The So-Called War on Drugs
The War on Drugs, Page One
Recently added linksPeople have a natural and inalienable right to use whatever drugs they wish, for whatever reason, provided that this is done in a way that does not harm others or place them in danger. No legislation can nullify this natural right. Laws prohibiting the responsible use of drugs are bad laws because they criminalize what every responsible person has a natural right to do.
"... man has certain inalienable rights which do not derive from government at all. Under this theory not only the Sovereign Conqueror, but the Sovereign People, are restricted in their power and authority by man's natural rights, or by the divine rights of the individual man. And those certain inalienable and divine rights cannot be abrogated by the vote of a majority any more than they can by the decree of a conqueror. The idea that the vote of a people, no matter how nearly unanimous, makes or creates or determines what is right or just, becomes as absurd and unacceptable as the idea that right and justice are simply whatever a king says they are." — Robert Welch, The Key Word is "Inalienable" in Republics and DemocraciesIf someone wishes to run the risk of an early death by smoking cigarettes for decades, they have a right to do so (provided they don't stink the place out and pollute the air that others have to breathe, and don't expect anyone to pay for their medical treatement when they are dying of lung cancer, heart disease, etc.). If someone wishes to contact hyperdimensional realities for a few hours with the assistance of psilocybin mushrooms, they have a right to do so (provided they don't try to drive at the same time). If someone wants to smoke hashish and listen to music in their own home, they have a right to do so (provided the music is not so loud as to disturb the neighbors). Society and government have no right to prohibit such choices. The sole justification for the interference by society in the actions of an individual is for the prevention of harm to others (see John Stuart Mill's Essay On Liberty), and when it comes to using drugs, the user is the one who knows best for himself or herself, not others who wish to impose their own moralistic ideas of what is right or wrong.
"It is your right to do anything as long as you do not purposely hurt someone else and you are willing to accept the consequences." — Dick Sutphen, The Basic Human Rights [link expired]
WE HOLD THIS TRUTH
THAT ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE CREATED DIFFERENT.
That every human being has the right to be mentally free and independent. That every human being has the right to feel, see, hear, sense, imagine, believe or experience anything at all, in any way, at any time. That every human being has the right to behave in any way that does not harm others or break fair and just laws. That no human being shall be subjected without consent to incarceration, restraint, punishment or psychological or medical intervention in an attempt to control, repress or alter the individual's thoughts, feelings or experiences.
— UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF MENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
The real problem with drugs is that they are illegal. This provides an environment where the provision of drugs to those who want or need them involves severe risk and consequently high prices for buyers (some of whom must resort to violent crime to pay for their habit). A situation of enormous potential profit has attracted organized crime (both within government — e.g. the CIA — and without) and resulted in the widespread corruption of public officials. (Furthermore, the illegality of drug usage prevents the dissemination of information concerning safe ways to use drugs.)
The "War on Drugs" exists primarily to support — financially and otherwise — the maintenance of the criminal status of the possession of (some) drugs so that those (including legislators, and many others on the government payroll, plus Pentagon contractors) who profit big — directly or indirectly — from the supply of prohibited drugs can continue to do so, at the expense of everyone else.
In order for the pernicious effects of the "War on Drugs" to continue it is sufficient that basically decent people do nothing to oppose it. By doing nothing, they allow those who profit from the "War on Drugs" to get away with destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroying the civil liberties of whole nations, a crime of such enormity as has not been seen since jack-booted thugs in official positions ruled Germany.
Below are links to numerous web sites which have information concerning the use and effects of psychoactive drugs and concerning the consequences to society of the criminalization of drug usage. All links below were working as of 2006-01-02, but none are guaranteed to remain valid, so if you find a page that you wish to see again it's best to save it to disk.
Links on this page were added from 2004 onward. For similar links added prior to 2004 see:
Prohibition: The So-Called War on Drugs, Page Three
- U.S. Support For Legalizing Marijuana Hits All-Time HighSome 57 percent of U.S. adults now think that pot should be legalized while 37 percent oppose legalization.
- ‘Legalization is in the air’: Thousands rally in Berlin calling for legal pot in Germany
- Victoria Law: Mothers Serving Long-Term Drug Sentences Call for Clemency
- Ellen Brown:
- As the War on Weed Winds Down, Will Monsanto Be the Big Winner?
- The War on Weed Part II: Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for Corporate Cannabis
- The Drug War is State-Sanctioned Theft
One of the biggest lies our [U.S.] government tells us is that it wages the War on Drugs to keep us safe. More than 40 years after it was started, we know that it has been a colossally-expensive epic failure on its stated goals, was intentionally designed to further disenfranchise marginalized groups, and has become a full-fledged assault on our civil liberties.
- Michael Cox and John Collins: END THE WAR ON DRUGS
- Collateral damage in Russia's war on drugs
- Cops Around The Country Quietly Begin Rebelling Against The Drug War
- Australia is Legalizing Medical Marijuana
- Ralph Metzner: New Book Exposes Links Between The Drug War and Transnational Capitalism
The war on drugs is actually a cover for excavation and expropriation of basic minerals, oil and lumber and the creation of marketing environments for multinational corporations — reducing labor costs, increasing the prison population, i.e. extending and increasing the power and wealth of the military-prison-industrial complex.
- Did The United Nations Just Call For The Decriminalization Of All Drugs?
- UN set to call for drug legalization, end to ‘war on drugs’ — Sir Richard Branson
- Robert Bridge: American Psycho: Has the United States lost its collective mind?
According to the Centers for Disease Controls, every day in America, 44 people die from overdose of prescription painkillers. ... In 2013, nearly two million Americans abused prescription painkillers. Each day, almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for abusing the medication.
