Sunday, July 8, 2012

mexico despierta 7.7.2012

"tell every one around the world that democracy in mexico is a fraud." a demonstrator at saturday's manifestacion in guadalajara, mexico.

yesterday, thousands in guadalajara joined the throngs in mexico's capitol and across the country, not to mention around the world, to protest what they claim to be fraud in the presidential election.  on july 1, mexico voted enrique pena nieto, a member of the pri party (partido revolucionario institucional)  that ruled mexico for 71 years, back into office.  a recount released today confirmed pena nieto as the winner of the election over progressive candidate obrador by 6%, but protesters across the country claim the results are garnered from fraud and vote buying. 

"we demand the expulsion of pena nieto"
during its long reign, the pri earned a reputation of rife corruption, and evidence of fraud now continues to accumulate in the 2012 election.  one scandal accuses pri of buying votes with gift cards for the supermarket chain soriana, in exchange for votes.  obrador is challenging the validity of the election legally.  

 a participant in saturday's demonstration in guadalajara wields a sign saying, "liberty isn't for sale."

well over 5,000 people of all ages joined the youth-led movement #yosoy132 to form a river of protestors that marched several miles through the city.  electrically charged, but peaceful, the protesters shouted: "no mas pri!  no mas pri!" (no more pri! no more pri!)  and "el pueblo se cansa de tanta pinche tranza!" (the people are tired of all the dirty tricks!).  another populat chant;  "70 anos de dictadura, nos tiramos de la basura," ("70 years of dictatorship, time to take out our trash.")

demonstrators actively courted the participation of onlookers, shouting, "el pueblo, escucha, tambien esta es tu lucha!" ("hear this, people, this is your fight also.") and "unite!"  taxis driving alongside occassionally tapped their horns in support, and several commuters on buses cheered the march from open windows windows.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

leones d' los santos

a neighborhood whip in col. 5 de septiembre.

'94 jeep grand cherokee
puerto vallarta, jal. mex

alibi: toxicology report

reposted from alibi V.21 No.8 | February 23 - 29, 2012

The Drugs Are Winning

We’re using more than ever

New Mexico is the longtime world heavyweight and still national champion in deaths by drug overdose. But lawmakers passed a landmark memorial that could put a dent in the yearly death toll. The measure, SM 45, is a formal state request that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy study the effectiveness of medically supervised injection facilities. There are none in the United States, but 27 around the world serve as clinical settings for users to inject illegal drugs.

Whether the controversial approach is the best way to deal with our substance abuse problem remains to be seen, but the fact that New Mexico is willing to look at new methods is worth celebrating. Despite the drug war, abuse remains at record levels, and the bodies are piling up.
It was 1971 when Nixon first declared war on drugs. A lot of vets were coming back from Vietnam shooting heroin, and those needles were really freaking people out. To the patriotic highball set, criminalizing the hell out of substance abuse was a sensible strategy to take that seedy element off the streets.

To a certain degree, the plan worked. In terms of turning users into criminals, the war has been a spectacular success. Per capita, the U.S. incarcerates more of its own citizens than any other country on Earth. More than Russia. More than China. This year’s distant runner-up for prisoners per capita: Rwanda.

Since Nixon named drugs public enemy No. 1, the U.S. prison population has increased by more than 700 percent. Apparently, there are a lot more people into drugs than just counterculture deviants.
Are we really this sick? This unhappy? This weak?

Though there is no language explicitly targeting any one group, minorities have clearly been the big losers in the war’s justice lottery. To use an old-fashioned term, it’s racist. African-Americans are 13 times as likely to go to jail as white people for the same drug offense, and today, more African-Americans are caught up in the criminal justice system than were enslaved on the eve of the Civil War.

This tactic doesn’t seem to be having much impact on the street market, however. Though we are smoking, snorting and shooting slightly less than we did in the ’70s, the U.S. is still the biggest consumer of illegal drugs in the world. And when you consider how many people are reaching for legal pharmaceuticals, the fact is today—after more than 40 years of drug war, millions of incarcerations and record levels of overdoses—we are consuming more drugs than ever.

Over the counter sales are up, too, from $2.9 billion in 1971 to $17 billion in 2010, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

While the criminal justice system is culling vast throngs of miscreants who turned to drugs to solve their problems, our medical system has been promoting drugs as the answer to everything from depression to limp dick. We’ve got a whole slew of drugs to help you get off the other drugs. We’ve even got drugs for people who were born with sparse, bald-rat eyelashes. Hallelujah for modern medicine! The lashless will suffer the indignity of applying mascara no more!

Spending on legal prescriptions doubled from 1999 to 2008, when the grand total came to $234.1 billion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nine out of 10 elderly Americans took some kind of prescribed substance in the past month. Our nation’s children are also apparently terribly ill, with one out of every five kids under the age of 12 taking at least one prescribed medicine in the past month.

This is the crisis of today: Nationwide, overdose deaths doubled in the last decade thanks to the surging popularity of painkillers. For the first time in history, ODs outnumber traffic accidents as cause of death. Pills are responsible for more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. It’s a worldwide epidemic, but as the most medicated country in the world, America is leading the trend. And, of course, New Mexico has the highest overdose rate in the country.

