Your Government, Working for You
January 14, 2004 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Top Ten Drug Stories of 2003. Ten of the more egregrious examples of why the "War on Drugs" is a very bad idea poorly implemented.
posted by five fresh fish (20 comments total)
The first line of the story reminded me of this great cartoon...

posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:51 PM on January 14, 2004


Works OK on a white background.

Maybe just try the link:
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:54 PM on January 14, 2004

Don't worry USA, once Canada decriminalizes pot possession and shows that the country will NOT fall apart, the US population will scream bloody murder at the administration to change.
Or it will invade, either way it will be fun.
posted by CrazyJub at 5:18 AM on January 15, 2004

CrazyJub: The Netherlands haven't fallen apart either, why should one more example open the eyes of the population?
posted by spazzm at 5:32 AM on January 15, 2004

what!? untested pathogenic fungus – fusarium oxysporum – to wipe out coca - that's insane on so many levels. And wtf is the US doing deciding what plants are allowed to grow in the world? Fine, fight drugs but do it within your own borders.
posted by dabitch at 5:33 AM on January 15, 2004

To think that the most powerful modern empire in the world is scared shitless of a harmless weed is beyond laughable.

/spazzm, one might be an exception, but two starts to look like a pattern. Then again, it's not like foreign nations have taught the US anything when it comes to gun control
posted by magullo at 5:35 AM on January 15, 2004

I think the eyes of the majority population are fairly much open. It's the eyes of the majority of the government representatives that have their eyes screwed shut.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:57 AM on January 15, 2004

the fusarium oxysporum idea really scares me. They can do that? How on earth could that be legal?
posted by dabitch at 11:20 AM on January 15, 2004

This link has some very frightening info on fusarium oxysporum. Not only does it wipe out coca, but also coffee (probably Columbias second largest export) and over 100 other plants. And those are just the ones we know of.

Florida entertained the idea of spraying a cannabis killing strain of fusarium oxysporum, but this was stopped by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

They said, "Fusarium species are capable of evolving rapidly. Mutagenicity is by far the most disturbing factor in attempting to use a Fusarium species as a bioherbicide. It is difficult, if not impossible to control the spread of Fusarium species. The mutated fungi can cause disease in large numbers of crops, including tomatoes, peppers, flowers, corn and vines and are normally considered a threat to farmers as a pest, rather than as a pesticide…. Fusarium species are more active in warm soils and can stay resident in the soil for years. Their longevity and enhanced activity under Florida conditions are of concern, as this could lead to an increased risk of mutagenicity."

The American Chestnut tree is gone becase of the cryphonectria parasitica fungus and there is still no cure for it. Luckily, that fungus effects only one species and doesn't mutate like fusarium oxysporum.
posted by lasm at 12:00 PM on January 15, 2004

once Canada decriminalizes pot possession

Don't hold your breath. I am starting to doubt that this will happen. Anyone heard whether Martin intends to do this or is it, as I suspect, going to die a slow death on Parliament hill?
posted by alex_reno at 12:47 PM on January 15, 2004

once Canada decriminalizes pot possession and shows that the country will NOT fall apart,
Iirc, thought doing this would make it worse. As it is now, caught with a joint up to the cops discretion. Changing it will surely earn you a trip to the magistrate's(judge) bench.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:51 PM on January 15, 2004

Yah, decrim without legalization is useless.

This fungal idea is sounding worse and worse. Isn't there anyone in the government who recognizes what an unmitigated disaster this will all be if it goes wrong? I should think the fear of embarassment, let along of rampant destruction of South America, would be enough to put a stop to that plan.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:18 PM on January 15, 2004

decrim without legalization is useless

No shit, you can own but you can't buy - which one is it?
posted by magullo at 4:39 PM on January 15, 2004

dabitch, what makes you think our government gives the first damn about legality?
posted by fenriq at 4:51 PM on January 15, 2004

decrim without legalization is useless

I believe that it's merely decriminalized in the Netherlands. Seems like a good first step.

You know, this ramp-up of storm trooper tactics is only going to get worse as the popularity of the drug war continues to wane. Those with money to lose (law enforcement, correctional corps) start pulling more dirty tricks as they see the tide is turning against them. In that sense, this is good news.
posted by squirrel at 5:06 PM on January 15, 2004

heh, good point fenriq. what about the sensitive ecology of the world. Oh, right.. forget I asked. ;)

[before anyone calls me a leftist whatnot, spores freak me out. that's all, like FFF I wonder if anyone has thought that one through...].
posted by dabitch at 6:53 PM on January 15, 2004

The problem with decrim is that it becomes a ticketable offense instead of an arrest offense. That means it becomes a revenue stream instead of a paperwork hassle. Which in turn means the cops will quit turning a blind eye. Bad idea, that. It becomes very much more a gang activity in that case.

The ideal solution is to use the same laws as are currently implemented for alcohol. You can make personal-size batches of wine and beer, but you can't sell them, and it is illegal to drink in public or drive impaired; plus, the government has it's own hand in the business and collects an excellent revenue from its liquor stores.

The alcohol model seems to work well as far as criminal activity goes. I've never heard of gang-related commercial vint/brew operations nor of gang-related large-scale distribution of alcohol. Well, other than the government gangsters, that is.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:07 PM on January 15, 2004

I found the story about the Philly drug squad pretty interesting too - CIA caught dealing drugs to finance overseas operation, sound familiar? When are we gonna wake up - the international drug trade is just waaaay too profitable for da big boyz to pass on.
posted by dinsdale at 9:04 AM on January 16, 2004

How is it that the CIA can deal hard drugs to Americans and not get prison time?

The CIA is one of the scarier institutions in the USA. It is just mindbogglingly out of control.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:43 AM on January 16, 2004

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