But, of course, there is no "war on prescription drugs" because promoting the abuse of hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and methadone — and especially the anti-psychotic drug aripiprazole — makes billions for big pharma and their bribed legislators.
- Rumors Persist That The CIA Helps Export Opium From Afghanistan
Republished at Zero Hedge here (see also the comments).
- Andrew Syrios (2015-08-29): Guns, Drugs, and Booze: The Bipartisan Support for Prohibition
- Claire Bernish (2015-08-19): One City Stopped Arresting Drug Addicts, Offers Help Instead… And It’s Working!
- [British] MPs to review UK's £13m overseas ‘war on drugs’ linked to execution of non-violent offenders
- Steve Elliott (2014-07-31): GMO Weed? Connections Alleged Between Uruguay Marijuana Legalization, Monsanto and Soros
- William Engdahl (2014-03-02): The Connection Between The Legalization Of Marijuana In Uruguay, Monsanto And George Soros
- 'Major hypocrisy': US govt-funded agency admits marijuana can kill cancer cells
- Laurence M. Vance: The Statist Roots Of The Destructive War On Drugs
The war on drugs is a war on individual liberty, private property, limited government, the Constitution, American taxpayers, personal responsibility, the free market, and a free society that has ruined more lives than drugs themselves. Every facet of government that contributes in some way to the monstrous evil that is the war on drugs should be dismembered, root and branch, and cast to the four winds.
- Joris Leverink (2015-01-21): Bonzai Epidemic Hits Turkey: New Drug, Old Story
As long as governments refuse to address the structural flaws of a system that exploits the many while benefiting the few; as long as they require fictive enemies to keep us blind to the real threats to social cohesion; and as long as there will be a need to escape from the suffering, the exploitation and the marginalization, there will always be a new group to victimize, criminalize and ostracize.
- RT, 2014-11-05: Alaska, Oregon and Washington, DC vote to legalize recreational marijuana
- BBC, 2014-07-17: Washington DC marijuana decriminalisation law takes effect
Not long now until cannabis possession has been decriminalized in all 52 states in the US, then in all countries in the world. Fuck you, drug warriors, your utter defeat is imminent!
- Hanfparade — Demonstration for the Legalization of Cannabis — Berlin, August 9, 2014
- Sales of Recreational Marijuana Begin in Washington State
Possessing marijuana in small amounts and consuming it at home has been legal in Washington for almost two years now, since voters passed Initiative 502 in 2012, and local law enforcement agencies had mostly backed off enforcing marijuana laws before that. It had not, however, been legal to sell it for recreational purposes until Tuesday. ... Donna Dunlop ... came to denounce the tough marijuana laws that she said had put her brother, David Dunlop, in prison for seven years in the 1990s and led to health problems and his death at age 43.
A crime against humanity now partly rectified. But nothing about pardons or compensation for the many thousands of victims of this disgraceful and vicious "war on drugs".
- New York Times, 2014-07-08: It’s Official! Cannabinoids Kill All Types of Cancer
The US Patent & Trademark Office on March 7, 2013 granted GW Pharma a medical patent covering all plant-based phytocannabinoids for use in the treatment and prevention of basically all forms of human cancer.
- Russell Brand: Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws
- The Guardian, 2014-01-20: Obama says marijuana is a bad habit but minorities are unfairly punished
"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," he is quoted as saying in a New Yorker magazine article. "I don't think it [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol."
- Joanna Walters (The Guardian, 2013-12-28): Colorado issues first marijuana sales licenses to retailers
The first licences in the United States that permit retailers to sell marijuana for recreational use from 1 January were issued in Colorado on Friday. ... Colorado voters approved a new law during the November 2012 general election that would expand the state’s laws allowing the production and sale of medical marijuana to cover recreational uses.
It's been a long time coming. Now let's have pardons for people locked up in jail (usually for years) for possession. And compensation for the destruction of their lives.
- Jamie Doward (The Guardian, 2013-12-01): Leaked paper reveals UN split over war on drugs
Latin American nations call for treatment strategy, claiming UN's prohibition stance plays into hands of paramilitary groups
- Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary (The Guardian, 2013-09-28): Why ending the war on drugs will cut crime
Making drugs legal — but controlling supply — would stop the flow of money to crime gangs and destroy their power
- The Guardian, 2013-08-05: Secret US drug agency unit passing surveillance information to authorities
Wiretaps and telephone records are being funnelled across the country to launch criminal investigations of Americans
- The Guardian, 2013-08-01: Uruguay votes to create world's first national legal marijuana market
Legislators in the ruling coalition said putting the government at the centre of a legal marijuana industry is worth trying because the global war on drugs had been a costly and bloody failure, and displacing illegal dealers through licensed marijuana sales could save money and lives.
- Antony Loewenstein (2013-07-30): How to tackle Australia’s drug addiction: legalise and tax them
Australians enjoy the greatest amount of recreational drugs per capita in the world. Prohibition always fails: it's time to get serious about how to handle the issue.
- Ian Birrell (2013-07-26): Those killed by PMA are victims of the war on drugs
Prohibition causes carnage across the globe. Now people are dying in the UK, will our leaders fix our archaic drug laws?
- Doug Spink: Testimony & Integrity
Two things have stayed constant, and they’re closely related: the hatred of Doug by the United Police States of America, and their constant smearing of him as a snitch.
- Theresa May ignores experts and bans use of qat
The [U.K.] home secretary, Theresa May, has defied her own expert advisers and banned qat, a mild herbal stimulant that is traditionally used by Britain's Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities.
The U.S., which likely put pressure on May to ban qat, is obviously still obsessed with its fucking "War on Drugs". But the U.S. is increasingly being discredited. Time for the U.S. Empire to become history. And none too soon.
