How do we make the most of Beijing and Berlin?

The ability to properly market a product makes the difference between ordinary business and extraordinary business.
Jamaica is no doubt a wonderful country and we have produced some very special products, which have been on a hit on the international scene.
Some manufactured products which quickly comes to mind are Ting – multiple gold medal winner, blue mountain coffee, Jerk Seasoning etc.
We have produced reggae music, which has broken into main stream with our legendary Bob Marley music making the top ten albums of the Century.

Our world class performance in athletics in the two biggest global events which occurred within the last 12 months have confounded many, who are left wondering, how a small country like Jamaica can be so dominating.

I watch the “Bolt arms” recently in Berlin and said to myself, there goes a prospective Jamaican product being produced by the Germans. The replica of Bolt with the Bow and Arrow stance was a big hit in Germany and one wonders, how is it that no one here thought of building it and exporting it overseas in time for the world games.
This is the type of marketing, which I speak about, this is how we have lost our competitive advantage by failing to identify these little jewels and capitalizing on them.

We now need to look at the development of a comprehensive athletic program in Jamaica. Year ago we used to send students away on “track scholarship”, now we have the grand opportunity take in and train athletes who’s schooling here would be paid for by these countries who are trying to develop their athletic program.

Just imagine hundreds of students from overseas being sent to Jamaica on track scholarship year after yr. At an average cost of US$15,000 per yr. (full cost) for say 200 students, we easily could be raking in US$3M per yr. in this area.
Note this does in include room and board as well, as food for these prospective students, which could add additional dollars to the above figures.

We have the single biggest boys/girls athletic championship that can be found anywhere in the world, what if we opened this to countries outside of Jamaica e.g. US and Britain.
What if we opened invitation to track and field enthusiast from overseas to witness first hand how our stars are born, over this three days event, do you see the potential exposure Jamaica could be getting.

We need to be creative and move very fast in this area, as they say ” strike the iron while it is hot”.

The golbal war on drugs, a failed strategy, or is it? The Final part

The contrarian  approach.

In addition the items mentioned in the demand side management approach, I believe we should look towards the regulated manufacturing and sale of these now “controlled” substances such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin, opium etc.

What I mean by this, is we should look to begin the processing of these substances in a controlled manufacturing process similar to what is done with other pharmaceutical products.

I envision that research would be done to determine those chemical in the drugs which make them as potent as they are and then manufacture the drug with reduce levels of potency. Individuals would be therefore able to purchase these drugs using for example using a “credit” card approach to these purchases.

What I mean here is that each “drug” user would assigned a certain quota or what I would call drug credit. After each purchase a certain amount would be deducted from this quota. Which would be equivalent to the “prescribed” amount that a user would be entitled. Once the quota is expired no more purchases could be made until the new quota is renewed, which would be on a monthly basis. In effect the user would be offered a certain quota each month.

Summary.

The global “war” on drug has been an abject failure and a new multi-level approach is required to deal with this problem.

This multi-level approach should consist of the following areas.

  1. Move to de-criminalize narcotics, by removing the incentive to make large profits from the current set of activities.
  2. Use the funds being wasted in this fight to

(a)    Provide education showing the dangers inherent in prolong drug usage.

(b)   Provide liquidity support those countries who are overrun by gangs, cartels, mobsters which would be used provide alternatives be it agriculture or manufacturing.

  1. Complete detail research into the various chemicals, which make these drugs as potent as they are and use that information to create a less potent version.
  2. Start large scale manufacturing of drugs in safe and sanitized pharmaceutical environment.
  3. Provide drug quota of these “new” drugs to the 0.6% of the global population who regardless of what will get the fix that they require, without the need for sharing dirty needles or resort to prostitution which have n doubt contributed to the growing spread of AIDS worldwide.

Our continued fight is counterproductive, and has created many more ills that is has solved or will ever solve, hence a new a and no doubt contrarian approach needs to be taken, but only if we are serious about making a serious dent into this problem

Bless

The global war on drugs, a failed strategy, or is it? Part 3

Demand Side Management.

