Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
DrugWarRant
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
facebooktwitterrss
March 2015
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Apr »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Archives

Authors

United Nations Agency tears into the drug war

No, not the UNODC, but the United Nations Development Programme has nothing good to say about it.

Transform has great coverage: Another UN agency savages the drug war

Here’s the key quote:

“[Drug control efforts] have had harmful collateral consequences: creating a criminal black market; fuelling corruption, violence, and instability; threatening public health and safety; generating large-scale human rights abuses, including abusive and inhumane punishments; and discrimination and marginalization of people who use drugs, indigenous peoples, women, and youth” — The United Nations Development Programme

Wow! Really powerful stuff.

And they keep going, talking about the impact of drug policies on the formal economy, on human rights, on gender, on the environment, and on indigenous peoples, and they argue that “new approaches are both urgent and necessary.”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

52 comments to United Nations Agency tears into the drug war

  • Servetus

    The UN Development Programme cites the UNODC’s new website as indicative of its awareness of the collateral damages of drug enforcement. Searching further on the UNODC site, one finds the core of UNODC drug policies to be business as usual since 2009:

    …[Antonio Maria Costa] argues that international controls have limited the number of people who take illicit drugs to a small fraction of the world’s adult population, much smaller than those who use other addictive substances, like tobacco and alcohol. But this undeniable success has also had a dramatic unintended consequence: “a criminal market of staggering proportions”. He warns that, “if unattended, this criminal market will offset the many benefits of drug control. In fact, the crime and corruption associated with the drug trade are providing strong evidence to a vocal minority of pro-drug lobbyists to argue that the cure is worse than the disease, and that drug legalization is the solution.”

    He says that “this would be an historical mistake” because “there is no need to choose between health (drug control) and security (crime prevention)”. They are complementary, and not contradictory commitments.” Yet, he points out that “because drug trafficking enriches criminals, destroys communities and even threatens nations, it has to be dealt with urgently and forcefully”. He calls for policy change “against crime, not in favour of drugs”.

    Humane drug control and crime prevention are not only contradictory, they’re an oxymoron. If health (drug control) is considered a security (crime prevention) problem, which it is, then the methods of drug control are inhumane. The UNODC is parroting Kevin Sabet and his Orwellian, court-ordered, marijuana rehabilitation argument, (tyranny is freedom, tyrants are humane, and so forth).

  • The US helped usher in these destructive policies worldwide. We should be helping to usher them out. One avenue to success:

    Marijuana: The gateway to the 2016 presidential race
    http://tinyurl.com/mpwbcwg

    Our own politicians must be held accountable. Its our failure if we let them get away with it.

    The Global Commission on Drug Policy
    http://tinyurl.com/q6jwyzg
    http://tinyurl.com/l4y8osw
    My thanks and support to these fine people helping the UN to see things more clearly.

    • Crut

      Oh the arrogance.

      So much spin in that article, I was getting dizzy. I look forward to the pleasure of seeing him and his ilk marginalized. Soon, very soon.

    • Matthew Meyer

      One Hot Mess.

      Sabet says don’t legalize production and distribution, or we’ll see Big Marijuana take over.

      He would like not to acknowledge that it’s prohibition that increases the use of violence in the ganja trade. He wants people to think that it’s OK to lock up folks caught with guns, people who plan to sell marijuana, and the like.

      It’s messily wrapped, and I don’t think people will be buying this particular smelly package.

      That’s his Sisyphean task: to convince the increasingly small group of people who are alright with having their prejudices confirmed, and are unlikely to inquire very deeply about the specifics of the argument.

    • Servetus

      Talk about being blind to one’s own ambitions, Kevin Sabet’s fear mongering and false rhetoric is being swept away by the international carnage caused by drug law enforcement in Central and South America and elsewhere. Who would have thought the harms of the drug war would be outpacing the social consequences of someone enjoying some marijuana grown and sold in Colorado? Certainly not Kevin. Writers are now beginning to bring the international human rights crime issues of the drug war to the forefront.

