Tag: war on drugs (page 2)

Rep. Jared Polis Grills DEA Chief on Dangers of Meth vs Marijuana

Congressman Jared Polis grills DEA Chief Michele Leonhart on the dangers of heroin and meth as compared to marijuana. Great job by Polis. Not so great job by Leonhart who couldn't answer the simple question of whether methamphetamine or heroin is worse for your health than marijuana.

The hearing was held yesterday by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and the subject was Oversight of the DEA. Here is Leonhart's prepared testimony. [More...]

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Post-Election, Mexico May Shift Its Focus in the War on Drugs

The New York Times reports that all three candidates in Mexico's upcoming presidential election are signalling a break from the U.S. in its drug war strategy.

The candidates, while vowing to continue to fight drug trafficking, say they intend to eventually withdraw the Mexican Army from the drug fight. They are concerned that it has proved unfit for police work and has contributed to the high death toll....

The U.S. believes this will result in more drugs coming into the U.S.[More...]

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Obama Goes to Colombia, Says No to Legalization

Obama weighs in on HookerGate, in which some secret service agents may have retained the services of prostitutes in Colombia, before Obama arrived.

I hope it doesn't get buried that Obama also ramped up the war on drugs while there:

He announced an increase to more than $130 million of funds dedicated to bolstering security and going after narco-traffickers and "gangs" in the region.

Here are his comments from the summit addressing drug legalization. Not surprisingly, his view is "Just say no" to legalization:

"I personally, and my administration's position is, that legalization is not the answer." He reiterated that position while talking at the summit itself, saying "the United States will not be going in this direction."

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Bolivia's President Defends Right to Chew Coca

At the meeting of the UN Commmission on Narcotic Drugs that opened today in Vienna, Bolivian President Evo Morales held up a coca leaf and defended -- to applause -- the right of Bolivians to grow and chew the plant:

Morales said that chewing coca leaves was an "ancestral right" for Bolivians. "We are not drug addicts when we consume the coca leaf. The coca leaf is not cocaine, we have to get rid of this misconception," he said in a speech that ended with applause from the hall.

"This is a millennia-old tradition in Bolivia and we would hope that you will understand that coca leaf producers are not drug dealers."


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US to Expand Drug War Along Northern Border

The Office of National Drug Control Policy today released its first National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy . The full 80-page report is here. The report is required to be submitted to Congress under the Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act of 2010 (Act).

What's to come: More intelligence-gathering and sharing. [More...]

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Misplaced Priorities in the War on Drugs

Radley Balko has a new feature article at Huffington Post on law enforcment's misplaced priorities in the War on Drugs.

"The availability of huge federal anti-drug grants incentivizes departments to pay for SWAT team armor and weapons, and leads our police officers to abandon real crime victims in our communities in favor of ratcheting up their drug arrest stats," said former Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing. Downing is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of cops and prosecutors who are calling for an end to the drug war.

"When our cops are focused on executing large-scale, constitutionally questionable raids at the slightest hint that a small-time pot dealer is at work, real police work preventing and investigating crimes like robberies and rapes falls by the wayside," Downing said.


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Mexico Releases Latest Murder Numbers: The "Cockroach Effect"

Mexico has released its 2011 murder statistics for January through August. Murders are down in Juarez, the border city in Chihuahua, which has been known as the most violent area in Mexico.

While it remains exceedingly bloody, Juarez is far safer than it was in 2010: with 1,065 murders through August, it is on pace for just under 1,600 murders, a murder rate of roughly 120 per 100,000 residents. In 2010, the city registered some 3,000 murders and a murder rate of roughly 250 per 100,000.

Murders are also down in Baja California Norte, home to Tijuana and Mexicali. On the other hand, murders are up in Guerrero, especially Acapulco. [More...]

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1.6 Million Drug Arrests in 2010

The FBI annual crime report is out. There were 1.6 million drug arrests. 82% were for possession only. 46% were for possession of marijuana. More than 50% of all arrests were for marijuana.

NORML has more.

LEAP (Law Enforcment Officers Against Prohibition): That's one drug arrest every 19 seconds.

"If we legalized and taxed drugs, we could not only create new revenue in addition to the money we'd save from ending the cruel policy of arresting users, but we'd make society safer by bankrupting the cartels and gangs who control the currently illegal marketplace."

The War on Drugs is an expensive failure that needs to stop.

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Sullum on Obama: "Bummer, Just Another Drug Warrior"

Jacob Sullum has the October cover story at Reason on President Obama: Bummer: Barack Obama Turns Out to Be Just Another Drug Warrior." As if anyone should be surprised.

I'm not. I've been writing since 2007 that he would do little to temper the War on Drugs. I would have called the article "Bummer: Barack Obama is Still A Drug Warrior." Why?

  • Obama's 2011 Southwest Border Drug Policy Released
  • Obama Plans to Extend Meridia Initiative in Drug War Fight
  • Obama to Ramp Up Drug War in Afghanistan
  • Obama Withdraws Support for Marijuana Decriminalization
  • Obama's 2011 Drug Policy Unveiled: Hype v. Reality
  • Obama's Drug Control Budget
  • Obama Wavers on Crack Sentencing
  • [More....]

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    More on the Drug War Budget

    I've been following the amounts we spend on the war on drugs for a while. (More here.) Here's today's sequel.

    Our Justice Department thinks that technology is hampering its ability to wiretap our phones. So it wants more money. From the DEA's 2012 Budget: [More...]

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    Obama's 2011 National Drug Policy Unveiled: Hype v. Reality

    On Saturday, I wrote about the Obama Administration's new Southwest Border Drug Control Policy. Here is the 2011 National Drug Control Policy. The Administration wants us to believe it is focused on prevention and treatment. And Sections 1-4 of the Action List do address treatment and prevention. The devil is in the details.

    Obama has no intention of reducing the crack/powder disparity further than the 18:1 ratio passed by Congress. Or reducing any other mandatory minimums for drug crimes. Or reducing any current federal drug penalties. Under the action section, "4.2.D. Foster Equitable Drug Sentencing", in red letters, is the word "Complete." [More...]

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    Obama's 2011 Southwest Border Drug War Policy Released

    Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and Obama Drug Czar R. Gil Kerlikowske this week released the Administration's 2011 Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy. (Full report here.)

    The increased use of privacy-invasive technology predominates throughout. As does the sharing of information with Mexico (hardly a wise idea given the corruption that continues to exist in their police and military).No wonder they call it the war on drugs, it reads like a military/CIA manifesto: [More...]

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