Beginner’s Guide

Regulars to DrugWarRant tend to be so well informed about the drug war and drug policy reform that it can be difficult to know where to start when talking to someone who is not knowledgeable.

The excellent Transform has a useful post: A beginner’s guide to prohibition and the war on drugs — it’s the war on drugs in a nutshell on one page.

It’s an extract from their publication: Ending the War on Drugs: How to Win the Global Drug Policy Debate, which has tons of useful material for engaging in debate.

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10 Responses to Beginner’s Guide

  1. ed says:

    The article was ok, but it gets its basic history quite wrong.

    Drug laws were being used to control and subjugate indentured and native peoples by the British Empire and its colonial authority in South Africa long before the US got in on the act. The British Empire also had a history of using drug laws to control international markets, such as when they criminalized Greek hashish in order to open a market for Indian charras.

    The US learnt from the British Empire and then, after WW2, they assumed global leadership and became responsible for leading the world’s ‘war against drugs’.

    Come on (US) guys, you aren’t responsible for everything!

    aka The Professor, SSUK

  2. DdC says:

    The Brits war on drugs was to continue the flow of Opium when China banned it rather than tax it. But these were all after the fact that the Church was the first Prohibitionist. The Popes were the first Drug Czars. Continuing to this day making it the longest war in history. Even before that Us gods banned Adam and Eve from eating the fruit and potentially discovering the Tree of Life.

    “You may freely eat from every tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:15

    God, said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, to prevent his putting out his hand and taking also from the tree of life, eating, and living forever. Genesis 3:22

    The Tree of Life…

    First Opium War
    In 1839, the Daoguang emperor, rejecting proposals to legalise and tax opium, appointed Lin Zexu to solve the problem by abolishing the trade. Lin confiscated around 20,000 chests of opium (approximately 1210 tons or 2.66 million pounds) without offering compensation, blockaded trade, and confined foreign merchants to their quarters.[4] The British government, although not officially denying China’s right to control imports of the drug, objected to this unexpected seizure and used its naval and gunnery power to inflict a quick and decisive defeat.

    The Popes hate dope
    Since its foundation, the Catholic Church and its Pope have been the sworn enemy of global marijuana culture.

    For much of Europe’s history, the Roman Catholic Church was fighting wars of destruction against many “heretical” sects. In many cases, these so-called heretics had rediscovered the herbal sacraments like mushrooms and cannabis, and were ruthlessly exterminated for their use of these powerful plants.

    Pope calls for more killing.

    There is a special place in Hell reserved for the Vatican
    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Oh sure, there were the Crusades, the Inquisition, the destruction of science (Galileo), silence during the Holocaust, coverup of pedophiles, and the direct responsibility for millions of deaths to AIDS due to opposing safe sex practices (particularly in third world countries).

    But NO, that’s not nearly enough for the Vatican. Surely there’s more evil that they can promote, more people they can kill in the name of God the Pope.

    Catholic Church on Cannabis
    In a new pastoral manual issued last week by the Vatican, the Catholic Church called on the governments of the world to resist the temptation to legalize the drug traffic. The manual, “Church, Drugs, and Drug Addiction,” was produced by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry after Pope John Paul II called in 1997 for a study of “the distressing drug problem in the world.”

    “The hocus-pocus phantasy of a God, like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs.”
    Thomas Jefferson,
    Vol. IV, 360, Randolph’s ed.

    • Matthew Meyer says:

      The Spaniards in Mexico were denouncing peyotl as the work of the devil and forbidding its use as early as 1620:

      • DdC says:

        Genesis 1:29: And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, Not that one, or that. No, na-ah, nope, not those either. I have given you every herb bearing seed except this. And that’s the only things. And these…

        Anything in this three inches.
        Right in here, this area,
        that includes the Chiclets,
        but not the erasers.

        And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, to patent and genetically modify into fake food and white powder medication. All which is upon the face of all the corporations, for you to prohibit from the people. Every tree, to clearcut for plywood, decking and fences..In the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to grind the nutrients from it and add chemicals to preserve, color and improve the taste. To you it shall be for meat.

        Get your weight guessed right here!
        Only a buck! Actual live weight guessing!
        Take a chance and win some crap!

        And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, but not the cannabis, these mushrooms, and this cactus, and the poppy, and that’s all *I* forbid. I don’t forbid one other thing, not one… I forbid this coca. – The cannabis, shrooms, and the cactus, the poppy and coca for sure. Well what are you looking at? What do you think I’m some kind of a jerk or something! – And this Khat. Behold, that’s all I prohibit.

    • Windy says:

      Interestingly, the author of that article doesn’t seem to recognize that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson referred to the cannabis plant they grew as “Indian hemp” not European hemp, cannabis from India is psychoactive, though Indica did not originate solely in India that is from where it got its scientific name.

      Indica Genetic History

      The origins of pure cannabis indica genetics routes back to central and south Asia mountain ranges. In 1785, famous biologist Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck published a description of a species of Cannabis, he named Cannabis Indica. Lamarck based his description on plant specimens collected in India. He noted the fibers were not as strong as sativa but had better head and body buzz qualities.

      The Hindu Kush mountain range produced a hearty cannabis plant that can thrive and grow in most climate conditions around the world. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Morocco, Tibet and India mainly used the cannabis indica plant to produce hashish and kiff due to heavy resin/crystal content traits.

      In the 20th century, indica is thought to be the better genetics for medical cannabis because of growth periods and superior inebriants. Today, a medical cannabis grower can produce any qualities needed for a certain type of medicine. An example is amnesia, better treated with a cerebral high than a heavy headed body stone buzz, thus a grower can choose certain genetic traits suited to specific medical conditions.

  3. Servetus says:

    Beginning at the beginning might be a good place to start for beginners studying the drug war.

    In the beginning it was the year 392 C.E., and the newly constituted (381 C.E.) Nicene Creed of the Holy Roman Empire decided to eliminate all competition from opposing thaumaturgists, first by shutting down the Temple at Eleusis, a two-thousand-year-old Greek shrine to a magical, hallucinatory, mind-expanding experience shared by some of the greatest philosophers and leaders of the Greek and Roman empires. Of it, Cicero wrote, “Nothing is higher than these mysteries…they have not only shown us how to live joyfully but they have taught us how to die with a better hope.

    Little has changed much in the intervening 1,623 years. Drug availability and denial are still the tools of petty tyrants and mindless profiteers.

    “Who will ever relate the whole history of narcotica? It is almost the history of ‘culture,’ of our so-called higher culture.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, Gay Science, 1882.

    • N.T. Greene says:

      “There are horrible people who, instead of solving a problem, tangle it up and make it harder to solve for anyone who wants to deal with it. Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.”

  4. Spirit Wave says:

    For brevity here, I offer you a convenient link to my comment in the form of a journal post titled “Whole Truth Meets Prohibition”.

    Here’s the initial excerpt to hopefully suck you into reading that post…

    “I’m playing a bit of devil’s advocacy here (shocking, I know), but that’s to help save roughly many millions of people from outrageous suffering, and putting a righteous end to the highly abusive reasoning on both sides of this key issue.

    The traditional activist effort to end the ‘drug war’ is understandable on the one hand. They look at the convoluted situation, and try to apply maximum strength by lobbying the government and public in traditional fashion (naturally a lengthy process due to ‘drug war’ entrenchment and still-strong momentum). Their efforts are to be applauded in appreciation (their hard work has thankfully produced certain liberties), but there’s a heavy cost (and awesome opportunity) with that otherwise sensible approach.”

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