Friday, February 27, 2009

There is a special place in Hell reserved for the Vatican

William Randolph Hearst,
Vatican tool
(SMOM) Knights of Malta
who dedicated his newspapers towards unjustifiably demonifying Cannabis and other herbs
for criminal mercantilism market protection for Virginia Bright Leaf cigarettes and big pharm

From Pete Guither:

There is a special place in Hell reserved for the Vatican

Oh sure, there were the Crusades, the Inquisition, the destruction of science (Galileo), silence during the Holocaust, coverup of pedophiles, and the direct responsibility for millions of deaths to AIDS due to opposing safe sex practices (particularly in third world countries).
But NO, that's not nearly enough for the Vatican. Surely there's more evil that they can promote, more people they can kill in the name of God the Pope.
Oh yes, how about drug users. Let's kill some of them, too.
You see, the United States finally, finally, finally, came to its senses and the Obama administration sent a new message through its representatives to the United Nations that at least needle exchange as a harm reduction approach would be accepted. While that was not nearly all that was needed, it was at least an opening, and even the most rabid global drug warriors agreed that needle exchange was now a sure thing to be included in the new global drug policy.
But then, guess who intercedes?
The Vatican has been accused of putting the lives of thousands at risk by attempting to influence UN drugs policy on the eve of a major international declaration.
The Vatican's objection to "harm reduction" strategies, such as needle exchange schemes, has ignited a fierce debate between the US and the EU over how drugs should be tackled.
A new UN declaration of intent is due to be signed in Vienna on 11 March. However, there are major disagreements between member countries over whether a commitment to "harm reduction" should be included in the document, which is published every 10 years.
Now the Vatican has issued a statement that claims that using drugs is "anti-life" and "so-called harm reduction leads to liberalisation of the use of drugs". The Vatican's last-minute intervention appears to have led to Italy withdrawing from the EU consensus on the issue and thrown the talks over the declaration into confusion. [Guardian, UK]
Now, just to be clear, is there any doubt as to the actual truth? No.
Seven federally funded studies during the 1990s, conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the CDC and the National Academy of Sciences among others, all reached similar conclusions that NEPs work in reducing HIV's spread among IV drug users, their partners and children, and that they do not encourage increased drug use. Furthermore, a more recent study by the World Health Organization compiled the results of over 200 such reports from around the world and came to the same conclusions. [emphasis added]
The Vatican knows this, and yet they oppose needle exchange. Dr. William Martin, Professor Emeritus of Religion and Public Policy at Rice University says:
When the science is clear, when we know that something will help save lives and choose not to do it that is not only pigheaded, it is immoral.
There is no doubt that the Vatican is immoral.
I am no stranger to spirituality. I was raised in church (my father is a minister). But religion does not own, beget, nor bestow morality. And some of the most moral people I've known are atheists.
In fact, when a group of people claim to be the holders of religious truth and use that ill-gotten power for destruction rather than for the good of the people, then they are terrorists, whether they reside in caves in Pakistan, or high in the Holy See.

11:00:23 PM | | Related | permalink | comment [1]
Roman Catholic Anti Christ Cocaine Prohibition

Saturday, February 21, 2009

U.N. I.N.C.B. Religious Inquisition Terrorists

An excerpt from the UNINCB:

INCB Secretary visits the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board, Mr. Koli Kouame, on behalf of the Board, took part in an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 29 November to 1 December 2008 to witness the efforts undertaken by the Government of Iran in drug control. Mr. Kouame was part of a delegation composed of diplomats and representatives of international organizations based in Vienna.

INCB President and INCB Secretary visit the Vatican

The President of the International Narcotics Control Board, Professor Hamid Ghodse, and the Secretary of the Board, Mr. Koli Kouame, visited the Vatican on 26 November 2008. Professor Ghodse and Mr. Kouame met with the Monsignor Pietro Parolin, Under-Secretary of State for Relations with States and had exchange of views on the world drug situation and what the faith-based organizations, in particular the Vatican can do, to promote worldwide efforts against drug abuse. During their visit, they also briefly met with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.

INCB President and INCB Secretary participate in the forty-third session of the Sub-commission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East, in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

The President of the International Narcotics Control Board, Professor Hamid Ghodse and the Secretary of the Board, Mr. Koli Kouame attended the forty-third session of the Sub-commission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East, held in Tehran from 16 to 20 November 2008. During his visit, Professor Ghodse delivered a keynote address and met with Dr. Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran and with Dr. Esmail Ahmady Moghadam, Adviser to President and Secretary-General of the Drug Control Headquarters, to discuss drug control matters in Iran and regional cooperation efforts. Mr. Koli Kouame attended the proceedings of the Subcommission and held discussions with the participants regarding their country's cooperation with INCB.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Nonsense from the U.N. I.N.C.B.

Continuing criminal activity
of bureaucratic sociopaths for
alcohol, big pharm and cigarette market protection

Multilateral drug control was one of the twentieth century’s greatest achievements, but according to the 2008 International Narcotics Control Board report, the lethal side-effects of the illicit drug trade in many countries, coupled with the unavailability of narcotics for medical purpose in others, revealed that major efforts were still needed to maintain the system’s integrity.

Melvyn Levitsky, a former United States ambassador and a current member of International Narcotics Control Board (ICNB), provided an overview of the report, which was launched in New York at Headquarters this afternoon. Discussing a wide range of issues, he underlined one of the Board’s key conclusions that, globally, more attention needed to be focused on prevention strategies since gaps in preventive efforts stimulated drug trafficking, abuse and the need for treatment.

He also stressed that only some “harm reduction” methods -- such as the use of substitute treatment most commonly seen in methadone programmes, well-managed needle exchange schemes and alternative sentencing procedures -- were in accord with anti-drug conventions. Others, such as drug injection rooms, general consumption rooms and “crack kits”, were not.

One area where many countries were struggling was in combating illegal, rogue Internet pharmacies, which allowed legal and illegal drugs to be purchased often after phoney e-mail consultations with doctors. The Board expected to publish some guidelines for helping stem that practice, he said. “Our plea is to make sure that Governments take a look at this to see if there is something multilaterally that can be done,” he added.

INCB monitors and promotes the implementation of the three drug control conventions -- the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, he said.

The Board’s 13 members are elected by the Economic and Social Council, and over 95 per cent of United Nations Member States -- covering over 99 per cent of the world’s population -- are parties to the three instruments. “The drug conventions are the ‘Bible’ with regard to the way countries are to carry out their obligations in drug control since they have signed and ratified these conventions”, Mr. Levitsky said.

He noted that 2009 marked the centennial anniversary of the International Opium Commission, which was held in 1909 in Shanghai and had spurred efforts to create today’s international drug control regime. In addition, a high-level meeting would be held later this year in Vienna to evaluate the progress made since the General Assembly’s last special session on drugs in 1998.

He said that among the areas where positive progress had been made was the growth in regional drug control initiatives, as the realization spread that countries acting alone could not deal with the problem of illegal drugs. Of particular note were efforts in Latin America, where the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) was making inroads, and the ongoing initiatives by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and among Canada, the United States and Mexico. Recent developments in West Africa had caught the attention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In many places, such regional initiatives were bearing fruit, said Mr. Levitsky, pointing out that today in South-East Asia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand were almost opium free. While Myanmar remained a problem, production there had, nevertheless, decreased.

