Odds and Ends

bullet image Powerful piece by LEAP’s Neill Franklin in the Baltimore Sun: Another needless death in America’s long, failed war on drugs

As long as we continue with the failed drug war and prohibition, the losses will continue to mount on all sides. Families will continue to lose fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces and nephews; some to prison, some to murder and too many to both. Neighborhoods like Reservoir Hill will remain captive to violence and decay, and residents will continue to question what happened to the security and prosperity they once enjoyed as a community.

bullet image Great speech by Stephen Lewis at the International Harm Reduction Conference. Starts off slow, but really gets going. He rips into the INCB and the UNODC big-time. Here’s a taste:

“You know what I’d like to do?  I’d like to criminalize the International Narcotics Control Board.  Not to criminalize the use of drugs, but to criminalize the International Narcotics Control Board, and I’d like to put all of them in drug detention centers for a year, and let them understand what they’re doing to so many perfectly innocent people who have a health problem in other parts of the world.

“And then it strikes me that we should go after the members of the Board individually – there’s only a dozen of them [...] I think we should go after them by way of OpEds and by way of letters to the editor and by way of press conferences, and just nail these hypocrites to the mast.”

bullet image Matthew Cooke: How to End the War on Drugs

Call me crazy but I find it absurd to claim we’re a free country while our government dictates what adults can or can not do in the privacy of our own homes. We’ve accepted a massive blow to a fundamental expression of individual freedom if our own minds and bodies are off-limits to personal exploration. [...]

My recommendation would be to allow pharmacies to sell recreational drugs to adults-only, along with plenty of warning information. We regulate and cap the prices at cost — so they’re viewed as cheap and the black-market incentive is eliminated along with the tendency for corruption.

You may disagree with his specific recommendation, but at least it’s a recommendation. It bothers me a bit that we have to turn to Transform in the UK for an actual set of post-drug-war regulatory options. We need a group in the U.S. to put together a version of it (perhaps just adapting Transform’s document) so it can be promoted through our media just how many viable options there are for different drugs other than drug war.

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