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1AC---PLAN TEXT Plan text --The United States should legalize marijuana in the United States.
1AC---CARTELS ADV CONTENTION 1 IS DRUG VIOLENCE: Violence in Mexico is worsening---cartels are fragmenting and using more violent methods David James Cantor 14, Director, Refugee Law Initiative, School of Advanced Study, University of London, “The New Wave: Forced Displacement Caused by Organized Crime in Central America and Mexico”, Refugee Survey Quarterly (2014), first published online 6/10/14, http://rsq.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/06/10/rsq.hdu008.full.pdf+html Drug-smuggling organizations also have a long history in Mexico. Traditionally, like Central American transportistas, the Mexican cartels were rooted in strategically-important areas of the country and led by particular local families. Yet, from the 1990s, a
process of increasing fragmentation and militarisation has produced a new modus operandi in which each cartel seeks to establish exclusive control over territories through which drugs are trafficked (plazas), on which they then levy a tax (piso).48 As well as moving drugs through Mexican territory, these cartels have increasingly assumed a dominant regional role as drug owners and managers.49 Many – especially the newer cartels – are also diversifying their interests in controlled territories to include extortion and charging piso on other local criminal activities.50 This new mode of operations appears to have provoked forced displacement on a significant scale since the mid-2000s.¶ The wave
of violence experienced in Mexico over the past decade results largely from disputes for the control of plazas by these ruthless and heavily-armed criminal organizations. In affected parts of the country, much of the intense violent confrontation occurs outside the major cities, in the rural zones through which drug transportation takes place. Rural zones in states such as Sinaloa are also a focal point for armed dispute over the production of heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamines there.51 However, the
confrontations are not exclusively confined to rural areas but have increasingly extended to nearby cities, which provide attractive opportunities for diversifying into extortion and control of the local drug-dealing market.52 In the last few years, disputes over control of drug-smuggling routes have also spread with the cartels to Mexico’s southern neighbours .¶ The growing militarisation of the Mexican cartels has not only exacerbated their fragmentation, but also altered the way in which they interact with inhabitants of such territories. Most notably among the newer cartels, a bloody and uncompromising mind-set prevails in which intimidation and extreme spectacles of violence are used to control inhabitants (and officials) or to dominate new territories.54 The deployment of such tactics has raised the stakes for other cartels, which have not hesitated to respond in kind. In urban areas,55 violent Mexican street gangs are also sometimes employed by rival cartels as a means of waging war by proxy, thereby further fracturing the control and discipline of the cartels.¶ While the cartels’ extensive territories are comparable to those of transportistas, their pursuit of exclusive territorial control via intimidation and extreme violence is thus more similar to the strategy now favoured by the maras. Yet their
power, resources, and positioning in the regional drug trade put their capacity for violence in a league far above that of other criminal organizations in the region.
Marijuana prohibition drives cartel violence---artificially high prices sustain criminal enterprises---legalization is key Paul Armentano 9, Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an expert in the field of marijuana policy, health, and pharmacology, has served as a consultant for Health Canada and the Canadian Public Health Association, “How to End Mexico's Deadly Drug War”, 1/18/09, The Foundation for Economic Education, http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/how-to-end-mexicos-deadly-drug-war The U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy (more commonly known as the drug czar’s office) says more than 60 percent of the profits reaped by Mexican drug lords are derived from the exportation and sale of cannabis to the American market. To anyone who has studied the marijuana issue, this figure should come as no surprise. An estimated 100 million Americans age 12 or older—or about 43 percent of the country—admit to having tried pot, a higher percentage, according to the World Health Organization, than any other country on the planet. Twenty-five
million Americans admit (on government surveys, no less) to smoking
marijuana during the past year, and 15 million say that they indulge regularly. This high demand, combined with the drug’s artificially inflated black-market value (pot possession has been illegal under federal law since 1937), now makes cannabis America’s top cash crop.¶ In fact, according to a 2007 analysis by George Mason University professor Jon Gettman, the annual retail value of the U.S. marijuana market is some $113 billion.¶ How much of this goes directly to Mexican cartels is difficult to quantify, but no doubt the percentage is significant. Government officials estimate that approximately half the marijuana consumed in the United States originates from outside its borders, and they have identified Mexico as far and away America’s largest pot provider. Because
Mexican-grown marijuana tends to fetch lower prices on the black market than domestically grown weed (a result attributed largely to lower production costs—the Mexican variety tends to be grown outdoors, while an increasing percentage of American-grown pot is produced hydroponically indoors), it remains consistently popular among U.S. consumers, particularly in a down economy. As a result, U.S. law officials now report that some Mexican cartels are moving to the United States to set up shop permanently. A Congressional Research Service report says low-level cartel members are now establishing clandestine growing operations inside the United States (thus eliminating the need to cross the border), as well as partnering with domestic gangs and other criminal enterprises. A March 23 New York Times story speculated that Mexican drug gangs or their affiliates are now active in some 230 U.S. cities, extending from Tucson, Arizona, to Anchorage, Alaska.¶ In short, America’s
multibillion-dollar demand for pot is fueling the Mexican drug trade and much of the turf battles and carnage associated with it. ¶ Same Old “Solutions”¶ So what are the administration’s plans to quell the cartels’ growing influence and surging violence? Troublingly, the White House appears intent on recycling the very strategies that gave rise to Mexico’s infamous drug lords in the first place.¶ In March the administration requested $700 million from Congress to “bolster existing efforts by Washington and Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s administration to fight violent trafficking in drugs . . . into the United States.” These efforts, as described by the Los Angeles Times, include: “vowing to send U.S. money, manpower, and technology to the southwestern border” and “reducing illegal flows (of drugs) in both directions across the border.” The administration also announced that it intends to clamp down on the U.S. demand for illicit drugs by increasing funding for drug treatment and drug courts.¶ There are three primary problems with this strategy.¶ First, marijuana
production is a lucrative business that attracts criminal entrepreneurs precisely because it is a black-market (and highly sought after) commodity. As long as pot remains federally prohibited its retail price to the consumer will remain artificially high, and its production and distribution will attract criminal enterprises willing to turn to violence (rather than the judicial system) to maintain their slice of the multi-billion-dollar pie.¶ Second, the United States is already spending more money on illicit-drug law enforcement, drug treatment, and drug courts than at any time in our history. FBI data show that domestic marijuana arrests have increased from under 300,000 annually in 1991 to over 800,000 today. Police seizures of marijuana have also risen dramatically in recent years, as has the amount of taxpayer dollars federal officials have spent on so-called “educational efforts” to discourage the drug’s use. (For example, since the late 1990s Congress has appropriated well over a billion dollars in anti-pot public service announcements alone.) Yet despite these combined efforts to discourage demand, Americans use more pot than anyone else in the world. ¶ Third, law
enforcement’s recent attempts to crack down on the cartels’ marijuana distribution rings, particularly new efforts launched by the Calderón administration in Mexico, are driving the unprecedented wave in Mexican violence—not abating it. The New York Times states: “A crackdown begun more than two years ago by President Felipe Calderón, coupled with feuds over turf and control of the organizations, has set off an unprecedented wave of killings in Mexico. . . . Many of the victims were tortured. Beheadings have become common.” Because of this escalating violence, Mexico now ranks behind only Pakistan and Iran as the administration’s top international security concern.¶ Despite the rising death toll, drug war hawks at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) remain adamant that the United States’ and Mexico’s “supply side” strategies are in fact successful. “Our view is that the violence we have been seeing is a signpost of the success our very courageous Mexican counterparts are having,” acting DEA administrator Michele Lionhart said recently. “The cartels are acting out like caged animals, because they are caged animals.” President Obama also appears to share this view. After visiting with the Calderón government in April, he told CNN he intended to “beef up” security on the border. When asked whether the administration would consider alternative strategies, such as potentially liberalizing pot’s criminal classification, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replied that such an option “is not on the table.”¶ A New Remedy¶ By contrast the Calderón administration appears open to the idea of legalizing marijuana—or at least reducing criminal sanctions on the possession of small quantities of drugs—as a way to stem the tide of violence. Last spring Mexican lawmakers made the possession of personal-use quantities of cannabis and other illicit substances a noncriminal offense. And in April Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, told
CBS’s Face the Nation that legalizing the marijuana trade was a legitimate option for both the Mexican and U.S. governments. “[T]hose who would suggest that some of these measures [legalization] be looked at understand the dynamics of the drug trade,” Sarukhan said.¶ Former Mexican President Vicente Fox recently echoed Sarukhan’s remarks, as did a commission of former Latin American presidents. “I believe it’s
time to open
the debate over legalizing drugs,” Fox told CNN in May. “It can’t be that the only way [to try to control illicit drug use] is for the state to use force.”¶ Writing recently on CNN.com, Harvard economist and Freeman contributor Jeffrey Miron said that ending drug prohibition—on both sides of the border—is the only realistic and viable way to put a permanent stop to the rising power and violence associated with Mexico’s drug traffickers. “Prohibition
creates violence because it drives the drug market underground,” he wrote. “This means buyers and sellers cannot resolve their disputes with lawsuits, arbitration or advertising, so they resort to violence instead. . . . The only way to reduce violence, therefore, is to legalize drugs .”
Marijuana’s key---legalization weakens the cartels sufficiently to allow current operations to succeed Ioan Grillo 12, author, journalist, writer and TV producer based in Mexico City, has reported on Mexico and Latin American since 2001, “Hit Mexico’s Cartels With Legalization”, 11/1/12, NYT, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/opinion/hit-mexicos-cartels-with-legalization.html Marijuana is just one of the drugs that the cartels traffic. Chemicals such as crystal meth may be too venomous to ever be legalized. But cannabis is a cash crop that provides huge profits to criminal armies , paying for assassins and guns south of the Rio Grande. The scale of the Mexican marijuana business was illustrated by a mammoth 120-hectare plantation busted last year in Baja California. It had a sophisticated irrigation system, sleeping quarters for 60 workers and could produce 120 metric tons of cannabis per harvest.¶ Again, nobody
knows exactly how much the whole Mexico-U.S. marijuana trade is worth, with estimates ranging from $2 billion to $20 billion annually. But even if you believe the lowest numbers, legal marijuana would take billions of dollars a year away from organized crime. This would inflict more financial damage than soldiers or drug agents have managed in years and substantially weaken cartels.¶ It is also argued that Mexican gangsters have expanded to a portfolio of crimes that includes kidnapping, extortion, human smuggling and theft from oil pipelines. This is a terrifying truth. But this does not take away from the fact that the marijuana trade provides the crime groups with major resources. That they are committing crimes such as kidnapping, which have a horrific effect on innocent people, makes cutting off their financing all the more urgent.¶ The cartels will not disappear overnight. U.S. agents and the Mexican police need to continue battling hit squads that wield rocket-propelled grenades and belt-driven machine guns. Killers who hack off heads still have to be locked away. Mexico needs to clean up corruption among the police and build a valid justice system. And young men in the barrios have to be given a better option than signing up as killers.¶ All these
tasks will be easier if the flow of money to the cartels is dramatically slowed down . Do we really want to hand them another
trillion dollars over the next three decades?
Specifically, the aff undercuts the Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels, the most powerful and influential cartels---that’s key to lasting peace in Mexico Chad Murray 11, M.A. student in the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program @ George Washington, supervised and sponsored by the OAS and Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, “Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations and Marijuana: The Potential Effects of U.S. Legalization”, 4/26/11, https://elliott.gwu.edu/sites/elliott.gwu.edu/files/downloads/acad/lahs/mexico-marijuana071111.pdf While Los
Zetas and La Familia have recently dominated the media coverage of the drug war in Mexico, they might not be objectively termed the strongest cartels in the country. They are the most active in attacking government forces and setting up narco bloqueos in major cities.59 However, they do not have the financial strength, military prowess, territorial reach, or tactical discipline of Mexico‟s largest DTO, the Sinaloa cartel. 60 This DTO and the Tijuana cartel are
major traffickers of marijuana, and their territories are the major marijuana production areas in Mexico. They have near exclusive control of the so called “Golden Triangle” region of Mexico where the mountainous areas of Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua states meet. This makes sense, because according to sources in the Drug Enforcement Agency
these two DTOs likely make a majority their revenue from marijuana.¶ The amount of marijuana trafficked by the Sinaloa cartel is evident by the scale of recent drug busts. In October of 2010 Mexican police and military forces seized more than 134 metric tons of marijuana in one Sinaloa facility. This was equal to almost $200 million according to Mexican authorities.63 The very next month 30 tons of marijuana was retrieved by law enforcement on both sides of the border after a Tijuana drug smuggling tunnel was discovered.64 The DTO behind this operation has not been determined, but based on the location it is likely to be either the Sinaloa cartel or Arello Felix Organization. These seizures represent only a proportion of the amount marijuana trafficked into the United States from Mexico through the San DiegoTijuana corridor in 2 months. There are other drug transport corridors that likely receive more marijuana traffic. ¶ Although the
Sinaloa cartel does not often target civilians, it is the most violent DTO in terms of overall casualties . It has targeted hundreds of police officers and its leader, “El Chapo” Guzmán, is widely thought to have caused a recent upsurge in violence after breaking a truce with the other major criminal groups in the country.66 The feud between the Sinaloa and Juarez organizations is the reason that Juarez is the most violent city in Mexico, and according to some accounts, the entire world. 67 The
Sinaloa cartel’s huge financial resources make it a major threat to the government , because they are able to corrupt large numbers of local, state, and federal government officials. This was revealed in several high profile cases in recent years.68The Sinaloa cartel is constantly trying to expand its territory into that traditionally held by other cartels, particularly in Juarez, and this is a major cause of much of the violence.¶ The Sinaloa cartel has the greatest capacity to wage „all-out war‟ because they have far more money than the other DTOs. Guzmán is also more focused on winning the favor and tacit protection of the populace, and thus is more involved in the drugs trade than kidnapping, and prefers to bribe rather than confront authorities.69 However, in many ways this makes the Sinaloa cartel more dangerous to the Government in Mexico. Its use of bribes can make local state and even federal law enforcement unreliable. Furthermore, the Sinaloa organization’s outreach to the civilian population makes it even harder for the government to gain information about Guzmán. In addition, the massive strength of the Sinaloa cartel makes an eventual peace all the more allusive. In the event that the government would try to reduce the violence through talks with cartels, the Sinaloa organization would be unlikely to take them seriously. The government has little to offer big organizations like Sinaloa, which already enjoy near uncontested control over the areas in which they operate. ¶ The Tijuana cartel is also a powerful, though often underrated organization. This group was infamous in 2008 and 2009, when it destabilized much of Tijuana with its attacks on the police and rival cartels. 71As with the Sinaloa cartel, the Tijuana cartel is
a very important organization with networks mainly in the Tijuana and the San Diego area. This DTO is famous for both its violence and the brutality. Most notoriously, Teodoro García Simental’s war for control of Tijuana led to hundreds being tortured and killed until his arrest in 2010. ¶ The main areas where the Sinaloa and Tijuana cartels tend to cultivate marijuana include Sonora, Michoacán, and Sinaloa states. They focus on trafficking in marijuana because it is easy to grow, profitable for wholesale, and cheap to pay laborers . In 2010 farmers received only 15 to 20 dollars for a pound of marijuana. 73 This price is just barely above the amount farmers could get for corn and other produce. Therefore, if
the price farmers were to be paid for marijuana were to fall much further, it is not unlikely that many would turn to more legitimate crops.¶ These cartels represent a huge part of the Mexican organized criminal structure . Dealing a major blow to these groups could give the Mexican government a leg up. The Sinaloa cartel currently has the ability, due to its huge monetary reserves, to project its influence and carry out violence acts across vast swathes of Mexico. The Tijuana cartel holds large parts of its namesake city through violence and coercion. The following chapter will explore what effect, if any, the legalization of marijuana would have on the revenue, operational capacities, overall strength, and ability to wage violence for these two cartels.
