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Archives by Tag 'drug war'
The Fight is On in Brazil
RICHARD BROKAW
Rio de Janeiro. In June 2013 what seemed like a minor demonstration against the increase of 20 cents in the public transportation ticket  in Sao Paulo,  Brazil’s largest city, turned into a free for all of police brutality.  Police riot  control troo...
Playing Politics With the Drug War
SHELDON RICHMAN
Two recent law-enforcement decisions illustrate yet again that when government sets out to solve a problem it created, things get much worse. This week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will keep nonviolent small-scale drug sellers...
How Alexander Cockburn Helped Me Take on the War on Drugs
BRIAN McKENNA
McGruff, the Crime Dog, was huffing and puffing as he charged up the stairs. The canine removed his doggie headdress, revealing a Philadelphia policeman underneath. He quickly took me aside. “I just got back from teaching one of those drug bastards a lesson he’l...
The Origins of the Neoliberal War on the Poor
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In November of 1994 two years of ramshackle government, breached pledges and the Clinton administration’s frequently manifested contempt for its traditional base, exacted their price. In the midterm elections Republicans seized control of both the House and the Sena...
In Order to Address Racism, We Must Confront the Drug War
SHARDA SEKARAN
This past week has brought an intense time of reflection and critical self-examination for many Americans. In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, there have been emotionally-charged conversations about the way young black men are viewed in the U.S. and how valued th...
The Real Purpose of the Drug War
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
A heart in love will decipher every squiggle in a letter as a kiss. In the final days of the 2008 campaign and in the opening ones of his administration, Obama and his top legal aides seemed to the eager ears of marijuana legalizers on the West Coast to be opening the doo...
Obama in Mexico
LAURA CARLSEN
President Obama touched down in Mexico and then flew to Costa Rica in a short trip with ambitious goals. The president sought to re-set the image of U.S. involvement in the region by downplaying the increasingly controversial drug war that is currently the focus of U.S. a...
My Supreme Court Fashion Felony
JAMES BOVARD
In March 1995, I visited the sacred burial ground of Americans’ rights and liberties – the Supreme Court. Working on an article for ...
15 Benefits of the War on Drugs
KEVIN CARSON
With American drug use levels essentially the same as — and levels of drug-related violence either the same as or lower than — those in countries like the Netherlands with liberal drug laws, public support for the War on Drugs appears to be faltering. This was most re...
The Will of the People Doesn’t Mean Jack Shit to the Drug Warriors
DAVE HUMMELS
The Associated Press reports that eight former DEA administrators are urging the Obama administration to sue Washington and Colorado over their voter-approved moves toward  marijuana legalization. One former chief, Peter Bensinger, fears that successful legalizati...
Honduras: the Killings Continue
NICK ALEXANDROV
Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield succumbed to a fit of honesty earlier this month: “When the drug war turns bloody, he said, the strategy is working,” journalist Martha Mendoza reported.  By Brownfield’s standards, the strategy has been an enormous s...
Green Pot Head Pressure
LENNI BRENNER
A two-headed Martian recently dropped in on us and challenged me: “Folks back home love to ask what’s the wackiest thing about planets we visit. What should we say about this one?” Of course I told them that Marijuana is illegal. Thirty million American...
Hate Drugs? You Should Want to End the Drug War
TONY NEWMAN
Many people hate drugs. It is easy to see why. Most families have had a loved one with a problematic relationship to alcohol or other drugs.  People who struggle with drug problems can cause incredible pain to themselves and their loved ones. Broken marriages, loss of ...
Convicts, Collateral Damage, and the “War on Drugs”
JOSEPH NEVINS
Two recent court cases in southern California provide insight into the identity of those smuggle drugs across the international boundary between the two countries. But more importantly what they do is highlight how the ludicrous “war on drugs” produces casualties of m...
How Capitalism is Destroying Democracy
LAURA FLANDERS
Eugene Jarecki is an author and a filmmaker. The director behind “Freakanomics,” “The Trials of Harry Kissinger,” “Why We Fight,” and most recently “The House I Live In.” “The House I Live In” his documentary about the drug war leaves one thinki...
Have Conservatives Really Seen the Light on Mass Incarceration?
