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Drugs, Guns and Reality

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Posted on Mar 26, 2009

By Eugene Robinson

    It’s an indictment of our fact-averse political culture that a statement of the blindingly obvious could sound so revolutionary. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on her plane Wednesday as she flew to Mexico for an official visit. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border ... causes the deaths of police, of soldiers and civilians.”

    Amazingly, U.S. officials have avoided facing these facts for decades. This is not just an intellectual blind spot but a moral failure, one that has had horrific consequences for Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and other Latin American and Caribbean nations. Clinton deserves high praise for acknowledging that the United States bears “shared responsibility” for the drug-fueled violence sweeping Mexico, which has claimed more than 7,000 lives since the beginning of 2008. But that means we will also share responsibility for the next 7,000 killings as well.

    Our long-running “war on drugs,” focusing on the supply side of the equation, has been an utter disaster. Domestically, we’ve locked up hundreds of thousands of street-level dealers, some of whom genuinely deserve to be in prison and some of whom don’t. It made no difference. According to a 2007 University of Michigan study, 84 percent of high school seniors nationwide said they could obtain marijuana “fairly easily” or “very easily.” The figure for amphetamines was 50 percent; for cocaine, 47 percent; for heroin, 30 percent.

    At the same time, we’ve persisted in a Sisyphean attempt to cut off the drug supply at or near the source. When I was The Washington Post’s correspondent in South America, I once took a nerve-racking helicopter ride to visit a U.S.-funded military base in the Upper Huallaga Valley of Peru. It was the place where most of the country’s coca—the plant from which cocaine is processed—was being grown, and the valley was crawling with Maoist guerrillas who funded their insurgency with money they extorted from the coca growers and traffickers. Eventually, the coca business was eliminated in the Upper Huallaga. But now it’s flourishing in other parts of Peru, and last year authorities there seized a record 30 tons of cocaine—meaning, by rule of thumb, that at least 10 times that much was probably produced and shipped.

    In Colombia, I saw how the huge, brutally violent Medellin and Cali cocaine cartels threatened to turn the country into the world’s first “narco-state.” The Colombian government, again with U.S. assistance, managed to pulverize these sprawling criminal organizations into smaller units, but the business continues to thrive—and to provide most of the cocaine that finds its way to the American market. Last year, Colombian authorities seized 119 tons of cocaine. Money from the drug trade sustains the longest-running leftist insurgency in the hemisphere. Ever inventive, the Colombian traffickers have gone so far as to build their own miniature submarines to smuggle illicit cargo into the United States.

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    And now Mexico has become the focal point of the drug trade, with its cartels blasting their way to dominance in the business of bringing marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs to the American market. Violence among drug gangs, not just along the border but throughout the country, has reached crisis levels. The government’s strategy is to break up the big cartels, as the Colombians did. But even if authorities succeed, the industry will live on.

    In the case of Mexico, there’s a complicating factor: This is a two-way problem. While drugs are being moved north across the border, powerful assault weapons—purchased in the United States—are being moved south to arm the cartels’ foot soldiers. Clinton’s statement about “shared responsibility” recognizes that if we expect Mexico to do something about the flow of drugs, we’re obliged to do something about the counterflow of guns.

    First, though, let’s be honest with ourselves. This whole disruptive, destabilizing enterprise has one purpose, which is to supply the U.S. market with illegal drugs. As long as the demand exists, entrepreneurs will find a way to meet it. The obvious demand-side solution—legalization—would do more harm than good with some drugs, but maybe not with others. We need to examine all options. It’s time to put everything on the table, because all we’ve accomplished so far is to bring the terrible violence of the drug trade ever closer to home.   

    Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.   

    © 2009, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Folktruther, April 1, 2009 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie- tobacco and alcahol are more addictive than opium?  Just asking, not arguing.  You can work while an opium or heroin addict, even life addicts like Bela Legosi.  Some addicts worked for me on one job; they didn’t do badly but lied about everything.

I actually never thought about where the Chinese got the money. I just assumed that the British flooded China with it.  But, come to think of it, they grew the stuff in India.  How could they get it into China in the middle of a war?  The number sticks in my mind because of its horrific implications, but I can’t remember the book or author. 

I take it that you doubt the figure.  But Trotsky in his wonderful book on the Russian revolution stated that the revolutionists had a horrible problem because of the enormous drunkenous of the population.  /and the country was still at war.

If I run across any support or scepticism I’ll let you know.

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By richard roe, March 31, 2009 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Question: What’s the difference between drug lords in Mexico fighting for control and U.S. troops in Afghanistan fighting for control?

Answer: Poppies are more profitable than pot and the fighting is funded by tax dollars.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, March 31, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Correction—

The more recent Cele Castillo interview where he discusses the Mexico situation is here (long file, near the end).

The first mp3 link (below) discusses Iran Contra what happened on the ground “being run by the white house”, from the office of George H.W. Bush.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, March 31, 2009 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

No discussion of CIA and DEA in bed with the drug traffickers?

Hey Robert Scheer, when will your site acknowledge these high crimes at all?

AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE: CIA AND THE INTERNATIONAL DRUG TRADE
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CE1A9073F24BB00D

How about a piece on the ongoing government persecution of former DEA Agent Celerino “Cele” Castillo?

“Cele Castillo served for 12 years in the Drug Enforcement Administration where he built cases against organized drug rings in Manhattan, raided jungle cocaine labs in the amazon, conducted aerial eradication operations in Guatemala, and assembled and trained anti-narcotics units in several countries.

The eerie climax of agent Castillo’s career with the DEA took place in El Salvador. One day, he received a cable from a fellow agent. He was told to investigate possible drug smuggling by Nicaraguan Contras operating from the Ilopango Air Force Base.

Castillo quickly discovered that the Contra pilots were, indeed, smuggling narcotics back into the United States - using the same pilots, planes and hangers that the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, under the direction of Lt. Col. Oliver North, used to maintain their covert supply operation to the Contras.”

Cele Castillo recent interview discussing Mexico and military issued grenade launchers on the weapons of Mexican drug gangs.

Daniel Hopsicker investigates “fleets” of private jets connected to CIA, used in the drug trade (in Mexico and elsewhere):
http://www.madcowprod.com/archive.html

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By Louise, March 31, 2009 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage,

“End the drug war and you end the drug “problem”.”
~~~

Well duh ... at the beginning of all this we both agreed on that! You’re just pissed off because I said, “Clinton deserves high praise.”

Or maybe you’re just crabby. Crabby people tend to take issue with all sides. Even their own! smile

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By Anarcissie, March 31, 2009 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Old Ed Of The Delta:
‘We need more people of the same ilk as Jack Bauer on Fox “24” to start going over in to Mexico….’

I’d say we need a better class of satire.

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By Dave Schwab, March 31, 2009 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

Prohibition is only benefiting organized crime. Tell President Obama that it’s time to legalize and tax marijuana at http://tinyurl.com/LegalizeTaxIt

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, March 30, 2009 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

We need more people of the same ilk as Jack Bauer on Fox “24” to start going over in to Mexico and taking out some of the drug cartel chieftains. Of course we are the “good guys” and follow the protocol as dedicated by our own State Department made of namby pambies out of the Ivy League colleges and universities.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t call you a lyar and I don’t think you are one; I think you are a boob.
**********************************

Actually, you called me a liar twice in one post.

How you can choose to believe the Chinese government’s phony numbers while denying and denouncing numbers put out by your government is, as usual, typical of your hypocrisy.  Next you’ll be saying that Stalin “only” killed 100,000 of his people, rather than the estimates well in excess of 10 million.

You won’t believe anything bad about phony “Marxist” states but will believe ANYTHING bad about your own no matter how outlandish—even when Botch and the Rethugs were NOT in control.

It’s really a sickness—you think you or I could post what we do living in China?  Riiiighhhttttt!!!

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By Anarcissie, March 30, 2009 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:
’... The population of China when the communists came to power was over 500 million.  26% were addicts. ...’

Where did they get the money?  By 1949 China had been through twelve or fifteen years of war and was totally devastated.

Some sources assert that half of China’s population was addicted.  It’s all rather odd.  Tobacco and possibly alcohol are more addictive than opium, and the drugs are legal, but we don’t see half of the American people addicted to either.

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By jackpine savage, March 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

No, Louise, we cannot agree that there’s a problem.  The only problem is treating it as a criminal activity.  That’s it, end of story. 

Sure, drugs are in nice neighborhoods too.  Doctors, lawyers, business people, politicians…everyone likes drugs, especially cannabis. (which no one has ever gotten addicted to or died from)

Quit criminalizing personal behavior and the problem goes away; the prisons can be emptied of the million (or whatever it is) people locked up for simple possession of marijuana…and probably more if you count the trumped up “distribution” charges (often preceded by “intent to”)

End the drug war and you end the drug “problem”.

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By Folktruther, March 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Inheryt:

“Only you [folktruther]would offer an apologist view for the Maoist slaughter of everyone connected with drugs, confirm they did that AND then call me a liar for saying so at the same time.”

I didn’t call you a lyar and I don’t think you are one; I think you are a boob.

The population of China when the communists came to power was over 500 million.  26% were addicts. If the communists slaughtered everyone connected with drugs they would have had to slaughter over a hundred million people.  Even Alyce Rosenbaum, who apparently taught you your marxism, might demur from such an accusation.

Tens of millions died as a result of the Japanese invasion and the civil war.  After the communists gained power they estimated that 600 thousand were killed in asserting control. The American media exaggerates all these statistics absurdly, and as a Zionist who tries to justify the unjustifiable, you repeat them. 

Boob.

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By Louise, March 30, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

jackpine savage,

I think we can agree there is a problem. And that not seeing the problem is part of the problem. So, why cant we agree indifference makes it easy for deals to go down all around, every day, everywhere, and if one cares to look, it’s easy to spot? Not necessary to live in a “bad” neighborhood. In fact sometimes it’s easier in the so-called good ones! I’m not surprised you have “far, far, far more experience than [me] with the underworld of America.” Perhaps that explains your anger.

I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid “experience” with the underworld. Not because of fear, but because the nature of my careers has placed me closer to the other side, the criminal “over-world.” Who by the way are far more dangerous!

Folktruther,

“In LA, close to where I live, the CIA distributed crack through gangs to the African-American community, Gates coming to LA to deny it.  I have personal knowledge of one of the people involved.”
~~~

Glad someone finally mentioned this. There is documentation that drugs were introduced to kids in LA, by the CIA as a precursor to, and a direct cause of the gangs and gang wars that followed, more than five decades ago! There is also a connection to the first Bush.