      Rebecca Gordon has a piece in the Dispatch and a version at Alternet called “What Do ISIS and Drug Cartels in Nearby Mexico Have in Common? In key ways, the failed drug war in the U.S. and the billion dollar cartels have created an ISIS-like reality right across the border…”:

      They behead people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings to those who would resist their power. They have penetrated the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country. They provide employment and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record of corruption, repression, and torture. They seduce young people from several countries, including the United States, into their murderous activities.

      Is this a description of the heinous practices of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria? It could be, but as a matter of fact it’s not. These particular thugs exist a lot closer to home. They are part of the multi-billion-dollar industry known as the drug cartels of Mexico. Like the Islamic State, the cartels’ power has increased as the result of disastrous policies born in the U.S.A.

      The only solution left is the one that hasn’t been tried, the legalization of drugs for recreational consumption by adults.

    • thelbert

      if such a small percentage of prisoners are in for pot, why do the prison guards’ unions and police unions freak out over legalizaton. it’s not like marijuana is a large part of police work. it’s about power over the rabble.

    • kaptinemo

      Nuttier and nuttier and nuttier. I’m trying to figure out which Wonderland character he most closely resembles, behavior-wise. Maybe Humpty-Dumpty?

      “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

      ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

      ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

      The prohib’s view of information theory, in an eggshell.

    • kaptinemo

      Oh, boy, they are really asking for it. I knew they would do this, I knew it.

      They really are reaching the bottom of the barrel when they insult the intelligence of every voter who voted for Amendment 64:

      “The ugly truth is that Colorado was suckered. It was promised regulation and has been met by an industry that fights tooth and nail any restrictions that limit its profitability. ”

      – Ben Cort, Director of Professional Relations for the Center for Addiction Recovery and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital

      Teen: Colorado voters were duped into legalizing recreational marijuana

      The entire series may well have been written by ONDCP…and I strongly suspect it was paid for by our tax dollars. courtesy of grants.

      I said when Obama made his remarks that they were the opening salvo in a propaganda blitz, and here it is. But now, as they said in the first Godfather movie, they’ve ‘gone to the mattresses’, meaning all-out war.

      But who do they attack by insulting their intelligence? The very people they need so desperately. Draw weapon, aim at foot, fire! Sooooo predictable. They pulled this crap back in 1996. All it got them then was a lot of very bad press. This time, it will be even worse for them.

      Their ‘Last Hurrah’ indeed. When they pull the insult gig, while the popularity of cannabis law reform keeps rising, then you know they are on the ropes. This is the dumbest move they could possibly have made…and they just made it.

      • Crut

        Mouth agape. That’s really despicable. And they try to defend themselves in the comments.

        One gem goes like this:

        A commenter asks the staff:

        …why denigrate medical patients by calling them “drug users”?

        And the response:

        A person who takes drugs, say for blood pressure, is a drug user. No denigration implied or intended.

        uh huh. Sure

        • kaptinemo

          It’s from the Colorado Springs area. They’re playing to the local demographics, which are generally Right Wing Authoritarian Fundamentalist Christian in outlook and political orientation. I feel sorry for any reformers living there.

          What has happened and is apparently still happening at the Air Force Academy is an example of such an outlook and orientation manifesting socially and politically. No surprise they’d have the deprecating tone they convey in the article.

      • darkcycle

        I think you might be right Kap’n, that is an all out blitz that is clearly driven by Kevvie’s talking points. Every single article in that series could have been scripted by ONDCP. Every. Single. One.

        • kaptinemo

          I am quite certain it was. And it bears Congressional scrutiny.

          None of this is accidental. The timing – OK/NE lawsuits, Obama’s remarks, etc. – are just too pat, too ‘coincidental’.

          This is a massive violation of the Hatch Act on the part of putative public servants. A massive, coordinated, nation-wide attack ultimately on the voter’s franchise.

