Call yourself an activist? - The biggest single issue ever..

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CannabisForAutism
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22 May 2011, 5:34 pm

Dear friends,

In days we could finally see the beginning of the end of the ‘war on drugs’. This decades long and hugely expensive policy has completely failed to curb the plague of drug addiction, while costing countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks.

Drug policy experts agree that the most sensible policy is to regulate, but politicians are afraid to touch the issue. In days, a UN panel of global leaders including billionaire Richard Branson, and five current and former heads of State, will break the taboo and publicly call for a move towards decriminalization and regulation of drugs, delivering a major new report to the UN Secretary General.

This could be a once-in-a-generation tipping-point moment -- if enough of us call for an end to this madness. Politicians say they understand that the war on drugs has failed, but claim the public isn't ready for an alternative. Let's show them a sane and humane policy is not taboo. Click below to sign the petition -- it will be delivered by the Commission to the UN Secretary General and global leaders in New York:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_the_war_on_ ... c7a25b8f7f

Current drug policies are failing everyone, everywhere but public debate is stuck in the mud of fear and misinformation. As thousands of journalists, policy experts, and social scientists have documented, the current approach -- deploy militaries and police to burn drug farms, hunt down traffickers, and imprison dealers and addicts – has been an expensive mistake. And with massive human cost -- from Afghanistan, to Mexico, to the USA the illegal drug trade is destroying countries around the world, while addiction, overdose deaths, and HIV/AIDS infections continue to rise.

Meanwhile, countries with less-harsh enforcement -- like Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Australia -- have not seen the explosion in drug use that proponents of the drug war have darkly predicted. Instead, they have seen significant reductions in drug-related crime, addiction and deaths, and are able to focus squarely on dismantling criminal empires.

Powerful lobbies still stand in the way of change, including military, law enforcement, and prison departments whose budgets are at stake. And politicians fear that voters will throw them out of office if they even mention alternative approaches, as they will appear 'soft on drugs', weak on law and order, or pro drug use. But polls show that citizens across the world know the current approach is a catastrophe. And momentum is gathering towards new improved policies, particularly in regions that are ravaged by the drug trade.

If we can create a worldwide outcry now to support the bold calls of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, we can overpower the stale excuses for the status quo. Our voices hold the key to change -- Sign the petition and spread the word:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/end_the_war_on_ ... c7a25b8f7f

We have a chance to enter the closing chapter of this brutal 'war' that has brought destroyed millions of lives. It is time to join forces and end this disgraceful policy that affects us all. Global public opinion will determine if there is change. Let's rally urgently to push our hesitating leaders from doubt and fear, over the edge, and into reason.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Laura, Ricken, Maria Paz, Shibayan and the whole Avaaz team

SOURCES:

Reports that show the war on drugs has failed:
http://idpc.net/publications/failure-re ... blications

Reports that show alternative approaches of decriminalisation and regulation are working:
http://idpc.net/publications/alternativ ... blications

War on drugs 'cannot be won', officers claim
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... claim.html

5 Years After: Portugal's Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... nalization

The Global Comission on Drug Policy that will call on the UN to end the war on drugs
http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Documents.aspx

Drug War by the Numbers
http://www.drugpolicy.org/facts/drug-war-numbers

Final Report of the Latin American Comission on Drugs and Democracy
http://www.drogasedemocracia.org/Englis ... Registro=8



TheBicyclingGuitarist
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22 May 2011, 6:58 pm

I admire your enthusiasm, and share your passion to end the current injustice, but I would hardly call this the single biggest issue ever. What about corporate greed, world hunger, disease, racism, religious wars, etc.? All of those impact our lives to a greater extent than the drug issue. Some people who might otherwise have signed the petition may not just because of the choice of words on the thread title. It offends me, but I signed anyway because it IS an important issue. I would hardly call it THE biggest issue though.


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John_Browning
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22 May 2011, 7:19 pm

CannabisForAutism wrote:
Dear friends,

In days we could finally see the beginning of the end of the ‘war on drugs’. This decades long and hugely expensive policy has completely failed to curb the plague of drug addiction, while costing countless lives, devastating communities, and funneling trillions of dollars into violent organized crime networks.

Drug policy experts agree that the most sensible policy is to regulate, but politicians are afraid to touch the issue. In days, a UN panel of global leaders including billionaire Richard Branson, and five current and former heads of State, will break the taboo and publicly call for a move towards decriminalization and regulation of drugs, delivering a major new report to the UN Secretary General.

This could be a once-in-a-generation tipping-point moment -- if enough of us call for an end to this madness. Politicians say they understand that the war on drugs has failed, but claim the public isn't ready for an alternative. Let's show them a sane and humane policy is not taboo. Click below to sign the petition -- it will be delivered by the Commission to the UN Secretary General and global leaders in New York:


The UN can go [fornicate] itself. If the UN thinks something is a good idea, that's a good sign to run the other way.

