Posts Tagged ‘drug’

Liberals Lead Legalization Lobby

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Out of nowhere, the Liberal party has jumped back into the running with the Canadian public, just by adding one simple policy to their platform: legalize marijuana.

Party members announced that “a new Liberal government will legalize marijuana and ensure the regulation and taxation of its production, distribution, and use, while enacting strict penalties for illegal trafficking, illegal importation and exportation, and impaired driving.”

Yes!!! Canada’s pro-cannabis movement just gained new levels of traction. Even though it is being pushed by the Liberals – 3rd prize in Canadian politics – this is still a huge milestone.

As other parties see just how much the issue of legal weed resonates with the Canadian people, they too will be tempted to hop on the ‘Oh Cannabis’ bandwagon.

While Harper and his conservatives cram more crime bills down our throats, it is great to see that not all politicians have abandoned reasonable policies.

War is like Crack

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

What happens when a bunch of testosterone-fueled dudes have tons of weaponry to play with and nothing else to do? Well, you just know they are going to blow stuff up. Case and point, the video above, showing an A-10 strafing some Arab soldiers trying to expel what they see as foreign invaders.

Most chilling from the video, apart from the gory realities of a battlefield, is Sgt. Steiner’s reaction at the end describing the unparalleled rush that comes from combat. “That’s fun, though. That’s fun,” Steiner says to the cameraman about the live firefight, “You can’t get a better high. It’s like crack.”

Great, so not only are these bored soldiers stuck in a foreign place, armed to the teeth and given free rein over a nation, one of the most stimulating behaviors they can partake in is to fight and kill the people around them. No wonder the over-a-decade long war in Afghanistan has proven so fruitless.

Of course, it’s not about ‘winning’. The only real goal for the war machine is to perpetuate and proliferate armed conflict. As long as war is waging, profits are being made, and that is all that matters to the entities responsible for the majority of modern warfare.

But apart from enriching a tiny minority, war serves no purpose in today’s world. It’s just that institutionalized violence has been around for so long that it has etched a deep groove into our minds, making the path of least resistance lead straight to armed conflict.

The path to peace, on the other hand, remains so underdeveloped that a lot of people don’t even know it exists. But this will change dramatically over the coming few years, as humanity continues to unite on unprecedented levels and the way to a peaceful planet further reveals itself.

The vast majority of the world’s people – 99% or more – have already grown sick and tired of war and want it to stop. Now, it’s more about realizing that peace can and will happen when we make it happen.

Drug Prohibition Sends Wrong Message to Kids

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

You may have noticed a rash of posts lately calling for the end of the global war on drugs. Well, they say write what you know, so here’s one more reason why we should end drug prohibition – because it sends mixed messages to our young people.

Consider the following:

Cannabis is an incredible medicine that helps patients physically, mentally and spiritually. Cannabis makes for an excellent recreational drug and is proven safer than alcohol or tobacco. Cannabis seeds make a super-nutritional food, and the stalk of the plant itself is one of the most versatile building blocks on earth, able to create all kinds of useful goods.

Yet this incredible plant, this godsend which could be a tremendous boon to human civilization, is vehemently persecuted and vilified worldwide thanks to laws that are entrenched all the way up to the United Nations.

So just what are educated young people supposed to think when they discover both of the above truths, which they inevitably will. Probably something like “If the grown-ups are hell-bent on sticking to something that is so obviously misguided, what else have they been getting wrong?”

If the goal is to protect children, why not start by making it so the system they grow up in isn’t overrun with draconian drug prohibition laws. Laws which have never – even after many decades and hundreds of billions of dollars invested – offered any shred of evidence that they are making the world a better place.

Ending the Global War on Drugs

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Armed conflict has a way of entrenching itself into the fabric of a society. Whether it involves a military force overseas or para-military law enforcement back home, if there’s an army being raised you’re almost guaranteed that someone, somewhere stands to reap huge profits off the imminent bloodshed.

Such is the case with the multi-billion dollar drug prohibition/incarceration business. As fruitless as it has proven itself, hundreds of thousands of people still depend upon the illegality of narcotics to earn their living. These inherently pro-prohibition people – DEA’s, jailers, lawyers – could find themselves out of work were drug use treated as a health issue instead of a criminal issue.

This is why the pro-legalization party has such an uphill battle to fight. A movement can have facts and justice and majority support on their side, but without the political clout equivalent to that wielded by the powers which profit from the status quo, draconian policies will continue to hold.

In a bid to bring drug policies up to the 21st century, libertarian think tank the Cato Institute are set to host a major conference today involving many prominent scholars and international leaders. The influential group will analyze global drug policy and propose practical alternatives, such as legalization.

If I had the opportunity to present a case against drug prohibition, it’d be a sweet infographic showing the darkest parts of prohibition contrasted with the light of legalization.

First, we’d look at the death toll along the US-Mexico border, where 11,000 people have been killed this year by criminal drug enterprises. These gangs would not have such tremendous reach without drug prohibition. Few industries pay quite like the hugely inflated narcotics market.

