Friday, July 25, 2008

Drug Policy 'Environmentalism' From The 'Asses

Eco-chic Columbia Govt jesuitical front group ignores effects of prohibition

'Crusader' for the status quo
Ana Maria Caballero

The woman above reportedly heads an organization from the government of Colombia called "Shared Responsibility." This organization has a campaign to guilt-out environmentally conscious users of cocaine over the consequences of its illicit production, including that of its parent substance, the plant Coca.

"Shared Responsibility" acts as if this happens in a vacuum: that this is intrinsic to the drug and to the plant, without regard to the prohibition laws that push growers further into less-cut areas (to evade detection from criminal law enforcement), and of the refinement of the drug (encouraged by laws equating whole coca with refined cocaine).

Those that read this article see this:


1. ubetchaiam | 07.18.08

Ms.Cabellero ought to put her efforts into the insane ‘war on drugs’; when ‘drugs’ are illegal’ it only ads to the so called allure. One only has to look at Denmark and the usage of hash and marijuana. Though such is legal in certain areas, the majority of the population are not users or enthralled with ‘getting away with something’.

Best to legalize in a controlled, regulated manner those substances mankind seeks out to alter their experience of ‘reality’.

2. onlein | 07.18.08

I agree with the comment about legalizing or decriminalizing drugs; the war on drugs is insane. But I’ve long thought that the increased awareness approach should also be used. It seems, though, that many well-educated, knowledgeable Americans use cocaine while covering their ears in an I-can’t-hear-you manner when it comes to the increased awareness message. Come on. Be adults, be menschen. Using this illegal drug supports terrorists as well as destroys the environment. If you can’t stop, get help. Then someday, if drugs are legal and produced in an environmentally friendly way, you can go back to using.

3. Charles Duwel | 07.18.08

The drug warriors must be getting desperate. If you look at it rationally - not required for drug warriors - it’s the drug WAR that is the problem. It only took folks about 10 years to figure out that the alcohol war was a disaster, with the drug war it’s 60-70 years and counting. Their failures keep causing mounting problems all over the world and they still refuse to actually think about what they are doing. It’s is fun to watch such monumental stupidity but it’s getting a little old. Time to stop. After all, what is the goal of the drug war? To make sure that people only get high and [possibly] ruin their lives with alcohol? This makes no sense to me.
Also consider that the constitution requires equal treatment by the law - if anyone cares. I happen to know the Supreme Court does not.
But then they’ve always had a problem with equal treatment by the law.

4. Pete Guither | 07.18.08

Initiatives like this one, are pretty obviously PR moves to cover up the failure of the drug war. If someone stops using cocaine to save the environment, it’s unlikely to have any impact — the likelihood of influencing enough users to make a dent in the black market profits is miniscule. The smart environmentalist cocaine user knows this. However, the environmental damage could be stopped in an instant by regulating and controlling cocaine, taking almost all the black market profits out of it, and eliminating the incentive for going into the rain forests to grow coca leaves. It’s time for the Colombian and U.S. governments to have a serious discussion about alternatives to the destruction of prohibition.

5. Kirk Muse | 07.18.08

Growers of legal products don’t grow their crops in
clandestine locations. Do tobacco growers grow the crops
in national forests or on somebody else’s land? No.

Criminalize tobacco and the situation would soon change.

