In Which Another Drug Warrior Extracts Facts From His Behind

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Another drug warrior invents facts. Check the video below from Stossel’s show last week, in which former ONDCP official and narcotics officer Paul Chabot debates former narcotics cop and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition speaker Neil Franklin.

At one point, Chabot says the “majority” of crimes that take actual victims are committed by people under the influence of illegal drugs. That isn’t true. According to data from Chabot’s former employer, it’s around 22 percent at federal level, and 33 percent at the state level. And of course that doesn’t mean the drugs caused the crimes. Or even contributed to them. Though I’m sure there’s some of both. The only conclusion you can safely draw from those numbers is that there’s some overlap between people who use illegal drugs and people who commit violent and property crimes.

Chabot also says in the video that parents in San Francisco “don’t take their kids to the park anymore” because of the legal marijuana dispensaries. What does tha tmean? All parents? Some? A majority? Has he conducted a survey? I’m relatively certain he made this up too, but I guess I can’t really prove him wrong from my apartment in Nashville. I’m not even sure it’s possible to prove a statement like that right or wrong. I’m sure Chabot could find some parents who are frightened of the stoners. I’m sure I could find plenty who aren’t. So hey, San Francisco readers: Do you have kids? Are you afraid to take them to the park of late because of the marijuana fiends?

In the second video, Chabot, Franklin, and Jeff Miron take questions from the audience. During that segment, Chabot actually invokes the “surge” in Iraq in arguing for stepping up the drug war (and in doing so completely avoids the question posed to him). Just in case you were still under the delusion that the term “drug war” is a metaphor. He also says there are more youth entering rehab today for marijuana than all other drugs combined. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, it’s because courts and prosecutors make rehab a punishment for people arrested for possession (or, more likely, a condition for their charges to be dropped). Chemically, marijuana is less addictive than nicotine or caffeine.

Finally, Chabot says cops aren’t out there “hooking and booking” pot smokers. Chabot need only take a few steps out of the studio where this segment was filmed, where tricking pot smokers into committing crimes is a matter of policy at NYPD.

MORE: As someone in the comments section points out, Chabot recently ran for the California State Assembly. He lost in the GOP primary this month. He’s also a former drug addict. Never underestimate the tyranny of the former addict.

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46 Responses to “In Which Another Drug Warrior Extracts Facts From His Behind”

  1. #1 |  Nick T | 

    Uggh, that guy is such a douche. Is he running for office? His surge answer was straight out of the Sarah Palin playbook, of just say a bunch of bullshit and then talk about the troops or “freedom.”

    That said, I do think the commerce clause authorizes the prohibition of drugs and alcohol and really any commercial product, provided it is prohibited in those areas closely related to interstate commerce (so not like in the Raich case).

    THAT said, it’s amazing that peopel liek this douche don’t even care enough to engage the question as to whether or not something is authorized by the Constitution.

  2. #2 |  JS | 

    You’d make up stuff too if you had spent your whole career not being held accountable to anyone for pretty much anything. It’s just another of the personality warping effects of being a police officer. They are often surrounded by flatterers and yes men and most people are afraid of them so they get used to lying and no one calling them on it.

  3. #3 |  JS | 

    Nick T-yea kind of like this:

  4. #4 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

    Why do former drug warriors come on these shows.

    Serious capitalism themed question. People on the other side like Miron or Lord Balko are self promoters who will make more money the more people know about them and read their works, who is paying the former ONDCP guy to show up and lie?

  5. #5 |  Stephen | 

    I recorded the show and had to watch it in small chunks just because of that guy. Couldn’t take more than 30 seconds of that guy at once.

  6. #6 |  Bart | 

    I was just in San Francisco (actually traveled the entire coastline over the last month) with my young kids. We took them to lots of parks/playgrounds and they were full of kids and parents playing.

    No one was concerned about people high on pot harming their kids!!

    What was disturbing were the signs at the San Francisco playgrounds that said, “Adults must be accompanied by children to enter playground.” (with a city ordinance listed.) But that is for another blog post.

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Query:Why don’t we need a Constitutional Amendment like we did for alcohol?


    “Do we simply put our hands up and walk away? No!”

    “We’ve gone through Prohibition and we’ve HAD those things happen.”

    “It’s a perfect–of course not!”

    digress [daɪˈgrɛs]
    vb (intr)
    1. to depart from the main subject in speech or writing
    2. to wander from one’s path or main direction

  8. #8 |  Mattocracy | 

    Law enforcement and those associated with them will never tell the truth about the drug war. Their jobs are on the line. Law Enforcement isn’t any different than any union or special interest group looking to keep the money rolling in. If innocent people get hurt and untold amounts of collateral damage is committed, these selfish assholes don’t care just so long as they keep getting paid. They have no respect for other human beings. They aren’t much different than slave owners in this respect.

