Global war on drugs a failure, high-level panel says

Comments (14)
tallanh wrote:

Politicians seem to be tied to a failed policy because to advocate for change opens them up to the charge of being “soft” on drugs/crime. The ironic outcome of this is that the so-called “land of the free” incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other country on Earth. What to do? The government should get out of the business of prying into the private, consentual behaviors of informed adults. Legalize and tax “sinful behavior”. Make the tax rate flexible, so any social cost of the behavior will be paid by those who chose to use. And when people purchase their chosen vice, give them information about the signs and consequences of addiction, along with available resources (paid for by their sin tax) for rehabilitation. If the user takes their behavior public, such as driving while impaired, then impose a harsh legal punishment… At the same time, find other forms of punishment besides prison for non-violent criminal behavior… Private behavior should not be cause for imprisonment and outrage. The fact that we have become “the land of the caged” should be.

Jun 02, 2011 11:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse

News flash! Governmental panel is accurate!

Now all we need to do is watch as those with financial interest in keeping them illegal present their ‘facts’ about how legalization and taxation will cause a tear in the space-time continuum and destroy the known universe. (Those would be the ones who have money and power at stake, not necessarily in that order. Watch, you’ll see…).

Jun 02, 2011 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
LandonD wrote:

Duh…. When will the world realize that people will do as they please. And making substances illegal only puts street money into the hands of the bad guys. Look at Proposition 19 in California. Because the growers in Humboldt County didn’t want to lose their cash crop, they used their voting power to stop the movement. Same idea applies to the drug dealers out there. They don’t want drugs legalized. That should be good incentive to make it legal all by itself.

Jun 02, 2011 11:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
OldGypsy wrote:

Wait. We can’t stop the drug war. What would we do with the DEA? The DEA has become a world-wide intelligence gathering agency and the last thing they need is the drug war to end. What would we do with all the empty prison cells and unemployed correctional employees? How would the underground economy, worth billions, survive? How would the drug cartels and the gangster scum associated with them make a living. You want to put all of them on the welfare rolls? Think of the deleterious effects that would have on the War on Poverty. (And they say sarcasm in dead.)

Jun 02, 2011 12:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Garethj88 wrote:

I agree with their sentiments but why is Richard Branson any sort of authority on the subject?

Jun 02, 2011 12:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
veerhoff69 wrote:

Wow, imagine “Global Peace on Drugs”. Most people reading this know the effects of Cannabis.
Hashish produced in the Middle East would be another major export for a region of the World with few products for international trade. An effectively leveraged market and could divert money from Opium profiteering away from militants, towards more secular and moderate players.
Imagine there are some fearless and badass types, who are entrepreneurs already working in the “Criminalized” drug trade, ready for recruitment. People who might actually want to serve some public good, were it not for the fear of incarceration or the paranoia induced by the effects of using Cannabis.

Jun 02, 2011 2:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
badsponge wrote:

I have full confidence our political leaders will continue to ignore the obvious writing on the wall, at the expense of many more lives.

Jun 02, 2011 2:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cheebaman420 wrote:

@Garethj88 Richard Branson has been an outspoken supporter of cannabis for a while, plus he has the authority because he owns his own island! haha

Jun 02, 2011 4:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ChrisHerz wrote:

From the standpoint of the USA the War on Drugs is an howling success under no circumstances to be abandoned. It allows the domestic destabilization and political neutering of an inconveniently liberal, even radical minority and accustoms the rest of the population to large, militarized and aggressive police forces. It allows us to penetrate the police and militaries of other nations. It is the second largest sector of international trade, all in dollars. And our largest banks rely on profits from laundering the proceeds for the drug cartels.

Jun 02, 2011 4:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bettysenior wrote:

The Home Office’s response statement today makes me sick to the back teeth in stating that drugs destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities. For it was this very same Home Office who were told that the Vietnamese government have developed a humane cure for heroin addiction et al but where they simply did not want to know about it. Our senior civil servants just do not live in the real world.

This treatment where there is no cold turkey and is perfectly safe, was not even entertained when eminent international doctors visited them.
Indeed during Labour’s rule these very same civil servants stopped the Vietnamese government trialling the humane cure. Total hypocrites and government should stop purporting that they really care when they do not even look into this miracle cure that in Vietnam has cured over 20,000 hard drug addicts and nearly 300 westerners. WE do not here much about it because Vietnam is a communist country thus not generally open to the West. But when they offered their hand of help, the Home Office turned them down and gave no reasons whatsover.

