Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 – A Drug Free World Is A Fantasy

The “War on Drugs” is a complete failure.

This video is 58+ minutes so you may want to watch it when you have the time.

Some highlights from the video:

  • The illegal drug business is a $320 billion dollar industry.
  • The US has less than 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated poplution.
  • George H.W. Bush stated that if you use drugs, “you will be punished”.
  • The War on Drugs has created a mass prison-industrial complex.
  • Population of US prisoners:
    • 1970 = 330,000
    • 2012 = 2.3 million
    • More than any other country in the world.
    • Drugs are prevalent in prisons.
  • Governments try to stifle demand by advertising which has failed because:
    • People that use drugs like drugs.
    • People can see through the hypocrisy of legal alcohol/cigarettes/drugs vs. illegal drugs.
  • There are approximately 230 million world wide drugs users of which 90% are unproblematic.
  • President Carter went to Congress and requested to have drugs decriminalized.
  • 1979 – 10 states started the process to decriminalize (ME, NY, OH, NC, MS, MN, CO, OR, CA, AK).
  • Reagan put a stop to decriminalization and Nancy Reagan’s role in government was her anti-drug campaign of “Just Say No.”
  • 2009 – 1.6 million people were arrested and 1.3 million of those arrests were just for drugs with 1/2 of those arrests just for marijuana.
  • If drugs were legalized and regulated in the US, it would add $76 billion to the US economy.

At the 37 minute mark in the film, a world wide discussion begins on solutions to the “War on Drugs”.

Sign the petition here.

This is our Open Thread and reflects my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of other members of The Zoo.  Now it is your turn to Speak Up!

65 thoughts on “Watering Hole: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 – A Drug Free World Is A Fantasy

  1. Zero tolerance = zero intelligence.
    Addiction is a medical issue. Making it into a crimminal issue is socially divisive and destructive beyond measure.
    Don’t get me started on that bitch Nancy Reagan or my blood pressure will peak.
    Ketchup is not a vegetable.
    Orange Boehner appears bombed in public all the time, but that’s okay.
    They have a double standard.
    Excellent topic Cats.

  2. What a gigantic waste of human potential and our hard earned taxes. There’s a bar in Olympia WA where you can pay a $10.00 a year ‘club membership’ to go upstairs into the ‘club room’ and get stoned whilst playing pool and drinking beer…
    There’s plenty of local growers who’d love to come out of the basement and provide a high (no pun, well, ok, yeah) quality product for adult consumption.

    • The rumor is that Clinton’s State Department is nonetheless about to recommend approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which the top climate scientists in the nation have unanimously called a terrible idea.

      Its builder, TransCanada, hired her old deputy campaign manager as its chief lobbyist and gave lobbying contracts to several of her big bundlers.

      Oh, and Susan Rice, the SoS heir apparent, has millions in stock in TransCanada and other Canadian energy companies

      • And the Koch brothers get wood ….. Keystone is nothing but a gift to the energy industry and anyone who ‘owns’ the sludge they are digging up in Alberta (they own about 20%? and the entry point and exit into the cross-border part of Keystone.. A more obvious and naked exmaple of how buying politicians of any stripe is a great investment.

        Welcome to the NIgeria of North America …

      • A few years ago, we were camped on a Cienega in Arizona’s Mexican Wolf country. Early in the morning, we watched as a large male ‘played’ around in the grass on the cienega, maybe for a half-hour, before he disappeared into the forest on the other side. Later that afternoon, two wolves walked past us no more than fifty feet from our tent. She was a little smaller than he was and very ‘reddish’ in color, while he was more mottled grayish with only some red on his face. But damn, were they beautiful! And peaceful, too. They obviously cared less about us even than they cared about the flock of wild turkeys and their chicks that were ‘grazing’ on the cienega maybe a hundred feet in the other direction.

        Later on that same trip, a fellow we knew from Tucson — a genuine cowboy who was known in those parts, called himself ‘Wild Bill’, actually — stopped by our camp and we talked a little about the wolves. He HATED wolves, he said. I asked him why?

        “Cuz they eat cattle,” he said.

        “Yeah, ok,” I said. “I’ve heard that. But that brings up a question.”

        “What’s that?”

        “Do they eat ENOUGH of the fucking things?” I paused, heard no reaction, so continued. “There’s cow shit all over that cienega out there. I know, I’ve stepped in it. There’s elk shit too, but that’s different, it’s all in little pellets and it doesn’t stick to your shoes. Elk are natives here, cows are imported. Wolves have ALWAYS eaten elk, probably still do … I mean, that’s the way nature works. But cows? WHO FUCKING CARES IF WOLVES EAT COWS!” I paused, finally looked at his and asked, quietly, “So, why the fuck are cows such a big deal??”


        When we got back to Phoenix, I had Amazon.com send Wild Bill a copy of Barry Holstun Lopez’s masterpiece, Of Wolves and Men. It wasn’t till several years later when I finally found out that he never read the book. He couldn’t. He was illiterate. He was also a Republican.