The plan massively disrupts cartel revenues and independently frees up law enforcement resources to focus on other sources of revenue---creates long-term peace David Shirk 11, director of the Trans-Border Institute and associate professor of political science at the University of San Diego, conducts research on Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexico relations, and law enforcement and security along the U.S.-Mexico border, currently the principal investigator for the Justice in Mexico project, a binational research initiative on criminal justice and the rule of law in Mexico, “Drug Violence and State Responses in Mexico”,
last date cited was 2011, http://iis-db.stanford.edu/evnts/6716/ShirkDrug_Violence_and_State_Responses_in_Mexico.pdf In evaluating Mexico’s efforts to address these challenges, it seems clear that inter-cartel
dynamics and the government’s own efforts to decapitate top leadership structures has contributed to the fractionalization of organized crime groups, more severe and disorganized violence, and a diversification of organized criminal activities. If current trends continue, my estimation is that we are likely to see a reconfiguration of international drug trafficking networks —with a continued shift to Central America— and a gradual diminishing, but greater dispersion of crime and violence in Mexico. For some, this result will seem like a victory, since it would achieve the Calderón administration’s stated goal of eliminating drug trafficking organizations as a national security threat. However, in my view, this result would merely illustrate the utter failure of counter-drug efforts, in that it would perpetuate the pattern of displacement —the so-called balloon effect— that has characterized the war on drugs for over 40 years. Meanwhile, little
real progress has been made with regard to reducing drug violence and the accessibility of psychotropic substances. In fact, in both areas, the traditional strategies associated with the drug war —the disruption of cartel leadership structures, the concentration of interdiction efforts at the border, and the overall emphasis of a law enforcement approach to the shared problem of drug consumption— have arguably produced more harm than good. ¶ Still, the policy options available to Mexico partly reflect the policies and priorities of the United the two factors of greatest concern to ordinary people: significantly
States, which is presently opposed to any alternative to the criminalization of drugs and strongly supports counter drug efforts in Mexico. What most ordinary U.S. and Mexican citizens don't realize is that the vast majority of counter-drug efforts currently focus
marijuana represented 98% of the bulk tonnage seized by authorities at the U.S. Mexican border , although even the most generous estimates suggest that this represented no more than 5-10% of the total volume of marijuana flowing across the border. Meanwhile, more than half of U.S. drug arrests—and roughly 6% of all arrests in the United States — are related to the illegal possession, consumption, or sale of cannabis.¶ Efforts to restrict cannabis flows and consumption does little damage to drug cartels, since marijuana sales in the United States represent 20-25% of proceeds from exports by Mexican drug traffickers, at best. Some observers stress this point to argue that legalization of marijuana would do little to sway the fight against organized crime. Given that the repeal of marijuana prohibition would cause drug traffickers to lose roughly a fifth of their U.S. proceeds almost overnight, they are probably wrong . Indeed, repealing marijuana prohibition would likely do far more than our current, costly restrictions to deprive organized crime groups of profits, and it would also free up badly needed law enforcement resources to fight organized crime groups on other fronts and reduce consumer dependence on high risk drugs like cocaine and heroin. Marijuana legalization is therefore a potential first step toward a more rationale and effective approach to combating organized crime. on the drug that is most widely used: marijuana. Indeed, last year
That’s key--conflict in Mexico crushes Mexican economic growth Otto Raul Tielemans 14, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, “Authoritarianism on the Rise: The War on Drug’s Erosion of Mexican Democracy”, 6/16/14, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, http://www.coha.org/authoritarianism-on-the-rise-the-waron-drugs-erosion-of-mexican-democracy/ *Edited for ableist language* As if the burgeoning Latin American country has not suffered enough, the
War on Drugs has progressively managed to disintegrate the country’s ever-frail democracy . Through the enactment of estados de excepción (states of exception), Mexico’s executive branch has enabled itself to rule by decree, effectively circumventing Congress and bypassing the nation’s constitution . Freedom of press, speech, and movement have all been left handicapped, with the military being able to operate freely outside of its constitutional confinements. These infringements on democracy will be addressed throughout the course of this essay in order to highlight the danger that human rights periodically face in this most troubled Latin American country.¶ Restoring Public Safety: Mexico Fights Back¶ Responding to crippling levels of violence, President Felipe Calderon
swept into office in 2006 with the intention of
combatting organized crime. His declaration of a “war” on drugs was met with the deployment of Mexican military personnel to combat the country’s numerous criminal organizations. At the end of 2008, some 40,000 soldiers and 5,000 federal police officers were involved in the fight against drug trafficking .¶ Although President
Calderon’s decision to use the armed forces was highly controversial domestically, his administration was quick to obtain support abroad. The United States, Mexico’s largest trade partner, pledged $400 million USD for military assistance in 2008 . Since then, the Americans have given an excess of $1.3 billion USD, an exuberant amount that continues to grow under both Republican and Democrat presidencies . Ironically, Washington has been extremely hospitable to an influx of another cohort of Mexican citizens, all of whom are soldiers that stay temporarily to be educated on American military tactics, necessary to execute counterinsurgency operations in their own country .¶ The pooling together of these assets (i.e. U.S.-trained military personnel, foreign financial assistance, etc.) has enabled the Mexican authorities to orchestrate systematic counternarcotic operations in which soldiers attempt to apprehend criminals involved in drug production and trafficking.¶ While drastic in its goal to tackle organized crime, the drug war has shown considerable success in the apprehension of more than 121,000 criminals . With less than 9,000 convictions made, the government has shown some success in crippling the production and trafficking of narcotics—even if the impact on criminal organizations is only temporary.¶ An Imperial Presidency Restored¶ When
commencing the War on Drugs, the Mexican government aspired to freely persecute those it believed to be part of the illicit drug trade. However, the country’s 1917 constitution, designed to safeguard civilians from an overbearing government, prevented the government from initiating broad military campaigns.¶ In 2009, President Calderon submitted a bill to the Mexican Congress that would effectively enable the executive branch to circumvent the nation’s various constitutional restraints and legislative “checks .” Although the Calderon administration legitimized its power grab by emphasizing the need to restore public safety, the bill catalyzed the erosion of various democratic institutions that resulted in the consequences analyzed below.¶ ¶ Circumventing Congress: The Waning Power of Mexico’s Legislature¶ To his credit, President Calderon followed the constitutional procedures required to enlarge his powers as chief executive. His actions, while damaging to civil liberties and the country’s democracy, did obtain the required legislative approval.¶ That being said, President Calderon’s 2009 bill
endowed the executive with the ability to have his Consejo de Seguridad Nacional (National Security Council), an entity filled with presidential appointees, declare estados de excepción . This power, previously reserved for Congress, abandons legislative approval and allows the executive to suspend civil liberties systematically with little to no opposition coming from the country’s major political ranks.¶ Even more damaging is the fact that through estados de excepción, the country’s executive has been able to govern through decree . Allowing the president to circumvent congress, the executive is able to pass bills without consulting the country’s elected representatives. Most recently, President Peña Nieto
has initiated various reforms concerning taxation and water regulation, demonstrating his ability to manipulate current political instability in order to implement reforms in areas not relevant to the War on Drugs .¶ ¶ The Siege of Civil Liberties: Mexico’s Suspension of Human Rights¶ By means of declaring multiple estados de excepción in “states” throughout the country, the Mexican government has acquired the power to restrict basic human rights. Freedom of speech, movement, and assembly are all suspended upon the request of the government . Much like the U.S. National Security Agency, government officials also have the option of engaging in the systematic monitoring of citizens’ private communications . Those perceived to be involved in drug trafficking face even greater scrutiny – especially since habeas corpus is suspended under estados de excepción and suspected criminals can be kept in prison for 80 days without being presented with specific charges .¶ Although the Mexican government has a legitimate conflict to address, the
suspension of previously liberties not only cripples civil society, but also leaves citizens vulnerable to the mercy of government officials. In a country whose police force has 50 percent of its officers engaging in corrupt activities, it is disturbing that common citizens may be extorted or brutalized on a daily basis , with no one to turn guaranteed civil
to for help .¶ Estados de Excepción: A Golden Ticket For The Mexican Military¶ Mexico’s military has played an extensive role throughout the country’s history, particularly in its governance. In order to prevent the armed forces from endangering the nation’s democracy, Mexico’s constitution confines the military to a role that is separate from the political process. While this confinement is beneficial in safeguarding the country’s democracy, Mexico’s
military lacks transparency in its operations and is known to be indiscriminate in its acts of aggression.¶ Under estados de excepción, the armed forces have been given sweeping powers to quell violence and demolish organized crime . Allegations have surfaced by two mothers that soldiers abducted their two sons, atrociously torturing one and brutally beating the other one to death . Reports
of more than 70 individuals having been tortured, raped, and/or murdered by members of the military add to the
seemingly unending list of atrocities committed by government forces that claimed to be protecting the public .¶ While calls by the public to have soldiers prosecuted in civilian courts have emerged, the country’s judicial system has been active in ensuring that the Mexican military is shielded from public scrutiny. The Supreme Court of Mexico validated the authority of military courts to judge soldiers involved in crimes against civilians in August 2009 . This strategic move not only further bolstered the strength of the armed forces, but also assigned them with the approval to conduct mass violence against those they perceive to be enemies of the state without fearing any retaliation by the country’s judicial system.¶ In addition to their exception from the law, evidence has surfaced implicating various military figures in corruption scandals with narcotic trafficking organizations. Most notably, General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo was found to have accepted bribes from drug traffickers in 1997 . Under the presidency of Vicente Fox, 2,600 federal law officers were fired or suspended for bribery and corruption-related charges . In 2008, both the head of the Sub-Prosecutor for Special Investigations into Organized Crime (SIEDO) and two heads of Interpol in the country were investigated for receiving bribes from a Sinaloa drug cartel . The list of corrupt military and state officials appears almost endless.¶ It should be noted that an excess of 120,000
Mexican soldiers, many of whom were trained in the United States, have deserted the military in order to pursue a lucrative career with drug cartels . Effectively, this leaves the government in a fight against a self-created enemy that contains vast insight into the military’s operations and tactics.¶ ¶ Violence and Poverty: Setting The Stage For Authoritarianism?¶ Mexico’s progressive shift towards authoritarianism is not simply the result of the executive and military actively pursuing greater power; it is also the net result of a crippling economic environment and violent social atmosphere.¶ Following a series of bank crises and global financial meltdowns, Mexico
has been plagued with having to battle a series of economic catastrophes. Its economy has been estimated to have an annual GDP of $1.2 trillion USD, which is limited in its ability to expand due to the high cost of security that is needed for economic enterprises to operate within the country. According to some scholars, security expenditures add an additional 8 to 15 percent to business operations . And although the Mexican government has been on an aggressive campaign to attract foreign investors to the country’s burgeoning manufacturing sector, the fact of the matter is that the danger and high costs of business operations handicap [hurt] economic prosperity. This, in combination with an increased level of militarized warfare, is estimated to decrease economic growth by approximately 1% . The combination of these factors inhibits the government from creating jobs that would otherwise help employ some of the county’s 6 million unemployed citizens.¶ ¶ With more than 52 percent of the population living in extreme poverty, financial disparity makes the country’s impoverished persons prime bait for drug cartels . While dangerous, the hefty salary paid by organized crime ensures the loyalty and steady supply of countless workers. As it stands, drug cartels employ over half a million people in Mexico alone . Their growing network of well-paid criminals not only ensures a steady flow of narcotics to North America and Europe, but also guarantees the perpetuation of the War on Drugs by having citizens feed into the very system that the Mexican government is attempting to dismantle.¶ Due
to the increasing scope of the conflict, the government is likely to restrict civil liberties and continue to endow the executive and military with relatively unchecked powers in order to resolve the issue at hand. This erosion of liberal democratic values, regardless of good intentions, will ensure the growth of authoritarianism in a country whose history is blotched with rightwing dictatorships and vast periods of oppression.¶ The War on Drugs is approaching a decade of violence with increasing evidence that the endless violence is setting the stage for antidemocratic governance to engulf the country. With reports citing an approximate 1.6 million people as having been displaced, momentum has grown within the public to equip the government with the power necessary to end the drug cartels’ reckless actions .¶ Polls from 2012 demonstrate that 80 percent of the Mexican population supports using the army to combat drug violence . Studies show that almost three in every four individuals (73 percent) viewed the military positively in 2012. Moreover, trust in national government leaped from 54 to 65 percent between 2011 and 2012 . With the average citizen demonstrating an increased sense of trust in their government and the armed forces, civil society has overwhelmingly rejected the notion of defending human rights and basic liberties. As a matter of fact, the argument could be made that the Mexican public has decided to trade basic liberties for security. Especially with one-third of the population being in favor of having the United States send troops to Mexico, sovereignty and civil liberties are viewed as insignificant by a considerable number of the Mexican populace when it comes to combating unmanageable levels of violence .¶ Finally, ambitious politicians and power-hungry military leaders are not the only catalyst in Mexico’s reactionary shift towards an illiberal democracy. The government’s failure to create an adequate number of jobs, in addition to prolonged
warfare between government forces and criminal organizations, has driven desperate citizens into fostering a climate that favors the deterioration of democratic values in exchange for a perceived sense of security.¶ Prospects For A Better Tomorrow?¶ Mexico is cursed by its geography. Although blessed with vast oil reserves, the fact that the country is nestled between the United States (the world’s largest consumer of illegal drugs) and South America (a region of vast narcotic production) ensures that it is constantly battling with drugs trafficking across its borders . Needless to say, U.S. pressures to dismantle the operations of drug producers, in addition to social unrest, puts the Mexican government in a difficult position.¶ While everyone who loves Mexico wants to see it flourish as a developed country, the fact is until
Mexico can attract investments, create a greater number of jobs, and restore social tranquility; it is
inevitable that criminal organizations will continue to prey on impoverished and poorly educated persons. These shortcomings will only add to the conflict, resulting in continued violence and countless fatalities .¶ It is highly unlikely that Mexico’s War on Drugs will be resolved in the near future. If violence does subside, then the country will have a much easier task addressing issues of wealth disparity, lackluster education, and poor labor conditions. Sadly, the reality of the situation is that violence will continue and the government will actively attempt to grant itself with greater, unchecked powers to combat the problem. Doing so will inevitably dismantle what remains of the country’s democratic fabric and condemn the nation and its people to oppression by corrupt government officials.
Current Mexican growth is insufficient---increasing growth rates is necessary Duncan Wood 14, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, former professor and director of the international relations program at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Méxcio (ITAM) in Mexico City, “Gauging Economic and Democratic Progress in Mexico”, 7/17/14, https://umshare.miami.edu/web/wda/hemisphericpolicy/Task_Force_Papers/Wood%20and% 20Putnam%20Paper.pdf Mexico’s economic transformation has deepened since then thanks to the extraordinarily successful legislative reform agenda of the Peña Nieto administration. Reforms of labor markets, education, telecommunications, finance and energy in 2013 carry the promise of moving Mexico’s economy ahead once more while providing an environment that should significantly raise both national productivity and foreign direct investment. The energy reform in particular is a game-changer, promising to create a parallel revolution in the hydrocarbons sector to that which occurred in the manufacturing sector after NAFTA.¶ The
Mexican economic transformation, however, has not been without problems, and it unclear whether the recent reforms will be able to solve them . Per capita income has risen steadily in the country over the past 30 years, yet Mexico remains one of the most unequal economies in the world where, according to Mexican government statistics, over 45 percent of the population still lives in poverty. Almost 12 million people, 10 percent of the population, live in extreme poverty. This stands in stark contrast with the fact that Mexico has the highest concentration of billionaires per capita in the world, and the world’s second richest person, Carlos Slim.
Mexico also suffers from the problem of an informal economy that employs more people than the formal sector. Owing in large part to the long-term impact of layoffs in the formal sector after the economic crises of the 1980s and 1990s and the subsequent liberalizing reforms, 60 percent of the Mexican labor force now works in the informal economy. These individuals neither pay income tax, which reduces government revenue, nor receive any form of benefits or social security, which harms productivity and creates heightened individual and family vulnerability. As such, a major challenge for the government of Mexico remains the incorporation of the informal sector into the formal economy, which was not addressed by the 2013 reforms.¶ Another
lingering problem for Mexico, which first beset the PAN governments of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, and now the PRI government of Enrique Peña Nieto, has been the challenge of achieving high growth rates in the economy. Although there have been some periods of higher growth, the average GDP growth rate was 2.2 percent during the 2000-2006 Fox administration and 1.8 percent during the 2006-2012 Calderón government. The drop in growth in the Calderón era was due in part to the economic recession (which consisted of a contraction of 6 percent of GDP in 2009) caused by the United States’ financial turmoil in 2008-09, but was perceived by the Mexican electorate as a failure on the part of the PAN government to provide sufficient economic opportunities.
Mexico’s key to the US economy---continued drug violence causes decline Stephanie Buck 12, Program Assistant in Latin America and the Caribbean @ Center for International Private Enterprise, “Why You Should Care About Mexico”, 6/20/12, http://www.cipe.org/blog/2012/06/20/why-you-should-care-about-mexico/#.VAoF2vldWSo Mexico today is one of the world’s most open economies, the thirteenth largest by GDP, and the United States’ third largest trading partner. While many Americans associate Mexico with words like “drugs,” “violence,” “immigrants,” or maybe “Cancun,” the truth is that the US economy is inextricably linked to Mexico’s, and vice versa: economic, civil, social, or political unrest on one country greatly affects the other, both directly and
indirectly.¶ The aim of this three-part blog series is to look at the bigger picture: Mexico is far more important to the US, and the US to Mexico, than conventional wisdom suggests — and in many more ways.¶ A recent New York Times article discusses the importance of Mexico’s rapidly approaching presidential elections to the state of Texas. However, these elections will affect more than just the border states. The
economies of more than a dozen other states, including heavily on exports to Mexico. Mexican companies are now the largest suppliers of cement, baked goods, and dairy products to the US market. Mexico is also the second largest supplier of oil to the US, after Canada.¶ In addition to providing each other with important export markets, the Mexican and US economies are becoming increasingly integrated in ways that blur traditional understandings of trade. The regional supply chains of US companies criss-cross the US-Mexico border, meaning that Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan depend
Mexico and the US work together to manufacture goods that are eventually sold on the global market. For example, cars built in North America may cross the border as many as eight times as they are being produced.¶ In other words, the US and Mexico are more than just neighbors. Economic
interdependence, shared cultural heritage, and grim security issues that both countries must face together mean that what happens in Mexico affects the US in more ways than just immigration and drug trafficking. Mexico’s economic, political, institutional, social, and security challenges are all interconnected: whoever wins the Mexican presidential elections on July 1 will have to face a myriad of complex problems. He or she will help set policies that will both directly and indirectly affect everyone from US business leaders to migrant workers to white suburban teenagers.¶ A Mexico that is fully equipped with leaders who can help navigate the process to the reforms the country needs is an even more important economic and political ally that can help increase prosperity throughout the region.¶ This is not a zero-sum game.
If Mexico flourishes, the US will also flourish .
Mexico’s key to the global economy Shannon K. O'Neil 14, Senior Fellow of Latin American Policy for CFR, "Mexico on the Brink", 2/19, www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/02/19/mexico_on_the_brink Mexico is doing better than many analysts expected, but is still not reaching its potential pace of While the recent 3 to 4 percent GDP growth is welcome news, it is below the rate the country needs to move up the global economic ranks -- and more important, to break out of the "middle-income trap" that leaves few resources available to improve the quality of life for the have-nots. Opening the economy to the global winds was necessary, but not sufficient to assure long-term development.¶ Mexico is now at a crossroads . It could continue down a path of growth and social change to become a leading democracy with an energetic middle class. Or it could become bogged down by its many challenges: violence, interest-group politics, and the corrupting call of crony capitalism. Much rides on the outcome, especially for many of Mexico's 112 million citizens who do not yet enjoy the living standards of other OECD countries. But in an ever more integrated global economy, what happens to Mexico's matters to the rest of the world and, in particular, to the United States. All told,
Economic decline causes nuclear war Geoffrey Kemp 10, Director of Regional Strategic Programs at The Nixon Center, served in the White House under Ronald Reagan, special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council Staff, Former Director, Middle East Arms Control Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2010, The East Moves West: India, China, and Asia’s Growing Presence in the Middle East, p. 233-4 The second scenario, called Mayhem and Chaos, is the opposite of the first scenario; everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
The world economic situation weakens rather than strengthens, and India, China, and Japan suffer a major reduction in their growth rates, further weakening the global economy. As a result, energy demand falls and the price of fossil fuels plummets, leading to a financial crisis for the energy-producing states, which are forced to cut back dramatically on expansion programs and social welfare. That in turn leads to political unrest: and nurtures different radical groups, including, but not limited to, Islamic extremists. The internal stability of some countries is challenged, and there are
more “failed states.” Most serious is the collapse of the democratic government in Pakistan and its takeover by Muslim extremists, who then take possession of a large number of nuclear weapons. The danger of war between India and Pakistan increases significantly. Iran, always worried about an extremist Pakistan, expands and weaponizes its nuclear program. That further enhances nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt joining Israel and Iran as nuclear states. Under these circumstances, the potential for nuclear terrorism increases, and the possibility of a nuclear terrorist attack in either the Western world or in the oil-producing states may lead to a further devastating collapse of the world economic market, with a tsunamilike impact on stability. In this scenario, major disruptions can be expected, with dire consequences for two-thirds of the planet’s population.
Best stats prove Jedidiah Royal 10, Director of Cooperative Threat Reduction at the US Department of Defense, “Economic Integration, Economic Signalling and the Problem of Economic Crises”, chapter in Economics of War and Peace: Economic, Legal and Political Perspectives, ed. Goldsmith and Brauer, p. 213-215 First, on the systemic level, Pollins (2008) advances Modelski and Thompson’s (1996) work on leadership cycle theory, finding that
rhythms in the global economy are associated with the rise and fall of a pre-eminent power and the often bloody transition from one pre-eminent leader to the next. As such, exogenous shocks such as economic crisis could usher in a redistribution of power (see also Gilpin, 1981) that leads to uncertainty about power balances, increasing the risk of miscalculation (Fearon, 1995). Alternatively, even a relatively certain redistribution of power could lead to a permissive environment for conflict as a rising power may seek to challenge a declining power (Werner 1999). Separately, Pollins (1996) also show that global economic cycles combined with parallel leadership cycles impact the likelihood of conflict among major, medium, and small powers, although he suggests that the causes and connections between global economic conditions and security conditions remain unknown.¶ Second, on a dyadic level. Copeland's (1996. 2000) theory of trade expectations suggests that 'future expectation of trade' is a significant variable in understanding economic conditions and security behaviour of states. He argues that interdependent states are likely to gain pacific benefits from trade so long as they have an optimistic view of future trade relations. However, if the expectations of future trade decline, particularly for difficult to replace items such as energy resources, the likelihood for conflict increases, as states will be inclined to use force to gain access to those resources. Crises could potentially be the trigger for decreased trade expectations either on its own or because it triggers protectionist moves by interdependent states.4 ¶ Third, others have considered the link between economic decline and external armed conflict at a national level. Blomberg
and Hess (2002) find a strong correlation between internal conflict and external conflict, particularly during periods of economic downturn. They write, The linkages between internal and external conflict and prosperity are strong and mutually reinforcing. Economic conflict tends to spawn internal conflict, which in turn returns the favour. Moreover, the presence of a recession lends to amplify the extent to which international and external conflicts self-rein force each other. (Blomberg & Hess. 2002. p. 89) Economic decline has also been linked with an increase in the likelihood of terrorism (Blomberg. Hess. & Weerapana, 2004), which has the capacity to spill across borders and lead to external tensions. ¶ Furthermore, crises generally reduce the popularity of a sitting government. "Diversionary theory" suggests that, when facing unpopularity arising from economic decline, sitting governments
have increased incentives to fabricate external military conflicts to create a 'rally around the flag' effect . Wang (1996), DeRouen (1995), and Blombcrg. Mess, and Thacker (2006) find supporting evidence showing that economic decline and use of force are at least indirectly correlated. Gelpi (1997), Miller (1999). and Kisangani and Pickering (2009) suggest that the tendency towards diversionary tactics are greater for democratic states than autocratic states, due to the fact that democratic leaders are generally more susceptible to being removed from office due to lack of domestic support. DeRouen (2000) has provided evidence showing that periods
of weak economic performance in the United States, and thus weak Presidential popularity, are statistically linked to an increase in the use of force.
