It's time to end the war on drugs

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Offline Biggs

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It's time to end the war on drugs
« on: December 16, 2008, 05:57:06 AM »
It's time to end the war on drugs

It is time to free ourselves once more from an impractical and misguided "war on drugs" of punitive federal and state laws. It should be replaced by legalization and careful public regulation of mind-altering drugs

By Neal Peirce

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008505273_opin14peirce.html

WASHINGTON — Are we ready to repeat repeal?


Dec. 5 marked the 75th anniversary of America's decision, in 1933, to re-amend the Constitution and set ourselves free from alcohol prohibition, a 13-year failed experiment.

So is it time to free ourselves once more from an impractical and misguided prohibition effort — the ill-starred "war on drugs" of punitive federal and state laws passed since the 1970s? Yes, argued two groups — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation — at a press event here last week. They are urging, instead, legalization and careful public regulation of mind-altering drugs.

The parallels — our situation today and in 1933 — are intriguing.

Americans disobeyed alcohol prohibition by the millions. Booze even got tied to a rebellious, adventurous lifestyle appealing to young people. Before Prohibition, New York City had 15,000 saloons; five years into prohibition, it had about 32,000 speakeasies.

Today, surveys show 35 million Americans use marijuana yearly, and 114 million have in their lifetimes. Addicts to prohibited drugs, notes Eric Sterling of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, "are famous radio personalities, spouses of major candidates, corporate America, Hollywood and your neighbors."

Under Prohibition, hard liquor — more potent and compact, more profitable to ship illegally — largely displaced beer and wine. With government quality controls gone, thousands of Americans were blinded or killed by "bathtub gin" and its equivalents. Today it is similar: Drug buyers purchase without knowledge of substances' purity or safety, leading to many accidental deaths.

Then crime. Gangster syndicates were born in the 1920s as Al Capone and his ilk struggled (and killed) for control of the alcohol trade. As with drugs now, disputes about quality, delivery or price weren't resolved in courts but at the point of a gun.

Today's prohibition-triggered terrorism is even worse. Violence and official corruption have deeply wounded Mexico, Colombia and other nations with drug rings that feed the U.S. market. This year alone, 4,000 police, prosecutors, journalists, drug cartel members and innocent bystanders have been slaughtered in Mexico, imperiling the nation's very stability.

Prohibition always imperils civil society. In the '20s, our courts were clogged with alcohol cases and alarming corruption of public officials. Today it's the same for drugs, exacerbated by escalating criminal penalties our lawmakers approve.

Our drug-related arrests are rising yearly — 1.8 million last year. The nation has been building more than 900 prison beds every two weeks for about 20 years, the huge costs trumping higher education and other crucial investments. Our 2.3 million prisoner count is the highest of any nation on Earth.

Yet many drug cases are for mere possession. Marijuana, for example, is less dangerous than alcohol. And for truly addictive drugs such as heroin, why not work out a safe supply linked to treatment?

Today, advocates of drug prohibition repeal have a new argument — economic. We are clearly in the worst economic and fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. The downturn will inevitably shrink budgets, trigger layoffs for schools, police, transit, child protection and more.

In the early 1930s, it was the same — economic crisis with unemployment spreading. Repeal of alcohol prohibition created tens of thousands of new legal, taxpaying jobs. Repeal of drug prohibition could do the same now.

In fact, legalizing drugs would save roughly $44.1 billion yearly in government prohibition enforcement for arrests, prosecutions, court and incarceration costs, according to a fresh study by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron. About $30 billion of the savings would be made by state and local governments.

Plus, Miron estimates, legalizing drugs would yield taxes of $32.7 billion, assuming taxation of drugs at rates comparable to those now levied on alcohol and tobacco.

"We can repeal prohibition to restore the economy and pay for vital public services. We can do it again," argues Sterling.

Finally, no one expects the new Obama administration to risk its early momentum on the drug issue — it's clearly too "hot." Yet Obama has expressed concern about our world-leading incarceration rates, about burdening youthful drug offenders with lifelong felony records, about "the devastating impact of the drug trade in the inner cities."

And there's the disturbing statistic: 13 percent of African Americans are drug users, but blacks are nearly 60 percent of drug offenders in federal prisons.

Could the new administration tap the big Obama Internet networks for thoughts on drug reform? Who better to start forming a grass-roots constituency for "the change we need"?
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 11:07:35 AM »
excellent short video on the crime against humanity that is criminalisation of marijuana and hemp

The History of Suppression of Hemp & Mairjuana - LEGALISE!!!!!
(10mins)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=i6HESjH-Zsg
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Offline Sub-X

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2008, 11:37:05 AM »
Excellent thanks Biggs  ;)


Serious consideration needs to be taken here in a world economy that is failing this could be a way of injecting some much needed revenue not only by the legalization and regulation but by freeing up prisons for real criminals.The war on drugs doesn't work and never has,a considerable waste of tax payers money which could be used much more affectively in other areas.
“If you strike at,imprison,or kill us,out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you,and perhaps,raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!”-James Connolly 1909


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Offline iamc

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2008, 12:17:43 PM »
These Morons making the LAWS :o...are the biggest DRUNKS and DRUG ADDICTS ???

