The drug war is on the table as Stephen Harper touches down for continental summit - Macleans.ca
 

The drug war is on the table as Stephen Harper touches down for continental summit


 

A growing divide between north and south on the drug war is promising to be a major, and majorly contentious, issue as the Summit of the Americas kicks off Friday in Colombia. South and Central American leaders, their countries ravaged by drug violence, have been increasingly vocal about the need for new strategies in the decades old battle. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama are expected to reject outright any calls to legalize or otherwise liberalize drug trafficking and use.

From Postmedia:

(O)n Thursday, Harper’s director of communications said Canada will argue strenuously against decriminalization of illegal drugs.

“The prime minister would be a strong voice in that debate,” said Andrew MacDougall. “The government’s strategy is, in fact, completely in the opposite direction.

“A key priority for us is to fight illicit drugs, particularly the transnational organizations that are behind the drug smuggling. Here at home, we have put in place tough new laws to crack down on these groups, to put drug dealers behind bars where they belong.”

Other issues on the table for the weekend summit are trade and the status of Cuba, which remains barred from the continental tete-a-tete.


 
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The drug war is on the table as Stephen Harper touches down for continental summit

  1. After all, stop fighting drugs and the crime rate drops precipitously, not just the drug crimes but all the crimes that revolve around people trying to get the money to pay for them.  This means you’ve suddenly got entire divisions of police services rendered superfluous. That doesn’t look good when you’re running on a law & order platform.

    It also suddenly gives a lot of socialist friendly countries a way to get themselves out of their indentured servitude to us in the north. And if they were actually able to pay off their debts to us, rather than be continually trapped in an endless cycle of interest payments, why, the financiers that fund the various political parties would start having to look for other ways to get their money.

    I’m no fan of drugs. Personally, I’ve heard too many anecdotal links between marijuana use and permanent debilitating anxiety disorders, and we haven’t done enough studies to rule out a causation relation between them. The risks, in my opinion, are simply too high to have it be readily available or used in public settings. That said, even I understand the cost-benefit of our attempted ban doesn’t justify itself — not when we still have the option of strict regulation.

    • Except down south the debate about legalization isn’t about marijuana, it’s about cocaine and other drugs that have no redeeming qualities and have proven time and time again to ravage people, families, and communities. And the governments aren’t fighting family run grow-ops, they’re fighting well funded narco-terrorist groups that are actually trying to take on democratically elected governments.

      • And where do these “narco-terrorists” get their money? They get some of their money by growing and selling the narcotics that the government has made illegal. Therefore they decide the prices at which the drug consumers will pay.
        Now think for a second…
        What if there were no illegal drugs?
        What if you could buy cocaine at your convince store when you turn 21?
        What would happen?
        Would we all start doing cocaine?
        No. Of course not. Well educated people know that drugs aren’t safe. With honest information we are smart enough to chose not to do drugs. Non-smokers (of tobacco) don’t smoke because of information (through personal experiences or government funded information). 
        Cocaine is an extreme case, but I’m trying to get the message across.

        Who benefits from drugs being illegal?
        Private Prisons and Drug Cartel.

    • Tobacco and Alcohol also have negative affects on the body. Some over the counter prescriptions are also known  to have negative side effects. All should be treated in the same manner. So using my brain I figure we either ban everything bad or start informing the general public about addiction. Fight the disease right where it starts. But then what do I know, Just using my brain.

      • If you were actually using your brain you’d realize there’s a wealth of positions between banning and simply letting it run free with “educational programs” And no, they should not all be treated in the same manner, because the level of harm they can cause is different.
         
        If you were actually using your brain, you’d realize that we place restrictions on certain things to protect vulnerable segments of the population. Or do you think we restrict alcohol from kids because we just want to be mean?  No, we do it because kids, generally, don’t have enough experience in life to have good judgement about a number of things. That’s why they’re kids.

        If you were actually using your brain, you’d realize that no, it’s not just addiction which is the problem.

