Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Drug War Condemned by Roman Catholic Bishops

Over the weekend, The Mexican Council of Bishops released a report condemning the militant drug war policies of the Calderon administration.

Since becoming president in 2006, Calderon has deployed thousands and thousands of troops through Mexican border cities in order to control drug cartel activity. Since his avowal to wrestle territory back from the cartels, however, gang violence has become more vicious and prevalent. Citing international human rights groups, the bishops noted in their report abuses made by these military forces including arbitrary killings, false accusations, and other misuses of power.

The Catholic bishops call for reform in their government, and stated that Calderon ought to improve education and tackle unemployment instead of wasting resources on this violence, and believe that the thousands of troops can return to more suitable duties if focus was put on cleaning up police.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

I've had the good fortune of coming across this great documentary today about the history and reality of the marijuana industry in the US and Canada. It's a bit long, but it's absolutely worth your time.

Edit: Having problems with embedding the video, you can watch it on google here.

From TheUnionMovie.com

Ever wonder what British Columbia's most profitable industries are? Logging? Fishing? Tourism? Ever think to include marijuana? If you haven't, think again. No longer a hobby for the stereotypical hippie culture of the ‘60s, BC's illegal marijuana trade industry has evolved into an unstoppable business giant, dubbed by those involved as 'The Union'. Commanding upwards of $7 billion Canadian annually, The Union’s roots stretch far and wide. With up to 85% of all 'BC Bud' being exported to the United States, the BC marijuana trade has become an international issue with consequences that extend far beyond our borders. When record profits are to be made, who are the players, and when do their motives become questionable?

- Why is marijuana illegal?
- What health risks do we really face?
- Does prohibition work?
- What would happen if we taxed it?
- Medicine, paper, fuel, textiles, food, etc. Are we missing something?

Follow filmmaker Adam Scorgie as he dives head first into Canada's most socially acceptable illegal activity. Along the way, Adam demystifies the underground market and brings to light how such a large industry can function while remaining illegal. By interviewing experts from around the globe, including growers, clippers, police officers, criminologists, economists, medical doctors, politicians and pop culture icons, Scorgie examines the cause and effect nature of the business behind getting high.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Massacre in Mexico fueled by Drug War

This past Saturday, a shooting happened in the city of Juarez, Mexico along the border with Texas. It was the most recent of killings in a series of turf wars waged by powerful drug cartels. The victims were largely high school and college students, with thirteen dead at the scene, some as young as age 15.

There was no apparent connection between any of the victims and the drug cartels. The children were gathered together to watch a boxing match. In the past year there have been up to 2500 killings related to drug violence.

Huffington Post

-Tom Zocolo
Kent State SSDP