A system to control the “precursor” chemicals needed to refine the final intoxicating product from its raw form -- heroin from opium, cocaine from coca leaves, methamphetamine from pseudoephedrine and ephedrine -- had also been created so countries could measure the import and export of different substances. After the rapid rise of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine from Asia, Mexico had banned the import of those chemicals to stem its domestic methamphetamine production.

The report also notes among its most positive findings that drug abuse among youth and teens had gone down 24 per cent in the last eight years in the United States, the world’s largest drug market. He cautioned, however, that the use of illegal drugs remained high in the United States with the illicit use of over-the-counter drugs having become, perhaps, the major problem. Both the over-advertisement and over-prescription of pharmaceuticals contributed to their rising use, he added.

Turning to the areas of general concern cited in the report, he highlighted the rising levels of tolerance of cannabis and marijuana, and the decriminalization of medical marijuana despite rising levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) due to sophisticated growing technologies, increased emergency-room visits after recreational use of marijuana and a greater number of studies linking the drug’s use to mental illnesses like schizophrenia and short-term memory loss. Bucking that trend, the United Kingdom had also moved cannabis from a schedule C to a schedule B drug, in recognition of the risks involved, he said.

Like the world community, the Board was quite concerned about Afghanistan, he said. Although cultivation areas had been reduced there last year by roughly 19 per cent, yields remained disproportionately high, resulting in a decrease of only 6 per cent in total production -- or more than enough to supply the illegal drug habits of people around the world. Neighbouring countries -- such as the “‑stans” to the north and Iran to the west -- were suffering from that oversupply as their user populations grew. In Iran’s case, the number of opiate users were estimated at around 3 million people.

Focusing on other specific regions, he said that, although yields had gone down, coca cultivation in the Andes was up in terms of total area, and cocaine smuggling remained a particular concern in that region, he said. A rise in production had been seen in Bolivia. While Colombia had taken “quite effective” efforts to combat cocaine smuggling, Venezuela remained a transit State for much of the cocaine going to West Africa and Europe. Drug-fuelled violence in Mexico had also risen.

Other findings showed that 27 per cent of Europe-bound cocaine transited West African States such as Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Cape Verde, prompting ECOWAS to hold a conference on drug trafficking’s spill-over effects, especially the weakening State institutions and the rise of corruption. The report also notes growing instances of methamphetamine being produced in Canada and smuggled to South-East Asia.

To a question on the report’s findings about the rise of the United Arab Emirates -- particularly its free trade zones -- as a major transit route for drugs, he said the Gulf area had not historically been considered a locus of drug abuse because of religious prohibitions and the strictness of regional States. But there was heightened tension between free trade areas and the ability to smuggle drugs in small quantities but high-value shipments. Customs officials and other authorities should pay more attention to that flow and establish better internal systems to deal with drug abuse.

Pressed about what could be done in Afghanistan, he stressed that while the promotion of sustainable alternative livelihoods anchored around alternative crops and small industry or crafts was needed, some kind of security and effective Government presence would be required to bring sufficient infrastructure to support them. It was hoped that the arrival of 17,000 additional United States troops over the next several months might provide training and equipment for the Afghan Government’s eradication efforts, as well as providing the security needed to allow alternative livelihoods to gain a toe-hold.

He stressed that regional leaders also needed to step up their contributions, as did North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries and United Nations agencies running programmes on the ground. While the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had made some progress on that front, it was only on the margins and the major obstacle remained the lack of Government control. Moreover, the demand side also needed work, although it was clear that supply exceeded demand and spilled over in detrimental ways to local and neighbouring populations.

Responding to a question on medical marijuana, he said the challenge of medical marijuana was in devising a dosage system for something that could be smoked. The Board believed that if there was a scientific means of prescribing marijuana via something like the Federal Drug Administration’s approval in the United States, it would be in line with the international drug conventions. Pointing out that some chemicals in the marijuana plant could be simulated as in a drug called Marinol, he said the same principle applied to extracting compounds from the plant’s seed or leaves.

When asked about the report’s findings on the use of coca products by Bolivia’s indigenous populations, he said the Board’s position was that Bolivia was in contravention of the anti-drug accords and had urged the current Government there to meet its obligations as signatories to the 1971 Convention. If, as Bolivia claimed, chewing coca leaves was done to blunt hunger pains and combat altitude sickness, other ways to combat these problems, such as promoting a better standard of living, might be called for. In addition, if Bolivia wanted to change how coca leaf was handled in the conventions, there was a procedure to do that through the World Health Organization (WHO), or by seeking an amendment to the conventions with the support of other countries.

Asked about the recent headlines about Olympic champion Michael Phelps’ marijuana use and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez’s ingestion of performance-enhancing drugs, he said both cases were terrible examples for the world’s youth, but the Board could not say what should be done legally in either -- particularly since it was not yet known what substance Rodriguez had taken.

U.N. International 'Narcotics' Control Board

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obama Administration & April UN INCB Meeting?

From Joep Oomen:



In a few weeks from now, we may see a first important sign of Barack Obama’s promise of a true regime change in the United States.

When the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs meets in Vienna from 11 to 20 March in order to establish new guidelines for international drug policy in the coming years, the eyes of the world will point towards those that received the mandate from the new White House staff to address this meeting. Will Washington continue to lead the world into a dead-end one way street, or will it start to speak the language of dialogue? How will the other two key players in the global drug policy game, the UN Office of Drug Control and the European Union, respond to this opportunity to change the course of history? What are the true prospects for the dream that world leaders will finally start to discuss a rational alternative to the global drug war madness?

As host of the yearly CND meetings, the UNODC in Vienna has no interest in anything that may threaten the consensus behind the current status quo. The way in which Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa categorically refuses to discuss the results of Dutch cannabis policies shows that here, the door towards new approaches in drug policy is firmly closed. With regards to the European Union, it will depend very much on the spokespersons, since the legendary contradictions between EU governments as well as between the words and the actions of EU bureaucracy, remain the main obstacle for making any progress at all.

In the Netherlands, where cannabis has been officially available to adults through the sale in coffeeshops since 1976, the level of cannabis use is lower than in neighbouring countries where cannabis is only available underground. Therefore it is cannabis policies in these countries, not in the Netherlands, that need to be questioned first. This is the underlying knowledge that EU politicians do not want to admit, and obedient civil servants do not want to insist on. So meanwhile, any kind of debate on drugs is avoided and EU drug policies continue to be hollow façades designed to cheat the taxpayers.

In December 2008 the European Commission delivered a new EU Action Plan on Drugs without allowing any opportunity for comment to the European Parliament, the recently created Civil Society Forum nor the Public Forum on the Internet that had been specifically established for this purpose two months before. Only ministers and civil servants took part in the writing of this plan, that ironically lists “participation of EU citizens in drug policy” as its second most important priority. In truly heroic style, the plan announces the launch of a so-called European Alliance on Drugs in June 2009, a partnership of citizens and authorities to fight against drugs.

