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Old 03-06-2013, 08:37 AM
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Default At last, drug prohibition is being challenged by fresh thinking

At last, drug prohibition is being challenged by fresh thinking
The Economist
Feb 23rd 2013 |From the print edition



UNTIL recently it seemed that nothing would disturb the international consensus that the best way to deal with narcotic and psychotropic drugs is to ban them. Codified in a United Nations convention, this policy has proved impervious to decades of failure. Drug consumption has not, in most parts of the world, fallen. Prohibition inflicts appalling damage, through the spread of organised crime, the needless deaths of addicts exposed to adulterated drugs and the mass incarceration of young men.
Now a whiff of change is in the air (see article). Officials in two American states, Colorado and Washington, are pondering how to implement their voters’ decisions in referendums last November to legalise marijuana (cannabis). A dozen countries in Europe and the Americas have deemed the possession of some drugs no longer to be a criminal offence. A few Latin American presidents want a rethink of the “war” on the supply and trafficking of drugs.
Several forces are bringing change. First, public attitudes are starting to shift. Americans have seen that the widespread availability of marijuana for ostensibly medical use has not led to mass addiction. Polls show that around half now support full legalisation. In Britain, a poll this week found a similar proportion in favour of decriminalising cannabis possession.
Latin America is also tiring of trying to suppress production. That is not surprising: in several countries, the death toll associated with efforts to combat the drug business has risen to the level of a conventional war. Mexicans complain that the notion of “shared responsibility” proclaimed by international bureaucrats means that their people get killed whereas the United States, with its soft gun laws, arms the traffickers, launders their money and consumes their product.
Changes in the drug market, meanwhile, are undermining the idea that the problem can be dealt with only at an international level. Synthetic drugs, such as amphetamines and Ecstasy, are now more widely used than cocaine and heroin. Scientists dream up new “highs”, while the law lags. As a result, the neat distinction between “consumer”, “supply” and “transit” countries has broken down: the United States and Europe are big producers of cannabis and synthetics, while Brazil, formerly a “transit” country, is now the world’s second-biggest consumer of cocaine. That is leading to experimentation with drug policy at a national and state level.
The Economist has long argued that prohibition is illiberal in principle and harmful in practice, and that the least-bad way of dealing with drugs is to legalise and regulate their production and consumption. But we recognise that it takes a brave politician to face down the moral panic that surrounds the issue. This new thinking, though limited, is therefore welcome. Legalising consumption allows drug use and addiction (by no means the same thing) to be treated as the public-health issues they are. That in turn means applying the principle of harm reduction, for example by providing clean needles to addicts to prevent the spread of HIV.
But decriminalising consumption does nothing to break the grip of gangsters over the drug business. For that to happen, production and distribution also need to be legalised. That is why the experiment under way in the United States is so important. Colorado and Washington now have the chance to create a legal but regulated market in marijuana, similar to those for tobacco or alcohol. Their referendums approved sales of drugs through regulated outlets only, and not to minors. The states now need to design a way of taxing cannabis that discourages consumption while avoiding the creation of a black market.
This experiment has three potential benefits. It should help to determine whether legalisation boosts drug use. It will undermine Mexican drug gangs, which earn perhaps $2 billion a year from cannabis exports to America. And it might provide a model for regulating other, harder, drugs.
The feds should stand back
A threat hangs over the scheme: in 2005 the Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on marijuana for medical use, even in states where this was legal, because of the risk that the drug would leak to other states. The danger of leakage will increase once this experiment gets under way. So it is encouraging that Barack Obama has said that he does not see prosecution of pot smokers in Colorado and Washington as a “top priority”, which means that he plans to do nothing for the moment. Since most of the benefits of legalisation will take a while to show up, it is to be hoped that he will hold his nerve.
One immediate consequence is that the United States will be in breach of the UN Convention. Good. It should now join Latin American governments in an effort to reform that outdated document to allow signatories room to experiment. Imposing a failed policy on everybody benefits nobody.
From the print edition: Leaders
Ref: Illegal drugs: The great experiment | The Economist
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:50 AM
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hello Shanti... it's me fishy

I had a major coco virus problem with your SSH seeds but I finally figured out what was going on so I planted my last six seeds in good old dirt and I got three males and three distinctly different female phenos that all grew really well

A ten weeker, a twelve weeker, and a fourteen + weeker

but because that stinking rotten virus killed all but six of your lovely seeds I had to do a seed run with the last three females so I pollinated them all with a male that I couldn't stop looking at because he was perfect to fishy's androgynous eye

Now the bud is second rate because I pollinated the girls from top to bottom because I was being silly at the time but the vaped and ever so spicey #2 pheno tastes so good it is to die for and the high from a well cooked #2 cap is really good too. The #3 pheno is cedarwood and is not as good as spicey #2. I will take a two day break and then try #1

I have fifteen sprouts at two weeks so I'm looking forward to trying unseeded SSH

Diddley?

Diddley is sulking because I berated him for screwing with your forum

He's a problem I admit

Oh well

Shit happens hey Shanti
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Last edited by oneofus; 03-06-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:07 PM
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@oneofus - interesting response to Shanti's post
@shantibaba - the times they are a changing - no small thanks to people like yourself!
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:53 PM
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Yut, we are pushing for change here in Vermont USA (New England). Our governor is pro cannabis and has been vocal in his opinions. We hope to have cannabis legalization legislation passed this year. This is a good time to consider activity in the system. Keep the conversation going.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:15 PM
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SOoner rather than later governments everywhere will realize that prohibition only works when there is a concensus amongst the population in agreement. For example we can prohibit certain weapons and it works because most agree, we can prohibit anthrax because most agree. Just examples. Hard to prohibit alcohol or cannabis when so many choose to use it and ignore the law. This is a totally failed prohibition whose days are numbered !
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:52 AM
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I am 100% sure that the western governments have been all too aware of how the drugs war has been going, AND of the fact that prohibition creates the problems, not the substances or the use of t hem or the users themselves..I think they have known for a LONG time.. but for various reasons have either refused to change the situation or have been scared to.. ie "daddy or grandpappy would roll in his grave if he knew we were legalizing it" I can just see some US senator or British MP saying that..lol

The old gaurd needs to not only be retired, but also dead and buried for a decade or so before changes can happen smoothly and quicky imo..Once the origional generation that banned their use is all long gone, I think change will happen almost instantly..
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:23 AM
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Thumbs up Welsh Cannabis Clubs Embraced By Welsh Gov't

Now We've Established Over A Dozen New Cannabis Clubs In North Wales We Have Been In Touch With The Welsh Minister Of Health, And Am Happy To Say She Is For Medicinal Use Of Cannabis
She Wants Us To Now Almagamate All The Clubs.
Positive News And Big Thanks To Jeff , Formerley Of Beggers Belief
Times Are A Changin, Thats For Sure
JKP ( Gwynedd Cannabis Club )
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:44 PM
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JKP ! Good to hear the minister of health is on the right track! Question: are they wanting the clubs amalgamated to increase control? Not sure I trust it, Easier to shut down one than many... Not that they would do that! Change of gov't seems to be the main threat, we've seen some of that here in The Great White North. Of course we have the downtrodden Liberal party here Promising across the board legalization , IF they get back to power.. with the jr Trudeau stepping up chances are they will. Of course they promised that in the 1978 election campaign., well we did get decriminalization under an ounce out of that...the long and winding road eh?
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