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Our 'war on drugs' has been an abysmal failure. Just look at Mexico
09-13-2010, 07:57 AM,
Our 'war on drugs' has been an abysmal failure. Just look at Mexico
Our 'war on drugs' has been an abysmal failure. Just look at Mexico

The west's refusal to countenance drug legalisation has fuelled anarchy, profiteering and misery

By Simon Jenkins

September 10, 2010 "The Guardian" -- It is wrecking the government of Mexico. It is financing the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is throwing 11,000 Britons into jail. It is corrupting democracy throughout Latin America. It is devastating the ghettoes of America and propagating Aids in urban Europe. Its turnover is some £200bn a year, on which it pays not a penny of tax. Thousands round the world die of it and millions are impoverished. It is the biggest man-made blight on the face of the earth.
No, it is not drugs. They are as old as humanity. Drugs will always be a challenge to individual and communal discipline, alongside alcohol and nicotine. The curse is different: the declaration by states that some drugs are illegal and that those who supply and use them are criminals. This is the root of the evil.

By outlawing products – poppy and coca – that are in massive global demand, governments merely hand huge untaxed profits to those outside the law and propagate anarchy. Repressive regimes, such as some Muslim ones, have managed to curb domestic alcohol consumption, but no one has been able to stop the global market in heroin and cocaine. It is too big and too lucrative, rivalling arms and oil on the international monetary exchanges. Forty years of "the war on drugs" have defeated all-comers, except political hypocrites.

Most western governments have turned a blind eye and decided to ride with the menace, since the chief price of their failure is paid by the poor. In Britain Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Gordon Brown felt tackling the drugs economy was not worth antagonising rightwing newspapers. Like most rich westerners they relied on regarding drugs as a menace among the poor but a youthful indiscretion among their own offspring.

The full horror of drug criminality is now coming home to roost far from the streets of New York and London. In countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, drugs are so endemic that criminalising them merely fuels a colossal corruption. It is rendering futile Nato's Afghan war effort, which requires the retraining of an army and police too addicted either to cure or to sack. Poppies are the chief source of cash for farmers whose hearts and minds Nato needs to win, yet whose poppy crop (ultimately for Nato nations) finances the Taliban. It is crazy.

The worst impact of criminalisation is on Latin America. Here the slow emergence of democratic governments – from Bolivia through Peru and Columbia to Mexico – is being jeopardised by America's "counter-narcotics" diplomacy through the US Drug Enforcement Agency. Rather than try to stem its own voracious appetite for drugs, rich America shifts guilt on to poor supplier countries. Never was the law of economics – demand always evokes supply – so traduced as in Washington's drugs policy. America spends $40bn a year on narcotics policy, imprisoning a staggering 1.5m of its citizens under it.

Cocaine supplies routed through Mexico have made that country the drugs equivalent of a Gulf oil state. An estimated 500,000 people are employed in the trade, all at risk of their lives, with 45,000 soldiers deployed against them. Border provinces are largely in the hands of drug barons and their private armies. In the past four years 28,000 Mexicans have died in drug wars, a slaughter that would outrage the world if caused by any other industry (such as oil). Mexico's experience puts in the shade the gangsterism of America's last failed experiment in prohibition, the prewar alcohol ban.

As a result, it is South American governments and not the sophisticated west that are now pleading for reform. A year ago an Argentinian court gave American and British politicians a lesson in libertarianism by declaring that "adults should be free to make lifestyle decisions without the intervention of the state". Mexico declared drugs users "patients not criminals". Ecuador released 1,500 hapless women imprisoned as drug mules – while the British government locks them for years in Holloway.

Brazil's ex-president Fernando Cardoso and a panel of his former judges announced emphatically that the war on drugs had failed and that "the only way to reduce violence in Mexico, Brazil or anywhere else is to legalise the production, supply and consumption of all drugs". Last month, Mexico's desperate president, Felipe Calderón, acknowledged that his four-year, US-financed war on the drug cartels had all but failed and called on the world for "a fundamental debate on the legalising of drugs".

The difficulty these countries face is the size of the global industry created by the west to meet its demand for drugs. That industry is certain to deploy lethal means against legalisation, as the alcohol barons did against the ending of prohibition. They have been unwittingly sponsored for decades by western leaders, and particularly by the United Nations which, with typical fatuity, declared in 1998 that it would "create a drug-free world" by 2008. All maintained the fiction that demand could be curbed by curbing supply, thus presenting their own consumers as somehow the victims of supplier countries.

The UN's prohibitionist drugs czar, Antonio Maria Costa, comfortably ensconced in Vienna, holds that cannabis is as harmful as heroin and cocaine, and wants to deny individual governments freedom over their drug policies. In eight years in office he has disastrously protected the drug cartels and their profits by refusing to countenance drug legalisation. He even suggested recently that the estimated $352bn generated by drug lords in 2008-09 helped save the world banking system from collapse. It is hard to know whose side he is on.

