Archive for the ‘drug war’ Category

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

January 19th, 2010 1 comment

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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