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Drugs as political culture / CultureWar

JohnPerryBarlow wrote (in 2004) :

The Republican National Conventions isn't the only worrisome thing going on in New York at the moment, though you won't hear about this one in the media for awhile. Perhaps you never will. Perhaps the fix is in on this topic as well.

I'm talking about the interesting fact that, along with the Republican National Convention, New York is being hit with a cocaine epidemic that is even worse than the snowstorm that gripped this town during the mid to latter 80's. (During the last Bush administration, to put a finer point on it.) This time there won't be a crack problem to get all racist about, however. Cocaine in New York is now so cheap and plentiful that such economic measures as cooking it down to crack need not be taken by the poor.

People who learned better 20 years ago are suddenly snorting blow again. People you would never think would mess with this stuff are messing with it big time. Once again one commonly sees lines on the tabletops and the frantic eyes you can never make contact with. I was in a club the other night that was full as a tick with beautiful-looking people pharmaceutically disabled from beholding one another's beauty.

At the same time that the white death has made such a roaring comeback, the drugs that I think are relatively harmless, pot and the psychedelics, are in extremely short supply. Pot is selling at cocaine prices, a hundred dollars a gram sometimes. And coke is selling at pot prices. An ounce of coke would cost about the same as an ounce of decent sensimilla a few years ago. Mushrooms are scarce. LSD is functionally off the market.

What's going on?

One is tempted to wonder if the CIA might not be back in the drug trafficking game, though I was never completely convinced that they were last time. As I say, there does seem to be an interesting correlation between cocaine epidemics and Bush administrations.

But then, cocaine is a Republican drug. It makes its users self-obsessed, aggressive, and greedy. It plays hell with one's sense of consequence. It's generally preferred by people who have more money than humanity. And, best of all, the weirdos and peaceniks who like to waste their useless time stoned on marijuana or psychedelics, tend to hate it. ("All the more for us, eh, Buffy?)

Trouble is, even if you disapprove of cocaine, you're not certain to turn down every line you get offered, especially it's everywhere and if all the other recreational confusicants save booze (the other Republican drug) have been eliminated from the market.

Once again, one can see clearly what the War on Some Drugs is really about. It's the culture, stupid. It certainly isn't about public safety, since coke and booze are the perfect combination for social depravity of all sorts. Instead, it provides a beautiful opportunity to jail the blacks and hippies who prefer the non-Republican drugs. It makes huge bank for one's wing-tipped colleagues.

Can it really be that the Bush Administration has decided to turn a blind eye to blow? Or is it that they are simply too incompetent, despite turning Columbia into a war zone. Maybe this is just a local phenomenon, arising from the fact that approximately 10,000 New York police officers, who ordinarily focus on narco crime, have been diverted to convention patrol.

Whatever the cause. it is clear that one of the few ways in which the Republicans will be likely made welcome here at the moment will be with the plentiful availability of one of their favorite drugs (along with alcohol, money, and power.) Just what we need, a whole arena packed with irritable, glaze-eyed folks who are even more certain of their superiority than usual. Not to mention volatile. Might we be treated to the spectacle of rioting Republicans before it's all over with? I certainly hope so.

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