        Tobacco causes virtually no harm on a single exposure, but repeated exposure can cause serious harm, and you do not have to be the one using it to be exposed. Alcohol can cause serious harm on the first “use” if you use enough of it at once, but does not harm others around you when you use it (if it impairs your judgement enough that you do, that’s a different story). For a certain subset of people, it seems marijuana may cause serious harm in a single exposure, and you do not have to be the one using it to be exposed. This requires significant restrictions.

        • So we put a ban on things that are bad and all of a sudden there out of our kids hands. science has proven this wrong.

          Unless your in the business of selling something than addiction of any kind is bad.

          Our youth are not to have alcohol because of its adverse effects on there undeveloped brains. This is only possibal because alcohol is out in the open, Bootleggers dont ask for Id’s.

          Tobacco grown 100% natural and chemical free is how bad for you? we will never now because we impowered huge business to run the product and there research has derived to the fact that the more addictive chemicals we plumb into this thing the more our sales go up.

          Besides exposing monkeys to 4 min burst of strait inhalation of cannabis smoke, which would harm anyone or anything, there is no real testing of the product.

          its 2013 time to cut the crap and base everything on science. sorry.

  2. The War on Drugs Needs to END! not only are criminal activities intensified due to all the drug pushers in the north, but in mexico and down south, its created such massive devastation.. 

  3. If you’re a bottom-dwelling, scum-sucking prohibitionist who’s career has entailed subjecting the rest of us to off-the-scale corruption and lawlessness, then maybe you should consider moving to somewhere that won’t extradite you to a future national or international drug-war tribunal for your crimes against humanity.  

    Prohibition has finally run its course; our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted, and what was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. 

    It is now the duty of every last one of us to insure that the people who are responsible for this shameful situation are not simply left in peace to enjoy the wealth and status that their despicable actions have, until now, afforded them. Former and present Prohibitionists must not be allowed to remain untainted and untouched from the unconscionable acts that they have viciously committed on their fellow citizens. – They have provided us with neither safe communities nor safe streets; we will provide them with neither a safe haven to enjoy their ill-gotten gains nor the liberty to repeat such a similar atrocity! 

    Prohibition has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources. 

    Those responsible for the shameful policy of prohibition shall not go unpunished! 

  4. The colossal failure of the war on drugs can actually be explained in terms of libertarian economics (which Harper espouses only when it suits him.)

    The more fiercer the drug war, the more the price goes up, making it more profitable. The suppliers adapt to limit their exposure to prosecution by forming hierarchical criminal organizations, where the little fish are on the front lines and the ones most likely to get busted. Even if the law takes out a big fish, there are 10 more willing to take his place. 
    The libertarian crackpot solution would be to allow hard drugs to be sold at the corner store. But the fact is the government could deflate the price by using harm reduction methods: that is give drugs to addicts in a controlled setting.

    The way it works among drug addicts is that they tend to get other people hooked as an insurance policy so that they might be able to score if they are low on money. So if the government gives out the drugs, the addicts won’t spread their addiction. They also won’t have the need to commit crimes to feed their habit. And since its free, the market value will drop to nothing.

    Next thing you know the Americas are no longer at war with drug cartels, innocent people aren’t getting gunned down in the street, and the American drug addiction rate, which is the highest in the developed world, would drop significantly.  

    Hopefully Latin America will tell the US to deal with its boneheaded drug war within its own borders.

  5. Canada would be better off it it had one of the more progressive governments from Latin America running our country! I doubt very much that they want anything to do with Stephen Harper. Here at home, it is time for progressive groups, unions and others to come together to organize against Harper and his right-wing friends: http://www.facebook.com/CampaignToBuildOneBigCampaign

    • Ya, Canada should produce more cocaine, and less dirty tar sands oil. More social programs funded by increased drug production and addiction is exactly what we need to compete economically with the likes of Columbia and Mexico. Perhaps the Liberal Party can elect Pablo Escobar as it’s next leader!

      • Ricknine could  qualify for endangered species protection.