SPOILEROm spoilers te kunnen lezen moet je zijn ingelogd. Je moet je daarvoor eerst gratis Registreren. Ook kun je spoilers niet lezen als je een ban hebt.Peter Hitchens met een keutel:
Landen met een afwijkend standpunt/beleid wat betreft drugs:
Legale status van marihuana (Wikipedia)
• Uruguay - marijuana sinds 10 april 2014 legaal
• Portugal - drugsgebruik en -bezit sinds 2001 met een boete of niet bestraft
• TsjechiŰ - gebruikershoeveelheden van 15 gram marijuana en 1,5 gram hero´ne zijn toegestaan
• Nederland - half-om-half gedoogbeleid waar productie en handel verboden zijn maar kleine verkoop toegestaan
• Colombia - 20 gram wiet en 1 gram coca´ne zijn officieel gedoogd - in de praktijk betaal je een kleine bijdrage aan de agent en neem je je drugs gewoon mee
• Chili - drugsgebruik, mits niet in het openbaar, is niet strafbaar
• Colorado, Washington - 2 VSAmerikaanse staten die marijuana gelegaliseerd hebben
• ArgentiniŰ - sinds 25 augustus 2009 is persoonlijk bezit en gebruik van marijuana toegestaan
• Alexander Shulgin - ontdekker van vele soorten psycho-actieve en opwekkende drugs, gebaseerd op MDMA (XTC)
• JosÚ Mujica - president van Uruguay - eerste land dat marijuana legaliseerde en eerste winnaar van TIME's Country of the Year - 2013
• Ron Paul - VSAmerikaans senator, libertair
• Jesse Ventura - VSAmerikaans ex-governeur, libertair
• Bill Hicks - VSAmerikaans comedian, overleden 1994
• Noam Chomsky - VSAmerikaans taalkundige en filosoof
• Stefan Molyneux - Canadees radio-host, libertair
• Eugene Jarecki - VSAmerikaans documentairemaker (The House I Live In)
• Otto Perez Molina - president van Guatemala - pleit voor einde van de oorlog die Centraal-Amerika in een onnodige greep houdt
• Timothy Leary (ovl 1996) - VSAmerikaans psycholoog en schrijver
• Ken Kesey (ovl 2001) - VSAmerikaans schrijver
• Terrence McKenna (ovl 2000) - VSAmerikaans filosoof en schrijver
• Ivo O. en Fred T.
• Jan-Peter B.
• JoaquÝn "El Chapo" Guzmßn - leider van het Sinaloa-kartel, gearresteerd in februari 2014
• Willem "de Neus" Holleeder - Nederlands grootste drugsbaas na de dood van
• Klaas "de Dominee" Bruinsma (6 oktober 1953 - 27 juni 1991) - Nederlands grootste drugsbaas tot Willem Holleeder
• Pablo Escobar Gaviria (2 december 1947 - 2 december 1991) - de bekendste drugsbaron tot de Mexicaanse kartels, leider en oprichter van het MedellÝnkartel dat in de jaren 80 en begin jaren 90 zeer bloedige oorlogen vocht tegen het Calikartel, politici en vooral vrienden uit eigen kring
• Hermanos Ochoa - de echte bazen van het MedellÝnkartel
• Gwenette Martha - doodgeschoten 22 mei 2014, Amsterdam
FOK!-informatie over drugs:
• UVT - Space - Drugsoverzicht
Staan ze ook stil bij de negatieve gevolgen die de War on Drugs kan hebben?quote:In beeld: wereldwijd drugs in de fik gestoken | NOS
Het is vandaag Internationale Dag ter Bestrijding van Drugs. En daarom worden er op verschillende plekken in de wereld partijen drugs verbrand.
De dag is in 1987 door de Verenigde Naties vastgesteld vanwege het groeiende drugsprobleem in de wereld. Sinds die tijd wordt er ieder jaar stilgestaan bij de strijd tegen illegale drugshandel en de negatieve gevolgen die drugs kunnen hebben.
En bij de economische effecten van het stelen en vernietigen van grote hoeveelheden drugs (stijging van de prijs, met alle problemen van dien). Zal wel niet, allemaal symboolpolitiek.quote:
quote:Tim Hofman pleit in Tweede Kamer voor openlijker drugsdebat | NU - Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl
BNN-presentator Tim Hofman, die woensdag namens Spuiten en Slikken te gast was in de Tweede Kamer, pleitte daar voor een openlijker debat over het drugsgebruik en een minder strikt drugsbeleid.
Volgens Hofman is het uit de criminele hoek halen van drugsgebruik een belangrijke bijdrage aan de vermindering van de gevaren ervan.
Hofman was te gast in de Tweede Kamer omdat het programma Spuiten en Slikken 41.000 handtekeningen had verzameld om het drugsbeleid via een zogenoemd burgerinitiatief op de agenda te krijgen. In het "vastgeroeste" debat over drugs wordt volgens Hofman "gestunteld".
Hofman, die zichzelf ziet als een "fervent non-drugsgebruiker", noemde bijvoorbeeld dat festivalgangers nu niet zou gauw naar de EHBO als ze zich niet goed voelen, omdat ze bang zijn voor de gevolgen van hun drugsgebruik. Het bezit van meer dan ÚÚn xtc-pil kan je momenteel namelijk een strafblad bezorgen.
Toch haalde het bezoek aan de Tweede Kamer weinig uit. Justitieminister Ard van der Steur schreef vorig jaar september al naar aanleiding van het burgerinitiatief dat hij geen aanleiding zag het beleid te veranderen en daar blijft hij bij.
Net als vele andere partijen in de Tweede Kamer zag onder andere het CDA niet in waarom er veranderingen moeten komen. "Er rijden ook mensen door rood", zo luidde de conclusie.
Ook de vrees dat iemand door het bij zich hebben van een paar pillen nooit een Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag (VOG) meer zou kunnen krijgen, bleek niet terecht.
quote:Protesters stand up for drug users' rights following the death of Karl Brunner in Bedford | Bedfordshire News
A DEMONSTRATION highlighting how people who use drugs continue to be 'abused and stigmatised' will be held in Bedford on Sunday, inspired by the death of Karl Brunner last month.
As part of the Support, Don't Punish Campaign, the event will take place outside Greyfriars Police Station at midday to pay tribute to the man who died while being arrested by police on the corner of Battison Street and Midland Road on May 12.
READ MORE: Three Bedfordshire cops served with gross misconduct notices following death of Karl Brunner
The Support Don't Punish Campaign claims it is taking action against those tortured, beaten and even killed in the name of the war on drugs.
READ MORE: Karl Brunner's arrest death in Midland Road, Bedford branded a human rights issue
Local drug activist Kevin Jaffray, who is backing the demonstration, said: "Regardless of who or what Karl was, he does not deserve to be dead.
"Turning his death into 'just another drug addict' scenario is completely unfair and that is why we need to stand up and urge police to Support, Don't Punish as part of the event this week."
quote:Hoe Duterte de criminaliteit zijn stad uit kreeg? Een meedogenloos politieapparaat is zijn wapen en, naar verluidt, ook doodseskaders. Meer dan duizend kleine criminelen, drugsgebruikers en handelaren zijn de afgelopen jaren zonder vorm van proces geliquideerd, zeggen mensenrechtenorganisaties als Human Rights Watch. Duterte zelf ontkent elke betrokkenheid, maar pochte onlangs in een interview wel dat het er geen 1.000 maar 1.700 zouden zijn geweest. Duterte geeft toe dat hij onlangs zelf 'een stuk of drie' rovers heeft doodgeschoten. Hij toont zich absoluut niet rouwig om de moorden. De slachtoffers hebben het aan zichzelf te danken, zegt hij. Maar activisten betwijfelen dat.
quote:Trimbos: drinken, roken, blowen neemt af, lachgas zorgenkindje | NOS
Jongeren tussen de 12 en 16 jaar roken, drinken en blowen steeds minder. Het gebruik daalt al jaren, de trend zette ook in 2015 door. Het Trimbos Instituut, dat iedere vier jaar een groot onderzoek uitbrengt naar het gebruik van drugs, alcohol en tabak, waarschuwt wel voor nieuwe verleidingen, zoals lachgas en de e-sigaret.
De daling heeft te maken met een toename van campagnes en veranderde wetgeving. Zo is het sinds twee jaar verboden om alcohol of tabak te kopen onder de 18. Daarnaast zijn er sinds 2006 steeds meer waarschuwingscampagnes gevoerd.
Het heeft ertoe geleid dat het aantal jongeren dat wel eens heeft gerookt, is afgenomen: van 33 procent in 2011 naar 23 procent vorig jaar, staat in de Trimbos-publicatie Jeugd en riskant gedrag 2015. Het aantal jongeren dat dagelijks rookt is gehalveerd van 6 naar 3 procent. Voor cannabis geldt dat in 2015 10 procent blowde, vier procent minder dan in 2011. De populairste harddrug is nog steeds xtc. Ook de alcoholconsumptie liep terug: vorig jaar dronk 38 procent elke maand wel eens alcohol, tegen 26 procent vorig jaar.
Volgens het onderzoeksinstituut geldt: hoe lager het opleidingsniveau, hoe meer scholieren roken, drinken of blowen.
Op andere gebieden is er wel reden tot zorg. Het Trimbos waarschuwt voor lachgas. Bijna een op de twaalf jongeren heeft wel eens lachgas gebruikt, maar welke gevolgen herhaaldelijk kortstondig zuurstofgebrek op jonge hersenen heeft, is onbekend. Lachgas heeft bovendien een positief imago onder jongeren; het wordt niet als drugs gezien, maar als een onschuldig middel.
Een andere ontwikkeling waar het instituut alert op is, is de e-sigaret. In 2015 hebben meer scholieren tussen de 12 en 16 jaar wel eens een e-sigaret of een shisha-pen gebruikt (34%) dan een gewone sigaret gerookt (23%). Een op de tien basisschoolleerlingen heeft wel eens een trekje genomen van een e-sigaret. Ook de populariteit van de waterpijp baart het Trimbos zorgen.
En er is voor het eerst gekeken naar online gokken. Vorig jaar speelde een kwart van de jongeren een online gokspel, vijf procent speelde ook echt voor geld. het populairst zijn sportweddenschappen door jongens.
Staatssecretaris Van Rijn zegt blij te zijn dat het de goede kant uitgaat qua blowen en drinken. Ook hij zegt dat nieuwigheden zoals de lachgas en de e-sigaret goed in de gaten moeten worden gehouden. "Als dat uit de klauwen loopt, grijpen we in."
