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Time to end the failed War on Drugs?

Original post made by Sharon, Midtown, on Mar 9, 2009

A report by the Brookings Institution, and a separate study by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron which was endorsed by 500 economists, have joined the chorus demanding change.

The debate comes to a head on Wednesday when ministers from across the world convene in Vienna to forge a new UN approach to drugs.

Almost 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year alone, an unprecedented level of mayhem that is showing signs of spilling northwards into the United States. More than 1,000 have been killed already this year in Mexico."Web Link

Many colleges have recommended that students NOT go to Mexico for Spring Break given the very high levels of murder and violence.

We have had the same policy to drugs since Nixon and it clearly is not working it has created narco terrorist states on our border and in Latin America.

Closer to home it has created a violent gangster community in EPA.

How long will it be before another gang picks up the activities of the Taleban gang? a matter of weeks and months at most.

Comments (12)

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Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I didn't realize until last night after reading the Chronicle article on the same subject, that the wholesale price/kilo of cocaine in the US is the same as gold. No wonder they can't stop the flow. These folks are dealing with a white powder that at retail is worth more than its weight in gold and is far easier to produce.

1 kilogram of cocaine, WHOLESALE is $30,000.
1 kilogram = 32.1507466 troy ounces
32.1507466 * $978.90 (today's RETAIL gold price/ounce) = $31,472.37

For a young person in need of being able to make money in a capitalistic society, what better product to peddle. The price moves from $8,000 a kilo just to get it from Central America to the U.S. Imagine all the lost tax revenues on those gains.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Since 2001 more than 19,000 people have been murdered in the drug wars in Mexico.

The Defense Department has warned that Mexico is in danger of becoming a failed, corrupt narco terrorist State.

And that is right on our borders, recent developments in EPA suggest it is going in the same direction, and they are our neighbors.

With the huge amounts of money in the drug trade it is unstoppable
unless we take out the profit motive through legalization, regulation and taxation-- like we did with alcohol after prohibition and as we do with Tobacco.

Interestingly in Holland, where they have a more tolerant approach, young Dutch people use drugs very little,
it is tourists from Germany and Belgium who come to buy that keeps the dealers in business.

Like this comment
Posted by Craig
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

You guys are totally right. I hope that California takes a step in the right direction with AB 390. It will certainly be an interesting experiment.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Any change in drug laws would have to nation wide, otherwise drug addicts, dealers and gangsters will flock to California to obtain their poisons.

If we legalize,regulate and tax drugs we will have a huge source of revenue, we can then spend a fraction of that revenue on treating drug ADDICTION as a public health problem.

We did not address the AIDS epidemic by making male homosexual behavior illegal and appying draconian prison sentences.

But that is our current approach to drug addicts.

The war on drugs was launched by Nixon in 1971---- 38 yrs and the situation is much worse.

Maybe Obama can stop the loosing war on drugs, if and when he ever comes up for air that is.

Like this comment
Posted by Jarred
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Great post Sharon, I completely agree. BTW, The Economist has an article on this subject in the March 5 edition.

Web Link

Here's a quote:

"Next week ministers from around the world gather in Vienna to set international drug policy for the next decade. Like first-world-war generals, many will claim that all that is needed is more of the same. In fact the war on drugs has been a disaster, creating failed states in the developing world even as addiction has flourished in the rich world. By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless. That is why The Economist continues to believe that the least bad policy is to legalise drugs."

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Posted by An Observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Think of all of the 10's of thousans of drug enforcement officers and jail guards that would be out of work. We can't allow that to happen and it won't as they have millions of $$ to lobby congress.

Drug enforcement is one of our countrys biggest industries. We wouldn't want to kill a industry would we.?

Selling drugs requires no college education. Anyone even high school dropouts can do it. What would they do with their lives?
Jail guards also make money selling drugs,probably, to the inmates. They would want higher pay if this source of money went away!!

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2009 at 5:41 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

When no-knock was approved in drug cases, our freedom became a whimsy of the establishment.

Like this comment
Posted by R Wray
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2009 at 10:05 am

It would be a great stimulus to the economy to legalize drugs.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Today the UN declares defeat in the War On Drugs---

"The UN strategy on drugs over the past decade has been a failure, a European commission report claimed yesterday on the eve of the international conference in Vienna that will set future policy for the next 10 years.

The report came amid growing dissent among delegates arriving at the meeting to finalise a UN declaration of intent".

Take out the profit and we destroy the gangs paricipation, treat addicts as a public health problem, for the rest, implement harm reduction, 10% of the worlds AIDS cases are drug related, we do not outlaw male homosexuality here or promiscuity in Africa

Time for a new approach, the gangs in EPA will move onto something else, gambling and hookers are the tradition route, but nothing is as profitable, and as violent as the current drug trade.The alternatives are therefore easier to control.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2009 at 1:31 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The Pure Food and Drug laws keep people from unknowingly being harmed by poorly made, impure, mislabeled merchandise. Apply this protection to recreational drugs, and eliminate the draconian punishment of physicians who dose according to patient need.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Looks like Obama, by his new drug czar is following my logic, good.

"The White House yesterday said that it will push for treatment, rather than incarceration, of people arrested for drug-related crimes as it announced the nomination of Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske to oversee the nation's effort to control illegal drugs." Web Link

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:51 am

The report is out on last weeks UN review of the War on Drugs

"The United Nations says it is losing its global war on drugs.

Anti-drug policies have in fact indirectly created "a criminal market of macro-economic size", said a UN report presented at a global drug conference in Vienna on Wednesday

"We need law enforcement. But the heart of the matter is to bring back health, prevention, treatment, to the centre of drugs control," he said on the sidelines of the ministerial-level meeting the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs conference.

"It's not done in a lot of countries."

The conference in Vienna was to review the results of a decade-long war on drugs launched by a UN General Assembly session "Web Link

Obama has appointed a new drug czar who has similar views, unfortunately he has not been given cabinet rank so he will be bothwhistling in the dark AND past the graveyard.

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