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ken_in_dfw

Jun 2, 2011, 8:16 AM

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"The war on drugs has failed..."

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It will be interesting to watch the gyrations from the White House and other heads of state following the publication of this high-profile report.


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A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old worldwide "war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper was released Thursday.

"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 said.

The 19-member commission includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former U.S. official George P. Schultz, who held cabinet posts under U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

Others include former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, U.K. business mogul Richard Branson and the current prime minister of Greece.



(This post was edited by ken_in_dfw on Jun 2, 2011, 8:22 AM)



joaquinx


Jun 2, 2011, 8:39 AM

Post #2 of 75 (12631 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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So much for Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs" and Nancy's "Just say no!" policy.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


donemry

Jun 2, 2011, 9:54 AM

Post #3 of 75 (12591 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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So much for Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs" and Nancy's "Just say no!" policy.


Why, is this particular commission the absolute and final authority on this issue and must be obeyed by all governments?


joaquinx


Jun 2, 2011, 10:13 AM

Post #4 of 75 (12581 views)

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Re: [donemry] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Why, is this particular commission the absolute and final authority on this issue and must be obeyed by all governments?


I didn't know that it was the absolute and final authority. Are you asking why it is or are you questioning the fact that it might be? Or is the question rhetorical?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


Bennie García

Jun 2, 2011, 11:11 AM

Post #5 of 75 (12563 views)

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Re: [donemry] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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So much for Ronald Reagan's "War on Drugs" and Nancy's "Just say no!" policy.


Why, is this particular commission the absolute and final authority on this issue and must be obeyed by all governments?


No. But anyone with a half a brain would recognize the truth of their conclusion.


joaquinx


Jun 2, 2011, 11:53 AM

Post #6 of 75 (12553 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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No. But anyone with a half a brain would recognize the truth of their conclusion.


Who's got half a brain? How many countries listen to UN sponsored commissions anyway?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.

(This post was edited by joaquinx on Jun 2, 2011, 1:22 PM)


richmx2


Jun 2, 2011, 12:25 PM

Post #7 of 75 (12544 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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I don't know that it is "U.S. sponsored" or not, being more or less an ex-President's club (Gavrilla of Colombia, Zedillo of Mexico, Cardossa of Brazil) and a smattering of retired official types (Kofi Anan, George Shultz, etc) with a few decorative intellectuals (Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa). Just another international "wise old men" club... that is no more likely to be listened to than Herod listened to Balthazar, Gaspar and Melichor.

That there is establishment support for a shift in narcotics policy shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, though this is one of those things — like nuclear disarmament — that everyone recognizes as perfectly rational, sane and good, but for any number of political and strategic reasons won't implement.

Incidentally, in case you missed it, Health Secretary Angel Córdova Villalobos was defending the Calderon "kill 'em all and let the Lord sort 'em out" non-strategy now being implemented, whether it makes sense as a public health measure or not.


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http://mexicobookpublishers.com


donemry

Jun 2, 2011, 12:45 PM

Post #8 of 75 (12535 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Bennie, I am sure that there are many with half a brain that will concur with you.

As was said in another post in reference to nuclear disarmament, it is just an idea with no weight and no practical path to implementation.


Bennie García

Jun 2, 2011, 1:38 PM

Post #9 of 75 (12513 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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No. But anyone with a half a brain would recognize the truth of their conclusion.


Who's got half a brain? How many countries listen to US sponsored commissions anyway?


Is it a US sponsored commission? Regardless, when influential people of the category of the commission members speak out in favor of ending prohibition, it carries much more weight than a grassroots movement sharing the same opinion. This is the first time that I have seen politicians of this esteem actually mention legalization. A step, maybe only a small one, in the right direction.


cookj5

Jun 2, 2011, 2:18 PM

Post #10 of 75 (12493 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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No. But anyone with a half a brain would recognize the truth of their conclusion.


Who's got half a brain? How many countries listen to US sponsored commissions anyway?


Is it a US sponsored commission? Regardless, when influential people of the category of the commission members speak out in favor of ending prohibition, it carries much more weight than a grassroots movement sharing the same opinion. This is the first time that I have seen politicians of this esteem actually mention legalization. A step, maybe only a small one, in the right direction.