Wel wil hij meer aandacht voor de omgeving van de jongeren wat betreft alcohol. Driekwart van de jongeren krijgt drank via familie of vrienden. "Maar liefst een kwart gaf aan alcohol meestal van de ouders te krijgen, dit was in 2011 nog 16 procent. Ik vind dit percentage echt heel hoog". Volgens Van Rijn is er nog wel wat werk te verrichten om de bewustwording onder ouders te verbeteren.
quote:A declaration against the war on drugs
Danielle Allen is a political theorist at Harvard University and a contributing columnist for The Post.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one part of the American people to affirm the political bands which connect them to the other parts, and to assume within the nation, the connected and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of their fellow citizens requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to affirm their connection.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among us, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and, if they choose the path of alteration, to abandon old and institute new legislation, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing the powers of government in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that legislation long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to repudiate the integral connection among Americans, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such legislation, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of African Americans; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to advocate the end of Prohibition. The history of the present War on Drugs is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having as a direct consequence the severing of the connection between African Americans and the rest of the American polity. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Drug laws are disproportionately enforced against African American and Latino Americans even though Americans of all ethnic backgrounds use illegal drugs at the same rates, with the exception of Asian Americans, who use them somewhat less.
The use of racial profiling as a technique of investigation strips African Americans and Latino Americans of equality before the law and robs them of the presumption of innocence, the purpose of which is to protect all democratic citizens from tyrannical intrusion.
The categorization of minor, nonviolent drug offenses as felonies, combined with the disproportionate enforcement of those laws against African Americans and Latino Americans, has served to strip large numbers of Americans from these communities of their right to vote.
The judicial system is swollen with nonviolent drug offenses, leading to a reduction of resources for investigating and prosecuting homicides, which in turn has dramatically reduced homicide clearance rates in all major cities.
The failure of the criminal justice system to resolve homicides in major cities leads to an acceleration of violence in those cities, and a trigger-happy environment in which police as well as civilians are more likely to misuse lethal force.
Violence in inner cities reinforces negative stereotypes of African Americans as dangerous and threatening, making unarmed African Americans disproportionately vulnerable to police violence and feeding implicit bias that negatively affects the employment prospects of African Americans.
School discipline policies disproportionately punish African American students, even in pre-kindergarten ; although no black-white achievement gap exists at the start of kindergarten, when one controls for socio-economic status, such a gap does exist by the end of that year.
Laws establishing school funding on the basis of property taxes ensure that schools that have an especially high need to provide security, and other ancillary resources, in support of their educational mission, are unable to fulfill their mission, thereby violating for students enrolled in those schools the right to education that is to be found in 49 of 50 state constitutions.
Legal restrictions on employment by minors, combined with low rates of labor opportunity in inner cities, increase the likelihood that 11- and 12-year-olds in the inner city will be recruited into participation in gangs and thereby be almost irremediably cut off from connection to legal employment.
In the most recent stage of these Oppressions, We have Petitioned for a change of orientation on the part of our fellow Americans by arguing that black lives matter, too: Our repeated Petitions have often been answered by repeated insult. Such failures of reciprocity on the part of our fellow Americans call into question whether we the people are fit to govern ourselves as a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our fellow Americans. We serve in the military; we vote at high rates; we meet massacres with calls for forgiveness. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. Episodically, our forefathers have pursued separation — whether in the case of African Americans who sought to return to Africa or segregationists who built a world of “separate but equal.” We denounce such projects of separation and affirm the necessity of connection. We cannot be a people and be at war with ourselves; the War on Drugs must end.
We, therefore, a portion of the American people, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, out of respect for the Name and Authority of the good People of this Country, solemnly publish and declare, That the people of this country ought all to be connected to one another and equal; that all legislation erecting the War on Drugs, and turning the American people against one another, ought to be totally dissolved; that the free and independent states and territories have full power to pursue narcotics control through the tools of public health policy, instead of the criminal justice system; that the free and independent states and territories should so use their powers and do all other Acts and Things by which they may foster a people connected and equal. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
quote:HSBC avoided US money laundering charges because of 'market risk' fears - BBC News
US officials refused to prosecute HSBC for money laundering in 2012 because of concerns within the Department of Justice that it would cause a "global financial disaster", a report says.
A US Congressional report revealed UK officials, including Chancellor George Osborne, added to pressure by warning the US it could lead to market turmoil.
The report alleges the UK "hampered" the probe and "influenced" the outcome.
HSBC was accused of letting drug cartels use US banks to launder funds.
The bank, which has its headquarters in London, paid a $1.92bn (ú1.48bn) settlement but did not face criminal charges. No top officials at HSBC faced any charges.
The report says: "George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, the UK's chief financial minister, intervened in the HSBC matter by sending a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke... to express the UK's concerns regarding US enforcement actions against British banks."
The letter said that prosecuting HSBC could have "very serious implications for financial and economic stability, particularly in Europe and Asia".
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said a series of factors were considered when deciding how to resolve a case, including whether there may be "adverse consequences for innocent third parties, such as employees, customers, investors, pension holders and the public".
The report also accuses former US Attorney General Eric Holder of misleading Congress about the decision.
The report says Mr Holder ignored the recommendations of more junior staff to prosecute HSBC because of the bank's "systemic importance" to the financial markets.
"Rather than lacking adequate evidence to prove HSBC's criminal conduct, internal Treasury documents show that DOJ [Department of Justice] leadership declined to pursue [the] recommendation to prosecute HSBC because senior DOJ leaders were concerned that prosecuting the bank 'could result in a global financial disaster'," the report said.
Instead, the Department of Justice and HSBC reached the settlement, which some politicians criticised for being too lenient.
Testifying before Congress in 2013 Mr Holder said the size of some financial institutions can make it difficult to bring criminal charges.
He later tried to clarify those remarks telling Congress: "If we find a bank or a financial institution that has done something wrong, if we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, those cases will be brought."
Congress's report deemed these comments to be misleading in light of emails from Treasury Department staff that recommended criminal charges.
The 2012 settlement with HSBC detailed how the bank violated US sanctions by conducting business for customers in Iran, Libya, Sudan, Burma and Cuba.
HSBC accounts were also used by the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico and Norte del Valle cartel in Colombia to launder $881m.
The settlement allowed the bank to avoid pleading guilty to any wrongdoing.
If HSBC had been proven guilty of criminal action, it could have lost its banking charter in the US.
HSBC and US regulators declined to comment on the report.
The UK Treasury has not commented either.
quote:Haagse agent blijkt mol voor drugsbende | NOS
Een Haagse politieagent die op 1 juni door de Rijksrecherche werd aangehouden voor het lekken van informatie, blijkt die informatie te hebben doorgespeeld aan een Marokkaanse drugsbende.
De agent gaf de bende een tip op het moment dat zijn collega's informatie kregen over een hennepplantage of een opslagplaats van drugs. Hij belde een contactpersoon, waarna deze snel naar de bewuste locatie ging om daar vlak voor de komst van de politie alle hennep te stelen.
Gisteren verlengde de raadkamer van de rechtbank Den Haag het voorarrest van de agent met zestig dagen. De 28-jarige man van Marokkaanse afkomst wordt verdacht van corruptie, schending van het ambtsgeheim, het medeplegen van inbraken en deelname aan een criminele organisatie.
Het is de tweede keer binnen een jaar tijd dat de politie wordt opgeschrikt door een corruptieschandaal met een politiemol. Eerder bleek Mark M. uit Weert gevoelige informatie door te spelen aan allerlei criminelen. De man die nu verdacht wordt, speelde zijn informatie voor zover bekend alleen door aan zijn 'eigen' bende.
Naast de 28-jarige agent zijn nog drie andere bendeleden aangehouden: een 27-jarige man uit Den Haag en twee mannen van 27 en 29 jaar oud uit Leidschendam. Dit drietal zou op aanwijzing van de politiemol de inbraken hebben gepleegd bij hennepkwekerijen en -opslagplaatsen.
Tegelijk met de agent werd ook een 25-jarige vrouw uit Moordrecht aangehouden. Zij is weer vrijgelaten, maar wordt nog wel als verdachte beschouwd.
quote:Autoverhuurbedrijven hand in hand met Brabantse drugscriminelen | NOS
Veel autoverhuurbedrijven in Brabant zijn nauw betrokken bij zware criminaliteit. Dat zegt de politie Zeeland-West Brabant na maandenlang onderzoek. Autoverhuurders verhuren auto's met verborgen ruimten aan criminelen die er drugs, wapens en geld mee vervoeren. Eigenaren en medewerkers van verhuurbedrijven zijn volgens de politie niet zelden verbonden aan criminele organisaties.
Eind vorig jaar stuitten rechercheurs van de politie Zeeland-West Brabant op een opmerkelijk cijfer. Terwijl er in de stad Groningen maar 19 verhuurbedrijven staan geregistreerd, zijn dat er in Tilburg, met ongeveer evenveel inwoners, 34. Daarnaast zijn er nog 22 bedrijven die niet geregistreerd staan. Volgens de Brabantse rechercheurs is het verschil economisch gezien niet te verklaren.
De rechercheurs zijn onderdeel van een speciaal team dat is opgericht om autoverhuurders weerbaar te maken tegen misbruik van hun voertuigen door criminelen. In het onderzoek vonden ze met behulp van speurhonden verborgen compartimenten in verschillende huurauto's. Soms troffen ze drugs, wapens en geld aan in deze ruimtes.
Meestal waren het onopvallende auto's zoals de Fiat Punto, de Volkswagen Polo en de CitroŰn C3. "Met deze middenklassers blijven ze beter buiten beeld van de overheid en kunnen ze anoniem rondrijden", zegt een van de rechercheurs.
Ook ontdekten ze dat er criminele kopstukken zijn die voltijds rondrijden in soms peperdure huurauto's. Het gaat vaak om mensen die geen officieel inkomen hebben, maar wel een uitkering. De huur betalen ze met cash geld. Doordat de auto's niet op hun naam staan, is het veel lastiger om de auto's af te pakken op het moment dat de politie op zoek is naar crimineel verkregen vermogen.
In totaal zijn de afgelopen maanden in West-Brabant en Zeeland 109 personen gecontroleerd die rondrijden in een huurauto, omdat de politie vermoedde dat er iets mis mee was. Zo'n negentig procent van de gecontroleerde inzittenden had inderdaad een crimineel verleden.
