As the drug debate progresses in the UK with the AMCD review, there is also the Vancouver Forum on internatiopnal drug policy this week. A pity that the Law Commission didnt have anyone there. The MildGreens were represented by way of USA Greens champion Clifford Wallace Thornton jr. and LEAP, now with 10,000 'law enforcement' membership.
Forum organizers noted that "over-reliance on law enforcement" criminalizes drug users unnecessarily, "fuels the drug economy and the black market, aids organized crime and terrorists [dependent on income from drug crops] and disproportionately targets poor people of colour."
He [Former Vancouver mayor Philip Owen] noted that 220 U.S. mayors at a conference last June "agreed unanimously the war on drugs is not working."
"Cops are so concerned about being labelled soft on drugs, soft on crime, and that next promotion, that we don't even talk to our peers about what we believe." /Jack Cole
There will be more to report on Vancouver in due course. /Blair
Meanwhile consider this insightful.courageous.elegant.erudite.com(entary)......
It is about time that policy makers woke up to the fact that a single mechanism linking damage to health with criminal punishment, as enshrined in the Misuse of Drugs Act, is entirely illogical. By all means reclassify cannabis. Reclassify all drugs. legal and illegal, according to the harm they can do. That's one debate and of itself it is hardly straightforward. But deal with the criminal justice implications separately.
These two considerations have nothing to do with each other, and the link between them is entirely abstract, completely fatuous and vastly distorting. So much damage has already been done through the creation of the illegal market for drugs that it is hard to see exactly how to undo it. But dividing consumer health issues from supplier criminality issues would be a modest and entirely sensible start.
- The costs associated with the control, monitoring, and enforcement of international drug laws add ‘less and less to the benefits achieved and more and more to the cost to society. Ultimately, the costs outweigh the benefits’
The market for amphetamine-type stimulants and their precursors in Oceania, the production, trafficking, importation, and consumption of ATS.,
Published by the Australian Institute of Criminology. Chapter: Conclusions)