          I said before, many times, that what is happening is that all those who have benefited from prohibition, but who have been able to hide behind the faux moral cover of ‘fighting drugs’ to ‘save The Children’ are being flushed out from cover. They (and their ‘useful idiots’) are the ONLY ones speaking in favor of it.

          A Congressional investigation into these matters, coming at the start of the 2016 Election campaign process, with candidates already jockeying for position in the public’s eye, would be a powerful notice to those seeking or wishing to retain office that we are in no mood for games.

        • kaptinemo

          A thought: Since prohibition is a clear-cut racket, a con-game, and the public is the one who’s being fleeced, isn’t the Gub’mint guilty of RICO violations?

          Especially now, with its efforts to use taxpayer-supplied funds in propagandizing that public to maintain the prohibition racket?

          This goes much, much deeper than the Hatch Act. Congressional investigations into the unseemly, sordid connections between the Executive Branch (that putatively controls the ‘Justice’ Department) and contractors that don’t want any notoriety could become criminal investigations, very quickly.

          This could go a lot further into some very dark places the prohibs don’t want a light shone into. Their masters are playing a very dangerous gamble, here. For at the very tippy-top of the Prohiblandia food-chain are the Banksterus Internationalus. As I said, it is becoming very obvious who wants to maintain prohibition, and why.

          The greatest beneficiaries of prohibition – the 1%er banksters – are also responsible for the greatest portion of misery their profits and power have wrought on the rest of the world. And that was before they pulled the plug on the world economy.

          Do they really want more attention? That’s where this can lead, it most certainly can…

        • kaptinemo

          All this made me think of something I recall Mencken writing about in his Notes on Democracy. Even though he was speaking about alcohol Prohibition, the dynamics of our opponents are just as he wrote back then:

          “The Prohibitionists, when they foisted their brummagem cure-all upon the country under cover of the war hysteria, gave out that their advocacy of it was based upon a Christian yearning to abate drunkenness, and so abolish crime, poverty and disease. They preached a millennium, and no doubt convinced hundreds of thousands of naive and sentimental persons, not themselves Puritans, nor even democrats.

          That millennium, as everyone knows, has failed to come in. Not only are crime, poverty and disease undiminished, but drunkenness itself, if the police statistics are to be believed, has greatly increased.

          The land rocks with the scandal. Prohibition has made the use of alcohol devilish and even fashionable, and so vastly augmented the number of users. The young of both sexes, mainly innocent of the cup under license, now take to it almost unanimously. In brief,

          Prohibition has not only failed to work the benefits that its proponents promised in 1917; it has brought in so many new evils that even the mob has turned against it. But do the Prohibitionists admit the fact frankly, and repudiate their original nonsense?

          They do not. On the contrary, they keep on demanding more and worse enforcement statutes — that is to say, more and worse devices for harassing and persecuting their opponents. (like the RAVE Act, for example – k.) The more obvious the failure becomes, the more shamelessly they exhibit their genuine motives. In plain words, what moves them is the psychological aberration called sadism. They lust to inflict inconvenience, discomfort, and, whenever possible, disgrace upon the persons they hate — which is to say, upon everyone who is free from their barbarous theological superstitions, and is having a better time in the world than they are.

          They cannot stop the use of alcohol, nor even appreciably diminish it, but they can badger and annoy everyone who seeks to use it decently, and they can fill the jails with men taken for purely artificial offences, and they can get satisfaction thereby for the Puritan yearning to browbeat and injure, to torture and terrorize, to punish and humiliate all who show any sign of being happy. And all this they can do with a safe line of policemen and judges in front of them; always they can do it without personal risk. (Emphasis mine – k.)

          They can’t face us. They literally run from debates, like McCaffery did in London in the late 1990’s. They tell us, with smarmy arrogance, to “Change the laws”. And after we do, they try to nullify democracy with a lawsuit, promoted by those who formerly said that they didn’t make the laws, just enforce them. With this legal act, they are trying to create a legislative one.