You are quite right in your analysis, Bennie. It is true that such a commission doesn't carry the administrative or legislative authority to implement the necessary changes. However, the fact that an establishment figure like George Schultz, who served in both the Nixon and Reagan Administrations, is on the Commission will create the political cover for other such figures to come out of the closet (where they've no doubt been smoking joints all this time). The presence of a former president of Mexico may provide the same sort of cover here if the PRI wins the next election.


sparks


Jun 2, 2011, 5:02 PM

Post #11 of 75 (12451 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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First they must legalize the growing of HEMP for non drug related commercial purposes. If they can't find the balls for that the rest will never follow

Sparks Mexico Blog - Sparks Costalegre


arbon

Jun 2, 2011, 6:07 PM

Post #12 of 75 (12428 views)

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Re: [sparks] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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First they must legalize the growing of HEMP for non drug related commercial purposes. If they can't find the balls for that the rest will never follow


It's a small World after all!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



smokesilver

Jun 2, 2011, 7:26 PM

Post #13 of 75 (12404 views)

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Re: [sparks] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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You are exactly correct Sparks. This was well covered in the media in the US today. Two points : there are 2.3 Million persons incarcerated in the US while 705,000 are there for "drug violations" and of those 364,000 are jailed for marijuana violations. The major organization which backs the "War on Drugs" and is its source of funds is the Partnership For a Drug Free America. Who you ask fronts that operation? Why the pharmaceutical industry of course.


Don Gringo

Jun 2, 2011, 7:52 PM

Post #14 of 75 (12399 views)

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Re: [smokesilver] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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The pharm syndicates should realize that they stand the most to gain from legalization. Unless they are concerned about the other medicines in their cabinet making more money.
Let's look at the statements a few narco bosses made or, at least one recently said. I will paraphrase rather than digging up the quote but, it basically said... thanks to the US government I have my billions because they (The Imperial Federal Government of the USA) refuses to legalize the drugs I deal with. History with the alcohol prohibition would show this to be a failed policy.

I could care less either way. I just hate my tax dollars being wasted on yet another failed policy.
Lived for 35 months in Mexico. I feel like I paid my dues...


smokesilver

Jun 2, 2011, 8:23 PM

Post #15 of 75 (12393 views)

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Re: [Don Gringo] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Indeed. Over $ONE TRILLION has been spent on the so-called War ond Drugs according to the news media playing the story today.


Reefhound


Jun 3, 2011, 6:55 AM

Post #16 of 75 (12361 views)

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Re: [smokesilver] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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How much has been spent in the war on Robbery? How many people have been sent to jail over robbery? We have been fighting robbery for hundreds of years, actually as long as man has been around. And STILL we have robberies happening, more robberies today than 50 years ago. Obviously, treating robbery as a crime is not working...


joaquinx


Jun 3, 2011, 7:53 AM

Post #17 of 75 (12336 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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How much has been spent in the war on Robbery? How many people have been sent to jail over robbery? We have been fighting robbery for hundreds of years, actually as long as man has been around. And STILL we have robberies happening, more robberies today than 50 years ago. Obviously, treating robbery as a crime is not working...


Your analogy lacks force. Robbery affects another party other than the person who commits the robbery, while drug usage only affects the user unless you would compare those who steal from themselves. However, it may be said that the overuse of drugs would require the user to rob others to pay from their supply, but we could argue that legalization would reduce the cost to a point where the user didn't have to rob in order to get supplied. I, of course, am speaking of users rather than suppliers. Just as alcohol is permitted to those of age without punishment, abuse of this drug is punishable when the user drives a vehicle or is abusive in public as is the illegal distribution and sale of the beverage.

With 80% of those incarcerated are for drug related crimes or where drugs were used, the supplier represents a small portion while the user represents the overwhelming majority. So much so that California has to release around 30,000 inmates because of overcrowding. The cost of incarceration is tremendous - costing over $25,000 per inmate per year. We, as a nation, spend more on police, courts, and incarceration of users than we do on education and rehab. Shouldn't we spend this money more wisely?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


chinagringo


Jun 3, 2011, 8:13 AM

Post #18 of 75 (12327 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Like any discussion of politics or religion or sex - a discussion on legalizing drugs has no chance of producing a consensus!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Jun 3, 2011, 8:14 AM)


ken_in_dfw

Jun 3, 2011, 8:33 AM

Post #19 of 75 (12315 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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If we're speaking about the august members of this discussion forum, I agree, Neil.