I firmly believe that the effort and money being placed in the supply side management of this problem should be re-routed into the demand side management.

Without a lowering of the demand for the drug, the results that we have received for our efforts will continue well into the future, with very limited success. The approach that I believe we should pursue is as follows.

  1. Use 10% of the billions now being wasted on stopping the drug flow, to provide public service and educational information to the general populace. Considering that only 0.6% of the world’s population have a real drug problem, I believe that we could reap some rewards here by discouraging people from turning to drugs.
  2. Use another 10 % of the funds on drug rehabilitation efforts in the global effort. While first world countries have a relatively good rehabilitation system, many under developed or developing countries do not have the money, for these efforts as most is being used to repay debts, thus these funds could prove very useful.
  3. Use another 80% to [provide liquidity support to government for countries where drug cultivation is a problem, these funds will be used for crop substitution.
  4. Make all these drugs non-controlled substance i.e. make them legal so anyone over the age of 18 can purchase them, sound crazy right. Let me explain this a little more so that persons reading this do not think I am drug crazy.

When on looks at our recent history and specifically at the period of prohibition, this era lead to the creation of the Sicilian mobster or the Mafia. The period of prohibition was the time where trade in alcohol and tobacco where illegal and were in the realms of controlled substances, as cocaine, marijuana etc are today.

This period saw virtually no decline in the trafficking or use of these substances, and when prohibition was finally ended alcohol and tobacco could be freely purchased by any adult.  You see when stuff like this was illegal you ended up with persons not only dying from trying to protect the trade itself, you also had persons dying from drinking tainted alcohol as there was very little in the way of good manufacturing practices in making the product. This subjected the user to the will and fancy of not only the manufacturer but the “trader” who would dilute the product further to increases his profit margin.

The conspiracy theorist view.

There is the view held by many that the reason why these drugs remain illegal is due to the fact that the developed countries are raking in big profits by keeping it illegal. Now many may once again say this guy is now off his “rockers”, as that makes absolutely no sense.

The largest gun manufactures are in developed countries and they literally make billions each year manufacturing and selling guns worldwide. So while the act of shipping guns to “druggist” and countries on the black list remains illegal, nothing has stopped them from receiving these weapons of destruction, to protect their trade.

Similarly nothing has prevented many rouge nations from purchasing guns and bullets from these developed countries which control the gun trade.

Now consider this, if there was no war anywhere in the world, what would likely happen to the manufacture and trade in firearms, and what would be the effect on the economies of these countries, get my drift. Why use the term “war” on drugs, is that a deliberate misuse of the word to the unsuspecting public, to cover up the deceit that really exist in these countries as it relates to the arms trade.

Doesn’t the war on drugs provide that avenue to supply arms and ammunition to these countries battling these drug lords, while at the same time providing in a clandestine fashion guns to the cartels. Hey just my crazy mind at work again, I could be wrong but don’t discount it.

Many countries in the Caribbean, as well as other developing countries are diverting valuable resources that could have otherwise being used for economic development in their country, to the war on drugs.

Jamaica for example has borrowed thousands of dollars to purchase ion scan machines, which have been built by these developed countries and from which they obtain loans to acquire these machines. Oh what irony, we are extorted to take a loan, buy your equipment, so we can keep the drugs here and not export it to your country. Not only that these countries must now repay these loans on your terms, and they have no choice in the matter, as if they don’t they placed “blacklisted” as one of those countries which has not subscribed to the so called “war” on drugs.

So while Jamaica is/has been doing all it can to ensure that these “controlled” (pun intended) substance never leave our shores, very little is done to prevent contraband from being imported unto our shores. Guns and bullets flow in like any other imported product, while the authorities turn a blind eye in this direction.

The global war on drugs, a failed strategy, or is it? Part 2

Part 2

Supply Side Management

We have attacked the global drug trade on the supply side and have spent billions of dollars each year try to “kill” the trade but how successful has this approach been. In my mind and without any scientific data, I will just speak about how I see the results of that effort.

