The Drug War Kills Porpoises

Mexico’s drug cartels—the poisonous fruit of a toxic drug war tree—are overfishing the Sea of Cortez and exterminating the vaquita porpoise, the world’s rarest marine mammal:

Austrian filmmaker Richard Ladkani recorded the shocking and dangerous story of the activists, scientists and journalists risking their lives to save the rare whale in his documentary “Sea of Shadows.”

“The film ‘Sea of Shadows’ for me was one of the most important films that I’ve ever made, … Because here you have an example of criminal syndicates attacking planet Earth. And the clock’s really ticking, because if they continue to do what they do—if they continue their fight against this ocean, for money and greed—they’re actually going to destroy one of the most beautiful places on Earth.”

“Nobody has ever heard about this war even happening,” the filmmaker goes on. “It’s happening in the shadows, but only a five hours’ drive south of Los Angeles. And here you have a species go extinct—the smallest whale on earth, a beautiful creature right out of a Disney movie, the vaquita.” […]

Drug cartels became involved in the … fishing trade partly because … it’s much easier money than selling narcotics. Their … overfishing of the Sea of Cortez … makes it even more difficult for efforts to save the vaquita to take place because of the deadly threat that getting involved poses to activists, journalists and scientists, as well as to the very fishermen entangled in the trade. […]

Cartels that aid the Sixth Great Extinction also make it difficult for researchers working in Mexico’s interior. Environmental protection in Mexico often doesn’t get funded or implemented as meager financial resources get used up fighting an ineffectual and never-ending drug war.

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24 Responses to The Drug War Kills Porpoises

  1. DdC says:

    The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a historic vote on a bill to end the federal prohibition of marijuana next week, two sources with knowledge of the soon-to-be-announced action told Marijuana Moment.

    The legislation, sponsored by committee chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and set aside funding to begin repairing the damage of the war on drugs, which has been disproportionately waged against communities of color.

    The proposal, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, would also provide for resentencing and expungement of records for people previously convicted of cannabis offenses and would shield immigrants from being denied citizenship status over marijuana.

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  2. WalStMonky says:


    Here’s another headline I never would have predicted:

    Thailand Will Soon Allow Its Citizens To Grow Cannabis At Home To Sell To The Government.

    Thailand is ramping up medical marijuana legalization efforts that will soon allow all Thais to cultivate six cannabis plants in their homes and sell their home-grown harvest to the government, to turn into medical marijuana.

    “We are in the process of changing laws to allow the medical use of marijuana freely,” said recently-appointed Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, in Bangkok on Wednesday. “We have high confidence that marijuana will be among the major agricultural products for Thai households. We are speeding up the law changes. But there is a process to it.”

    Back in September, Anutin alluded, “In the near future, families will be able to plant cannabis trees in their back gardens like any other herb.”

    The Thais have actually been using cannabis siezed by police to supply the country’s nascent medicinal cannabis program. While it isn’t as wide open as Jamaican medicinal cannabis the Jamaican medicinal cannabis law is everything that the sycophants of prohibition fear. The only qualification for medicinal cannabis in Jamaica is a $5 bill. Nothing else required, ;like residency or citizenship or even a picture ID. They sell them at the airport. The lawmakers said that they felt they had to call it medical to be “in compliance” with the UN SCTs. But since Jamaica wasn’t actually setting up a medicinal cannabis program but rather legalization in disguise I think it’s safe to say that the Thais have implemented the most inclusive medicinal cannabis program of any country in the world. Sheesh, when I think of Thailand and cannabis laws I think death penalty.

    • they’ve been working on that for awhile. My friend Jim Greig (RIP) had a finger in there somewhere before he passed.

      After 50 years of consumption I swear Thai herb is the best weed I’ve ever inhaled and can’t imagine that has changed.

      Good to see this, thanks for sharing WSM.

