Once again the Arizona Daily Star has an interesting Sunday paper filled with deep issues, and there are interconnections between 4 different top stories that I will put together here.
The first one deals with “corporate meth” which is stronger and cheaper than ever.
Corporate meth has arrived in Tucson.
This high-end, extremely pure, extremely potent speed is manufactured by organizations with the knowledge to craft a superior product and the distribution networks to get it into the hands of customers worldwide. It is purer and more potent than ever.
It isn’t the meth of a few years back, the kind a small-scale dealer or addict could cook up for less than a hundred bucks and the time it took to mix, heat and decant a few noxious chemicals.
Legislation restricting the availability of precursor chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in 2005 effectively killed domestic production of meth in Arizona – and handed the market to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.
via Meth Inc.: Industrial-scale Mexican labs now pushing top-grade poison our way.
The second story deals with a personal story of meth addiction which was written by the same freelance writer, Clayton Norman.
I remember that the meth wave hit my home town of Marana and Avra Valley just before the turn of the century, right after I graduated high school. I started at the UA right away, but I remember going to some parties that fall and noticing that something was wrong. People were starting to fade, and quickly.
In the more remote Avra Valley, you would drive by trailers with broken windows with weeds up to the windows, yes, the stereotypical image where houses have more tires than the cars up on bricks in the yard, and people were living here, up all night with darkened eyes and a need to keep moving.
The government had a solution that would turn out to make things worse, as is usually the case when they are dealing with drug policy.
That changed in 2005 in Arizona, with the passage of legislation that made it much harder to get pseudoephedrine – the chemical cornerstone of meth. States around the nation enacted similar legislation, shutting down most home meth labs in the United States.
“Smurfing” – going to multiple pharmacies and buying the maximum allowed amount of pseudoephedrine-containing products – demands too much effort and risk for too small a return. Mexican gangs, however, are able to buy multiton shipments of pseudoephedrine and produce meth in batches of pounds at a time.
The rise of the mafia can be linked to the Prohibition era after the 18th amendment banned all alcohol in the United States. This happened not even a whole century ago, in 1919, and lasted until the 21st amendment repealed it in 1933. The only good thing about this historic period is that it is easy to remember which amendments dealt with alcohol, the 18th and 21st. The rest is a disaster.
First of all, the 1920s is known as the Roaring 20s, not as the Sober and Somber 20s.
The Prohibition of alcohol led to the rise of the mafia where people like Al Capone rose to fame. What was the evil drug they were smuggling?
Canada and Mexico, along with the Caribbean, became the knew sources of alcohol, along with a some moonshine still being made in the United States.
Does this pattern look familiar?
It does not matter what is being prohibited, whenever a substance that allows escape from the world is forbidden, the underground market will begin.
It is simple economics. If there is a demand then the “invisible hand of the market” will move towards supplying that demand.
Now fast-forward to today where absurdity has reached a climax.
Consider the following situation. Imagine I am a landscaper, and after mowing the lawn I collect the grass/weeds into a large bag and put that onto my back and start hiking down the street with it. I am walking with discarded leaves trimmed from Mother Nature, and there is plenty all around. No one would think twice about taking my stash, and cops would leave me alone after their SB1070 racial profiling to determine my citizenship status, but other than that, no big deal.
How much could I sell these weeds for? Probably nothing, and it would end up in the trash can or used for mulching.
This is a similar situation you have today in Southern Arizona / Northern Mexico. Some people have to carry a bunch of weeds from Mother Nature on their backs through the desert. The reason is because there is a demand for this plant in the United States, and even though this plant can grow in anyone’s backyard since it is indeed a “weed”, we have Prohibition on the growing of a naturally growing plant, having declared a war on this cousin of ours on the Tree of Life.
Sometimes it makes you wonder what policy makers themselves are smoking…
A bag of weeds that is worthless and that no one would risk their life for now becomes a bag of weed that has significant street value. When I read reports of marijuana busts I just think of how ridiculous it all sounds, our mighty militarized country found some remains of a naturally growing plant that nowadays some citizens can actually own legally even in this state, and it makes the top news, a huge “bust” of weeds found.
Mother Nature is indeed the enemy, and war has been declared on it, which is exactly what a war on marijuana is.
Marijuana is a naturally growing plant that just happens to produce a chemical that perfectly fits within this puzzle-piece in our human brain, thus inducing this “high” by interacting with the cannabinoid-receptors in our brain.
Marijuana is about as natural as you can get.
Alcohol requires a process to produce, but the case can still be made that allowing yeast and sugar to work their magic is natural or organic. Whenever bread is made, alcohol is being made also but being evaporated, hence why people love the smell of freshly baked bread (note the “free smells” signs in Jimmy Johns).
Prohibition during the 1920s was basically the United States banning yeast from eating sugar.
The coca leaves from places like Bolivia in and of themselves are not dangerous. They are more like coffee beans since they can be chewed for a small energy boost, or a tea can be made and just like other teas, you can get an energy boost.