  1. Drug traffickers have developed more sophisticated methods of producing and exporting their products globally.
  2. We have more corrupt government officials now more than ever before, as drug traffickers bribe judges and politicians to look the other way in many countries.
  3. Corruption among many police in particular the narcotic agents, charged with the responsibility of catching these guys, have been bought out left, right and center. Many law enforcement agents today, live lavish lives and corrupt many of their juniors, thanks to drug traffickers.
  4. Gangs and gang warfare has grown exponentially as the “war” to protect “scared” drug turf, corner, streets and entire communities are being funded by the proceeds of the “illicit” trade.
  5. The new “Mafia” aka drug cartels are wreaking havoc in places like, Mexico and Columbia, which are places that the USA has spent the most money to combat the drug trade. Last year (2008) for example, the number of drug related killings in Mexico including police officers had grown to over 6000.
  6. In Brazil the police literally are having hell trying to rid the slums of Brazil known as the “favelas” of drug traffickers who literally hold these communities to ransom as they seek to protect their turf.
  7. In places like Jamaica, the growing drug guns for marijuana is becoming a growing problem for the Jamaican police. This presents a threat of destabilization of the country as more and more employees of the state becomes caught up in the quest for fast cash. The weaponry now being seized are becoming more and more military grade, making the lives for the police at greater risk than any time before in the country’s history.
  8. Our prisons today are filled with “druggists” who have been incarcerated, by the state. In place like North, Central and South America, these prisoners are now a real burden on the state and accounts largely for the overcrowding that exist.
  9. Drug related murders, which peaked in the 1980’s in places like Miami, New York etc, are once again rising as the bitter turf war to protect the trade gets more and more violent. The shift in murders however has shifted more to the producers as seen in place like Mexico as mentioned before.
  10. While there has been some measure of success in the capturing some big names of some drug cartels, the fact is as soon as these guys are taken out, there are many lined up to replace him, so the war continues.

In my mind the attack of the supply side has failed miserably and has  cost more in terms of life  lost than it has saved, and should be discontinued.

The global war on drugs, a failed strategy, or is it?

Part 1

There is a famous saying by one of the most pre-eminent scientist of this century, Albert Einstein ” Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

The global crusade against drug reminds me time and time again of Albert’s words, and I am often left to ponder as to why this massive war against drug and drug trafficking.
I know I may be torn to shreds on this article, but its been bugging me so much, that I decided to take an non-emotional and very open mind approach to this subject, and see where it leads me.
Let me begin by stating some facts as presented by the world’s leading authorities on drugs and drug trafficking.

The world drug report 2008 reported the following statistics for the period 2006/2007.

  1. Total world population 6, 475million ( 6.475billion)
  2. World population age 15-64 : 4,272 million ( 4.272 billion)
  3. Non drug using population age 15-64 : 4,064 (4.064 billion)
  4. Annual prevalence of drug use : 208 million
  5. Problem drug use age 15-64: 26million or 0.6% of the world population.

Source
http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr/WDR_2008/WDR_2008_eng_web.pdf

The global drug trade is estimated to be valued at between 400 – 500 billion US$ and currently accounts for approximately 6% of international trade, which is a significant amount of cash.

Over the last ten years or so, there seems to be no letup in terms of the demand or supply of drugs, and only a few countries have registered decline in drug production.  I would hasten to say the “war on drugs” has not been a factor in these few declines that we have seen.

The question therefore, is why after this onslaught globally over the last ten years, have we not seen a more significant decline in drug trafficking globally.
It’s a rather simple explanation in my mind, one which I will try to simply as much as possible.
For the global war on drugs to be won, we need to first drop the word “war”, as what we have going on here is a simple matter of economics.

Modern economic theory speaks to the law of supply and demand, and as a people we continue to hold that law to be true and speaks very highly of it, when it comes unto international trade.
Now for the “war” to be won, it means we have to disprove the law of supply and demand and since I do not see that happening in the near future, we need therefore to use this law to help us on this journey.

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