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    Matt 8:57 am on October 15, 2012 Permalink  

    Decriminalise Drug Use, Say Experts After Six-Year Study 

    Advisors say no serious rise in consumption is likely if possession of small amounts of controlled drugs is allowed

    A six-year study of Britain’s drug laws by leading scientists, police officers, academics and experts has concluded it is time to introduce decriminalisation.

    The report by the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), an independent advisory body, says possession of small amounts of controlled drugs should no longer be a criminal offence and concludes the move will not lead to a significant increase in use.

    The experts say the criminal sanctions imposed on the 42,000 people sentenced each year for possession of all drugs – and the 160,000 given cannabis warnings – should be replaced with simple civil penalties such as a fine, attendance at a drug awareness session or a referral to a drug treatment programme.

    They also say that imposing minimal or no sanctions on those growing cannabis for personal use could go some way to undermining the burgeoning illicit cannabis factories controlled by organised crime.

    But their report rejects any more radical move to legalisation, saying that allowing the legal sale of drugs such as heroin or cocaine could cause more damage than the existing drugs trade.

  • avatar

    Matt 10:19 am on November 19, 2011 Permalink  

    It’s time to make drugs legal, Nobel winners tell Cameron 

    David Cameron has been urged to consider legalising drug use by a group of 60 major thinkers and celebrities including Sting, Yoko Ono and the former American president Jimmy Carter.

    By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent

    In a letter to the Prime Minister and every member of Parliament, the public figures claim the “global war on drugs has failed”.

    The roll-call of eminent names includes seven former presidents, 12 Nobel Prize winners and six British MPs.

    Their letter says the illicit drug industry, worth £285 billion a year, is the third most valuable in the world after food and oil.

    It calls for a debate on “decriminalising” the world’s 250 million drug users and asks Mr Cameron to start a public conversation with other global leaders.

    The group claims that drug use should be treated as a medical problem, rather than a criminal one.

  • avatar

    MaryJane 9:06 pm on September 10, 2011 Permalink  

    What was the Rainbow Farm? 

    Drug Policy Question of the Week – 9-11-11

    As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network in loving memory of all victims of the tragic events that converged on 9-11-01.

    Question of the Week: What was the Rainbow Farm?

    Paraphrasing a January 2002 Washington Post article entitled “Was Rainbow Farm another Waco?”, the Rainbow Farm was a …

    “34-acre farm and an adjoining 20-acre wood near Vandalia, [Michigan]. [Tom] Crosslin bought the farm … as a place where he and [Rollie] Rohm could escape their urban life. … He turned Rainbow Farm into a campground and began holding pro-pot festivals every Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend.”

    On Friday, August 31, 2001,

    “the building where bands waited to go onstage — was burning. … A helicopter from WNDU-TV in South Bend, Indiana shooting fire footage for the evening news [was told to] leave because the cops said somebody was shooting at them. … On Sunday, the FBI arrived, more than 50 strong, summoned to the scene because the helicopter shooting was a federal crime … John Bell, head of the FBI’s Detroit office … sent three FBI SWAT teams, each composed of three sharpshooters …

    in the woods … at a campsite … two agents fired, one of them shooting Crosslin through the forehead, killing him instantly.”

    Early the next day,

    “two state police snipers fired from 150 yards away.  One missed.  The other shot through the stock of Rohm’s rifle and into his chest, killing him.”

    The Rainbow Farm might have simply been counted among estimated 40,000 paramilitary SWAT raids that occurred in 2001, but in the context of history, it was no ordinary raid.

    It was the harbinger of what was to come.

    Eight days later on September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four airliners, flying two of them into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into a Pennsylvania cornfield, killing a total of 2,977 people.

    The 9/11 Commission Report released in 2004 found that FBI priorities were

    “driven at the local level by the field offices, whose concerns centered on traditional crimes such as white-collar offenses and those pertaining to drugs and gangs. … In 2000, there were still twice as many agents devoted to drug enforcement as to counterterrorism.”

    The report concluded,

    “In sum, the domestic agencies never mobilized in response to the threat. … The terrorists exploited deep institutional failings.”

    Perhaps one failing was the drug war.

    These facts and others like them can be found on the Interdiction Chapter of Drug War Facts at

  • avatar

    Matt 9:08 am on August 31, 2011 Permalink  

    Drug Policy in Portugal 

    The Benefits of Decriminalizing Drug Use

    By Artur Domoslawski

    In 2000, the Portuguese government responded to widespread public concern over drugs by rejecting a “war on drugs” approach and instead decriminalized drug possession and use. It further rebuffed convention by placing the responsibility for decreasing drug demand as well as managing dependence under the Ministry of Health, rather than the Ministry of Justice. With this, the official response toward drug dependent persons shifted from viewing them as criminals, to treating them as patients.

