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The Technology of Drug Prohibition 724

Posted by timothy
from the that's-so-called-drug-war-to-you dept.
ches_grin writes "Although the GWOT gets all the headlines, technology is proving to be the key factor in the 'war on drugs'. This article and slideshow take a look at the current state-of-the-art for both federal agents and drug traffickers, from greenhouses to Predator drones: 'In the pitched battle surrounding illegal drugs, each side has its advantages. Law enforcement can take advantage of private sector expertise, expensive machines, and, of course, the law. Those who cultivate, manufacture, and smuggle illegal drugs can leverage vast sums of cash, generated by constant demand.'"
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The Technology of Drug Prohibition

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  • Legalise Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Freexe (717562) * <serrkr@tznvy.pbz> on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:43AM (#15880837) Homepage
    leverage vast sums of cash, generated by constant demand


    Legalise them, tax them!

    • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:47AM (#15880872)
      Don't legalise drugs on the basis of taxing them. Sure, tax them like you'd tax any other good, but I hate using revenue to the state as a justification. The reason drugs should be legal is because people should have dominion over their own bodies.
    • You mean legalie meth, coke, heroin, crack? That will never happen. Nor should it... I doubt we want any more crackheads around.

      Legalize weed? It may happen in our lifetime, but I'm sure the DEA spends vast amounts more on cocaine interdiction than weed.

      • by Threni (635302) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:51AM (#15880907)
        > You mean legalie meth, coke, heroin, crack? That will never happen. Nor should it... I doubt we
        > want any more crackheads around.

        Yeah, we all know how successful making drugs illegal has been in preventing demand! Look how hard it is to get drugs now! If we didn't have laws against them, why, you could get drugs in just a few minutes from any town on the planet! Thank god we don't live in *that* world!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:02AM (#15881010)
        I doubt that there would be a significant, lasting rise in hard drug use. Is there anybody you know who would start smoking crack tomorrow if it became legal today? Would you?

        As a matter of fact, it's highly likely that uptake and usage of harder drugs would drop in an environment of legality and education - see the statistics on heroin usage in Holland since they began selling pure heroin to addicts and educating the population about the dangers of heroin usage.

        People generally come into contact with harder drugs through criminal acquaintences (sp?) and are often inclined to ignore warnings given by the government in the 'War on Drugs' since it takes very little time and experience to realise that it's a FUD campaign. Obviously if they lied about cannabis, they must have been lying about crack, right?

        By legalising and lifting the taboo and FUD, drug related problems would diminish drastically. Controversially, that would leave the law enforcement agencies referenced here and TFA without jobs. But that can't have anything to do with why the legislation stays as it is can it? Surely not...
      • Re:Legalise "Them"?? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mattintosh (758112) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:23AM (#15881223)
        Legalizing these drugs (and others) serves two purposes:

        1) It allows for the users without self-restraint to remove themselves from the picture, usually through death. It sounds hardhearted, but this really is the only way to convince some people. This has the side effect of showing a generation of would-be users just how awful addiction really is, and during their childhood to top it off!

        2) It allows law enforcement to get back to its REAL job - enforcing laws to benefit society. There's nothing beneficial in forcing useless people to stop killing themselves. Allow them to die and enforce the laws that benefit the "greater good". Now, this doesn't mean that we should turn a blind eye when someone in their death throes decides to stir trouble for everyone else. If you murder, steal, etc. you should still be held accountable for that.

        I don't think drugs are good. Not even marijuana. But I think that people who are stupid enough to harm themselves should be allowed to. It's a long-forgotten concept here in America... "Freedom" they used to call it. Free will and the ability to exercise it are a necessity. Consequences should arise from conflicting interests, not from arbitrary rules.
    • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      Let me first state that I can't stand the thought of drugs. Anything that messes with my mind is a serious no-go in my book. This includes alcohol and tobacco!

      But if alcohol is legal, why is marijuana not? It's less harmful to the user and much much less harmful to others around the user. (Assuming you ignore second-hand smoke. And maybe even then.)

      And yet instead, it are illegal and expensive. People are forced to break the law to get their fix, so breaking the law again to get the money to get their
      • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:5, Informative)

        by Amoeba (55277) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:06AM (#15881056)
        But if alcohol is legal, why is marijuana not?