See also David Nutt's Ban qat? Theresa May might as well ban cats
Our drug laws are purportedly there to protect individuals and society from harm — they are not meant to be there to uphold any specific moral values and punish deviance from them. If politicians wish to argue for drug prohibitions on a moral basis, because they think it is obnoxious and dissolute to sit around getting high from leaves or intoxicated by drink, that's fine, let them make the case, and see whether parliament or the electorate have an interest in policing people's personal habits. What they must not be allowed to do is to push a moral agenda against an already marginalised group through laws intended to regulate drugs on the basis of evidence of their harmfulness.
- Richard Branson: TIME TO CHANGE DRUG POLICY
- At last, the edifice of drugs prohibition is starting to crumble
- Restrictive drug laws censor science, researchers say
- Alan Travis (Guardian, UK, 2013-05-28): More than 280 legal highs now on European drug experts' radar
- Reuters, 2013-04-06: First magic mushroom depression trial hits stumbling blockThe world's first clinical trial designed to explore using a hallucinogen from magic mushrooms to treat people with depression has stalled because of British and European rules on the use of illegal drugs in research.
The illogicality of the "War on Drugs": Schedule I drugs (such as LSD and psilocybin) are deemed to have "no recognized medical use", but research which would establish a medical use is prohibited. The benighted "authorities" are saying in effect: "These drugs are bad, bad, bad — and we refuse to hear any evidence to the contrary." Disgusting.
- Shocking Stories of Loss Motivate Mourners of Mexico's Drug War Victims to Hold the U.S. Responsible
Others have stared their children's killers in the eye while hearing the brutal details of how their kids were murdered. They interview incarcerated drug traffickers, desperate for some kind of closure. Determined to speak for the victims who have lost their voices, some relatives of victims have joined a new movement, the Caravan for Peace with Jusice and Dignity. The Caravan has demanded justice for the dead in Mexico, and this summer, they delivered their message — a call for accountability — across the United States.
To which one commenter replied:
Fine, but most Americans (people born and raised in the U.S.A.) don't want to know. They don't want to know the effects (both international and domestic) of their government's evil "War on Drugs". They don't want to know anything which threatens their comfort, their amusements, their conscience or their delusions.
I suspect that if Americans were forced to think about it, most of them would say: "We like it that the U.S. is an imperial power, and we want it to continue as such, and if for that to be so then some terrible things have to happen in Mexico or Colombia or wherever then, well, we think it's a price worthy paying, and if God did not approve of what the U.S. is doing then He would not allow it to happen; and, after all, they're just peasants anyway."
- Silk Road (Wikipedia)
- Eileen Ormsby: The drug's in the mail
- Using Silk Road Buy your drugs online and say "Fuck you!" to the War on Drugs.
- Conal Urquhart: War on drugs: Campaigning countess winning support to change world laws
For the past 15 years, as part of the Beckley Foundation, which she set up in 1989, [Amanda] Feilding [Countess of Wemyss and March] has hosted seminars, promoted research and lobbied the powerful in the name of legalisation. ... "Right now we have a completely unregulated market controlled by criminals. Everyone would be much safer in a regulated society than the unregulated one that exists now," she said.
Right, except that governments are secretly (although these days it's not so much of a secret, except to those who don't care or don't want to know) making so much money from their involvement in the heroin and cocaine business that they are very reluctant to decriminalize drug use.
- A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma
MDMA was used in psychotherapy in the U.S. in the 1980s. But then the fucking drug warriors managed to criminalize its use, and 30 years has gone by with ill people unable to benefit from it.
- States right to legalize marijuana
Washington State and Colorado made history tonight [November 6, 2012] by becoming the first states in the United States to approve the legal regulation of marijuana.
These victories likely represent the beginning of the end of marijuana prohibition in this country and many others as well. Just as the repeal of alcohol Prohibition began in the late 1920s with individual states repealing their own prohibition laws, and ultimately culminated with repeal of federal Prohibition, so Washington and Colorado have initiated a political process that will resonate nationally. ...
It would be a mistake to describe these victories as "pro-pot." Millions of Americans who have no particular affinity for marijuana have decided that it makes no sense to keep spending billions of dollars trying to enforce an unenforceable prohibition when state and local governments could be taking in comparable amounts by taxing and regulating marijuana. They know that legalizing marijuana will deprive criminal organizations in Mexico and this country of profits and power, and enable police and prosecutors to focus resources on serious crimes. They are convinced that arresting 750,000 people each year for possessing a small amount of marijuana is costly, cruel and unjust. And they rightfully believe that young people will fare better with responsible regulations rather than ineffective prohibitions.
- The battle at Needle Park: a success story
- Under the Mask of the War on Drugs — Lars Schall interviews Oliver Villar, author (with Drew Cottle) of Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: US Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia.
- Online marketplace Silk Road sells £1m worth of drugs each month
- Nationwide Raids on Designer Drugs
DEA chief Michele Leonhart said the substances are "incredibly dangerous." To which one commenter replied: "People are looking for legal means of smoking 'marijuana'. They turn to synthetic substances with awful side effects. Why not just legalize the harmless plant that they initially wanted? The war on drugs has unfortunately been a complete failure."
Another commenter said: "I would wager we'd all be shocked at how much illicit drug profits get kicked back to politicians and law enforcement. Not to mention all the lawyers, judges, guards, etc., whose livelihood depends on 'customers', i.e., accused and convicted criminals. That is likely the real reason things are probably not going to change much in the short-to-intermediate term."
- Legalize Cannabis 2012, a ballot initiative to remove all criminal penalties for cannabis use in Colorado and to set up an independent commission to implement the law.
- Dr. John Beresford: The Nazi Comparison
- Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs
[This website] offers impartial objective information on drugs and drug harms to the public, to educators and to academics.
The Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs receives no government funding so is able to provide scientific findings free from the constraints of policy making and politics.
All information given is based on the best available evidence especially scientific studies and peer-reviewed papers. Each page is designed to be easy to understand for everyone with links given to the evidence that it's based upon.
- 100 years of the war on drugs
- Legal high mephedrone is 'bought over the internet'
- World Map of Countries where Marijuana is Legal See also the associated Talk page.
- Czechs Decriminalize Peyote, Magic Mushroom Growing
Under changes in Czech drug policy approved November 28  by the Cabinet, growers of psychedelic cacti and fungi will no longer face criminal punishment.
But is it really so? See the comment at this page.
- High society — Australia tops list of drug users
Cannabis is the most favoured drug of choice [worldwide], and Australia and New Zealand were found to share the highest rate of usage. An estimated 10 to 15 per cent of people aged between 15 and 64 smoked the drug in those two countries in the past year, the report [in the medical journal The Lancet] says. This compared with rates of 1.2 to 2.5 per cent in Asia, the region with the lowest usage. ...
It also reported that the number of deaths in Australia attributed to illicit drugs is far less than those caused by tobacco. About 1.3 per cent of deaths in Australia are attributed to illicit drugs, compared with 11.7 per cent linked to tobacco use.
- Radio 1 DJ jailed for four years in Dubai on cannabis chargeHe is the latest in a long list of Western tourists whose legal indiscretions, whether born of ignorance or not, have led to severe punishment. Earlier this month [February 2011], Keith Brown, a 43-year-old youth worker from the West Midlands, was jailed for four years after customs officials who stopped him on his way through Dubai airport found a speck of cannabis weighing 0.003g — invisible to the naked eye and lighter than a grain of sugar — on the bottom of his shoe.
Total insanity! So even if you have never touched cannabis in your entire life you can still go to jail in Dubai for some speck on your shoe that you picked up while walking around London, or maybe even while walking from the plane to the Dubai air terminal. So now you know to avoid Dubai like the plague.
- Marie Myung-Ok Lee: My Mother-in-Law's One High Day
When my mother-in-law was in the final, harrowing throes of pancreatic cancer, she had only one good day, and that was the day she smoked pot.
- U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House Bill
The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out.
The U.S. federal government is totally insane. The sooner it ceases to exist the better.
- Underground Website Lets You Buy Any Drug Imaginable
Ain't technology wunnerful? Pricey, but, hey!, there's a war going on.
- Jill Stark: McGorry aborts teen drug trial
THE FORMER Australian of the year Patrick McGorry has aborted a controversial trial of anti-psychotic drugs [including quetiapine] on children as young as 15 who are "at risk" of psychosis, amid complaints the study was unethical.
The complaint includes the following:
These cases [against AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Janssen] led to the release of internal company documents that revealed the extent of ethical breaches, in particular the use of clinical trials for marketing purposes. ... [An] article by Glen Spielmans and Peter Parry ... describes how AstraZeneca suppressed clinical trial data that would be unhelpful for the marketing of quetiapine. In addition, the section 'Investigator-initiated Trials and Opinion Leaders' shows how the company recruited supposedly independent investigators of high standing to give greater credence to clinical trials of quetiapine. It is difficult to think of a more prominent opinion leader in Australian psychiatry than Professor McGorry, the listed spokesman for this trial.
Unfortunately the "War on Drugs" does not extend to hyped-up prescription drugs marketed by the big pharmaceutical companies, who use their money to buy "supposedly independent investigators of high standing" and legislators who allow them to market drugs which may not benefit people but certainly make enormous profits for the drug companies.
- Neill Franklin, Huffington Post, 2011-08-01: Understanding Obama's "War on Drugs"
It's clear that creating harsh penalties for drugs doesn't reduce use, and the absence of harsh penalties doesn't lead large numbers of people who wouldn't otherwise imbibe to become addicted to dangerous drugs.
- Daniel Boffey, UK Guardian, 2011-06-26: Drug death 'capital' Brighton to put treatment ahead of punishment
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has called for a new approach ... [and wants] to decriminalise drug use in the city. If Lucas, the first Green MP in England, gets her way, a town which has gained a reputation as one of the most tolerant in the country will become a pioneer in liberal drugs policy as well.
Ten years ago Portugal abolished criminal penalties for possession of drugs. ... The result, according to a study, is that drug use among teens in Portugal has declined, rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles have dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction has more than doubled.
This article, like most in the MSM, ignores the fact that drugs are of many different kinds, with different social and psychological effects. The "drug deaths" mentioned (50 in 2009) were very likely all (or almost all) heroin overdoses. No-one has ever died simply from smoking cannabis. And compare the 50 people who OD'd with the thousands who die each year due to the effects of alcohol and nicotine (which is more addictive than heroin but remains legal).
- Samantha McCann, UK Guardian, 2011-06-20: The fiscal case for legalising marijuana
A change in US marijuana policy would mean significant savings. Full legalisation would bring in an estimated $2.4bn annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods, and $6.2bn annually if it were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco. In fact, legalisation of marijuana ... could put more than $13bn into government coffers. That would equal the entire budget of the department of labour. Maybe with a budget twice as large, it could focus on creating jobs and getting Americans back to work.
- RIP KRONIC, JUNE 17 
The [West Australian] State Government has banned synthetic cannabinoids contained in products such as Kronic, Kalma, Voodoo, Kaos and Mango Kush after an extensive investigation by key Government agencies into the harmful effects of these drug. ... Mental Health Minister Helen Morton was joined by Health Minister Kim Hames on June 13 to reveal an investigation undertaken by the Drug and Alcohol Office, WA Police, the Department of Health and the ChemCentre found there was sufficient evidence of harm to ban synthetic cannabinoids.