CannabisForAutism wrote:
Current drug policies are failing everyone, everywhere but public debate is stuck in the mud of fear and misinformation. As thousands of journalists, policy experts, and social scientists have documented, the current approach -- deploy militaries and police to burn drug farms, hunt down traffickers, and imprison dealers and addicts – has been an expensive mistake. And with massive human cost -- from Afghanistan, to Mexico, to the USA the illegal drug trade is destroying countries around the world, while addiction, overdose deaths, and HIV/AIDS infections continue to rise.

And this is a good idea why? When substance abuse is the root cause of so much of our crime- even gun-realted violence (for this argument, including self defense against these same addicts)? This will only make more crackheads, stoners and tweakers, and cause street gangs and other organized crime to peruse and compete for new illegal revenue generating schemes.

CannabisForAutism wrote:
Meanwhile, countries with less-harsh enforcement -- like Switzerland, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Australia -- have not seen the explosion in drug use that proponents of the drug war have darkly predicted. Instead, they have seen significant reductions in drug-related crime, addiction and deaths, and are able to focus squarely on dismantling criminal empires.

Those are all predominantly white countries. That's not as likely to work in some of our huge minority groups.

CannabisForAutism wrote:
Powerful lobbies still stand in the way of change, including military, law enforcement, and prison departments whose budgets are at stake. And politicians fear that voters will throw them out of office if they even mention alternative approaches, as they will appear 'soft on drugs', weak on law and order, or pro drug use. But polls show that citizens across the world know the current approach is a catastrophe. And momentum is gathering towards new improved policies, particularly in regions that are ravaged by the drug trade.

Those are all government agencies. Not lobbies. The only branch of the active duty military that has any substantial role in drug interdiction is the coast guard, the national guard is needed along the border for more reasons than just drug interdiction, and law enforcement and the prison system don't get enough money to handle their duties.


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Sweetleaf
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24 May 2011, 12:02 am

TheBicyclingGuitarist wrote:
I admire your enthusiasm, and share your passion to end the current injustice, but I would hardly call this the single biggest issue ever. What about corporate greed, world hunger, disease, racism, religious wars, etc.? All of those impact our lives to a greater extent than the drug issue. Some people who might otherwise have signed the petition may not just because of the choice of words on the thread title. It offends me, but I signed anyway because it IS an important issue. I would hardly call it THE biggest issue though.


Well in my case the war on drugs issue effects my life quite a bit more then world hunger, disease, racism and religious wars. But I also might add that the drug war does actually tie into even some of those things. like I could use racism as an example cannabis was made illegal due to a lot of racist beliefs.....the thing is the war on drugs is not just about 'drugs' its also about opression and ignorance. It is hard to say what the biggest issue is but the war on drugs is certainly one of the top because of how much it ties into a lot of other things.



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24 May 2011, 12:12 am

John_Browning wrote:
CannabisForAutism wrote:
]Current drug policies are failing everyone, everywhere but public debate is stuck in the mud of fear and misinformation. As thousands of journalists, policy experts, and social scientists have documented, the current approach -- deploy militaries and police to burn drug farms, hunt down traffickers, and imprison dealers and addicts – has been an expensive mistake. And with massive human cost -- from Afghanistan, to Mexico, to the USA the illegal drug trade is destroying countries around the world, while addiction, overdose deaths, and HIV/AIDS infections continue to rise.

And this is a good idea why? When substance abuse is the root cause of so much of our crime- even gun-realted violence (for this argument, including self defense against these same addicts)? This will only make more crackheads, stoners and tweakers, and cause street gangs and other organized crime to peruse and compete for new illegal revenue generating schemes.

A lot of violence is alcohol related....especially a lot of domestic violence, and alcohol is legal. Also why would you put crackheads, stoners and tweakers in the same catagory? I don't feel like my use of cannabis makes me anything like a crackhead or a tweaker. Also how would reforming the drug policies cause more gangs and organized crime. As for illegal revenue generating schemes, well everyone has to make a living somehow and not all drug dealers are related to gangs....some of them are just regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living.



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24 May 2011, 2:41 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
A lot of violence is alcohol related....especially a lot of domestic violence, and alcohol is legal. Also why would you put crackheads, stoners and tweakers in the same catagory? I don't feel like my use of cannabis makes me anything like a crackhead or a tweaker. Also how would reforming the drug policies cause more gangs and organized crime. As for illegal revenue generating schemes, well everyone has to make a living somehow and not all drug dealers are related to gangs....some of them are just regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living.

I would love to get rid of alcohol but it appears to be the first thing humans invented right after they formed the first permanent settlement and farm, and it's been ingrained in our societies ever since. I agree that alcohol is a problem, but just because we have one problematic intoxicating substance that is legal does not mean we should make more problematic intoxicants legal. Alcohol use frequently does result in violent behavior mainly while intoxicated as well as strained relationships, but harder drugs result in armed robberies, homicides, and property crimes, and their family relationships end up completely destroyed.

