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UN Drug Day (Anti)
June 26, 2005 2:43 PM   Subscribe

Hey! Didn't anybody notice that today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, sponsored by those bleeding hearts at the UN? The UNODC is declaring "even occasional use of marijuana is a link in a long and dangerous cycle of crime, degradation and terrorism." In Afghanistan, 30 -or is it 60?- tons of drugs have been burned in large bonfires (If they're not sure how much, blame the contact high). Meanwhile China celebrated the day with a massive demonstraton and a few executions. The United Arab Emarites is issuing a stamp. And the U.S.ofA.? Well, it's on the State Department Calendar, but the Office of National Drug Control Policy has never heard of it. Still, you can send an Anti-Drugs Day Greeting to someone you know (is a user).

BREAKING NEWS: In Kenya, 49 Killed, Hundreds Harmed by Poisoned... er... Alcohol. (nevermind)
posted by wendell (35 comments total)

 
Boy, and I was just feeling foolish for missing Take Your Dog to Work Day (and yes, I noticed MSNBC.com has an article on his holiday and not the other).
posted by wendell at 2:44 PM on June 26, 2005


Damn, and to think I ran out of weed earlier this week. I really should have kept some to celebrate that event!

Drug policy is one of those areas where the UN is no more intelligent than the US... which is largely because the UN lets the ONDCP dictate its opinions on the matter.
posted by clevershark at 2:48 PM on June 26, 2005


Damn, now I really need to make sure to smoke a bowl today.
posted by baphomet at 3:04 PM on June 26, 2005


I expect more from the BBC. If they can't do basic addition then what am I paying them for?
posted by Meccabilly at 3:15 PM on June 26, 2005


The UN says pot leads to hard drug use and crime? Damn. OK, let's get Bolton in there after all.
posted by realcountrymusic at 3:19 PM on June 26, 2005


"even occasional use of marijuana is a link in a long and dangerous cycle of crime, degradation and terrorism."

Yeah, I've committed so many acts of terrorism since University... oh wait, that's not actually true, I committed exactly as many acts of terrorism as I did before I even knew what marijuana was, which would be zero.

In fact if it were legal to grow my own I could be 100% sure that my drug of choice harms absolutely nobody, but it seems that government of pretty much all countries at least officially want to make sure that biker gangs and possibly terrorists ARE, in fact, getting their cut.

Therefore it seems to me that governments have a much greater link to terrorism than users of narcotics, through prohibition, which in the end only enriches cartels -- be they underground ones (such as the Cali cartel), or the above-ground ones (such as your local DA's office or PD).
posted by clevershark at 3:21 PM on June 26, 2005


Is it me or does anybody have else have a problem with their graphic imagery? The poster headline over the mouth is one thing (looks more like an appeal for censorship or maybe instructing the populace to "keep their mouths shut"). But this is clearly a heartfelt appeal for a Guns N Roses reunion.
Emirates Post has issued a postal stamp featuring hazards of drugs.
If my irony detector is functioning correctly, I predict someone is going to distribute those stamps in a very special way. Lick the back indeed.
posted by hal9k at 3:29 PM on June 26, 2005


I was planning a terrorist act just yesterday but then I got a hold of some sticky NoCal Chronic and well... I don't really feel like terrorizing anyone anymore. If I were advising governments on how to thwart terrorism, I'd advise supplying them with more pot.
posted by effwerd at 3:31 PM on June 26, 2005


Based on the way laws are written, you'd think the government would rather you buy marijuana on the black market then grow it yourself. You'd think they'd encorage people to self-produce.

Oh wait, that would require a brian cell or two.
posted by delmoi at 3:45 PM on June 26, 2005


Now THAT's funny!
posted by spock at 3:53 PM on June 26, 2005


I'm drinking a nice, cold IPA.
posted by troutfishing at 3:59 PM on June 26, 2005


great post
posted by Substrata at 4:05 PM on June 26, 2005


I'm guessing that your final link, wendell, is intended to show the hippocrisy of those that see no problem with alcohol and marijuana. (I'd add tobacco in there. If Walter Raleigh had popularized cannabis in the New World rather than tobacco in the 16th Century, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.)

