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The Obama Administration has officially renewed the War on Drugs. The Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan released earlier this week, shows, despite the illusion of the puppet show in the nation’s capital working to reform failed drug policies, the master is hell bent on spending more money than ever to protect America against the wrath of controlled substances.
Although the President, at times, displays a progressive attitude in regards to making changes to the drug laws in the United States, this sentiment was not represented on Monday when he requested $27.6 billion to combat the domestic drug war – nearly $2 billion more than was allotted in 2014.
The White House calls the strategy behind this madness a “21st century approach to drug policy that outlines innovative policies and programs and recognizes that substance use disorders are not just a criminal justice issue, but also a major public health concern,” and suggests it is “an evidence-based plan for real drug policy reform, spanning the spectrum of prevention, early intervention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, effective law enforcement, and international cooperation.”
However, the scam is revealed in the numbers.
Tag Archives | War On Drugs
via Democracy Now:
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As President Obama seeks $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs in his new budget, we talk to British journalist Johann Hari about the century-old failed drug war and how much of what we know about addiction is wrong. Over the past four years Hari has traveled to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay and Portugal to research his new book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War of Drugs.” His findings may surprise you — from the U.S. government’s persecution of Billie Holiday, to Vancouver’s success in addressing its heroin epidemic, to Portugal’s experiment with full decriminalization of all drugs.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: One part of President Obama’s new budget that has received little attention is the war on drugs. The White House is seeking $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs, nearly $1 billion more than last year.
In an excerpt from his new book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs at BoingBoing, Johan Hari explains why animals eat psychoactive plants (hint: to get high):
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The United Nations says the drug war’s rationale is to build “a drug-free world — we can do it!” U.S. government officials agree, stressing that “there is no such thing as recreational drug use.” So this isn’t a war to stop addiction, like that in my family, or teenage drug use. It is a war to stop drug use among all humans, everywhere. All these prohibited chemicals need to be rounded up and removed from the earth. That is what we are fighting for.
I began to see this goal differently after I learned the story of the drunk elephants, the stoned water buffalo, and the grieving mongoose. They were all taught to me by a remarkable scientist in Los Angeles named Professor Ronald K.
What do you think of when you think of the term, ‘drug user’? Do you think of crusty people on skid row, or perhaps wall street tycoons doing blow off of the butts of their secretaries? Whatever your vision is, it might be very different from the truth. Chances are, you are a drug user. Dr. Ingrid Walker explains further and offers some interesting insights into our biases and misconceptions on drugs.
This is Russell Brand’s documentary on the War on Drugs that aired in the UK on BBC Three in December 2014.
The documentary Russell Brand made for BBC Three in 2012 concluded with him giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee. Drawing on his own experience of drug taking and recovery, he advocated treating addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal problem and underlined his own belief that abstinence is the best way to help addicts.
Since then the Committee has reported its findings, concluding that the British drugs laws were failing and that it was a ‘now or never’ moment to reform them. But David Cameron didn’t agree, insisting that the drugs policy is working in Britain and that we should ‘stick at it’.
In this personal journey for BBC Three, Russell Brand sets out to challenge that point of view. He wants to find out how other countries are tackling their problems of drug abuse and to explore how the framework of criminalization implicit in the ‘war on drugs’ produces enormous harm in the treatment of addicts.… Read the rest
Could it really be true? An end to the war on (some) drugs? Tim Dickinson says the signs are there, writing at Rolling Stone:
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The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation’s capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs. One week later, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD announced an end to arrests for marijuana possession. It’s all part of the most significant story in American drug policy since the passage of the 21st Amendment legalized alcohol in 1933: The people of this country are leading a dramatic de-escalation in the War on Drugs.
November’s election results have teed up pot prohibition as a potent campaign issue for 2016.
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A few months ago, I was on a road trip with some friends in upstate New York when we were stopped and searched by state troopers who deployed a drug-sniffing dog. They pulled us all out of the car and tore through our rented minivan, discovering a small plastic baggy with about a gram of weed in it. When they turned up the bag, my homies and I—all young, brown men—instinctively held our hands out to our sides, palms out, as a show of surrender.
The cops started laughing. One of them approached me and said, “I get it. You’re coming from the city, it’s a long drive, you brought a little weed to smoke on the way. Put your hands down. It’ll be fine.” My friends and I exchanged quizzical glances. We’re all used to getting the third degree when it came to drugs and cops.
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In November’s gubernatorial election in New York State, Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones are running against Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, who won his party’s primary. Hawkins and Jones are seeking to become the next governor and lieutenant governor respectively.
They’re hardly your typical politicians. Hawkins works at UPS in Albany, unloading trucks, and is a member of the Teamster’s union, while Jones is a teacher who taught for nine years in the New York City public school system.
Hawkins and Jones understand that winning is a long shot, to say the least. A recent NBC 4 New York poll showed Hawkins getting just seven percent of the vote. Still, taking a longer view, siphoning away a proportion of the main parties’ voters can be a way to get them to shift their policies in your direction. And the Greens have long argued that building an alternative to the two-party system is crucial because Republicans and Democrats represent the interests of their wealthy corporate donors.
Mark Ames digs in the crates of CIA scandal and comes up with Nicholas Deak, writing for Pando:
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With the release of the new Gary Webb film “Kill The Messenger” and the sudden renewed interest in what goes on in that dark underbelly of the US Empire — drug running, money laundering, death squads, assassinations of lives and of reputations — I’m reminded of the incredible life and death of Nicholas Deak, the CIA’s Cold War banker hailed in Time magazine as “the James Bond of the world of money” until the mid-1980s, when his global finance empire was destroyed by Reagan Administration accusations of large-scale Latin American drug money laundering.
The Reagan Commission on Organized Crime spent much of 1984 attacking Deak’s global foreign exchange firm, Deak-Perera. By the end of the year, Deak was forced to appear before the commission in a testy public interrogation; his financial empire collapsed within days.
[disinfo ed.’s note: excerpted from DRUGS UNLIMITED: The Web Revolution That’s Changing How the World Gets High by Mike Power. Copyright © 2013 by the author and reprinted by permission of Thomas Dunne Books.]
It is mainly the young who are suffering the consequences of society’s inability to update our drug laws effectively for the modern age. Almost one third of young people are searching for ways of getting legally high, according to the latest survey commissioned by the Angelus Foundation, a campaign group founded in 2009 by Maryon Stewart, whose twenty-one-year-old daughter Hester, a gifted medical student and keen athlete, died after taking GBL in 2009. (Gamma-butyrolactone, a paint stripper and industrial cleaner, can be used as an intoxicant and is poplar on the club scene. It is active at 1 ml, and causes euphoria and disinhibition, but overdoses, where users fall into a coma-like state, are commonplace since it is so potent.… Read the rest