Going back to that “over” world, it’s difficult to report on their activities because they are oh, so classified.

I know of at least one “lifer” who came out of my high school. Heroin was available there clear back in the late 40’s! And that was in a “better” neighborhood in “middle class” America. Thinking back, the thing that kept most of us from experimenting with heroin was the wish to preserve our civil rights. Back then we had Civics, and learned about truth and consequence. The one “fear” that managed to pull most of us back, was the fear of losing our civil rights!

On the other hand, for a certain segment of society, abuse of civil rights has always been a way of life. Especially from the “overs.” We can easily understand how abused kids can be manipulated and controlled. The Grand Experiment of 1950. “Lets see if we can destroy these kids by teaching them how to destroy themselves.”

Which by the way, is an unspoken reality that drives the “Obama is a Communist” mentality of so many on the “right.” Colored people aren’t supposed to have power. Although those folks who have so much hate and fear driven prejudice, are outraged and offended by the suggestion they are prejudiced, the same mind-control the “overs” have used for so many years to destroy people of color has successfully planted that seed of fear and hate in the minds of the brain-washed.

Would the foolish attack on Obama labeling him Communist been so quick to catch on had he been white? No. In fact the right might have found the label Communist, silly in the extreme. Seeing his color, has led to a regeneration of blind prejudice founded in hate and fear. And a complete blindness to who ran things all those many years that led to our current crisis.

Managing to create a world of drug abuse implying “people of color” are at the center, has fed and still feeds prejudice. Whether or not the facts justify the obvious abuse of them, here or in Mexico, has no importance. The important thing is to keep the money and power flowing. And keep those blacks and illegals down!
http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/jphuck/Book3.html

I suspect in time, we’ll find the so-called Drug Cartel wars on the Mexican border are actually being fed and driven by the criminal “over-world” over here!

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By Folktruther, March 30, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus-  You are quite right that in the 19th and early part of the 20th century that the patent medicines contained large quantitites of alcahol, cocaine and other drugs, often without the person knowing it.  And women particluarly got addicted to their ‘tonics.’


Was this a good thing? Whatever you feel about it, we are now in the age of biotech where new and exotic drugs are being developed that have unknown side effects.  Pot appears to be relatively harmless, but who knows what is available or will be coming out. Do you think these drugs should not be restricted medically?

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By Inherit The Wind, March 30, 2009 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

Folktruther,

Only you would offer an apologist view for the Maoist slaughter of everyone connected with drugs, confirm they did that AND then call me a liar for saying so at the same time.  Just be glad your colon isn’t as twisted as your logic.

Y’oughta read whatcha write BEFORE pressing “Submit”.

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By Paracelsus, March 29, 2009 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

It would be a better world if the addicts, and recreational users could go to the drug store to get laudanum -“Cherry Cordial”, Vin Mariani, real Coca Cola, benzedrine pills/inhalers, and marijuana nostrums/elixirs. First of all the products would have sane, measured amounts of pharmaceutical grade drugs. For a rather nominal sum the user could fulfill his habit cheaply w/o resorting to crime. Secondly, legitimate customers like women with menstrual cramps could relief from cannabis elixirs. The one thing I miss about the 19th century is the freedom of choice the average customer had in getting effective relief from pain, and exhaustion. It was as if people knew they were adults when they went to the drug store. The percentage of addicts back then from strong drugs is the same as it is now, but no policeman or deputy felt free to use a no-knock warrants in 19th century America. There was no need for policemen armed like soldiers. Repeating arms were only used in places like the Philippines at the turn of the century or at Rockefeller controlled mines. There was Idaho as well, and the mines in West Virgina, where autos were used against union men, but to use such heavy equipment against a laudanum fiend or other such hopheads was nuts.

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By rollzone, March 29, 2009 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

hello. i was there during the drug insurgency in our nation in the 1960s. it was fostered by communists: trying to raise money for their homeland; and at the same time cause discourse amongst the populace: to promote anarchy, and rebellion, against the government authority; and disrupt the war in Vietnam. it was promoted in a spirit of brotherly love: consequentially birthing the love movement. it evolved into purely business with the emergence of cocaine in the 1970s. personal liberties and freedoms should not be only for the rich and famous. recreational drugs have been numbing the causative effects of the disparities between the classes; and have prevented far more violence than they have created. without being able to settle down, get a little buzzed, depressurize: the masses would have individually gone beserk a million times more than they have. a person has a right to self medicate: so long as it is private and harms no others. legalization can only help and 90% of Americans agree to this, and the government laughs. we supply guns? we make better guns. they can buy a pallet of chinese guns for 1/10 the cost: but they want American made in the US of A guns. drugs are not the problem. politicians ill equipped to supervise the the free willed spirit of American individuality are the problem. the dichotomy of classes is the problem. excessive taxation is the problem. corruption in government is the problem. the problem is we are driving across country on a vacation and we get stopped because someone is not wearing a seatbelt; and the trooper wants to take all of our possesions out of the vehicle on the side of the road and put everyone in jail because he swears he could smell some marijuana smoke.

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By Folktruther, March 29, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Inheryt- Your assertion that Maoists executed anyone they found on drugs ranks right up there with your repeating Aipac Zionist crap that the whole world is anti-Semitic and other Zionist bullshit.  When the Chinese communists came to power in 1950, 26% of the adult population was addicted to opium.  This was used by the British not only to make money but as means of social control, the way the CIA and US military used it In Vietnam, Afghanistan and Columbia.

They did shoot the chief drug dealers, stopped the trade, and forced the population to go off it cold turkey.  This is a horrible way to get off drugs, and people died from it.  And if people continued on drugs, as a small percentage did, they shot them.  They were at war and the US military was approaching their border in Korea.  It took them until 1960 by these darconian means to wipe out the opium trade.
Unfortunately I can’t remember the book or author that gives the details.

The US, Turkey, Israel and other countries are now involved in the drug-gun trade.  The outing of Plane by the Bushites was part of contining it, she being enplaced in Turkey.  Afghan opium was transported to Turkey on US military planes according to a journalist based on an English language paper in Egypt, Eric Waldburg.

In LA, close to where I live, the CIA distributed crack through gangs to the African-American community, Gates coming to LA to deny it.  I have personal knowledge of one of the people involved.

One of the reasons that the War on Drugs is continued dispite its increasing the drug trade is precisely to create a market for US agencies involvement in it. Which has been documented by Ruppert, a former LA narcotics detective turned radical.

Inheryt, if you and Ayn are going to repeat garbage, your credibility suffers despie your insights.  And despite your arcane spelling and fancy city ways.

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By Bboy57, March 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Samosamo wrote:

“What else has hillbillie hillary left out here? Why of course, our very own drug manufacturers. How many americans die because one of their ‘best and brightest’ comes up with some synthetic concoction that doesn’t even really go through a test stage to determine its long and short term safety and usefulness?
What is the logic in trying to fix the health issues of this ‘brave new world’, that are caused by the pollution that is so essential for the ‘proper’ function of some criminal’s company, with the use of a ‘new’ drug?
Just another part of waking up the next day to find something else new that those ‘best and brightest’ have forced on a vegged out population.

And Smoove, there is much too much money to be made by fewer people by maintaining the criminality of drugs, you know, those judges, local-state-federal elected persons and especially that new blossomming industry, the prisons”.

Pretty much right on. The drug companies like almost all commercial industries only need a small percentage of suckers to succeed. Wake up Americans!

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By omniadeo, March 29, 2009 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Fact: My eighteen year old son who lives with me in a very nice, but very urban major city can get ANY street drug easier than he can get alcohol. (Fortunately, he is not very interested.)

Louise’s story of the young person who got turned onto hard drugs at school by a friend is a strong argument for de-criminalization of drugs for those of us who know how the whole scene really works: Illegality is the very mechanism whereby a distribution system is driven underground and thereby all control of distribution is put outside the reach of society. It creates a guaranteed profit for anyone willing to take the risk, enormous incentive to push drugs, virtually limitless funding for criminal networks, from the local street toughs in my neighborhood to the CIA, and last, but my no means least important, opportunities for power via selective enforcement, ranging from stronger penalties for crack through police corruption all the way to the CIA’s help for friendly drug networks (while using unfriendly ones as a casus belli).

DRUG LAWS SPREAD DRUGS!! Along with a lot of other bad things, like violence, disrespect for society, etc. Please wake up to that fact. Only if we are willing to become a totalitarian state will drug laws work (as in ITW’s China example).

I was raised in Oklahoma when it was still a “dry” state. It caused untold social problems. The two biggest proponents of the liquor ban were organized crime and the Southern Baptists. The drug laws in the US are held in place by a similar alliance between well meaning moralists and organized crime networks that reach right to the highest places in the the US Power structure.