Drug violence spills over—destabilizes Central America and the Caribbean David Shirk 11, director of the Trans-Border Institute and associate professor of political science at the University of San Diego, conducts research on Mexican politics, U.S.-Mexico relations, and law enforcement and security along the U.S.-Mexico border, “The Drug War in
Mexico Confronting a Shared Threat”, March 2011, Council on Foreign Relations, http://www.cfr.org/mexico/drug-war-mexico/p24262 Third, Mexican
stability serves as an important anchor for the region. With networks stretching into Central DTOs undermine the security and reliability of other U.S. partners in the hemisphere, corrupting high-level officials, military operatives, and law enforcement personnel; America, the Caribbean, and the Andean countries, Mexican
undermining due process and human rights; reducing public support for counter-drug efforts; and even provoking hostility toward the United States. Given
the fragility of some Central American and Caribbean states, expansion of DTO operations and violence into the region would have a gravely destabilizing effect.
Caribbean instability causes bioterrorism attacks Stephen Flynn 1, Founding Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, “Terrorism, Porous Borders, and Homeland Security: The Case for U.S.-Caribbean Cooperation”, 10/21/01, http://www.cfr.org/border-and-portsecurity/terrorism-porous-borders-homeland-security-case-us-caribbean-cooperation/p4844 linkages between drug trafficking and terrorism are clear in countries like Colombia and Peru, and such connections have similar potential in the Caribbean. The security of major industrial complexes in some Caribbean countries is vital. Terrorist acts can take place anywhere. The Caribbean is no exception. Already the
Petroleum refineries and major industrial estates in Trinidad, which host more than 100 companies that produce the majority of the world’s methanol, ammonium sulphate, and 40 percent of U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), are vulnerable targets. Unfortunately, as experience has shown in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, terrorists
are likely to strike at
U.S. and European interests in Caribbean countries. Security issues become even more critical when one considers the possible use of Caribbean countries by terrorists as bases from which to attack the United States. An airliner hijacked after departure from an airport in the northern Caribbean or the Bahamas can be flying over South Florida in less than an hour. Terrorists can sabotage or seize control of a cruise ship after the vessel leaves a Caribbean port. Moreover, terrorists with false passports and visas issued in the Caribbean may be able to move easily through passport controls in Canada or the United States. (To help counter this possibility, some countries have suspended "economic citizenship" programs to ensure that known terrorists have not been inadvertently granted such citizenship.) Again, Caribbean
countries are as vulnerable as anywhere else to the clandestine manufacture and deployment of biological weapons within national borders.
Cartels in Mexico working with external terrorists short-circuits existing checks and makes attack likely Terence Rosenthal 13, political consultant and contributor at the Center for Security Policy, July 10, “Los Zetas and Hezbollah, a Deadly Alliance of Terror and Vice”, http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2013/07/10/los-zetas-and-hezbollah-a-deadly-allianceof-terror-and-vice/ When Americans think about the illegal drug trade and black markets in Mexico, it is probable that they do not associate them with terrorism However, there is proof that Hezbollah are functioning with cartels like Los Zetas The combination of power hungry cartels like Los Zetas, and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah should not remain unnoticed.¶
, or Islamic fundamentalism. One would think that drug cartels like Los Zetas, the most sophisticated and second most powerful drug
cartel in Mexico would have enough allies and connections not to need the assistance of an organization like Hezbollah based half way across the world in Lebanon. , as well as elements of the Iranian Quds force
, the most sophisticated drug cartel in Mexico.
want a presence in North America, in or near the United States inhibit U.S. companies from wanting to conduct business in Mexico, and
The question is, how did this deadly alliance
come into existence? For decades, immigrants, legal and illegal, have been arriving in Mexico from Lebanon. This population h as been growing steadily, and has a certain level of favorability with Hezbollah. One of the creations of Hezbollah in Mexico is that of wellconnected global drug dealers, like Ayman Joumaa. Joumaa, indicted in 2011 is of Lebanese heritage, and has been linked to Hezbollah, and Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel. With the help of the Los Zetas, and companies like The Lebanese Canadian Ban k, Ayman Joumaa has laundered between $850 and $900 million.¶ Joumaa is known among Israeli intelligence as being in contact with Hezbollah elite forces, and was connected to senior operatives handling Hezbollah drug operations. He has received bulk paymen ts of U.S. dollars in Mexico City after coordinating drug shipments from South America to the Los Zetas cartel, receiving a cut for laundering and camouflaging funds. Drug and contraband profits were disguised through the trading and selling of used cars th rough an exchange in Africa with the help of Beirut exchange houses. Eventually, similar fraud rings connected to Joumaa were discovered throughout North and South America, and the Middle East. Various methods of investment fraud are typically used by drug dealers to cover their tracks. Many fraud rings use creative investment tactics that can pass as legal activity if not scrutinized. One such operation involved the selling of thorough-bred horses to cover up the trade of millions of dollars in fraudulent drug money. ¶ Since 2005, Iran and Hezbollah have developed a presence in Latin America, opening 17 cultural centers, and forming relations with the Mexican drug cartels. 200,000 immigrants from Lebanon and Syria, many of whom are illegal residents, live in Mexico, and have established
residence with the help of drug cartels like Los Zetas, the most technically advanced of Mexico’s drug cartels. Those who are sympathetic to Islamic extremist movements make perfect recruits for the drug trade because they understand how illegal activity in the Americas empowers whoever wishes to weaken the power of U.S. sovereignty. As shown by the increase of Islamic missionaries in Mexico, as well as the growing influence of Hezbollah and Iran, it is clear that Islamists are trying to win the hearts and minds of the Mexican people. However, beneath these seemingly peaceful developments lie the fact that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard and Quds forces are partnering with major Mexican drug cartels. They are learning Mexican culture, as well as Spanish, and are starting to
Hezbollah has training bases and sleeper cells in Mexico and South America Hezbollah created tunnels on the American border that are extremely similar to those dividing Gaza and Egypt. These tunnels are perfect for the transport of illegal conventional and biological weapons to contacts in the U S ¶ an attack on U.S. personnel installations by Hezbollah is possible The relationship between Hezbollah and Los Zetas has almost touched down on American soil Why is the combination of well-connected drug dealers, terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, and the Zetas such a dangerous combination? It is a money laundering operation that has the power to supersede local government, weaken communities, and make people subject to criminal tyranny. It is highly possible that this threat could become a reality in the United States. blend in with native-born Mexicans.¶
. They also assist
drug cartels with skills in bomb-making and explosives.
of people in major U.S. cities.
tates. Weaponry created by Hezbollah is capable of killing hundreds of thousands
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roger Noriega believes that
. It is known that they have expanded from their operations in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, and are gaining ground in Central America and Mexico.
. Los Zetas was to be paid to bomb the Israeli
Embassy in Washington, and the Saudi and Israeli embassy in Argentina.
In 2011, Iran’s Quds forces attempted an assassination against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States enlisting the use of the Los Zetas cartel. Luckily, this plot was thwarted by agents in
the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).¶ The Los Zetas Cartel is a deadly crime machine that diversifies in illegal drugs, human trade, money laundering, and the exch ange of illegal weaponry. Many of its members were recruited from police and armed forces in Mexico. Techniques involving ambushes, defensive positions, and intelligence used by the military are now applied by Mexico’s criminal syndicates. Los Zetas is prominent in 6 Mexican states, and actively infringes on government solvency in northeastern Tamaulipas. Many view the Mexican state of Guerrero as one where the power of Los Zetas narco-criminals is equal to that of the local authorities. Los Zetas has even siphoned $1billion dollars in fuels from state-run oil producer, Pemex through their pipelines. In Tamaulipas, five people were killed as Los Zetas sought to take control of a Pemex well. Some of Los Zetas’ allies are among the most powerful cartels in the world, including Beltrán-Leyva, the Juarez and Tijuana cartels, Bolivian drug clans, and ’Ndrangheta.¶ It is understandable why the Mexican government would be apprehensive about marginalizing the power of Mexican drug cartels. They h ave seen many of their people die as a result of the war against the cartels. The Mexican economy also benefits greatly from the high profit margins of illicit drugs and other forms of illegal contraband. Latin America is home to one of the largest undergroun d economies in the world. 600,000-800,000 people are smuggled through international borders every year, generating $16 billion each year
The lure of criminal activity and the drug trade, coupled with the presence of Hezbollah and Iranian Quds forces in neighboring Mexico present the United States with a major threat at its borders Hezbollah’s ties to Latin American drug smugglers poses a “significant” threat for U.S. national security and having a militant organization like Hezbollah on our border does pose a threat in human trafficking and sexual exploitation. These staggering financial statistics have won over many law officers in Mexico who initially fought against the cartels. ¶
. Dr. Matthew Levitt, senior fellow and director of terrorism
studies at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as reported in CNS News.com in 2010 stated that
“In the event the nuclear confrontation with Iran gets worse rather than better,
, and even within
- it certainly
”. The obvious question is whether or not the
United States is taking the necessary precautions to counter what is likely to become an even larger problem if left undeterred.
Bioterrorism causes extinction Nathan Myhrvold 13, founded Intellectual Ventures after retiring as chief strategist and chief technology officer of Microsoft Corporation, has been awarded hundreds of patents and has hundreds of patents pending, former postdoctoral fellow in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University, “Strategic Terrorism: A Call to Action”, July 2013, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2290382 Even more so than with nuclear weapons, the
cost and technical difficulty of producing biological arms has dropped precipitously in recent decades with the boom in industrial molecular biology. A small team of people with the necessary technical training and some cheap equipment can create weapons far more terrible than any nuclear bomb. Indeed, even a single individual might do so.¶ Taken together,
these trends utterly undermine the lethality-versus-cost curve that existed throughout all of human history. Access to extremely lethal agents—even to those that may exterminate the human race—will be available to nearly anybody. Access to mass death has been democratized; it has spread from a small elite of superpower leaders to nearly anybody with modest resources. Even the leader of a ragtag, stateless group hiding in a cave—or in a Pakistani suburb—can potentially have “the button.”¶ Turning Life Against the Living¶ The first and simplest kinds of biological weapons are those that are not contagious and thus do not lead to epidemics. These have been developed for use in military conflicts for most of the 20th century. Because the pathogens used are not contagious, they are considered controllable: that is, they have at least some of the commandand-control aspects of a conventional weapon. Typically, these pathogens have been “weaponized,” meaning bred or refined for deployment by using artillery shells, aerial bombs, or missiles much like conventional explosive warheads. They can be highly deadly. ¶ Anthrax is the most famous example. In several early- 20th-century outbreaks, it killed nearly 90% of those infected by inhaling bacterial spores into their lungs. Anthrax was used in the series of mail attacks in the United States in the fall of 2001. Even with advanced antibiotic treatment, 40% of those who contracted inhalational anthrax died during the 2001 attacks.1¶ That crime is believed to have been the work of a lone bioweapons scientist who sought to publicize the threat of a biological attack and boost funding for his work on anthrax vaccines. This conclusion is consistent with the fact that virtually no effort was made to disperse the bacterium— indeed, the letters carrying the spores thoughtfully included text warning of anthrax exposure and recommending that the recipient seek immediate treatment. Despite this intentional effort to limit rather than spread the infection, a surprising amount of trouble was caused when the fine anthrax powder leaked from envelopes and contaminated other mail. Before this episode, nobody would have guessed that letters mailed in New Jersey to addresses in Manhattan and Washington, D.C., could kill someone in Connecticut, but they did. And no one would have predicted that a domestic bioterrorist launching multiple attacks, including one against the U.S. Congress, would elude the FBI for years. But that is what happened.¶ What if such an attack were made not by some vigilante trying to alert the world to the dangers of bioweapons but instead by a real sociopath? Theodore J. Kaczynski, better known as the “Unabomber,” may have been such a person. He was brilliant enough to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan yet was mentally disturbed enough to be a one-man terrorist cell: His mail bombs claimed victims over nearly two decades. Kaczynski certainly had enough brains to use sophisticated methods, but because he opposed advanced technology, he made untraceable low-tech bombs that killed only three people. A future Kaczynski with training in microbiology and genetics, and an eagerness to use the destructive power of that science, could be a threat to the entire human race.¶ Indeed, the world has already experienced some true acts of biological terror. Aum Shinrikyo produced botulinum toxin and anthrax and reportedly released them in Tokyo on four separate occasions. A variety of technical and organizational
difficulties frustrated these attacks, which did not cause any casualties and went unrecognized at the time for what they were, until the later Sarin attack clued in the authorities.2 Had the group been a bit more competent, things could have turned out far worse. ¶ One 2003 study found that an airborne release of one kilogram of an anthrax-spore-containing aerosol in a city the size of New York would result in 1.5 million infections and 123,000 to 660,000 fatalities, depending on the effectiveness of the public health response.3 A 1993 U.S. government analysis determined that 100 kilograms of weaponized anthrax, if sprayed from an airplane upwind of Washington, D.C., would kill between 130,000 and three million people.4 Because anthrax spores remain viable in the environment for more than 30 years,1 portions of a city blanketed by an anthrax cloud might have to be abandoned for years while extensive cleaning was done. Producing enough anthrax to kill 100,000 Americans is far easier to do—and far harder to detect—than is constructing a nuclear bomb of comparable lethality.¶ Anthrax, moreover, is rather benign as biological weapons go. The pathogen is reasonably well understood, having been studied in one form or another in biowarfare circles for more than 50 years. Natural strains of the bacterium are partially treatable with long courses of common antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin if the medication is taken sufficiently quickly, and vaccination soon after exposure seems to reduce mortality further.5¶ But bioengineered anthrax that is resistant to both antibiotics and vaccines is known to have been produced in both Soviet and American bioweapons laboratories. In 1997, a group of Russian scientists even openly published the recipe for one of these superlethal strains in a scientific journal.6¶ In addition, numerous other agents are similar to anthrax in that they are highly lethal but not contagious. The lack of contagion means that an attacker must administer the pathogen to the people he wishes to infect. In a military context, this quality is generally seen as a good thing because the resulting disease can be contained in a specific area. Thus, the weapon can be directed at a well-defined target, and with luck, little collateral damage will result. ¶ Unfortunately, many
biological agents are communicable and so can
spread beyond the people initially infected to affect the entire population. Infectious pathogens are inherently hard to control because there is usually no reliable way to stop an epidemic once it starts. This property makes such biological agents difficult to use as conventional weapons. A nation that starts an epidemic may see it spread to the wrong country—or even to its own people. Indeed, one cannot target a small, welldefined population with a contagious pathogen; by its nature, such a pathogen may infect the entire human race.¶ Despite this rather severe drawback, both the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as Imperial Japan, investigated and produced contagious bioweapons. The logic was that their use in a military conflict would be limited to last-ditch, “scorched earth” campaigns, perhaps with a vaccine available only to one side. ¶ Smallpox is the most famous example. It is highly contagious and spreads through casual contact. Smallpox was eradicated in the wild in 1977, but it still exists in both U.S. and Russian laboratories, according to official statements.7 Unofficial holdings are harder to track, but a number of countries, including North Korea, are believed to possess covert smallpox cultures.¶ Biological weapons were strictly regulated by international treaty in 1972. The United States and the Soviet Union agreed not to develop such weapons and to destroy existing stocks. The United States stopped its bioweapons work, but the Russians cheated and kept a huge program going into the 1990s, thereby producing thousands of tons of weaponized anthrax, smallpox, and far more exotic biological weapons based on genetically engineered viruses. No one can be certain how far either the germs or the knowledge has spread since the collapse of the Soviet Union.¶ Experts estimate that a large-scale, coordinated smallpox attack on the United States might kill 55,000 to 110,000 people, assuming that sufficient vaccine is available to contain the epidemic and that the vaccine works.8, 9 The death toll may be far higher if the smallpox strain has been engineered to be vaccine-resistant or to have enhanced virulence.¶ Moreover, a smallpox attack on the United States could easily broaden into a global pandemic, despite the U.S. stockpile of at least 300 million doses of vaccine. All it would take is for one infected person to leave the country and travel elsewhere. If New York City were attacked with smallpox, infections would most likely appear on every continent, except perhaps Antarctica, within two weeks. Once these beachheads were established, the epidemic would spread almost without check because the vaccine in world stockpiles and the infrastructure to distribute it would be insufficient. That is particularly true in the developing world, which is ill equipped to handle their current disease burden to say nothing of a return of smallpox. Even if “only” 50,000 people were killed in the United States, a million or more would probably die worldwide before the disease could be contained, and containment would probably require many years of effort. ¶ As horrible as this would be, such a pandemic is by no means the worst attack one can imagine, for several reasons. First, most of the classic bioweapons are based on 1960s and 1970s technology because the 1972 treaty halted bioweapons development efforts in the United States and most other Western countries. Second, the Russians, although solidly committed to biological weapons long after the treaty deadline, were never on the cutting edge of biological research. Third and most important, the
science and technology of molecular biology have made enormous
advances, utterly transforming the field in the last few decades. High school biology students routinely perform molecular-biology manipulations that would have been impossible even for the best superpower-funded program back in the heyday of biological-weapons research. The biowarfare methods of the 1960s and 1970s are now as antiquated as the lumbering mainframe computers of that era. Tomorrow’s terrorists will have vastly more deadly bugs to choose from.¶ Consider this sobering development: in
2001, Australian researchers working on mousepox, a nonlethal virus that infects mice (as chickenpox does in humans), accidentally discovered that a simple genetic modification transformed the virus.10, 11 Instead of producing mild symptoms, the new virus killed 60% of even those mice already immune to the naturally occurring strains of mousepox. The new virus, moreover, was unaffected by any existing vaccine or antiviral drug. A team of researchers at Saint Louis University led by Mark Buller picked up on that work and, by late 2003, found a way to improve on it: Buller’s variation on mousepox was 100% lethal, although his team of investigators also devised combination vaccine and antiviral therapies that were partially effective in protecting animals from the engineered strain.12, 13 Another saving grace is that the genetically altered virus is no longer contagious. Of course, it is quite possible that future tinkering with the virus will change that property, too. ¶ Strong reasons exist to believe that the genetic modifications Buller made to mousepox would work for other poxviruses and possibly for other classes of viruses as well. Might the same techniques allow chickenpox or another poxvirus that infects humans to be turned into a 100% lethal bioweapon, perhaps one that is resistant to any known antiviral therapy? I’ve asked this question of experts many times, and no one has yet replied that such a manipulation couldn’t be done.¶ This case is just one example.
Many more are pouring out of scientific journals and conferences every year. Just last year, the journal Nature published a controversial study done at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in which virologists enumerated the changes one would need to make to a highly lethal strain of bird flu to make it easily transmitted from one mammal to another.14¶ Biotechnology is advancing so rapidly that it is hard to keep track of all the new potential threats. Nor is it clear that anyone is even trying. In addition to lethality and drug resistance, many other parameters can be played with, given that the infectious power of an epidemic depends on many properties, including the length of the latency period during which a person is contagious but asymptomatic. Delaying the onset of serious symptoms allows each new case to spread to more people and thus makes the virus harder to stop. ¶ This dynamic is perhaps best illustrated by HIV, which is very difficult to transmit compared with smallpox and many other viruses. Intimate contact is needed, and even then, the infection rate is low. The balancing factor is that HIV can take years to progress to AIDS, which can then take many more years to kill the victim. What makes HIV so dangerous is that infected people have lots of opportunities to infect others. This property has allowed HIV to claim more than 30 million lives so far, and approximately 34 million people are now living with this virus and facing a highly uncertain future.15¶ A virus genetically engineered to infect its host quickly, to generate symptoms slowly—say, only after weeks or months—and to spread easily through the air or by casual contact would be vastly more devastating than HIV . It could silently penetrate the population to unleash its deadly effects suddenly. This type of epidemic would be almost impossible to combat because most of the infections would occur before the epidemic became obvious. ¶ A technologically sophisticated terrorist group could develop such a virus and kill a large part of humanity with it. Indeed, terrorists may not have to develop it themselves: some scientist may do so
first and publish the details.¶ Given the rate at which biologists are making discoveries about viruses and the immune system, at some point in the near future, someone
may create artificial pathogens that could drive the human race to extinction .
