Illegal drug trade hits new high

Discussion in 'Politics' started by 4MusH2RooM0, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. [SIZE=+2]Illegal Drug Trade Hits New High[/SIZE]

    by Vivian William McPeak

    Great news! The global War On Drugs has been so effective that only 200 million people now use drugs! According to an as-yet-unpublished UN report, despite multi-billion-pound anti-drug measures that have restricted some supplies, the market is as insatiable as ever. What the report didn't mention is at this rate every man, woman, and child on planet earth will be on drugs by Christmas. (Expect some wild New Year's celebrations!)
    A second new report, issued by the US State Department, confirms the UN picture of a world using more drugs than ever. Though narcotic use has stabilized in North America, the world's biggest single market, it has boomed in Southeast Asia and Australasia, where use of amphetamine-type stimulants, many manufactured in China, has rocketed. Hmmm ... they have been keeping Australasia a very tight secret haven't they?
    South America, Africa, and the Caribbean have also seen serious drug problems emerging. In Europe, though the rapid rise of cocaine use has slowed, an estimated 5.3 per cent of the population used cannabis in the past year and heroin and crack use is still increasing in many regions. Go Drugwar! Yay!
    This is proof positive that prohibition creates a black market, floods the streets with drugs and churns out crime as fast as you can say "would you please hand me my crack pipe, it's under that diaper bag?".
    Antonio da Costa, director of the UNODC, said global demand reduction measures (like execution, imprisonment, the chopping off of hands) have been "lackluster" and "uninspiring" in recent years. He neglected to point out that the current policies have failed miserably, in every way. Demand, supply, addiction, and abuse are rampant globally. Murder, theft, and money laundering are the norm all over the world.
    One of the problems that looms huge is the explosion of amphetamine drugs in the Far East, where their use is reportedly becoming endemic. With America holding the world's largest prison and jail population, the rest of the world can hardly look to the United States for any form of effective leadership on these issues.
    The American report says that demand for drugs has increased in three quarters of the some 150 countries surveyed. Consumption levels in some states are surprisingly high--Israel uses 100 tons of pot, 20 tons of hashish, 20 million tabs of ecstasy, four tons of heroin, three tons of cocaine, and hundreds of thousands of LSD blotters annually. Wow, they are really partying down over there!
    The result of another failed Bush administration policy, the opium harvest last year was record huge--4,200 tons. "Experts" hope the large harvest will mean that less opium will be planted in future years, as the price goes down from the market glut. However, the cheap price of heroin is already impacting many regions. Thirty countries are reporting a rise in heroin use since 2003, 25 were stable--and only 18 reported a decrease.
    So the stark reality is that people are going to use drugs regardless of the penalties and the consequences. It seems like it would behoove society to attempt to educate and regulate to the degree where the harm from all those drugs was reduced. After all, is this about drug use or the harm that is caused by it? Now if you'll excuse me, I must be off to Israel. It's party time!
    --Vivian William McPeak is a long time Seattle peace and social justice activist, executive director of Seattle Hempfest, and a director of Washington NORML.

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