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August 2011
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Coca developments

Interesting.

First Bolivia pulls out of the Single Convention over the requirement to eliminate all coca use. Now Peru has temporarily suspended coca eradication efforts.

Neither country is being at all radical about this. They’re still actively going after cocaine traffickers and have no intention of legalizing cocaine.

Yet they’re actually looking at policies and looking at separating coca from cocaine politics. You know, like rational policy-makers. Which really pisses off the U.S.

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26 comments to Coca developments

  • Chris

    So, when can I buy a coke?

  • Francis

    So this doesn’t really have anything to do with the topic of this thread. (I’ve gathered that thread topic-adherence is not strictly enforced around here.) But here are some thoughts I had on a particular reform strategy.

    1) Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
    2) Do you support the decriminalization of marijuana?
    3) Do you believe that people should be sent to prison for possessing small quantities of marijuana?

    Maybe you guys have some actual numbers for me (my google-fu is weak), but my understanding / guess is that if you were to poll the three questions above you’d get approximately the following results. Support for “legalization” would come in at around 45%. Support for “decriminalization” might be a point or two higher. But I suspect that the level of support for the proposition in question 3 would be significantly lower than one would expect based solely on the results of (1) and (2). I think the likely explanations for this apparent contradiction are important. First, it’s psychologically “easy” for people to oppose “legalization” (or “decriminalization”) because to many people, an endorsement of marijuana legalization “feels like” an endorsement of marijuana itself. (After all, how can anyone believe that a behavior is “bad” and not want to criminalize it, right?) The second reason I can think of is that answering “no” to the legalization question is simply an affirmation of the status quo, which is just a basic human psychological preference.

    In contrast, the reason that it’s more psychologically “difficult” to answer “yes” to the third question is that, for starters, LOCKING PEOPLE IN CAGES FOR POSSESSING A PLANT IS F***ING BARBARIC. (Sorry, I got a little worked up there.) Of course, imprisoning people is simply the logical consequence of answering “no” to questions 1 and 2, but with those questions, the respondent can maintain some “psychological distance” between their answers and that reality. With question 3, there’s no hiding from it. I think a second important factor is that question 3, in a sense, reverses the status quo. The people who will be affected by “your” failure to legalize are currently not in jail. Question 3 forces the respondent to “put them in jail.” I think both of these factors are particularly visible where the questioner is asking about support for his/her own incarceration. For example, watch Mitt Romney squirm (before beating a hasty retreat) when a medical marijuana patient in a wheelchair asks a very straightforward question: “Will you have me arrested?” Mitt can’t bring himself to answer that question (because it’s difficult), but he can say that he’s “not in favor of medical marijuana being legal.” (After all, that one’s easy.)

    The point is, we shouldn’t let the supporters of prohibition answer the easy questions. We should force them to answer the hard ones. And if appropriate, make it personal, because it IS personal. With politicians, this tactic is useful primarily to make them look like the ass-clowns they are (always fun). But with, you know, actual human beings, this tactic can force them to confront the logical consequences of the policies they claim to support, and hopefully begin to question that support.

  • Couldn't-agree-more

    If you are a prohibitionist then you owe us answers to the following questions

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Ah, the circle of life. We send forth Malcolm who demands answers from the Know Nothing prohibitionists even though he has this silly notion that logic and facts are something that they are capable of understanding. (smiley face) Now after months, perhaps years of grueling, hard, and frustrating work our new friend Couldn’t-agree-more completes the circle by bringing his work home.

      One thing I would like cleared up though. Why the heck do you think that you’d find any prohibitionists here? Pete does a great job of making sure that the exterminator comes frequently and we all chip in bagging up the china, flatware, cooking utensils, and the other (ahem) essentials.
      http://tinyurl.com/exterminator-at-work

      I admit that we’ve been lucky too. I know I could get here one morning and find the place infested with Know Nothing prohibitionists. But it’s really not hard to confuse them, and so far they just can’t take the stress and leave quickly.

      • Francis

        Wow, I can’t believe that hadn’t occurred to me before now. Where are our trolls?! Do we not have any regular (or even semi-regular) commenters who come here to defend the war on drugs? I haven’t been hanging out on Pete’s couch all that long. Did we ever have any? If so, where did they go? It’s not like Pete “moderates” (i.e., censors) the comments to systematically exclude opposing viewpoints. So how to explain the silence? It can’t be that they have so little confidence in their position that they’re afraid to engage in debate with a bunch of “brain-dead stoners.” They’ve got facts, logic, and sobriety on their side. They should be running circles around us, no?

      • darkcycle

        Trolls don’t survive in the atmosphere surrounding Pete’s Couch. No really. Too much truth combined with marijuana smoke. Hard for them to breethe.
        We do occasionally attract a troll, but they never get the reaction they are expecting and aiming for. Often they are simply ignored, sometimes they are publicly beheaded for the enjoyment of the crowds. They never get long strings of angry posts, and are more likely to be the butt of our jokes than get anybody all riled up.
        And face it, Francis, would YOU willingly engage in intellectual fisticuffs with this crowd? Me, I’ll pass, thanks. When DO they show up, they’re like the only rat at a cat convention

      • FixedThatOneAKAmalc

        “Why the heck do you think that you’d find any prohibitionists here?”

