by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the
government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be
enforced. - Albert Einstein
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
The new year is almost upon us and 2011 will soon be a year for the history books. But we can’t let it go without recognizing the biggest global drug policy stories of the year. From the horrors of the Mexican drug wars to the growing clamor over the failures of prohibition, from the poppy fields of Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle to the coca fields of the Andes, from European parliaments to Iranian gallows, drug prohibition and its consequences were big news this year.Of course, we can’t cover it all. We have no room to note the the emergence of West Africa as a transshipment point for South American cocaine bound for Europe’s booming user markets, nor the unavailability of opioid pain medications in much of the world; we’ve given short shrift to the horrors of “drug treatment” in Southeast Asia; and we’ve barely mentioned the rising popularity of synthetic stimulants in European club scenes, among other drug policy-related issues. We’ll be keeping an eye on all of those, but in the meantime, here are our choices for this year’s most important global drug policy stories… +
Elvis asks to be a soldier in the War on Drugs:
On the morning of December 21, 1970, Elvis Presley personally delivered a letter to the northwest gate of the White House. Written on American Airlines stationery, the five-page letter requested a meeting with President Nixon. Presley intended to present the President with a gift of a World War II-era pistol and obtain for himself the credentials of a federal agent in the war on drugs.
The Drug Policy Alliance delivered this one trillion dollar bill to every member of congress on June 17, the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs.
Thanks for the tip, Amanda!
So what’s the verdict 40 years later? Have we won the war on drugs? Quite simply, no. From a public safety perspective, the war has been completely ineffective at stemming the supply or use of drugs in this country. From a cost perspective, it’s been horrific – with a whopping $1 trillion price tag thus far and an unimaginably higher toll in lives and families lost to prison. In terms of fairness, it has been a total bust as well. The effect on communities of color has been astonishingly tragic: there are more African-Americans under the control of prison and corrections departments today than were ever enslaved by this country. Even the current head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, and more recently the Global Commission on Drug Policy, have announced that the drug war has been an abject disaster. +
Police officers, judges, and prison guards opposed to drug prohibition gathered in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to mark an eye-opening milestone: the 40th Anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs. “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse,” Nixon declared in a June 17, 1971 press conference. “In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.” Just two years later he escalated his rhetoric yet again, asserting that “this Administration has declared all-out, global war on the drug menace,” and creating the Drug Enforcement Agency. Ever since we’ve been doubling down on the strategy. It has never succeeded, even when we’ve gone much farther down the “get tough” road than Nixon ever did.
Read more at The Atlantic
Remembering Those Impacted by 40 Years of Drug War
“Join us on June 17 for candlelight vigils around the globe on the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs” Find your city
March 22nd marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the report of the so-called “Shafer Commission” whose members were appointed by then-President Richard Nixon. The Shafer Commission’s 1972 report, entitled “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding,” boldly proclaimed that “neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety” and recommended Congress and state legislatures decriminalize the use and casual distribution of marijuana for personal use.
We must wage what I have called total war against Public Enemy Number One in the United States: The problem of dangerous drugs.
You rat bastard.