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Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor being hung by the neck…

Some people here in the U.S. say that the reason the drug war isn’t working is that we’re just not taking it seriously enough. We’ve got to stop being so easy on the drug criminals.

Well, let’s take a little look at how it works when you really crack down hard on drug trafficking… Iran in Drug Offender Execution Frenzy

Iran began 2011 by hanging eight accused drug traffickers at Qom prison south of Tehran New Year’s Day, and that was just day one. By the end of January, Iranian authorities had executed at least 56 drug offenders, according to press accounts compiled by the anti-death penalty group Hands Off Cain.

… or how about Malaysia

Three people, including one couple, were sentenced on Thursday to death by hanging by the high court at Temerloh, Malaysia for trafficking 4.5 kilograms (just under 10 pounds) of marijuana last year.

“Death by hanging is the only sentence provided for offenses under Section 39B (1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952,” said Judicial Commissioner Datuk Akhtar Tahir, reports Bernama, the official Malaysian national news agency.

So, with that kind of extreme penalty for drug trafficking, they should really have this problem licked in those countries, right?

No

A senior Bukit Aman narcotics division official told theSun that unlike syndicates from other countries, the Iranian drug mules bring in large quantities of syabu or ice, and are willing to sell them way below normal market price here.

“Despite a continuous assault on these (Iranian) syndicates, there seems to be no sign of them slowing down,” said the official. […]

The official disclosed that besides selling the drugs in Malaysia, the syndicate was also using Malaysia as a point of entry into Thailand, where the demand is very high.

“And we believe they are using the land route to get into Thailand from Malaysia, which is quite easy.

The official disclosed that the Thai authorities have placed Iranians on number one on the alert list, especially at airports, and have detained scores of Iranian drug mules in recent months. […]

Based on available data, more than 40% of crimes in Iran are drug-related felonies.
In Malaysia, Iranian drug mules are also well protected by local crime syndicates, the official revealed.

“The local syndicates have resorted to buying the finished product from Iranians who smuggle them into the country rather than produce the methamphetamine here themselves.

The official disclosed that the street price of ice was close to RM250,000 per kg but the Iranian syndicates were selling them at between RM120,000 and RM175,00 per kg.

“These factors make the Iranian drug syndicates much sought after here, plus the fact that there is a large Middle Eastern community in Malaysia makes it easier for these drug mules to move in society without raising any suspicion, “ added the official.

So… how to you get tougher on drug traffickers than killing them? Could there be some penalty that’s even tougher on drug traffickers than death?

There is.

You take away their profits through legalization.

Get tough on drug traffickers. Really tough. Legalize.

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30 comments to Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor being hung by the neck…

  • Duncan20903

    The straight people are clueless. They think that people think about the consequences of drug use. If people are willing to use heroin, coke, and meth without regard for the almost certain long term physical consequences, what the fuck makes these people think that they’re going to worry about an abstract idea like criminal justice punishment especially when so many get away with it, even in these insane countries.

    Did I post the links about bootleggers committing rape, kidnappinng, murder, and impersonation of police oaficers in countries that are still stupid enough to have drinking alcohol prohibition?

    All items reported in 2011:

    http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/sharjah-police-to-target-bootleggers-2011-01-02-1.336788
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/indians-abroad/10-Indians-and-a-Pakistani-jailed-for-murder-in-Dubai/articleshow/7221882.cms
    http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20110106-312782/UAE-court-jails-8-Asian-bootleggersreport

  • Duncan20903

    In Georgia (US) bootlegging produces stripper poles and illegal buffets:

    “They pop up every now and then. People want to make a little extra money,” Ware said. “They’ll buy beers and then sell it for two or three times more.”

    In early November, three people were arrested and accused of selling alcohol illegally out of a home on Brown Street. The suspects allegedly were selling beer, wine, mixed drinks and shots of moonshine.

    There was also a buffet and a stripper pole set up at the house, Ware said.

    http://www.gainesvilletimes.com /section/6/article/43767/

    The Dutch are pixxed at Iran because they murdered, err, executed a Dutch National on a Saturday after telling the diplomats all appeals had not been exhausted on Friday. The Dutch recommend that their people stay out of Iran:

    http://www.reuters.com/assets/commentsChild?articleId=USTRE70S3EG20110129&headline=Iran+hangs+Iranian-Dutch+woman+for+drug+smuggling&channel=worldNews&edition=BETAUS&view=base

    This is your brain. This is your brain on prohibition. Any questions?

    I apologize if you’ve all seen the bootlegger articles.

