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International Drug Day Celebrations

As always…

Link

Chinese authorities have once again commemorated the UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking by stepping up their drug enforcement efforts.

Ahead of the UN anti-drug day on Wednesday, Xinhua News Agency reports that six men were executed in China on Tuesday for separate drug-trafficking charges. Another four individuals were given death sentences, the report said.

So why are we doing this again?

Oh, yeah…

“We have to admit that, globally, the demand for drugs has not been substantially reduced and that some challenges exist in the implementation of the drug control system, in the violence generated by trafficking in illicit drugs, in the fast evolving nature of new psychoactive substances, and in those national legislative measures which may result in a violation of human rights.” – Yuri Fedotov

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18 comments to International Drug Day Celebrations

  • Servetus

    In better news, Detroit’s drug cops are outraged that a victimless crime didn’t merit creating a victim by punishing a cancer patient:

    DETROIT (AP) — Probation for a southeastern Michigan farmer caught growing more than 8,000 marijuana plants is not “logical or reasonable” and sends the wrong message to people considering similar schemes, the head of an anti-drug task force said Wednesday.

    The judge’s ruling sends the right message. The Detroit cops don’t know the difference between right and wrong, nor are they logical or reasonable. They only know how to arrest people.

  • allan

    OT, but oh so on topic… a letter from a veteran to his family written before his suicide:

    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/18124-my-final-mission

    • War Vet

      How very sad. He is why I get involved in fighting the War on Drugs . . . to let them know it was the War on Drugs that created the War on Terror and to also let Americans know that the war on drugs in one decade alone cost us over one trillion dollars (NY Times, Brown University: Cost of 9/11 and War on Terror). Now there are new reports surfacing that will say the War on Drugs in Iraq and Afghanistan will eventually cost America well over $3 trillion dollars when all the benefits and funding get tallied up. I’ve always suspected fighting drug money is the same thing as the War on Drugs . . . but then again, maybe the chaos in Mexico with the cartels has nothing to do with the War on Drugs.

      You cannot help but cry for him.

  • Jean Valjean

    “…and in those national legislative measures which may result in a violation of human rights.”

    I wonder what Fedotov could mean? Could it be that states like CO and WA are violating human rights by no longer caging citizens for a non-existent crime? Once again prohibitionists are taking reformers’ arguments and bizarrely reversing them. I think even Fedotov must know that no one who is not directly profiting from the drug war is going to buy this.

    • This is a case where Fedotov is actually talking about the failures of the drug war and the fact that it’s causing human rights abuses. His next sentence is essentially a statement that all these problems shouldn’t make us want to change what we’re doing, but rather that we just need to implement it better.

      Go back a couple of posts and you’ll see.

      • Jean Valjean

        I think I was confusing earlier statements from the UN (and the rest of the drug warriors)about the need for prohibition to preserve the “rights of the child” i.e. by arresting her parents and putting her in foster care.

  • Dave in P-Town

    Greetings from Peoria, Pete. I’ve been reading the blog for awhile now, but I’m a first time commenter. I just wanted to stop by on “International Drug Day” to say thanks for all you do.

    Anti-prohibition activists like you, Radley Balko and the people from LEAP have been instrumental in radicalizing me on the drug war. I was a criminal justice major in college and, for about a decade, I explored LEO careers on and off. Within the last couple years, I decided I couldn’t serve in good conscience, largely due to the effects of the drug war on the US criminal justice system.

    All of this was a bittersweet revelation, but such is life. Some people told me to try to change things from the inside, but I came to doubt whether that was possible anymore. To paraphrase Hobbes, I decided that a career in law enforcement for me would have been nasty, brutish and short. Today I am making a transition into the EMS field. I’ve found that I’m still a first responder at heart.

    Thanks again. I know that people invested (emotionally or economically) in the drug war disparage and tear down those who demand change and reveal the inconvenient truths of prohibition. But I just wanted to let you know that you make a difference and I’m proud to have a great truth-teller like you here in Central IL.

    • War Vet

      Greetings Dave. You could make a difference by being a cop . . . by boycotting arrests when its just you and by refusing to search anyone. I know I would have if that option was still open for me . . . but I guess I’m only good enough to go to war for my country. I fought in the Drug War of Iraq (if your nation’s enemies were mostly funded by drug money, would that not be a part of the War on Drugs?). “Organized crime is why you are in Iraq.” I’ll never forget those words from our officer giving us our mission briefing. I worked in a CIA/DoD/Iraqi prison in Baghdad and believe it or not (well, not believing doesn’t make a world of difference, kind of like believing the world was flat didn’t change the shape of the world either) . . . believe it or not, our prison held members belonging to the Russian and Italian Mafia, The Asian Triad gangs, Nigerian Gang members and Latin American smugglers. Having served in the War on Drugs Iraq, I became quite aware and have read everything under the sun (like the DEA and CIA memos on drug money and terrorism) and have used it by telling other soldiers and civilians about it . . . for those who cannot see that American Drug policy affects global drug policy . . . how American police officers doing their job to enforce drug policy means that American cops are responsible for foreign drug users doing drugs in places like Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe. If the DEA can go globetrotting, then why isn’t it the responsibility of the Illinois Highway Patrol to drive humves on the streets of Iraq and Afghanistan . . . or LA county sheriffs responsibility to do their job in the Middle East or Atlanta PD in Baghdad or Kabul . . . Law Enforcement’s job is to go after people who sell drugs and use drug money to buy or create weapons -fund fightes . . . kind of like it’s their responsibility to go after gangs who use drug money . . . if insurgents or terrorists are using drug money, are they more like a street gang than a baseball team? So, that’s why I’m on Pete’s Couch. I look at drug legalization as keeping airplanes from parking into the sides of buildings . . . keeping U.S. soldiers from getting blown up or killed . . . keeping buses in London from blowing up . . . keeping hundreds of thousands of people away from drug money (or portions thereof) funded wars and genocides . . . of keeping America from spending the estimated $2billion a week (when Iraq was still open for business –I don’t know what the cost is today) fighting drug money in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we assume 9/11 did happen and if we assume American soldiers went to Iraq and Afghanistan, then we’ll assume that the War on Drugs cost America well over one trillion dollars in just one decade. Even the NY Times and Brown University admit that . . . but too many people are missing the point of it being a part of the war on drugs and don’t think they’ll just use another means of financing if dope was legal . . . does it not behoove them to already use any source or is it wise to ignore several large piles of cash because you already have a few of your own? Drug money is a part of the War on Drugs and that’s what America has been fighting since 9/11.

