by David Downs
A high-level panel of world leaders present and past called for an end to the global drug war Thursday. The former presidents of several countries, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former U.S. secretary of state George Shultz, former U.S. Fed chairman Paul Volcker said in a joint statement Thursday:
"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed."
Topping the list of reforms, says the panel: decriminalization of pot in the U.S.
In response, a spokesperson for our dear Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske told reporters: "Making drugs more available — as this report suggests — will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe."
Surely he means "safe" like Arizona, where a SWAT team doing a drug raid murdered a U.S. Marine last week. According to numerous reports Jose Guerena survived two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan only to be killed in his own house by fellow Americans. No drugs were found.
Pissed? Consider calling your reps and asking them to support California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's "wobbler" bill 1017, which slightly lessens penalties for growing pot. The bill has until Friday to pass or die.
More than 17,000 Californians were arrested for felony pot growing or sales in 2009, notes the Center on
Juvenile and Criminal Justice. Around 70,000 Californians are in state prison for drug felonies.