  9. #9 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Adults must be accompanied by children to enter playground.”


  10. #10 |  Bob | 

    ‘Finally, Chabot says cops aren’t out there “hooking and booking” pot smokers.”

    I thought the black guy was going to lose it and throttle Chabot. I was like “Yeah! Throttle him!”

    Query:Why don’t we need a Constitutional Amendment like we did for alcohol?

    Because in 1920, the Federal Government didn’t have the sheer manpower it does now. It relied on the states to enforce prohibition, thus… the constitutional amendment. Now it just passes more “Federal Laws” and uses it’s huge manpower to do whatever it wants.

  11. #11 |  Aresen | 

    Well, it is a proven fact that people who have smoked pot have IQs 15 points higher than those who don’t.

    [See, I can make up facts, too.]

  12. #12 |  Nick T | 


    Yes!!! Let’s have a “Make-up facts about drugs” thread.

    Fact: People who use marijuana are more likely to move on to harder drugs later, but there also far more likely to be generally awesome and get laid a lot.

    That’s just science!

  13. #13 |  shecky | 

    I doubt San Francisco is that much different than L.A. but down here, where legal pot shops have sprung up like weeds, there doesn’t seem to be any impact as far as I can tell. The shops themselves tend to be discreet, you’d walk right by them end never notice. Parks still seem to have the usual crowds, kids still ride their bikes around, and crime is actually lower than it’s been in decades. Maybe the rest of the country can use a nice dose of medical marijuana and illegal immigrants, the things often attributed to America’s decline, which L.A. has in spades to absolutely no negative effect.

  14. #14 |  Michael Pack | 

    Typical ,look at the stats on DUI deaths,very few innocent people are killed by dui,yet,we’re led to believe one beer makes you Charles Manson behind the wheel.To true believers,any one who does drugs is a homicidal addict .

  15. #15 |  MassHole | 

    Nick T, great idea!

    Fact: The pot smoker in closest proximity to you most likely has a college degree, a steady job, is a good spouse, loves their kids and is otherwise a law abiding citizen.

    Hold on, I think I did this wrong…

  16. #16 |  S1ngularity | 

    I live in the bay area East of SF. I just had a lovely play date with my three year old and a classmates family. We met at a park in the city, it was very nice. There were lots of families there, this is clearly all made up.

    Here’s a link to the park on Google Maps:,+San+Francisco,+CA&sll=37.764659,-122.409952&sspn=0.001917,0.003873&ie=UTF8&hq=Franklin+Square&hnear=Franklin+Square,+San+Francisco,+California+94110&ll=37.77119,-122.408895&spn=0.02897,0.06197&t=h&z=14&iwloc=A

  17. #17 |  jps3 | 

    I don’t have kids, but I live across the street from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. There are plenty of kids in the park. His claim in nonsense. The pot dispensaries are mellow. There’s even an upscale yuppie dispensary across the bridge in Marin.

    FACT: medical marijuana smokers that have children spend more time playing in parks with their kids than non-smokers with children.

  18. #18 |  JS | 

    Mattocracy “Law enforcement and those associated with them will never tell the truth about the drug war. Their jobs are on the line. Law Enforcement isn’t any different than any union or special interest group looking to keep the money rolling in. If innocent people get hurt and untold amounts of collateral damage is committed, these selfish assholes don’t care just so long as they keep getting paid. They have no respect for other human beings. They aren’t much different than slave owners in this respect.”

    I thought I was gonna win the thread until this. Thanks a lot asshole!

  19. #19 |  Tom G | 

    This wouldn’t affect my attitude towards legalization (I’m for totally legalizing all drugs), but are there any DUI/DWI statistics (accidents or deaths) that do in fact break out the alcohol only vs. drugs only vs. alcohol AND drugs percentages?
    (I’d also like to know statistics for marijuana specifically vs. other illegal drugs but that might be too much to expect).

  20. #20 |  JS | 

    Tom G, I think the LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) site has the stats on that.

  21. #21 |  SJE | 

    The “surge” metaphor is hilarious, if only he knew the facts.

    The “surge” worked not because of the enormous number of US troops, but because the local Iraqis got sick of AQI brutality, and the local Sheiks stood up to AQI. The US troop surge just cleaned up afterwards. Applying this to the drug war would require that people and local governments first support getting rid of drugs. So far, the people, AND the local and state governments, are supporting decriminalization and even outright legalization…i.e. the opposite. COIN doctrine would tell you that massive military support cannot reverse that sort of opposition. If our drug warrior doesn’t believe that, what does the “drug war” tell him? How about the hundreds of billions spent in Afghanistan? This is the sort of BS armchair warrior talk that got us the Iraq war and continued engagement (entrapment) throughout the globe.

