Stop the war (on drugs)

Plus, medical marijuana vacations
By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  October 9, 2013

BUSTED A federal agent with drugs seized in Operation Pipeline Express, which targeted a drug trafficking operation from Mexico into Arizona.

How much longer will the Drug War in the USA go on for? It’s destroying Mexico with no end in sight, and legalizing marijuana won’t solve the problem.

_Venezuelan In Providence

Good question, VIP. And you’re right. Contrary to the popular assertions of US marijuana activists, legalizing marijuana in the USA will not end the Drug War in Mexico.

The marijuana that’s bought, sold, and consumed in the US is almost entirely home grown, while Mexico is at war over the manufacture and/or transport of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Thanks to prohibition, these substances are worth more than their weight in gold on US streets. But, unlike gold, these substances are entirely renewable. Prohibition is the ultimate alchemic formula.

I give the US another 20 to 30 years of Drug War practices like enforcing harsh laws that criminalize heroin, cocaine, and the relatively new man-made drugs, such as the synthetic cannabinoids found in K2 or Spice. I hope I’m wrong. Considering that current discussions of hard drugs tend to merely focus on prison sentence length or whether to put users into a drug treatment program, 20 to 30 years is perhaps even a bit optimistic. (While many activists view sentencing a drug offender to “treatment” rather than incarceration as a solution to our drug problem, I disagree. The majority of drug offenders suffer from poverty more than addiction.)

Mexico — and the rest of the world’s drug production, transport, and consumer nations — could take radical action to end their Drug Wars and force the US into legalizing and regulating those commodities themselves. For example, if Mexico regulated heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, perhaps some of the bloodshed would cease. Both Switzerland and Denmark have legalized and regulated models for heroin that control the drug via medical professionals and keep users alive and off streets, with dignity.

Here at home — where prohibition is clearly not working, nor is the threat of incarceration or “treatment” — we can encourage our representatives to support legalization and regulation models for all drugs.


I have a precancerous sore on my head that I have had for years and I have tried every conceivable remedy. I am ready to try the cannabis oil that is popular for cancer treatment. Would a dispensary be able to send it to me if I don’t live in a medical marijuana state? I am willing to drive there if necessary although I would rather not if possible.

_Will Travel For Weed

“Hell no,” a dispensary will not be able to send you cannabis oil, says Seth Bock, founder and CEO of Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth ( “That’s called interstate drug trafficking, and the penalties for that are quite large.”

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