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richmx2


Jun 4, 2011, 11:59 AM

Post #26 of 75 (5363 views)

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

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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.

Altahabana and I usually disagree about most things, but not on this. The question is whether truck highjackings, bank robberies, embezzlements, loan sharking, human trafficking, oil theft, payroll holdups and the like are "better" than wiping out an enterprise which provides employment for somewhere up to 400,000 people (mostly in non-violent activities like transport and agriculture) and — if it wasn't for this administration's fixation on a "heavy hand" solution — would have only a minimal effect on Mexican public health and labor conditions.


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joaquinx


Jun 4, 2011, 1:00 PM

Post #27 of 75 (5347 views)

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

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. . .truck highjackings, bank robberies, embezzlements, loan sharking, human trafficking, oil theft, payroll holdups and the like are "better" than wiping out an enterprise which provides employment for somewhere up to 400,000 people (mostly in non-violent activities like transport and agriculture) . . . .


For my better understanding, clear up a few points. Since the cartels have expanded their web of crime to other activities, we should continue the current path in hopes that we will not cause unemployment to a bunch of truck drivers and farmers? Or should we halt actions and keep these people employed? Or should be legalize the drugs and hope the drivers and farmers can find other employment? What do you suggest our next step to be?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


Bennie García

Jun 4, 2011, 1:15 PM

Post #28 of 75 (5338 views)

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

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For my better understanding, clear up a few points. Since the cartels have expanded their web of crime to other activities, we should continue the current path in hopes that we will not cause unemployment to a bunch of truck drivers and farmers? Or should we halt actions and keep these people employed? Or should be legalize the drugs and hope the drivers and farmers can find other employment? What do you suggest our next step to be?


Legal or illegal, the stuff has to be cultivated and transported. Can't see much logic in that argument.

As far as other crimes being committed by criminal organizations, that was here before the drug problem was out of hand. It may have become magnified due to the great influx of money the cartels have to fund their operations but to suggest we continue this ridiculous and unwinnable "war on drugs" because these other problems exists makes no sense to me. They could all probably be lumped together and not equal 10% of the income now being derived from illegal drug sales.

They'll have a hard time finding enough kidnap victims capable of paying hefty ransoms to come anywhere close to what they earn now.Take the criminality out of drugs and you immediately reduce the crime rate while freeing resources to fight true crimes. Or maybe one of the naysayers can show me the error in that statement.


mazbook1


Jun 4, 2011, 1:42 PM

Post #29 of 75 (5331 views)

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

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Even though Bennie has subjected me to some pretty nasty personal attacks, I certainly agree with him on this.


jrpierce


Jun 4, 2011, 2:19 PM

Post #30 of 75 (5324 views)

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

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Bennie, I agree with your points.

Anyone who has studied the history of La Cosa Nostra in the USA knows that the Mexican cartels are following in their footsteps. When the enormous profits from Prohibition ended, the mob moved into all these activities in an effort to continue making money. But of course they were not nearly as profitable as bootleg liquor, and so the power and influence of the mob began to wane.

The same history will show that the leaders of the Mafia in the US tried to keep their boys out of drugs, and there were gang wars with those who ignored that rule. Of course, they finally did move that way. However, greatly weakened, and with much better law enforcememt capabilities, especially including the passage of the RICO laws, they are today a shadow of their former selves.

I wish the same fate to the narcotrafficantes in Mexico!

Jim


joaquinx


Jun 4, 2011, 2:23 PM

Post #31 of 75 (5321 views)

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

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There was a time when organized crime controlled the lotteries. They paid off promptly and attracted many customers. When that state heard of this they first labeled it a crime and prosecuted those who ran them until they realized that they could run it themselves and make money.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


richmx2


Jun 4, 2011, 2:39 PM

Post #32 of 75 (5314 views)

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

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In a perfect world, I'd like to see the Mexican government run the narcotics industry like the oil industry... PotMex -- with decent union benefits and health care for the workers, and plenty of profits for the management to skim off (no reason to waste the experience of the existing managers in that trade).

But this is not a perfect world... and I don't have any answers, but I question the simplistic assumption that the narcotics trade is the cause of economic and social problems here, and not a symptom of them. I'm perhaps in a minority in this forum, but I think the "war on drug (dealers... some of them anyway) has more to do with bolstering the legitimacy of the incumbent administration (both Mexican and U.S.) and avoiding any serious social change, and much less to do with any concern for justice or security.