What is this "sufficient evidence"? It is not revealed — no need to present this "sufficient evidence" to the Australian public, of course, since all governments regard the people as, at best, irrelevant, except insofar as they can be manipulated into voting in certain ways every few years. Is this "sufficient evidence" perhaps that representatives of the WA mining industry said that they would like these substances banned? No, surely — that would amount to corruption of public officials (by threatening to withhold large campaign contributions) and we all know that politicians are not corrupt. And if "having harmful effects" is a reason to ban a drug then why are alcohol and nicotine (whose use causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people each year) not banned?
- Alan Travis, , U.K. Guardian, 2011-06-02: Decriminalise possession of drugs, celebrities urge governmentDame Judi Dench, Sir Richard Branson, and Sting have joined an ex-drugs minister and three former chief constables in calling for the decriminalisation of the possession of all drugs. ... Ainsworth, the former Home Office drugs minister and defence secretary, last December described the war on drugs as "nothing short of a disaster" and called for the legal regulation of their production and supply.
Many well-known and intelligent people (in the U.K., but not in the U.S.) who see that the "war on drugs" is a disaster have been calling for an end to prohibition. But that requires a change in the law, and as long as those who make the laws can be bought (by those who profit hugely from the illegality of drugs) there will be no change.
- Editorial, The Observer (UK), Sunday 15 May 2011: Drug laws: 40 years on, only a complete change of approach will doThe Misuse of Drugs Act has failed utterly and there is no political consensus about the idea of trying anything new
Right, but when you're making a fortune from supplying illegal drugs you can afford to buy all the politicians, legislators and PR flacks that you need to prevent any change in the law, so appeals to reason are useless.
- William Strizich: The Nation's Worst "Pretend" Marijuana Law Would Defy Montana Voters
It's those scumbag Republicans again.
- Charlotte Walsh: MAGIC MUSHROOMS: from sacred entheogen to Class A drug
- Vol I, No. 1 (1999/2000) of the Journal of Cognitive Liberties — articles by Richard Glen Boire, Jonathan Ott, Hakim Bey and others.
- John Harris, U.K. Guardian, 2011-02-22: The alcohol and the ecstasy: prejudice drowns out sense
[The] very different approaches to E and alcohol represent prejudice frozen into policy — which, while cirrhosis and the rest run rampant, looks titanically unlikely to change. The conclusion is unavoidable: at some point in the distant future, people will look back and think us quite, quite mad.
Not "the distant future" ... any intelligent person already knows that the drug policies of most countries are crazy. Tragic, really. But what can you expect from a formerly intelligent species which has become insane? Species extinction in the not-too-distant future is looking like a definite possibility.
- Drugs and allied catastrophes a bitter pill at the [Labor] party
Even a non-drug-using social outcast realises sometimes we all need a vacation from reality
- BBC, 2011-01-16: Smoking 'causes damage in minutes', US experts claim
Smoking damages the body in minutes rather than years, according to research in the US.
- U.K. Guardian, 2010-12-16: Legalise drugs, says former defence secretary
Former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth has called for the government to consider legalising drugs, saying prohibition has failed to protect the public. The war on drugs had been "nothing short of a disaster" and it was time to study other options, including decriminalising possession of drugs and legally regulating their production and supply, Ainsworth said. ... Ainsworth called on those on all sides of the debate to support "an independent, evidence-based review, exploring all policy options, including ... decriminalising the possession of drugs, and legally regulating their production and supply".
- Elly Katabira (Financial Times, 2010-11-30):
The 'War on Drugs' has failed: policy should be based on science and human rights
I urge all IAS members and the wider public to sign the Vienna Declaration and force governments to acknowledge that the only way forward is an evidence-based approach to address the individual and community harms that stem from illicit drug use.
- Help Free A Major Indigenous Leader Imprisoned in the U.S.
On Tuesday, October 19, 2010, indigenous Colombian healer Taita Juan Agreda Chindoy was detained in the Houston International Airport. He was formally arrested by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for possession of his traditional medicine Ayahuasca. He is now being charged as a federal criminal and is facing up to 20 years in federal prison.
Fortunately Taita Juan is [Now] Free!
As of November 16, 2010, the criminal charges against Taita Juan have been dropped. ... According to a report from Caracol Radio, one of the main radio networks in Colombia, "a Federal Court ruled his release when his attorney showed that Yage (ayahuasca) is a medicinal plant used by indigenous as traditional medicine, and does not generate dependency".
- Californians snuff out chance to legalize pot
Because of fear and misinformation, Californians voted against Proposition 19, which would have effectively legalized marijuana and generated billions in annual tax revenue. They voted to leave the multi-billion-dollar pot industry in the hands of violent criminal cartels instead of regulating it just like alcohol.
- Charles Shaw: Born Illegal: The Shulgins and 2C-I
Because of the War on Drugs, the compounds Sasha [Shulgin] discovered in pursuit of beneficent human evolution have instead led paradoxically to the arrest, incarceration, and often immiseration, of so many promising souls.
- Why raids are not OK
Operation Lime — the nationwide police swoop [in New Zealand in May 2010] on hydroponic-growing supply shops — was a big step backwards in drug reform ... It appears we [in New Zealand, but also true of the U.S.] have a government in denial of the negative impact of a prohibition-based drugs culture. What other local industry worth many millions (if not billions) of dollars each year is left in the hands of organised criminals rather than being taxed and properly controlled?
- Dr. Andrew Weil: Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation
In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines [long list omitted]. ... But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention.
- Could Illegal Drugs Like Ketamine and LSD Become Serious Medicine?
Sure, except that most Americans are morons, don't know batshit, and believe whatever their power-seeking money-grubbing politicians and legislators tell them, which is never the truth.
