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Posted by on Apr 12, 2012 in Business, Economy, Education, Health, International, Law, Media, Places, Politics, Society, War | 3 comments

Summit of the Americas Could Mark Start of ‘Soft’ Drug War (El Espectador, Colombia)

Could this be the dawn of a new era in the battle against illegal drug use? According to columnist Cristina de la Torre of Colombia’s El Espectador, for the first time in the 40-year history of the drug war, a ‘third way’ is being considered by leaders planning to attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia next weekend: instead of a ‘shooting war,’ a ‘preventive war’.

For El Espectador, Cristina de la Torre writes in part:

Gaining strength among conference attendees is the idea of dropping the shooting war and replacing it with preventive war (strong on publicity and education). But during the process of restructuring our priorities with the goal of decriminalizing consumption, we must never lower our guard.

When it comes to the sinister drug mafias, we will have to reverse the focus of our investments: As we reduce military spending in this war, the savings will have to be invested in preventive health, as has been done in the Netherlands and Portugal. A responsible decriminalization will be controlled, regulated and periodically evaluated: this war by other means would be lethal to the narco-traffickers, arms dealers and bankers who have grown fat on the proceeds of this multi-billion-dollar business.

It is known, although rarely disclosed, that financial groups and international banks use tax havens to launder the money into legal investments, almost always on stock markets.

A program of reducing demand through mass and intense education has never been tried, but preliminary results are encouraging. Similar programs illustrate this.

That was the approach taken by the United States after the publication of the Wickersham Report on alcohol prohibition, when gangsters and police corruption had plunged the country into crisis. What would be new is the possibility that at the summit, a war different from the one that has favored drug dealers and bankers for the past 40 years might be proposed.

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  • slamfu

    Wow, someone is finally taking a look into what we’ve been doing, noted its not working, and deciding to try another tactic. I wonder if that will work here in the States. Probably not. Any Dem that tries to run on fighting the drug war with anything other than bullets and arrests of eternally replaceable criminals will be labeled by his GOP opponent as soft on crime and likely providing “aid and comfort” to the enemy.

  • malcolmkyle

    According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save roughly $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues.

    Maybe many of the early Prohibitionists did not really intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide, or put once in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system. But similar to our “Great Experiment” of the 1920s, the prohibition of various other drugs has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality & corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, a mind-boggling incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have far more sensible policies.

    Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare; if you support it you must be ignorant, stupid, brainwashed, insane or corrupt.

  • malcolmkyle

    @ slamfu

    When Bill Clinton took office in January 1993, the violent crack epidemic of the late 1980s was already subsiding, the prison population – local, state and federal – was about 1.3 million. When Clinton left office, that number had ballooned to over 2 million – giving us the World’s highest rate of incarceration.

    “(12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form) that –
    (A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and
    (B) has not been approved for use for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;”

    It was Joe Biden (yes our current Democrat VP) who authored this act, who wrote those words, and then pushed this abhorrent law through congress. This also created the ONDCP, the position of “drug czar” – and the mandate to lie with impunity to the citizens of the United States.

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