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jrpierce


Jun 5, 2011, 8:02 AM

Post #33 of 75 (5234 views)

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

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Quote
There was a time when organized crime controlled the lotteries. They paid off promptly and attracted many customers.


The same was true when the mob ran Las Vegas. The mob dealt better with addicted gamblers who ran up debts to the casinos they couldn't repay. They were warned, scared, their debts often forgiven, and they were told not to return. The wise guys didn't want the bad publicity associated with people bankrupting themselves in their casinos. Today's corporate owners are more likely to proceed against deadbeats in court, possibly taking their assets to cover their markers.


I'm not in favor of mob control of anything, but the mafiosi were often clever business people, as are some of the drug lords. So naturally if their main source of income is taken away, they will seek other ways to make money. If those are less profitable, as they will be, of course their power will wane, and they will be less able to bribe officials and politicians. In time, I think that will resolve the situation.

Jim



Reefhound


Jun 5, 2011, 10:15 AM

Post #34 of 75 (5217 views)

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Re: [Sculptari] "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."

So much for flying under the radar...

U.S. senators target website selling heroin, coke and meth

Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, both Democrats, said they asked the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration to shut down and investigate the website, often referred to as the Silk Road after an ancient Asian trade route.


(And you can't even blame the Tea Party)


(This post was edited by Reefhound on Jun 5, 2011, 10:16 AM)


Sculptari

Jun 5, 2011, 3:16 PM

Post #35 of 75 (5171 views)

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

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Those Senators should me more worried about the bitcoins. The underground economy in the U.S. alone, is estimated to be $1 trillion per year. This is not all illegal activity, but also unreported income and barters. Now imagine if this economy develops its own currency, and then that currency expands world wide. No country or agency could contain it, or track it. A disaster from a security point of view, right now there is always the option to introduce a new U.S. currency - to exchange it, just bring your old bills, and account where they came from - in one year, old bills are useless without an appeal process.

A lot of U.S. economists are already worried that if the U.S. dollar should lose it status as the 'world' currency - then it will start freefalling at a record rate, to where it should be in the normal way currencies are appraised.

Many people are expecting Homeland Security to declare bitcoins as a terrorist threat.
Here's another article along those lines

http://launch.is/blog/l019-bitcoin-p2p-currency-the-most-dangerous-project-weve-ev.html




Code

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Reefhound


Jun 5, 2011, 6:09 PM

Post #36 of 75 (5148 views)

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

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I wouldn't be so quick to declare these bitcoins untrackable or unstoppable. It all starts with a currency transaction of some type where the buyers buy them, and ultimately ends in a currency transaction where sellers redeem them. There has to be authentication and tracking already on some level. How else do the brokers keep track of how many bitcoins anyone has?

They could simply be banned, or strictly regulated where the feds require the exchange houses to document account holders and report transactions. No different than any other form of banking. Relocating offshore would be a short term solution for the brokers until the governments turned the screws on host countries or established treaties or simply blocked their sites.


cookj5

Jun 5, 2011, 7:35 PM

Post #37 of 75 (5129 views)

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

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Reefhound, I am not surprised that 50% of rehab is court ordered. The problem is, how is someone going to afford it on their own? Drug rehab is very expensive. Costs can begin at $300+/day. Millions of people are without health insurance coverage for this, and someone who is an addict is more likely than not without such insurance. Government funding for such programs is being cut right and left. If you do manage to qualify, there are typically long waiting lists.

This is the result of devoting the overwhelming amount of money used to deal with the drug problem to enforcement rather than education and rehab. Drug abuse is essentially a public health problem, not a criminal problem, but it has been criminalized by moralists and those cynical politicians who play to the moralists to get elected, or are afraid of the moralists and so therefore vote for enforcement money to avoid being labeled "soft on crime."

If the drugs were legalized, then they could be regulated, taxed, and the resulting resources used to pay for expanding rehab services to deal with the huge backlog. Of course, such a plan of action would fall afoul not only of the moralistic zealots, but the law enforcement lobbies, private prison corporations, prison construction industry, and all those whose ox would be gored by discontinuing the foolish and wasteful approach we now have. In a lot of ways, this is quite similar to our difficulty in slaughtering the sacred cows so beloved of the defense industry.

