Archive for the ‘DRUGS’ Category

U.S.-built bridge is windfall — for illegal Afghan drug trade

In AMERICA, ASIA, DRUGS on 28/06/2009 at 7:57 AM

In August 2007, the presidents of Afghanistan and Tajikistan walked side by side with the U.S. commerce secretary across a new $37 million concrete bridge that the Army Corps of Engineers designed to link two of Central Asia’s poorest countries. Dressed in a gray suit with an American flag pin in his lapel, then-Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the modest two-lane span that U.S. taxpayers paid for would be “a critical transit route for trade and commerce” between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Today, the bridge across the muddy waters of the Panj River is carrying much more than vegetables and timber… McClatchy


UN Backs Drug Decriminalization In World Drug Report

In DRUGS, UNITED NATIONS on 24/06/2009 at 8:04 AM

In an about face, the United Nations on Wednesday lavishly praised drug decriminalization in its annual report on the state of global drug policy. In previous years, the UN drug czar had expressed skepticism about Portugal’s decriminalization, which removed criminal penalties in 2001 for personal drug possession and emphasized treatment over incarceration. The UN had suggested the policy was in violation of international drug treaties and would encourage “drug tourism”. But in its 2009 World Drug Report, the UN had little but kind words for Portugal’s radical (by U.S. standards) approach… Huffington Post

Lawmakers Call For An End To Federal Marijuana Prosecutions


Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, along with co-sponsors Ron Paul (R-TX); Maurice Hinchey (D-NY); Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA); and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), will reintroduce legislation today to limit the federal government’s authority to arrest and prosecute minor marijuana offenders. The measure, entitled an “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults,” would eliminate federal penalties for the personal possession of up to 100 grams (over three and one-half ounces) of cannabis and for the not-for-profit transfer of up to one ounce of pot – making the prosecutions of these offenses strictly a state matter… Norml Blog

Pot proposal’s impact depends on federal law

In AMERICA, DRUGS on 11/05/2009 at 6:45 AM

When California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, the federal government responded by closing down pot clubs, prosecuting suppliers, threatening doctors who recommended the drug, and successfully battling co-ops and patients in cases that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. So Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, author of a bill that would make California the first state to legalize personal use of marijuana, is going out of his way to avoid a fight with the feds. Ammiano’s longshot measure gained some traction last week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it was “time for debate” on whether the state should allow sales of marijuana and use the tax revenue to help close California’s gaping budget deficit… San Francisco Chronicle

Governor asks: What if pot’s legal and taxed?


As California struggles to find cash, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday it’s time to study whether to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use. The Republican governor did not support legalization – and the federal government still bans marijuana use – but advocates hailed the fact that Schwarzenegger endorsed studying a once-taboo political subject.”Well, I think it’s not time for (legalization), but I think it’s time for a
debate,” Schwarzenegger said. “I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I’m always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?”.. Sacramento Bee

Many Contra Costa crooks won’t be prosecuted

In AMERICA, DRUGS on 22/04/2009 at 11:44 AM

Misdemeanors such as assaults, thefts and burglaries will no longer be prosecuted in Contra Costa County because of budget cuts, the county’s top prosecutor said Tuesday. District Attorney Robert Kochly also said that beginning May 4, his office will no longer prosecute felony drug cases involving smaller amounts of narcotics. That means anyone caught with less than a gram of methamphetamine or cocaine, less than 0.5 grams of heroin and fewer than five pills of ecstasy, OxyContin or Vicodin won’t be charged. People who are suspected of misdemeanor drug crimes, break minor traffic laws, shoplift, trespass or commit misdemeanor vandalism will also be in the clear. Those crimes won’t be prosecuted, either. San Francisco Chronicle

Why Legalizing Marijuana Makes Sense

In AMERICA, DRUGS, ECONOMY on 02/04/2009 at 6:18 PM

For the past several years, I’ve been harboring a fantasy, a last political crusade for the baby-boom generation. We, who started on the path of righteousness, marching for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam, need to find an appropriately high-minded approach to life’s exit ramp. In this case, I mean the high-minded part literally. And so, a deal: give us drugs, after a certain age — say, 80 — all drugs, any drugs we want. In return, we will give you our driver’s licenses (I mean, can you imagine how terrifying a nation of decrepit, solipsistic 90-year-old boomers behind the wheel would be?)… Time

Can Marijuana Help Rescue California’s Economy?

In AMERICA, DRUGS, ECONOMY on 13/03/2009 at 7:26 AM

Could marijuana be the answer to the economic misery facing California? Democratic state assemblyman Tom Ammiano thinks so. Ammiano introduced legislation last month that would legalize pot and allow the state to regulate and tax its sale — a move that could mean billions of dollars for the cash-strapped state. Pot is, after all, California’s biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales, dwarfing the state’s second largest agricultural commodity — milk and cream — which brings in $7.3 billion a year, according to the most recent USDA statistics. The state’s tax collectors estimate the bill would bring in about $1.3 billion a year in much needed revenue, offsetting some of the billions of dollars in service cuts and spending reductions outlined in the recently approved state budget… Time

Johann Hari: Obama and the lethal war on drugs

In AMERICA, DRUGS on 11/02/2009 at 8:19 AM

With the global economy collapsing all around us, the last issue President Barack Obama wants to talk about is the ongoing War on Drugs. But if he doesn’t – and fast – he may well have two collapsed and haemorrhaging countries on his hands. The first lies in the distant mountains of Afghanistan. The second is right next door, on the other side of the Rio Grande. Here’s a starter for 10 about where this war has led us. Where in the world are you most likely to be beheaded?… The Independent

U.S. military report warns ‘sudden collapse’ of Mexico is possible

In AMERICA, DRUGS on 13/01/2009 at 9:08 AM

Mexico is one of two countries that “bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse,” according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats. The command’s “Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)” report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. “In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico… El Paso Times