  • Jake

    Is it Human nature or is there more to just hearing rhetoric and being comforted by it whilst never actually looking at the problem? – ‘we will crack down on drug related crime’, ‘our renewed resolve on this issue’, ‘better collaboration and intelligence sharing’ blah blah blah… I have frequently seen in comments on various articles ‘get tougher’ or ‘hang them.. that’ll stop the dealers’. If you point out that China, Malaysia, Iran etc. actually do hang people for trafficking they say we should bring that here… just not realising that it doesn’t work elsewhere as people are still getting executed… or using the old ‘maybe we should legalise murder’ strawman argument.

    I think people need to be educated in just how much money there is to be made to understand the motives, this pic always illustrated it nicely to me http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/07/americas_enl_1174060808/html/1.stm

  • kaptinemo

    The vast majority of these countries had traditionally handled the issue of drug use amongst their indigenous populations via harm reduction systems prior to them being strong-armed into ever more Draconian methodologies courtesy of the US interference, via the UN Single Convention Treaty and US ‘strings’ attached ‘foreign aid’.

    Well, with the US becoming increasingly cash-strapped, the amount of funding for ‘foreign aid’ is steadily being reduced, and if a public outcry about it is ever made, that will be along the lines of “Why should we send money overseas to tin-pot dictators when we need it here?” The incentive to accede to Uncle’s insane demands vis-a-vis illicit drugs is becoming less profitable.

    Nations that had such incentives will now be forced to deal with illicit drug trafficking by either becoming increasingly more vicious against their own citizens – or completely reconsider their participation in treaties which hamstring more practical solutions to any drug ‘problem’.

    In any event, with what’s happening in South America, with Bolivia essentially threatening to bug out of the SCT, a lot of different countries are beginning to quietly consider doing the same. And those national leaders whose countries engaged in using the death penalty as a means of ‘drug control’ may someday be on the receiving end courtesy of their own citizens deciding they’ve had enough of said leaders towing Uncle’s line.

  • Ben Mann

    Most drug warriors have backed off of the “we need to get tougher” because they know how stupid that sounds after the 80’s and 90’s, when we got as tough as possible.

    Now, they just resort to “this is the way it has to be, legalization would be the most horrible thing ever.”

  • a nony mouse

    The armchair drug warriors should get on down to Mexico and crack down and get tough. Let us know how that works out.

  • auggie

    The latest argument I’m hearing from prohibs against legalization is “look at the problems we have with prescription drug abuse that would get even worse if we legalize”. My counter has been in a legal system the people who want help can get it more easily and the prescription fraud would decrease if people could get the drugs they wanted legally. Does anybody have anything else to use against this straw man?

    • strayan

      Are there any turf wars over the sale of vicodin?

    • strayan

      Did the end of alcohol prohibition solve the alcohol problem? No. It solved the problem of people shooting each other over the alcohol trade.

      If you want to solve the alcohol problem you have to restrict liquor advertising, increase taxes and earmark revenue for treatment, quit and public health campaigns. You only have tax revenue if alcohol is legal (gangsters don’t declare their income and are unlikely to want their customers to quit). It works for tobacco and would work for any drug. As of this day, no prohibitionist has ever been able to explain why tobacco use is falling despite being sold virtually everywhere.

      • Jake

        Bhutan will provide a great model to compare current ‘legal’ drug regulation relative successes in western countries as opposed to prohibition of the same product – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12329957

        Also, I wholly support the ending of advertising of Alcohol (or any drug once legalised), but can you imagine the outcry from the alcohol industry at the ‘demonisation’ of the public’s favourite drug whilst not recognising the hypocrisy!

  • Dante

    Pete asks:
    “So… how to you get tougher on drug traffickers than killing them? Could there be some penalty that’s even tougher on drug traffickers than death?”

    I believe it is only a matter of time before the practices our CIA and military are currently perfecting in the middle east (aka Torture) will be used on drug offenders in this country. I bet water-boarding is already being taught in the police academy.

    It’s like the government thinks we are animals. No, wait. Michael Vick got in trouble for torturing animals, but our government can torture people with impunity.

  • DdC

    “They say you can’t legislate morality.
    Well, you certainly can.”

    ~ John Ashcroft Chicago Tribune May 25, 1998

    US PRAISES THAI DRUG WAR!
    From February of 2003, to 100 days later, June 2003, Thai police executed over 4,000 Thais, jailing 60,000, in a bid to meet targets set by the Thai Prime Minister to ‘complertely end all illegal drug use by whatever means necessary’.