Indeed, a detailed species-elimination plan of this nature was openly proposed in a scientific journal.¶ The ostensible purpose of that particular research was to suggest a way to extirpate the malaria mosquito, but similar techniques could be directed toward humans.16 When I’ve talked to molecular biologists about this method, they are quick to point out that it is slow and easily detectable and could be fought with biotech remedies. If you challenge them to come up with improvements to the suggested attack plan, however, they have plenty of ideas. ¶ Modern biotechnology will soon be capable, if it is not already, of bringing about the demise of the human race— or at least of killing a sufficient number of people to end high-tech civilization and set humanity back 1,000 years or more. That terrorist groups could achieve this level of technological sophistication may seem farfetched, but keep in mind that it takes only a handful of individuals to accomplish these tasks. Never has lethal power of this potency been accessible to so few, so easily. Even more dramatically than nuclear proliferation, modern biological science has frighteningly undermined the correlation between the lethality of a weapon and its cost, a fundamentally stabilizing mechanism throughout history. Access to extremely lethal agents—lethal enough to exterminate Homo sapiens—will be available to anybody with a solid background in biology, terrorists included. ¶ The 9/11 attacks involved at least four pilots, each of whom had sufficient education to enroll in flight schools and complete several years of training. Bin Laden had a degree in civil engineering. Mohammed Atta attended a German university, where he earned a master’s degree in urban planning—not a field he likely chose for its relevance to terrorism. A
future set of terrorists could just as easily be students of molecular biology who enter their studies innocently enough but later put their skills to homicidal use. Hundreds of universities in Europe and Asia have curricula sufficient to train people in the skills necessary to make a sophisticated biological weapon, and hundreds more in the United States accept students from all over the world.¶ Thus it seems likely that sometime in the near future a small band of terrorists, or even a single misanthropic individual, will overcome our best defenses and do something truly terrible, such as fashion a bioweapon that could kill millions or even billions of
the creation of such weapons within the next 20 years seems to be a virtual certainty . The repercussions of their use are hard to estimate. One approach is to look at how the scale of destruction they may
cause compares with that of other calamities that the human race has faced.
1AC---HEMP ADV CONTENTION 2 IS HEMP: Commercial hemp is on hold---momentum for legal reform is in place, but new federal action is necessary Jeff Siegel 6/11, financial consultant, author, managing editor of Energy and Capital and contributing analyst for the Energy Investor, an independent investment research service that focuses primarily on stocks in the oil and gas, modern energy, and infrastructure markets 6/11/14, This is Better Than Drug Money!, Energy & Capital, http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/investing-in-hemp/4455 But while the ban obliterated hemp cultivation except for a few special cases requiring federal permits, Americans were allowed to import hemp products, oil, and seeds. In 2011, the U.S. imported some $11.5 million worth of hemp products, oil, and seeds, much of which was further processed into cooking oils, animal feeds, even granola bars. ¶ A
new farm bill enacted earlier this year would open up the field once again. “This is big!” exclaimed Eric Steenstra, president of advocacy group Vote Hemp. “We've been pushing for this a long time.”¶ Advocates estimate hemp could develop into a $100 million a year industry, which could grow into a $10 billion a year market if the loosening of hemp cultivation laws is a stepping-stone to the legalization of marijuana nationwide. ¶ Steenstra anticipates precisely that. “This
is part of an overall look at cannabis policy, no doubt,” he affirms.¶ Still, the heavy hand of the federal government will not move easily.¶ As the Associated Press reported last week, federal authorities ordered nearly 300 pounds of hemp seeds from Italy detained by U.S. customs officials in Louisville. In order to get the seeds released, Kentucky State agriculture authorities had to take their case to court, suing the Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and even Attorney General Eric Holder. ¶ Also worth noting is that while
fifteen states have availed themselves of the new farm bill by removing hemp production barriers, in only two states — Colorado and Kentucky — have farmers taken to cultivating it.¶ The hemp industry is in for a period of slow growth as it awaits other federal agencies to loosen their restrictions on seed imports.¶ That being said, I'm...¶ Bullish on the Return of Hemp¶ As an industrial crop, it's quite impressive.One acre of hemp can produce four times more paper than one acre of trees.Hemp fiber is ten times stronger than cotton, can be used to make clothing, and doesn't require nearly as much in the way of pesticides as cotton.Hemp can serve as a substitute for wood in building materials. Not only is it stronger than wood, but it's cheaper to produce.Hemp produces more biomass than any other plant that can be grown in the U.S.Hemp can be grown anywhere in the United States, requires only moderate water, and is frost tolerant.When we think about the legalization of marijuana, we often think about the massive profit potential. And rightly so. With the legalization of marijuana will come an enormous opportunity for savvy investors and entrepreneurs.Yet when you step back and look at the big picture, you'll find that when it comes to cannabis, the real money's going to be in industrial hemp.¶ Unfortunately, with special interests controlling the federal government, it's going to take some time before hemp comes back strong enough to be a safe investment. That being said, the folks in Kentucky and Colorado who are actively moving forward with the cultivation of hemp are embarking on a journey that could ultimately prove to be insanely lucrative. And I wish them well.
Legalization is key to the regulatory framework---guides industry with certainty Doug Fine 14, investigative journalist, bestselling author, reported from five continents for The Washington Post, Wired, Salon, The New York Times, Outside, National Public Radio, and U.S. News & World Report. His work from Burma was read into the Congressional Record and he won more than a dozen Alaska Press Club awards for his radio reporting from the Last Frontier, LA Times, 2014, Teach Your Regulators Well, Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution, pg 93-95
For hemp to once again take off in the United States, history tells us that two more elements have to fall into place.¶ First, the industry pioneers must work with regulators to craft domestic standards. l learned this from the saga of American biodeisel pioneers Kelly antl Bob King. They were in biofuels so early, their Paciﬁc Biodiesel website is biodeisel.com.¶ According to Business World Magazine, Paciﬁc Biodeisel shared its pro-launch study results with regulators and even competitors because the world frankly didn't know how to make an industry of waste restaurant oil. Today their oil fuels a good deal of Hawaii, and they consult the world over. You can ﬁll up at gas pumps on two Aloha State islands, and municipalities use the fuel for backup generators. ¶ Similarly, the initial Canadian hemp players, several of whom are still in the industry, worked with regulators on everything from ﬁeld-testing hemp varieties to THC analysis, right from the beginning. As we've discussed, this actually started several years before Canada's official 1993 reboot. ¶ As Hermann put it, "Even if President Obama and Congress legalize hemp tomorrow, there's still a lot of work ahead for the U.S. market and anyone who wants to be a player"¶ The initial U.S. state hemp legislation generally nods toward the¶ Canadian model; Colorado, in addition to unlimited commercial¶ cultivation for registered farmers who grow hemp with that inert 0.3¶ percent THC limit, is making a vocal statement of top-level support¶ by allowing those ten-acre development test plots wherein THC levels won‘t be tested until a cultivar is ready for the commercial market. Similarly, Hawaii's step one looks to be a hundredacre state-sponsored research project. Paciﬁc Biodeisel's Kelly and Bob King are big supporters of that project, because, in the end, the french fries that today drive their business are ﬁnite. “Hawaii is close to legislation allowing for a test hemp plot that we hope will remediate a few centuries of sugarcane monoculture soil and provide energy feedstock," Kelly King told me.¶ Now ,
patiently developing a regulatory framework and official cultivars would seem to be essential . But there is another fairly loud opinion out there, and I'd be remiss not to mention it. It goes like this; The original
American hemp farmers planted what they had on hand in their wagons after crossing wild rivers and unnamed mountain passes, And they managed, before interstates, let alone NAFTA to build a world-lending industry.¶ In other words, some
activists make the case for starting now with that ditch weed (or, if you prefer, the "heirloom cultivars") easily found out by the railroad tracks in the heartland. This Let Darwin choose what we want plant philosophy is running up against the We live in a lab coat-and-hairnet era because of uniformity and product safety demands line of thinking. ¶ Hermann's view on this comes with too much in-the-ﬁeld experience to ignore, and it's basically this: Once she's expanded beyondselling carrots at the farmer's market, any farmer has to be savvy about her choice of variety.¶ “Every Walmart already carries hemp oil, Nature's Path hemp cereal, and hemp twine,” she said. "A
mature industry has to be ready for the professionalism that level of reach demands.”¶ She’s talking about standards, testing processes, and certification paperwork. Humanity's oldest plant is about to grow up. “We have food and health inspectors certifying our industry in Canada." she reminded me. Burritos in Front of the Phish show this is not. Still, this ﬁrst to-do item is standard business stuff. It can be easily checked off.
Independently, the plan solves perception---ambiguous standards in the CSA result in confusion that deters investment Melinda Fulmer 2, award-winning financial writer and media strategist, Vice President of Public Relations for City National Bank, former Times Staff Writer, 1/16/02, Hemp Imports Run Afoul of DEA Rule, LA Times, http://articles.latimes.com/2002/jan/16/business/fi-hemp16 Kenex contends the rule is discriminatory to Canadian
producers, who provide the bulk of hemp products to the U.S. because Americans are banned from growing the plant.¶ "Our company has invested a significant amount of money in Canada and the U.S. to develop these markets for the past three years, and it has been one stumbling block after another ," said Jean Laprise, Kenex president. "They're squashing an emerging industry."¶ The Kenex case adds more heat to a debate over the provision of NAFTA that allows private investors to sue governments for taking actions that restrict trade. Since NAFTA was enacted, 15 such cases have been filed.¶ Critics argue the provision gives companies too much power and undermines the ability of governments to protect their citizens.¶ But Laprise says it's necessary to protect companies' rights when the law is discriminatory.¶ DEA officials refuse to comment on the issue because of the pending litigation. But DEA
Administrator Asa Hutchinson put forward the agency's position recently when he said that Americans do not know that hemp and marijuana are both parts of the same plant and that hemp cannot be produced without producing marijuana."¶ The DEA says consumers have until Feb. 6 to "many
dispose of these items or be subject to penalty.¶ Although hemp and marijuana come from the plant species, cannabis, the variety
grown for industrial hemp contains much lower amounts of THC, a point the DEA acknowledges. The
burning issue for the DEA is: When can cannabis legally be sold as hemp, and when is it still a drug? Hemp oil and seeds can't make people high, but they do contain minuscule amounts of THC, much as poppy seeds contain trace amounts of opium.¶ "The leaves and flowers on industrial hemp, when you smoke them, it gives you a headache," said John Roulac, president of Nutiva in Sebastopol, Calif., which makes snack bars and chips out of hemp. "If you smoke more, you just get a bigger
If there weren't a cloud hanging over the industry from this regulation, manufacturers say, it would grow exponentially over the next several years as demand for functional foods grows.¶ However, confusion over the new rule, and high-profile seizures of hempcontaining products such as birdseed, should keep many companies from using the controversial ingredient, Roulac said.¶ Many, however, say they plan to continue to sell their products.¶ Food companies that use hemp ingredients hope that the industry and government can come up with guidelines that will allow the industry to grow as it was expected to before the rule was published.¶ Without them, they say, the DEA's ambiguous standards will make that difficult. headache."¶
The US is looking to revolutionize biofuels---only the plan allows hemp to develop into an ideal energy source Nicole M. Keller 13, J.D. Drake University, Associate Attorney at Goodman Law, 2013, THE LEGALIZATION OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP AND WHAT IT COULD MEAN FOR INDIANA'S BIOFUEL INDUSTRY, Indiana International & Comparative Law Review, LexisNexis Academic Among the products derivable from the industrial hemp plant, and the product most relevant to this Note, is hemp as a biofuel. In a time of high gas prices, political instability, and increasing concerns over the environmental effects of fossil fuel consumption, it is natural to seek an alternative. Globally, the use of biofuels as an alternative to petroleum products is gaining momentum. n48 The United States alone consumed approximately 11.7 million gallons of ethanol in 2011 n49 and over 549 [*560] million gallons of biodiesel in the first 9 months of 2011. n50 In Canada, hemp biofuel research is underway to produce cellulosic ethanol. n51 Cellulosic ethanol is ethanol produced from the non-food parts of feedstock and is a more efficient source of energy. n52 Currently, the majority of feedstock for biofuels comes from corn, soybeans, or wheat. n53 However, in addition to being an inefficient source of fuel, the diversion of these commodities for fuel production is at the expense of the world food supply. n54 The United States has recognized the issue and has "announced a $ 510 million initiative meant to spur development of a new US biofuel industry that utilizes non-food crops[.]" n55 The initiative is meant to examine sources such as algae or wood chips; n56 however, there is a more efficient source: industrial hemp. "When compared to other plant species of active interest in biofuel production, Hemp derives 100% more cellulose than species under active investigation." n57 Furthermore, "[h]emp is Earth's number one biomass resource; it is capable of producing 10 tons per acre in four months." n58 Hemp biomass fuel products require a minimal amount of specialization and processing and "[t]he hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas." n59 These facts alone make industrial hemp the ideal source for both ethanol and biodiesel production. Yet, industrial hemp, in addition to its fibrous plant matter, also produces seeds wherein lies a rich source of hemp [*561] oil, and this oil can also be used for fuel. n60 Industrial hemp's fuel capabilities and desirability is further enhanced by the fact that "[i]ndustrial hemp can be grown in most climates and on marginal soils. It requires little or no herbicide and no pesticide[.]" n61 The hemp plant is also known to improve soil conditions for rotational crops, n62 and it is a cleanburning fuel, contributing no greenhouse gases. n63 Yet, industrial hemp is not seriously considered as a feedstock input, n64 largely because industrial hemp is illegal to grow in the United States. ¶ III. Industrial Hemp History in the United States¶ Industrial hemp was not always illegal in the United States. n65 In fact, before 1937 it was grown and manufactured into many products. n66 The public sentiment surrounding the plant was social acceptance of a staple in the American household. n67 It was used most often for clothing, paper, rope, and lamp oil. n68 Respected presidents were proponents of industrial hemp: "George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew hemp. Ben Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper. Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper[,]" n69 and "Abraham Lincoln use[d] hemp-seed oil to fuel his household lamps." n70 But in 1937, right when mechanical processes that would turn hemp into a truly industrialized commodity were about to explode on the American scene, n71 Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. n72 The Act was aimed at eliminating the use of marijuana as a drug but had the effect of making all industrial hemp varieties illegal as well. n73¶ [*562] ¶ The Act placed a $ 1 tax on anyone who "imports, manufactures, produces, compounds, sells, deals in, dispenses, prescribes, administers,
or gives away marihuana." n74 Although legislative history shows that industrial hemp was not an intended target of the law, and "Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) (the predecessor to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)), told the Senate Committee that those in the domestic industrial hemp industry 'are not only amply protected under this act, but they can go ahead and raise hemp just as they have always done it[,]'" n75 the wording of the law effectively prohibited industrial hemp cultivation. n76 Specifically, §1(b) of the Act says,¶ The term "marihuana" means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or resin- but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination. n77¶ It is clear that Congress tried to exclude industrial hemp from the legislation (i.e. "but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant" n78 ), but for practical purposes
After the passage of the Act, hemp farmers were confused about the impact the Act would have on their operations . n80 Letters were sent to the Federal Bureau of Narcotics asking what should be done about the hemp that had been harvested but not yet sold. n81 People wanted to know if even having it was a violation of the new law. n82 The letters also urged the Bureau to conduct [*563] research on the benefits of the hemp plant. n83 Officials, unsure about the exact properties of hemp, gave conflicting answers and enforced the new law inconsistently. n84 Moreover, there is no way for a farmer to produce the "mature stalks of such plant" without growing "the seeds thereof." n79
there was never any formal research to determine if hemp was a viable crop for big industry and if it could be produced without the psychoactive effect found in marijuana. n85
for some time, the hemp industry mostly died in America
Thus, . n86¶ Several years later in 1942, at the request of the Department of Agriculture, US farmers were enlisted to grow hemp in an effort to support the war. n87¶ Despite the existence of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the result of the "Hemp for Victory" Campaign was that "thousands of farmers grew hundreds of thousands of acres of hemp for wartime needs." However, by the end of WW II, the government's allowance of industrial hemp cultivation also ended and by 1957, "prohibitionists had reasserted a total ban on hemp production." n88¶
and American culture changed and evolved throughout the 1960's when drug use escalated amidst the country's freedom movement. n89 As a result of the increased use of recreational drugs, in 1970 Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, which lays out definitions, offenses, and charges related to narcotic drugs in the United States. n90 In it, Cannabis sativa is defined just as it was in the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, lumping industrial hemp into the category of Schedule I:
Over the past ten years, many states have realized the economic and environmental potential of industrial hemp and have passed legislation legalizing its cultivation. n93 However, because of its narcotic classification a [*564] DEA permit is also required. n94 Unfortunately, the DEA has refused to grant any permits, n95 which makes production still illegal at the federal level and effectively voids any efforts the states have taken to legalize industrial hemp.¶ On February 14, 2013, "[Senator] Rand Paul and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, both of Kentucky, joined Oregon Democratic [Senators] Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden in introducing legislation to allow American farmers to cultivate and profit from industrial hemp." n96 The Hallucinogenic Substances, n91 despite hemp not having high enough THC levels to have any narcotic effect. n92¶
legislation, which is a companion bill to H.R. 525, also known as the "Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013" would explicitly exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, thus giving regulation of the crop to the States. n97 Currently the bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. n98 The existence
demonstrates the importance and potential of the industrial hemp industry. It illustrates the people's desire to move away from the draconian enforcement of outdated laws that fail to change and adapt with the demands of society. of this bill
Legalization is vital for the industry to reach full capacity---any other policy fails Matt Snyders 13, Award Winning Journalist, Dec/Jan 2013 Issue, The Hemp Connoisseur, http://issuu.com/thcmag/docs/thcissue5 "One dollar a gallon generates $300 per acre for the farmer," he says. "But remember, that just from the seed. That doesn't factor in the fibers, the hurds, the main organic material that goes into fiber, paper, concrete, what have you." Some experts put the figure at 50 cents. Others higher. No one has a crystal ball, but the main point to take away is
the current price of hemp is artificially inflated, its demand artificially suppressed. Compare that to the our current biofuel crop-of-choice. Corn is a grain of very little use outside of food and fuel— and yet its production is not only allowed, but subsidized, by the federal government. Hemp is capable of providing everything maize does, ethanol included, and then some. But that's not the only advantages. Ed Lehrburger, President and CEO of PureVision Technologies—a Colorado-based renewable energy company which focuses on that
converting biomass into fuel—has long touted the advantages of hemp, not just in terms of its excellent cellulose content for processers, but the ease and affordability with which
"This is a plant requires less water and less fertilizer than most, easy to harvest, grows in many soil types, you don't have to replant every year, you can harvest not only the biomass, but the seeds to make different farmers grow it. ¶
products," he says. "But the main point I want to emphasize is you can't get high from industrial hemp." ¶ That said, you can get pretty much everything else from it.
