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jrpierce


Jun 6, 2011, 1:40 PM

Post #51 of 75 (7482 views)

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

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Neil, I'm largely with you. I too oppose legalization of "hard drugs," but making marijuana legal makes perfect sense and IMO should have been done years ago. Where we may differ is that I think decriminalization of pot would have an effect similar to the impact of ending Prohibition on the US Mafia. Many are surprised to learn the economic impact this would have on the Mexican cartels. This is because the profits on marijuana are high, and the drug gangs grow their own product in Mexico (and increasingly in the US and Canada). They are middle-men when it comes to cocaine, heroin, etc., so their profit margin from those is lower. I'm unable to find data on the impact of meth sales, another product the cartels manufacture.

I think the following excerpt from a Chicago Sun Times article mirrors my thoughts well:


Quote
March 30, 2010
BY STEVE HUNTLEY

Legalizing marijuana wouldn't end the criminal drug trade and its violence. Addicts still would crave heroin, cocaine and other hard narcotics. But decriminalizing marijuana would be a body blow to drug cartels. Half the annual income for Mexico's violent drug smugglers comes from marijuana, one Mexican official told the Wall Street Journal last year. Imagine how many smugglers and street-corner reefer hustlers would be put out of business.


Jim


DavidHF

Jun 6, 2011, 2:32 PM

Post #52 of 75 (7475 views)

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

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I called for the Singapore solution. And why not? It works. BTW, it's inexpensive too.


chinagringo


Jun 6, 2011, 2:49 PM

Post #53 of 75 (7468 views)

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

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David:

The Singapore solution may be inexpensive under their legal system but the death penalty option in the US legal system is far more expensive with the repeated appeals, etc.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Sculptari

Jun 6, 2011, 3:00 PM

Post #54 of 75 (7464 views)

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

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Just what might you have been smoking? Another totally off the wall so-called solution that has NO basis in fact.


Tee je - so something is over your head - and that makes me the smoker!

If you knew any historical background in this debate, you would know it is always about the money. Al Capone was jailed for tax evasion - and today's seizures under the proceeds of crime laws are a huge problem for the 'bad guys' .

I'll make it simple for you - start a new dollar, which can easily be exchanged for old dollars, once you can prove they were obtained honestly. Large amounts of cash will be closely examined. Eventually the old dollars become worthless.The bitcoin part proves that a forge proof currency can be built, and that it is now possible that instead making the new dollar untraceable - each dollar can have a digital signature which can be followed all over the world if necessary.
no longer active on Mexconnect


chinagringo


Jun 6, 2011, 3:16 PM

Post #55 of 75 (7458 views)

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

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A change of member name and a sabbatical from posting on this forum didn't provide the leopard with a change of spots. Going back how many years you have jumped on one wacko story or concept or another only to get hot and bothered about it. Then a couple months later, you have gone to the next one. Over my head? Now that is a good one! Just for drill, how many different currencies have you had direct and actual experience with?

Have you ever lived in a country that changed currencies and personally experienced a total revision of currencies? Been there and done that and I will tell you that no amount of planning/preparation prepares anyone for the nightmare. And they were not countries whose currency was considered the "world's currency"!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Reefhound


Jun 6, 2011, 3:20 PM

Post #56 of 75 (7457 views)

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

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"I called for the Singapore solution. And why not? It works. BTW, it's inexpensive too."

I'll bet it could put an end to parking violations and speeding and failure to use turn signals, too.

And the first time Little Johnny fails to do his homework, we'll just chop off his little head...


Sculptari

Jun 6, 2011, 5:41 PM

Post #57 of 75 (7437 views)

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

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Have you ever lived in a country that changed currencies and personally experienced a total revision of currencies?
\ Been there and done that and I will tell you that no amount of planning/preparation prepares anyone for the nightmare. And they were not countries whose currency was considered the "world's currency"!


Nope. Though Canada came close with Rene Levesque. It happens all the time though.Again, check your history files. Knights Templar is a good start - and a good finish.

