Cloned Trucks

Criminals are using cloned trucks to bypass security:

Savvy criminals are using some of the country's most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

[...]

In August 2006, the Texas Department of Public Safety, on a routine traffic stop, found 3,058 pounds of marijuana and 204 kilograms of cocaine in a "cloned" Wal-Mart semi-trailer, driven by a man wearing a Wal-Mart uniform.

In another case, a truck painted with DirecTV and other markings was pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Mississippi and discovered to be carrying 786 pounds of cocaine.

This is the same problem as fake uniforms, and the more general problem of fake credentials. It's very hard to solve.

EDITED TO ADD (2/6): Here's someone who puts on a red shirt and predends to be a Target employee so he can steal stuff:

Police in North Miami Beach are looking for a man they say likes to pose as a Target employee while stealing pricey iPods, and the man allegedly knows so much about the store, he's even helped customers who thought he was a real employee.

[...]

Investigators say McKenzie simply walks into the stores, wearing a red polo shirt, and pretends he works there. North Miami Beach police officials say he has extensive knowledge of Target procedures and has even assisted customers.

Posted on February 6, 2008 at 12:37 PM • 58 Comments

Comments

AnonymousFebruary 6, 2008 1:13 PM

I work with refugees and immigrants of all stripes, and the obsession Immigration and border control types have with reliable ID is patently insane. They all long for a card and a database slot to put it into, everyone numbered and known (servants of Revelation/Apolypse and and all see where this might go) and they will never ever get that, no matter how many insanely expensive phantasmagoric contracts they put out

There is no such thing as a single coded perfect ID ticket, and most certainly, there will never ever be one from a war zone. Duh.

AnonymousFebruary 6, 2008 1:15 PM

FTA:

> the report also warns that terrorists
> could use the same fake trucks to
> gain access to secure areas with
> hidden weapons.

Citizens, beware of middle eastern men in truck-driving school who aren't interested in learning how to land.

If citizens see any trucks bearing the logos for WalMart, FedEx, DirecTV, or the US Border Patrol, we highly encourage them to immediately report the incident to their local law enforcement.

The TSA will no longer be allowing trucks bearing these logos in passenger carry-on luggage.

dragonfrogFebruary 6, 2008 1:22 PM

Getting past the border checks by posing as border patrol, I can see. FedEx, maybe. But WalMart? DirecTV? Why on earth would these trucks get waved through at the border?

They might as well just take a spray bomb and scrawl "These aren't the droids you're looking for" on the side of the truck!

bitmaskFebruary 6, 2008 1:27 PM

@dragonfrog
There's lots of commerce between the US and Mexico. WalMart and DirecTV have a huge presence in both countries.

Easy to solveFebruary 6, 2008 1:40 PM

"It's very hard to solve."

No it's not, at least not for drug smuggling. Remove the incentive. Legalize the substance. Now, with cheap, readily available sources at every drugstore, why would anyone want to smuggle them anywhere?

Savings to taxpayers yearly: billions.

DanFebruary 6, 2008 1:50 PM

The border patrol agent recognized the license plate scheme didn't match the standard.

So, one option is to have a series of identification pieces that are patterned so that a trained professional can spot fakes. Identification is pass/fail based on fairly fast observation. It worked in this case, right?

Then, have an insider leak the detectable id material so fakers have a more precise duplicate. Fast checks produce undesireable false 'passes'. There's always room for corruption at all levels, it's an element of human nature.

Or, taint the information of what is authorized and what isn't. Havoc ensues as false 'fails' are issued.

Difficult problem? Yeah, just a bit. If you want real security everything has to slow down. If you want real progress you can't slow things down.

Of course the roots of these problems are more based on our foreign policy, drug laws, the unemployment rates in our neighboring countries, issues of power and control, and other things related to the almighty dollar. But we don't have time for rational solutions.

FNORDFebruary 6, 2008 2:13 PM

If we stopped treating easily, legally cloned logos as actual credentials for important tasks, this would be stopped.

