Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

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Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:26 pm UTC

Countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, expected to push for the end of the War on Drugs in the wake of unprecedented violence (50000 deaths in Mexico since 2006) and a general failure of the War on Drugs to have any effect on either reducing drug usage or curbing organized crime.

From the CBC:

Spoiler:
The upcoming Summit of the Americas is likely to address issues like trade and territorial security, but many anticipate that the most pressing topic will be the lingering problem of drug trafficking.

The narcotics-related violence that has plagued nations like Mexico and Colombia concerns everyone in the Americas, but there's a growing north-south divide in the way countries go about quelling the drug trade.

Both the U.S. and Canada hold fast to the existing tactic – that the problem can only be solved by enforcing prohibition, an approach that experts say has only expanded the black market and increased the power of drug cartels.

But in the last few years, the leaders of countries like Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil have publicly advocated legalizing drugs and are likely to champion that approach at the summit, which starts tonight in Cartagena, Colombia. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is attending.

"Up until now, it has been heresy for anyone to challenge blanket global drug prohibition," says Donald McPherson, executive director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.
U.S. zero-tolerance policy influenced others

What he's referring to is the U.S. strategy of criminalizing the possession of even small amounts of drugs, imposing harsh jail sentences on users and traffickers and deploying firepower and foreign funds to battle traffickers beyond its borders.

"International drug policy to this point has largely been an extension of American policy," says Eugene Oscapella, a lawyer who teaches drug policy at the University of Ottawa.

America's "war on drugs" — a term coined by U.S. president Richard Nixon in 1971 — has been felt in many corners of Latin America and has included actions and policies that some observers feel were meant to satisfy political aims rather than anti-drug objectives.

The enforcement strategy has included training paramilitary groups in Colombia to fight leftist rebels and using Panamanian strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega to funnel aid to the "contras" in Nicaragua, the guerrilla groups fighting the leftist government of the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
A U.S. Coast Guard stands next to approximately 3,500 pounds of cocaine confiscated from a 35-foot boat near Miami Beach, Florida in March 2012. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

America's 40-year anti-drug crusade has reportedly cost trillions of dollars and, according to many critics, accomplished very little.

McPherson says he's seeing a growing willingness among leaders in Latin America to "call a spade a spade: that the War on Drugs has failed, it's killing our people." There is a desire among these leaders to "design a process where we can consider alternatives and bring these substances into a more regulated type of scheme," McPherson said.
A public health problem

Shannon O'Neil, a Latin America expert for the Council on Foreign Relations, feels the legalization debate highlights philosophical differences about the most urgent consequence of drug use.

She says that many Latin American countries put a greater "focus on the public health side of it than building more prisons and treating drug-taking as a criminal problem."

In 2009, Mexico enacted a law that decriminalized possession of minor amounts of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD and methamphetamine. While people aren't prosecuted for having small sums of these drugs, they are encouraged to seek treatment.

"The idea there is you don't clog up the system with thousands of users," says O'Neil. "You go for the higher levels up — the dealers, the suppliers and the organized crime members."

Last month, U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden conducted a two-day swing through Mexico and Honduras, which have first-hand experience of the horrors of the drug trade. Since 2006, more than 50,000 people have died in Mexico in drug-related violence while Honduras, a key point on the Central American drug route, boasts a murder rate roughly 20 times that of the U.S.

The leaders of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Colombia have all proposed drug decriminalization as a way of damaging the black market and thus reducing the cartels' clout.

During his visit, Biden acknowledged that the debate was "legitimate" but stressed that "there is no possibility the Obama-Biden administration will change its policy on legalization."
Prison industry profits from prohibition

Oscapella believes America's dogged opposition to legalization is largely the result of an entrenched industry connected with prohibition.
Those in favour of legalizing marijuana in the U.S. say that it will put fewer people in prison and allow states to divert those funds to programs like health and education. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

"There are many interests within society, many of them powerful interests, that profit from prohibition," says Oscapella, which includes the private prison industry and public and private police forces.