          But this will blow up in their faces. The enemies – and yes, I will use that word now, after avoiding it for so long – the ENEMIES of democracy have, by their actions, very accommodatingly identified themselves. And this time, with the demographic shift powering reform, there will be political repercussions for their betrayal of the public trust.

        • claygooding

          If we could dig up any proof that the DEA ordered pharmaceutical companies too add Tylenol too all codeine medicines to increase harms too abusers that should be an act of chemical warfare,,as with paraquat back in the 80’s,early 90’s,then they should be charged with at the least reckless endangerment and at the most attempted manslaughter.

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .

          clay, there’s no need for them to have ordered the pharmaceutical companies to add acetaminophen when they can just deny them permission to sell the product without their adding it to the formulary. They can even make it happen by putting the combination in schedule III but the pure opioid in schedule II. It’s a lot easier to sell more of a compound in schedule III than schedule II. Marinol sales were barely into the 8 digits in schedule II but jumped well into 9 digits practically immediately when it was moved to schedule III. That’s also still the case despite the fact that Marinol is now off patent.

          From time to time I wonder how many people that are inclined to use those products recreationally are actually aware of the dangers of the added acetaminophen. I sure as heck wasn’t aware of how dangerous of a drug it is just all by its lonesome until it came up in my quest to understand prohibition. If you had asked me a decade ago I would have thought it safe as mother’s milk. I’d like to get a friendly forensic pathologist, Cyril Wecht for example, to actually review a random sampling of the autopsy reports for people who were publicly said to have died of an overdose of prescription opioids because I’m willing to bet dollars to dirt that most if not all of them actually suffered an FDA approved death from an overdose of acetaminophen.

  • claygooding

    This is just one agency/committee that is hamstrung by the SCT and the drug war,,other agencies cannot give good advice or factual reports when the rules they are trying too comply with may be politically justified but when put up against science they have no backup.

  • OT kinda…

    re: Shatter is a potent and highly addictive new form of marijuana… a request from Marc Emery:

    Please send a polite email to the author of this article at: laura.cudworth@sunmedia.ca. Please don’t just call her names or insult her, but let her know about this article is inaccurate and poor journalism.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Well here’s one we haven’t seen before:

    /snip/
    “Do you know that coconuts cause more deaths every year than shark attacks?” a man says in the spot. “Yeah, and pretty soon you’re going to tell me that the Anti-Drug and Alcohol Authority supports medical marijuana,” comes the reply.

    The narrator then pitches the message: “The Anti-Drug and Alcohol Authority supports expediting permits for the use of medical cannabis. The battle for your quality of life is our battle.”
    /snip/

    So when do we see the government start to protect us from these horrid coconuts? Have you ever been standing under a tree minding your own business and gotten wanked on the head by a coconut? Well neither have I but it doesn’t sound like something I want to risk!

    Oh, and there go the Jews again, acting as if cannabis is a valid medicine. It appears that Israel is just slightly out of phase and exists partially in a parallel reality.

    • Crut

      Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

      • MajadGilligan

        Are you suggesting they don’t?

        migrating coconut

        • Crut

          Not at all. They could be carried.

        • IanMcDuff

          “Not at all. They could be carried.”

          Let me tell you something, my lad. When you’re walking home tonight and some great homicidal maniac comes after you carrying a bunch of coconuts, don’t come crying to me!

        • kaptinemo

          (Quietly starts hoarding coconuts for home defense prior to the expected liberal/progressive caterwauling demanding the banning of them as being dangerous weapons.)

          Why not? They ban everything else that makes them want to fill their Depends…

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Why in the world would I suggest anything to a coconut?

    • jean valjean

      “Have you ever been standing under a tree minding your own business and gotten wanked on the head by a coconut?”
      Did you mean “wacked?”
      The verb to wank has a whole other meaning…

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .

        Words often have more than one generally accepted definition Jean.

        Wanked
        For one too be absolutely and unequivocally mind-fucked. A wanked state of consciousness usually occurs around finals week, when students are reduced to angry twitching wankers.

        Wanked can also carry the connotations of being really fucked up on some dank shit.
        “Well, I was gonna start studying for my history final but I was way too wanked to pull it off.”

    • kaptinemo

      (Snaps fingers) I got a great idea! Let’s sell army surplus helmets to the cocophobic! I mean, if they must insist upon standing under those trees…

  • claygooding

    We are two decades behind Israel on organic marijuana research,,and getting further behind as we,the people are finding health issues marijuana treats they haven’t even tried it on yet,,so while we may be behind on technical research I think we lead the pack in experimentation and re-discovering methods used as a medicine for centuries,,and possibly improving some of their techniques,,especially extracts.

    Now I have too check the MMJ bill and see if a rumor I heard is correct on it,,they want to move marijuana too Schedule 2 and still control who researches it,,although no other substance in schedule 2 is so controlled they don’t allow medical schools too research them,,they want the pharmaceutical companies to do the research on marijuana and it’s chemical compounds,,as if they haven’t already been doing that for the last 80 years..

  • claygooding

    I wonder if anyone has thought of asking the DEA/NIDA how many marijuana research requests by pharmaceutical companies were approved since they took control of the research?

    That might be nice too know soon.

    • DdC

      The FDA was running pain trials for Sativex and had other topics to test for. The pain one didn’t go as planned. They have patents on 20+ cannabinoids. Apparently the FDA had time for them. The vigorously test each and every pill drug before they’re recalled for killing or removing skin from people. I guess we’ll have to be patient. It’s only been in existence since 1906. It took them 50 years to test Fluorides in the toothpaste for 50 years. They seem to have time to fast track Aspartame and GMO’s. I ask them the nutritional content of Hemp seed. They said Doh! What about the medicinal properties of Ganja? Wha? Doh! Maybe we shouldn’t expect the Food and Drug Administration to know anything about non synthetic food and drugs? She did say they could search for something, at the time it was $25/hr in the early 90’s.

      When and why was FDA formed?
      The passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act. This law was the culmination of about 100 bills over a quarter-century that aimed to rein in long-standing, serious abuses in the consumer product marketplace.

      Damn, they’re regular Ralph Fucking Nadars…

      Powdered Alcohol Wins U.S. F.D.A. Approval
      The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on Tuesday approved labels for a powdered alcohol called Palcohol. Arizona-based Lipsmark LLC, the maker of a booze powder that can be mixed with water like instant tea or lemonade, hopes to begin selling the product soon.

      Marijuana Backed By More Studies Than Most FDA Approved Pharma Drugs
      Many pharma drugs have only one clinical trial. In a revelation that really demonstrates our scientific focus in the United States, where marijuana is still considered by federal law to be a dangerous and illegal substance placed in the same class as hard drugs like heroin, even mainstream media publications have begun calling out the strange doctrine of the medical community that pushes pharma drugs on the public at warp speed. This, all while scoffing at the use of ‘no high’ marijuana alternatives like the juicing of cannabis oil.

      Fat Pharma Threatened,
      FDA Targets Essentials Oils.
      Sees EOs as Threat to New Ebola Drugs?

      The FDA is claiming that their products are being marketed as unapproved drugs. The companies have to remove all health claims and take corrective actions, or face very serious legal action, which can include armed federal marshals coming to their warehouses and seizing all of their inventory.

      Deaths due to FDA approved prescription drugs. 212,000 jpg
      Deaths due to FDA unapproved essential oils. 0

      FDA Reverses Its Position on Daily Aspirin
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/961

      Drug Worriers preferred methods of treatment…
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1945

      According to the United States Food and Drug Administration. The (FDA). False claims of any kind of “cure”, without FDA trials. Carries a 5 to 40 year Federal Prison sentence.Therefore the following film is a work of fiction. OR IS IT?
      It’s Not Just A Plant – A Documentary By Kain Derrick

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      If you’re specifically referring to whole plant exo-cannabinoid medicines the answer is and always will be zero absent a six sigma event in the retail distribution chain for medicines in the western world. It’s just not the way our medical industrial complex works when it comes to human medicines.