Then we’d look at Portugal, who legalized all drugs almost a decade ago to a resounding success. It turns out, giving users care instead of punishment actually resulted in a decline in drug use. And, without the need to hire armies, legalization ends up being cheaper to taxpayers while being less detrimental to society.

Yeaaaa… that’d make one sweet picture. The prohibitionists wouldn’t even know what hit ‘em!

Let’s End Drug Prohibition Already

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Mexican drug cartels have been slaughtering bloggers and executing Internet users in a vain attempt to silence negative commentary on the Internet.

It’s like in the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where the pot-smoking duo track down and beat all the keyboard critics who left negative comments in an online forum.

Except this is happening in real life to real people and it’s not at all funny.

Underpinning the rise to power of the drug gangs and all the escalating violence witnessed over the past few decades are the lucrative profits to be made off of narcotics trafficking.

The US/Mexican drug trade runs upwards of 50 billion dollars annually. With that kind of scratch to be made, no penalty – not even death – is enough to deter society’s most unscrupulous folks.

And, since the whole business is illicit, the only recourse for settling disputes between rival drug factions is through violence.

It’s time to admit the war on drugs is a failure. The money we’ve been wasting on enforcing prohibition has only increased the price of illegal substances. This, in turn, ends up putting more money and power into the hands of criminals, who – as we can clearly see – have been raising their own private armies.

The only feasible solution is to end drug prohibition. This will pull the rug right out from under these corrupt and cruel criminal organizations, while saving us billions in squandered taxpayer dollars. On top of this, regulation and taxation of an non-inflated drug market will garner billions more in annual revenue.

Most people already know this, and the minority left supporting drug prohibition are fast waking up to reality. Get involved and make some noise. Let our politicians and policy makers hear us all say ‘Enough is Enough! We don’t want your stinkin’ drug war no more!’

Conservatives Cramming Crime Bill Down Canadian Throats

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

(‘Looks good, but do we really need a sink _and_ a toilet? Get rid of one or the other – and presto – room for one more guest!’)

Canadians are renowned for resilience in the face of adversity, able to bear freezing winters for the brief but sensational summers. It is this willingness to take the good with the bad which leads Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party to believe Canadians will stomach their new Omnibus Crime bill.

Bill C-10 – the government’s new crime legislation – lumps together nine previously introduced bills which never passed, now repackaged into one all-encompassing document.

However, you can forget taking any time to discuss the matter – the Tories have decided to limit discussion to just two days! This means the opposition parties will have their work cut out for them, trying to call attention to all the bill’s glaring problems in such a short period of time.

First, there’s the plan to crack down on Marijuana cultivation, imposing new mandatory minimum sentences for minor offenses. Come on, Harper, in a nation that boasts the highest pot usage in the developed world, you’re alienating a good chunk of the population (not that most pot-smokers are likely to vote Conservative).

But forget the votes. Instead, consider how the whole drug prohibition strategy has proven itself to be a complete and utter failure. Why throw more money into that hole? Just look at the thousands who’ve been slain along the Mexican borders – they’d still be alive if drugs were legalized and the criminal gangs were no longer fueled by the billions they earn off the black market.

If the Conservatives really cared about protecting society, they’d take a rational, proven approach, like decriminalizing all drugs. Portugal did it, and it’s been a resounding success 10 years on. Screw the DEAs and drug gangs… let them find new jobs!

But sound policies are not what Harper stands for. Instead, the priority seems to be to appease trade partners – like the US, who’ve been steadfast in their funding of the failed war on drugs for decades.

And where will all these newly criminalized Canucks be housed? Why, in Canada’s new super-prisons, of course. Taking another page out of America’s playbook, privatized prisons can be huge money makers offering juicy kick-backs, provided the population is willing to tolerate having minor offenders locked up with hardened criminals.

Last but not least, this new crime bill will let police gather information from ISP’s without the need for a subpoena. Right, because we’re all sure to be safer when law enforcement has access into the private lives of every single Canadian.

Meanwhile, the world’s economies are teetering on the edge, and crime across the nation is at a 20 year low, but Harper and his party seem intent on dropping a few billion bills to see a larger percentage of Canadians get imprisoned.

Sadly, the financial costs of bill C-10 may very pale next to the long term societal damage to be incurred should Canada continue to follow in America’s footprints – a path the Conservatives seem hellbent on sending us down.

Experts Agree: The War on Drugs has Failed

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011


(More than ever before in human history, we share a common destiny. We can master it only if we face it together. – Kofi Annan)

Fantastic news! A new 24-page report by a group of politicians and former world leaders has declared the War on Drugs to be an utter failure.

They argue that anti-drug policy causes “devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world” since all it does it fuel organized crime while costing billions in taxpayer dollars and leading to thousands of deaths.

The authors of the report lambast current prohibition policies, writing “Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.”

The report concludes that governments should end criminalization of drug use, experiment with legal models that would undermine organized crime syndicates and offer health and treatment services for drug-users.

Finally, some sensible drug discussions at the highest level. Drug prohibition has been a tremendous blight on our species for decades now, highlighting the inherent injustice in the world’s political system. It is high time that we came to our senses about drug policy reform.

