Friday, April 24, 2009

Now this is a conference I would like to go to

This one.

Let's hope the organisers and attendees have read this post and this post.

It's good to see acknowledgment that the USA's War on Drugs has been an abject failure, except for the prison construction industry.

Facts: the USA has spent $US 1,000,000,000,000.00 [One Trillion dollars] on the issue; the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) budget in 1971 was $75 million dollars, in 2001 it was $1.6 Billion; as a result of this “war on drugs” drug arrests quadrupled and the percentage of prison inmates committed for drug offences increased from 26% in 1973 to 56% in 2001; yet the drug ‘problem’, and of course related crime problems, have got worse.

The War is lost. Time for a new direction.

3 comments:

Andrei said...

The problem isn't drugs - its criminality.

The way pornography has developed serves as a warning.

As porn has become mainstream the pornographers have pushed the limits, today set at paedophila for which apparently there is a big market. allow that And something even more appalling will be waiting in the wings.

You can liberalize forever and the more you liberalize the more degraded the illicit alternatives will become

alex Masterley said...

Strangely enough, I think the financial problems the US abd it's citizens face will do more to advance the the war on drugs than anything the FBI or DIA can do.

Psycho Milt said...

Thanks for the link Gooner, especially since the post wasn't very complimentary to ACT!

I'm glad this conference is happening, but the fact remains there'll be no shortage of wowsers at it. Look at this quote from the article:

National Addictions Centre director Doug Sellman said it was time a more "rational" approach was taken to drug legislation, by "thinking about all drugs in general", including the legal ones such as alcohol and tobacco.

Mr Sellman told the Weekend Herald he wanted to see two major changes in drug legislation: an expanding of the drug scale from justice system-run class A, B and C to a health-based scale that included classes D, E and F.
In other words, they're still all about discouraging drug use and they'd like to bring smoking and drinking into it. These guys essentially want to apply pressure on us to make the health decisions they'd prefer us to make, to which "fuck off" is one of the less offensive responses I'd feel like making.

I think alcohol is actually relevant to their discussion in a very different way: we have here an extremely toxic, addictive and above all cheap drug which has been legally available for thousands of years, and civilisation has not fallen because of it. There are some unpleasant consequences from its existence, but we live with them and regulate to reduce them. Why isn't that a model for other recreational drugs?