31 July 2006

Drugs Are Everywhere

The last few days have yielded a number of stories which demonstrate how completely drugs have penetrated western society.

We start out with the kids. First, we find an Ohio school suspension for smelling like marijuana sustained by a judge. However, this is topped by the two kids in Maryland who injected a gram of marijuana into yellow gumballs in order to distribute them to other kids.

Next we check on the elderly. In Texas police saw an older man at a bus stop "acting nervous." They investigated and found $1,000,000 of heroin on him. Of course, he was probably just a mule so I'm not sure he's in the same league as the 70 year old man found with 417 marijuana plants in his house.

In Scotland they have problems with the middle class indulging:
"They have this idea that they can cope with it. They believe that the fact that the drug is illegal is nothing to do with them, that it's actually [illegal] because of cretins like the ones seen in the film Trainspotting, who can't cope with it. They believe that as they have money in their pocket and are 'full people' they can step away from the legal system and use the drug."
. . .
"There is an arrogance among high earners that they are fire-proof when it comes to drugs."
Still, that's better than Boston, where they are having problems with higher than usual drug usage among officers:
While 75 Boston officers failed drug tests out of a total force of about 2,000 sworn officers since 1999, at the much larger Los Angeles Police Department, 14 officers have flunked the drug test since March 2000. It employs 9,354 officers, of whom about 3,000 are subjected to random urine tests each year.

A spokeswoman for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said that of the 150,000 federal employees who took random drug tests in 2004, 0.4 percent failed.
In the U.K, the Serious Organized Crime Agency is issuing a report which basically states it is losing to organized crime and "[t]he report also notes with concern that the continued fall in the price of drugs indicates that measures to reduce the trade in illegal narcotics are failing. Average street prices of heroin have fallen from £70 a gram in December 2000 to £49. The cost of a gram of cocaine fell from £65 to £40 over the same period, while the price of ecstasy pills dropped from £9 to £4."

Over here, officials meeting because of the increased lethality of heroin and fentanyl have come up with a three part plan:
1) Law-enforcement authorities and health-care providers should share information to track the drug's sources, so police can snag the suppliers, experts urged.

2) Victims should be automatically screened for fentanyl, despite the prohibitive costs and detection difficulties that have discouraged many coroners and doctors from routine screening, they exhorted.

3) Pharmacologists must develop drugs for medical use that can't be abused by addicts, they appealed
Good luck with that.


Anonymous said...

"3) Pharmacologists must develop drugs for medical use that can't be abused by addicts, they appealed."

Yeah, that is the solution. Develop medicines that might be more dangerous and less effective to patients, but cannot be abused by recreational users (Vioxx). Then make the effective, older, and safer (Opiates!) treatements taboo and prosecute doctors who dare to prescribe them.
Sounds like something our country would do!

Anonymous said...

Whatever one might think of drug use (my opinion varies based on the type and the user), one fact of life is that you can fight economics, but you can't win.

Anonymous said...

re the Scottish DEA director's comments:

Gotta love it, a hypocrite accusing others of hypocrisy and an arrogant bloke accusing others of arrogance when they disagree with him.
And all neatly packaged by an uncritical media. Just like this side of the pond.
It's all for the children.