        Money and control of money. Alcohol takes some equipment and knowledge to make and a way to distribute it to your end user. Marijuana is a weed. Anyone can grow it anywhere so no distribution channel. Which one is easier to control and make money from?

        • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gerddie (173963)
          Actually, making wine is very easy - you need little equipment (a big carboy and a relief valve), sugar, water, some fruits to give it taste, and a warm place. After properly setting up everything you can literally forget it until the fermentation is finished. Growing weed is a lot more work, it needs light and you need to take care of the water levels all the time.
          • Growing weed is a lot more work, it needs light and you need to take care of the water levels all the time

            Nonsense. Marijuana grows ALL OVER THE US. It grows in the wild very very easily. The tipoff is in the nickname: weed.

            Weeds grow well in adverse conditions. And marijuana is NO exception. In fact, in certain parts of the US, it literally grows on the roads. In fact, I hunt in SW Kansas every year and one of the popular Dove spots is right in the middle of a giant marijuana patch. And
        • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Informative)

          by utopianfiat (774016)
          (This post is where my signature will make its debut of relevancy)
          The pharmaceutical industry would take a huge hit when happy-pills and antinauseals take a falling out due to their replacement. Marijuana is INCREDIBLY good for clinical depression (in my experience). Also, the most "dangerous" thing about marijuana in the eyes of those in power is that the limits on it cannot be strictly defined. How much does it take to impair your driving? Depends on how big you are. How much does it take to overdose? For
        • The comparison to Alchol and tobacco are a good comparison: Alcholic substances such as beer are easy to make, and commonly not home-made. This is also true for Tobacco.

          The Beer making process requires: (1) A Stove, (2) a Big Pot to sterilize water, (3) a Big Jug (such as a 5 gallon water bottle from the office cooler), (4) Wheat (and rice in the case of most american beer), (5) Yeast, and (6) Bottles - Most people still buy beer at the goverment taxed store. It's a case of speace effeciency and instanst
      • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dave-tx (684169) *

        But if alcohol is legal, why is marijuana not?

        I could very well be wrong, but I'd guess the beer industry lobbyists have a lot to do with this.

        • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Informative)

          by Random_Goblin (781985)

          I could very well be wrong, but I'd guess the beer industry lobbyists have a lot to do with this.

          the most convincing argument i've seen for why it was made illegal in the first place is actually the plastics and paper industry lobbyists, who may well have been responsible for the reefer madness hysteria of the 30's that led to the The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 [cannabis.com] Hemp being a major competitor to plastic and artifical fibre as well as timber required for paper.

          it's a great shame because hemp is really real

      • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spamgoe ... g ['ere' in gap]> on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:28AM (#15881290) Homepage
        Let me first state that I can't stand the thought of drugs. Anything that messes with my mind is a serious no-go in my book.

        Laughter? Sport? Exercise? Fear? The buzz you get from doing something dangerous? Adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine?
        • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday August 10, 2006 @12:50PM (#15882119) Homepage Journal
          Laughter? Sport? Exercise? Fear? The buzz you get from doing something dangerous? Adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine?

          SUGAR

          Sugar is one of the most prevalent drugs used in the USA. It causes significant and dramatic changes in brain chemistry in a very short time after ingestion; it is both habit-forming and addictive.

          How is sugar addictive? Your brain measures blood sugar levels to determine how hungry you are. Research has shown that over time it becomes more resistant, and it requires more and more to make you believe you are full. Thus, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar (and other carbs, of course, but sugar breaks down most quickly) you will have to eat to feel full.

          Youth diabetes was basically unheard of in this country before the advent of the food pyramid, which places carbohydrates at the base (5-7 servings; I think this has been decreased in the new one?) and which also coincided closely with the advent of processed foods, nearly all of which are packed with sugar. Can someone explain to me why a fucking hot dog needs 6 grams of added sugar?

      • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sique (173459)
        First: Drugs are drugs, and mind altering substances are mind altering substances. They have a common subset, but are not equal. Sugar for instance is a drug too, pepper and most other spices are. Xtasy (and other artificial MDMA) are no drugs in the pure sense of the word ('drug' comes from the same roots as 'dry', meaning natural substances won by drying herbs).

        Second: Mind altering substances are not bad per se. Most people like caffeine. There is nothing wrong with Acetylsalicyl acid (Aspirin et.al.) Ac
      • Re:Legalise Drugs (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)
        But if alcohol is legal, why is marijuana not? It's less harmful to the user and much much less harmful to others around the user. (Assuming you ignore second-hand smoke. And maybe even then.)

