Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The U.S./Bolivia Drug Show

The beginning of March in Bolivia. Some things just come around as predictable as the seasons.

The hills of Cochabamba have turned a lush green from the late summer rains. I can walk safely down the street again without fear of the water balloons of Carnival coming down upon my targeted gringo head. And the governments of Bolivia and the U.S. are launching broadsides against one another over the coca leaf. Predictability in all its various forms.

For years here, when the nation was governed by men the U.S. government liked, March 1st was known as "certification day." This is the date when, each year, the U.S. State Department releases its annual report card on the drug-fighting efforts of the rest of the world, the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report to the Congress (INCSR).

The report comes in at a hefty 900 pages and runs through the U.S. version of how 139 different nations are or are not battling substances ranging from marijuana to the poppy flower.

Norwegians readers will be relieved to learn that illicit drug production in that country "remained insignificant in 2009." But Canadians may be dismayed to learn that their country, "remains a significant source" for marijuana entering the U.S. market. Or perhaps they will be unmoved. Who truly understands the Canadian soul?

Nevertheless, the State Department's report card on Bolivia goes well beyond whatever warnings it has to offer about Sweden, Latvia, and the Maldives. For the second year in a row, the U.S. has made a formal finding that its distant neighbor to the south has “failed demonstrably to adhere to its obligations under international counternarcotics conventions." Now in Bolivia March 1st into "de-certification day."

Punch and Counter Punch

Here, in a nutshell, is what the U.S. has to say about Bolivia and the war on drugs (page 149):

Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of cocaine. In 2009, although the government met its minimum bilateral requirement to eradicate 5,000 hectares of coca, these efforts have not kept pace with rising coca cultivation and cocaine production. In other words, in the U.S. view Bolivia's anti-coca efforts are the equivalent of tossing out five bags of trash while filling up seven more. Or as the assistant secretary of state put it in Washington on Monday, "Bolivia has a continuing trend of a step up per year in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 percent that’s taken place over the course of the last several years."

Now to be sure, the government of Bolivia has a different view of events, which basically comes to this:

The government of Bolivia has a clear declared policy of " coca yes, cocaine zero." Despite the fact that Bolivia lacks a whole host of resources important to fighting the illegal drug trade – including soldiers, vehicles, and planes with radar – the country has still made substantial progress. In the past four years during the Morales presidency it has seized more than 91 tons of illegal drugs, up from 49 tons seized in the four years just prior to Morales becoming President. A Bolivian government spokesman branded the U.S. report, "a lie" and declared that its neighbor to the distant north has no right to "certify or decertify" any other country's anti-drug efforts.

So goes the annual U.S. vs. Bolivia coca debate. And I am willing to bet you two unhindered water balloon shots at my gringo head during next year's carnival that a few days afterwards that debate will remain exactly the same, and the year after that, and the year after that. Both sides have their view and both sides have numbers and statistics they can call up to support that view.

Some Simple Facts

Over the course of living here for a dozen years I have had a chance to talk to a lot of smart people sitting on all sides of the coca issue – Bolivian officials, U.S. officials, women in jail on drug charges, scientific experts, researchers, lawyers, judges, and reporters, among others. Here are a few things that everyone who really knows this issue knows and is wiling to say in private:

1. The coca leaf is not cocaine. It becomes cocaine only after an elaborate chemical process that leeches out the cocaine alkaloid that was also once the secret additive to Coca Cola, in addition to being the essential ingredient for the popular white powder that shares its name.

2. Not all coca grown in Bolivia is destined to be chewed, made into tea, or used for some other traditional purpose. Some of it, a lot of it, is aimed at the cocaine market, especially the coca grown in the Chapare. And here in Cochabamba on the outskirts of the city the green hillsides are becoming increasingly populated with new-tech processing labs to start the chemical metamorphosis involved.

3. The reason that the U.S. "War on Drugs" here is so suspected and loathed is because for decades it was not really a war on drugs but an all-out assault on human rights. Set aside the issue of eradication and its impact on coca farmers (many of them, thought not all, living in extreme poverty). Let's talk about the fact that Bolivian prosecutors on the U.S. payroll put thousands of innocent people in jail each year just to keep the U.S. Embassy and State Department stocked with happy arrest stats to show off to their superiors in Washington and help them build careers.

