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Independent UK: US waves white flag in disastrous 'war on drugs'

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:33 PM
Original message
Independent UK: US waves white flag in disastrous 'war on drugs'
US waves white flag in disastrous 'war on drugs'
After 40 years, Washington is quietly giving up on a futile battle that has spread corruption and destroyed thousands of lives

By Hugh O'Shaughnessy
Sunday, 17 January 2010


After 40 years of defeat and failure, America's "war on drugs" is being buried in the same fashion as it was born amid bloodshed, confusion, corruption and scandal. US agents are being pulled from South America; Washington is putting its narcotics policy under review, and a newly confident region is no longer prepared to swallow its fatal Prohibition error. Indeed, after the expenditure of billions of dollars and the violent deaths of tens of thousands of people, a suitable epitaph for America's longest "war" may well be the plan, in Bolivia, for every family to be given the right to grow coca in its own backyard.

The "war", declared unilaterally throughout the world by Richard Nixon in 1969, is expiring as its strategists start discarding plans that have proved futile over four decades: they are preparing to withdraw their agents from narcotics battlefields from Colombia to Afghanistan and beginning to coach them in the art of trumpeting victory and melting away into anonymous defeat. Not surprisingly, the new strategy is being gingerly aired in the media of the US establishment, from The Wall Street Journal to the Miami Herald.

Prospects in the new decade are thus opening up for vast amounts of useless government expenditure being reassigned to the treatment of addicts instead of their capture and imprisonment. And, no less important, the ever-expanding balloon of corruption that the "war" has brought to heads of government, armies and police forces wherever it has been waged may slowly start to deflate.

Prepare to shed a tear over the loss of revenue that eventual decriminalisation of narcotics could bring to the traffickers, large and small, and to the contractors who have been making good money building and running the new prisons that help to bankrupt governments in the US in particular, where drug offenders principally small retailers and seldom the rich and important wholesalers have helped to push the prison population to 1,600,000; their imprisonment is already straining federal and state budgets. In Mississippi, where drug offenders once had to serve 85 per cent of their sentences, they are now being required to serve less than a quarter. California has been ordered to release 40,000 inmates because its prisons are hugely overcrowded. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-wav...




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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holy cow -- dare we hope? 5th Rec!
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 10:39 PM by Hekate
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:40 PM
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2. Decriminalizing drugs would empty our jails and take the profit out of trafficking. It would still
be illegal to sell to minors and to drive under the influence, etc.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. well i am for decriminalization
but not legalization. I agree no one should be imprisoned for drug use or "buddy" distribution.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Without legalization, this corrupt social engineering will continue...
Decriminalization merely lightens the courts' caseloads and frees up prison space.

It will do NOTHING to reduce the profits of illegal trade, and the increasing power of the drug cartels to run entire nations.

But definition, the only way to regulate the growing, manufacturing, sale and taxing of drugs -- or ANYTHING -- is by legalization. We tend to forget that legalization makes possible regulation; the absence of legalization means NO REGULATION. That is what we have now.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Exactly, decriminalization does nothing to get rid of the violence and corruption..
Only outright legalization and control as with alcohol will work.

Very few people realize this but alcohol was essentially "decriminalized" during alcohol Prohibition, possession and use of alcohol was not illegal, just manufacture, sale and importation. And yet violent crime and corruption exploded during that era.

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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. That's right. Alcohol has always been decrim'ed, even when Capone ran things. nt
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Seriously? This is for real?
Oooh...

"...beginning to coach them in the art of trumpeting victory and melting away into anonymous defeat"

lololololol

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. I will shed a tear... NOT
Perhaps Mexico was the wake up call.

No I am not kidding... what I saw as a medic in TJ fifteen years ago... we were starting to see in the US.

Fifteen years later there is a full fledged war in TJ... so they probably went, holy shite, that is coming.
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mn9driver Donating Member (877 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Anything worth as much money as the drug trade is, is not going to go away.
They should have legalized ,regulated and taxed it 40 years ago.
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naaman fletcher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. Great, but you have to legalize to get rid of the gangs.
Legalize it all right now. It's the illegality that gives rise to the gangs.
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frog92969 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
9. This has to be a joke.
It's too sensible to be happening in America.

Either they're serious about combating the drug problem,
or we're about to have mandates to buy Haliburton Heroin.

I hate drugs but I hope this is true.
It just seemed cruel to outlaw my favorite plant and fungus.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. ........
:)
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