        There are some obvious political-economic reasons why this is so today, as others have pointed out.

        Historically, alcohol and marijuana were both made illegal at the same time. Marijuana was swept up with alcohol in the prohibition craze, in large part due to the efforts of William Hearst the newspaper magnate, who act
  • by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:46AM (#15880866)
    That has done nothing save expand and enshrine the prison "industry".

    Feh!
    • We have more people in jail than the USSR ever did. The US prison population has jumped by leaps & bounds since the 1980's. This is what happens when you privatize the incarceration business. More laws = more money.

      Jaysyn

  • Why?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why drugs prohibition?


    The Netherlands legalized marijuana usage decades ago and still is together with Germany the smartest country in Europe [timesonline.co.uk] with 107 IQ points on average.

  • Free Power? (Score:3, Funny)

    by HugePedlar (900427) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:48AM (#15880882) Homepage
    Growing rooms use huge amounts of electricity but the people running them usually bypass a building's meter.

    Details, please!
  • War on drugs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iamthefallen (523816) * <Gmail name: Iamthefallen> on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:49AM (#15880891) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:
    On the other hand, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found in 2004 that about 20% high school seniors had used marijuana in the preceding month.

    If 20% of your kids are actively sleeping with the enemy, you've already lost the war. No technology in the world will help you when the enemy has wide spread grass root support in your own country. It'd probably be a good idea to start to negotiate a cease fire.

    I'd rather see money be spent on helping those trying to get out of enemy territory than punishing those who want to be there

    And before writing an angry rant about how your cousin's roomate was kidnapped by dealers and forced into drug addiction and prostitution, please see my sig.
    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:57AM (#15880956) Journal
      Summary execution of anyone in possession of drugs. Anyone tries to push? They're dead. Find a drug house? Bomb it. Even if there are hostages. Anti-aircraft fire? Napalm the block. Wall the borders and interdict all air traffic from nations that are sources of drugs. X-ray the bodies of all entrants. Etc.

      The reason no one wants that is that the cure is worse than the disease.
    • Re:War on drugs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mrpeebles (853978) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:09AM (#15881081)
      That's only the half of it. In this country, we have an attitude that medication can fix anything. Your kid can't pay attention- medicate him. You weigh too much- medicate yourself. Etc. I think maybe it comes from the recent success of medicine over the last few decades. In any case, right or wrong, it is difficult to present this class of drugs as the devil incarnate, while that class of drugs is the cure for whatever ails you. Combine this with the teenage feeling of invincibility, and you have teenagers doing things like sniffing freon and gasoline. Because when you are taught that drugs are poisons, but the message of society, as well as every other television commercial, is also that drugs are OK, then you start to think that maybe poisons are drugs, and that they are OK too. What we need is a sane approach to drug use in general.
    • Re:War on drugs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      As the much-missed Bill Hicks said:
      George Bush [the first] says 'we are losing the war on drugs'. Well you know what that implies? There's a war going on, and people on drugs are winning it! Well what does that tell you about drugs? Some smart, creative motherfuckers on that side.

      I stopped using recreational drugs other than alcohol about 9 years ago, but I totally agree with both Bill Hicks and you.
  • by GundamFan (848341) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:50AM (#15880899)
    Does it fool anyone anymore? Can you honestly say you feel safer because of the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism or the War on (insert political crap here)? We can't just throw money we don't have at these things forever and I would feel much better if I thought there would be any lasting effects to any of these "wars".

    I would like to be treated like an adult for a change.
    • Can you honestly say you feel safer because of the War on Drugs, the War on Terrorism or the War on (insert political crap here)?

      The "war on" isn't supposed to make you feel safe, terms like Social "Security" or Medi"care" are supposed to do that.

      The "War on x" snowclone [wikipedia.org] is supposed to imply that it is worth a significant sacrifice to get rid of X. It also implies that everyone agrees that X is the enemy.

