What would happen if we executed two druggies per week?

bullet image Partly because it’s just so satisfying to give Mark Souder another kick in the pants… Lee at HorsesAss reminds us why it’s so right to publicly enjoy and point out Mark Souder’s fall from “grace”: Abstaining from Reality – The Mark Souder Legacy.

bullet image Analysis: the awesome power of the illegal high — mostly a great headline and lede, but still a good article

BOGOTA, Colombia — “Drugs win drug war.”

That was the prescient headline of a 1998 dispatch in The Onion. “Despite all our efforts,” the satirical newspaper reported, “the U.S. government has proven no match for the awesome power of the illegal high.”

Funny stuff. But a dozen years later, serious news outlets are writing pretty much the same story.

bullet image Department of bad sources of advice… The U.S. and England have been taken to task for being too soft on their supply side drug war…. by Iran… by a policeman from Iran. Police Chief Unveils US, Britain’s Support for Drug Rings

This call for more effort in the proven unworkable supply side drug war approach from a country that is unable to control its own drug use despite the fact that Iran (with the population of about three large U.S. states) executes 100-200 people a year for drugs (that’s 2-4 people per week)!

bullet image Via NORML — Beer company attempts to cash in on marijuana’s reputation through spoof ad.

bullet image MPP gets mayor to back off a bit on statement

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak recently made some pretty outrageous statements about gang violence in that city:

“When you pay for marijuana, you are paying for the bullet that goes into the head of someone on the streets,” he said. “Too many people have winked sideways without being honest that it’s white middle class Minnesota that’s paying for the drugs that put profit into gangs that kill people.”

MPP put out a statement reminding him that it’s prohibition — and any elected official who supports it — that is to blame.

The mayor was apparently pissed… but also open to discussing it, which is a good thing.

bullet image Obama repeating the mistakes of the drug ‘war’ by Rhonda Swan in the Palm Beach Post (and picked up elsewhere)

Mexican drug cartels wouldn’t exist if the U.S. decriminalized drugs. There would be no drug wars. And far less drug violence. Sure, it sounds radical. But isn’t it insane to keep doing what we’ve been doing and expect different results? […]

President Obama promised to “reduce drug use and the great damage it causes” with a new policy that, like Portugal’s, treats drug use more as a public health issue than a criminal justice one. It’s also been a stated priority of Gil Kerlikowske […]

The Obama administration, however, has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels – $10 billion of the $15.5 billion drug-control budget. Where is the change Mr. Obama promised? I don’t expect him to call for the decriminalization of drugs. That would be too bold and politically risky. I do expect him to put our money where his mouth is.

[Thanks, Tom]

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This is an open thread.

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33 Responses to What would happen if we executed two druggies per week?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What would happen if we executed two druggies per week? - Drug WarRant -- Topsy.com

  2. denmark says:

    Per Rhonda Swan’s sentence “That would be too bold and politically risky” perhaps it should have said, “that would be too bold and politically correct.”

  3. Punchy Paluko says:

    25 new druggies would line up to take their place?

  4. Jon Doe says:

    Of course it’s my state that’s the next to ban Spice. As someone who uses cannabis to combat crippling clinical depression, Spice was a nice, effective substitute when actual weed was unavailable (which is just about always in my tiny ass hometown). Thank you good elected officials of Georgia for making my life that much more unbearable. I’m sure it was all for my own good. California (or Colorado) here I come! I might end up being homeless when I get there, but maybe some kind dispensary owner will give me a job.

  5. Nick z says:

    the fact that Iran (with the population of about three large U.S. states) executes 100-200 people a year for drugs (that’s 2-4 people per week)!

    I’m sorry, but I don’t believe this. I suspect it is propaganda and i invite you to prove it is not.

  6. malcolmkyle says:

    Rabbits definitely know about sex!:

    8. Roger Rabbit spews:

    Issuing government decrees against teenage sex is about as effective as not enforcing coal mine safety regulations. Is there anything under the sun that conservatives get right? They even fuck up sex.