    Thailand: US Official Declares War On Drugs A Success
    (27 Nov 2003) Bangkok Post Thailand

    The Thai Army receives U.S. training. Note the last half of message below to see your U.S. tax dollars at work recently in torturing people nearly to death. This is the normal result of U.S. training of armies and police worldwide, and why the U.S. is hated worldwide. U.S.-aided Death

    Representative Mark E. Souder reported he made two trips last year — one overseas and one to Florida — that he did not pay for. The U.S.-Thailand Business Council paid the bill for a 16-day trip to Thailand last fall… May 16, 1997

    Monsanto/US War on Drugs Poisoning Colombian Environment
    The aerial fumigation program that has grown out of the U.S. government’s so-called “war on drugs” is endangering the fragile ecosystems and indigenous cultures of Colombia’s Amazon Basin, a coalition of groups warned today at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

    Witness: Drug War Spraying Colombia To D.E.A.th
    One image shows a farmer at the center of his 12-acre field, a former corn crop now utterly decimated. Another shows a white flag raised over a black pepper crop, as a signal to airplanes that this is a legal crop.

    Malaysia DEAth Sentences for Marijuana video.google

  • I’m sooo glad I was able to enjoy Thailand’s herb in country before all this nuttiness broke out. We were prety brazen at times (young…) but the locals gave a rat’s ass about ganja. When they’d see us all squinty and red-eyed they’d laugh… they called it “sweet eyes.”

    Except for the psychedelics (and cocaine hadn’t made the scene yet) anything one wanted was available. Up, down, spin around… whatever floats your boat. But the penalty of death over drugs… wtf? That is an absurd negation of human rights and dignity. Again… the “crime” of drug use is violation of law but is not crime in the sense that there is an assault or a victim of any kind. Drug taking is an exploration – for good or bad – and a process of maturation. The older ya get the more everything kicks your ass a little harder than it used ta. Except pot. The herb is made for old folks…

    What agri-corp is doing to third world farmers is a real crime. There is an epidemic of 2nd and 3rd world farmer suicides (particularly in India) and the chief means of committing suicide these days is poisoning. They’re drinking the herbicides and pesticides they can’t afford to buy but can’t farm corporate seed plants w/o. One of the most popular chemicals used is paraquat [or identical chemical, different brand name]…

    Some days… [shakes head, mutters, hits enter, goes outside to watch the sun set]

  • Duncan20903

    “The vast majority of these countries had traditionally handled the issue of drug use amongst their indigenous populations via harm reduction systems prior to them being strong-armed into ever more Draconian methodologies courtesy of the US interference, via the UN Single Convention Treaty and US ‘strings’ attached ‘foreign aid’.”

    All of the countries have been strong armed in the same way, but most have rejected adopting such extreme draconian penalties with such zeal and fervor, even exceeding the barbaric penalties of country using the strong arm tactics.
    ………………………………………………..

    Did anyone hear about Swaziland being close to re-legalization of recreational cannabis? It’s in their highest court and it seems the Swazis and there sure seems to be a lot of support. It seems the people are sick of being dirt poor, and they have quality cannabis coming out of their ears. They covet the $25 a kilo that their high grade sinsemilla commands on the open market. Oh it also seems they really enjoy their cannabis with one of the highest rates of consumption in the world.

    We always talk about the executions, and it seems the good news gets ignored. Isn’t that one of the things wrong with the MSM? We need more happy thoughts. Swaziland, I’m going there on my next vacation. I suppose I’ll have to fly into Johannesburg and buy a ticket to ride on a 1956 Ford Bus the rest of the way? Well it does sound like fun at first blush.
    ——————————————————–

    Well here’s a great example of a misleading headline:

    Report of freeway road rage leads to large pot …….farm in Redondo Beach, authorities say

    “Jeffrey Henderson, 33, was arrested…
    .
    .
    “The arrest grew out of a Jan. 7 incident on the freeway near Venice Boulevard, in which Henderson called 911 dispatchers and said he was a victim of road rage, Blum said.

    When the responding officer started to take a report, he smelled marijuana and arrested Henderson on suspicion of possession for sale after finding pot and about $2,000 in cash.

    A week after the arrest, Redondo Beach police contacted CHP investigators and told them they had received an anonymous tip that Henderson was growing pot in his house.” /snip/

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/02/freeway-road-rage-incident-leads-chp-to-massive-indoor-pot-farm-find-in-redondo-beach.html

    So these two events are connected…how? I’m confuzzled. Did the cop who arrested him a week before, or even one of the cops henchmen, phone in the anonymous tip? Can somebody ‘splain this one to me?

