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Old 06-02-2011, 12:31 PM  
mohel
 
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Many contraband gangsters later became upstanding citizens and respectable families and one I know of even sent several to senate and the presidency of the US.
Prohibition was a disaster but soon we learned from it and corrected the error. Harry Anslingers phony drug war began in the 30's and 80 years later there are more drugs, more drug crime and overflowing prisons. Get a grip America!
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Old 06-02-2011, 12:34 PM  
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Trying to control drugs is like trying to control viruses. It really doesn't make much sense when you think of it!
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:51 PM  
mohel
 
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Drug War Has Failed

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/drug-war-has-failed-report_n_870096.html
Drug War Has Failed And Governments Should Explore Legalizing Marijuana, Says Report

Quote:
NEW YORK ? The global war on drugs has failed and governments should explore legalizing marijuana and other controlled substances, according to a commission that includes former heads of state, a former U.N. secretary-general and a business mogul.

A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper will be released Thursday.

"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," the report said.

The 19-member commission includes former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former U.S. official George P. Schultz, who held cabinet posts under U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Others include former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, U.K. business mogul Richard Branson and the current prime minister of Greece.

Instead of punishing users who the report says "do no harm to others," the commission argues that governments should end criminalization of drug use, experiment with legal models that would undermine organized crime syndicates and offer health and treatment services for drug-users in need.

The commission called for drug policies based on methods empirically proven to reduce crime, lead to better health and promote economic and social development.

The commission is especially critical of the United States, which its members say must lead changing its anti-drug policies from being guided by anti-crime approaches to ones rooted in healthcare and human rights.

"We hope this country (the U.S.) at least starts to think there are alternatives," former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria told The Associated Press by phone. "We don't see the U.S. evolving in a way that is complatible with our (countries') long-term interests."

The office of White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said the report was misguided.
"Drug addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and treated. Making drugs more available ? as this report suggests ? will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe," Office of National Drug Control Policy spokesman Rafael Lemaitre said.

That office cites statistics showing declines in U.S. drug use compared to 30 years ago, along with a more recent 46 percent drop in current cocaine use among young adults over the last five years.

The report cited U.N. estimates that opiate use increased 34.5 percent worldwide and cocaine 27 percent from 1998 to 2008, while the use of cannabis, or marijuana, was up 8.5 percent.
End the War on Drugs-n1zg8sm.jpg 

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Old 06-02-2011, 05:42 PM  
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Are we losing the war on drugs? And picking up Bono?


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The Global Commission on Drug Policy says international efforts to stop the drug trade are a failure - and it's urging a new approach: replacing incarceration of non-violent drug users with health treatment services. Tonight, we speak with Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance - who Rolling Stone magazine calls " "the point man for drug-policy-reform efforts."
Also tonight - a bizarre, macabre auction: personal items belonging to Theodore Kaczynski, the man better known as the Unabomber, are up for sale. Who would buy this stuff? Tonight, meet a man who calls himself a "murderabilia" collector.
In the middle of the Stanley Cup Final - a story where rock and roll meets hockey. While he was driving along a highway, Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brul? spotted one of the world's most famous musicians looking for a lift. Brul? joins Mark to tell the incredible story of how he picked up a hitchhiking Bono.
Plus - how a teenage boy became the face of democracy in Syria. And Reshmi with the latest news headlines. Join us tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:12 PM  
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U.S. can't justify its drug war spending

War on drugs: U.S. can't justify its drug war spending, reports say - latimes.com

Government reports say the Obama administration is unable to show that billions of dollars spent in the anti-drug efforts in Latin America have made a significant difference.

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By Brian Bennett, Los Angeles Times
June 9, 2011
Reporting from Washington? As drug cartels wreak murderous havoc from Mexico to Panama, the Obama administration is unable to show that the billions of dollars spent in the war on drugs have significantly stemmed the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States, according to two government reports and outside experts.

The reports specifically criticize the government's growing use of U.S. contractors, which were paid more than $3 billion to train local prosecutors and police, help eradicate fields of coca, operate surveillance equipment and otherwise battle the widening drug trade in Latin America over the last five years.

