NEWS ABOUT: War on Drugs

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Obama, Make These 5 Tweaks to SOTU

Ian Bassin lists 5 'bold' moves president could make at State of the Union

(Newser) - President Obama will announce a number of executive actions at tonight's State of the Union Address—but though the writing and planning of the speech likely started months ago, there are probably a number of aides considering last-minute additions even now. Ian Bassin should know: He used to be... More »

Planet Losing the War on Drugs

Substances getting purer as prices drop: report

(Newser) - In countries around the world, law enforcement is losing the war on drugs, researchers say. Their evidence: Across two decades of data, purity of illegal substances is up and cost is down, the BBC reports. "These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through... More »

End the Drug War; Make Next Drug Czar a Doctor

David Sheff thinks Obama's not doing enough to end a counterproductive policy

(Newser) - Just once in his life, at 19, David Sheff carried a trunk-load of marijuana from Berkeley to San Diego. On his way home, his trunk now empty, police pulled him over and searched his car. Ever since he's looked back "with abject horror at how much my life... More »

Feds Have Been Overstating Mexican Cartels' Reach

Frequently cited NDIC statistic draws skepticism

(Newser) - Mexican drug cartels now operate in more than 1,000 US cities. It's a statistic quoted constantly in rhetoric in the war on drugs—last year John McCain and the House Homeland Security subcommitee were among the many to cite it. And it's almost certainly bogus, law enforcement... More »

America's Stupidest Drug Laws

'Reason' breaks down the most ridiculous laws the drug war has produced

(Newser) - What's more ridiculous than the war on drugs itself? The plethora of strange draconian laws that have cropped up to support it. Don't believe it? Well, Mike Riggs of the libertarian Reason Magazine has come up with a list of the five most ridiculous ones. Judge for yourself:... More »

US Takes Drug War to Africa

Critics say United States just playing 'Whac-A-Mole,' risks blowback

(Newser) - Latin America has long been the United States' focus on the war on drugs. But increasingly that war is reaching Africa, too, as US forces are training counternarcotic squads in Ghana and are looking to start similar programs in Nigeria and Kenya, reports the New York Times . In addition, the... More »

Christie: War on Drugs a Failure

Caring about addicts part of being pro-life, he says

(Newser) - Chris Christie strayed far from GOP orthodoxy yesterday by declaring the war on drugs to be a failure. "We're warehousing addicted people every day in state prisons in New Jersey, giving them no treatment," he told a crowd at the Brookings Institution. Christie argued that mandatory treatment... More »

US Drones' New Mission: Caribbean Drug Traffic

Homeland Security will increase surveillance flights

(Newser) - No wonder the US has so many drone bases scattered about the country: The drones keep getting extra duties. In the latest development, the US plans to ramp up flights over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to catch drug smugglers, reports the Los Angeles Times . The move will "... More »

Is War on Drugs Bad for Chocolate?

Gourmands fight for native Peruvian cocoa

(Newser) - To cut down on production of the coca plants behind cocaine, the US has pushed an alternative crop to Peruvian farmers: a high-yielding cocoa hybrid. And while CCN-51 has had commercial benefits, there's one problem, chocolate experts say—it just doesn't taste that good. Instead, these connoisseurs say,... More »

Obama: Drug 'Legalization Is Not the Answer'

Summit leaders increasingly want to end war on drugs

(Newser) - With an election year well under way, President Obama went to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia determined to talk about trade deals and the economy. Unfortunately, many of the other leaders wanted to talk about the failed war on drugs and legalization, reports the LA Times . "In... More »

Ron Paul Slams 'War on Drugs'

Plus, Maine's caucus outcome could change

(Newser) - Ron Paul, on a swing through Western states, showed an enthusiastic Seattle crowd why he is a GOP candidate like no other. He decried the "war on drugs," saying "we are allowed to deal with our eternity and all that we believe in spiritually, and if we'... More »

Cops Fired for Opposing War on Drugs

New York Times examines case of border patrol agent

(Newser) - Bryan Gonzalez was working as a Border Patrol agent in New Mexico when he made the fatal mistake of musing to a colleague that legalizing marijuana would end Mexico’s violent drug war. He was fired soon afterwards; his termination letter said he held “personal views that were contrary... More »

Commando-Style DEA Squads Fight Cartels Abroad

Squads train local authorities, but sometimes things get ugly

(Newser) - The war on drugs meets the war on terror: In 2008, George W. Bush started a DEA program called FAST (Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team), meant to investigate Afghanistan drug traffickers linked to the Taliban. The program continued under President Obama, and now includes five military-trained squads of special agents that... More »

Mexicans to US: Stop Consuming Drugs

Poet, grieving father leads activists on 'trail of pain'

(Newser) - A Mexican poet and hundreds of activists toured some of the most dangerous cities in Mexico last week on what he called a “trail of pain,” calling for an end to the violent drug war rocking the country. Javier Sicilia, whose 24-year-old son was killed in March by... More »

War on Drugs Has Been '40 Years of Folly'

It's been an 'unmitigated disaster,' especially for black America: Charles Blow

(Newser) - Next week marks the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's launch of the war on drugs, writes Charles Blow in the New York Times . It is most definitely not a celebratory column. It is "a war that has waxed and waned, sputtered and sprinted, until it became an unmitigated... More »

Congress: US Wasting Billions in War on Drugs

Pair of reports blast counter-narcotics spending in Latin America

(Newser) - The Obama administration has essentially no evidence that the billions spent combating the drug trade in Latin America have done anything to stem the flow of narcotics into the US, according to a pair of scathing new congressional reports. “We are wasting tax dollars and throwing money at a... More »

War on Drugs a Bust: Global Panel

Former world leaders back marijuana legalization, addict aid

(Newser) - The American-led war on drugs is a failure and governments should move toward the legalization of some drugs, especially marijuana, concludes a report from a panel of politicians and former world leaders. The Global Commission on Drug Policy panel—which includes former UN chief Kofi Annan, the former presidents of... More »

ICE Busts Hundreds in 168-City Gang Sweep

Half of those nabbed in multi-city raids have Mexican cartel links

(Newser) - A vast multi-city gang sweep shows the extent to which Mexican drug cartels have penetrated American cities—and, say federal officials, the extent to which the government is willing to go to take them down. Some 678 gang members, including 421 nationals, were busted in 168 cities during Project Southern... More »

Why We Need to Legalize Pot

Our war on marijuana does more harm than good

(Newser) - What will happen if we legalize marijuana? Simple: Police will be able to “focus on serious crime instead,” writes George Soros in the Wall Street Journal . The liberal billionaire and philanthropist outlines his reasons for supporting California’s Prop 19 , with the bottom line being that “our... More »

Congress Cuts Racist Crack Sentencing Disparity

Felony amount now only 18 times higher for powder cocaine

(Newser) - Congress quietly eased up the federal sentencing guideline on crack cocaine yesterday, addressing one of the more glaring disparities of the drug war. In what critics have called a racist double-standard, possessing a mere 5 grams of crack is considered a felony, compared to 500 grams for powdered cocaine. The... More »

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