The irony, of course, is that the reason for posting this in the first place was that there IS a consensus among the members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. It makes one wonder what facts they have access to that this group does not?

Regards,
Ken


Reefhound


Jun 3, 2011, 9:39 AM

Post #20 of 75 (12299 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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"while drug usage only affects the user"

Does anyone really believe this? I suppose suicide only affects the individual, too?


"We, as a nation, spend more on police, courts, and incarceration of users than we do on education and rehab."

Did you know over 50% of drug rehab is court ordered? The drug clinic industry would collapse if drugs were legalized. Most drug users don't have the discipline to check themselves into rehab. They either get forced into it under threat of criminal sanctions or hit rock bottom after destroying themselves or those around them.

As for education, come on, is there really a drug user out there that hadn't been exposed to numerous anti-drug messages, that can honestly say "Gee, I never knew drugs were bad, why didn't anyone tell me that?".


Bennie García

Jun 3, 2011, 11:18 AM

Post #21 of 75 (12259 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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The reefer comes up with yet again a nonsensical argument. He chooses to overlook such facts as how education has reduced the amount of people smoking cigarettes. A very addictive drug with an extremely high cost to society. Maybe we should make tobacco illegal.

Then there is the decrease in alcohol consumption. Wonder why?


richmx2


Jun 3, 2011, 11:51 AM

Post #22 of 75 (12248 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Again, you're looking at it from the consumer, not the producer point of view. Whether the violence here is caused by the production, or the attempts to control production, there is certainly violence as a result of the narcotics trade. I'm not so sure legalization in user countries would make things better here... certainly the illegal violence would drop, but I wonder what the social consequences would be, creating another cash crop which depends on the exploitation of Mexican labor for the benefit of foreign corporate interests.

Presumably, this would give farm workers the right to organize, but at the same time, it would probably drive more campesinos off the land (the illegality of marijuana growing being the only thing keeping them in business right now) and probably lead to expansion of marijuana plantations at the expense of food crops and rural communities... much as coffee and sugar production did in the past.


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joaquinx


Jun 3, 2011, 11:59 AM

Post #23 of 75 (12242 views)

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Re: [richmx2] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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And big pharma will drop funds into the coffers of the pols in DC in order to laws enacted to give big pharma sole rights of distribution and production.

At one time, these drugs were legal. What changed to enact legislation to ban them?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


Sculptari

Jun 3, 2011, 1:20 PM

Post #24 of 75 (12217 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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I have been watching the rapidly growing market for 'bitcoins' - this is a new international currency sweeping the world - completely untraceable, completely unstoppable. One 'underground' market they are traded is on Silk Road. They are traded for drugs of all descriptions. It has gotten so hot, that the site owners are not accepting any new members until possibly July. Here is a wired article on Silk Road, and touching on bitcoins.

http://www.wired.com/...el/2011/06/silkroad/

Edited to create live link.
no longer active on Mexconnect

(This post was edited by esperanza on Jun 3, 2011, 9:20 PM)


Altahabana


Jun 4, 2011, 4:24 AM

Post #25 of 75 (12134 views)

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Re: [richmx2] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Like any discussion of politics or religion or sex - a discussion on legalizing drugs has no chance of producing a consensus

On forums like this perhaps, but in the arena where it counts there is a definite consensus. Trafficking in cocaine, methamphetemines, opiates and other controlled substances is not going to be legalized because an overwhelming majority of the American public does not want it legalized. How the criminal justice systems handle possession and use of these substances is evolving. Possession and use of small quantities of marijuana hasn't been aggresively prosecuted in most places for a generation and legalization is publically debated and has been the subject of a public referendum in California.

Simple possession and use of controlled substances, when not coupled with some other criminal offense, has undergone defacto decriminalization in many states and the criminal justice system treats it as an illness more than a crime. That is certainly the case in Texas which hardly has the reputation of being soft on crime. Simple possession of marijuana is rarely prosecuted as a stand-alone crime in most counties and is handled through accelerated, pre-trial procedures which in the end will not even appear on a criminal record check.

In any case, legalization and decriminalization are debatable solutions to problems caused by drugs in the consumer country. Since the Mexican cartels are evolving into all purpose criminal racketeering organizations, US legalization/decriminalization is hardly the panacea for narco violence some make it out to be.


(This post was edited by Altahabana on Jun 4, 2011, 4:38 AM)
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