Joe PattersonFebruary 6, 2008 2:22 PM

FDLE? I think it's safe to say, any FedEx truck driving onto the shore from the general direction of Columbia should be viewed with a certain amount of suspicion.

Texas I understand, but Florida's international borders aren't so easy to drive a truck across.

nzrussFebruary 6, 2008 2:23 PM

Or, just re-draw the border on the south side of the Panama Canal and be done with it.

bearFebruary 6, 2008 2:31 PM

not only potentially saving $ by legalizing, it would be taxed and become a revenue. They could take a portion of the tax money and put it towards rehab for those that really want to get out and let the rest weed themselves out of the gene pool by the stupidity of using them.

RogerFebruary 6, 2008 2:31 PM

ISTR criminals using disguised vehicles at least as long ago as the 1920s. Seems a pretty simple solution here: don't give preferential treatment (i.e., fewer searches) to vehicles with commercial logos. After all, even IF you regard a mere logo as proof of identity, a commercial vehicle probably has a higher, not lower, risk of being used to carry contraband, since many more people than just the driver have access to it. There is simply no logical reason in this case to give them favourable treatment.

Sometimes there is a good reason to give favourable treatment to particular vehicles. I was once involved (years ago) with a project that wanted to give delivery trucks expedited access to a controlled site, in order to keep work running smoothly. The solution they proposed (which I believe is fairly typical) wouldn't scale up to a border crossing, and wasn't totally fool-proof, but it seemed to be a reasonable balance between security and practicality. The proposed system was simple enough: through a secure channel (PGP encrypted & signed email was suggested, but I think in the end they just went with hand delivery of hard copy half a day prior) the guards would be sent a list of expected deliveries, with each line including just the work order number, registration number of the vehicle, and driver's (photographic) license number. Each driver would pull up and briefly hand over his license, and if registration, license and face matched, he would be waved through. If something didn't match, the work order number provided enough information to get things sorted out quickly.

To defeat this system an intruder needs not only to be able to fake a registration plate and photographic license (which is far from trivial with our licenses, they have embedded holograms, and a zillion other anti-counterfeiting measures) but to also know which ones to fake. They could obtain this information by hijacking a truck en route, but then they have a very limited time to carry out the forgeries.

chomskyFebruary 6, 2008 2:48 PM

"... found 3,058 pounds of marijuana and 204 kilograms of cocaine in a "cloned" Wal-Mart semi-trailer, ..."

Wow, that's like 1387 kilograms of marijuana and 450 pounds of cocaine.

LawrenceFebruary 6, 2008 2:49 PM

I am german. Why did so many us-americans need cocaine? Just for fun or survive the day? That's the real important question ... (in my point of view).

CzarFebruary 6, 2008 3:08 PM

@Lawrence

"Why did so many us-americans need cocaine?"

It's not that so many of us us-americans need cocaine. We have only a relatively few users. But those of us us-americans who do use, use a WHOLE LOT. We can snort through a truckload in like, a day.

You germans forgot what it's like? I seem to remember Falco going at it pretty hot and heavy back in the 80s.

RoyFebruary 6, 2008 3:19 PM

There's a good reason why a WalMart truck would breeze through: corporate profits trump national security every time.

Imagine the problems if every WalMart truck got stopped and every single package was opened, and everything inside that package was inspected. Nobody would repack anything neatly, there would be damaged containers, damaged goods, and goods stolen. It would not be worth it for WalMart to bring in a load from abroad unless it was guaranteed to sail through. Just like a 'forty' shipping container full of WalMart merchandise.

BTW, I used to think legalizing drugs and taxing them would be a good idea. I was wrong: the tax revenue is why the government loves tobacco. We don't want the government to have a vested interest in promoting drug use.

Anonymous CowardFebruary 6, 2008 3:37 PM

If we opened up our borders to everyone that was willing to identify themselves and submit to some sort of background screening (Interpol, criminal check, fingerprinting, biometric ID, surrender all privacy to big brother, etc.) then we could really secure our borders because only the people with something to hide would be trying to sneak across.

AnonymousFebruary 6, 2008 3:40 PM

@Czar

Evidence? Can you underline that with a serious statistic?

