Friday, August 26, 2011

Is the Minimum Drug Dose Coming Back?

Depenalized again?
What's a drug warrior to do? Colombia's high court has just reaffirmed the legality of the famous 'minimum dosis' of drugs, which for years depenalized the carrying small amounts of cocaine, marijuana or other drugs for personal use.

The case involved a young man arrested with almost 80 grams of marijuana. A psychologist testified that the man was an addict, which is strange, since last I heard pot was not addictive (altho some people do become very dependant) and that the marijuana was for his own use. The court ruled that the police should direct their efforts against dealers, not consumers.

The guy's still got to go to jail, since the amount he possessed was far more than the old 'minimum dosis.' Now, let's see whether a change in policy filters down to the cops now searching thru college kids' backpacks on Bogotá streets  so they can chase muggers and rapists instead.

What have you got in there? Patting kids down near La Plaza del Chorro, in La Candelaria.
A captured drug sub. How many got away?
Also, the other day, Pres. Manuel Santos announced another "blow against narctoraffickers" with the arrest of 19 'ringleaders' of a band which built drug submarines and sent them north filled with cocaine for U.S. streets. Subs have become the new tool for drug smugglers, since they can't be spotted from planes. Over the past several years, the police have captured dozens of drug submarines - and undoubtedly congratulated themselves each time. But does anybody imagine that, if dozens of drug subs are getting captured, many more must be getting thru, to make it worth the cartels' while to continue building them?

Just for fun, I Googled the phrase "golpe al narcotrafico" (a blow to narcotrafficking) snd got more than six million results. That's an amazing number of blows for an industry to take, and continue functioning - especially one that doesn't receive any government subsidies.

Colombia's coca leaf harvest has been reduced in recent years (but, then, so has its coffee harvest), but coca leaf production has meanwhile increased in Peru and Bolivia. Most likely, with a nationalist president now in power in Peru, that nation's drug war cooperation will also decline.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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