Oscapella cites a recent pitch by the Corrections Corporation of America, the largest operator of prisons in the U.S. The company told 48 U.S. states that it would buy their existing prisons, provided the states could guarantee 90 per cent occupancy.

Although it may not be as brazenly capitalistic, Oscapella says a similar mindset exists in Canada.

"You see it with the current administration in Ottawa, who profit from being tough on drugs," says Oscapella. "They know it doesn't work. Harper's not stupid — he's an economist, he can understand the economics of prohibition, as can many of his MPs.

"But as long as they figure they can gull the public into believing that getting tough on drugs is the right thing to do, they get elected on those things."
Demand still high

One of the few positive outcomes of the war on drugs has been a marked decrease in violent crime in U.S. cities. But the enthusiasm for recreational drugs has, if anything, increased.

After members of the Zetas cartel firebombed a Monterrey casino in August 2011, killing 52 people, Mexican President Felipe Calderon pointed the finger at the U.S.

"The economic power and firepower of the criminal organizations operating in Mexico and Latin America come from this endless demand for drugs in the United States," he said.

The bulk of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin consumed in the U.S. comes from or via Mexico, while the majority of arms used by the Mexican cartels trafficking these drugs comes from the U.S.

Oscapella says that by maintaining prohibitionist policies in the face of unwavering demand, "we export the problem of violence to the producer and transit countries."

While many legalization advocates see the U.S. as intransigent, O'Neil says continued discussion could prod the U.S. to modify its attitude — slightly.

"Drug legalization in the United States is unlikely to happen any time soon, but these debates help with a conceptual turn away from just a law enforcement stance to a public health stance."

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Dr. Diaphanous » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:15 pm UTC

There is a private prison industry and private police forces?
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby buddy431 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

Dr. Diaphanous wrote:There is a private prison industry and private police forces?


Private prisons in the U.S. currently hold about 8% of the total inmate population.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Qaanol » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

Good on them. If I were a Central or South American country (in the sense of l’etat c’est moi, which seems to apply in at least a few of them,) I would set myself on the moral high ground in the international stage. “The nation of Guatemexivenelomboliveru embodies and exemplifies the tenets of individual liberty, free market economics, energy independence, sustainable agriculture, and healing the sick.”

Make drug crops legal, so they can compete on price in the open market. Tax them just like any other merchandise destined for export. Use the proceeds to subsidize renewable energy like sugar ethanol and wind farms. Implement a national healthcare system that, among other things, treats drug addiction as the medical problem it is, not a crime. Educate a workforce of engineers to improve sanitation and utilities, and set about requiring farms to use sustainable practices. Oh, also free and fair elections using Approval Voting.

The goals are threefold. First, independence of production. Even if the USA bullies other nations into imposing sanctions on you, your country makes and grows all the food, energy, and other things it needs. Second, moral high ground. It’s rather hard to get international support for cutting off a nation that is a free market democracy promoting individual liberty and renewable energy. Third, it sets an example for neighboring countries to do the same. Then even if the USA cuts you off, you can still trade locally. Plus as a bonus it demonstrates that legalizing drugs is perfectly fine, and there is no reason for a government to micromanage the private lives of citizens.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Metaphysician » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:03 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Good on them. If I were a Central or South American country (in the sense of l’etat c’est moi, which seems to apply in at least a few of them,) I would set myself on the moral high ground in the international stage. “The nation of Guatemexivenelomboliveru embodies and exemplifies the tenets of individual liberty, free market economics, energy independence, sustainable agriculture, and healing the sick.”

Make drug crops legal, so they can compete on price in the open market. Tax them just like any other merchandise destined for export. Use the proceeds to subsidize renewable energy like sugar ethanol and wind farms. Implement a national healthcare system that, among other things, treats drug addiction as the medical problem it is, not a crime. Educate a workforce of engineers to improve sanitation and utilities, and set about requiring farms to use sustainable practices. Oh, also free and fair elections using Approval Voting.