Wikipedia (maybe not so serious) says the USA is worldwide the number 1 (drugs). Germany is in the middle - ppl use here more soft drugs like grass for fun or just to be "cool".

I am absolutely sure looking behind these problem open a big, maybe ugly truth about the USA that nobody will hear. They stay on the surface ...

Easy to solveFebruary 6, 2008 3:47 PM

@Roy

"We don't want the government to have a vested interest in promoting drug use."

OMG! Wait, are you joking?

sehlatFebruary 6, 2008 4:38 PM

Hmmm. Maybe the FBI should start a ferrometric database for every truck in the US, and require Canada and Mexico to provide such data for their truck fleets?

LeoFebruary 6, 2008 9:09 PM

@ Anonymous

Could you give a serious "statistic", like, say, a link to whatever web page you're referencing. The biggest difference between illegal drug use in the US and Germany is probably that it's a lot harder to get to Amsterdam from the US.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocaine Spain has the highest rate of cocaine use. Italy slightly below the U.S. Of course it wasn't that long ago that the Italian government was shocked to find large amounts of cocaine being pissed away into the Mediterranean.

AnonymousFebruary 6, 2008 9:32 PM

@Joe Patterson

Florida made me laugh, too, but the Border Patrol has been known to set up checkpoints inland. The Florida Keys once symbolically seceded from the U.S. in protest over a checkpoint near Homestead that was adversely effecting tourism. They couldn't guard all the places a boat could land in the Keys so they found a point on Highway 1 that everyone had to go through to enter or leave the Keys. I wonder how many fake trucks travel up and down Highway 1 these days. I also once passed through a Border Patrol checkpoint in California without ever leaving the U.S.

LawrenceFebruary 6, 2008 10:49 PM

@Leo

I see in my mind a context between aggressive capitalism, a education of selfhate, unresolved / unspoken problems and outsiders in society and big drug problems.

If you want a drugfree world than you must start it with one question.: why?

If you want a secure internet - than ask a cracker.: why?

If you want a crime free world than dont look at it how bad the person is - ask him why and you hear always a plausible background and you could see that in the summary of all his life experience his behavior is just consequential.

Integration is the only real security. Some ppl think really better hardware, walls, more social or technical control or software make it more secure - ridiculous.

AnonymousFebruary 6, 2008 11:12 PM


This is hardly new stuff...

Some years [decades] ago, some enterprising phone phreaks bought a used van and repainted it to look like a Bell service van. It was quite realistic! And, I suppose, useful if yer playing with wiring & boxes that you shouldn't.


KaukomieliFebruary 7, 2008 3:44 AM

@Czar

Falco was from Austria - that should explain why he needed cocaine... ;)

rob13572468February 7, 2008 7:12 AM

"Why did so many us-americans need cocaine?"

I think the real question is why does DirecTV need so much cocaine??...


Its obviously a plot to increase revenue by keeping subscribers up all night watching expensive pay-per-view porn !!!

DandamanFebruary 7, 2008 9:38 AM

If the US Mint can produce $20 bill that turns a grocery cashier into a security expert, we can produce a window sticker that's reliable ID too.

DouggerFebruary 7, 2008 10:16 AM

"It's very hard to solve."

10 years in prison with no parole for using any false identity in the commission of a crime. If that don't do it, make it Life in prison.

AnonymousFebruary 7, 2008 10:34 AM

If you're ever stopped by someone in an unmarked vehicle,

Or, the police can stop using unmarked vehicles for routine traffic stops, and use them only when they're really needed (eg; surveillance stakeout).

But that won't happen. Instead, the burden of deciding whether the flashing lights are a legitimate symbol of authority will continue to be placed on the civilians. But as long as no cops are harmed, The State won't care.

AnonymousFebruary 7, 2008 10:38 AM

Easy to Solve:

No it's not, at least not for drug smuggling. Remove the incentive. Legalize the substance.
Savings to taxpayers yearly: billions.

