Diane Lefer: In Bolivia, as in much of the Andes, people understand that coca leaves are not the same as cocaine. The leaves, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, are used for tea, in candies, in flour for baking cakes, as an anaesthetic, and in beverages.
War On Drugs
The "War on Drugs" is a term commonly applied to a set of U.S. policies that were enacted under the guise of discouraging the production, distribution, and consumption of illegal psychoactive drugs. The term was first used by U.S. president Ronald Reagan, and was later popularized by the media. In 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy declared that the global war on drugs had failed.
Mark Naison: You cannot beat down and repress such a large number of people without generating a response. Where it comes, and when it comes may be a mystery, but come it will. And when it does, it will shake this nation to its foundations.
Mark Halfmoon: Ron Paul stands for the most important things that the corporate beneficiaries of GOP rule desire: no regulation, no taxes, every-man-for-himself-only-the-strong-survive “free” market rule.
Alvaro Huerta: Instead of sympathetic words for immigrants in a re-election, campaign-style format, we need for Obama to make immigration reform a top priority in lieu of pandering to a growing Latino electorate.
Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.
David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.
Andrea Nill: Over the past couple of weeks, thousands of Mexicans have taken to the streets to protest the bloody drug war that has ravaged Latin America and left 35,000 people dead since 2006 in Mexico alone.
Adam Eran: Would the oligarchy that is the military-industrial-prison-media complex stoop so low as to incite a war, even promoting Iran as a backwater deserving of U.S. “shellacking”? And is the Pope really Catholic?
Jeremy Kuzmarov: It might not be Reefer Madness redux, but the blame being put on drugs for civilian deaths in Afghanistan today has that same air of hysteria about it.
Adam Eran: Criminalizing drug consumption, rather than bad behavior, leads to enormous corruption–both domestic and international–and disrespect for the law.
Tom Hayden: I support the November ballot initiative because our country’s long drug war is a disaster and there is an alternative that is better for our health, safety and democratic process.
David Love: The California NAACP is under fire when it should be applauded for its courage. Alice Huffman is carrying out the mission of her organization, ensuring that it protects civil rights and remains relevant in changing times. Should we expect her to do less?
Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.