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The Guardian talks legalization

A really powerful set of articles in The Guardian today.

Starting off with War on drugs: why the US and Latin America could be ready to end a fruitless 40-year struggle by Rory Carroll and Paul Harris

Mexico’s president Felipe Caldéron is the latest Latin leader to call for a debate on drugs legalisation. And in the US, liberals and right-wing libertarians are pressing for an end to prohibition. Forty years after President Nixon launched the ‘war on drugs’ there is a growing momentum to abandon the fight

It’s a pretty good discussion about recent political and drug war developments in the Americas.

Even better is the extremely strong and stinging piece against prohibition by the editorial board:

A unique chance to rethink drugs policy

If the purpose of drug policy is to make toxic substances available to anyone who wants them in a flourishing market economy controlled by murderous criminal gangs, the current arrangements are working well.

If, however, the goal is to reduce the amount of drugs being consumed and limit the harm associated with addiction, it is surely time to tear up the current policy. It has failed.

This is not a partial failure. For as long as courts and jails have been the tools for controlling drugs, their use has increased. Police are powerless to control the flow. One recent estimate calculated that around 1% of the total supply to the UK is intercepted.

Attempts to crack down have little impact, except perhaps in siphoning vulnerable young people into jails where they can mature into hardened villains.

When a more heavyweight player is taken out, a gap opens up in the supply chain which is promptly filled by violent competition between or within gangs. Business as usual resumes. […]

It is far from certain that decriminalisation, regulation or legalisation would work. But they should be examined as options, for it is absolutely certain that prohibition has failed.

Wow. The trifecta finishes off with Drugs: the problem is more than just the substances, it’s the prohibition itself by Maria Lucia Karam, a retired judge in Brazil and board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Violence is not necessarily related to drugs. As the alcohol or tobacco businesses demonstrate, the production and supply of drugs are not inherently violent activities. Weapons and violence only accompany those activities when undertaken in an illegal market. The prohibition yields the violence, as disputes must be settled out of court and on the streets. Paradoxically, when we prohibit these widely used substances, we are actually relinquishing meaningful control over them.

Prohibition consigns the drug market to criminalised actors not subject to oversight of any kind. Legalisation would mean regulation and regulation is the best way to control the dangers of drug use, while cutting the cartels off at the knees. […]

Latin America is advancing the debate, but even in the US there are efforts to undo the damage of prohibition, the most prominent being California’s effort to legalise marijuana.

Hopefully, the thousands of Mexicans, Brazilians and people from other parts of the world who have been killed in the insane “war on drugs” will not have died in vain. Their deaths are already showing that it is time to put an end to all the pain and harms caused by drug prohibition; it is time to legalise and regulate the production, the supply and the consumption of all drugs.

[Thanks, Tom]

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17 comments to The Guardian talks legalization

  • let’s see… we have 3 heavy hitting pieces condemning the WO(s)D by directly naming the failures in the Guardian… and they have a college prof comparing cannabis legalization to legalizing child porn and human trafficking… hmmm… I think I’d stand back… we may be beginning to see the thrashings of a beast discovering it’s been mortally wounded… I eagerly await the day we see this foulness gone.

  • Quincy punk episode

    The war against poverty, drugs, crime, terror are stunning success stories as all of those are gone from our world. Mommygov fixes every problem with a midas touch.

  • Just me.

    I wish the beast would just !!!DIE!! Allan420.

    Die you loathsome beast,you ruiner of lives,you murder of the weak,the children,and the people. Just die and return to that nothingness you were spawn from, and do not leave behind your filth!! Once you are DEAD your minions will also weaken and DIE !! The world will then take a more compassionate aproach to life.

  • paul

    When mainstream media outlets begin to editorialize on our side, it means we are now officially a mainstream idea. Not necessarily a majority, but a perfectly respectable idea whose time in the sun may be coming soon.

  • Canada sinking ever deeper into Ziofascism. Thanks Tim for the Ottawa Sun link.
    The majority of comments there show the escalating disdain for the beast-worshippers and traitors.

  • Ziofascism? Pardon my ignorance of isms but what exactly is ziofascism and what does it have to do with the Guardian articles?

    Which, by the way, are a refreshing breath of air.

    I have a huge amount of respect for LEAP members. They seem to be on an energized roll recently. They are popping up in a lot of places (articles, interviews, mags) and are always so well articulated, informed and rational. Love ’em.