4. It is silly and ridiculous to maintain the current UN (and U.S. backed) prohibition against the exportation of non-narcotic products such as coca tea. You have to be quite the fool to believe that someone is going to start tearing apart those little paper tea bags to convert the miniscule amounts of coca leaf crumbs inside into cocaine powder. But it is equally silly to believe that the export of products like coca tea is going to suck up all the coca headed for the drug market. It won't.

5. Bolivian coca is not a U.S. problem. Cocaine that comes from Bolivian coca is not primarily headed for the U.S. (it can thank Colombia, a country that the U.S. does certify, for serving the U.S. market). Cocaine with Bolivian roots is headed for Brazil, Argentina and Europe. If there are countries beyond Bolivia's borders that have an interest in what happens here and ought to be working with the Bolivian government on the problem, it is those governments not the U.S., and each is in a far better political position to actually do so.

6. If the U.S. is genuinely serious about its drug problem then it should stop a decades-old show called the War on Drugs, and adopt a series of public policies that nearly every serious analyst knows is the most effective course, including: free drug treatment for those addicted the moment they ask for it (because that's when it has a shot at working); treating addiction as a disease instead of a criminal offense; and sucking billions of dollars out of the hands of criminal syndicates and into the coffers of public treasuries by legalizing marijuana, regulating it, and taxing it.

These are the facts that stand waiting behind the curtain while the U.S. vs. Bolivia show keeps rolling out in endless reruns on stage. It's run from here looks long, I am sad to say. The facts above will continue to remain out of the bilateral discourse and out of the policy equation.

And a year from now I will once again breath a sigh of relief as February leaves us and March begins. The hills will once more be green and the water balloons, like the truth about the War on Drugs, will have been laid to rest for another year.

56 Comments:

Anonymous David V said...

The link between marijuana and mental illness is well proven, and minimising its impact is most desired.

Regulated coca production for legal uses is the only way forward. Allow for exportation of legal coca products like coca tea. And I as pointed out in your previous blog, it's not like there's a lot of people, be it in Bolivia or the US, that have the financial and technological means to convert cocaine into the dreaded white powder.

Cocaine demand is higher in Europe than in the US, because it hasn't gone out of fashion there. A lot of coacine does land in the favelas of Brazil, where it has devastating social and other effects.

One also cannot ignore the link between drug use and HIV/AIDS infection- the US has higher AIDS rates (and larger HIV-positive population) than quite a few developing countries, and even higher rates in New York City and Washington DC, yes the nation's capital. Bolivia has an extremely low rate of HIV/AIDS, and Latin America in general has a lower rate than many regions. There are certainly more people with the virus in whole US cities than Bolivia!

5:26 AM  
Anonymous David V said...

I should have meant "coca into the dreaded white powder". Sorry.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just legalize drugs. All drugs. simple as that. Be responsable for your own consumption.

Drug cartels, guerrillas, Talibans wouldn't exist and demagogues like Evos of the world would be reduced to powerless exotic anthropological curiosities.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous David V said...

"Just legalize drugs. All drugs. simple as that. Be responsable for your own consumption."

And what happens when poor kids get their hands on it and start abusing it?

We shouldn't forget the fact that Latin American countries are not merely producers or transit point for these drugs anymore- increasingly they're being consumed there too in growing amounts.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a gringo about to spend time in Cochabamba, should I be worried about safety given the growing number of labs there? Is there a heightened suspicion of ALL gringos that we may be trying to sniff out the labs?

9:36 AM  
Anonymous David V said...

What about deportations/prisoner exchange where drug-related offences are concerned? Prisoner exchange would be tricky, since many people serving time in US or European jails think it's a five-star hotel compared to jails in their own countries!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous AJ La Paz said...

