Drugs: Should We Go Dutch?

  Drugs: Should We Go Dutch?

Posted by FoM on September 19, 2000 at 08:18:33 PT
By Elizabeth Bromstein 
Source: Montreal Gazette 

They say (I don't know who "They" are but They must be very smart and important people) that when faced with writer's block, the most effective way to get the ball rolling is to write a few facts. So, here goes: Kittens are cute. The Olympics have become a joke. Gloria Steinem got married. And Canada should legalize drugs. Hmmm, now which one of those should we tackle today? Adorable little fuzzy creatures? Corporate buggery and the steroid controversy? Feminists who in their later years suddenly realize they might become lonely after all? 
Or how ineffective methods are making a bad problem worse for an entire country with a pigheaded government who just won't admit it's going about things all wrong? Let's try that last one. Unless you're been on a really long bender over the past year, you've probably noticed that organized crime is getting a lot of media attention lately. Bikers are constantly causing a ruckus, a journalist was shot just for doing his job. The fields of Quebec farmers are being taken over by marijuana growers who plant their own crops, then booby trap the area to keep the farmers out and threaten their families and children to keep them from squealing. All these happenings - and more - have one thing in common. If, as we are led to believe, drugs are the basis of organized crime, then they wouldn't be happening if drugs weren't illegal. Let's take a look at some more facts and, while we're at it, some fiction. Fact: The ineffective "war on drugs" being fought at the moment affects many more people than those who are actually on them. Innocent people are caught in the crossfire. Even if nobody threatens your children and you aren't shot, think about the information you get from the media. If one reporter was shot for telling what he knows, imagine how many journalists might know way more than we tell you? The information you receive might very well be censored or altered for fear of repercussion. Fiction: The law against drugs keeps people from using them. According to a continuing series in the Ottawa Citizen, Why the War on Drugs has Failed, there is absolutely no evidence that this is true: it states that "experience from all over the world shows that drug use rises and falls with surprisingly little regard for the legal status of drugs." In fact, writer Dan Gardner points out, rates of addiction and drug use have exploded over the past five decades and notes, cunning observer that he is, that "drug prohibition became fully entrenched in international law and aggressively enforced about five decades ago." Fiction: If drugs were legal, use would soar and addiction would become an epidemic. Translation: most people are complete and total morons. I've never done heroin and, if it were legal, I would still not do it and neither would you if you have any brains. I know lots of people who do all kinds of drugs and illegality has never been a factor in their decision to smoke, shoot up or get hepped up on goofballs. Also according to the Ottawa Citizen, when Holland made possession of small amounts of drugs such as heroin or cocaine de facto legal, "Dutch consumption of these drugs, far from exploding when the criminal law was pulled back, stayed fairly stable." Also, marijuana is legal and controlled in Holland and - guess what? - "The Dutch rate of marijuana use continues to be one of the lowest in the western world." Put that in yer pipe and smoke it! Oh yeah, and "the Dutch rate of drug-related deaths is the lowest in Europe." Fiction: Throwing people in prison for narcotics is a deterrent. Prison is a great place for drug traffickers to make contacts with other drug traffickers and when you can get them in there, well, what else are you supposed to do with your time? Fact: Europeans are way ahead of us. "Many European countries are now moving toward the decriminalization or de facto legalization of mere possession of drugs." Fact: Columbia too. According to Friday's Vancouver Sun, it is proposing widespread legalization of hard drugs. "Colombia will argue at the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas in the spring that decriminalizing and regulating drugs like heroin and cocaine and channeling profits into fighting addiction is the best way to undermine organized crime." Columbia should know, as Senator Antonio Guerra pointed out, because there "the cultivation of drug crops and the production and trafficking in narcotics has permeated all aspects of public life and the private sector." He argues: "Legalization could mean depriving drug traffickers of the powerful economic ingredient that makes this illicit activity so lucrative." People should be more angry about this than we are. I know that if I had a child who became a casualty in a biker war or if I were a farmer afraid to enter my own field and fearing for the lives of my children, I'd be pretty mad at the cause, which is the inaction of a government that's too busy dancing around issues and too afraid to admit that nothing is getting done and maybe it's time to explore other avenues. I don't have space to get into all the arguments here but the solution just seems so blatantly obvious and, even if I'm wrong, I'd still like to see our glorified nose pickers at least stand up and admit the subject merits discussion. Is that too much to ask? Probably. Elizabeth Bromstein's E-mail address is: electrabeth Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2000 Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)Copyright: 2000 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.Contact: letters thegazette.southam.caWebsite: Articles:You Can't Keep a Banned Drug Down Leading The Way To Smarter Drug Laws

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Comment #8 posted by military officer guy on September 19, 2000 at 21:17:13 PT

gave me the chills...

kaptinemo, that was literally gave me the chills to read your post...keep them coming all, especially the articles and the posts...we can win this war... 
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Comment #7 posted by kaptinemo on September 19, 2000 at 13:47:50 PT:

Another hammer pounding away

at the coffin nails.Sometimes I feel like I stepped into a time warp, and am days ahead of attending a funeral. There's a funerary wreath with condolences. A freshly dug hole flanked by piles of dirt. Seats positioned by the grave site. The only thing that's missing is the coffin. Because the bloody, buggering monster that this is all for is hanging on for dear life. It just will not refuse to admit that its' time has come. It will not go quietly, but must have its' grand exit disguised as an entrance. It really does want to go out with a bang...and take as many people as it can in the process to the grave with it. But another voice has been raised against its depredations. Another set of hands is now raising the hammers and banging on the nails of the Beasts' coffin. And those hands will be joined by others. Because the wall of silence has been breached at last; the media has awakened to what so many of us have known for so long. One of their number, Mr. Gardner, has spoken, and not been killed for doing so (I am not being melodramatic; as the ghost of Peter McWilliams would attest to the truth of that statement, were he able.) Sadly, one Canadian journalist *has* had his life nearly taken from him for exposing the futility of the DrugWar, but his close call only serves to illustrate starkly that futility. Because, despite Canadian laws preventing personal ownership of weapons, the bikers up there seem to have plenty of them. No doubt purchased with drug money. A fact which seems to escape the media and governments of both Canada and the US. Yes, friends, the truth is getting out. In dribs and drabs, and being largely ignored by our media down here. But more people are arriving with more nails and hammers. And the beast is getting nervous.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 19, 2000 at 12:26:42 PT:

Way To Go i_rule_ 

You Got It! Great! No need to apologize at all. I got so happy when I finally started figuring out about links and making fun web pages. Here is my first page. I haven't really changed it since I made it because it's just pretty! Good reason. Not really but I like it. When I want to look at something nice I let my computer sit on that page for a little bit and it makes me remember when it all started. Computers are great! Peace, FoM!PS: It take a few minutes to load because of the animations.I hope the link works because the url is long.
FoM's Freedom Page
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Comment #5 posted by i_rule_ on September 19, 2000 at 12:15:13 PT

Sorry, Sorry.

dang it. Here it is.
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Comment #4 posted by i_rule_ on September 19, 2000 at 10:57:14 PT


My post should read:
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Comment #3 posted by Puritan on September 19, 2000 at 10:49:03 PT

"Glorified Nose Pickers"

Don't you love it.
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Comment #2 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on September 19, 2000 at 09:49:35 PT:

Hope against the Darkness

If only General McCaffrey would sit down and listen to such an intelligent woman.
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Comment #1 posted by i_rule_ on September 19, 2000 at 09:34:48 PT

More proof......

inch by inch, step by step, slowly they
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