POT PARADISE LOSTINTRO BY MARC EMERY
The year was 1993. I had been living the soft life of a jaded ex-patriot in the brilliant green lakeside villages of Sumatra, Indonesia. Most tourists go to Bali when in Indonesia, but I fell in love with West Sumatra.
Acquiring pot was a chore, and it was low-grade, hard to find, and overpriced. Occasionally I would complain to my Indonesian friends about the frustration of being unable to get good weed conveniently.
One day, my local friend informed me in serious tones, ?I can get you two kilos of Achenese cannabis for $500 US, but it will take 14 days to get it.? I advanced him the money and waited giddily. And 17 days later I got my two kilos.
Then, in an ugly instant, my mood changed permanently. Penalties for cannabis were severe in Indonesia, but for a man with two children and a wife, what are the odds? The paranoia of getting caught kicked in anyway. I buried all but an ounce in the garden in jars but the uneasiness never left me. Damn, the paranoia began to undermine getting high. Why did I do it? Why did I invite such risk?
Opportunity. Price. Frustration. I mean, it was four and a half pounds for $500. Who could resist?
Indeed, every cannaphile on the backpacker trail has been faced with a similarly potential Fatal Temptation. Then Schapelle Corby made media headlines when she got sentenced to 20 years in a filthy Balinese cell for just a little more marijuana than I had in my lakeside cottage. If what happened to Corby had happened to me in 1993, I?d have 8 years to go in an Indonesian jail, if I was even still alive. My whole life and all of my achievements in British Columbia would have been a pipe dream from inside a dank, cold, uncomfortable cell.
Over twenty countries now have the death penalty for cannabis and dozens more put pot people away for 10, 15, 20 years for possession of marijuana. Stay away, my friends, from those places on the following pages where paradise has been lost to prohibition.
When members of the cannabis culture travel for business or pleasure, ?ethical consumerism? protects personal safety by boycotting countries that have harsh drug laws. Ethical consumerism involves making financial choices that reflect political beliefs.
27-year-old Australian Schapelle Corby is now languishing in a Bali jail while lawyers appeal her 20-year sentence for allegedly bringing nine pounds of cannabis into Bali last year. Her saga brought international scrutiny to the range of severe penalties faced by cannabis people and other ?drug offenders? around the world ? penalties that including beatings, life imprisonment, and death.
This article provides guidance about places to stay away from if you want to safely enjoy cannabis and other drugs while touring.
This area is composed of geographically linked nations, islands, and territories united by extreme penalties for people who use or traffic in drugs. Corby was facing the death penalty by firing squad in Bali; she got 20 years imprisonment instead, mainly because the media took up her cause. (Prosecutors feel she should be re-sentenced to life in prison, and are appealing the 20-year sentence handed down.) Thailand and Indonesia are very serious about making the drug war a real war.
Thai drug penalties were radically increased in 2003; the government claimed it needed stricter penalties to combat methamphetamine and an HIV epidemic. Since then, human rights groups estimate 3500 suspected drug offenders have disappeared or been found killed, and that at least 10,000 other offenders forced to enter military-style drug treatment boot camps, fearing they would be murdered or would ?disappear? if they refused to enter the programs. Many people accused of drug crimes are placed on blacklists and executed by police or vigilantes without judicial due process. Drug offenders are often subject to beatings, torture and repeated arrests at the hands of Royal Thai Police.
Indonesian and Thai laws make little distinction between marijuana and other drugs, or between foreigners and citizens. And as the Corby case illustrates, there?s an increasing militancy on the part of antidrug campaigners who demand that tourist drug offenders be severely punished. The drug war fervor is combined with antiforeigner sentiment in Indonesia and other non-Western countries, partly because of tensions caused by US-UK-Australia intervention in Iraq.
Many citizens and government officials in Islamic and Asian nations see Western tourists as enemies or cash cows; scrutinizing tourist baggage to find drugs is a form of economic and cultural payback against outsiders, even though it damages the tourism industry that is so relied on in many drug war regions.