- What Britain could learn from Portugal's drugs policy
- Nicotine: Could lead to breast cancer
The research says that nicotine in cigarettes that makes smoking addictive is one of the chemicals that could lead to breast cancer. ... Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs and the leading avoidable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S. Cigarette smoking accounts for 90% of lung cancer cases in the U.S.
Q: Why isn't nicotine targeted in the "war on drugs"?
A: The cigarette manufacturers (merchants of death) make a fortune from pushing their drug and they can buy all the legislators they need to keep it legal.
- Drug War Statement Upstaged at AIDS GatheringSome of the world's top AIDS experts issued a radical manifesto this week at the 18th International AIDS Conference: They declared the war on drugs a 50-year-old failure and called for it to be abandoned. ... But the organizers' efforts to get publicity for the Vienna Declaration [PDF file here], which calls for drug users to be spared arrest and offered clean needles, methadone and treatment if they have AIDS, have come to naught. Almost no one here talks about the war on drugs. ... In the large American delegation here, almost every top official refused to discuss the declaration.
- San Franciso Chronicle, 2010-07-21: Oakland allows industrial-scale marijuana farms
Another nail in the coffin of marijuana prohibition.
- Morphine Remains Scarce for Pain Sufferers Worldwide
- Calif. voters could legalize pot in Nov.  election
Finally the long nightmare is coming to an end, and none too soon.
- Guardian UK: Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor
- Prof. Peter Dale Scott: Obama and Afghanistan: America's Drug-Corrupted War
... American banks ... benefit significantly from drug trafficking. A Senate staff report has estimated "that $500 billion to $1 trillion in criminal proceeds are laundered through banks worldwide each year, with about half of that amount moved through United States banks." The London Independent reported in 2004 that drug trafficking constitutes "the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade."
- Colorado resort legalises cannabis, but not on the ski slopes
- Sue Blackmore: I Take Illegal Drugs for Inspiration
And since we all have a natural right to take drugs for inspiration, these drugs should not be illegal.
- New York Times: At This School, It's Marijuana in Every Class
- New Scientist: Better world: Legalise drugs
The evidence suggests most of the problems stem not from drugs themselves, but from the fact that they are illegal. The obvious answer, then, is to make them legal. ... For many decades, laws and public policy have flown in the face of the evidence. Far from protecting us, this approach has made the world a much more dangerous place than it need be.
- Youth to hang for ganja trafficking
In enlightened Malaysia a 23-year-old man was sentenced to death by hanging after he was arrested with less than 1 kg of marijuana.
- First U.S. marijuana cafe opens in Portland [Oregon]
- Washington Post, 2009-10-20: U.S. eases stance on medical marijuana
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. directed federal prosecutors Monday to back away from pursuing cases against medical marijuana patients, signaling a broad policy shift that drug reform advocates interpret as the first step toward legalization of the drug.
At last! After over twenty years of persecution of people by the U.S. government for victimless "crimes", resulting in the destruction of countless lives.
- The world's first cocaine bar
- Cannabis treats prostate cancer, study finds
But, of course, you shouldn't smoke the stuff ... oh no! ... ist verboten!
- Claudia Rubin: The drugs do work — for a lot of people
Breaking the taboo on drugs is the first step to reducing the harm that they can cause. By far the greatest risk to the majority of people who use drugs is criminalisation and stigmatisation. To simply ban substances and arrest those who use them is no more than a complete abdication of policy makers' responsibility to protect the health and well being of [the] people.
- Clive Crook: A Criminally Stupid War on Drugs in the US
Even a casual observer can see that much of the damage done in the US by illegal drugs is a result of the fact that they are illegal, not the fact that they are drugs. Vastly more lives are blighted by the brutality of prohibition, and by the enormous criminal networks it has created, than by the substances themselves. This is true of cocaine and heroin as well as of soft drugs such as marijuana. But the assault on consumption of marijuana sets the standard for the policy's stupidity.
- Dispensers of Marijuana Find Relief in Policy Shift
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. ... said that the federal authorities would no longer take action against medical marijuana dispensaries if they were in compliance with state and local laws. ... Mr. Holder's statement that he would not authorize raids on medical marijuana dispensaries appeared to shift Justice Department policy, at least rhetorically, away from the Bush administration's stated policy of zero tolerance for marijuana, regardless of state laws. ... The attorney general's comments also indicated that the Justice Department would allocate greater resources for investigations of white-collar crime, including financial crime, and other enforcement areas that received less attention during the Bush administration.
- Mark Morford: Smoke This Recession
It's simple: First we tax the booze. Then we legalize the pot. Done.
- The Transnational Institute's Drugs & Democracy
- David Malmo-Levine: Radioactive tobacco
Cannabis is often compared to tobacco, with the damage caused by smoking tobacco given as a reason to prohibit use of cannabis. Yet most of the harms caused by tobacco use are due not to tar, but to the use of radioactive fertilizers. Surprisingly, radiation seems to be the most dangerous and important factor behind tobacco lung damage.
This has been known for thirty years (there was a full-page article stating the same thing in the S. F. Bay Guardian about 1980), but it is not generally known, due to the mainstream media's complicity in the suppression of public health information by the tobacco companies. See also: Radioactive Polonium in Tobacco
- Scientists back brain drugs for healthy people
- Drugs Banned, Many of World's Poor Suffer in Pain
- ReleaseIn 1967 Release established the first ever national drugs help line. Maintaining its pivotal role in the drugs and legal advice field, it now operates a number of specialist services.
- Nick Possum: In the thrall of the monster drug barons
It is also obvious that so much of the government propaganda regarding those fine sacred herbs Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa is just bullshit.
