Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Back in business

They replaced my melting modem and fixed my line speed so I'm good to go again. It's funny how free my time was without blogging. I hardly knew what to do with myself. I was forced to clean the house. In any event, the war on some drugs didn't end while I was away and hitting my 388 backed up emails at random, here's another story on the failure of Plan Colombia.

Cocaine has replaced ecstasy as the social drug of choice among the young consumers in the UK. Citing milder and more controllable effects, young consumers are increasingly choosing coke over the psychedelic.

The drift towards white powder has become a snowstorm, with use of coke trebling in the last seven years. Estimates have previously been based on drug seizures, convictions and self-reported use - but now an NHS study has produced hard evidence that cocaine is replacing ecstasy as the everyday social drug of choice.

Unfortunately, there has also been a corresponding rise in the use of crack cocaine, a harsher and much more additive form of the drug that causes aggressive behavior.

The NHS study backs up findings from the British Crime Survey. Police are particularly concerned about crack, which is linked with a rise in violent crime. There are an estimated 45,000 crack users just in London and last year officers from the Metropolitan Police closed 516 crack dens. The Independent on Sunday revealed earlier this year that the street price of cocaine had dropped dramatically with some dealers offering the drug at £45 a gram compared with £70 six years ago.

Authorities cite greater availability as the cause of the cocaine explosion. One wonders how the US can then say that they are cutting coca production when it's flooding the streets. If it's in London, it's in New York and Berlin and Rio.

Do the math. Plan Colombia only stopped coca production (and the production of any other food) where they fumigated with Roundup. They didn't stop it from being grown. It has simply disbursed over a wider geographic area and in fact have increased as smaller farmers are able to compete now that the US has poisoned the larger plots with their herbicide bombing in the Amazon rain basin. Meanwhile the indigenous peasants have been displaced by the thousands.

Paid for with your tax dollars.


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