Sommigen autoverhuurbedrijven lijken malafide bedrijven te zijn die speciaal zijn opgericht door criminelen voor hun criminele activiteiten en als manier om geld wit te wassen. Als gewone consument kun je daar geen auto huren. Zo is er in Tilburg een autoverhuurbedrijf dat gevestigd is op de zesde verdieping van een flatgebouw. Een autoverhuurbedrijf in Bergen op Zoom is eigendom van een 19-jarige jongen die een paar maanden geleden nog leefde van een studiefinanciering. Bijna alle gecontroleerde klanten van dit bedrijf bleken antecedenten op drugsgebied te hebben.
"Dat zijn vaak bedrijven die voor gewone burgers nauwelijks benaderbaar zijn", zegt een rechercheur. "Ze hebben bijvoorbeeld geen website en hebben vaak een vast klantenbestand."
Maar criminelen huren ook auto's bij filialen van grote bekende verhuurbedrijven. De Brabantse rechercheurs vermoeden dat deze bedrijven op de hoogte zijn van de criminele achtergrond van sommige van hun klanten, maar omwille van het geld een oogje dichtknijpen. Bij enkele bedrijven zien de rechercheurs dat er mensen werken met criminele connecties. Andere bedrijven lijken er geen problemen mee te hebben dat de huur betaald wordt met cash en maken er geen punt van dat klanten formulieren niet goed invullen.
De afgelopen dagen organiseerde een team van onder andere de Nederlandse en Belgische politie, marechaussee en de douane een grote actie waarbij tien autoverhuurbedrijven werden gecontroleerd. Bij een bedrijf in Roosendaal werd vandaag hennepafval en een automatisch vuurwapen gevonden. Een 25-jarige man is aangehouden.
Een ander bedrijf kondigde aan een faillissement aan te vragen, toen tijdens de actie bleek dat vier auto's niet verzekerd waren. Ook werden bij een bedrijf auto's in beslag genomen omdat de herkomst van de voertuigen niet duidelijk was. De administraties van alle gecontroleerde autoverhuurders zijn mee genomen voor onderzoek.
Hoewel het team alleen onderzoek deed in Brabant, is het volgens de rechercheurs niet alleen een Brabants probleem. Eerder al kwam de Amsterdamse politie tot vergelijkbare conclusies. "We wisten al langer dat deze branche gevoelig is voor georganiseerde misdaad", zegt een van de rechercheurs. "Het is voor criminelen een goede manier om zichzelf en hun goederen te vervoeren. En via cash betalingen komen ze van hun zwarte geld af."
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Italy is about to begin a national debate about legalizing marijuana, and one senior official is promising that, should the country forge ahead in regulating and taxing pot, it could be a blow to the Islamic State and the mafia at the same time.
Legislation will be introduced in the Italian parliament next week to remove criminal prohibitions on marijuana, let Italians grow up to five plants at home, and buy cannabis from a state-run monopoly.
If that bill passes, the smuggling route from the northern tip of Africa could be disrupted, according to Franco Roberti, the country's top prosecutor in charge of fighting both the mafia and terrorism.
"Decriminalization or even legalization would definitely be a weapon against traffickers, among whom there could be terrorists who make money off of it," Roberti told Reuters in April.
Roberti says this is because the mafia and "suspected terrorists" share smuggling routes in North Africa, and collaborate to move product into Italy and then throughout Europe.
"The main smuggling route for North African hash — compressed cannabis resin — now runs from Casablanca, Morocco, through Algeria, Tunisia to Tobruk in eastern Libya," according to Roberti.
De enige overlast bestaat uit het lastig vallen van onschuldige drugsgebruikers door de politie. Legalize!quote:Tientallen boetes voor drugsbezit in Harlingen | NOS
In Harlingen zijn tientallen mensen beboet die drugs bij zich hadden en met de boot naar Terschelling of Vlieland wilden. De politie hield gisteren en vrijdag een controle in de terminal van de veerdienst om overlast op de eilanden te voorkomen.
quote:De meeste van de 33 mensen die gisteren werden aangehouden waren minderjarig. Ze hadden onder meer wiet bij zich, xtc, hasj, GHB, speed en ketamine. Vijf minderjarigen hadden alcohol bij zich.
Vrijdag werden 20 verdachten aangehouden voor het bezit van drugs en/of alcoholische dranken. De meeste van hen waren minderjarig.
Een van hen had een frisdrankblikje bij zich met daarin veertig xtc-pillen, hasj en wiet.
Alle aangetroffen drugs en drank zijn in beslag genomen. De jongeren kregen een geldboete die ze gelijk moesten betalen. Tegen vijf verdachten is proces-verbaal opgemaakt.
quote:Libertarian Johnson: Drug war 'root cause' of police shootings - POLITICO
Gary Johnson believes the tensions between police and minorities that led to two high-profile police shootings and the deaths of five Dallas police officers has a root cause: The long-running war on drugs.
The libertarian nominee for president did not directly tie the drug war to the shooting deaths in Minnesota and Louisiana by police or the sniper killings of five officers in Texas this week. But poor relations between police and African-Americans stems from the criminalization of drug use, he said.
“The root is the war on drugs, I believe. Police knocking down doors, shooting first,” Johnson said in an interview Friday in Washington. “If you are (black and) arrested in a drug-related crime, there is four times more likelihood of going to prison than if you are white. And shooting is part of the same phenomenon.”
“That’s the common thread. Shootings are occurring with black people, black people are dying,” he added. “This is an escalation.”
The former Republican governor of New Mexico is pitching a complete rewrite of the nation’s drug policy as part of his underdog run for the presidency alongside his running mate, former Massachusetts GOP Gov. Bill Weld. Johnson wants to legalize marijuana and find other ways to deal with harder drugs than long periods of incarceration.
He said that will soon happen, predicting that California will vote this fall to legalize marijuana and President Barack Obama will remove cannabis from its listing as a Class 1 drug. "I think Obama’s going to do that going out the door," Johnson said.
“The focus on drugs needs to be as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. It can be illegal but does it need to be criminal? Do you need to go to jail for drugs?” Johnson said. “I do believe that the root of the militarization, knocking on doors, is a drug war phenomenon.”
The laid-back libertarian, dressed in jeans and an open-collared button-down in a hotel dining room, declined to join Republicans in criticizing Obama for pointing to “powerful weapons” this week as a cause of violence between police officers and minorities. But Johnson said the focus on assault rifles is misguided.
“That is a category of rifle that contains 30 million rifles. If you ban those rifles tomorrow and said hand ‘em in," only half of the weapons would actually be turned over, Johnson said. "And we’re going to have a whole new criminal class of people.”
Johnson said that as president he’d be open to proposals designed to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and the mentally ill. But he said he’d seen no such workable proposals in Congress, despite unsuccessful attempts by both Democrats and Republicans.
quote:The Netherlands will close 19 of its prisons over the next few years because the cost of maintaining them is too high. The reason why the prisons aren’t cost-efficient, however, is something of a national blessing: thanks to the country’s steadily declining crime rate, thousands of prison cells are going unused.
quote:The Netherlands isn’t the first country to close jails because it doesn’t have enough criminals. Sweden’s prison numbers fell by about 1% per year from 2004 to 2011. Then between 2011 and 2012, they declined by 6%. In 2013, the country announced it would close four prisons and one other correctional facility due to the unusual trend.
One explanation for the decrease in prison numbers, according to the Guardian, was the Swedish supreme court’s 2011 decision to give less harsh sentences for drug offenses, which could have led to inmates spending less time behind bars before going back into society.
quote:You Can't Beat The Market - VolteFace
There has been much comment and controversy on the extent to which the recent UN summit on the world drug problem reflects a more tolerant and less punitive approach, but there is one key area of the outcome declaration that has received much less attention – the review of strategies, and plans for the future, for reducing the supply of drugs.
My reading of these sections of the declaration is that, whatever you think about the value and consequences of supply reduction activities, there is a worrying lack of analysis of the effectiveness of current strategies, and no sign of new ideas and tactics that might produce better results.
Reducing the illicit supply of drugs remains central to global drug control strategies. The much vaunted ‘consensus’ of global prohibition has for decades been based on these principles:
Politicians and diplomats have found it convenient to always return to these principles in their policies and rhetoric, as they represent a clear determination to ‘solve’ a problem that the public is concerned about, and all strategies, initiatives and operational successes can be presented as steps on the road to the achievement of the eventual aim.
But the evidence and experience from decades of implementing these supply reduction strategies at the very least bring these principles into question – at the macro level, despite trillions of dollars of investment, we are no nearer achieving a ‘society free of drug abuse’. Overall levels of illicit drug use have increased massively since the current global drug control system was put in place 50 years ago (with over 250 million current users worldwide), and the latest UN figures estimate that, far from reducing the number of ‘drug abusers’, the estimated numbers of dependent drug users has risen by almost 10% in recent years, from 27 to 29 million.
But, say the champions of supply reduction strategies, these disappointing figures just show that we are not trying hard enough – we need more law enforcement resources, more international co-operation, more deterrence in the form of crackdowns on producers, distributors and consumers, and harsher punishments when they are caught. This seems to be the analysis in the UNGASS declaration, which calls for the international community to:
Basically, business as usual, but with a bit more effort. This commitment to existing supply reduction strategies is also displayed in the declaration’s response to new and emerging challenges – the approach to new psychoactive substances is focused on identifying new substances, and taking action to prohibit them; and the section on internet drug markets assumes that the only task is to close them down. Overall the tone is one of continuing faith in existing strategies, and there is no attempt to assess the extent to which these strategies are achieving their aims, or whether new approaches could give better results.
This is a missed opportunity, as there are many reasons to question whether these traditional law enforcement strategies can ever significantly reduce illicit supply, or reduce the related harms:
Overall, we have clear evidence of the balloon effect – the basic rules of any commodity market dictate that, as long as demand for the product exists, and that demand can be met at a profit, then some form of supply will continue. We have numerous examples of long fought for gains in eradicating crops, seizing large consignments, or disrupting retail markets, that have had no long term impact on the scale and nature of consumption.
It is difficult to see, therefore, how the continuing faith in the same strategies can ever deliver the ambitious results that the UN declaration calls for. Indeed, in the absence of any realistic evidence (or even discussion) that the proposed activities can significantly reduce supply, then we can only view this section of the declaration as a politically and diplomatically convenient cover up of an absence of real belief that illicit drug markets can be significantly curtailed.
But there is another approach that has a much better prospect of success. If we change the overall objectives – away from reducing supply, and towards the reduction of illicit market related harms – our strategies and activities will be much better focused, and we have at least the prospect of achieving something.
There is a reasonable consensus on some of the harms arising from illicit drug markets, that we would all want to see reduced. Here are a few objectives I would suggest for future drug law enforcement:
Many governments, and law enforcement leaders, are already integrating these objectives, and the thinking around them, into their strategies. But as long as the international community clings on to unrealistic objectives, and focuses resources on outdated activities, political leaders and diplomats will have many more years of justifying a lack of progress.