And, of course, Mexico suffers the consequences of these policies. The most significant thing the US War on Drugs has produced are the Mexican drug cartels.


richmx2


Jun 5, 2011, 9:34 PM

Post #38 of 75 (5104 views)

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Re: [cookj5] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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Of course, the private prison industry would just re-invent itself as the private rehab industry.


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Reefhound


Jun 6, 2011, 7:36 AM

Post #39 of 75 (5075 views)

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Re: [cookj5] "The war on drugs has failed..."

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First, it's not a health problem it's a behavioral problem. Drug addiction isn't something that "just happens" to you out of the blue through no fault of your own, like most diseases. And if we are to provide free/cheap rehab to poor uninsured addicts then it seems we need to provide free total health care as well. Where's the fairness in saying we will cover rehab to a person who becomes a heroin addict as a result of their choices but not to a kid who has leukemia?

I'd like to see some smaller scale examples that full legalization (which can mean so many different things) actually works before implementing it in the world's largest economy. And don't say Netherlands because they did NOT legalize the wholesale production and distribution only decriminalized it for personal use in some situations.


Bennie García

Jun 6, 2011, 7:57 AM

Post #40 of 75 (5065 views)

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

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First, it's not a health problem it's a behavioral problem. Drug addiction isn't something that "just happens" to you out of the blue through no fault of your own, like most diseases. .


Like heart disease or lung or throat/oral cancer that smokers get?

Or perhaps cirrhosis from alcohol consumption?

Heart attacks from eating too much junk food? Ban McDonalds, don't you agree?


Reefhound


Jun 6, 2011, 9:18 AM

Post #41 of 75 (5034 views)

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

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Fair point although there is a short and consistent path from heroin use to heroin addiction. Plenty of smokers don't get lung cancer. Plenty of drinkers don't get liver disease. Plenty of people eat fast food and don't get clogged arteries. And when they do, it usually takes many many years.

Also, lots of people who don't smoke get lung cancer. Lots of people who eat well have heart attacks. I'll bet not many people who don't use heroin get struck with a heroin addiction.


(This post was edited by Reefhound on Jun 6, 2011, 9:28 AM)


chinagringo


Jun 6, 2011, 9:27 AM

Post #42 of 75 (5035 views)

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

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I have to wonder just how many of the members of this forum and others that are sounding "the trumpets" for a total legalization of all drugs have had direct experience with the current batch of drugs being used in the marketplace? Given the age bracket of many such members, I would suspect that some may have prior or current experience with marijuana, LSD and possibly coke but how about heroin, opium, and meth? The most commonly used comparison is what happened during the Prohibition Era of alcohol but to my way of thinking, one is comparing apples to oranges when using this analogy. Certainly marijuana has had many of the criminal aspects removed and the medical marijuana laws passed in many States have expanded the opportunities to use.

I question just how many of the proponents have had a direct family member, a close friend or have personally experienced direct contact with addicts who made the choice to go down that road? I remember a personal experience that I had as a youngster when I physically saw opium dens in Hong Kong. Those visuals stuck with me my entire life and probably did more to kill any curiosity I might have had about experimenting than anything I read or was told. I currently have a personal friend who did make the choice to use meth and is now living the straight life but he paid for his decision not only with five years in a Federal Pen but also lost an arm to meth use.

I guess that I have trouble when the broad paintbrush (of all drugs) is used without any definition. Say today's drugs are legalized - what do we then do with the latest designer drug that comes along?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



DavidHF

Jun 6, 2011, 9:34 AM

Post #43 of 75 (5028 views)

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

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IMHO there are two reasonable choices; legalize everything for users and institute the death penalty for trafficers, or follow Singapore and use the death penalty for possession and trafficing. Singapore does not have a drug problem.


Bennie García

Jun 6, 2011, 10:25 AM

Post #44 of 75 (5016 views)

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

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Fair point although there is a short and consistent path from heroin use to heroin addiction. Plenty of smokers don't get lung cancer. Plenty of drinkers don't get liver disease. Plenty of people eat fast food and don't get clogged arteries. And when they do, it usually takes many many years.

Also, lots of people who don't smoke get lung cancer. Lots of people who eat well have heart attacks. I'll bet not many people who don't use heroin get struck with a heroin addiction.


How many alcoholics are there vs heroin addicts?

How many smokers with health problems due to their addiction are there vs heroin addicts?

What is the cost of smokers' and drinkers' health problems vs that of rehabbing junkies?

