FROM Ethan Nadelmann
Lawmakers Want to Legalize Marijuana on Federal Level Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York joined New Jersey’s Cory Booker and Kentucky’s Rand Paul to propose a bill, today, that would end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana. If passed, people in the 23 states and the District of Columbia where medical pot is legal, would no longer have to fear federal prosecution. Pot businesses would also be able to use the banking system, and research institutions that get federal funds could study the effects of pot. We discuss the bill’s chances and what it would do.
Is Obama 'Evolving' on Recreational Marijuana Use? Federal law prohibits the use of marijuana, even as medicine. In his first term, President Obama suggested that states might legalize it without federal interference but, then, the Justice Department cracked down in California and elsewhere. Last month, voters in Colorado and Washington State legalized all uses of marijuana. The President's made no secret that he, himself, used marijuana as a young man. Last night in an interview for ABC's 20/20, Barbara Walters asked if he thinks marijuana should be legalized. Ethan Nadelmann is Director of the Drug Policy Alliance , a New York group advocating reform.
Is the War on Drugs a Failure? Is It Time to Legalize? The global "War on Drugs" began 50 years ago at the United Nations. Richard Nixon made it US policy 10 years later. Since then it has "failed to cut drug usage, but has filled our jails, cost millions in taxpayer dollars, fuelled organized crime and caused thousands of deaths." That's according to the Global Commission on Drug Policy , which includes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, three former South American presidents, former Secretary of State George Shultz, ex-Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, and British entrepreneur Richard Branson. We look at possible new strategies and their political viability in Washington.
Illegal Drugs: Public Health and Public Safety The global "War on Drugs" began in 50 years ago at the United Nations. Richard Nixon made it US policy 10 years later. Since then it has "failed to cut drug usage, but has filled our jails, cost millions in taxpayer dollars, fuelled organized crime and caused thousands of deaths." That's according to the Global Commission on Drug Policy , which includes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, three former South American presidents, former Secretary of State George Shultz, ex-Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, and British entrepreneur Richard Branson. The Obama Administration says legalization would not take the money away from violent drug cartels and that drug use might increase more than ever. In any case, the panel has focused global attention on a crisis that's not going away. Does the political will exist to make any changes in strategy?
US to Fund Colombia-Style Counter-Narcotics Program in Mexico Contract shootings, mass executions—even videotaped beheadings—are the latest tactics of Mexico's drug cartels. The formerly safe northern city of Monterrey has been terrorized by rival gangsters with backgrounds in the military and law-enforcement. The violence is spreading north into Texas and Arizona, which has US officials calling it a "national security issue." President Bush has been working with Mexico's President Felipe Calderón on what is informally called "Plan Mexico," a reference to " Plan Colombia " of the 1990's. Mexicans resist the comparison and fear that US dollars could lead to a repeat of past interventions from north of the border. Can Mexico control corruption? Can the US control demand? Can the so-called "war on drugs" succeed against a $25 billion industry?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.