The evil of drugs will never be stamped out by seizing trivial quantities of drugs and arresting trivial numbers of traders and consumers. That is a mere pretence of action. Drug law enforcement has been the greatest regulatory failure in modern times, far greater in its impact on the world than that of banking. Nor is much likely to come from moves in both Europe and America to legalise cannabis use, sensible though they are. In November Californians are to vote on Proposition 19, to give municipalities freedom to legalise and tax cannabis. One farm in Oakland is forecast to yield $3m a year in taxes, money California's government sorely needs.

This will do nothing to combat the misery now being visited on Mexico. The world has to bring its biggest illegal trade under control. It has to legalise not just consumption but supply. There is evidence that drug markets respond to realistic regulation. In Britain, under Labour, nicotine use fell because tobacco was controlled and taxed, while alcohol use rose because it was decontrolled and made cheaper. European states that have decriminalised and regulated sections of their drug economies, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal, have found it has reduced consumption. Regulation works, anarchy does not.

In the case of drugs produced in industrial quantities from distant corners of the globe, only international action has any hope of success. Drug supply must be legalised, taxed and controlled. Other than eliminating war, there can be no greater ambition for international statesmanship. The boon to the peoples of the world would be beyond price.

Listen to Paco Ignacio Taibo
Media Player
'The president of Mexico is mad... he started, three years ago, a war against "narco"... 28,000 people have been killed in these three years'
Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
09-13-2010, 11:36 PM,
RE: Our 'war on drugs' has been an abysmal failure. Just look at Mexico
Good post mexika

The war on drugs is a failure right around the globe,it is time for Canada and Mexico to legalize it to stop americas prime goal of "manifest destiny" which it has never given up on.
Easy to purposly and intentionaly invade our country and claim it had to do it to keep the peace and unrest that itself has created and well hey since they are here they might aswell stay is how it is done.
To do that you must create civil unrest be causing stuff to happen like creating the crap going on in Mexico right now and by doing shit to Canada like taking our sovieneirgnty and stealing one of Canada greatest freedom fighters.
Don't ever think america gave up on manifest destiny after the war of 1812 and it would still invade and take over our country anytime they choose.
If they can convince the rest of the world it "HAD TO" to keep the peace they would do it and so the best way for America to fail at this plan if we the people(Canada and Mexico)legalize marijuana together and the exact same time it would create hell for America.

Canada and Mexico would be rich if it were to start immediatly growing hemp for itself and the rest of the world and many millions of people would be employed by the industry hemp would create.
It woould be more in the hands of the people than the oil and gas is now,only the big companies get rich now not the people and this is why we must grow hemp NOW.
I honestly believe that not only should we legalize and start growing hemp I think we should allow Mexico and the natives of north America to be the ones who are given the industry to run with and supply us all with the hemp we need.

I think concidering what white man and his sick religion has done to the aboriginals of this land and considering all the abuse and crimes against them and all the persecution they recieved at the hands of the europeans we could atleast give them back an industry that all natives of Canada can have as thier own.
These people would be rich and for the first time since we arrived here they would be working and living on what they work and make on thier own.
As we have taught them they cannot survive without handouts from our government and this is what forever keeps them in poverty and a pain for the taxpayers.
We came here and took their pride and any honor they had and destroyed the environment that was in prestine condition when we first arrived.

We are here to stay and this is my country because we made it that way and let's face it we ain't leavin and so the least we could do at this turning point in our existance where we return to the way god wanted it and start reusing the hemp/cannabis god gave us as the worlds #1 renewable resource that we let them have this industry as a offering not just for healing of these people but for the healing of our planet.

If we let them and yes we would have to help them get it going but I believe it would work out very well for the entire country and so perhaps white man in this country can stop his bitchin about how the natives freeload of the taxpayers in this country when it was us who taught them to do this.
They have the native lands to grow on and perhaps we could even free up more land for them if the land is being productive and makes money for them and our country.
They once lived off the land more so than we ever did and so why not them do it again in a scence by allowing them the industry and allow them to supply us with the hemp to use and build with.
As a marijuana smoker all I want is the right to grow and smoke my own weed without pretending I am sickly and need it to survive but instead smoke it because this is what god wanted of me to use to keep healthy.
So why would I or you care as A Canadian who it is that gets to grow it,others may aswell but let it be the natives who are the main growers and even other spinoff industries.
When hemp is legal and perhaps I may grow hemp in my yard to help pay for my yearly property taxes and so it will be the natives I bring my hemp to for payment.

Mexico could put to work all those who deal in drugs growing and collecting hemp/cannabis to make things and use themselves and they too would feel the riches of the hemp plant.
Hemp/cannabis is for the people,all people not just the rich who controll the worlds resources,hemp belongs in the hands of the people and so lets return it to the hands of the people where it belongs and let's legalize it quickly is how I see it Mexico.
It is that country that lays between us Mexico that bring us all down and prevents us from living in peace and harmony in the grace and glory of the devine and heavenly hemp/cannabis plant.

If I were the leaders of the native peoples of this country I would be trying to convince all natives they should not listen to white mans laws and grow and use hemp/cannabis as they please as they once did.
They may not have grown hemp but they used the land they way they saw fit so why not do it again and grow hemp, native people of Canada,go for it.
It is time for the people to stop dieing for this industry and start living for it instead.
Allways remember god loves you but loves you more when you use the cannabis plant ,thats the way I see it because only the devil would tell you otherwise.



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