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So Much for the War on Drugs

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Posted on Jul 1, 2008

Despite spending countless billions and passing draconian laws, the United States is anything but a drug-free zone. The percentages of those in the U.S. who have tried marijuana or cocaine are greater than the percentages of any other country surveyed, according to a new study. The Netherlands, which has notoriously lax drug policies, had less than half the percentage of marijuana users and an even lower level of cocaine dabblers relative to the U.S.

AFP via Google:

The study, released Monday, revealed that 16.2 percent of Americans had tried cocaine at least once, and 42.4 percent had used marijuana.

[...] Drug use “does not appear to be simply related to drug policy,” the researchers wrote, “since countries with more stringent policies toward illegal drug use did not have lower levels of such drug use than countries with more liberal policies.”

In the Netherlands, where drug policy is more liberal than the United States, 1.9 percent of survey participants said they had used cocaine and 19.8 percent marijuana.

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By ianmcnam35, March 10, 2011 at 3:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have to agree I used to worry about everything and the worlds problems then I started to smoke weed and I don’t have a care in the world. I grow my own and I don’t bother anyone

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, July 3, 2008 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Once I used to mope around worrying about my problems and the world’s problems. There just didn’t seem to be any answers. Then I discovered weed in college.  Now I just laugh at trouble! I get higher and higher! From out in orbit I look down on this planet and its troubles with equanimity. After over 40 years of uninterruped stonality, my health is good and my disposition unfailingly cheerful.

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By heide, July 2, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

you know why the white mans calls cannabis a weed?? cause no matter what he has done she cannot be killed off
not fire not chemicals,, not anything the hypocrits have done has destroyed her
& nothing ever will..
she adapts & grows stronger
a plant blessed by the very god our government officials say they serve can never be wiped out
cannabis/hemp green seed yielding herbs,,blessed & called good,, given to humans from the god
our leaders those who are there to serve the people have lied ,,destroyed families,,ruined nations
hypocrits & blasphemers,they be.
cannabis is one of the best medicines in the world,, a healing herb,, used since the dawn of humanity
hemp can be used for over 20,000 different products including food & fuel
can grow in all sorts of soil from the wettest to the driest at almost every altitude
big pharma& big oil fear this
the pesticide companies fear the use of hemp as well
they wouldnt be able to sell as much,, hemp needs none to grow strong
hemp also needs no fertilizer
growing hemp would help heal the earth
cannabis should be growing in peoples gardens just like any other herb
hemp in the fields
its time for the people to stand up for their rights,,and for the earth
lies for decades have got to end
heal the earth& the human
all things hemp must be legalized NOW
karma demands balance
if we were truly free in the usa
cannabis& hemp would never have been criminalized in the first place

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By Adlan, July 2, 2008 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment

Re your comment, yeah, I’m with you with that, when I said grown by organised controlled companies, I ment as the same with tobbaco is now. You can grow your own if you wish, and pay no tax on it, but (in the UK atleast), I know almost no-one who does this, because it’s easier for them to buy it in the shop, and they pay a special duty on it.

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By webbedouin, July 2, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Yeah the Drug War is a roaring success, for funding US/CIA Black Operations…

Air America in Viet Nam.

Drugs for money to buy weapons during the Reagun administrations War on the Sandinistas.  (another roaring success, look who is president of Nicaragua now)

Taliban had stopped opium production, Afghanistan under the US, Opium is #1.
Still think we went there for the pipeline?  Hell no, we went for the pipe.

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By samosamo, July 2, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment


It should be out and out legal, people can grow it for themselves, I mean people grow gardens and this is part of that curious trait of wanting to cultivate plants and animals as a pleasure for just doing that with the benefits of comsuming their harvest.
But our wise and wonderous leaders ever on the track to dictate what they say is good or bad for people are doing anything and everything to destroy the basic instinct of any species to do what they are born to do, be it sex, striving for some sort of intoxication or just plain trying to live in a world that is at the edge of insanity. Sort of creates the perpetual machine of the never ending job for lawyers to do their thing. But keeping it illegal only exacerbates the harm that people dealing the stuff will create. If it were legal there would be actual control over supply and consumption.
I would definitely say that this is a very mixed up and phsycotic world. We try to keep people from enjoying some of natures treats and lock up em up for doing so but how readily do we let people get a doctor to put them on a program of drug consumption that is just a way of covering up an uncomfortable feeling.

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By Adlan, July 2, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Even if, even if it were as bad for you as the goverments say, even if it were:

It’d be better to have it legal. Better to have the weed grown by organised controlled companies, so pot smokers can know what they are buying, and pay tax on it. Better to have the Coke Grown Legally, and the Heroin as well. Might even help with the ‘war on terror’. Know why? The Warlords and Millitias of the world are funded in part by drug money, and they often force local farmers to grow opium or cocaine for them (other time’s it just makes good sense economically for the farmers, and I can’t say I blame them).

Hell, why not just buy it from the farmers direct, cut the bottom out from under the illegal market.  Then the Goverment can ship it home, and sell it to the junkies on what they get from their welfare. Sounds like a perfect socialist plan (not that I like it much, but it’d be better than what we got now).

Prohibition don’t work, as America proved in the 1920’s.

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By Chris Herz, July 2, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Actually the drug war is an howling success.  In our own country it serves to destabilize a minority of inconveniently liberal political persuasion.  Abroad it is a handy excuse for subversive interventions in the affairs of other nations. 