The goals are threefold. First, independence of production. Even if the USA bullies other nations into imposing sanctions on you, your country makes and grows all the food, energy, and other things it needs. Second, moral high ground. It’s rather hard to get international support for cutting off a nation that is a free market democracy promoting individual liberty and renewable energy. Third, it sets an example for neighboring countries to do the same. Then even if the USA cuts you off, you can still trade locally. Plus as a bonus it demonstrates that legalizing drugs is perfectly fine, and there is no reason for a government to micromanage the private lives of citizens.


My question is; what will legalizing drugs will do to curb the violence? What's to stop the cartels from keeping control over the industry if they already aren't afraid to murder thousands of people per year without the governments being able to do anything about it? One danger here (I am for legalizing, btw) is that the police would no longer be able to pick people up on trafficking and possession with intent charges, making it even more difficult for them to come down on the cartels. I mean what's to stop the cartels from just not even paying any taxes or whatever? If the government can't control them now, what will legalizing solve in that area?
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:21 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:My question is; what will legalizing drugs will do to curb the violence? What's to stop the cartels from keeping control over the industry if they already aren't afraid to murder thousands of people per year without the governments being able to do anything about it? One danger here (I am for legalizing, btw) is that the police would no longer be able to pick people up on trafficking and possession with intent charges, making it even more difficult for them to come down on the cartels. I mean what's to stop the cartels from just not even paying any taxes or whatever? If the government can't control them now, what will legalizing solve in that area?


It has to do with killing their profits. Obviously, yes, the police would not be picking up people on trafficking and possession charges. But the reason why the drug cartels exist is because you can get $100/gram or whatever for the drugs. If you implement a legal production and distribution system, and could get the price down to $1/gram, the market for buyers of the illegal goods dries up.

In all likelihood, there will be a period of violence where the cartels try to destroy the legitimate operations. That would probably be where the difficulty would arise. Or with smuggling to countries where these products are still illegal. In the long run though, the cartels would probably either have to move on to a distribution system, or just become legitimate businesses, since there will simply be no market for their products at the prices they want to set.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Dauric » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:24 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:My question is; what will legalizing drugs will do to curb the violence? What's to stop the cartels from keeping control over the industry if they already aren't afraid to murder thousands of people per year without the governments being able to do anything about it? One danger here (I am for legalizing, btw) is that the police would no longer be able to pick people up on trafficking and possession with intent charges, making it even more difficult for them to come down on the cartels. I mean what's to stop the cartels from just not even paying any taxes or whatever? If the government can't control them now, what will legalizing solve in that area?


If what happened when the U.S. repealed Prohibition is any indicator 1) it won't happen overnight, and 2) it won't stop completely. The Mafia still controls some tax-dodging production and smuggling of alcohol, however the lion's share of the alcohol market went to legitimate producers.

Bullets and guns cost money, as do bribes and "enforcers". None of these actually contribute to production. From a business perspective moving "enforcement" to a smaller team of lawyers, and making the government deal with producers that remain illegal means a boost to profits that can either be funneled back in to the business, offset production costs to make the product cheaper undercutting competition, or just taken out as personal profits for the employees and/or company owners. Legitimate businesses also can issue stocks further raising capital opportunities.

Again, not that these changes are going to happen seconds after these plants become legal, but the savvy producers will find that going legit has tangible benefits over running an illegal operation, and will slowly move their businesses to legal production to take advantage of those opportunities.

Also, it won't stop criminal production/distribution altogether, but as more producers go legal the overhead associated with illegal operations (not just guns and bullets, but "security/enforcers", concealing production facilities, transportation from hidden production facilities, etc.) will cut their ability to compete in the market.

Now in the likely scenario that the U.S. retains our anti-drug stance even if production is legalized that means the criminal activity is going to be centered on U.S. borders, rather than through the center of the producing nations. Again, there's no profit in operating a criminal operation transporting legal products through the middle of the territory they're legal in, the guy running a legit trucking company can undercut the criminal organization right up to say four or five miles from the U.S. border.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby sophyturtle » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

Right now the cartels are unaffected by the little busts pretty much. We just get their underlings. If it were legal smaller groups (probably too many for the cartels to really wipe out) would pop up. And sort of like when alcohol became legal again the violent criminals no longer have a monopoly and lose power.
I think this would be good for a lot of people.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:50 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:My question is; what will legalizing drugs will do to curb the violence? What's to stop the cartels from keeping control over the industry if they already aren't afraid to murder thousands of people per year without the governments being able to do anything about it? One danger here (I am for legalizing, btw) is that the police would no longer be able to pick people up on trafficking and possession with intent charges, making it even more difficult for them to come down on the cartels. I mean what's to stop the cartels from just not even paying any taxes or whatever? If the government can't control them now, what will legalizing solve in that area?