Conservatives like yourself are strange people. You want the government to leave you alone, especially when it comes to fiscal issues or owning guns etc but think nothing of the government legislating prohibition on morality issues.

Must be a bitch to live in constant fear.


Reefhound


Jun 6, 2011, 10:54 AM

Post #45 of 75 (5003 views)

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

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Well gee, I was just starting to think that for once you were going to make your points without getting into a personal attack.


Sculptari

Jun 6, 2011, 11:25 AM

Post #46 of 75 (4995 views)

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

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Here's an innovation. To win this war you have to control the money. Take out the profit motive and you are left with a fairly small percentage of the population who want to experiment or escape with recreational drugs.

The U.S. currency has not been backed with gold for many years. The U.S. government has dabbled in currency control before- most famously by banning the 'confederate' dollar, and then Nixon made some changes to currency to disadvantage organized crime. If the bitcoin technology could be exploited to produce a state sponsored 'digital U.S. dollar' - think of the potential windfall. All paper currency would have to be converted to digital dollars, and the I.R.S., Homeland Security, etc, would closely monitor the process. A new paper currency would be issued against the digital dollar for those who must have cash. This is technically very possible. Many states now pay out social benefits onto prepaid debit cards for example -digital dollars.

All those drug lords and war lords, with their now useless piles of U.S. cash - now that would be true social justice! I know some might say they will buy diamonds, gold, or real estate - but they are already doing this, and they simply have billions more cash than can be safely laundered. This scenario is the bad guys biggest fear, because this is exactly what they would do if they were running the show!
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Bennie García

Jun 6, 2011, 12:32 PM

Post #47 of 75 (4975 views)

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

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I find your opinions odd. There was no personal attack. You need a thicker skin if you want to post such strong opinions. Especially when they make little sense.


(This post was edited by Bennie García on Jun 6, 2011, 12:34 PM)


chinagringo


Jun 6, 2011, 12:42 PM

Post #48 of 75 (4967 views)

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Re: [Sculptari] "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.

Do you forget that the US $ is the so-called "world currency"? That means that those same $$'s are not just in the hands of the drug lords but also in private citizens hands all over the world (including Canada) and also in legitimate businesses and governments hands. The fact that the "bitcoin"happens to be being used for one select shady business does not a world currency make!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



richmx2


Jun 6, 2011, 1:09 PM

Post #49 of 75 (4962 views)

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

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Chinagringo: Hong Kong is an interesting counter-argument, but it's opium dens are the result of the opposite situation of that in Mexico. HK was acquired (stolen is a better word) from the Chinese Empire by the superpower of the time — Great Britain — specifically to act as a port of entry for their own narcotics traders and suppliers.

When the powers control the trade it's somehow "legal" if not moral (John Stuart Mill, who wrote a lot of the moral defenses of "free trade capitalism" saw the Opium Wars as justified and a step towards liberty), but not when poor countries are in control. I always consider it instructive that when international conventions to restrict opium production were drawn up (once the powers had substitute chemical products), exceptions were made for Tasmania and India, both former suppliers to the British capitalists that ran the 19th century trade.

Now, it is the superpower with the users, and the less powerful nations that are the suppliers and transporters. I queston whether legalization in the U.S. isn't dependent on U.S. control of the chain of production, and — if so — whether it is in the best interests of the Mexico, Peru, Colombia, etc. There's times I think we should just declare a separate peace and stop killing our own, and let the user countries deal with it as they see fit.

Reef, etal: Whether or not addiction is a more serious public health problem than leukemia is for your problem, but public health is public health. That the U.S. is the only serious country in the world without national health care is ridiculous, but it would appear that narcotics addiction has more impact on society as a whole than leukemia, and probably needs more funding (which it receives an inordinate amount of now, via prisons, police, etc.).

Bitcurrency? Please... they're just cyber IOUs, and their value depends on the faith of the user (and the value of the currency with which they're bought) and hardly relevant to this discussion.


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Reefhound


Jun 6, 2011, 1:38 PM

Post #50 of 75 (4957 views)

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

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Strong opinions? I think you're making assumptions as to what you think my opinions on this must be based on my opinions on other issues. I don't think I ever stated an absolute opposition to some form of legalization or decriminalization. I certainly haven't called for a Singapore solution. I simply raised some issues - defining how far legalization goes and wanting to see that it works elsewhere before implementing it on a grand scale.
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