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Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!Views: 819
Mar 24, 2009 7:09 amPot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

I told you California was between a rock and a hard place and needed help. Now look at what Time Magazine is reporting - Time Magazine Article. Yes, this leftist extremism has got to stop.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM - Synergistic Business Marketing
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Mar 25, 2009 11:56 pmre: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

John Stephen Veitch
Too many things all confused here Lamar.

I agree that California needs to increase taxes, unwilling though you may be to see that happen. I thought the cap on property taxes had caused the problem originally. Californians have to choose what they want. That's not a political issue, left or right, it's just a case of paying your way.

The drug issue is a minefield of propaganda and disinformation. Worse in the USA than it is here I believe. (But we've got our problems too. "P" is being manufactured and sold by the gangs at the moment.)

There is no consistency in the way we deal with marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, party pills and other drugs. Making them illegal causes all sort of problems, so it's my personal view that they should either all be illegal, we shut down the alcohol industry and the tobacco industry. Or they should all be legal and controlled. I have no idea how that view sits on your left/right way of looking at things, but in my view it's neither of those.

Since these drugs are presumably legal, the question of appropriate taxation arises. For me this is not about revenue raising but about harm minimization. In NZ a policy of high taxes on tobacco and anti-smoking publicity plus a health care policy to help people quit has halved smoking rates, and reduced the number of smokers to less than 20% of the population. Failure to act against alcohol in the same way has been causing problems in all our cities.

As for marijuana and "p" the law here is inconsistent and foolish. Politicians simply can't get their act together.

I understand from Catherine Austin Fitts, that drug law in the USA is used by property developers to milk funds out of the government. Moreover she says the government is an active and willing partner in this crime. The policy works against young black men in particular. They become part of the prison population, a strange by-product of property speculation and civic neglect.

It works like this. The most rundown part of town is left to decay. City authorities have regulatory ways of preventing any real development. Owner residents leave and the area is populated by "renters". Drug sales in the area are poorly policed, (so say encouraged). This adds to the decline of the area, invites the gangs in and forces property prices down. Now the place is unfit to live in and government assistance to "rescue" it can be requested. Mrs Fitts tells of schemes to rebuild urban housing where the contract let is $300,000 for a flat that is worth only $150,000 finished. Or where the government buys the land and pays too much for it. Then they package it up in more usable land titles and sell it at auction, or by tender, often accepting prices that are far too low.

(Fitt's used her private company to show HUD how to vastly increase the return to HUD on these transactions. She was very successful saving millions of dollars, but she was stopped, because the developers complained. Their perks for insiders were gone.)

Fitts, is saying that private business friends of the administration are being feather bedded all the way to the bank with public funds. (No favourites here, same policy under both Republican and Democrats)

Fitts also says that under GH Bush, funds voted to HUD were being used for arms deals and drug smuggling by US government agencies. As Secretary of HUD in that administration she challenged this action and was promptly dismissed from her position.

(These a similar story about the woman who worked at the Pentagon who challenged the cost plus contracts awarded to Halliburton, under GW Bush. She was quickly moved aside too.)

John Stephen Veitch
Open Future Limited - http://www.openfuture.biz/
Innovation Network - http://veech-network.ryze.com/
Building an Open Future - http://openfuture-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to John Stephen Veitch

Mar 29, 2009 3:24 amre: re: Pot for Prosperity? Jeffrey Miron#

John Stephen Veitch
Economist Jeffrey Miron says legalizing drugs would greatly reduce violence.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Over the past two years, drug violence in Mexico has become a fixture of the daily news. Some of this violence pits drug cartels against one another; some involves confrontations between law enforcement and traffickers.

Recent estimates suggest thousands have lost their lives in this "war on drugs."

The U.S. and Mexican responses to this violence have been predictable: more troops and police, greater border controls and expanded enforcement of every kind. Escalation is the wrong response, however; drug prohibition is the cause of the violence.

Prohibition creates violence because it drives the drug market underground. This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead.

Violence was common in the alcohol industry when it was banned during Prohibition, but not before or after.

Violence is the norm in illicit gambling markets but not in legal ones. Violence is routine when prostitution is banned but not when it's permitted. Violence results from policies that create black markets, not from the characteristics of the good or activity in question.

The only way to reduce violence, therefore, is to legalize drugs. Fortuitously, legalization is the right policy for a slew of other reasons.

