Editorial: International Singularity 4/25/03

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David Borden, Executive Director, [email protected], 4/25/03

As usual, this week's drug policy news lacks not in examples of US federal power exerted to protect our government's drug war ideology abroad and at home. From Peru to Canada, from California to Baja California, Washington's economic, diplomatic and legal pressure subverts the ability of democracies to enact drug policies in line with their preferences and interests:

  • Peru's president goes straight to the US embassy after meeting with demonstrating coca growers.
  • Mexico's military involves itself further and further in civilian law enforcement, spurred by US drug war subsidies.
  • Canada's leaders and citizens, desiring marijuana decrim, fret as US drug czar John Walters threatens border crackdowns exceeding those of the war on terrorism if Canada proceeds.
  • Medical marijuana providers in California face severe mandatory minimum federal drug sentences for helping the seriously ill, despite voter and municipal sanction.
  • Advocates at a conference discuss the drug czar's illegal campaigning against ballot measures and the practical effect of the government's anti-marijuana ads as prohibitionist advocacy.
  • Crowning it all, narcocrats around the globe gather in Vienna to reaffirm the drug war's policy stranglehold, under the auspices of the US-dominated UN drug war bureaucracies. And of course, many other examples if we looked only slightly further or farther.
It's not that the democratic process has no room for give or take with outside interests. In principle, the interaction of different levels and nationalities of government can serve to inform and improve the democratic process, resulting in better outcomes than a single region or people might achieve based on their own narrow information, interests or politics. We are, after all, one world, and brought closer together by modern travel, trade and communication.

The problem is the sheer singularity of it. US international drug bureaucrats, aided and abetted by their soul-mates in fellow major international donor nations Sweden and Japan, have locked the entire world into a complex and entrenched system that guarantees the continuation of, and non-variance from drug prohibition in virtually every nation. And federal power within our borders, expanded by willing courts far beyond the levels authorized in the Constitution, stomps hard against the will of voters and the rights of patients in states and cities that wish merely to allow medical marijuana. In DC they wouldn't even let us obey our own election laws to vote on it!

A growing international movement is rising to challenge the prohibitionists, working internationally and nationally, reaching across borders, political ideologies, cultures and language, to break the stranglehold of the international drug treaties. Bringing the global drug control regime into the sunshine and exposing its true inner workings is one part of moving the issue forward and ending drug prohibition in the 21st century.

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Issue #284, 4/25/03 Editorial: International Singularity | Vienna: UN Reaffirms Prohibitionist Path, Cracks Appear in the Consensus as Clamor for Change Grows | Peru: Coca Farmers Claim Partial Victory After Meeting With President | If It's 20-Apr and We're in San Francisco, This Must Be NORML | California County, Patients Sue Federal Drug Warriors Over Medical Marijuana Raids | Newsbrief: Lying Tulia Undercover Cop Indicted for Perjury | Newsbrief: Canadian Government to Unveil Marijuana Decriminalization Bill in June, Newspaper Says | Newsbrief: Brazilian Health Ministry Proposes Legalization of Drug Possession | Newsbrief: Russia Declares War on Drug Barons | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | New WOLA Report on Mexico's Military in the War on Drugs | The Reformer's Calendar

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