Jim,

While I agree with the overall sentiment of your article, I'm not so sure about this:

"free drug treatment for those addicted the moment they ask for it (because that's when it has a shot at working); treating addiction as a disease instead of a criminal offense"

What exactly the penalties for cocaine use in high use states like New York? My own prejudices tell me that the majority of cocaine users in New York are high flying professionals in finance, law, advertising etc. Is this opinion well founded? If it is, then these people should know better. They have no excuse for providing the "demand" that leads to corruption and death in Bolivia. They should therefore be severely punished. I'm sure a harsher punishment for usage would deter these so called professionals from consuming cocaine because they have a lot to lose.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And what happens when poor kids get their hands on it and start abusing it?"
Simple. Treat and rehabilitate them. Jail the violent ones.
Be responsible for your own actions.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim on Number 6. you are talking about coca and then all the sudden switch topics and say legalize marijuana. I don't really follow....

Legalize cocaine too?

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim's right on this time. Legalize drugs so we can a more transparent corporatist state run by the pharmaceutical companies and food processors. Those would be the ones processing the coca into good, clean cocaine instead of the dirty crap getting sold on the streets (and yes, it's already available to kids). I'd rather deal with corporations, as corrupt as they can be, than organized crime who can screw with democracy and leave no trail.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim sounds like a liberal drug user...

4:50 PM  
Blogger Pablo Rivero said...

Dear Jim,

I address the study of coca myself from a rather different perspective: as a socio-cultural 'artefact' that is politically ritualised and functions as a complex 'deliverer', a political communicator (http://www.scribd.com/full/23832362?access_key=key-11ufm8fqw1w7t7xem1e2).

Nevertheless, I found on your short and direct appreciation accuracy without loosing critical perspective.

Thank you.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Bolivia Libre said...

Ah the hypocrisy, so the US backed ‘War on Drugs” was an “all-out assault on human rights” where the “Bolivian prosecutors on the U.S. payroll put thousands of innocent people in jail each year just to keep the U.S. Embassy and State Department stocked with happy arrest stats to show off to their superiors in Washington and help them build careers.” You forgot, using the draconian Law 1008 which allows the police to arrest and jail people just for being suspects of drug posesion, transportation or use.

Well, let’s talk about the fact that in the 4 years of Evo Morales government with the majority in the Lower Chamber and the street power to violently shut congress down if the upper chamber doesn’t obey his mandate has never, even once, proposed changing Law 1008 so Bolivians don’t suffer an “all-out assault on human rights”.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous David V said...

Peyote is legal for ritual purposes in the US, and even then generally used/administered by Native Americans. Ayahuasca has also been legalised, protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion.

Datura plants are rather more controversial, because they aren't illegal (as far as I know) but more dangerously hallucinogenic.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legalize all drugs. That's the only solution.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous b-dogg said...

Legalize them all, but don't allow advertising for them.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not?

3:30 PM  
Anonymous David V said...

The end of armed conflict in places like Guatemala and Northern Ireland have meant that former combatants turned instead to crime and drug trafficking, thus creating more problems for those countries.

Legalisation is not the solution. Legalisation will create more demand, and more crime and social problems related to drugs, particularly in vulnerable communities.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim you are right ... The US should pull all of it's counter drug aide out of this shitty country.

The president is a narco thug coca union leader and a pedophile, the VP a former terrorist... No different in corruption than the crooked ultra right thugs from before. Just a different colored face.
The majority of the illicit drug trade here goes to Argentina and Brazil... let them deal with the morons here.

They bitch publically about decertification, the lack of real US support for the counter drung effort, and about yankee imperialist interference yet still privatly beg for more money and support.

The hypocracy is sickening because after booting the DEA no other countries will come in with the support the US has provided. They just do not want the headaches nor trust this regime.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather than attacking a plant, eradicating Coca Cola would be more productive from a purely financial point of view. The US government should pursue a policy which maximizes public health by reducing consumption of junk food, alcohol and tobacco and saves money from jailing pot smokers while investing in treatment and support for citizens afflicted by a substance addiction. If the "strategic national interest" were the health of all its citizens, that would be the case, however its more about the money involved in drug war consulting, defense contracts, an excuse to build military bases...

Unfortunately legalization only in Bolivia would merely transfer the problem from criminal law enforcement to massive corruption in customs... not something politically viable at the moment.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

viva los yankis muerte a coca y el gran cocalero

6:14 PM  
Anonymous David V said...

"Rather than attacking a plant, eradicating Coca Cola would be more productive from a purely financial point of view."