6. LM | 07.19.08

It would seem that the “war on drugs” is just another facet of our nation’s preoccupation with control and its ludicrous attempt at changing habits by altering the supply side of the equation, rather than the demand aspects. It’s not just coca, by the way; I work in an academic research institution in Afghanistan, and am witnessing how US (and for that matter, UK) policy is hurting people here. I recently returned from a quick field visit to Balkh in the north, where an enforced ban on poppy cultivation during this severe drought year has brought the rural economy to its knees, prompted a large exodus of enviro-economic refugees to Iran and Pakistan, and initiated a plea from local people to Turkmenistan to allow Afghan livestock to relocate there temporarily so that the flocks can perhaps survive. Poppy is not just opium here - it provides edible oil from the crushed seeds, which are also eaten (as poppyseeds are in the US), and the presscake left over from oil extraction becomes a high-protein feed for livestock during the long, harsh Central Asian winter. So the only question remaining, really, is if next year will see poppy resurgence or anti-government insurgence. If it’s insurgence, we no doubt will label it as “Taleban,” which goes to show how little we understand about the rural economy here. Poppy is a low-risk crop in a high-risk milieu, one that - unlike illicit coca - is environmentally less onerous than alternative crops; poppy uses just 1/6 of the water that wheat needs, for example, and also absorbs much more local labor. The irony is that according to the Senlis Council, there’s a global shortage of morphine, and legalizing poppy cultivation - even if in small pilot projects for the time being - would therefore be a win-win situation.

7. FatSean | 07.19.08

Make it legal for adults to use, and let the free market drive fair-trade and sustainable cocaine production.

This woman is high! When supply is so restricted, but demand never stops, does she really think this is going to do a damn thing?

I agree with the other posters, work on getting the legality fixed and everything else will fall into place.

8. thehim | 07.19.08

I’m sorry, but the blame here goes on the governments who insist on trying to eradicate this market despite the fact that doing so has been clearly demonstrated to be both impossible and unnecessary. If cocaine was decriminalized and tightly regulated, criminals who have no concern for the environment would not be in charge of its production and you could easily protect the environment. Stop deflecting the blame onto people who have no control over the real problem.

9. erik | 07.19.08

Author, you time would be better spent speaking of the evils of the drug war. You do realize that farmers are required to go out in the middle of no where to farm this drug, correct?
If the US government didn’t “force” the Columbian government to spray obvious locationed-crops with poison, this would not be an issue.

10. Ted | 07.19.08

I found this article to be uninformed in the basics of the economic and social policy regarding coca.

There are tens of thousands of square kilometers of arable land in that region to grow this high-demand (globally) primary crop. An informed reporter would ask what is driving the crops into these ecologically-sensitive areas. That is simple- it is the multi-billion dollar policy to destroy production, forcing production of this cash crop out of perfectly good farming areas.

Also, if the production abruptly ceased, the foothold that the US military holds in South America would lose its purpose. By having an ongoing drug war, the US has a “valid” reason to keep military asset near to Venezuela.

The US government has no intent on actually ending this “conflict”, and is the primary reason these crops are that deep in the jungle.

If the coke-snorting elite in America cared about the jungle, they would pressure their government to stop spraying Round-up on the arable lands.

11. name | 07.19.08

43 sq feet per gram? what kind of BS statistic is that

12. Brandon Bowers | 07.20.08

Weak. Completely ignores the fact that if cocaine were legal, farmers could purchase land on which to grow coca, just like tobacco farmers currently do.

13. dave | 07.20.08

Great points, guys — especially from Ted and name.

I’d just like to add that this article would be weak as an editorial but is pathetic and unethical as the news article it is supposed to be.

The Christian Science Monitor needs to retract this piece. If not, it deserves to lose all credibility.

The article’s reporter, apparently a high school intern for the White House, has completely bought into whatever press release she got from the office of the U.S. or Columbian drug czar.

Just because something is a green issue — which this is not — doesn’t mean a reporter shouldn’t have to do some fact checking and basic reporting.

The #1 source in this story, which is challenged in no way by the reporter and called a “Crusader” in the photo caption, works for an arm of the Columbian federal government.

Suspicious assertions are presented as fact, including:
“And slash-and-burn clearing for coca farms is one of the country’s largest sources of air pollution. The clearing also accelerates global climate change, which is shrinking Colombia’s mountaintop glaciers.”

And, as name pointed out:
“43 square feet of forest are cleared to produce one gram of cocaine”

Are you serious?

Well, if the reporter got it in a press release, I guess it has to be right.

The "'Christian' Scientists' Monitor" is neither christian or science.

"Shared Responsibility" is just another jesuitical front group that belongs on the ash heap of history.

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