The drug issue is not just about drugs: http://www.drugwar.com/fittsnarco1.shtm

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By JimBob, March 29, 2009 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

Amen, Gene. I’ve been amazed at how few media resources picked up on Hillary’s brave admission.  And I’ve been amazed at how long it’s taken for Mexican anger to reach anything like a boiling point.  If a neighboring state’s dysfunctional laws and enforcement were causing in the U.S. anything like the bloodshed that’s been seen in Mexico recently, we would be in the process of invading as I speak.

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By jackpine savage, March 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

The solution to the “drug problem” is to realize that it is not a problem about drugs, but about people. ~Anarcissie

extraordinarily well said.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

And since people will go right on using drugs, the Drug War will be amplified tenfold—not tens of thousand killed but hundreds of thousands; not two million in prison but twenty million.  That’s what you’re proposing.

*************************

We could use the Maoist method of controlling drug: Anyone caught with drugs or displaying signs of addiction was summarily executed.  China’s massive opium problem was “solved” very rapidly, and if someone innocent go swept up, well….you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

If you want to live in a country like that….

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By radson, March 29, 2009 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Drugs Rugs and Puppets

The drug trade is a very damaging way of promoting progress.The arguments about legalizing the various substances ,whether with regards to strengths or medicinal values

is not the main crux of the problems associated with this dilemma The drug trade is basically an influential tool for the promotion or extension of hegemony in certain regions

of the globe that are deemed to be beneficial to the ideology of Globalization.Many countries that resist to the external advice ,with regards to their respective economies or

political views are quickly reminded of the subversive factions within their midst.The legal system that functions within various countries is there to reassure the general populace

that all is being done to combat the illicit trade and illegal usage of the substances.Yet the entire enterprise must be financed somehow which includes business interests ,the

promotion of progress and the legal systems ,which by the way employ a lot of people.Instead of sending additional troops to Afghanistan,perhaps lawnmowers and bushwhackers along with

a few tractors to sow grain would be more beneficial.Ask the Afghani Opium growers what they eat and where it comes from.

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By Anarcissie, March 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

G.Anderson:
‘It’s easy for some to believe that drug use is a victimless crime; unfortunately that’s not the case. As someone who has witnessed, what happens when drug users continue to abuse drugs despite being pregnant, smoke PCP next to their children, and expose children to the toxic effects of their drug labs, I do not share that belief. ...’

People do all sorts of things which are bad for their children, many of them seriously destructive.  However, if you’re going to have the government intervene to prevent them, you’re going to have to have a completely totalitarian state, with video cameras and bugs in every house.  Alcohol and tobacco will have to be absolutely prohibited, because if a child observes an adult using anything, even at a distance, the child will try it, especially if it is taboo.  And since people will go right on using drugs, the Drug War will be amplified tenfold—not tens of thousand killed but hundreds of thousands; not two million in prison but twenty million.  That’s what you’re proposing.

The solution to the “drug problem” is to realize that it is not a problem about drugs, but about people.  Superstition about inanimate chemicals having the power to seize control of people’s minds belongs in the literature of fantasy and science fiction, not in public policy.

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By jackpine savage, March 29, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Ha, “if you’ve never seen a drug deal go down…”  I went to university in the middle of downtown Detroit during the earl/mid 90’s.  Crackheads walked right into classrooms and the Subway on campus had bulletproof glass, Louise.  One of my neighbors at the time ran a home business through is mail slot.  Can you tell the caliber of a firearm by its report?

I will say with no equivocation that i have far, far, far more experience than you with the underworld of America.

Sure, small amounts of drugs can be handed off easily, but the supplier-dealer relationship is not one of small amounts.  And even if every bill is a bennie, those stack up pretty fast.

And i’ll reiterate that if you could pick the undercovers out in a parking lot, they were doing a pretty shit job of what they were doing.

Life isn’t pretty, we will never rid it of badness, and while i’ve had friends go down for murder and friends that have been murdered…in relation to drugs, that doesn’t change how feel about the war on drugs.  That my best friend from high school died a heroin addict doesn’t change my feelings about the war on drugs.

It is not possible to stop drugs or drug use, and any law-enforcement attempt in that vein will make the problem worse, not better.

And the whole thing is built on scaring people like you.  I’ve seen The Game right up close, i’ve watched people shoot up, and i’ve dealt with crackheads jonesing for a hit…i’m still not afraid of drugs.  I’d rather deal with all those things and retain my civil liberties.

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, March 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

If the United States and our friends south of the border are really seriously considering the eradication of the Mexican drug cartels lets start with the hierarchy of these nefarious organizations.

First you must have the mind set you are dealing with criminal terrorist that have no compunction of burning their victims alive with oxy-acetylene torches before slowly killing and beheading them with the camcorders running in front of their relatives. These atrocities have been documented recently on CNN. I feel this gives the law enforcement agencies of both countries carte blanche as to the weapons of choice and the use of same.

It appears that we are dealing with foreign terrorist that have made inroads in some cities in the United States for the distribution of their drugs and the killing of their rivals.

Intelligent sources seem to have identified the major individuals as to who heads these organization and their locations.

The US armed forces has pilot-less drone aircraft that can be launched and guided from the United States to targets inside Mexico as we have demonstrated this ability and effectiveness in the far east.

If these individuals can be located at to whereabouts the time and location we have the resources and weaponry to bring them to task.

Some collateral damage must be expected, but the weapons experts should use reasonable forbearance before launching the armament towards the targets. Clandestine observers on the ground can help in the use of this equipment.

Teams like the U.S. Delta forces and U. S. Navy SEALS can covertly be deployed against specific targets and quickly be returned to the safety of their base of operations.

These missions can be contracted by out by our CIA and/or like agencies such as the National Security Agency. This would preclude putting U. S. military personnel in harms way and any loss of life. Civilian specialized teams would be cost effect without putting addition strain on our military personnel.

The scheduling and use of the above tactics should be held in the strictest secrecy.

The heads of the Mexican government should not be privy to the intended targets or the timing in the deployment of these forces prior to the missions.  It is well established that all levels of both Mexican civilian and military organizations have been infiltrated by the cartel.

I believe that a confidential Presidential signing statement with the concurrence of the leaders of Congress and our state department will suffice for the implementation of the above.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

FolkTruther, if I valued your opinion I might find it funny that you’ve been dragged kicking and screaming to realize that Ayn Rand (Alice, not Alyce, Rosenbaum, you twit!) had a LOT of fine insights (and a lot of incorrect ones as well). 

Still, we agree that your adult daughter deserves to be treated like the adult she is, although I’m not convinced we should extend that to her father…..

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By Louise, March 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage,

You ask, “Tell us how to stop drugs.” If I knew, I could save the world, couldn’t I. Perhaps that’s the wrong question. A better one might be how can we identify and to a degree control. And a good answer might be, pay attention! That’s my point!

You ask how did I know they were police? I asked them! They produced ID, I produced ID and they told me what they were doing. That’s when they moved around the other corner. Was I a threat? No. What would I do, call the police? Duh ...

As noted, my friends tried to find help through “proper” channels. There was none offered, none available. Lack of help generally falls right behind lack of “seeing” a problem, which general goes hand in glove with denial. The fact that this family was white, lived in a Middle Class neighborhood in a “better” part of town, contributed to the good judges rational.

The assumption that all drug dealers are clearly recognizable, is bogus. They don’t slink around in dark corners. They don’t have too, no-body pays attention. As laughable as it is, if someone had dragged a duffel bag across that parking lot. And someone else had handed him a large briefcase in exchange, no-body would have given it a second thought. Especially if they saw it happen every day.

The assumption that all drug users are doomed is as bogus as the assumption that messing around with drugs is OK if you realize when you grow up, your running a risk not worth running. I guess that means, the trick is growing up.

The young man who killed his friend is an extreme, but not unusual example. His older brother and younger sisters never bothered with drugs. Why does one child get hooked to the point where they ruin their lives, when so many don’t? Well that is a good question isn’t it? Since little study has been done on the subject, no-one knows the answer. By the way, when asked where he got his drugs, he responded,  “They’re everywhere.”

“At school?”

“Yeh, my first drugs were a “gift” from a friend at school.”

I’m not talking marijuana. I’m talking hard drugs. You don’t need a duffel bag to pass the stuff, a lunch sack will do. Hundred dollar bills can be rolled very small. The sack full is then cut with fillers, increasing their volume, then redistributed by baggy. And there are capsules and pills and bits of paper with stuff on them. And “candy.” This is an industry, always looking for more efficient ways to distribute product and increase profit. Do you think Cartels don’t function as such?

That’s why “they” watch the third, forth, fifth or maybe even tenth man down. Hoping to be led up to number two, and maybe number one.

My beef is while “they” watch, thousands of kids get hooked! Contribution by inaction, in my view is criminal!

Meth is a different story. A meth lab can be in your neighbors basement, garage, kitchen or storage shed. Or in the apartment next door. They’ve been found in campers, motel and hotel rooms. Some have even been caught “cooking” under the hood of their car! A bad smell, lights that never go out, the constant flow of people in and out, might be a clue. If you call the cops with your suspicions, they’ll probably ask you to mount a video somewhere to catch them in the act. In other words, YOU will be asked to police the lab! There are so many they’re buried. Don’t bother calling DEA. After they chuckle, they’ll tell you, “We don’t handle that. Call 911.” Unless there’s a spike in crime, with arrests leading to users who give up their source, the manufacture of meth will go on. Why do you think purchase of certain products is prohibited by volume? Why don’t you have a conversation with the manager of your local supermarket, or pharmacy? Ask the person at checkout what they watch for.

As far as watching drug deals go down. If you have never seen one, you are either the single resident of an Island, or you’re not paying attention.