I have a better idea. Why don't the illegal drug users in the US show that they are good people by giving up their illegal drugs four four years. They can drive the drug lords out of business without government intervention. I mean, who wants to support kidnappers, murders and smugglers?
After the American people see that the illegal drug users care about their fellow man, we will all vote to legalize their drugs. That way we are not rewarding people who don't care that their petty personal desire for illicit drugs kill thousands every year.

anonFebruary 7, 2008 10:40 AM

Here's a possible way to address the problem using existing technology.

Truck owners that want a fast track thru customs register the drivers, truck, license plate and a not-easy to duplictae truck sticker with border patrol. The license plate and sticker can be scanned at around 30 mph, on the approach to the station. pre-approving the truck. When the driver gets to the station, he shows his passport and thumb, both are scanned and compared to the db.
The passport, print and truck info should all jibe. The stop should only take seconds to a minute, achieving near wave thru times. Random checks would still be necessary, of course.

On cocaine legalization, if it is heavily or taxed or regulated, it will still be smuggled. If it is nearly free and untaxed, a lot of people will die. That may seem fine to you, but think about the hysteria when 10 people die from West Nile virus or some birds drop dead from avian flu.
Can cocaine users still keep their jobs? Can you refuse to hire people who use? Can insist on testing for continued employment?
If drugs are legal, I will want to KNOW who the coke heads are, their brain chemistry is seriously different and their motivations are not like normal humans.
Cocaine totally replaces the reward system in the human brain. When coke heads start walking around freely, nobody will want them in any position of trust or responsibility.

FirepowerFebruary 7, 2008 11:16 AM

@unknown

"The most dangerous weapon a criminal can have is a badge."

Right. Except for that one other thing, what was it.... OH YEAH!

A railgun.

EqualityFebruary 7, 2008 11:25 AM

Alcohol related deaths soar into the thousands each and every year!

I think the small number of overdose deaths due to using substances other than alcohol are being grossly over dramatized.

I mean really aren't youpeople just as outraged by the thousands dying in alcohol related accidents?

No? Hypocrites!

A simple thing like the lack of reporting currently enjoyed by our alcohol drinking citizens could just as easily be extended to the drug users. Hey, if America doesn't hear some talking head SAY it's a problem, Then suddenly it is not a problem anymore.

Stupid sheeple.

PD QuigFebruary 7, 2008 12:13 PM

"Of course the roots of these problems are more based on our foreign policy, drug laws, the unemployment rates in our neighboring countries, issues of power and control, and other things related to the almighty dollar. But we don't have time for rational solutions."

Eureka! That's it, Dan! Just change our drug laws, resolve Mexico's economic and social pathologies, overcome Southwest Asia's millenia-long cultural inertia, the Middle East's economic and political pathologies, stabiliize and square away the almighty dollar and, VOILA! POOF! Problem SOLVED! No need to work on technology to detect bad guys. Just solve all the world's problems and our drug problem will take care of itself!

It's a good thing we've got caring, feeling, smarty-pants Lefties to keep us on track, what with all their root cause analysis, and stuff. Actually, I did a fishbone diagram and found out that the problem was with...the rotten head.

Mr. MikeFebruary 7, 2008 12:29 PM

@Anon (February 7, 2008 10:40 AM)

To answer your questions about possible coke heads in the work place, look at California. Medicinal marijuana is legal at the state level, however employers can still do drug tests and refuse employment. It would be very easy to substute cocaine for marijuana.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/...

Tim in TXFebruary 7, 2008 1:14 PM

""It's very hard to solve."

No it's not, at least not for drug smuggling. Remove the incentive. Legalize the substance. Now, with cheap, readily available sources at every drugstore, why would anyone want to smuggle them anywhere?

Savings to taxpayers yearly: billions."

Wrong. Not on the drugs, I agree there, but on the application of your argument. The "problem" that is hard to solve here isn't drug smuggling, its security - specifically, the credential problem. Nothing you said has anything to do with solving that, and there are still people we need to catch/keep out.

Supposedly fool-proof ID regimens simply allow those who've counterfeited them to move about with impunity - this has been demonstrated again and again in the real world.

