Illegal Drugs And Violence (2 Parts)

By chillinwill · Jan 24, 2009 ·
  1. chillinwill
    Illegal Drugs and Violence; Which is the Chicken and Which is the Egg?

    One of the many negative stories coming out in 2008 was the escalation of violence in Mexico between the various Drug Cartels and against Mexican Law Enforcement Agencies.

    Hundreds of people have been killed; traffickers, police, and innocent victims. Sometimes the perpetrators even have their acts of torture and murder posted briefly to You Tube. This horrific violence is threatening the very fabric of Mexican society.

    Those problems have now spilled over into the United States. In addition to being the greatest consumers of the illegal drugs, the United States is seeing more and more of the violence.
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    Recently in an apartment outside of Birmingham, Alabama, five men were found tortured and murdered. In Phoenix, Arizona, a man was found killed in a nice neighborhood by a team of assassins posing as Phoenix police officers. The National Drug Threat Assessment 2009, issued recently by the United States Department of Justice, states that "Mexican DTO's [drug trafficking organizations] represent the greatest organized crime threat to the United States."

    About 90% of the cocaine in the US is smuggled in by these Mexican drug cartels; in addition they are major suppliers of other illegal drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana.

    According to the DOJ's report, these cartels operate in every major city in the US, and also in many rural areas. It should come to no surprise that Portland makes the list. But many may be shocked to learn that Salem, Eugene, Medford, and even small Roseberg, Oregon, with a population of approximately 22,000, have the cartels operating in them.

    Federal officials state that Mexican smugglers have taken over virtually all the street-level distribution in the United States. This multibillion-dollar business is well organized and extremely profitable because the drugs are illegal. Would there be the violence if the drugs were legal and inexpensive? The term War on Drugs was coined by President Richard Nixon in 1971, reputedly based upon the term War on Poverty which was used by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

    The "War on Drugs" is a campaign undertaken by the United States government to curb supply and diminish demand for specific psychoactive substances deemed immoral, harmful or undesirable. It included a set of laws and policies that are intended to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of the targeted substances.

    The War on Drugs is supported by a substantial television propaganda effort, including anti-drug advertising spots from such organizations as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, among others.

    Writers and producers of popular, prime-time television shows have also reportedly been paid directly to write-in government approved anti-drug messages, themes, and occasionally entire episodes.

    Just what is the history of illegal drug use, what are the real costs, and how successful has the War on Drugs been will be covered in coming articles.

    By Dorsett Bennett
    January 14, 2009

    Illegal Drugs: Part Two -- Some Marijuana History

    Evidence of the inhalation of cannabis smoke can be found as far back as the third millennium BC as indicated by charred cannabis seeds found in a ritual Brazier at a ancient burial site in south Asia.

    The history of cannabis products and their use has been long, colorful and varied. "To the agriculturist, cannabis is a fiber crop; to the physician, it is an enigma; to the user, a euphoriant; to the police, a menace; to the trafficker, a source of profitable danger; to the convict or parolee and his family, a source of sorrow".

    The fact is that cannabis has been held simultaneously in high and low esteem at various times throughout recorded history, particularly in our own times.

    Archaeologists discovered an ancient village in China, containing the earliest known record of the use of the cannabisplant. This village dates back over 10 000 years to the Stone Age.

    Amongst the debris of this village, archaeologists found small pots with patterns of twisted hemp fibre decorating them. This use of the cannabis plant suggests men have been using the marijuana plant in some manner since the dawn of history.

    Cannabis fibre (hemp) was not only used in China as decoration, but it was also used to make clothes, ropes, fishing nets and paper. It was also important as a food plant and was originally considered one of China’s five cereal grains. The cannabis plant took on such great importance in the Chinese culture that early priest doctors began using the cannabis plant’s stalk as a symbol of power to drive away evil.

    Evidence of the inhalation of cannabis smoke can be found as far back as the third millennium BC as indicated by charred cannabis seeds found in a ritual Brazier at a ancient burial site in south Asia.

    In 2003, a leather basket filled with cannabis leaf fragments and seeds were found next to a 2,500- to 2,800-year-old mummy in the northwestern Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The most famous early users of cannabis were the ancient Hindus of India and Nepal. The ancient drug Soma, mentioned in the Hindu religious text Veda as a sacred intoxicating hallucinogen, was sometimes associated with cannabis.

    Cannabis was also known to the Assyrian people, who discovered its psychoactive properties through the Aryans. Using it in some religious ceremonies, they called it qunubu (meaning "way to produce smoke"), a possible origin of the modern word 'Cannabis'.

    Cannabis was also introduced by the Aryans to the Scythians and Thracians, whose Shaman's burned cannabis flowers to induce a state of trance. Members of the cult of Dionysus, believed to have originated in Thrace, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, are also thought to have inhaled cannabis smoke.

    The medical use of the cannabis plant goes back at least 5,000 years to ancient China, where the emperor Shen Nung listed it in his classic pharmacopeia, the Pen Ts'ao. It is also listed in the medical works of India including the famous Hindu surgeon Susruta, and the Roman physicians Pliny and Galen.

    Most of the herbal guides of the Moslem and European cultures also gave frequent reference to its medical value, and cannabis has been one of the world's primary medicines for millenia on end.

    Cannabis also has an ancient history of ritual use that has been found. Hemp seeds were discovered by archaeologists studying the Pazyryk, an ancient nomadic people who lived in the Altai Mountains lying in Siberian south of the modern city of Novosibirsk.

    Early ceremonial practices like eating cannabis by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BCE, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus. Some experts have claimed that cannabis was used as a religious sacrament by ancient Jews and early Christians due to the similarity between the Hebrew word qannabbos (cannabis) and the Hebrew phrase 'kana-besem' (aromatic cane). This is another possible origin of the name. It was used by Muslims in various Sufi orders, especially in South Asia, as early as the Mamluk period by Sufi Mystics called the Qualandar.

    Part Three will deal with the Medical Uses of marijuana.

    By Dorsett Bennett
    January 23, 2009

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