      So the War on Drugs implies that everyone agrees that mary j is bad while b33r and smokes are not. Now,
  • When they said all power handed over to the government would be used most often for things other than terrorism. So now instead of hunting down terrorists, their protecting the country against drugs? All this money spent on high tech gadgets could have gone towards anti-terrorism, or *gasp* schools, and instead is being used to further a futile "war on drugs," just peachy. Nice to see big brother never fails to disappoint.
    • by Random_Goblin (781985) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:21AM (#15881199)
      So now instead of hunting down terrorists, their protecting the country against drugs? All this money spent on high tech gadgets could have gone towards anti-terrorism, or *gasp* schools, and instead is being used to further a futile "war on drugs,"
      ,

      actually it's worse than that. Due to the laws of supply and demand, By failing to reduce the market for drugs, all the war on drugs has done is increase the financial incentives to be a drug dealer.

      it is no suprise therefore that many of your local terrorist organisations.. already very criminal by nature have moved into the drugs trade, because of the vast amount of money to be made

      so the war on drugs is in direct conflict the war on terror due to economics

      the farce of the taliban and heroin in afghanistan is particularly depressing.

      prohibition leads to vast wealth going to criminals... choose the lesser of two evils legalise it and make that wealth go to the state.

      mind you from my limited knowledge of american history, i seem to recall that many of your blue blooded super rich political families made money bootlegging whisky during prohibition, the kennedy's in particular.

      anyone know what the bushes were doing in prohibition?
  • by Rotten168 (104565) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:53AM (#15880927) Homepage
    some drugs?

    Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco are all "psychotropic" substances.
    • Like Bill Hicks said, it's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom. please remember that at all times.
    • some drugs?

      Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco are all "psychotropic" substances.


      Better yet, it's the War on Drug Users. Drugs are not the victim in this war. It's not the drugs that are rounded up and imprisoned. It's good, honest, everyday people like you and me who are persecuted just because we have the audacity to claim it's nobodys business what we do with our bodies.

      Or better yet, call it what it really is. A witch hunt.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:03AM (#15881030)

    "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

    -- Abraham Lincoln

    Evidence of this today in the article summary:

    "Those who cultivate, manufacture, and smuggle illegal drugs can leverage vast sums of cash, generated by constant demand."

    The war on drugs is a guise to control people and to actively have racial crimes on the books.

    What negatively affects me the most about the "war on drugs" is that it essentially makes having mental illness a crime. Many, if not most, people with mental illnesses get addicted to drugs and alcohol because of their mental illness, and trying to quit because of legal reasons with little to no medical attention is next to impossible. Next time you see the wino-street-drunk, odds are he just needs medical attention, but you and the government would prefer him to just be "off the street" and out of our sight. I know one of these guys who happened to get medical help, and he is pretty cool. He used to be a "garden variety street drunk" who would badger people, spit when he talked, and all of that. And today he is better not because of going to jail and being punished, but by being helped.

  • 'War' on drugs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jandersen (462034) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:16AM (#15881155)
    Sigh - yet another socalled 'war'. It always makes me shake my head in disbelief when I see it - I mean, how can one fight a war against drugs? It's not as if there is an army on the other side. Plus, a lot of these things are easily found in nature; just think of magic mushrooms - you can probably find them within walking distance from your home if you live outside a big city. Or take cannabis - you can the seeds as bird seeds or in health shops, at least in UK.

    Or how about opium poppies: I see them growing in a lot of people's gardens. You can buy the seeds in garden centres or even in supermarkets (for baking bread etc). You can buy morning glory (contains LSA, similar to LSD) legally to grow in your garden. So how can one 'fight a war' against drugs? It's nonsense, simple and pure.

    No, legalise it, educate people, tax it. That way we would get rid of two whole classes of crime that only exist because of reactionary legislation: drugs trafficking and drug use.
  • Bill Hicks (Score:5, Funny)