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By jackpine savage, March 29, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

As Folktruther (and others) points out, treating hard drugs as a medical issue while treating soft drugs as a non-issue generally works best.

Look at the nations that have decriminalized soft drugs (either overtly or quietly); in most cases, hard drug use actually goes down.  Partly this is because users of the soft drugs no longer have to obtain their buzz of choice through the black market.  It is black market drug dealers who are the real gateway drug.

As to victimless crimes, there probably isn’t any such thing.  But plenty of people expose their unborn children to cigarette smoke.  Plenty of people affect the innocent through their use of alcohol.

But the tell-tale statistic is that 39 years after the Controlled Substances Act, 5% of the population is still considered “addict”.  Essentially, nothing has changed except an explosion in the prison population and an expansion of police powers.

P.S. thanks for saying it, Outraged, it’s maddening to me that we’re going on two generations of Americans who pretend that their past doesn’t exist.  Worse, that so many of them will sit idly by and watch their children go to jail for something that they know, from first hand experience, will not necessarily ruin a person’s life.

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By Folktruther, March 29, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

Well, Inherit, when you are right, you are right, even if its only .0042% of the time. My daughter is 18, she can vote, join the army, but she can’t legally drink.  Why this is I don’t know.

There are nearly a million arrests a year for pot, most for simple possession.  It is outlawed not only for discrimination against minorities and social deviants, but because the pharmasuedical, liquer and tobacco industries oppose legalization.

Also the hard drug industry as well.  As Inherit says, criminalizing soft drugs increase the use of hard drugs. Not incidentially, Paul, that quote by Alyce Rosenbaum, aka Ayn Rand, of the tendency of power to criminalize its population to maintain its control, is quite insightful.  Since Inherit is a an Alyce fan, it increase his credibility to .0024.

hard drugs should be medicalized, not legalized like pot.  Britain has had good success with this.  As Anarcissie maintains, US criminal policy is barbaric, probably for the reasons that Alyce Rosenbaum gives.

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By G.Anderson, March 29, 2009 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

It’s easy for some to believe that drug use is a victimless crime; unfortunately that’s not the case. As someone who has witnessed, what happens when drug users continue to abuse drugs despite being pregnant, smoke PCP next to their children, and expose children to the toxic effects of their drug labs, I do not share that belief.

Usually it’s the tax payer that ends up paying, for what can be a life time of medical care, for these children.

That being said, I also believe that the continued illegality of drugs is also immoral and kills as well, consider the recent 2,000 murders in the El Paso area.

Instead, I think that drug use should be licensed, that if people can use under socially beneficial restrictions then they should be allowed to have a license to do so.

A violation of those restrictions could result in stiff penalties, up to even vaccination against the effect of their drug of choice.

With in 5 to 7 years time there will be vaccinations available against the effects of drugs.  Vaccination against the effect of nicotine is in the final phase of clinical trials.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 29, 2009 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Brilliant post, Outraged!  Yes, we ALL tried stuff back then as recreation—and we all knew people who crashed and burned, rather than moved past and grew up. I still remember in 1981 saying to myself: “That’s it. I’m done. I’m not ruining my life getting arrested for something this stupid.” and that was it.

But you are right—it’s a MEDICAL issue, not a political one. 

I tend to see issues as things you chip away at, not trying for the whole enchilada.  This was MLK’s and Thurgood Marshall’s plan that led to Brown v. Board—get one corner of Jim Crow, school segregation.

So the first step has ALREADY been taken by Obama—shutting down federal prosecutions of Medical Marijuana in states where it’s legal.  NO substance should be unavailable to doctors that has a medical benefit.  MJ is the second-best anti-nausea drug for chemo patients—and at $10/week far cheaper than than $400/day for the Pharma companies’ “better drug”.

I watched my father die of lung cancer taking levels of morphine that would kill 10 men.  It made him sleep and hallucinate, which upset him terribly, but was necessary to keep him comfortable. It ripped me up to know that if he had had medicinal heroin, he would have had the same relief but would have been far more alert and able to appreciate his last weeks.  We forget that’s why it was invented—not to get junkies high and drooling, but to give morphine’s relief without inducing morphia.

I watched victims of thalidomide deformities fight bitterly the use of this drug for Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy), DESPITE the fact that it was used totally INAPPROPRIATELY for pregnant mothers as opposed to people suffering from leprosy or multiple myeloma (bone cancer).

So the first step is to remove chemicals with potential medicinal benefits TOTALLY from the political/religious spectrum and subject them only to scientific scrutiny.

Then, as Outraged points out, treat addiction as what it is, a MEDICAL problem, not a criminal one.

“What do you think of the dope problem?”
“I definitely think there are too many dopes!”—George Carlin, RIP.

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By mud, March 28, 2009 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment

Shared my ass. The US cooked up drug prohibition after Booze prohibition failed so the the anti booze cops could keep their jobs. Then we shoved prohibition on the rest of the world so we wouldn’t look so dumb doing it to ourselves.

“once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments.” Ludwig von Miseseatest 1949

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By Outraged, March 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Drug use is a medical issue and NOT a criminal issue.  The premise that an illegal substance IN FACT destroys every life it comes into contact with, holds no water.

I’m a year older than Obama.  For ANYONE (although I’ve witnessed those claiming otherwise) of my age group +/- eight years or so to make this claim is specious.  I would venture a guess that more than 90% of us have tried illegal substances, yet we hide this fact…. we demure…. we blame…. but the whole thing is BS.  WE KNOW BETTER and all the fal-de-ral is stupid.

I see this BS all the time, many times from those who would like to qualify their ACTIONS via their drug use.  While A MEASURE of this might be plausible, its that other portion they REQUIRE us to ignore.  Sure… I saw these same (back when) totally off their can wasted, but their actions cannot be contributed solely to the fact that they “smoked pot” or “did uppers” or whatever….

What they REALLY seek to do is to exonerate themselves of their very purposeful actions and use “drugs” as the culprit.  If this were actually true, how to explain those in the group who “did the same drugs” and DIDN’T engage in their stupidity (which in “my” crowd was the majority).  They NEED a villain (TO THIS DAY!), I would suggest they look in the mirror under a BRIGHT light…. and if they’ve been the victim of some “impropriety” of monumental proportions… it needs to be addressed as such (you’ll still get your villain and more likely find drugs only your crutch).

Most people will cut you a measure of slack when they see you’re “wasted” (whatever the means) and I’d include at least half of cops in this assumption….. however, for those in my age range who attempt to vilify “drugs” instead of owning up to their actions TO THIS DAY, is a stupid argument.  My message to suchlike ones….. grow up and quit the BS.

Regarding the recreational use of drugs, two things.  RECREATIONAL implies every once in a while AND habitual things cannot be considered recreational.  As it is…. NEVER should people GO TO JAIL or PRISON for drug use.

The avocation of currently illegal drugs used medicinally is a completely different debate and has ZERO to do with the above issue OTHER THAN people are being DENIED something that works FOR THEM without valid reason or logic.

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By jackpine savage, March 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Oh no, Louise, i got your point…i just think that it isn’t valid.

The trafficking I observed was not between kids. Two middle aged men, [at least they looked that old] I was told probably a dealer buying from a supplier who in turn stalked kids looking for someone to get hooked.

You said that it was two people in broad daylight, every day.  Were they handing off duffel bags and stacks of money?  Where i come from (Detroit, originally) dealer-supplier meetings tend to be a little more discreet.  And if you could see the cops watching them, so could they…yet they didn’t run or pick a new spot?  I think that you’re either A. making the whole thing up or B. letting your imagination and fear get the best of you.  Who told you, the police?  Well there’s a reliable source for information on the drug war…

Why yes, i have known a fair number of people who’ve ruined their lives with drugs…thanks for asking. 

I never said that drugs are good or harmless, and as i’ve watched at least as many people ruin their lives with alcohol i have a hard time seeing your point…unless you’re a prohibitionist through and through.

Not everyone who tries a drug gets hooked on it or ends up using harder drugs.  Why, our president has admitted to using both marijuana and cocaine; neither seemed to ruin his life.

And what do you, Louise, propose that we do about the problem that i’m a part of?  Shall we spray the equivalent of Agent Orange all over the Andes in an attempt to eradicate the coca plant?  What of the villagers who get sprayed, their livestock and their crops?  Should we gun down Afghan farmers for growing flowers?  Maybe send the 82nd Airborne to Humbolt County, CA to get the evil pot farmers?

Or should we just kick down people’s doors, seize their assets, throw them in prison, and revoke their right to vote?

What’s the liberal, Democratic solution to this issue, Louise?  Tell us how to stop drugs.

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Louise: ’... I suppose you are one of those fortunate few who has never known anyone who’s life has been ruined by drug use. ...’

I know several people whose lives were ruined by drug use.  The drugs were, of course, alcohol and tobacco.  However, the drugs didn’t compel the people to take them: the people chose to take the drugs, not the other way around.  As far as I am concerned, that is their business, not mine, just as the drugs I choose to take are my business, and not anyone else’s.

I also knew a person who was put in jail as part of the Drug War.  He actually didn’t do anything, but he was in a car with someone who was holding a certain amount of some drug or other, and he was Puerto Rican, and poor, so—three strikes—he went to prison.  While he was there, he was raped many times—he was small and cute—and thus he became HIV positive.  While he was in prison, his wife and the mother of his two children was murdered by a gang for some reason possibly connected with the bust which sent him to prison.  No one really knows.  In any case, having been sentenced to a slow, painful death for unwittingly being in a car with someone carrying a forbidden substance, he was allowed out to die, courtesy of the government of the State of New York.  He’s dead now.  That’s your Drug War—a crime against humanity.  I don’t know how any person of normal sensibilities and intelligence can support any part of it.

