Drug laws are based on racial discrimination against the Chinese.
This fact should get your attention in the current climate in New Zealand where everyone pretends to be so politically correct about racism against the ethnic Chinese.
Drug laws are still discriminating on the basis of race. They do only harm. They have no scientific justification whatsoever. Some are based on bigotry and xenophobia and were partly introduced for the commercial benefit of a couple of industrialists and as a make-work scheme for law enforcement.
The chances of catching up with the rest of the world on drug law reform are slim as large numbers of members of Parliament as of the general population consists of bigots and xenophobes as far as drugs are concerned.
The prohibition of drugs (alcohol) occurred first under Islamic sharia law.
Britain fought three wars to force China to allow opium into their country. These so called opium wars have ever since been the cause for Chinese mistrust and resentment against the western powers.
The 1861-65 American Civil War led to great numbers of wounded veterans using opium products to relief their suffering. They lived out their lives without ill effect other than constipation. The use of the drug in all its forms was wide spread and legal.
The first US drug law was passed in San Francisco in 1875, banning the smoking of opium in opium dens. The reason cited was “many women and young girls, as well as young men of respectable family, were being induced to visit the Chinese opium-smoking dens, where they were ruined morally and otherwise.”
The distinction between its use by white Americans and Chinese immigrants was thus based on the form in which it was ingested: Chinese immigrants tended to smoke it, while it was often included in various kinds of generally liquid medicines often used by people of European descent. The laws targeted opium smoking, but not other methods of ingestion.
It went downhill from there till all forms of consuming opium and its derivates were criminalised together with ever more substances based on equally questionable grounds.
Criminalisation of cannabis happened in earnest in the US in the 1920-ies and 1930-ies driven by rampant racist Harry J. Anslinger as a make-work scheme for his Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He was supported by two interests to destroy the hemp industry. Newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst’s empire of newspapers used his poublications to demonise the cannabis plant and spread a public perception that there were connections between cannabis and violent crime (reefer madness). The goal was to destroy the hemp industry, which posed a threat to Hearst’s wood pulp interests. The Du Pont family, which had patented synthetic fibre (Nylon) had the same interest to destroy the hemp industry as potential competition.
Racial discrimination is still part of today’s drug laws in the US and in effect in New Zealand.
For example in the US the penalties for possession of cocaine – the preferred drug of middle class white people – are substantially less than for crack cocaine mainly used by lower class black people even if the substance is chemically the same. In New Zealand the drug related incarceration for drug offences is also disproportionally higher for Maori.
Many people believe as they have been told that drugs lead to addiction. This claim is bogus as not only new research shows but as we all can observe in our daily lives.
Johann Hari debunks the addiction myth. “The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think” is the title of his report in the Huffington Post.
The addiction myth was first established through rat experiments.
The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.
But in the 1970s Professor of Psychology Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want.
In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.
The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them.
Addiction can be summed up in one observation It’s not the drug it’s the cage.
Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. If you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right — it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them — then it’s obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.
It virtually never happens. Medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street-users into desperate addicts and leaves medical patients unaffected.
Racist make-work scheme for law enforcement.
Customs Manager Cargo Operations Bruce Berry with 500g
Methamphetamine concealed in a toy bus.
Photo / Jason Oxenham, NZ Herald this week
Law enforcement in New Zealand still parade their drug hauls as great victories while other civilised countries for example Portugal have moved towards enlightenment by successfully reforming their drug laws with stunning results.
When I watch the law enforcement PR campaign with photos like above I know who’s interests they serve. Instead of acknowledging that the The War on Drugs is ‘A Trillion-Dollar Failure’ (Rolling Stone Magazine) we are still made to believe that the person pictured is doing good. To be fair he does good to the private prison industry.
The US have more people in prison – mostly for non-violent low grade drug offences -than the Soviet Union under Stalin during the worst times of the gulag. Corporations like SERCO, which has been in the news lately for running New Zealand’s private prisons are rubbing their hands.
But it is not only the inmates who shouldn’t be there and are coming out of prison raped, battered and turned into criminals. Imagine what we could do with the millions of dollars misspend on the war on drugs. Thousands of children could be fed a meal every day at school, housed in insulated warm houses and clothed for the winter. No more waiting lists for elective surgery and the list goes on.
The war on drugs is truly a war on all of us in more than one sense.