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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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February 2010
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Odds and Ends

Boy, the spammers are really out. I’ve had about 400 spam comments just today, more than twice my highest day so far. Fortunately, Akismet does a great job of catching most of them.

bullet image Could Decriminalization Be the Answer? by Jens Glüsing in Spiegel.

The massacre in Ciudad Juarez at the end of January made it clear that Mexico is losing the war on drugs. Narcotics-related violence is on the rise in other Latin American cities as well. An increasing number of voices are demanding that drugs be decriminalized.

bullet image We’re Blowing It: A new paper suggests U.S. military aid does nothing to reduce drug production in Colombia.

Yet a recent evaluation of military and anti-narcotics aid to Colombia argues that neither American nor Colombian interests were well served by U.S.-supplied training and arms. The authors find that rather than bringing stability, increases in military aid caused spikes in violence from Colombia’s infamous paramilitary organizations and had no impact whatsoever on coca production. Plan Colombia, it seems, may have served as little more than a conduit for channeling weapons to the destabilizing influences that it was meant to suppress.

bullet image City condemns Juárez violence: Resolution deletes marijuana reference

The City Council heard more than two hours of testimony, but in the end backed away from supporting legalized marijuana as a way to combat drug violence in neighboring Juárez.

The council voted 6-2 Tuesday to condemn the violence in Juárez and deleted a paragraph that called for the legalization of marijuana and government regulation of its sale.

The resolution that ended up passing called for a presidential summit on the drug war and for the U.S. government to make it one of its top foreign policy priorities.

bullet image Providence Journal Editorial: Decriminalize Pot

It’s time to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of pot in Rhode Island. Education is a more humane way than incarceration and a criminal record to help people and maintain order.

One thing seems clear: Our current approach has been an expensive flop.

bullet image Students for Sensible Drug Policy Candlelight Vigil — tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 11) in various locations around the world.

Fourteen young people were murdered among 25 shot at a party celebrating their high school soccer team victory and one student’s birthday.

In any other time and any other place, this would be unbelievable. In any other time and any other place, the world would be riveted to “on the scene” accounts of this outrage.

But these days, for the students of Mexico, there remains a stunning silence. It is as though the world accepts as normal the bloodshed of the innocent high school students because the bloodshed of the failing war on drugs is normal. This is not normal!

SSDP says this is too much blood.

bullet image Some excellent investigative journalism by Lee at HorsesAss about how the Washington State Department of Corrections has conducted a harassment campaign aimed at medical marijuana.

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11 comments to Odds and Ends

  • strayan

    Good journalism over at HorsesAss documenting the trials and tribulations of Kathy Parkins & co, but some should’ve told the poor sod that the best treatment for Fibromyalgia is GHB, not cannabis.

  • Nick Zentor

    Plan Colombia, it seems, may have served as little more than a conduit for channeling weapons to the destabilizing influences that it was meant to suppress.

    Imperial division to conquer. The US-DEA War on Drugs has been a Machiavellian wet-dream come true.

  • kaptinemo

    11 years ago, warnings about what would happen in the Andes Region should the US drug interdiction efforts be ramped up had been made quite clear…and those predictions have since borne out. Innocents have been slaughtered, drugs are purer and cheaper with no let up on supply, the indig’s political and social systems are endangered because of the increase in (already endemic) corruption, etc.

    But because of the economic incentives here in the US (from mainly arms contractors), ‘Plan Colombia’ was allowed to roll on, despite what was happening then and since. But the fact remains that with the Meltdown, the incentives may continue to exist, but the money…doesn’t. Not anymore. Not without engaging in Weimar Republic hyperinflation.

    The money’s all gone…or it should be in a sensible country, after having been re-allocated for more useful things. Right now, it hasn’t happened. But given enough time and enough angry, desperate, homeless, unemployed and hungry people needing help, that will change too.

  • DdC

    Justice… that’s odd…
    I think when they start to insure your crop…
    its over…

    Pot Returned ~ All 4 Pounds Of It
    California — Daniel Sosa didn’t know what to expect when he flew into Crescent City on Friday to pick up 4 pounds of marijuana. Sosa had a 2 p.m. appointment with the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office to get back marijuana that was confiscated in February 2009 during a routine traffic stop. His appointment, and the subsequent handoff, was a first for both Sosa and the Sheriff’s Office.

    City settles medical marijuana suit for $32,500
    Feb 11 2010
    California city has settled a lawsuit filed by a former resident who said police unlawfully confiscated 40 to 50 medical marijuana plants and forced him to become a police informant.