- Alcohol worse than ecstasy on shock new drug list
The position of ecstasy near the bottom of the list was defended by Prof Nutt, who said that apart from some tragic isolated cases ecstasy is relatively safe. Despite about a third of young people having tried the drug and around half a million users every weekend, it causes fewer than 10 deaths a year. One person a day is killed by acute alcohol poisoning and thousands more from chronic use.
- Marijuana Delivery Services Flourish In NYC
- Scientific American: Large Study Finds No Link between Marijuana and Lung Cancer
- Nathan Guttman: Israelis at center of ecstasy drug trade
- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
After nearly four decades of fueling the U.S. policy of a war on drugs with over half-a-trillion tax dollars and increasingly punitive policies, our confined population has quadrupled over a 20 years period making building prisons this nation's fastest growing industry. More than 2.2 million of our citizens are currently incarcerated and every year we arrest an additional 1.6 million for nonviolent drug offenses — more per capita than any country in the world. The United States has 4.6 percent of the population of the world but 22.5 percent of the world's prisoners. Every year we choose to continue this war will cost U.S. taxpayers another 69 billion dollars. Despite all the lives we have destroyed and all the money so ill spent, today illicit drugs are cheaper, more potent, and far easier to get than they were 35 years ago at the beginning of the war on drugs. Meanwhile, people continue dying in our streets while drug barons and terrorists continue to grow richer than ever before. We would suggest that this scenario must be the very definition of a failed public policy. This madness must cease!
- Inquiry into drug trial that became a nightmare
- Sheryl Jackson-Sczbecki: Marijuana — Through The Haze
- Peter Dale Scott:
- The Global Drug Meta-Group: Drugs, Managed Violence, and the Russian 9/11
- A Ballad of Drugs and 9/11
- 15 Ways the Auto Industry Would Change if it Operated Like Drug Companies
Just say No to drugs — from Pfizer, Merck, Roche and the other major drug pushers.
- Marcia Angell, M.D: The Truth About the Drug Companies
In 2002 ... the combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion).
- Chris Largen's satirical novel JUNK is "a riotous exploration of prohibition."
- The Narco News Bulletin
- Oscar Heck: Chavez Frias not losing much sleep over the USA's intent to "punish" Venezuela (Also here.)
I believe that the DEA and other US-based organizations such as USAID, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs are fronts for the CIA ... and that a part of the CIA's job is to assure that 1) drug exports to the USA are not halted 2) that this drug trade is controlled by the US government.
- 2005-07-31: Oregon Anti-Meth Bill Aimed at Cold Meds
The Senate on Saturday approved a plan to make Oregon the first state in the nation to require a prescription for many cold and allergy medicines, an attempt by lawmakers to shut down methamphetamine labs. ... The legislation would require prescriptions by mid-2006 for medicines containing pseudoephedrine and two similar substances, which are used in such popular medicines as Sudafed, Claritin and Theraflu.
- Jeanne Lenzer and Nicholas Pyke: Woman Commits Suicide While Testing New Antidepressant
Was Traci Johnson Driven To Suicide By Antidepressants? That's A Trade Secret, Say US Officials
- Jennifer Moody, Albany Democrat-Herald, 2005-06-21: Retired DEA agent will run for sheriff
Carl F. Worden, Liaison Officer for the Southern Oregon Militia comments:
Please get this out to anyone you know in Linn County Oregon:
You've got a guy running for Sheriff in Linn County by the name of Michael Spasaro, a former DEA Agent.
Don't vote for this guy unless you want a Sheriff who has no use for the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
I know of this guy, and I know some of the federal drug cases he worked on. He is NOT a guy you want as Sheriff. The Sheriff of a county is the only constitutionally elected official who has the power to curtail illegal federal actions in a given county. With his record, you can throw the Constitution right out the door if he becomes your Sheriff.
- 2005-06-23: Federal agents fan out to bust medicinal marijuana providers
- America's War on Cannabis: PostModern Witch Burning
- You've Been Drafted: Uncle Sam Wants You for the War on Drugs
According to US Congressman Sensenbrenner's draconian mandatory minimum sentencing bill:
If you "witness" certain drug offenses taking place or "learn" that they took place you would have to report the offense to law enforcement within 24 hours and provide "full assistance" in the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the people involved. Failure to do so would be a crime punishable by a mandatory two year prison sentence.
- 2005-05-27: Bali court sentences Corby to 20 years in jail
Prosecutors had demanded life in jail for Corby, who has argued the 4.1 kg (9 lb) of drugs found by Bali airport officials in her unlocked bag last year were planted.
- Sydney Morning Herald, 2005-05-15: PM has left [Schapelle] Corby out to dry: Democrats [Registration required.]
Party leader Lyn Allison said the Government's letter outlining drug-trafficking allegations among Australian airport baggage handlers should have been sent much earlier.
- Nate Blakeslee: The People Left Behind: Elaine Bartlett & Life on the Outside
- The Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major studies of drugs and drug policy, information on the "War on Drugs", charts and graphs of Drug War statistics, US government publications related to drug policy, historical research on drugs and drug policy, the drug legalization debate, and much more.
- 2005-04-20: MS Victims to Get Cannabis Drug in Canada
A cannabis-based medicine formulated by a UK company to help sufferers of multiple sclerosis has been approved for use for the first time — in Canada.
- BBC, 2005-04-18: US church's illegal tea faces ban
The Supreme Court is to consider whether a US branch of a Brazilian religion can import an hallucinogenic tea used as a sacrament.
- Kerre Woodham, 2005-04-17: Stakes high in Corby saga
You can't help but feel sympathy for Schapelle Corby, the 27-year-old Australian woman at the centre of a drugs trial in Bali. Surely she cannot have been so stupid as to try to smuggle 4kg of marijuana into Bali, where it would sell for less than it does on the streets of Australia.