      If you’re referring to any kind of exo-cannabinoid medicine then Big Pharma is in a feeding frenzy.
      https://www.google.com/search?q=cannabinoid&biw=1355&bih=557&tbs=ptss:a,sbd:1&tbm=pts&source=lnt&sa=X&ei=zdQQVaO9L8SbgwTV_ILIAg&ved=0CBUQpwU4Wg&dpr=0.9

      Novartis and Bayer, the 3rd and 8th largest pharmas by market cap are putting some nice sized piles of money into GW Pharm.

      • claygooding

        I was talking about synthesized cannabinoids and chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant,,as in Marinol,,what tests didn’t make the cut,,considering how worthless Marinol is they must have had some real disappointments.

  • mr Ikasheeni

    To shift gears; is the ny times still pee-testing prospective employees?

  • CJ

    hey! i wanted to say something about the huge news posted here from the DPA a little while ago regarding HEROIN MAINTENANCE IN NEVADA! you guys have no idea what that meant to me personally. what i can tell you though is that it prompted me to reach out to my father. as you can imagine, well, let met put it to you like this, my father is 68 years old and he is in AA. He is in AA and is to a large extent “text book” recovery for 30 years from heroin, cocaine and alcohol. well, especially when I was younger, having the ideas and opinions that I’ve had, he was often a challenge for me. the fighting was insane, terrible really. no familial relationship should ever look like ours was, with him and his 12 step philosophy hardcore and my libertarian ideas. So many fights man, so many hospital, counselor, jail phone call, etc. etc. fights. but as the years went by and i got older and learned to accept that, i had to be my own man, differing opinions and naysayers be damned, whoever they are and whatever that meant. The years went by and we’d talk sometimes and so many people died. overdoses, accidents, AIDS, etc. etc. inevitably facts showed the man that his way was wrong. his ideas worked for some but were ruthlessly killing others. he changed quite alot and when we spoke about it, he wept like a baby about this news. so did i. it was incredible. god damn it, today is my birthday im 30 years old today and i am actually breaking down writing this at this very moment. i never thought id see something like this i never thought id be alive to see it because i always thought wed have to legalize weed in every state before anybody took this seriously. well, i gotta go for now but i needed to say something about it even though i know its from a few posts before this was the most recent area for discussion and i am getting too emotional to write anymore. see ya guys later!

  • CJ

    oh hey i got myself together now lol but yeah I wanted to come back and say something real quick before I have to go but so yesterday I got the ball rolling to participate in the 30th AIDS walk. yeah. so i wanted to throw around an idea, i was thinking of making a custom t-shirt, maybe even putting a shout out to drugwarrant on the shirt. i was thinking though i mean, i would hope something like that would be embraced and wouldnt cause a scene. i mean i would be walking in the spirit of curing AIDS but of course I would be walking on behalf of IV drug users. Im not sure, I certainly wouldnt want to cause any problems for such a special thing, but it would be absurd if people thought AIDS and AIDS charities etc were strictly about sexual politics sexual matters etc. you know?

  • N.T. Greene

    Have we passed the tipping point where blatant denial of the costs of the drug war is not longer a politically sound tactic?

    We seem to be getting close, at least.

    • claygooding

      Wait until gas gets back up too about $6 per gallon,,a loaf of bread is $5 and a dozen eggs is $4 and a new cheap car is $20,000 and it is headed that way.

      As China replaces our dollar as security for other country’s money markets the inflation rate is fixing to take a huge hit,,I hope my S/S and VA can at least pay the utilities and feed us,,so much for any trips to see a dispensary up close.