Which brings us back to that measure up in Santa Fe. The memorial calls for a study into several harm-reduction strategies, including medically supervised injection sites for intravenous users. While controversial, such programs have been proven effective in reducing overdose fatalities while increasing access to drug treatment programs and health services. Hopefully the study will help guide New Mexico away from its heritage as the likeliest place in America to die of overdose. Our state government’s unanimous support for the memorial should be applauded for seeking alternatives to the clearly ineffective drug war.

But even the most innovative harm-reduction programs do nothing to address our nation’s fundamental problem: We use drugs for everything. That is the underlying pattern of behavior causing us true harm. Are we really this sick? This unhappy? This weak? And, if so, are drugs really the answer? When we toss back those little pills, we need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves: Why?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

johnson supports pardons for marijuana offenders

"if i am elected president of the united states, i'm going to pardon all non-violent federal convictions for marijuana," said former nm governor gary johnson in an address to the international drug policy reform conference last week.  the conference was hosted by several advocacy groups, including  l.e.a.p. (law enforcement against prohibition) and the a.c.l.u.

in his speech, johnson cited last month's gallup poll that found, for the first time, a majority of the u.s. population favors outright legalization of marijuana.  he cited the discrepancy between public sentiment and public leadership on the issue.

"50% of americans support legalizing marijuana.  amongst the universe of politicians, 0% of the universe of politicians support this notion....can you think of any other area of public policy where there is that kind of disconnect?  i can't."

the chasm between policy and popular opinion has widened exponentially in the last year, since the obama administration spun away from the official tolerance articulated in the ogden memo, in favor of drug enforcement policies from the bush era. adopting a fusion of anti-drug and anti-terror policy, a venomous hydra of prosecution that now includes military-trained d.e.a. squads of dubious international legality and the domestic targeting of state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries. 

according to the latest f.b.i. data, more americans are arrested  for drugs than any other crime,
with marijuana accounting for more than half of these arrests.

all this, as gary johnson notes, against the backdrop that a record majority of americans are now in favor of legalization.  last year, another gallup poll found 70% of americans in favor of prescribed medical marijuana to relieve pain.

yeah, the american people get it.  in a world where this kind of hypocrisy reigns, sometimes you got to light one to ease the pain.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

more from the marigold parade

"free haircuts for the 1%"

watching the parade from his backyard

this lady says we should boycott bueno foods because they do business with monsanto

marigold parade 11.6.11
albuquerque, nm

Sunday, November 6, 2011

dia de los muertos marigold parade-- bicycle edition

making marigolds

juan on a tiny bike trailing a tonka truck w a cassette recorder strapped on top

young one says, "i ran out of candy to throw because i ate it all."

our crew

marigold parade 11.6.11
albuquerque, nm

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

albuquerque csi!

here's the new video, "pliers," by gnash quintet, gusher. the track is off the upcoming release, drought valley gruncle core, which drops next week.  pick up your copy at the album release party saturday, november 12th 8pm at  outerspace (albuquerque, 309 washington se) experience gusher live, performing alongside abq grind godfathers, ronoso, and wet witch (from jersey).

"pliers" by gusher
video directed by stephen turselli
albuquerque, nm

album release party:saturday, november 12th 8pm at outerspace (albuquerque, 309 washington se) 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

new mexico has highest drug overdose rate in the country

new mexico now  leads the country with the most deaths by drug overdose per capita with 26.63 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the latest cdc data.  new mexico’s overdose rate is more than double the national average. 

meanwhile,  the fbi annual crime report released in september shows that last year, more americans were arrested for drugs than any other crime.   driving under the influence, another drug-related offense, placed second.  here in new mexico , 8,814 people were arrested for drugs and 11,301 people were busted for d.u.i.  

the ever-skyrocketing number of drug arrests have done little to stem overdoses. nationally, the overdose rate has nearly doubled in the last ten years.  12.7 people per 100,000 now die from overdose.  in 2000, that number was 6.7.  for the first time in history, more people die by od in than in car crashes.   

it's prescription pills that are responsible for the current spike in overdoses.  narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety meds are responsible for more overdoses than cocaine and heroin combined.  the incidence of overdose parallels the increasing prescription of these medications:  vicodin is now the most widely prescribed drug in the u.s.  

the american medical establishment has as big a drug problem as the rest of the country. given this track record, why are we trying to medicalize marijuana?  trusting doctors with drugs is like trusting banks with money.  

despite the overdose statistics, the federal government is now aggressively prosecuting marijuana users, and even state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.  a major crackdown in underway by u.s. attorneys in california.  no word on how this general federal pressure will affect new mexico’s small medical marijuana program, but one california ruling  may have local repercussions.  the i.r.s. is using a part of the tax code that was originally designed to hurt drug cartels.  that code is now being used to bar state-licensed dispensaries from taking any business-related tax deductions.  

while the current federal government cracks down, former new mexico governor gary johnson,  legalization advocate and  still flickeringly viable presidential aspirant, is actively courting the stoner vote.   in an interview with outside magazine, johnson calls marijuana users the “largest untapped voting bloc in the country.”  

asks johnson, “a hundred million americans have smoked marijuana. you think they want to be considered criminals?”

hell, no.  we want to be accepted, just like any pill popper.