Angry courier driver mad at the world - fueled by caffeine & talk radio & memories of what could have been = yeah, that's our Neil!
no longer active on Mexconnect


chinagringo


Jun 6, 2011, 5:54 PM

Post #58 of 75 (7425 views)

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

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Jim:

I believe that your figures are correct about the % contribution of marijuana as 50% seems to be somewhat of a consensus. Meth numbers (estimates) seem hard to come by but the profits can be enormous due to the amount of finished product even a medium sized operation/lab can produce in a relatively short period of time. With respect to heroin/opium, there is Mexico produced product from poppy crops grown mostly in Sinaloa. But research seems to indicate that a greater quantity is transshipped from elsewhere in the world. Cocaine is definitely a transported product.

Rich:

You are quite correct about the drug trade in Hong Kong and most anywhere else controlled by the British Empire! And the French can be implicated in SE Asia. For myself, it wasn't so much a matter that opium dens existed but rather the actual visual impact of the squalor and the physical state of the participants that hit home with me. When we moved to India a number of years later, drugs were everywhere. In fact, there was a horrible local brand of cigarettes that we all knew was about 50% marijuana. My ex-Marine father ran out of his preferred Chesterfields on a business trip and happened to purchase this brand. Upon his return, he was bragging that he found an acceptable local brand. That lasted until both myself and my sister spouted out what he was smoking! Talk about one shocked straight laced ex-Marine!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jrpierce


Jun 6, 2011, 7:00 PM

Post #59 of 75 (7410 views)

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

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So Neil, do you agree that legalization of marijuana would make a major impact on the income of the cartels, and are you OK with that approach? Of the solutions discussed here, I think that has the best chance of implementation, certainly compared to death sentences or a complete change in the currency.

But as Rich said quite eloquently in an earlier message, "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." That is my great fear about the USA. Like what he did or not, Calderón tried something new. I admire that even though he has plenty of nay sayers. Getting anything to change in the USA--like an intelligent drug policy, or like a reasonable immigration policy--I'm sorry to say seems nearly impossible to me.

Jim


Reefhound


Jun 6, 2011, 7:33 PM

Post #60 of 75 (7400 views)

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

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Define legalization. The real problem I have with it is that the calls for legalization, even including initiatives like Prop 19, are just a clamor for decriminalization and are short on details as to how exactly the production and distribution will work. To most people, legalization means "I can buy a joint and not get busted for it". That's decriminalization. Legalization and decriminalization are not the same thing. Netherlands decriminalized it for the end user, wholesale production, distribution, and import/export remains highly illegal. Who here can tell me where and how the Netherlands cafes get their product?

Who would make the big profits? Who would cultivate and harvest it? Would imports be allowed? If the USA fully legalized it don't you think other countries hoping to be the supplier would immediately legalize it as well and ramp up production? Wouldn't that include Mexico? And who would be the ones in Mexico in control of it all? My bet is the same cartels that are in control of it now. Wouldn't these countries be able to produce it much more cheaply than the USA can, given USA producers would have higher labor costs, liability expenses, taxes, and surely a mountain of regulations?

How would legalization square with the USA policy of getting other countries to eradicate other crops such as opium and coca? Oh sure, your drug crop is ok but mine is not? Would other countries just quit fighting it altogether, figuring if the USA is going to give up on pot then they might as well give up on whatever they produce? Would the effort to educate against harder drugs be compromised? Would young people say well they backtracked on all the bad things they said about pot so when will they backtrack on all the things they are saying about meth?


Bennie García

Jun 6, 2011, 7:51 PM

Post #61 of 75 (7392 views)

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

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Legalize pot, opiates and coca derivatives. Once people have the option of acquiring quality and affordable drugs then synthetics like meth or pharmaceuticals will have far fewer users, except maybe Rush Limbaugh types.

Selling to minors can get you in big trouble. Something like a minimum mandatory sentence. With little to no profit to be made, only a knuckle dragging idiot will be foolish enough to risk it.

