Tag Archives: marijuana

Countess of Wemyss sees drug war as driving force behind campaign

I came across a Scottish newspaper online called “Scotland on Sunday” covering a variety of topics including politics.

The specific article I read covered the ideas, opinions, and ongoing campaign of a countess of Wemyss, Amanda Fielding, who lives in one of the “finest stately homes” in Scotland…in the Gosford House.

According to Wikipedia, “Feilding has long had interest in exploring different ways of modulating consciousness for the benefit of the individual and society.”

She’s mainly known as a scientist and drug policy reformer.
She’s done unique things to study her interests, such as trepanation, LSD studies on consciousness, and further psychedelic research projects.

Her scientific career has brought her to the founding and directing of the Beckley Foundation. “A charitable trust. The Foundation both works at the forefront of national and international global drug policy reform and initiates and directs research into consciousness and its altered states.” (Wikipedia)

She is interested in the Mexican drug war because she wants to campaign for the legalization of certain drugs to stop the crime and chaos happening in Mexico.

She has a large following of famous names such as Laureates, scientists, nobel prize winners, ex-presidents, and even some celebrities that support her fight and joined her foundation.

However, her fight for this specific cause is not only for Mexico, but for the “War on Drugs” all around the world in different countries battling these policies.

The articles quotes her saying, “I have seen what terrible damage drugs do in the world – what terrible suffering it causes…It is probably the issue that causes more suffering in the world, which could be greatly lessened by better handling. Because of the taboo that has grown up about drugs, politicians around the world are not willing to discuss it.”

All the destruction and corruption she see from the Mexican drug war is her main reason behind the campaigning in her Beckley Foundation.

She’s quoted saying, “Mexico is really in a state of war, because the Americans buy the drugs for guns. These cartels are amazingly well armed and have billions of dollars to hide away and wash in different ways. Keeping drugs criminalised isn’t the way to go, because there are now millions of people in jail for drug-related offences – mainly little fish, like users and small-time dealers and, in my opinion, we should not treat drug use as a crime, if there is no other crime attached.”

She thinks it’s a good idea for the UK government to take certain steps (which I will list) to decriminalize drugs in their own land, then see to it that the rest of the struggling countries follow this example.

She would like them (UK gov) to “license the production of cannabis.” She thinks that if licensed growers can take care of the of the ingredients and make sure there are no insecticides or harmful products, then it would be a more regulated and safe market, and they could tax the drugs a large amount of money, because if it’s too low then it might have it’s consequences. (The italics is my own opinion.)

She also mentioned,  “Some people maybe prefer cannabis to alcohol and cannabis is less harmful medically than alcohol. Most people suffer nothing from its use and on the whole probably drop the habit in their 30s when they get married and have children – not all but most people do.”

She really believes policy makers should be those who have tried the drugs themselves so that they understand why people, especially youth have experimented with them and find them beneficial instead of instantly judging them negatively and seeing them as without having morals/standards.

Although many others have had a very similar plan to hers, it seems as though hers is very popular and has some kind of influence….in Europe anyways.

As far as her campaign reaching Mexico’s authorities, we do not know if it ever will.

The comments from the blog were quite interesting and varied, you should click on the link below for the full article and comment section.

http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/politics/countess_courts_rich_and_famous_to_end_drug_war_1_1987325

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Leftist presidential Candidate’s stance on drug war

 

Marcelo Ebrard is the Mayor of Mexico City and is running in the 2012 Mexican presidential election. He says that if he were to be elected president he would take out the country’s military from the drug cartel fight and discuss with policymakers from the U.S. on how they can improve laws regarding narcotics in both countries.

He proclaims that the relationship between certain drugs like marijuana consumption and the fabrication and distributing of it are “schizophrenic.”

It isn’t logical according to him that “the United States is legalizing marijuana and we’re over here killing ourselves on the street over marijuana.” He backs up his claim by saying that the legalization of marijuana in California has reduced illegal drug dealing and drug related conflicts and misdemeanors.

He goes on to say, “We need to have a common policy with the United States, because if not, we have a schizophrenic scheme that is very costly for Mexico.”

He reported his stance on this particular issue at an interview at City Hall, where on the same day the government released a book, published by the government, glorifying all of Mayor Ebrard’s successes throughout his term as Mayor in certain areas like environment and transportation.

This book along with his unique stance on popular issues in Mexico will support his effort to make his name known nationally throughout Mexico where most voters don’t know who he is.

The only thing standing in his way is the former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He, unlike Ebrard, is popular and well-known throughout the nation, and is well-favored even when people ragged on him for not respecting Calderon when he took office.

By the end of this week, polls will tell who will become the next leftist candidate that will run in the 2012 Mexican presidential election. It could be Ebrard…it could be Obrador.