And even by friend Noah was a little 'tipsy' after the flood!
 "And he [noah] drank of the WINE, and was DRUNKEN..." Genesis 9:21
[ and i am not saying we should be drunks]

( great info. Biggs, thanks my friend 8)) i say make it ALL LEGAL!!!
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2008, 12:27:55 PM »
I am all for legalisation as it would be a game changer in terms of how society works at street level, no more tension between police and people, at least in terms of routine tension caused by drug searches and busts (political repression is another matter of course), no more money flowing into the coffers of organised crime, freeing up the justice and prison sectors to deal with genuine offences properly, same with the police, reductions in petty crime of 40-50% in short term, more in the long term as the police would have the resource to tackle real crime, it would transform the inner cities from their current state into liveable places.

and that is without the vast health benefits of hemp and of couse the huge industrial clean environmentally friendly application which would be a game leveller and put many of the scummy illuminati industries out of business.
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Offline Sub-X

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2008, 01:13:47 PM »
I am all for legalisation as it would be a game changer in terms of how society works at street level, no more tension between police and people, at least in terms of routine tension caused by drug searches and busts (political repression is another matter of course), no more money flowing into the coffers of organised crime, freeing up the justice and prison sectors to deal with genuine offences properly, same with the police, reductions in petty crime of 40-50% in short term, more in the long term as the police would have the resource to tackle real crime, it would transform the inner cities from their current state into liveable places.

and that is without the vast health benefits of hemp and of couse the huge industrial clean environmentally friendly application which would be a game leveller and put many of the scummy illuminati industries out of business.


Totally,the majority of people convicted in possession are more likely to be an easy target,possibility of non confrontational arrests of people who are other wise law abiding citizens,greatly increasing the crime statics,kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.
“If you strike at,imprison,or kill us,out of our prisons or graves we will still evoke a spirit that will thwart you,and perhaps,raise a force that will destroy you! We defy you! Do your worst!”-James Connolly 1909


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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2008, 03:49:21 PM »

Totally,the majority of people convicted in possession are more likely to be an easy target,possibility of non confrontational arrests of people who are other wise law abiding citizens,greatly increasing the crime statics,kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.
very true, dirving mistrust and crime and tension and social degredation,

of course that is exactly what is intended by such policy, they have to make life unbearable for people so that they seek the solution which will be provided to them in the form of increased surveillance and draconian police power (especially when they can add the fear of terrorism into the mix)
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 06:49:45 PM »
what a disgusting and twisted world we live in where a 72 year old milkman can be sent to prison for suplying medical cannabis, how disgraceful

4:22pm UK, Monday December 22, 2008
A 72-year-old milkman has admitted supplying cannabis to pensioners to ward off their "aches and pains".

 CLICK HERE FOR LINK

Pensioners were supplied with drugs during milkman's delivery



Robert Holding delivered the drug - which he kept in an egg box - while doing his daily milk round.

Burnley Crown Court was told that he had 17 customers and built up his trade through "word of mouth".

 

Cannabis doorstep dealing


Judge Beverley Lunt said Holding told police that the drug "was for elderly people who had aches and pains".

Philip Holden, defending, said Holding's customers "were of a certain age" and it was a "somewhat bizarre case".

Holding, of Burnley, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis resin, a Class C drug, between April 1 and July 18 this year.

He also admitted possessing the drug on July 17.

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

Holding was released on bail and will be sentenced on February 6.

Judge Lunt warned him: "You must understand these are serious offences and in my judgement the likely outcome is an immediate custodial sentence."
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 11:37:10 AM »

Ingesting Magic Mushrooms has Long Lasting Positive Effects!
(4mins)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-RisxckQlzc
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Offline Atomgrad

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 12:53:47 PM »
Like the vid about shrooms Biggs.

Medical science apparently catching up with all those `Drug crazed fools` who couldn`t possibly have known what they were talking about, after all, they were on mind altering drugs right?

 ;)
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Offline Letsbereal

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 01:28:08 PM »
Fully Agree!

The war on drugs is a war which never can be won especially if you keep it illegal cause the profits are insainly huge so for every little or big dealer you take of the street ten others are waiting to take over.

And they (Police, DEA, FBI etc..) know that! Partly cause they got a legal job from it and partly cause they themselves are in the business (ask Bill) they won't like to see drugs becoming legal.

Bottomline: It's a fake self sustaining scam system.
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Offline senseifil

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 01:36:34 PM »
can't end it, the war on drugs is a huge cash cow for the federal coffers.  its how the cia funds its operations to install puppet governments
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 01:40:17 PM »
It's time to end the war on drugs

It is time to free ourselves once more from an impractical and misguided "war on drugs" of punitive federal and state laws. It should be replaced by legalization and careful public regulation of mind-altering drugs

By Neal Peirce

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008505273_opin14peirce.html

Considering that alcohol prohibition was ended at the height of the Great Depression, isn't the timing of this article rather ironic?
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 02:07:09 PM »
Considering that alcohol prohibition was ended at the height of the Great Depression, isn't the timing of this article rather ironic?

yes I suppose it is, the reason i doubt they will do it properly is that the intel agencies and Illuminati connected smuggling overlords would lose too much income

that is not to say that they will not decriminalise possession but still make selling or growing a crime (meaning smugglers still get the money, companies can still drug test employees and so on)
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2009, 09:12:55 AM »


POLICE CHIEF TELLS PRES. OBAMA TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!
(10mins)
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0YYAdVtcgg


Thanks to everyone who voted in change.org Ideas for change in America competition. Out of 7,847 ideas generated, Legalize the Medicinal and Recreational Use of Marijuana was voted the #1 idea for change (with 19,530 votes) in America!Now its time to direct our strong commitment for marijuana law reform at Obama's official website, where ending marijuana prohibition continues to remain in first place so lets keep it that way by telling all our like-minded friends, family and co-workers to vote now to make sure that Washington policy makers from both parties recognize the clear popularity marijuana law reform enjoys in the United States.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO VOTED HERE:
http://www.change.org/ideas

OBAMA'S CHANGE.GOV WEBSITE IS TAKING VOTES RIGHT NOW, PLEASE VOTE!
http://citizensbriefingbook.change.go...