- R. William Davis: The Elkhorn Manifesto
... Marijuana Prohibition was created in 1937, not to protect society from the "evils of the drug Marijuana," as the Federal government claimed, but as an act of deliberate economic and industrial sabotage against the re-emerging Industrial Hemp Industry.
- Peter Dale Scott: A Post-Election Wrap-Up: Iraq, 9/11, Drugs, Cheney, and Watergate Two
- Four Alberta RCMP officers killed during raid
Four RCMP officers were shot and killed after conducting a raid on a marijuana grow operation northwest of Edmonton on Thursday [2005-03-03].
- David Adam, The Guardian, UK: Ecstasy trials for combat stress
American soldiers traumatised by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered the drug ecstasy to help free them of flashbacks and recurring nightmares. ... Several studies in the US are planned or are under way to investigate whether MDMA, LSD and psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can treat conditions ranging from obsessive compulsive disorder to anxiety in terminal cancer patients.
- Court allows drug-sniffing dogs during traffic stops
The Supreme Court yesterday expanded police power to conduct searches, ruling that an officer who stops a motorist for a routine traffic violation can use a drug-sniffing dog to detect narcotics in the vehicle, even if the officer had no reason to suspect the car would contain drugs. The decision, in an Illinois case, gives law enforcement the authority to use drug-detecting dogs in the course of any minor traffic stop.
- J. Orlin Grabbe: The Function of the Drug War
The function of the Drug War is to create the Drug Crisis. The Drug Crisis involves billions of dollars in hidden cash flow. Addicted to this flow of money are law enforcement agencies, drug producers and distributors, covert agencies who use it as a source of black funding, and politicians and bankers who are hired to protect the drug revenues. Addiction to drug revenues requires that the drug war be fought so as to be lost. Failure thus becomes the criterion of success.
- UK Guardian, 2004-10-13: MPs back legalisation 'road map'
MPs, peers and former police officers are to back the publication today of the first ever report outlining a "detailed road map" to the legalisation of drugs in Britain. ... Transform's director, Danny Kushlick, predicted that drugs would be legalised in the not-too-distant future because prohibition had been a catastrophe of startling proportions ...
- Pot Blocks Cancer-causing Herpes
Ingredient responsible for marijuana's high could be the basis for new antiviral drugs
- Huge Ecstasy Bust Do Israelis control most of the world trade in MDMA?
- A Brief History of the Regulation of Controlled Drugs in Britain — Chapter 3 of the Fourth Report of the Shipman Enquiry (2001-2004).
- Colin Brown: Opium trade booms in 'basket-case' Afghanistan
[This] will prove highly embarrassing for Tony Blair, who cited cutting the supply of heroin as one of the main reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 ...
- Doctors' strike in Israel good for health
According to the American Medical Association, adverse reactions to prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals are a leading cause of death and injury in the United States. ... As of this writing, there is a doctors strike in Israel. The death rate has fallen so sharply during the strike that the Israeli funeral parlors and burial associations are complaining.
- Glen Yeadon: Ambassador of Death, Right-Wing Death Squads, Drug Smuggling: George Bush's Plan for Iraq
- Christopher Largen: A History of Medical Marijuana
- 'DRUG' OR SACRAMENT? YOUR RIGHT TO DECIDE
About the 1999 police raid on the Dutch Santo Daime Church.
- Drug report barred by FDA — Scientist links antidepressants to suicide in kids
It seems that the "war on drugs" does not apply to drugs which are making millions for the pharmaceutical companies.
- Xymphora: More on George and Drugs
- Cannabis online: click now and it's with you in 24 hoursOn Thursday [2004-01-29] British drug law underwent its most radical shakeup for decades when cannabis was downgraded to class C. Although simple possession is unlikely to lead to prosecution in most cases, the drug remains illegal and dealing or possession with intent to supply will carry a maximum 14-year prison sentence.
But a Guardian investigation has established that at least five large-scale online cannabis vendors are operating in this country, in competition with more established Dutch sites. As a result, the drug has never been so easy to buy online.
- High school student expelled for possession of Advil
- Probation, not jail, over medical pot
Three men who pleaded guilty to distributing marijuana to seriously ill patients received probation instead of a prison term after a judge expressed admiration for their work ... The men ran the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center for five years until 2001, when federal agents raided it and shut it down. The center was providing marijuana to about 960 patients suffering from AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer and other serious illnesses, said Imler's attorney, Ronald Kaye. ... [U.S. District Judge A. Howard] Matz said the prosecution was "badly misguided." He said he was baffled and disturbed that the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecutors wasted so much time and money in prosecuting the case.
- Ecstasy may be used to help rape victims
The dangers of ecstasy remain uncertain. This year, scientists at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine were forced to admit that a high-profile discovery that just one dose of MDMA could cause irreversible brain damage and even death was nonsense because they had used the wrong drug in their experiment.
- World's biggest MS trial shows benefits of cannabis
This scientific study, conducted with more than 600 subjects by researchers from the University of Plymouth, was widely reported in the UK (there were reports in The Independent, The Guardian, The Scotsman and The Times) but was almost completely ignored by the US mainstream media. That's partly how censorship in America works: Ignore whatever is inconsistent with the government's story and keep the people in the dark.
- Salvador Astucia's book, Opium Lords: Israel, the Golden Triangle and the Kennedy Assasination
From the Synopsis:
After President John F. Kennedy was killed in 1963, America became deeply involved in the Vietnam War. Within a few short years, heroin addiction in America reached epidemic proportions. In the background, Israel expanded its borders by force and became a colonial empire ruling a nation of hostile Palestinian subjects. This book reveals how Israel exploited the Western powers' long history of opium trafficking as a means of toppling the young American president.
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