There's much better soft drinks on the market than Coca-Cola and Pepsi anyway.

Imagine what would happen if the meth epidemic rampant in the US (not to mention Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan and South Africa) were to hit Europe and Latin America. Social consequences of such would be far more devastating, particularly if poorer communities had access to it.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you all on drugs? Just read your comments and it is obvious that you are either drunk, on narcotics, or smoking some mexican or colombian product.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope... high on the madre coca... chingao

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone done a study on the effects of generations living at high altitude, binge drinking, and coca leaf chewing on the brain?

There has to be some excuse for the idiocy and retardation here in La Paz.
The driver's union strike being a perfect example.

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, search Colorado State University, they have several studies on binge drinking, cocaine and high altitude. Race was not a factor being considered, the results are amazing.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just legalize drugs.
Alcoholism and smoking kill far more people and they're still legal. Legalized drugs mean obscene profits from narcotrafficking gone, legal and nonviolent competition allowed between producers and distributors, more taxes to treat addicts and prevention, and less money flowing around to finance narcos, terrorists,and the Evos of the world.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To many liberals like Jim, they think Marijuana is not a drug, or anything that is green is good because it is from Pachamama.

any professor I have ever had in universities that says the things that Jim does such as legalize drugs was for sure a dope smoker.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alcohol is a drug and it is legal in most countries in the world; so what is the difference with other drugs? Either ban all or expand it to include other to avoid cartels from profiting, murdering and corrupting governments. It seems that the DEA is just a poor excuse as it is shown in Mexico, Colombia, Afghanistan and the ghettos in USA. Great profits for arm dealers, jails, agents, cops, and bureaucrats.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Tambopaxi said...

The war against drugs is - and always has been - a failure, just as Prohibition was. Legalize all/all drugs and tax the hell out of the legal products, as all countries do with alcohol.

Jim's arguments (and the arguments of the GOB itself) to the effect that they're against cocaine, and gosh, it's the Colombians, etc., are specious at best. Everyone knows that cocaine's being processed in Bolivia and shipped out of the country, and in growing amounts, so the government's hypocrisy and duplicity are boring and transparent.

Still, even if Morales et al wanted to do something about it (and they don't, because coke's good for employment), they would never win; places like Colombia are proof of that.

Legalize it all, I say; it'll save us from having to listen to sanctimonious, duplicitous drivel from the GOB (and Jim) and it would generate licit employment (finally) in Bolivia...

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proof that the readr above can't actually read, or perhaps was on drugs when he read thos Blog. From the post:

2. Not all coca grown in Bolivia is destined to be chewed, made into tea, or used for some other traditional purpose. Some of it, a lot of it, is aimed at the cocaine market, especially the coca grown in the Chapare. And here in Cochabamba on the outskirts of the city the green hillsides are becoming increasingly populated with new-tech processing labs to start the chemical metamorphosis involved.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And why is coca made in to cocaine? Huge capitalist profits! Legalize the stuff and its price will go down.The end of Prohibition ended gangster alcohol profits.
Legalize ALL drugs.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is sad that an issue such as Coca and Cocaine is so central in the relations between Bolivia and the U.S. For all the Americans who read this, there are a few facts they should be aware:
-The majority of Coca grown goes into Cocaine, at least 70% from UN sources.
-Traditional use of coca such as chewing is only common in the country side of Western Bolivian for cultural reasons.
-All the Coca from the Chapare region goes into drug production.
-Efforts to industrialize Coca into toothpaste, shampoo and other things have failed because nothing can compete with the price the growers get from drug producers.
It is sad that the Bolivian government puts the interest of Chapare Coca growes to the expense of the majority of Bolivians, and it uses the pretext of tradition and andean culture. It is just like Bush defending the interest of oil companies, Morales does the same with the Chapare Coca growers.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proof that Jim, the writer above, will not stick to the subject, or will perhaps allow his personal preference for cannabis take the better of his focus, and enter the scarfacious realm of chemical metamorphosizing new-tech labs, on increasingly populated GREEN hillsides, mind you; We hereby challenge a reality check-test, in the very democratic tradiction that befits Democracy Center's act, by demanding at least videographic proof of such operations, if not a full reporting page with interviews and samplings...The costruction of a stimulant-dealing-state discourse would allow it, unless you just mingle lip servile drivel & phantasmagoria, in favor of evading the facts: That since over a year that the newly FDA approved synthetic succedaneous to cocaine, collapsed the market thereof, while asserting itself as a rather effective treatment for addiction at large, metamphetamine included, the days for cocaine-driven mega-dollar successful operations in the US are a tale of the past. LPF/LM

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:58 Wow, in the future you might wait to write until the shrooms wear off. Can you spell I-N-C-O-H-R-E-N-T?

