By the Alliance for Global Justice. The United States is building walls and militarizing both the US-Mexico border and Mexico’s southern border. The US is also building prison walls throughout Mexico and militarizing police as living walls to repress and reign in popular movements. When Mexican police fire on striking teachers and normal school students, they’re using weapons made in the USA. When indigenous and labor activists are locked away as political prisoners, they’re locked away in US funded jail cells. The Alliance for Global Justice Tear Down the Walls Mexico delegation will visit with indigenous and labor leaders, family and supporters of political prisoners, ex-political prisoners, anti-torture activists and experts on police, border and prison militarization. We will investigate US prison imperialism in Mexico and relate that to similar programs in other parts of the world.
By Jacob Sullum for Reason – Like Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, the man he wants to run the Department of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, is an old-fashioned drug warrior who is alarmed by the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition. But the secretary of homeland security, unlike the attorney general, does not have much power to interfere with state marijuana laws. And unlike Sessions’ complaints about the Obama administration’s toleration of marijuana legalization, which sit uneasily with Trump’s commitment to respect state decisions in that area…
By Oliver Holmes for The Guardian – Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, has referred to innocent people and children as “collateral damage” in his war on drugs because police use automatic weapons when confronting criminals. Asked in an interview with al-Jazeera about minors caught up in the violence, Duterte said those cases would be investigated but added that police can kill hundreds of civilians without criminal liability.
By David Downs for East Bay Express – Oaklanders who’ve been jailed for pot in the last ten years will go to the front of the line for legal weed permits under a revolutionary new program enacted by the City Council Tuesday night. The first-in-the-nation idea promises to make international headlines, and redefine the terms of reparations in post-Drug War America. Council voted unanimously to pass the historic “Equity Permit Program,” which bucks national trends in legal pot policy. Normally, convicted drug felons are barred from entering the legal cannabis trade. Instead, Oakland will reward them.
By Staff of The Drug Policy Alliance – (New York, New York) – On the opening day of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) gathered more than 60 performers dressed in costumes from the era of U.S. alcohol prohibition to greet attendees at the entrance to the United Nations and hand them copies of the “Post-Prohibition Times,” a newspaper printout of aletter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to set the stage “for real reform of global drug control policy.”
By Phillip Smith for AlterNet – The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs is set for UN Headquarters in Manhattan next week, and civil society and some European and Latin American countries are hoping to make limited progress in moving toward more evidence- and public health-based drug policies. But, knowing the glacial pace of change at the UN and well aware of how little of substance is likely to emerge from the UNGASS, some eyes are already turning to the post-UNGASS international arena.
By Staff of Occupy – This week, the climate crisis IS a reproductive crisis. The founders of Conceivable Future talk to us about the intersectionality of parenthood and climate change. Next up, the Drug War has wreaked decades of havoc in our country – but what about Latin America? School of the Americas Watch and the Peace, Life & Justice Caravan hi-light this southern path of destruction and invite you to join in the fight against both the drug war and the violent US-backed crusades in South America, Central America and Mexico. Finally, let’s get cozy and dissent. But first, I’d need less money if I had some more…
By Laura Krasovitzky and Ted Lewis for AlterNet – Starting in Honduras on March 28th, the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice will travel through El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States with the goal of reaching New York City on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs beginning on April 19. Made up of a diverse group of people including victims of the drug war, families who have lost relatives to violence or incarceration, human rights defenders, journalists, faith leaders, activists and others…
By Mackenzie McDonald Wilkins. Honduras -Today (March 29, 2016), the Caravan for Peace, Life, and Justice visited La Ceiba, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. We met with leaders from Garifuna and indigenous communities that are being forced from their lands by US and Honduran military forces who claim the communities are trafficking drugs. There have been multiple assassinations and massacres, including of innocent women and children, in Garifuna, Tolupan, and Miskito communities. The news says that cartel members were killed. The military forces want to instill fear in these communities and force them to leave their coastal communities, leaving the land open for plantations and the beaches open to hotel and resort companies. The communities are fighting back though.
By Global Exchange. For decades, international policies to prohibit drug use have been a colossal and violent failure. Not only has prohibited drug use grown dramatically, so have violent criminal organizations that use the vast profits from their illicit trade to arm themselves and generate corruption at all levels of our societies. The war on drugs has not only failed in its stated goal of reducing drug abuse – but has created a violent, militarized and politically powerful underworld that operates its criminal trade with high levels of impunity. The cost of this war is measured in hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions incarcerated, and more than a trillion dollars spent. As violence has surged in Mexico and across the region in recent years, serious discussion of drug policy reform has gained traction in Latin America. The urgent need for a new kind of international drug policy – guided by principals of public health, human rights and harm reduction – is evident.
By Sharda Sekaran for Drug Policy Alliance. United States – It’s been a groundbreaking month in the national dialogue about opiate dependency and addiction. From halls of government to family living rooms, the country is positioning for a dramatic shift in attitudes about drug policy that might finally mean an end to the drug war in favor of a public health and human rights approach. In early February, a series of bills were introduced in the Maryland state legislature that would decriminalize small amounts of drugs for personal use, expand access to treatment in emergency rooms and hospitals, and allow for consumption rooms where people would be able to use safely under medical supervision.
By Tony Newman for Drug Policy Alliance – More than 1,500 folks from 71 countries met in the DC Metro area last month at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference to come up with an exit strategy from the unwinnable war on drugs. The gathering left people inspired and energized. One of the people who attended the conference was Jeff Mizanskey. Jeff was just released from prison a couple of months ago after serving 22 years behind bars. Jeff was serving a life sentence for marijuana. The draconian sentence was because of Missouri’s three strikes laws.
By Phillip Smith for AlterNet – The Black Lives Matter movement sprung out of the unjust killings of young black men (Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown), either at the hands of self-styled vigilantes or police. But as the movement blossomed and matured, BLM began turning its attention to a broader critique of the institutional racism behind police violence against the black population. While the war on drugs plays a central role in generating conflict between the black community and law enforcement, the critique of institutional racism in policing and the criminal justice system necessarily implicates the nation’s drug policies.