Vansterdam Blows Smoke at US Drug Czar John WaltersMarc and friends and members of the BCMP covertly acquired a table at a luncheon-speech organized by the Vancouver Board of Trade and featuring the US Drug Czar John Walters. If only this Narco-Nazi got this kind of greeting everywhere he took his trail of lies! Great newsclips and an eyewitness account of John Walters visit to Vancouver’s cannabis friendly cafe The Amsterdam.
Email John Walters and tell him to stay out of Canada!
Local potheads shout down Bush’s drug czar
Thursday, November 21, 2002
CREDIT: Les Bazso, The Province
Protesters David Malmo-Levine (left) and Marc Emery (far right) at the Board of Trade luncheon.
American drug czar John Walters was heckled repeatedly during a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade yesterday.
The early part of Walters’ short speech on U.S. drug policies seemed to be well received but he ran into trouble when he spoke about marijuana.
Walters, a member of President George W. Bush’s cabinet, told the crowd that of six million Americans requiring treatment for drug abuse, about 60 per cent are dependent on pot.
“Lies, lies,” shouted members of the B.C. Marijuana Party, who got into the meeting by identifying themselves through their corporate entity, Avalon Sunsplash, and paid $750 for a table in the middle of the ballroom at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre.
Walters retorted by saying people are entitled to their opinions but he was the one invited to speak.
“I’m a public official. I am subject to the scrutiny of the press and the Congress . . . I’ve never heard of you.”
Most of the audience applauded.
Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen said later that he agreed with the drug czar’s comments on treatment and enforcement but was not pleased that Walters failed to support harm-reduction strategies, including safe injection sites.
“I guess there’s a philosophical difference, very much so,” said Owen, who attended the speech after protesting the visit to U.S. authorities. He believes Walters should pay attention to the U.S. drug problem.
“I think ours is a broader, more compassionate, more compelling and more sustainable” approach, Owen said.
Security was tight at the speech, with officials checking ID and plainclothes and uniformed cops in attendance.
A small group of demonstrators gathered outside the building.
Walter Williams, a placard-carrying protestor who identified himself as a businessman, said he was angry that Walters was giving a speech when Vancouver civic voters had just elected to try a new approach to solving the drug problem.
“To have him come up here and insult us is absolutely outrageous.”
© Copyright 2002 The Province
Drug plan waste of resources, city told
More drug users will come here, U.S. official warns
Thursday, November 21, 2002
CREDIT: Bill Keay, Vancouver Sun
John P. Walters, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy director, speaks to Vancouver Board of Trade meeting.
American drug czar John Walters says Vancouver’s proposed safe-injection sites for drug users are a waste of resources that should go to helping addicts get clean.
And, he told reporters after a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade Wednesday, any policy that makes life easier for drug users will only attract more drug users.
Walters’ speech on America’s drug policy was punctuated by frequent booing and heckling from a table of people that included B.C. Marijuana Party leader Marc Emery.
Walters conceded that safe-injection sites might save some lives.
“They may save lives, certainly, if you have people who overdose,” said Walters, who was accompanied by a heavy contingent of security.
“From my point of view, why not save people from the fatal disease of addiction and not just from the fatal opportunity for an overdose at some point in time? Use the resources — they’re always going to be scarce — to make people well, to reintegrate them into society.”
He said he doesn’t even buy the argument that safe-injection sites reduce the spread of disease.
“Even the best sites, the usual safe-injection site argument is for the prevention of hepatitis and HIV transmission, but the rates of conversion [to illness]in the studies that have been best in these areas still have many times the number of people converting than those who get effective treatment. Again, hepatitis and HIV are deadly diseases. So is drug addiction. We want to save people from the underlying condition that is deadly.”
Current Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen and mayor-elect Larry Campbell, who attended the speech at the Sheraton Wall Centre, both said they didn’t agree with Walters’ statements on that issue, although they wholeheartedly supported his comments about the importance of prevention and treatment.