We could hardly have defeated the civil rights movement of the ‘60’s, limiting its gains to mere voting rights, or been able to maintain imperial control over Central and South American resources without it.

And of course, repatriating the dollars earned to our banks is icing on the cake.  So is the benefit to our number one growth industry:  Prisons.

Chris Herz

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By webbedouin, July 2, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

War on Drugs
War on Cancer
War on Terror
War on Poverty

All Frauds.

Nobody ever died using marijuana.  Hemp is the most useful plant on the planet.  It could make biofuels and plastic.  The Constitution is written on Hemp paper. 

When a 1974 University of Virginia federally funded study was showing hemp to be effective against cancer, funding was withdrawn.  You do not have to look far for more studies affirming this -

In addition, its the best damn pain killer available, be the pain emotional, mental, physical or spirtual.

Hemp - Too good to be legal.

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By Jim Yell, July 2, 2008 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Legalize recreational drugs, but recognize that being high, or intoxicated whether it is alcohol or drugs will not excuse or lighten punishment for crimes against people.

If you are a passive user who sits out of the way stoned, than unless you are trespassing no one need be interested, but if you get in a car and drive, run over someone while high, such will get you the full punishment that the law allows. It is this that will control, not arresting someone who is doing nothing but having a private drunk or high time. Save hundreds of millions of tax dollars too.

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By Paolo, July 2, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

As a libertarian, I say legalize hemp immediately. I say “hemp” because that is the more proper term for this very useful plant. “Marijuana” became the popular term because Hearst Newspapers, back in the 1930’s, thought it a much scarier name, evoking images of swarthy, Spanish speaking people just itching to have sex with innocent white women. The “War on Drugs” has had a huge streak of racism in it since its beginnings.

Interestingly, widespread cultivation of hemp for oil, fiber, and fabric would almost undoubtedly lower the potency of hemp grown for recreational use, because it would be much more difficult to cultivate the high-THC female plants without them becoming pollinated (see “sinsamilla” for more information).

I’ve never tried the stuff before; I think that definitely puts me in the minority of Americans.

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By samosamo, July 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

Think I’ll have another drink so I can sit and think about the girl who ran away leaving me here on my payday.
d.hicks and his hot licks.

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By samosamo, July 1, 2008 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

Smoke pot, you will feel good. Smoke too much and you will become lathargic and less motivated, but it is as good an aphrodisiac as can be found and you are NOT stoned as long as you are drunk. The number of uses of the cannibis planet is staggering compared to most any other one plant.
Drink alcohol snort coke meth smoke crack shoot heroin and you really do take the road to hell where all the people using prescription drugs will welcome you there. Bad things just happen on these big boys.
But to paraphrase the alcohol industry: use in moderation and have fun.

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By Cecil Green, July 1, 2008 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

funny how we all know the war on drugs is a dastardly sham and yet it still exists.

some 80% of non-violent offenders serving time are in for marijuana charges. we’re taxed to pay room and board for these people who’ve done nothing but use or sell a plant that’s been cultivated by humans for over 10,000 years.

and hemp gives 10 times the yield of biofuels compared to corn, yet our politicians continue to mention corn as an alternative energy source.

george washington grew it (to smoke.) there was a time when farmers were required by law to use some of their land to grow it (for hemp.)

google “most useful plant” or “thc shrinks cancer cells”. amazing, huh?

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By Reubenesque, July 1, 2008 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The inequalities thet exist in work-place drug testing need to be addressed.  Evidence of cannabis use can exist in a testee’s urine for up to a month while evidence of so-called “hard drugs” such as cocain, heroin and meth are gone from urine in three or four days.  Why can’t we have testing for THC instead of testing for its inert analogues or degraded components.

Many workplaces now practice “no tolerance” meaning immediate dismissal for evidence of past drug use.

Mental and physical dexterity tests should accompany urine testing if one is to be deemed “impaired” instead of merely judging from bodily fluid evidence alone.  Actual impairment levels for drugs should be the guideline rather than trace evidence.

I have never heard of anyone stealing (other than kids from their gardian’s pocketbook) just to buy a little pot.

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By G.Anderson, July 1, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Isn’t Cannabis the number one cash crop in California and many other states?

Couldn’t California use some of that now, to help it’s self out of the budget jam were in?

Why not issue licenses to smoke cannabis, to Californian’s for responsible use?

Just like we do now for driver’s licneses, it could be a great new source of tax revenue for the state.

But of course only the Republican’s and Pharmacy companies stand in the way.

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By independent, July 1, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

And its absurd how many people are locked up for it too, considering how widespread use and availability are.  Literally: tens of billions of dollars spent to keep people out of the economy.  I’d hate to see how many prisons we’d need to round up all the “bad guys”

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By redhound, July 1, 2008 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

Who benefits from the war on drugs?
1.Law enforcement demanding bigger budgets that produce dismal results. Bribes for ? percent of government agents on the tax free dole of the high end dealers.

2.Politicians that run on the law and order theme.

3. Big Pharma that wants to hook the user on their script pills and all the rehab clinics that push their legal drugs.

Who loses in the war on drugs?

1. The addict who goes to jail and loses freedom and fortune instead of receiving treatment

2. The casual or recreational user suffers the same fate many times as the addicted user.

3.Law enforcement resources are wasted on this drug war.

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