Friday, May 06, 2005

Nasal Politics

I hope that picture of that guy doing coke could hold you off unitl your next line/post. You're jonesin' huh? Here is some hypertextually-laced meth-riddled heady blogging that will no doubt soak your bedsheets in sweat.

This WaPo article on a Sentencing Project report has made its rounds on the intranet the last few days. The study suggests that the DEA and Bushistas have cracked down on marijuana users while lightening up on coke fiends. To highlight some of the stats, because I know you can't read too goodly:

- Marijuana arrests increased by 113% between 1990 and 2002, while overall arrests decreased by 3%

- New York City experienced an 882% growth in marijuana arrests, including an increase of 2,461% for possession offenses

- African Americans are disproportionately affected by marijuana arrests, representing 14% of marijuana users in the general population, but 30% of arrests

Sam Smith @ the Progressive Review has a good post on why we even have a war on drugs (and fun) here, however I will avoid its sharp insight in favor of making some cultural comments on contemporary cocaine use.

Coke's back. No doubt. I'm not sure if it ever left because I am only 22, but its back and tastier than ever. Sorry, no, stop paging me, thanks. Nick Cohen, writing for the British New Statesman gets it right (as they say) about the social contradictions of cocaine use. His story details the posh Groucho Club in London, where the food is GM-free, the coffee is fair trade, smoking is taboo, furs are spraypainted and the cocaine is soaked in the blood of a thousand Columbian peasants. His point is this:

Heroin and cocaine kill directly through contaminated drugs, and indirectly through the support they give to the narco-dictatorship of the Burmese junta and the mafias that terrorise much of Latin America and, increasingly, the rich world's slums. Yet it is social death to put a cigarette in your mouth, not to stuff cocaine up your nose.

Admirably, the fashion is for free-range meat. But while the beasts are free to roam, the prisons of Europe and North America are stuffed to the gunnels with drug mules from the Caribbean who are serving long sentences because they have been forced by poverty or ordinary human greed to become smugglers.

I have always tried to persuade consumers to be conscious of their decisions. While a pair of Nikes says its OK for a Balinese girl to work 20 hour days, a sniff of that white powda' says its OK for narco-terrorists to run Third World countries, and for US forces to spray villages with deadly pesticides and agents. Balancing consciousness with dopamine is tough, nearly for the nasty hangover. While Cohen and others argue legalization is the only answer, I leave your coked-up conscious ringing with a quote from an anonymous Honduran:

Thank you for your drugs money, self-appointed first world. Another thoughtful donation to our ailing country, along with military hardware and paedophile tourists. We are told here that at some of your London dinner parties, an after-dinner toot has... taken the place of your traditional English pudding among the chattering classes - the very same people who claim to care so deeply about the poor third world. Rather than chopping out their lines on the latest world-music CD, perhaps these enlightened individuals should chop them out instead on a photo of a Honduran bus with the slogan "Dios es amor", but pockmarked with bullet holes and with the blood-stained dead in the road alongside. Jesus Dominguez, aged 45; Maria Anita Portillo, aged 14; Alexander Gutierrez, aged seven; Javier Barahona, aged two. After all who paid for the bullets?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think this post has a good parallel to the mtv 3rd world post. it shows how drew barrymore can give back to the 3rd world cultures she gets her coke from. i think we should all go to the third world so we can get coke without the markup or baby laxitives.

3:49 PM  

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