Archive for drugs

I want to be a scientist!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2010 by pictureplane

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True visionary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 25, 2010 by pictureplane

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The drug market is a fickle mistress

Posted in Editorials with tags , , , , , , on May 24, 2010 by pictureplane

Last night I watched this documentary about Pablo Escobars influence on Columbia. It ranged from the creation of a new barrio for people living in a rubbish dump, up to getting the constitution changed so that he couldn’t be extradited for trafficking. The reign of terror that he imposed on the Columbian people to sway public opinion and secure his empire was stunning. What i found most intriguing was that the drugs themselves were not really discussed. The assassinations and bombings were far more damaging to his country than a million coked up americans could ever be to theirs. Drugs weren’t the problem. The accumulation of enormous wealth by someone accountable to no one but himself was.

Then today i came across this article describing another facet of the drug industry. Opium farmers in Afghanistan are facing annihilation. Not from the Taliban extracting protection money, or coalition forces burning crops, but from a mysterious blight destroying their crops. Operating outside of the law they have no safety net and no alternatives, no access to technologies or pesticides but they do have murderous debt collectors hoovering up the money they get from any crops that survive. Remind me again why these people aren’t supplying the world with all the morphine we could ever need? Oh yeah. Drugs are bad and money from drugs is bad. Tell that to the Taliban.

And what about these Californian marijuana growers. The trade in their crop for medicinal use has slashed prices from $5,000 dollars a pound following DEA busts in the 80’s to just $2,000 in this more open market. You have to think they were happier when they were growing a more illegal substance. While the article seems to be discussing the organic happy hippy type of grower, the gangs who distribute across the country must be feeling the pinch too.

So that brings me back home to Ireland. For a few years now, we had “head shops” popping up across the country selling paraphernalia and legal highs to a phenomenal amount of people. When teenagers began to get their hands on the products, public outcry was stoked by radio pundits and the government slowly moved to ban the individual products. But this didn’t work. New substances kept appearing quicker than they could be banned. Finally the drug dealers of Ireland stepped in to solve the problem. Shops across the country were attacked by arsonists and other vandals causing further public outcry (against the shops for some reason?). In the end the Gardai basically wrote down a list of every substance being sold and made it illegal. New substances are now guilty before being proven innocent with the onus on the shop keepers to prove their legality.

All of this happening without any meaningfull debate about why people were taking the drugs. Nobody seemed to be interested in why the thugs and criminals were burning shops and if maybe we shouldnt be sending the teens back into their loving arms. While some of the head shop materials were no doubt toxic should we not at least have made the effort to keep them in a market we could regulate and control? Have we decided once and for all that alcohol is the best drug for our species and anything else leads to its destruction? If a glance at the streets of our towns and cities on any Friday or Saturday night doesn’t convince you of the absurdity of this view then you don’t really give a shit about your teenagers or indeed any other drug user in our country.

Totally Stoking

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 7, 2009 by pictureplane

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Drug protesters

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 1, 2009 by pictureplane

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