Eradication

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Colombia "good model" for Afghan drug war, US says

Localização: 
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
Reuters
URL: 
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N19329346.htm

Finally, Someone is Getting Serious About Marijuana

Why screw around arresting pot smokers when you can get to the root of the problem by simply eliminating marijuana? That is the latest plan from Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency, at least according to this report, which notes that the country should be pot-free by 2015:
BNN: 2015, Indonesia Free from Marijuana Fields Tuesday, 16 January, 2007 | 17:46 WIB TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) targets Indonesia to be free from marijuana fields by 2015. “BNN will fight marijuana growth” said Executive Chairman of BNN, Insp. Gen. Made Mangku Pastika, during the working meeting with the Regional Representatives Assembly (DPD) in Senayan yesterday (15/1). For the first stage, he said, BNN will clear marijuana fields in Aceh. “In Aceh, there are 500 hectares (marijuana fields), but we target 200 hectares in this year,” he said. In order to make the program successful, he will cooperate with the Agriculture Department and the Trade Department in looking for substitute production. “If there is no substitute, it will be difficult,” he said. In addition, the agency will carry out a rehabilitation program for illegal drug addicts via the religious way. “This is more effective,” he said.
Gen. Pastika is only the latest in a long line of politicians and drug fighters who have set their eyes on the ultimate prize. The last one I can recall is former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was going to eliminate drugs there in 2003. Well, Thaksin is gone now, and he didn’t manage to eliminate drugs, although his cops murdered some 2,000 or so drug users and sellers. I think the European Union was going to eliminate drugs by 2008, or maybe it was the UN. And wasn’t it Newt Gingrich who wanted to wipe out drugs by 2002 in our country? I'm not sure because I don't spend a lot of time pondering such codswallop. Such promises are enough to embarrass Don Quixote. But hey, at least the good general in Indonesia is promising faith-based treatment…
Localização: 
Indonesia

The West Should Buy Afghanistan's Opium Crop

Localização: 
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
The Sunday Herald (UK)
URL: 
http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/features/display.var.1122177.0.0.php

Mexican cartels settling into Peru

Localização: 
Lima
Peru
Publication/Source: 
The Herald (Mexico)
URL: 
http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/miami/22944.html

US faces eviction from Ecuadorian base

Localização: 
Ecuador
Publication/Source: 
ISN Security Watch (Switzerland)
URL: 
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?id=17114

Spare Us From Asparagus Tariffs (Or The Lack Thereof)

Eradication efforts in South America continue to find news ways of being counterproductive and unsuccessful.

From The Seattle Times:

The [U.S. asparagus] industry has been decimated by a U.S. drug policy designed to encourage Peruvian coca-leaf growers to switch to asparagus. Passed in 1990 and since renewed, the Andean Trade Preferences and Drugs Eradication Act permits certain products from Peru and Colombia, including asparagus, to be imported to the United States tariff-free.


Meanwhile, the Washington industry is a shadow of its former self. Acreage has been cut by 71 percent to just 9,000 acres.


Well at least something got eradicated. Perhaps Washington farmers will now turn to growing America's number one cash crop instead.

Notwithstanding divergent views on free trade among our readership, I'm sure we can all agree that tariffs shouldn't be arbitrarily lifted in support of a failed drug war policy in Peru. Any success achieved in South America (there hasn't been any, but bear with me) must be measured against the sacrifices American farmers are forced against their will to make impact of abandoning protectionism spontaneously. Factoring this against ONDCP's otherwise already pathetic claims of progress leaves a worse taste in one's mouth than that of canned asparagus.

This is what we're trying to tell you about the U.S. war on drugs. The people running this thing will screw over confuse American farmers while pretending to protect our nation's interests.

If they didn't anticipate this outcome, they are incompetent and should be permanently enjoined from drafting economic policy. And if they did anticipate this inevitable outcome, and took no action to mitigate it, they should be jailed for treasonous malfeasance and fed forever on the bitter canned fruits and vegetables of their hypocrisy.

Full disclosure: I don't like asparagus. Thus, it's humorous to contemplate the irony that we can now add asparagus proliferation to the growing list of undesirable drug war consequences. Our resident vegetable enthusiast Dave Borden might disagree, but I'm sure he'd trade all the asparagus in the world for an end to the ongoing international disaster of drug prohibition.

Update: In response to comments below and at Hit & Run, it's not my contention that U.S. farmers are entitled to protection against foreign competitors. My point is that drug war politics should rarely, if ever, be used as a justification to waive policies otherwise deemed appropriate by Congress.

