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Time to end “war on drugs” and the “one-size-fits-all approach” says academic report

Tuesday, May 6th 2014 - 07:44 UTC
Full article 7 comments

Global efforts to thwart the drugs trade have failed and the time has come for a radical rethink, according to a group of Nobel-prize winning economists, a former US secretary of state, the deputy prime minister of Britain and others. Read full article

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  • Briton

    I don't think it has failed,
    I think government corruption , and incompetence has failed,

    dealers get a slap on the wrist, and the kingpins, when you can find them, they make a mockery in court with their corrupt clever lawyers,

    our own security at the docks and airports are a joke at best, crime havens to corruption at worse,

    I say start at the top, and work your way down, and you may well have better success, rather than starting at the bottom, and having those in power stand on it.
    just my opinion.

    May 06th, 2014 - 11:30 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    “It is time to end the 'war on drugs' ..“

    Well, I guess that if the whole world ended the 'war on drugs' the world might be a better place ... you know, with the whole world being managed like it was a Brasilian favela by the guys that do the drug thing. Nobody would feel excluded!

    There should be no hiding place for those that say ”Drugs are bad; don't do it”! - and songs like White Lines (Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel) should be globally re-released with the revised refrain “..and if you get hooked, baby, its nobody else's fault - so DO IT”!

    It would stop the people of the world from being 'tied to the man' and having to go to work each day. Everybody would simply hand over their Social Security check to the local supplying manager, keeping everybody with a buzzin' in their ears until the next month's check arrives for monthly top-up to the national drug-exchequer.

    It cuts out the middle men and feeds the cash straight to our (politician) over-lords.

    May 06th, 2014 - 11:47 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    Some interesting facts courtesy of CNN:

    Between 2006-2012 60 000 people have died in Mexico as a consequence of that nations drug war.

    There are approximately 6 700 licensed firearm dealers in the U.S. along the U.S./Mexican border. There is only one licensed firearms dealer in Mexico.

    Nearly 70% of guns recovered from Mexican criminal activity between 2007 & 2011, and traced by the U.S. Govt., originated from sales in the United States.

    90% of the cocaine that enters the U.S. enters via Mexico.

    Mexican drug cartels take in between $19 & 29 billion annually from U.S. drug sales.

    Columbia's FARC has a number of income streams, the most lucrative being the taxing ( originally ) and control ( from the early '90's ) of a significant portion of Columbia's cocaine export market. This is a significant part of the reason why this organisation is still functioning.

    None of the above would have occurred if the United States, initially, and much of rest of the Western world, subsequently, was willing to take responsibility for it's insatiable need to escape reality, of which drugs are only one part.

    The 'war on drugs', which has inflated prices to the extent that staggering numbers of people were willing to risk their lives, and take the lives of others out of a desire to get rich quickly - is an unmitigated failure, as were it 's antecedents. And until the institutions that prosecute this war come to an understanding of the sources of addiction ( the first step in taking responsibility )...it will remain a failure.

    May 06th, 2014 - 02:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    The war on drugs is lost and will stay lost while the death penalty is not applied in the field when massive drug hauls are found.

    If these people who risk the lives of our children were summarily executed by government official forces there would soon be a rethink.

    Fining them, jailing them, does not work.

    What is also required is a real crack down on the users with jail terms straight off.

    YES, I know, we cannot do it! So the only option is to legalise it and take the criminals out of the loop.

    Feeble minded / stupid people will always be trying to ease their burden instead of knuckling down and overcoming it, so they will return to alcohol and the problems that brings is just the same as drugs in many cases.

    So where is God when you need him! :o)

    In other words it needs a miracle.

    May 06th, 2014 - 07:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    @4 Chris R

    Thanks for that thoughtful post. I disagree with some of what you say, but I appreciate the effort to come to grips with the issue and the real feeling contained within. Some things you might not have considered:

    The death penalty already exists for both dealers and addicts found in possession of drugs in both Iran and China, and yet there is still a market in both those countries for the drugs that can lead to those consequences.

    Every addict who injects heroin into their veins is aware, however much they have repressed it, that that shot could be their last. It only takes a difference of 1-2% purity for an overdose to occur. If they are lucky someone will call an ambulance and the paramedics will have Narcan which instantly arrests an overdose. This is not an option in many countries. My conclusion: the death penalty would be ineffective.

    Addiction does indeed inspire people to do stupid things, but it doesn't make them stupid people. Some people are born addicted to the heroin or Methadone their mothers have in their system. I'm sure the phrase 'crack-baby' is one you're familiar with too. They have to be weaned of a drug they never personally took after they have been born, and they will forever carry the memory, in their bodies, of what that feels like.

    People don't instantly become addicts when they start using narcotics. I guarantee every single one was already addicted to something long before they ever picked up a drug.

    Addiction has two components: obsession and compulsion. No-one willingly develops an obsession. It is a process the individual has no control over and without intervention from a responsible adult will inevitably result in compulsion - active addiction.

    I daresay some people will read this and roll their eyes - so be it. But I've been to many funerals and known many others to die of accidental overdoses and none of them had reached the age of 30. So I wrote all of the above for them, whom I still grieve for.

    May 07th, 2014 - 04:21 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    @ 5 Heisenbergcontext

    I can assure you that the first sentence of your final paragraph does not apply to me, but the rest of the text made me feel sad and furious at the same time.

    The property we bought in Uruguay is very, very nice and belonged to a businessman (a devout RCC follower) who had a son and a daughter, the daughter has a child.

    Both were addicted to hard drugs I was informed when I asked why the sale? In an attempt to save his mature offspring he had spent so much money his business had already been sold and his wife (their mother) had left them all to live with a relative because she just couldn’t take the stress.

    All three moved into nice rented property in the town. The money lasted less than three years (I have been here three years now) and they have left the area owing many people a lot of USD. I feel for his grand-daughter, how can she escape when the others have not?

    What is your solution to this devastating problem?

    May 07th, 2014 - 10:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    @6 Chris

    I have heard numerous variations on that story over the years and it's never pretty. And always sad. I once knew a man who had to sell his house to be able to maintain his addiction to codeine-based cough medicine. When I met him his liver has hanging on by a thread.

    Your question reminded me of a friend whom I lent a video game to. His 12yr old son loved it and my friend, who is a psychologist, noticed that his son was becoming addicted to it. He promptly stopped him from playing it, explained clearly why he was doing so, and returned the game to me.

    Too many parents, and other 'responsible' adults are unwilling to do what my friend was willing to do. You can extrapolate that incident to the whole of society and explain why addiction - in all it's forms - is such a prominent part of society today.

    The only solution to drug addiction ( and alcoholism ) that I know of that actually works is Narcotics Anonymous and the fellowship that inspired it: AA. Rehabs can keep you clean - so long as you're in the rehab - but the best ones are all based on the principles of AA & NA.

    There is an NA Fellowship in your country. I checked out their website. For such a small country it's amazing how many meetings they have. This is a good sign. Families are generally useless when it comes to helping their children with drug addiction - it is, afterall, where they usually learned how to be addicts in the first place.

    For most addicts who want to stop, NA is the first place they have discovered people like themselves who are no longer using. It gives them hope, and practical experience. And it's much harder to con someone who's already been there. And ( sceptical ) observers are welcome.

    May 08th, 2014 - 04:16 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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