Sunday, May 19, 2013

The War On Drugs, An End To The Madness?

Has the world had enough of the war om drugs? There is growing evidence that resistance to this corruptive and destructive strategy is reaching the policy makers. Today we look at some recent stories that illustrate that point. My interest was started this morning by a story that I came across in the Guardian UK.

Western leaders study 'gamechanging' report on global drugs trade

By Jamie Doward from The Observer, Saturday 18 May 2013

Publication of the Organisation of American States (OAS) review, commissioned at last year's Cartagena Summit of the Americas attended by Barack Obama, reflects growing dissatisfaction among Latin American countries with the current global policy on illicit drugs. It spells out the effects of the policy on many countries and examines what the globaldrugs trade will look like if the status quo continues. It notes how rapidly countries' unilateral drugs policies are evolving, while at the same time there is a growing consensus over the human costs of the trade. "Growing media attention regarding this phenomenon in many countries, including on social media, reflects a world in which there is far greater awareness of the violence and suffering associated with the drug problem," José Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the OAS, says in a foreword to the review. "We also enjoy a much better grasp of the human and social costs not only of drug use but also of the production and transit of controlled substances."

Intersting I thought but what else is happening and I didn't have to look far. On Alternet I found this story.

Congressmen Help Launch Drug War Exit Strategy Guide

A new generation of legislators be a key asset to drug policy reform.
From AlterNet by Bill Piper

On Thursday, the Drug Policy Alliance will release  An Exit Strategy for the Failed War on Drugs. This comprehensive report contains 75 broad and incremental recommendations for legislative reforms related to civil rights, deficit reduction, law enforcement, foreign policy, sentencing and re-entry, effective drug treatment, public health, and drug prevention education. The guide will be released at  a forum on the Hill cosponsored by Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), both of whom fought for major drug policy reform at the local level before running for Congress and winning. This new generation of legislators has demonstrated that support for drug policy reform is no detriment to electoral success – and in fact that it can be a key asset.

To read the entire post click here.

Meanwhile in the real world people are literally taking the law into their own hands. In last falls elections two states vote to legalize marijuana and even more states voted to begin to allow the medical use of pot. Here is a video of a recent appearance on the Bill Maher show by MasonTvert one of the leaders of the Colorado legalization effort.

And to round things out I found this little history of the war on drugs (since 1971) from a recent episode of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC.

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