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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:05 AM

Our Right to Poison: Lessons from the Failed War on Drugs

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/global-support-grows-for-legalizing-drugs-a-884750.html

hon Velásquez, aka "Popeye," was a brutal killer as head of security for Pablo Escobar, head of Colombia's Medellín cartel until his death in 1993. "People like me can't be stopped. It's a war," he recently told SPIEGEL at his maximum-security prison."You will never win this war when there is so much money to me made. Never." After 40 years of a failed war on drugs, many politicians and experts are started to embrace this same conclusion -- and calling for regulated legalization.


Pure cocaine costs €1,300 ($1,700) a kilo in Putumayo, more than €4,000 at the Colombian border and, in nearby Jamaica, the price already approaches €6,000. The drug gets really expensive when it reaches Europe or the United States, where dealers make about €30,000 a kilo, depending on market conditions. The going rate in Germany is about €100 for a gram of impure cocaine, while a kilo of pure cocaine can cost up to €400,000.

***SNIP

A Global War on Drugs

On July 17, 1971, then-US President Richard Nixon announced: "America's public enemy No. 1 is drug abuse." A new archenemy had been born: drugs. It was the opening salvo in the "war on drugs."

To this day, the war on drugs is being waged against anyone who comes into contact with cocaine, marijuana or other illegal drugs. It is being fought against coca farmers in Colombia, poppy growers in Afghanistan and drug mules who smuggle drugs by the kilogram (2.2 pounds), sometimes concealed in their stomachs. It is being fought against crystal meth labs in Eastern Europe, kids addicted to crack cocaine in Los Angeles and people who are caught with a gram of marijuana in their pockets, just as it is being fought against the drug cartels in Mexico and killers like Popeye. There is almost no place on earth today where the war is not being waged. Indeed, the war on drugs is as global as McDonald's.

In 2010, about 200 million people took illegal drugs. The numbers have remained relatively constant for years, as has the estimated annual volume of drugs produced worldwide: 40,000 tons of marijuana, 800 tons of cocaine and 500 tons of heroin. What has increased, however, is the cost of this endless war.

In the early 1970s, the Nixon administration pumped about $100 million into drug control. Today, under President Barack Obama, that figure is $15 billion -- more than 30 times as much when adjusted for inflation. There is even a rough estimate of the direct and indirect costs of the 40-plus years of the drug war: $1 trillion in the United States alone.

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Reply Our Right to Poison: Lessons from the Failed War on Drugs (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
MadHound Feb 2013 #1
truebluegreen Feb 2013 #2
Trillo Feb 2013 #3
randome Feb 2013 #4

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:10 AM

1. We've lost the war on drugs,

 

It is time to admit that, legalize all drugs, and start treating the drug problem, the addiction problem for what it is, a health problem.

But that's not going to happen. A relatively small, but powerful group of people make far too much money and accumulate far too much power in the WOD. Lawyers, police, prosecutors, security, etc. etc. Not to mention it provides agencies like the CIA a way to make money off the books, ie Iran Contra. Thus, the WOD will never be ended in our lifetime.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:23 AM

2. Another thing to thank that prick Nixon for...

and this one is maybe the worst.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:15 AM

3. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Taylor, Pierce, and Lincoln smoked marijuana

"In the early days, even wealthy gentleman farmers and businessmen commonly smoked Cannabis, sometimes the ordinary kind, sometimes more potent. No fewer than eight US presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Taylor, Pierce, and Lincoln)22 have been identified as Cannabis (hemp) smokers. Washington reportedly preferred a pipe full of "the leaves of hemp" to alcohol, and wrote in his diaries that he enjoyed the fragrance of hemp flowers. Washington and Jefferson, both known to have grown medicinal hemp (marijuana), are said to have exchanged smoking blends as personal gifts. In a letter, Washington wrote, "The artificial preparation of hemp, from Silesia, is really a curiosity." It has been suggested that this may be a reference to hashish. Monroe apparently began smoking Cannabis while he was Ambassador to France and continued using it to the age of 73. Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce reportedly smoked Cannabis with their troops and wrote home of the pleasures of smoking hemp. Pirce, a reformed heavy drinker, is said to have written home that smoking hemp was the only good thing about the Mexican War. And Abe Lincoln, who grew up poor and probably couldn't afford tobacco, reportedly said he liked nothing better than sitting on his front porch smoking from his hemp pipe.23


Page 26 from Hemp: American History Revisited: The Plant with a Divided History
By Robert Deitch

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:36 AM

4. The vast majority of people want hard drugs to remain illegal.

Calling it a 'war' on drugs is just failed nomenclature from Nixon's day. There is no war anymore than there is a 'war' on poverty. There is interdiction and there are arrests.

The 200 million cited as drug users would increase if the spigot was turned on. A lot more people would die and a lot more lives would be ruined.

IMO.

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