    by bmud (590967) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:38AM (#15881385)
    I'm reminded of Bill Hicks' hilarious tirades against the War on the Drugs - [quote]"George Bush says 'we are losing the war on drugs'. Well you know what that implies? There's a war going on, and people on drugs are winning it! Well what does that tell you about drugs? Some smart, creative motherfuckers on that side."[/quote]
  • Illegal drugs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Exter-C (310390) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:49AM (#15881503) Homepage
    Over time there has been a large amount of conspiracy "theory" regarding the prohbition of drugs resulting in the CIA direclty benefiting from the huge profit margins. There has been evidence and drug trafficing on several different contintents that has been directly linked to the CIA. I know that there have been several movies that have been made regarding this exact topic some based on fact others based on annocdotal evidence. There has also been a large amount of evidence supporting the CIA traffic drugs through LA at the expense of community housing projects etc. There is more information about the links here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_America [wikipedia.org] and http://www.narconews.com/ [narconews.com] and http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ [fromthewilderness.com] There are numerous links from American banks and the laundering of drug money. Especially through branches like banamex and Citi group. As long as drugs are illegal there will always be a government link to the incomes either directly via importing and dealing with the producers or simply by selling off goods that have been bought using 'dirty money' as long as those links remain there is no interest in the government in changing the drug policies even though many of the illegal drugs have no long term health benefits as is claimed in many government booklets/information pages. In fact many illegal drugs are being approved by the FDA for use in specialised treatment. One example of that is the use of MDMA to treat Post Traumatic stress disorder. As many people know different types of amphetamine have long been used for the treatment of common disorders like ADHD.
  • Interesting twist (Score:3, Informative)

    by jefu (53450) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:58AM (#15881581) Homepage Journal
    One thing that has occurred is a good example of the law of unintended consequences. The Columbian government has been spraying areas where there are high concentrations of coca plants with some kind of plant killer (I think its Round Up or a relative - can't find the article right now). After a number of years of this the plants have adapted and there are now varieties of coca growing wild that are resistant to the chemicals.

    And just to toss in another favorite Slashdottery, you have to wonder if Monsanto will be doing something if those coca plants are violating the patent on Round Up resistant plants?

  • Talk and Action? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by localman (111171) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @12:04PM (#15881659) Homepage
    Opening statement: I've never used any of the currently illegal drugs and don't intend to, yet I am a strong supporter marijuana legalization.

    When I popped into this thread, I was expecting to see the usual arguments. I was expecting to spend a little time combatting ignorance. I wasn't expecting any actual progress.

    However, what amazed me was that every highly rated comment (I browse at +3) was pro-legalization. Every single one. Sure, they were responding to some of the same tired old arguments, but it seemed that the pro-legalization camp was far more strongly represented by both posters and mods. That surprised me and made me hopeful. I'm a regular financial supporter of The Marijuana Policy Project [mpp.org]. There are so many lost causes in the world, improvements I'd love to see that will never happen. But I believe this is one issue that we might actually see resolved in our lifetimes.

    I live in the Las Vegas area, and there is a statutory initiative [reviewjournal.com] on the ballot this upcoming election [reviewjournal.com]. Please, please, please, if you live in the Las Vegas area get out and vote. There are initiatives in other states as well, but I don't know the details there.

    I am convinced now there is more than enough support to pass legalization in many states. But people need to get active about it. They need to watch the issue an vote. If this is an issue you care about, please take the time. We're at a possible turning point in the next 10 to 20 years. We can make things better.

    Cheers.
  • by dougman (908) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @12:06PM (#15881676)
    I've read a lot of replies that say we should legalize all drugs. While I haven't made up my mind on this one (seeing the History Channel show on Opium, Morphine and Heroin [youtube.com] made me think about this recently) I do have a legitimate question.

    If we legalize "hard drugs" why wouldn't we extend this to all drugs. That is to say all prescription drugs such as anti-depression, heart meds, erectile enhancers, and the like? Where do we draw the line. I personally think it is dangerous to have people self-medicating, so I want to konw if there is a legitimate answer to thisi. Maybe it falls back into the category of, "Yes, make them all legal and let the dummies kill themselves but smart folks will still see their doctor for a proper prescription that will tell them how to administer the drugs." That kind of makes sense.

    Personally I get some allergy problems in the summer and have taken a prescription drug for years. At this point I know the dose and that one pill should be taken every 24 hours when I'm experiencing problems. I suppose it makes some sense that I should be able to refill as many times as I like right?

    So how does this trickle down to kids I wonder? When I was 15, I imagine I would have tried some hard drugs had they been legal. Seeing a rock of crack next to the hard candy would make it seem like trying an atomic fireball or sour gummy. (There's no reason to think they wouldn't be presented like this if all are legal). The fact that they were illegal made me wonder why and that's when I did some research and talked to my parents. Now maybe the "legalize drugs" crowd would say it was my parents fault for not talking to me proactively. In their defense, my parents taught me right and wrong. Doing something illegal was wrong, therefore taking hard drugs was wrong. Maybe legalizing drugs is only for 18 and up?

