Home > drug war, federal contol, states > Is a roll-back of the "War on Drugs" brewing? US House unanimously approves bill to establish study commission

Is a roll-back of the "War on Drugs" brewing? US House unanimously approves bill to establish study commission

i ran across the following article in the UK’s Independent, but surprisingly the news doesn’t seem to have aroused the slightest interest in the US media:

US waves white flag in disastrous ‘war on drugs’

After 40 years of defeat and failure, America’s
“war on drugs” is being buried in the same fashion as it was born –
amid bloodshed, confusion, corruption and scandal. US agents are being
pulled from South America; Washington is putting its narcotics policy
under review, and a newly confident region is no longer prepared to
swallow its fatal Prohibition error. Indeed, after the expenditure of
billions of dollars and the violent deaths of tens of thousands of
people, a suitable epitaph for America’s longest “war” may well be the
plan, in Bolivia, for every family to be given the right to grow coca
in its own backyard.

The “war”,
declared unilaterally throughout the world by Richard Nixon in 1969, is
expiring as its strategists start discarding plans that have proved
futile over four decades: they are preparing to withdraw their agents
from narcotics battlefields from Colombia to Afghanistan and beginning
to coach them in the art of trumpeting victory and melting away into
anonymous defeat. Not surprisingly, the new strategy is being gingerly
aired in the media of the US establishment, from The Wall Street
Journal to the Miami Herald.

What “white flag”? The article refers to a bill passed unanimously by the US House of Representatives in December (Dec. 8) to establish an independent commission (the “Western
Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission”) that will be charged with evaluating U.S. policies and programs
aimed at reducing illicit drug supply and demand in the Western
Hemisphere an independent commission. It’s rather pathetic that Congress needs an “independent commission” to hash out a change of policy in this area, but presumably no Congresscritters want to look like they are “soft on crime” in advance of mid-term elections.

Maybe I just haven`t been reading carefully (I was aware that the Obama administration had announced it would no longer be raiding state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries), but this is a BIG story, and GREAT news!

So where’s the coverage? Perhaps no one really cares to cover the story at home because it requires facing how disastrous our policies have been abroad, but at home as well, and shows how much prestige and influence the US has lost during the Bush terms?

In any case, I hope that libertarians will examine, critique and cheer on these developments.

I did find a little bit of domestic contemporaneous coverage of the US House actions last year.




Maybe Obama will be able to find other uses for War on Drugs authority and budgets?  It would be nice to see the states start to wrest control back over this matter, but it is hard to expect any easy devolution of hard-won federal authority.

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  1. TokyoTom
    January 20th, 2010 at 13:30 | #1

    I received the following comment by email from a non-registered reader:

    One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, communists, and non-whites under prosecution of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

    The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. Behold, it’s all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery is being extradited to prison for selling seeds that American farmers use to reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

    The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies, but he underestimated Schafer’s integrity. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use. Former U.K. chief drugs advisor Prof. Nutt was sacked for revealing that non-smoked cannabis intake is scientifically healthy.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. God’s children’s free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.

    This email was sent by Bill Harris (wrh512 _yahoo.com)


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