A "European Alliance on Drugs" sounds like a term that may have been introduced during an after dinner conversation between EU leaders. Even the people working in the office of the European Commission’s Anti-Drugs Unit in Brussels are not able yet to explain what this alliance wants and what it will consist of.

For the next Civil Society Forum, Encod will work out a proposal for a true and effective dialogue on drug policy between authorities and citizens in Europe. A dialogue based on the knowledge that we share common interests: using the best expertise and knowledge available in order to convert evidence-based information into rational and pragmatic proposals for a better approach.

The research that Encod conducted in the past months among drug user organisations in Europe, some of which have 35 of years of experience in dialogue with authorities, produced the basic recommendations on how to build bridges between authorities and citizens who are affected by drug policies.

Meanwhile, Encod is constructing transition models towards a future where drugs-related problems are treated as a social and health issue in stead of a criminal justice one.

Although Encod will not initiate any big events outside the UN building in Vienna this year, due to organizational problems, we will instead send a delegation of people inside who together represent experiences from some of the citizens who are most affected by drug policies around the world.

It is possible to meet the members of this delegation at the conference that Encod will organise on 4 March, the week before Vienna, in the European Parliament, under the title “Coca 2009 – from persecution to proposal”. At this conference, organised in collaboration with the Bolivian government and coca growers’ organizations under the auspices of European Parliament Member Giusto Catania, Encod will propose a model to start commercialising traditional coca leaf products in Europe in a fair trade scheme.

According to this model coca products will not be available on the free market. The commercial transaction will take place between associations (of both coca leaf growers and consumers of coca products), without the intervention of private companies. The model is based on an agreement signed by Encod and various federations of coca growers in Bolivia, who will be share the ownership of this initiative.

The idea is to introduce the world to a healthier use of coca leaves than in the way it has been used outside the Andean Region until now: in either cocaine or Coca Cola. The bibliography on the positive effects of coca on the functioning of body and mind is impressive. According to a Harvard study in 1978 the consumption of the coca leaf in tea or other products has no negative side effects, acts as a mild stimulant, anti-depressive and local anesthesic, improves the function of the stomach, the muscles and the throat, and can be used in the treatment of obesity and diabetes.

At the UN Summit in Vienna, the Bolivian government will present a proposal to end the persecution of the coca leaf. When considering this proposal, Barrack Obama should realise that yes, he can end a war that has turned the Andean region into a drug policy Guantanamo. By decriminalising the cultivation of coca leaves in the Andean Region and allowing the market for coca leaf products to extend across the world, a more just and effective control system on coca cultivation can be introduced, and perspectives for sustainable development in coca producing areas can be created.

Since 1995, Encod has been campaigning together with organisations of coca growers from the Andean Region for the legal use of traditional coca leaf products in Europe as a way to teach the Western world the right way to use this product and reduce the availability of coca to the illegal production of cocaine. This call has been repeated by the European Parliament in several occasions. And since coca grower leader Evo Morales became Bolivia’s president, the government of that country is also proposing that the UN take coca off the list of prohibited drugs.

The same theory can be applied to the legal use of cannabis that is traditionally grown in Morocco, of opium in Afghanistan, and to the cultivation for personal consumption of any kind of plant anywhere.

With the green light from the White House, the UNODC and the EU should take their responsability and start the dismantlement of conventions that have made the world into a playground for organised crime. Each society should have the right to establish its own culturally accepted way of controlling the production and distribution of substances that people desire to consume, within the context of human rights.

By: Joep Oomen (with the help of Peter Webster)

* Those of who cannot be in Brussels on 4 March: you can participate in the discussion by sending your comments to

Those of you who can be there, click here to register.

What About The Other 8?

Sheriff Lott: Now drop the other pot charges

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he won't file criminal charges against Michael Phelps for being photographed with a bong pressed up to his face. Now the sheriff should stop hassling the eight people he arrested to try to build evidence against Phelps. Presumably some/all are college kids. Aside from the legal consequences, a drug conviction can jeopardize student financial aid, enrollment etc.

Check out this account of some of these arrests:

From the Associated Press:

One of the attorneys representing the three students arrested said the accused were all in their early 20s. Attorney Dick Harpootlian said police kicked in the doors with guns drawn during the raids and found less than a cigarette's worth of marijuana in the house where the party was held. The other raid netted about four or five cigarettes' worth, Harpootlian said.
The lawyer expects his clients to either have the charges dismissed or for them to get a conditional discharge, which allows an offender to avoid punishment as long as they comply with certain conditions for six months and stay out of trouble.
"We hope these kids are treated the same as any other kids," he said.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Joe Rogan to Kellogs

Joe Rogan's open letter to Kelloggs regarding Michael Phelps

Dear Kelloggs,

I’m writing this letter to express my disappointment in your company in firing Michael Phelps as a spokesperson for your products because he was photographed while enjoying some marijuana.

I respectfully would like to communicate my opinion on this matter because I think it’s of great public interest.

First of all, although it is true that Mr. Phelps broke the law, I think any reasonably intelligent person would admit that it’s one of the most fucked up and corrupt laws that we have today in this country. Marijuana is relatively harmless and certainly far less dangerous than a host of other things that are not only legal but also readily available, like alcohol and prescription drugs. The only reason it remains illegal to this day is because it’s a plant and you can’t patent it and control it’s sale, and because if it were legal it would greatly affect the demand for a host of prescription drugs that rake in billions of dollars each year for pharmaceutical companies.

That’s it.

Marijuana has never killed anyone EVER in over 10,000 years of use. We’re not protecting people from themselves, we’re not saving the children - it’s just a horribly illogical law that is in place because of corruption and propaganda.

The fact that it’s against the law is just a disgusting reminder of how retarded our system is, not a reasonable reaction to a proven threat to society.

I have to say, this whole thing saddens me, because I personally would like to think that as Americans we’re better than this. These television news anchors will shake their heads at the thoughtless mistake Mr. Phelps had made by “smoking dope,” and then without even the tiniest sense of irony they will cut to a beer commercial.

This is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, right? We’re not supposed to be a nation of little bitches giving in to the whims of corrupt politicians and the pharmaceutical companies who’s interests they’re representing.

It’s 2009, and in this day and age with the incredible access to information that we have available there’s no fucking way that we should be allowing human beings to tell other human beings that they can’t do something that they enjoy that hurts no one including themselves.

THAT is madness. THAT is ignorant, and THAT is completely fucking un-American.

I don’t want to hear any of that, “he’s setting a bad example with the children” nonsense either, because we all know if he had a gin and tonic in his hand instead of a bong this would never have been an issue, even though every single study ever done has shown that marijuana is FAR less dangerous than alcohol.

Marijuana laws are a horrible waste of resources and law enforcement, and especially in this day and age with our economy in such horrible shape I believe the last thing we need to be doing is wasting tax payers’ money on any of this victimless bullshit.

I find your reactions to Mr. Phelps situation both ignorant and short sighted.

I think what would have been a far better response from Kelloggs would be to support Mr. Phelps, and perhaps point out that maybe we as a society should take a closer look at the evidence and possibly reconsider our position on this misunderstood plant that so many of our productive citizens find useful.

