bike

    FAKE NEWS, POSSIBLE RUSSIAN TROLL ARTICLE. Death penalty would be for pushers, not consumers. The author uses the democrat MO of confusing the facts. obviously the author is a newbie or paid troll.

  • Don Gray

    Bashing our President because he at least is wanting to get a handle on our drug problem with its deaths is better than doing NOTHING like the last 8 yrs. of Barack Obama who-s lawless presidency has created multiple problems for our country which Trump is trying to fix.So at least give him a chance to stop this epidemic its easy to be an ARM CHAIR critic its another to actually do something about it.

    • Jon holmes

      Your correct I can easily see YOU are the armchair critic, and until you’re up on your facts maybe you should just be quiet!!

    • Don Gray

      Hey Jeff I`m not really angry didn`t mean to sound that way. Just wish that our President wopuldn`t get bashed so much for doing his job that Presidents in the past didn`t do or didn`t try to fix especially this drug epidemic that is killing.. so many people.People are so critical of him doing so much to help our country out of the mess its into…and drugs killing so many is just one of them.I`m not talking about Pot its the hard stuff that is getting abused by so many.I just don`t like articles like this one that bashes Trump when he is doing all he can to curb the deaths.The death penalty thing is probably just rhedoric that he uses to get his point across he seems to do that a lot but it gets people going to get things done.Thanks for the posts have a great weekend… Don

    • Jason

      Don your understanding, or lack there of, is precisely why a’MERICA, is where it is presently. You people are more concerned about political colors than true facts and compromise. Stupidity breeds stupidity…vote Trump 2020!! Upcoming slogan no doubt

      • Don Gray

        ITS YOUR STUPIDITY that can`t understand why our country is sliding in the wrong direction who don`t follow the real truth of what is going on in our government who defend the last 8 yrs of corruption and lies coming out of Washington.Trump is draining the Swamp and its people like you who supported HRC who liked the way the country was Run by Barack Obama,Talk about stupidity You can`t even spell our countrys name right…AMERICA .just like Barack Obama & Hillary supporters who have abandoned our country greatness,our military,Cops and more.You can see Trump trying to retsore our America back to what it was before, one Swamp creature at a time.His make AMERICA great again is coming & TRUMP IN 2020. …Airhead

        • Jason

          Don, you’re a fool, just look how you fell for the spelling…an error you don’t even understand. Shut up and ship out simpleton. Drain the swamp by employing billionaires, a swamp you’re waist high in and don’t have any idea of. Good luck sir..there is a revolution coming

          • Don Gray

            Idiot the only Revolution coming is getting rid of more morons in office like you.And if You excuse the misspelling of your A,Merica as simpleton I see it as disrespect for our country your like the kapernick,s who disrespected our Flag and Anthem. Your like all the other disrespectful morons who can`t get over the last election who tried to hire Hillary who was the most corrupt politician except for Barack Obama who led our country to the state its in now.Get a life stay out of something you have no intellect for and that’s politics..

          • Jason

            Your kind are unimportant sir. Or rather soon to be. Excuse my spelling but dude read a book, stop watching fox, you’re ignant…oh see what I did there Donnie. Probably not. Trumptards are all the same, argue like 4 year olds, redirecting responsibility. So how does a leader losing 20 odd teammates within 18 months reflect badly against Hillary or Obama but not of his own lack of leadership. Remember drain the swamp, my daddy gets the best people to work for him, I’m a great negotiator, all very questionable at this time. Furthermore lil Don, who the f*** said I would have voted for Clinton. The only thing I can say we’re in agreement is Hillary being a terrible representative of the Democratic party…but to suggest that this removes all responsibility from Trump and his Trumptards, well again it only points out how broken the American political pitch is. You’re not a voter, you’re a teammate, whether republican or dem. That my friend is where the “people” have lost. Good luck to you sir.