THE BEST MARIJUANA PAGES FOR MARIJUANA LAW REFORM!
http://www.norml.com/
&
http://www.mpp.org/
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Offline Monkeypox

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2009, 06:37:14 AM »
Excellent thanks Biggs  ;)


Serious consideration needs to be taken here in a world economy that is failing this could be a way of injecting some much needed revenue not only by the legalization and regulation but by freeing up prisons for real criminals.The war on drugs doesn't work and never has,a considerable waste of tax payers money which could be used much more affectively in other areas.

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Offline Atomgrad

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2009, 07:49:02 PM »
I saw newsfootage before 9/11 of an Opium Grower in Afghanistan who said something quite profound.

He said that he grew the opium poppy because it was basically the only profitable harvest he could grow, he had to grow it to feed his family. He then said that easiest and cheapest way to stop the world heroin problem would be if Governments bought the crops and then destroyed it. He said he didn`t mind who he sold it too, he was still only going to make the same amount of money, and in fact would prefer it if he knew it wasn`t going to be turned into heroin.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2009, 04:44:26 AM »
I saw newsfootage before 9/11 of an Opium Grower in Afghanistan who said something quite profound.

He said that he grew the opium poppy because it was basically the only profitable harvest he could grow, he had to grow it to feed his family. He then said that easiest and cheapest way to stop the world heroin problem would be if Governments bought the crops and then destroyed it. He said he didn`t mind who he sold it too, he was still only going to make the same amount of money, and in fact would prefer it if he knew it wasn`t going to be turned into heroin.

Actually the crop could be used in 2 ways - there is a global shortage of medical morphine/diamorphine and this shortage could be fulfilled by purchasing the crop,

further, the rest could be provided to addicts as either morphine or the much milder opium for smoking legally - crime instantly drops 50% and all those criminalised addicts can start to get their lives back together and play a proper part in society, even getting jobs and raising kids etc.

morphine and opium do not cause the same degree of problems as heroin in terms of the human body (indeed they are much safer than alcohol) and do nto damage the mind to the same extent as heroin addiction - but they do satisfy the hunger of an addict and stop them needing heroin.
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Offline M3rcy

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2009, 03:12:50 PM »
I'll agree to legalize marijuana (for medicinal reasons) but not heroin! Isn't the point to put out a NON ADDICTIVE drug????? Heroin didn't do anything good for us when it was in our cough syrup I don't see what good it could do now.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2009, 03:15:23 PM »
I'll agree to legalize marijuana (for medicinal reasons) but not heroin! Isn't the point to put out a NON ADDICTIVE drug????? Heroin didn't do anything good for us when it was in our cough syrup I don't see what good it could do now.

the point of legalising heroid is to bring petty crime epidemics under control and to bring the addicts back into society so they can function and lead normalish lives, it is proven that injecting rooms drop crime by up to 90% in the surrounding area as addicts no longer need to steal or protitute themselves or whatever.

Imagine the resources that would free up to do some actual good in society, all paid for by a buck a gram tax on weed
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Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2009, 03:25:37 PM »
I'll agree to legalize marijuana (for medicinal reasons) but not heroin! Isn't the point to put out a NON ADDICTIVE drug????? Heroin didn't do anything good for us when it was in our cough syrup I don't see what good it could do now.

That was the same essential argument that religious fundamentalists used to justify Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920s.

It was a bullshit argument then, and it's a bullshit argument now.

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Offline muymalgal

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2009, 10:37:51 PM »
an adult should be allowed to do whatsoever they choose to their own body.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2009, 04:52:45 PM »
A Criminally Stupid War on Drugs in the US

By Clive Crook

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22403.htm

April 12, 2009 "Financial Times"
-- How much misery can a policy cause before it is acknowledged as a failure and reversed? The US “war on drugs” suggests there is no upper limit. The country’s implacable blend of prohibition and punitive criminal justice is wrong-headed in every way: immoral in principle, since it prosecutes victimless crimes, and in practice a disaster of remarkable proportions. Yet for a US politician to suggest wholesale reform of this brainless regime is still seen as an act of reckless self-harm.

Even a casual observer can see that much of the damage done in the US by illegal drugs is a result of the fact that they are illegal, not the fact that they are drugs. Vastly more lives are blighted by the brutality of prohibition, and by the enormous criminal networks it has created, than by the substances themselves. This is true of cocaine and heroin as well as of soft drugs such as marijuana. But the assault on consumption of marijuana sets the standard for the policy’s stupidity.

Nearly half of all Americans say they have tried marijuana. That makes them criminals in the eyes of the law. Luckily, not all of them have been found out – but when one is grateful that most law-breakers go undetected, there is something wrong with the law.

Harvard’s Jeffrey Miron published a study denouncing drug prohibition in 2004*. He noted that more than 300,000 people were then in US prisons for violations of the law on drugs – more than the number incarcerated for all crimes in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. Today the number is higher – according to some estimates, nearly 500,000. The far larger number of people who have been convicted, at any point, of a drugs offence face permanently impaired employment prospects and all manner of other setbacks: in the US, once a criminal always a criminal.

Strict enforcement, Mr Miron explained, has reduced drug use only modestly – supposing for the moment that this is even a legitimate objective. The collateral damage is of a different order altogether. Violence related to drug crimes has surged in Mexico and in US cities close to the border, giving rise to renewed interest in the topic. Thousands are thought to have been killed by criminal gangs competing for the trade.

Many users also die because of tainted drugs, or because they share needles – consequences again of prohibition. There is an obvious national security dimension as well: in countries such as Colombia and Afghanistan, the huge surplus derived from prohibition supports terrorists.

The consequences of prohibition corrupt governments everywhere, and the US is no exception. Since a drug transaction has no victims in the ordinary sense, witnesses to assist a prosecution are in short supply. US drug-law enforcement tends to infringe civil liberties, relying on warrantless searches, entrapment, extorted testimony in the form of plea bargains, and so forth. Predictably, in the US the hammer of the law on drugs falls with far greater force on black people: whites do most of the using, blacks do most of the time.