    THE FIGHT AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA ISN’T WORTH IT
    Since it opened without a business license three months ago, MediLeaf has caused an uproar in a town still smarting over the death of a 15-year-old girl after a night of drinking. As opponents see it, MediLeaf is a mecca for potheads, criminals and other bad actors. In many ways, the legal battle now unfolding offers a peek at what’s likely to happen in San Jose and other towns that are confronting objections to marijuana dispensaries. If Gilroy offers a lesson, it’s this: A full-out fight isn’t worth it.

    Putting Your Weed in Good Hands
    Colorado’s Greenpoint Insurance Group is offering crop insurance to medical marijuana growers.

  • Just me

    Hey Pete…you might wanna turbo charge your spam blocker, reasons as follows….

    As Katpin mentioned here and many already know…as the economic crunch rears its head…cannaibis will be the least of this countries problems and I think you and many other pro-cannabis/drug legalization sites will be getting an email(ear)full of pissed off law enforcement institutions and other prohibs. We here do have a tremendous effect on this fight , I , as Im sure all of you do, talk to everyone we can.

    Also the pressure to end prohibition will be more felt by law enforcement and cities as lawsuits are filed against police harrasment / pot seizures as Ddc has shown above. A county sherrif RETURNING cannabis….4 pounds of it…thats unheard of. Just one more indication the wall is coming down.

    Juice up that spam blocker Pete !!

  • claygooding

    We must continue bringing pressure to change these laws,even if they back off on imprisonment and try going to treatment for drug offenders. It is just another money cow they are trying to build. I expect to see treatment centers opening all over America any day now. The same people that own the industrial prison systems will probably open the centers. Then,instead of putting you in prison and putting you to work doing slave labor,they will just charge you 3 or 4 thousand dollars in fees and put you on a nice long probation,with fees. That way they can make money off of you without having the expense of housing or feeding you.

  • kaptinemo

    Why we should press even harder now: the economic screw is about to get 3 full turns instead of the quarter-turns we’ve been getting lately, which will make justifying spending money on the DrugWar even harder to do:

    Bailout oversight panel warns of wave of commercial real estate foreclosures.

    The shock waves from this will be tremendous. Worse than what we’ve weathered so far. You can expect unemployment claims to skyrocket when this begins. (Personal advice: stock up on canned goods, particularly proteins. You’re gonna need ’em) That means more pressure on legislators to come up with means of re-allocating resources.

    And that means that even the most foaming, wild-eyed culture warrior prohib amongst them (significant look in Mad Mark Souder’s direction) will have to face his or her constituents who need relief in the form of monetary support via unemployment insurance and find a way to get that support to them. And that means cutting (and eventually gutting) programs that once were sacred cows.

    Like the DrugWar. It’s only a matter of time.

  • kaptinemo

    Clay, the truth is that the smarter prohibs (this is like saying an ambulatory and vocal moron is smarter than a bed-ridden and incontinent ‘vegetable’) saw this coming years ago and began to try to cash in on that.

    This trend began back in 2000 with Gen’rul Barry leaving ONDCP and seeking to jump into the feather bed he made for himself while on our dime, promoting ‘treatment’…which, of course, includes drug testing.

    But this will last only for as long as the illusion of the American government being able to continue to fund everything in the present budget doesn’t meet the fiscal realities that it simply can’t. Not anymore.

  • Cliff

    “We must continue bringing pressure to change these laws,even if they back off on imprisonment and try going to treatment for drug offenders.”

    To me, involuntary drug treatment is no different than prison. The treatment thing is a bait and switch. What happens when you are involuntarily put into treatment but you fail to quit using drugs?

  • Just me

    Hey cliff you got a good point. Its still a win win for them. They make money off treatment and if you fail….what..they put you in prison and the private prison stock holders make money anyway?

  • claygooding

    (this is like saying an ambulatory and vocal moron is smarter than a bed-ridden and incontinent ‘vegetable’)
    Gotta steal that one. And I understand the stocking up,bought 2 of those big cans of popcorn they sell every xmas,and using them for pinto beans and pasta storage.
    Since I live on S/S,when the big flop comes,and the checks stop coming in,I am going to have to barter marijuana for
    any necessities.While apprehensive of the future,I also think it will be a very good learning experience for those willing to learn.
    My sister and I bought our dad’s house in a small town 4 years ago and moved out of the Dallas area,because we saw this coming. And I wouldn’t be living in any large city when this economy throws a rod.
    Our part of the country is over run with wild pigs and although the flavor leaves a lot to be desired,it will probably become the mainstay of our areas diet.
    I just hope when it all settles down,our future legislators don’t make some of the foolish mistakes that have been the standard operating procedure for our present leaders.