Monday, November 17, 2008

Masonic Frat Member for U.S. Drug Czar?

Monday, November 17, 2008

More drug czar speculation...

Keep in mind that I really think this is really too early to be picking drug czars, but people can't help speculating. The latest comes from Ryan Grim at the Politico.

Rep. Jim Ramstad's name is bouncing around as a possible "drug czar" -- the name given the head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Ramstad, a Minnesota Republican, is in recovery himself and has been a longtime proponent of treatment for drug abuse.

Along with Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), he has been an advocate for mental health parity -- the push to treat mental illness with the same effort as physical illness. Ramstad has consistently voted against medical marijuana in Congress, opposing an effort to prevent the federal government from raiding or arresting medical marijuana clubs in states where it is legal.

While certainly it could be a positive step to focus on treatment more than enforcement, as Radley says:

Fear the ex-addict who enters the public policy debate to "prevent others from making my mistakes."

Over the years, Phi Delta Theta members have played an integral role in the shaping of our democracy through their service in local government, state houses, the United States Congress and, yes, even the presidency. Jim Ramstad, U.S. Congressman from Minnesota, is another example of the prominent role Phi Delta Theta has within the Fraternity world.

Jim Ramstad was first elected to Congress in 1990. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Health Subcommittee and Oversight Subcommittee. Jim also co-chairs the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, as well as the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Law Enforcement Caucus and Medical Technology Caucus.

Congressman Ramstad is the 1998 recipient of the "Fullbright Distinguished Public Service Award." Jim was also named "Legislator of the Year" in 1998 by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Counselors, in 1999 by the National Mental Health Association and in 1997 and 2000 by the National Association of Police Organizations.

Jim Ramstad has a long history of civic and community involvement. He currently serves as a board member of Minnesota D.A.R.E. and the Lake Country Food Bank. Jim is also a member of American Legion Post 118, Minnesota Prayer Breakfast Committee, Plymouth Lions Club and the MetroNorth and Wayzata Area Chambers of Commerce.

Born in Jamestown, North Dakota, Jim is the third generation member of a small business family. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1968 (Phi Beta Kappa) and his J.D. (with Honors) from George Washington University in 1973. He was an officer in the United States National Guard from 1968 to 1974. He also worked as a private practice attorney and as a legislative aide to the Minnesota House of Representatives.

After a combined 27 years in the Minnesota Senate and U.S. Congress, Jim will be retiring from Congress to spend more time in Minnesota. Congratulations Jim!

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According to his Wikipedia article, the man is a recovering alcoholic.

Personal life

Ramstad has identified himself as a recovering alcoholic, having been sober since 1981; he is Patrick J. Kennedy's AA sponsor. Ramstad's sister, Sheryl Ramstad-Hvass, is currently a Tax Court judge in Minnesota.

On February 25, 2008 it was announced that Ramstad had been elected to the board of directors of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University [11]

Yet he opposes even the limited medical use of Marijuana - a far far safer substance.

Perhaps he is a fool.

But definitely he is a member of a secret society (fraternity):

What sort of "hope" for "change" is this supposed to represent?

1 comment:

Douglas A. Willinger said...

From the comments section of this article at Pete Guither's Drug War Rant:

Having been there (several times), I echo Radley and Johnstank opinion for what it's worth. Many people who go through rehab can be worse than others. They're often still in "blame the drugs" mode.

Sure, some people get addicted in the course of medical treatment ( which is ironic because pot isn't anywhere near as addictive, if at all, as painkillers ) like Rush Limbaugh did, but from my observations, most people either use soft drugs recreationally, or abuse harder drugs through addictions, and the VAST majority of the latter have life issues that they're self-medicating to escape one way or the other. The drugs are their coping/escape mechanism.

Again, the majority of those I've encountered through the years are merely recreational users of pot who choose it over alcohol because they don't like the effects, during and after, of alcohol ( or have other issues with alcohol ). A recovering/rehabbed addict has no mental "place" for such a user because according to rehab centers there is no such thing as a responsible/recreational user. We're all just "fooling ourselves" and like johnny pee said, "we need an intervention".

I think somebody like one of you all would be the best "czar" if we HAVE to have one. I'd rather see a beautiful sunset though :)

I also second Doug Willinger - if anyone's against medipot they're a fool or another secret society minion [ or biased for other reasons and REALLY know better ]. Why would dozens of the biggest names in pharmaceuticals be looking into cannabinoid medicines if pot had no medicinal value???? I think therein lies one of the problems with medipot, and it's twofold - there's pressure from pharma lobbyists against medipot, and medipot negates the Schedule I status of marijuana. When it's agreed upon by the right people or number of people that pot indeed has medical value, it CAN'T really be a Schedule I drug anymore!

Of the handful of lifetime mistakes I wish I could take back, my attitude toward drugs after rehab and after personally stopping for whatever reasons would be one of my biggies. Any other medical anomoly that resulted in reinfection/recurrence would be closely scrutinized, but the post-rehab high relapse rate among drug users/abusers curiously gets overlooked or simplistically viewed as "the nature of the beast". There's more to substance use/abuse than mere addiction and following twelve steps to stay clean.

People have a RIGHT to wind down/relax/feel normal. It's not ALL about addiction, and it's not all wrong. AND - they shouldn't have to be limited to alcohol.
Jim • 11/17/08; 1:56:54 PM #