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Fri Aug 9, 2013, 06:16 PM

Leahy blocks 95 million dollar appropriation for Drug War group

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/18080-leahy-freeze-on-mexico-drug-war-funds-will-save-lives-and-money

Senator Patrick Leahy, chair of the Appropriations Committee, blocked release of $95 million dollars in funding for the Merida Initiative, citing the lack of a clear strategy on the part of the U.S. State Department and the Mexican government.

The decision is a long-overdue recognition that the drug war in Mexico has been a bloody fiasco. The Merida Initiative, a Bush-era plan to attack cartels in Mexico and reduce trafficking of prohibited drugs to the U.S. market, began in 2008. Congress has appropriated $1.9 billion dollars from the federal budget for the program over the past five years, most aimed at bolstering Mexican security forces. Since the drug war was launched and armed forces deployed to fight the cartels, the homicide rate in Mexico soared 150%, between 2006 and 2012.

Last August the State Department asked the committee to obligate some $229 million assigned to the Merida Initiative in the 2012 budget. At first, Leahy decided to hold up the entire amount, after receiving a two-and-a-half page explanation from the State Department that he felt failed toadequately describe spending and objectives.

In April, the committee released $134 million,but held up the rest pending more information from State and the Mexican government on how the money would be spent, what the goals were and how the programs and resources would help achieve those goals.

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Reply Leahy blocks 95 million dollar appropriation for Drug War group (Original post)
RainDog Aug 2013 OP
duhneece Aug 2013 #1
RainDog Aug 2013 #4
tridim Aug 2013 #2
RainDog Aug 2013 #3
tridim Aug 2013 #5
Warren DeMontague Aug 2013 #7
tridim Aug 2013 #8
Warren DeMontague Aug 2013 #10
RainDog Aug 2013 #9
Warren DeMontague Aug 2013 #6

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 07:46 PM

1. Merida doesn't seem to be a good thing

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Response to duhneece (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 07:59 PM

4. thanks for the links!

interesting info.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 07:47 PM

2. The drug war is falling apart.

I can't wait to hear what holder has to say next week. I think it's going to be big, and VERY progressive.

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Response to tridim (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 07:57 PM

3. I'm glad this is getting attention

You're much more optimistic than me, regarding all of this, but I regard any steps toward better policy as a good thing.

Since Congress has created legislation to address problems with sentencing, etc., I think Holder's announcements are intended to show the Justice Dept. is on board with those modifications to existing drug sentencing laws.

It's a move in the right direction.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 08:17 PM

5. The admin has also announced that they are talking seriously about CO and WA.

And I think they announced that conclusions are forthcoming. The implications are obviously extremely important and very much related to drug sentencing laws.

It just feels like the cannabis dam has burst. The CNN thing was big. It's a perfect storm.

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Response to tridim (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 09:32 PM

7. "talking seriously" most likely = "we're trying to figure out how to spin the inevitable raids"

unfortunately.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 09:48 PM

8. There is a zero percent chance of that happening in those states. nt

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Response to tridim (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:41 AM

10. Like I said, I hope you're right.

Still, I suspect Holder and co. are postively chomping at the bit to send some SWAT teams in and show everyone who is boss.

The recent raids in WA are pretty clear evidence of that.

Everyone says "oh, they've left CO alone!" Right, because CO is a swing state. That's the ONLY reason it hasn't caught as much Federal crap.

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Response to tridim (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 10:08 PM

9. Here's a great scenario

With the recent implementation of D.C.'s medical marijuana laws, and with the unwillingness of political powers-that-be to make too much of a commitment to ending the WoD (because, yes, I realize, these folks have to live with one another in their bureaucratic and political goldfish bowls)...

anyway, fantasy federal political football scenario: Holder will declare that Congress has de facto changed marijuana's CSA scheduling by admitting the medical value of cannabis through funding the legislation passed to make dispensaries available in DC. To uphold the equal protection clause, the office of the AG will direct the DEA to officially alter the CSA classification to indicate medical value for everyone, no matter if a state has mmj law.

Then Congress can follow through by passage of the Polis and Blumenauer bills to decriminalize, federally.

http://polis.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=318723

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Response to tridim (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 9, 2013, 09:31 PM

6. I hope you're right.

I suspect, however, it will be a commitment to start making more symbolic arrests of pot smokers in WA and CO, because hell will freeze over before he acknowledges the reality that legalization is coming.

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