But instead an unnatural process intervenes to make cocaine.
Ephedra viridis, aka "Mormon green tea"
Ephedra is a group of plants that grow in dry places, such as the southwestern United States and that contains ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine (Sudafed). These chemicals have been used by indigenous peoples to help with colds, as they are in the modern day. But thanks to state legislators, you have to bring an ID and have your purchase of “real” Sudafed monitored.
A hassle to law-abiding citizens when congestion strikes the body, and not really solving the meth problem at all, as the ADS article above mentions.
But a similar pattern from Prohibition arises once again. The production moves to outside countries, such as Mexico, and then a more powerful mafia arises as a result.
Our drug laws take away our liberties and strengthen the “bad guys.” So why would lawmakers do such a thing?
Because more bad guys means you need more cops and prisons, and come election time you can brag about all the money you gave to “securing the border” or “getting tough on immigration” like Kyrsten Sinema proclaims in her press release about her bill SB1225, all the “tough on crime” nonsense without realizing how the policies that the same body passes are a major part of the problem. Just add an ad wearing a cowboy hat and you are ready to be a Congressperson from Arizona.
This is your brain on drugs, or not on drugs?
Drugs are bad bad bad.
After reading about the meth problem in today’s Sunday paper, which is called “poison” in the headline, you get to read about how our government is forcing Jared Loughner to take mind-altering drugs.
As a quick aside, there is an interesting cycle that can emerge here for further exploration, from using the border and spreading fears about the border to get elected, but then as an elected official not be “tough enough” on the border, and getting crazy people who live in fear (that you helped spread) to react in horrendous ways including the multiple tragedies in Tucson from the northside to Arivaca.
A scared population is never a good thing, especially when there are crazy scared people out there.
Jared Loughner has been found incompetent to stand trial.
I think the Jared Loughner story shows exactly how twisted our government really is. If fear from the south really is such a big thing, then one would think that people such as Russell Pearce would be holding 24-hour vigils day and night, not just every once in a while for publicity stunts, but to really “secure the border.” So the xenophobic fears get really stoked while the reaction is really weak and lame, such as trying to build a state border fence, which is another gimmick and nothing else.
So someone like Jared Loughner, who has been tested to be schizophrenic, is living in a nightmare just by listening to the news, or reading the cover border stories in the Tucson Weekly, claims of immigrants killing ranchers with no evidence as if the invisible cucuy is on the prowl, invading Tucson with an army made up of la llorona and the chupacabras.
And this brings in the 4th story from today’s paper, this one from Josh Brodesky and the lack of mental-illness facilities in Tucson.
The government wants to force Loughner to take these drugs to cure his schizophrenia, not because they care about him, but because then he cannot get away with an insanity ruling.
But prison doctors said the prescribed anti-psychotic medications are the most productive treatment for people with schizophrenia.
“For some people it’s almost magical,” said Joel Dvoskin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona, who oversaw the mental-health system in New York state prisons for 11 years. “They take the medicine and they become sane.”
via ADS today on Loughner and forced meds
This should provoke outrage when combined with Brodesky’s piece! You mean to tell us that there is a simple solution to schizophrenia, and you can get it in jail after killing people, but heaven-forbid you try to get cured as a simple civilian because our state is cutting funding to mental-illness clinics?
Oh yeah, and Loughner is also on suicide watch.
Let’s get this straight. The government does not allow Loughner to end his life, and they want to help make his mental-illness better just so that they have a better case in court to kill him themselves.
This is why Brodesky’s piece, combined with these other stories is so interesting. Imagine if the government was fighting in court, tripping over themselves in a mad rush to help Jared Loughner before the Tucson Tragedy?
Loughner is finally getting the help he needs… in prison… after a massacre?
There is something really messed up with our system here!
So to sum up the Sunday stories in the Arizona Daily Star: Drugs are really bad and our drug policy is leading to drug cartels making better and cheaper drugs, which empowers them and then we need to be afraid of them if even just because their new drugs are going to alter our minds and make us crazy, but if you are already crazy and need drugs to help, good luck finding a mental-illness institute that will provide them for you, which will leave you in even more fear of the drug cartels and their evil drugs and then you do a great evil yourself, and then the government will force you to take drugs, because drugs are bad, unless they help the government make a case in court and then they are good and force-fed, and if the government wins the court case, they will pump you full of drugs to end your life.
God Bless America.
Also remember. Meth is really bad drug known as “speed.”
ADD drugs are made with meth, such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine), and we feed them to kids like they were out of a Pez dispenser, and college students are being prescribed this “legal meth” or “legal speed” even here in Tucson.
So maybe it is not the meth that is evil, but the method in which you use your meth energy?
The military also uses meth for pilot alertness, bringing a whole new meaning to Goose’s quote in the movie Top Gun “I feel the need… for speed!”
Drugs are good… drugs are evil… drugs are medicine… drugs are poison… it’s enough to make anyone go crazy!