The war on drugs has failed. Drug prohibition does far more damage to society than illicit substances ever have. Every day, especially in South America, people are being slaughtered by vicious drug gangs who’ve grown powerful off the lucrative drug market.
Posts Tagged ‘drugs’
Latin American leaders, in a historic watershed summit, will admit that the war on drugs will never succeed and that alternatives to prohibition must be found, including a more nuanced and rational approach.
Finally! Some common sense coming to the forefront of the great drug debacle. (more…)
Here’s two brilliant cartoons for your Tuesday reading pleasure:
It warms the heart to think that, within just a few short years, commentary like those contained in these cartoons could very well grow obsolete. Then, once we’ve done away with the war on drugs and war in general, we can look back on ourselves today and wonder why it took us so long to restore sanity to our domestic and foreign policies.
As part of their open government initiative, the Obama administration has been welcoming petitions from the public. If any petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.
Garnering the most votes was a petition to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. This motion echoes the general sentiments of the US people, of whom more than half favor legalizing marijuana.
So what happened next? Did Obama give a speech about how he would be addressing the outdated pot laws? Did the policy makers finally admit defeat in the pointless war on drugs? Well, given how today’s post is so rife with cynicism, you just know neither of those things happened.
Instead, Obama’s Drug Czar put out a perfunctory response reiterating all the same old misleading talking points which have been manufactured and parroted throughout the many decades of drug prohibition.
Russ Belville from Norml offers an excellent point by point rebuttal of the Czar’s official reply, concluding with the following:
Thank you for wasting America’s time ignoring her wishes. I encourage you to take a moment to actually read and answer the questions on these petitions. Every answer you gave to “whether we should consider regulating cannabis like the far more harmful substances, alcohol and tobacco” was an excuse to make alcohol and tobacco prohibited like marijuana.
Every answer you gave to “how will the continued criminalization of cannabis achieve the results in the future that it has never achieved in the past?” illustrated that you’re continuing the same failed strategies as your predecessors. We the People were hoping for some change.
It is such a shame. Another excellent opportunity for reform squandered by the protectors of the status quo. No wonder people are taking to the streets – their political system is clearly broken.
The global war on drugs should be condemned to a dark note in human history, next to witch hunting and bloodletting. Too bad our governments spearheading the change we are already beginning to create.
Today’s imagery highlights Carl Sagan’s timeless words and exposes one of the biggest blights to plague our planet: drug prohibition.
As we’ve discussed before, Cannabis is kept illegal to protect several billion dollar empires from the threat of an extremely productive and versatile plant. On top of this, the war on drugs serves as an extension of the military industrial complex, where entities profit by manufacture enemies and then release armed combatants to fight them.
Fortunately, it seems we are positioning ourselves to move beyond these draconian days of drug prohibition. Portugal’s decriminalized drugs over a decade ago, and the results were a resounding success.
Following Portugal’s lead, Britain’s Liberal Democrats are looking into decriminalizing drug possession. Not to be outdone, Greek officials have taken steps towards ending the illegality of drug use.
Great news! Hopefully the whole world will soon hop on the whole treat-drug-use-as-a-health-issue-not-a-criminal-issue bandwagon, setting us free to focus our energy on the real issues, like corrupt and unaccountable governance.
Several years ago, I put forth a proposal for a Global Voting System which would run on PDA’s and home computers to create a decentralized polling system, where anyone could put forth new issues and everyone can vote on them.
The idea was to create alternative democratic channels outside of the current, oft-corrupt political system. While my GVS idea didn’t pick up much traction (perhaps it’s just ahead of its time), others have trying to find ways to harness the voice of the world’s people.
One of these organizations – Avaaz – has been making tremendous headway towards leveraging global opinions into political action.
Earlier this month, a petition signed by over 1.5 million people from around the world mounted enough pressure to block a horrendous anti-gay bill from passing parliament in Uganda.
The law would have applied the death penalty for homosexuality. But thanks to Avaaz and millions of engaged people from around the world, the bill has been shelved.
Now, members of Avaaz have set their sights on the most senseless war of all time – the war on drugs – and they’re taking the fight all the way to the United Nations. When signatures surpass the one million mark, it will be personally delivered to world leaders by the global commission.
Awesome! Avaaz is showing what people power can really do. When the collective voice of humankind is finally heeded, a more just global civilization will emerge.
In 1977, Jimmy Carter spoke to congress regarding the ridiculously flawed war on drugs, saying:
“Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”
Heeding Carter’s words, Delaware Governor Jack Markell has just finalized a small step towards regaining sanity, signing a bill into law that allows the production, distribution and use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Awesome news for Delawareans, for the pro-Cannabis movement, and for rational people everywhere.
Tens of thousands of Mexicans marched through the capital yesterday, urging an end to the bloodshed. The rally signaled the end of a four day, 60 mile trek that started Thursday.
The outrage expressed by these brave demonstrators is certainly justified. Nearly 38,000 people have been killed in Mexico in the past four years, not to mention how unacceptably commonplace human rights violations have become.
You may look at these numbers and think it’s such a senseless shame, which it most definitely is. But even more tragic is the underlying cause of the majority of this violence – drug prohibition.
Fueling Mexico’s powerful criminal groups are the lucrative profits made from narcotics trafficking. Were prohibition to end, most of Mexico’s gangs would go belly up as their supply of dirty drug dollars dries up.
So, once again, an obvious solution emerges that would solve several deep rooted problems – end the war on drugs.
Most of us already know drug prohibition is an utter failure, but these draconian policies still remain. This isn’t because drug prohibition warrants any merit, but because the people’s anti-prohibition movement hasn’t gained enough steam.
Several industries – DEAs, jails, and drug-peddlers – will each continue to make billions of dollars a year as long as the war on drugs keeps running. Plus, many more industries – pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and alcohol – all stand to lose billions if illicit drugs were legalized.
With so many huge businesses involved, the war on drugs is set to continue forever. At least, until it gets forced to stop, and this will take collective action by millions of informed and engaged citizens.
So be sure to do your part. Get informed about the realities of drug prohibition, then become involved and speak your voice. It’s time this injustice came to an end.
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.
(That’s a pretty sweet logo, man, but have you ever looked at it… on weeeed?)
As a frequent reader of my blog, you must be an enlightened and educated mind who can tell when someone is blowing smoke. You’ll also know that, despite drug prohibition proving itself a complete failure, it remains institutionalized all the way up to the United Nations.
Hopefully this will soon change, thanks in part to awareness campaigns like the joint Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform, which seeks to “promote health-oriented policies based upon scientific evidence and to reform the UN Drug Conventions.”
What a great initiative… go for the head of the war on drugs! Once the UN succumbs to rational thought, member nations won’t be mandated to enforce drug prohibition, and individual country’s can take sovereign actions once again.
It won’t be long until we finally condemn drug prohibition to a quirky part of human history, where future generations wonder ‘What the hell were they thinking?’.