Virtually every material of human use today every can be made from hemp: fabrics, plastics, concrete, oil, food, paper, cosmetics, soaps, medicine. Glass is about the only material hemp is can't provide. Any state or that nation harnesses the full potential of industrial hemp for these uses is going to be left with a stockpile of waste material that can be converted into fuel, according to Das and Lehrburger, at which point the term "energy independence" moves from politicized buzzword to concrete attainable reality. ¶ Hemp's versatility is why Henry Ford had it in mind when he designed his first cars— at the time hemp production was not only allowed but encouraged by the United States government and hemp materials were comparatively cheaper and more readily available. The first Model-T Fords not only featured hemp-based bodies which boasted greater collision impact than their steel counterparts despite being lighter and more fuel efficient, but indeed ran on hemp-based ethanol. In fact Ford never intended his vehicles to run on gasoline. ¶"The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like the sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, sawdust—almost anything," he told the New York Times in 1925. There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There's enough alcohol in one year's yield of an acre of
don't expect hemp to revolutionize the biofuel industry in the immediate short term. Until and unless the federal government lifts its impossible-to-justify ban on the most vital cash crop in human history, it will be next to impossible for the industry to hit critical mass . Hemp's sizeable infrastructure and startup requirements will deter investors and large-scale farmers from jumping on board until they can produce at full capacity without having to worry about armed agents banging down their door and seizing their life savings. ¶"It's not like opening up a little dispensary retail storefront and taking your chances with the feds," points out Lehrburger. "You're talking thousands of acres. That's not a small deal. Which is why there needs to be a law at the federal level that legalizes hemp before things really rev up. That's the bottom line.” potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years." ¶A couple of caveats:
Increasing production now is key---failure locks in new RFS standards that destroy biofuels Nicholas Zeman 14, Energy and Transportation Correspondant for Engineering News Record, former Associate Editor for BBI International—a biofuels magazine, May/June 2014 Issue, The Final Push, Biofuels International Journal, http://dyadic.com/wpcontent/uploads/2014/05/The-Final-Push.pdf If three cellulosic ethanol plants can start up and turn profits this year it will change not only the entire ethanol market, but the future of world consumption. Several companies are closer than ever, construction projects are booming and the time is now. But the US petroleum industry does not want to see ethanol’s market share grow. ¶ With three global construction and engineering companies in the throes of the final stages of construction for different cellulosic ethanol plants in the US Midwest, the situation suggests fierce angling to have the next commercial facility up and running.¶ DuPont Chemical, Abengoa Bioenergy and Poet-DSM are all driving hard to bring the final stages of their facilities home. Becoming the next 'first of its kind' plant on a new technological scene could mean gaining the lion's share of government backing and investor confidence.¶ The
cellulosic industry has not been able to achieve the production targets that the Envirorvnental Protection Agency (EPA) has set for it, with Mississippiheadquartered next generation renewable fuels company Kior - a company once thought to be a major player in cellulosic ethanol - recently announcing it may have to seek bankruptcy.¶ This 'lack of performance' gave the American Petroleum Institute (API), the largest trade association for the oil and gas industry, a chance to attack the volume requirements for cellulosic ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard. API filed suit against the EPA in a US Court of Appeals over the agency’s 2013 RFS, saying the rules mandate significantly more cellulosic ethanol than currently available in the marketplace. ¶ With the production tax credit for cellulosic biofuels expired since the end of 2013, the Energy Information Administration predicts that production of cellulosic biofuels will remain below statuary targets through 2040. EPA requirements for cellulosic renewables were originally set at 1.75 billion gallons. The agency has instead proposed to set only 17 million gallons. The
RFS requires oil companies to include a specified volume of biofuels in its reservoir - this drives the market. ¶ What bothers cellulosic ethanol companies about the proposed RFS reduction is that it would likely cut into corn ethanol demand and reduce profits. This situation has had a dual effect on the ethanol market. Ethanol prices are high due to supply concerns and rail congestion, but investment
in clean energy companies has been put in danger over the uncertainty of the regulatory environment. The ethanol industry needs investment to continue to innovate, especially to open up its feedstock sources. This is the primary issue for the ethanol market in 2014.
Hemp solves warming and food shortages---sequesters carbon and improved crop rotations Marc R. Deeley 2, MA in Environmental Studies from the University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Environmental Studies, "Could Cannabis Provide an Answer to Climate Change?," Journal of Industrial Hemp, Vol. 7(1), http://www.internationalhempassociation.org/pdf/J237.pdf
there are very few–if any–places in the world where the effects of global climate change are not being felt to varying degrees. The scientific consensus is that these “symptoms” (floods, droughts, storms, etc.) will persist, increase in their severity and actually perpetuate the problem of climate change by further contributing to its causes such as desertification. Like a cancer patient, the World will not recover without immediate and effective long term treatment which targets the cause(s) of ailment–fossil fuel consumption and unsustainable land use conversions being most responsible. IPCC projections of climate change within the context of an industrial and therefore fuel dependent World consider the best possible strategies to remedy the situation; these strategies explicitly link the areas of agriculture, land use and society’s demand for resources with the industrial utilisation of biomass.¶ “If the development of biomass energy can be carried out in ways that effectively address concerns about other environmental issues and competition with other land-uses, biomass could make major contributions in both the electricity and fuel markets, as well as offering prospects of increasing rural employment and income” (IPCC, 1996b, p. 15). Utilisation of biomass in both the energy and transport sectors holds several benefits not least because these can be used to offset or substitute directly for fossil fuels thereby reducing emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), while simultaneously sequestrating atmospheric CO2 via photosynthesis by creating and enhancing terrestrial “carbon sinks” (IPCC, 1996b). Following the United States’ refusal to consider As we can see
serious reductions in their emissions, “carbon sinks” are now a universally agreed method to achieve atmospheric carbon reductions as set out in the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC
Cannabis is , therefore, perfectly placed to be utilised in this area given its chemical composition, which is comparable to that of a hardwood (van der Werf et al., 1999) and rapid growth cycle compared to other high cellulose content organisms.¶ Moreover, there exists at present much of the technology to translate this into a pragmatic climate change mitigation option with higher energy efficiency and lower unit capital costs than conventional methods of energy production (IPCC, 1996b). This is especially significant given that “analysis of future global trends in greenhouse gas emissions has shown that reducing emissions from fossil fuels will have the greatest effect on atmospheric carbon concentrations between 1990 and 2100” (Adger and Brown 1994, p. 229).¶ According to a paper published in Biomass and Bioenergy, “Assessing the Ecological and Economic Sustainability of Energy Crops” which considers the viability of nine possible biomass contenders1 via comprehensive life cycle assessments, Hanegraaf et al. (1998, p. 351) conclude that, “hemp comes out as one of the best options for energy cropping.” I would be inclined to go further. An ideal approach to climate change mitigation would include the following objectives:¶ • Sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and/or reduced fossil fuel consumption.¶ • Prevent the destruction of natural ecosystems (biodiversity).¶ • It would not burden developing countries with costly socio-economic regulations.¶ • It would not require significant changes to current land use (i.e., displacing people or activities).¶ • It would have a minimal environmental impact and/or address other environmental/pollution problems.¶ • It would also provide (socially equitable) economic incentives for global implementation.¶ (Adapted from UNFCCC, 1992 and IPCC 1990, 1996a, 1996b)¶ Cannabis cultivation has the potential to satisfy all of the above criteria . While farmers would find the cultivation of another annual crop easier than trying to integrate perennials, the adoption of Cannabis as a key rotation crop (irrespective of farm size) would also yield several direct benefits including the reduction of pesticides while increasing the yield of crops following from it in rotation (Roulac, 1997) thereby assisting the goal of achieving sustainable agricultural systems. It is also the case that years of mono-culture (and, relative to Cannabis, (1996b) considers fast-growing hardwoods to be the best possible option.
protein deficient)2 cereal production will require alternative and rotational crops rather than for instance genetically modified crops to, “allow control of those weeds, pests and diseases that still cannot be controlled in the cereal crops themselves, and perhaps more importantly [would] help restore organic matter to the soil following years of depletion
Cannabis cultivation could, therefore, be used to promote environmentally beneficial methods of agriculture (especially via rotation cultivation) which could actually help secure a long-term strategy of land management, ensuring that food shortages do not occur. This would be greatly enhanced by taking advantage of the multiplicity of possible uses Cannabis presents us with according to local economic, social and environmental needs. For example, depending on these local variables Cannabis could be used for either food (see footnote 2 above), fibre or as a bioremediation crop to restore unproductive land (especially that degraded by the overuse of chemicals high in heavy metals) back to agricultural by cereal crops” (Forbes and Watson, 1992, p. 257).¶
productivity while at the same time providing industrial quantities of cellulose for fuel and /or energy production. According to Ranalli (1999, p. 69) Cannabis is “able to extract heavy metals from the soil in amounts higher than many other agricultural crops” and it is the case that agricultural land shortages are arguably far more likely to occur in areas where there is a deficit of suitable land due to intensive agricultural
the greatest advantage for Cannabis cultivation as a method of climate change mitigation is in terms of logistics and the comparative ease with which this particular form of biomass could be integrated into the existing fossil fuel economy. With the ability to be grown at all but the very coldest latitudes, Cannabis could form the basis of an internationally distributed (yet locally determined) fuel industry. The chemical composition (high cellulose) and physiology of Cannabis make it an ideal feedstock for ethanol production in comparison to the starch based crops currently used in the US and South America (Lorenz and Morris, 1995). Ethanol is not only a complementary product to the oil economy (combining ethanol with gasoline increases quality of gasoline and produces significant environmental benefits) but can also be used as a direct replacement requiring only modest alterations to industrial operations.¶ practices combined with inadequate land management (IPCC, 1996b).¶ However,
The key determining variable is global land use and contrary to popular belief there is more than enough available cropland to satisfy the World’s rapidly growing population. Taking into account the unsuitability of some soils and terrain, the FAO considers there to be 3000 Mha of potential cropland of which only about 50 percent is at present cultivated (around 1450 Mha)(IPCC, 1996b, p. 809). In light of this, many of the analyses (Hall et al., 1994 and IPCC, 1996b) that consider between 10 and 15 percent of total global cropland to be available for biomass production specifically for energy (and transport) applications represent conservative assumptions. When taken along with the potential use of Cannabis as a bioremediation crop for land suffering “light” to “moderate” degradation, (750 Mha and 910 Mha, respectively) much of which is caused by the over cropping of erodible soils, unsustainable land use conversions (i.e., forest to livestock) and over use of chemical inputs (IPCC, 1996b) the possibilities have even more
The World urgently needs a replacement for fossil fuels and while there are many overtly technological options the only realistic possibility rests in finding a comparatively similar substitution feedstock. Cellulose derived ethanol would appear to be an ideal industrial successor to fossil fuels with Cannabis appearing to be the most environmentally sound and economically viable feedstock for ethanol production . In addition we should consider all the products ranging from plastics to building composites currently dependent on fossil fuels which the utilisation of highly versatile cellulose such as Cannabis could replace. In effect we would be replacing an unsustainable industrial feedstock for one which is not only sustainable but addresses some very serious environmental and socio-economic issues. There is certainly enough supportive evidence to get such projects underway–the practical relevance for future development, especially in the agricultural sectors of developing countries.¶
rest is politics.
Warming is real, anthropogenic, and causes extinction Richard Schiffman 9/27/13, environmental writer @ The Atlantic citing the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “What Leading Scientists Want You to Know About Today's Frightening Climate Report,” The Atlantic, http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/09/leading-scientists-weigh-in-on-themother-of-all-climate-reports/280045/ The polar icecaps are melting faster than we thought they would; seas are rising faster than we thought they would; extreme weather events are increasing. Have a nice day! That’s a less than scientifically rigorous summary of the findings of the Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this morning in Stockholm.¶ Appearing exhausted after a nearly two sleepless days fine-tuning the language of the report, co-chair Thomas Stocker called climate change “the greatest challenge of our time," adding that “each of the last three decades has been successively warmer than the past,” and that this trend is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.¶ Pledging further action to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, "This isn’t a run of the mill report to be dumped in a filing cabinet. This isn’t a political document produced by politicians... It’s science." ¶ And that science needs to be communicated to the public, loudly and clearly. I canvassed leading climate researchers for their take on the findings of the vastly influential IPCC report. What
Mann, the Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State (a former IPCC author himself) suggested: "Jury In: Climate Change Real, Caused by Us, and a Threat We Must Deal With." ¶ Ted Scambos, a glaciologist and head scientist of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) based in Boulder would lead with: "IPCC 2013, Similar Forecasts, Better Certainty." While the report, which is issued every six to seven years, offers no radically new or alarming news, Scambos told me, it puts an exclamation point on what we already know, and refines our evolving understanding of global warming.¶ The IPCC, the indisputable rock headline would they put on the news? What do they hope people hear about this report?¶ When I asked him for his headline, Michael
star of UN documents, serves as the basis for global climate negotiations, like the ones that took place in Kyoto, Rio, and, more recently, Copenhagen. (The next big international
is also arguably the most elaborately vetted and exhaustively researched scientific paper in existence. Founded in 1988 by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, the IPCC represents the distilled wisdom of over 600 climate researchers in 32 countries on changes in the climate meeting is scheduled for 2015 in Paris.) It
Earth’s atmosphere, ice and seas. It endeavors to answer the late New York mayor Ed Koch’s famous question “How am I doing?” for all of us. The answer, which won’t surprise
It is now 95 percent likely that human spewed heat-trapping gases — rather than natural variability — are the main cause of climate change, according to today’s report. In 2007 the IPCC’s confidence level was 90 percent, and in 2001 it was 66 percent, and just over 50 percent in 1995. ¶ What’s more, things are getting worse more quickly than almost anyone thought would happen a few years back.¶ “If anyone who has been following the climate change story, is not very well at all. ¶
you look at the early IPCC predictions back from 1990 and what has taken place since, climate change is proceeding faster than we expected,” Mann told me by email. Mann helped develop the famous hockey-stick graph, which Al Gore used in his film “An Inconvenient Truth” to dramatize the sharp rise in temperatures in recent times. ¶ Mann cites
Given the current trajectory, we're on track for ice-free summer conditions in the Arctic in a matter of a decade or two... There is a similar story with the continental ice sheets, which are losing ice — and contributing the decline of Arctic sea ice to explain : “
to sea level rise — at a faster rate than the [earlier IPCC] models had predicted.”¶ But there is a lot that we still don’t understand. Reuters noted in a sneak preview of IPCC draft which was leaked in August that, while the broad global trends are clear, climate scientists were “finding it harder than expected to predict the impact in specific regions in
hotspots are not consistent, but move erratically around the globe. The same has been true of heat waves, mega-storms and catastrophic floods, like the recent ones that ravaged the Colorado Front Range. There is broad agreement that climate change is increasing the severity of extreme weather events, but we’re not yet able to predict where and when these will show up. ¶ “It is like watching a pot boil,” Danish astrophysicist and climate scientist Peter Thejll told me. “We understand why it boils but cannot predict where the next bubble will be.” ¶ There is also uncertainty about an apparent slowdown over the last decade in the rate of air temperature increase. While some critics claim that global warming has “stalled,” others point out that, when rising ocean temperatures are factored in, the Earth is actually gaining heat faster than previously anticipated.¶ “Temperatures measured over the short term are just one parameter,” said Dr Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in an interview. “ There are far more critical things going on; the acidification of the ocean is happening a lot faster than anybody thought that it would, it’s sucking up more CO2, plankton, the basic food chain of the planet, are dying, it’s such a hugely important signal. Why aren’t people using that as a measure of what is going on?”¶ Barnett thinks that recent increases in volcanic activity, which spews smogforming aerosols into the air that deflect solar radiation and cool the atmosphere, might help account for the temporary slowing of global temperature rise. But he says we shouldn’t let short term fluctuations cause us to lose sight of the big picture.¶ The dispute over temperatures coming decades.”¶ From year to year, the world’s
underscores just how formidable the IPCC’s task of modeling the complexity of climate change is. Issued in three parts (the next two installments are due out in the spring), the full version of the IPCC will end up several times the length of Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace. Yet every last word of the U.N. document needs to be signed off on by all of the
I do not know of any other area of any complexity and importance at all where there is unanimous agreement ... and the statements so strong ,” Mike MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs, Climate Institute in Washington, D.C. told me in an email. “What IPCC has achieved is remarkable (and why it merited the Nobel Peace Prize granted in 2007).”¶ Not surprisingly, the IPCC’s conclusions tend to be “conservative by design,” Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist with the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology told me: “The IPCC is not supposed to represent the controversial forefront of climate science. It is supposed to represents what nearly all scientists agree on, and it does that quite effectively.”¶ Nevertheless, even these understated findings are inevitably controversial. Roger Pielke Jr., the Director of the Center for Science and nations on earth. ¶ “
Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder suggested a headline that focuses on the cat fight that today’s report is sure to revive: "Fresh Red Meat Offered Up in the Climate Debate, Activists and Skeptics Continue Fighting Over It." Pielke should know. A critic of Al Gore, who has called his own detractors "climate McCarthyists," Pielke has been a lightning rod for the political controversy which continues to swirl around the question of global warming, and what, if anything, we should do about it. ¶ The public’s skepticism of climate change took a dive after Hurricane Sandy. Fifty-four percent of Americans are now saying that the effects of global warming have already begun. But 41 percent surveyed in the same Gallup poll believe news about global warming is generally exaggerated, and there is a smaller but highly passionate minority that continues to believe the whole thing is a hoax. ¶
For most climate experts, however, the battle is long over — at least when
it comes to the science. What remains in dispute is not whether climate change is happening, but how fast things are going to get worse.¶ There are some possibilities that are deliberately left out of the IPCC projections, because we simply don’t have enough data yet to model them. Jason Box, a visiting scholar at the Byrd Polar Research Center told me in an email interview that: “
The scary elephant in the closet is terrestrial and oceanic methane
release triggered by warming.” The IPCC projections don’t include the possibility — some scientists say likelihood — that huge quantities of methane (a greenhouse gas the threshhold “when humans lose control of potential management of the problem, may be sooner than expected.”¶ Box, whose work has been instrumental in documenting the rapid deterioration of the Greenland ice sheet, also believes that the latest IPCC predictions (of a maximum just under three foot ocean rise by the end of the century) may turn out to be wildly optimistic, if the Greenland ice sheet breaks up. “We are heading into uncharted territory” he said. “We are creating a different thirty times as potent as CO2) will eventually be released from thawing permafrost and undersea methane hydrate reserves. Box said that
climate than the Earth has ever seen.” ¶ The head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, speaks for the scientific consensus when he says that time is fast running out to avoid the catastrophic collapse of the natural systems on which human life depends. What he recently told a group of climate scientist could be the most chilling headline of all for the U.N. report: ¶ "We have five minutes before midnight."
It’s not too late---reductions can avoid and delay catastrophic impacts Nina Chestney 13, senior environmental correspondent, 1/13, “Climate Change Study: Emissions Limits Could Avoid Damage By Two-Thirds,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/13/climate-change-study-emissionslimits_n_2467995.html The world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed on Sunday. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first comprehensive assessment of the benefits of cutting emissions to keep the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, a level which scientists say would avoid the worst effects of climate change. It found 20 to 65 percent of the adverse impacts by the end of this century could be avoided. "Our research clearly identifies the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions - less severe impacts on flooding and crops are two areas of particular benefit," said Nigel Arnell, director of the University of Reading's Walker Institute, which led the study. In 2010, governments
current emissions reduction targets are on track to lead to a temperature rise of 4 degrees or more by 2100. The World Bank has warned more extreme weather will become the "new agreed to curb emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C, but
normal" if global temperature rises by 4 degrees. Extreme heatwaves could devastate areas from the Middle East to the United States, while sea levels could rise by up to 91 cm (3 feet), flooding cities in countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh, the bank has said. The latest research involved scientists from British institutions including the University of Reading, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, as well as Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. It examined a range
The strictest scenario kept global temperature rise to 2 degrees C with emissions peaking in 2016 and declining by 5 percent a year to 2050. FLOODING Adverse effects such as declining crop productivity and exposure to river flooding could be reduced by 40 to 65 percent by 2100 if warming is limited to 2 degrees, the study said. Global average sea level rise could be reduced to 30cm (12 inches) by 2100, compared to 47-55cm (18-22 inches) if no action to cut emissions is taken, it said. Some adverse climate impacts could also be delayed by many decades. The global productivity of spring wheat could drop by 20 percent by the 2050s, but the fall in yield could be delayed until 2100 if strict emissions curbs were enforced. "Reducing greenhouse gas emissions won't avoid the impacts of climate change altogether of course, but our research shows it will buy time to make things like buildings, transport systems and agriculture more resilient to climate change," Arnell said. of emissions-cut scenarios and their impact on factors including flooding, drought, water availability and crop productivity.