Easy to solveFebruary 7, 2008 2:11 PM

@Tim in TX

"The "problem" that is hard to solve here isn't drug smuggling ... [it's] the credential problem."

Nah. Read the article: drug smuggling in Florida, 204 kilograms of cocaine in Texas, 786 pounds of cocaine in Mississippi. What are people using fake credentials for? Drug smuggling. That's where the money is. The other uses of credential forgery are for activities that pay a pittance.

Credential forgery would be a tiny little problem (except for online identity theft) that no one would ever have heard of , if it weren't for illegal drugs.

No one would even care that credential forgery's a hard problem to solve, if illegal drugs weren't involved.

So, solve the problem of illegal drugs, and you push the credential problem into the backwaters of some minor academic discipline (excepting online identity theft), to live among other obscure, difficult, interesting but ultimately mostly inconsequential problems.

JohnMcFebruary 7, 2008 3:23 PM

Well there is another way to solve the drug problem, albeit very draconian if not down right illegal on the part of the government.

The Government siezes about 1-2% of all shipments each year. Thats enough for what i have in mind. With the seized drugs you lace the contents with a poison. They then reintroduce the drugs back into the underground supply chain. Now one of two things are going to happen. A lot of people are going to die, natch. But those that have a working brain cell left noticing the carnage might decide to knock it off. Either way the drug problem solves itself in a couple of years.

An alternative, require additional effort is to lace the drugs with a combo of a powerful sedative and nano tags. So when the people go into a stupor for 4 days and get their carcass dragged into the hospital; a simple blood screening looking for the tags will reveal both the cause and that that they have a court date with the judge. After a couple of $1000 fines some with a working brain cell will finally wise up.

Just a thought.

Easy to solveFebruary 7, 2008 5:02 PM

@JohnMc

Uh huh. So the choice is murder/ chemical poisoning, vs. legalization.

Well, whichever you think is less intrusive.

LeoFebruary 7, 2008 5:12 PM

@JohnMc

You could also just suspend the Bill of Rights for drug crimes. It is a war, after all, and, yes, it has been advocated. Advocating murder and assault - advocating committing crimes - as solutions to the problem of drug crimes is a bit bizarre, to say the least. Of course, I guess we could just solve all our crime problems by instituting martial law under a dictator.

As far as working brain cells and wising up, addiction doesn't work that way. Maybe you should think some more.

quicksandFebruary 7, 2008 6:48 PM

I learned a long time ago that wearing a red shirt at Target has its downside -- I honestly never thought about the criminal opportunity.

"Excuse me, could you tell me where the [...] is?"

"Oh, uh, sorry, I don't actually work here."

JohnJFebruary 8, 2008 8:42 AM

Tim in TX has it right. The drug smuggling is a symptom; the illness is the credential problem. If illegal drug use was eliminated the smugglers would just turn to another product. That's what they do.

While it would be nice if we stopped using the drugs, the reality is that there will always be some portion of the population that turns to substance abuse. If not cocaine then some other substance, possibly something legal like alcohol.

JohnMC, the brain cell argument fails. For 40 years or so we've known cigarette smoking is bad for you. There are warnings and ad campaigns. I haven't checked but I'm pretty sure it's covered in public education health classes. By the age of 10 in the US you can't not know that smoking is bad. Yet existing smokers rarely quit and new people still pick up the habit.

In fact, the legalize-and-tax argument also fails using smoking as an example. Cigarettes are heavily taxed but that doesn't seem to stop people from smoking.

TSFebruary 8, 2008 9:27 AM

@Mr. Mike

That won't work in NYC, the NYC meter maids are ruthless. Doesn't matter what stickers, plates, placards you have on or in your car, they'll ticket you. Fake tickets won't work either, they look at the tickets on your windshield, and if they're more than a couple hours old or from another area, they'll write you another one.

Easy to solveFebruary 8, 2008 11:10 AM

@JohnJ

"illegal drug use was eliminated the smugglers would just turn to another product. That's what they do."