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By Kesey Seven, March 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

I hate to quibble with an article with which I basically agree, but the word “legalize” bothers me. 

Legalize implies the right to incorporate. Incorporating gives the right to free speech more powerful than any individual has and a lifespan that never ends. 

Imagine the Viagra-esque commercials on websites: When the time is right, cocaine makes for a hot night. And there’s some freaking camel or kangaroo or whateverthehell to make it all seem really cute and cuddly. 

Not a good idea. Nope. Decriminalize it, regulate it, tax it, use the tax revenue for schools and treatment centers. But don’t allow people to advertise and profit from other people’s addictions.

Just stop the insane violence. Stop making criminals of drug addicts. Stop spreading HIV with dirty needles. Stop people from prostituting themselves and robbing for a fix. Take away the profit. Take away the guns. End the war.

Decriminalize, not legalize.

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By Charlotte Roost, March 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What’s more dangerous to public health; a Big Mac or a joint?

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By Louise, March 28, 2009 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

jackpine savage,

Your dismissive attitude toward drug dealing identifies you as much like the Ostriges I worked with at the time. The trafficking I observed was not between kids. Two middle aged men, [at least they looked that old] I was told probably a dealer buying from a supplier who in turn stalked kids looking for someone to get hooked. Of course you missed the entire point of my sharing this experience. Simply that it goes on, every day, in broad daylight under the observation of which-ever agency is currently observing, rather than trying to control. You missed that entirely! No surprise.

Once a kid is hooked life can spiral out of control, eventually ending in the kid loosing all self-esteem, all sense of value and all sense of self. Usually sooner rather than later, the victim becomes a stalker, looking for new victims to feed his need.

I suppose you are one of those fortunate few who has never known anyone who’s life has been ruined by drug use. Or maybe you just don’t care.

I know a family who visits their kid in prison every weekend. When he murdered his best friend [he has no memory of it, but there were seventeen witnesses] he was high on meth, coke, alcohol and had heroin and marijuana on him. In his case the marijuana was to calm him down when he got so high he might blow. He just hadn’t got to the heroin yet. Or maybe that’s why he killed his friend. Maybe his friend tried to take it. We’ll never, because he cant remember. Even after 12 years, he cant remember.

By the time he hit the big time, [the Pen] at the ripe old age of 18, he had been using so many different drugs for so long he was little more than a zombie. Some might say he’s the lucky one. At least he’s not dead like his friend. Like a lot of other “friends” he use to do drugs with.

Of course his parents had no idea he had a drug problem, until they caught him stealing their guns. But even then it was too late. They didn’t know what to do and couldn’t afford the very costly clinics. And their insurance wouldn’t pay for it. And where they lived there was nothing provided by the community. They did everything “right.” They called the police, the police wrote a report and referred him to family court. He saw the Judge, who saw a nice young kid but no real problem and sentenced the kid to community service, for a week. His parents begged the Judge to help them get him treatment. The Judge decided the problem wasn’t that serious. So they watched him and hoped, until he turned up missing again. He never came back. The next time they saw him he was in police custody, covered in blood and completely out of it.

Want some more horror stories? I can give you dozens.
So don’t give me your self-righteous crap.

People like you who see no problem with people openly passing drugs on the street are part of the problem!

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By SteveK9, March 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Just as with:

Healthcare—- National Health care system.

Fiscal Deficits—- raise the top income tax rate.

Oil Importation—- increase gasoline taxes,

the answer on drugs—- legalization and medical treatment, is beyond our cultural ability to implement.

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By benEzra, March 28, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Contrary to the implication of the article, the military weapons the cartels are using (full-auto assault rifles, RPG’s, and hand grenades) are not available on the U.S. civilian market.

Because it is so difficult for civilians to legally buy a gun in Mexico, there is a thriving black market through which both criminals *and* mostly-law-abiding people purchase guns for personal use (just like the market for cannabis in this country). Many of the guns that end up in the hands of Mexican citizens, and probably the average criminal in Mexico, do come from the States, although there are also Brazilian and Argentine handguns in large numbers. Most of the illegal imports from the U.S. civilian market would be ordinary handguns, with a few non-automatic rifles and shotguns thrown in.

The recent cartel turf wars, however, have involved machineguns, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, and other military arms and ordnance that are NOT available on the U.S. civilian market.

If the cartels are indeed using any US-market machineguns and grenades, they are either obtaining them from the U.S. military or law enforcement agencies, via diversion from the largely-U.S.-supplied Mexican military, or from Central American stockpiles of Cold War guerrilla weapons, because those weapons are NOT available on the U.S. civilian market.

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By amunaor, March 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

The war on drugs is bogus. Its purpose has morphed into keeping ‘black-market’ prices high, which proceeds are then funneled into U.S. - CIA black-ops projects.

‘Reefer Madness’ was a politically motivated campaign produced by the logging industry to destroy hemp farming within the U.S.. Psychologically permeating the public mind with dark images of Marijuana smoking; the logging cabal’s, unsubstantiated, claims succeeded in destroying the U.S. hemp farms; while unto this day, the stigma of the ‘lunatic’ pot smoker continues to pervade and terroize the public mind.

On the other hand, the pharmaceutical industry, officialy sanctioned dope pushers, would rather peddle, sell and breed their own form of addicts, containing their own dangerous blend of ‘serotonin uptake inhibitors’......already linked to suicides and school shootings. Then, of course, there is the military’s interest in creating the insensitive ‘Pharmaceutical Soldier’; a killing machine and wet-dream for the Corporatarchs of aggressive dominance, whose sole economy is war and terror. For this reason, any legalization protocols should be entirely removed from the ‘pharma-militia-wall street’ cabal. Keep it Natural folks!

Let’s not forget some recent history: Enron was one of the biggest drug-money laundering facilities before its collapse. No ‘theories’ here, but isn’t it interesting to note that, coincidently, the collapse of building-7 on 911 took with it a mountain of Enron’s tax records along with other important documents? Then there was the BCCI (Bank for Credit and Commerce International), related to the infamous 1980’s Savings & Loan fiasco, another dark artery, whose nefarious proceeds fed, under the radar, black projects.

Iran-Contra…..drugs for guns…...proceeds that allowed ex-CIA chief, papa Bush, as Vice President under Reagan, to exploit loose canon ideologues such as Oliver North, in funding the support of right-wing, free-market, death squads, to the South; simply to gorge the insatiable appetites of Wall Street’s Corporate palates and facilitate control over the regions natural resources.

Go Eugene go! Keep digging!

Please visit the following links:

Hemp For Victory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne9UF-pFhJY

Hemp, The World’s Miracle Crop
http://www.puredelighthemp.com.au/

Barack Obama on Marijuana Decriminalization (2004)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQr9ezr8UeA&feature=related

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

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By Clash, March 28, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Reports that Richard Nixon and Ronald Regan have been sighted in the capital this week to bolster the congressional committee while the Sec. off the homeland police state testified for the escalation on the war on poor people, sorry the war on drugs.
Forty years of failed policy and their still at it, how many more will be imprisoned, for a prohibition that has never worked?
Guns for drugs remember and now the Iranians want to nuke us. How can it be any more f@*? up than that.
(Sighting reports were on the internet so it must be true, no pictures though)

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By Inherit The Wind, March 28, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Well, Fadel, this is quite a bit better than your usual postings.

Fadel Abdallah, March 28 at 11:37 am #

Here’s my four cents worth of contribution to this issue:

1. I am glad that E. Robinson is joining Chris Hedges in highlighting the “moral failures” and the “intellectual blind spots” that are behind the deteriorating social, economic and moral conditions of America.

2. Some of us who have not been drugged (physically or morally) for many years knew the growing seriousness of the drug epidemic for a long time. I am, for one, as a junior faculty in several American universities, knew about this serious problem, and wrote commentary pieces about it at least twice several years ago. So, I did not need our brand new Secretary of State’s wisdom to tell me that “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.”
******************************

All these years in America and you STILL understand so little about us.  Or diplomacy for that matter.  It’s not that HRC is so wise to recognize this, it’s that the office of Secretary of Secretary OFFICIALLY acknowledges it as an issue.  It’s called “Diplomacy” and it’s a subject you’ve shown consistently you know NOTHING about.

***********************************
3. Though Robinson is to be commended for trying to focus the discussion on this serious moral disease, he fails to mention another serious dimension to this problem, which is that most of deadly weapons used by drug cartels are American made and smuggled from or bought in America.
************************************

Actually, this is false. They use ALL sorts of weapons—Glocks and Barettas are European. The true part is the smuggling part.

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4. I happen to believe that the demand side of the drugs is more dangerous than the supply side of it. Once the demand side dries up, the supply side of it naturally follows. So the American consumers are more culpable than the drug dealers and suppliers in perpetuating this problem.

5. I believe that there is a subtle American political power factor in allowing this trade to continue despite the rhetoric to the contrary. I believe it serves the long-term interests of political-military-industrial complex to have a large number of their constituents under the influence of drugs and preoccupied with procuring them. Politicians prefer to deal with non-questioning drugged people than with sober thinking ones.
*****************************************

Let me guess: this “subtle power” is your euphemism for the vast internationalist Zionist conspiracy based in Israel and among American Jews that you blame for everything from 9/11 to global warming.  I thought maybe you skipped it till I caught “subtle power”.

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6. As a healthy, lucky man who never used any types of drugs or stimulus (not even cigarettes or alcohol) I cannot even come to comprehend why people with brains need drugs to make them them happy or cope with the problems of life!
**********************************************

Oh, we should all be as perfect as you!
(ROFLMAO!)