Don't see much problem with production and distribution. You have the alcohol and tobacco industries guidelines. Assure purity and quality. Pot smokers can keep plants in their backyards if they want just like homebrewers or winemakers.


jrpierce


Jun 6, 2011, 8:21 PM

Post #62 of 75 (7384 views)

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

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How would I define legalization? Well, I envision marijuana being sold like cigarettes or liquor--in fact, liquor stores might be a logical place to sell it. Raw materials could be grown/shipped from anywhere in the world that meets standards. I'd envision the liquor companies as more likely to enter this market than the drug companies, but who cares. I'd imagine regulations that define legal ages, where it can be sold, etc. I would also suppose there would be excise (sin) taxes charged with tax stamps just as with the other products. There might also be discounts available for folks who had a medical reason to use the product. I'd also guess for marketing purposes there would be competing brands, and even perhaps rules as their are for tequila or coffee or wine--i.e. you can only call it Sonoran marijuana if it contains 80% product from Sonora.

And so on and so on. Would other countries seek to enter the US legal market? Certainly. No problem--competition drives down prices. Just as we get coffee beans from many parts of the world, we can do the same with marijuana--just think of it as any other highly valued crop. Would other countries legalize it and produce it themselves? I don't care--sounds a lot like Tequila that is made in Mexico and sold legally all over the world. How would we justify it versus our destruction of crops of Opium poppies? Well, marijuana is legal--opium is not. Would the cartels seek to control the growing in Mexico? Probably, however once the huge markup that relates to it being illegal is removed, I think they would lose interest (imagine the swaggering sicarios hoeing the fields or driving a semi full of legal pot;)). Or perhaps they would decide to ship to other countries where it is still illegal--wouldn't that be a shame? How would parents explain to kids that because we changed the rules on pot, meth is OK? The same way parents always explain such things. Besides, I've know since high school that alcohol and pot are vastly different from opium and heroin, and I think today's kids certainly know that as well.

I really haven't thought about all this, so I'm just doing this stream of consciousness. But to me these are implementation details. Given the similarities to already marketed products such as alcohol, I think no problem. In fact it wouldn't surprise me to learn that there are such plans in market research departments of some major companies today. But of course, I am still skeptical whether this or any other innovative plan to stop the drug problem has a chance in the US today.

Just my two cents.... Jim


richmx2


Jun 6, 2011, 10:17 PM

Post #63 of 75 (7364 views)

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

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The "Singapore solution"? You mean like being a police state where a single party has held power for the last fifty years, and promises "collective welfare over individual rights such as freedom of assembly". Thank you, no. Much as I like Mexico, among other reasons for the ethical sense to have abolished the death penalty in toto, I also like the United States, despite the barbarity of forcing its citizens to become complicit in state-sanctioned murder.


http://mexfiles.net
http://mexicobookpublishers.com


chinagringo


Jun 7, 2011, 8:05 AM

Post #64 of 75 (7336 views)

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

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"So Neil, do you agree that legalization of marijuana would make a major impact on the income of the cartels, and are you OK with that approach?"

I would answer with a very qualified yes. But I do see some problems with your further comments on just how to implement a legalization process.
Factor 1: Regulations similar to those governing the sale of alcohol or tobacco? In the current environment, I would venture a guess that marijuana is a greater attraction to those who would probably be defined as "underage" than alcohol. If so, there will remain an underground market and how would the laws define the penalties for dealing into this segment?
Factor 2: DUI laws: Our current DUI laws do allow for conviction for being under the influence of marijuana but testing is not as simple as taking a breathalyzer test. It requires a blood or urine test that generally cannot provide instant results. Say that a person performs poorly in the physical tests and is given a BAC breathalyzer that comes back negative. Awful tough to arrest someone on the spot without some sort of confirming proof, so are they forced to allow the person to get back behind the wheel until they have positive proof?
Factor 3: Marijuana farmers have been developing stronger strains of marijuana for years to satisfy the market and we are already seeing the so-called medical marijuana markets package and price accordingly. That search for a better high will continue. So what is to prevent the cartels from venturing into the laced marijuana market? I think history has proven that the market would go in that direction if the consumer wanted something better/stronger.

