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VIDEO 8mins: CNN Debate on Drug War: Ethan Nadelmann

CNN does a debate on the war on drugs. Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance debates Kevin Sabet, who formerly worked in the Drug Czar's office.

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Where do Drugs Come From Poster

Where do Drugs Come From Poster | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

Infographic poster


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Krishna Shah's curator insight, December 7, 2013 2:25 PM

I scooped this poster because it shows good statistics of where drugs come from. People that are interested in knowing this can read this poster. 

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Judith Collins NZ Minister visits the US to develop NZ drug plan

Judith Collins NZ Minister visits the US to develop NZ drug plan | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

It may seem an unlikely alliance, but Judith Collins and Barack Obama are on the same page when it comes to drug crime. The Justice Minister has just returned from a week-long trip to the US to see drug courts in session. On Thursday she will cut the ribbon on a five-year Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts pilot.

 

Following the US on Justice & Drug Policy is a little like going to MacDonalds to learn about cookery!!!

 

Maybe she should listen to this before going any further: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/430/very-tough-love … thx @EvertRauwendaal


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The US War on Drugs: An unwinnable war - The Lancet

The US War on Drugs: An unwinnable war - The Lancet | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

Over 45 million people have been arrested, and there are now more people in US prisons for non-violent drug offences than were imprisoned for all crimes in 1970. The USA incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world, with a current prison population of some 2·3 million, and more than half of those in federal prison are there because of drug offences.


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NZ's Draconian US styled drug policy to drug testing beneficiaries may be illegal

NZ's Draconian US styled drug policy to drug testing beneficiaries may be illegal | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, January 23, 2013 5:14 PM

A draconian drug policy that enforces a prejudicial drugs apartheid and captures and punishes people who use illegal drugs. Illegal drug use is not a issue - it's problematic drug use that we should be concerned about.

 

Here is a summary of my views on drug testing: http://www.thinglink.com/scene/330279864135319552#tlsite

 

 

MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, January 24, 2013 2:39 PM

Pure arrogance...... entrenching failure. Stupid stupid National Party dog whistle politics.

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Video: 'Eyes Wide Open' True story. Some countries deny naloxone & others distribute it - Life or Death issue

Video: 'Eyes Wide Open' True story. Some countries deny naloxone & others distribute it  - Life or Death issue | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

Canada has the highest per-capita opioid consumption in the world. Naloxone, an emergency medication that reverses an opioid overdose, is not widely distributed. The mother of a young man who died from an overdose suggests that bias, discrimination and demeaning attitudes toward persons with addictions may be a reason. Joe adds, "We are the first responders, before ambulance, before the police, before anybody. We can save each other".


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, March 26, 2013 9:32 PM

Naloxone should be available in every country - and should be readily available and distributed across the drug using community in particular. It would save lives. Denial of access is inexcusable.

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NZ MPs fear drug legislation could affect kava

NZ MPs fear drug legislation could affect kava | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
MPs in New Zealand fear a proposed new law aimed at stamping out harmful synthetic drugs could result in culturally important substances becoming banned.

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VIDEO 33mins:VIDEO 33mins: The Stream: Debating Drugs - Decriminalise Them? Lessons from Portugal

VIDEO 33mins:VIDEO 33mins: The Stream: Debating Drugs - Decriminalise Them? Lessons from Portugal | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
We look at the applicability of Portugal's successful drug decriminalisation programme in the US.

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Portuguese drug policy shows that decriminalisation can work, but ...

Portuguese drug policy shows that decriminalisation can work, but ... | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
Today the Home Affairs Select Committee in the United Kingdom releases a report on drug policy. The report draws on lessons from Portugal's decriminalisation of drug possession and puts forward a case for the UK ...
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Clegg: We're losing war on drugs 'on an industrial scale'

Clegg: We're losing war on drugs 'on an industrial scale' | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
Nick Clegg has broken ranks with the prime minister on drugs reform, just five days after his coalition partner ruled out a royal commission on decriminalisation.

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Life after cannabis prohibition: The city announces its ambitions - The Copenhagen Post

Life after cannabis prohibition: The city announces its ambitions - The Copenhagen Post | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
The Copenhagen Post Life after cannabis prohibition: The city announces its ambitions The Copenhagen Post But while city officials envisage Copenhagen undertaking the world's most ambitious decriminalisation project – both the production and sale...
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Legalisation of Drugs Has Far-Reaching Effects - Forbes India

Legalisation of Drugs Has Far-Reaching Effects - Forbes India | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
Forbes India
Legalisation of Drugs Has Far-Reaching Effects
Forbes India
Equally large amounts of money will become available to expand the scope of decriminalisation, redefining the border between soft and hard drugs to eventually include heroin.
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“Drug prohibition... | Facebook

“Drug prohibition... | Facebook | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
Joseph F Barber wrote: “Drug prohibition has caused gang... Join Facebook to connect with Joseph F Barber and others you may know.
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VIDEO 8min: Sterilising Women Drug USers: Project Prevention Mothers and Children Speak Out

Project Prevention, originally known as C.R.A.C.K. (Children Requiring a Caring Kommunity) is often described as a program that offers $300 for current and f...