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:58 PM

What??

11:36 PM  
Anonymous David V said...

Let me ask: how much of the coca grown in Bolivia is processed into cocaine outside of Bolivia? Was it not the case that factories in Colombia also refined what was grown in Peru and Bolivia?

Heroin presents a similar case because most of it is grown in the "Golden Triangle" and "Golden Crescent", yet the biggest exporter of heroin to the US for years was Mexico, in fact most heroin consumed in the US during the 1980s was produced there.

The coca-cocaine trade is the worst of capitalism, for it exploits workers at the bottom of the line while providing a product for market without regard for consequences. The methamphetamine trade, on the other hand, has the effect of "democratising" or "socialising" the drug trade, owing to the far greater ease that the ingredients can be obtained and the ease of making the stuff in the first place. So the grower-processor-distributor axis in the cocaine and heroin trade gives way to a decentralised, mum-and-dad business that is just at home in the suburbs of Dallas or Miami as it would be in La Paz, or London, or Paris, or Mexico City, or anywhere. The producers of the drug are more likely to be distributors in their local area.

"-Traditional use of coca such as chewing is only common in the country side of Western Bolivian for cultural reasons.
-All the Coca from the Chapare region goes into drug production.
-Efforts to industrialize Coca into toothpaste, shampoo and other things have failed because nothing can compete with the price the growers get from drug producers."

1.It's understood that pre-colonial times, coca was for ritual purposes and that meant it wasn't to be administered by everyone. Kind of like peyote and ayahuasca today.

2.Is it not also thought that the chewing of coca leaves was popularised, of all things, under Spanish colonial rule?

3.Coca tea represents a perfectly legitimate use of coca.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now coca-cocaine is the "worst in capitalism" while meth is "democratic"? I've read weird things but this is on the top of the list.Both products fry your brains equally. In the end only that matters,not semantics.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with the comparisions of Marijuana, Cocaine, and other drugs to Alcohol and prohibtion; drinking a glass of wine or having a cocktail is an altogether different behavior than engaging in marijuana or cocaine.

Take a rip off a bong of the marijuana that is grown these days and you will most likely trip your face off hallucinating, unless of course you are a habitual user who smokes all the time... as for cocaine, what an ugly monster that is.

Part of the argument is correct from those who want de-criminlization: in many cases, drug use is a health problem and should be treated as such instead of wasting millions of dollars locking people up in jail where drug use still occurrs anyways ( I remember my D.A.R.E. officer growing up as a kid was arrested for selling cocaine inside jails). In a drug court or program, for example it is impossible to use drugs as you are monitored for this.

But so many of these users are criminal and violent, in their behavior and lifestyle. Maybe it is a coincidence that they are arrested after stabbing someone and they were high on marijuana... but maybe not, maybe they do not live in reality and within the norms of society. That is why some level of prohibition must be present, and that is why we should do our best to protect society and the younger generations from falling victims to drugs experimentation and criminal behavior.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More potent drugs emerged precisely because of the War on Drugs. Before it, people could consume small amounts of cocaine and opium, mild compared to now.
Crack cocaine became so successful because it offered a cheap, extremely strong and quick effect, something that could be done anywhere as opposed to the long tedious task of shooting up heroine or boiling stuff to get LSD. When you can get a quick hit anywhere with stratospheric, there's less chance anyone (family,friends, police) can catch you. That's why crack was created. Crack and other potent drugs wouldn't have existed if for the War on drugs.
Capone and his gangsters wouldn't have existed weren't it for Prohibition. It's all economics, no matter what product you're talking about.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyon 11:16, maybe be part of the story, but of course criminals and users are going to try and get as F*&#$ up as they can from stronger and stronger strains of drugs.