    Drug Policy in Portugal: The Benefits of Decriminalizing Drug Use is the second in a series of reports by the Open Society Foundations’ Global Drug Policy Program that documents positive examples of drug policy reform around the world (the first being From the Mountaintops: What the World Can Learn from Drug Policy Change in Switzerland). Drug Policy in Portugal describes the process, context, ideas, and values that enabled Portugal to make the transition to a public health response to drug use and possession. Now, with a decade of experience, Portugal provides a valuable case study of how decriminalization coupled with evidence-based strategies can reduce drug consumption, dependence, recidivism, and HIV infection, and create safer communities for all.

  • avatar

    Matt 3:42 pm on June 3, 2011 Permalink

    Inside Story – Has The Global War On Drugs Failed? 

  • avatar

    Matt 9:11 am on June 2, 2011 Permalink

    ‘Global War On Drugs Has Failed,’ Former World Leaders Say 

    “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” a high-powered commission whose members include former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan warns today.

  • avatar

    Matt 6:46 pm on May 10, 2011 Permalink  

    Following Arab World’s Lead, Mexicans Rise Up 

    The men and women took to the stage in the Mexico City’s vast plaza and tearfully told stories of how they lost their loved ones: how a son was kidnapped, tortured and dumped dead in a car trunk; how a brother was killed for standing up to gangsters; how a child died in crossfire.

    But while such stories have become tragically common in Mexico, this was the first time the mourners could vent their grief in front of tens of thousands of sympathizers and TV cameras from across the world.

    And in this media spotlight, the protesters made a new demand — amid the failure of the government to provide security, they cried, the Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna must resign.

    “We don’t want more dead. We don’t want more hate,” protest leader Javier Sicilia told the crowd. “President Felipe Calderon — show you are listening to us and make the public safety secretary resign.”

    The demand announced at Sunday’s rally gave a new edge to a movement that has been steadily rising amid the massacres and mass graves of Mexico’s drug war.

  • avatar

    Matt 6:38 pm on May 10, 2011 Permalink

    U.S. Ignores Mexico Drug War Protests 

  • avatar

    Matt 12:14 pm on April 20, 2011 Permalink  

    Legalizing Marijuana: An Exit Strategy from the War on Drugs 

    by By COHA Research Associate Zoë Amerigian

    • U.S. drug policy needs to be altered; legalization must be subject to serious debate
    • Legalization could eliminate illegal demand for Mexican marijuana and curb drug-related violence
    • Medical dangers of marijuana may be largely exaggerated
    • Economic costs and benefits should be balanced; legalization could reduce financial burden on the U.S.

    Few topics of debate are as stigmatizing and polarizing as the legalization of marijuana. For the majority of the U.S. population, the idea invokes one of two reactions: a firm guffaw at the ridiculousness of it, or a tenacious, almost blind, support of it. Regardless of their stance, most people derive their opinions from personal beliefs and unsubstantiated myth rather than unassailable fact.

    Disinformation on marijuana is rampant and several U.S. presidents have been stubbornly opposed to any serious discussion about marijuana legalization. National interest in the subject is evidenced by the myriad of legalization-related questions directed at the White House, yet President Obama cannot stifle his laughter every time the topic is brought up.

    Secretary of State Clinton brushes off the idea, vaguely dismissing the subject with “[T]here is just too much money in it,”1—the implication of this statement is uncertain—while countless lawmakers simply cite “morality” in disregarding it.

    If the federal government is going to firmly oppose legalization, they must first establish that they have given significant consideration to the idea. Many Latin American nations, including Mexico and Colombia, the greatest victims of the drug trade, have already had serious debate about legalization. It is time for the U.S. to do the same.

  • avatar

    Matt 1:17 pm on March 11, 2011 Permalink  

    Mexico Drug War a Lost Cause as Presently Fought 

    By Sandy Goodman

    There’s a powerful new piece of evidence that, the way it is being fought, the war on drugs on the Mexican-American border is a lost cause. It comes in a report issued by the Council on Foreign Relations, a highly-respected foreign policy think tank, that recommends that, as an experiment, the federal government allow states “to legalize the production, sale, taxation and consumption of marijuana.” The report says authorities should redirect scarce law enforcement resources to stopping the importation of more dangerous drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

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