In Thailand, possession of even tiny quantities of drugs leads to imprisonment, and sentences of 50 years without remission are typical. In many cases, the death penalty can be given. Possession of 20 grams or more of any ?Class A? drug at a Thai border control station is classified as trafficking, and carries the death sentence. Amphetamines and ecstasy are Class A drugs.
Thailand and Indonesia have other harsh laws to watch out for. It?s a criminal offense to make negative comments about the Thai King or members of the royal family ? you can be sentenced to 3-15 years in prison. Just tearing or destroying Thai bank notes, which carry an image of the King, is considered an offense.
Thai and Indonesian police make frequent drug raids at discos, bars, and nightclubs. They force citizens and foreigners to undergo mandatory urine testing on premises. People who test positive for drugs are arrested and charged. If you refuse testing, you can be arrested and charged. Death is a mandatory penalty for many narcotics offences, including trafficking of controlled drugs; Corby was ?lucky? to get 20 years.
Thailand media conglomerates and the government recently announced plans to stream live webcasts of prisoners in the last seconds before they are executed. Cameras have been set up at Bangkwang maximum-security prison in Bangkok. Web audiences will view intimate details of inmate?s lives, including 1,000 prisoners who have been sentenced to death. ?The internet will show how we treat the convicts in their last minutes, including the preparation process; but at the time of execution, the viewer will be allowed to see only part of the process,? said the head of Thailand?s prison system, adding the broadcasts are primarily aimed at drug users.
Embassies of countries the US, Australia and Canada admit they are essentially powerless to much help tourists snagged in drug law legal problems in Thailand and Indonesia. Embassies often do not learn that one of their citizens is being held until long after the person is arrested and sentenced, especially if the arrest takes place in southern Thailand or other remote settings. Most countries do business with Thailand and Indonesia and will not break diplomatic relations just because the Thai or Indo government has murdered one of their drug-using citizens. Money talks.
If you value your freedom and want to honor the ?Boycott Bali? movement organized by Corby?s supporters and hundreds of others, don?t visit Thailand or Indonesia.
Vietnam, a victim of US war aggression during the 1960?s and 70?s, has adopted a vicious drug policy even worse than the one in the US.
Travelers violating Vietnamese laws ? even unknowingly ? may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Vietnam are severe; convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Note that penalties are for use as well as possession, a significant distinction wherever you see it, because it means you can be charged for the crime of being high, whether or not police find drugs on you.
Some types of recreational drugs in Vietnam are laced with contaminants or are exceptionally strong; there are frequent reports of female travelers dosed with date rape drugs and overdose deaths in Vietnam. General safety is not assured, even if you have zero involvement with illegal drugs. Motorcyclists grab cameras and other valuables from pedestrians and tourists. In November 2003, an American victim of a drive-by purse snatching was dragged on the ground and seriously injured. Some taxi and pedicab drivers have kidnapped passengers and extorted money from tourists.
The country?s court system is corrupt. Concern about arrests and judicial proceeding in Vietnam is compounded by routine unfairness of trials. Defendants do not have the right to choose their attorney ? a lawyer is assigned to them, but often not until the very last moment before their case is heard. The defense is not allowed to call or question witnesses; private consultation with counsel may be limited. In most
cases, all defense counsel can do is plead for clemency on a defendant?s behalf. The court proceedings are set up to ensure guilt, not prove innocence.
Vietnamese authorities do not provide complete official statistics on the number of death sentences imposed and executions that have been carried out, and only a limited number of cases are described in the media. In 2003 and 2004, it is estimated that Vietnam carried out at least two per month; it is known that a third or more of those killed were convicted of drug offenses, including cannabis. Amnesty International says 931 people were sentenced to die in Vietnam from 1997 to 2002. Of the 931 sentenced to die, 535 had been convicted of murder and 310 had been convicted of drug crimes.
Canadian female citizen Nguyen Thi Hiep was arrested in April 1996 at Vietnam?s Hanoi airport. Hiep?s case bears some resemblance to that of Corby, in that there were serious questions about whether Hiep ever knew that illegal drugs were in her luggage. Hiep was charged and convicted of trafficking five kilograms of heroin in a trial in March 1997, and sentenced to death. The Supreme People?s Court upheld the sentence in August 1997. Hiep?s execution in 1999 caused a major diplomatic clash between Canada and Vietnam.