        Duncan; I was responding to Francis’s last paragraph above – just showing him that we hadn’t been slacking:

        “The point is, we shouldn’t let the supporters of prohibition answer the easy questions. We should force them to answer the hard ones.”

      • kaptinemo

        We have had at least one troll here before, many years ago…but ‘he’ showed up in the Comments section of the Memorial page. It was an exercise in sledgehammering the hopelessly programmed. Said troll never came back, and others who might have been tempted must have gotten an idea of the (factually incendiary) warm welcome awaiting any others so inclined to take us less than seriously.

  • darkcycle

    HEMPFEST!!
    I’m off to the fest in a coupla hours, gotta get some joints rolled, a coupla granola bars to stuff into my backpack, and I’ll spend the day hanging out with 250,000 of my closest friends!
    Seattle…my all time FAVORITE city. Stop by and say hi at the NORML table if ya get to the fest today….

    • thelbert

      keep your eyes peeled for Dana Walker. i don’t think he’s in jail. i’ve been checking the jail rosters and no dana walker. so he should be there. i know i would be if i still lived in tacoma.

      • darkcycle

        Didn’t see Dana, I don’t know if he showed up, he may have even spoken and I would have missed him. There are five stages, all with speakers and performers. Hempfest is a mega-festival now and it all occurs in a relatively tiny space. There is so much going on, you can’t see it all or do it all even in two days. It boggles my mind sometimes knowing that I was involved in the first “alternative energy fair” that became Hempfest. It has a life of it’s own now.

  • Servetus

    It would be easier for everyone if prohibitionists understood that they will never eliminate a plant that is smarter than they are.

  • divadab

    Hey Y’all – When you’re at Hempfest, don’t forget to sign I-505, petition to the WA Legislature: “Cannabis/Marijuana & Industrial Hemp Reform Act”. I-505 is the real Route to reform – which accomplishes the following key items that I-502 (NAW) does not:
    1) legalizes industrial hemp agriculture in WA;
    2) allows for personal-use grows;
    3) avoids federal preemption in the same way WA ended alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s before it was ended at the federal level.

    End the Madness!

  • ET

    I don’t have all the answers but I just know if you end the prohibition and regulate all these illegal substance it would be a much better world.

  • darkcycle

    HEMPFEST!! Spent the afternoon making sure Kieth Stroup couldn’t see straight, met a fine young law student studying for the bar JUST so he can dedicate his life to legalizing the weed, Brandon something or other, my memory of the afternoon is hazy (and diesel-ey, and blueberry-ey etc, etc.). Ran into D.J. Short, all around nice guy and the genius behind Blueberry, Heard Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn speak at 4:10, then at 4:20 a dedication to another drug war victim, and the band started up. The 4:20 cloud rolled majestically over Queen Anne Hill, giving all of Seattle a contact high.
    I didn’t see a single uniformed police officer…not one. I love Seattle!!! Duncan, at all costs, you gotta make it out for the next fest.
    It’s funny to see all the “industry” folks in their porches and beemers and their cannabis leaf gear. It looks so out of place, and I’d think they’re just taking advantage of folks, if I didn’t know first hand how no bank will lend to or accept mortgage money from a dispensary owner. The most expensive thing you can convieniently buy for cash is a car, face it. And I must say, I saw some nice ones on the walk into the park….Hempfest is like nothing else. Best part is it was considerably less crowded this year than it was two years ago, you could take a breath without jabbing two people with your elbows. Good time, y’all gotta go, it’s worth a trip.

  • Fairuse

    I would definitely drink some coca tea over the mind warping rocket fuel “energy” drinks on the market now.

    Coca tea gradually brings you up and slowly lets you down a few hours later. No spike or hard crash. Same dependency as coffee.

  • FixedThatOne

    Benefits of Coca leaves:

    Revitalizes, restores and energizes.
    Elevates brightens and controls moods.
    Controls your need for sleep.
    Helps digestive processes.
    Regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates.
    Acts against fatigue and altitude sickness
    Preparation and Uses:

    Just pour boiling water over tea bag and steep for 1 to 3 minutes as desired and enjoy the exquisite mate de coca in tea bags. (Add sugar or honey to taste). Drink it in the morning, with lunch, in the afternoon and at night (no insomnia). In summertime, you can drink iced coca tea as a natural substitute for sodas.

    Where do I buy Coca Tea?

  • C.E.

    I once heard someone talking about their trip to Peru, where he witnessed people in the Andes chewing coca leaves. This guy then expressed his dismay that the “cocaine” epidemic had now reached the indigenous people in remote areas of Peru. The fact that someone with a post-graduate education, who had traveled the world, could be so blind ignorant shows how difficult it will be for America to adopt a reasonable drug policy.