    This is a delicate subject indeed.
    • I personally think that Canada has it right... 19 for drinking, and I think that should apply to all drugs, including prescription drugs, unless with a parent's consent. The reason this is better than 18 is that it separates out the high school kids from the college kids. The 18 year old college kids will have friends that hook them up anyway, but the 18 year old seniors won't be able to distribute to their friends as easily (the kids that were held back and were seniors at 19 or 20 tend to be shunned any

    • If we legalize "hard drugs" why wouldn't we extend this to all drugs. That is to say all prescription drugs such as anti-depression, heart meds, erectile enhancers, and the like?

      Those drugs are already legal, but regulated. You seem to imply legalization of illegal drugs means there won't be any kind of regulation on them at all and you'll be able to buy cocaine at your local gas station. Very few people are arguing for that.

      Where do we draw the line.

      You don't draw one line, you draw 1000 different lines
  • The "war on drugs" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ginger Unicorn (952287) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @12:27PM (#15881877)
    The US government caused the drug industry in south america, by sending tons of wheat to places like columbia as "aid" thus running all the wheat farmers out of business (wheat was columbias main export up to the 1950's).

    Gigantic megacorps that run farms like factories can ride out yearly dips and rises in the commodity price of staple crops, but some peasant trying to grow wheat cant say to his kids "wheat is worthless this year, but we can eat next year"; so the peasant farmers of colombia have to find a crop that has constant demand no matter what the US government is subsidising, embargoing or shipping out as aid, and that crop is coca and cannabis.

  • by hotspotbloc (767418) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @12:45PM (#15882065) Homepage Journal
    (Six years USCG, Marine Boarding Officer and spent some time assigned to the DEA)


    The WoD will never be won. Never, ever, ever. If the US Govt can't even keep drugs out of prisons how are going to keep them out of anywhere else? It's all about the money. The money drives the passion to find new ways to maximize profits. The illegal drug industry is incredibly creative. Here's a couple of examples:


    - Back in the '80s New Bedford, MA was an entry point for heroin. Larger fishing boats would stuff the drugs in a trash fish (any type of fish with little or no resale valve) out at sea, flash freeze and bury them with their catch. The trash fish and drugs would be quietly put aside while unloading or prepossessing. We're talking a few fish out of hundreds of pounds of catch. Virtually impossible to catch.
    - In the Pacific Northwest bails of marijuana are towed behind boats from Canada, sealed and partly weighed down. If they think they're going to get caught they note the position on GPS, cut the line and the bails sink. The weights dragging the bails down are held together with zinc connections that are meant to break in a day or two. The bails re-float and are retrieved.
    - Large fishing boats with three fuel tanks. Well, one real and two for the drugs. To conceal the true purpose of these outer tanks they'd seal the sounding tubes and fill partly with fuel. A LEO would check the tank, see it had fuel and assume it was a real fuel tank.
    - Submarine found in Colombian Andes [cnn.com]. Unreal.


    It's a war that can not be won. IMO the solution is to legalize (and tax) marijuana like alcohol and allow MDs to prescribe Schedule I/II/III drugs "for maintenance" of a habit. The latter will greatly help slow the spread of blood born diseases and control dosing (a critical part in helping those addicted in finally stopping their habit).


    Prohibition is a total fucking failure. The only proponents are those that make their living off of it: the Police, the rehab industry and those that sell them the tools. Go read Jacob Sullum's landmark book "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use" for an eye openner.

  • Drug War is a sham (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gyan (6853) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @01:04PM (#15882246)
    The US War on Drugs is a sham [blogspot.com] and the politicians know [whitehouse.gov] it. But the constant barrage of absolutist demonization has left no feasible opening to seriously suggest the alternative: legalization.

    The UK isn't so bad. Atleast they have had the courage to allow medical marijuana research, which has resulted in the legal Sativex [wikipedia.org]. Cannabis is classified as Class C, resulting in warnings & fine for possession. And very recently, a parliamentary committee lambasted [scienceblogs.com] the whole classification system. Even many senior politicians (like David Cameron) and police chiefs have called for considering legalization. The US does have an equivalent movement in LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition [leap.cc]) with about 5,000 officers, but getting the word out relies on media accomodation, and unlike the UK, the US is not a very tolerant venue.

    --posted on behalf of daksya

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler

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