Thursday, August 27, 2009


Portugal 409 mod 500              

Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

Portugal has the most liberal drug laws in Europe. In 2001, it became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Has it worked. Yes!
Time/Maia Szalavitz/ 26 August 2009

Read or download the full report by the Cato Institute in the US: Drug Decriminalisation in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies by Glen Greenwald


Photo: Susana Vera, Reuters

Mexico quietly decriminalizes drug use

Now marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and heroin will be tolerated for personal use. It's part of a bid to free up resources and jail space so that authorities can focus efforts on big-time traffickers.

Christian Science Monitor/Sara Miller Lima/24 August 2009              

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

Argentina and legalizing pot

Argentina follows Mexico toward decriminalizing marijuana. What does this mean for the war on drugs?

Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled that it’s unconstitutional to punish adults for private marijuana use, a big step toward decriminalizing the drug. The ruling is based on the “privacy clause” of Argentina’s constitution—private pot use doesn’t “offend public order or morality”—but it comes just days after Mexico eliminated criminal penalties for holding small amounts of drugs. And Brazil and Ecuador are close behind.

The Week/27 August 2009

See also: Latin America on Its Way to Legalizing Drugs, Experts Say [Latin American International Herald Tribune]

Colorado's Marijuana Economy: An Explosion of Ganjapreneurship

Medical marijuana has been technically legal in Colorado since kathleen2000. Medical marijuana dispensaries in the state are expected to double to 60 by the end of 2009. Illegal Marijuana farmers are now selling legally to the dispensaries.

Pic: Kathleen Chippi who runs One Brown Mouse Cannadis Healing Arts Center

'Considering the prevalence of the underground market, legitimizing the business has the effect of tightening controls over it, regulating who can legally purchase, sell, or grow it, which puts unscrupulous drug dealers out of business, this reducing the availability of product through any but official channels. The controls that come with legalization effectively reduces its availability, rather than the contrary. '

Two part article. Part of a series 'Recession Road Trip' by Christina Davidson/ The Atlantic/ 26 august 2009

It's Time to Legalize Drugsleap-badge

By Peter Moskos and Stanford "Neill" Franklin. Moskos is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the author of "Cop in the Hood." Neill Franklin is a 32-year law enforcement veteran. Both served as Baltimore City police officers and are members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Having fought the war on drugs, we know that ending the drug war is the right thing to do -- for all of us, especially taxpayers. While the financial benefits of drug legalization are not our main concern, they are substantial. In a July referendum, Oakland, Calif., voted to tax drug sales by a 4-to-1 margin. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates that ending the drug war would save $44 billion annually, with taxes bringing in an additional $33 billion.

Washintgon Post/August 17, 2009


Mark Leffingwell / Daily Camera / AP

The Great American Pot Smoke-Out  has been held on April 20th for many years. This gathering of  thousands of people  at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2009. Photo was taken at 4:20 p.m., when the entire crowd exhaled at once. See full set of pics at Time/Photos.


afghanistan-opium-fields       US Soldiers inspect Afghan poppy fields.

US puts Afghan drug lords on hitlist to disrupt Taliban finances

• 50 traffickers with links to insurgency targeted
• Move marks major shift in counter-narcotics strategy

The question of how to deal with the opium poppy harvest and drug trade in Afghanistan, the source of 90% of the world's heroin, has been a highly controversial issue for years.

Richard Norton-Taylor and Jon Boone in Kabul/The Guardian 10 August 2009

Drug-traffic-routes-and-cartel-areas        Map showing operations of organised crime in Mexico. Source: Stratfor Global Intelligence   Read: On The Trail of the Traffickers about the Mexican drug war. More than 11,000 people have been killed since late 2006.




1 comment:

Antinomian said...

Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation didn’t yet run amok. One needn’t travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and non-whites under banner of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance credibility.

The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. In God’s eyes, it’s all good (Gen.1:12). The administration claims it wants to reduce demand for cartel product, but extraditing Canadian seed vendor Marc Emery increases demand. Mr. Emery enables American farmers to steal cartel customers with superior domestic product.

The constitutionality of the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) derives from an interstate commerce clause. This clause is invoked to finance organized crime, endanger homeland security, and throw good money after bad. Official policy is to eradicate, not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land. America rejected prohibition, but it’s back. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

Nixon promised the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research. Marijuana has no medical use, period.

The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, precludes free exercise of religious liberty.

Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

Common-law must hold that adults own their bodies. The Founding Fathers decreed that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration.

Simple majorities in each house could repeal the CSA. The books have ample law on them without the CSA. The usual caveats remain in effect. You are liable for damages when you screw up. Strong medicine requires prescription. Employees can be fired for poor job performance. No harm, no foul; and no excuse, either. Replace the war on drugs with a frugal, constitutional, science-based drugs policy.