Now, I’m sure if you really were running Kelloggs and you were still reading my bullshit all the way down to this, you must be thinking, “Why the hell would we stick our necks out like that for pot smokers?”

And of course the answer to that question would be, because we buy your shit, motherfucker.

Do you guys even know your consumer statistics? Well, let me fill you in on some of my own personal scientific research on the subject, because I have been closely studying my own purchases for over 20 years, and I can tell you that I’ve been high 100% of the time I’ve bought your shit.

I mean, do you guys ever think about what you sell?

Pop tarts? Are you kidding me? I would be willing to bet that 50% of the people buying pop tarts are stoned out of their fucking minds.

Just to be perfectly clear on my position, I would like you to know that I enjoy your products. I think many of them are quite tasty, but lets be honest; you guys sell sugar-drenched shit that’s horrible for your body - in fact, it’s actually way worse for your body than pot - and you market this shit specifically to children.

You assholes go as far as putting lovable cartoon characters on the boxes just so that kids will beg their parents for it.

Now, I don’t want you to misunderstand my point, because I in no way want anything bad to happen to your company. Like I said, I genuinely enjoy your products.

There’s nothing quite like being stoned out of your mind at 2am watching a Chuck Norris movie and eating a bowl of fruit loops. Your company and its products have been a part of some very pleasurable moments in guilty eating, and I’m glad you’re around.

All I’m saying is that it’s high time (no pun intended) that you motherfuckers respect the stoner dollar. There’s WAY more of us than you might think, and we tend to get upset about dumb shit like this. There are millions of us, and if we decide that we don’t like a company, they’re going to feel it.

I think if you looked into it carefully, you would be surprised at how many undercover potheads there are out there. Pot smokers don’t all fit into the obvious, negative stereotypes; we come in all shapes and forms - including by the way, the form of the greatest fucking swimmer who ever lived, EVER.

Think about THAT shit for a second..

So in closing, I would like to ask you nice folks to please smarten the fuck up.

I would request that you check the calendar and note that it’s 2000 and fucking 9, and next time you think about getting all uppity about pot you might want to do a quick google search on the facts.

It’s 4:40am here in LA, and I’m going to wrap up this blog and to celebrate its completion I’m going to enjoy one of my personal favorite Kellogg products: Eggo waffles.

I’m gonna pop 4 of them bitches into the toaster, and then I’m gonna stuff the bong with some fine, American grown “Train Wreck” and sacrifice the sacred plant to the fire gods in tribute to the unjustly persecuted 8 time Olympian hero. Then I’m gonna get some butter, and I’m gonna smear it on those Eggos, I’m gonna cover them with maple syrup, and I’m going to eat the ever loving fuck out of them.

Good day, sirs.

Yours truly,

Joe Rogan.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

After the War- Next Monday in N.Y.

23 February, 2009

Midday Forum: After the War on Drugs

ATWOD flyer logo.JPG

There is a great need to reform current global drug policy. Some propose legalization, while others emphasize greater priority for health and human rights.

Date: Monday, February 23rd
Time: 1:15pm to 2:45pm
Venue: Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Presenter: Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance


The last century has witnessed the construction of a global drug prohibition regime that relies overwhelmingly on criminal justice and other coercive institutions and mechanisms to try to reduce the use of forbidden substances. In the last few years however, the opposition to this rigidly prohibitionist approach promoted by the United States has grown. Europeans have led the way in reforming drug policy in ways that are more consistent with health, human rights and science, and Latin America and Asia are close behind. In the last few years, the U.S. has been forced to accept a more health-focused approach by allowing for the language of 'harm reduction' in a number of key U.N. documents, including the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS of 2006 (A/RES/60/262), and the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS of 2001 (A/RES/S-26/2).

The next decade of UN and international drug control policy will surely focus much more attention on reducing the harmful effects of both drug misuse and failed prohibitionist policies.

This event will address the realistic options for reform in both the short and long term. In addition, the discussion will address whether the Obama administration is likely to change the US's focus and allow global drug policy to evolve in a new direction that gives much greater weight to health, human rights, science and vigorous and open global debate.

Latin-American Commission on Drugs and Democracy Calls Drug War a Failure (February 2009) (see report)

Speaker's Profile:

Ethan_Nadelmann pic (Custom) (4).jpg

Ethan Nadelmann is the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs.

Mr. Nadelmann was born in New York City and received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard, and a master's degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. He then taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, where his speaking and writings on drug policy--in publications ranging from Science and Foreign Affairs to American Heritage and National Review--attracted international attention. He authored Cops Across Borders, the first scholarly study of the internationalization of U.S. criminal law enforcement, and co-authored another book entitled Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations, published by Oxford University Press in 2006.

In 1994, Mr. Nadelmann founded the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros. In 2000, the growing Center merged with another organization to form the Drug Policy Alliance and Drug Policy Alliance Network, which advocate for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Described by Rolling Stone as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts, Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the most prominent proponent of drug policy reform.

Dr. Jean-Marc Coicaud will moderate this discussion.
Dr. Coicaud's Bio

The UNU-UN Midday Forum series is organized with the aim of offering an intimate and informal setting for the exchange of ideas and experiences, giving people concerned with similar problems the opportunity to meet and discuss important topics relating to the UN. It is a chance for academics and policy-makers, from the UN and beyond, to reflect on and participate in the work of the United Nations.

Coca Come Back

Monday, February 16, 2009

U.S. Drives Bolivia Closer To Russia

Apparently with no mention of opening up Russia to Bolivian Coca products

Bolivia to Seek Aid in Drug War

16 February 2009

Bolivian President Evo Morales will seek Russia's help in fighting drugs in Bolivia this week, saying the United States has stopped supporting efforts to eradicate illegal coca plants.

Morales told reporters on Friday that he would discuss the immediate purchase of helicopters and loans of other aircraft to fight coca production when he visits Russia.

"However, there will be a private meeting with the Russian president before signing any agreement," Morales said, Itar-Tass reported. "We need to decide for sure how and in what periods of time we can move forward."

Morales was to arrive in Moscow on Sunday and meet with President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

Morales also will sign a $3 billion deal with Gazprom, Bolivian Deputy Energy Minister William Donaire said Feb. 4. The pact covers development of Bolivia's natural gas industry, creation of a regional gas institute and updates to an earlier deal that also involves France's Total, Donaire said.

On Tuesday, Morales will be awarded an honorary doctorate.

Bolivia is the third-largest producer of illegal coca, the main ingredient for cocaine, after Colombia and Peru. Coca leaves also have traditional and religious uses in Bolivia.

Morales on Friday accused Washington of violating international conventions on the "shared responsibility" in the drug war.

(AP, MT)

And then there is the following:

Bolivia to get Russian helicopters to fight drugs

By STEVE GUTTERMAN – 11 hours ago

MOSCOW (AP) — Bolivia will receive helicopters from Russia to help fight drugs and assistance to develop energy resources in the poor South American country, the Russian president said Monday.

The moves were part of Moscow's push for more clout in Latin America. Bolivian President Evo Morales became the first leader from the landlocked, Andean nation to visit Russia since Moscow and La Paz established diplomatic relations in 1945.