        Surprise surprise? Uh huh, Ok. Surprising. Shocking too, right? 😯

        • Ignorance, is stupidity the second time around ….

          My close wolf encounter was in 1989 above the headwaters of the Colorado near Mt Richthofen. I was alone, on my way down from an overnight, and chewing up the miles on a forest road beside a stream on a warm August afternoon, free of thunderstorms. Two ‘dogs’ bounded out of the tree line across the stream from me, one chasing the other with the light-stepped exhuberance that only a canine seems to show. It took about 5 seconds for me to realise they were too big for dogs and I stood still, realising if I did something like put my pack down to reach for my camera I would draw attention to myself. After about 15 seconds, the two (a courting pair I assumed) bounded back into the trees and disappeared, one after another… 🙂

          • AFAIK, there are no wolves who ‘officially’ live in Colorado. If there were, that would be a horrible thing. All children everywhere would be at risk, along with their grandmothers (Republicans: think of Little Red Riding Hood). But way up there, on Richthofen and vicinity, I can imagine a few might have snuck in from elsewhere. Wolves are like that. Deadly, killers, cunning, big teeth, allathat.

            I do hope they continue sneaking — down thru the Rockies, down this way, into New Mexico, maybe there they can eventually run across some of those Mexican Grays and … boogie! Yeah!

            World needs wolves, LOTS of wolves. And less people. LOTS less people. Republicans especially. Hmmm. Nub of an idea, germinating. ,,,,,

            • One of the many, many, fascinating things about wolves is the apparent difference, re: the danger they pose to humans, between Old World and New World wolves. My pet theory is that the humans who were bold enough to cross the Bering land bridge were bold enough that they didn’t run away, screaming for their mommies, from said wolves and trigger attacks. Another likely possibility is that Old World wolves crossed with the very first domestic “dogs” and some of their fear of humans was bred out of the population. Almost any wild animals who associate humans with food can be a real problem.

        • You only met one person in Arizona that was illiterate?
          You’re lucky.

          The volcanic soil of Northern AZ is fragile and the cattle are believed to be responsible for the deforestation of areas of monoforest.
          They congregate under or against trees for shade and their hooves damage the shallow root structure of the cedars

          • I lived in AZ for forty years, and nope, Wild Bill wasn’t the only ignoramus I ran across. And yes, cattle ‘contamination’ IS indeed at least partially responsible for destruction of various (previously beautiful) forested areas (human ‘contamination’ is responsible for most of the rest of the problem, but I guess that’s another topic).

            And yes, I do know that wolves EAT CATTLE! Which is why I support wolf reintroduction and wolf pack prosperity EVERYWHERE! And yes, I have, indeed, NOT eaten a morsel of beef since I swore it off a couple of years ago. And I have no intention of EVER eating another bite. Period. (Well, at least for as long as cattle are allowed to be grazed on public lands, National Forests in particular).

            That’s because, of course, I’m a communist-Marxist-(fucking)Democrat-liberal SOB … a badge I wear with pride, btw.

  3. It’s awful hard to give a child advice on drug use when you firmly believe that the only real harm marijuana causes is the fact that those arrested for it wind up having their lives and futures wrecked by the justice system.

  4. The point of my post is that the “War on Drugs” is destructive to more lives than using drugs. I am not encouraging the use of drugs as I believe that getting “high” on any substance is a personal choice.

    • I have conflicted opinions about the whole approach to drugs, and I extend that to include alcohol. Its more than can go into one post of course. The conflict comes form a variety of sources:
      1. My father is a retired customs officer who worked at Heathrow Airport during the heyday of the 60s drug culture – he still hold very strong opinions
      2. I’ve been in the US long enough to know that Prohibition was a unique experiment that banned something that a vast majority of the populace still wanted – the lawlessness that resulted damaged the country.
      3. The war on drugs, while borrowing from both experiences absolutely damages lives, not the least of which in Mexico where 50,000 people have died in the last 6-8 years because of demand for drugs and weapons coming from the north (and there were less than 4,000 in the Twin Towers?)
      4. The tolerance in Holland and Canada for drug use does not necessarily work either, but I really don’t know.

      I can see it isn’t working, but the alternatives are fraught with their own side-effects….

    • I agree with you. Drug use is a personal choice. Drug addiction should be treated. I’m still sort of having a hard time believing folks who produce meth in their children’s grandmother’s house shouldn’t be drug out and shot though.

      • Right, when it impacts you personally as it has you, then I can easily understand what we consider to be tolerance can be sorely tested.

      • There’s a big difference between casual use by adults and subjecting children to the dangers of manufacturing what is, arguably, the most devastating drug devised by man. I lost a couple dear friends to meth and could never support its legalization.