An example of another Vietnamese trial that didn?t comply with international fair trial standards, including the presumption of innocence, is the case of 19-year-old Duong The Tung, accused of murder, who was taken into a side room while waiting for his court verdict and tortured by police armed with electric batons. While imposing the death sentence, the Chief Judge said that he did so in order to avoid a riot by anti-drug campaigners, to preserve ?discipline,? and to threaten other criminals. Tung was executed in 1997.
Westerners report threats of death or physical injury during business and illegal drug transactions; foreign embassies warn they cannot protect their citizens in Vietnam.
In 2002, the Philippines enacted a death penalty for dealing drugs, possession of 500 grams or more of marijuana, or possession of 10 grams or more of ecstasy. The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 mandates death for drug dealing, no matter how small the quantity, also for possession at least 500 grams of marijuana, ten grams of opium, morphine, heroin, ecstasy, or cocaine, or 50 grams of methamphetamine ? ?shabu? as it is called in the Philippines.
?I want to deliver a message to all illegal drug traffickers to immediately close their business,? said politician Antonio Cuenco when the law was signed. ?They have no future. If they are caught, they will be punished with life imprisonment or a death sentence.?
Among other provisions, the law includes:
– Death for trafficking, cultivating, importing, selling, or trading illegal drugs or chemical precursors.
– The death penalty for any government official found guilty of trafficking or planting drugs.
– A life sentence for having more than five grams of hard drugs.
– A 12-year prison sentence for possession of less than five grams of hard drugs.
– Stiff new penalties for using cell phones or the Internet to make drug deals.
– Stiff new penalties for ?dangerous drug financiers, protectors, and coddlers.? Mandatory drug tests for persons seeking driving licenses or weapons permits.
– Mandatory drug tests for public office candidates.
– Mandatory drug tests for persons charged with a crime punishable by more than six years in prison.
– Random drug tests for students and workers in government and the private sector.
– Compulsory drug education in all schools.
THE PHILIPPINES IS A REEFER MADNESS COUNTRY. MANY CITIZENS FEEL A NEED TO HATE THE DRUG CULTURE, FUELED BY DEMAGOGIC NEWSPAPER EDITORIALISTS AND POLITICIANS WHO CALL DRUG DEALERS ?OUR MODERN-DAY HITLERS?.
India was a cannabis haven for centuries. Yet today?s Indian government is in league with US and UN drug warriors and is aggressively seeking to eradicate its domestic ganja-hashish industry.
The province of Kerala, India?s leading producer of weed and hash, is committed to destroying 10,000 acres of cannabis plantations, and has already disrupted small-village ganja farming and hashish production.
The peaceful, drug-friendly image of India?s western beach state of Goa has suffered a major blow after a new police report pointed to at least 59 ?mysterious deaths? of foreign tourists in the past 15 months. Twenty-five died during in peak tourist season between December 2003 and February 2004. Officials and locals say most of the deaths were caused by drug overdoses and drug-related robberies.
From the 1960?s until a few years ago, Goa was a relatively safe drugs tourism destination that featured a rave scene combined with a backpacker-hippie-yoga culture. It was easy to score cannabis, hash, meth, opium, ketamine, and rave drugs. Now, the scene has suffered from too much popularity, prompting a poisonous mix of dealers, date rape predators, high volume smugglers and mules, contaminated drugs, and increased law enforcement.
India is the world?s largest producer of medical-grade opium, some of which finds its way into the illegal drug market as opium and heroin.
Cannabis cultivation is illegal in India, but many regions, especially the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, produce extremely potent cannabis that?s processed into midgrade hashish for domestic consumption and export.
Penalties for possession, transportation and trafficking of cannabis vary in India, and are not as strict as in places like Thailand. The drug war tactics in India are not as harsh as in other Asian countries, although there are death penalties for some drug offenses, and tourists are still being jailed for cannabis crimes in India, with life sentences possible in some regions.
BRUNEI AND ISLAMIC COUNTRIES
Penalties for illegal drugs in Brunei and other Islamic countries are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, and in some cases, the death penalty.