There is some reason to believe that high prices drive crime. In the very short term it's not unreasonable to think that cartels will stick around, but longer term the ability to grow & sell openly makes staying criminal a losing proposition. The government offers protection at lower prices to producers, guarantees a better end product to consumers, and as prices go down with less government pressure on existing drug routes risking your life for a slimmer profit margin seems like less of a good idea.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Griffin » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:03 pm UTC

Also, most people like quality, and its easier to find and afford quality from legal shops. Even for the same prices, the regulation saying you can't cut your shit, the not having to find a discrete contact, the lack of risk, all of it would encourage customers to prefer legal outlets.

The cartels would have difficulty competing even if legal establishments didn't charge a dime less, in many ways.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:38 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:I mean what's to stop the cartels from just not even paying any taxes or whatever? If the government can't control them now, what will legalizing solve in that area?
I think this is the one big concern with some of these countries. At the end of the Prohibition the Mafia in the US was powerful but nowhere powerful enough to take on the government. My (rather limited) understanding of the situation in Mexico at the moment is that whole regions of the country are effectively under direct control by the local cartel and the production in most other countries is also done by powerful organization (often closely related to the government?). Making production and distribution legal won't really be much help if there is still a local monopoly effectively enforcing it's control of production.

Of course, it's a matter of scale. Presumably if all South/Central American countries legalized drugs simultaneously there would be regions where free production could develop and that would solve the issue. The 'goods' would still have to go through powerful criminal organization to actually get to countries that pay a lot for it though. Now, if the US & Canada also legalized at the same time that would remove the need for criminal organizations altogether and quickly force the cartels into economic competition but without them the effectiveness of the scheme would be limited.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:06 pm UTC

At this point, the northern Mexican cartels don't actually make the majority of their income from drugs anymore. While they're certainly going to violently prevent legal producers from opening up in their areas of influence, there is enough of Mexico that legal producers will find space to set up somewhere and will slowly edge the cartels out of everything drug related except smuggling drugs to the US, their biggest market.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with the Latin American countries legalizing drugs would be that the lion's share of the money comes from smuggling and selling to Americans and until the US legalizes drugs as well, little of the criminal aspects of drug production will continue, if even to a somewhat lesser degree than today.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby addams » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Good on them. If I were a Central or South American country (in the sense of l’etat c’est moi, which seems to apply in at least a few of them,) I would set myself on the moral high ground in the international stage. “The nation of Guatemexivenelomboliveru embodies and exemplifies the tenets of individual liberty, free market economics, energy independence, sustainable agriculture, and healing the sick.”

Make drug crops legal, so they can compete on price in the open market. Tax them just like any other merchandise destined for export. Use the proceeds to subsidize renewable energy like sugar ethanol and wind farms. Implement a national healthcare system that, among other things, treats drug addiction as the medical problem it is, not a crime. Educate a workforce of engineers to improve sanitation and utilities, and set about requiring farms to use sustainable practices. Oh, also free and fair elections using Approval Voting.

The goals are threefold. First, independence of production. Even if the USA bullies other nations into imposing sanctions on you, your country makes and grows all the food, energy, and other things it needs. Second, moral high ground. It’s rather hard to get international support for cutting off a nation that is a free market democracy promoting individual liberty and renewable energy. Third, it sets an example for neighboring countries to do the same. Then even if the USA cuts you off, you can still trade locally. Plus as a bonus it demonstrates that legalizing drugs is perfectly fine, and there is no reason for a government to micromanage the private lives of citizens.