The media and cranks are no better either, as they think that the cure cannot be real. It certainly is and cures/detoxifies the patient in Vietnam within 5 days. Many in Vietnam and those who have witnessed it in the West say that it is a miracle cure and basically that is what it really is.

In the West also scientific assessment is only just starting to reach out from Vietnam, but as *Dr. Anthony Phillips of the UBC is finding out already, Heantos is highly promising on a scientific basis with no toxic outcomes. If of further interest visit,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6JDAPi00Do&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9SA5z_GHf0&feature=player_detailpage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DdbM2ueYOc&feature=player_detailpage

Dr David Hill
Executive Director
World Innovation Foundation

*Dr. Anthony Phillips is the Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, one of thirteen of the Government of Canada’s agencies for health research. The 13 Institutes of CIHR provides leadership and support to nearly 12,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada. Dr Phillips is an international leader in his field and no crank.

Jun 02, 2011 5:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.C.McBride wrote:

“Global war on drugs a failure, high-level panel says” I agree. I would add that US meddling in World affairs also a failure. US Federal spending policy, failure. US taxing policy is also a failure.

Jun 02, 2011 8:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BowMtnSpirit wrote:

“White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said in a statement that making drugs more available would make it harder to keep communities healthy and safe.” Not one person has died from ingesting marijuana. How many people have been killed by police raiding suspected marijuana growers/distributors/users?

“There are 250 million users of illicit drugs worldwide…” This statement is laughable. There may be half that number in the U.S. alone. And if you include the insidious over-prescribing and abuse of sanctioned chemicals … errr … drugs, then the number is meaningless.

‘”It’s estimated that over $1 trillion has been spent on fighting this unwinnable battle.”‘ Again, a gross underestimate. However, this statement fails to account for the fact that is the citizens who have paid that price, and that the corporations that benefit from the war on drugs EARN trillions for supplying the equipment, supplies and personnel for the “drug war.” And that does not even factor in the profit-motives of the large pharmaceutical companies in supporting these policies. As in so many other aggressive actions by the U.S., the motive is profits, and this “war on drugs” is big business. Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex, but he couldn’t have known of Nixon’s creation of an entirely new complex.

“Drug use in America is half of what it was 30 years ago…” This is simply a lie. There is far too much data out there for me to even worry about refuting this one. Look it up.

I appreciate the efforts of the panel, but they seemed to soft-peddle the data and their conclusions out of fear of the backlash from the big corporate and governmental parties interested in the continuation of prohibition. I would like to have seen a greater quantum of courage and forthrightness in the report. Also, sorry, but most people who use natural marijuana (as opposed to the extracts such as cocaine and heroin, or the chemical compositions such as methamphetamines) are not ill. In point of fact, the benefits of marijuana have been attacked by the large pharma interests because they know that their chemicals can be supplanted by natural means, and thereby their ill-gotten profits reduced.

Thanks for playing though.

Jun 03, 2011 3:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
chris777 wrote:

Informed individuals have been saying this ever since drugs started to become illegal. Most of the problems that are supposedly caused by drugs in the United States and worldwide is caused by the war on drugs. The violence caused by the confrontation of law enforcement, gangs, and drug cartels and the incarceration of thousands upon thousands of non-violent drug offenders is the real problem. Of course many drugs are addictive and have the potential to ruin lives, but we should be inform people and let them make their own decisions about their lives. We should help those addicted by treating drug use as a health issue, not putting them in jail so that when they get out they go back to drugs. Drug use will probably temporarily go up if legalization occurs because of increased availability. But I doubt drugs will be more widely used than alcohol is now(alcohol is extremely addictive) which is used responsibly by most users. The end result would be less innocent people in jail, billions of tax dollars saved, and mostly importantly, less violence. Also, much drug use, particularly the use of marijuana and entheogens\psychedelics(LSD, magic mushrooms, peyote, etc) is not harmful, not addictive and actually opens you up to new experiences. Entheogens are not for everybody, but I encourage their use. They’ve made my life better

Jun 03, 2011 7:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
brinxster wrote:

I really wish my county (the U.S.) wouldn’t be so hasty in brushing this off when it is of massive importance to the well being of not just us but all of humanity to work out a reasonable plan of action… the current war is a failure and trying to leach to those old ideas from the 1930′s that this can be handled in the same ways is absurd. We need to seriously consider regulating and taxing cannabis and as allow the production of hemp.. this alone would drastically help so authorities can focus on harder more dangerous drug at least and stop wasting billions on something safer than Aspirin.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
-Albert Einstein

Jun 05, 2011 7:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.