Drugs Are Better and Cheaper Than Ever
By Rebecca McCray, Jason Koebler
Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana are just as available, far cheaper, and more potent than they were at the start of the War on Drugs, according to a new study.
We've known for far too long that the War on Drugs has been a failure, but the statistics reported in the British Medical Journal by Evan Wood, of the University of British Columbia's Urban Health Research Initiative, are astounding. Wood and his team aggregated government drug surveillance data from seven different countries. Between 1990 and 2010, the street price, adjusting for inflation, of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana fell roughly 80 percent. At the same time, the street drugs became much more potent: The average purity of heroin increased by 60 percent, the purity of cocaine increased by 11 percent, and the potency of cannabis increased 161 percent. The story is much the same in Europe and Australia, with street prices dropping and supply remaining stable, despite a huge increase in drug seizures.
Though we've known that weed is stronger than ever, it seems like the trend has extended to other, harder drugs.
New data shows drug policy isn’t doing what it’s meant to. The war on drugs drastically altered the face of the federal prison system, but it hasn’t made anyone safer or meaningfully decreased the availability of drugs. That’s just one of the findings of a new report from the Pew Research Center, which examines the drastic rise in the number of people being sent to prison for drug offenses in the 1980s and 1990s.
While in 1980 there were fewer than 5,000 people serving time in federal prison for drug-related offenses, today there are more than 95,000—and the data shows it’s not because we’ve gotten better at keeping drugs off the streets.
Violent crime rose 41 percent between 1983 and 1991, Pew found, and peaked at 758 violent offenses per 100,000 U.S. residents. Anecdotal evidence tied that heightened violence to the illegal drug trade, particularly crack cocaine, which encouraged legislators to make it clear to their constituents that they were tough on crime by ramping up sentences for drug offenders. The average prison sentence for a federal drug offender rose 36 percent between 1980 and 2011, tacking almost 20 additional months onto the average sentence.
But putting more drug offenders behind bars for longer periods of time hasn’t paid off, according to Pew. The street prices of illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine have actually gone down since 1980—even as their purity has increased. That indicates ample supply, and indeed, the Office of National Drug Control Policy says illicit drug use has increased. (The availability of drugs may be tied to the fact that high-level drug traffickers make up a small portion of all drug offenders in federal custody—just 11 percent, according to Pew.)
While violent and property crimes have decreased dramatically over the past three decades, research shows that high incarceration rates can’t be credited for that drop. Approximately 5 percent of the crime decline in the 1990s can be attributed to incarceration, while less than 1 percent of the decline between 2000 and 2013 can be linked to incarceration, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. As Pew notes, recidivism rates among federal drug offenders barely changed as more were locked up—another indication that the war on drugs didn’t deliver on its public safety promises.
Meanwhile, the long sentences have landed especially hard on street-level dealers, as well as drug mules and couriers, who made up nearly half of the people sentenced for federal drug crimes in 2009. These pawns in the drug trade typically come from low-income communities from which manufacturing jobs have fled for China and Mexico in the last couple of decades, and where recreational opportunities are few.
We've thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at this problem. The 'drug war' is an opportunity to increase and justify the over bloated budgets of agencies like the DEA, Customs, FBI, federal and local prosecutors, attorneys, bail bondsmen, judges, the Bureau of Prisons, drug testing companies, and drug counselors. The "Politics of Contraband" created job security for the above in America today. It is a shame and a sham and the taxpayers have carried the financial burden of this war. It is time to explore a different way to treat these problems without the extreme cost and the intrusive nature of our inalienable rights.
In Canada, we've experimented with heroin prescriptions for people who have failed methadone treatment. The outcomes have been incredibly positive.
READ MORE- Pew Research
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100 years of the war on drugs
By Tom de Castella BBC
Today it is taken for granted that governments will co-operate in the fight against the heroin and cocaine trade.
But 100 years ago, narcotics passed from country to country with minimal interference from the authorities. That all changed with the 1912 International Opium Convention, which committed countries to stopping the trade in opium, morphine and cocaine.
Then, as now, the US stood in the vanguard against narcotics. While the UK's position is unequivocal today, a century ago it was an unenthusiastic signatory, says Mike Jay, author of Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the Nineteenth Century.