    As for San Francisco: I have friends in the bay area who spend a lot of time in the kids playground across from their house, and I have seen plenty of kids playing in SF city itself. Perhaps if he went there AND took his head out of his **ss he might have noticed.

  22. #22 |  Dick Caveat | 

    Don’t forget how much law enforcement benefits from asset forfeiture laws.

  23. #23 |  bob42 | 

    I recommend this book, Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics: A Critical Analysis of Claims Made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as a good source for debunking the professional propagandists at the ONDCP.

    In the past, and on the taxpayer’s dime, that useless agency has dispatched its liars to interfere in elections in states that were considering medical cannabis legislation. They want to avoid the “slippery slope” of a public in possession of facts that drug warriors must deny to further their own existence.

    California’s legalization proposition must have them wetting their pants. If one state were to legalize and as a result, the sky didn’t fall, they would be exposed to everyone as the liars that we already know they are.

    CA is too close to call right now, and the drug warriors along with the “family values” social conservative authoritarian nutjobs have not fully began their program of fear based propaganda.

    If you can, please rattle the tip jars of orgs that are fighting to free the plant in California.

  24. #24 |  Duncan20903 | 

    #4 Reggie Hubbard asks why Paul Chabot would come on the television spouting lies. Well, all I did was google his name and I discovered he’s running for office in this years election.

    One quick search, and the number 1 entry tells us Mr. Chabot’s ulterior motive. I really wish the anti’s would stop acting as if they’re somehow puire as the driven snow, caring only for the overall health of society and protecting the cheeeeel-drens from harm.

  25. #25 |  EH | 

    You’d make up stuff too if you had spent your whole career not being held accountable to anyone for pretty much anything. It’s just another of the personality warping effects of being a police officer.

    I don’t think it has as much to do with institutional accountability as it does with officers being allowed to lie in their dealings with citizens. To an officer, the people on a news show are just a bunch of civilians, for which the officer has never, ever had to check his facts. Cops being able to lie well is an occupational necessity.

  26. #26 |  Kristen | 

    Law enforcement and those associated with them will never tell the truth about the drug war. Their jobs are on the line.

    This so much. It’s just like when politicians start talking about program and personnel cuts in government – there’s a HUGE uproar. Not from the general public, but from the bureaucrats working on unneccesary programs who may be RIF’ed. Legalize drugs and we’d probably need 1/2 the police we have now, and we’d need a lot less paramilitary gear and the funding that goes along with all that stuff.

    If the Feds were to get serious about reducing costs and eliminating programs and my job were on the line, well, I have skills outside of “being a bureaucrat” and “shuffling paper” that make me quite viable in the job marketplace. Many of my colleagues? Not so much.

  27. #27 |  Kristen | 

    FACT: cannabis* users are 10x more likely to help you move, drive you home from the dentist, and dog sit while you’re on vacation.

    *My neighbor insists that I use this word instead of “marijuana” because it was labeled “marijuana” to make people think it was a dirty wetback drug that had no business in the homes of good, decent, white Americans. Though I don’t know if that’s really true, it sounds plausible, so I accommodate him whenever I’m not so stoned I can’t remember.

  28. #28 |  KBCraig | 

    As a military veteran, I’m offended by Paul Chabot.

    Answer the damn question, Chabot: Where is your Constitutional authority to outlaw drugs?

  29. #29 |  bob42 | 

    I prefer to use the word cannabis instead of marijuana. Associating cannabis with Mexicans was a fear based tactic used to get support from xenophobes for the original push for plant prohibition in the late 1930s.

  30. #30 |  daten | 

    I live in SF. I can tell you this guy is full of crap. He’s a liar. Plain and simple.


    Need facts? Why? Just lie about it and grab a flag to wrap yourself in.


  31. #31 |  Aresen | 


    All of the prohibitionist/drug warrior campaigns have been heavily racist. Alcohol prohibitionists blamed the Irish, opium phohibitionist blamed Chinese, cocaine prohibitionists Latin Americans and MJ prohibition the Mexicans.

    This is nothing new.

    Unfortunately, the prohibitionists also seem perfectly happy to let innocents* of other countries to be killed for their ideal.

    (*By “innocents”, I am referring to people who are unconnected with the trade in the prohibited substance. Although this is a limited definition that I don’t feel is accurate, it is a definition that even the prohibitionists must allow.)

  32. #32 |  bob42 | 

    Aresen, I agree. For 2+ decades we’ve been playing a violent game of whack-the-mole in various South American countries; militarizing their police forces and forcing their already corrupt governments to play our drug war game. And now the violence has increased throughout the Americas, especially Mexico.

