The First Lady of Georgia announced at a breakfast event at the AIDS 2010 conference today that Georgia would sign the Vienna Declaration, the first country to do so.
Good for them! (Have you signed it yet?)
Several organizations, including Drug Free America Foundation, have released a ridiculous statement opposing the Vienna Declaration. They basically claim that prohibition is for the most part working just fine and only needs some tweaking, that it’s the drug use, not prohibition, that’s causing problems like:
Marijuana also contains bacteria and fungi that put users at risk for infection.
Oh, and yeah… balanced approach.
We are committed to efforts to improve current drug policy to further reduce illegal drug use by building on a balanced strategy that includes the criminal justice system.
More Politicians, Strategists See Opportunity in Supporting Marijuana Reform by Mike Meno in the Huffington Post. Good piece demonstrating that supporting reform is no longer a political liability.
Mike Meno also has this important, but unsurprising, bit of data: Marijuana Use Rarely Leads to Emergency Room, Study Shows
Researchers at the University of Michigan have sifted through nationwide data to determine the prevalence of different drug-related emergency room visits and (surprise, surprise!) their recently released results show that â€œmarijuana dependence was associated with the lowest ratesâ€ of emergency room visits.
A lot of fuss has been made regarding how Mexican cartels are getting their guns. What about hand grenades? They’re not likely to be picking those up in sporting goods stores in the U.S. Turns out they don’t need to.
There have been more than 72 grenade attacks in Mexico in the last year, including spectacular assaults on police convoys and public officials. Mexican forces have seized more than 5,800 live grenades since 2007, a small fraction of a vast armory maintained by the drug cartels, officials said. […]
One of the most common hand grenades found in Mexico is the M67, the workhorse explosive manufactured in the United States for American soldiers and for sale or transfer to foreign militaries. Some 266,000 M67 grenades went to El Salvador alone between 1980 and 1993, during the civil war there.
Methinks Russia is just a little bit defensive about Fedotov being named head of the UNODC. Moscow Times
But Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko waved the complaints aside.
“It’s no secret to anyone that there are powerful and active forces interested in presenting the situation with HIV and AIDS in Russia as nearing a catastrophe,” he said, without identifying the forces.
“We believe this approach is absolutely unfounded,” Nesterenko said in a statement published on the Foreign Ministry’s web site.
He acknowledged at a news conference that authorities have failed to slow soaring HIV rates but said there was “every reason to believe that we will achieve that sooner or later,” Interfax reported.
Pravda reacted even more strongly
As for the first accusation, in Russia, buprenorphine and methadone are considered drugs and therefore their circulation is limited and is under strict control. In the West, these substances are used to treat drug addiction. However, the Russian authorities are against methadone treatment, pointing to the conclusions of Russian medical professionals who believe that its effectiveness is not proven by science. […]
Besides, where is the guarantee that when we â€œcrack open the doorsâ€ to semi-legal drugs, we can ensure that the number of drug addicts will not increase as a result? There is a suspicion that foreign NGOs are openly lobbying for the interests of the producers of drugsâ€legalizedâ€ in the West. […]
And secondly, what are the other ways to fight against illicit drug production and drug trafficking besides stringent measures?
Now, something like this should be a pleasant surprise, yet in today’s regime of bust-down-the-door, shoot-first-investigate-after policework, it’s a frightening prospect to get an unexpected shipment of marijuana â€” especially since the fake address ploy is a common one for shipments, and since some militarized police seem to be unaware of that (see Cheye Calvo incident).
An additional concern I have is that I don’t have any dogs. So what are the police going to shoot?
This is an open thread.