from the making-way-too-much-sense dept.
Embracing a harm reduction and public health perspective, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals has released a signed editorial calling for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of currently illegal drugs.
In an editorial [May 10] entitled Drugs Should Be Legalized, Regulated, and Taxed, Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, notes that under drug prohibition, the global trade "fuels organized crime and human misery", and asks, "Why should it not instead fund public services?"
Citing an opinion piece in the same issue of the BMJ from British members of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP, formerly known as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Jason Reed and Paul Whitehouse, Godlee notes that in the United Kingdom (as in the United States) "vast sums are spent prosecuting individuals and trying vainly to interrupt the flow of drugs into cities" while that money would be much better "spent on quality control, education, treatment for drug users, and child protection". Under legalization, "revenues could be diverted from criminal gangs into government coffers", she writes.
Godlee notes that the global drug prohibition consensus is fraying around the edges, and points to the example of Portugal, which decriminalized the possession of all drugs in 2001. There, drug use remains in line with levels in other European countries, but the harms associated with drug use under prohibition have decreased dramatically, particularly in terms of fatal drug overdoses and the spread of injection drug-related infectious disease.
 Bad link in TFA; corrected in TFS.
The old rat-with-drug-laced-water "experiment" is a sham. The only choice the rat in the empty cage has is drinking plain water or drinking drugged water. They never show you a CONTROL where there is a rat with a cage full of cool rat toys and rat friends.
Johann Hari reports via Alternet:
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection. [...] just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop [smoking by] using nicotine patches.
[...]Nearly 15 years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe [...] They decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts and spend it instead on reconnecting them--to their own feelings and to the wider society.
[...]The [sic] most crucial step is to get [addicts] secure housing [as well as] subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.
[...]An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that, since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.
[...]The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country's top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect: more crime, more addicts; but when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass--and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal's example.
Nearly 120lbs (54kg) of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic painkiller, has been seized by police in Nebraska - one of the largest busts in US history.
The drugs, seized last month, could kill over 26 million people, according to estimates by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Police found the fentanyl in a fake compartment of a lorry. The driver and a passenger were arrested.
[...] It was the largest seizure of fentanyl in state history, Nebraska State Patrol said in a Twitter post on Thursday.
[...] Just 2mg of fentanyl - or a few grains of table salt - is a lethal dosage for most people, and even exposure can cause a fatal reaction, according to the DEA.
Another estimate: they could make 260 million people pain-free for a day.
Scientists at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife have found that mussels in Seattle's waters are testing positive for opioids. The finding suggests "a lot of people" are taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound, researchers say.
Also at the Puget Sound Institute.
Related: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Cop Brushes Fentanyl Off Uniform, Overdoses
Opioid Crisis Official; Insys Therapeutics Billionaire Founder Charged; Walgreens Stocks Narcan
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
British Medical Journal Calls for Legalizing All Drugs