Archive for January 6th, 2014

Us & Them I: The Average Opiate Addict

[ Editor’s Note: the navigation guides at top & bottom of these articles are pre-configured for when the series is finished: the ones with dates in the future (i.e. all of them, to begin with!) will only start to work when the relevant articles publish. ]

[ US & Them I – Us & Them IIUs & Them IIIUs & Them IV ]

You, too, could electrecute yourself with cannabis!If you belong to any generation raised between 1936 and about 1980, you are likely to have one of three opinions about cannabis. A small percentage are experienced users, who were turned on as Beats in the ’50s or Hippies in the ’60s and ’70s. A larger percentage used the drug then, but as they aged and were absorbed by the establishment order, converted; claimed they never inhaled, so to speak. They often see cannabis as a kind of student disease, like left-wing politics and pot noodles. Many, however, have a clear understanding that cannabis is the Devil’s Weed, the Harvest of Horror, the Assassin of Youth. “Everyone knows” these things: that cannabis causes insanity, criminality, and death. That it is acutely addictive. That it leads directly to heroin addiction. That the drug was banned because of the damage it caused to the war effort; this story varies depending on age between soldiers in WWII, soldiers in Korea and soldiers in Vietnam.

Every item on that list is factually wrong, but people hold this view for a completely understandable reason. They spent their formative decades being systematically and deliberately lied to by the US government and the press. To understand why it was worth intentionally deceiving entire generations about a common plant, you have to understand how different drug use and abuse were before the War on Drugs, and you have to understand the mechanics of prohibition: the psychology of Us and Them.

Continue reading ‘Us & Them I: The Average Opiate Addict’


January 2014
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Per Argument Ad Astra

Politics, history, economics and rampant speculation from a victim of the Great Recession, currently at large in the West Midlands.

"When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters."
                -- Adam Smith