Brunei has a mandatory death penalty for possession of small amounts of heroin, ecstasy, morphine derivatives, and cocaine. Possession of 500 grams or more of cannabis can be punished by death. Possession of lesser amounts can result in a minimum twenty-year jail term and being beaten with canes.
In the United Arab Emirates, the government has toughened drug laws to impose the death sentence for people convicted of trafficking cannabis. The country?s drug war goes much further, however. Many prescription drugs are classified as narcotics in the UAE. You can get charged with a crime even if you bring a doctor?s prescription along with your medication. The country?s drug laws are so strict that even culinary poppy seeds are banned. The importation and possession of poppy seeds in any and all forms is strictly prohibited, and people found to possess tiny amounts of controlled substances can be given prison terms of up to 15 years. So don?t visit this country, and if you do, leave your poppy seed bagels on the airplane.
If you?re unfortunate enough to be in the UAE, don?t get high or drunk. Police can detain you if they believe you are stoned or drunk and force you to submit to blood and/or urine tests. If their tests show you?re under the influence, or if you refuse to be tested, you can be arrested and imprisoned, and it?s very difficult to get bail for non-residents in the UAE. Drinking or poss ession of alcohol without a UAE Ministry of Interior liquor permit is illegal and could result in arrest and/or fines and imprisonment. Alcohol is served at bars in most major hotels but is intended for guests of the hotel. Non-guests who consume alcohol in restaurants and bars are required to have personal liquor licenses, but such licenses are issued only to non-Muslim persons who possess UAE residency permits.
Islamic and civil laws in most Arab countries create drug war policies similar to those in Brunei and the UAE. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Iraq, and most other Arab countries are places you do not want to get caught with illegal drugs.
China is an oppressive country that jails political dissidents, uses forced and child labor, and has nationwide purges of drug offenders that involve mass, public executions.
Every year, to ?celebrate? the United Nations? ?Anti-Drugs Day? in June, the Chinese government executes dozens, perhaps hundreds of people. The United Nations has condemned China?s use of the death penalty for drug trafficking. ?We see an annual spree of executions in China in the run-up to UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in previous years,? said a spokesperson for Amnesty International.
Drug executions are often carried out in a manner similar to how lynchings of blacks used to be carried out in the United States ? in a public spectacle that is grisly and bizarre, where thousands of people gather to enjoy seeing someone killed. Human rights groups say it?s impossible to know the total number executed for drug crimes in China; informants in the country say hundreds are executed every year. Chinese executions consist of a gunshot to the back of the head or through the heart.
At least 60 people were executed on drug-related charges in eight of China?s 23 provinces in the week leading up to Anti-Drugs Day in 2004. This year, initial reports say the Chinese executed at least 24 people in the southern city of Guizhou to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Anti-Drugs Day. Chinese officials in Tibet destroyed 67 kilograms of heroin, 320 kilograms of poppy shell and seeds, and 133 kilograms of ?marijuana hemp? as part of the ?celebration?.
In a macabre and insensitive pun, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan made an official statement commemorating Anti- Drugs Day, warning that ?drugs are little more than tickets to a dead end?.
China has strict internal and external travel controls designed to interdict drugs. These include roadblocks, personal searches, drug dogs, and secret detentions. The country forces its ?drug addicts? to be ?registered.? Approximately 1.1 million registered addicts are closely watched by the government, and sometimes harassed or asked to act as informers.
Possession of five kilos of cannabis, one kilo of heroin or 50 grams of cocaine can result in the death penalty being passed. Sentences for possession of smaller amounts can include life sentences.
The Chinese government makes little distinction between foreigners and its own citizens in regards to drug crimes and sentencing.
Although other countries are just as bad, Singapore has received a lot of media attention for its illegal-drug policies. In Singapore, anyone aged 18 or over convicted of carrying more than 15 grams of heroin, 30 grams of cocaine, 500 grams of cannabis or 250 grams of methamphetamine faces mandatory execution by hanging.