Just ask the folks at the Cannabis Cup who judge the quality of Marijuana by the potency and longer lasting high, years of scientific experimentation to get more stoned.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You liberals are on drugs...
Good luck!
Hope you are not a menace to society...

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all of us here are libs, 12:53.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Straight up free market economics. Private jail corporations need guests, anti-drug prosecutors need raises: both liberals and conservatives, neoliberals and socialists have pursued the same policy of criminalizing a substance addiction. The problem is not drugz, its special interests which make money off it and they're not only/especially the ones any "drug warrior" is supposedly up against.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous David V said...

"So now coca-cocaine is the "worst in capitalism" while meth is "democratic"? I've read weird things but this is on the top of the list.Both products fry your brains equally. In the end only that matters,not semantics."

I was making a comment on the dynamics of the cocaine and meth industries- maybe not the best choice of words but explaining more that the meth industry's potential to cause greater problems is because it is more easily "popularised", i.e. a greater number of individual players and their suburban backyard labs. The point is that the meth industry does not have the "layers" explained above in the coca-cocaine trade. But it still represents the same vile form of capitalism, i.e. profiting from human misery. So "democratising" such a trade has dire consequences, particularly in more vulnerable communities.

"I disagree with the comparisions of Marijuana, Cocaine, and other drugs to Alcohol and prohibtion; drinking a glass of wine or having a cocktail is an altogether different behavior than engaging in marijuana or cocaine."

"More potent drugs emerged precisely because of the War on Drugs. Before it, people could consume small amounts of cocaine and opium, mild compared to now."

Where alcohol is concerned this is certainly true, potent moonshine being made illegally, and even more so in countries where alcohol is still prohibited.

I drink wine and rum. I drink purely for enjoyment and appreciation of it, and because the best of such things are made with a lot of care. I think comparing that to hard drugs mentioned above is like apples and cabbages.

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Narco President = Narco State

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting video for liberal drug users...
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=HqZKW1WEVlM

5:53 PM  
Blogger pinky said...

The prejudices in these replies are reflective of our quintessential human behavior. "drinking a glass of wine or having a cocktail is an altogether different behavior than engaging in marijuana or cocaine"

1 - Marijuana unlike cocaine and alcohol is not addictive.

2 - You can link more violent crime to alcohol than you can to marijuana.

3 - My dear self-righteous friend I would rather partake an evening with friends smoking moderate amounts of marijuana than conduct myself in the socially accepted norms of Cancun-style nightclubbing and drunk-driving to appease what you think is right.

If you weigh the pros vs cons of legalization, marijuana would be legal, alcohol would not.

1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say Jim is a vile capitalist.
He's profiting on our human misery to have to read these comments.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mob burns bars in Bolivia to protest girl's death

2010-03-11 10:50:00


/EFE) Residents of a rural community in central Bolivia burned three bars and the house of a man who allegedly raped and killed a four-year-old girl, Bolivian media reported.

The incident occurred Tuesday in Ironcollo, a neighbourhood in the city of Quillacollo, after the burial of the girl. She died over the weekend after allegedly being raped by Jose Luis Condori Vasquez, a drug addict and a friend of her father's.


Hundreds of residents went to Condori's house Tuesday afternoon, threw stones at the dwelling and then set it on fire.


Police could not stop the mob, which burned three bars, including the establishment where the 22-year-old Condori drank with the girl's father before killing her.


Condori was arrested Monday while drinking at an area bar and has been sent to a prison by a judge.


Another group of residents waited for the suspect as he left the prosecutor's office after a hearing, but police prevented them from lynching him.

SEARCH

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would not surprise me if Jose luis Condori Vasquez was a blooger in this site...

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love how all the wookies come out of the woods for this post! :)

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would not surprise me if Jose Luis Condori Vasquez was a blogger on this site...

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Umbagog said...

David V. wrongfully asserts that there is a "well-proven link" between mental illness and marijuana use. This completely assumes facts not in evidence; in fact, the contrary is true. One may educate oneself here: http://www.henriettesherbal.com/trip_search

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEPORT ALL DRUG USERS

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Neil said...

It is spelled "minuscule" (see 4)

8:32 AM  

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