Walters said he was in B.C. to discuss issues of border security and the problem of B.C.’s large marijuana industry, estimated at $5-6 billion a year, with 95 per cent of the drugs going to the United States.
He said he hoped, through his speech, to help Canadians avoid the drug problems that the U.S. has “paid a bitter price for.”
“I’m not telling Canadians what to do. But I’m saying, ‘Look at our experience. Try not to have as many casualties as we do,’ ” said Walters.
Walters said the most important weapons in the drug crisis, which he said is increasingly affecting children and teenagers, are prevention and treatment.
And, he said, everyone needs to work on that together.
“Prevention is by everybody’s measure, the most humane approach. But this is a problem that requires social consensus. When that consensus breaks down, we have more casualties.”
Walters said several times that addicts can’t help themselves because part of the disease is denial, so it’s up to others to help them.
Addicts’ families, he said, “know that denial is part of this disease. We have to get people to understand that minding your own business and looking the other way is deadly. We can save lives, we have the technologies and treatment to save lives.”
He also claimed that Baltimore’s economic decline and school-failure rate are due to a move toward a more “harm-reduction” approach to drug use.
Walters focused much of his talk on the dangers of marijuana, which prompted several verbal exchanges from those at the Marijuana Party table. They called out, “Lies,” while Walters responded, “Shouting people down doesn’t make what you say true,” and Odd Squad police officer Toby Hinton told the hecklers to shut up.
Afterwards, Owen questioned Walters’ information that 60 per cent of the six million drug addicts in the United States are addicted to marijuana and represent the bulk of people filling up the American drug-treatment system.
Owen said the reason people using marijuana are so prevalent is because the U.S. is more aggressive in arresting people for simple marijuana possession and, through the drug-court system, they’re forced to choose between jail or treatment.
Owen said he’s confident about what Vancouver is doing in incorporating harm-reduction measures, like better health treatment for addicts, in its drug strategy, which already includes prevention, treatment and enforcement.
“We’re on a little different course at the moment from the United States,” he said. “We’re satisfied with ours when it gets support from the provincial government, the federal government, 90 per cent of the public.”
U.S. drug chief warns against
injection sites for addicts
By ROBERT MATAS
Thursday, November 21, 2002 – Page A16
Globe and Mail
VANCOUVER — U.S. drug czar John Walters warned yesterday that supervised centres for addicts to inject heroin may save some lives but also may lead to more drug users and casualties.
Stepping gingerly into one of the most contentious issues in the city of Vancouver, the director of the White House office of national drug control policy said during a visit to the city he was not telling Canada what the country should do.
“But the issue is, why not save people from the fatal disease of addiction and not just from the fatal opportunity for overdose,” Mr. Walters said.
Limited resources should be used to make people well, he told reporters after speaking at a luncheon to a group of municipal politicians, police from the city’s drug-infested Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, business people and marijuana activists.
“We want to make people well and I do not believe, if you look at reality, that you get to where you want to be by allowing people to continue in their addiction.”
Health Minister Anne McLellan has announced that by the end of the year, municipalities will be allowed to apply for approval to establish safe injection sites as research projects.
Despite a private meeting with the U.S. drug czar, outgoing Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen said he remained convinced that supervised injection centres should be available in the city.
Mr. Owen has spearheaded the drive for a national drug strategy that includes safe injection centres. His successor, Larry Campbell, who takes over as mayor in two weeks, was elected on a platform that included a strong commitment to open supervised centres for addicts.
Safe injection sites could help bring treatment to addicts who inject drugs on the street, Mr. Owen said. “The status quo is not working. Let’s implement this, try it and see if it works. If it doesn’t work, we can change it.”
Mr. Walters was in Vancouver to discuss tighter enforcement of drug laws and tougher security measures at the Canada-U.S. border. He said he has been discussing measures to curtail the flow of marijuana from Canada to the United States and of cocaine in the opposite direction.
The RCMP say 95 per cent of British Columbia’s $6-billion marijuana crop is shipped into the United States, Mr. Walters said.
