Religion & HomosexualityMarch 10, 2019
George Bush and The War on DrugsMarch 3, 2019
THE MONEY, WHERE IT COMES FROM AND WHO BENEFITS
MONEY FROM THE BLACK MARKET
THE PERFECT BUSINESS MODEL
The mechanism that underpins the EDROM could be described as the perfect business model. In relation to enforcement agencies, their task is to reduce supply. When supply is reduced for a commodity for which there is constant demand, the price increases. The higher the market price, the greater the incentive for people to supply the commodity, especially in light of a zero-tax environment.
Thereby, a guaranteed economy of 'illicit' drug supply is created and along with it, a perpetual supply of people to arrest and imprison. Enforcement agencies, by reducing supply, are actually creating work for themselves.
This simple economic cause and effect scenario provides the perfect, self-perpetuating economic model. If all those supplying 'illicit' substances ceased their activities, the agencies would be instantly unemployed and there would be no justification for the outlay of vast amounts of public money.
In a document listing important organisational statistics, and under the heading "Revenue Denied", it is stated that the Drug Enforcement Administration "stripped drug trafficking organizations of approximately $33.1 billion in revenues through the seizure of both assets and drugs" between 2005 and 2015 Asset 'forfeiture' laws enable governments to carry out apparent retribution against the 'enemy' by forcibly taking money, assets and unsold drugs.
For those who benefit from the EDROM, interdiction (hunting down and seizing 'illicit' drugs) achieves the following:
It portrays substances other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine as a unique threat to the populace due to the existence of a government led supply reduction strategy with the stated aims of protecting people's health and welfare. In actual fact, the most dangerous drugs are alcohol and tobacco.
It provides the basis for thousands of jobs and related economic activity, sustained by huge amounts of public money, along with an apparently valid justification for such activity.
It provides the illusion that the 'war' is being successful and that there are tangible results for the vast amount of public money spent. In actual fact, only a fraction of the total supply of 'illicit' drugs is intercepted.
Above all else, it perpetuates the trade in 'illicit' substances by keeping their market price high due to supply reduction. The continuance of the activity is essential for those sustained by it.
The modern day 'War on Drugs' is not a 'failure' or 'failed policy'. It was never intended to control psychoactive substances (drugs) of any kind due to harm resulting from their use. Its aims are political advantage predominately through the distribution of government money, and a highly profitable black market.
It is and has been, an outstanding success in relation to its true motivations. This is why it continues. Those who profit and are sustained by the policy either politically or monetarily have no desire for its ending, irrespective of the fact that it is a human-rights abuse.
The Benefits of Being Legal
Current 'drug policy' suits the alcohol, tobacco and caffeine industries admirably. They (particularly in the case of alcohol and caffeine) are able to benefit from essentially unrestricted advertising and marketing of their products. They are able to freely link their products with sport and other types of entertainment and gain widespread coverage with little in the way of regulation.
The greatest advantage for the 'legal' drug industry is that supply and use of alternative drugs is subject to criminal sanctions. It also serves them well by portraying drugs that are an alternative to alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, as more dangerous and socially unacceptable. It is the perfect commercial situation for the alcohol, tobacco and caffeine industries.
It could be suggested that their greatest fear is that drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine become freely available. Market share of the currently 'legal' drugs would be threatened by increased competition. Increased regulation from a policy and regulatory regime that treated substances according to their actual danger would also be a less than ideal situation for the alcohol and tobacco industries in particular.
Political advantage. The policy is politically advantageous on two main fronts. Firstly, it allows politicians to give the impression that they are protecting their constituents from an 'enemy'. However, the enemy is contrived and the 'war' to fight it has different motives altogether.
Secondly, the 'state' is able to dispense money and create jobs and profits using the contrived 'war' as the justification. The money is able to be justified as necessary expenditure required to fight the 'enemy'. The strategy therefore largely escapes being correctly identified as 'welfare' and blatant largess.
Money from government.
Notably, those employed in law enforcement and those who support them, benefit from billions of dollars of public money annually in the U.S. alone. A constant supply-reduction campaign, along with demand that will never cease, ensures the price of substances remains high
This guarantees the continuance of the trade. The result is a self-sustaining and perpetual false 'war' that employs and sustains thousands of people.
Money from the black market. Those involved in the black market for drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine benefit from a multi billion-dollar trade. Profits in a legal and regulated market would be far less than those found in the present black-market situation. Money from the black market also finds its way to the regular economy and benefits those involved in 'legitimate' financial endeavours.