The real concern a century ago was over alcohol, he argues. "There was a big debate over intoxication as there was concern about the heavy, heavy drinking culture of the 19th Century."
Ambivalence towards opium was understandable. Britain had fought two wars in favor of the opium trade in the 19th Century, crushing Chinese efforts to restrict its importation.
And opium use was viewed in the mid-19th Century in a very different way from modern beliefs about drug use. It was possible to walk into a chemist and buy not only opium and cocaine, but even arsenic.
If you had been in a major British port in the 18th or 19th Century, you would have seen opium arriving alongside ordinary cargo. In February 1785 The Times listed opium from Smyrna (now Izmir) between oil from Leghorn (Livorno) and peas from Dantzic (Gdansk) in its roundup of goods unloaded at the port of London.
In the early 19th Century, travellers to Norfolk were warned to treat their pint in the pub with caution. Beer could be laced with opium to ward off the malaria that flourished in the Fens.
Opium, the dried residue of poppies, was usually consumed for its anaesthetic properties.
Queen Victoria's coterie ordered opium from the royal apothecary. She is also believed to have taken cocaine gum with a young Winston Churchill. Prime Minister William Gladstone is said to have taken opium in tea or coffee before making important speeches.
In 1868 the Pharmacy Act brought in restrictions. In theory, it became tougher to get hold of opium - with the user having to provide a name and address and other details to the chemist. But it made little difference.
There was another side to the opium story. It was also smoked recreationally - a practice brought in by Chinese sailors who settled in the East End area of Limehouse. Opium dens became a much mythologised world, where aristocrats could stumble in and discover a cornucopia of vice.
"There were opium dens where one could buy oblivion, dens of horror where the memory of old sins could be destroyed by the madness of sins that were new," wrote Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray.
But the fashion in drugs was changing from the "downer" of opium to the "upper" of cocaine - hence Arthur Conan Doyle making Sherlock Holmes a cocaine injector.
Marek Kohn, author of Dope Girls: The Birth of the British Drug Underground, argues that Holmes was typical of a view at the time that cocaine was for "brainy, highly-strung" people who needed constant stimulation. It was a "personal shortcoming" but not a sign of the depravity that drugs would later be associated with.
But in the US, cocaine came to be associated with street gangs, alongside racist propaganda that the drug sent black men insane and put white women at risk.
So these domestic concerns helped drive the international agreement in the form of the 1912 treaty. But while it tackled the trade, in the UK at least, the authorities were slow to crack down on individual users.
When World War I broke out, opium and cocaine were still legal drugs in Britain.
The turning point had come more than a year into the war, says Kohn. There was a fear that the drinking culture was harming the war effort. In 1915 the licensing laws were tightened.
The unintended consequence was to create the conditions for the first underground drug scene in Britain, says Kohn. It criminalized a small number of people in London's theater district and a scene developed in which opium, cocaine, sex and prostitution overlapped. With so many soldiers passing through London, it was little surprise that emergency regulation to ban drugs soon followed.
The fact that opium and cocaine-dealing were closely identified with the Chinese merely fanned the flames in a war-time atmosphere of general xenophobia, Kohn says.
"There was intense paranoia about foreign subversion, ostensibly by the Germans," says Kohn. "And in the middle of this you have a drug panic in which the 'outsider' is central."
In the years after the war, concern crystallized, driven by a media hungry for scandal. The stories would seem familiar to any modern reader.
A young actress dies from an overdose of cocaine. The inquest whips up a storm of intrigue and exposes the widespread use of drugs among her social circle.
This was the death of Billie Carleton in 1918. The actress had attended an opium party the night before her death and a coroner's inquest found she had died of a cocaine overdose.
Her friend Reginald De Veulle was charged with manslaughter and conspiracy to supply a prohibited drug. He had bought the drug from a Scottish woman Ada and her Chinese husband Lau Ping You, in Limehouse.
De Veulle was acquitted of manslaughter but found guilty of supplying her with cocaine and sentenced to eight months in prison, Ada was sentenced to five months hard labour while Ping You was fined £10.