It is all well and good to guesstimate that the cartels would lose approximately 50% of their income/profits if marijuana were to be legalized but like any other corporation that sees the demise of a product on the horizon, they too will look towards how to replace the income. Do they turn to other criminal enterprises or do they take the WalMart approach of putting more product (other drugs) on the market at lower prices?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Reefhound


Jun 7, 2011, 8:35 AM

Post #65 of 75 (7322 views)

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

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"I really haven't thought about all this, so I'm just doing this stream of consciousness. But to me these are implementation details."

Neither has anyone else proposing legalization, apparently. That's partly my point. People are going to need to see these implementation details before they support a change in laws or policies. People are not buying into these propositions that say "let's legalize it and regulate it, so you legalize it now and we'll get back to you on those regulations".

Benny, I have reservations about the coca part but I would be willing to try something like that provided there are strong penalties and strict enforcement for stepping outside the legal channels (misuse like DUI, selling to minors, black market distribution, etc).


(This post was edited by Reefhound on Jun 7, 2011, 10:42 AM)


jrpierce


Jun 7, 2011, 9:25 AM

Post #66 of 75 (7300 views)

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

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Fair enough, Neil. Of course there will be problems, and as usual, the devil is in the details. Fair minded people may differ, but I don't see any of them as deal killers. All mirror similar problems with alcohol and tobacco that we've found ways to overcome.

Earlier, you raised the specter of the opium dens and asked who had first hand experience with them. I know a person quite well in the US who is a regular, daily user of pot. She is a wife and mother, and has functioned quite well through her adult life while taking pot. When she and her husband visited us here in Mexico, I set a condition that she was not allowed to score pot for the week while they were here and she readily complied--so unlike some perceptions, she is not in the grips of the demon drug--even as a pretty heavy user. I would ride in a car she was driving any time, even right after she's had a joint. She is alert and capable. The only law she would ever break is the one against marijuana.

That is a sample of one, but I certainly know many others who are occasional users, sometimes saying they do it because it is a real problem to drink and drive. From what I've read, it is pretty commonly accepted that driving under the influence of pot is far less concerning than alcohol. Plus, of course, we have to figure in the enormous number of people in the US on perfectly legal tranquilizers, anti-depressants and pain killers. Increasingly we hear of that figuring into auto crashes. As to whether pot would appeal more to the young than alcohol, I'm not so sure. From what I've read, the problem concerning college administrators these days is excessive drinking, even in areas where marijuana is readily available. Kids find they can lose touch with reality better on booze than on pot.

Would the cartels move into other businesses? That's what I want them to do. Second hand, but from a reliable source, I know of a fairly high level guy in La Familia who is said to be buying legit companies because the current government efforts have made moving drugs so expensive and dangerous. Again, that is exactly what we want.

Between legal and illegal drugs, the USA is an addicted country. I have yet to see anyone who is able to support keeping pot illegal based on any objective comparisons to other drugs with similar and often worse problems. Increasingly, through the rubric of "medical marijuana," state governments are recognizing this and enforcing the laws less. Of course this makes matters worse since it reduces users' fear of getting caught, while keeping most sale and distribution illegal, thus continuing to support the illegal trade.

REEFHOUND: Your latest message came in while I was writing this, and I think this speaks to the same topics.

Jim


chinagringo


Jun 7, 2011, 4:19 PM

Post #67 of 75 (7255 views)

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

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"I know a person quite well in the US who is a regular, daily user of pot. She is a wife and mother, and has functioned quite well through her adult life while taking pot. When she and her husband visited us here in Mexico, I set a condition that she was not allowed to score pot for the week while they were here and she readily complied--so unlike some perceptions, she is not in the grips of the demon drug--even as a pretty heavy user. I would ride in a car she was driving any time, even right after she's had a joint. She is alert and capable. The only law she would ever break is the one against marijuana."

To my way of thinking, your description of this person who functions quite well is somewhat similar to what one could say about certain people using alcohol. On the other hand, we all probably know people that lose any connection when using either substance. I remind myself of situations that I observed back in the mid to late 60's in college. I observed dynamic and brilliant students who jumped on the marijuana bandwagon (and nothing else) who became very apathetic losing all drive and initiative resulting in them becoming dropouts not only from college but also society. So I have to conclude that abuse is abuse no matter the drug of choice.