Right. Drug smugglers aren't in it for the money of drug smuggling. They do it because...they love smuggling! They're smugglers, man! You legalize drugs, and they'll just find something else to smuggle! Kittens, Mallomars, doesn't matter. These guys just love to smuggle!

LMAO! Thanks for that one.

MikeFebruary 8, 2008 2:28 PM

The way things are going, I can see an expansion of the drug markets to start smuggling in untaxed cigarettes in much higher volumes. MD now prohibits smoking in bars. Next is no eating and no talking.

We need psi-cops. Their motto could be "Don't even think about it".

bobFebruary 8, 2008 2:42 PM

@anon: I advocate legalized drug use. Mainly because banning, like everything else that has been ever banned, doesnt work. Opium started being outlawed before commercial generation of electricity was developed. Yet their are more illegal drug users in the US today than the entire POPULATION of the US back when they first started outlawing it.

Plus when you get right down to it, it is supposed to be a free country. There should be hugely provable benefits before rights are curtailed.

Having said that, I will state that it should be like alcohol, just because its legal for you to buy it does not mean I can not prohibit you from using it at work, fire you for using it at work or arrest and imprison you for driving under the influence of it.

Besides it would never come to pass. Organized crime would never allow legalization in the US, they make too much money from it; which gives them the power to tell the legislators not to legalize it.

andre fFebruary 12, 2008 8:46 PM

ok... clonning. But those are commercial vehicles. Rollout some sort of contactless smart-cards to the trucks. (like the ones used for tolls)

JRFebruary 23, 2008 9:14 AM

Had to post this as SOME of the people who have posted clearly dont have a clue!

Not everyone who takes a drug is an 'addict' & as for them managing to be in the work place how do you think some people manage to maintain the work hard play hard act? Cocaine is rife in certain industries- for instance young men on the trading floor up at 5am to bed at 1am up again at 5am- its surely not a coincidence that so many of them 'burnt out' by 30! And as if their employer cares- as long as they are bringing in the money they can do what they like!
Cocaine used to be a 'rich' persons drug but now prices are lower & its more accessible so there is no 'type' of person using it & despite some of the naive thoughts that clearly if you take a drug you are some desperate loser actually i think you will find a large percentage of the people using it are professionals with good careers & certainly do not appear to be a 'drug addict'.
Here in the UK studies have shown 100% of bank notes in circulation have traces of cocaine on them. They have done studies swabbing all the surfaces in bathrooms in pubs/clubs/restaurants and funnily enough they nearly all have cocaine on as well.
They don't have a figure to represent the amount of cocaine users because funnily enough who when asked in a survey is going to say 'oh yes i take drugs'? They can only guess- but it doesnt take a genius to work out that if 100% of our bank notes in circulation have drugs on them that there must be quite a lot of people dabbling in it!

And as for the comments as to what is wrong with the people who take it & why do they feel the need- we are now in a society where its 'i want i get' hence obesity, spirally debts, binge drinking etc. Increasingly people want instant gratification & quick fixes so think nothing of 'spoiling' themselves by doing what they want! Clearly for some people cocaine for instance is their extravagance, their pick-me-up or their confidence booster & they do it because they want to not because they are mentally impaired in some way!

It is very hard for a tee total person to understand why a person would want to drink/get drunk in the same way it is hard to understand why someone would want to take drugs but I think it is rather a sweeping generalisation to just assume & say everyone taking drugs is an addict/weirdo etc just because you havent/dont take drugs. As long as no one is trying to coerce you into taking them it isn't actually causing you any problems.

Remove the taboo over it & it suddenly becomes a lot less interesting! If you are allowed to do something you don't have to rebel against it..