  3. DdC says:

    Nov 17, 1999

    ②⓪ Years

    ☛ Ending Cannabis Prohibition

    “The oppressed should rebel,and they will continue to rebel
    and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored
    to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions
    and incapacitations are removed.”
    ~ Thomas Jefferson,
    Notes on Religion, 1776.
    Papers 1:548

  4. Daniel Williams says:

    I miss Pete…

  5. DdC says:

    Support For Marijuana Legalization
    Increased Again In 2019, Pew Poll Finds

    91 Percent of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legalized
    for Medical or Recreational Use, Poll Suggests

    Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization

    Bloomberg Stop-and-Frisk Apology ‘Too Little, Too Late,’

    Biden: “Mass Incarceration Zealot”

    Bauregard Sessions

  6. DdC says:

    Looks like Conde’s back…

    with Ali Servatdjoo,
    Allan Erickson,
    Alison Myrden and
    Aaron Nine-Gelman.

  7. MangleMyDangle says:

    Luxembourg Triples Medical Cannabis Budget for 2020

    The budget for doctor training and medical cannabis purchases will be increased from €350,000 to €1.37 million next year. The drug will also be available from all pharmacies. Overall, the government has allocated a budget of €228 million for its cannabis “pilot” next year – an increase of €22m in 2019.

    This tiny country has continued to challenge the cannabis discussion in the EU – also announcing that a full-boat recreational program will be enacted within the next two years (almost certainly by 2021).

  8. ‘War on drugs’ is driving deforestation

    Military action is pushing criminals into protected areas

    “Military efforts to tackle cocaine traffickers have instead pushed them into remote forests, where the shadowy underground economy they build has a devastating effect on the environment, the researchers said. The economic impact on the region’s protected forests is at least $215m per year, they found.”

    “The researchers took remote satellite images to locate where deforestation is occurring, and carried out nearly 100 interviews with local protected area managers, residents and non-profit leaders. They found that large tropical forests in Guatemala and Honduras are particularly affected, while Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica are also impacted.”

    “The problem has become worse as the current US government has moved towards investing ‘war on drugs’ money into military rather than humanitarian aid, said Jennifer Devine, assistant professor of geography at Texas State University and co-author of the two studies.”

    • Humanitarian aide not military intervention. No US money should ever be spent on military intervention. The root of the problem is a human one, not a military one.

      • DdC says:

        Homegrown homes for the homeless and workers, ignored.

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      • kaptinemo says:

        But they never, ever listen. Colombia. Afghanistan. Iraq.

        Drug law reformers have always served in the unenviable position of modern-day Cassandras, warning of things nobody wanted to hear about, contemptuously and condescendingly ignored until the predicted tragedy happens, and then are often castigated for not making a loud enough stink beforehand.

        Case in point: CannabisNews search string for ‘Plan Colombia’:
        19 years of hindsight proved most of the foresight to be valid.

        Look over some of those early articles. Many of the screamingly obvious and predictable things that were warned about happened, just as drug law reformers said they would. Shootdowns of innocents in aircraft over the Amazon. Drug trafficking migrating from country to country. The rise of the Mex cartels splitting off from the Colombians. All right there in the comment sections of those articles.

        If everyday, ordinary people without any letter salad after their names can see it coming, then those paid vastly more than we ever will get should have, as well. They didn’t for a number of reasons, but ultimately it’s from stupid hubris. Santayana said we’d be doomed to repeat history if we didn’t learn from it…and it did.

        • WalStMonky says:


          I thoght that we had come to a consensus that history might not repeat itself but it does often rhyme. For example 11* States repealed drinking alcohol prohibition before the ratification of the 21st Amendment and Maryland never did criminalize drinking alcohol.

          The New York Legislators repealed in 1921 but it got vetoed so they did it again after getting a new Governor.

          The Montana Legislature repealed in 1925.

          Massachusetts voters approved repeal on Election Day 1930.

          1932 found the voters of Arizona, California, Colorado, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington approving repeal at the State level.