The emergency legislation brought in during WWI was made permanent in the Dangerous Drugs Act 1920.
Two years later came another notorious case of a young woman whom the media decided had been seduced and corrupted by a charismatic Chinese entrepreneur known as "Brilliant" Chang.
Freda Kempton, a young dancer, was found dead after taking an overdose of cocaine. At the inquest it emerged that she had been with Chang on the night she died. These two cases hardened feeling against the Chinese community and the sense that they were using drugs to ensnare innocent white women.
The media presented her as a vulnerable ingenue, says Kohn. "There was already a moral panic associated with drugs but it was prostitutes who weren't seen as sympathetic," he says. "But Billie Carleton was seen as different, she was portrayed as this waif-like figure when she was nothing of the sort."
The cases prompted many to become aware of cocaine as a serious menace for young innocent women. But almost as soon as panic reached its peak with the Kempton case it dissipated.
In reality, there was no "drug scene" in Britain back then, says Jay. What existed was confined to a few streets in Soho and a handful of dealers in Limehouse.
And once the drug laws came in banning cocaine and opium, the problem was easily contained by the police.
"Victorian Britain had been awash with opium but you wouldn't smoke it in a den, you'd get it from the chemist as a gloopy liquid. The opium dens were largely fictional constructs encouraged by stories like Sherlock Holmes and the writings of Oscar Wilde," Jay notes.
Today, when the efficacy of anti-drug measures is constantly debated, it seems curious that the 1912 treaty was an effective measure. Domestically, in the UK, the police had the upper hand.
The big changes in the West's attitude to drugs came after World War II, Jay argues.
"The baby boomers were the first generation in history to become real global consumers. People were suddenly going to Morocco to smoke hash, or hitching with lorry drivers who were using amphetamines."
So the floodgates opened. Where once the authorities were fighting relatively small groups of offenders in a tiny drugs subculture, now they must fight millions of users and powerful international cartels.
MYTH BUSTERS: Myths VS. Facts
By Doug Fine
MYTH: Stoned driving is as bad as drunk driving.
FACT: Drunk driving kills 28 people a day in America, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Studies have not found similar results for driving while high, and it’s not even clear that marijuana even increases the number of traffic accidents.
MYTH: Smoking pot is much worse for your lungs than smoking cigarettes.
FACT: A 2012 study on marijuana’s effects on the lungs came up with this conclusion: “Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.”
MYTH: Marijuana has no medicinal value.
FACT: The reality is that cannabis is something of a wonder drug. The majority of American medical doctors think marijuana should be legal according to WebMD survey reported in April—and with good reason. It alleviates symptoms related to chemotherapy, AIDS, certain cancers and especially glaucoma. Marijuana’s ability to help people with certain debilitating seizure disorders inspired a number of mostly conservative states to adopt (highly restrictive) medical cannabis laws.
MYTH: If pot is legal, more people will use it.
FACT: As drug policy undergoes big changes, I’ve been watching rates of youth cannabis use with interest. As it is for most fathers, the well-being of my family is the most important thing in my life. Whether you like the plant or not, as with alcohol, only adults should be allowed to partake of intoxicating substances. But youth cannabis use is near its highest level ever in the United States. When I spoke at a California high school recently and asked, “Who thinks cannabis is easier to obtain than alcohol?,” nearly every hand shot up.
In Portugal, by contrast, youth rates fell from 2002 to 2006, after all drugs were legalized there in 2001. Similarly, a 2011 Brown University-led study of middle and high school students in Rhode Island found no increases in adolescent use after the state legalized medical marijuana in 2006.
Doug Fine is the author of “Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution,” in which he followed one legal medicinal cannabis plant from farm to patient.
READ MORE- http://www.copsrcorrupt.com/marijuana.html
America is the largest drug market in the world. We're 5 percent of the world's population — we consume 25 percent of the world's illegal drugs. Mexico has the misfortune to share a 2,000 mile border with the largest drug market in the world. At the end of the day, they'll run out of products. It's the illegality that makes those territories so valuable. If you criminalize anything only criminals can sell it. If only criminals can sell it, there's no recourse to law, there's only recourse to violence. That's created the cartels. It's our simultaneous appetite for — and prohibition of — drugs that makes those border territories worth killing for.