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Anthea Martin's comment, August 17, 2012 6:14 AM
The use of financial incentives / contingency management at it's worst. This is a great video - thanks Julian!
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NZ Woman convicted of passing cannabis to her baby via breast feeding

NZ Woman convicted of passing cannabis to her baby via breast feeding | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

A warrant to search a house for drugs resulted in a 29-year-old woman being convicted in the Whanganui District Court for passing cannabis through her breast milk to her 3-month-old baby!

 

NB:

The #NZ Police might want to read this report, and then apologise to the #breastfeeding mother.… http://www.naturalnews.com/036526_cannabinoids_breast_milk_THC.html … thanks @ThatDamonGuy


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Dealing with the stigma of drugs: a guide for journalists

Dealing with the stigma of drugs: a guide for journalists | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

the media can play an important role in increasing public understanding about the nature of the condition and ways to overcome it.This guide for journalists, the latest in a series produced by the Society of Editors, does not preach or take sides but sets out to explain the problem and suggest how the media can help.


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NZ Cannabis-dealing grandmother aged 68yrs old jailed for 6 years!

NZ Cannabis-dealing grandmother aged 68yrs old  jailed  for 6 years! | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, December 11, 2012 10:29 PM

Wellington's (NZ) grass dealing granny has gone to prison for six years and nine months. Sandra Jacqueline McMahon, 68, and another family member ran a cannabis selling operation out of a Newtown flat, making profits the police estimate were up to $7.9 million in the past seven years

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UN Development Chief: Drug Criminalization Creates More Problems Than It ... - ThinkProgress

UN Development Chief: Drug Criminalization Creates More Problems Than It ... - ThinkProgress | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
ThinkProgress
UN Development Chief: Drug Criminalization Creates More Problems Than It ...

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MildGreen Initiative's curator insight, March 21, 2013 5:36 AM

This is the same lady who gave New Zealand the worlds first legally regulated recreational psychoactive drug policy law.

Google ("restricted substances regulations" 2008)

Julian Buchanan's curator insight, March 21, 2013 7:00 AM

The 'Scarman Lectures' at the Department of Criminology, Leicester University, England on 13 June 2012 I examined 'The damage caused by drugs, or the damage caused by drug policy?

the lecture podcast is here: http://julianbuchanan.podomatic.com/

 

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Cannabis use among adolescents in Portugal much less than UK, USA & Canada

Cannabis use among adolescents in Portugal much less  than UK, USA & Canada | Drug related crime | Scoop.it

The UNICEF report identifies percentage of cannabis amongst adolescents across different countries.

Get access to the full UNICEF report on Child Well Being in 29 nations - here:

http://www.unicef-irc.org/Report-Card-11/


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Julian Buchanan's curator insight, April 15, 2013 6:02 AM

After more than 10 years of decriminalisation in Portugal the percentage of young people using cannabis is much less than countries that impose tough criminalisation and punishment.

The consistent message from various sources and studies is that tough drug laws have little association with drug prevelance. But we know tough drug laws cause considerable damage.

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The War on Drugs Is a Failure

The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the a...
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How Sex and Drugs Can Help Stimulate Britain's Limp Economy

How Sex and Drugs Can Help Stimulate Britain's Limp Economy | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
If politicians and the public can put aside long-held prejudices, then they may be able to solve some of the tough economic questions Britain has to answer by unleashing the financial power of two untapped markets: drugs and prostitution.

 

These multi-billion pound industries lurk in the shadows of Britain, operating at every moment of every day in every part of the country.

 

Ending Britain's role in the War on Drugs and its criminalisation of the sex worker industry, for many, makes perfect fiscal as well as moral sense.

 

"It's win, win, win," Danny Kushlick of the Transform Drugs Policy Foundation tells IBTimes UK.

"The point really is that not only are there savings from not prosecuting a futile war, and not creating the vast criminal market that goes with that, there's also the tax."

 

The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), a campaigning body for the decriminalisation of prostitution, shares a similar view.

 

Prostitution is technically legal within British law, but it is surrounded by other rules that make it practically impossible to carry out lawfully, such as women working on the street being charged with loitering and soliciting, and that two or more women working in one property can be charged with brothel keeping.

 

"If prostitution was decriminalised, costs would be saved, starting with police and criminal justice resources which are currently dedicated to the surveillance, investigation, prosecution, and even imprisonment of sex workers working collectively and consensually," says Niki Adams of the ECP to IBTimes UK.