Food shortages cause nuclear world war 3 FDI 12, Future Directions International, a Research institute providing strategic analysis of Australia’s global interests; citing Lindsay Falvery, PhD in Agricultural Science and former Professor at the University of Melbourne’s Institute of Land and Environment, “Food and Water Insecurity: International Conflict Triggers & Potential Conflict Points,” http://www.futuredirections.org.au/workshop-papers/537-international-conflict-triggers-andpotential-conflict-points-resulting-from-food-and-water-insecurity.html There is a growing appreciation that the conflicts in the next century will most likely be fought over a lack of resources.¶ Yet, in a sense, this is not new. Researchers point to the French and Russian revolutions as conflicts induced by a lack of food. More recently, Germany’s World War Two efforts are said to have been inspired, at least in part, by its perceived need to gain access to more food. Yet the general sense among those that attended FDI’s recent workshops, was that the scale of the problem in the future could be significantly greater as a result of population pressures, changing weather, urbanisation, migration, loss of arable land and other farm inputs, and increased affluence in the developing world. ¶ In his book, Small Farmers Secure Food, Lindsay Falvey, a participant in FDI’s
March 2012 workshop on the issue of food and conflict, clearly expresses
the problem and why countries across the globe are starting to take note. .¶ He writes (p.36), “…if people are hungry, especially in cities, the state is not stable – riots, violence, breakdown of law and order and migration result.”¶ “Hunger feeds anarchy.”¶ This view is also shared by Julian Cribb, who in his book, The Coming Famine, writes that if “large regions of the world run short of food, land or water in the decades that lie ahead, then wholesale, bloody wars are liable to follow.” ¶ He continues: “An increasingly credible scenario for World War 3 is not so much a confrontation of super powers and their allies, as a festering, selfperpetuating chain of resource conflicts.” He also says: “The wars of the 21st Century are less likely to be global conflicts with sharply defined sides and huge armies, than a scrappy mass of failed states, rebellions, civil strife, insurgencies, terrorism and genocides, sparked by bloody competition over dwindling resources.”¶ As another workshop participant put it, people do not go to war to kill; they go to war over resources, either to protect or to gain the resources for themselves.¶ Another observed that hunger results in passivity not conflict. Conflict is over resources, not because people are going hungry.¶ A
study by the International Peace Research Institute indicates that where food security is an issue, it is more likely to result in some form of conflict. Darfur, Rwanda, Eritrea and the Balkans experienced such wars. Governments, especially in developed countries, are increasingly aware of this phenomenon.¶ The UK Ministry of Defence, the CIA, the US C enter for S trategic and I nternational S tudies and the Oslo Peace Research Institute, all identify famine as a potential trigger for conflicts and possibly even nuclear war .
2AC---Non-Profit CP Conditionality is a voting issue—destroys 2AC strategic flexibility which is the arc of clash and education in debate—magnified by multiple worlds—depth is key to debate’s political value—multiple options removes the squo as a logical option and causes late developing debates – reject the team to set a precedent – __ solves their offense Perm do the CP—legalize marijuana through a non-profit regulatory model --“Little Marijuana” model fails—cant enforce regs over the squo, means don’t solve cartels Robert Mikos 14, Which poses the bigger threat: Big Marijuana or Little Marijuana?, Feb 25, http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2014/02/which-poses-the-bigger-threatbig-marijuana-or-little-marijuana.html Policymakers want to ensure that the marijuana industry doesn’t engage in socially irresponsible behaviors, such as selling marijuana to minors. And many policymakers agree that the structure of the marijuana industry plays a key role in shaping its behavior. Interestingly, however, policymakers seem to disagree
about whether society would be better off if the marijuana industry were concentrated (i.e., controlled by a few Big firms) or fragmented (i.e., controlled by many Small firms). ¶ On one side, anti-legalization groups like Smart Approaches to Marijuana has raised the specter of Big Marijuana. The group doesn’t really explain why Big is necessarily bad; instead, it just conjures images of Big Tobacco to make its case. But there are reasons to be concerned about concentrated industries. All industries, of course, are driven by a profit motive and seek to expand their markets as much as possible. For this reason, industries generally oppose regulations that reduce the size of those markets, such as laws banning sales to minors, regardless of whether those laws make good sense for society as a whole. To be sure, this anti-regulation impulse can be found in both concentrated industries and fragmented ones. But all else being equal, concentrated industries are generally more successful at blocking passage of sensible regulations. In large part, this is because of the transaction costs and free-rider problems besetting fragmented industries. It is just a lot easier to coordinate the lobbying efforts of a few Big firms than it is to coordinate the lobbying efforts of many Small ones. Hence, if the marijuana industry were ever to be dominated by a few, very Big players, it might prevent governments from passing sensible restrictions on its activities, much the way Big Tobacco fought off government regulations for decades.¶ On the other side, government officials
have raised the specter of Little Marijuana. Little Marijuana depicts the current structure of the industry. It is populated with hundreds – and in states that allow home cultivation, thousands -of relatively small growers and distributors. While a fragmented industry wields less political clout, it is also far, far more difficult to police. It is a lot easier for government agents to monitor an industry comprised of a few Big firms than it is for them to monitor an industry comprised of many Small ones. Hence, as long as the marijuana industry remains highly fragmented, governments will likely have a difficult time enforcing sensible restrictions on its activities. Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, for example, has struggled to monitor the hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and state officials have complained that home cultivation exacerbates the problem. ¶ For
all of its vices, Big Tobacco helps demonstrate the upside of a highly concentrated industry structure. For example, as I discuss in more detail in this paper, there is relatively little evasion of cigarette taxes in this country, even though the taxes imposed on cigarettes can be quite high (e.g., 45% in federal and state excise taxes alone in California). For example, several studies estimated that only about 7-12% of cigarette taxes go unpaid on average. (Not surprisingly, the number is higher in high-tax jurisdictions.) In large part, the successful enforcement of cigarette taxes can be traced to the highly concentrated structure of the tobacco industry: three firms now manufacture roughly 85% of all cigarettes consumed in this country (and they do so at just 15 factories). I think it safe to say that monitoring this industry to ensure that taxes are paid (and other regulations followed) is far easier than it would be if thousands of firms were now manufacturing cigarettes.¶ Ultimately, perhaps the lesson is that Big Marijuana and Small Marijuana both pose challenges for policymakers, albeit challenges of a different nature. In
short term, Small Marijuana is clearly a bigger concern. But in the long term, policymakers long for the day when the industry wielded little political clout.
Regulations solve—state run stores work better then nonprofit model Mark Kleiman 14, Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, “How to Avoid ‘Dumb’ Marijuana Legalization”, 5/8, http://www.rehabs.com/pro-talk-articles/how-to-avoid-dumb-marijuanalegalization/ The trick to legalizing marijuana, then, is to frustrate the logic of the market, to interfere with its tendency to create and exploit people with substance abuse disorders. Price and information are the two major policy levers that could deter cannabis abuse. Marijuana is already cheap and will get cheaper under legalization. Taxes are one way to keep prices up, but without uniformity between states, taxes will foster interstate smuggling, as the tobacco markets illustrate. Only
a federal system will solve the smuggling problem. But government can require potency disclosure and product labeling as well as outreach to prevent both drug abuse and impaired driving. To prevent “big marijuana” from having its corporate thumb on the public policy scale, we could require that cannabis be sold only through nonprofits, but the most effective system is state-run retail stores . There’s plenty of precedent for this: Utah, Pennsylvania and Alabama restrict hard liquor sales to state operated or state-controlled outlets, and operationally they work fine. A “state store” system would also allow the states to control the pot supply chain. By contracting with many small growers, rather than a few giant ones, states could check the industry’s political power (concentrated industries are almost always more effective at lobbying than those comprised of many small companies) and maintain consumer choice by avoiding a beer-like oligopoly offering virtually interchangeable products. The time to act at the national level is now. The state-by-state process is getting us locked in to the wrong model ; once there are billions of dollars a year of pot being commercially sold under state-level legalization, it will be virtually impossible to put them out of business.
2AC---Florida Pic Conditionality is a voting issue—destroys 2AC strategic flexibility which is the arc of clash and education in debate—magnified by multiple worlds—depth is key to debate’s political value—multiple options removes the squo as a logical option and causes late developing debates – reject the team to set a precedent – __ solves their offense Perm do the CP --- plan doesn’t specify ALL marijuana --- ‘nearly all’ in the rez means Florida could be excluded It doesn’t compete --- United States means any of the States, territories, or districts PPA 57, Federal Pest Plant Act, Public Law 85-36 Title I Section 102, May 23 1957, http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/1957/1957-085-0036.pdf (e) "United States" means any of the States, Territories, or Districts (including possessions and the District of Columbia) of the United States.
No solvency advocate’s a VI – makes being aff impossible since CP’s not in the literature – predictability’s crucial to clash and topic discussion CP can’t solve cartels Amy Pavuk 12, Orlando Sentinel, “Feds: Mexican drug ring made Central Florida marijuana distribution hub,” http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-04-04/news/os-mexican-drugcartel-central-florida-20120330_1_mexican-drug-cartels-drug-traffickers Mexican drug cartels, responsible for widespread violence and more than 40,000 deaths in that country, operate all across the U.S. — and Central Florida is no exception.¶ For the past three years, federal agents say, associates of the Gulf Cartel trucked in thousands of pounds of marijuana to Apopka and other Orlando communities — establishing the area as a distribution hub .¶ They buried millions of dollars on properties in Central Florida . They stashed assault rifles and ballistic vests in Apopka. They stored their drugs in open areas such as garden nurseries.¶ All the while, their drug trade brought in millions of dollars .
2AC---Big Weed DA No big tobacco repeat --- regulations solve and no chance of an oligopoly due to widespread production Jon Gettman 14, Ph.D. in public policy, teaching undergraduate criminal justice and graduate level management courses, "Why Reefer Madness Mania is Failing”, March 12, http://www.hightimes.com/read/why-reefer-madness-mania-failing Case #2: Kevin Sabet is a former advisor to the Office of National Drug Control Policy who now teaches at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Sabet
is an outspoken critic of marijuana’s legalization and has published several op-ed pieces on the of Sabet’s common themes is that contemporary marijuana reform measures are contributing to the creation of “Big Cannabis,” which is following the “Big Tobacco” model of lying to the public about the subject. One
harm caused by its products in order to seek billions of dollars in profits. Sabet thinks we need a new and improved approach to drug policy in which marijuana is illegal but people aren’t sent to jail or prison over it. He
overlooks the resulting costs to society due to an
unregulated illegal market, including, for example, the profit potential that attracts hundreds of thousands of teenagers to selling marijuana to their friends and contributing to pot’s under-age availability. ¶ The “Big Cannabis” reference, though, raises an interesting contrast with tobacco that is really not as useful as Sabet believes. There are several reasons this analogy breaks down on closer examination .¶ First, the health effects of marijuana are widely documented, much more so than the effects of tobacco ever have been. If anything, Americans are overwhelmed with information about the health effects of marijuana and have observed the impact of marijuana use for generations. Much of the public has decided the concerns Sabet and other have are reasons why marijuana should be regulated and controlled in a legal market.¶ Second, the tobacco market is an oligopoly, a market controlled by a few number of firms (two companies – Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds – control almost 75% of the market) and it is a market desperate for new customers – it targets the young because most adults are too well educated to use its products. The emerging marijuana market is a wide-open competitive market with no problem attracting adult users. Indeed, teenage users are a small and insignificant segment of marijuana user (about 10%). Tobacco is a product that is dependent on numerous additives to make it flavorful and pleasant to consume. Marijuana is a generic product, in which the natural product is what is brought to market (and this holds despite the emergence of edible products.) In fact, generic tobacco is a competitive threat to most tobacco companies.
The biggest flaw in Sabet’s central argument is that current laws have utterly failed to control the cultivation of marijuana. Prohibition only works when the government can control the technology of production (policy wonks should look up what John Kaplan explained about this as far back as 1974 – an Oxford grad like Sabet ought to know this stuff). Marijuana is grown all over the United States; this is why prohibition is a failure and this is why using criminal law to control or reduce marijuana use is a failure. Additionally, this is why a regulated market is a better tool to address and minimize whatever harmful effects result from marijuana’s widespread use in American society. And this is why there will not be “Big Cannabis” similar to “Big Tobacco.” Production is, and will continue to be, so widespread that no monopoly, or oligopoly, can be formed. ¶
Plan solves the environment—illegal is worse, cartel smuggling, and indoor production DPA 11, 05/20/11, “Is Pot-Growing Bad for the Environment?”, http://www.thenation.com/article/176955/pot-growing-bad-environment?page=0,2 It is well known that legalizing pot could have great economic benefits in California and elsewhere by allowing the government to tax it (like it now does on liquor and cigarettes), by ending expensive and ongoing operations to eradicate it, and by keeping millions of otherwise innocent and non-violent marijuana offenders out of already overburdened federal and state prisons. But what you might
legalizing pot could also pay environmental dividends as well. Nikki Gloudeman, a senior fellow at Mother Jones magazine, reports on the change.org website that the current not know is that
system of growing pot—surreptitious growers illegally colonizing remote forest lands and moving pesticides, waste and irrigation tubes into otherwise pristine ecosystems— is nothing short of a toxic scourge. Legalizing pot, she says, would clean things up substantially, as the growing would both eliminate the strain on public lands and meet higher standards for the use and disposal of toxic substances. Legalization would also reduce the environmental impacts of smuggling across the U.S./Mexico border , says Gloudeman: “Cartels routinely use generators, diesel storage tanks and animal poison to preserve their cache, when the border area is surrounded by more than 4 million acres of sensitive federal wilderness.” Also, legalizing pot would move its production out into the open, literally, meaning that growers would no longer need to rack up huge energy costs to keep their illegal indoor growing operations lit up by artificial light. This means that the energy consumption and carbon footprint of marijuana growers would go way down, as the light the plants need for photosynthesis could be provided more naturally by the sun. Yet another green benefit of legalizing marijuana would be an end to the destructive eradication efforts employed by law enforcement at bust sites , where the crop and the land they are rooted in are sometimes subjected to harsh chemical herbicides for expedited removal. The legalization of pot in the U.S. would also likely open the door to the legal production of hemp, a variety of the same Cannabis plant that contains much lower amounts of the psychoactive drug, THC. Proponents say hemp could meet an increasingly larger percentage of our domestic fiber and fuel needs. Cannabis, the plant from which marijuana and hemp is derived, grows quickly without the need for excessive amounts of fertilizer or pesticide (it’s a “weed” after all) and absorbs carbon dioxide like any plant engaged in photosynthesis. The fiber and fuel derived from hemp would be carbon neutral and as such wouldn’t contribute to global warming—and in fact could help mitigate rising temperatures by replacing chemical-intensive crops like cotton and imported fossil fuels like oil and gas. Of course, one
might argue that the best thing for the environment would be to stop growing cannabis altogether. “But let’s be real: That’s never going to happen,” says Gloudeman. “In light of that, the next best bet is to make it legal.”
Peak phosphorus is approaching—increased efficiency through hemp solves James Wellstead 12, Analyst at Potash Investing News, financial consultant with government and academic experience, 6/28/12, Food or Fuel? Peak Phosphate is a Risk to Both, Potash Investing News, http://potashinvestingnews.com/5688-food-or-fuel-peak-phosphate-isrisk-to-both.html Peak phosphate garnered press after a 2009 report by the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative announced that the world could hit the top of global phosphorus production by around 2034. Projecting a peak output of about 28 million tonnes per year, and with global phosphate rock reserves of about 2.358 billion tonnes, the Research Initiative raised a rather grim spectre.¶ However, in 2010 the International Fertiliser Development Center published research based on new reserve estimates by the US Geological Survey. Its conclusion was that phosphate rock reserves will be able to produce fertilizer for the next 300 to 400 years, rather than the next 30 to 40 years. the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative still disagrees with the 300-year projection and maintains that peak phosphate will occur within this century.¶ Though
a hard and fast date has yet to be asserted, the implications of phosphorus and phosphate fertilizer shortages are critical because phosphor is essential to plant – and hence food – production. But with biofuels being integrated into energy systems in places like Europe and North America, the possibility that peak phosphate is imminent could create challenges for crop-based global fuel supplies.¶ Food or fuel?¶ Phosphate is one of the three core nutrients required by plants, the others being nitrogen and potassium. Both modern food and biofuel production require the mineral to be continuously applied as it is trucked off when crops are removed from the land. While phosphorus does accumulate in agricultural soils, and thus does not require a complete re-application each year, large yearly doses of phosphorus are needed as material is removed from the phosphate-cycle through waste and through deposits made to sanitation systems (i.e. excrement).¶ As
fortunes rise for many people in Asia, Africa, and South America, the need to produce greater quantities of food has pushed global crops and farming into a massive expansionary mode. Currently, global food production stands at around 4 billion
tonnes per day for a population of 7 billion people. By 2050, projections estimate a global population of 9 billion; an increasing proportion of those people will have more income to put toward eating greater quantities of more resource-intensive foods.¶ Marc Sadler of the World Bank’s Agricultural Finance and Risk Management Team recently said that “[i]n a world of finite resources we need to be more efficient, and to get these goals we need to invest more. The more resources that we put into food, the more we will get [out].” ¶ “This is a global reality–not only is the population increasing, but we are also seeing changing consumer patterns. It’s obvious that a lot of these changes are linked to higher income and the higher consumption of protein,” Sadler added.¶ Phosphate application rates currently stand at about one ton of phosphate to 130 tons of grain, with approximately 170 million tons of phosphate rock mined every year for global crops. Industrial farmers lay down about 18 million metric tons of mined phosphorus each year.¶ Not to be outdone, a report released this past April on global biofuel consumption noted the market grew by 10.5 percent in 2011 and is forecast to increase by another 81.4 percent by 2016.¶ What
is critical is that phosphate has no alternative in the food production process. While it can be recycled and reused if efficient methods are implemented, maintaining phosphate application is necessary to continue food production levels. On the other hand, biofuels are just one of a series of alternative fuel or energy sources.
