Is It Time to Cease Fire in the War on Drugs?
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Three former South American presidents are among those who’ve asked the United States for a "paradigm shift" in the so-called "War on Drugs." New York and California are already moving in that direction. Is it wasting billions of dollars while addiction and violence increase? Would legalization perpetuate a dangerous cycle and make matters worse? Also, the government tries to keep AIG afloat, and the bidder who promised $40 million for two historic Chinese relics says it's his patriotic duty not to pay.
Banner image: US Border Patrol agents load more than 400 pounds of marijuana seized from drug smugglers after it was brought across the Rio Grande River from Mexico into the United States August 7, 2008 near Laredo, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Government Tries to Keep AIG Afloat ()
The insurance giant American International Group posted the biggest quarterly loss in American history during the last three months of last year, $62 billion. That happened even with $150 billion in taxpayer assistance. Today, the Treasury Department said AIG will get $30 billion more, and it's likely there will be more to come. Joe Nocera is a business columnist for the New York Times.
- Joe Nocera: Business Columnist, New York Times
Is It Time to Cease Fire in the War on Drugs? ()
As a US Senator, Barack Obama said, "The war on drugs is an utter failure." Many narcotics agents, prosecutors and judges agree. New York may repeal tough anti-drug laws. The federal government may stop raids in states that have legalized medical marijuana. That's now California's top crop, and there's a proposal to regulate and tax marijuana for state revenue during hard times. Three former South American presidents are among those who've asked the US for a "paradigm shift" in the so-called war. Would ending it take the profit out of crime, violence and increased addiction, or would it be like fighting a fire with napalm? We hear a debate that's coming out of the shadows.
- Jack A. Cole: Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
- Edmund Hartnett: Commissioner, Yonkers Police Department
- Tom Ammiano: California State Assemblyman (D-SF)
- Robert Charles: former Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotic and Law Enforcement Matters
Chinese Bidder Refuses to Pay for Looted Art ()
In Paris last week, Christie's held the most expensive auction ever for a private collection. Two of the prized items were 18th century bronze heads of a rat and a rabbit from China that went for $40 million. Christie's won't confirm the identity of the bidder, but a Chinese collector told a news conference in Beijing he's the man. He also says it's his patriotic duty not to pay up. Julian Radcliffe is chairman of the Art Loss Register, which maintains the world's largest database on stolen, missing and looted art.
- Julian Radcliffe: Chairman, Art Loss Register
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