My question is; what will legalizing drugs will do to curb the violence? What's to stop the cartels from keeping control over the industry if they already aren't afraid to murder thousands of people per year without the governments being able to do anything about it? One danger here (I am for legalizing, btw) is that the police would no longer be able to pick people up on trafficking and possession with intent charges, making it even more difficult for them to come down on the cartels. I mean what's to stop the cartels from just not even paying any taxes or whatever? If the government can't control them now, what will legalizing solve in that area?


Wait a minute. Legiazing drugs. That means no weirdness.

Tylenol is a drug. Condoms can be found in drug stores. Beer and Spirits of all kinds are strong drugs. Then; there are the drugs that a person talks to their doctors and nurses about. A Rx is required and; Well. Legal does not mean that the children are playing in it.

Well!? It could. You can tell a kid not to run in the poppies and to stay out of the Marijuana shade. But; What can ya' do? How many people have fields of poppies? Damn. That must be beautiful when in bloom.
California poppies bloom like that. Only; They are whimmy and small. The color is nice. California Poppies are iridescent.
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Oh! Back to the Great Idea of treating drug use as a public health issue.

Drug use or lack of drug use is a personal thing. Like medical care and Religion.
It is personal. Yet; We are social beings.

To be simple civilized social human beings seems to be so hard for some of us.

Public Health! I have not seen those words uses in a serous way in a long time. What do we think Public Health is?
Spoiler:
The easing of suffering when suffering is what we find.
The prevention of suffering when possible.

A dedication to our fellow human beings.
A respect for self determination.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Kulantan » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:37 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:At this point, the northern Mexican cartels don't actually make the majority of their income from drugs anymore.

Citation?
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:49 am UTC

Kulantan wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:At this point, the northern Mexican cartels don't actually make the majority of their income from drugs anymore.

Citation?


I think he means smuggling people instead of drugs.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:09 am UTC

Kulantan wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:At this point, the northern Mexican cartels don't actually make the majority of their income from drugs anymore.

Citation?


I was sure I read it somewhere on this forum a while back so I did some considerable digging. I traced it back to a post by Sean Quixote that I seem to have misremembered, saying that a significant portion of their income comes from non-drug endeavours. So I did some good old fashioned Googling and found that in 2009 it was estimated 60% of their income was from marijuana alone and this article from 2011 talks about the various ways they have been rapidly diversifying their income, but I can't find any total income numbers estimated any more recently than 2009.

tl;dr, I remembered wrong.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Shivahn » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:49 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
Kulantan wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:At this point, the northern Mexican cartels don't actually make the majority of their income from drugs anymore.

Citation?


I was sure I read it somewhere on this forum a while back so I did some considerable digging. I traced it back to a post by Sean Quixote that I seem to have misremembered, saying that a significant portion of their income comes from non-drug endeavours. So I did some good old fashioned Googling and found that in 2009 it was estimated 60% of their income was from marijuana alone and this article from 2011 talks about the various ways they have been rapidly diversifying their income, but I can't find any total income numbers estimated any more recently than 2009.

tl;dr, I remembered wrong.

So what you're saying is the longer we don't decriminalize drugs, the bigger problem we're gonna have later?

I'm sure someone important will see this and everything will be ok.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby poxic » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:01 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:I'm sure someone important will see this and everything will be ok.

Now now. Don't disillusion the idealist all at once. :wink:

There are people in places of decision-making who are quite invested in the status quo. The US spent over 15 billion on the "war on drugs" in 2010. That buys a lot of jobs, power, and influence. I doubt many who are part of the machine will roll over and say "well okay, let's legalise it all". Not easily, anyway.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:35 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:
Kulantan wrote:
Iulus Cofield wrote:At this point, the northern Mexican cartels don't actually make the majority of their income from drugs anymore.

Citation?


I was sure I read it somewhere on this forum a while back so I did some considerable digging. I traced it back to a post by Sean Quixote that I seem to have misremembered, saying that a significant portion of their income comes from non-drug endeavours. So I did some good old fashioned Googling and found that in 2009 it was estimated 60% of their income was from marijuana alone and this article from 2011 talks about the various ways they have been rapidly diversifying their income, but I can't find any total income numbers estimated any more recently than 2009.

tl;dr, I remembered wrong.