JAMES KILGORE
I lived in South Africa from 1991 until 2002, during the difficult transition from apartheid to democracy. An interesting part of this history was that by 1994, apartheid had become so discredited that it was difficult to find a single white person who admitted to ever su...
Yes We Cannabis
HELEN REDMOND
The cracks in the American cannabis control system just got wider with the states of Washington and Colorado passing referendums legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults. It is nothing short of historic in a country that arrests over 850,000 people every ye...
Contradictions of the New Juarez
KENT PATERSON
The push to rebrand and re-sell the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez is in full swing. With violence way down as 2012 draws to a close, business and political leaders are extolling the return of security, inaugurating public works and opening new restaurants. Accordi...
Nullify the Drug War!
SHELDON RICHMAN
Thomas Jefferson said a revolution every 20 years would be a good thing. Regardless of what one thinks of that, perhaps a little constitutional crisis every now and then would have its benefits. One such crisis may be brewing now. On election day, solid majorities ...
El Lazca and the Walking Dead
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. Mexico awoke Tuesday to the news that one of its leading drug lords had bit the dust. Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano (aka El Lazca), presumed leader of Los Zetas and arguably the country’s third most wanted man, had been killed in a fire...
Hempstalk and the Coming End of Prohibition
MICHAEL DONNELLY
Another Portland Hempstalk  has come and gone.  This free annual weekend after Labor Day celebration of Cannabis Culture, bi...
Testimonies of the Drug War’s Devastation
LAURA CARLSEN
The Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived in New York today and hit the ground running. In the early evening, hundreds of caravan members and New York supporters met each other in ...
Pot Injustice Pervades Public
NORM KENT
Recently, the city of Denver said it was going to deny medical marijuana dispensaries the right to advertise on city billboards.  A few years ago, I remember other cities denying strip clubs the right to solicit on billboards as well, claiming the ads distracted drivers ...
Along the Border of the Surreal
PAUL IMISON
San Diego. If the Mexico-US border is the most surreal international boundary in the western hemisphere – often described as the only place where the so-called “First World” meets the Third, with all the envy, prejudice and distrust that implies – ...
Drug War Savages
SAUL LANDAU
Savage: not domesticated or cultivated; wild. In June and July the war on drugs proceeded apace as DEA agents and Honduran military goons knocked off some Miskitu people in Honduras – suspects supposedly running...
Drop the Case Against Activist Jazz Hayden
ANTHONY PAPA
Joseph “Jazz:” Hayden is a community activist from Harlem whose main goal was to expose the ...
End the Prison-Industrial Complex, Now!
ROB URIE
Most readers probably know the outline of this story: beginning in the 1970s the incarceration rate in America, the proportion of the population sent to prison, started to rise exponentially. The rate of incarceration in America is now the highest in the world. And in abs...
Mexico’s Return to “Perfect Dictatorship”
MICHAEL WILSON
On the night of July 1, Enrique Peña Nieto shouted before cameras, “this Sunday, Mexico won!” The presidential candidate of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Peña used the speech to declare himself the winner, promising an “honest” and “democrat...
The Real Story Behind Issa v. Holder
FRED GARDNER
All my life I would have sympathized with the Black man being hounded by a vicious Caucasian (who happens to be the richest man in the United States Congress). But watching Attorney General Eric Holder taking verbal abuse from Rep. Darrell Issa last week, all that came to...
Obama’s Statement on Fast and Furious
LINH DINH
Good evening, my fellow Americans. I’m here tonight to clear up some misperceptions about Operation Fast and Furious. Many of you are confused, even angry, and I fully understand. Why did the United States sell thousands of guns to vicious Mexican drug cartels, so that ...
Smoking Pot in the Capitol
ANTHONY PAPA
Earlier this week, political activist and comedian Randy Credico engaged in a novel protest and civil ...
The DEA and the Return of the Death Squads
GREG McCAIN
The US is once again hell bent on establishing death squads in its militarization of Central America. This is a stark reminder of the 1980s when Ronald Reagan and Ollie North were funding the contras with drug money, but now it is reinforced with lessons learned in terror...