 

"There is no justification for squandering public money criminalising sex workers, especially at this moment in time."

 

Both industries are big. Given that they are off-the-books - you won't find many drug dealers or sex workers filing quarterly earnings reports - it is difficult to put any figure on how much each is worth.

 

A 2007 report by the Home Office gave a "very rough" estimate of between £4bn and £6.6bn for the six main illicit drugs; cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin.

 

At the time it was worth the equivalent value of 41 percent of the alcohol market in the UK.

In a separate 2008 report the Home Office valued the UK prostitution market at £1bn.

All the while Britain is struggling through billions of economically-crippling austerity measures for its public finances, as the government slashes spending to bring its budget deficit down.

 

There is no money, claims the government, and so costs must be cut, including vital public services.

 

The pragmatic and moral cases for liberalising the drugs and prostitution markets are often repeated.

 

For both there is a sense of the need to recognise that these markets have existed for a very long time and, regardless of their status within the law, people will continue to buy and sell wares within them.

 

There is the argument that consenting adult individuals should be free to use and abuse their bodies as they wish, such as we see with alcohol, which is deemed by many experts, including the government's former drugs policy Tsar Professor David Nutt, as more harmful to society than the likes of ecstasy.

 

Decriminalisation would allow for official and accountable regulators to govern the markets, whereas now they are ruled over by the criminal underworld and organised gangs who follow no code but the law of the black market, where money is the sole arbiter of trade.

 

In the recreational drugs market the watchdogs would ensure supplies are clean, so consumers don't get nasty surprises as they may in the illegal marketplace.

 

If legalisation were to spread worldwide, it would debilitate the rapacious drug gangs murdering their way around parts of South America.

 

Similarly with prostitution, protection can be worked into the regulations and better ensure the safety, security, health and wellbeing of those working in the industry, who would also feel more able to report attacks and violence as they would no longer have the fear of incriminating themselves.

 

"Enormous amount of rape and other violence against sex workers and fear of arrest is a major obstacle to sex workers being able to report. So this violence goes unpunished, serial attackers are left free to attack again and the trauma and hurt caused is a cost to the whole of society," says ECP's Adams.

 

All these compelling points and more are made often

However, as the world goes through this downturn, and as amid austerity Britain's economy struggles to recover from the financial collapse, perhaps now is the time that serious strides can be made towards a new way of doing things when it comes to drugs and prostitution.

A new way that does not just make political and philosophical sense, but is an economic imperative too - and will have particular resonance with a hard-pressed public navigating a fiscal storm.

 

Cost savings for the Treasury

Prohibition and a focus on enforcing strict anti-drugs laws is the dominant approach to the illicit narcotics trade the world over.

 

In Britain alone £1.1bn a year in public money is proactively spent on country's strict drugs policy, including treatment and enforcement.

 

This plump figure is not even the sole cost to the taxpayer. They are billed for a further £3.55bn in reactive costs when we add the expenditure on drug-related offending.

 

Decriminalisation would seriously relieve the Home Office's current cost-pressures when it comes to enforcing, policing, and detaining drugs offences, as well as free up police time.

There are those who say that an increase in the availability of drugs would simply mean more public order costs with police mopping up the same criminality associated with boozy Saturday nights across the country, as drink-fuelled violence and misbehaviour that blights High Streets is exacerbated by drug-taking.

 

"With public order it's interesting because the assumption is that if people take more drugs then the public order issues grow, but what we know is that if people are using more ecstasy and cannabis that their drinking reduces, and actually public order gets better because people spend a lot of time hugging each other and falling asleep and eating Mars Bars rather than fighting," says Kushlick.

 

"Clearly the opposite happens if people use more stimulants. If people use more speed and cocaine then their rates of drinking go up and the disorder goes up, but it's actually quite a complex picture.

 

"It isn't one that we can just assume that public order will get worse. The same applies to public health, because it depends how people use drugs in a post-prohibition world."

 

Some argue that by regulating the drugs market you can save on health costs related to issues such as needle sharing and contaminants.

 

"There is currently a major bill that arises, particularly with regard to HIV aids and Hepatitis C, so blood-born viruses, which are significantly reduced if you operate a public health model rather than a public order model," says Kushlick.

 

"Even though you've still got those risk taking behaviours that accrue public expenditure because you've got to deal with them, you can mitigate against them proactively by putting in place clean needles, condoms, and all those kind of things, in places where they don't already have them.

 

"Let's not pretend that there isn't already a significant public health problem that means a lot of money needs to be spent on people who have caught diseases they needn't have."

Money laundering is also a big problem within the illegal drugs trade across the globe, which could be eliminated easily - along with the related investigation and enforcement costs - with decriminalisation.

 

Likewise with prostitution, Adams says there are criminal justice costs to be saved. 