In 2004, Singapore executed Raman Selvam Renganathan after he was convicted of having 2.7 kilos of marijuana. And several weeks ago, 38-year-old Shanmugam Murugesu, who had been arrested at the Malaysian border with a kilo of cannabis, was executed by hanging. Murugesu?s plight received media attention because it took place at the same time as Corby?s trial in Bali. His twin 14-year-old sons campaigned publicly to save their father. Gopalan and Krishnan Murugesu handed out hundreds of flyers seeking support for a petition against the execution, saying their father?s death would make them destitute and parentless.
?My parents are divorced and my father has been looking after us. My mother remarried, lives somewhere else and doesn?t see us anymore. If he is hanged, we will become orphans,? Gopalan Murugesu said.
The execution took place anyway, and the twins are now orphans who have been cared for by their unemployed grandmother ever since their father was arrested in August 2003; they barely survive on handouts from a welfare agency.
Amnesty International says that out of 408 executions reported by Singapore since 1991, 252 were for drug offenses. The actual number executed for drug offenses is higher, said Amnesty, but the Singapore government refuses to release complete information about executions. ?Many of those executed are migrant workers, drug addicts, the impoverished or those lacking in education,? an Amnesty report said. ?Drug addicts are particularly vulnerable. Many were hanged after being found in possession of relatively small quantities of drugs.?
Singapore?s Misuse of Drugs Act contains several clauses conflicting with the universally guaranteed right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and stipulates a mandatory death sentence for at least 20 drug-related offenses. Any person found in possession of the key to a locker, car, building or anything containing illegal drugs is presumed guilty of possessing those drugs and, if the amount exceeds a specified quantity, faces a mandatory death penalty for trafficking.
Such provisions erode the right to a fair trial and increase the risk of executing the innocent. Moreover, it is often drug addicts and small-time dealers who are hanged; the big organizations making millions rarely face arrests or punishment.
The Singapore government refuses to apologize for its policies. ?By protecting Singaporeans from drugs, we are protecting their human rights,? said Inderjit Singh, a member of Parliament. ?The rule breakers have to be dealt with; it?s the same in any part of the world, we just do it differently.?
The country has a zero tolerance policy for many types of behavior that are not criminalized in the West, and Singapore police are notorious for violating the rights of tourists. The country is an Orwellian police state with television monitors installed in people?s homes and public places, and government goons using the technology to watch every movement.
Recently, Singapore police arrested dozens of karaoke nightclub hostesses in a crackdown on suspected drug offenders that led to nearly 600 arrests in five weeks. How many of those hostesses will end up hanging from a rope?
Malaysia loves the death penalty. You can be executed there for possession of 15 or more grams of heroin or 200 or more grams of cannabis (about 7 ounces). If you have more than a specified amount of illegal drugs, you are presumed to be a dealer and must prove otherwise if you want to avoid the death sentence.
The government uses a fleet of undercover agents and entrapment officers who lure people into committing crimes. Evidence provided by undercover agents or entrappers can be used in court to prove guilt, even if the government agent caused the offense to be committed.
Caning/whipping is often added to prison sentences for forty crimes including drug offences, rape, child abuse, robbery, and theft.
When Paul McCartney was still one of the Beatles, he tried to bring a few ounces of pot into Japan. He got busted for it, was imprisoned, and only because he was a Beatle did he get out after a few days.
Japan has ridiculous drug policies, and most of us aren?t Beatles. You can?t even bring prescription medications into the country without Japanese government approval, but the government refuses to provide a list of banned substances to foreign travelers ahead of time. It is even illegal to bring into Japan many over-thecounter medicines commonly used in the United States, including inhalers and some allergy and sinus medications. Banned products include those containing pseudoephedrine, such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers.
Some prescription medications cannot be imported into Japan, even when accompanied by a customs declaration and a copy of the prescription. Popular drugs like Prozac and Viagra are sold illegally in Japan on the black market but you are subject to arrest and imprisonment if you purchase them.
Drug crime suspects are usually detained incommunicado, which bars them from having visitors or corresponding with anyone other than a lawyer or U.S. consular officer until after indictment, which may take several months to receive. Solitary confinement is common.
People can be convicted of drug crimes based on blood or urine tests alone, and many Americans are serving time in Japanese prisons because of informants and sting operations. Japanese authorities aggressively pursue drug smugglers with sophisticated detection equipment, drug dogs and other methods. Travelers and luggage entering Japan are screened thoroughly. Incoming and outgoing mail and international packages are often checked carefully.