Few policies manage to fail so comprehensively, and what makes it all the odder is that the US has seen it all before. Everybody understands that alcohol prohibition in the 1920s suffered from many of the same pathologies – albeit on a smaller scale – and was eventually abandoned.

The present treatment of alcohol, which is to regulate and tax the product, is the right approach for today’s illegal drugs. One could expect some increase in the use of the drugs in question, but also an enormous net reduction in the harms that they and the attempt to prohibit them cause. Adding the direct costs of prohibition (police and prisons) to the taxes forgone by the present system, the US could also expect a fiscal benefit of about $100bn (€75.7bn, £68.2bn) a year.

Is an outbreak of common sense on this subject likely? Unfortunately, no. Only the most daring politicians seem willing to think about it seriously. One such is James Webb, a refreshingly unpredictable Democratic senator for Virginia, who has called for a commission to examine the criminal justice system and the law on drugs. Politicians such as Mr Webb are very much the exception.

Elsewhere, signs of movement are minimal. Barack Obama has admitted that as a young man he used not only marijuana – and, unlike Bill Clinton, he inhaled; the whole point was to inhale, he joked – but also cocaine. This might suggest the president has an open mind on the subject. And in a departure from the previous administration, his attorney-general has said he will not bring federal prosecutions against the medical use of marijuana in states that allow it. But then at a recent event Mr Obama ran away from a question about the broader decriminalisation of marijuana under cover of a wisecrack.

For now, outright legalisation of marijuana, let alone harder drugs, is difficult to imagine. Even gradual decriminalisation – a policy that maintains prohibition but removes it from the scope of the criminal law – seems unlikely, though perhaps not unthinkable. A new study by Glenn Greenwald, a writer and civil rights lawyer, looks at Portugal’s policy of decriminalisation**. He judges it a success: “While drug addiction, usage, and associated pathologies continue to skyrocket in many European Union states, those problems – in virtually every relevant category – have been either contained or measurably improved within Portugal since 2001.”

Somebody in the White House should take a look. This national calamity is no laughing matter.

*Drug War Crimes, published by the Independent Institute. **Drug Decriminalization in Portugal, published by the Cato Institute

© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2009.
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Offline agentbluescreen

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2009, 05:06:54 PM »
This has always been a fascist religious-socialist

War on Freedom that simply went very, very bad and turned into a

Mob War on Drugs We Don't Import and People Who Don't Buy From Us!

" I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and (that corrupt) money-power ... will endeavor to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.    "
Lincoln, Abraham

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2009, 05:24:00 PM »
we are not the only ones who think so. whoo da thunk?

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Offline agentbluescreen

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2009, 05:32:50 PM »
I'll agree to legalize marijuana (for medicinal reasons) but not heroin! Isn't the point to put out a NON ADDICTIVE drug????? Heroin didn't do anything good for us when it was in our cough syrup I don't see what good it could do now.

Well strange that the government has $trillions of Ducats to FREELY TREAT THE SYMPTOMS ONLY of their Pet Banksters BAD, BAD GAMBLING ADDICTIONS with NO CURE IN SIGHT!

Why is there no crime of Excessive Gambling or on The Possession and Rental of Money?

Both the aforesaid have millions of victims!

Money is certainly the most addictive wasteful, self destructive, anti-social and corrupting poison on earth!

CarolinaWildcat

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2009, 05:46:40 PM »

Totally,the majority of people convicted in possession are more likely to be an easy target,possibility of non confrontational arrests of people who are other wise law abiding citizens,greatly increasing the crime statics,kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.
Exactly what the original laws were for.Shooting hispanic fish ::).And how did THAT work out for us? Grow American dammit!!

CarolinaWildcat

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2009, 05:51:39 PM »
I'll agree to legalize marijuana (for medicinal reasons) but not heroin! Isn't the point to put out a NON ADDICTIVE drug????? Heroin didn't do anything good for us when it was in our cough syrup I don't see what good it could do now.
Obviously some people still thought heroin had/has some benifit,only now it is in synthetic form and yes, it is still in a lot of cough syrups.I think,I haven't bought any in a while.Liquid cocaine(lidocaine) has many medical applications.I dont like either drug personally but I wonder if the noose were loosened(so to speak),how many coke heads and junkies might get help.That alone is worth decrimminalization because those recovering addicts can be productive.

Offline Biggs

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2009, 03:32:41 PM »
Why Does America Have a Drug War?

By Jacob G. Hornberger

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22482.htm

April 23, 2009 "Information Clearing House"
-- Given that most people agree that the drug war has failed to achieve its supposed purpose after decades of warfare, an important question arises: Why is the drug war still being waged, especially when we consider all the collateral damage that this federal program has produced? Hasn’t the time arrived for Americans to demand an immediate end to the war on drugs?

Let’s first consider the concept of freedom. There is no way to reconcile drug laws with the principles of a free society.

Under basic principles of freedom, a person has the fundamental right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as his conduct is peaceful and doesn’t violate the equal right of everyone else to do the same.

Thus, most people support laws against such actions as murder, theft, fraud, burglary, robbery, and rape because they involve the initiation of force by one person against another. They involve one person’s violating the right of another person to live his life in a peaceful manner.

But there is a wide range of actions that are risky, dangerous, and even harmful to the person engaging in them, actions that do not involve coercion or aggression against another person but that oftentimes involve severe injury to the person engaged in them.

Consider mountain climbing, which can be very dangerous. Every few years, people are killed climbing Mount Everest, K-2, and other mountains around the world.

The same goes for scuba diving, race-car driving, and even cycling. There are higher-than-ordinary risks to life and limb when people engage in certain activities.

