War on Drugs

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Cop: Fake Evidence, Lying 'Part of the Game'

Florida deputy spills tactics to DC Post

(Newser) - Sheriff's deputies in Palm Beach, Fla., don't lie and plant evidence because they're particularly corrupt or desperate to make an arrest—they do it as a way of life, according to a deputy who spoke anonymously. DC Post caught up with him after he posted a blog... More »

Police Blew a Hole in My Toddler

Alecia Phonesavanh tells her story

(Newser) - When their house burned down, Alecia Phonesavanh and her family went to Atlanta to stay with her sister-in-law. On their minivan's back windshield were pasted stick figures of the family: Mom, dad, three daughters, and a baby boy. That baby boy is poignant, because soon after they arrived, police... More »

Rand Paul: I Won't Send My Son to Iraq

Senator adds that he doesn't blame Obama for the 'mess'

(Newser) - Rand Paul hit the Sunday show circuit today to stake out a position on Iraq that sets him apart from the hawks in his party. "Let's not be involved in the Syrian civil war, and let's not be involved in the Iraq civil war," the senator... More »

Police Drug Raid Puts Toddler In a Coma

They chucked a flash bang grenade into his playpen

(Newser) - A Georgia toddler is in a medically induced coma with only a 50/50 shot at survival after police threw a "flash bang" grenade into his playpen during a drug raid. Police had a no-knock warrant for the Atlanta home, after a confidential informant said he'd bought methamphetamine there.... More »

Anthony Bourdain: We're Hypocrites to 'Brother' Mexico

We gobble up its culture, but care little about its crises

(Newser) - Americans are deeply attached to what comes from Mexico, whether it's food, music, beaches, or the labor that we depend on even as we criticize immigration. "In two decades as a chef and employer, I never had one American kid walk in my door and apply for a... More »

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 »

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