1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
  1. SmokeTwibz
    One of the least discussed issues in the presidential campaign is the war on drugs. That's unfortunate, because that crusade has been an expensive catastrophe both domestically and internationally. During the decades since Richard Nixon declared a "war" on illegal drugs in 1971, the United States has spent nearly one trillion dollars trying to eradicate the drug trade, filled America's prisons with nonviolent drug offenders, ruined millions of lives and undermined the Bill of Rights -- especially the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.


    Beyond America's borders, the results have been even worse. The greatest tragedy has occurred in Mexico. When President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, he launched (with Washington's encouragement and financial support) a military-led offensive against his country's powerful drug cartels. The result was an explosion of violence that has now claimed more than 50,000 lives. Yet the cartels are more powerful than ever and challenge the Mexican government's control in several parts of the country, especially along the border with the United States.

    Mexico's cartels have also set up shop in several Central American countries, putting that region back on Washington's security radar for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Evidence indicates that those criminal syndicates now control vast swaths of territory in Honduras and Guatemala -- perhaps as much as 40 percent of the latter country. Drug violence and intimidation is also beginning to spill over Mexico's border with the United States. Ranchers in southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas report increasing encounters with heavily armed cartel enforcers, and some ranch workers openly express fear about working on lands anywhere near the border.

    The reason the Mexican cartels exercise such worrisome clout is because they have vast financial resources at their disposal. By most estimates they control at least $35 billion a year of a $300 billion a year industry. Because drugs are illegal, the cartels enjoy a huge black-market premium. As much as 90 percent of the retail price of illegal drugs is a result of that illegality.

    Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. After waging a futile war on drugs for more than four decades, while causing horrific unintended consequences both here and abroad, it is well past time to try a different approach. The core of a new strategy should be to de-fund the Mexican drug cartels. The only way to do that is to eliminate the lucrative black-market premium. And that means abandoning the failed prohibition model. Prohibition didn't work against alcohol in the 1920s, and it's not working any better today against marijuana and other illegal drugs.

    The saddest part of the silence about the drug war in the presidential campaign is that foreign leaders and the American people seem ready for a serious debate about the issue. Numerous foreign leaders, including two former presidents of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo and Vicente Fox, and former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, have denounced the war on drugs. And their ranks continue to grow, as other countries grow weary and frustrated at Washington's demands that they accomplish the impossible and shut off the flow of drugs into the United States.

    Domestically, change is in the wind as well. A 2011 Gallup survey showed that 50 percent of Americans were in favor of legalizing marijuana -- by far the largest percentage since the surveys began in the 1970s. Furthermore, solid majorities (some 57 percent) of both Democrats and Independents endorsed legalization. Indeed, the only demographic sector in the survey that firmly embraced prohibition consisted of people over 65. The mortality tables alone indicate that sentiment in favor of legalization is likely to prevail within the next decade or so.

    In short, a presidential candidate who is bold enough to advocate a reassessment of the war on drugs is likely to score both diplomatic points abroad and political points at home. Challenging the conventional wisdom would, of course, require political courage. But that is supposedly a quality we seek in a president. Governor Romney and President Obama have a prime opportunity to demonstrate that they possess that quality.

    Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is the author of nine books on international issues, including 'The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America' (forthcoming, October 2012).

    This post is part of the HuffPost Shadow Conventions 2012, a series spotlighting three issues that are not being discussed at the national GOP and Democratic conventions: The Drug War, Poverty in America, and Money in Politics

    HuffPost Live will be taking a comprehensive look at America's failed war on drugs August 28th and September 4th from 12-4 pm ET and 6-10 pm ET.

    By Ted Galen Carpenter
    Posted: 09/04/2012 8:38 am
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ted-g...-and-obama-ignore-war-on-drugs_b_1832155.html

Comments

  1. Basoodler
    I disagree they are both walking on egg shells for the religious right. IMHO the republican party has become puppets for what ever cause donates the most money..they play to hot button moral issues and use them as a way to put down democrats to fire up the church goers.

    Just yesterday I saw news outlets ignoring the electricity spot on speech from Clinton the night before only to show how the democrats needed 3 votes to add the word god back into the platform. Which is a diversion from the actual policies presented. If Obama or Romney touch drug reform they will be lamb basted.
  2. Aize254-20
    Exactly. Talking about drugs is political suicide.
  3. SmokeTwibz
    As politically suicidal as it may be, if just one of these candidates started talking about this stuff, people might actually start to think critically about the drug policies here in the United States, and once they do that it's just a matter of time before, these same people, realize just how foolish the war on drugs is.

    The system, here in the US, is a joke. Not many people seem willing to speak out against these pricks. Most people are so conditioned to, accepting this bullshit and being submissive to this three-ring circus masquerading around like an actual democratic republic that, even with most subtle mention of corruption within the government, you get labeled as a 'conspiracy theorist'. Either that or they don't think it's possible to do anything about the corruption. This makes me sick to my stomach.
  4. Basoodler
    Money talks in Washington.. and the lobbyists are raising a shit ton of money for legalization of MJ. A good republican jumps on whatever cause most benefits his pockets.. look up the money that was put into the legalize campaigns in Colorado and Washington vs the keep it illegal folks in those states. The CEO of progressive insurance is opening his wallet to the cause. When we start seeing shit like that its just a matter of time before someone in Washington sees an avenue for personal gain and starts pushing the issue.

