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LNC Chair's comments on DEA scheduling of kratom like heroin

September 7, 2016
By Nicholas Sarwark
Libertarian National Committee Chair 

The DEA is losing the war on drugs with state after state softening stances on marijuana. 8 states will be voting on legalizing marijuana for recreational AND medicinal purposes in November. Americans are overwhelmingly seeing that prison and government violence are terrible ways to solve the problems of addiction and drug abuse, and they are demanding a different approach. They are demanding more liberty. They are demanding drug peace.

Instead, the DEA is seeking out new plants and herbs to wage war on, presumably to refill our prisons and keep the revenue from asset forfeiture going to the state.

Kratom is a simple herb. The medicinal form is derived from leaves of a plant, ground into powder or made into a tea. It has very low toxicity and no death has ever occurred because of kratom alone. In fact, many use it to negate the vicious withdrawal effects from heroin addiction. Many use it for anxiety and depression and claim it works far better for them than other pharmaceuticals and with no side effects.  Many claim it saves lives. Maybe it does, and maybe it doesn’t. That should be a decision grown adults make for themselves, and if they say it helps them, so be it.

At this point, it is sold as an unregulated herbal remedy and that is how it should stay. But, presumably because it DOES actually do something, the DEA is planning to schedule it the same as heroin and ban its use at the end of this month, even though no harm can be proven. According to the DEA, the American people are required to prove some medical benefit through the ridiculously arcane process of FDA approval.

So we are supposed to spend 10 or more years and millions of research dollars to get permission to ingest an herb that is currently not hurting anybody? The Libertarian Party and a majority of the American people reject this philosophy of governance and demand that the DEA stand down on kratom and marijuana.

It is especially critical to keep alternatives like these open to our nation’s veterans, who are committing suicide at an appalling rate of 22 per day, many of them desperate for mental health services or pain management from overburdened and poorly managed VA health services. We have already failed our veterans in so many ways.

If kratom helps even one of them deal with the trauma of endless, pointless war, it is downright inhumane to put any kind of stumbling block between them and their recovery.

If the DEA moves forward with this scheduling and the veteran suicide rate goes up, blood will be on their hands. The American people are sick and tired of unelected bureaucrats making life more miserable for people already suffering.

Stop it.

(via lp.org)

Virginia paper endorses Gary Johnson

September 5, 2016

Alexandria – The primary newspaper of record for the state of Virginia, The Richmond Times-Dispatch has announced its endorsement of Libertarian Gary Johnson for U.S. President. Richmond is also the hometown of Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine.  The editorial board gave a robust and enthusiastic endorsement stating,

"...there's no doubt that Johnson belongs in the major leagues, and on the debate stage this fall. He is a skilled and experienced leader, an able communicator, an intelligent man."

On policy and views, the Times-Dispatch highlighted this quote from Johnson in their interview with him:

"I think we're reflecting what 60 percent of Americans believe right now, broadly speaking — that being, fiscally conservative, smaller government, combined with being socially inclusive — and combined with a skepticism on our foreign policy, which doesn't seem to be making things better."

On the two old party candidates and electoral politics this cycle, the Times-Dispatch wrote: 

"Much of the country is distressed by the presidential candidates offered by the two conventional political parties. And for good reason. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton meets the fundamental moral and professional standards we have every right to expect of an American president. Fortunately, there is a reasonable — and formidable — alternative."

The full endorsement can be read here

(via lp.org)

Open Letter to IAVA from Libertarian National Committee Chair

August 29, 2016

Dear Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, 

Perhaps you can provide details about why you've chosen to exclude from your forum only one of the three candidates for President who will be on every American's ballot. I didn't see those details in any of your announcements.

The Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson, is very popular with veterans and it is shameful for your organization to seemingly randomly deny the veterans you purport to serve the opportunity to hear from all of their choices for Commander-in-Chief.

I look forward to either an invite or an explanation from your organization. I believe a great many Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans are looking for the same.

Yours in liberty, 

Nicholas Sarwark

Chair, Libertarian National Committee

(via lp.org)

LP of Jefferson Parish Affirms Gun Rights

August 18, 2016
Last night, the Libertarian Party of Jefferson Parish passed the following motion, reaffirming the Libertarian Party's strong stance for the right to bear arms free of government intrusion:

"WHEREAS, Libertarians affirm that self-defense is an inherent human right;
WHEREAS, the Platform of the National Libertarian Party opposes all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition;
WHEREAS, the Platforms of the National Libertarian Party affirms the right of due process and denies the legitimacy of “victimless crimes”;
WHEREAS, the government has steadily encroached upon these rights by illegitimately regulating and restricting access to firearms and ammunition and may further seek to deprive people who have been convicted of no crime of their inherent right to full self-defense by denying their civil and inherent rights to obtain firearms and ammunition;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party of Jefferson Parish opposes any policy which would deny access to any firearms or ammunition to any person simply for being placed on any government watch or no-fly list and reaffirms its call to repeal and oppose any existing or proposed firearm and ammunition regulations."

Libertarian Party Chair Rebukes Obama Administration, DEA

August 11, 2016

Alexandria - Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark today rebuked the Obama Administration and the DEA for the decision not to reclassify marijuana as a schedule 2 substance in spite of overwhelming pressure and widespread requests to do so. Sarwark has issued this statement:

"The American people overwhelmingly support a reclassification of this substance that is actually proven effective in combating multiple medical disorders as well as being safer than alcohol, tobacco, and most prescription painkillers. 

"DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg is blaming science when he is the one hamstringing the scientific process with a nonsensical classification.

"Look, when even the American Academy of Pediatrics is asking the DEA to reconsider this classification and they STILL continue to stonewall, this is clearly not government of the people, by the people and for the people. This is just another example of unelected bureaucrats acting well outside the will of the American people and the two old political parties allowing it to happen.

"Only the Libertarian Party will stand up for making our communities safer by both ensuring that children don't have access to marijuana, and that patients do have access to a safe and effective medicine. And, once we fix our broken policy regarding marijuana, our law enforcement resources can be redirected to real crimes."

The Libertarian Party holds that individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life. The Libertarian Party has firmly stood against the war on drugs for 45 years and supports any measure, big or small, to dial it back until freedom is restored.

(Via LP.org)