As a lot of you have said legalisation is the key & i would bet that this will happen- the government in the UK & I assume in all the other countries are SO greedy they will want to cash in on the fact some people WANT to take drugs.
If they were sold via a pharmacy it would be regulated and remove the role of 'drug dealer' 'drug cartel' 'drug smuggler'- the bottom would fall out of the whole 'industry' & suddenly this crime no longer exists.
People harp on about drugs being so awful etc.. If you are an adult & make the choice to take drugs its up to you- its your body! People assume these 'dealers' are forcing the drugs on these poor victims.. Yes that clearly happens in some cases but a lot of the users of a drug like cocaine are professionals- bankers etc intelligent able minded people who have chosen to try it, liked it and carry on taking it.
Moderation is the key- if you have a habit: drinking, gambling, drugs, shopping (!) which gets to the point of affecting and upsetting other people you clearly have a problem, otherwise who are you harming? If you are harming your own body thats your choice.
However much they crack down on drugs if people want to do something they'll do it regardless & its supply and demand- people want the drugs so people sell them illegally to them.
As is human nature a lot of people like to rebel- who likes being told what you can and can't do?! I really believe if more drugs were legalised or available on prescription it would remove the 'thrill' some people clearly get from doing something illegal. Regulating the drug would also ensure that it was 'safe'- as in it is not mixed with toxic substances etc- they are going to take it either way so at least this is ensuring it is of a certain standard. In certain clubs (i think Holland originally started this) you can take your ecstacy tablet over to the 'lab' where they analyse it & let you know what is in it. This is surely a sensible approach to the whole drugs problem?

I don't see why this would encourage people to take drugs.. On my 16th birthday i didnt think Whoopee i can go out and buy a packet of cigarettes because they are now available to me- if you wanted to try drugs you would have already why would you think 'oh its legal now i think i'll give it a go'.
The drugs which are now illegal were originally sold over the counter- Cocaine was available over the counter in the UK till 1916, marketed as a some sort of miracle wonder potion with this catch phrase "could make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain".
Coca Cola named in 1885 for obvious reasons didnt remove the traces of Coca leaves till 1929.
I find it strange that once a plant is found to have any sort of 'effect' when ingested it becomes an illegal drug! If i remember rightly it is not illegal to eat a coca leave in its original form but once it has been processed it becomes a 'drug'- it is altered with chemicals so i can understand this a bit more but marijuana is a plant in the way tobacco is a plant- why don't they make that an illegal drug? Obvious- they are making too much money out of it. Why not tackle the amount of smoking related deaths also, surely these outweigh the drug related deaths? And while i'm on the subject of plants surely all the natural ingredients which combined make types of alcohol- hops in beer etc why don't they make all of that illegal as well? Its fine & legal for people to drink themselves to death but if someone takes a drug this is a crime.
None of it makes sense & all smacks of some kind of hypocrisy- one rule for one thing one rule for another & surprise surprise legally you can drink and smoke- the 2 huge revenues of income for the government BUT you can't take drugs and isn't it coincidental that these are the things currently the government get no money from?
More & more I am reading the newspaper and finding myself exasperated- someone selling drugs is sentenced to harsher jail term than a murderer. 'Oh but selling drugs is as good as murdering people' some people will say- if this is something you have experienced first hand -someone has hooked your brother/girlfriend/child onto drugs of course they are guilty of possibly leading someone to their death and it is inexcusable, however, the majority of drug users choose to buy the drugs & take the drugs so the person they buy them from is just selling them a substance not murdering them!

I find it annoying that a lot of the bold & sweeping statements in regards to drugs are from people who clearly have no first hand knowledge of drugs or people taking drugs.

The studies of drugs and the ill effects they cause are repeatedly expressed in articles and reports leading us to believe this problem is rife- why is it that every single smoking or drinking related addiction or death isn't mentioned? Both of these are easily accessible from shops on every street. You'd have to make some effort to purchase illegal drugs & they don't have the constant brain washing advertising either! The press would have us believe anyone that takes a drug becomes an addict- the bottom line is we are all different some people can pick things up & put them down just as easily, others have an addictive personality and would just as likely become addicted to caffeine.

As an adult you should be allowed to make your own decisions & not be fed biased information. No one HAS to take the drugs but if you want to then thats your choice! Whether they are legal or not they will always be here & will always be consumed.

├žilek oyunJune 27, 2009 5:03 AM

As an adult you should be allowed to make your own decisions & not be fed biased information. No one HAS to take the drugs but if you want to then thats your choice! Whether they are legal or not they will always be here & will always be consumed.

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