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(28,784 posts)
12. yes.
Sun Dec 1, 2013, 05:02 PM
Dec 2013

Two years ago: Commission of World Leaders Urges End to Failed Drug War, Fundamental Reforms of Global Drug Prohibition Regime


and it goes back further than that, but recent changes in U.S. laws and opinion have made the subject more visible.

And Democrats like Clair McCaskill have questioned the funding for the War on Drugs in the U.S. with the majority of funds going to no-bid govt. contractors who have little oversight. She called the war on drugs a failure in


The U.S. government spent over $3 billion in recent years to combat drugs in Latin America, more than half of it to private contractors for planes, surveillance and training.

But a year-long investigation by a Senate subcommittee found little oversight over spending, lost contracts and $840 million in no-bid contracts, according to a report released this morning.

Most of the money went to five contractors: DynCorp; Lockheed Martin; Raytheon; ITT; and ARINC. Virginia-based DynCorp, a private military and aircraft maintenance company, received $1.1 billion of the spending during the five-year period.

More than half of the expenditures were related to aircraft, used for locating and spraying herbicides.

(more good information about drug war spending at the link)

Reagan started spraying fields in Latin American nations with paraquat, poisoning the ground water of people who lived downstream from these actions. This is what really provided the impetus for indoor cannabis growing and hybridization that has created more potent plants - which simply means less consumption for the same effect, but the point, really, is that such actions do not stop the market - they just change it, sometimes in good ways, sometimes in bad ways, but always against the intention of the actions.

Leahy made a statement by blocking funds, temporarily, this year.


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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