Peak phosphorus causes extinction Ray Weil 14, Professor of Soil Science at the University of Maryland, PhD in Soil Ecology from Virginia Tech, 5/26/14, Peak Phosphorus – Even More Important Than Peak Oil!, On Pasture, http://onpasture.com/2014/05/26/peak-phosphorus-even-more-important-than-peakoil/#sthash.rFvqsLDC.dpuf improving the efficiency of phosphorus use in farming is not only essential for moral obligation to future generations that will have to depend on Earth’s limited phosphorus supplies. The immediacy of this concern is not shared by everyone, but the importance of conserving phosphorus is based on two facts that are quite indisputable: 1) phosphorus has no substitute and 2) it is not a renewable resource.¶ All living things require phosphorus as it is literally in their DNA. Humans need phosphorus in their own diets. Soils need phosphorus if they are to support the plants and animals we use for food. There is no substitute for phosphorus in these roles. Economists tell us that generally goods will be replaced by something else if scarcity drives up prices. For example, if copper Many scientists argue that
profitable agriculture, but is a
becomes too expensive, fiber optic cables might replace copper wires; or if fossil fuels become too expensive, people may invest in wind power to replace oil and gas in generating electricity. Since phosphorus is a basic chemical element in the structure of many essential cellular components (DNA, RNA, membranes, ATP), no such substitution will be possible.¶ Phosphorus
is a nonrenewable resource—and one that is in quite limited supply, both in absolute global amounts and in geographic distribution. The vast majority of the world’s mineable phosphorus is in the North African country of Morocco. Historical examples and current resource theory suggest that as the best, easiest to mine deposits get used up first, the remaining resources get harder and more expensive to mine and refine. Thus accelerating
resource exploitation to meet growing demand will eventually be limited first by escalating costs and then by dwindling absolute supply, resulting in a maximum or peak rate of production when just over half of the total resource has been used up (Figure 14.32). The remaining deposits will continue to be mined for decades beyond that time, but in ever smaller amounts and at ever greater expense. While
there is considerable disagreement about the actual size of world phosphate reserves and how long they will last (estimates range between 100 and 400 years to exhaustion), the data suggest peak production will come much sooner than once thought – perhaps by the middle of this century. Hence there is growing sense of urgency among many scientists and policy makers (see for example the European effort).a
No impact to monocultures Wood 3 – has worked on germplasm research and gene banks (Dave, 1/7, Are Seedbanks Obsolete?, AgBioView, http://www.agbioworld.org/newsletter_wm/index.php?caseid=archive&newsid=1567) Finally - a hobby-horse of mine. Don's repeated concern is 'the liability of the monocultures of our major cereal grains'.
'Monoculture' is in danger of becoming a buzz-word used increasingly by people who don't know what they are talking about. There is nothing whatever wrong with cereal monocultures. Early farmers domesticated our major cereals from extensive monodominant stands of wild relatives. There is no evidence at all that these persistent wild stands (relatives of rice, wheat, barley, sorghum and pearl millet) were vulnerable to disease and pests, rather the opposite; they were tough. Modern monoculture cropping is a direct descendent of these stable wild monocultures; it is as 'ecologically correct' as possible; and still provides most of our food. There is no example of famine in modern times resulting only from the vulnerability of monocultures. Yet there are numerous historical examples of famines from diverse landrace agriculture. The worst case that can be found of cereal vulnerability was the Southern Corn Leaf Blight, which affected maize in the US in 1970. This was a key stimulus to the expansion of national and global seed collections (of which there are now far too many). Yet this disease was nothing to do with monocultures ñ it was result of an over-reliance on limited genetic variation in a widespread crop. Always ignored was the rapid recovery of US maize production the following season. Since the 1930s, and as a result of top quality agricultural science, US maize yields have shown a steady and remarkable increase. There was a tiny dip in 1970 as a result of blight, and by 1971, yield had increased beyond the trend line. Rather than a failure, the immediate recovery from the 1970 blight was an outstanding success of forward-looking breeding, seed production, and monoculture cropping (rather than filling genebanks with landraces and fields with unmanageable crop mixtures). It is not possible to justify the millions of samples stored in genebanks by claims that cereal monocultures are especially vulnerable to disease: they are not.
Monocultures are robust cropping systems based on robust natural analogues. Biotech can make them yet more robust and ecologically correct.
Violence in Mexico causes catastrophic oil shocks Michael Moran 9, executive editor and policy analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, “Six Crises, 2009: A Half-Dozen Ways Geopolitics Could Upset Global Recovery”, 7/31/09, http://fbkfinanzwirtschaft.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/six-crises-2009-a-half-dozen-waysgeopolitics-could-upset-global-recovery/ Mexico Drug Violence:¶ At Stake: Oil prices, refugee flows, NAFTA, U.S. economic stability¶ A story receiving more attention in the American media than Iraq these days is the horrific drug-related violence across the northern states of Mexico, where Felipe Calderon has deployed the national army to combat two thriving drug cartels, which have compromised the national police beyond redemption.¶ The tales of carnage Risk 2:
are horrific, to be sure: 30 people were killed in a 48 hour period last week in Cuidad Juarez alone, a city located directly across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. So far, the impact on the United States and beyond has been minimal. But there also isn’t much sign that the army is winning, either, and that raises a disturbing question: What if Calderon loses?¶ The CIA’s worst nightmare during the Cold War (outside of an administration which forced transparency on it, of course) was the radicalization or collapse of Mexico. The template then was communism, but narco-capitalism doesn’t look much better.¶ The prospect of a wholesale collapse that sent millions upon millions of Mexican refugees fleeing across the northern border so far seems remote. But Mexico’s army has its own problems with corruption, and a sizeable number of Mexicans regard Calderon’s
With Mexico’s economy reeling and the traditional safety valve of illegal immigration to America dwindling, the potential for serious trouble exists.¶ Meanwhile, Mexico ranks with Saudi Arabia and Canada as the three suppliers of oil the United States could not do without. Should things come unglued there and Pemex production shut down even temporarily, the shock on oil markets could be profound , again, sending its waves throughout the global economy. razor-thin 2006 electoral victory over a leftist rival as illegitimate.
Long-term, PEMEX production has been sliding anyway, thanks to oil fields well-beyond their peak and restrictions on foreign investment.¶ Domestically in the U.S., any
trouble involving Mexico invariably will cause a bipartisan demand for more security on the southern border, inflame anti-immigrant sentiment and possibly force Obama to remember his campaign promise to “renegotiate NAFTA,” a pledge he deftly sidestepped once in office.
Nuclear war Islam Qasem 7, doctoral candidate in the Department of Politics and Social Sciences at the University of Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, MA in International Affairs from Columbia, “The Coming Warfare of Oil Shortage”, 7/9/07, online: http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_islam_ya_070709_the_coming_warfare_o.htm Recognizing the strategic value of oil for their national interests, superpowers will not hesitate to unleash their economic and military power to ensure secure access to oil resources, triggering worldwide tension, if not armed conflict. And while superpowers like the United States maintain superior conventional military power, in addition to their nuclear power, some weaker states are already nuclearly armed, others are seeking nuclear weapons. In an anarchic world with many nuclear-weapon states feeling insecure, and a global economy in downward spiral, the chances of using nuclear weapons in pursues of national interests are high .
2AC---Florida DA Scott will win now despite medical marijuana being on the ballot and likely to pass Adam C. Smith 9-20, Tampa Bay Times political reporter, “Florida Insider Poll: Scott to trump Crist; medical marijuana will pass,” http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/florida-insider-poll-scott-to-trumpcrist-medical-marijuana-will-pass/2198702 The race between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist for Florida governor has long been seen as a toss-up, and recent polls bolster the perception of a campaign that could go either way.
But conventional wisdom among Florida's political elite has shifted decidedly in Gov. Scott's favor , the latest Tampa Bay Times Florida Insider Poll shows. When we surveyed more than 130 of Florida's savviest political hands seven weeks ago, a slight majority predicted that Scott would beat Crist. This week, two-thirds they expect
of our Florida Insiders — including 38 percent of the Democrats — said Scott to beat former Gov. Crist .
"With (absentee ballots) dropping in about two weeks, Crist's
opportunities to change the dynamics of the race are limited. The clock is ticking and unfortunately that does not bode well for Crist," said one Democrat. The Florida Insider Poll is an entirely unscientific survey of people closely involved in the political process, including campaign consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists, academics and activists. This Insider Poll included 77 Republicans, 53 Democrats, and 10 men and women registered to neither major party.
the GOP off-year turnout advantage will be difficult to overcome ," another Democrat said. "Up until the last 45 days there has been little effort to create the ground game needed to turn out a base vote. Had the (state Democratic Party) and/or Crist started four "The governor's race will be closer than some might predict, but
months ago, things may have looked more promising." Said a Republican: "The Scott team spent too much time congratulating themselves on being political geniuses to realize this one will close late, close ugly, and they'd better be right that the Dem voter and field operation isn't real. Too much 'we're winning!' talk risks the GOP base not staying alert to the danger of Charlie, and that borders on political malpractice." The last four public polls point to a neck-and-neck race. Other Insider Poll findings: • 59
percent predicted that the medical marijuana initiative will garner the 60 percent voter approval it needs to pass. But one experienced Republican politico had his doubts: "Going to be close, but I would call for the upset here and say it just barely goes down."
Initiatives won’t help Crist Betsy Woodruff 14, Political Writer for the Washington Examiner, “Medical marijuana initiative could liven up Florida governor race,” 6/27/14, http://washingtonexaminer.com/medical-marijuana-initiative-could-liven-up-floridagovernor-race/article/2550283 But medical
marijuana legalization isn't a clear-cut partisan issue splitting both Democrats and Republicans .¶ According to Reuters, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, currently the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, lost Morgan's support for questioning the initiative and voting against pro-medical marijuana legislation in Congress.¶ Scott opposes Amendment 2, but he recently signed legislation that legalized the prescription of a strain of non-euphoric marijuana that can help treat epilepsy, Lou Gehrig's disease, and other ailments. The strain is low in THC and the bill only allows marijuana consumption through oil or vapors, but not by smoking, according to the Tampa Bay Times. ¶ That sets up an interesting political dynamic for the November elections, and state political observers say it makes things particularly complicated for Republicans. ¶
wisdom is that pro-marijuana legalization ballot initiatives increase Democratic turnout, as they can do more to energize young voters than individual politicians can. It remains to be seen just how much effect it will have in Florida , but it looks like the GOP has more to lose than Sunshine State Democrats.¶ “ They’re only surefire voter-turnout mechanisms for Democrats if Republicans are dumb asses,” said Rick Wilson, a long-time Republican consultant in the state, of pro-pot ballot initiatives. “That’s the word you should actually use, because that’s the word I use in a briefing that I give. This is a classic case of, 'Don’t give your enemy a sword to cut off your head.' ” ¶ If the amendment proves a helpful way for Democrats to paint Republicans as compassionless and pro-suffering, Wilson continued, then it could make things tough for Scott. ¶ “Republicans should understand that society has changed on this question,” he said. ¶ But pot
problems for the governor aren't necessarily
preordained . Mac Stipanovich, a long-time Republican strategist and lobbyist, said Republicans fall into two categories on the issue.¶ “The first one being, people who smoke marijuana aren’t going to vote ,” he said, “and the second one being, well, we all smoke marijuana so it doesn’t make a difference!”¶ He added that the Republican-controlled legislature’s passage of the narrow medical marijuana law may have “sufficiently clouded the issue.” ¶ “ Nobody’s going to get a clear shot at anybody ,” he said.
Crist will lose Marc A Caputo 9/14, Miami Herald's political writer, “Unskewing and averaging the FL gov race polls, Pt. 2: Scott leads Crist 43-41%” http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2014/09/unskewing-and-averaging-the-fl-govrace-polls-pt-2-scott-leads-crist-43-41.html real polling work is underway in Florida’s governor’s race. That means it’s time for another unskewing of the polls, in this case seven surveys released since Sept. 1 for which crosstab data were made available.*¶ Taken individually, each poll shows a close race, with either Gov. Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist leading by an insider-the-error-margin amount. Taken together and aggregated, however, the polls indicate an even tighter contest.¶ Scott has the slightest of leads : about 43.3 percent to Crist’s 41.3 percent.¶ The rough 2 percentage-point margin isn’t a commanding lead. It looks even less-impressive considering the April average of the race’s Labor Day is over and now the
polls: a Crist lead of about 0.4 percentage points.¶ Viewed one way, the race has moved a mere net 1.6 percentage points in Scott’s favor while he and his allies have outspent Crist’s campaign by nearly 3:1 on TV since March ($27 million to $10 million). A large number of those ads have been negative, attacking Crist more than boosting Scott. Some political consultants have been describing Scott’s campaign position as the result of some tactical genius – but it’s looking more like brute force right now, the equivalent of dropping an atomic bomb of manure. It’s gonna make Crist stink.¶ Basically, the campaign looks frozen, which the following poll track of SurveyUSA/WFLA-TV shows. Neither candidate is pulling consistently ahead.¶ Note how Crist's lead shrunk by May. Crist wasn't on TV at the time. Scott was. It's a graphic indication of how Scott’s campaign simply
Crist is fighting back with negative ads of his own. But all the negativity probably helps Scott more . Negative campaigning took a page from another reelection campaign of a disliked incumbent, President Obama, and used his money to negatively define his opponent early. ¶
can depress turnout, and smaller-turnout elections favor Republicans.¶ The immediate beneficiary of all the negativity could be Libertarian Adrian Wyllie, who’s fashioning
Looming even larger: the 11 percent of undecided voters.¶ Crist has structural problems , too. As a Democrat, his party typically underperforms in midterms. As a newly minted Democrat who did little to engage his primary opponent, the former Republican might have troubles with his base.¶ Crist, until he lost in 2010, was also accustomed to having the bigger war chest than his opponent and having the luxury of being able to spend his money later in the election. He doesn’t want to start blowing all of his cash now and wind up broke weeks before the Nov. 4 Election Day. But if Crist doesn’t do better soon, he could lose one of his biggest attributes that we heard about from voters in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary -- that Crist can beat Scott, that Crist is a winner. If Crist looks like a loser before absentee ballots drop in the mail at the beginning of next month, it could increase the chances that already flakey Democrats could again flake out.¶ So Scott’s strategy is working . Albeit not by much. But he doesn’t need to win by much. Neither does. A razor-thin recount margin will suffice for either candidate. himself as the alternative to politics as usual. He’s getting about 4 percent in the polling averages.¶
Double bind---either lifting the embargo is coming and sufficient to solve, or it’s not and it makes their impacts inevitable Florida voters are already locked in NYT 9-20 – New York Times, “A Florida Race Strains Wallets and Loyalties,” http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/us/a-florida-race-strains-wallets-andallegiances.html?_r=0 By now, the vast majority of Floridians know whom they will choose, analysts said. The fight will play out along the margins in certain swing counties, a pocket of Hispanics here, a group of Tea Party activists there.
Crist isn’t close to sufficient to change overall Cuban relations Chris Sabatini 14, Politico reporter, 5/21/14, “Charlie Crist’s Cuba Gambit,” http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/charlie-crist-cuba106903_Page2.html#.VB7xj_ldV-s Crist’s trip to Cuba, if it even happens, won’t change U.S.-Cuba policy . That depends on executive action under the constraints of the embargo or, according to the Libertad Act, a decision by Congress after the president confirms that the Cuban regime has met a series of democratic standards, including the release of political prisoners, freedom of association and expression and credible steps toward free and fair elections (a rigid set of standards that has no analog in U.S. policies toward any other country). Nobody thinks Raúl is willing to go that far , nor are any younger generation nomenklatura or technocrats in the government. The original premise of the Libertad Act was that it would provoke a wholesale collapse of the regime, something that appears increasingly unlikely, and if it did would risk violence and mass exodus across the Florida Straits — not a scenario U.S. politicians, especially a governor of Florida, would welcome.
Crist not key---reform will be determined by release of Gross Jose De Cordoba 14, WSJ, 6/17/14, “Cuban American Voters in Miami Almost Evenly Split on Lifting Embargo,” http://online.wsj.com/articles/cuban-american-voters-in-miami-almostevenly-split-on-lifting-embargo-1403035243 Mr. Grenier said the
overall thrust of the poll shows that young Cubans and recent immigrants favor a more "nuanced" approach to the Havana regime, keeping U.S. pressure while allowing for such policies as increased visits which have the potential to change society.¶ Cuban Americans are politically up for grabs. Cuban American registered Republicans have fallen from a high of 70% in 1991 to 53% this year, the poll found. Over that period, registered Democrats have more than doubled to 34% from 16% in 1991, while the number of Cuban Americans who identify as independents have also grown. ¶ Although
the debate over Cuban-U.S. relations has grown more heated this year, most analysts believe there is little chance of any major movement on the issue until Alan Gross, a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, is freed from prison in Cuba .¶ Mr. Gross was arrested in Havana in 2009 for bringing satellite telephones and other communications equipment for the use of the Jewish community in Cuba. He was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against state security.
Obama won’t even try to resolve it Esteban Morales 13, Havana Times, Apr 24 2013, “Obama’s Cuba Policy Impasse,” http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=91902 HAVANA TIMES — Though
President Obama never promised he would lift the Cuban embargo, he began his first term with a series of bold moves which raised some hopes on the island. Today, he
seems to have stopped trying, having hit what appears to be a convenient dead end. ¶ The US President is unable to grasp the difference between the Allan Gross case and the issue of the Cuban Five. Thus, he is spinning yarns, in a situation which, even if the differences between the two cases were objectively recognized, could be resolved without undermining US national security or prestige. Obama, however, is looking at the Gross-Cuban Five problem in a concave mirror, which turns everything upside-down.
Crist already flip-flopped on Cuba---he backed off calling for the embargo to be lifted Paul Guzzo 14, Tampa Tribune staff, 6/23/14, “Crist now says he has no time to visit Cuba,” http://tbo.com/news/politics/crist-changes-mind-wont-visit-cuba-this-summer-20140623/ Democrat Charlie Crist, who stirred debate by announcing he favors lifting the U.S. embargo against Cuba and would visit the island during his campaign for governor, said Monday he won’t be making the trip after all. Crist’s campaign suggested
the reversal is because it would be difficult to fit the trip into the four months and a few days a political backlash from South Florida Democrats, many of whom back the embargo.
remaining before the Nov. 4 election, but Crist also faced
“Between now and November, Governor Crist is determined to spend as much time as possible meeting with Floridians to discuss creating a stronger economy for our middle class families,” said a statement from Crist campaign spokesman Brendan Gilfillan. “If at some point after the election there is an opportunity to travel there to learn from the people of Cuba and help find opportunities for Florida businesses the governor will go,”
The statement gave no further explanation for Crist’s change of heart . Dario Moreno, an expert on Florida Hispanic politics at Florida International University, said Crist
faced a backlash from Cuban-Americans and some Venezuelans in Miami-Dade County, a must-win county for any Democrat in a statewide election. “He realized Moreno said.
it was a fool’s errand, and it was better to backtrack than to continue with this bad idea,”
Mexican collapse kills heg Robert Haddick 10, Managing Editor of the Small Wars Journal, This Week at War: If Mexico Is at War, Does America Have to Win It?, Sept 10, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/09/10/this_week_at_war_if_mexico_is_at_war _does_america_have_to_win_it Clinton said, "We face an increasing threat from a well-organized network, drug-trafficking threat that is, in some cases, morphing into, or making common cause with, what we would consider an insurgency." Mexico's foreign minister While answering a question on Mexico this week at the Council on Foreign Relations, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Patricia Espinosa was quick to dispute this characterization, arguing that Mexico's drug cartels have no political agenda. But as I have previously discussed, the cartels, evidenced by their attacks on both the government and the media, are gradually becoming political insurgents as a means of defending their turf.¶ I note that Clinton used the phrase "We [the United States] face an increasing threat ...," not "they [Mexico]." The cartels are transnational shipping businesses, with consumers in the United States as their dominant market. The
clashes over shipping routes and distribution power -- which over the past four years have killed 28,000 and thoroughly corrupted Mexico's police and judiciary -could just as well occur inside the United States. Indeed, growing anxiety that southern Arizona is in danger of becoming a "no-go zone" controlled by drug and human traffickers contributed to the passage of Arizona's controversial immigration enforcement statute earlier this year.¶ Both Clinton and Mexican officials have discussed Colombia's struggle against extreme drug violence and corruption, revealing concerns about how dreadful the situation in Mexico might yet become and also as a model for how to recover from disaster. Colombia's long climb from the abyss, aided by the U.S. government's Plan Colombia assistance, should certainly give hope to Mexico's counterinsurgents. But if the United States and Mexico are to achieve similar success, both will have to resolve political dilemmas that would prevent effective action. Clinton herself acknowledged as much when she remarked that Plan Colombia was "controversial ... there were problems and there were mistakes. But it worked." ¶ Isolating
Mexico's cartel insurgents from their enormous American revenue base -- a crucial step in a counterinsurgency campaign -- may require a much more severe border crackdown, an action that would be highly
controversial in both the United States and Mexico. Plan Colombia was a success partly because of the long-term presence of U.S. Special Forces advisers, intelligence experts, and other military specialists inside Colombia, a presence which would not please most Mexicans. And Colombia's long counterattack against its insurgents resulted in actions that boiled the blood of many human rights observers. ¶ Most significantly,
a strengthening Mexican insurgency would very likely affect America's role in the rest of the world. An increasingly chaotic American side of the border, marked by bloody cartel wars, corrupted government and media, and a breakdown in security, would likely cause many in the United States to question the importance of military and foreign policy ventures elsewhere in the world.¶ Should the southern border become a U.S. president's primary national security concern, nervous allies and opportunistic adversaries elsewhere in the world would no doubt adjust to a distracted and inward-looking America, with potentially disruptive arms races the result. Secretary Clinton has looked south and now sees an insurgency. Let's hope that the United States can apply what it has recently learned about insurgencies to stop this one from getting out of control.