Going back to the issue at hand, he declares he would take the military out of the streets and create “state police forces that could tackle trafficking and corruption locally. He’d also seek to reform the judicial system.”

This is something completely different than Calderon’s current and future plans for the security and drug issue. He wants the military to stay “on the job” until the existing local and state police forces have been evaluated and rid of their corrupted officers, traitors and instigators of harm to the innocent Mexican civilians.

Calderon did, however, win “approval of a judicial reform bill in 2008 that, among other things, would bring U.S.-style oral trials to Mexico.” All other reform plans though have been held up by a disobliging Congress.

At this point, in my opinion, I would like to see Mexico get Calderon out of office. See if any positive change could happen from a different person occupying the king’s throne, but I don’t know if Ebrard would be the right guy to do that, since I don’t know any of his other stances on policies/issues.

I’m not completely hating on Calderon either. I will commend him on the economy improving significantly since he’s been in office, but a breath of fresh air from Calderon sounds nice.   

Article Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/11/mexico-city-mayor-drug-war.html

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Days and Days of the Dead

Seattle PI

Guillermo Arias / AP

Today and tomorrow (November 1-2), is what they call in Mexico “El Dia de Los Muertos,” in translation the Day of the Dead. The tradition of this Mexican national holiday includes families taking the favorite foods and drinks of those that have passed on to the cemeteries and “decorat[ing] the graves of departed relatives with marigolds, candles and sugar skulls.”

These days there are many families visiting an abundant amount of graves since “Every day is Day of the Dead now…We have 40,000 days of the dead,” said a man quoted in a Seattle PI online article.

About 40,000 people have died in the Mexican drug war and the amount of graves continue to increase.

The reporter from the previously mentioned Seattle PI article said his last visit in Mexico was the early 90’s. He talks about how there were also cartels back in those days selling cocaine and marijuana to the U.S. and there were also killings of an archbishop and a head PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) government official but globally Mexico “was not thought to be particularly violent then. There was no running tally of the dead.” Which when I thought about it, it’s absolutely true. I don’t remember hearing anything dramatic or outrageous coming from Mexico since before the drug war. Of course you have your occasional immigration stories, but I can’t recall ever thinking of Mexico as an extremely dangerous place to be.

The reporter said the country has changed dramatically since he was last there. Especially economically. In present day, “Mexican politicians can be openly pro-American at times, and Mexico is truly multinational now, with everything from Costco megastores to Ferrari dealerships.” The economy is much more successful and changing from a poor based community to a more middle class population. But they have to be careful with the whole “pro-American” thing, because if they make any wrong decision, their economy could end up like the United States, which is down in the dumps currently.

Even though there’s a positive transformation of people moving up in classes financially, there are still those young adults “who neither study nor find legitimate jobs, and may seek work or be pressed into service by drug cartels,” which is the scary part. If they could just find jobs for those kids then fewer people will have an encounter with being forced into working for the cartels.

As of now, election time is coming up in Mexico and after 10 years of having Calderon and his party (National Action Party), people seem to be ready to turn the power back to the PRI in hopes that they could pick the country back up and reform it to a violent-free state. As of now the “presumed candidate” has not said anything on his plan of action towards the drug violence.

Since I’m not fully informed on the policies and beliefs of each party, I can’t really say which one I would the think the better choice to govern the country would be, but I do hope that whoever may take the reins will responsibly uphold the importance of the nation’s well-being and take full accountability for decisions made towards this issue, and consistently work on it until it can be mostly and/or fully resolved.

Seattle PI article: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Every-day-is-Day-of-the-Dead-in-Mexico-drug-war-2242631.php#ixzz1cW1U2PVa

 

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legalizing pot… a good idea?

I listened to a 15 minute segment of  the KPBS radio show in which they discuss the United States’ role in the Mexican drug war. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of several editors, bloggers, and publishers on the subject as well as the opinions of a few callers outside the show.

The host of the show had asked these various editors what the U.S. is doing to help and why Americans consume so many drugs.

They stated that the U.S. has given over a billion dollars to the cause and they’re increasing border security, they’re closing off cartel made tunnels, and they’re doing what they can to the extent where the Mexican government will allow.

But where the answers really varied were towards the question of why Americans consume so many drugs which eventually led to the question of  whether legalizing pot would make things better.

As far as the question why Americans consume so many drugs is concerned, no one could offer a legitimate answer since obviously there could be an endless amount of reasons why this is true. One answer said that it’s just a habit, an easy fix, entertainment, and in some areas easily accessible, but what the most discussed topic concerning this is the issue of legalization, in particular marijuana. There’s a lot of controversy regarding this issue because no one knows if the results could be negative or actually help to improve both countries.

