Posts Tagged ‘Drug Policy’

3450901789_a7219ac82fThis bit of Nation-approved activism was a lot of fun to write up because, as I mention later in the blog post, there is not much in the way of organized progressive support for improved gun control regulation.

UPDATE: This post was featured on Yahoo! New‘s Buzz.

In a joint press conference with Mexico’s president Philippe Calderon, President Obama recently threw his support behind the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Items, a long-stalled treaty often referred to by its Spanish acronym CIFTA.

“As President Calderon and I discussed, I am urging the Senate in the United States to ratify an inter-American treaty known as CIFTA to curb small arms trafficking that is a source of so many of the weapons used in this drug war,” said President Obama in Mexico City on the eve of the Summit of the Americas.

Thirty of the thirty-five members of the Organization of American States have ratified CIFTA since it was agreed upon in 1997. In an interview with Reuters Jonathan Winer, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State who was the main negotiator of the treaty during the Clinton administration, said the treaty “is designed to help US law enforcement track abuses of firearms of criminals back to the last lawful sale so they can determine what went wrong. It is completely consistent with all US laws and does not ever impose a foreign law on a US person who has abided by US law.”

Although this treaty would do little to reform the domestic loopholes which allow countless guns onto our streets, CIFTA would at least signal to our allies in the OAS that we are serious about combating the drug violence that the US market both feeds and fuels.

Click here to read the rest of the blog post or here to send a Take Action letter.

Picture credit: Mike Licht (via Flickr)

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The web interns have had The Nation‘s activism portfolio moved into our remit. The first cause I’ve decided to throw The Nation behind is legislation that I first supported in my high school public speaking class.

Hemp, one of the world’s most versatile crops, has been used for centuries as a foodstuff, fabric, and fiber. This crop was grown in colonial New England and Virginia and is today cultivated in every industrialized nation in the world other than America. While hemp seeds and oils can be safely consumed and hemp clothes can be bought and worn across the US, all of the hemp used to create these products must be imported from abroad. Struggling American farmers have missed out on this growing market because, for over sixty years now, the Drug Enforcement Administration has grouped all varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant together in spite of the fact that industrial hemp possess vastly different fiber qualities and only trace amounts of psychotropic THC–a fraction of those present in marijuana.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2009 would help to undo this economically harmful misclassification.

Click here to see the Act Now! blog post or click here to fill out the Take Action letter.

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A look at President Obama’s nominee for ‘drug czar’ with the Bruce Mirken from the Marijuana Policy Project.

Click here to watch the Rachel Maddow Show clip.

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