So what you're saying is the longer we don't decriminalize drugs, the bigger problem we're gonna have later?

I'm sure someone important will see this and everything will be ok.


That's not an unreasonable conclusion.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:58 am UTC

Beyond the talk of whether or not other countries legalizing drugs would have a significant affect on the cartels themselves, it would probably still be helpful for those countries. The brunt of the illegal activities would now be focused on borders instead of throughout their own nation. It could possibly move a lot of the violence into the US instead of in Mexico and Columbia. Obviously the US doesn't want that, but the other countries would benefit from it. Without the rest of the region cooperating with us on it as well, it could very well force the US' hand on legalization.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Diadem » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:10 am UTC

I think legalization would be a very good idea. But for Mexico at least, I'm afraid it's way past the point where that alone would end their problems.

The cartels control much of the country, have diversified their operations, and would fight such change every step of the way.

The war on drugs started the problems, but surprisingly, if you pour hundreds of billions of dollars into evil and unscrupulous criminals, they won't spend it all on luxury yachts. A lot of it is spent on buying power, through recruitment, weapons, bribes, etc, and to expand their operations. Switching off the cash flow is a good idea, but won't magically undo the previous damage.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Lucrece » Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:00 am UTC

I think they need to start exploring why people use drugs, and how to prevent and wean off the lesser cases instead. Cultural change is always harder and more time-consuming than most governments want to invest into, though. The same can be said of alcohol, in cultures where youth feel a need to consume to the point of intoxication for social reasons.

Jailing drug addicts certainly isn't helping, but enabling industries that profit on cultural ignorance and providing often significantly harmful products/services doesn't solve any ethical dilemmas. Those casinos are still robbing people blind based on their educational shortcomings and addictive personality disorders, and something needs to be said about giving up on sanctioning businesses like liquor stores for having no qualms in selling to people who are visible vulnerable to harm by further consumption, just because it's hard and costly. The "it costs us too much to protect people from harm" sounds fine until it's someone , especially just a teenager, in your family got hooked on drugs as facilitated by an unscrupulous dealer.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby addams » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:I think they need to start exploring why people use drugs, and how to prevent and wean off the lesser cases instead. Cultural change is always harder and more time-consuming than most governments want to invest into, though. The same can be said of alcohol, in cultures where youth feel a need to consume to the point of intoxication for social reasons.

Jailing drug addicts certainly isn't helping, but enabling industries that profit on cultural ignorance and providing often significantly harmful products/services doesn't solve any ethical dilemmas. Those casinos are still robbing people blind based on their educational shortcomings and addictive personality disorders, and something needs to be said about giving up on sanctioning businesses like liquor stores for having no qualms in selling to people who are visible vulnerable to harm by further consumption, just because it's hard and costly. The "it costs us too much to protect people from harm" sounds fine until it's someone , especially just a teenager, in your family got hooked on drugs as facilitated by an unscrupulous dealer.


Again, This is one very good reason for drugs to be legal.

No person should be frightened to tell their health care professional, anything.

Yes. Drugs and cars are dangerous.

Only Humans drive cars.
Birds and Beasts use drugs.

Some people need to use drugs. Other people do not. It is a personal thing.

We make cars as safe as we can. We can make drugs safer for our people.

I did some reading about how Street Drugs are made. ewww. It is better to have professionals doing that job.
Pot is a special case. Anyone can grow that stuff.

STOP BOTHERING THE GARDENERS!

I grew some to see what it was like. It was fun. That stuff starts out slow. It was over my head and blooming in no time. I had no idea what to do with it all.
It seemed wrong to throw it away. I did not want it.

Pot seems like such an easy fix.

Some of the others are for well educated professionals to tackle.

We need to get on the same page. There is danger everywhere. I want to live in a world where we are kind to one another for all the right reasons. Sometimes that reason is, because,it is my job.

The exact same chemical can do one thing in one body and do something different in other bodies.
Public Health professionals and chemists, that know what they are doing, can make the day to day lives of many people, better.