The 'War on Drugs' continues primarily because it is financially beneficial to many people. It has direct parallels with the 'Military Industrial Complex', where war or the threat of war provides a justification for massive government expenditure. This results in a situation where many people become reliant on the funding and subsequently it is difficult to cease or scale back the process.
Law enforcement organisations
The obvious example is the Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States, as it is solely concerned with enforcing 'drug control' laws. It is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, and employs "... more than 9000 men and women ...".
In 2015, DEA agents arrested 31,027 people in the United States alone. It had an annual budget for the financial year 2016 of $2.98 billion. The organisation has an international presence with "... 89 offices in 68 (2016) countries around the world"
Imagine a world in which there was a government organisation who's sole purpose was to forcibly involve in the criminal justice system, people who chose to be involved in the supply of alcohol, tobacco or caffeine.
Obviously this would only ever be a hypothetical scenario. It would not be seriously considered, as apart from being untenable, it would rightfully be identified as a human-rights abuse. This situation is however, happening right now in regards to currently 'illicit' drugs.
Law enforcement organisations worldwide are involved in an ongoing human-rights abuse as part of their work. This is their enforcement of so-called 'drug laws'. This involves them forcibly involving in the criminal justice system, those who happen to be associated with substances other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine
As an indicator of the inequity of the situation, consider the hypothetical scenario of a law-enforcement officer being arrested for possession of their drug of choice, be it alcohol, tobacco or caffeine. This would obviously be an untenable and undesirable situation from their and society's perspective.
The prison industry
In the U.S. in 2015, 92,000 people were in federal prisons due to "drug offenses". (6:p15) This was almost 50% of prisoners. The average sentence length for 'drug offences' was an alarming 11.3 years.
Categorised on the basis of race, "three quarters of ... drug offenders were black or Hispanic". In state-run prisons in 2015, "twenty-five percent of female ... prisoners (23,500 persons) and 15% of male ... prisoners (182,700 persons) were sentenced for drug offenses".
This is a staggering total of 298,200 people imprisoned in one country alone on the basis of their possession, use and/or involvement in supply of drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
Mass imprisonment of people purely on the basis of an association with a drug of choice, something taken as a basic right in respect to alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
But the drugs themselves only serve as the false justification for involving a minority in the criminal justice system and thereby one of its mechanisms, imprisonment. The imprisonment of these people helps sustain the prison 'industry'. This is the obvious and obscene human tragedy of current 'drug' policy.
People and organisations that supply goods and services to those involved in the EDROM
The resources required to enable the functioning of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the prison industry for example, are considerable. The businesses which supply them with goods and services are numerous and diverse. From uniforms and weapons to asset construction and information technology, the opportunities for business are significant.
The 'drug treatment' sector
The mandated 'treatment' of people from the court system is now essentially an industry. The 'crime' that has led people to be forced into 'treatment' is simply use of a drug other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
The drug testing sector
The testing and detection of substances for employment-related and enforcement purposes has evolved into a lucrative industry.
Current 'drug policy' is not about the control and eradication of 'recreational' drug use due to the substances being a threat to health and welfare. If it was a response to a threat to health and welfare due to the use of psychoactive substances, it would apply primarily to the users and suppliers of alcohol and tobacco.
The EDROM is primarily about the acquisition of money, whether it is from the black market or public money from government. It sustains tens of thousands of jobs with tens of billions of dollars of government money annually, in the U.S. alone. It is in terms of government money, a distribution system founded on a human-rights abuse.
It is not 'failed' policy. It is entirely intentional and extraordinarily successful in terms of its actual aims, which are monetary gain and political advantage. It continues because it is successful regarding these aims.
The EDROM results in a minority being treated in ways that the majority would never accept being treated themselves. The majority would not accept being subject to criminal sanctions for using or supplying their drugs of choice (alcohol, tobacco and caffeine) or being denied a legal and regulated supply of these drugs.
Life After The War of Drugs
There is only one humane, logical and sensible strategy to end the current destructive madness. This is a return to the regulated manufacture and sale of all psychoactive substances.
They would be available to people of 'legal' age at appropriate retail outlets. This might best be achieved in an incremental way, substance by substance. This would allow people to become accustomed to the situation and realise that the functioning of society would not be negatively affected.
For most people, the usual reaction to the suggestion of 'legalisation' is an onset of fear. This is purely due to an ingrained perception of threat and the resultant fear that has been instilled by decades of propaganda. A simple response is as follows:
Currently, the two most dangerous drugs (alcohol and tobacco) and caffeine, are freely available to people of 'legal' age from appropriate retail outlets. Society functions normally and no-one is concerned. Those whose drug of choice is alcohol, tobacco or caffeine, can use their drug without fear of being forcibly involved in the criminal justice system.