Should the government have the authority to make those activities illegal, in order to protect people from loss of life? An advocate of freedom would say no. Freedom entails the right to engage in high-risk activities, even if most people choose not to do so.

What about activities in which people place their money at higher-than-ordinary risk? For example, investing in start-up companies, the futures market, or oil drilling. Gambling would be another example. Should the government make such activities illegal, in order to protect people’s savings?

Again, most of us would say no. Freedom entails the right to do what one wants with his own money, even if he chooses to risk it all on a spin of a roulette wheel.

What about ingesting harmful substances? Here is where some people’s attitude changes. Somehow they’ve come to the conclusion that freedom should simply be tossed out the window in favor of government protection from one’s peaceful choices when the choice involves the ingestion of a harmful substance.

Yet what is considered destructive or harmful is a highly subjective matter. There are people who consider the consumption of meat to be harmful. Should the government have the authority to outlaw the eating of meat? How about sugar? Fatty foods?

Why shouldn’t people be free to make those choices on their own? Why should a person’s consumption habits be subject to the vote of the majority? Why isn’t the exercise of such choices a fundamental right with which no one can legitimately interfere?

The principle is really no different with respect to the consumption of most products, including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and tobacco. While most of us would consider the consumption of such things to be unhealthy, the fact is that some people are willing to incur the potential adverse effects of drugs for reasons that are important to them. Why shouldn’t they be free to make that call? Under what moral authority do governmental officials incarcerate them, fine them, or otherwise punish them for making that choice?

Drug-war proponents often argue that a person’s drug use inevitably affects other people, especially his family. The argument is meant to suggest that the principles of freedom don’t really apply here because the drug user is violating the rights of others.

That argument, however, reflects a woeful lack of understanding of freedom. Whenever a family member makes a choice, especially one entailing high risk to his life, limbs, or fortune, the choice has potentially bad consequences for the rest of the family. If a person gets killed climbing Mount Everest, that will adversely affect his family. The same holds true if he loses all his money investing in a start-up company or if he risks all his money at a roulette wheel in Las Vegas.

Thus, the issue is not whether people’s choices adversely affect others. The issue is whether the choice is a peaceful one – that is, one that does not involve the initiation of force against another person (e.g., murder, rape, robbery). If the choice is peaceful, then a free society ensures that its exercise is protected regardless of its adverse effect on others.
The right to be left alone
 

State law-enforcement agents recently raided the home of Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland. The agents had tracked a package containing marijuana that had been left on the front porch of Calvo’s house. When Calvo got home, he picked up the package and carried it into his house. Armed with a warrant, the drug agents burst into the house without warning, shot and killed Calvo’s two dogs, and bound Calvo and his mother-in-law.

As things turned out, neither Calvo nor anyone in his home had anything to do with the drug transaction, as law-enforcement officials later acknowledged. The delivery of the package was part of a scheme in which drugs were being shipped to addresses of unsuspecting people, where they would be picked up by others involved in the scheme.

Much of the hullabaloo in the press revolved around the fact that the search warrant did not authorize a no-knock raid, that the mayor and his family turned out to be innocent, and that his dogs were killed. Nearly everyone missed the much more important point: What business is it of the state that the mayor might have been consuming a harmful substance in the privacy of his own home? Why isn’t that his personal business? Why should the government have the power to harass, abuse, and punish him for possessing or consuming marijuana or any other drug in his own home?

In other words, under what moral authority do they punish a person who is doing nothing more than ingesting substances that other people disapprove of?

Moreover, it’s not as if there isn’t a bit of inconsistency in all this. As everyone knows, it’s legal for adults to consume alcohol and tobacco, two drugs that have killed many more people than marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or other illicit drugs. Why is it that people are free to ingest alcohol and tobacco and not free to ingest other harmful substances?
The perpetual, destructive war
 

When I began practicing law in 1975, the drug war was in full swing. In fact, my first trial involved a federal drug case in which I had been appointed to represent an indigent defendant. The assistant U.S. attorney and the drug agents who were involved in the case were committed, devoted, ardent enthusiasts of the drug war. They honestly believed they were serving their country by arresting and prosecuting drug-law violators. They honestly believed that their efforts would bring “victory” in the drug war.

Presumably, those agents are now retiring with their federal pensions. Many of the drug agents who are now serving in their stead are no doubt driven by the same level of commitment that characterized agents 33 years ago. However, there is one big difference: The agents of today have a difficult time arguing with a straight face that their efforts are likely to bring “victory” in the drug war sometime soon.

Most people now view the drug war as a permanent fixture of American life. The fact that it has proven to be such an utter failure seems irrelevant to most people. All that seems to matter is that law-enforcement agents continue making drug busts, raiding homes, arresting people, and filling the prisons. That has become the never-ending measure of drug-war success, even if all those actions do nothing to stem the consumption of illegal drugs.

We also shouldn’t forget all the collateral damage from the drug war. Over the years, the illegality has caused prices and profits to soar, as they usually do in a black market. That has attracted drug lords, drug gangs, and drug cartels, which have then proceeded to engage in deadly turf battles, mostly in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.

Drug addicts have gone on theft and robbery sprees to secure the money to purchase the higher-priced drugs, something that alcoholics or tobacco addicts never do, since the price of their addiction is comparatively lower. There is also corruption in the form of bribes paid to law-enforcement officers and judges.

Prisons are overfilled with drug-law violators. Moreover, the adverse consequences of the drug war fall disproportionately on blacks. As the Drug Policy Alliance Network points out,
Although African Americans compromise only 12.2 percent of the population and 13 percent of drug users, they make up 38 percent of those arrested for drug offenses and 59 percent of those convicted of drug offenses causing critics to call the war on drugs the “New Jim Crow.”

