Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Must reads on the drug war

The UN meets every ten years to decide on drug policy conventions. At the next meeting, three former Latin American presidents are preparing to call for an end to the so-called war. "Former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said there was no meaningful debate over drugs policy in the United States, despite a broad consensus that current policies had failed. ...[He] said Washington appeared increasingly isolated in its repressive approach as Latin America and Europe move toward treating drug abuse as a health problem rather than a crime."

In more good news on that front, Nora Callahan of November.org flags this news from PRI's The World:
LYNCH: Now, it looks like the tone is changing. Obama has long wanted to repeal the 1988 ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs inside the United States, but he needs Congress to go along to make that domestic change. So he’s shifting his gaze outward. In a significant break from both Mr. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, Barack Obama is making his support for needle exchange programs official, at least abroad. Today, Laura Tischler of the State Department confirmed the US is giving its negotiators new guidelines.
They're not going so far as to embrace some of the other sensible harm reduction programs such as legalized dispensaries for addicts but still it's a welcome change from the zero tolerance policy of the Bush regime. Nora also has a petition that calls for restoring earned early release parole to federal prisoners. Take a minute and sign it. This would be a big step to restoring some sanity to our sentencing structure and could alleviate prison overcrowding.

Johann Hari had a knockout piece on the big picture. One interesting fact, "Drugs syndicates control 8 percent of global GDP - which means they have greater resources than many national armies. They own helicopters and submarines and they can afford to spread the woodworm of corruption through poor countries, right to the top." Legalization would put these cartels out of business.

Radley writes the letter Michael Phelps shoud have. It starts like this:
Tell you what. I'll make you a deal. I'll apologize for smoking pot when every politician who ever did drugs and then voted to uphold or strengthen the drug laws marches his ass off to the nearest federal prison to serve out the sentence he wants to impose on everyone else for committing the same crimes he committed.

Meanwhile, SoBeale notices a hilarious promotion for the local hockey team. Bong hits for Michael.

And in other good news for the Olympic toker, SC decided not to pursue criminal charges because they didn't have enough physical evidence. Rumor has it part of the problem was too many other people had used the same bong for them to get DNA evidence. Not sure if that's true, but it is kind of funny.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]
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Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...


Sadly, drugs & guns, legal & illegal, are the two biggest businesses in the world. The legal ones suck up our tax money, and the illegal ones pay no taxes. Right now, we can't afford either.

I hope Hopey Ohope gets off the centrist train to nowhere and legalizes & taxes drugs, using the money to fund single-payer free universal health care, using converted drug prisons for hospitals & rehab. Then he can outlaw guns & war, the next day.

Reagan was right: There's a simple solution to every problem.

PAYBACK: Best of the blogs so far this millenium. This is one of them. A new weekly feature. Thanks for the idea, Ms. Libby.

6:53:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Cosa. Thanks for the wise thoughts and the sweet link. I'm afraid I do have to mention my name is spelled with c, as in Spencer. But I loved your write up. It made me sound much more important than I really am.

7:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...


(But your spelling is just so WRONG!)

8:41:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Spell check has ruined me....

Thanks again for the shout out.

9:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

No, I mean it's morally wrong to spell Spenser with a "C."

But who am I to judge?

10:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL. I understood what you said, not sure why you think that though. No one has ever said that to me before.

10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

I carry the Moral Standard alone.

(Just kidding about your name.)

11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Oh. I thought maybe it was ethnic thing. But I do think you make a pretty good Moral Standard. I like a high bar. :)

4:13:00 PM  

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