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Why?

The world's most extensive study of the drug trade has just been published in the medical journal BMJ Open, providing the first "global snapshot" of four decades of the war on drugs. To sum up their most important findings, the average purity of heroin and cocaine have increased, respectively, 60 percent and 11 percent between 1990 and 2007. Cannabis purity is up a whopping 161 percent over that same time. Not only are drugs way purer than ever, they're also way, way cheaper. Coke is on an 80 percent discount from 1990, heroin 81 percent, cannabis 86 percent. After a trillion dollars spent on the drug war, now is the greatest time in history to get high.
posted by mannequito on Oct 7, 2013 - 96 comments

"The Logic Of Violence In Criminal War"

Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary, PDF
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 25, 2013 - 20 comments

Today we begin a "cyber march" on Washington

A group of respected entertainers (and some not-as-respected celebrities), businessmen, Civil Rights leaders and academics have signed an open letter calling on the President to #EndTheWarOnDrugs. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 9, 2013 - 49 comments

This Is Working

"Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted and possession is a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 27, 2013 - 125 comments

"Len Bias would become the Archduke Ferdinand of the Total War on Drugs"

Len Bias has been dead for longer than he has been alive. For ESPN Michael Weinreb examines how the tragic death due to a cocaine overdose of this young, up and coming basketball star affected both the sport and American drug policy. Meanwhile at Deadspin, Tommy Craigs explains how twentytwo years after his death Len Bias still makes everyone crazy.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 7, 2013 - 16 comments

Alcohol yesterday, drugs today

"Based in Brisbane, Australia, Stuart uses the medium of comics to explore serious issues with a unique perspective and a sense of fun." - War on Drugs and more, and even more. [Previously]
posted by vidur on Oct 10, 2012 - 6 comments

A Confederacy of Doobies

A Voter’s Guide to Legalizing Marijuana..at the state level
posted by daksya on Oct 7, 2012 - 60 comments

Recommended laboratory procedures

Thousands of drug-related convictions in Massachusetts may be challenged as investigators learn more about improper evidence handling and testing at a Department of Public Health laboratory. Over 50,000 samples related to 34,000 convictions were tested by a single chemist at the lab, who is alleged to have violated multiple laboratory protocols. Governor Deval Patrick's office has identified 1,141 inmates currently serving time in Massachusetts whose convictions may be affected by the investigation. [more inside]
posted by catlet on Sep 25, 2012 - 35 comments

Pawns in the War on Drugs

Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 28, 2012 - 84 comments

A Snitch’s Dilemma

"Alex White, Professional Snitch: What do you do when the cops you work for are dirtier than you are?" Metafilter previously on Kathryn Johnston.
posted by andoatnp on Jun 29, 2012 - 13 comments

"Hey, dude, light the bowl!"

"Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted "Intercepted!," and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind." A User's Guide To Smoking Pot With Barack Obama. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on May 25, 2012 - 171 comments

Pareto's law on drugs

Rethinking the War on Drugs (WSJ video / not OpEd). A more nuanced view than typically found in the anti-drugs vs. legalize drugs ad nausea. Practical solutions being done today. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Apr 21, 2012 - 87 comments

it's just a matter of faith!

Attention all units, please respond to Central and Broadway, reference a large crowd. It's a war on drugs.
Just Say No: a music video featuring former Albuquerque sheriff Darren White. On vocals.
posted by NoraReed on Jul 16, 2011 - 29 comments

Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics, and Spirituality

"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
posted by nTeleKy on May 13, 2011 - 11 comments

The Great American Counterterrorism Memo

Employed as a Counterterrorism Analyst, But Think Your Bosses Are Misunderstanding the Problem? Quit your DoD post and write a book! Offer it for free, on the Web. Oh, and do it anonymously. Reddit AMA here.
posted by darth_tedious on Mar 22, 2011 - 29 comments

A Model for the Rest of Us

The AP reports that the drug policy in Portugal is paying off.
posted by gman on Dec 27, 2010 - 39 comments

White Lines

Cocaine - how it's made, how it moves, and who might be cutting it with a deadly cattle-deworming drug, a follow up to the mystery of the tainted cocaine.
posted by Artw on Nov 6, 2010 - 41 comments

Makes Disturbances Melt Away?

In a pilot Phase II study of PTSD sufferers with a median of 19 years since diagnosis, MDMA-assisted therapy resulted in 10 out of 12 patients no longer meeting the diagnostic criteria. [more inside]
posted by daksya on Jul 24, 2010 - 88 comments

Murders in Mexico

Statistical Analysis and Visualization of the Drug War in Mexico
posted by daksya on Jul 7, 2010 - 22 comments

United States surrenders, terror, drugs win.

Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 14, 2009 - 53 comments

The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs

The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs. The Sentencing Project has just released a report (pdf) finding that, for the first time in 20 years, the number of Black Americans in state prison for drug offenses has fallen. Between 1999 and 2005, the number of White drug offenders in state prisons rose about 43 percent, while the number of Black offenders declined by 22 percent. One cause may be a rise in the use of drug courts, which are locally administered programs that divert offenders into treatment rather than incarceration. The Sentencing Project has a recent report (pdf) on this issue as well.
posted by lunit on Apr 16, 2009 - 32 comments

DEA's Greatest Success?