The mere suggestion that users of any of these three drugs be forcibly involved in the criminal justice system as a response to their drug use, would rightfully be dismissed. The scenario would never and should never eventuate. Therefore:
"No person should be subject to criminal sanctions due to the act of using or being involved in the regulated supply of a 'recreational' drug, whatever the nature of the substance"
Current 'drug policy' or the 'War on Drugs' results in a highly profitable black market in drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. Therefore:
"All psychoactive substances, without exception, must be supplied by a legal and regulated market"
Current 'drug policy' or the 'War on Drugs' acts as a mechanism to distribute government money for political gain. Therefore:
"The distribution of government money should never be based upon the inequitable and inhumane treatment of a minority"
The vast majority of currently 'illicit' drugs (including heroin), are not as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco. The 'War on Drugs' is not related to the control of any psychoactive substance as a response to its effects on health and welfare. If it was a response to a threat to health and welfare posed by the use of drugs, its policy mechanisms including criminal sanctions would apply primarily to the supply and possession of alcohol and tobacco. Therefore:
"Currently 'illicit' drugs are almost exclusively less dangerous to health and welfare than alcohol and tobacco. Society as a whole must be honest about the nature of all drugs and the right of people to use substances irrespective of their nature and effect on health and welfare"
Current 'drug policy' has its roots firmly in the oppression of people in order to facilitate the acquisition of money. It can only ever be the vehicle for ulterior motives, none of which are positive in nature.
A FLAWED AND UNACCEPTABLE COMPROMISE
The situation in Portugal is often cited as a model for other countries to adopt. This paradigm is however, a flawed compromise. The manufacture and sale of substances other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine remains illegal..
This model retains the black market. The flaws in this approach for users of 'illicit' drugs, is that manufacture of the substances and therefore their quality, is not regulated and the price is set by black-market prerogatives..
The model retains a fundamentally inequitable aspect of current policy: users of drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are denied a legal and regulated supply of their drug of choice.
WAYS THAT CHANGE CAN HAPPEN
Abolishment of the three 'drug control' treaties that obligate signatories to participate in the EDROM. These are the Single Convention on Narcotic drugs of 1961 (as amended by the 1972 protocol), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
Changes to the Controlled Substances Act in the U.S. and its international variants. The basic drug types must be rescheduled to a classification that does not involve 'control' by involvement of users and suppliers in the criminal justice system..
For the Controlled Substances Act and its variants to be relevant and functional on a humane basis, alcohol, tobacco and caffeine must be included. A category that contains 'recreational' drugs of all types must be created and this category must not attract criminal sanctions.
THE TRUTH ABOUT HEROIN AND THE MYTH OF FATAL HEROIN OVERDOSE
No other drug attracts the degree of inaccurate and untrue commentary as does heroin. No other drug has been lied about so aggressively and for so long as heroin. The information on this page is not intended in any way, to endorse or encourage the use of heroin or any other opioid. The intention is solely to provide the truth.
Heroin is a semi-synthetic compound that breaks down into morphine once in the body. Morphine is therefore the primary active metabolite of heroin. It is predominately morphine that exerts the effects that heroin is taken for, whether that is pain relief in the medical setting or euphoric effects in the recreational setting.
Morphine is the 'gold standard' analgesic (pain killer) for serious pain. It has no maximum dose (it can be given until pain relief is achieved without regard to the size of the total dose) and no 'ceiling effect' (it does not have a dose at which it ceases to have a therapeutic effect).
The two major side effects of morphine are nausea and constipation
Morphine can cause a sense of well-being which is attractive for some people
THERE IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN, ANY EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CONCEPT OF FATAL 'HEROIN OVERDOSE'. Modern clinical research (1) clearly and unequivocally shows that administration of extremely large amounts of heroin and in substantial overdose, does not result in death or adverse events due to 'respiratory depression' or arrest.
When opioids are involved in an adverse drug-related event, evidence clearly supports the following circumstance: people becoming heavily sedated by a combination of drugs and not being able to breathe properly due to airway obstruction. This can lead to injury or death due to lack of oxygen. A combination of alcohol and heroin (morphine) for instance, has long been known to be potentially dangerous.
HEROIN- WHAT IS IT?
Heroin is diacetylmorphine. Once in the body, it rapidly breaks down into 6-mono-acetylmorphine, then morphine. After heroin was given intravenously in a clinical study, maximum concentration of morphine was reached in 7.8 minutes. Heroin is considered a pro-drug for morphine, meaning it acts as a delivery system for morphine.
Morphine is a non-toxic central nervous system depressant drug that has two hallmark side effects: nausea and constipation. It is used predominately as an analgesic (pain reliever) and is considered the 'gold standard' in this field.
