War on drugs a trillion-dollar failure
Richard Branson, Special to CNN December 7, 2012
(CNN) In 1925, H. L. Mencken wrote an impassioned plea: "Prohibition has not only failed in its promises but actually created additional serious and disturbing social problems throughout society. There is not less drunkenness in the Republic but more. There is not less crime, but more. ... The cost of government is not smaller, but vastly greater. Respect for law has not increased, but diminished."
Here we are, four decades after Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs in 1971 and $1 trillion spent since then. What do we have to show for it?
The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, with about 2.3 million behind bars. More than half a million of those people are incarcerated for a drug law violation. What a waste of young lives.
The facts are overwhelming. If the global drug trade were a country, it would have one of the top 20 economies in the world. In 2005, the United Nations estimated the global illegal drug trade is worth more than $320 billion. It also estimates there are 230 million illegal drug users in the world, yet 90% of them are not classified as problematic.
In the United States, if illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco, they would yield $46.7 billion in tax revenue. A Cato study says legalizing drugs would save the U.S. about $41 billion a year in enforcing the drug laws.
Have U.S. drug laws reduced drug use? No. The U.S. is the No. 1 nation in the world in illegal drug use. As with Prohibition, banning alcohol didn't stop people drinking -- it just stopped people obeying the law.
About 40,000 people were in U.S. jails and prisons for drug crimes in 1980, compared with more than 500,000 today. Excessively long prison sentences and locking up people for small drug offenses contribute greatly to this ballooning of the prison population. It also represents racial discrimination and targeting disguised as drug policy. People of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than white people -- yet from 1980 to 2007, blacks were arrested for drug law violations at rates 2.8 to 5.5 times higher than white arrest rates.
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“My new employer made me get a drug test, so I ripped off my shirt, flexed my muscles, and said, “You suspect me of taking steroids, don’t you?” Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE
“In our time, the symbol of state intrusion into the private life is the mandatory urine test.” Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.” Hunter S. Thompson quotes
“Why is there so much controversy about drug testing? I know plenty of guys who would be willing to test any drug they could come up with” George Carlin quotes
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Why it's time to Legalize Drugs
“I’ll piss in a cup for you. You can run a drug test on it, or you can drink it.”
― Jarod Kintz, Seriously delirious, but not at all serious“
I used to have a drug problem, now I make enough money.”
~David Lee Roth
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How would our society, our communities and daily lives improve if we took the money we use running a police and prison state and put it into education and health? Treating drugs as a health issue could save billions, improve public health and help us better control violence and crime in our communities. Hundreds of thousands of people have died from overdoses and drug-related diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C, because they didn't have access to cost-effective, life-saving solutions.
A Pew study says it costs the U.S. an average of $30,000 a year to incarcerate an inmate, but the nation spends only an average $11,665 per public school student. The future of our nations and our children should be our priority. We should be helping people addicted to drugs break their habits rather than putting users in prison.
When it comes to drugs, we should focus on the goals we agree on: protecting our kids, protecting public safety and preventing and treating drug abuse and addiction. To help unlock barriers to drug reform, last June, I joined the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which is bringing global leadership to drug reform to make fact-based research public and draw attention to successful alternative approaches.
High There is a mobile dating app for people involved in the cannabis industry, or anyone interested in meeting people from the marijuana community. The app launched in February and has since been downloaded by 150,000 users and is available free on Apple and Android devices worldwide.
The app’s slogan, “You have more friends than you think,” reflects its mission to create an inclusive and open environment for marijuana enthusiasts.
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Beat any drug test for FREE
This article is here to help perfectly nice, hardworking people get around a system that is unfair, because if an employer can’t tell from your performance that you’ve been high, then private habits should have zero relevance to your employability.
1.) Drink water. Drink lots and lots and lots of water—gallons of it—from the time you learn about your test up until the big moment. While you can’t realistically detoxify your body of all signs of marijuana use in a short period of time, you can temporarily do so, in your urine anyway, by flushing your system. Water is your best bet, best weapon, and best friend when it comes to passing a piss test. However, it’s dangerous (people have died from water intoxication) and risky because colorless urine arouses suspicion, possibly flagging the sample.
2.) Don’t bother with commercial urine cleansers. You might see them advertised in High Times or other places around the internet, but there is no real scientific evidence that urine cleansers are effective. They can be pricy (ranging from $20 - $50), mostly because they’re preying on people who are freaking out about possibly losing their jobs. But if you read the ingredients, they usually contain herbal diuretics like goldenseal, that can easily be purchased at the drug store for half the cash (and it won’t even work anyhow).