Japanese police routinely share information on drug arrests with Interpol, ensuring the arrest will be known by US law enforcement agencies. About half of all Americans in prison in Japan are there for drug-related crimes. The Japanese police make arrests for even the smallest amounts of illegal drugs. Several Americans are currently in custody after having mailed illegal drugs to themselves from other countries. Other Americans are serving time for trying to bring drugs into Japan as paid couriers working out of Southeast Asia or Europe. Persons arrested in Japan, even for a minor offense, may be held in detention without bail for two to three months during the investigation and legal proceedings.
Japan?s Cannabis Control Act, the first Japanese law to restrict cannabis, was passed in 1948 when Japan was not a sovereign country but still run by General Douglas MacArthur under American occupation. Marijuana use is seen by the Japanese mainstream as similar to heroin use. Anyone caught with any amount of marijuana will be arrested and probably detained several weeks before being charged with a crime. Evidence obtained through means such as illegal searches is routinely admitted in court. Almost 100% of people charged with crimes are convicted of them.
People go to jail for possessing less than one gram of pot, and can also suffer loss of job and expulsion from schools. You can go to prison for five years for a single joint. Cultivation, smuggling, or possession of large quantities will lead to prison sentences of many years. Smugglers caught with between a few hundred grams to a few kilos of cannabis are routinely sent to prison for 4 years.
Unsterilized cannabis seeds are legal to possess in Japan, though, and people with special licenses can grow hemp; but the government has tried to restrict import of high-potency cannabis genetics.
That all being said, there?s very little a tourist can do to have safe stony fun in the land of the rising sun.
Death Almost Everywhere
If former Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich had been more successful in 1995, the US would have joined Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia as a country that executes people for possession of very small amounts of marijuana.
Gingrich tried to get Congress to pass the ?Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996.? Announcing the legislation on September 22, 1995, Gingrich promised to ?mandate a life sentence or the death penalty for anyone caught smuggling commercial quantities of drugs into the United States.? Drug dealers were to automatically receive capital punishment. Within a few days of its announcement, the bill attracted 26 proud Republican co-sponsors.
What were the ?commercial quantities? Gingrich had in mind? His legislation defined a drug dealer or importer as someone with 100 times the usual dosing amount of a drug. In the case of marijuana, the usual dosing amount is 0.5 grams. Thus, 100 times the usual dosing amount would be 50 grams, a little less than two ounces of cannabis. For this, you would go to prison for life, or be executed.
Gingrich was unable to get his proposal made into law, but federal law enacted by the Republican-controlled Congress in 1994 already authorized the death penalty for cultivating or distributing 60,000 marijuana plants or seedlings, or 60,000 kilograms of marijuana.
The US is a proud and founding member of the drug war death club. The countries in the world with death penalties for drug offenders are:
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Burma, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Qatar, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates.
At least 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries in 2004, and at least 7,395 people were sentenced to death in 64 countries, according to Amnesty International. The organization says more executions take place, but governments hide the specific numbers.
The majority of all executions in 2004 were carried out in just four countries: China, Iran, Vietnam, and the USA. Based on public reports provided by governments, Amnesty International estimates that at least 3,400 people were executed in China in 2004, but true figures are believed to be much higher. Iran executed at least 159 people, and Vietnam at least 64. There were 59 executions in the USA, down from 65 in 2003. Execution in the United States is carried out by electrocution, intravenous injection, and gassing; in other countries, death comes by shooting, hanging, stoning, and beheading.
If a cannatourist boycotts every country that uses torture, death, life imprisonment or other disproportionate penalties for non-violent drug crimes, there will be few places left to travel. Even Jamaica, with its plentiful cannabis, is still a drug war country that poses challenges for ganja tourists. Why spend tourist money in places like Thailand, giving profits to a country that wants to kill you?
Holland, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, Cambodia and Ghana are places the cannaphile looking to get high can safely and ethically visit. Instead, spend your travel dollars there and tell the governments of extremist drug war countries that you will not spend even one penny in their countries unless they stop using draconian drug war penalties and tactics.