Localização: 
United States

Debate Over Afghan Opium Medicalization Coming to Washington

The pressure to medicalize poppy cultivation in Afghanistan won't go away. The idea continues to find new proponents because it sounds considerably less absurd than asking Afghan families to give up on feeding themselves.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

After a year of escalating Afghan heroin production, calls are mounting for a shift in U.S. policy aimed at turning Afghanistan's poppy into an economic asset by using it to produce medicinal painkillers.

Backers of the proposal include several leading scientists and economists, as well as some in Congress.


"You can't just cut off the poppies because that's the livelihood of the people who live there," [Rep. Russ] Carnahan said Thursday. "But providing them with alternative legal markets for pain-relief medication is a way to help cut back on that heroin supply."

Congratulations, Russ Carnahan! You solved the riddle. Extra points if you can dumb this down enough to explain it to the drug policy experts at the State Department.

Tom Schweich, a senior State Department official who is spearheading U.S. efforts to curb Afghan narcotics, said he welcomed "creative ideas" but found this one to be unrealistic.

He said Afghan farmers wouldn't have enough economic incentive to turn away from illegal poppy cultivation. He added that Afghanistan lacks the required business infrastructure for processing, manufacturing and distribution, and that the oversight needed to prevent illicit drug trafficking would be near impossible.

Ok, we're listening. Yes, it's complicated situation. So what do you propose?

"You really need to keep it illegal and eradicate it," Schweich said.

Darn, he blew it. For a second there I thought he understood something.

Schweich rattles off a list of reasons why eradication won't work and then, like some sort of involuntary reflex, spontaneously proposes eradication. He sees all the reasons eradication won't work, but he cites them as arguments against Carnahan's plan rather than his own. Such rank incompetence might be funny if the fate of a nation weren't hanging in the balance.

Localização: 
United States

Hemp: DEA Has Spent $175 Million Eradicating "Ditch Weed" Plants That Don't Get You High

In the past two decades, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has spent at least $175 million in direct spending and grants to the states to eradicate feral hemp plants, popularly known as "ditch weed." The plants, the hardy descendants of hemp plants grown by farmers at the federal government's request during World War II, do not contain enough THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, to get people high.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/ditchweedchart1.jpg
chart by Jon Gettman for Vote Hemp
According to figures from the DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, it has seized or destroyed 4.7 billion feral hemp plants since 1984. That's in contrast to the 4.2 million marijuana plants it has seized or destroyed during the same period. In other words, 98.1% of all plants eradicated under the program were ditch weed, of which it is popularly remarked that "you could smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole and all you would get is a headache and a sore throat."

While the DEA is spending millions of tax payer dollars, including $11 million in 2005, to wipe out hemp plants, farmers in Canada and European countries are making millions growing hemp for use in a wide variety of food, clothing, and other products. Manufacturers of hemp products in the United States must import their hemp from countries with more enlightened policies.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/ditchweedchart2.jpg
chart by Jon Gettman for Vote Hemp
"It's Orwellian that the biggest target of the DEA's Eradication Program is actually not a drug but instead a useful plant for everything from food, clothing and even auto parts and currently must be imported to supply a $270 million industry," said Eric Steenstra, president of Vote Hemp, a group lobbying for increased acceptance of the versatile plant. "While Vote Hemp has urged the DEA to recognize the difference between hemp and marijuana so farmers could grow it here, the federal agency is spending millions of dollars to destroy hundreds of millions of harmless hemp plants."

DEA officials regularly argue that there is no difference between hemp and marijuana, but their own statistics belie that claim. In its reports on the domestic eradication program, the agency clearly differentiates between ditch weed and "cultivated marijuana."

Not only is the ditch weed eradication program a waste of money, it may even be counterproductive, said Vote Hemp national outreach coordinator Tom Murphy. "Much of the ditch weed eradicated is believed to be burned, turning a carbon consuming plant into a contributor of Greenhouse gasses," said Murphy in a post-Christmas press release. "For all the effort to find and destroy these harmless wild hemp plants they are coming back year after year. It is likely that the eradication programs help re-seed the locations were ditch weed is found. The late summer timing and removal method causes countless ripe seeds to fall to the ground where they will sprout again the following year."

Your tax dollars at work.

Ecuador, Colombia Bad Start in 2007

Localização: 
Quito
Ecuador
Publication/Source: 
Prensa Latina (Cuba)
URL: 
http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7B711550CF-36A6-416B-B437-714E8D535F41%7D)&language=EN

Calderon Escalates War on Mexico Drug Cartels, Using Troops

Localização: 
Mexico
Publication/Source: 
Bloomberg
URL: 
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=ac_v9Sk54Nn0&refer=latin_america

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