  • Just me.

    Humm that link didnt work.

    Anyway heres more on this story from south of the border if you havent seen it.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100809/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_drug_war_mexico

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Greg Taylor, Ian 'Cat' Vincent. Ian 'Cat' Vincent said: The Guardian talks drug legalization http://is.gd/e9Nwm […]

  • Scott

    The more the mainstream media scrutinizes this issue, the sooner the Controlled Substances Act and its global equivalents end.

  • kaptinemo

    From the first article:

    “Tom Rosales, the leader of No On Prop 19, which opposes legalisation, called the formation of the Just Say Now group “tasteless”. Its name, he claimed, is a taunting nod to the 1980s anti-drug slogan associated with Nancy Reagan, Just Say No. But supporters of Proposition 19 would say that the prohibition policy has its own brutal, three-word epithet. Kill them all.”

    Awww, poor bayyyyybee. Can’t take a little criticism of a flawed national policy promoted by a woman whose eyes seemed a little too…shiny…at times? (As in from possibly ingesting stimulants?)

    I suspect every Administration has its’ own “Doctor Feelgood” and I feel quite certain that the Reagans availed themselves of such services whenever they wanted to.

    But prohibs never seem to get the idea that they are living in glass houses…and those who’ve been injured by the stones they threw have had long, hard years to dig quarries full of boulders. Time to start catapulting them.

    And from the third article:

    “The tragic deaths of these lost children are inevitable outcomes of a policy that is defined as a “war”, in which the “criminal” now becomes the “enemy”, who must kill or be killed. They arm themselves against the police and their competitors. The police arm themselves against them. It is a self-fulfilling, bloody prophecy. It is the predictable hallmark of drug prohibition.” (Emphasis mine -k.)

    ‘Predictable’. ‘Predictable’. As in historical precedent existed but was deliberately ignored. The prohibs must have their faces rubbed in their stubborn, stupid willingness to overlook the historical fact that no civilization in history ever was successful in imposing a substance prohibition. They must be publicly shamed as the well-meaning(?) idiots and fools they were and are.

  • The wind, as Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance says, is at our backs for the first time. Which is to say that it now blows in the face of anyone who stands up for prohibition. Marijuana gives journalists an easy out because it allows them to push the question of regulation, taxation and control of all drugs off into the future. What we are witnessing across all major media is a political reality which journalists cannot ignore, their mass shift towards support of marijuana regulation and control is a stepping stone to achieving a balance with all drugs in our society. Reach out to journalists, let them know you support their courageous efforts to speak honestly ahead of a yet to be determined national consensus. Keep the national conversation going. The wind is, indeed, at our backs.

  • claygooding

    After showing an egg frying in a skillet and saying it was your brain on marijuana,the rules for a “fair” fight were thrown out the window.
    If America realized the screw job we got from R&R and Nancy
    they would drag his statue down Pennsylvania Ave and beat it apart,just like the Iraqi’s did Saddam’s.
    When they got too old and ugly too screw,they tried to scare America into chastity with herpes,until America figured out that it was cold sores.
    Then they used aids. Don’t get me wrong,aids is a very serious deadly problem but if it was as contagious as the statistics they ran on us we would all have it.
    Ol Ronnie really screwed the pooch when he initiated NAFTA and the resulting movement of most of the sewing industries from every small town in America to Mexico
    and put a large majority of women workers of the era out of work. Hagger Slacks,Maidenform,Levi Strauss and many others now have most of their products made in Mexico.

  • claygooding

    I forgot to add that those factories moves were paid for with our tax dollars,just to add insult to injury.

  • Cliff

    “Hagger Slacks,Maidenform,Levi Strauss and many others now have most of their products made in Mexico.”

    Yeah, I remember when the Levi factory in Littlefield , Texas (+/- 40 miles NW of Lubbock) closed down in the late 80’s. That ruined a lot of people there in just one town. Thanks Ronnie, may you reap in hell what you’ve sown here in the country you ruined. (Never understood the hero worship of that old codger, he was not a great president)

    Regarding “Just Say No”, when I was in college we said that right before we took a big bong rip. Thanks for the laughs Nancy.

  • yes, the beast is injured and beginning to thrash about. but we can’t sit here and watch it die — we need to keep bashing the shit out of it.

  • AU to advise members not to arrest Bashir – draft …

    Interesting post. I’ve added a Trackback to it :)…