      Unless I can go pretty quick before the bubble busts.

      • n.t. greene

        I think you underestimate how fucked the financial system is on an international level. We live in an age of speculative markets and unsustainable habits, both physical and mental.

        What we’re really headed for in the long term is a confrontation with all the things we’ve been denying.

  • Will

    This should come as no surprise;

    Senate’s old guard just says ‘no’ to pot overhaul

    http://tinyurl.com/nnspoha

    Old and in the way.

  • Servetus

    A big push is happening in anticipation of the April 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), where for the first time in 18 years the UN will address making changes in the way countries exercise drug prohibition. LEAP and other drug reform organizations are gearing up to represent the interests of US drug consumers.

    The political atmosphere looks good. Even the US State Department, represented by US Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, has signaled it will accept changes, including legalization by other nations. The meeting was scheduled for 2019, but various South American countries demanded an earlier date.

    What the US and the rest of the world is strapped with now is a treaty, the Single Treaty. Signed treaties are international mandates, the strongest type of international law.

    There is another type of international law called “soft law”, which is a type of signed formal agreement between participating states that gives greater sovereignty to the state. Flexibility is achieved with laws that are vaguely written, and for which there are many exits or escape clauses, should the sovereign state want out of the deal. With soft law a country can do so without compromising its international reputation as a cooperative, good citizen-like nation. I suspect a soft law approach will be used in 2016 as a baby step in preference to simply eliminating the hardened Single Treaty as it now exists.

    Below the level of soft law is what is called international common law, or ICL. ICL usually has no written agreements, but exists as an informal understanding between nations as to how things are done. For instance, when some sadomoralists in the US recommended executing children or adolescents for capital offenses like murder, the international community was able to step in and point out that this is simply not done by any other nation in the world. The sadomoralists were forced to back down, lest the US become the only nation in the world that executes children.

    I suspect international soft laws on drugs will morph into ICLs as different nations learn the appropriate ways to deal with drug consumption, and as they demonstrate the appropriateness through successfully implemented drug policies that recognize human rights.

    And that’s how the world will legalize drugs, not with a bang, but a whimper.

    • n.t. greene

      Doing it that way essentially leaves no one to blame for what has essentially been a crime against humanity.

      …it’s the expected route for a reason, I guess

  • claygooding

    Kudos to the New Mexico Legislature for Abolishing Civil Asset Forfeiture

    http://tinyurl.com/qjxy8dj

    Good news from out west. A New Mexico bill, HB 560, to restrict civil asset forfeiture has cleared the legislature – receiving unanimous support in the State House and State Senate – and awaits the signature of Governor Susana Martinez to become law.

    Among other things, the New Mexico bill requires a criminal conviction for forfeiture actions, bolsters the “innocent owner” defense by requiring that the owner know that his/her property was being used illegally, requires that all forfeiture proceeds be deposited into the general fund rather than into the seizing agencies, and limits the ability of state and local law enforcement agencies to circumvent state law by utilizing the federal equitable sharing program. “snip”

    This should tighten some nuts in the drug war think tank. I look for all states to get control of their state’s budget/military surplus hungry law enforcement agencies.

    • kaptinemo

      And, as always, drug law reformers told them not to go down that path 30 years ago, for Constitutional reasons. Namely, the effect it would have – and has had – on rights and freedoms.

      With all its attendant corruption, warned about in advance at its resurrection from a Revolutionary days grave, forfeiture proved the old adage about there being no honor among thieves. That the thieves wear the livery of government that we already pay for makes no difference. In the end, it is no different than a mugger in the street. In olden days, the ‘highwaymen’ wore masks. Today they still wear masks…and now they also wear badges.

      Churchill said: “Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing…after they’ve tried everything else.”. When it comes to drug prohibition, we’ve ‘tried everything else’. Time to do ‘the right thing’…like we said to. And forfeiture is amongst the ‘sh*t that got to go’.