    Right now they are too busy protecting cooperate profit though policy that allows them to maintain tax cuts.. and run their enterprise with less people and higher productivity (hmm unemployment much). Also they have to stroke the religious right, because they are a huge portion of the voters who feel compelled to vote. How do you think bush was reelected.. he played to the doomsday Christians and put god in bad policy..
  5. scartissue_68
    I don't disagree with your in concept, but Democrats are just a guilty as Repubs in their groveling for money over principle. By the way there is a candidate that took on the drug issue head on, with no reserve. He ran as a Republican, but is more properly labeled a Small Government, Constitutional Conservative. Obviously, he did not seek the support of the Religious Right. He stood for personal freedom: Ron Paul.

    Paul also supports a flat tax/fair tax which would take the power away from Congress to control the behavior of US citizens through a reward/penalty system of progressive income taxation. It would also have eliminated the expense of the giant bureaucracy know as the IRS.




  6. Basoodler
    I like the Paul's Ron and ran. I agree democrats are just as bad, I am just particularly annoyed with Republicans at the moment for injecting religion into bad policy. My damn Facebook is a mess with crap insinuating that Romney is who Jesus would vote for despite the republican platform being fairly hollow at this point. Plus the George bush Jr era left me a little worried that the entire party has lost its collective mind.

    You are right though we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I do think MJ reform is on the horizon because most people either support it or could give a rats ass either way. Plus the money is there to make it happen. I think it would be a smoother process with the repubs leading the charge, because if the democrats started a major push the Republicans will make a moral issue out of it. Just to rub it in the other parties face.
  7. Basoodler
    I like the Paul's Ron and ran. I agree democrats are just as bad, I am just particularly annoyed with Republicans at the moment for injecting religion into bad policy. My damn Facebook is a mess with crap insinuating that Romney is who Jesus would vote for despite the republican platform being fairly hollow at this point. Plus the George bush Jr era left me a little worried that the entire party has lost its collective mind.

    You are right though we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I do think MJ reform is on the horizon because most people either support it or could give a rats ass either way. Plus the money is there to make it happen. I think it would be a smoother process with the repubs leading the charge, because if the democrats started a major push the Republicans will make a moral issue out of it. Just to rub it in the other parties face.
  8. reef88
    There's too much money in the illicit drug business to just end the war on drugs and stop getting all that profit. The US government doesn't give a shit about it's people. You have legalized cigarettes which kill thousands, same with alcohol. I'm all for the legalization of all drugs if they are under strict control. But the point I'm trying to make is that the US government doesn't care how many people die because of cigarettes, alcohol, or the war on drugs. They don't care that people die from doing drugs which are cut with fatal contaminants, they don't care that your dealer has a gun and might kill you, they don't care about the women who become slaves to dealers. They only care about the profit they make, which is several times higher if drugs stay illegal. Once they go legal, the market drops, the profits drop, and they don't care that they are already millionaires, they just wanna get more and more money.

    This is what I hate about America. It's all about the money. Having enough money to support yourself, your family and your grandchildren isn't enough, they want all they can get even if it means other people have to die in the process.
  9. coolhandluke
    drugs are a complete non issue in this election, the media, voters (the mass ones) are no where close to even thinking about drug reform. personally i think society is slowly evolving to be more liberal and its only a matter of time before reform, but not now and most likely not true groundbreaking reform for a decade at the very least.

    i follow the race daily and i dont believe i've heard anyone mutter a single syllable about drug reform, for now we are maybe going to get more lax pot laws, if were lucky some legislation to limit the DEA's power to enforce laws on medical marijuana. it would be pretty complex because even if the argument is marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes its still a schedule 1 drug also the DEA controls all kinds of prescriptions, very heavily depending on the schedule.

    no politician is going to open this can of worms until the financial situation is in order.

    i cant wait for the debates.
  10. Basoodler
    I am looking forward to debates as well, so far I've heard no actual figures on how the republican policy is going to help the economy. I need to be sold on how making things less expensive for companies is going to create jobs when most cooperations have spent the last 10 years developing programs to increase productivity to the point that they don't need to employ as many people. This trend is quite visible in the figures since 2009.. profit is growing and wages are not. I just don't see them hiring more people because they have proven they can be profitable with less.

    Its the catch 22 of our financial crisis.. my last job was to train people to work in more efficient ways to allow for reduced hours and greater profitability.. then I got to help with getting rid of the dead weight after the training was complete. This was one of the largest employers in the nation.. they had no plans to increase wages after the economy. Picked up.. in fact they had more waves of training to further reduce wages in the future.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!