Illegal drug profits, Washington’s foreign military outflows of dollars, and US balance of payments deficit

Hudson’s next task was to estimate the amount of money from crime going into Switzerland’s secret banking system. In this investigation, his last for Chase, Hudson discovered that under US State Department direction Chase and other large banks had established banks in the Caribbean for the purpose of attracting money into dollar holdings from drug dealers in order to support the dollar (by raising the demand for dollars by criminals) in order to balance or offset Washington’s foreign military outflows of dollars. If dollars flowed out of the US, but demand did not rise to absorb the larger supply of dollars, the dollar’s exchange rate would fall, thus threatenting the basis of US power. By providing offshore banks in which criminals could deposit illicit dollars, the US government supported the dollar’s exchange value.
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Nixon: War on Drugs

A new report by Dan Baum for Harper’s Magazine suggests the latter. Specifically, Baum refers to a quote from John Ehrlichman, who served as domestic policy chieffor President Richard Nixon when the administration declared its war on drugs in 1971. According to Baum, Ehrlichman said in 1994 that the drug war was a ploy to undermine Nixon’s political opposition — meaning, black people and critics of the Vietnam War: Continue reading

Cartel Corporation Cocaine Capitalism

A new book by Roberto Saviano:

The realisation that cocaine capitalism is central to our economic universe made Escobar the Copernicus of organised crime, argues Saviano, adding: “No business in the world is so dynamic, so restlessly innovative, so loyal to the pure free-market spirit as the global cocaine business.” It sounds simple, but it isn’t – it is revolutionary and, says Saviano, it explains the world. …
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Prohibition and the war on drugs

Sanho Tree, “An Inside Look at the Drug War Vs. Civilization,” 5 February 2014, The Fix

We unfortunately live in a society that likes to talk in simple dichotomies—good or bad, yes or no, black or white. It carries over very often into the way we talk about drug policy. Historically, when I would debate drug warriors, because I would be critical of prohibition and the war on drugs, they would say, “Oh, so you want to sell heroin in candy machines to children.” No. I actually want more control over these substances. The myth of prohibition is that prohibition doesn’t mean you control drugs. It means you give up the right to control drugs.
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Global Drug and Development Policy Roundup

Global Drug and Development Policy Roundup,” Institute of Development Studies, 2013

The initial invite-only event took place early 2013 and used the report “Dependent on Development. The interrelationships between illicit drugs and socioeconomic development” (pdf), released by the Nossal Institute for Global Health in December 2010, as a basis for discussion.
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Let’s put an end to the “war on drugs” that has ruined so many lives

Katrina vanden Heuvel, “Why It’s Always Been Time to Legalize Marijuana,” The Nation, 30 October 2013

“Marijuana is indeed a gateway drug,” quips Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies. “It’s a gateway drug to the Oval Office!” Indeed. From Bill Clinton’s “I didn’t inhale it” through George W. Bush’s “I was young and foolish” to Barack Obama’s teen years in the Choom Gang (“I inhaled frequently—that was the point”), the last three presidents have more or less owned up to breaking America’s drug laws.
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There Is No Good Drug War

Maya Schenwar, Interview “There Is No Good Drug War,” Truthout, 31 July 2013

Twenty years ago, when acclaimed neuroscientist Carl Hart began studying drugs, he was motivated by a desire to help communities like the one in which he grew up: poor communities of color that had been, he believed, ravaged by the crack “epidemic.” The media craze around crack headlines was swirling to a fever pitch at the time – the late ’80s and early ’90s – and, Hart writes, “I became utterly convinced that crack cocaine was the cause of everything that I now saw as wrong with the neighborhood.”

However, nothing is that straightforward, in the world or in High Price, and Hart’s work in the lab called into question some of his most deeply rooted assumptions.
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