Posts Tagged ‘prohibition’

Insightful Images of the Day

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

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.

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.

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!’

US Gov’t Welcomes Petitions from Citizens then Promptly Dismisses Them

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

(‘If pot is such a threat, why isn’t it dangerous at all?’)

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.

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.

Inspirational Imagery of the Day

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

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.

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.