Friday, March 20, 2009

13 Year Old American Teenagers Recruited as Assassins for Mexican Drug Cartel

Rosalio Reta and his friend, Gabriel Cardona, were members of a three-person cell of American teenagers working as cartel hit men in the United States, according to prosecutors.

...In interviews with CNN, Laredo police detectives and prosecutors told how Cardona and Reta were recruited by the cartel to be assassins after they began hitting the cantinas and clubs just across the border. [CNN]

The Mexican drug cartel, fueled by the constant demand for illicit drugs and armed with guns supplied by America has unsurprisingly been recruiting American teenagers to fight their bloody battles, starting as early as 13 years old.

Both teenagers received six-month military-style training on a Mexican ranch. Investigators say Cardona and Reta were paid $500 a week each as a retainer, to sit and wait for the call to kill. Then they were paid up to $50,000 and 2 kilos of cocaine for carrying out a hit.

The teenagers lived in several safe houses around Laredo and drove around town in a $70,000 Mercedes-Benz.

So let’s get this straight. They have our guns, they have our money, they supply us with our drugs, they control our border, and now they have more power over our kids than parents ever would. I doubt you’d find a parent out there who’d be willing to pay their child $500 a week for sitting around, though at this point, maybe they should start looking into it.

I hate to be repetitive in my posts, but how are people not panicking? Do they not understand the idea of cause and effect, or do they need their North American geography refreshed?

There are sleeper cells in the U.S.," said Detective Garcia. "They're here, they're here in the United States.

Think about it, what else could the cartel sell that would give them so much easy money and an overwhelming amount of control? Chocolate candy bars? I don’t think so. Everyone wants drugs. No matter how many “Just Say No” campaigns we may feed our tax dollars into, we will not be able to turn American into a “drug free” nation. Instead, we need to legalize, regulate, control, and educate the public about the real harms drugs can cause and how to use responsibly if they’re going to use.

The solution is right in front of us, but some of us are too scared to even talk about it. Unfortunately at this point, there's so much more to be scared about than the word "legalization".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ron Paul vs. Stephen Baldwin on Marijuana Legalization

Wow this is funny.

Why the hell is Stephen Baldwin debating Ron Paul? Probably because support for marijuana prohibition has dwindled so badly, Pauly Shore's co-star was the only one willing to debate a former Presidential Candidate. I'm not convinced he even knew who Ron Paul was.

I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. I was in stitches folks. "Marijuana leads to worse things. That's just a fact. I don't care what anybody says." Balding confidently states, citing alcohol abuse and abuse of harder drugs as inevitable consequences of smoking marijuana.

Stephen Baldwin doesn't really get a word in edgewise throughout the entire interview. And for each dumb reason he throws out (check out his response to medical marijuana around 4:25), the congressman has a field day quickly refuting and following up with a short rant on drug prohibition.

I don't know why I'm writing about Stephen Baldwin. I wish I wasn't. That guy is an ass. Now Ron Paul; that's one sensible man.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Former Drug Czar to Adult Marijuana Users: "Knock Yourself Out"

Look out! The sky is falling! Pigs are flying!

Barry McCaffrey just said something sensible. Actually, he says a few sensible things about the importance of drug treatment in this interview from 2000. McCaffrey came around to see that treatment access and quality needed to improved in the U.S. Unfortunately little has been done to actually shift law enforcement resources to treatment and education.

It makes sense to me. If you earn a high school degree, become an adult, smoke marijuana responsibly, and don't hurt anyone else... who cares? Not Barry McCaffrey thank goodness!

Think Sensibly... Act Globally

Many thanks to our friends at the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union for producing this video!


On March 11-13, 2009 SSDP Executive Director Kris Krane participated in the High Level Segment of the United Nations annual Committee on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, Austria.

At this meeting, every country in the world was asked to approve a political declaration and action plan that would guide the world’s drug policy for the next ten years. This was the culmination of a yearlong review process that included the first ever global meeting of NGO’s from around the world last summer, in which SSDP was a participant.

While the world’s NGO community unanimously approved a forward thinking set of recommendations, that stressed harm reduction and the fundamental human rights of drug users, the final declaration approved by the United Nations ignored most of these recommendations. Instead, they approved a document that can only be described as “more of the same.”“Harm reduction” refers to common-sense, life-saving programs and policies that don’t rely on an abstinence-only messaging (like contraceptives, but for drugs).

But due to the urging of a number of countries, including the United States, the words “harm reduction” were completely left out of the final declaration. After the unanimous approval of the declaration, a group of 26 countries including Great Britain, Germany, and Australia, made a statement to the United Nations that they would officially interpret the phrase “related support services” in clause 20 to mean “harm reduction.”

This ignited a firestorm of debate on the floor of the UN, with countries standing up to denounce the “group of 26.” Among the countries that chose to publicly denounce harm reduction were Russia, Cuba, Pakistan… and the United States of America.

Over 100 countries chose not to speak in support or opposition to harm reduction, yet the United States willingly chose to align itself with countries that are responsible for some the worst human rights abuses perpetrated in the name of the War on Drugs, rather than staying silent or aligning with America’s traditional allies.

The Obama administration has promised to rebuild America’s traditional alliances, yet they willfully set this process back in order to continue the disastrous global war on drugs and drug users. Clearly, this behavior will not change unless President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton hear a loud message from citizens that global drug policy must be based in science, reason, evidence, and human rights, rather than worn-out ideology and Drug War orthodoxy.

Please take a moment to send a message to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton expressing your outrage at the United States’ behavior at the United Nations last week, and urge them to correct this mistake by joining with our traditional allies in promoting harm reduction practices around the world.

To be fair, despite the U.S. delegation's shameful behavior at the end of the U.N. meeting, their position has progressed from previous years. While the U.S. opposed the term harm reduction, for the first time ever they publicly supported needle exchange programs and methadone treatment at the global level. With some encouragement from citizens like you, we can continue to move the new administration’s position on drug policy forward in the coming years.