The US schedule 1's need a good hard look at. Who do those people think that they are?

Oh. Right. The bosses of the world.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Sockmonkey » Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:34 pm UTC

The shitstorm this is gonna kick up in the US gov is gonna be entertaining to say the least. It's about the only thing I can think of that would corner them enough to have to legalize them.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby torontoraptor » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:47 am UTC

I kind of hope that all the South American Countries (and maybe even Canada, although that would require Harper to either pull a very sharp ideological turn-around, or a significant grass-roots movement) do legalize, and the US doesn't, just to see the repeat of what happened when Prohibition had ended everywhere but the States. You literally had breweries right across the border, advertising their legal alcohol to Americans.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:16 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:I think they need to start exploring why people use drugs, and how to prevent and wean off the lesser cases instead.


Because it's fun, at least at first? Short of lacing the water supply with something that when mixed with narcotics turns into a pain drug...

Lucrece wrote:Jailing drug addicts certainly isn't helping, but enabling industries that profit on cultural ignorance and providing often significantly harmful products/services doesn't solve any ethical dilemmas.


Mostly agreed. Violent addicts should be jailed, but for their violent actions, not for being an addict. The prison industry belongs in an Orwell novel, yet it's real world.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:29 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Because it's fun, at least at first? Short of lacing the water supply with something that when mixed with narcotics turns into a pain drug...

There is or was or would have been some drug that I was prescribed (for reasons unrelated to the following) that appears to act in such a way that it reduces addiction universally. I forget which drug it was though.

Lucrece wrote:Mostly agreed. Violent addicts should be jailed, but for their violent actions, not for being an addict. The prison industry belongs in an Orwell novel, yet it's real world.

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, I agree that people are imprisoned for some stupid things, but I think it's extreme to call it Orwellian. Well people are imprisoned for thoughts and speech rather than actions that hurt people (even if those people are themselves), then sure, it's Orwellian. Until then it's just stupid.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:45 am UTC

Private prisons are compensated by the states/fed based on the number of prisoners held. So, the more prisoners the hold, the more money they make. So what prevents them from making prisoners?
Last edited by CorruptUser on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:52 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Qaanol » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:51 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Mostly agreed. Violent addicts should be jailed, but for their violent actions, not for being an addict. The prison industry belongs in an Orwell novel, yet it's real world.

I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, I agree that people are imprisoned for some stupid things, but I think it's extreme to call it Orwellian. Well people are imprisoned for thoughts and speech rather than actions that hurt people (even if those people are themselves), then sure, it's Orwellian. Until then it's just stupid.

Yah, CorruptUser wasn’t calling the prison system Orwellian, he or she was calling the private, for-profit, prison industry Orwellian.

Edit: fixed, thanks CorruptUser.
Last edited by Qaanol on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:59 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:54 am UTC

You mean me, Sour made a mistake with the quotes; it happens.

Although, Orwellian might not be the best word. It's more like Orwell crossed with Dickens. Dickwellian?

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Qaanol » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:00 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Dickwellian?

Yes.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby nitePhyyre » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:08 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, I agree that people are imprisoned for some stupid things, but I think it's extreme to call it Orwellian. Well people are imprisoned for thoughts and speech rather than actions that hurt people (even if those people are themselves), then sure, it's Orwellian. Until then it's just stupid.
Imprisoned for thoughts and speech that doesn't hurt anyone: Orwellian?
Imprisoned for actions that don't hurt anyone: Just Stupid?

I think you are just being needlessly stingy with your Orwell.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orwellian wrote:"Orwellian" describes the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free society. It connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the "unperson" — a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments. Often, this includes the circumstances depicted in his novels, particularly Nineteen Eighty-Four.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby addams » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:56 am UTC

poxic wrote:
Shivahn wrote:I'm sure someone important will see this and everything will be ok.

Now now. Don't disillusion the idealist all at once. :wink:

There are people in places of decision-making who are quite invested in the status quo. The US spent over 15 billion on the "war on drugs" in 2010. That buys a lot of jobs, power, and influence. I doubt many who are part of the machine will roll over and say "well okay, let's legalise it all". Not easily, anyway.