Het artikel gaat verder.quote:Secret Garden Party pioneers drugs testing service for festivalgoers
About 200 people use facility offered by charity The Loop, police and council at Cambridgeshire festival aiming to promote safer drug use
An independent music festival in Cambridgeshire has become the first UK event of its kind to offer people the chance to have their illegal drugs tested to establish their content before they take them.
About 200 individuals took advantage of the unique testing facility, brokered in agreement with the local police and council, at this weekend’s Secret Garden Party, an annual arts and music festival on a Georgian farming estate near Huntingdon.
Freddie Fellowes, who founded the festival 12 years ago, said he was “thrilled” to be able to pioneer the service. “Harm reduction and welfare is a vital part of hosting any event and it’s an area that for too long has seen little development or advancement,” he said.
estivalgoers were offered the tests as part of a 10-minute package of health and safety advice provided by The Loop, an organisation that conducts forensic testing of drugs at festivals and nightclubs and offers associated welfare support.
Fiona Measham, co-founder of the organisation, explains: "The Loop has been conducting forensic testing at events for a number of years, but before now, we've only tested drugs seized by police, dropped in amnesty bins or provided by paramedics as a result of a medical incident. In the past we have been able to use that testing information to inform on-site services and for generalised safety alerts."
Helaas doen we dat in Nederland niet meer.quote:He added that while some festivalgoers had been suspicious of the involvement of local police, many were used to similar testing facilities provided at music events in Germany and the Netherlands.
quote:Italian farmers turning to hemp - Business Insider
Hemp is saving Taranto. REUTERS/Issei Kato
The road into Taranto is dotted with 100-year-old olive trees and low stone houses. The town, in the region of Puglia, is in the heel of the boot-shaped Italian peninsula. “The city between the two seas” straddles the southern Mediterranean, known as the Mar Grande, and a small inlet known as the Mar Piccolo. The air has a heavy metallic scent.
At the edge of town is a farm that has been known, since the 1800s, for its traditional cheeses. People came from all over to buy dairy products handmade in ancient, wood-fired terracotta furnaces. Those days are long gone, owner Vincenzo Fornaro explains, as he stands in a field surrounded by chest-high cannabis plants.
In 2008, local officials forced Fornaro to cull his animals, which were no longer safe for human consumption. They were contaminated with a dangerous cocktail of nickel, lead, and other toxic substances. That was the end of the cheese. The culprit, just over a mile away, is the biggest steel plant in Europe. The cannabis plants have replaced the dairy farm in an attempt to undo the environmental damage.
Fornaro was aware the plant was spewing toxic chemicals into the air and soil, he said, in Italian. “I can see the effects of this horrible factory on me.” When he was 20, he had a kidney removed. He told Italian newspaper La Stampa that his own mother had died after being diagnosed with a tumor.
The Ilva steel plant covers 15 million square meters—nearly three times the size of the city itself. It opened in 1965 and doubled in size by the 1970s. It once churned out almost one-third of Italy’s steel. The plant helped turn Taranto into a grimy industrial city. Smoking chimneys, blast furnaces, and aggregates yards now dominate the once-pastoral town. Even today a giant oil refinery and a huge cement factory welcome visitors.
Production at the plant has declined steadily, from 9 million tons at its height, to 4.7 million tons in 2015. But the environmental effects have been devastating. One study found that 11,000 local residents died as a result of severe toxin poisoning in factory fallout from 2005 to 2012. High levels of lead and dioxins (carcinogenic compounds) were found in the urine and blood of locals who lived near the factory. They had higher rates of heart disease and cancer.
The dilemma is that the plant has dominated the local economy. At its height, it employed 40,000 people, and a European Union report found that the plant made up 75 percent of Taranto’s income in 2008.
Unemployment in the region was almost 20 percent as recently as last year, so for many local residents, the jobs almost make up for the pollution. Initially, the local government didn’t do anything because the steel plant was too important.
“A long time ago, a choice was made to sacrifice this part of Italy, jeopardizing the health of the citizens of Taranto and its community and the biodiversity of the two seas,” said politician Domenico Finiguerra. “It was decided to sacrifice this land in the name of Italy’s economic future, supplying its industry with all the steel it needed.”
Taranto represents an economic model based on cement, steel, and oil, which is no longer sustainable, Finiguerra said. “This poisoned territory urgently needs an ecological regeneration project.”
As the full scale of the environmental devastation became clear, local residents decided to take action. In 2012, the plant was seized by magistrates and put under special administration. Last year, 47 people were indicted for crimes including crimes against public safety, corruption, bribery, abuse of office, and murder and injury by negligence.
Leaves of marijuana plants to extract the hemp fiber that is often used in traditional Japanese clothes and accessories, are seen at Japan's largest legal marijuana farm in Kanuma, Tochigi prefecture, Japan July 5, 2016. Picture taken July 5, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato Cultivating hemp for industrial use is legal in Italy. Thomson Reuters
Among those indicted were the powerful owners of the plant, the Riva family, managers at the factory, as well as the former governor of the region and a former mayor of the city of Taranto. Fabio Riva had been on the run since 2012 and had to be extradited from the United Kingdom. His billionaire father died in 2014, after two years of being under house arrest.
The legal action couldn’t save the agriculture sector, however. Since 2012, about 1,000 enterprises have shut down, and there has been a 10-percent decrease in meat production due to the slaughtering of 1,000 animals in the area. The soil is thoroughly contaminated, and farmers are banned from grazing their animals within a 12-mile radius of the steel plant.
Which brings us to hemp.
“We found ourselves at a crossroads, we had to decide whether to leave or to stay,” said farmer Vincenzo Fornaro. “We decided to stay to defend our land.” To do that, he planted marijuana plants, which can absorb toxic substances from the soil and neutralize them. The fist time hemp was used for environmental rehabilitation was after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
“We started recovering our land using hemp,” Fornaro said proudly as he stood amid the marijuana plants. When I visited, the three-month-old crop was verdant and fragrant. The strong, sweet scent of marijuana coming from the three-hectare field contrasted strongly with the fumes from the nearby steel plant, which still employs 14,000 people.
Fornaro started cultivating the controversial plant two years ago with the help of CanaPuglia, a local startup founded by hemp enthusiast Claudio Natile. “Hemp is a versatile plant, with strong links to the Italian tradition, with thousands of properties, which over the years has been criminalized,” Natile said.
Hemp was a major Italian agricultural crop for hundreds of years. In the ’50s, the country was the second-largest hemp producer in the world after the Soviet Union. Italian hemp seeds provided some of the most resistant fibers, which were turned into clothing. However, with industrialization and the advent of synthetic fibers such as nylon, hemp started to disappear.
Natile said part of CanaPuglia’s work was teaching people that history. “We went to the schools, spoke to the priests, to the farmers, and even the local military police to explain what we were going to use this plant for. The day we planted the seeds we invited all of them.”
Cultivating hemp is legal in Italy, as long as farmers tell the police that they are planting it for industrial use and plant a legal variety, which has low levels of THC, the mind-altering chemical. (Italy is currently considering legalizing recreational marijuana consumption.)
marijuana plant Hemp can absorb toxic substances from the soil. Jaime Saldarriaga/Reuters
In just five years, hemp production in Puglia has increased from 3 hectares to 300, with about 100 farmers in the area planting seeds. It has even brought new investments to the region such as the first hemp processing plant in Southern Italy, which transforms the hemp into fiber that can be turned into shoes, bags, clothes and even bricks for construction.
Hemp seeds are ground into high-protein, high-fiber, gluten-free flour that can be used for baking as well as to make pasta. But most farmers in the region, like Fornaro, are planting hemp to help clear their land of toxins. Fornaro can sell plant fibers for processing because the toxins don’t show up in the plant itself, but he is not able to sell the seeds (to be ground into flour, for example) because they could be contaminated.
“We have to start giving back what we took from the environment and provide an alternative employment to our children,” said Fornaro. “For now we use hemp only for industrial processing. I hope in the future we can use it also for nourishment. But what is certain is that we will surround the Ilva plant with hemp.”
quote:Field post: 'Honduras has one of the world's highest rates of urban violence'
The situation in hospitals is dire – patients wait hours, sometimes sleeping overnight in corridors to be first in the queue for their injuries to be treated
It is 3pm and yet another patient is brought to the emergency room with a gunshot wound to the chest. He seems to be in his early twenties. For now, he is talking. From the position of the wound on his chest, it is clear he needs to go immediately to the operating theatre. He has almost certainly been shot in the heart. This makes him one of thousands in Honduras who have suffered the consequences of armed violence.
Since 2010, Honduras has had one of the highest rates of urban violence in the world. Most of the violence we see in the emergency room takes the form of gun and knife injuries, often fatal. The treatment of injuries related to violence is considered by local hospital staff as routine. In the heat and humidity of the emergency room, the stench of blood and sweat hangs in the air.
Drug trafficking and extortion are attributed to the activity of powerful gangs; whole neighbourhoods are said to be controlled by armed groups. There are carjackings, kidnappings, murders and sex crimes. Young men and women and their families seem inextricably caught up in the tragedy of bloodshed. Urban existence is compounded by unemployment and poverty. Local media report on a seemingly continuous loop featuring hospitals struggling to cope with the daily influx of wounded. How then is this a “silent emergency”?
An emergency is any situation that requires urgent action to deter a threat to an individual’s health or life. Have we become so accustomed to urban violence and the failure to meet the most urgent health needs of communities that we have gone quiet? I had the privilege again this year of being deployed as a British Red Cross surgeon to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Honduras. I work in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, alongside doctors, nurses and medical students who strive day and night to bring the best medical care possible to the injured.
I am astonished every day by the commitment of medical students and interns who carry out tasks in this ICRC-supported hospital – from portering and taking blood, to cleaning and dressing wounds, and documenting exact causes of injury that I need for my research. Surgical teams work 24 hours, operating round the clock on patients. Every piece of equipment is jealously guarded as resources are scarce. They are cleaned, repaired, protected and used again and again. Local humour translates “use once” in English to the Spanish u-s-e o-n-c-e (use 11 times). The standard of care is high, yet the emergency remains. The situation is dire.
Medical facilities used by most of the population are underfunded and overwhelmed. Outpatient queues extend out of hospital buildings. Patients from the city and surrounding countryside wait hours to be seen. They travel all day from the countryside – on foot or hitchhiking. Beneath the cowboy hats, their skin is tough and burned. The lines on their faces tell their stories. Mothers sleep with their children overnight on the stone floor in corridors, hoping to be first in the morning queues for clinics and pharmacies. As if life is not hard enough, the constant threat of dengue, and now Zika, is a daily reality.