On the effect legalizing marijuana (just in Washington and Colorado) has had on Mexican trafficking
Just two states that have legalized marijuana, do you know what's happened in Mexico? Forty percent of Mexican marijuana imports, they've been cut by 40 percent. In Durango and Sinaloa, where most of the marijuana is grown, they've almost stopped growing it now, because they can't compete with the American quality and the American market. I'm not making this up; you get this from Customs and from DEA, from the people who are trying to intercept it on the border and judge how much is coming through as a percentage of how much they seize, and what they're telling us is it's down 37 percent over the last two years. So by stopping fighting, just two states stopping fighting the war on that drug, it has been effective.
Recognize drug laws as the price-support program that they are. If this stuff was trading at its actual cost, without the illegality premium, there wouldn't be enough money in drugs to support the cartels. But don't take my word for it, just ask Al Capone. Notice gangsters don't sell liquor any more. And there are no more drive-bys by bootleggers.
The US drug policy has caused the deaths and incarceration of hundreds of thousands, as prohibition did in the 30's with booze. It has allowed these cartels to become powerful and deadly. Now the US has created this monster and it's loose. And as long as drugs remain illegal the dead bodies will continue to pile up.
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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.
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.
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Drug war is a scam, racism is a problem and it’s time to stand up: ‘Unfiltered’ GA cop tells it like it is
Free Thought Project
Corruption within the American law enforcement system is rife. We are watching case after case of ‘good’ cops attempting to hold their own accountable, only to be punished by the blue wall.
This blue code of protecting officers, no matter their crimes, is what’s driving a wedge between the police and the policed.
To affect positive change, the good cops must come forward and shine light on the darkness within their ranks. They must not be afraid to do so either. The Free Thought Project frequently seeks out these brave men and women, who are willing to do what’s right regardless of the repercussions.
In June, we introduced you to Officer Billy Ray Fields, whose video calling out the bad cops went viral. Well now Fields is back, and this time he holds no punches.
When the Free Thought Project spoke to Fields Thursday, he told us that he made this next video because, “This is what it takes to bring others out to be a public figure professional cop. That’s what I’m going to continue to do…"
Prescription Drugs Now Kill More People In The US Than Heroin And Cocaine Combined
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
Don't want your information monitored online? Whatever you do, don't Google. Google Alternatives:
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Drug War Scam
By Christopher R Rice
Below you will find several articles that will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the "Drug War" is a scam.
Obviously from a law enforcement (LE) perspective it is more difficult to get real criminals to talk than drug users who have a monkey on their back. A real criminal can hold out making the job for LE that much more difficult. While a drug user will snitch on his whole crew in a matter of hours to get his next fix. (See: Snitches pictures/locations)
Drug cases keep cops busy, courts busy and jails to over capacity. Which makes it possible to farm out prison construction and control to private industries. Private prison companies can then trade prison slave labor on Wall Street at a profit.
My state spends more money on incarceration than they do on higher education. And have made LE profitable through asset forfeiture which is the equivalent of a snake eating its own tail for nourishment. This system is unsustainable. And what is worse is that the drug war actually makes our families less safe since drug dealers can not call the police like other business owners so they are forced to turn to violence to settle their debts. Drugs are also not regulated on the black market causing overdoses due to cheaper cuts like fentanyl. And LE budgets and time are being used up on non-violent drug users while violent crimes go unsolved due to a "lack of funds".
More than 1.4 million murders, rapes, robberies and assaults are committed around the United States every year, or a violent crime every 22 seconds, the FBI says. Tell your reps to stop wasting tax dollars on drug wars. To call your Member of Congress: US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 To locate your Member on-line: U.S. House of Representatives: www.house.gov U.S. Senate: www.senate.gov
The only way this will ever change is if you become a lobbyist to end the drug war because the alcohol and pharmaceutical industries lobby Congress everyday they are open to the tune of $1m a day. People are only motivated by two things: greed and fear. You and I can not compete with the drug companies money which leaves fear. Our reps must fear that they will lose their jobs if they continue to spend our hard earned dollars on this scam. SHARE this article with everyone.