Morales and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a declaration emphasizing their similar positions on global issues and opposition to U.S. policies including the decades-old embargo against Cuba, plans for a missile shield in Europe and NATO expansion.

Morales praised the resurgence of Russian attention to Latin America, where Medvedev has courted Soviet-era allies and others in a bid to increase Moscow's influence and further its economic interests. He met with Morales in November during a regional tour that included Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Cuba.

"Russia's return to the region is very important," Morales said at a joint news conference.

Medvedev said Russia's activities in Latin America are not aimed at undermining the U.S.

But plans to provide Bolivia with helicopters follow disputes with Washington over anti-narcotics efforts that badly strained Bolivia's ties with the Bush administration.

Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador in September and suspended operations of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which he accused of spying. Before leaving for Moscow, he said he would discuss the immediate purchase of helicopters and loans of other aircraft to fight production of coca, the main ingredient in cocaine.

Medvedev and Morales oversaw the signing of agreements calling for cooperation in the arms trade and anti-narcotics efforts. Medvedev indicated Russia expects to reach a deal to provide helicopters soon.

"We hope that implementation of the first large contract, for the supply of Russian helicopters to Bolivia, will begin in the very near future," Medvedev said.

Medvedev did not say how many helicopters Moscow might provide, but Russia's top arms sales official, Mikhail Dmitriyev, suggested that it would be fewer than 20.

Dmitriyev said Venezuela is also interested in other Russian weapons, and that Russia might loan Bolivia money to buy the helicopters and other arms, the state-run RIA-Novosti and ITAR-Tass news agencies reported.

Medvedev stressed the importance of energy cooperation and said Russia's gas monopoly, OAO Gazprom, has signed memorandums to establish a "strategic project" for long-term involvement in Bolivia.

"We are talking about the Russian side helping our friends from Bolivia in the development of hydrocarbons and the construction of a gas transport system on the territory of Bolivia," Medvedev said. AP

Would not opening up Russian markets to Coca products be far more valuable- why no apparent discussion of Bolivia, Russia and other nations formally denouncing the U.S. Single Convention that bans Coca?

Successful People Smoke Marijuana

and will ultimately have the success of ending this pro-alcohol criminal mercantilism

UPDATE- Phelps will not be prosecuted

The Drug War Wall Begins to Fall
From Washington, Vienna, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle and South Carolina, a Convergence into a Mighty River of Reform
By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin February 11, 2009

Twenty years ago, President George H.W. Bush named a blustering self-proclaimed moralist named Bill Bennett as drug czar. During the press conference to nominate him, an intrepid reporter asked the new czar how he could possibly lead the country away from dependence on addictive substances when he, as a cigarette smoker, was also an addict. The president and his czar huddled away from the microphone, whispering to each other, then stepped back up to the podium to announce that for the duration of his tenure Czar Bennett would refrain from smoking tobacco.

Nine months later, cartoonist Garry Trudeau, through his Doonesbury panels, “outed” Bennett as continuing his addiction through use of a relatively new product: Nicotine chewing gum, at the time available only through a doctor’s prescription. It took the so-called traditional media various weeks before the Washington Post confirmed the cartoonist’s scoop. And even then the story came and went in the flash of a single day’s news cycle.

I wrote about it then in a January 1990 cover story for the Washington Journalism Review (now, American Journalism Review): The War on Drugs: Who Drafted the Press? The media, then as now, day in, day out, reinforced the false narratives of the drug war as it blamed the problems prohibition creates – crime, corruption, illness and violent chaos everywhere – on the drugs and their users. And for most of these years, you could count the number of political leaders willing to question it on one, maybe two, hands: US Rep. Barney Frank, then-mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke, then-attorney general of Colombia Gustavo de Greiff… profiles in courage, all.

Over the past week a number of news stories have surfaced in different corners of the globe that are flowing like tributaries into a mighty river of reform:

In Washington, the White House announced that DEA raids in medical marijuana states will end.

In Vienna, as Narco News copublisher Nora Callahan reports today, the US delegation to United Nations drug policy talks broke with Bush administration blocks placed on key reforms to the international drug war: the lifting of the 1988 ban on needle exchange programs in the United States requires a change in UN policy under treaties already signed. “The US will support and endorse needle exchange programs” for addicts to reduce the spread of AIDS and other communicable diseases, reports BBC radio.

In Rio de Janeiro, former presidents César Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Fernando Enrique Cardoso of Brazil – all heads of state that had presided over prohibitionist policies in their lands – issued a joint report together with various Latin American intellectuals: Drugs and Democracy: Toward a Paradigm Shift.

Calling current drug policies “a failed war,” the former presidents concluded:

“…it is imperative to rectify the “war on drugs” strategy pursued in the region over the past 30 years.

“Prohibitionist policies based on the eradication of production and on the disruption of drug flows as well as on the criminalization of consumption have not yielded the expected results…

“Current drug repression policies are firmly rooted in prejudices, fears and ideological visions. The whole issue has become taboo which inhibits public debate. The association of drugs with crime blocks the circulation of information and segregates drug users in closed circles where they become even more exposed to organized crime.

“Hence, breaking the taboo and acknowledging the failure of current policies and their consequences is the inescapable prerequisite for opening up the discussion about a new paradigm leading to safer, more efficient and humane drug policies…”

Their recommendations:

1. Change the status of addicts from drug buyers in the illegal market to that of patients cared for in the public health system

2. Evaluate from a public health standpoint and on the basis of the most advanced medical science the convenience of decriminalizing the possession of cannabis for personal use

3. Reduce consumption through campaigns of information and prevention that can be understood and accepted by young people, who account for the largest contingent of users.

4. Redirect repressive strategies to the unrelenting fight against organized crime

5. Reframe the strategies of repression against the cultivation of illicit drugs

(On the fifth point, they note: “Such initiatives must also take into account the legal uses of plants, such as the coca leaf, in countries with a long-standing tradition of ancestral use previous to the phenomenon of their exploitation as an input for drug production. Accordingly measures must be taken to strictly adjust production to this kind of ancestral use.”)

As we noted nine years ago in the Opening Statement of this publication we titled Narco News, the winds of change are coming from this region and blowing northward.

The former presidents recommend:

“Latin America’s active participation in the global debate would mark its transition from a problem-region to a pioneering-region in the implementation of innovative solutions for the drug problem.”

For nine years we have reported as scores of Latin American leaders and organizations broke the imposed silence to criticize the prohibitionist model. They were met, each time, with smack downs and every kind of policy and personal blackmail imaginable from the Clinton and Bush administrations who preached “democracy” while meddling in the sovereign democratic affairs of Latin American nations. Today, still, the multi-billion dollar ravages of US-sponsored Plan Colombia, the repression and herbicides it has dumped upon that land, continue. And a copycat maneuver known as Plan Mexico (“The Mérida Initiative”) gears up to wreak the same kind of havoc much closer to the United States, all purportedly to fight the very problems caused by prohibitionist drug policy as the same policy worsens those very harms.

The statement by the three former presidents today – by calling on Latin American nations to make themselves laboratories in alternative drug policies (similar to how European nations have led successful innovations in “harm reduction” policies) – throws the gauntlet down to Washington and provides a golden opportunity for the nascent Obama presidency to walk its talk and cease the bullying US drug war intimidations of the past decades.

