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HCLU Interview with Former EU Drugs Commissioner Carel Edwards

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Our friends at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union have a fascinating interview with former EU drugs commissioner Carel Edwards online. He explains that the EU -- an overarching body whose powers are limited relative to its individual member countries -- has only "soft power" on drug policy (or "drugs" policy as they call it there), but he feels they've used it effectively, in ways that point away from the criminalization model. Two quotes stood out for me:

"[D]ecriminalizing possession is not in the EU strategy, but if you take the EU strategy as a whole, the clear conclusion is that all-out prohibition is ineffective, expensive and not supported by any evidence base."
The EU can't enact decriminalization itself, but through the thrust of its strategy they provide political ammunition to policymakers who would like to move their national policies in that direction -- in countries that are EU members as well as countries applying for EU membership.

This is what he had to say about the United States on drug policy:

"With the US, we tend to disagree on a lot of things -- we've had the US against us in Vienna [where the UN drug agency is headquartered] for quite a few years. The US is allergic to a lot of the European evidence-based approach and appears to be far more interested in supply reduction then in harm reduction. And it's not very fussy about human rights."

Relatedly, there are some very enlightening articles on both of those topics in a recent London School of Economics IDEAS special report, Governing the Global Drug Wars. (This is one of the two reports whose hardcopies we're providing as part of our latest membership offer.) Another big of promotion: check out speeches by (now former) Member of the European Parliament Marco Cappato at our 2003 conference in Mexico, "Out from the Shadows: Ending Drug Prohibition in the 21st Century."

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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PUNISHMENT: the $lave $ociety Hangover

"The US ... appears to be far more interested in supply reduction then in harm reduction."

Here's my attempt at an interpretation:  Supply reduction is denying persons something they want, a kind of punishment for wanting it.  The main theme is punishment, and that is both New Jim Crow and Old Jim Crow-- the entire slavery society, from 1619 on in this region and in the US till now, was and is based on punishment.

1.  Fear of PUNISHMENT keeps the slave obedient.

2.  Fear of getting caught and PUNISHED scares the slave against trying to run away.

3.  Fear of getting PUNISHED, maybe killed, scares other citizens out of trying to help a slave escape.

Modern crapaholism, of which the tip of the iceberg is Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide $igarettes, works thus (note how they match up):

1.  If you go too long without a $igarette (or other addictive "consumer" product), you know you will begin to FEEL BAD, so you buy more $igarettes (obedience).

Fear of getting CAUGHT with the pawght and PUNISHED scares you against trying a different herb (uh oh) instead of tobacckgo.

The "Dealer" who helps you get a toke might get legalrailroaded into a big PENALTY like long jail time (2 million prisoners and counting...).

PS: if we break it down to money, the Law Enforcement makes it so expensive to PROVIDE the riefer without getting cawght that you pay a Law Enforcement Avoidance Tax in the form of the cannabis costing $200/ounce while two packs of $igarettes (28 g) are under $20 in most states.  This PRICE DIFFERENTIAL is a subtle form of threat/punishment, enacted financially, that drives 800,000 US kids a year (who had to smoke something, anything, to be koool) to the "cheaper" alternative... Zap! Hooked for life on niggotine!

It's all Fascism!

There is no such thing as democracy or capitalism or communism. 

It's all fascism and in the modern age it's all held together with the drug war.

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