 

"Arrests, raids, prosecutions have increased in the last 10 years," she says, citing that in 2004 there were three prosecutions for brothel-keeping compared to more than 80 in 2009.

"Hundreds of women are repeatedly arrested on the streets and sent through the courts. It is common for 25 police officers to raid premises where a couple of women are working together for safety.

 

"The cost to the health service is considerable. Women are the primary carers in any society, if they are undermined the damage spreads among families and communities.

 

"More women are going to prison - 13,000 children are separated from their mothers by imprisonment - again devastating lives."

 

Taxation and job creation

 

Potential tax revenues to the Treasury from commercial sex and drugs, as well as the economic multiplier effect of the many jobs that would be created in both of these unexploited markets, could be huge.

 

Each day drug dealers and sex sellers across the country carry out thousands of untaxed transactions.

 

Research by CLEAR, a campaigning group pushing for reform of the cannabis laws in the UK, suggests that as much as £1.4bn a year could be raised from a £1 per gram flat rate duty on marijuana.

 

As well as VAT on these goods and services, any newly formed companies would have to pay corporation tax, not to mention the income tax generated from a new wave of employment.

At a time when tax receipts are falling, and the unemployment level is at 2.53m out of work, the slumped British economy would welcome this much-needed lift.

 

However, ECP's Adams doubts how significant the tax benefit from prostitution would be.

"Many sex workers already pay tax, sometimes as sex workers but more commonly as escorts, masseuses etc," she says.

 

"We don't know if tax revenue would increase if prostitution was decriminalised. The common myth that sex workers make a lot of money is inaccurate in our experience."

 

Is it a saleable idea?

 

For many in the public, especially those with a blinding penchant for moral outrage, the idea of making sex and drugs legitimate commodities is always going to be a hard sell, even if there is an inconsistency in how the country currently tackles its policy on adult behaviour.

 

Two US states have just passed votes to legalise recreational cannabis use, indicative of this normalisation process in industrialised societies.

 

Washington and Colorado both voted for the law change on the same day Barack Obama was elected back into the White House.

 

Both states had already approved the medical use of marijuana, and now the businesses growing the herb to this end are set to expand their operations as demand expands to incorporate a legitimate recreational cannabis consuming market.

 

However the national government may yet pour cold water over the legalisation as it said it remains committed to enforcing the federal laws against marijuana use.

 

Despite letting swathes of boozers in Britain pour gallons of grog down their gullets in a controlled fashion, the government insists on clinging to a staunchly draconian policy on drugs.

"[Decriminalisation] is to do with the normalisation of the drug, or at least the normal policy response to adult risk-taking behaviours, which is mainly to control and regulate - parachuting, boxing, driving, all of it," said Kushlick.

 

"I just think, culturally, it's increasingly an anathema to have this set of behaviours operating in what is effectively a very radical policy arena compared to the others."

 

Selling liberalisation of taboo industries from an economic perspective is easier with politicians than the public, thinks Kushlick.

 

"With the public I think that there are other things. For instance in Mexico violence is a big selling point where you can say if you take the trade off the narcos, then they're not fighting each other for the trade," he said.

 

"It's less to do with a straight costs and savings, taxation and revenues thing, it's more to do with value for money.

 

"For each pound that you are going to chuck at the War on Drugs, you'll accrue further expenditure and that just looks crazy at a time of economic expenditure.

 

"That isn't something that I think is going to play so well in the public, who are less interested in the detail of how politicians decide to spend our hard-earned taxes."

 

The drugs and prostitution industries alone would not pay off the deficit, but the potential revenues they would generate for the Treasury, as well as slash the big costs of pursuing its current policies, could save some of the most important public services being lost with austerity.


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Should drugs be decriminalised? - Truthloader LIVE debate

Following our Google+ hangout on the Mayan apocalypse last week, this Thursday Truthloader will be debating the war on drugs, and how the illegal narcotics p...
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GHB Prohibition: Codification of Moral Mass Hysteria - disinformation

GHB Prohibition: Codification of Moral Mass Hysteria - disinformation | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
And this hysteria has led to legal codification starting from the FDA's revocation of GHB's status as a food supplement, continuing with state legislation that criminalized possession of GHB, and ending in federal prohibition.
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Marijuana debate should be community-wide - Royal Gazette

Marijuana debate should be community-wide
Royal Gazette
It was a headline that appeared recently in The New York Times. It caught my eye as did the subject matter: how views are changing on the decriminalisation and use of marijuana.
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Decline of Prohibition led to return of beer in April 1933 - Oneonta Daily Star

Decline of Prohibition led to return of beer in April 1933 - Oneonta Daily Star | Drug related crime | Scoop.it
Decline of Prohibition led to return of beer in April 1933
Oneonta Daily Star
“I think this would be a good time for a beer,” remarked President Franklin D. Roosevelt, when he signed the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933.
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