Among the most important adverse collateral damage has been the massive infringement of privacy rights and civil liberties, especially through search and seizure of people’s bodies, homes, automobiles, personal effects, and financial records.

And all for what? Just to keep the drug war going, no matter how much a failure it is and no matter how much damage it causes.
Support for the drug war
 

Why do people continue to support the drug war after decades of failure and horrible collateral damage? I suspect that the answer is twofold.

First, many people feel that drug legalization would send a message to people, especially the young, that society approves of drug consumption.

How valid is such a reason? It’s not valid at all. After all, in some states adultery is legal and no one worries about whether society is sending a message that people approve of adultery. People have come to believe that freedom entails the right to commit the nonviolent sin of adultery without being punished by the state for it. The same holds true for the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

Second, many people are still holding out hope that the continuing drug busts will finally produce “victory,” which will enable the state to end the drug war. But that’s just a pipe dream. For one thing, how much freedom would people have to surrender in order to achieve such a “victory”? A few years ago, the Thai government embarked on a deadly campaign to kill all the drug dealers in the country. After killing thousands of drug suspects, Thai officials are still waging a fierce war on drugs and catching lots of people in the process.

Perhaps many advocates of the drug war have good intentions. Perhaps they honestly want to rid society of the scourge of drugs. But what good are good intentions? What do they matter? Even if we ascribe the best of intentions to drug-war proponents, the fact remains: the drug war is an utter failure and an engine of death, damage, and destruction.
Ending the drug war
 

What would happen if the drug war were ended and drugs were legalized? The first thing that would happen is that the drug gangs, drug lords, and drug cartels would go out of business instantaneously. Such people do well in black markets, when an activity is illegal, but they might well find it difficult to compete against legitimate pharmaceutical companies in a free-market setting.

Wouldn’t putting drug giants out of business overnight be considered victory if it were accomplished through the drug war?

The second thing that would happen is that the number of robberies, muggings, burglaries, and thefts would plummet, because drug users would no longer have to pay the exorbitant and artificially high prices for black-market drugs.

Wouldn’t a reduction in violent crime be considered a victory if it were accomplished through the drug war?

The third thing that would happen is that more drug addicts would be likely to seek treatment, because they would no longer have to hide their addiction for fear of being caught and sent to jail. Rehabilitation usually depends on frank and open discussion of one’s addiction, something that the harsh penalties of the drug war don’t encourage.

Wouldn’t an increase in the number of people seeking drug rehab be considered a victory if it were accomplished through the drug war?

The fourth thing that would happen is that corruption among law-enforcement agents and judges would plummet, because the absence of drug prosecutions would dry up the payment of drug-war bribes.

Wouldn’t a decrease in corruption be considered a victory if it were accomplished through the drug war?

The fifth thing that would happen is that a government program whose adverse consequences fall disproportionately on a racial minority would be removed from American society.

Finally, no longer would Americans have to deal with the constant assaults on privacy and civil liberties at the hands of drug agents, because one of the primary excuses for doing so – the war on drugs – would be non-existent.

It is impossible to reconcile the drug war with the principles of a free society. The war has accomplished nothing positive and has done horrific damage. Enough is enough. The time has come for the American people to lead the world out of the drug-war morass. The time has come to repeal all civil and criminal penalties for possession and distribution of drugs. The time has come to end the war on drugs.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Copyright © 2009 Future of Freedom Foundation
STOP THE KILLING NOW
END THE CRIMINAL SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!

Offline chrsswtzr

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2009, 01:19:26 AM »
Legalize drugs, and take the DRUG CZARS out of the game, removing TONS of violence and the likes in the process. The GOVERNMENT do NOT want drugs to be legal, not because it's a MORAL issue, but because its a MONEY issue!

Offline champdee

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2009, 01:08:22 PM »
Actually the crop could be used in 2 ways - there is a global shortage of medical morphine/diamorphine and this shortage could be fulfilled by purchasing the crop,

further, the rest could be provided to addicts as either morphine or the much milder opium for smoking legally - crime instantly drops 50% and all those criminalised addicts can start to get their lives back together and play a proper part in society, even getting jobs and raising kids etc.

morphine and opium do not cause the same degree of problems as heroin in terms of the human body (indeed they are much safer than alcohol) and do nto damage the mind to the same extent as heroin addiction - but they do satisfy the hunger of an addict and stop them needing heroin.

Agreed! But what you said about morphine and opium being more "safe" for your body, biologically, than heroin isn't exactly true. It's the lifestyle (needle sharing, aids, hygiene, drug war, well you get the idea) that makes it "worse" for your "body".  Heroin is just more potent. All is it is morphine that crosses your BBB(blood line barrier) quicker, hell, they're are opiates even stronger than heroin out there.

And yes, using opiates safely (especially in this legalization world/method you describe) is a lot better for your body than alcohol. But you get dependent physically and mentally (with any opiate) much sooner than you do with alcohol.. but once ones dependent on alcohol, I'd have to say it is a lottt more dangerous and bad for you. I mean, you can die from an alcohol withdrawal. I'll have to try PM'ing you. Seems like you probably know all of this already and some other interesting stuff.

kushfiend

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2009, 01:10:07 PM »
Awesome Youtube video about the FACTS and nothing more about cannibas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe6pllN15Dc

Offline cool_breeze

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2009, 02:04:05 PM »
A number of things come to mind and despite my rate of typing, I fear my fingers may not follow my brain as closely as I would like them too, so I may have to post more than once just to complete one thought in this thread before I even start on other posts besides the first.

