Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Legalize Dope, Annex Mexico

An excellent article by George Friedman...

This leaves the option of treating the issue as a military rather than police action. That would mean attacking the cartels as if they were a military force rather than a criminal group. It would mean that procedural rules would not be in place, and that the cartels would be treated as an enemy army. Leaving aside the complexities of U.S.-Mexican relations, cartels flourish by being hard to distinguish from the general population. This strategy not only would turn the cartels into a guerrilla force, it would treat northern Mexico as hostile occupied territory. Don’t even think of that possibility, absent a draft under which college-age Americans from upper-middle-class families would be sent to patrol Mexico — and be killed and wounded. The United States does not need a Gaza Strip on its southern border, so this won’t happen.

...

The likely course is a multigenerational pattern of instability along the border. More important, there will be a substantial transfer of wealth from the United States to Mexico in return for an intrinsically low-cost consumable product — drugs. This will be one of the sources of capital that will build the Mexican economy, which today is 14th largest in the world. The accumulation of drug money is and will continue finding its way into the Mexican economy, creating a pool of investment capital. The children and grandchildren of the Zetas will be running banks, running for president, building art museums and telling amusing anecdotes about how grandpa made his money running blow into Nuevo Laredo.

It will also destabilize the U.S. Southwest while grandpa makes his pile. As is frequently the case, it is a problem for which there are no good solutions, or for which the solution is one without real support.


.. confirms what I said before.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Cost of the War on Drugs

An Associated Press story, 3 Charged in PC Magazine Editor's Death:

Three men have been charged with murdering a senior editor for PC World magazine in what police said was an attempt to steal marijuana that the victim's son grew in their home for medical use.

Rex Farrance, 59, the San Francisco-based magazine's senior technical editor, was shot in the chest on Jan. 9 after masked men broke into his suburban home.


Prohibition kills.

Friday, July 08, 2005

South Dakota v. Cuong Nguyen

"Teen gets 7 years for selling drugs," Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 8 July 2005, http://argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050708/NEWS/507080314/1001.

 

More on South Dakota's love of freedom.

A Sioux Falls teenager accused of selling drugs to other students is going to prison.

 

A Minnehaha County judge Thursday sentenced Cuong Nguyen, 18, of 237 N. Cliff Ave. to seven years, with an additional eight years suspended.

 

Nguyen was a senior at Washington High School when he was arrested this spring. Police said he was a major drug supplier for local youths.

 

Nguyen pleaded guilty May 5 to possession of a controlled substance and possession of more than 1 pound of marijuana with intent to distribute.

 

Police said that he, another adult and two juveniles were caught with marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and Ecstasy.  Aaron McGowan of the Minnehaha County state's attorney's office said he was pleased with the sentence.

 

"It's tough to send an 18-year-old to the penitentiary [link -- tdaxp], but it was appropriate in a case like this when you have such large quantities of drugs and distribution going on in this community," he said.

 

Your people should've stayed in Vietnam, Cuong.  Your radical belief in buying and selling is foreign to this neck of the woods.  In South Dakota, the government knows what is best for you.

 

Liberty can be misused, so South Dakota ruins lives and bans it.

 

No word on this from the South Dakota right or left blogs yet.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Conservatives for Medical Marijuana

"Medical Marijuana This AM," by Rich Brookhiser, The Corner, 15 June 2005, http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_06_12_corner-archive.asp#066200.

From the conservative Catholic "hippies" at National Review

Anyone who wants to support the Hinchey- Rohrabacher bill allowing states to permit medical use of marijuana should call his congressman (see below).

Chemotherapy, which I had in 1992, wasn't all bad. I looked very cool bald; it gave a nice grey perm when my hair came back (why couldn't it bring more hair back? can't they cut it with menoxydil?); and it did stop my unpleasant visitor.

But the nausea was not cool, and only the illegal drug worked once the legal ones had failed

John Walters says there is no medical evidence for marijuana's effects. He is a liar or an ignoramus, probably both.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

More Persecution of Marijuana

"Marijuana Becomes Focus of Drug War: Less Emphasis on Heroin and Cocaine," by Dan Eggen, Washington Post, 4 May 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/03/AR2005050301638.html (from Democratic Underground).

At least they aren't investigating real crimes of hunting terrorism or anything

The focus of the drug war in the United States has shifted significantly over the past decade from hard drugs to marijuana, which now accounts for nearly half of all drug arrests nationwide, according to an analysis of federal crime statistics released yesterday.

The study of FBI data by a Washington-based think tank, the Sentencing Project, found that the proportion of heroin and cocaine cases plummeted from 55 percent of all drug arrests in 1992 to less than 30 percent 10 years later. During the same period, marijuana arrests rose from 28 percent of the total to 45 percent.


It seems to be that the only legal justification for the federal government criminalizing some drugs would be the Amendment XIII

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


A good argument might be made that a severly physically addictive drug is a de facto form of indentured servitude. But as this is a relatively loose definition, and the framers of this amendment had no problem with tobacco, the standard has to be very high

But marijuana? A non-addictive drug? One that doesn't "cause" violence like alcohol or addict users like nicotine? Why?

The answer is obvious: police puritans. There are movements actually opposed to physical pleasure. And not just opposed, but willing to use police powers to enforce their physically dreary society.

The Global War on Terror, the fight against infanticide, and civil society are all being sacrificed to make physical pleasure a crime.

Fortunately, our new Attorney General may be retooling the fight

The new statistics come amid signs of a renewed debate in political circles over the efficacy of U.S. drug policies, which have received less attention recently amid historically low crime rates and a focus on terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, for example, has formed a national committee to oversee prosecution of violent drug gangs and has vowed to focus more resources on the fight against methamphetamine manufacturers and other drug traffickers.


