BOSTON — The global drug war is arguably America’s longest armed conflict, declared 42 years ago and still raging at a pace that would startle many citizens.
It is waged daily, on farmland and streets from Colombia to Mexico to Detroit. It has put millions of people behind bars, and has dramatically influenced our culture and worldview.
By some estimates, it has cost the nation more than $2 trillion dollars.
Ironically, the drug war was nearly stillborn.
War on drugs: What is it good for?
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, UK — Traditionally, scoring drugs was an illicit, seedy business. The stash made its way to your body from lawless peasant hinterlands, via drug mules and cartel kingpins. And dealers were backstreet brigands who would just as likely stab or scam you as get you high.
And, as Lou Reed once sang, they were always late.
Today, for many, it’s a different proposition. The dealers wear white coats, or own online mail order companies. The deals are often done in brightly lit clinics, or with a simple mouse click. And the guaranteed high may arrive by next day delivery, or immediately, over the counter.
While the world has prosecuted a brutal war against heroin, cocaine and marijuana, it has blithely overlooked a flourishing trade in pharmaceuticals and other legally manufactured intoxicants that are now almost as popular, and arguably more harmful.
Stoned, Inc: The war on drugs’ whack-a-mole problem
Photo by Patrick Mallahan III/Wikimedia
Can the US snuff out Latin America’s ‘legalize it’ push?
HAVANA, Cuba — When heads of state meet this weekend at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, two contentious issues are expected to dominate the debate.
One will be Cuba’s exclusion from the meeting, since the Communist-ruled country isn’t a member of the Organization of American States (OAS), which organized the summit.
The other will be the growing backlash against the US-led drug war, including bold new talk of drug decriminalization.
Ironically, the two countries in the hemisphere that may be the most adamantly opposed to legalization efforts are Cuba and the United States.
But elsewhere in the region, more and more nations are losing patience with drug wars, as organized crime, corruption and savage violence spread, and security expenditures suck up public spending.
Continue reading: Can the US snuff out Latin America’s ‘legalize it’ push?
How to increase revenue in your town:
A tiny Spanish hamlet near Barcelona voted Thursday to lease nearby land for cultivating marijuana in order to make up for shrinking revenues, reported the Associated Press.
The town council of the Catalonian village of Rasquera, population 900, voted 4-3 Wednesday to rent land to an association that provides therapeutic cannabis to its 5000 members.
"This is an opportunity that will bring money to the village and will bring jobs," Mayor Bernat Pellissa told TVE television after the village council approved the plan.