Prohibition of drugs corrupts politicians and law enforcement by putting police, prosecutors, judges and politicians in the position to threaten the profits of an illicit trade. This is why bribery, threats and kidnapping are common for prohibited industries but rare otherwise. Mexico's recent history illustrates this dramatically.

Prohibition erodes protections against unreasonable search and seizure because neither party to a drug transaction has an incentive to report the activity to the police. Thus, enforcement requires intrusive tactics such as warrantless searches or undercover buys. The victimless nature of this so-called crime also encourages police to engage in racial profiling.

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Prohibition has disastrous implications for national security. By eradicating coca plants in Colombia or poppy fields in Afghanistan, prohibition breeds resentment of the United States. By enriching those who produce and supply drugs, prohibition supports terrorists who sell protection services to drug traffickers.

Prohibition harms the public health. Patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma and other conditions cannot use marijuana under the laws of most states or the federal government despite abundant evidence of its efficacy. Terminally ill patients cannot always get adequate pain medication because doctors may fear prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Drug users face restrictions on clean syringes that cause them to share contaminated needles, thereby spreading HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases.

Prohibitions breed disrespect for the law because despite draconian penalties and extensive enforcement, huge numbers of people still violate prohibition. This means those who break the law, and those who do not, learn that obeying laws is for suckers.

Prohibition is a drain on the public purse. Federal, state and local governments spend roughly $44 billion per year to enforce drug prohibition. These same governments forego roughly $33 billion per year in tax revenue they could collect from legalized drugs, assuming these were taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco. Under prohibition, these revenues accrue to traffickers as increased profits.

The right policy, therefore, is to legalize drugs while using regulation and taxation to dampen irresponsible behavior related to drug use, such as driving under the influence. This makes more sense than prohibition because it avoids creation of a black market. This approach also allows those who believe they benefit from drug use to do so, as long as they do not harm others.

Legalization is desirable for all drugs, not just marijuana. The health risks of marijuana are lower than those of many other drugs, but that is not the crucial issue. Much of the traffic from Mexico or Colombia is for cocaine, heroin and other drugs, while marijuana production is increasingly domestic. Legalizing only marijuana would therefore fail to achieve many benefits of broader legalization.

It is impossible to reconcile respect for individual liberty with drug prohibition. The U.S. has been at the forefront of this puritanical policy for almost a century, with disastrous consequences at home and abroad.

The U.S. repealed Prohibition of alcohol at the height of the Great Depression, in part because of increasing violence and in part because of diminishing tax revenues. Similar concerns apply today, and Attorney General Eric Holder's recent announcement that the Drug Enforcement Administration will not raid medical marijuana distributors in California suggests an openness in the Obama administration to rethinking current practice.

Perhaps history will repeat itself, and the U.S. will abandon one of its most disastrous policy experiments.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jeffrey Miron.

Private Reply to John Stephen Veitch

Mar 29, 2009 3:31 amre: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

John Stephen Veitch
Radio New Zealand - today.
Available online for about 6-8 weeks.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/__data/assets/audio_item/0004/1902658/ideas-20090329-1105-Ideas_for_29_March_2009-m048.asx

11:05 Ideas: One Hundred Years of Prohibition

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the first international meeting on the prohibition of drugs. Diplomats from 13 countries gathered in Shanghai and set the ground work for an international system of drug prohibition which continues to this day. A century later there are growing calls for a re-think of the policy of prohibition. This week in Ideas we hear about the terrible cost of the war on drugs on the people of Latin America, talk to a former deputy drug Czar of Britain, and hear from the director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Ross Bell.
Presented by Chris Laidlaw
Produced by Jeremy Rose

John Stephen Veitch
Open Future Limited - http://www.openfuture.biz/
Innovation Network - http://veech-network.ryze.com/
Building an Open Future - http://openfuture-network.ryze.com/

Private Reply to John Stephen Veitch

May 27, 2009 2:35 pmre: re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

John,

Can we just say "No" to illegal drugs? Do we have to dance with the Devil? Do we really have to compromise everything?

Here is California the State Supreme Court just recently ruled that marriage is actually a contract between a man and a woman. They actually upheld the will of the majority of California's citizens. But, you know what I have also learned? The minority who lost have vowed to fight on to change that ruling. Keep in mind this whole marriage issue came about because four judges in the San Francisco Bay Area decided to go against the will of the people and change a prior ruling regarding marriage being between a man and a woman a few years back.

