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posted by azrael on Friday July 11 2014, @02:27PM   Printer-friendly
from the time-to-rethink dept.

A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.

  • 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
  • $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
  • 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
  • 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
  • 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war

The article goes into further details on the number, including:

On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.

In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".

Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Horse With Stripes on Friday July 11 2014, @02:52PM

    by Horse With Stripes (577) on Friday July 11 2014, @02:52PM (#67601)

    Fact #6: no amount of money or good intentions can make a poorly thought out policy work effectively. The only winners are the individuals & third parties who profit from the violent oppression of "suspects" and the commercialization of prisons. The amount of overtime paid in this "war" is criminal and pads the pensions of any LEO who takes part.

    There are a lot of foot soldiers in this who are simply doing their jobs according to the current laws and policies, but there are many - and many others - who don't want the gravy train to end ... even at the cost of other's lives, freedom and rights.

    We can do better. We need to do better.

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Immerman on Friday July 11 2014, @03:20PM

    by Immerman (3985) on Friday July 11 2014, @03:20PM (#67623)

    >The only winners are the individuals & third parties who profit from the violent oppression of "suspects" and the commercialization of prisons.

    Don't forget the drug lords - nothing like violent oppression to keep the black-market prices sky-high. Sure, their foot-soldiers have a rather poor life expectancy, but that's just the price of obscene profits.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @08:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @08:13PM (#67805)

      "What's easier to get: booze or pot?"
      Answer: "Pot. They ask for ID for booze".
      When you make stuff illegal, you lose all control.

      Now, ask a doctor which is worse for human health: alcohol or cannabis?
      Hint: Cannabis has been used medicinally for 3 millennia.

      The 2nd item in the Related Stories portion above shows that when you control it and TAX IT, it's not only no longer a resource *sink*, it's now a revenue SOURCE.

      Down in the thread, [soylentnews.org] metamonkey has a real firm grasp on how this is part of the Southern Strategy [wikipedia.org]
      One item that bears repeated mention is how Reagan started his post-convention campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, a touchstone for racial prejudice. [wikipedia.org]

      Baby Boo Boo's story has me outraged.
      I'm reassured now that this story finally made the front page.
      My previous attempt [soylentnews.org] at getting attention for it was deleted from the queue.

      -- gewg_

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @03:38PM (#67635)

    Fact #7: The "war" against drugs is bullshit anyway. If they were really serious about clamping down on drugs then those people in banks that were involved in laundering BILLIONS of dollars of drug money would have ended up in prison. But NOBODY ended up in prison - the banks got away with paying fines - which means the Gov is just taking its cut of the profits.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs [theguardian.com]
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal.html [bloomberg.com]
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/outrageous-hsbc-settlement-proves-the-drug-war-is-a-joke-20121213 [rollingstone.com]
    http://www.justice.gov/criminal/pr/speeches/2012/crm-speech-121211.html [justice.gov]

    Don't believe the bullshit that the banks were just sloppy and couldn't track all those transactions:

    From 2006 to 2010, the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, the Norte del Valle Cartel in Colombia, and other drug traffickers laundered at least $881 million in illegal narcotics trafficking proceeds through HSBC Bank USA. These traffickers didn't have to try very hard. They would sometimes deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows in HSBC Mexico's branches.

    If that sort of thing doesn't raise a red flag to you about "money laundering" then you're not really serious about stopping money laundering.

    In contrast small-timers caught laundering thousands of dollars across the border end up in prison - I suppose no small timers or "independents" are allowed to cut in on the lucrative state sanctioned monopoly over money laundering?

    Fact #8 without those laundered billions of dollars the drug lords won't be able to so easily fund their armies and wars. Fewer people would be dead.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @09:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11 2014, @09:40PM (#67854)

      In the same way that the banksters who are known to be complicit in the illicit drug trade should be jailed--same as the traffickers (if we're going to continue with this stupid failed War on Drugs), jailing the people who HIRE undocumented laborers would stem the "illegal immigrant" problem.
      I don't see that happening either, however.

      metamonkey is really on a roll in this thread: [soylentnews.org]
      the purpose of the US government[...is...]to funnel wealth from the middle class to the upper class.
      ...though he missed a minor point: the rich get their money from *everyone* (even the poorest); ever hear of bank fees[1] or payday loans?

      [1] Ah, for the days of proper banking regulation, when banks PAID YOU for the use of your money and crooked bankers went to prison.

      -- gewg_