Starting 0 hours, January 1st 2014, medical and recreational use of marijuana is allowed in the state of Colorado, USA. Certain restrictions apply, regarding public consumption, maximum weight, driving while stoned.
We always opposed the irrational drug policy, especially regarding relatively harmless marijuana. The cost of the US’ international war on drugs is mindboggling. It created huge, powerful, violent criminal cartels that move billions and almost trillions of dollars. US prisons are full of drug users, small scale drug sellers, and criminal warlords that were created by the opportunities to deliver illegal but sought after drugs.
The world wide repression of “illegal drugs” with all its terrible side effects originates from the USA.
“Harry J Anslinger was head of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics which enforced the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S.A. from 1919 to 1933. When prohibition was repealed, Anslinger, in order to keep and justify his existence and job, created the Orwellian lies about a new killer drug – marihuana. […] In 1937 Anslinger had a hearing conducted before Congress which resulted in the Marihuana Tax Act and henceforth the whole legal injustice took off.”THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE ILLEGAL DRUG LAWS AND WHY THE DRACONIAN PENALTIES ?
All irrational witch hunts seem to originate in the USA.
All irrational witch hunts seem to originate in the USA(child porn witch hunt, teenage sex witch hunt, anti prostitution witch hunt, and illegal drug witch hunt). And the USA imposes the witch hunt upon the rest of the world.
Why is this so? Who has the answers?
Drug Liberalization in Portugal and Holland: a success
Portugal just reports clear successes with legalization of drugs. Holland legalization of drugs and most of teenage sex is a resounding success.
“Portugal decriminalized possession of all drugs in 2001. The outcome, after nearly a decade, according to a study published in the November issue of the British Journal of Criminology: less teen drug use, fewer HIV infections, fewer AIDS cases and more drugs seized by law enforcement. Adult drug use rates did slightly increase — but this increase was not greater than that seen in nearby countries that did not change their drug policies. The use of drugs by injection declined.” Read more: Portugal’s Drug Experience: New Study Confirms Decriminalization Was a Success
“The Dutch are known for their liberal attitudes toward sex and drugs: while not officially legal, marijuana use and sale in “coffee shops” is tolerated in The Netherlands, as is prostitution, most notoriously in the street windows of Amsterdam’s red light district. Pragmatism, the Dutch have long believed, is better than punitive prohibition — and they’ve got lots of data on their side.While 12% of the American population has smoked marijuana in the last month, for example, the same is true of only 5% of citizens of The Netherlands.” Read more: What the U.S. Can Learn from the Dutch About Teen Sex
Junkies don’t want Aids. They want to use clean needles. Clean needles eliminate the Aids problem in injectable drug addicts. So, logically, let’s provide clean needles! A non-brainer. But then comes drug policy, moralistic prejudice, (unconscious) wish to punish the sinners with Aids, police arrest for needle possession. Result: addicts use dirty needles and get HIV.
Human Irrationality, dogmas, blindness at its best.“People do stupid things. That’s what spreads HIV.”
Needle exchange is an even clearer solution then condom use efforts. Because condoms are unpleasant. Clean needles are not even detracting from drug “pleasure”.
Our “morality” is outdated & immoral. We need updated morality.
Drug War, morality, religion, sexual morality etc prevent needle exchanges, thus cause HIV infection and deaths. Call it insanity. Call it suffering and death caused by false outdated stupid “morality”. Dogma, blindness, self-deception ….. We believe in our 2000year old holy books. They were very good for their times. But no biblical author knew about HIV virus transmission or drug addiction therapy. In later posts I will write about Peter Singer’s utilitarism as a help to guide our morals.
Elisabeth Pisani @ TED
“People do stupid things. That’s what spreads HIV.” [ . . . ] Now, let’s look at it from a policy maker’s point of view. This is a really easy problem. For once, your incentives are aligned. We’ve got what’s rational for public health. You want people to use clean needles, and junkies want to use clean needles. So we could make this problem go away simply by making clean needles universally available and taking away the fear of arrest. ted.com/talks/view/id/818
Now, the first person to figure that out and do something about it on a national scale was that well-known, bleeding heart liberal Margaret Thatcher. And she put in the world’s first national needle exchange program and other countries followed suit, Australia, The Netherlands and few others, and in all of those countries, you can see, not more than four percent ever became infected with HIV, of injectors.