First off, I have to get this song segment out:

"...sing along with the cry of a mandatory sentence for a crime with no victim
When everybody knows jail terms should be picked in
The order of the pain that they cause
'Do what thou wilt' should be the whole of the laws
Until they violate the rights of another
Respect the space of your sister and your brother.
The war on drugs may be well intentioned
But it falls f**kin' flat
When you start to mention
An overcrowded prison where a rapist gets paroled
To make room for a dude who has sold
A pound of weed
To me that's a crime
Here's to good people doing time, y'all"
- 311, song: Offbeat Bareass

Next thought. I definitely don't agree with prohibition of any sort. I say this being the father of an almost 1 yr old, no less. The idea here being a major is the (in my opinion) inherent "forbidden-fruit-mentality" that comes with being human. When you tell children no, its suddenly more interesting and far more desirable than before. Though we all grow older, wiser and more mature over time, there are certain facets of being what we are that we rarely escape. You keep something back from someone long enough and curiosity will kill the cat so to speak. If it's something that doesn't mesh with you and someone comes to you with an inquiry in regards, my belief is its less effective, even, some cases, reckless, to say "NO! Furthermore, you are FORBIDDEN from it!" because the intense reaction you produce sparks great curiosity and intent within the one(s) that you say it to. We all have moments where we think we can do or handle something better than someone else. Which, understandably leads to thoughts such as "Well, I can certainly handle this different and I know I won't run into the same problems this naysayer did. I shall find out on my own".

Why not approach these things with a different attitude? Instead of "NO, DON'T GRAB THAT!!!!! (as a reaction, not explaining the part where "IT WILL BURN YOU!!!!) You convey that you don't care much for doing that because, say, it hurts quite a bit and may leave lasting damage to your hand. Perhaps, should someone pose an inquiry related to alcohol, or other substances, you may say, "I don't care for that. It's addictive. It ruins your body and mind. The cost is tremendous and you become a person that you yourself would never want anything to do with. Feel free to try, but, you probably will hate your first time around with it." The blase attitude you maintain, the distaste in your attitude will likely guide that person away. But to forbid, or attempt to control someone over a question or bit of curiosity will only fan flames. To go "EWWWW" or such similar, would likely cause someone to ALIGN with you, whereas the monkey-in-the-middle, hold-it-up-behind-your-head-where-they-can't-reach-it, approach, creates an insatiable desire towards discovery. Of course, and once again, this is all strictly my opinion.

The next thing I want to state, and I assure you I will return to finish this off, is that drugs, their use ,their possession, their sale, their cultivation and synthesis, etc... are completely and unequivocally NOT unlawful whatsoever.

Those things however, are illegal.

I can ASSURE you there is a difference and an absolutely massive one. I'll give anyone reading this a chance to do some research and for those who already know formulate responses to that as I am pushing my bed-time (I'm a third shift guy). What I can say for the moment, is something to the effect of.. we all agree that "the law of the land" is a highly and widely recognized idea and concept, internationally, and throughout time. But I URGE you all to understand why there has never been a phrase of "the legal of the land". Lawful and Legal are two wholly separate things. In the words of Mike Myers on SNL as the jewish new yorker lady (whose name I forget), "Discuss"

:)

Offline champdee

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2009, 12:11:19 PM »
A number of things come to mind and despite my rate of typing, I fear my fingers may not follow my brain as closely as I would like them too, so I may have to post more than once just to complete one thought in this thread before I even start on other posts besides the first.

First off, I have to get this song segment out:

"...sing along with the cry of a mandatory sentence for a crime with no victim
When everybody knows jail terms should be picked in
The order of the pain that they cause
'Do what thou wilt' should be the whole of the laws
Until they violate the rights of another
Respect the space of your sister and your brother.
The war on drugs may be well intentioned
But it falls f**kin' flat
When you start to mention
An overcrowded prison where a rapist gets paroled
To make room for a dude who has sold
A pound of weed
To me that's a crime
Here's to good people doing time, y'all"
- 311, song: Offbeat Bareass

Next thought. I definitely don't agree with prohibition of any sort. I say this being the father of an almost 1 yr old, no less. The idea here being a major is the (in my opinion) inherent "forbidden-fruit-mentality" that comes with being human. When you tell children no, its suddenly more interesting and far more desirable than before. Though we all grow older, wiser and more mature over time, there are certain facets of being what we are that we rarely escape. You keep something back from someone long enough and curiosity will kill the cat so to speak. If it's something that doesn't mesh with you and someone comes to you with an inquiry in regards, my belief is its less effective, even, some cases, reckless, to say "NO! Furthermore, you are FORBIDDEN from it!" because the intense reaction you produce sparks great curiosity and intent within the one(s) that you say it to. We all have moments where we think we can do or handle something better than someone else. Which, understandably leads to thoughts such as "Well, I can certainly handle this different and I know I won't run into the same problems this naysayer did. I shall find out on my own".

Why not approach these things with a different attitude? Instead of "NO, DON'T GRAB THAT!!!!! (as a reaction, not explaining the part where "IT WILL BURN YOU!!!!) You convey that you don't care much for doing that because, say, it hurts quite a bit and may leave lasting damage to your hand. Perhaps, should someone pose an inquiry related to alcohol, or other substances, you may say, "I don't care for that. It's addictive. It ruins your body and mind. The cost is tremendous and you become a person that you yourself would never want anything to do with. Feel free to try, but, you probably will hate your first time around with it." The blase attitude you maintain, the distaste in your attitude will likely guide that person away. But to forbid, or attempt to control someone over a question or bit of curiosity will only fan flames. To go "EWWWW" or such similar, would likely cause someone to ALIGN with you, whereas the monkey-in-the-middle, hold-it-up-behind-your-head-where-they-can't-reach-it, approach, creates an insatiable desire towards discovery. Of course, and once again, this is all strictly my opinion.

The next thing I want to state, and I assure you I will return to finish this off, is that drugs, their use ,their possession, their sale, their cultivation and synthesis, etc... are completely and unequivocally NOT unlawful whatsoever.

Those things however, are illegal.