The aforementioned news out of Vienna – that the US will now cease to block some harm reduction policies through the UN treaties that bind member countries – offers the best indication that Washington, too, has come to admit some of the failures of its repressive approach.

There are two more news stories today, domestic to the United States, that have cracked the Drug War Wall a little bit more.

From Seattle come reports that the next US “drug czar” may be police chief Gil Kerlikowske. The Seattle Times reports:

Kerlikowske’s possible role in shaping drug policy for the Obama administration was applauded Tuesday by local medical-marijuana advocates.

In 2003, Kerlikowske opposed a city ballot measure, approved by voters, to make marijuana possession the lowest law-enforcement priority, saying it would create confusion. But in doing so, he noted that arresting people for possessing marijuana for personal use was already not a priority.

“Oh God bless us,” said Joanna McKee, co-founder and director of Green Cross Patient Co-Op, a medical-marijuana patient-advocacy group. “What a blessing…”

McKee said Kerlikowske knows the difference between cracking down on the illegal abuse of drugs and allowing the responsible use of marijuana.

Douglas Hiatt, a Seattle attorney and advocate for medical-marijuana patients, said his first preference would be for a physician to oversee national drug policy.

But Kerlikowske would be a vast improvement over past drug czars, who have used the office to carry out the so-called “war on drugs,” Hiatt said.

Kerlikowske comes out of a state that has pioneered drug policy reforms to the maximum extent tolerated by the previous US administrations. This, from the Drug Policy Alliance:

Washington allows patients to use medical marijuana if they have terminal or debilitating illnesses and documentation from a physician. This law was enacted in November of 1998 after voters passed Measure 692…

The State of Washington rivals New Mexico in its drug policy reform pace, enacting several reforms since 1996, ranging from legalizing medical marijuana to decriminalizing the sale and possession of syringes…

In 2002, the legislature passed legislation cutting the sentences for various non-violent drug offenses and using the savings (estimated to be $50 million over the next six years) to fund drug treatment programs. The legislation also implements a new sentencing grid in 2004 that will give judges more sentencing discretion. Supporters included (then-)Gov. Locke and Republican King County (Seattle) prosecutor Norm Maleng.

These are the waters in which Chief Kerlikowske has swum and has adapted splendidly according to all sides. His reported soon-to-be promotion to national drug czar would signal that what is present policy for the state of Washington could become the not-too-distant future policy for the entire nation. At minimum, Kerlikowske occupying the post from where Bill Bennett and General Barry McCaffrey waved their scolding fingers to demonize vast swathes of the population signals a ratcheting down of the scapegoating rhetoric that has been emblematic of US drug policy.

One more story floating over the airwaves is the 800-pound gorilla in the room: In South Carolina, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff tells reporters that Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps “could be facing a drug charge” because of media-published photographs of the 23-year-old athlete smoking marijuana at a party in that jurisdiction. The sheriff has already rounded up eight friends of the swimmer for their alleged participation in his crime.

Not since the olden days in Nottingham has a sheriff been on the verge of sparking an incident that would have such mega-consequences for a population. Can you imagine, kind reader, the firestorm if the drug war – so accustomed to singling out the poor, the minority, the ill and the invisible – suddenly targets America’s Darling and makes Michael Phelps the most recognizable face of peaceful illegal drug use on the planet? It would be akin to throwing a lit match into the basement full of gasoline that underlies current prohibitionist drug policies. Phelps is healthy, soft-spoken, polite, of good humor, skilled on television (as his hosting of Saturday Night Live revealed)… Grandmothers everywhere, when they see his face, don’t want to send him to prison: They want to pinch his cheek.

The media circus that would ensue would bring the hypocrisy of the drug war into every living room and stir a nationwide debate around every kitchen table over how thoroughly senseless the US war on drugs has become. In the context of the step-by-step and incremental policy changes underway, the making of Michael Phelps into martyr and poster boy would serve, much like that first hammer in Berlin, to inspire a thousand more blows against the Drug War Wall, turning its evident cracks into gaping holes and its cement to rubble.

The Bong Hit That Refuses To Go Away

From Palmetto Southpaw

Downfall of a Legend or Rising of a Martyr?

Friday, February 6, 2009

It is the Bong Hit that refuses to go away... Like some everlasting gobstopper of cannabis, Michael Phelps' indiscretion here in Columbia, SC just keeps clawing it's way back into the news, both locally and nationally.

The latest news comes from USA Swimming -- Mr. Phelps has now been suspended from competition for 90 days.

Kellogg's has decided not to renew Mr. Phelps' advertising contract, most certainly only the first to cut him loose -- stay tuned.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott continues his stance of wanting to charge Mr. Phelps with simple possession, which carries a fine of up to $547 and up to 30 days in jail, but he still has NO PROOF OF POSSESSION.

Both Columbia PD and USC PD (the most probable local (sub-county) jurisdictions that the Bong Hit falls under) have stated that they will NOT pursue charges. Thank goodness SOME of the Law Enforcement in this town has some sense.

One of South Carolina's prominent defense attorneys, Jack Swerling, pretty much sucked the air out of Sheriff Lott's party balloons with an ACTUAL DEPICTION of how the possession law is applied. He basically said that Sheriff Lott has NO CASE -- that to be charged with possession, YOU HAVE TO BE ACTUALLY CAUGHT WITH SOMETHING IN YOUR POSSESSION. A 3 month old picture of you in possession of something that may or may not have been an illegal substance is not proof. The police carry field testing kits for just this purpose -- because they can't convict you of the crime, unless they can prove what you had was an illegal substance when you were arrested in possession of it. They can't test a picture.

USA Swimming says "no rules have been violated", which means that he hasn't tested positive for anything illegal... so there's not even any residual proof of possession in his urine, the weakest of all possession standards. (Light pot users with high metabolism can test clean in less than 21 days after the last use.)

Where is this all going?

Heckifiknow, but here's my advice to Mr. Phelps, now that he has 3 months off.

Come back to Columbia. Go see Mr. Swerling and retain his services. I'm willing to bet he will give you a freebie on this one, but even if he charges you it's worth every penny. Call a press conference and fall on your sword, again. Tell the world that you made a mistake and you are here to pay for it so you can move on with your life. Then have Mr. Swerling (and the 63 satellite trucks) escort you to the Richland County Sheriff's Department and turn yourself in. Sheriff Lott will PERSONALLY arrest you in front of the Press. (He'll do it himself, no doubt in my mind... he probably already has a necktie picked out for the occasion.) Demand a trial by a jury of your peers. (We are gonna have a tough time scrounging up 12 Pot Smoking 14-time Olympic Medalists in Richland County to serve on the panel, but that is the Clerk of Court's problem, not yours.)

Then let's just see how far this rabbit hole goes. What's the worst case scenario at this point?

Mr. Phelps has nothing else to lose -- he has already been convicted in the press and punished worse than the law allows. I'm sure that the Kellogg's contract was in excess of $547. He has already been suspended from swimming for 3 times longer than the 30 days he would get in jail, and he spends 18 hours a day in the pool... 90 days of no swimming for him is practically house arrest. His value as a "role model" is shot, not that I ever encourage anyone to choose an athlete as a role model for anything other than athletics -- not lifestyle. How many times have they turned out to be just as flawed as the rest of us, only healthier?