Multilat can’t solve any of their laundry list of problems David Held 13, Professor of Politics and International Relations, at the University of Durham AND Thomas Hale, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University AND Kevin Young, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 5/24/13, “Gridlock: the growing breakdown of global cooperation,” http://www.opendemocracy.net/thomas-hale-david-held-kevinyoung/gridlock-growing-breakdown-of-global-cooperation The Doha round of trade negotiations is
deadlocked, despite eight successful multilateral trade rounds before it. Climate negotiators have met for two decades without finding a way to stem global emissions. The UN is paralyzed in the face of growing insecurities across the world, the latest dramatic example being Syria. Each of these phenomena could be treated as if it was independent, and an explanation sought for the peculiarities of its causes. Yet, such a perspective would fail to show what they, along with numerous other instances of
Global cooperation is gridlocked across a range of issue areas. The reasons for this are not the result of any single underlying causal structure , but rather of several underlying dynamics that work together . Global cooperation today is failing not simply because it is very difficult to solve many global problems – indeed it is – but because previous phases of global cooperation have been incredibly successful, producing unintended consequences that have overwhelmed the problem-solving capacities of the very institutions that created them. It is hard to see how this situation can be unravelled, given failures of contemporary global leadership, the weaknesses of NGOs in converting popular campaigns into institutional change and reform, and the domestic political landscapes of the most powerful countries . breakdown in international negotiations, have in common.¶
Votes will go to the libertarian candidate---helps Scott, not Crist
Miami Herald 9/14, “ The politics, paradoxes and polling of pot ,” http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article2105723.html The conventional
wisdom , therefore, about Democrat Charlie Crist getting a major boost from medical marijuana could bedead wrong . Crist, Democrats and the campaign led by People United for Medical Marijuana face their own conflicts when it comes to cannabis .¶ Welcome to the tricky politics, paradoxes and polling of pot.¶ People United is led by trial lawyer John Morgan, who employs Crist. But the two campaigns have avoided coordinating events and messaging with each other because the medical-marijuana initiative will likely be doomed if it looks like a Democrat-turnout scheme.¶ Crist,
though a medical marijuana backer who eagerly embraces populist plans, has refrained from embracing it too much on the campaign trail , perhaps out of respect for his employer, Morgan.¶ Only Libertarian Adrian Wyllie is making pot — outright legalization — a major campaign issue. And he appears to be pulling just a few more voters from Crist than
from Scott in a few polls.¶ Those less-likely voters who do show up for medical marijuana, therefore, could disproportionately vote Wyllie. That indirectly aids Scott by taking away votes that Democrats hope would go to Crist.
Big weed Marijuana legalization won’t cause “Big Weed” analogous to big Tobacco Christopher Ingraham 8/8, The Washington Post, "Why marijuana won't become another Big Tobacco", 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/08/whymarijuana-wont-become-another-big-tobacco/ I wrote earlier this week about the sophisticated ad campaigns recently launched by supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization. The two camps agree that
marijuana is going mainstream but part company on whether this is an ominous development or cause for celebration.¶ The argument put forth by the anti-legalization Grass Is Not Greener coalition is a novel one, and worth digging into. "If we’re not careful, the marijuana industry could quickly become the next Big Tobacco," its Web site warns.¶ "I think most Americans would be surprised to learn how quickly this industry has matured," Kevin Sabet, cofounder of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and an outspoken legalization critic, told me. "Big Tobacco ignored major scientific findings about cigarettes, deceived the public, funded their own research, and devoted every ounce of their energy to one thing: increasing use for profit." He says the marijuana industry is doing the same today.¶
Even if there is some truth to this, legalization opponents are on shaky ground when it comes to ignoring scientific findings and misleading the public. After all, the federal case for marijuana prohibition continues to be built on half-truths and the occasional deception. Grass Is Not Greener's Web site repeats many of these same talking points in a breakdown of "Facts" and "Myths" that takes considerable liberties with the definition of both.¶ On the other hand, there's no doubt that the marijuana industry is becoming more sophisticated. There is a trade organization, the National Cannabis Industry Association, that promotes "the growth of a
It seems inevitable that marijuana will continue to get bigger, but a comparison point with Big Tobacco doesn't work . For starters, marijuana is simply less harmful than tobacco. Marijuana's addictive potential is less than a third of tobacco's. responsible and legitimate cannabis industry." There are at least two full-time pro-marijuana lobbyists working on Capitol Hill.¶
THC, the active compound in marijuana, is considerably less toxic than nicotine, which until this year was used as an industrial insecticide in the U.S.¶ Currently the evidence is mixed on the prevalence of cancers associated with marijuana use, although it seems reasonable to conclude that inhaling flaming plant material into your lungs on a regular
Kleiman, a UCLA professor who studies drug abuse and drug policy, says that compared to tobacco, marijuana will be "a smaller industry and therefore less powerful. But I basis could produce negative health consequences down the road.¶ Mark
don’t think it will be less insidious." He thinks the alcohol industry is a better comparison, because the usage breakdown of alcohol is similar to marijuana's.¶ Most of the alcohol industry's revenue comes from the top 10 percent of drinkers, who consume half of the drinks, Kleiman says. This tracks with the marijuana sales figures currently coming out of Colorado, which show that the top 20 percent of marijuana users account for 67 percent of the overall demand so far.¶ The distribution of tobacco users, on the other hand, is different. The average smoker consumes about 15 cigarettes per day, or three-fourths of a pack. The tobacco industry is "appealing to the median smoker, and the median
marijuana revenues are likely to come largely from a smaller share of heavy users.¶ While there's plenty of room for debate about whether it's preferable for marijuana to tread the path of alcohol or tobacco, there's no doubt that the stakes are considerably smaller. "The dangers of really bad cannabis policy simply aren't as great as the dangers of really bad alcohol policy," Kleiman says.¶ A privatized marijuana industry's profit-making motives are almost certain to conflict with various public health interests. But conflicting interests don't constitute grounds for outright prohibition and criminalization - if that were the case we would have outlawed fast food, congressional lobbying, and much of the financial industry a long time ago.¶ They do, on the other hand, make a compelling case for smart, cautious regulation . A recent Brookings institution report concluded smoker has a drug problem," Kleiman says. Tobacco revenues are more evenly distributed across the user base, but
that, from a governance perspective, the rollout of legal marijuana in Colorado has largely been a success (the report is agnostic over whether the actual policy of legalization is a good one). You can be sure that other states will be watching closely as they consider similar legalization measures in the coming years.
States will develop regulations against Big Cannibis Milbank Quarterly 14 The Milbank Quarterly features peer-reviewed original research, policy review, and analysis from academics, clinicians, and policymakers, "Tobacco Companies Were Waiting for the Opportune Moment - the Legalization of Marijuana", June 3 2014, Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, https://tobacco.ucsf.edu/tobacco-companies-were-waiting-opportunemoment-legalization-marijuana Implications for health policy For an “on the ground” view of the realities of these new policy dilemmas, the study is accompanied by a commentary by Colorado Governor John W.
Hickenlooper in which he acknowledges that, as one of the first states to legalize marijuana, “Colorado is a testing ground for this experiment in marijuana legalization….” In determining regulations, Colorado has turned to examples from the alcohol, gaming and tobacco industries when it comes to underage use and the impact on public health. He believes the state is “asking the right questions” and “attempting to collect the right data,” while focusing on the well-being of Coloradans. “As marijuana is decriminalized, policymakers need to guard against Big Tobacco or other powerful corporate interests from bringing modern branding, marketing and product engineering to bear on marijuana,” says Rachel Barry, MA, one of the study authors. The third author is Heikki Hiilamo, PhD, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Helsinki. Some of the same regulations that have been applied to tobacco could be applied to marijuana, say the researchers. These include restrictions on advertising; taxation; prohibiting free samples, flavored products and products that also contain nicotine; no brand-name sponsorship of events; and warning labels on packaging as well as no sales in vending machines, no point-ofsale advertising and Internet sales. Smoking marijuana should not be allowed anywhere where smoking conventional cigarettes is not allowed.
Seed banks solve the impact Paul Raeburn 95, The Last Harvest, Science Editor - The Associated Press, 1995, p. 59-60 The laboratory houses 285,845 samples of seeds of modern, traditional, and wild varieties of the nation's major crops. The seed samples are packed in what look like paper-and-foil lunch bags, folded closed. The bags are stored on long rows of steel shelving in dark, refrigerated vaults. Most are kept at temperatures ranging from those of a kitchen refrigerator to about four degrees below zero. Other seeds and cuttings are packed into small tubes and lowered into a bath of liquid nitrogen for long-term storage at 321 degrees below zero. The NSSL is as much an archive as it is a laboratory. It is some- times described as the plant breeders' Library of Congress, offering
an almost limitless selection of genetic traits for crop improvement. Because of its incalculable value to American agriculture, it is also sometimes called the plant breeders' Fort Knox. The NSSL is the jewel in a nationwide network of seed banks known as the National Plant Germplasm System. Virtually un- known to anyone outside the small fraternity of plant breeders, these seed banks contain approximately 557,000 samples of seeds, plant cuttings, tubers, and roots' It is the single largest seed collection in the world. The
collection is a storehouse of the accumulated wisdom of hundreds of years of crop domestication and improvement by farmers around the world. Its samples also incorporate the results of nearly a century of breeding by scientifically trained plant geneticists. The collection represents evolution frozen in time. Each sample is a living biological snapshot, preserving the evolved traits of a particular plant in a particular place at a particular time. More than eighty-seven hundred plant species are represented, including not only the major crops but also beans, lettuce, sweet potatoes, peanuts, sweet clover, safflower, okra, gourds, beets, carrots, melons, and thousands of other important com- modities.4 Fruits and nuts are often stored as clippings rather than seeds, because in those species seeds don't reliably transmit all of the genetic characteristics of the trees from which they came. The collection contains more than an assortment of cultivated crop varieties. It also includes many wild and weedy species related to the cultivars. The untamed species, unsuitable in many ways for cultivation, are often hardier and more resistant to disease and pests than cultivated crops, for the wild crops must survive without the careful nurturing of a human hand. Some of the seed banks also contain specialized scientific collections, including such things as seeds from plants with unusual genetic or chromosomal abnormalities. Many
of the seed samples are from plants that no longer exist in the wild. That makes the samples irreplaceable and priceless. The value of the U.S. seed-bank collection to agriculture is impossible to estimate. The discovery of a single seed sample with resistance to the Russian wheat aphid could be worth at least $100 million a year to farmers. That alone would justify the claim that the seed collection is one of the nation's most valuable natural re- sources. And that is only one of countless examples of how the germplasm collection has saved farmers millions of dollars. The enormous size of the seed-bank collections might sound like overkill. No breeder, in a lifetime, can hope to explore completely the thousands of samples of even a single crop. Breeders insist, however, that the enormous diversity represented in the seed-bank collections is critical. In fact, they say it does not suffice. "It is clear that the more genetic diversity that can be available to the breeder, the wider range of choice he will have in selecting the appropriate kinds of diversity for his breeding programs," said Jack G. Hawkes. A breeder might finally use only a fraction of what is available, but having the choice is more important now than it ever was, Hawkes said.
Florida DA No impact to bio-diversity loss --- their ev is bad science Hance 13 Jeremy Hance is a senior writer for Mongabay.com, one of the leading sites on the Web covering tropical forests and biodiversity, Citing research by Barry Brook, Professor at the University of Adelaide, leading environmental scientist, holding the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and is also Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute, author of 3 books and over 250 scholarly articles, Mongabay, March 5, 2013, "Warnings of global ecological tipping points may be overstated", http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0305-hance-tippingpoints.html#r2IbUBDMyux2eU7i.99 There's little evidence that the Earth is nearing a global ecological tipping point, according to a new Trends in Ecology and Evolution paper that is bound to be controversial. The authors argue that despite numerous warnings that the Earth is headed toward an ecological tipping point due to environmental stressors, such as habitat loss or climate change, it's unlikely this will occur anytime soon—at least not on land. The paper comes with a number of caveats, including that a global tipping point could occur in marine ecosystems due to ocean acidification from burning fossil fuels. In addition, regional tipping points, such as the Arctic
When others have said that a planetary critical transition is possible/likely, they've done so without any underlying model (or past/present examples, apart from catastrophic drivers like asteroid strikes)," lead author Barry Brook and Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide told mongabay.com. "It’s just speculation and we’ve argued [...] that this conjecture is not logically grounded. No one has found the opposite of what we suggested—they’ve just proposed it."¶ According to Brook and his team, a truly global tipping point must include an impact large enough to spread across the entire world, hitting various continents, in addition to causing some uniform response.¶ "These criteria, however, are very unlikely to be met in the real world," says Brook.¶ The idea of such a tipping point comes from ecological research, which has shown that some ecosystems will flip to a new state after becoming heavily degraded. But Brook and his team say that tipping points in individual ecosystems should not be conflated with impacts across the Earth as a whole.¶ Even climate change, which some scientists might consider the ultimate tipping point, does not fit the bill, according to the paper. Impacts from climate change, while global, will not be uniform and hence not a "tipping point" as such.¶ "Local and regional ecosystems vary considerably in their responses to climate change, and their regime shifts are therefore likely to vary considerably across the terrestrial biosphere," the authors write.¶ Barry adds that, "from a planetary perspective, this diversity in ecosystem responses creates an essentially gradual pattern of change, without any identifiable tipping points."¶ The paper further argues that biodiversity loss on land may not have the large-scale impacts that some ecologists argue, since invasive species could potentially take the role of vanishing ones.¶ "So we can lose the unique evolutionary history (bad, from an intrinsic ice melt or the Amazon rainforest drying out, are still of great concern.¶ "
but not necessarily the role they impart in terms of ecosystem stability or provision of services," explains Brook. The controversial argument goes against many scientists' view that decreased biodiversity will ultimately lessen ecological services, such as viewpoint)
pollination, water purification, and carbon sequestration.
Non-profit CP Here’s evidence---the CSA ban on marijuana production also bans hemp cultivation IGA 2k, Illinois General Assembly Industrial Hemp Investigate and Advisory Task Force, 1/26/00, Industrial Hemp Investigative and Advisory Task Force Report, http://www.votehemp.com/PDF/Illinois_Industrial_Hemp_Report.pdf United States¶ Because
the Controlled Substances Act classifies all cannabis, including industrial hemp as marijuana, industrial hemp is a Schedule I controlled substance. Nonetheless the DEA does not prohibit the¶ cultivation of marijuana for industrial hemp. However under the federal Controlled Substances Act, ¶ marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. Any
person who seeks to cultivate it for industrial hemp must first register with the DEA as a Schedule I manufacturer. In determining whether to issue a¶ registration, the DEA must consider a variety of factors, including whether the applicant has been¶ granted the appropriate state authority to cultivate and what security procedures the applicant will use to¶ prevent the diversion of controlled substance material.
precautions are extensive and expensive . This process requires that the state has regulations or statute governing the growth of¶ cannabis before granting registration.¶ Colorado introduced legislation in 1995 to allow farmers to grow industrial hemp, but did not pass. In¶ 1999 sixteen states introduced legislation for study, research or production of industrial hemp. The¶ legislation passed Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North¶ Dakota and Virginia. Legislation did not pass in Iowa, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee,¶ Vermont and Wisconsin. Sizable
constituencies in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and¶ Pennsylvania have organized to study and promote the hemp industry.¶ Economic Viability¶ Industrial hemp produces three main raw materials: bast fibers, hurds, and seeds. The potential for using¶ these three ingredients in different manners makes industrial hemp a versatile product. Whether the¶ cultivation of industrial hemp could lead to a thriving industry, create employment and profits has not¶ been adequately tested. With only two years of commercial production in Canada, growing industrial¶ hemp has benefited a limited number of growers there. The economic advantage for Illinois may lie in¶ its being among the first states to develop and capture the hemp market, but the size of the risk is¶ difficult to judge.¶ At the annual Illinois Farm Bureau meeting in December of 1999, the Farm Bureau adopted
the US imports all of its industrial hemp from Canada and thirty-two is a product that can be efficiently produced in country, providing not only an¶ alternative crop, but jobs for America workers. Therefore, we will aggressively pursue actions necessary¶ to require the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to issue permits to US producers allowing the¶ production of industrial hemp.¶ To date, legal constraints have prevented industrial hemp from being grown on a large scale in most¶ developed nations, so there has been incentive to develop new technology that would maximize hemp's profitability. The bottom line of growing hemp is the cost of transportation to a processing center. Since¶ hemp is a policy #66,¶ which states; Presently, other¶ foreign nations. This
bulky crop, it is not cost-effective to ship hemp far from a processing plant. Jean Ma LaPrise¶ stated that a processing plant for seed could be 150 miles away, but for processing hemp stalks it would¶ be feasible to have the plant 50 miles away. ln terms of community economic development, hemp
cultivation could lead to jobs in processing centers, as well as in small weaving factories, Until legislative restrictions are removed from hemp, it is unlikely that investments in improved technology will be made or that the required industrial infrastructure will be developed. seed crushing¶ facilities, and pulp mills.
Legalization refers only to removing the existing ban---regulation is a subsequent step that’s plan plus---the perm legalizes all but regulates some Lisa Sánchez 13, Harm Reduction Program Coordinator at Espolea, A.C, a Mexican NGO focused on drug policy and criminal justice, GUIDELINES FOR DEBATE- DRUG JARGON: FIVE TERMS THAT MUST BE DEFINED, http://www.espolea.org/uploads/8/7/2/7/8727772/gped-en-lenguajesobredrogas.pdf legalisation¶ Contrary to what one might thing, the term legalisation only refers to the process through which the status of any given activity goes from being banned to being permitted . In the drug •
policy debate this term is often used to refer to the legal production, distribution, sale and possession of previously controlled substances. Nonetheless, it is important to emphasise that the word “legalisation” only describes a process, not a policy option. Therefore, the legalisation of one or all currently controlled drugs can actually derive in the implementation of two different policies: legal regulation or free markets.3¶ • regulation ¶ Refers to the legal framework under which all aspects of a given market can be controlled: products, vendors, outlets, marketing, buyers and users of a particular drug. The nature and intensity of such regulation can vary significantly depending on the type of substance, the institutional characteristics of the country or area where it’s implemented and the objectives that are to be reached. In this sense, legal regulation includes both the less strict models, as in the case of less-risky products, and
Regulation, as policy option, is often confused with legalisation. Nevertheless, it is an objective of this Guideline for Debate to clarify that regulation is far more than simply legalising a product or an activity. Legal regulation of drug markets involves the establishment of strict controls over drug availability, which include:¶ 1. Products (doses, preparation, price, packaging), ¶ 2. Retailers (licences, exceptions and requirements for training, marketing, and promotion), ¶ 3. Outlets (location, size, appearance),¶ 4. Access (age checks, licences for buyers, membership clubs), and¶ 5. Areas and circumstances in which the drugs may be used. the more strict models, developed to control more risky products.¶