Man, I’m stoked! Today marks another important step towards ending these draconian days of drug prohibition, bringing us one step closer to ending war on earth.

12 Hours Left: UN Petition to End War on Drugs

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Time is running out in the international anti-prohibition petition to the UN. If you one of the 500,000+ who’ve already voiced their support, what are you waiting for? Visit Avaaz right now!

Enforcing drug prohibition has proven itself to be far more costly to society than illicit drugs have ever been. It is time for the people of the world to stand together and bring the senseless war on drugs to an end.

 

Heinous Hemp Hypocrisy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

As incredible as we humans are, and amazing as our accomplishments have been, we’ve still some major injustices left to eradicate.

While not as pressing as say, Israel’s oppression of Palestine, an issue that is not given its due credence for its crimes against humanity is… drug prohibition. Yes, the war on drugs is a tragedy of the utmost proportions for many reasons, of which here are two:

First, we’re spending billions a year on soldiers, cops and jails to fight drugs, while the only tangible results are the creation of a gigantic black market to prop up powerful organized crime syndicates.

Second, we’ve actually been stifling our world’s GDP by not harnessing the full potential of a few highly beneficial plants, like Cannabis and Coca, which could each be multi-billion dollar businesses on their own.

So why does the war on drugs persist? Surely not because it has been successful. Today, even though narcotics are cheaper and stronger than ever before, prohibition does far more damage to society than the drugs they vilify.

No, what it boils down to is that these beneficial plants are being made illegal because of their very usefulness. Cheap and plentiful, they offer tremendous competition for other billion dollar industries – a notion vibrantly described by the writers at Absolute Despotism:

Marijuana’s probably bad for you, but so is shoving pine cones up your ass. The reason marijuana’s illegal and pine cones aren’t, is because you can’t use pine cones to make paper… But in the 1930’s a new machine called a “decorticator” made it profitable to produce paper from hemp. So profitable that Popular Mechanics called hemp the “New Billion-Dollar Crop” and reported  “10,000 acres devoted to hemp will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average [forest] pulp land.”

Well a lot of people, including newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, owned a shit load of timberland, and because people don’t like it when new technology comes along and fucks up their business, Hearst started calling hemp marijuana, and launched a newspaper campaign to ban his competition. It worked, and even though the American Medical Association was against banning marijuana (seriously), in 1937 it was outlawed. So thanks to people like Hearst, marijuana was outlawed to prevent competition from hemp.

Hearst was just one powerful guy in the paper industry. Now picture similar rich tycoons within Cannabis’ other competing fields, like oil, cotton, pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco, and we begin to see the real reasons drug prohibition is still around – big money in a few pockets.

But here’s the good news: the sham known as drug prohibition is being exposed to a growing audience. Soon, in the same fashion that alcohol prohibition was demolished, enough of us will stand together against further injustice and bring the world’s war on drugs to a well-deserved end.

 

 

Ending the War on Drugs: It’s Time

Monday, March 21st, 2011

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time for you to face the facts. The war on drugs is an utter failure. But don’t just take my word for it.

Some of England’s most prominent public figures have recently decried drug prohibition as an “expensive catastrophe for individuals and communities,” and are imploring the use of scientific evidence when forming drug policies.

Spain’s ex-PM wants to legalize all drugs to help deflate organized crime syndicates, which have become “one of the most serious threats to security that the world faces.”

This sentiment is echoed by the individuals with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, who don’t believe current methods are effective, writing “drug abuse and gang violence flourish in a drug prohibition environment, just as they did during alcohol prohibition.”

Still not convinced? Then maybe you’ll believe the former President of Mexico, who is calling for the legalization of all drugs, saying “Prohibition didn’t work in the Garden of Eden. Adam ate the apple… I don’t want to say that legalizing means that drugs are good. They are not good but bad for your health, and you shouldn’t take them. But ultimately, this responsibility is with citizens.”

And if you’re worried about what might happen if we ended drug prohibition, consider Portugal. They decriminalized all drugs ten years ago and it has been deemed a resounding success. Crime is down, drug use has declined, and drug-related pathologies have lowered dramatically.

Clearly, Portugal’s strategy of treatment and rehabilitation should be guiding anti-prohibition debates around the world. But rational thought and empirical evidence will only get us so far.

The war on drugs has been institutionalized because billions have been blown every year for decades. This means millions of law enforcement, jailers, and their support staff, not to mention the countless drug peddlers, all stand to lose their livelihoods if the war on drugs were to end.

On top of this, current drug-related policies are entrenched into global politics, with roots running into organizations like the United Nations, who pressure all its members to enforce drug prohibition.

To counteract such an extensive bureaucracy, which is currently supported by millions from around the world, will take an even larger, more powerful force.

It will take hundreds of millions of informed people from around the world. Those of us who’ve discovered drug prohibition is actually far worse than any drug on earth need to coordinate, cooperate and finally finish the war on drugs.

This is where you come in. You need to stand up for what is right. Get involved in the movement. Do what you can to help convince the rest of the world that it’s time to forever end our draconian drug policies.