What would come of all this madness? Perhaps the publicity from the Phelps Circus would bring light to the silliness of Sheriff Lott and his sometimes nonsensical style of law enforcement. I'm not sure what it is about having a camera in front of him, but he will just about walk out on any limb if it makes him sound as good as he looks. I think he went a bit too far out on this limb, and someone needs to saw it off. I nominate Jack Swerling.

On a wider scale, perhaps it would bring attention to the antiquated marijuana laws that we have in the USA that were brought about in the 1930's, expanded in the 50's and 60's, and then exploded in the last 20 years and allows some law enforcement agencies to think they can go the extremes that Sheriff Lott wants to go -- being able to arrest and charge people with possession based simply 3 month old picture of them holding a water pipe.

I'm not going to dig deeply into the decriminalization debate, there are plenty of other places on the web that have already covered it ad nauseum. This episode between Mr. Phelps and Sheriff Lott is just a symptom of the problems underlying a system that makes money by putting as many people in jail as possible.
It's called a Corpo-Industrial Prison System, and we are sliding down a steep hill to a point where the half of the people not in jail are only working to pay enough taxes to keep the other half of the people in jail.

There will always be reasons to have jails, there are people out there that just plain can't exist in our society without inflicting violence on others, and they need to be locked up. But there is absolutely no sense in spending the money on prosecuting what is essentially a victimless crime that could be reduced much more effectively if the same money is spent on education and treatment, not locking up people next to violent criminals that educate them in something other than what society expects of them, creating a vicious cycle of escalation and re-incarceration. Authorities would have us believe that Marijuana is a gateway drug, that leads to harder drugs and violent crime -- and it may be for some people. Being locked up with violent offenders is also a gateway -- a gateway to committing violent crimes when they get out. You learn what you are exposed to... good, bad, or indifferent.

In 2007, the State of Washington spent $7.5 million to arrest, charge and process 11,553 pot possession cases. That is $689 taxpayer dollars spent per arrest, which doesn't include the costs to jail offenders if they choose not to, or can't afford to pay the fine. Washington is now debating decriminalization of possession of less than one ounce, which would make it the 14th state in the US to pass such a law. They have a 6 billion dollar shortfall in their state budget, and someone finally ran the numbers to see how much it was costing the state to round up pot heads. Seems that some members of the Legislature think that the $7.5 million plus could be better spent elsewhere.

Rational thought in a legislature? What is that?

We have schools falling apart on top of our children in South Carolina, with supposedly no money to fix them -- but we always seem to find the money to build a new prison.


Build better schools, provide a better education, and then you don't have to build as many prisons.

Prisoners don't pay income tax. Educated workers do. The more educated, the more they pay.

Sorry about the off-Phelps rant, but like I said, this incident is just a symptom of Law Enforcement's over-zealous attitude toward arresting everyone and letting the courts sort it out, at the expense of the taxpayer... enough already.

Thanks for staying focused on what really affects us -- college kids with bongs. Not crackheads with guns.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obama Urged for Positive Change on Pharamacratic Inquisition




Cardoso, Gaviria, Zedillo Urge Obama to Decriminalize Marijuana

By Joshua Goodman

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Former presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Colombia said the U.S.-led war on drugs has failed and urged President Barack Obama to consider new policies, including decriminalizing marijuana, and to treat drug use as a public health problem.

The recommendations by former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, along with Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, were made in a report today by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.

Among the group’s proposals ahead of a special United Nations ministerial meeting in Vienna to evaluate global drug policy is a call to decriminalize the possession of cannabis for personal use.

“We need to break the taboo that’s blocking an honest debate,” Cardoso said at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro to present the report. “Numerous scientific studies show that the damage caused by marijuana is similar to that of alcohol or tobacco.”

Gaviria, who as president of Colombia from 1990-1994 worked with U.S. anti-narcotics agents to hunt down and kill cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, said he hoped Obama invests in harm reduction and prevention efforts that would relieve Latin America of the burden of fighting drug traffickers.

Recognize the Failure

“It makes no sense to continue a policy on moral grounds without getting the desired results,” said Gaviria, citing an October report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office showing drug reduction goals in Colombia have not been met. “Obama, being a pragmatist, should recognize these failures.”

The group was created last year to focus the global drug debate on harm reduction and prevention efforts and away from policies based on the eradication of production and the criminalization of consumption.

Latin America is the world’s largest exporter of cocaine and cannabis and a major supplier of opium and heroin. It’s also been the main focus of U.S.-led drug eradication and interdiction efforts ever since U.S. President Richard Nixon declared “war on drugs” in 1971.

The GAO report, made at the request of then Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, now vice president, Joseph Biden found that production of coca, the base ingredient of cocaine, increased by 15 percent in Colombia since 2000. The U.S. has provided Colombia with $4.9 billion in anti-narcotics aid since 1999 with the goal of reducing coca production by half.

Gaviria said Mexican President Felipe Calderon should demand Obama do more to reduce drug consumption. The U.S. pledged $400 million and increased cooperation with Mexico last year as part of an anti-drug plan known as the Merida Initiative.

More than 5,300 people were killed in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and Mexican lawmakers have said the U.S. holds some responsibility for the bloodshed because demand for narcotics has made the cartels powerful.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Goodman in Rio de Janeiro at

Last Updated: February 11, 2009 16:15 EST

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Coca Come Back

Coca products are making a come back in parts of South America, even as elsewhere, this remains bottled up.

Since a century or so ago, when the essence of Coca was popularized by Angelo Francois Mariani, born December 17, 1838, died April 1, 1914.

It was Mariani who created the premiere Coca beverage, Vin Tonique Mariani, or simply Vin Mariani.

It could be been called the bottled essence of this 'gal', the Goddess of that which grows, her name here as MamaCoca, or the Mother of Coca, revealed in such art as the cover of Anthony Richard Henman 1978 book MamaCoca.

And also revealed in such artwork as this ceiling painting in Mariani's Coca Salon in his manufacturing facility in Nueilly-sur-Seine, a western suburb of Paris.
Angelo Francois Mariani's
Neuilly-sur-Seine Coca Salon ceiling painting
by Eugene Courbin
The Goddess Bringing the Coca Branch to Europe

Surely someone out there has a full photo of this interesting painting to share about this most special 'gal' whose essence had been bottled ...
Angelo Francois Mariani
Coca Salon

Villa Mariani, southern France
where Angelo Francois Mariani died April 1, 1914

The last bottle of Vin Mariani in the United States?

The U.S. Harrison 'Narcotics' Control Act effectively bans Coca with red tape -- requiring a tax form and registration -- for every commercial transaction and a non refillable prescription from a physician.
This criminalization of 'Opium, etc" [Coca and their derivatives] of course effectively favored refined cocaine, owing to prohibition's iron law of favoring easier to smuggled refined concentrated forms of the drug.