As to cartel bosses getting into alternative businesses, it might be naive to think that they will use accepted standard business practices. A look at some of the business ventures of US mob bosses (waste management and unions are two that come to mind) reveals that they carried on with much of the same methodology to assert their control and power.

Just a few simplistic thoughts!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jrpierce


Jun 7, 2011, 6:44 PM

Post #68 of 75 (7234 views)

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

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Neil, we are very close together. Either pot or alcohol can be abused. But why is one legal and one isn't? Makes no sense to me, and the status quo leads to social and financial costs to the US and Mexico that are unacceptable.

Of course the cartels will try to gain advantage by operating legal businesses with some of their old tactics--exactly like the US mob. I fully expect that. But what are we to do? These guys are corrupt and clever and they are going to do something. Reducing their drug business doesn't mean utopia--let's not fire all the police, judges and prosecutors just yet!

Jim


Reefhound


Jun 7, 2011, 8:23 PM

Post #69 of 75 (7208 views)

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

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Why is one legal and one isn't? Because they evolved at different times. Inertia is a beotch. It's hard to legalize something that is banned and hard to ban something that is legal. I believe that if Prohibition hadn't ended the alcohol ban when it did, if alcohol were banned today, attempts to get it legalized would also be futile.

As for cartel activities, why is it just accepted as gospel that if drugs were legalized and regulated that the cartels would conform to the regulations or that it would not be very profitable? Cartels are deeply involved with software/dvd piracy and that is big business even though software/dvds are perfectly legal to produce and sell/buy, if done by the rules. A criminal enterprise that doesn't play by the rules or pay taxes will be able to undercut a legitimate business all day long, even on legal products.


jrpierce


Jun 7, 2011, 8:58 PM

Post #70 of 75 (7197 views)

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

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I agree with both your points, Reefhound. Your first just underscores why I think pot should be legalized. Your second point is a great example of what is already happening. However, I believe the drug business is FAR more profitable than their other enterprises. Cutting off their funds in a major way reduces their payrolls, their ability to bribe officials, and their insulation from prosecution. Of course they will not go away over night, but in time it may shift the balance. The US mob has withered over the years, after all.

Jim


salto_jorge

Jun 16, 2011, 2:30 PM

Post #71 of 75 (7084 views)

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

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Read: Mexico, Narco-Violence and a Failed State? by George W. Grayson , fourth Printing 2011, copyright 2010, isbn:978-1-4128-1151-4

I have read this book cover to cover, The book provides a good historical perspective on the "WAR" and when it actually started, it has been going on for years.


-----------------------------------

I have not read this one yet.
another book is: Narcos Over the Border: Gangs, Cartels and Mercenaries, November 12, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-0415560726 , Robert J. Bunker .


(This post was edited by salto_jorge on Jun 16, 2011, 2:43 PM)


jrpierce


Jun 17, 2011, 3:05 PM

Post #72 of 75 (7027 views)

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

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In an Op-Ed in the NY Times today, former President of the US, Jimmy Carter, opined the USA should follow the recommendations of the United Nations, recognize the drug war is an abject failure, and decriminalize much of the use of currently illegal drugs.

See: http://www.nytimes.com/...ter.html?_r=1&hp

Jim


chinagringo


Jun 19, 2011, 10:34 AM

Post #73 of 75 (6968 views)

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

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Another NYT piece on this topic:

http://www.nytimes.com/...nion/19longmire.html
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



chinagringo


Jun 22, 2011, 4:07 PM

Post #74 of 75 (6856 views)

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

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Bit of an OOPS with respect to the new "Bitcoin Currency":

http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/...s-hacked-and-heisted
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



MichaelD


Jun 26, 2011, 11:02 AM

Post #75 of 75 (6739 views)

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

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The War on Drugs, the "Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970," began during the Nixon administration. Nixon was the first to use the phrase "War on Drugs."

Reagan didn't do any of it.
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