I think that you have found the problem. Well; I see it as a problem.

I, also, think that you have, in true intellectual form, understated the case.

What is the Mission?
The Mission of the persons in Mexico and Central America is to provide Public Health care to their people.

The Mission of the warriors of the War on Drugs is to intimidate the people, turn them against one another and keep the flames of war fanned and burning brightly.

Just a thought: If, we have agents inside the US doing this shit and we have agents in Europe and The Middle East doing this shit. Why would we think that we do not have American Agents in Mexico and Central America doing this shit.

(If, we took all the American Agents out there may not be a cartel to type about.)

15 billion US dollars would buy a lot of safe well made drugs.
15 billion US dollars would buy a lot of food and medical care.

The people of Mexico do a much better job than the people of the US do of providing their people with medical care, now. I have seen it. They provide care first. They talk about money later.

The war on Drugs is the baby of the US. That is an obvious fact.
The dishonesty is not quite so obvious.

To be fair to the US, Pot is legal in many areas of the US. That is good news.

O.K. So the people of Mexico and Central America are up against the School Yard Bully. The money that is spent now can be used to disrupt and discredit the people that are working for and with the people.

15 billion US Dollars? Hey! I thought that The Bushes ran the US into the Red. Where are they getting 15 billion US dollars?
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Diadem » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:48 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You mean me, Sour made a mistake with the quotes; it happens.

Although, Orwellian might not be the best word. It's more like Orwell crossed with Dickens. Dickwellian?

Dickensian is a better term yeah.

But the word you're really looking for is Kafkaesque.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You mean me, Sour made a mistake with the quotes; it happens.

Although, Orwellian might not be the best word. It's more like Orwell crossed with Dickens. Dickwellian?

Dickensian is a better term yeah.

But the word you're really looking for is Kafkaesque.


The Justice Dept is not "The Bureau of Bureaucracies" just yet. It has a purpose and clear goal, but it has been subverted by external forces and is well on its way to becoming some kind of dystopia with the private prisons. IMHO, the best way to prevent this is to compensate the private prisons based on their recidivism rates rather than numbers held.

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Diadem » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Diadem wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:You mean me, Sour made a mistake with the quotes; it happens.

Although, Orwellian might not be the best word. It's more like Orwell crossed with Dickens. Dickwellian?

Dickensian is a better term yeah.

But the word you're really looking for is Kafkaesque.

The Justice Dept is not "The Bureau of Bureaucracies" just yet.

No. But the entire war on drugs is pretty surreal. We're all used to it, but an outside observer would, I suspect, definitely feel bewildered when looking at it.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, I agree that people are imprisoned for some stupid things, but I think it's extreme to call it Orwellian. Well people are imprisoned for thoughts and speech rather than actions that hurt people (even if those people are themselves), then sure, it's Orwellian. Until then it's just stupid.
Imprisoned for thoughts and speech that doesn't hurt anyone: Orwellian?
Imprisoned for actions that don't hurt anyone: Just Stupid?

The actions do hurt someone. Just not a person other than the actor.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby Griffin » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

Actually, for most of the drugs people get locked up for, the drugs don't even hurt the user. Of course, the dose makes the poison, as they say. And context!

Nyquil doesn't hurt (most) people, but you shouldn't exactly use it while driving!

Most drugs seem to be like that.
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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby folkhero » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:58 pm UTC

When a county sheriff wants to look hard on crime/drugs/whatever and decides he doesn't like a marijuana seller that is operating legally on a state level, so he call federal law enforcers who raid the seller because it violates federal laws, even though the executive in command of the federal law enforcers promised not to raid any such sellers that complied with state laws (but instead of stopping such raids, he actually just stopped issuing press releases or press conferences about them) how is that not a Kafkaesque nightmare?
To all law enforcement entities, this is not an admission of guilt...

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Re: Drug Legalization on the Agenda at Summit of Americas

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:25 am UTC

He said Orwellian, not Kafkaesque.
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