In May 1995, the American government's Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made an attempt to disrupt the supply chain of methamphetamine precursors, such as pseudoephedrine, by shutting down two major suppliers of the precursors under authority granted by the Domestic Chemical Diversion Control Act. Was it successful? Only temporarily, according to new research by Carlos Dobkin and Nancy Nicosia. (via)
posted by Pants! on Apr 8, 2009 - 47 comments

The Spice Must Flow

(Some links NSFW) Any down on their luck stoner is familiar with so called, "legal bud" Herbs of all kinds have been marketed online to the connectionless or legally restricted that offered a marijuana like high without the legal consequences. Everyone knows they are all scams. It might surprise you, that some were not. Commonly sold under the names Spice or Zohai, mixtures of herbs sprayed with synthetic cannabinoid substances such as HU-210 or JWH-018 have been available online for at least the past four years. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jan 25, 2009 - 53 comments

Practising drugs safely?

Towards a culture of responsible drug use - an essay by the creators of Erowid [via]
posted by daksya on Sep 8, 2008 - 53 comments

Police raid mayor's house, shoot dogs, recommend land war in Asia.

A SWAT team in Maryland raids a city's mayor's house and kills his dogs. Oh, and the warrant was wrong.
posted by Optimus Chyme on Aug 7, 2008 - 117 comments

Ten Years in Jail for Selling Lightbulbs

Ten Years in Jail for Selling Lightbulbs
posted by lalochezia on Mar 6, 2008 - 91 comments

Take a drag of pot, kid. You ain't chicken are you?

Hooked! Trapped! Teenage Booby Trap! Users Are Losers! Vintage anti-drug comics scanned and posted by Ethan Persoff. Plus dozens of other "Comics with Problems"-- like "Rex Morgan, MD Talks About Your Unborn Child" and "Capt Veedee-O and Ms. Wanda Lust in VD Claptrap."
posted by dersins on Dec 6, 2007 - 15 comments

"we upheld against proportionality attack a sentence of 40 years' imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute nine ounces of marijuana" - Justice Kennedy

DrugPolicyCases.com - Yakov Spektor, a New York-based attorney, combed through two decades of US Supreme Court opinions "to discern certain trends in the Court's treatment of various issues" related to the War on Drugs. The collection of opinions are organized by case, author and topic.
posted by daksya on Nov 26, 2007 - 8 comments

Paeykillers

Richard Paey Speaks - An interview with the paraplegic man sentenced to 25 years in prison for treating his own pain, but now out after a full pardon by the Florida Governor. [more inside]
posted by daksya on Nov 20, 2007 - 42 comments

A Crack in the War on Drugs

The US Sentencing Commission has recommended that Federal sentencing guidelines be reduced for crimes involving crack cocaine -- and is now deliberating making the new guidelines retroactive for prisoners already incarcerated. [WaPo] If taken into effect, about 3,800 inmates could be released by this time next year. [more inside]
posted by Avenger on Nov 12, 2007 - 29 comments

Just Say No .. to John Stuart Mill

"An open society must be prepared to listen to those who offer a critique of its conventional wisdom—and our conventional wisdom about drugs and addiction should be no exception."
posted by daksya on Sep 22, 2007 - 50 comments

Debating the war on drugs

The British Transform Drug Policy Foundation has recently released their 2nd guide After the War on Drugs: Tools for the debate. Described as a guide for prospective and current policy reform advocates, it enumerates the points typically brought up against reform, and offers strategies to rebut them. Somewhat of a counterpoint to the US DEA's Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization.
posted by daksya on Aug 9, 2007 - 48 comments

Laws on getting high

Spiritual Highs and Legal Blows - the power and peril of religious exemptions from drug prohibition
posted by daksya on May 23, 2007 - 8 comments

Turn on, tune in, get out

Entheogens and Psychotherapy. A 2001 paper by Canadian psychotherapist Andrew Feldmar on the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics and his own experience with LSD. Now, because of this paper, he is no longer allowed to enter the U.S. [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 24, 2007 - 20 comments

Four Decades into America's War on Drugs

America's forgotten war. Are we winning?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Apr 11, 2007 - 39 comments

Prison Rape and the War on Drugs

Stories from Inside: Prisoner Rape and the War on Drugs (PDF). A new report by the human rights group Stop Prisoner Rape. [Via Drug WarRant.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 23, 2007 - 61 comments

(Almost) Straight Shooting on Dope

Dopey, Boozy, Smoky—and Stupid - Mark Kleiman of UCLA examines drug policy in general and offers some suggestions [via]
posted by daksya on Jan 30, 2007 - 49 comments

“Roll that s—t, light that s—t, smoke that s—t.”

Dude, like, what did you do during the war? Young Israeli activists fight the war on terra in their own little way. Similar criticisms have been used before, usually to political advantages. Others call it yet another hysterical conflation.
posted by yonation on Aug 16, 2006 - 9 comments

Reefer Madness Undone?