Therefore, heroin is not an inherently dangerous drug: it is nothing more than a way of administering morphine. Heroin is taken recreationally because of the euphoria and sense of well-being it can give due to its primary active metabolite, morphine. It can be inhaled (smoked), snorted, ingested, administered rectally/vaginally or injected.
“An excessive dose of a drug or substance” *
An overdose is an excessive dose of one drug or substance that leads to an adverse event directly attributable to that drug or substance. Regarding psychoactive substance use (and particularly central nervous system depressant drugs), an adverse event caused by the ingestion of two or more different classes of drugs cannot be correctly described as an 'overdose'. The correct terminology is multiple or mixed-drug toxicity.
'Heroin overdose' is a term often used to describe the death of a person who has heroin metabolites (predominately morphine) in their body. The clear inference is that taking 'too much' heroin results in death from 'respiratory depression' or arrest.
In other words, the person is alleged or believed to have died as a result of their breathing having slowed markedly or actually stopping due to the effects of morphine. This concept has entered common folklore and is generally accepted without question in the general populace.
However, there is no evidence to even suggest that fatal 'heroin overdose' occurs. Furthermore, indisputable evidence demonstrates that it is a fallacy.
Amounts of heroin constituting 150% of the regular dose given to subjects receiving high-dose heroin maintenance therapy under clinical, controlled conditions, "...did not cause any serious side effect."
Moreover,changes in heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and skin temperature were marginal, less than 5%." The largest overdose administered was 150mg (450mg single I.V. dose for person on 300mg maintenance dose). This means the person was given 150mg more than they were accustomed to.
Subjects were also on methadone therapy, on which no dose limitations were set. The methadone was given two hours after the morning heroin dose. Overdoses were given randomly and in double-blind fashion.
'Double blind' means neither the subject nor researcher knew who received which dose. It is clear therefore, that amounts of heroin significantly more than the user is accustomed to are not dangerous.
THERAPEUTIC MORPHINE LEVELS
Levels of blood morphine in a study involving patients with terminal, advanced cancer ranged from 0.010 mg/L (35 nmol/l) to 20 mg/L (70,302.6 nmol/l), with an average level of 1.6 mg/L (5617.8 nmol/l).
The levels of morphine in cases of deaths where heroin metabolites are found are almost exclusively well below the average level in the patients described here, who were receiving morphine for pain.
In the finding into the death of Ms 'A' (who died due to multiple-drug toxicity in Melbourne in 2016), the following statement was made: "[t]here is no clearly defined safe or toxic concentration of morphine in blood, or any other tissue."
Such claims obviously have no rational basis and cannot be seen as anything other than mischievous. The blood-morphine level found in the case of Ms 'A' was 0.3mg/L.
There is one reason why only low, non-problematic levels of morphine are found in the blood. This is the extraordinary efficiency with which the body metabolises (breaks down) the substance and expels it from the blood.
As the aforementioned study demonstrates, an extremely large amount of heroin (450mg) introduced intravenously and rapidly as a single dose results in a low, therapeutic blood-morphine level not exceeding 1.35 mg/L.
Zador et al. found: “...heroin-related deaths occurred overwhelmingly in people who were male, of an avg. age of 30 years, and frequent users.” Consistently, the vast majority of those found to have died with heroin metabolites present were frequent users and therefore can be expected to have had some degree of 'tolerance' to opioids. If lack of 'tolerance' was a fatal overdose risk-factor, opioid-naïve people could be expected to be well represented in statistics. They are not.
The levels of morphine found in deaths where heroin metabolites have been detected are only ever very low. The low levels of morphine found are not dangerous as regards the physiological effects of morphine. As previously noted, a large, single, intravenous dose of heroin (450mg) results in a low, non-problematic level of morphine in blood. This indicates that the concept of 'tolerance' is of little or no relevance as regards adverse events in which opioids are present.
Multiple-drug toxicity is an adverse event caused by the presence of multiple classes of (in this case) central nervous system depressant drugs. The consequence of combining drugs can be a sedating effect far in excess of that caused by either drug taken by itself. This heavy sedation can lead to airway obstruction and resultant breathing difficulties.
Breathing can become restricted or impossible, which can lead to hypoxic brain damage and ultimately, death. A combination of alcohol and morphine for instance, can be dangerous.
An Australian study found 45% of a sample of deaths where heroin metabolites were detected, also had alcohol present with an average blood-alcohol level of 0.14 g/100ml. Benzodiazepines were found in 26% of cases. The study noted that: ]n 71% [of subjects], two or more different drugs were found at autopsy...”.
M I Ro
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