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Jun-17-2011 02:34printcomments

Jimmy Carter Calls for End of Global Drug War in NY Times Op-Ed

Carter calls for an end to the mostly U.S. fueled madness that has driven, rather than reduced, drug use globally.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

(SALEM, Ore.) - I never fail to be impressed with the man I consider to be the best U.S. president in recent history. I believe former U.S. President James 'Jimmy' Carter has a heart of gold and while he walks a difficult mile and has faltered along the way, he remains dedicated toward locating this elusive thing called world peace.

In a New York Times Op-Ed, Carter calls for an end to the Global Drug War, and calls particularly into question, the failed U.S. War on Drugs that began 40 years ago under former President Richard M. Nixon.

As much as many will disagree, that is another modern U.S. president who was able to accomplish things and unlike his contemporaries of today, Nixon aided the poor, rather than functioning as a class war attack dog like George W. Bush would, in later years.

The war on drugs is a farce, let's begin there. One of its prime specific early targets was marijuana. As time went by, more and more research based evidence surfaced showing that rather than being an 'evil weed', marijuana had the ability to substantially aid cancer victims and AIDS patients and then the list of medical uses kept growing.

The federal government's position to this day, is that marijuana should remain in the criminal realm.

That is bad news for sick people.

But that is just the beginning of the problems relating to the American warring mentality that can not approach any subject without having its guns drawn.

Whether people in the government dispute it or not, the U.S. government did import drugs from Nicaragua, it was a huge issue in the 1980's during the Iran/Contra hearings that exposed the guns for weapons program headed by a disgraced Marine officer named Oliver North. The U.S. then, like now, was on the side (in Nicaragua) of the right-wing military fascist forces known as 'Contras' that battled the Sandinista's who represented the poor masses. Today the group the U.S. tried to defeat is in control of the country.

In his New York Times Op-Ed, found here, Jimmy Carter says:

IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.

But as history tells us, the United States always needs scapegoats, and it needs them for multiple fronts. There is always the 'commie' or 'Jap' or 'hun' or 'terrorist' that is there to justify, sometimes legitimately, the need for military action.

But don't forget the other domestic targets; Blacks, Gays, Muslims, the Poor, Drug Users, and of course here in Oregon they are passing a law now that will make every person ever convicted of a sex-related crime 'register' which sounds good on one hand, but is just another way for money to trade hands and control the population a little more, at the end of the day.

It's a punishment-based society where the truly harmful drugs like methamphetamine that just tears brains to pieces are not detected in a 'piss test' a day after they are taken, but the pot user keeps it in their system for thirty days, boom! What a convenient matter that is for the cops and courts and their archaic system of crime and punishment that is so far off the mark that beyond an extraordinary act of some kind, it will not likely fully change for years.

As President Carter states, ideas that were once well placed turned militant under President Ronald Reagan. It was in fact a U.S. venture called the Vietnam War that opened channels with Asia. The cocaine trade and Mexican marijuana trades gained a lot of traction, and the U.S. federal government has been pouring billions into nowhere and driving the stakes higher the entire time.

These ideas were widely accepted at the time. But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries.

This approach entailed an enormous expenditure of resources and the dependence on police and military forces to reduce the foreign cultivation of marijuana, coca and opium poppy and the production of cocaine and heroin. One result has been a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries.

Please visit the New York Times to read the Op-Ed, Jimmy Carter Calls for End of Global Drug War in NY Times Op-Ed

__________________________________
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 82 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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BG June 18, 2011 8:37 am (Pacific time)

To claim the greatness of Jimmy Carter is certainly a unique position to take. I'm sure the North Koreans, the Iranians, Syrians and all other enemies of America endorse your assessment. I would also add the illegals who get many of their homes via the Habitat program, would also agree with you. Of course the super majority of Americans, especially combat vets going back to the Korean War see you as the crackpot that you are. Carter was the worse president we ever had (he replaced FDR, Truman and LBJ), then came Clinton who just barely beat out the moron Carter, then we have Obama who is absolutely peerless when it comes to assuming the throne as the most incompetent president/leader of any country in the entire world history. Yes this blog stands out as a true judge of being wrong in all things that Americans hold as important. No doubt a reflection of low IQ, and dearth of experience.

Tim King: Thanks for that, I agree, Carter was the best.


Brandt Hardin June 17, 2011 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

The War on Drugs failed $1 Trillion ago! This money could have been used for outreach programs to clean up the bad end of drug abuse by providing free HIV testing, free rehab, and clean needles. Harmless drugs like marijuana could be legalized to help boost our damaged economy. Cannabis can provide hemp for countless natural recourses and the tax revenue from sales alone would pull every state in our country out of the red! Vote Teapot, PASS IT, and legalize it. Voice you opinion with the movement and read more on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/01/vote-teapot-2011.html


Don June 17, 2011 7:47 am (Pacific time)

Great article Tim,
I think one thing that should really lay to rest the whole idea that our government actually believes that cannabis deserves a place on schedule one of the DEA controlled substances list is the follwing patent, #6630507: US Patent on “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” for various nervous system ailments. (Do a patent search on Google for 'US patent number 6630507')
There is the public record that our government thinks THC, and cannabis by being the natural source of THC, has medicinal value. That's pretty telling.
I guess following the money is probably the only way to get to the bottom of it.
That there are anecdotal reports of people actually being cured of their terminal cancer by Cannabis oil, (Rick Simpson and others), pretty much closes the case, as far as I'm concerned.
Pragmatism will go much further, (than misplaced moral legislative fantasy and attempts to control the uncontrollable), toward dealing with the prohibition problems we've created for ourselves, and may even allow us to heal them, and many cancer patients.
Don


Anonymous June 17, 2011 7:33 am (Pacific time)

The drug war is and has been a colossal waste of public funds ($1 Trillion in 40 years) that could have provided treatment and prevention activities instead and provided it in a much more humane and efficient way. As far as sex offenders required to register, it is just a testing ground for slowly removing basic legal rights from all Americans. How stupid can we be?

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