        I have no qualms about the seeming double standard of legalizing marijuana while maintaining harsh prohibition of meth and, probably, cocaine and heroin. Even then; there should be an entirely different approach between the users and the dealers in the more deadly substances.

    • The biggest problem with drugs (and almost every other social ill) is the Puritan/
      Calvinist influence on American society. The concept that the only way we exist is at the whim of God and the only way to please God is basically through suffering and punishment. Much of it is self inflicted and if they have to suffer, by Cod, everyone else has to as well. It really is warped idea that the more you suffer, the more God loves you.

      • Well said. And if I might add: those who are warped out on “God” are far more a hazard to civilization and to cultures EVERYWHERE than are those who smoke the occasional joint or sip the dregs from the weekend jug. There is, really, no more DANGEROUSLY ADDICTIVE mind-bender out there than nutcase religious pursuit. Period. End of story. QED, everywhere, every day.

  5. Humans aren’t the only ones that enjoy getting “high”. Animals will wait until fruit ferments and then eat it. They like the “buzz”, too. Children will spin in circles or they will hang their heads over the side of the bed because they like the sensation that is produced by these activities. We will never get rid of wanting to escape and sometimes, escape is what we need to do. What matters is knowing when to escape and when to be responsible.

    I have lost many friends to both legal and illegal substances and for many years, I worked at a drug and alcohol rehab. Addiction treatment is what is needed. Not incarceration or banning a substance because that doesn’t work. Something that wasn’t mentioned here is gambling addiction. I have some friends that have real problems with gambling which is legal in PA.

    • Yea verily. Drugs have been used by many cultures throughout history as a means of enlightenment as well as escape. By declaring them illegal we close doors that lead to the abuse and addiction because we can’t study and observe the possibilities. You can’t control something you don’t understand.

      And as a side note, I remember back in days of yore when I worked on a farm the way the cows would love to find a leak at the bottom of the silo.

      • We got a problem hog into a trailer by feeding her moonshine soaked bread. I imagine she was not the first female who drank, trusted the wrong man, and went into the wrong trailer.

    • I’ve “lost” a daughter to drugs, and I understand the meaning of the word ‘devastation.’ There is no real blame to be assessed, not really. Society, being as it is and has been now for generations (at least) is the constant ‘urge’ that some accept as they head for the freedom below the cliff. And who could not agree that addiction is BAD, that addiction is a HORRIBLE solution to whichever problem seems to be at the forefront? OTOH, why, indeed, must we criminalize the process when intelligently and practically DEALING WITH IT!!!! and with its consequences would be so much more the honorable (and useful) course?

      Is it really a GOOD THING to fuck up a society to the point where it drives so many to ‘escape’ the world via addiction, and then to toss the offenders into the slammer as punishment? I say NO! absolutely not. But then, I did once live in Arizona, in Maricopa County where the Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, made his bones in the War on Drugs and to this day appears to severely enjoy watching all those “criminal” drug abusers suffer in their pink underwear.

      I have two simple suggestions: (a) decriminalize drug use and treat those who’ve fallen off society’s cliff with caring; and (b) toss both the drug lords and the drug “sheriffs” into the can and leave them there to fucking ROT.

      Yeah, I know, I’m a commie-Marxist, but what the hell. At least I care, and at least I believe in justice.

      • I have a brother that discovered meth.
        I didn’t recognize him the last time I saw him.
        The Department of Corrections is an oxymoron that I would like to see changed to “The Department of Gladiator Training”
        He wasn’t a violent person before he went in.

      • The drug sheriffs are further corrupted by laws which allow them to seize property in drug arrests. A law which was originally intended to permit law enforcement to take assets used to transport drugs can now be used to take a big TV from a grow house on the theory that it was “purchased with drug profits”.

    • They don’t call him Morning Joke for nothing……

      …. he was also waxing lyrical that the new bin laden movie proved that waterboarding was justfied and effective….. Hey Joke – it’s a *MOVIE* – you know a dramatized account….. no matter that the guy who is the source for the ‘torture is cool’ meme is also the guy who illegally destroyed the records…. smoke? meet fire…


      h/t C&L of course too

      • Yeah. I saw that one too. Of course, he’s hardly the only Reichwhiner who can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality. That’s just kinda a given. Heck! Many of them think The Flintstones and Red Dawn are documentaries.

  6. So this is perhaps the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me… 😦

    When I was out of town for my step-dad’s funeral, someone at work filled in for me while I was gone. He’s now out because his dad died, and I have to fill in for him. How freaky is that?

  7. Zooey, magnificent display on your Danaus plexippus gravatar!

    This is the showy time of year for the wintering Monarchs around Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz!

  8. Sitar Virtuoso Ravi Shankar Dies At 92

    The Hindu newspaper reported that Shankar died Tuesday in California. He’d been admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla last week after complaining of breathing difficulties.

    Ravi and his daughter, Anoushka – Raga Anandi Kalyan

    His daughters Anoushka and Norah (Jones) – Easy

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