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March 2009
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Open Thread

“bullet” Holbrooke is already making waves in Afghanistan

Holbrooke, who was appointed by President Obama as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, stated that efforts to eliminate opium poppy crops had failed to hinder the Taliban insurgents‰ ability to raise money from the drug trade. ‹It is the most wasteful and ineffective program I have seen in 40 years,Š he said. Holbrooke believes much of the money should instead be used to help Afghanistan‰s expanding agricultural sector, which would in turn create many jobs.

“bullet” New York State Lawmakers Reach Historic Agreement to Reform Rockefeller Drug Laws. This is good news, but also note NYCLU Applauds Pledge to Reform Rock Drug Laws, but Cautions to Wait for Details

The New York Civil Liberties Union applauded the pledge made today by the governor, senate and assembly to reform the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws, but cautioned that the essential details of the agreement have yet to be revealed. What has been outlined so far reflects a significant shift in policy and an important agreement in principle, but significant details have yet to be worked out. […]
The agreement appears to embrace š for the first time and in a meaningful way š two important principles of reform: It includes a reduction of mandatory minimum sentences, and it includes a restoration of judges‰ authority to send many drug offenders to treatment programs instead of jail.

“bullet” Sen. Webb: Prisons a ‘national disgrace,’ must be reformed

Even as President Barack Obama slapped down the hopes of American marijuana consumers as to his position on legalization, Senator Jim Webb (D-Va) was quietly preparing to introduce major legislation which has the potential to dramatically alter US drug laws.
Calling the US criminal justice system “a national disgrace,” two US senators called for a top-to-bottom review with an eye on reforms aimed at reducing America’s vast prison population.
Senator Webb, backed by Republican Senator Arlen Specter, introduced legislation to create a blue-ribbon panel that would conduct an 18-month assessment and offer concrete recommendations for reform.

“bullet” Bernd Debusmann at Reuters: Drug wars and the balloon effect

Why have billions of dollars and thousands of anti-narcotics agents around the world failed to throttle the global traffic in cocaine, heroin and marijuana? Blame wrong-headed policies, largely driven by the United States, and what experts call the balloon effect.

“bullet” John Aloysius Farrell in US News and World: Marijuana: Tax It, Regulate It, But Legalize It
“bullet” I don’t know what the Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution at Columbia Univeristy in the City of New York does for a living, but apparently it doesn’t involve much actual thinking. Aldo Civico really looks pretty silly with Legalization of drugs? An imperfect solution.
His thesis? Legalization would not get rid of all crime, so it’s not worth pursuing. Of course, he then fails to come up with a single idea that would be better.
“bullet” Marijuana legalization too hot for CNN

The final “D.L. Hughley Breaks the News” was taped at CNN’s New York studios this afternoon. And it appears CNN higher-ups forced an edit on producers. A TVNewser tipster tells us, “a large section of a segment about marijuana legalization” was edited out of the final broadcast.

“bullet” OpEd in Alabama: War on Drugs as Effective as Prohibition

There are lessons to be learned from the failure of Prohibition — across the country in general, and in Mobile in particular.

“bullet” DrugSense Weekly
“bullet” “drcnet”

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