In my opinion, legalizing pot will just corrupt the United States further. I never saw drugs as a reliever of problems. One editor made a good point saying that although the cartels are extremely wealthy from selling drugs, “they’ve also branched out into all kinds of criminal enterprises. Criminal enterprises that smuggle illegal immigrants into this country. Or smuggle weapons into the country. There’s a lot more going on that fund the drug cartels now than just drugs.”

So the legalization of pot can only go so far, especially since pot is not the only drug they are selling and they’re participating in other money-making illegal activities. Legalizing pot would not mean the end of the cartels and is not the answer to these problems.

Listen to the show/read the transcript here: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/may/20/what-role-does-us-play-mexicos-drug-war/

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Lil Wayne saves the day!

The Onion is according to their website “America’s Finest News Source,”but in reality it is a satirical news organization. They have their own online news website as well as hundreds of videos on YouTube dedicating itself to making fun of current news.

While scrolling through some of their videos I stumbled upon one dealing with the Mexican Drug War. They report that the DEA has undertaken the most successful initiative to help Mexico yet. That is…to send Rapper Lil Wayne to Mexico to use up all the drugs.

They call this program “Operation Weezy F. Baby.” Hilarious and very stupid at the same time! If you watch the video, it’ll explain in detail every course of action they plan for Weezy to take.

I always like to scroll down and read the comments that people write, and it’s funny because some people actually believe this stuff is true. I guess they don’t understand satire or sarcasm, but some comments give an insight to who’s actually interested in this topic, and to who is watching just because they’re fans of the Onion or Lil Wayne.

“the sad thing is that this would probably work better then all the crap they do right now lol”

Comment by: victus401 2 months ago
 
It seems like this person is interested and knows what’s going on with the drug war since they are aware of what the U.S. is doing now. I like that they replied back to the satirical video with sarcasm, but I’m sure there’s some truth into what they’re saying. As in, all the things the U.S. government is doing now to “help” has not brought any positive real results, therefore, give it a go, and send Lil Wayne to Mexico!
 

“ur kidding me right? this has to be a joke. were actually gonnna thank him for illegally smoking, sniffing, injecting hiself with what we call illegal s***!? and pay him? hes a freakin lowlife who has too much money for doing nothing as it is! wow we must all really be stupid”

Comment by: limbossdd 1 month ago
 
This person is one of those people who believe this is true…kind of embarrassing for him since a bunch of people after him replied saying he’s an idiot for believing it. But as we can see this person did not mention anything about the actions being taken in regards to stopping the drug war, so I’m assuming he’s just watching this because he’s a fan of The Onion…because apparently he’s definitely not a fan of Lil Wayne.
 
Others say “this is a great idea!” While other comments are completely random or are bashing others in a rude, inappropriate manner.
 
YouTube is also really cool because it allows you to see the statistics of the views of the video. So it’s interesting to see that out of the 1,437,151 views, the video was the most popular with males from ages 18-44. Where are the females?
There may be multiple reasons why this is a male dominated video, but I don’t want to get into that.
 
But now we know what The Onion would do if they were in power 😉
What would you do?
 
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Wanted: Texan kids for Mexican drug gang

El Paso County Sheriff patrolman Manny Marquez talked to students about the efforts by Mexican drug cartels to lure young people into their organizations.-Rudy Gutierrez/El Paso Times

“Texas law enforcement officials say several Mexican drug cartels are luring youngsters as young as 11 to work in their smuggling operations,” reports Jim Forsyth from Reuters news.

This first sentence made my heart stop. I mean it’s obvious that they would do this for reasons such as children being easy to control, especially for small amounts of money, and they’re not immediately sought after as suspects, and there’s a significantly smaller scope of consequences for them if they were to be detained, but it’s still a scary thought. As soon as I read that, I pictured my adorable, innocent 11 year old niece; and to think that she could be lured into the hands of the drug cartels is something I would not want to ever encounter.

The drug cartels named these little children, “The Expendables.” How appropriate. Sounds exactly like something they would do to these children…easily dispose of them.

The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said that evidence has been found from 6 different Mexican drug gangs of “command and control centers” spread throughout Texas, so to speak “enlisting” children to perform simple odd jobs for them for small amounts of cash. To me that’s kind of like, geez they have legitimate centers up and running now? I’m pretty sure it takes some time and planning to set up a center such as this. I don’t exactly know how investigators work, but do they not see any sign of this kind of suspicious activity? Perhaps they’re not looking hard enough, or the drug gangs are just extra sneaky.

The director said they found and arrested 25 minors in just one county this year for “running drugs, acting as lookouts, or doing other work for organized Mexican drug gangs. The cartels are now fanning out, he said, and have operations in all major Texas cities.” All major cities…alright, now this is close to me, and it’s only going to spread and get worse. This is becoming more and more dangerous for a larger amount of people and for some reason it’s becoming more and more difficult to stop this… there’s something we (and Mexico) aren’t doing.