        • Jon holmes

          The only thing trump is draining is our money and ourour resources through this government that you “trust” way too much. Is it really that hard to see that the ass is only out for himself. And being an addiction counselor I can assure you the death penalty has got to be just one of the dumbest things he’s ever said!! And that says something because everything he says is dumb. But not to worry he changes his position hourly……loser

        • jonathan

          Good lord how you can continue to support this inane presidency is beyond me. How many people in his cabinet have made their exist ? This “man” is not draining the swamp in the slightest….in fact he is an orange tinted swamp thing if there ever was one. Looking out for his own interest over us. But thankfully in November there will be changes to be made with those midterm elections. And yeah, I was a second lieutenant in the United States Army. And I can tell you this, the military does not stand behind this chief at all. In fact we are doing are best to corral him and his asinine policies. And yes, the death penalty is a joke….a terrifying sad action of a man attempting to be strong.

          • Don Gray

            You are wrong as far as our Military supporting this President. He is a whole lot better than the tailtucking Barack Obama who not only turned his back on our Military he did the same to our Cops, Israel,and our Border Agents.At least this President is doing something about Illegals here in the USA instead of nothing.I stand behind our President because its Morons like you who can`t get over the last election because your Most corrupt lying, candidate Hillary didn`t have the Stamina,Morals,Integrity, just like Barack Obama.Things are changing in our country for the better and that’s because us DEPLORABLES see and understand what our country was facing with Hillary which would have been another failed Presidency.GO TRUMP IN 2020…

        • Guy Silver Rikard

          oh you poor unfortunate soul, in pain, in need, you inherently
          listen to the one who speaks the loudest or has captivated the masses,
          or any of the other many ways “history has chosen to label or
          categorize these types of people places things and ideas, and just for
          clarification here are a few more descriptors just to make sure
          you get my point; devils, demons, anti-Christs, dictators, Hitlers” . i
          hope when all the dust settles and you look back and realize the
          person or persons that you are heralding as a hero or Savior ends up
          being the big bad wolf in sheep’s clothing. that you don’t “beat
          ya self up” too much or get like crazy embarrassed. CAUSE WHEN YOU
          ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THINGS “A.K.A.” THE PRESENT THE FINAL OUTCOME OR
          FUTURE SEEMS A BIT MURKY OR LIKE A SMOG FILLED CITY HORIZON. ONLY
          WHEN WE LOOK BACK AT THE PAST DO THINGS TRULY START TO CLEAR UP AND
          THE TRUTH FINALLY EMERGE CLEARLY AND WE ALL THEN REALIZE AT
          THAT POINT HOW RIGHT OR WRONG WE WERE. ITS THEN I HOPE AND PRAY THAT
          WE ALL CAN DO THE SMART THING AND REALIZE OUR WRONGS AND LEARN
          FROM THEM.

  • Danielle L Smartt

    First thing I want to do is thank all of you for balanced, thoughtful comments. Good information has been presented, except for a few.
    Don’t see that very often.

    Next, I would like to say that each patient needs to take responsibility for their own care and be willing to fire their doctor if/when necessary.

    I am basing this on my own experience dealing with a diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis, for which there is no cure.

    The precription meds are, for me, worse than MG. Side effects are devastating and most doctors prescribed rx after rx to deal with side effects.

    So far have fired 1 doctor (for refusing to deal with it and trying to convince me I had heart trouble) and am considering replacing a second one for prescribing an addicting controlled substance when an over the counter solution is readily available.

    Trust your instincts and be willing to research alternative treatments on your own. And find a new doctor when necessary.

    I have had to drop all the usually prescribed medications for MG except for prednisone, which I am tapering off.

    Severe sciatica, gastrointestinal pain, and other rather gross problems have been caused by rx meds.

    Have found an Accupressure specialist who has reduced the sciatica symptoms by about 75%. Hope it will continue to improve. Only 5 treatments so far, so great results.

    Occasionally use an NSAID, Meloxicam, when pain gets bad, maybe 3 times a month. Other than that, just ibuprofen.