I can ASSURE you there is a difference and an absolutely massive one. I'll give anyone reading this a chance to do some research and for those who already know formulate responses to that as I am pushing my bed-time (I'm a third shift guy). What I can say for the moment, is something to the effect of.. we all agree that "the law of the land" is a highly and widely recognized idea and concept, internationally, and throughout time. But I URGE you all to understand why there has never been a phrase of "the legal of the land". Lawful and Legal are two wholly separate things. In the words of Mike Myers on SNL as the jewish new yorker lady (whose name I forget), "Discuss"

:)

Yes! I forget how the actual law goes.. something like there's no law against demand for something (a thing), something like that. I remember reading it at bluelight.ru (a good harm reduction site for drug users or people who want the truth on drugs) if you read this reply (I tried searching but I guess I just can't quite find it) can you point me in the right direction of the "law" your talking about? Or maybe you can describe it more?

Offline rustygunn

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The US Gov't refuses to eradicate Opium fields
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2010, 11:16:26 PM »
I saw a piece on ABC nightly news tonight which outlined how it is better for the US to allow the Afghanistan farmers to collect income from the drug lords, and then the military would get the drug back once it hits the trade market.  They also showed military personnel guarding the opium fields.  I could not believe they were putting that out in MSM at prime time.  The article posted below, I believe is the reason for the propaganda piece offered to the MSM viewership tonight. 

Russia Gives U.S. Afghan Drugs Data, Criticizes NATO

By Dmitry Solovyov
Reuters
MOSCOW


Russia's top drugs official gave a list of Afghan and Central Asian drug barons to U.S. anti-drugs tsar Gil Kerlikowske Sunday, but criticized U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan for failing to stem opium output.

Russia is the world's biggest per capita user of heroin -- all of it flowing from Afghanistan -- and President Dmitry Medvedev has called drug abuse among the country's youth a threat to national security.

"I handed him (Kerlikowske) over a list of nine ... people living in Afghanistan or elsewhere in Central Asia and involved in drug trafficking by supplying wholesale batches of narcotics," Russia's drug enforcement chief Viktor Ivanov told a news conference.

Moscow is willing to prosecute the suspects.

Ivanov said he met Kerlikowske, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, at a Moscow airport during Kerlikowske's stopover en route to Stockholm -- their fourth meeting in less than a year.

He said Russia had earlier supplied the names of around 25 other people involved in drug trade, as well as data on 175 drug laboratories operating in Afghanistan.

"To destroy these drug laboratories is the most urgent task, because these are already well-established cartels, with a stable hierarchy and structure, funding sources and technological equipment to produce narcotics," Ivanov said.

Ivanov said Russia annually consumed 35 metric tones of heroin alone. If counted with other Afghan-made opiates, Russia's per capita consumption of opium was the biggest in the world.

CRITICISM

However, while praising Moscow's cooperation with Washington in some aspects of the anti-drug fight, Ivanov criticized the U.S.-led coalition of NATO states fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for failing to eradicate opium output there.
He said Afghanistan accounted for 95 percent of the world's heroin output. The country now produces each year twice as much heroin than the entire world produced 10 years ago, he said.

In March, NATO rejected Russian calls for it to eradicate opium poppy fields in Afghanistan and urged Moscow to give more assistance against the insurgency.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai said at the time that it was impossible to remove the only source of income for Afghan farmers without being able to provide them with an alternative.

"Where is the logic here? To destroy a plant is much cheaper than ... catching it later on the streets of Berlin, Rome, London, Moscow and so on," Ivanov said.
Opiates flow to Russia across Central Asia's often porous borders. Up to 2.5 million Russians are drug addicts, and some 90 percent of them use heroin. Each year 30,000 Russian drug users die and 80,000 people try narcotics for the first time.

Ivanov said Russia accounted for a fifth of the world's market of opiates estimated at a total of $65 billion.

He said Moscow would host an international forum on June 9-10 sponsored by the Kremlin where Russia would raise its concerns and call for the creation of an anti-drug coalition.

(Editing by Alison Williams)


Copyright 2010 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © 2010 ABC News Internet Ventures


http://abcnews.go.com/US/wirestory?id=10723640&page=2

Offline defendfreedomvet85

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2011, 03:38:12 PM »
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=202914.0

WA could be the FIRST state to LEGALIZE CANNABIS!!

Druz Czar Has to slip in back door, scurry out in a hurry in controversial  meeting with the Seattle Times newspaper (that came out for Legalization A couple weeks ago)

Offline marlowe

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Re: It's time to end the war on drugs
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2016, 10:06:54 PM »
Mexico's war on drugs turns 10: 100,000 dead, 30,000 missing - and counting

https://www.sott.net/article/336482-Mexicos-war-on-drugs-turns-10-100000-dead-30000-missing-and-counting

CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico - Ten years after Mexico declared a war on drugs, the offensive has left some major drug cartels splintered and many old-line kingpins like Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in jail, but done little to reduce crime or violence in the nation's roughest regions.

 Some say the war has been a crucial, but flawed, effort. Others argue the offensive begun by then-President Felipe Calderon on Dec. 11, 2006, unleashed an unnecessary tragedy with more than 100,000 people dead and about 30,000 missing - a toll comparable to the Central American civil wars of the 1980s.

 In some places, homicide rates have lessened. In others, the killings continue unabated. The drawn-out conflict has also had a profound effect on those close to the cross-hairs of suffering: youths inured to extreme violence; adults so fed-up with poor and corrupt policing that they took up arms as vigilantes; and families who banded together in the face of authorities' inability to find their vanished loved ones.

 A law enforcement official in the northern border state of Tamaulipas told The Associated Press he now routinely encounters young cartel gunmen who have few regrets about their vocation. In fact, they see killing as the best way to afford things like smartphones, cars and girlfriends.