In places that didn’t do this, New York City for example, Moscow, Jakarta, we’re talking, at its peak, one in two injectors infected with this fatal disease. Now, Margaret Thatcher didn’t do this because she has any great love for junkies. She did it because she ran a country that had a national health service. So, if she didn’t invest in effective prevention, she was going to have pick up the costs of treatment later on, and obviously those are much higher. So she was making a politically rational decision. Now, if I take out my public health nerd glasses here, and look at these data, it seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it. But in this country, where the government apparently does not feel compelled to provide health care for citizens, we’ve taken a very different approach. So what we’ve been doing in the United States is reviewing the data, endlessly reviewing the data. So these are reviews of hundreds of studies by all the big muckety-mucks of the scientific pantheon in the United States, and these are the studies that show needle programs are effective, quite a lot of them. ted.com/talks/view/id/818
Rational Publich Healty Policy demands
allow needle exchange to make addiction less dangerous
consider furnishing cleaner, cheaper, less harmful drugs
Of course, if we furnish needles, we should also furnish anti-addiction therapy, public information, etc. Some think one should not spend money to prevent addicts from getting AIDS: these addicts pass on AIDS to non-addicted innocent partners, who then could pass it on to you and me. And once an addict has AIDS, society helps to treat the medical AIDS cases with massive financial investments. Needles are cheaper!
We need morality and public action to reign in disease & death through drugs
We need to try to reduce drug damage by information policy, advertising, influencing public opinion, education, ………
The government’s approval of a table specifying what amounts of drugs are permissible is a vital part of the country’s new penal code that was last year approved by both houses of parliament and in January of this year was signed into law by President Vaclav Klaus. Without the just-approved table of amounts that will be used by Czech police, the January decriminalization of the drug would be difficult to judge by courts and investigators.
The plant still remains illegal, however, though from the new year possession of five or less plants is merely a misdemeanour, and fines for possession will be on par with penalties for parking violations.
The Czech decision is in sync with the country’s liberal, Dutch-like social attitudes and laissez-faire approach to civil liberties.
There is also an interesting lifestyle footnote: Czechs are Europe’s biggest drinkers of hops-infused beer and are also the continent’s leaders in smoking pot.
Great that people don’t go to jail for the victimless crime of possessing drugs for their own use. This is a great start. Using certain drugs may be stupid (e.g. too much alcohol), but that should not be a criminal case.
“Unfortunately [the law]’s not bringing anything new on the prevention side, and this is most worrying.” http://www.radio.cz/en/article/123873 Intense government campaigns should make using drugs less “hip” and reduce usage and abuse. Unfortunately alcohol usage is a huge problem world wide, and of course other drugs may become a bigger health problem too.
Where should these drugs come from? the delivery guy still is criminalized and thus drug crime still a problem. Except if every user now starts growing his own supply. Everyone engaging in agriculture might be very good but creates other problems (what to do with surplus harvest, or when stocks run out, or before the pot is harvested). What if I don’t like growing plants at home, or mom does not allow it? And where should I get my ecstasy and heroin supply from, legally?
Compare Dutch Drug Laws
By allowing possession and retail sales of cannabis, but not cultivation or wholesale, the government creates numerous problems of crime and public safety, he alleges, and therefore he would like to switch to either legalising and regulating production, or to the full repression
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Another absurd example of drug policy going haywire. The sugar content and artificial coloring, and the empty calories are deadly menaces to public health. Very minute traces of cocaine are probably totally inefficient, maybe even beneficial according to old South American Indian tradition. Certainly the coffeine is more dangerous. It will be interesting if such traces will be found in other foodstuffs.
The illegal cocaine alkaloid – one of 10 found in coca and representing only 0.8% of the plant’s chemical make-up – is chemically removed before use, as mandated by international anti-narcotics agencies.
Studies ordered by the British government show that Ecstasy is less dangerous then alcohol and cigarettes. Still the penalties for ecstasy will continue as stringent as for heroin. A 1992 study published in Science Magazine, showing extreme damage caused by ecstasy consumption had to be rescinded because researches had injected the wrong drug (!)