**********************************************
7. There will never be a radical solution to this problem unless and until the nation as a whole will embrace the concept of “preventive measures” and launch serious educational programs and enact just laws with teeth that go to the roots of the problems.
**********************************************

Wow! What a revelation! Isn’t that what Gene Robinson and HRC just said?

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 28, 2009 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Here’s my four cents worth of contribution to this issue:

1. I am glad that E. Robinson is joining Chris Hedges in highlighting the “moral failures” and the “intellectual blind spots” that are behind the deteriorating social, economic and moral conditions of America.

2. Some of us who have not been drugged (physically or morally) for many years knew the growing seriousness of the drug epidemic for a long time. I am, for one, as a junior faculty in several American universities, knew about this serious problem, and wrote commentary pieces about it at least twice several years ago. So, I did not need our brand new Secretary of State’s wisdom to tell me that “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.”

3. Though Robinson is to be commended for trying to focus the discussion on this serious moral disease, he fails to mention another serious dimension to this problem, which is that most of deadly weapons used by drug cartels are American made and smuggled from or bought in America.

4. I happen to believe that the demand side of the drugs is more dangerous than the supply side of it. Once the demand side dries up, the supply side of it naturally follows. So the American consumers are more culpable than the drug dealers and suppliers in perpetuating this problem.

5. I believe that there is a subtle American political power factor in allowing this trade to continue despite the rhetoric to the contrary. I believe it serves the long-term interests of political-military-industrial complex to have a large number of their constituents under the influence of drugs and preoccupied with procuring them. Politicians prefer to deal with non-questioning drugged people than with sober thinking ones.

6. As a healthy, lucky man who never used any types of drugs or stimulus (not even cigarettes or alcohol) I cannot even come to comprehend why people with brains need drugs to make them them happy or cope with the problems of life!

7. There will never be a radical solution to this problem unless and until the nation as a whole will embrace the concept of “preventive measures” and launch serious educational programs and enact just laws with teeth that go to the roots of the problems.

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By jackpine savage, March 28, 2009 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

This article is so full of holes that it might as well be a sieve.

There is a mountain of evidence that says that many arms of the US government have been involved in the drug trade…from SE Asia in the 60’s and 70’s to S. America in the 80’s and 90’s to Afghanistan right now.  And let’s not forget that the British crown ran the largest drug cartel in history.

Clinton deserves not one whit of praise for saying what politicians have been saying since Nixon (and before).  It’s nothing more than yet another statement to back up the idea that the American people are the enemy of the American government.  With the implicit refusal to look at the situation honestly.

Congratulations, Louise, you watched a drug deal…and obviously a very small drug deal if it could happen in broad daylight and every day.  You can watch drug deals at the pharmacy counter too, if that’s what you’re into.  There is no difference except the blessing of the mighty US government.

The vast majority of drug deals are simple, non-violent commercial transactions between consenting adults.  What we’re dealing with is legislating morality. (Democrats prefer the phrase “public health”, but it’s mostly the same thing)

My feeling is that if we’re going to be tough on drugs, then i want the President sentenced as he’s an admitted drug user.  At least previous presidents masked their hypocrisy by refusing to admit what was common knowledge.  This one has nowhere to hid, and simply says, “Yeah, i did it…but you’re going to jail for it.”

And never mind that law enforcement (so badly hamstrung from making the streets safe for people to not see a drug deal in Louise’s opinion) disregards just about every civil right in its prosecution of the drug war.  They’re the good guys.

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By Anarcissie, March 28, 2009 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

According to my then teen-age informants, the change of the drinking age law from 18 to 21 made it easier to get alcohol, and amplified the favorable effect of its use on one’s image and repute.  However, there has been a larger movement in American culture as a whole against alcohol use and public drunkenness probably related to increasingly fashionable anxieties about health and purity. 

Particular drugs go in and out of fashion, but drug use marches on.  As do, I supposed, sadism, superstition, and political predation, as exemplified in the Drug War.

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By Ben Takin, March 28, 2009 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The obvious demand-side solution—legalization—would do more harm than good with some drugs, but maybe not with others. We need to examine all options. It’s time to put everything on the table, because all we’ve accomplished so far is to bring the terrible violence of the drug trade ever closer to home.” 

Legalizing drugs is the only logical solution—prohibition doesn’t work; it promotes violent crime and political corruption; i.e.  Mexico and Afghanistan.  Legalize drugs, sell them and collect federal, state and local taxes.

  Liberal Obama has turned out to be a reactionary dud. That’s dud not dude.

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By samosamo, March 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, March 27 at 11:32 pm

I say there is validity in it because there is all the validity in world in ““By Anarcissie, March 27 at 4:35 pm ““‘s comment.
It is not just humans but many different species of animals will seek out plants or fruits ripening into alcohol in season to become intoxicated. The abuse humans put into inbibing isn’t near as much in wild animals from bees up to elephants because of the loss of attention would get them eaten.
Dr. Ronald K. Siegel PhD, wrote a book in 1989 titled ‘Intoxication’ which is a good and informative read where he posits that intoxication is the fourth drive after hunger, thirst and sex.
Links:
http://www.maps.org/dea-mdma/pdf/0025.PDF
http://store.innertraditions.com/Contributor.jmdx?action=displayDetail&id=1483

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By Inherit The Wind, March 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

I’m going to throw out a completely different hypothesis:  The level of drug use began going down in the 80s then picked up again.  What happened?  MADD and SADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Students…) began lobbying to raise the legal drinking age from 18 to 21.

When I turned 18, I could be drafted, I could vote, and I could legally drink.  I was considered to be a man.  But these fundamentally unConstitutional laws that limit an adult’s right to buy or ingest alcohol changed the whole young adult paradigm.  If drinking was illegal, what’s to stop you from smoking mj or doing other drugs?

Again, prohibition had EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE EFFECT DESIRED!

We decided long ago that if an 18 year old could be drafted and die for his/her country, he/she should be able to vote for or against the @$$#ole sending them to die (like Coward George Botch).  At that time, most states allowed them to drink.

But MADD and SADD in the name of drunk driving prevention (a notable goal) convinced every state to rob adult citizens of their rights….and drug use, that was dropping, went back up.

What do you all think of this hypothesis?

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By Old Ed Of The Delta, March 27, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

One approach to thwarting the transportation of drugs coming in to the US from Mexico would be to halt all vehicular truck and railcars from crossing the border with the exception of light pickups.

Automobile traffic would be subject to inspection prior to crossing. Any commercial or private aircraft flying in to the US would be required to file a flight plan and tracked by radar. Upon landing the aircraft would be searched by US Custom agents. The same rules would apply to vessels entering US waters and docking.

The commercial shipment of all kinds of goods coming into the US would be stopped. This would result in such an uproar by the shippers and transportation companies on both sides of the border that they would be compelled to hire privateers to ride shotgun on their cargos if they were even allowed through. Any vehicle carrying illegal drugs would be immediately seized and destroyed in plain view of the public including boats and aircraft.

So much pressure would result in this embargo of legal shipments that the dope cartels would really feel the heat from both the US and Mexican governments.

All US gun dealers and their premises within 50 miles of the US/Mexican borders will be subject to unannounced searches at anytime for weapons and ammunition of all calibers along with any documents including but not limited to invoices, telephone records, banks statements, and computer files by any sworn law enforcement personnel. Any illegal weapons will be immediately seized and the gun dealer arrested.

If the US and Mexican governments are really serious about breaking up the dope cartels then lets see if they have the political will to do it and let the clips fall where they may.

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By Louise, March 27, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

I agree, Clinton deserves high praise. It’s not easy to open yourself up to criticism. Sorry, but we’ve earned it!

Years ago, while picking up my lunch at a local strip mall, [that’s a string of shops, not a mall full of strippers] I watched a drug deal go down. Looking around the parking lot for others who may have observed the same thing, I noticed an unmarked police car on the other end of the mall watching the same thing. The dealer walked away. The buyer walked away. The car drove away - but nothing happened.

I began to watch every time I went to get my Sub. Saw the same thing in the same spots at the same time day after day. Still nothing happened. Then one day the method changed. The dealer walked through the drive-up at the bank. A minute later the buyer emerged from the exit of the bank, and the unmarked car was parked around the corner. But still nothing happened.

I mentioned this to my co-workers one day. They were dismayed. Not by the drug dealing going on, but by my seeing what none of them could allow themselves to see. It was about then I decided my co-workers preferred to believe their lovely little town didn’t have a drug problem. You know, see no evil, hear no evel, speak no evil. I made the decision to remove me and my kids from that town.

I later had occasion to talk to someone married to a DEA agent. She overwhelmed me with stories of the impossible! Sheriffs and undercover cops, unable to arrest dealers because they were being observed by the FBI. Or vice-versa. Dealers who were part of a sting that the FBI couldn’t touch because they were being tracked by the DEA. Or vice-versa. And somewhere in the mix were the stories about the ATF, saddled by both. Or was it the other way around? Cant remember. What I do remember was the crime went on and on, with little action but plenty of oversight.

Bottom line, takes a very long time for the Alphabet Agencies to build a case. And often as not that’s more about where the players will lead them, than stopping the dealer on the street. And that’s actually criminal, because while the agencies take their years to build their pyramid, thousands of kids get hooked. Like the man says, “all we’ve accomplished so far is to bring the terrible violence of the drug trade ever closer to home.”

And, as observed build a cottage industry of private for profit prisons. 

While I really want to believe we care about the drugs that are distroying a whole generation, sometimes it takes a real leap of faith. We all know perfectly well these various agencies engage in stings. So to what degree are they responsible for moving the drugs and the guns and the money to catch the bad guy? And how long does that take? We all know they’re career guys, and heaven knows, I wouldn’t want their job, no matter how good the pay. But sometimes I wonder, is it possible there are too many of them? Wouldn’t it make more sense to reduce their numbers and encourage an Office Of Shared Information? Geeze, we might even save some money. Never mind lives.

