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October 2008
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Honduras President Proposes Legalizing Drug Use

via Cato is this article:

President Manuel Zelaya proposed legalizing drug use, which he said would free up Honduras’s financial resources and defang international traffickers. “The trade of arms, drugs and people … are scourges on the international economy, and we are unable to provide effective responses” because of conventional legal restraints, Zelaya said […]

Odds and Ends

“bullet” Via Transform, comes the interesting case of a man who is taking his drug charges in the U.K. to the High Court on the basis that it’s an arbitrary abuse of power to charge him for cannabis when alcohol and tobacco are legal.

Edwin Stratton, 43, of Leyton, London, is charged with production of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (‹The ActŠ). He has today given notice of his intention to challenge the legitimacy of this prosecution in the High Court as an abuse of process. This assertion is evidenced by the bias and discrimination inherent in the policy that equally harmful drugs and those exercising property rights in such drugs should be treated differently in law. The defence claims a majoritarian abuse of power by the executive in the administration of drugs legislation. The rights afforded under the Human Rights Act 1998 guarantee freedom from arbitrary discrimination: this claim is grounded in the unequal protection afforded to drug property rights between ‘licit’ and ‘illicit’ drugs. This challenge seeks to hold the government and the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (‹ACMDŠ) to account for an alleged irrational administration of the law which has led to countless thousands of lives lost and destroyed in the so-called ‘War on Drugs’.

I really know too little about England’s legal system to say just how how unlikely anything would come from a case like this, but I like it. I love the audacity of it, and the fact that it’s likely to add to the conversation.
“bullet” There’s a lot of depressing stuff in the news about the drug war violence in Mexico, as the deaths keep piling up, and I tend not to want to be overwhelmed by it. But worth reading is Silja J.A. Talvi’s excellent article in Alternet: As the Violence Soars, Mexico Signals It’s Had Enough of America’s Stupid War on Drugs.

…a national poll published on October 4th indicated that more than 40% of Mexicans felt less secure since Calder÷n’s drug war offensive began. Another poll published by the Mexico City daily, Reforma, showed that more than half of Mexicans believed that the cartels, not the government, were winning the drug war. […]
On October 2, Calder÷n proposed legislation that would decriminalize drug possession, ostensibly for personal use. Not just for marijuana, as one might have expected in a country where pot smoke has not been demonized to the same degree as in the U.S., but for cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, as well.

Some good quotes from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition members in the article.
“bullet” So Deputy Drug Czar Scott Burns flies to Michigan on the taxpayer’s dime to campaign against a medical marijuana initiative, and what expert opinion does he provide?

“Proposal 1 is bad for Michigan and it is bad for America,” Burns said.
“This issue is about dope, not about medicine.”

Yep, that’s what he has to offer. Pretty pathetic.