Local doctors and nurses keep working. They are well organised, well informed, resourceful and committed to dealing with the continuous emergency of an overburdened health service. They are not silent, but they are considerate in their thoughts and measured in their comments. They explain the situation to me: there are complex problems here. The most vulnerable are the poor. To address their health, communities need to be safe and they need access to education and employment that pays a regular salary sufficient to feed their families.
The young man shot in the chest survived. He went straight to the operating room. We were ready for him. As usual, the team worked in relative silence and calm. After surgery the doctor explained his injuries quietly to his mother. She was crying silently.
I walk back to a heaving emergency room: the clamour and commotion is deafening. There is nothing silent about this emergency.
Zie je wel: De Ware on Drugs richt grote schade aan aan de natuur.quote:Politie de bomen in op jacht naar wiet | NOS
Staatsbosbeheer en de politie hebben in natuurgebied de Biesbosch bij Dordrecht drie grote hennepvelden ontdekt. Een politiehelikopter had foto's gemaakt, maar om de wiet te bereiken was volgens de politie "een ware survivaltocht" nodig. Boswachters en agenten moesten in bomen klimmen om te zien of ze al in de buurt kwamen.
Bij het eerste veld waren drie mannen planten aan het rooien. Zij zijn aangehouden. Na enig zoeken vond de politie nog twee velden. In totaal stonden er zo'n duizend planten.
Het komt vaker voor dat er wietkwekers in de Biesbosch actief zijn. Volgens Staatsbosbeheer en de politie richten zulke activiteiten grote schade aan aan de natuur.
quote:Poll: Majority Of Republicans Now Support Full Marijuana Legalization
Prohibition of cannabis is over. It may not be legally over yet, but in the minds of men and women, it’s over.
A new YouGov poll shows a new record high of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana by a widening gap. Americans that support legalization grew to 55% while those who support prohibition fell to 33%.
The poll showed for the first time a majority of republican voters now support marijuana legalization. Not for medical cannabis, mind you, because a large majority already supported that. A majority of GOP voters now support full legalization for all uses, including recreational.
With several more states voting to legalize cannabis in some fashion this November, expect to see the walls of prohibition continue to crumble.
Read my previous article:
Will Popular Marijuana Strains Become Like Fine Wines?
Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and glorified as an All American pastime, booze.
Plain and simple!
Legalize Marijuana Nationwide!
It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.
Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.
The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.
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quote:NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton's Backward Logic on Legal Marijuana - The Atlantic
New York City’s Police Commissioner cites violence associated with the black market in pot as a reason against legalizing the drug.
Earlier this week, New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton made a very confused statement about the increasingly popular movement to legalize marijuana. “Here in New York City,” he declared, “most of the violence we see, violence around drug trafficking, is involving marijuana. And I have to scratch my head as we see many states wanting to legalize marijuana, and liberalization of policies.”
As Jacob Sullum notes, “Bratton is presenting an argument for legalization as an argument against it … what Bratton views as a head-scratcher—that people would want to legalize a business tied to black-market violence—is actually a no-brainer.” Insofar as the marijuana trade is violent, it is because selling the drug is illegal. Prohibition gives rise to highly profitable conspiracies of criminals who vie for territory, using violence to best rivals who cannot turn to the law to defend themselves.
There may be costs to legalizing marijuana. Some people think that they outweigh the benefits. But there’s no question that legalizing marijuana would shift sale of the drug from criminals who sometimes engage in violence to businesses that almost never would. Legalization is the only effective way to eradicate such violence. How can one of America’s most successful police chiefs fail to understand that?
“I don't think it's a matter of stupidity,” a Reason commenter theorizes, trying to understand the logical fallacy. “It's a moral issue. Drugs are bad, so prohibition is good. Any violence resulting from drug prohibition is caused by the drugs, not prohibition, because drugs are bad. To question the premise that drugs are bad is to question his good intentions as a police chief. To say that the violence is caused by the laws that he enforces is a personal insult against his good intentions. So no, I don't think it is stupidity. It is the hell we live in thanks to that road paved with good intentions.”
That’s as charitable an explanation as any.
Fortunately, a majority of Americans have ceased to believe that fallacy, and several states are poised to ease or end anti-marijuana laws in 2016. It’s about time. Weed prohibition has made America more violent than it would otherwise be for decades. And it is immoral to lock human beings in cages for using marijuana. I have to scratch my head at law-enforcement leaders who want to keep it illegal.
quote:Rechter: coffeeshop bij school mag dicht - AT5: de nieuwszender van Amsterdam en omgeving
De gemeente wil met de sluiting het softdrugsgebruik onder jongeren ontmoedigen. Daarom moesten per 1 januari 2014 de eerste coffeeshops de deuren sluiten op schooldagen. Veertien eigenaren gingen tegen dit besluit in beroep, omdat ze meenden dat deze maatregel niet het beoogde effect heeft. Ze mochten namelijk al geen softdrugs verkopen aan minderjarigen. Bovendien vonden ze dat er te weinig tijd was om zich aan te passen aan de nieuwe openingstijden.
Volgens de rechtbank zijn de bevoegdheden van de gemeente op dit gebied heel ruim, omdat er sprake is van gedoogbeleid over de wettelijk nog altijd verboden verkoop van softdrugs. Bovendien zijn de coffeeshops ruim op tijd ge´nformeerd over het nieuwe zogenoemde afstandscriterium, oordeelt de rechtbank.
De gemeente wil dat op basis hiervan 26 zaken uiteindelijk de deuren sluiten. Hiertoe werden vier fases ingesteld, te beginnen met beperktere openingstijden. Hoewel het beroep van de coffeeshophouders in principe alleen over deze aangepaste tijden ging, meent de rechtbank dat de gemeente ook mag overgaan tot de uiteindelijke sluiting.
Inmiddels zijn elf coffeeshops dicht. De resterende hebben nog tot 1 januari de tijd, omdat de gemeente een uitspraak van de Hoge Raad over de landelijke invoering van de wietpas wil afwachten. Dit vonnis komt naar verwachting binnen enkele maanden, liet een woordvoerder van burgemeester Eberhard van der Laan weten.
Den Haag, Utrecht en Rotterdam gingen Amsterdam al voor met de invoering van het afstandscriterium voor de coffeeshops.
quote:UK is biggest online drug dealing country in Europe
While UK is second only to US in number of vendors who deal online, they average almost double the monthly transactions
The UK is home to more online drug dealers than any country in Europe, according to a new report that estimates the value of the monthly trade in drugs through darknet markets to be as much as ú16m a month globally.
British dealers generate more than 16% of the monthly global revenues – about ú1.8m – across the eight largest marketplaces, taking home an average of ú5,200 each, according to research commissioned by the Dutch government.
It found that three years after police in the US seized the Silk Road – the original online drugs marketplace – and arrested its founder, the numbers of drug deals taking place in successors to the site had tripled, revenues had doubled and six times as many product listings were available to buyers.
Researchers from Rand Europe, working in conjunction with academics from the UK and Canada, in January collected data on drug deals from the eight largest darknet markets, which are Amazon-type online marketplaces that can only be accessed with an encrypted connection.
They found that by far the most vendors operated from the US, which hosted 890 drug dealers, with the UK hosting 338. However, British dealers proved to be far busier, averaging almost double the number of transactions each over the month.
Germany and the Netherlands were joint third in the numbers of dealers, with 225 each, although Dutch vendors made fewer but, on average, larger transactions and operated in a far smaller jurisdiction.
The report says: “The Netherlands appears to have a substantial concentration of cryptomarket vendor activity (13.4 vendors per million population) in comparison to the United States (2.8 vendors per million population) and the United Kingdom (5.3 vendors per million population).”
The study found that cryptomarkets had grown substantially “but not explosively” since Silk Road’s takedown.
Despite the massive publicity that the darknet has received, its online markets still only attract a niche among drugs consumers. Its ú16m upper estimate of global drug revenues compares to an estimated monthly offline market for drugs of about ú1.7bn for Europe alone.
Stijn Hoorens, project leader for the team behind the report, said: “It could be explained by some of the challenges that these markets have faced over the years with ‘exit scams’, [which is] administrators who take their sites offline, saying for maintenance or something … in some cases they have just left with all bitcoins that were held in escrow. That has affected trust between the users of the cryptomarkets and the operators.”
However, the research also found evidence that darknet drugs sales may have a role in supplying offline drug markets, with dealers buying stock wholesale for distribution. A quarter of the drug sales were for listings worth more than $1,000 (ú768), the team found, suggesting that these shipments may have been bought for resale.
A further important finding of the study was that most sales and revenues were generated within continents, rather than from sales between far flung jurisdictions, Hoorens said.
“That was somewhat surprising to us, because it’s sometimes claimed that the internet facilitates global trade and I think we’ve shown that, at least thus far, that doesn’t seem to have been the case,” he said.
“It seems that the within North America revenues, within Oceania, and within Europe, revenues are much bigger than those between those continents. We can only speculate about why that is the case but I think if you look at the importance of cannabis still on cryptomarkets … that is often produced locally.”
Cannabis dominated the listings that the Rand team found online, making up 37% of listings across marketplaces, followed by stimulants at 29% of listings and ecstasy-type drugs at 19%. Those figures contrasted with European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction estimates for offline drugs sales, which put heroin at 28% of total sales and ecstasy at 3%.
The report says: “A possible explanation for these differences between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ markets may be that cryptomarket purchases typically require an element of planning, which may not suit the daily use of dependent users of, for instance, heroin.”
quote:D.E.A. Keeps Marijuana on List of Dangerous Drugs, Frustrating Advocates
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision on Thursday to not remove marijuana from the list of the nation’s most dangerous drugs outraged scientists, public officials and advocates who have argued that the federal government should recognize that marijuana is medically useful.
Reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug would have made it easier to get federal approval for studies of its uses and paved the way for doctors to eventually write prescriptions for marijuana-derived products that could be filled at pharmacies, like other Schedule 2 drugs such as Adderall, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Eight Democratic legislators had urged the D.E.A. to reclassify marijuana to a Schedule 2 drug. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts voiced her disappointment with the decision on Twitter. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said in a statement, “It shouldn’t take an act of Congress for the D.E.A. to get past antiquated ideology and make this change.”