By the way, I read a while back that lovely little town, alarmed by the increase in murder and violent crime had created a task force to address the drug and gang problem. Better late than never, I guess.

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By diamond, March 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

That story about Bill Clinton smuggling drugs is a story that was put around by the right, just like White Water.It’s been discredited for years now, mostly by the man who was paid to tell the story to the media. You’re right about the CIA, though. No job’s too dirty for them.

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2009 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

Taoseno:
‘We’re pretty good at addressing the symptoms of our problems rather than root causes. ...’

The root cause of drug use is that people like drugs.  They always have, and always will.  The only reason it is a problem is that attacking people for the use of some drugs, especially those favored by non-Whites, has become a favored channel for public sadism, superstition, and the most base form of political ambition.  That’s the problem: the Drug War, which is a crime against humanity, and its drug warriors—the worst of the worst.

It’s true we won’t get rid of sadism, superstition and racism by legalizing drugs, but let’s at least stop condoning their exercise against innocent, harmless people.

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By Taoseno, March 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

We’re pretty good at addressing the symptoms of our problems rather than root causes. Why do so many of our people need/want drugs - legal and illegal - but to cover our stresses and anxieties caused by our crazy lifestyles and questionable ethical and moral choices. Legalization is not the answer. Has it kept us from abusing alcohol and prescription drugs? When will we start addressing the real issue: What kind of people and country do we want to be?

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By Crimes of the State Blog, March 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Wow, what gibberish.  We’re praising Hillary Clinton now, whose husband as governor was deeply involved in drug trafficking through the airport in Mena, Arkansas?

“The Colombian government, again with U.S. assistance, managed to pulverize these sprawling criminal organizations into smaller units, but the business continues to thrive—and to provide most of the cocaine that finds its way to the American market.”

Nonsense.  “With US assistance” they attacked their competitors (the FARC), and shored up the drug trade with the right wing client state that rules Colombia and carries out death squads against the population there. 

The US government, particularly the CIA, but also DEA, has been actively profiting and protecting high level drug traffickers for MANY DECADES.

This is apparently unknown to supposed authorities on the subject, although many revelations have appeared in print and in congressional investigations.  The CIA inspector general has also admitted to the practice on more than one occasion.

If we aren’t allowed to even investigate the official US side of the equation, instead demonizing “users” then nothing will be solved, nothing will change.  Drugs are a part of empire, of guerrilla warfare, of “unconventional” forces.

AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE: CIA AND THE INTERNATIONAL DRUG TRADE
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=CE1A9073F24BB00D

Daniel Hopsicker investigates “fleets” of private jets connected to CIA, used in the drug trade (in Mexico and elsewhere):
http://www.madcowprod.com/archive.html

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By samosamo, March 27, 2009 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

What else has hillbillie hillary left out here? Why of course, our very own drug manufacturers. How many americans die because one of their ‘best and brightest’ comes up with some synthetic concoction that doesn’t even really go through a test stage to determine its long and short term safety and usefulness?
What is the logic in trying to fix the health issues of this ‘brave new world’, that are caused by the pollution that is so essential for the ‘proper’ function of some criminal’s company, with the use of a ‘new’ drug?
Just another part of waking up the next day to find something else new that those ‘best and brightest’ have forced on a vegged out population.

And Smoove, there is much too much money to be made by fewer people by maintaining the criminality of drugs, you know, those judges, local-state-federal elected persons and especially that new blossomming industry, the prisons.

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By mlb, March 27, 2009 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

The Obama administration has its political technique all figured out.  Make honest and candid sounding public statements to placate progressives while pursuing overtly regressive right-wing policies.  Hillary’s statement, juxtaposed with Washington escalates “drug war” intervention in Mexico, is a perfect example.

It’s rather ironic that our politicians demean countries like Mexico and Afghanistan as “narco-states” when at $35 billion a year, marijuana is far and away America’s biggest crop. (Corn is second at ca $25 billion, soybeans third at $17 billion.)  It’s true that we don’t really qualify as a narco state because we’re not wracked by drug violence, but it’s still pretty amusing.  And maybe it’s a tribute to cannabis culture that in spite of prohibition and prevalence of use that rivals alcohol, there is relatively little violence (compared to what the prohibition of alcohol did) except for the Mexican drug cartels doing business in the U.S.

If we’re going to be honest with ourselves then we should admit that Mr. Robinson’s statement that legalizing “would do more harm than good with some drugs” is conjecture at best, and has been contradicted by experiences with decriminalization in other countries.  How many non-drug using Americans would say “Gee, now that heroin and crack are legal, I think I’ll start shooting up!”  On the other hand, many cigarette smokers probably would turn to cannabis - and would end up living longer in consequence.  The abundance of young people who try marijuana indicates that prohibition is not much of a deterrent.  And is alcohol one of those drugs where legalization does more harm than good?  How does Eugene Robinson feel about reinstating the 18th Amendment?  I wish he’d said specifically which drugs he meant and why.

I don’t know anyone who does heroin, meth, or even cocaine, but I can say that when it comes to cannabis, the conventional “wisdom” that people use drugs as an escape from something terribly wrong with their lives is not the case with any pot smokers I know, some of whom are professionals and none of whom are irresponsible slackers or suffer from clinical depression.  The motivation is nothing heavy or difficult to understand.  They do it because it’s fun.

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By Gmonst, March 27, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Legalization is the only real option.  I am glad its back on the radar of American discussion, but decades of propaganda on this issue has sunk in deep and its almost impossible for people to just recognize that the drug war is morally wrong on many levels.  The reality is that drugs really aren’t that big deal if we would stop making them a big deal.  Its about mind control, the government saying what states of mind are the right ones, and then making illegal the wrong ones.  That is one area I feel the government really has no right.  Many drugs are harmful, but its not the government’s job to stop people from harming themselves.  In the process of harming our own citizens we have created a vast war zone in the south, all fueled by profits which are artificially high.  Those drugs are not expensive to make and shouldn’t be expensive to buy.  How much harm to our society could be negate if we would just acknowledge a person’s right to determine how they want to feel.

If drugs were legalized today we would see a legitimate industry to fuel growth in third world nations around the globe.  Drug prices would drop drastically.  Drug addicts with less financial pressure would feel less need to commit other crimes to keep their habits going.  Domestic crime would undoubtedly drop.  Without the large cash influx organized crime would shrink.  The world would see a massive decrease in criminal violence.  Millions of people who do nothing more than trying to feel good wouldn’t risk having their lives destroyed for doing so.  This lowered stress both financially and mentally is likely to help drug users of all kinds remain productive members of society despite their addictions.  Its also very likely that with the ‘breakin the law’ bad boy cool gone from taking drugs, the levels of new users would drop.  The Netherlands with its relaxed marijuana laws has much lower use rates than the US.  Further we could have honest education about drugs to steer kids away from the most dangerous ones.  The government would save billions from stopping the war, with its cost of police work, and housing prisoners.  It would also stand to gain in vastly increased tax revenues.  Marijuana alone would likely generate billions in tax revenue.  With above board sales of drugs, there would be information on dosage and purity available to the user which would likely reduce rates of overdose and death for even the most dangerous drugs.

The most basic fact is that the drug war is intended to help people from taking dangerous drugs, but it actually creates most of the negative consequences of taking those drugs.  It doesn’t make sense and it should end. To me there is something morally wrong when we try to protect people by making something which is somewhat dangerous to not dangerous (depends on the drug) into something very dangerous and potentially life destroying.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Ending the drug war is the right choice morally, economically, and socially.

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By Bboy56, March 27, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The drug violence “sweeping” Mexico is neither new or more violent. It’s been for fifty years or more already. The players (predators) just become more and more numb to it as they ascend up the ladder. To where the innocent become entangled and murdered as well.

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By Paul_GA, March 27, 2009 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

I’d say because it’s “doable”, Godistwaddle. As Ayn Rand wrote in *Atlas Shrugged*, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws.”

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By omniadeo, March 27, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

My teenage son just got out of high school, and by all reports, the number 1 drug after Marijuana (and Alcohol, of course) is Ecstacy. Interesting that it is rarely mentioned in articles like this.

Now, I wonder why that is?

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By godistwaddle, March 27, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

And by what right or like to right does any government proscribe what an adult may take into his own body?

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By knute, March 27, 2009 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We don’t seem to learn from history..Even the total history of civilization isn’t enough to show the folly of enforcing draconian laws agains man’s most basic vices..there will always be a portion of society that wants to get fucked up occasionally. There will always be a portion that is willing to pay for sex. Passing laws against these things , thruout history, has only created an underworld of crime that profits because of those laws. In the 20’s it was alchohol. When prohibition finally ended and the goverment decided to tax alchohol instead the glory of capitalism replaced the sanctimonius need to judge and incarcerate and took away the profit to be made by the likes of Al Capone. But we still are filling our prisons with pot smokers and johns and making possible a criminal element’s motive for profit. If joe blow could just walk down to the store, buy a small stash and pay his tax on it instead of sneaking down an alley to talk with some clown in a hood, there would no longer be an avenue avail. to those who are now profitting in trafficking in drugs. Maybe we could start using our prison system for trully bad, dangerous people only. Maybe we could no longer be the nation that throws the highest proportion of its citizens in jail in the land of the free.

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By Anarcissie, March 27, 2009 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

JEP:
’“The obvious demand-side solution—legalization—would do more harm than good with some drugs, but maybe not with others.”

Even you, Gene, are relegated to vague “maybes” rather than the outright truth. ...’

Well, in one sentence he went from 100% wrong to 50% wrong.  That’s something.

