War on Drugs

"A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares currently."  William Edstrom (10/17/2016)


Twenty years of the "war" on drugs have packed our prisons to the bursting point, created a vast population of the criminalized minority poor, and diverted desperately needed resources from other pressing social needs. Yet America's drug crisis is further from solution than it was a generation ago, indeed, it remains the worst in the developed world" Elliott Currie: Reckoning (1993)


Congress covered up the fact that illegal drug deals were at the heart of the Iran-Contra story, just as the CIA has been deeply involved in drug trafficking for decades. It's a situation that continues today in Mexico and Afghanistan, and the reality is that our economy is secretly deeply embedded in the global drug trade. Jesse Ventura: American Conspiracies pg 113.


[The "War on Drugs"]... As a method of social control and political subversion it has been very effective in putting away troublesome poor people and feeding federal pork to the prison lobby. Meanwhile, there has never been the slightest attempt to interfere with the operations of the large and powerful US financial institutions handling the profits, part of which are regularly remitted to US politicians, in the form of campaign contributions from the US banking industry. pg 369...

As the Indians of Chiapas well know, and as he poor of South Central Los Angeles also well know, "drug war" is a code phrase for social control and repression. Whiteout: Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair pg 381


The Drug War is the New Jim Crow (a bumper sticker)


Our drug policies are not working. Remember, prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's didn't work either, and it caused great harm by creating organized crime in the United States. We need to adopt "harm reduction" policies that will reduce drug use, save a lot of money, greatly reduce urban violence, and improve our national security. John Mertons For US Senate

The total number of people using drugs in Portugal has actually fallen by more than a third since the country began focusing on treatment programs instead of punishment. GoodNewsNetwork

"Can any policy, however high-minded, be moral if it leads to widespread corruption, imprisons so many, has so racist an effect, destroys our inner cities, wreaks havoc on misguided and vulnerable individuals, and brings death and destruction to foreign countries ? " Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize Winner, Economics


A sensible person ... might wonder why we criminalize the use of cocaine and heroin, not to mention marijuana, while we tolerate and even celebrate alcohol consumption. Of course, we learned long ago that prohibition of alcohol was bound to fail. So a sensible person might propose that we consider ending prohibition of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, which pose much less threat to the public safety than alcohol, or at least reduce harsh penalties for their use. But sensible people have had little influence over the nation’s drug policies.

Listening to bureaucrats and politicians boast about the drug war, you have to wonder what they’re smoking. The war on drugs has been one of the biggest public policy disasters of the last twenty-five years. It has not reduced drug use; it has instead increased violent crime attendant on illegal drug trafficking, and police corruption, just as the prohibition of alcohol increased criminal activity and graft in the 1920s. It has eroded civil liberties, particularly constitutional protections against unwarranted searches and seizures. The war on drugs has greatly exacerbated the terrible problem of gun violence. The illegal drug trade not only creates violence; it pays for bigger and better guns. It has helped finance the arms race in the streets.

The war on drugs has also created a crisis in prison over crowding. People are sent to state and federal prison for long terms, five, ten, or twenty years, for nonviolent, low-level drug offenses." Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: Wendy Kaminer


"The War on Drugs has all the characteristics of a closed society; the absolute powers claimed by the authorities, the attempt to silence critis rather than engage them, and, of course, the human costs that inevitably result _ our failure to deal with addiction, the violent crime our drug policies have spawned, and more." George Soros writing for the Drug Policy Alliance.

Virtually all constitutionally protected civil liberties have been undermined by the drug war. The Court has been busy in recent years approving mandatory drug testing of employees and students, upholding random searches and sweeps of public schools and students, permitting police to obtain search warrants based on an an anonymous informant's tip, expanding the government's wiretapping authority, legitimating the use of paid, unidentified informants by police and prosecutors, approving the use of helicopter surveillance of homes without a warrant, and allowing the forfeiture of cash, homes, and other property based on unproven allegations of illegal drug activity. Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow page 61.

US: Disastrous Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use, Enforcement Destroys Families, Undermines Health (10/12/2016)

President Evo Morales said the DEA financed illegal activities by selling confiscated drugs in Bolivia. (6/28/2016)

Report: Decriminalizing Drugs Saves Money and Improves Health (3/14/2016)

14 Years After Decriminalizing Heroin, Here’s What Portugal Looks Like (6/3/2015)

Johann Hari: Everything we know about the Drug War & addiction is wrong (2/7/2015)

World Leaders Call For Ending Criminalization of Drug Use and Possession and Responsible Legal Regulation of Psychoactive Substances (9/8/2014)

An Enlightened US Drug Policy Would Reduce Heroin Deaths (2/5/2014)

Sanjay Gupta Reverses On Marijuana: ‘We Have Been Terribly And Systematically Misled’ (8/8/2013)

Losing Control in the War On Drugs (10/18/2012)

How the militarized War on Drugs in latin america benefits transnational Corporations and undermines democracy (8/5/2012)

The the war on drugs has made the US a world leader in incarceration. It is an excuse for voter suppression.It is a disgusting political scam that targets poor minorities, it  profits police through forfitures , it fills private prisons which benefit from mandatory sentencing, it is a counter productive jobs programs, and it scores some cheap votes for politicians while suppressing the minority vote. It is based on racism, It is an evil program that takes massive resources that might have been used for a civilized society.

"The drug war is a holocaust in slow motion.".  The House I Live in.