          Yep, pretty darn close to repeating except North Dakota seems unlikely and Colorado voters didn’t approve a law which was only effective if Federal law changed like in the 1932 referendum.
          * 11 if you count Ohio where the voters approved repeal on the same ballot where they approved ratification of the 21st Amendment. I go back and forth on that one. The Ohio voters did not know that the 21st Amendment would ultimately be ratified. It’s also possible that there was the perception that there was little chance of it failing. The margin was 68.4%-31.6% so either way its what the people wanted.
          Yes, the 21st Amendment was voted into existence using the equivalent of a Federal ballot initiative.

  9. DdC says:

    American Oversight
    ☛ Records Regarding Communications with DEA on the Opioid Crisis
    ☛ Investigating HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s Connections to Pharmaceutical Companies
    ☛ FOIA to NIH Seeking Communications Between Member of Pain Management Task Force and Drug and Device Manufactures
    ☛ ONDCP Records Regarding the Opioid Crisis During 2017
    ☛ Office of National Drug Control Policy Political Appointee Resumes
    ☛ FDA Communications with the Opioid Industry
    ☛ Parallel Investigations Initiative FOIAs: Industry Influence, Denial of Reproductive Rights, and the Administration’s Family Separation Policy
    ☛ Watchdog Demands Records on Rudy Giuliani’s Past Consulting for OxyContin Manufacturer
    ☛ FOIA to FDA Seeking Communications with Giuliani Regarding Opioids
    ☛ The Trump Administration’s Response to the Opioid Epidemic
    ☛ FOIA to ONDCP Seeking Communications with Kellyanne Conway
    ☛ FOIA to HHS Seeking Communications About Substance Abuse Treatment
    ☛ Documents in Action: Resumes Reveal Industry Connections and Less-Qualified Candidates
    ☛ American Oversight in the News: 2018 in Review
    ☛ Meet the 24-year-old Trump campaign worker appointed to help lead the government’s drug policy office
    ☛ FOIA to DOJ Seeking Records Related to the AG’s Response to the Opioid Epidemic
    ☛ FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications with HHS Regarding the Opioid Epidemic
    ☛ FOIA to DOJ/DEA Regarding the Opioid Crisis
    ☛ FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications with DEA Regarding the Opioid Crisis
    ☛ FOIA to HHS Seeking Records Related to Funds to Address Opioid Crisis
    ☛ News Roundup: Two Troubling Inspector General Reports
    ☛ Rejection from DOJ Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys Regarding
    Communications with Rudy Giuliani about Opioids
    ☛ FOIA to DEA Seeking Communications With Giuliani Regarding Opioids
    ☛ No Records Response From HHS Regarding Responses to the Opioid Epidemic
    ☛ No Records Response From ONDCP Regarding Opioids
    ☛ The Trump Administration’s Response to the Opioid Epidemic
    ☛ FOIA to ONDCP Seeking Communications with Kellyanne Conway

  10. HeSaidWhat says:

    “When you watch prohibition, when you look at the alcohol, you look at cigarettes, you look at it all, if you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally,” Trump said on Friday. “That’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget.”

  11. WalStMonky says:


    One thing that’s happened because of cannabis prohibition is that I’ve lost faith in the ethical makeup of the US scientific community. How else can one reconcile the constant release of contradictory studies seemingly only a few days to a couple of weeks apart?

    ‘Problem’ marijuana use has declined in the U.S.
    By Dennis Thompson 11/26/2019

    Researchers found an across-the-board decline in daily or near-daily pot users who could be diagnosed with cannabis use disorder, according to results published in the Dec. 1 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

    This included a 27 percent decline in problem use among teens; a 30 percent decline among young adults; and a 37.5 percent decline among adults 26 and older between 2002 and 2016, the findings showed.

    “The number of people with problems, instead of increasing as predicted, has decreased,” said senior researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. She is director of the substance use epidemiology unit at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.

    I was very surprised to see the study mentioned above came from the Mailman School.

  12. crashing says:

    Mitch McConnell Accepts Marijuana Machete Honoring Anti-Drug Record

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