RELATED

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High-profile panel urges non-criminal approach to world drug policy

Mexico poet an emblem of nation's drug war carnage

"We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a problem without even knowing what we are getting in return," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who chairs the Senate subcommittee that wrote one of the reports, which was released Wednesday.

"I think we have wasted our money hugely," agreed Bruce Bagley, who studies U.S. counter-narcotics efforts and chairs international studies at the University of Miami at Coral Gables, Fla. "The effort has had corrosive effects on every country it has touched."
Quote:
Obama administration officials strongly deny that U.S. efforts have failed to reduce drug production or smuggling in Latin America.

White House officials say the expanding U.S. counter-narcotics effort occupies a growing portion of time for President Obama's national security team even though it garners few headlines or congressional hearings in Washington.

The majority of U.S. counter-narcotics contracts are awarded to five companies: DynCorp, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, ITT and ARINC, according to the report for the contracting oversight subcommittee, part of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Counter-narcotics contract spending increased 32% over the five-year period, from $482 million in 2005 to $635 million in 2009. DynCorp, based in Falls Church, Va., received the largest total, $1.1 billion.

Among other jobs, the U.S. contractors train local police and investigators, provide logistical support to intelligence collection centers and fly airplanes and helicopters that spray herbicides to eradicate coca crops grown to produce cocaine.

The Department of Defense has spent $6.1 billion since 2005 to help detect planes and boats heading to the U.S. with drug payloads, as well as on surveillance and other intelligence operations.

Senate staff members described some of the expenses as "difficult to characterize." The Army spent $75,000 for paintball supplies for training exercises in 2007, for example, and $5,000 for what the military calls "rubber ducks." The ducks are rubber replicas of M-16 rifles that are used in training exercises, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The Defense Department described its own system for tracking those contracts as "error prone," according to the Senate report. The report also said the Defense Department doesn't have reliable data about how successful its efforts have been.

A separate report last month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, concluded that the State Department "does not have a centralized inventory of counter-narcotics contracts" and said the department does not evaluate the overall success of its counter-narcotics program.

"It's become increasingly clear that our efforts to rein in the narcotics trade in Latin America, especially as it relates to the government's use of contractors, have largely failed," McCaskill said.

Vanda Felbab-Brown, an expert on U.S. drug policy at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, said the U.S. military and other government agencies, not private contractors, should take the lead in training foreign armies and police in drug eradication and control.

"But unless we are able to resource our government properly, that is the only way we can do it," Felbab-Brown said.

The latest assault on the United States' counter-narcotics strategy comes a week after a high-profile group of world leaders called the global war on drugs a costly failure.

The group, which included former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and past presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, recommended that regional governments try legalizing and regulating drugs to help stop the flood of cash going to drug mafias and other organized crime groups.

But James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Defense Department's efforts against the drug trade "have been among the most successful and cost-effective programs" in decades. He cited the U.S. success in the 1980s in stopping cocaine shipments from Colombia that had been inundating Florida, and the efforts in the 1990s at helping Colombia overcome a drug-fueled insurgency.

"By any reasonable assessment, the U.S. has received ample strategic national security benefits in return for its investments in this area," he said.

Administration officials say that the counter-narcotics program is producing more recent benefits as well.

Along the Mexican border, increased patrols and other efforts have helped seize 31% more drugs, 75% more cash and 64% more weapons during the first 21/2 years of the Obama administration than in the previous 21/2 years, the Homeland Security Department says.

After a decade of U.S. assistance to Colombia and years of using U.S. contractors there, annual cocaine production in Colombia has fallen 60% since 2001, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Some of that cocaine production has shifted to Peru, however.

Backed by the U.S., Mexico's stepped-up offensive against drug cartels similarly has had the unintended effect of pushing them deeper into Central America, especially Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Violence has soared in those countries.

One result has been a new emphasis on surveillance technology and intelligence collection.

In particular, the U.S. effort has focused on improving efforts to intercept cellphone and Internet traffic of drug cartels in the region, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

During a visit to El Salvador in February, the head of the State Department's counter-narcotics programs, William Brownfield, opened a wiretapping center in San Salvador, as well as a regional office to share fingerprints and other data with U.S. law enforcement. El Salvador is the hub for U.S. law enforcement efforts in Central America.
End the War on Drugs-mcdopesm.jpg 

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