  • Duncan20903

    “Are there any turf wars over the sale of vicodin?

    No it seeems pretty civilized when Purdue Pharmaceuticals and CVS do the drug dealing.

    Over 3 years ago Purdue fined $634 million and convicted of a felony, along with 3 execs:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/70753.php

    Less than a year ago CVS paid a $75 million fine and digorged $2.6 million in profits to avoid indictment for promoting the sale of street meth. To the best of my knowledge CVS still sells medical meth.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/14/business/main6958289.shtml
    —————————————————————————————————————

    Also, I wholly support the ending of advertising of Alcohol (or any drug once legalised), but can you imagine the outcry from the alcohol industry at the ‘demonisation’ of the public’s favourite drug whilst not recognising the hypocrisy!

    Not to mention that the sports leagues will squeal like stuck pigs. Can we really risk an end to the established American tradition that people call the Super Bowl? Will the NASCAR dads stand for the end of stock car racing in America? Don’t hold your breath.

    Let them be grandfathered, fine and dandy with me. But every time I hear that word I wonder how such a ‘racist’ word ever got mainstreamed without any PC protests. So I’d appreciate that one being ‘splained as well.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Oh man that chit that was tied to a stick was “the bomb”. I loved Thai Sticks. Alan, did you know there are really actual, living people, seemingly with brains in working order, who actually believe the bullcrap that today’s pot is so much better than back then? The ignorati claim that this is isn’t your father’s muggles. Well it isn’t by any means Thai Stick, Panama Red or black Afghani hash courtesy of the Freedom Fighters*. I sure can’t argue with that. Sheesh, they can’t have a clue how many days I’ve spent in despair and remorse for throwing away that bottle of Panama Red seeds. We’re talking a gallon jar not a Paul Simon Kodachrome can.

    On my way back from Swaziland I must stop in Panama and see if they have any of those seeds left. Is Swaziland anywhere near Thailand? Shit next I know I’ll be riding on the Bangkok Express. Here’s Rush and “A Passage to Bangkok” performed live in Holland. They sure don’t seem to regret their misspent youth. Does this sound like people smoking a placebo? 2011 gots nuttin’ on 1976. Not that there’s anything wrong with 2011.

    Wreathed in smoke in Lebanon
    We burn the midnight oil
    The fragrance of Afghanistan
    Rewards a long day’s toil
    Pulling into Katmandu
    Smoke rings fill the air
    Perfumed by a Nepal night
    The Express gets you there

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5FrHuRcqoA

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    We were prety brazen at times (young…)

    Cue the flashback machine, set to 1980, myself and my best friend in his 1960 something station wagon loaded with pot plants, no, they were not in boxes, no, the windows weren’t blocked or even lightly tinted, no, they weren’t sprouts, at between 1 and 2 feet + a 6″ container they were the epitome of the plain sight exception to the 4th Amendment’s search warrant requirement. They may have been Panama Red, it’s actually very likely but we didn’t pay too much attention to stuff like that in 1980 so I can’t recall for sure. Back then we grew pot, not “kush”. Well it’s too late to make a long story short, but we were stopped at a traffic intersection in Vienna VA and a Fairfax County VA cop rolls up beside us. There’s no way in Hades that he didn’t see those plants. We continued on to the grow without really noticing. I think the cop was likely on his way to investigate and uphold the donot purity laws, and so couldn’t be bothered with some silly pot plants. “Up In Smoke” by Cheech and Chong really wasn’t all that farfetched, just a bit of exaggeration.

    Ah, the folly of youth in the 1970s. Youthful indiscretions indeed.

  • Sick........!

    Ive said it before. You can never stop drug use. You copuld burn the planet to a cinder and plant would come back. Its Impossible…oh but government knows that..its just a control thing for them. Government is evil…all governments.

  • Paul

    Southeast Asian governments have a history of disliking drugs, especially heroin. China executes big drug offenders regularly, and it probably makes little difference.

    It IS possible to punish your way into a mostly drug free society with executions. I believe China did it to end their 25% opium addiction rate at the beginning of the 20th century. (my history here is hazy). But the ruthlessness and shear numbers of drug executions are beyond anything we’ve seen for quite some time–and certainly beyond anything the U.S. has the stomach for.

    Note that Thailand had a spate of summary executions during Thaksin’s (Thai love Thai party!) reign. Thousands, if the number is to be believed. Their prisons are also full, and they have a LOT of people in prison. Still, from what I hear it is hardly difficult to get high in Thailand.

  • ezrydn

    “We’re gonna protect you against drugs.

    How?

    We’re gonna kill you.”