Impurities in alcohol is a serious matter, however. During Prohibition in the U.S. thousands of people were stricken by a palsy or paralysis from drinking bootleg alcohol that was made with an industrial chemical additive. It was danger to the public health like this that led to the formation of what would later become the FDA.

Why the lessons of Prohibition are lost on those fighting the "war on drugs" is beyond me. I can only assume that the illiciit drug trade keeps prices high and too many governments (and intelligence agencies) would lose a major source of funding if it was legalized.
posted by spock at 4:06 PM on June 26, 2005


Oops: "those that see no problem with alcohol and do with marijuana"
posted by spock at 4:08 PM on June 26, 2005


I'm hoping, troutfishing, that IPA in this case stands for India Pale Ale and not IsoProplyl Alcohol?
posted by spock at 4:11 PM on June 26, 2005


Totally logical, spock. if you know my posting history, I have frequently included "subtle" comments that I ended up needing to explain. And yes, I know about the Prohibition-era 'bad alcohol' problem, and that was another inspiration for the last news story.
posted by wendell at 4:17 PM on June 26, 2005


Tehnicaly alchohol is a drug.

On the other hand, it carries its own punishment, unlike more enjoyable substances :P
posted by delmoi at 5:24 PM on June 26, 2005


There was very little drug production going on in Afghanistan before we toppled the Taliban.


Pot makes me throw up.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:28 PM on June 26, 2005


I think perhaps those against "even occasional marijuana use" are insinuating that some unspecified percentage of marijuana is grown and transported and financed by individuals or organizations involved in terrorist activity, and by paying and consuming said marijuana, one is inadvertently helping to perpetuate this cycle of crime and terrorist activity. To we consumers, this is not unlike saying that by purchasing laundry detergent, one is helping inadvertently to support any illicit activity in which the executives of the laundry detergent company might be privately participating.

Bill Maher has a similar argument in regards to the buying and selling of diamonds. It's documented that a lot of blood has been shed in the diamond trade, and any woman who wears a diamond on her finger is inadvertently helping to perpetuate this behavior. Yet another similar argument has sort of worked in regards to expensive furs. In the last couple generations many have chosen fake fur over the real thing, and while at one time wearing precious furs was considered a sign of elegance and wealth, today it's generally frowned upon.

When you smoke weed, your consumption of that good is one link in a chain that goes all the way back to the people who farm it in foreign countries. People who are offered by governments the chance to farm other vegetation that makes a fraction of the profit that marijuana can make. Yet lawmakers are shocked that marijuana is still grown.

Young people in low rent residential districts all over America, as well as snotty-nosed rich kids in high rent residential districts, are told similar things. Selling drugs of any kind is allegedly unscrupulous behavior and America's young people are asked not to contribute. Yet selling drugs can make more for a person in one week than some people see in a year. And why is this? Because the laws that exist to stop drug trafficking also cause drugs to be more difficult to aquire, and therefore more expensive. The more the war on drugs continues, the higher the prices can go, and the more precious the commodity.

Those who insist on keeping it illegal are the same people driving the price up. Are they not a link in that chain too?
posted by ZachsMind at 5:29 PM on June 26, 2005


ZachsMind : "The more the war on drugs continues, the higher the prices can go, and the more precious the commodity. "

Although drug prices, in general, have been going down, over the last 20+ years.

In 1981, a gram of pure powder cocaine cost $641, in 1990, $211, in 2003, $119.
For heroin, 1 gram pure, in 1981, $2309, in 1990, $1059, in 2003, $361.
For marijuana, however, per gram, in 1981, $6.40, in 1990, $15.11, in 2003, $11.41.

(All prices are average, and in constant 2002 dollars)

What is true, however, is that prices for these commodities is manifold their putative fetching price, in a legal environment. Jeffrey Miron of Boston U., estimates that cocaine fetches 2.5-5 times the price it would if legal and taxed. For heroin, it's 8-19 times, and for cannabis, about 15 times.

