Call Off the Global Drug War

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

All,

It is obvious to everyone that the “Drug War” is working about as well as Prohibition did.

So it should be obvious to everyone that doing more of what we are doing is simply not going to work.  Not only that, but the damage it is doing to Mexico and Colombia, not to mention all the countries in between, is horrific and growing daily.

So why don’t we do what is needed?  Because that would be an admission of the failure of existing policy, and that can’t be permitted.  So it won’t happen.  So we go on, killing thousands, destroying the lives of millions, and fostering international organized crime – so a bunch of right wing politicians can save face.

Scott

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Call Off the Global Drug War
By JIMMY CARTER
Published: June 16, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/opinion/17carter.html?_r=1

IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.

These recommendations are compatible with United States drug policy from three decades ago. In a message to Congress in 1977, I said the country should decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with a full program of treatment for addicts. I also cautioned against filling our prisons with young people who were no threat to society, and summarized by saying: “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”

These ideas were widely accepted at the time. But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries.

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