  7. malcolmkyle says:

    Nick Z; 41 Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Human Rights Department (n.d.) Overview executions 2009: Iran. This estimate, however, is in contrast to Iran Human Rights’ calculation of 140 in its annual report for 2009. In either case, it still represents a sharp increase.


  8. Pete says:

    Nick Z: You, and anyone else, are welcome to look at the document I linked to, read the sources that they list, and decide for yourself how close these figures are.

    If you have sources that present different information, feel free to link to those. “I invite you to prove that it is not propaganda” is a pretty horrible argument.

    If we, as drug policy reformers, used that argument, we’d be laughed out of any reasonable discussion and make no progress at all.

    When people talk about marijuana causing cancer, we don’t say “I don’t believe this. I suspect it is propaganda and I invite you to prove it is not.” Instead, we demonstrate the weaknesses of the studies that opponents have cited, and cite the overwhelming evidence that proves that marijuana doesn’t cause cancer.

    I’m open to be proven wrong about anything I write here, but you’ve got to do better than inviting me to prove that the sources I’m using aren’t lying.

  9. allan420 says:

    @NickZ… you want it proven that it’s NOT propaganda? Dude… it’s as close as a search on Google:

    Iran holds mass execution, hanging 29 for drugs and murder

    Feature: A Thousand Face Execution for Drug Offenses Each Year, Report Finds

    More than a thousand people face execution for drug offenses each year around the globe, according to a report released this week by the International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA). The report, The Death Penalty for Drug Offenses: Global Overview 2010 marks the first country-by-country overview of drug-related death penalty legislation and practice.


    The most execution-happy countries when it comes to drug offenders are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. According to the report, Iran executed at least 172 drug offenders last year and Malaysia executed 50.

    Iran hangs 20 drug traffickers in mass execution

  10. Nick z says:

    Information in the MSM is NOT PROOF. Real proof would be eye-witness. People can tell all the lies they want and use the media to distribute it for them. It is not absolute proof. How many people can honestly say they witnessed the executions? How many are working for the late Shah’s relatives, trying to convince westerners that we have to support another revolution in Iran?

    I know what propaganda is. It is lies and it is distributed by the media. The western media is dominated by Jewish Zionists and all their allies. They lie constantly about Muslims, their countries and governments, all the time, knowing that all the dumbed-down Christians will eat up their lies and support their wars against those people.

    I choose not to believe known liars. Without absolute proof, I cannot believe such people. I hate liars. They start wars and laugh about all the people who are killed, so long as it isn’t them. They can all go to hell.

  11. Pete says:

    @nick z — do you have absolute proof that any of what you just said is true?

    Should we hate you for being a liar then?

    What constitutes absolute proof, short of being God?

  12. Pete says:

    How about al-Jazeera, or is that MSM?

    Iran carries out mass execution

    Iran has hanged 29 men convicted of offences including drug trafficking, murder and rape, taking to about 155 the number of people executed this year, according to officials. […]

    The state broadcaster said the latest death sentences were approved by the Tehran revolutionary court and high judicial authorities.

    “We have demonstrated our serious determination to combat organised, international and group crimes which disturb order and the security of our citizens,” Saeed Mortazavi, Theran’s chief prosecutor, told the state broadcaster.

    On Saturday, the media reported that 30 people would be executed, saying 20 were drug traffickers and the rest were “murderer thugs”.

  13. strayan says:

    So Nick z, reports of the death penalty for drug related offenses have been fabricated because they’re part of some kind of elaborate Zionist conspiracy?

    And you demand proof from us?

  14. strayan says:


    Denialism is choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth.


    Holocaust denialism
    AIDS denialism
    Climate change denialism
    Death penalty for drug offence denialism

  15. Duncan says:

    I wonder if Nick z is one of those people convinced that drugs would go away if we instituted the death penalty for drug use, and therefore doesn’t believe that other countries have no problem finding people to line up and execute. After all, their death penalty should have ‘cured’ their drug ‘problem’.

