June 16, 2011
By JIMMY CARTER
IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.
The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.
These recommendations are compatible with United States drug policy from three decades ago. In a message to Congress in 1977, I said the country should decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with a full program of treatment for addicts. I also cautioned against filling our prisons with young people who were no threat to society, and summarized by saying: “Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.”
These ideas were widely accepted at the time. But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries.
This approach entailed an enormous expenditure of resources and the dependence on police and military forces to reduce the foreign cultivation of marijuana, coca and opium poppy and the production of cocaine and heroin. One result has been a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries.
The commission’s facts and arguments are persuasive. It recommends that governments be encouraged to experiment “with models of legal regulation of drugs … that are designed to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.” For effective examples, they can look to policies that have shown promising results in Europe, Australia and other places.
But they probably won’t turn to the United States for advice. Drug policies here are more punitive and counterproductive than in other democracies, and have brought about an explosion in prison populations. At the end of 1980, just before I left office, 500,000 people were incarcerated in America; at the end of 2009 the number was nearly 2.3 million. There are 743 people in prison for every 100,000 Americans, a higher portion than in any other country and seven times as great as in Europe. Some 7.2 million people are either in prison or on probation or parole — more than 3 percent of all American adults!…………………….
Russell Simmons; 40-Year War on Drugs…
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns
(ThyBlackMan.com) Co-authored by Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
40 years ago today, President Richard Milhous Nixon declared America’s “War on Drugs.” This failed war continues even today to have a devastating and debilitating impact on the lives of millions of Americans. We add our voices to the growing number of people of good conscience to demand a resolute end to this awful destructive and nonproductive war.
The “War on Drugs” has not only wasted more than a trillion dollars over the last four decades, but this misguided war has also caused millions of families and communities to be injured and decimated. Instead of a “War on Drugs,” President Nixon should have declared a “War on Poverty,” because we all know the bitter truth that the prolonged social disillusionment and self-destructive consequence of the petulant mire of decades of poverty for millions of Americans actually sets the stage for the persistence of drug abuse, violence and hopelessness.
It’s most regrettable that the majority of voters in November of 68 underestimated Richard Nixon’s repressive policy intentions. How did Nixon manage to become president of the United States in the first place? The answer to this question is important in 2011 as the nation prepares for the 2012 elections.
The current sentiments of the so-called Tea Party are very similar to the regressive views of Nixon and Agnew back in the late 1960s. Nixon and Agnew ran a divisive but successful “law and order” campaign and were elected in 1968 in direct counter action to the profound social and political change in the consciousness of the majority of people who wanted real change in their lives. Thus, President Nixon was elected during a reactionary period in American history. It was a period of repression, and the so-called “law and order” theme really was a code phrase for solidifying the “status quo” on the right to prevent further progressive social change that had become characteristic of the early and mid 1960s. More……….
Drugs make the mad world go round. Without drugs there would be no need for many of the services provided to stop it, and there would be no need for the community services that aid the families hard hit by it.
The Black projects that are funded by the drug trade, the countries that are inundated with drug trafficking would be less susceptible to infiltration and the overthrow of governments, and remember behind the drugs are weapons, and the weapons cartels would lose too much money, and behind the weapons cartel is the international bankers and the international banksters would lose too much money out of their coffers, then political power would become obsolete because they would not be able to intimidate folks with their awesome weapons to control the masses, and on and on.
Heck even the Churches, who collect A great deal of money for saving souls, would have fewer souls TO SAVE and much less money to keep them going. And those addicted to drugs who finally get themselves together, would add more money to the pharmaceuticals who would of course prescribe millions of more dollars in rehabilitation drugs, supposedly designed to make the people drug free.
And wow, can you imagine the families that would heal and the babies that would be born drug free??
NOPE, THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT, AND CERTAINLY NO END TO THE FAKE WAR ON DRUGS, AS THIS WAR IS A FARCE TO COVER THE REAL CRIMINALS WHO SOLICIT (PAYING BEANS TO THE HARVESTERS), MANUFACTURE AND DELIVER THESE DRUGS TO THEIR VICTIMS, and quiet as it’s kept, many of these victims are the servicemen and women on both sides, who need these drugs to navigate through the atrocities of war, famine, bloodshed, rape, and pillage!
So come on now…. This ain’t gonna ever happen in our lifetimes or that of our children. And the only way they will make marijuana legal when it has been so profitable for it to be illegal is to find a way for all these folks to make a profit from legalizing it. Yeah, right!
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