I also wonder things like, do these kids really care about the money? I’m trying to analyze the situation to get a better understanding of how kids put their selves in these predicaments. Like are these kids really poor and feel like they have to do this to take care of their family? Or do they just want a place to fit in? Do they think it’s cool or fun? Or are they forced into it by being threatened to be killed and such? I can’t put myself in that state of mind to understand why I would make myself ever want to be a part of the illegal acts of a drug gang. I just feel really sorry for these kids, they should have the opportunity to live for a brighter future, but instead they’re getting themselves in trouble at a very early age, and it seems almost unfair for them.

The director went on to say that this month “we made an arrest of a 12-year-old boy who was in a stolen pickup truck with 800 pounds of marijuana.” Seriously? That is insane! I hope someone else is as blown away by this as I am. I would like to know, where are these kids’ parents? It drives me crazy when parents and kids don’t communicate. It’s so sad when parents don’t know how to take care of their own child. And occasionally you find those parents that are aware of what’s going on, but they’ll act stupid or clueless, because they don’t want to get involved. It just breaks my heart.

But at least U.S. Customs and Border Protection are doing something about this. They set up a program called “Operation Detour” in which they go to schools and community centers to inform and caution both kids along with parents about these current events and the hazards of the recruiting of young children into Mexican drug gang job offers.

The article ends with the latest released report saying that these Mexican drug gangs are creating a safe sector “’intimidating landowners’ in south Texas into allowing them to use their property as ‘permanent bases’ for drug smuggling activity.”

I’d like to know what they intend on doing about that. It’s nice they released a report and all, but now what…you know about it, ok what course of action will you take? This is happening in Texas, in cities all over, I want to make sure I’m going to be safe, because now this is directly affecting me, and my family, friends, and neighbors around me.

Article Source: http://news.yahoo.com/mexican-drug-cartels-recruiting-texas-children-173402030.html

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What’s your perception?

Since the beginning of the “War on Drugs” and until it ends, if it will ever end, many will ask the question: are U.S. drug users the ones to blame for the fueling of Mexico’s violence? In a report commentated by Peter O’Dowd of Marketplace Public Radio, on June 15, 2011, he shares the accounts of different individuals from very unique backgrounds from a drug screening facility in Phoenix, Arizona, on their views of U.S. drug users in direct relation to the violence in Mexico.

A statistic indicated in the expose stated that according to a study done by the World Health Origination, out of 17 countries surveyed, the United States use drugs such as marijuana and cocaine more often than any other country in the study.

From this assessment, we hear from O’Dowd’s first encounter, Barbara Zugor, the director of the drug screening center. She believes that “there will probably be drugs and drug abuse in this country” for all time if we can’t figure out why is it that Americans have the need to abuse drugs. Her perspective seems just as they affirm in the report, “philosophical,” more worried on the why (is this an issue), the how (can we better the issue), and the what (will happen if this issue never resolves itself).

His second interviewee, is not named because he is a drug dealer. From this guy’s account, we recognize that drug dealers are foolish yes, but brainless, not at all, for a couple reasons. They know there is a lot of demand for their product so they make quick cash, however they also the dangers and the repercussions of what they’re doing plain and simple. This drug dealer himself said, “I think that Mexicans are getting a bad rap. And while a lot of the stuff is coming across the border, it’s our demand that’s pushing it here. It’s like stop the demand, you’ll stop the flow.” His perception is very cut and dry; he’s not worried about the philosophy of it all.

His last interview is with a Phoenix drug user, remaining nameless as well. Her case is a special one since she began smoking pot after she was diagnosed with cancer and the Arizona medical marijuana law had changed. She now purchases it illegally since she does not have the proper/legal authorization to smoke it. When providing her thoughts on the matter she said, “One of the guilt parts that I have over using the marijuana is what’s going on in Mexico. I don’t want to feel that what I’m having to do for my health is hurting somebody else.” Her perception is that of guilt, as a contributing contender to the whole mess that’s going on, she feels she is a small piece of the problem; which in reality, she absolutely is.

The last line of the report that still blows my mind no matter how many times or how many different way I may hear it, says, “All those little drug sales, all over America, add up to as much as $39 billion each year that heads south across the border.” That is remarkable.

So from these three different stances on the subject, one has to think which side of the perception spectrum are they on. Do you want to think more philosophically about the topic and see how you can help better the problem? Do you want to be the guy that knows the facts cut and dry but still not care about the situation? Or do you want to have that guilty conscience, knowing what you’re doing is negatively affecting the nation in which you live, along with those nations of other innocent people?

Article: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/06/15/pm-are-us-drug-users-to-blame-for-mexican-border-violence/

Audio of article: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/www_publicradio/tools/media_player/popup.php?name=marketplace/pm/2011/06/15/marketplace_cast1_20110615_64&starttime=00:22:09.0&endtime=00:26:33.0

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