3.) Take Midol. You can increase your pee flow by taking diuretics. Coffee and cranberry juice can be a little too weak, and you want to stay away from diet pills (which are also diuretics) because there’s always a chance that you could actually test positive for some kind of amphetamine. Some folks suggest taking 80 milligrams of the prescription drug Lasix (used to treat high blood pressure), but good luck getting your hands on that. Stick with PMS medication used to treat bloating, like Midol. It’s safer and readily available.
4.) Take aspirin. Studies indicate that aspirin interferes with EMIT drug screening, masking certain parts of the spectrum that urine testing checks. Take 4 aspirin 4-6 hours before your test.
Aspirin taken before test covers THC by creating a false negative. This only works under ideal circumstances and only for the EMIT test and not a gc/ms.
5.) Take a B-complex multivitamin. Between drinking all the fluids and taking the diuretics, your urine will probably be pretty watered down and almost clear. This can raise suspicions for some lab technicians. B2 or B12 can help to bring back that yellow glow, so take 100 milligrams of a B-complex multivitamin two hours before your test.
6.) Timing is everything. You’ll want to give your best (cleanest) sample of urine—time of day and time of stream play into your success with this. You’ll want to pee at least twice before your test. (You’re first pee of the day tends to be the “dirtiest.”) When you’re actually conducting catch your urine in the cup midstream.
7.) Avoid spiking or masking the urine sample. This is a method used to throw off testing equipment from seeing certain results. Commercial and OTC chemicals containing nitrates were once used to mask THC but are now commonly tested for. These products are all detectable, and will result in a failed drug screen.
Adding bleach to nullify sample will change the pH and flag the sample as being tampered and you will fail. Drinking bleach will blind you and maybe kill you.
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8.) Substitute the sample. Substitution is a method that involves substituting your urine with that of another person’s or a synthetic sample.
Synthetic urine comes in two basic forms: the liquid type found in smoke shops that is similar to what is used to calibrate lab equipment; or vials of a powdered concentrate that can be added to a few ounces of warm water. Both are kept in a delivery devise with a temperature meter. This method works on every employment urine test (provided some conditions are met such as controlling the temperature (92 -100) and delivering the sample in 4 minutes or less). Some labs are now testing for synthetic urine by looking for uric acid. If you’re located in Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, West Virginia, California, Ohio, Colorado, and Canada make sure your synthetic urine contains uric acid.
Guarantee the substitute stays at body temperature if you using something that keeps it concealed under your clothing and close to your skin. A liquid crystal thermometer with 2 degree offset like the ones used on the collection cups is ideal and a properly sized organic warmer as an insulating source as it is the body that is the regulator.
Some labs are now testing for synthetic urine. For your legal protection, it is critical that you do not use this method for any government tests including military, civil service, and especially probation.
The liquid premixed urine has a couple of drawbacks as it doesn’t have a head or small layer of bubbles on the surface and it has no smell. Powdered synthetic urine does. Many labs and collection sites will reject your specimen if they suspect it is synthetic and ask you to urinate under direct observation.
You can substitute someone else’s urine. You will want to test it with a reagent panel strip available at Walgreens. Collect the urine fresh and keep it in a sealed, refrigerated container, and use within 48Hrs, as urine will darken and bacteria will grow. You can also freeze the urine for longer storage. If deterioration becomes noticeable the lab may suspect something. A UTI or Urinary Tract Infection will be suspected if a micro UA is run as stale urine becomes like ammonia and the pH will change.
Detection in saliva tests begins immediately upon use:
Marijuana and hashish (THC):An hour after ingestion, and up to 30 days depending on use.
Cocaine (including crack): From time of ingestion up to 2 to 3 days.
Opiates: From time of ingestion up to 2 to 3 days.
Methamphetamine and ecstasy (MDMA, “crank,” “ice”): From time of ingestion up to 2 to 3 days.
Benzodiazepines: From time of ingestion up to 2 to 3 days.
If you’ve used in the past 3 days, your best bet is to avoid collection. When you’re instructed to place the collection pad between the lower cheek and gums and gently rub the pad back and forth along the gum line until the pad is moist, you will fake this movement and rub pad on teeth. Once moist, you are supposed to leave collection pad between cheek and gums for a full 2 minutes — again, hold it between your teeth.
If caught by surprise and you need to stall it is better to go to the lab and fail to show your I.D.: refusal will get you fired, but if you misplaced your ID you will have to come back or the sample is invalid.
↑ The Challenge of Dilute Specimens
↑ Urine PH changes
↑ ethnic bias in hair drug testing
↑ Drug abuse Handbook pg. 770
↑ DOT Collection Procedures