Although the profits are pointed to, as a reason why farmers continue to grow drug crops, the vast bulk of the markup is accrued to the middlemen and retailers, not the source (farmers).
posted by Gyan at 6:01 PM on June 26, 2005


Gyan. I'll grow pot and you grow rice.
We'll see who makes more money.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:06 PM on June 26, 2005


ZachsMind writes "When you smoke weed, your consumption of that good is one link in a chain that goes all the way back to the people who farm it in foreign countries."

Of course in Canada (and other parts of North America, no doubt) that's simply bullshit... but then since when has the truth mattered to drug warriors?
posted by clevershark at 6:09 PM on June 26, 2005


Baby_Balrog : "I'll grow pot and you grow rice"

Not talking about local mom-n-pop operations, in US or just across the Mexico border.
posted by Gyan at 6:10 PM on June 26, 2005


There was very little drug production going on in Afghanistan before we toppled the Taliban.

But they had plenty of T&T, totalitarianism and terrorists!

Pot makes me throw up.

Well, there are plenty of other drugs to try.
posted by delmoi at 6:31 PM on June 26, 2005


I'll start getting real concerned about the war on *some* drugs when elements of the united states government stop smuggling and selling them.
posted by stenseng at 7:07 PM on June 26, 2005


I have had no idea where to get pot since I moved here five years ago. I'd feel funny walking up to total strangers and begging, y'know?
posted by davy at 8:06 PM on June 26, 2005


Are you sure there was little drug production going on in Afghanistan before we took a Tomahawk to it? Cause I thought I read Afghanistan produced a huge amount of opium and heroin like a long way back. I totally could be wrong but I just thought I'd ask.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:55 PM on June 26, 2005


Baby_Balrog: There was very little drug production going on in Afghanistan before we toppled the Taliban.
Where do you get that from? I've always understood it that Afghanistan was the capital of the world for opium poppy production and Afghani hash was long considered a fine product by the cogniscenti, back in the day.
I'm not having a go at you BabyBalrog, just wondering.
Oh...and it's already been asked...BlackLeotardLeopard.
posted by peacay at 9:13 PM on June 26, 2005


There was very little drug production going on in Afghanistan before we toppled the Taliban.


a small victory, at least
posted by matteo at 11:18 PM on June 26, 2005


When is Take Your Drugs To Work Day?
posted by wakko at 11:25 PM on June 26, 2005


pecay and BlackLeotardLeopard - the Taliban had actually pretty much stopped opium/heroin production in July 2000. An NYT article on it, hosted at some random website. When the Taliban crumbled, people [unsurprisingly, given the profits] began cultivation once more. In fact, warlords who're American allies are probably some of the largest traffickers. So yeah, in the past few decades Afghanistan has generally been a huge source of opium and heroin, but for a time before the US invasion, the Taliban had succeeded in banning it entirely.
posted by ubersturm at 12:02 AM on June 27, 2005


Crap, don't let the Right find that out!
Then they might think they could combine their Christian Fundamentalism with the war on drugs.
After all, it worked for the Taliban.
posted by Iax at 2:05 AM on June 27, 2005


When is Take Your Drugs To Work Day?
Every Day ;-)

I have had no idea where to get pot since I moved here five years ago. I'd feel funny walking up to total strangers and begging, y'know?
When moving house, the first thing one should always do is source a regular supply of cannabis. If none seems available you are living in the wrong area.
posted by twistedonion at 2:14 AM on June 27, 2005


I have a lot of trouble believing somone could said someone else an e-card of a skull with a bloody rig through its eye with horror-film lettering telling them not to do drugs, and intend it as a serious gesture.

It reminded me of a Christian tract I came across in high school called "King Heroin", which had a drawing of a skeleton in royal garb holding up a bloody needle. But I guess it must have worked, since I'm not a junkie yet despite that slippery slope I've heard so much about.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:47 AM on June 27, 2005


The irony about the Kenyan alcohol poisoning outbreak is that it occurred in the very week that the Kenyan parliament were to discuss reformation of an old colonial era law banning "traditional" drinks....

At least I'll know which to avoid when I move there!
posted by davehat at 7:18 AM on June 27, 2005


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