Sensible Drug Policy

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Sensible Drug Policy News Roundup

August 19, 2009 By: dan Category: war on drugs

Aspirin? Ecstasy? Either one will get you suspended from some schools.

Aspirin? Ecstasy? Either one will get you suspended from some schools.

Mexican drug smugglers caused the latest fire in California. End the war on drugs and we’d have 87,000 acres of California forest back, amongst other things. What would you rather have? More forests or less marijuana? Apparently we have to pick.

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Cocaine is now found on 90% of US bills. That it’s in our water supplies too should come to no surprise. Unfortunately, the drug gestapo will use these tidbits to rally their ranks. Wouldn’t it be better to consider this a white flag of sorts? How the hell do you wage a war on drugs when victory entails regularly burning most of your paper money supply?

Two national newspapers recently spoke out against the war on drugs. One, suggesting a “pause” button for the war on drugs, the other going so far as to suggest legalizing drugs. Either is an improvement upon the status quo. For what it’s worth, neither news outlet is considered (particularly) “liberal media” by the drug war mongers.

And our pals at CNN report on why people smuggle drugs. A high school student pulled in $50k running pot from Mexico. End the war on drugs to create legit tax paying drug jobs in the US.

The battle lines of the war on drugs reached professional sports some years ago. Big surprise. Offer somebody a few million to be really good at something. Create some drugs to help performance… and naturally people will use drugs. This whole drugs and sports thing is one of the most complicated aspects of a sensible drug policy. (Maybe more on that another time.) Homerun king Hank Aaron wants MLB to release the list of roid-using ballers. He also wants Pete Rose to be reinstated. We’re okay with both sentiments. Is that weird?

And we’ll end on a bright note. Earlier this year Salon wrote about Portugal’s success decriminalizing drugs. That it works is no surprise to people who’ve researched what happens anywhere drugs are legalized. Crime drops. Tax revenue increases. Health improves. Prison costs drop. Etc.

Educate your self about a sensible drug policy. Do what you can to help end the war on drugs.

Mexican Drug Wars

April 27, 2009 By: dan Category: war on drugs

Security efforts have failed. Mexican drug wars rage on.

Security efforts fail. Mexican drug wars rage on.

A family of 4, including two young toddlers, are brutally murdered on a US highway because of Mexican drug wars. A Mexican folk singer releases violent videos on the Internet, only to be murdered in cold blood during a concert a few months later, also because of Mexican drug wars. Bodies of Mexican immigrants are found with their throats cut, bodies bearing signs of torture from electric shock.

The Mexican drug cartels’ bloody war has left a body count of more than 6,000 in its wake.

That’s more than either death toll in the Iraq or Afghanistan Wars.

The Drug War trudges on, leaving bodies in its path. It’s not a war for our children’s souls anymore; it’s a brutal and literal life and death struggle that is spilling over the Mexican border and into the suburbia of the United States.

It’s a bloody war fueled by the demand for illegal drugs surging in the United States, according to Roderic Ai Camp, a Mexico expert at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.

Such blood and violence recently prompted Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan to ask the United States to again consider the legalization of marijuana. He recently told CBS News, “Those that suggest that some of these measures need to be looked at understand the dynamics of the drug trade; you have to bring demand down and one way to do it is to move in that direction [towards legalization}…”

The violence has prompted the Obama Administration to look at tightening boarder security, including the underground weapons industry funneled into Mexico from the United States that continues to fuel the war.

Yet until we completely cut off the demand for illegal drugs, there will always be a market for these drug war lords to wage their bloody business. Guns may be the instruments, but it’s the drugs that fuel violence through their worth on the black market. Put non-dangerous drugs like marijuana on the pharmaceutical counter, and you’ll be taking a big bite of the drug cartels’ market for drugs and violence.

When will we treat drug violence by cutting off the demand? Our war on drugs is misguided at best. When we wise up and make drugs a legal, government taxed industry, we take away the market for the very black market that is killing our children and others unfortunate enough to be in the path of the drug war. No more collateral damage. Talk to your representatives today. Tell them you want a MUCH more sensible drug policy in the US.

Have an Honest Conversation about Drugs with Your Kids

April 07, 2009 By: dan Category: Kids and drugs

A sensible drug policy starts at home. When we lie to our children about drugs, we give them a reason never to trust us again.

Remember this disturbing drug commercial in between episodes of “Different Strokes?” You’d have thought smoking marijuana would put you in a holy stupor of a coma, which is in fact what the commercial turned out to be.

Anti-drug commercials lie.

Anti-drug commercials lie.

The scan in this commercial was actually found to be the brain scan of a person in a deep sleep or coma.

If we lie to our kids and exaggerate the dangers of drugs, they’ll learn never to take us for our word. If we lie to them about pot, they’ll assume any similar lecture on heroin, crack or PCP is exactly the same.

Drug research shows that D.A.R.E. drug education programs don’t work. Children enrolled in D.A.R.E. programs are even more likely to use drugs than those never exposed to the program. D.A.R.E.’s tendency to exaggerate facts and slant half-truths does more harm than good at educating our children about drug effects and drug abuse.

Talk to your children about drugs, openly and honestly. They will double-check your facts against their own experiences. If we are truly going to educate them about the pitfalls and challenges that can be brought about by drugs, it needs to be an honest discussion. Exaggeration and misinformation only destroys their trust in what you have to say.

Be detailed about the different effects of specific drugs, their potential for addiction, and any potential for overdose. Talk to them about your own experiences; share what you have learned. Admit that no one has died from an overdose of marijuana, and that it is not physically addictive. Let them understand that not everyone who experiments with drugs become full-time addicts. Be realistic that exposure to drugs does not necessarily ruin your life.

If we can provide our children with an open and honest conversation about drugs, we give them the tools to live in a culture that indulges in chemicals, whether the drugs are illicit, illegal, or simply dieting pills.