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By psickmind fraud, March 27, 2009 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Clinton deserves high praise for acknowledging that the United States bears “shared responsibility” for the drug-fueled violence sweeping Mexico

We’re supposed to give a pol high praise for finally speaking a truth?  Is that how low our government has sunken, that if a pol speaks a simple truth it’s praiseworthy?  Very sad.

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By JEP, March 27, 2009 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

“The obvious demand-side solution—legalization—would do more harm than good with some drugs, but maybe not with others.”

Even you, Gene, are relegated to vague “maybes” rather than the outright truth.

But why do we continue to lump pot in with so many other much more dangerous drugs?

The first step to sanity is to lift the veil that hides the truth.  Marijuana is vilified as a hard “drug” for one reason;  not because our children overdose on it (can’t happen), not because it contributes to a majority of fatal auto accidents (like alcohol) but because it is an organic competitor to synthetic fiber, pharmaceuticals and construction materials. 

Pot is illegal because it competes with cotton, timber, oil, synthetic drugs and many other entrenched icons of our monopoly-driven status quo.

Until the public understands this basic truth, we will continue to stumble along the road to a better world for everyone, and not just the greedy rich who own those monopolies.

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By Paul_GA, March 27, 2009 at 6:42 am Link to this comment

The only trouble is, if the Feds do legalize the stuff (which I think is exceedingly unlikely), they’ll probably tax it to death; and let’s not forget that the former Prohibition agents who made the liquor raids in the 20s and 30s (like Eliot Ness & Co.) eventually morphed into the present-day BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).

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By Jason!!, March 27, 2009 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

right on outraged.

the drug war is an assult on the american people by those who want to control peoples behavior.

it goes against our very core.

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By chuckwagonchuckie, March 27, 2009 at 6:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yup, from a TRUE Democrat,America is the cause of every crime in the world. The Drug Czar and the WAR on Drugs is a joke. The simple solution is to legalize drugs and tax them. But too many HIGH PROFILE Governing people are getting rich off of the stuff.
The weapon used are FULLY AUTOMATIC weapons Manufactured and sold by our friends from Russia and CHINA not the U.S.of A. The after market of Military weapons are sold on the black market or bought directly from the manufacturer not from an American PAWN SHOP. If you believe HRC you are dead wrong.

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By Paul_GA, March 27, 2009 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

As for the guns, I offer this:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/gaddy/gaddy54.html

Two pertinent quotes from the above:

“Anderson Cooper and Janet Napolitano are either ignorant or complicit in the myth that M-203s, RPGs and hand grenades are readily available to the American gun consumer.”

“While not stated as such, I am sure this will eventually morph into `the war on guns.’ Funny, is it not, every time our government `declares war’ on something, it always increases exponentially! Whether it is poverty, drugs, terrorism or guns, when the state declares war, rapid growth and expansion of that which is the object of that war is inevitable.”

And as the late Harry Browne once said, “If the US government declared a `War on Abortion’, within five years, MEN would be having abortions!”

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By Purple Girl, March 27, 2009 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

Goldwaters Girl Rears her Ugly Repug Head and Speaks out her ass.
Yes the US is the ‘demand’ side of much Drug trafficking- so that includes the Afghani Herione Too. So if you follow her logic We are responsible for the Attacks of 9/11 because we supplied the funding through the herione demand.
Just like in these Latin countries, the people who produce and distribute drugs do so because their economy sucks for real jobs.Thye ahave chosen to risk life & limb (heads) to sustain themselves and their families by any means available. So what this indicates is that theri economies can not sustain and provide for their people. So all those wonderful Corps who sent Our Jobs down to Mexico have not lifted the Mexican people out of desperate poverty.Apparently Their Wages suck even in a 3rd world economy-so they are screwing them like they have US.
And Why do people deal and use drugs here- because they are ways to escape poverty and escape their depressive existence. Could that be because they can never get ahead- always a day late & a dollar short. Unable to access the ‘Free market’ to offer their ‘wares’ for a decent price or wage? Absolutely.
Want to blame someone- look to the Corps who have used labor all around the world like cheap whores- to be used and disgarded at will.
Hell these corps aren’t even paying enough in Taxes down there to guarantee a decent wage for their law enforcement agencies- who are seeking additional incomes to make end meet. These people know they are ‘dancing with the devil’ when they workfor the Cartels- but they are desperate enough to take that chance.
Seems NAFTA did nothing for the Mexicans either.Finally the results are being played out on both sides of the Border.
And where do these Cartels (and Terrorist) get their supply of Atuomatic Weapons- from those who manufacture them and can’t account for who they sold them too. There doesn’t seem to be any regulatory mechanism to stop the sale of mass numbers of these weapons. Why is no one investigating the manufactures and who they sell large stockpiles of weapons too?
This is not the fault of the street Junkie, or even the suburban pot smoker- it’s the fault of those who own and control the economic wealth of average citizens and those who make big bucks selling weapons they can’t legitmatiely account for. How do these large stashes of weapons get into the hands of these ‘covert’ Dealers to begin with?Helplessness and Hopelessness leads to Drug use, it doesn’t take a fucking Einstein to figure out why people resort to dangerous drug use & sales.Given people a decent steady well paying job, and they will not jeporadize their lives.
Want to know what causes these Drug Wars…Follow the Money, and Hillary KNOWS this!She trying to deflect blame away from The Corps she serves and towards the Victims who die because of their Business practices. Hillary is and has always been a Corp Whore Repug, the DLC’s ‘Third Way’ is evidence enough of that fact.

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By samosamo, March 27, 2009 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Clinton could have gone out on the streets to get this information. She doesn’t even get credit for a revelation in my mind. This best thing here is the acknowledgement that, as with prohibition of alcohol, when drugs are legalized, or the very less dangerous ones, again with prohibition, crime will go down, prisons will be less stressed from worthless incarcerations that only make a more violent and desparate society and the use of felony convictions to remove a segment of society off the voting lists for more citizenry participation in the society. But, then again and here clinton missed the boat most likely intentionally, when attention and action is paid to those lawmakers and elected officials that take a cut to profit from the illegal drug and gun trade and encouraging it, then the lessennig of the effects of the whole drug culture is even more reduced.
When prohibition was instituted, the consumption never stopped and most likely did not decrease much if at all. The same with drugs, because it is demonstrated that if illegal drugs are not available then people will turn to sniffing gasoline, paint thinner and all manner of intoxicating agents and with the legalization of some drugs, the social rules should help those that would tend to abuse even that kind of excessive use of drugs.
But, again, far too many people in all parts of government, business and other parts of society right now are making too much money to want anything like legalization of any drugs happen. Just like NONE of the financial world’s ‘best and brightest’ want any kind of transparency, regulation and oversight, and especially accountability.
I refuse to give a clinton credit for something that is all too obvious.

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By Outraged, March 26, 2009 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

Quote: “It’s an indictment of our fact-averse political culture that a statement of the blindingly obvious could sound so revolutionary. “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on her plane Wednesday as she flew to Mexico for an official visit. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border ... causes the deaths of police, of soldiers and civilians.”

Excellent article.  Further it needs to be recognized that there’s an interplay here and the overriding consensus is that the very issue we seek to ameliorate in reality only FUELS its existence.  Hat’s off to Secretary of State, Clinton who acknowledges this undeniable truth.

But the hard evidence has no impact on drug policies that have not just failed in their stated goals of reducing drug addiction, crime, and juvenile drug use.  Instead, the drug war continues to worsen each of these. 

LEAP member Jim Gray describes himself as a conservative judge in a conservative jurisdiction.  Prior to joining the Orange County Superior Court, he prosecuted what was then Los Angeles’ largest ever drug case.  He says unequivocally, “We have a more radical approach [to drug law] than any other western democracy, and we have a bigger drug problem.  I’m convinced there is a connection.”

The plain truth is that drug laws create crime.  In his book Bad Trip, conservative author Joel Miller writes, “Drug prohibition does not end drug use.  It simply forces the consumer to break the law to get what he wants.”

Add to that addicts who steal to support their habit and drug bosses who kill to dominate their territory.  Peter Christ, a LEAP member and retired Buffalo PD captain observes, “We legalized alcohol because it only took us 13 years to learn the lesson that alcohol did not create Al Capone.  Prohibition created Al Capone.  And everyone didn’t become a drunk in 1934.”

He’s right.  With alcohol prohibition, murder went up 13% and robbery, 83%.  Prohibition ended in 1933, and violent crimes returned to their pre-prohibition levels by 1937.  Judge Gray estimates that 80 percent of felonies are drug related. 

One of the drug war’s hypocrisies is that its purpose is to prevent harm to users.  While drug addicts do serious damage to their lives, the drug war destroys those lives. 

Jay Fleming, a thoughtful LEAP member, served 15 years with multiple drug enforcement agencies: “As with all wars, you have to have an enemy.  That enemy turns out to be our fellow citizens.  Once you make the enemy evil, its ok to use any means to destroy them.” He relates how, working undercover, he got to know drug culture people and their families.  “And then you have to come back and destroy that family.”

http://mapinc.org/newsleap/v09/n077/a09.html

The proof is in the pudding.  And you can stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it.  It is, what it is.

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By Smoove, March 26, 2009 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This country can no longer afford to deny the obvious: The social cost of the war on drugs has far surpassed its benefits.

As a society, it would be instructive to go back to this country’s failed experiment with alcohol prohibition. The evidence is clear: Prohibition doesn’t work. In fact, it has never worked. The only thing prohibition is successful at is keeping thugs like Al Capone and the Mexican cartels rich and powerful.

Legalize marijuana. Decriminalize everything else.

Everyone say it with me now: “Regulation and taxation, not prohibition!”

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