CNN poll confirms: Most Americans believe their government is a threat to their welfare

A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government’s become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. Forty-four percent of those polled disagree.

The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken – though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted February 12-15, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall survey.

Latin America: Latin America On Its Way To Legalizing Drugs, Experts Say

BUENOS AIRES – Latin America is headed towards the decriminalization of drug possession for personal consumption, according to experts and officials who took part in a regional conference in Buenos Aires.

Those attending the 1st Latin American Conference on Drug Policy, which ended Friday, also said that legislative reforms are being designed to give smaller sentences “to small traffickers, and to create policies that minimize harm” by encouraging addicts who can’t quit to come into the health system.

They also warned that the war on drugs “did not achieve its goal,” since Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, which together produce all the cocaine in the world, “could not manage in 10 years to reduce the area under cultivation,” according to a communiqué released at the end of the meeting, sponsored by the Pan-American Health Organization.

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US says Afghan poppy eradication ‘failure’

The United States admits that its efforts in eradicating opium poppy production in Afghanistan have proven to be of no avail.

Washington’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke said on Sunday that the current measures taken against poppy growers had been “a failure”.

“The Western policies against the opium crop, the poppy crop, have been a failure. They did not result in any damage to the Taliban, but they put farmers out of work,” Holbrooke said at a G8 meeting in Italy.

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Canada’s ‘Prince of Pot’ Vows to Defeat U.S. War on Drugs

VANCOUVER, British Columbia  —  Psychedelic rock booms through The Toker’s Bowl. Young and some not-so-young people smoke pot through a variety of devices in the store’s Vapour Lounge. And owner Marc Scott Emery stands in the middle of it all, proclaiming his goal of defeating the U.S. war on drugs.

Known as the Prince of Pot, Emery has sold millions of marijuana seeds around the world by mail over the past decade. In doing so, he has drawn the attention of U.S. drug officials, who want him extradited to Seattle. Emery has agreed to plead guilty in Seattle to one count of marijuana distribution in exchange for dismissal of all other counts, and the U.S. District Attorney is pressing for a sentence of five to eight years in a U.S. prison.

The case is the latest twist in Emery’s two-decade-long fight against the prohibition of marijuana in North America. To his supporters, he is a brave crusader for the use and sale of a drug with both recreational and medicinal value. To drug officials, he is a criminal and the biggest purveyor of marijuana from Canada into the United States.

Emery sits “right smack in the middle” of the North American debate over marijuana prohibition, said Allen St. Pierre of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Washington, D.C. St. Pierre predicted that Emery’s trial would “kick-start it all again.”

But drug officials say they are simply going after one of the world’s top 50 drug traffickers. U.S. authorities claim Emery’s seeds have grown $2.2 billion worth of pot.

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Comment: Get real, drug czars

ELEVEN years ago, the United Nations pledged to win the war on drugs within a decade. It has failed.

At this year’s meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, held in Vienna in March, there was a two-day session to evaluate the progress since 1998. In his opening remarks, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, claimed “measurable progress”. The drug problem has been “contained”, he said, and drug use has “stabilized”.

Costa’s position flies in the face of the evidence, and by the end of the meeting he was on the defensive. But he said the goal remains the same, and he reiterated the UN’s position: that the choice for the world’s nations is either to apply strict prohibition or concede to total legalization.

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Newly declassified documents reveal More than $97 million from USAID to separatist projects in Bolivia

The declassified documents in original format and with Spanish translation are available here

Recently declassified documents obtained by investigators Jeremy Bigwood and Eva Golinger reveal that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $97 million in “decentralization” and “regional autonomy” projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002. The documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evidence that USAID in Bolivia was the “first donor to support departmental governments” and “decentralization programs” in the country, proving that the US agency has been one of the principal funders and fomenters of the separatist projects promoted by regional governments in Eastern Bolivia.

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Drug-Friendly Netherlans to close prisons for lack of criminals


For years prohibitionists, including our own Drug Enforcement Administration, have claimed — falsely — that the tolerant marijuana policies of the Netherlands have made that nation a nest of crime and drug abuse. They may have trouble wrapping their little brains around this:

The Dutch government is getting ready to close eight prisons because they don’t have enough criminals to fill them. Officials attribute the shortage of prisoners to a declining crime rate.

Just for fun, let’s compare the Netherlands to California. With a population of 16.6 million, the Dutch prison population is about 12,000. With its population of 36.7 million, California should have a bit more than double the Dutch prison population. California’s actual prison population is 171,000.

So, whose drug policies are keeping the streets safer?

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