  16. Pete says:

    Let’s not jump to conclusions, please. Nick Z is a regular here and a strong proponent of drug policy reform.

    I believe that this is just one particular area where he is extremely sensitive, due to factors outside of the drug policy reform area. We all have our hot buttons.

  17. DavesNotHere says:

    Some interesting information from a California Survey on their Proposition.

    California voters back pot legalization, but support is shaky

    Raul Martinez, a Democrat from Woodland, outside of Sacramento, said he smoked pot as a teenager. He believes the measure would end up being expensive for local governments. “It’s going to turn around and cost them more money because more crime is going to come from it,” the 47-year-old father said.

    If the election were today, it would fail. They have a lot of hard work to do and money to raise to win this vote. It is winnable, but they are not there yet.

    Women are still afraid and think laws will somehow start working to keep drugs from their children. And apparently women think it is best if their teenagers are locked in cages if they happen to get caught with cannabis.

  18. Paul says:

    Doesn’t the Iranian government proudly announce they execute for drugs?

    I live in Vietnam, and they are also on the list of countries that execute. The government here most certainly executes for drug smuggling. They take their victims out to the airport, stuff a lemon in their mouth, and shoot them. This is reported in the local papers, which never say anything the government does not want them to say, so I have every reason to believe it.

    There is some hand wringing here about the death penalty, though. The government pared back the list of crimes that can get you executed, and debated for some time about eliminating the penalty altogether. But they decided to keep it for now.

    They also are thinking of switching from the firing squad to lethal injection, because that would be more humane, and easier on the executioners. Personally I think all execution is disgusting, but I think lethal injection is more coldly awful than the firing squad. Especially that nonsense they go through with a nasty poison and their 3 drug cocktail. I think it is deliberately designed to induce horror. Think of those horrible black vans that drive around China as mobile execution chambers. Monstrous, really.

    Does everyone remember that movie, “Return to Paradise,” in which 3 friends share a brick of hash in Malaysia? They through about a kilo of it away in the trash as two of them are leaving, but the third friend gets arrested for it after they are gone. The judge says he’ll execute him if his friends do not return to share the punishment, give them 7 years if only one returns, and 3 years to all if both friend returns. In the end, the judge executes the first friend anyway, just to show the West how justice is done in Malaysia.

    Thing is, after the Malaysian government saw this movie, they said they loved it! It really showed exactly how they thought justice should be done, and they were very happy with the portrayal in the film.

    I’ve kept a mental note to stay away from the place ever since.

  19. Paul says:

    By the way, I wanted to comment on this:

    “The Obama administration, however, has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels – $10 billion of the $15.5 billion drug-control budget. Where is the change Mr. Obama promised? I don’t expect him to call for the decriminalization of drugs. That would be too bold and politically risky. I do expect him to put our money where his mouth is.”

    Much like the oncoming bankruptcy of social security and medicare, the president just sees no political advantage in discussing drug reform, so he just lets it run on autopilot. Financial irresponsibility and ossified political alignments are a weakness of Democracy. The whole thing tends to clog up over time, requiring a either a complete reformation or a collapse into some kind of tyranny.

    Either one is painful, but our time approaches. I think it will come in our lifetimes, and probably sooner than later. I just wonder which system we will choose.

  20. Scott says:

    “i invite you to prove it is not”

    Not to be an anal jerk, but one can never prove a negative.

    We all must understand that as we deal with the likes of “Prove that cannabis is not harmful.” or “Prove that drug prohibition does not work.”

    It is our job to challenge the prohibitionists to prove their policy works.

  21. Scott says:

    “It is our job to challenge the prohibitionists to prove their policy works.”

    It is our job to publicly challenge the prohibitionists to prove their policy works.