Yet in a separate policy proposal also issued on Thursday, the agency handed researchers and advocates a victory in removing a significant roadblock to medical studies of marijuana. The D.E.A. said it will allow universities and even private companies to apply to grow marijuana for scientific research. For many years, the University of Mississippi has had a monopoly on that role as the sole D.E.A.-approved provider of marijuana, and researchers have long complained that the supply of the drug was grossly inadequate, stymying efforts to establish whether marijuana is an effective treatment for many diseases.
Chuck Rosenberg, the acting head of the D.E.A., wrote in the decision that marijuana would remain a Schedule 1 drug because “it has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.” He said these criteria are set out in the Controlled Substances Act, which mandates scheduling decisions based on scientific data.
“Research is the bedrock of science,” he wrote, “and we will — as we have for many years — support and promote legitimate research regarding marijuana and its constituent parts.”
The District of Columbia and 25 states now allow the use of marijuana for a wide variety of medical conditions. The scientific evidence of its effectiveness is thin to nonexistent for many illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, Tourette’s syndrome and lupus. Reputable studies have shown it can relieve nausea, improve appetite and ease painful spasms.
But there is no drug derived from marijuana that has yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
quote:Cops call for moratorium on new marijuana laws after blizzard of legislation | Colorado Springs Gazette, News
Colorado law enforcement agencies say ever-changing marijuana regulations have them overwhelmed.
They're asking the state for a reprieve.
In May, heads of Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, the County Sheriffs of Colorado and Colorado District Attorneys' Council wrote a letter to the "Members of Legislative Leadership" seeking a two-year moratorium on new marijuana regulations in order to bring all officers into compliance with enforcement expectations.
Officers "cannot keep up with the quantity and speed of constantly changing marijuana laws," their letter said, noting 81 bills have been introduced in the last four years.
Rapid-fire legislation has created what Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson, a member of CACP, calls a "cavernous void" between what the state is proposing and the affect it has on the people charged with enforcing those laws.
"There's no cartilage between the bones here," Jackson said. "The legislature is completely responsible for that."
"If legislature keeps slamming out all these bills, they're going to keep law enforcement lost," Jackson said. Some agencies are turning away from training until things "settle down" he said.
He fears the goal may be to cause such "marijuana fatigue" that agencies won't aggressively enforce the laws. And if that's the goal, "that's where we are," Jackson said.
In many cases, those who are loudly cracking down on illegal marijuana activity are criticized, Jackson said, citing Pueblo County Sheriff's Office as an example.
The office has busted about 40 illegal marijuana grows since March, some of which have led to federal indictments. But other agencies are not following their lead.
In a community meeting this week to inform citizens about recent marijuana laws, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said he was unaware of Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers' promise of "hundreds" of marijuana busts this summer.
Still, the county is conducting them, and working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to do it, Elder said. In fact, "There's thousands of plants being seized, there's hundreds of thousands of grams of refined marijuana seeds," being removed from the market, he said. But "we're not disclosing a total number of busts."
"We're working the problem but we're working at a risk-averse position," Elder said.
With such murky laws, the county fears lawsuits from marijuana growers, according to Elder and his sergeant, Emory "Ray" Gerhart.
Gerhart explained it this way: If authorities seize plants during an arrest but charges are later dropped, there's no property to return to the grower, which exposes police to lawsuits.
"If I come into your house and I take your plants, we're not going to take care of it," Gerhart said. "We're not going to put them in a greenhouse and put them in lights and water."
So far, Pueblo offenders are accepting plea deals, Gerhart said, meaning they don't get their plants returned, but "sooner or later, somebody is going to take that to trial and make some interesting case laws."
"At some point, people are going to get fed up with it (Amendment 64). I'm fed up with it. I'm not fed up with it to the point that I'm willing to risk millions of dollars in lawsuits over marijuana plants," Elder said.
Jackson said those fears could be quelled by better training and an assigned "marijuana expert" to keep local governments up-to-date on new laws, but that requires "involvement and leadership" from the state.
"Anytime you make all these little changes, how do you train 15,000 peace officers," Jackson asked.
Communities are also suffering under the changes, the letter from police organizations said.
Illegal home grows are popping up in neighborhoods across Colorado, officials said. Growers are altering homes, burdening electrical systems, polluting the septic system and smuggling drugs out of state, they said.
Recognizing those issues, Colorado Springs Fire Marshal Brett Lacey recently asked city council to consider stricter regulations on residential home grows to help prevent illegal activity and give the city teeth to prosecute when needed.
The letter also cites concerns about the potency of edibles leading to overconsumption and hospitalizations. That fear is not off the mark.
A study published last week in the online medical journal JAMA Pediatrics found there has been an increase of young kids making emergency room visits after accidentally consuming marijuana. Colorado laws on labeling and child-resistant packaging aren't working as well as advertised, a Denver Post analysis of that study found.
A solution has not yet been offered.
"Doctors who continue to dole out irresponsible extended plant counts" also made law enforcement's list of concerns in their letter. But state officials have started addressing that.
Four Colorado physicians, including one in Colorado Springs, had their licenses suspended this month after the Colorado Medical Board said they wrongfully allowed hundreds of people to grow extra medical marijuana plants. One doctor authorized at least 400 people to grow 75 or more marijuana plants from Jan. 1 to June 12, the Medical Board's suspension order said.
A judge has since blocked those suspensions, allowing the doctors to practice medicine, but a hold on their marijuana prescriptions remains in place.
Problems will only continue to build as everyone tries to make sense of the laws, Jackson said. A moratorium new laws, at the very least, will give people a chance to catch up, he said.
Though the group's letter hasn't received a response, Jackson said they plan to push it again in December, ahead of the start of the next legislative session.
"We're asking the legislature to slow this train down so we can understand it," Jackson said. "This is not an effort to repeal (Amendment 64), we're trying to make this work."
quote:Barack Obama's Daughter Malia Caught Smoking
Washington: Malia Obama, the elder daughter of US President Barack Obama, has been spotted smoking what some suspect to be a cannabis joint.
The 18-year-old, who is set to attend Harvard next year, was at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, Illinois, where a nine-second video published by Radar Online, apparently captured her smoking, is doing the rounds on internet and has evoked mixed reactions from public.
The website claimed an eyewitness smelled cannabis in the air, the Telegraph reported.
Cannabis is decriminalised in the state of Illinois and people are allowed to possess up to 10 grams of the drug.
The first daughter missed Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention last month to go to Lollapalooza.
Previous video had emerged of her "twerking" at the festival.
Her father had previously admitted smoking cannabis as a youth and he was part of a group of friends known as the "choom gang" in Hawaii.
Malia is currently on a gap year before going to Harvard in the autumn of 2017.
At the Democratic Convention, her mother Michelle Obama spoke movingly about her effort to give Malia and younger sister Sasha a normal life.
Sasha Obama, 15, has undertaken a summer job in a fish restaurant in Martha's Vineyard.
quote:Effective Immediately: Illinois Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession
By Brandon Turbeville
Illinois is now the most recent state to show signs that it is beginning to move in the direction of more sensible and responsible drug laws, particularly when it comes to marijuana.
This is because Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation last week which makes Illinois the third largest state in the country to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses. The new law makes having 10 grams or less of marijuana a civil offense as opposed to a criminal one. Thus, the penalty for possession of over 10 grams will be a fine of up to 200 dollars.
The law also sets an official standard for what will be considered too impaired to drive. Previously, any trace amount of marijuana at all was considered impaired, an obviously oppressive and illogical standard since marijuana can remain in a person’s system for several weeks. The new law creates a standard of 5 nanograms of THC in the driver’s blood within two hours of consumption.
The governor had been expected to sign the bill despite the fact that he vetoed a similar piece of legislation last year. At the time of his veto, Rauner said that existing penalties for small marijuana offenses were too harsh and that “criminal prosecution of cannabis possession is also a drain on public resources.” We proudly welcome Governor Rauner to the 21st century.
Laimutis Nargelenas, Springfield Park Police Chief, and former lobbyist for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, is very concerned. “You’re giving individuals more opportunities for drug usage,” said Nargelenas.
At this point, we would like to make a joke about welcoming Nargelenas to the 18th century, but, interestingly enough, the people of that century had more much more rational views on marijuana than he does. Instead, we will allow Nargelenas to remain in the Twilight Zone where marijuana is dangerous, Prozac is safe and police who are scarcely indistinguishable from the military is a sign that everything is okay.
Many others in the state have praised Rauner’s action, most likely tired of seeing non-violent people having their lives ruined, thrown into cages and otherwise being brutalized – not by the plant they were arrested for – but by the people who are allegedly protecting them from it.
The new Illinois bill will also require municipalities to purge citation records of marijuana possession every six months although it does allow local governments to opt out of this clause. The bill goes into effect immediately.
quote:President Filipijnen dreigt met vertrek uit VN | NOS
De president van de Filipijnen, Rodrigo Duterte, zegt dat zijn land zich misschien uit de VN terugtrekt vanwege de aanhoudende kritiek op de strijd tegen drugs in zijn land. Hij zal dan China en Afrikaanse landen uitnodigen om een een nieuwe organisatie van landen te vormen.
De verklaring volgt op de oproep van twee mensenrechtenexperts van de VN aan de regering in Manilla om een eind te maken aan de executies door doodseskaders van mensen die van drugshandel worden verdacht.
Duterte ontkent dat de regering of de politie daarvoor verantwoordelijk is en zegt dat de experts welkom zijn als ze daar onderzoek naar willen doen. "Ik zal aantonen dat jullie hele stomme experts zijn", zei hij.
Duterte vindt dat de VN zich niet moet druk maken over "lijken van criminelen die zich opstapelen". De volkerenorganisatie kan zich in zijn ogen beter druk maken over zijn eigen falen bij de bestrijding van honger, terrorisme en oorlog. "Weet je, VN, als jullie ÚÚn slecht ding over mij kunnen zeggen, kan ik daar tien slechte dingen over jullie tegenover stellen."
Duterte werd in juli president. Hij won de verkiezingen met de belofte dat hij drugscriminelen eigenhandig zou doden. Sinds zijn aantreden zijn zo'n duizend mensen vermoord. Sommigen hadden een kartonnen bordje om hun nek met de woorden 'ik ben een dealer'.
Onschuldig tenzij bewezen wordt dat je schuldig bent, dat kennen ze niet op de Filipijnen.quote:Filipijnse president op dreef: duizend dode 'drugsdealers' | NOS
"Het zijn duizend dode drugsdealers, waar maken ze zich druk om?" President Rodrigo Duterte van de Filipijnen is de internationale bemoeienis over het optreden van doodseskaders in zijn land zat. "Laat de politie haar plicht doen."
