Open Thread

Here’s a few things worth checking out:
“bullet” Radley Balko does a really fine job explaining the meth “crisis” to the uninformed in his latest FOX news column: Government’s Drug War Fuels Meth Problem

So Americans’ access to cold medicine has been restricted, we’ve embarked on questionable sting operations that likely ensnare innocent people, and the FDA is allowing a useless medication to be sold to U.S. consumers. And to what end? Meth is more available and more potent than it ever was.
Typical drug war folly. This is probably the place to point out that drug war itself is the bad government policy gave us the crude form of methampehtamine that’s so popular today in the first place.

“bullet” Bruce Mirken has a good piece at AlterNet: Why Smoking Marijuana Doesn’t Make You a Junkie. He discusses the science that has put to rest the particular gateway theory that marijuana causes people to use other drugs.

The lie that marijuana somehow turns people into junkies is dead. Officials who insist on repeating it as a way of squelching discussion about common-sense reforms should be laughed off the stage.

“bullet” Economist David R. Henderson explains the economics of the drug war in South and Central America in ways that a Kindergartner could understand (but would be totally over the heads of most politicians) in How to Undercut Ch½vez Peacefully With Less Military, Not More

The raw cocaine price in Colombia is only about 1 percent of its street price in the United States, because of the risk premium added on to prices at each stage of the distribution. Therefore, tripling the raw price would cause the U.S. street price to rise by 2 percent.
There’s a better way to go. The U.S. government should stop pressuring Colombia’s government to destroy its cocaine industry, and we the people should demand it. Then Colombia’s government can decide whether to do that or not, and I predict that it won’t. If, in the extreme, Colombia’s government legalized the cocaine trade, production would increase and the price would fall. But even if the Colombian price fell to zero, clearly impossible, the U.S. price would fall by only 1 percent. Meanwhile, the leftist insurgent’s funds would dry up š why pay for protection when you don’t need it? […]

“bullet” Transform Foundation Blog has good coverage of the recent discussion in England regarding the drug trade and the murder of prostitutes in Ipswich. The positive thing is that a real discussion is happening, and the notion of legalization as a form of harm reduction is getting serious play. Also nice to see articles like Prohibition: a crippling habit by Nick Davies:

There are really only two kinds of people who support the prohibition of drugs: those who know the truth and, for some political reason, refuse to admit it; and those who genuinely have no idea what they are talking about.

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