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September 2010
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The Guardian continues the discussion

The Guardian has consistently been one of the media leaders in talking openly about the drug war — all aspects. This weekend was no exception…

bullet image What Britain could learn from Portugal’s drugs policy by Peter Beaumont

In the midst of the recently resurgent debate in Britain about whether our drug laws are working – or require a major overhaul – the experience of Portugal has become a crucial piece of evidence in favour of a radical approach that has confounded the expectations of even its conservative critics, so much so that in the last month British officials have asked their Portuguese counterparts for advice, with the only caveat being that they avoid mentioning the word “decriminalise”.

It’s an interesting look into the success of Portugal’s experiment.

bullet image Britain’s drug policy will not improve until we are bold enough to experiment by Alex Stevens

The potential benefits and costs of drug policy innovations will remain incalculable as long as governments refuse to implement and research them.

A lesson that’s also true for us (and we have the perfect laboratory to test innovations — the states!)

bullet image Legalise drugs and a worldwide epidemic of addiction will follow by Antonio Maria Costa (former head of the UNODC).

The debate between those who dream of a world free of drugs and those who hope for a world of free drugs has been raging for years.

It’s a cute phrase and he’s been using it for years, but it has nothing to add to the discussion. The whole piece is a muddle, with quite a number of references to the problems of prohibition, but a complete failure to recognize that legalization, not prohibition, is the source of real control.

A shout-out to my mom, who is 88 and is an occasional reader of this blog. She just had a stroke and has been diagnosed with Wernicke’s Aphasia — a problem with the language center of the brain. I just spent the last two days with her at the hospital in Des Moines, and her long-term prognosis looks good (although it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to read blogs for awhile).

This is an open thread.

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10 comments to The Guardian continues the discussion

  • Best wishes to you and your family Pete.

  • ezrydn

    Pete,

    My best to Mom! I had a mini-stroke in May (on my birthday, no less) and seemed to get through it ok. A lot of it has to do with “attitude.” I’ve never been one to take NO for an answer, neither from others nor from my own body. When I crushed my foot in 2006, I was told I’d never walk again. I asked how long I’d be in the hospital and they said 3 months. Why’d I ask? I wanted them to be sure to be at the door when I left because I’d walk out without assistance. Again, they, the specialists, said NO. I walked out, under my own power, unassisted.

    What they didn’t know was that I spent the nights of those three months walking the hospital corridors, relearning how to do something that was simple before.

    Make sure Mom’s got a good case of “ATTITUDE” and she’ll be ok. Besides, she’s entering that “fun age.” My grandmother was 96 when she left the building but was a total riot to be around in those later years. At 93, she decided to try cannabis for herself and figured out she had been lied to. People in that age range are great to be around. My father-in-law will be 89 at the end of Oct. The family seems to have him on his death bed but when he and I go to coffee, he laughs about it with me.

    I have found getting old to be a truly great part of life. Problems? Sure. Yet, they are simply “challenges” which we’ve had to face our whole lives.

    She made you so she’s gotta be a “Kicker!”

  • Thanks, Dan and ezrydn. Mom has plenty of ATTITUDE. She goes non-stop, and the thing that was frustrating her most yesterday was that it was a holiday and she’d have to wait another entire day to get going on her therapy.

  • darkcycle

    Jeez, my best to your Mom, Pete.

  • Just me.

    Pete, sorry to hear. Give her our best wishes.

  • denmark

    Just checking in guys. We should be in our house by the end of September. It’s been an interesting experience being away from internet coverage, television and telephones, frustrating and at the same time a good opportunity to relax before I jump back in to the world of politics. After scanning the titles here once a week or having to wait two weeks even, I can see not much has changed in the minds of Prohibition Idiots.

    Not bragging here but wanted to share that the medical marijuana has been a life saver for me. There’s one called Buddha Cheese that I really like, neat name isn’t it? And . . . there are so many names anymore it’s becoming overwhelming.
    The intestional problems are managable now and the swelling of the lower back is considerably less.
    Have made a connection with a medical marijuana provider in Spokane, so far so good.

  • Dano

    Best wishes to you and your mom. Hope she makes a quick turn around. Just don’t skimp on the therapy and she’ll be back to herself before you know it.

  • Sleepy

    I love your blog, thanks for the regular updates!

    I’m sorry to hear about your mother. Wernicke’s aphasia can be difficult. My best regards to you.

  • Thanks, Sleepy. Yes, Dano, we’re making sure we get the best therapy. We’ve had a number of therapists in today and they’re looking at all the options.

  • jewel

    Hey Pete, will be praying for your Mom as well. A good attitude will help her recovery progress the most. My Mom is 77 and has been fighting bladder cancer mastasis for 8 years. Don’t know how she has managed to keep up such a good fight for so many years but for her strength, detirmination and great attitude!