But it is not enough. Marijuana, and many other drugs, should be legalized. The current system is absurd.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Privacy of Marriage

"Case to clear up consent to search debate," by Hope Yen, Associated Press, 19 April 2005, http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/11428805.htm.

That the guy is crummy and the gal is a flip-flopper enabler doesn't matter. That the substantive crime -- drug possession -- shouldn't be a crime doesn't matter. The rights of marriage, the rights of spouses, and the rights of police matter.

Scott Randolph didn't want police to search his home after officers showed up to answer his wife's domestic disturbance call. Mrs. Randolph had no such reservations.

Janet Randolph not only let them in - but led officers to evidence later used to charge Scott Randolph with drug possession.

The Supreme Court said Monday it will use the case to clarify when police can search homes. The high court previously has said searches based on a cohabitant's consent is OK, but it's not clear whether that applies when another resident is present and objects.

...

Officers asked to search the couple's home, but Scott Randolph objected. Janet Randolph, however, consented and led police to the couple's bedroom where officers saw a straw with white powder.


It's boils down to using laws to extend implicit horizontal controls. On one hand, the state believes that if searches requires non-objection from both partners, laws will be weakened. People will realize they can be broken more easily, and strong implicit controls will shift to be weaker and more explicit. On the other, marriage should give special rights. In the words of court opinions

"When possible, Georgia courts strive to promote the sanctity of marriage and to avoid circumstances that create adversity between spouses," the appeals court stated. "Allowing a wife's consent to search to override her husband's previous assertion of his right to privacy threatens domestic tranquility." In their Supreme Court filing, Georgia prosecutors said the ruling "focuses arbitrarily on the rights of the objecting occupant, to the detriment of the consenting occupant who was trying to report a crime and who had just as much access and control over the home as her husband."


Like in the case, the basic question is how important is marriage? Is it just a contract that includes co-occupancy or something more?

It should be something more.

11:00 Posted in Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: mariage, hope yen, war on drugs, schiavo

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Natural and Personal Liberties

"US loses cotton fight with Brazil," BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4316671.stm, 3 March 2005 (from Free Republic).

"Senate OKs Medical-Marijuana Bills," by Steve Terrell, Media Awareness Project, http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v05/n349/a11.html, 3 March 2005 (from Free Republic).

Two great news stories. As the system, a long-term solution Congress put in place to help its short-term battles against protectionists, decree lower prices for consumers

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) appeals body on Thursday upheld an earlier ruling ordering the US to stop the payments to its farmers.

The organisation had found in its initial September ruling that the subsidies violated global trade rules.

Brazil said the US practice depressed world prices and hurt cotton producers both in Brazil and other countries.

The US will now have to bring its cotton subsidies, which wrongly include export credits for producers, in line with global trade rules.


While New Mexico ponders merciful treatment for the sick

one, not two, but three bills that would set up state programs to provide marijuana to patients suffering from certain serious medical conditions won overwhelming bipartisan approval from the state Senate on Wednesday.

If any of the bills makes it through the House and is signed by the governor, patients suffering conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, certain spinal-cord damage, epilepsy and HIV-AIDS would be able to use marijuana supplied by the state Health Department.

A spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson issued a statement that said: "For people who are living in a tremendous amount of pain as a result of life-threatening diseases, this is a treatment that they should be allowed to have."


Terrific. Two vertical controls -- the brick-wall of marijuana laws and the road-block of trade distortions, are attacked.

Tell me the WTO's protection of natural liberty doesn't help the Global War on Terrorism. A free and fair playing field means that farmers in developing countries can earn income -- not subsidies, not state-welfare, but earned money.

's slow progress in personal liberty is potentially even more important. The dream is not just partial decriminalization, but full legalization. Imagine a world where narcoterrorists cannot monopolize narcotics. Imagine the legal systems all throughout the world not subverted by narcomafias. As importantly, imagine a civil society where adults are not infantilized by statist health mullahs.

Hurrah for natural and personal liberties! Hurrah for the World Trade Organization and the Senate of the State of New Mexico!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Advance of Personal Liberty?

"Two thoughts from Amsterdam: On legalising prostitution and drugs," The Acorn, http://opinion.paifamily.com/index.php?p=1278, 2 March 2005.

Acorn combines India, Europe, personal liberty, technocratic governance, and federalism in the best post, ever

While social acceptance of prostitution may not be the government’s business, the government does have an interest in tackling the social problems the ensue from prostitution. Countries like the Netherlands have legalised prostitution; both to avoid the social costs of an industry driven underground, and also to achieve the economic benefits of a formal, organised industry. Can this happen in India?

Not if the central government in New Delhi is expected to make a moral, economic, political and social decision that really is a matter for individual communities to make and live with. Prostitution is really a local business. A brothel in a small, closely knit village of 20 families is quite a different matter from a brothel in a city of 10 million people. For that reason, the decision to legalise or not must be left to the lowest level of government. In India’s context, this means that it may be a matter for the panchayati raj system. States already have the ability to impose prohibition, that another impractical measure. Empowering communities to make their own decisions on matters affecting them most may be a good way to go.

Drugs are quite another story. Amsterdam’s coffeeshops sell soft-drugs to anyone who is above the legal age. Hard drugs remain illegal. The need to make this distinction shows that the question of legalising drugs is tricky. While it can be argued that while consenting adults engage in prostitution on their own free will, this becomes harder to justify in the case of drugs. While prostitution is local, the drug industry is not. China, for example, is only too aware of how opium played a major role in undermining its society and weakening its power. This genie is best kept in the bottle for now.