Archive for January 13th, 2014

Us & Them IV: Tipping Point

[ US & Them IUs & Them IIUs & Them III – Us & Them IV ]

"... laughed my ass off, and had a really good time!" - Bill HicksAnyone who’s been reading along at home should now have some idea of how we got here, and why. Cannabis was criminalised by racist sentiment and lies on the floor of Congress. A twenty-year campaign of misinformation was waged in support of the petty ambitions of a Beltway Napoleon. Via the UN, in 1961, the USA strong-armed much of the world into a war they didn’t want. The relevant authorities have known since 1972 that cannabis is not dangerous and that the War on Drugs as a whole is miguided, and they have deliberately ignored all evidence to that effect. This pernicious attitude has proved durable and persistent. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been destroyed, tens of thousands have been murdered, and the bald economics of demand creates supply have carried on regardless. Vast criminal enterprises have been spawned by prohibition, and the costs to society of this ugly and vindictive conflict have been born, overwhelmingly, by the poor and by people of colour.

The alert reader will have noticed by now that I am writing a series investigating the geo-politics of the War on Drugs and yet I’m mostly talking about marijuana prohibition in the US. You’re right, but I’m not trying to indulge in rhetorical sleight-of-hand; the chronicle and socio-politics of US marijuana prohibition completely changed the way the non-medical use of drugs is perceived and discussed, let alone treated, in the post-Enlightenment West. From Anslinger’s ambition has grown the dominance of a moralistic doctrine on self-medication which prior to that point had not controlled a major polity since the Puritans banned Christmas [1] in the 1650s. The war on drugs (excepting only those which have a powerful, pre-established lobby, of course) starts with marijuana.
Continue reading ‘Us & Them IV: Tipping Point’

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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

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