"The system for classifying illegal drugs in Britain, which determines how users are punished, is unscientific and illogical and should be completely overhauled", according to a new report. See updated chart on the harm potential of various drugs.
posted by daksya on Jul 31, 2006 - 31 comments

Puppycide

The Drug War Goes to the Dogs. SWAT teams (usually the young ones) seem to commit a lot of puppycide. (Via The Agitator, who is also a MeFite.)
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2006 - 31 comments

The geopolitics of opium

So how's the War on Drugs proceeding in Afghanistan? Barry McCaffrey, former drug czar, trumpets, "Opium production has been dramatically slashed by 48% just in the past year[2005].". Oops, actually that's the acreage of opium cultivation; production went down by only 10%, due to increased yields. In any case, that's so last year. Instead of the socially detrimental policy of poppy eradication, wouldn't it be preferable to allow licensing of poppies for legitimate medical needs? The Afghan farmers agree, but some think the idea is flawed.
posted by daksya on Jun 16, 2006 - 17 comments

Schaffer Library of Drug Policy

Schaffer Library of Drug Policy - read the transcripts of hearings held on the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, or the text of court decisions regarding drug policy, or the well-researched Consumer Unions report on licit and illicit drugs, or the differences between beer and drugs, according to Anheuser-Busch. A huge archive of materials, admittedly compiled from a pro-reform perspective.
posted by daksya on May 20, 2006 - 27 comments

War on Drugs, by the numbers

In the "debate" over the War on Drugs, there's a lack of nice quantitative data presentation in one place. Brian C Bennett aims to rectify that. From trends in alcohol initiation relative to legal age limits, to investigation of the deaths classified by CDC as marijuana-induced. There are lots of charts, as for cocaine purity over the years, or treatment admissions, or arrest trends. The site map is your quick guide to the 2000 charts & articles.
posted by daksya on Feb 27, 2006 - 18 comments

Goodbye Rosie, The Queen of Corona

Overgrow.com --one of the largest and most comprehensive sites written by and for cannabis growers about cannabis cultivation, complete with user forums and immense photo galleries--along with Heaven's Stairway Seeds (hempqc.com), Cannabisworld.com, and Eurohemp.com have all been shut down, their owners arrested in Canada, and the servers seized. The story hasn't yet made the Canadian news, but it raises many questions about free speech online.
posted by fandango_matt on Feb 5, 2006 - 45 comments

Commerce of Cocaine

Drug policy reform in Colombia [via]
posted by daksya on Jan 3, 2006 - 13 comments

Costs of cannabis prohibition is lot more potent than in the 70s

The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition by Jeffrey Miron of Boston U.. So far, endorsed by 500+ economists, including Milton Friedman.

Key points:
*End prohibition and save $7.7 billion in govt. expenditure.
*Tax its sale, like alcohol, and generate $6.2 billion in revenue.
posted by daksya on Jun 1, 2005 - 79 comments

Dr. Stonedlaw: Or How I Stopped Toking and Learned to Love the Law

"Defending America's Most Vulnerable" - a new bill, introduced in the House by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Among other provisions, 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first-time conviction of distributing a small amount of marijuana to a person under 18 years of age; virtually every drug crime committed in urban areas subject to "drug free zone" penalties that carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence; a 2-year sentence for those who witness or learn about drug distribution near colleges and do not report it to authorities within 24 hours and do not provide full assistance investigating, apprehending, and prosecuting the offender.
posted by daksya on May 16, 2005 - 45 comments

Regulated Drugs Distribution Proposal

The King County Bar Association of Washington state, has released a resolution as part of their Drug Policy Project calling for a non-commercialized & state-supported regulated distribution of currently illicit drugs. Their FAQ addresses the inevitable concerns over such an approach. Another document provides a tour of the historical and cultural contexts of drug laws. The Association also outlines how the regulated approach might be workable, considering the purview of the federal Controlled Substances Act. [via DrugWarRant]
posted by daksya on Mar 3, 2005 - 13 comments

The Fourth Amendment grows narrower

The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision Monday, ruled that police do not violate the Fourth Amendment when they use a drug-detecting dog to locate illegal drugs in the trunk of a car during a legal traffic stop. The decision, and dissents from Ginsburg and Souter.
posted by trharlan on Jan 24, 2005 - 45 comments

Do you remember the War on Drugs?

War on Drugs - Do you remember it? A call for support of this amorphous war has been trumpeted by every American President from Nixon through Clinton. The current guy, has associated himself (at least a little bit) with the Drug War in the previous campaign but current policy, not so much. What I’m curious about is the actual phrase, the concept of War on Drugs. It looks like we still dedicate large sums of money to the effort. It seems to me that we just don’t use the phrase much anymore. Did we win? Did we lose? Do we just want to forget about it? Or, did we repackage the endeavor under a new name? I tend to think we are not capable of waging more than one war against the nameless other at a given time. It would just be too scary. So, I think maybe we're bundling the War on Terror and the War on Drugs under a new brand name.
posted by Crackerbelly on Dec 8, 2004 - 31 comments

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