      • Dave in P-Town

        Thanks for your reply, War Vet. Welcome home.

        For several years I thought about how I could manage to be a police officer but still avoid escalating the drug war. Refusing to conduct “consent searches” (a more honest title would be intimidation searches)and ignoring small amounts of drugs came to mind. Indeed, some patrol officers are known to ignore of or dispose of small quantities of marijuana or even the harder stuff. My dad was a cop from the early 70s to just a bit before 9-11 and he told me this was pretty common in his department.

        So part of winning this battle against prohibition can be to simply encourage local and state agencies (good luck w/ the feds)to respect the fourth amendment and refrain from doing consent searches, no knock raids, etc. For awhile, I thought I could do all that and get by.

        But there is just something terribly wrong with the law enforcement culture in general. Don’t get me wrong, there never was a “golden age” of policing in the US, but when you add the drug war and 9-11 to an already shaky system, shit just went crazy.

        From equating dissent with terrorism to attacking people with cameras, many officers have gone over to the “dark side,” if you will. Civil liberties are scoffed at and too many officers don’t see a problem with acting as the private army of the political and business elite.

        Granted, the US law enforcement system is fragmented in the US and some departments are less militaristic than others, but I just didn’t think I could serve without being forced to toss aside my principles. But maybe some people can swing it.

    • Thanks, so much, Dave! It’s always great to hear from folks like you.

  • claygooding

    “We have to admit that, globally, the demand for drugs has not been substantially reduced””

    And demand never will be. It is mankind’s nature to explore the unknown and test our own capacities,,sometimes to our own regret.
    If you could find the gene that would remove man’s inquisitiveness and exploratory nature you have stopped man from expanding further because you just removed the chance for another Galileo,Socrates or Carl Sagen to discover what to search for.

    • Irie

      Clay, no human gene, but a lobotomy would probably remove man’s inquisitiveness and exploratory nature……surprised the hard core prohibitions haven’t tried this angle on drug uses, yet!

  • Jean Valjean

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/incoming-police-chief-fires-dog-misses-shoots-woman

    more dog shooting, misses, hits owner…someone should complain to animal welfare

  • claygooding

    Pushing a health-first approach to marijuana policy

    http://tinyurl.com/o6wz5ut

    In Congress, I voted many times to allow access to medical marijuana. Those votes reflected my early, uneducated views. I never looked too closely — I didn’t realize “medical marijuana” was the Trojan horse for legalization.

    When I woke up after the 2012 election, two states had voted to legalize marijuana. That day I also “woke up” to how naive I had been. I should have realized, without the facts, and without public policy experts, you wind up with a vacuum where anecdote and opinion become public policy.

    Since leaving Congress, I have focused on promoting brain research to find better treatments for mental illness and other neurological disorders. I’ve learned from experts at the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The more I’ve learned about how the brain works, mental health and addiction, the stronger I feel we must engage in a smarter dialogue about marijuana policy.”” ‘snip’

    Patrick has hired writers,,,,,swing batter batter swing

    • allan

      he didn’t hire me… dumb ass. But any good writer would soon learn he has to dumb down his wordsmithing, lest the disparity between Patricio’s speaking and “writing” stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.

      • claygooding

        was my comment still up?

      • claygooding

        and the only thing he pushed since he got booted out of congress for being an alcoholic is a bar glass around and around his lips.
        But I was nice,,I didn’t even tell him I don’t take advice from alcoholic opiod addicts,,recovering or not.

  • Servetus

    Government drug policies follow common patterns of oppression.
    In the bad old days, oppression of women, minorities, and slaves involved blocking their access to voting rights and education, which among other things destroyed their sense of self-esteem, critical thinking skills, and thereby their social or financial independence.

    In Ye Olde Confederate South, educating a slave was punishable by law.

    Today’s drug laws prohibit student loans to young drug rebels. The scheme’s intent appears to be to keep people ignorant and disadvantaged, so they remain powerless and exploitable. Or so it may have seemed. The drug cops didn’t expect the Internet.

    The U.S. government stands at the brink of its obsolescence. It’s guilty of conspiring against its citizens in ways that would get an abusive parent sent to jail for life. And bureaucrats like the UNODC’s Fedotov who show no regrets for the consequences of their actions say more about Fedotov and prohibition than drugs or drug use.