  22. Nick z says:

    Why would people who witnessed the atrocities of the Shah of Iran and staged a revolution to overthrow his dictatorship using such evil activities as an excuse turn about and support a government which commits similar acts of injustice and human rights violations? I would sooner be inclined to suspect that relatives and friends of the late Shah who had fled the country had decided to “cook the books”, exaggerate and lie, with the intention of producing effective propaganda designed to gain support abroad for the retaliation and overthrow of the people who replaced them. In order to do that, they know they need some powerful mojo, and there is nothing more effective in the western media for that purpose than some huge whoppers woven from the threads of lesser lies.

    Can the alleged executions of drug users be proven, beyond a couple of well-documented, badly translated exaggerations?
    Does it ever occur to anyone that the alleged victims of said executions may have actually been victims of drug overdose, or possibly accidents? Perhaps some of them were executed, but do we know all the facts surrounding their executions. For example, I followed a story from Saudi Arabia, about such an alleged execution, of a drug dealer, and i discovered that many facts had been omitted from most of the international articles published by the AP.

    Of about 10 articles, all based upon the same story, I found only one that included one of the biggest facts omitted from all the others about the execution. Just one article of 10 said that the drug dealer had been held responsible for the deaths of people who had died from overdose of heroin that had been dealt to them by the dealer. One article of 10 had been nice enough to include that fact, while all the others had omitted it. The majority of the articles had nothing about those deaths from overdose included. A few of them didn’t even bother to mention the heroin, but just referred to “drugs” or “marijuana”. How can an objective reporter possibly omit such facts from such a story without knowing that many readers will be misinformed and be dissaffected by such stories?

    Now, I don’t believe any drug dealers should be exceuted for dealing drugs, but when one considers the possibility that they may have knowingly supplied heroin to people who died from overdose, that does change the picture somewhat. I still don’t believe they should be executed, but why would so many articles (in English, of course) fail to report that fact? Why would so many not even bother to mention the heroin, and just simply refer to “drugs” or “marijuana”? Clearly, from my research on this story in the western media, the facts have been misrepresented and the story distorted. The question remains, is it all intentional? Do the purveyors of such distorted media intend to exaggerate and lie, and if so, why?

    A much more truthful headline to the story i followed would have been: “Drug-Dealers held Responsible for Overdose Deaths Executed”. But I saw no such headline in the western media and we probably never will. Not as long as Jewish Zionists dominate the western media.

  23. Nick z says:

    Doesn’t the Iranian government proudly announce they execute for drugs?

    What are all the facts? Are such executions related to drug overdose or not?

    • Pete says:

      According to Ghanbar Naderi, a journalist with Iran Daily, an official government newspaper…

      When the case is about crack cocaine, Iran is very tough and unforgiving; for a few grams of crack cocaine, if you carried it and they arrest you, you will face a death sentence certainly.


  24. Shap says:

    One of the more prominent arguments from hardcore conservatives is that “if we just executed all drug dealers, we would solve this drug thing overnight.” Of course the response to this policy proposal is that it would be unconstitutional according to supreme court precedent. We can’t even execute child molesters unfortunately. But what are the drug use/availability/addiction rates in Asian countries that openly admit to executing drug dealers and users? Clearly if those rates are anywhere near those in the US, such arguments would be destroyed.

  25. Nick z says:

    I just can’t help but find it all too coincidental that all of the countries/governments out there allegedly committing human rights violations seem to also be the ones that have a wealth of natural resources that the US Empire wants to get its hands on. Furthermore, after 40 years of an exposition of lies, most perpetrated by the CIA and disseminated by the Zionist Jew-dominated mainstream media, I just prefer not to believe most of that stuff anymore without absolute proof.

    According to Ghanbar Naderi, a journalist with Iran Daily, an official government newspaper…

    What party? If it’s a pro-capitalist party rag, then it is probly loaded with propaganda, because those are the people that want the U.S. to support them in a revolution. They are also a bunch of greedy bourgeois types who miss their wonderful Shah and all the profits they made before the revolution of 78-79 took most of the oil out of private hands and put it under state control.