I can still recall when the heads of the all the tobacco companies testified before Congress that tobacco was NOT addictive. I actually saw that testimony on TV. Well, one of the reasons tobacco is addictive is due to nicotine. Well, I used to think that nicotine was simply a chemical substance found in the tobacco leaf. And, it may be. But, guess what? It is also a chemical that can be manufactured and placed in cigarettes as they are manufactured. And, it is. All those CEO's testifying before Congress were lying. They knew it and they did not care.

When the mortgage-back crisis hit America, a big domino effect began to emerge and it is still playing out. Businesses that should be solid are falling. Why? Because they were all tied in some fashion to the mortgage-back debt securities market. A small group of folks - some politicians, some bankers, some investment bankers - allowed "bad apples" into the barrel of the market. What harm could a few bad apples do in a huge barrel of healthy apples? Well, we now know the answer to that question, don't we. But, do we punish or even try to find who put those bad apples in the barrel? No, instead, we give the companies which perpetrated the problem a bailout...be they innocent or guilty of wrongdoing.

What about all the folks who are now unemployed and looking for work due to this crisis? Is Uncle Sam going to give them a bailout, too? I don't think so.

America needs to get back to the morality of the 1950's and stop thinking in terms of entitlement and instead focus upon responsible living.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM - Synergistic Business Marketing
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

May 29, 2009 4:39 amre: re: re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

Ken Hilving
Perhaps the real problem here is the emotional link to particular systems and mindsets. We have forgotten that the system, any system, is but one approach to meeting objectives. So maybe a better starting point would be to define the objectives FIRST.

So what objective should apply to "illegal", "harmful", "controlled", or otherwise unacceptable substances for personal consumption? Better be generic with this, since humanity has been highly creative with substances.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

May 29, 2009 6:15 amre: re: re: re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Kenneth,

The medical profession has a slogan, "Do no harm." I think that should be applied to drug use. You can do harm with legal drugs. Drugs do not need to be classified as illegal to be harmful. However, a standard has to be set for a society to survive. The concept of different strokes for different folks has its limitations. You cannot simply decide which side of the road you wish to drive when other folks are using the same road. A society has to have rules or you are going to end up with chaos. The next thing you know the whole infrastructure you thought was in place is gone.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM - Synergistic Business Marketing
707-709-8605
Attract more customers!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

May 29, 2009 8:07 pmre: re: re: re: re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

Ken Hilving
What objective is being met by having a class of illegal drugs? Keep in mind that slogan, which is properly "First, do no harm."
_____

According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 253,300 inmates for drug offenses in 2005. That means states spent approximately $17,110,415 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,245,301,475 per year.

Based on 2005 figures, and assuming California has the average cost, the annual prison cost for drug abusers is $4.1B annually. Add to this the cost of law enforcement and state court costs.

If prosecuting and incarcerating users of illegal drugs was effective, the number of drug users would fall dramatically following the initial enactment of such laws. It has not.

Having illegal drugs also creates a class of citizens who operate outside the law which in turn leads to violence in that society (see murders, assaults, and other violent crimes) since they cannot use either law enforcement or courts to resolve disputes.

Having illegal drugs creates an artificially high profit margin in drug commerce. This leads to property crimes by the users (how many alcohol or tobacco related property crimes are there?), and a profitable industry that has no respect for any level of legality. No controls of any sort on purity of products, age restrictions, or business practices.

Collateral damage includes unsafe neighborhoods, bystander injuries, loss of legitimate businesses, international tensions, increased racial bigotry, opportunities for corrupt officials, and reduced tax base.

In the case of drugs, it is the rules that have allowed the chaos to flourish.
_____

How much more of this can Californians afford?

The same applies to the rest of the country.

Private Reply to Ken Hilving

Jun 20, 2009 4:10 amre: re: re: re: re: re: Pot for Prosperity? Absolutely Not!#

Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

Kenneth,

Obviously, we are not fighting the "war on drugs" properly. Something is wrong here. I am not even sure what is wrong. But, it really feels - especially out here in liberal extremist California - that folks do not want to "win the war on drugs." Instead, they want to peaceably co-exist with the druggies. In fact, my county is often referred to as the "meth" capital of the world.

If the United States is going to change for the better, the way folks who live in California think is going to have to change. Personal entitlement has got to be replaced with responsible behavior. We have been able to make tobacco no longer a fashionable habit. I think we can make the same true for mary jane and meth. We simply need to make a serious effort in this regard. But, that does not seem to be happening.

Lamar Morgan
CDMM - Synergistic Business Marketing
707-709-8605
Need PR?...Call Lamar!

Private Reply to Lamar Morgan 954-603-7901

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