His speech was interrupted repeatedly by marijuana activists at the luncheon, who booed and shouted. Speaking over the protesters, he said he did not support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes because scientific research has not shown that the drug is effective.
CN BC: Column: Bizarre Blather From American Drug Czar
Newshawk: Join CMAP http://www.mapinc.org/cmap/lists.htm
Pubdate: Thu, 28 Nov 2002
Source: Westender (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 WestEnder
Contact: [email protected]
Author: Brian Peterson
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/walters.htm (Walters, John)
BIZARRE BLATHER FROM AMERICAN DRUG CZAR
It’s like a beautiful, terrible dream… as Canadian-American relations slide down the toilet bowl, Canadian politicians are losing their vaunted politeness and snapping back with the truth.
Defence Minister John McCallum snarls back off on our defence-spending. Chretien’s spokesperson calls Bush a moron and the remark reverberates around the world.
The description might be more accurate if it included the words “single-minded” and “vicious”.
The PM’s damage control ( “The president is not a moron. He is my friend” ) was entertaining but still puzzling defence, considering the two are not necessarily exclusive propositions.
These diplomatic lapses pale beside the more pointed truth-telling the ever-astounding Mayor Philip Owen and numerous hecklers directed toward visiting Drug Czar John Walters of the White House Office of National Drug Policy, in town to address the Vancouver Board of Trade last week.
The old-school drug warrior has horrified editorialists across the board since Bush nominated and won him the post last year.
Walters supports harsh sentences for non-violent drug offenders, supports escalation of the Latin American drug war, and denies that racial disparities exist in the criminal justice system. He has campaigned heavily and successfully against sensible drug-law reform initiatives proposed in several states using lots of taxpayer dough.
The Czar and his heavy security contingent were in town to discuss the B.C. bud trade and apparently let a little air out of the COPE landslide, forged on the long-overdue promise of providing safe-injection sites. Among his pithy messages: safe injection sites are a waste of money and will attract addicts from all over North America.
Wow. Free use of a spoon, syringe and a stainless steel table… and brochures! Yeah, I’d hitchhike from Baton Rouge to get in on that action, fo sho!
But wait… then he goes on to concede that safe-injection sites might save lives if you have people who overdose.
It’s news to his Czarship that Vancouver and lots of American cities specialize in addicts and apparently normal folks who do just that frequently.
And when the police do their periodic sweeps of Vancouver’s infamous open-air drug market, that overdose rate soars as desperate junkies take a chance on any white powder a predator deals.
He also comes bearing the laughably bogus statistic that 60 per cent of U.S. addicts are addicted to marijuana.
He fails to point out, as our righteous outgoing mayor does, that the U.S. is more aggressive in arresting people for simple marijuana possession than forcing them through drug courts where harmless pot-users are given a choice between jail or treatment.
Some choice. And he’s got the nerve to say safe-injection sites are a waste of money?
Walters adds some reason to his rhetoric when he talks about prevention and treatment. But his idea of prevention includes diverting money from Columbian social programs to buy Black Hawk helicopters and to spray farmland with lethal herbicide and gatling guns. Of course, he’s not trying to tell us what to do. But when we sort of liberalize our pot laws to provide compassionate access to the ailing, or when the Senate produces yet another report calling for pot-decriminalization, Walters responds with veiled threats of snarling the border trade with ruinous security delays. But make no mistake, he’s not trying to intimidate us; he just doesn’t want us to make the same mistakes the Americans have.
All we have to do is steer the identical course they’ve taken into drug insanity.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget if you use drugs you’re supporting terrorism! The state-sponsored variety. I’d be tempted to call him a moron but that would let him off the hook.
Guys like Walters and the Bush clones are cogs in an imperialist mass-murder machine. They know their failed Drug Free America policies don’t work. They direct their agents against the weakest members of society. They attack drug cartels that won’t play ball while providing military protection to others that will. They have been caught laundering cash and consorting with druglords so often the judiciary has had to write them special exemptions to break the law.
The CIA’s own declassified documents admit this. They are the worst kind of scum. We all need protection from them.