    The drug warriors and ignorant social conservatives don’t give a crap about the violence, deaths and political instability caused in other countries. Worse still, drug warrior politicians continue to get their fat asses reelected based on scare propaganda. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of that before November.

  33. #33 |  SJE | 

    I am not so sure about all of them being racist, although there is an inherent looking down on “ordinary” people:
    1. The fact that many people, in many countries like cannibas, alcohol, or whatever is irrelevant to drug warriors: they must be prohibited for society’s good (even when a majority of society disagrees)
    2. Drug warriors do not mind collateral damage: peoples, puppies, property are all fair game
    3. Drug warriors ignore the desires and right of ordinary people in planning their strategies, including that other people might want something else, and that people will defend their own rights, lives and property.
    4. Drug warriors blind themselves to the ultimate conceit: they seem to think that more force and more violence will win their war. This arrogance underestimates the cunning and willpower of people who want something different from the drug warriors.

    If bunches of illiterate peasants can tie down entire armies with advanced weapons, what arrogance must a drug warrior possess to think that he can dictate to other US citizens and other countries.

  34. #34 |  EH | 

    SJE#33, I differ on point #4: I think they are people who allowed to use violence to achieve their ends and the drug war is merely the latest outlet.

    Rephrased, it’s not that drug warriors blind themselves to the ultimate conceit that violence will fix things, it’s that violent people are blinding themselves to the conceit that they actually care whether people do drugs.

    Logically that may sound reflexive (and equal), but I believe the violent tendencies come first, especially when dealing with intractable problems like drugs, poverty, etc. They lie to themselves that they can achieve the goals of eradicating such things, knowing that ultimately they have the state-sanctioned privilege to kill anyway.

  35. #35 |  Stormy Dragon | 

    Chabot also says in the video that parents in San Francisco “don’t take their kids to the park anymore” because of the legal marijuana dispensaries.

    That’s just because they no longer need to take their kids to the park as cover to visit their dealers.

  36. #36 |  Greg N. | 

    How did that guy lose a GOP primary??? He seems like Hannity’s wet dream.

  37. #37 |  SJE | 

    Good point EH: the “drug war” is just an excuse for an a-hole to be, well, an a-hole.

  38. #38 |  MacGruber | 

    I live in SF, and the two main parks for hanging out on the weekends are Golden Gate and Dolores. Dolores, being the Mission district, is full of 20 somethings on the weekends ( The playground usually has some kids in it and maybe a bday party, and you’ll see the hippie parents with toddlers, but that’s about it. Everyone hangs out and smokes pot and drinks beer all day. There are never any fights and everyone gets along just fine and is done when the sun goes down. It is in the middle of the city and you won’t see a cop all day because people know how to behave themselves.

    Golden Gate is huge and there are pot smokers there, too. No one pays them any attention.

    Every other park in the city (there’s a bazillion of them) is pretty much a parent’s paradise.

    There are plenty of parents outside the city who think San Francisco is just a bunch of hedonistic druggie hippie/fags. They won’t bring their kids into the city no matter what, which is fine because the Bay Area has a million family friendly parks and activities outside the 7×7 mile area that is SF.

    Anyway, Chabot doesn’t know what he’s talking about and he should probably shut up.

  39. #39 |  Duncan20903 | 

    I admit I’m a bit embarrassed for bringing up Mr. Chabot’s recent run without realizing that he’s out of the race. That’s he was a candidate in the past really can’t be his motivation for going on TV. But how about the fact that he is a paid speaker on the subject of ‘drugs’?

  40. #40 |  MacGruber | 

    I apologize for posting twice. The video link was messed up:

    Seriously, though, watch that and tell me it doesn’t make Chabot’s statement ridiculous on its face.

  41. #41 |  jjinSF | 

    I live in SF and I am a parent. Never had any problems with pot smokers in any of the parks. In GG Park they have their part and we have ours.

    Regarding being accompanied by a child as a requirement….

    They are needed to explain slides :)

  42. #42 |  Shell Goddamnit | 

    They are needed to explain slides :)

    very nice

  43. #43 |  Red Green | 

    A question from the near future…who’s Chabot? Another question from a more distant future…who’s Hannity?

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  46. #46 |  Stray | 

    This also doesn’t take into account things like a friend of mine who was high one time, walked into a stranger’s house and sat down at the kitchen table and ate a sandwich.

    The old lady who lived there came out and screamed bloody murder, called the cops, then told the police how she was almost raped and murdered, etc.

    My friend did 7 years for walking in the wrong door high. But I’ll bet it went in the books as a another drug-related crime in which an old lady was barely spared her life? (Especially in a place where they liked to build up BS to make themselves look good and beg for more budget money).