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November 2007
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Drug Warriors are losing it

Somebody needs to keep an eye on the major drug warriors. I think their world may be crumbling and I worry about some kind of disgruntled postal worker kind of explosion.
The latest is this rather unhinged speech by UNODC’s Maria Costa in Spain. It is the whining of someone who’s pet cause isn’t getting any respect.

Cocaine has a different image. It has stylish names: the fair lady, the candid queen, the seductive sugar. It is white not dark; sniffed not injected; consumed in trendy discos not in cities’ gutters; it is the mental fuel of society’s winners, not the dope of losers. Even the exchange rate is helping, as the strong Euro is keeping the dollar price of the Andean drug low.
I know I am preaching to the converted. So instead, let me use this opportunity to address those outside this room – Europe’s coke junkies. […]
…wealthy Europeans looking for coke stimulation are destroying entire nations. This is not an example of “chaos theory” – the argument that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in North America may cause a volcanic explosion in South East Asia. No, I am talking about something more concrete – a real and present danger. A sniff here and a sniff there in Europe are causing another disaster in Africa, to add to its poverty, its mass unemployment and its pandemics. […]
Nobody makes movies about blood coke. Worse than that: models and socialites who wouldn’t dare to wear a tiger fur coat, show no qualms about flaunting their cocaine use in public.
Look at Kate Moss who still receives lucrative contracts after she was photographed sniffing. Rock stars, like Amy Winehouse, become popular by singing I ain’t going to rehab – even though she badly needed, and eventually sought, treatment. Gangster rappers and a popular genre of Latino music called Narco Corrido glamourize drug dealers as if they were modern day Robin Hoods. And while Britney Spears shouts Eat it! Lick it! Snort it! F*** it, paparazzi fill pages of fashion magazines, and TV crews film for the evening news.[…]
Even when they are high on drugs and their personal and professional lives are in turmoil, these role models reach an audience millions of times bigger than any drug czar, and have an impact far beyond the reach of UN drugs conventions, or esoteric academic publications. One song, one picture, one quote that makes cocaine look cool can undo millions of dollars worth of anti-drug education and prevention.

Wow.
Via Steve R at Transform who does a nice little analysis of Costa’s bizarre behavior.

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