Making drugs legal would leave the size of the street gangs pretty much static, but it would cause an increase in crime to to the new users with access to a new, readily available source of drugs. Even with legal drugs, huge amounts of money will still flow to politically unstable countries. If that's not bad enough, users judgment will often be impaired due alternately between being high and being desperate for a fix.

I strongly disagree that drug dealers are just regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living. Their presence is viewed as a threat by the locals, their activities attract lots of undesirables to a neighborhood, and they bring shootings, robberies, and other crime with them until the neighbors hide in their homes. Then the dealers offer free drugs for kids to try for the first time so they can get them hooked, and the cycle starts over again. Your "regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living" are just typical street thugs who have a total disregard for anyone but themselves.


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Sweetleaf
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24 May 2011, 3:07 am

John_Browning wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
A lot of violence is alcohol related....especially a lot of domestic violence, and alcohol is legal. Also why would you put crackheads, stoners and tweakers in the same catagory? I don't feel like my use of cannabis makes me anything like a crackhead or a tweaker. Also how would reforming the drug policies cause more gangs and organized crime. As for illegal revenue generating schemes, well everyone has to make a living somehow and not all drug dealers are related to gangs....some of them are just regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living.

I would love to get rid of alcohol but it appears to be the first thing humans invented right after they formed the first permanent settlement and farm, and it's been ingrained in our societies ever since. I agree that alcohol is a problem, but just because we have one problematic intoxicating substance that is legal does not mean we should make more problematic intoxicants legal. Alcohol use frequently does result in violent behavior mainly while intoxicated as well as strained relationships, but harder drugs result in armed robberies, homicides, and property crimes, and their family relationships end up completely destroyed.

Well I don't think alcohol should be illegal, but my point was its a dangerous substance that is legal....and then cannabis which usually does not cause violence is illegal, just kind of hypocritical. Another big issue is accurate information about drugs in general is rare especially if you rely on the mainstream media.
Making drugs legal would leave the size of the street gangs pretty much static, but it would cause an increase in crime to to the new users with access to a new, readily available source of drugs. Even with legal drugs, huge amounts of money will still flow to politically unstable countries. If that's not bad enough, users judgment will often be impaired due alternately between being high and being desperate for a fix.

Also, I don't know that all drugs will every be fully legal......but if they where, if anything that would decrease illegal activites associated with drugs.....as there would not really be an 'illegal' drug market. Also drugs or not money still flows into politically unstable countries.....also not all drugs are addictive, so not all drug users are impaired due to being desprate for a fix.
I strongly disagree that drug dealers are just regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living. Their presence is viewed as a threat by the locals, their activities attract lots of undesirables to a neighborhood, and they bring shootings, robberies, and other crime with them until the neighbors hide in their homes. Then the dealers offer free drugs for kids to try for the first time so they can get them hooked, and the cycle starts over again. Your "regular people who happen to sell drugs for a living" are just typical street thugs who have a total disregard for anyone but themselves.

I said 'some' drug dealers not all of them....but in my experiance with cannabis there are a lot of regular people who grow in their house or possibly outside if they have the land for it and a way to hide it...and then of course they sell it. Also I don't like the idea of shooting people, robbing people or any other violent crimes, and that can be said for most 'stoners' hence the reason why people get frusterated that you can go to prison for using a substance that is safer then alcohol.

Also, what you are describing with the giving kids free drugs to get them hooked seems like it would be more common with meth or crack or something nasty like that........believe it or not it does vary so you cant lump all drug users or drug dealers into the same catagory since that rather inaccurate.



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24 May 2011, 8:48 pm

Well, as many in my family tend to be addicted to cannibis, I don't think the 'it is harmless' arguement is really going to convince me. Not when you have had a front row seat to watch the 'fireworks.'

Also, I've seen the reports from the medical papers on it's effects. Higher likelyhood of cancer with smoking it (even greater then cigarettes!) and a tendancy for it to eventually affect memory.

Not only that, but quite often most of the people pushing for legalization tend to be users themselves, with few scientific data actually given as to why it can now be safely decriminalized. Usually it's based more on 'feelings' and the remnants of ideas from old aging hippies.


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24 May 2011, 9:35 pm

Metalwolf wrote:
Well, as many in my family tend to be addicted to cannibis, I don't think the 'it is harmless' arguement is really going to convince me. Not when you have had a front row seat to watch the 'fireworks.'

Also, I've seen the reports from the medical papers on it's effects. Higher likelyhood of cancer with smoking it (even greater then cigarettes!) and a tendancy for it to eventually affect memory.

Not only that, but quite often most of the people pushing for legalization tend to be users themselves, with few scientific data actually given as to why it can now be safely decriminalized. Usually it's based more on 'feelings' and the remnants of ideas from old aging hippies.


And more recent evidence/studies suggest cannabis smoke cannot cause lung cacer so there goes that theory.