Senator Gravel on the War on Drugs

Iowa Independent: The Progressive magazine reports that you think
marijuana should be legal and available next to beer in liquor stores.
Is that true? What about cocaine and methamphetamine?

Sen. Gravel-Alaska: It sure is true. When are we are going to learn. We went through the Depression and we realized how we created all the gangsters and the violence. When FDR came in he wiped out Prohibition. We need to wipe out this whole war on drugs. We spend $50 billion to $70 billion a year. We create criminals that aren’t criminals. We destabilize foreign countries. With respect, to marijuana, Doug, I’ll tell you what: Go get yourself a fifth of scotch or a fifth of gin and chug-a-lug it down and you’ll find you lose your senses a lot faster than you would smoking some marijuana.

Independent Iowa: Yeah, I’m 37, I think most people in my generation agree with that point on marijuana. What about cocaine and meth?

Sen. Gravel: We need to legalize the regulation of drugs. The drug problem is a public health problem. It’s not a criminal problem. We make   it a criminal problem because we treat people like criminals. You take a drug addict, you throw him in jail, you leave him there, and he learns the criminal trade so that when he gets out you have recidivism. 
Full interview here:
http://www.iowaindependent.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=131

The New Jim Crow: How the War on Drugs Gave Birth To A Permanent American Underclass (3/8/2010)

War on Drugs is a Failure (3/13/2009)

UN Backs Off Hard Line on Drug Crimes (6/24/2009)

For the fourth year in a row, marijuana arrests hit a new record. (Project Censored)

War on Drugs is a failure. (3/13/2009)

Why the 'War on Drugs' is wrong.

CIA

Drug Profits

Between police salaries and prison operations, the so-called War on Drugs is one of the most lucrative industries in the US today. Maybe that's why the Pentagon, big banks, and major pharmaceutical companies all seem to be involved in making sure it never ends. From brasschecktv Video: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/910.html

U.N.: Opium Trade Soars in Afghanistan 26 Jun 2008 Afghan opium cultivation grew 17 percent last year, continuing a six-year [US] expansion of the country's drug trade and increasing its share of global opium production to more than 92 percent, according to the 2008 World Drug Report, released Thursday by the United Nations.

$15B narcoterrorism war to be outsourced 14 Sep 2007 The U.S. Defense Department has invited five contractors to bid on elements of a new, multibillion dollar effort to combat [expand] the global flow of illegal drugs allegedly used to finance terrorism. Awarded by the Pentagon’s Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program Office in Dahlgren, Va., the contract vehicle has a potential value of $15 billion over five years. One participant is ARINC, a Maryland-based provider of airline communications systems


When evaluating the 'War on Drugs' consider the Prohibition that led to the 18th Amendment.

Gary Webb in his own words. (video about 8 minutes.)

Gary WebbSan Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winner. In 1996, I wrote a series of stories that began this way: For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods gangs of LA and funneled millions in drug profits to a guerilla army run by the CIA. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America….The story was developing a momentum all of its own, despite a virtual news blackout from the major media. Ultimately, it was public pressure that forced the national newspapers into the fray. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times published stories, but spent little time exploring the CIA’s activities. Instead, my reporting and I became the focus of their scrutiny. It was remarkable [Mercury News editor] Ceppos wrote, that the four Washington Post reporters assigned to debunk the series “could not find a single significant factual error.” A few months later, the Mercury News [due to intense CIA pressure] backed away from the story, publishing a long column by Ceppos apologizing for “shortcomings.” The New York Times hailed Ceppos for “setting a brave new standard,” and splashed his apology on their front page, the first time the series had ever been mentioned there. I quit the Mercury News not long after that….Do we have a free press today? Sure. It’s free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff—such stories are not even open for discussion. (click for more)

CIA complicity in drug running.

Hitz Report

Contra/Crack series

Arguments to show US Government involvement in the Drug Trade, similar to the Iran-Contra affair: CIA-ISI Drug connection and Guns-Oil-Drugs (G.O.D.).

The war on drugs is a war on the American people.

Marijuana is the largest US cash crop. (video)

American Drug War (on-line movie) 

Links

Make Peace With Pot
Mandatory Minimums and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Action Forum of the Global Anti-Prohibition Movement
Human Rights and the Drug War
Case File C.I.A. and Drugs
NicNet--Arizona Program for Nicotine and Tobacco Research
Drug War Facts

Film

The House I Live In

Bibliography

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War of Drugs: Johann Hari

Drug War Capitalism: Dawn Paley

Clean, overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy: David Scheff

Whiteout: Jeffrey St Clair

The New Jim Crow: Michelle Alexander

American Drug War (documentary)

Reckoning, Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future: Elliot Currie

This is Your Country on Drugs: Ryan Grim. (The Washington Post story on this.)

Drugs, Oil and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina: Peter Dale Scott, Rauman and Littlefield, 2003.

Powderburns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War,: Celerino Castillo and Dave Harmon, Sundial 1994.

Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America: Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall. 1998

Under the Influence: Preston Peet

The big white lie : the CIA and the cocaine/crack epidemic : an undercover odyssey / Michael Levine with Laura Kavanau-Levine. 1993

Dark Alliance: Gary Webb

Out of Control: Leslie Cockburn

America's Prisoner: Manuel Noriega

Panama: Thw Whole Story: Kevin Buckley

Reefer Madness: Eric Schlosser (2003)

Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure by Dan Baum

Sabotage of the Drug War: An Undercover Odyssey, Michael Levine, 1994.

American Conspiracies: Jesse Ventura

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