Yet this had an immediate economic effect of making the world safe for big pharm, and for cigarettes of that agricultural commodity of Virginia 'Bright Leaf'

1907 cigarette ad

1946 ad "Class of '46 or Class of '06"

Production of Cigarettes 1880 - 1968
From Licit & Illicit Drugs, by Edward M. Brecher and Consumers Reports at page 230 showing upturns in cigarette production, following the times of the 1906, 1914 and 1937 U.S. 'drug control laws'

Coca Feared as 'Tobacco Habit Cure'

Given their relative safety, this is an absolute disaster for health care costs:
In each major category of intoxicant used by our species, there appear to be one or two drug plants that researchers have noted, are more controllable, hence safer, than all the other plants or synthetics in that category. Coca leaf stands out among all the stimulants, licit and illicit, as the easiest to control and the one least likely to produce toxicity or dependency.
And they would know that in 1914:

... there are tens of thousands of people in the United States who die every year from the excessive use of cigarettes; and yet I find Senators still pulling away at the cigarette as though t were a perfectly harmless thing. I believe the Senator will agree with me that there are many thousands of people who die from what is called tobacco cancer, a cancerous growth affecting the throat from overuse of cigars; and we find perhaps 60 percent of the Senators pulling away at the cigar as unconcerned as though no one were dying as a result of these cigars...

U.S. Congress, Senator Porter James McCumber (R) North Dakota, August 15, 1914
Nonetheless our governments have proven their loyalty to this apostasy from common sense with the descent into and continuation of this criminal mercantilism primarily for the sake of Virginia Bright Leaf Tobacco that came in the early 1900s.

An exception to this was the government of Bolivia. particularly starting in 1988 with its rejection of the 1961 U.N. Single Convention on 'Narcotics' requirement that Bolivia instead criminal the traditional uses of Coca, such as the sale of the raw leaves by street side merchants.

1988 would be the year that Bolivia re-legalized the creation and marketing of commercial Coca products in the industrialized tradition of Vin Mariani, with the emergence of COINCOCA, a privately owned Coca products manufacturer in Bolivia.

Evo Morales - President of Bolivia

Evo Morales, formerly a representative of Coca growers, continues Bolivia's quest for the re-legalization of Coca, with its removal from the UN INCB convention, some two decades later.

Within the U.S., indeed inside the I-495 Capital Beltway, within Washington, D.C., the Drug Policy Foundation was established shortly before to take opposition to the pharmacratic inquisition beyond Marijuana- particularly for being a does response to the hysteria following the 1986 cocaine overdose death of University of Maryland basketball player Len Bias.

 After all there has been a NORML -- the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws -- which by definition is limited to Marijuana. So the Drug Policy Foundation would be logical for addressing not only Marijuana, but the other popular 'illicit' drugs, particularly cocaine, as it was cocaine that was being used as the excuse to continually debase the civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.
Nonetheless the Drug Policy Foundation has more or less sat on the issue, particularly staring with the years of the Clinton Administration.

The Drug Policy Foundation- Just Say Whoa!

Historical Ignorance Sadly Fostered by DPF/DPA

In no way does this imply a lack of talent, but rather a misapplication, apparently with the legal muscle necessary to truly bring about change.
Help Evo Morales government shame the United Nations, the United States government and other authorities responsible for this atrocious criminal mercantilism that perverts Coca to concentrated cocaine while making the world safe for Virginia Bright Leaf cigarettes.

Help the Drug Policy Alliance – successor organization to the Drug Policy Foundation -- and the lead organization for positive change in these laws.
Help an emerging market in commercial coca products.
For such, just look at the connection established in 1988, not simply with Bolivia’s re-legalization, but with how Arnold Trebach’s and Kevin Zeese’s Drug Policy Foundation was connected:
While the Drug Policy Foundation has outstanding counsel in Kevin Zeese, the leading Washington firm of Covington & Burling accepted the Foundation as a pro bono publico client in regard to corporate and tax matters in 1988. We have received valuable advice from Marialuisa Gallozzi the Covington & Burling associate assigned primary responsibility to advise the Foundation.
Covington & Burling is perhaps the most established food, drug and cigarette industry law firm in Washington, D.C. if not the world.
Our Food and Drug Practice includes representation before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and litigation at all levels in the federal courts. In addition, the firm has represented numerous clients in state food and drug law matters. The firm represents clients in each of the product categories regulated by FDA, including food, human prescription and nonprescription drugs, biological products, animal feeds and drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and electronic radiation products.
Not only was it founded in the wake of the 1906 U.S. Pure Food and Drugs Act and the 1914 Harrison 'Narcotics' Tax Act, it has been the lead coordinator for the Virginia Bright Leaf cigarette industry legal strategies.
In a February 1964 meeting the executives agreed to appoint a single spokesman to respond to the FTC regulators. “Counsel were in agreement that if representatives of individual companies were to make a presentation to the FTC, they might be faced with embarrassing questions as to particular advertising and that conflicting statements as to the proposed Trade Regulation Rules might be voiced.” As a result they agreed to rely upon attorney Thomas Austern of Covington & Burling to speak for them all. He “would be best able to ‘field’ these questions, to plead ignorance to ads, etc. 46
And the attorney-adviser? Marialuisa Gallozzi- hired by Covington & Burling in 1987 is a Food, Drug and Insurance industry attorney, that has been described as a “rising star ... an intellectually strong negotiator and adviser with excellent judgment.” [who is] “really making a name for herself.”
Marialuisa ("ML") Gallozzi is a partner in the insurance coverage and food and drug practices. ... She also provides food and drug advice to manufacturers of medical devices, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements.
Covington & Burling - Food and Drug PracticesCovington & Burling - Bio - Marialuisa S. Gallozzi
J.H. Covington
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue
Covington & Burling building
Marialuisa Gallozzi

Arnold Trebach and Kevin Zeese

Seems ironic the Drug Policy Foundation that sits on the Coca issue, would get advised by perhaps the best established most powerfully used food and drug industry law firm – indeed being the firm responsible for coordinating the defense of the cigarette industry! -- by an attorney later listed as a food and drug attorney.

So how about having these legal resources used for advising drug policy reform organizations, along with representatives of the coca growers industry, including the government of Bolivia, employed for the end of this criminal mercantilism of this drug prohibition, and the reintroduction of products as Vin Mariani?

The Drug War is criminal mercantilism to protect cigarette and pharm interests
Drug War Supporters Disregard Pharmacokinetics
Drug War Criminal Mercantilism Public Health Subversion
Drug War Promotes Drug Abuse Over Drug Use
Drug War Supports Neglect History of Vin Mariani
The Narcs Gave Us Crack- Richard Cowan
1904-2004 U.S.D.A.
U.S.D.A. Criminal Mercantilism Against Coca For the sake of Virginia Bright Leaf cigarettes
New Dark Ages U.S.D.A. anti-Coca/aine Crusade
New Dark Age Knights- Hearst, Hopkins, and the AMA/APhA and U.S.D.A.'s Harvey Wiley
The Protected Agricultural Commodity's Consequences
Agricultural Politics of Drug Policy- DPA CONFERENCE PANEL PROPOSAL

Drug Policy Alliance Overly Narrow Approach Raising Suspicions