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Canada, the US, and Drug Laws

According to the CBC, the US is threatening unspecified measures against Canada if the government there decriminalizes marijuana:

David Murray, right-hand man to U.S. "drug czar" John Walters, says he doesn't want to tread on another country's sovereignty, but warned there would be consequences if Canada proceeds with a plan to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.

"We would have to respond. We would be forced to respond," said Murray.

Murray didn't spell out what the American response would be, but he invoked images of tie-ups at border crossings and intense bureaucracy...

Murray tried to express the feeling in the U.S. that looser drug laws go hand-in-hand with an increase in crime and drug addiction among youth, and used some apocalyptic language to do it.

"You can't wall this off saying, 'We're only talking about a little cannabis.' Our experience is they come together like the Four Horsemen," he said.

I'm not sure what I find more outrageous: the implied threats against our neighbor and ally, or the ridiculous claims about the effects of decriminalization. As NORML put it:

In Holland, where politicians decided over 25 years ago to separate marijuana from the illicit drug market by permitting coffee shops all over the country to sell small amounts of marijuana to adults, individuals use marijuana and other drugs at rates less than half of their American counterparts.
Don't believe NORML? How about a report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction?
Lifetime experience of cannabis is reported to range from 10% (Finland) to 25 to 30% (Denmark and the United Kingdom) of the whole adult population, with a substantial number of countries reporting figures of around 20% (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland and the Netherlands)... [C]ocaine and ecstasy have been tried each by about 0.5 to 4.5% of the population... As a reference outside Europe, in the 2000 US household survey, 34% of adults (12 years and older) reported lifetime experience of cannabis and 11% of cocaine.

Recent use of cannabis is reported from 1 to 10% of all adults, although most countries that have information report levels of between 5 and 10%. Recent use of amphetamines, cocaine or ecstasy was reported in general by less than 1% of adults, although Ireland and the United Kingdom have somewhat higher figures for the three substances, together with Denmark and Norway for amphetamines and Spain for cocaine. In the 2000 US household survey, 8.3% of adults (12 years and older) reported recent use (past year) of cannabis and 1.5% of cocaine.

I heap criticism on liberals who are against experiments in school reform (notably voucher-based systems) not so much because I'm positive they'll work, but because I'm sure the current educational system doesn't, and feel strongly that we should try new ideas. By the same token, though, conservatives who are against experiments in drug policy reform deserve the same criticism. The War on Drugs has been an abject failure by any reasonable measure. Why aren't conservatives willing to try new ideas?

The US could do with a lot less partisanship and a lot more pragmatism these days.


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The Four Postulates of Apocalypse:
Postulate 1: He who has power projects/ uses power. (applies force). Horseman G.W. Bush

Postulate 2: He who has influence leverages/ applies influence. (applies coercion) Horseman D. Rumsfield

Postulate 3: He who has the ‘gold’ values/ collects the gold. (e.g. taxation, contracts) Horseman R. Cheney

Postulate 4: He who has the ‘gold’ makes the rules. (and more power/gold) Horseman J. Ashcroft

Corollary 1: He who regulates the “process” (system) defines/creates the “process”.
Bureaucrats: ‘Bureaucracy’ is an industry of restrictive regulatory/enforcement, not a facilitation process/mechanism.
/ Example bureaucracies: IRS, EPA, DOD, DOJ, USAID, OSHA, etc.

Primary Function: Maintain/perpetuate self-necessity (rationalize self-importance)
/ (e.g. incompetence => no resolution => requirement of solution => need for intervention => jobs to promote incompetance)

Secondary Function: Promote systematic and personal incompetence. (incompetance => need=>jobs=>gold =>power)

Tertiary Function: Promulgate propaganda wrt the ‘nature’ of process regulation

Corollary 2: He who teaches (propagates) “facts” defines/selects the “facts” (define ‘value’ of information/recitation)
Educators: ‘Education system’ is an enterprise of information regulation, not a development service.
/ Example ‘systems’: primary, secondary, university, marketing, lobbying, religion

Primary Function: Maintain the self-validating experience of dysfunctionalism.
/ (e.g foster ignorance => need for ‘instruction’=> jobs => gold => power to promote ignorance)

Secondary Function: maintain ‘system’ as a bias formulation enterprise (business), not propagation of intelligence/thought.

Tertiary Function: Promulgate propaganda wrt the ‘nature’ of knowledge/learning/thought.

Corollary 3: He who enforces the “laws” creates the “laws” (defines ‘right’/ ’morality’/ ’justice’)
Law Enforcement: ‘Justice system’ is a morality enforcement industry, not a mechanism of equity/ integrity maintenance/creation.
/ Example industries: ‘intelligence’ collection, ‘investigation’, monitering, police, attorneys, courts, incarceration)

Primary Function: Perpetuate self-validating ‘authority’ by defining ‘nature’ of criminality (‘wrong’).
/ (e.g. more bias => more laws=> more ‘authority’=>more jobs=>more gold=> more power => more bias)

Secondary Function: Perpetuate the ‘industries’ of criminal/social “justice”. (e.g. criminalization of selected 'drugs' => 'authority' => jobs => power)

Tertiary Function: Promulgate propaganda wrt the ‘nature’ of morality/criminality/justice.


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