Duterte is amper twee maanden aan de macht en sindsdien worden vrijwel elke ochtend dode 'drugsdealers' gevonden op straat. Soms hebben de doden een boodschap om hun nek, zoals een kartonnen bordje met de woorden 'ik ben een dealer'.
Een deel van hen is geliquideerd door doodseskaders: gemaskerde, gewapende mannen die 's nachts met een lijst op pad worden gestuurd.
"Niemand weet wie ze zijn", vertelt NOS-correspondent Michel Maas. "Waarschijnlijk zijn het agenten die 'een beetje overwerken' in hun vrije tijd." Ze werken een dodenlijst af die is opgesteld door de politie. Samen met buurthoofden wordt een overzicht gemaakt van wie er verdacht wordt van drugscriminaliteit.
"Als je daarop staat, ben je je leven niet meer zeker", zegt Maas. De verdachten worden dag en nacht in de gaten gehouden. Ze worden weggelokt met een smoes en gedood met messen of pistolen.
"Er zijn moeders die op deze manier al hun zoons hebben verloren. Zonder dat ze ook maar eens kans hebben gehad om hun onschuld te bewijzen", zegt Maas.
Naar schatting zijn inmiddels duizend mensen omgebracht die gelinkt waren aan drugshandel. Maas: "Ook drugsgebruikers, arme sloebers die juist hulp nodig hebben. Mensen uit de krottenwijken die alleen kunnen vluchten in de drugs."
Het land met 100 miljoen inwoners kampt al jaren met armoede en corruptie. Daardoor is de drugsproblematiek groot. De dealers en handelaren zijn een plaag voor de Filipijnse bevolking. Dat verklaart ook de grote populariteit van de hardliner Duterte.
"Hij schopt alle heilige huisjes omver en stopt nergens voor. Dat vindt de bevolking geweldig", zegt Maas. "Ze zien dat Duterte meent wat hij zegt en corruptie en drugsproblemen keihard aanpakt."
Duterte had van tevoren een bikkelharde strijd beloofd tegen drugscriminelen. "Klootzakken, ik vermoord jullie", zei hij op tv tegen hen. "Als verdachten zich verzetten, schiet ze dan dood en je krijgt een medaille."
De keiharde aanpak komt Duterte op felle kritiek te staan. Mensenrechtenorganisaties en de Verenigde Naties veroordelen de liquidaties. Studenten protesteren en ook de katholieke kerk veroordeelt de bloedige drugsoorlog.
"Veranderen we nu van een land van drugsgebruikers tot een natie van moordenaars", vroeg een invloedrijke Filipijnse bisschop zich op Twitter af.
Het bloedvergieten heeft ook overvolle gevangenissen tot gevolg. Sinds de doodseskaders in actie komen, hebben zich bij de politie ruim 125.000 mensen gemeld: allemaal verdachten van drugsdelicten die bang zijn om te sterven.
"De gevangenissen zijn zo vol, dat ze zakkenrollers vrijlaten om plaats te maken voor dealers", zegt Maas. Er zijn gevangenissen met plek voor 800 man waar nu 4000 mensen vastzitten. "Elke hal ligt 's avonds vol met slapende gevangenen."
Toch is de steun voor de Filipijnse president stabiel gebleven. "De meeste Filipijnen hopen dat Duterte blijft volhouden. Dan komt een einde aan corruptie, hopen ze."
Duterte heeft lijsten openbaar gemaakt met daarop politici, generaals en hoge ambtenaren die verdacht zijn van corruptie of medeplichtigheid aan drugshandel. "Hij heeft eerder al gezegd: als het hele parlement tegen me is, dan hef ik het op."
Lol, waarom moest het biljet van 500Ą ook alweer verdwijnen, omdat het zo in trek was bij de drughandelaars?quote:
quote:21 August 2016 Last updated at 09:23 BST
Mawaan Rizwan was brought up in a religious family but is no longer practising and feels detached from spirituality.
He visits the Oklevueha Native American Church in Salt Lake City in Utah, America, where people take the Class A drug peyote in the hope of finding religious enlightenment. A powerful hallucinogen, its active ingredient mescaline puts peyote in the same category as heroin. Its effects are like that of LSD. Taking it could put someone at risk if they or a member of their family have suffered from psychosis in the past.
People have been known to harm themselves while under the effects of hallucinogens.
The "medicine man" James Flaming Eagle Mooney and Ohio-based believer Richard say taking traditional medicines like peyote connect them to a higher power.
A sceptical but curious Mawaan joined them on one of their ceremonial retreats in the mountains.
quote:British Police Officers Reveal What They Really Think About the War on Drugs | VICE | United Kingdom
Good Cop, Bad War is the story of an undercover police officer, Neil Woods, who spent over a decade infiltrating Britain's biggest drug gangs. The book, released last week, provides a unique insight into a world of mind games and violence, where the drug trade acts as a production line for the creation of ruthless gangsters. Ultimately, his experiences led Woods to reject the way drugs are policed in the UK.
"The logic of the drugs war only leads one way: the police get smarter, so the criminals get nastier; things can only ever go from bad to worse, from savagery to savagery," says Woods. Now, after having left the force, he is chairman of LEAP UK (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), a pro-drug legalisation activist group consisting of ex-law enforcement officials.
But to what extent are Woods and his colleagues at LEAP UK – and those currently employed in the police force – rare specimens? How thin on the ground are drug cops who think they are fighting the wrong fight? Expressing sympathy for anything other than hardline prohibition – even to their colleagues – is something of a risk in the black and white, "them and us" world of police culture.
Even so, every now and then drug cops open up about the realities of clearing the streets of dealers and drugs.
I spoke to Mike Fisher*, a senior drugs investigator for Britain's organised crime busting bureau, the National Crime Agency (NCA). He asked for his name to be changed to avoid disciplinary action, as his views will definitely not be found anywhere near the pages of the NCA's annual report.
"If the NCA stopped targeting drug gangs, it would change nothing," he explained. "You would see little change in the high street. Society would not collapse. As it is, drugs are freely available now. All that would happen is that dealing would be more open. But it may give us more of a chance to deal with crimes such as homicide."
On the surface, it's a counter-intuitive line to take for a senior officer working within an agency for which the drug trade is a key target.
"Law enforcement against drugs is completely ineffective and has been since the Misuse of Drugs Act came into force in 1971," says Fisher. "The idea of the state protecting you from yourself just doesn't work. We've spent billions of pounds trying to prohibit drugs, but there's less chance of it working than Canute stopping the waves.
Fisher tells me that arresting people on the streets for drugs is an endless cycle, and that it's the same with the larger fish. "Whenever we remove a big guy, someone else – usually a lieutenant – replaces him within days. The more we try, the harder it gets: increased enforcement keeps these people looking over their shoulder; they become more covert about their activity, and that makes our job harder."
Fisher's solution is to take the Portugal route: decriminalise personal use of all drugs, from cannabis to heroin, and look at legalising production and supply. "I believe consenting adults have a choice as to what they put in their bodies. It will also make it easier for heroin and crack users to get the help they need and free up police time to go out on patrol and deal with other crimes," he says. "Ideally, production should be wrested from organised criminals and managed by governments."
Surprisingly, he tells me around half of Britain's elite drug detectives at NCA have similar "liberal" attitudes to the drugs problem.
But what about those drug cops working below NCA level, in towns and cities across the UK? To gauge what they truly think about their daily task, you need to be a fly on the wall – so that's the exact position that University of Sheffield criminologist Dr Matthew Bacon took. He spent two years embedded with drug detectives in a town and a major city (the identities of which are secret) in the UK and wrote about his experiences in Taking Care of Business, published last month.
Most officers were anti-drugs and fully supported prohibition. Drugs were seen as being behind all that's bad in society. This gave them a "righteousness" in their actions, observed Bacon. But within this, recreational drug users, social dealers and nightclubs were far less of a crime problem than alcohol, a drug which few officers had a problem with.
It's perhaps not surprising, given the police's moral code, that most of the officers he hung around with viewed "junkies" as lazy, undeserving scumbags. In 2012, a former undercover officer who disguised himself as a heroin user-dealer, told me: "It made me realise how bad cops can be to drug addicts. I was abused, assaulted and threatened with being fitted up by having drugs planted on me on a regular basis."
To the anti-drug teams Bacon shadowed, heroin dealers were one of the most despised groups in society, so much so that they were seen as "police property" – objects that police could do with as they wished. "Almost without exception, dealers were depicted as deplorable and dangerous outlaws," says Bacon. "They were made the scapegoat of the drug problem."
Drug cops, who saw themselves as "elite crime fighters", had sufficient respect however for the the Mr Bigs of the drug world. They saw those who ran professional outfits and had families at home as worthy adversaries, and a "good collar" for which they would earn respect among their colleagues.
Despite all this, there was acceptance – often expressed by officers off-duty after a few pints – that they were not waging a "war on drugs", but managing an unbeatable problem in order to "keep the public happy".
One detective sergeant told Bacon: "Sometimes I think we're like those [Japanese] soldiers in World War Two – you know, those ones on the island who just kept fighting because they didn't know the war was over. Only difference is, we'd lost the war before we even started fighting." Another officer told him: "We've thrown everything at it, even the kitchen sink, but drug problems just keep getting worse. In the end, the drugs are still on the streets, no matter how many people we lock up."
There are rebellious notions even among the rank and file. When I went stop and searching in Soho with one of the Met Police's sniffer dog teams in 2013, I was surprised to hear from a regular beat officer and his colleague that they thought cannabis should be legalised entirely. "I say legalise the lot," one said. "Legalise it and tax it," said the other. "If someone wants to turn the sky green and the grass blue, then it's up to them. I can't see the difference between alcohol and cannabis. The official line is that drugs are under control, but they are not."
I call up Simon Kempton, a police sergeant from Dorset who has specialised in drug enforcement and sits on the National Board of the Police Federation, a body that represents rank and file officers. He agrees with Woods – that the drug trade houses the most violent people in the country – but believes prohibition is crucial to taking them out.
"I can't speak for everyone, but in my opinion drug policing is worthwhile, all day, every day," he says. "I get it: it can seem futile when we take out someone knocking out kilos of cocaine, [who's] replaced within two hours. But the reason it's worth doing is because the drug is not just about the drug trade: it's weapons, terrorism, people trafficking, money laundering; it straddles the spectrum of the most serious crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, serious assault – which all go hand in hand with the drug trade.
"We are taking out the worst people in our society. When they assault people it's not just a punch-up outside a pub; we are talking about sending a message through retribution and torture. These people have to protect their trade from others, so they use extreme levels of violence. You have to be the scariest, biggest person on the block, otherwise they will take your money from you.
