#201 Rosenthal Still Fighting To Ignore Reality Of Drug War

Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001
Subject: #201 Rosenthal Still Fighting To Ignore Reality Of Drug War

Rosenthal Still Fighting To Ignore Reality Of Drug War

NOTE: Rosenthal is one of our favorite drug warrior targets. His
supreme lack of logic combined with his know-it-all doctrinaire
attitude make him easy pickings. If you will read the article below,
you will likely be moved to write a letter responding to his
inaccurate foolishness.


DrugSense FOCUS Alert #201 Saturday March 10, 2001

Columnist A.M. Rosenthal was fired by the New York Times last year,
but that doesn’t seem to have shattered any of his illusions about the
drug war. The outspoken supporter of prohibition now writes for the
New York Daily News, and this week he is shocked to learn that the
message of drug policy reform has now made it to Hollywood (see his
column below).

While even many prohibitionists have found something to like in the
film “Traffic,” Rosenthal sees it as nothing more than an insult to
his fellow drug warriors and part of a larger “conspiracy” against
them (a conspiracy of common sense perhaps?) . As usual, Rosenthal
disparages a few wealthy individuals who have supported drug policy
reform with a few million dollars in recent years, while he neglects
the fact that the illogical prohibitionist effort spends more than a
billion dollars every _month_ on the utterly failed and monumentally
expensive “war on drugs.”

Of course, Rosenthal and his ilk are right to be concerned that they
have lost control of public discourse on this issue as that is most
obviously the case as demonstrated by the sea change in the national
attitude and the growing support for reform, not only in Hollywood,
but in the print and broadcast media as well as in public opinion.

Please write a letter to the Daily News to remind editors that
Rosenthal’s notion of a noble and righteous drug war may be
sustainable in Rosenthal’s closed mind, but in the real world, fewer
citizens are buying it every day.


Just DO it! If not YOU who? If not NOW when?


Phone, fax etc.)

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and be motivated to follow suit

This is VERY IMPORTANT as it is the only way we have of gauging our
impact and effectiveness.



Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Contact: voicers@edit.nydailynews.com



US NY: Column: Hollywood’s Dangerous Drug Line
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v01.n419.a08.html
NewsHawk: Sledhead
Pubdate: Fri, 09 Mar 2001
Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Copyright: 2001 Daily News, L.P.
Contact: voicers@edit.nydailynews.com
Address: 450 W. 33rd St., New York, N.Y. 10001
Website: http://www.nydailynews.com/
Forum: http://www.nydailynews.com/manual/news/e_the_people/e_the_people.htm
Author: A.M. Rosenthal

The President has appointed a new drug czar – a justice of the Ohio
Supreme Court. Before the judge takes office, he goes to the
Mexican-American border and to Mexico itself. He sees the brutality of
Mexican police officers, themselves part of drug gangs. He sees
American anti-drug agents risk their lives and often lose them.

As he is preparing for his first press conference at the White House,
he finds out that his daughter Caroline, a wholesome-looking teenager,
is a junkie. She is so captured by narcotics that she prostitutes
herself for them.

At the press conference, he begins to read his prepared speech about
the importance of the war on drugs to save the 68 million American
children who have been targeted by the narcotics kings. He cannot go
on. He puts down his speech, turns to leave the room and his career
and says: “I can’t do this. If there is a war on drugs, then our own
families have become the enemy. How can you make war on your own family?”

That’s it – that’s the message that the film “Traffic” delivers toward
the end, where messages are put to be remembered.

It is also a message peddled by Americans who have created a national
network of organizations devoted to ending the war on drugs and making
more narcotics more available to more Americans without legal penalty.
They use nicey-nicey phrases like “drug reform” or “harm reduction”
because they know the public would reject any honest move toward their
real goal – outright legalization.

Supporters of the drug war, like myself, did not think any such
destructive movement would become accepted among people who consider
themselves informed and intelligent, including journalists. Wrong.
With propaganda funds from a few truly rich Americans, the legalizers
have convinced more and more columnists and editorial writers. They
have won state plebiscites that used tricky, concealing language to
make more narcotics available for “medicinal” purposes.

Particularly generous are financier George Soros, Ohio insurance
executive Peter Lewis and the founder of the for-profit University of
Phoenix, John Sperling. They and their organizations hack away at the
very foundation of the struggle against drugs: the three-way
combination of law enforcement, interdiction and therapy.

The money these billionaires put into their hatred for the drug war,
out of whatever cradle trauma, could make helping addicts impossible
by destroying the law enforcement that is essential to effective therapy.

I went back to anti-drug experts I have trusted and learned from for
years. All of them have contributed more to therapy for addicts in a
single week than the moneybags of the war against the drug war have in
their combined lifetimes. I asked these experts if I’m missing
something, if I’m behind the times, about the importance of the union
of therapy, law enforcement and interdiction. Here’s what they said:

Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal, probably the most important therapist in the
country, creator of Phoenix House, the national group of therapeutic
communities where addicts often work a year or more ridding their
minds and bodies of drugs: “Ninety percent of the people who need
treatment do not seek it out themselves. They have to be coerced by a
wife, an employer, a probation officer, a court, the police. Very few
addicts wake up in the morning and say, ‘I am destroying my life. I am
out of control. I need help.'”

Dr. Herbert Kleber of Columbia University, considered by both
supporters and enemies of the anti-drug struggle as one of the
country’s top experts: “The opposition to interdiction does not
include me. It is part of the essential three. It would be wrong to
fight and fight against drugs and leave the sources of drugs
untouched, even if they cannot be controlled fully.”

Is addiction a disease, or is it behavior? “It is a disease that
erodes but does not erase the ability to make choices, as diabetes
gives the patient the choice between eating chocolate bars and
refusing them.”

Sue Rusche, director of National Families in Action, an organization
that provides a university of knowledge on drugs and an army fighting
them: “Addicts rarely enter treatment voluntarily. … We must not
repeat the mistake made when we deinstitutionalized mental health
hospitals and produced a homeless population of untreated mentally ill

Richard Brown, Queens district attorney: “The major reason for the
drop in crime around the city, including murders, is the breakup of
gangs and the putting away of the criminals who created open-air
markets and public housing drug bazaars.”

Those are their messages for Hollywood directors and producers to
think about – and President Bush, when he gets around to his delayed
duty of appointing a strong drug czar, maybe.


To the editor:

How typical of A.M. Rosenthal (column ‘Hollywood’s Dangerous Drug
Line’ March 9th).

First he builds a case that a few rich Americans have somehow
hoodwinked all those voters who pass initiatives against the excesses
of the War on Drugs — from cops stealing property for the gain of
their departments without the owner being found guilty of a crime at
least 80% of the time, called asset forfeiture — to marijuana, a
substance who’s medicinal value was recognized in a detailed,
government funded, study by the Institute of Medicine.

Then he asks “if I’m missing something”? But who does he ask? Two
doctors who make their living off the War or its victims, a DA who
supports the Draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws, and the leader of a
pro-War lobby.

It appears that Mr. Rosenthal is still missing something. But don’t
expect him to ask anyone who really understands what is happening any
time soon.

It appears that Hollywood, with the film “Traffic,” may have the
message right. They could have scripted an ending more to Mr.
Rosenthal’s beliefs, then asked the government for a nice check for
their efforts.

Richard Lake
Sylvania, Ohio

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Prepared by Richard Lake – http://www.mapinc.org and Stephen Young –
http://www.maximizingharm.com Focus Alert Specialist