    So far so good.

    Have a really great neurologist back home who credits MJ, CBD, for keeping me off rx meds which could have killed me. He is also very interested in what has been working for me. Says that doctors have to be open minded when dealing with rare conditions.

    Since I spend a lot of time in Spokane, will be trying to find a replacement for the neurologist there.
    Don’t trust someone who prescribed a controlled substance when an over the counter med works well.

    Currently starting Chinese herbs after consulting with a Professor at University of Shanghai.

    Found that my thyroid is low. Western medicine says normal.

    Started kelp tablets for thyroid.

    Now have more energy and losing weight, which helps with blood pressure. 12 pounds in less than2 months. And balance my diet with a good prepackaged nutritional shake alternating with one I mix up with protein powder, fruits and veggies, a recipe I got from a naturopath.

    Simple, safe, affordable. $ 20 for 1000 kelp tablets.

    If the other herbs and teas work as well, I will be able to avoid prescriptions. The Chinese do not even recognize a diagnosis of MG in traditional medicine, but are able to recommend possible treatments based on symptoms and resuts of lab tests.

    Also starting ozone therapy to treat inflammation which aggravates MG.

    So far doing better with alternative therapy.

    And no opioids for pain.

    Be willing to question and research on your own,don’t fall for internet ads for fast fixes, and TAKE THE TIME TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.

    Your life could depend on it.

    • Jeffrey Avery

      excellent,,,mike the bike cant have any long thoughts so he just calls everyone a russian bot,,,ive explained—no bot,,,im double agent,,code name borris,lol

    • Jeffrey Avery

      sorry to hear about your mg,,,just went to google it,,,oh,sister-how are you holding up….not to talk about me(self described narsisit.lol)..ive got the fibro and pn-nerverve damage,and a long list…but, mg,is serious..is why i count my blessings……..just conserned for a sister is all….YOU WILL BE IN MY PRAYERS,and we will win this war for mmj,you and people like you ,are the true warriors…god bless…peace out…i see you’ve met the guys already…mike the bike down below thinks( im russian bot)i tell him,im dubble agent,,,code name boris,lol….ps-if you listen to us for too long,,you’ll get a head-ache for sure,i do,ha,ha,good to meat you…live ,love,laugh……
      hey—any time you need to vent,talk ,cuss ,no matter ,feel free ,,,we are always hear(i just dont have a life,ha ha )WELCOME…

  • Sy Katus

    Do we ever consider the viewpoint of a child?
    Eventually they mature to see our genocidal government ruling, ruining people’s lives. They see innocents are tortured their lives destroyed by violent armed militias who punish people for their way of living.
    People, who have not actually infringed unjustly in to others lives, are persecuted. Prohibitionist rulers hold their demonic sway over harmless human lives with their creature from the Id mentality.
    I know when it happened to me, when my eyes opened; I was 13 in summer scout camp. I cried myself to sleep in my bunk to realize that people are punished by my government solely for being different, as my family was when most were murdered for being Jewish or incarcerated and tortured by the Nazi. My sense of security of person would never be the same after realizing genocide was so common in the world. Though I had never even seen any so called illegal drugs in my life, I read the newspaper since 3rd grade every day and I my reason told me the war on drugs was such an evil.
    Maybe my compassion for the persecuted landed me using weed, as I got older. I cannot say for sure.
    The sheriff of Nottingham suggested giving free heroin shots properly dosed to prevent death and crime committed to obtain funding for the heroin.
    Whenever it was applied, it ended overdose deaths and crime while providing easy access for users who want to get off the habit to find treatments.
    Of course that makes it clear the anti drug laws are responsible for every bad thing they blame drug dealers for, OD’s crime etc.
    The list of crimes committed by anti drug enforcement, kidnapping, extortion, murder would have most enforcers and the judges who enforce those laws in jail for life in any state with righteous laws and enforcement.
    Somewhere deep in my soul I am still crying.