    This is how the Prohibitionists of the world think.

  • Steve

    I try not to continually rant about this subject, but it is so in your face it is almost inescapable at times…last evening a buddy of mine stopped by to say hi and during the course of our discussion, he mentioned going to the doctor because his back had been getting increasingly sore and stiff. We all know how this story goes – he proceeds to show me his “prescription” for 100 Vicodin…and wait…if thats not enough, how about the bottle has 3 refills on it! So he asks the doc why he thinks he needs so much and the professional medical anserw is – “I just want to make sure you don’t have to keep dealing with this pain.” Its no secret that these guys make money by how much of this shit they push – the sick part is they have a free ticket to do so…

  • iran, china and a boatload of other countries throughout the middle east and SE asia have been executing drug users and dealers for the past several decades.

    i guess they don’t understand that people who risk instant death through the use of impure drugs at unknown dosages cannot be dissuaded by threats of death at the hands of the state

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Steve, he probably got the schedule 3 variety, which is laced with acetaminophen for the intention of causing liver damage if abused. No refills or remote prescriptions allowed on schedule2 drugs.

  • vicky vampire

    Hey Steve,your Buddy is an exception.maybe,or docs I see are crap.
    I was on Lortab 7.5 for about four years worked OK then just stopped. A Nurse Practicner put me on 5 strength percs did nothing for pain,also had me on Neurontin,lyrica on highest doses, had to stop taking these,did not help the pain and side effects were a fricking nightmare.
    Finally saw Doc who put me on pretty good amount of7.5 percs,90 pills but then they fired him from clinic.I do not dare ask docs there for higher dose,and anyway I do not want to be zonked out on opiates anyway,no they have no idea I use cannabis.
    No not all places hand out pain killers like candy and I have MRI showing three herniated discs,arthritis,fibromyagia and chronic tension headaches that a neurologist is treating with strong med.and with all these things they paindocs not neurologist, he was great did there best to give bare minimum for pain control, for longest of time.

  • vicky vampire

    What I meant is the Lortab’s stopped working also I live in state that is one of four with highest accidental opiate overdoses hence, the possible reluctance of docs to prescribe adequate doses, for pain relief?

  • Servetus

    From Wiki on the biography of Sultan Murad IV (1612 – 1640):

    Murad IV also banned alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in Istanbul. He ordered execution for breaking this ban. He would patrol the streets and taverns of İstanbul in civilian clothes at night, policing the enforcement of his command. If, while patrolling the streets, he saw a subject using tobacco or alcohol, he would kill the person on the spot with his mace.

    Despite Murad’s deadly insistence on abstinence, use of alcohol, coffee and tobacco continued unabated, and effective legalization of the ethanol, caffeine and nicotine was implemented upon his death (cf Count Egon Cesare Corti, History of Smoking, {1931}).

    Wiki: “Murad IV, who had outlawed alcohol, died in Istanbul at the age of 27 from cirrhosis of the liver.”

  • Joe

    When it comes to the death penalty, drug traffickers have more to fear from each other than the govt. Look at Mexico.

  • Carlyle Moulton

    I suppose that you might get a serious reduction in drug use if you pursued a policy of executing users and traffickers until execution for drug crime became a leading cause of death, I mean 5% or 10% or even higher rates of deaths by execution for drug crime. The question of course whether any population would tolerate such a high rate of executions, it would be impossible to achieve such a rate without executing some members of the ruling classes. For example suppose the US decided to aim for a rate of death by drug war executions exceeding 13%. The Negro population of the US is only 13% so a 13% death rate could not be obtained without executing some white people which would not be tolerated.

    The Chinese have a proverb whose exact words elude me, something about killing a chicken to warn a monkey. The drug laws are like this, the US locks up Blacks and Hispanics for 20 to 60 years to deter white high school kids from smoking dope. Of course it does not work, the white kids see that they have almost de facto immunity from the drug laws and are not deterred. The SE Asian countries that have the death penalty only execute a few low level drug mules to convey the message that they are doing their bit to fight teh wicked drugs. Since drug trafficking never occurs without considerable official corruption you can be sure that none of those convicted and executed are king pins in the trade who would know the authorities’ corrupt deals.

    If one really wanted to make death by drug related execution a deterrent, one would have to either massively increase the budget for police and prosecutors or abolish any due process for those accused of drug crimes. For example pass a law banning lawyers from assisting anyone charged with a drug related offense, allow judicial torture to get confessions and so on. Yet there would still be zones of immunity, the ruling class wiould never allow such draconian methods to be inflicted on its sons and daughters.

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