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War on Drugs

Pathfinders: Capitalism's War On the War On Drugs

It may come as a surprise to some that the Tory government has since the coalition years been promoting the idea of 'evidence-based policy' and using it as a buzz-phrase in their publications. Insofar as they are genuinely pursuing this laudable aim we could hardly object. But are they?

Not according to anyone who's looked at the terms of the new Psychoactive Substances Act, which blanket-bans anything 'intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect' and which was due to come into force on 6 April (gov.uk/government/collections/psychoactive-substances-bill-2015).

The Act has already hit a major snag, forcing the commencement date to be postponed, with no new date set. The problem is that the government has offered no meaningful and unambiguous definition of the term 'psychoactive'. The result is that ministers don't know exactly what they are banning, which means that the police can't enforce the Act (Politics.co.uk 30 March).

Material World: Mexican Drug Wars

Material World

In the late 19th and early 20th century opium was imported into Mexico, mainly by Chinese immigrants. But by the 1920s and 1930s Mexicans were growing the poppies. Opium, cocaine, heroin and marijuana crossed the border into the United States with relative ease. With the outlawing of narcotics in the US, exporting became a very profitable line of business for those prepared to take the risks.

During the Cold War, a number of top officials of the Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS) were involved, together with elements of the CIA and the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), in trafficking drugs into the United States. This apparently continued for at least 40 years.

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