    • Pete says:

      OK, Nick, I give up. Personally, I think every country out there is abusing human rights, especially including the United States (I’m opposed to the death penalty in all cases). If you want to think that the government of Iran, for some reason, is all daisies and unicorns, fine with me, but you won’t catch me lighting up a joint in a public square in Tehran or Dallas.

  26. Paul says:

    Nick Z,

    I’ve never heard the Iranian government deny that they execute traffickers. If they did, your argument that lies are being printed about the government would make more sense. I’ll bet if you called their embassy and asked them point blank, “Does Iran execute drug traffickers?” they would say, of course we do!

    I don’t think they would deny something like that–rather they are proud to execute, and will say as much if asked.

    Can you point to any articles or comments from Iranian officials who deny executing traffickers?

    And don’t think it is just for trafficking, but I am not sure about that. I think they also execute for possession of heroin.

  27. Nick z says:

    I’ve never heard the Iranian government deny that they execute traffickers. If they did, your argument that lies are being printed about the government would make more sense.

    That’s interesting. Do you speak the local language or consider all translations into english perfectly acceptable, no matter where they come from? No problem with any of the words? No facts being misrepresented?

    Talk to the CIA about the translation department. That’s their area. When the Israeli government mistranslates Iranian leader’s words and all the big networks spout it off as fact ad nauseum, the CIA shakes its hands with the Mossad every time.

  28. Nick z says:

    Okay, even if I go along with the possibility that crack-possession in Iran can lead to the death-penalty, I have to say that from what I have seen crack do to people, I can understand why the Iranian government might want to send the strongest message to its dealers and users. Not saying I agree with it, but i do understand it, because people who get hooked on crack have a tendency to turn into the very worst kind of human beings imaginable. The worst part is, the dealers don’t give a damn how it fucks the users lives up completely, they just want the easy money and with a drug as powerfully addictive as crack, they know they can really rake in the bucks fast. Furthermore, since crack was invented in the USA, it is quite possible that the CIA is responsible for its introduction to Iran, and we know why they would do that.

    But I suppose you’re gonna try and convince me that the same death-sentences apply to all drugs, including cannabis, and that’s something i just cannot believe without absolute proof. I’d have to see it with my own eyes to believe it. I am more inclined to believe that Jewish Zionists and extremely greedy Pro-Capitalist pundits, including CIA, want us to believe that part of it so they spin the story by referring simply to “drugs” in general, and thereafter, it is fairly easy for them to include cannabis in that list without having to prove it. They have been known to exaggerate and adjust the facts to suit their propaganda, so I choose to not believe them without seeing it for myself.

  29. Pete says:

    Nick. Nobody ever said cannabis, except you. All we said was that Iran is known for executing a large number of people for drugs.

    The point was that even when drug traffickers are executed, it doesn’t stop drug trafficking. Prohibition never stops drug trafficking, no matter how severe the punishment. Drugs still exist and are as readily available as before.

    The only way to stop criminal drug trafficking is through legal regulation.

  30. Nick z says:

    Nick. Nobody ever said cannabis, except you. All we said was that Iran is known for executing a large number of people for drugs.

    Hmmm… sorry about that. I guess I was mixing it up with those articles I researched, which originally claimed that a man was executed for dealing marijuana in Saudi Arabia, then i discovered in another article he had actually also been dealing heroin and some of the people he dealt to had overdosed.

    Come to think of it though, I do recall watching a video about a California cannabis fest in which an Iranian spoke and claimed, quite to the astonishment of everyone, that the Iranian government did execute people for cannabis possession. I didn’t believe the guy then and I still don’t believe him. You should have seen the hot sports-car he was driving and the even hotter girlfriend he was sporting. I think he does translations for the NED and the CIA.

    The point is, even if no one here has made such a claim there are those out there who do.

    Hard drugs like heroin and crack-cocaine can fuck people up very badly, turn them into useless vegetables, unlike cannabis. I’d like to believe there are people in other countries, aside from the west, capable of making the obvious distinction.

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