"Undercover police officers would not take the huge risks infiltrating gangs if they did not think it was worthwhile. Undercover drug policing is not cheap, but it's very cost effective. It's rare to get a not guilty after undercover work because of all the evidence that's been gathered. Yes, people can feel demoralised that they've put themselves on the line, and then someone ends up getting just a coupe of years, but that's the way it is sometimes."
However, Sgt Kempton said that for rank and file officers, policing cannabis was another matter, and that many officers sympathised with the path taken by Durham Police in going easy on low-level cannabis offences: "With dwindling resources, forces are having to focus their limited numbers on areas which represent the greatest harms to wider society. While policing cannabis is still a legitimate action, I believe most officers and the public would support a focus on other areas of crime."
Over the years writing about the drug trade, I've met drug cops who have told me that their job is similar to that of the drug user or trafficker – a series of almost addictive drug bust "hits" that perpetuate the game. There are some who have crossed the line completely to become dependent drug users themselves, and others who are disgusted by the stigmatisation of drug users and even dealers.
One female drug cop I spoke to told me: "There are some pretty nasty pieces of work out there, but some of them are just ordinary people. Behind every user and runner, there's a story," she said. "A lot of people say drug addicts and drug dealers are scum of the earth, but they don't know anything about them."
Woods' book will open the public's eyes to the raw violence and canniness of the drug world, and the lengths police will go to in order to disrupt it. But after years fighting at the apex of the drug war, his conclusion – and that of other experienced officers who have chosen to speak out – must be heeded if we want to find a solution to a problem that has been trashing communities around the world for decades.
Het moet wel een hele ruime interpretatie zijn die je hanteert om drogeringsmiddelen samen te laten vallen met werk, seks of religieuze beleving. Degene die er niet aan onderdoorgaan maar het dus wel recreatief gebruik of faciliteren dragen bij aan het probleem en aan de verdere verbreiding ervan.quote:Op maandag 22 augustus 2016 23:19 schreef Papierversnipperaar het volgende:
Iedereen gebruikt drugs, legaal, illegaal, in de vorm van vloeistoffen of poeders, of in de vorm van gedrag zoals religie, werk of sex. De meeste mensen gaan er niet aan onderdoor. Die paar die wel problemen krijgen help je niet met een War on Drugs.
Het enige wat de War on Drugs doet is geweld en corruptie veroorzaken. Het lost geen enkel probleem op, kost wel bakken met geld.
In een discussie over drugs is een definitie van drugs noodzakelijk. En mijn definitie valt niet samen met de opiumwet.quote:
Na een definitie van drugs, is een juiste probleemstelling noodzakelijk.quote:In wat voor andere vorm zou je de aanpak dan kunnen gieten zonder te kiezen voor het passieve wegkijken voor de problemen die er zijn? En kom niet met legalisering aanzetten dan haal je het uit de illegaliteit maar dit is enkel symptoombestrijding. Wat is een andere aanpak tegen de verbreiding en verspreiding van de drugsproblematiek?
Waarom zijn juist de gevaarlijkste drugs legaal?quote:
quote:Here's Why Cannabis Plants Are Growing Wild All Over Britain's Cities - Reset.me
Courtesy of Feed The Birds.
on March 12, 2015
Cannabis plants have been spotted sprouting in public places up and down the UK, a country where the plant is categorized as a Class B drug and possession alone can lead to a five year prison sentence. The majestic herb can be found humbly sunning itself near some of the nation’s most iconic locations in central London, such as the BBC headquarters, Tower Bridge and The Shard.
Although cannabis can flourish naturally in Britain’s wet, mild climate, as it has done in the past, these seeds were sown with intent. In perhaps one of the most profound acts of resistance in the UK’s legalization movement, the activist group “Feed The Birds” is distributing cannabis seeds across the country as part of a grassroots campaign to draw attention to the ridiculousness of prohibition.
Feed The Birds was founded in early 2014 by a person using the online alias Finn Hemingway. Since the movement germinated, they have accumulated over 23,000 Facebook followers; among these numbers are an estimated 2000 “birders” who contribute to the cause with acts of clandestine, yet highly effective, resistance. Planting, cultivating and harvesting cannabis plants in the UK is highly illegal and could lead to 14 years of imprisonment.
However, as displayed in the name, this movement has discovered and exploited a loophole in the legal system to render what they do perfectly legal. As it appears on the streets, all these activists are doing is throwing seeds around — quite literally feeding the birds. Although the plant itself is illegal to posses, cannabis seeds are not; it is legal to posses, sell and purchase them within the boarders of the UK. As long as they are not intentionally sown and germinated, it is legal to utilize them in a manner of different ways: to eat as food, to bait fish and to feed birds.
Scattering cannabis seeds in a public place with the intention of offering nutritionally dense, mineral and omega fatty acid rich seeds to our feathered friends is not a crime. If said seeds are not detected by hungry birds or banqueting squirrels, they will most likely begin to germinate and grow. Thus, cannabis plants as large and mature as those pictured can flourish in public places without a single person being prosecuted, punished or imprisoned.
“We believe that seeds left to grow highlight the ineffectiveness of prohibition, partly because cannabis grows naturally in the UK and has done for thousands of years, and partly because we feel visual protests are powerful and evocative,” Hemingway told Reset.
Each plant stands as a visual message regarding the skewed and failed drug policies that prohibit the herb.
“Personally, I think cannabis is still illegal because British politicians do not want to be seen as having a ‘weak’ stance on drugs,” Hemingway said. “I would urge all politicians to use a scientific and an economic approach on drug law reform.”
Despite some fierce opposition to cannabis in the UK, many residents acknowledge the plant’s positives — medicinally and economically — and think penalties for its use, cultivation and possession are overly harsh. This becomes especially apparent in light of the U.S. states that have legalized adult use of the plant (there are four in total, plus Washington, D.C.). Since implementing legalization in 2013, Colorado has seen lowered domestic abuse and violent crime rates, and the state benefitted from a staggering $60 million in taxes and fees from cannabis sales in 2014. It has also become a mecca for families with epileptic children. They are migrating by the hundreds from all over the country to Colorado seeking a form of non-psychoactive, concentrated medical marijuana which has shown unprecedented success in mitigating seizures.
Cannabis clubs have sprung up in many towns and cities all over the UK in an attempt to organize collectives — consisting of bankers and barristers to farmers and teachers — to plan peaceful demonstrations, social media campaigns and “bird feeding” events.
When asked how cannabis clubs in the UK can be useful, Hemingway said they are an “important way of showing the authorities and the general population how cannabis clubs reduce harm and increase cannabis user safety.”
Feed The Birds is also spreading awareness about the highly sustainable industrial uses of hemp as well as the medicinal benefits of the plant. Modern science is revealing cannabis is a highly effective treatment for countless different ailments, ranging from cancer to chronic pain.
As well as cannabis seeds, Feed the Birds has given London — and England as a whole — a makeover in the form of message-laden stickers declaring the plants medicinal uses. The stickers are popping up in some eye catching places — like the police vehicle pictured below.
Hemingway said the organization plans to distribute “millions upon millions” of seeds throughout the UK in the coming months — just in time for the upcoming general election. As a suitably modified version of an age old saying goes… “resistance is fertile.”
quote:There’s this weird thing about the French debate. So, France is like the US and Britain in that basically, middle-class white people think drugs have already been effectively been decriminalised. And black people are…you speak to French people of African or Arab descent and they are just constantly harassed. France has the most extreme drug laws in western Europe. You can go to prison for five years for having a single joint, it’s extraordinary. And people do get picked up the whole time, constant harassment.
So partly you have this effect where, and if you look at the biographies of the Kouachi brothers, the guy who did that horrific attack in Nice, almost all the French young men who have been carrying out these atrocious attacks, this is their formative experience of the police. It’s being constantly harassed in a racist way, an explicitly racist way. Police frequently use racist epithets towards these kids. So you have this incredibly racist drug war that makes their neighbourhoods feel like they’re under military occupation and these grotesque and disproportionate punishments. So you partly have that. That’s a factor, right? And I don’t want to overstate it, it is one of many, many factors. But it is a significant factor. So that’s one thing that’s going on.
The second is, how are these people getting guns, right? How do the people who carried out the Bataclan massacre and the others…France has an incredibly intense ‘war for drugs’. So France has a huge drug market, and not coincidently it has the biggest drug war, and also has the worst drug problems. Again, that’s only seen all over the world that these policies not only don’t work, they actually make the problems worse. So France has this very intense drug war and the highest drug use in western Europe. And when you ban drugs, they don’t disappear, obviously. They’re transferred from doctors and pharmacists to armed criminal gangs. And those armed criminal gangs fight for the market.
France has an incredibly intense ‘war for drugs’. I mean it’s come to light, and briefly got news coverage in France, when Manuel Valls – the prime minister – was in Marseille and a gunfight between rival drug gangs just broke out across the street. And at the moment they thought it was a terrorist attack, and then were like ‘no, no, just a typical afternoon in Marseille’, you know. So you have these huge networks of criminals, which these guys are all connected to through drug dealing, that then also supplies violence. Also means these young men grow up in a climate where violence is not only normalised, but actually necessary to operate in this market.
And so they grow up with a training in violence, a training in how to use violence, a training of violence being normalised, a training of being made to think that you are a stranger within the society, that you are under siege, that you are an enemy, an alien, people the police hate, people the police will crack down on really hard, when white people don’t get treated that way. So it just creates a toxic brew that feeds into this wider jihadism. It’s not the main cause, I don’t want to be simplistic about it, but I do think it’s a really significant factor
quote:'I've done really bad things': The undercover cop who abandoned the war on drugs
Neil Woods used to risk his life to catch drug dealers. But as gangs responded with escalating violence and intimidation – some even poisoning users who talked to the police – he started to see legalisation as the only solution
quote:The only dealers the drug squad could reliably catch, he saw, were “low-hanging fruit” – the small-fry dealers, and harmless addicts trying to pay for their habit by selling a bit, who an informant could report with no fear of retribution. “It’s why organised crime is increasingly becoming monopolised, because the most successful organised crime groups are the ones that can be the most terrifying.” Like cold-war nations seeking security in Nato or the Warsaw Pact, small-town dealers are being absorbed into large city gangs. “It’s a classic arms race. Although at least with the cold war you could knock a wall down, and de-escalate it. There’s no wall to knock down with the war on drugs, is there? Brighton is the thin edge of the same wedge destroying Mexico. Mexico’s just the thicker end of it, but it can only go in one direction.”