Colorado’s War on Medical Marijuana
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
[A] drug which takes away grief and passion and brings a forgetfulness of all ills. — Homer, The Iliad Two events took place in June that suggested a primer on how medical marijuana laws are working in Colorado might b...
The Left Makes Noise in Mexico
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City. You can blame it on those damn students. Ever since over a hundred of them at a private university, the Iberoamericana in Mexico City, ran presidential frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto off campus with cries of “Coward!” and “Get out!” o...
Breaking the Cycle of Addiction in Prison
ANTHONY PAPA
An amicus brief was filed by the Drug Policy Alliance o...
The Horrible Things That Empire Offers Us
FIDEL CASTRO
A piece of news released by AP, the most important US news agency, dated today in Monterrey, Mexico, explains it with irrefutable clarity.  This is not the first, and certainly it won’t be the last, about a reality that puts paid to the mountain of lies with which the ...
Failure at the Summit of the Americas
RAUL ZIBECHI
Dilma Rousseff interrupted the speech of Barack Obama. The President of the United States was speaking about the advances of various countries in Latin America, commenting that now there exists “a prosperous middle class” that represents a business opportunity for com...
Is the US Poised to Regain Control of Latin America with Regional Proxy Wars Through Colombia?
ANNIE BIRD
The Summits of the Americas began in 1994 as forums to promote free trade.  In 2009 the Summit’s focus shifted to demands for the inclusion of Cuba in regional political bodies and the end of the U.S. economic embargo, a debate which continued in this month’s Sixth S...
Somnambulant in Cartagena
ROBERT SANDELS
“I watched Obama closely at the famous ‘summit gathering.’  Fatigue sometimes overcame him, he involuntarily closed his eyes and occasionally slept with his eyes open.” – Fidel Castro [1] The Sixth Summ...
A Conspiracy of Whores
JOHN GRANT
Whore: (verb) To debase oneself by doing something for unworthy motives, typically to make money. ...
A License to Steal
ANTHONY PAPA
There are good lawyers and there are bad lawyers. As an advocate and freedom fighter, I have run into plenty of cases where legal representation was questionable. But once in a while I run into a story that is just downright disgraceful and makes the legal profession look...
A Tale of Two Murders
RAVI KATARI
The headline of a recent USA Today article reads, “In wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, America is soul-searching” (1).  And so it should be.  He was a 17-year-old African-American walking back from a convenience store when he was gunned down by an overzealous and s...
Victims of U.S. “Drug War” Mount as Media Yawns
DANIEL KOVALIK
Last week, you would have been lucky to find even a small blurb in a few newspapers about but another journalist killed in post-coup Honduras — the 19th in the last two years, making Honduras by far the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist.   Ind...
Putting Drug Legalization on the Agenda
JEFFREY DHYWOOD
The so-called War on Drugs has been going on for over 40 years, but despite the colossal resources that have been thrown at this failed social experiment, the world’s appetite for illicit substances keeps heading stubbornly upwards and drug–trafficking is as flourishi...
Doing Biden’s Bidding
LAURA CARLSEN
Vice President Joe Biden landed in Mexico City last night and he’s left little doubt about his mission—to lock in the regional drug war. His visit comes at a time ...
Calderon in Juarez
PAUL IMISON
Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s much-publicized visit to Ciudad Juarez on the US border last week – the proverbial “scene of the crime” – was as well-timed as it was cynical. With his National Action Party (PAN) facing a tough re-election campaign ahead of J...
The Drug Police
FRED GARDNER
Tod Mikuriya, MD, once paid a printer to make up stickers that said “Drug Police: Armed Clergy.”  The message came to mind Jan. 24 when the New York Times ran ...
Coffee Shop Confusion in the Netherlands
JOHN SINCLAIR
Amsterdam. New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam was even more festive than usual this season as thousands of European visitors flocked to the city to enjoy what they believed would be the last night they’d be welcome in the coffee shops of the Netherla...
The Drug War’s Invisible Victims
LAURA CARLSEN
There are many kinds of war. The classic image of a uniformed soldier kissing mom good-bye to risk his life on the battlefield has changed dramatically. In today’s wars, it’s more likely that mom will be the one killed. UNIFEM states that by the mid-1990s, 90% ...