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Decriminalize Drugs

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OPINION
September 2, 2009
Apanel led by former presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico recommended a new paradigm for the war on drugs earlier this year, and now Latin America is heeding their advice. Mexico and Argentina have begun to relax penalties for possession of small quantities of illegal drugs, treating personal use as a victimless crime and husbanding resources for the fight against big-time narcotics traffickers in a global business that the United Nations values at more than $300 billion annually.
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WORLD
May 17, 2013 | By Chris Kraul
BOGOTA, Colombia - The Organization of American States said Friday that countries should consider decriminalizing drug use, a shift backed by several Latin American leaders but opposed by the United States. Decriminalization could be one of many “transitional methods” in a public health strategy that could include “drug courts, substantive reduction in sentences and rehabilitation,” according to a report released by the OAS on the possible liberalization of drug polices. The report, presented by OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza in Bogota, was commissioned during the April 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, in response to many leaders' complaints that U.S.-driven drug prohibition policies of recent decades had failed to stem the illicit drug business.
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OPINION
April 23, 2000
Idea--save lives: Criminalize guns; decriminalize drugs! LOUIS S. LYONS Woodland Hills
OPINION
March 5, 2012
War without end Re " A drug war success story? ," Opinion, Feb. 29 William C. Rempel's Op-Ed article on the 1989 cocaine bust in Sylmar that ultimately strengthened the Mexican drug cartels illustrates the folly of the continuing war on drugs. This war is an arms race in which the opponent has no morals and no qualms about a scorched-earth strategy. Increasingly, the casualties are innocent people and entire economic sectors, such as Mexican tourism and trips by charitable organizations to the country.
OPINION
April 14, 1996
Can there be anyone left in this country who thinks that making drugs illegal has accomplished anything? If so, I refer them to the April 7 Column One article on children living in California homes that double as methamphetamine labs. Harry Truman said that you don't prevent anything with war--except peace. We haven't prevented anything with our war on drugs--except an open environment where we can regulate drug manufacture and protect our children. It's time for all of us to pressure our legislators to end this madness and decriminalize drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1993
I am surprised to read recently so many editorials and news items on the proposal to either legalize or decriminalize marijuana and/or all drugs. The fact that the Rev. Robert Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, has signed the petition ("Rev. Schuller Joins Ranks Urging Drug Law Reform," May 6) to decriminalize drugs is a sign that the attitudes of major public leaders is changing on this subject. The main organizer of the new attitude toward drugs is Orange County Superior Court Judge James P. Gray.
OPINION
December 27, 2003
Re "The Illegal Drug Trade Is Actually Obeying the Law -- of Supply and Demand," by James Zirin, Commentary, Dec. 22: Interdiction of illegal drugs has been used unsuccessfully to control the use of drugs. It is necessary to make the use of illegal drugs socially unacceptable here in the U.S. How can we do this? The government cannot order drug-testing of all individuals. But many companies test employees for drug use now; the government can subsidize the cost of drug testing for every employer.
OPINION
March 5, 2012
War without end Re " A drug war success story? ," Opinion, Feb. 29 William C. Rempel's Op-Ed article on the 1989 cocaine bust in Sylmar that ultimately strengthened the Mexican drug cartels illustrates the folly of the continuing war on drugs. This war is an arms race in which the opponent has no morals and no qualms about a scorched-earth strategy. Increasingly, the casualties are innocent people and entire economic sectors, such as Mexican tourism and trips by charitable organizations to the country.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 1988
I agree wholeheartedly that to successfully end the abuse of substances we must approach the causative factors aggressively. As a Libertarian I believe that each individual is responsible for his own life and all actions. As a caring, concerned parent, nurse and member of a free society, I want to see the need for escape reduced and the chance for rehabilitation increased. This can only be done through education for all and assistance programs for all those with lowered self-esteem and negative expectations and opportunities.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 1990
What I found most interesting in the drug discussion was not what was said, but rather what wasn't said by any of the "experts." Not one pointed to the real reason why drugs have become a major plague in American society--the powerless and alienation that millions of Americans feel toward their institutions. Before the 1970s, most of the drug users in black communities were musicians and a small group of street-corner junkies.
OPINION
September 2, 2009
Apanel led by former presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico recommended a new paradigm for the war on drugs earlier this year, and now Latin America is heeding their advice. Mexico and Argentina have begun to relax penalties for possession of small quantities of illegal drugs, treating personal use as a victimless crime and husbanding resources for the fight against big-time narcotics traffickers in a global business that the United Nations values at more than $300 billion annually.
WORLD
June 21, 2009 | Tracy Wilkinson
Could Mexican cities become Latin Amsterdams, flooded by drug users seeking penalty-free tokes and toots? That is the fear, if somewhat overstated, of some Mexican officials, especially in northern border states that serve as a mecca for underage drinkers from the United States. The anxiety stems from the Mexican legislature's quiet vote to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs, an effort that in the past proved controversial.
OPINION
December 27, 2003
Re "The Illegal Drug Trade Is Actually Obeying the Law -- of Supply and Demand," by James Zirin, Commentary, Dec. 22: Interdiction of illegal drugs has been used unsuccessfully to control the use of drugs. It is necessary to make the use of illegal drugs socially unacceptable here in the U.S. How can we do this? The government cannot order drug-testing of all individuals. But many companies test employees for drug use now; the government can subsidize the cost of drug testing for every employer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2000 | ALAN J. PETERSON, Alan J. Peterson lives in Santa Paula
We all understand the constitutionally guaranteed right to a trial by our peers. However, the ballooning of the judicial system, brought on largely by the "lottery" attitude toward personal-injury lawsuits and the drug industry, is out of hand and desperately in need of overhaul. The Times missed that point in its article, "Tough Rules for Jury Duty Try Patience of Residents," May 28. Recently I wasted a full day serving my "civic duty" along with 150 more silent lambs in the jury assembly room.
OPINION
April 23, 2000
Idea--save lives: Criminalize guns; decriminalize drugs! LOUIS S. LYONS Woodland Hills
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 1997 | JEAN O. PASCO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Orange County Superior Court Judge James P. Gray began a leave of absence Wednesday to campaign for the congressional seat now held by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove). Gray, a Republican best known for supporting the decriminalization of drugs, has hinted for several weeks that he was weighing such a campaign. Republicans Lisa Hughes, a family law attorney and certified public accountant, and Anaheim City Councilman Bob Zemel also have announced their candidacies.
OPINION
April 14, 1996
Can there be anyone left in this country who thinks that making drugs illegal has accomplished anything? If so, I refer them to the April 7 Column One article on children living in California homes that double as methamphetamine labs. Harry Truman said that you don't prevent anything with war--except peace. We haven't prevented anything with our war on drugs--except an open environment where we can regulate drug manufacture and protect our children. It's time for all of us to pressure our legislators to end this madness and decriminalize drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1994 | RENE LYNCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When Judge James L. Smith publicly endorsed decriminalizing drug use two years ago, many saw it as an act of political suicide: At the time, a lenient attitude toward drugs drew little support in conservative Orange County. But others say coming forward was typical of Smith's independent nature and his determination to speak his mind. It's a trait that supporters say will serve him well as the new presiding judge of the county's Superior Court system, one of the state's largest.
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