Moderation, even in Mushrooms

Like much of Europe that is under attack by hordes of immigrant Muslims, the Netherlands is tilting to the Right. As a result, the home of the marijuana “coffee shops” is looking to officially ban magic mushrooms, which up until now could be obtained legally in “smartshops”.

The source of public focus is the death of a 17-year-old French girl with a history of psychiatric problem who jumped from a building last March. Since then:

  • A 22-year-old British tourist ran amok in a hotel, breaking his window and slicing his hand.
  • A 19-year-old Icelandic tourist thought he was being chased and jumped from a balcony, breaking both his legs.
  • A 29-year-old Danish tourist drove his car wildly through a campground, narrowly missing people sleeping in their tents.

It sounds to me as if the Dutch should ban tourists. Or, at least, screen them for mental disorders.

In a country with a population almost equal to that of Florida’s (the fourth most populous state), one would think that there would be more incidences of deaths from drunk driving, bar fights and alcohol poisoning that there are of shroom-induced psychosis. But you don’t hear anyone advocating prohibition.

Last March, the UK Academy of Medical Sciences conducted a study in which drugs were ranked according to potential harm in nine different categories.

Drugs Ranked By Danger

You will note that alcohol is ranked fifth, well ahead of cannabis and even LSD. Spokesperson Professor Nutt cited the statistic that one person a week dies in the UK from alcohol poisoning.

Basically, it all comes down to personal restraint. Drink in moderation, and you probably won’t choke on your own vomit. Don’t eat mushrooms when you are near psychotic and you probably won’t talk a walk on air while 30 feet up.

Does the world really need more drug laws?

Posted August 7th, 2007 Filed in International, War on Drugs

Just Ask a Crack Addict


Pictured is a graph from the Economist showing the price of a gram of cocaine in various locations.

Interestingly, the Economist notes that Canadians have to pay 50% more than Americans in wholesale price, but users buying it on the street pay 40% less.

I guess that proves two things: the kinder, gentler Canadian drug dealers are less greedy than their American counterparts (borderline anti-capitalist commie Canadian bastards, eh?), and there really is a reason to go to Canada for cheaper drugs.

Now for the real reason that I put this graphic up: a colleague saw this and was amazed that the price in the U.S. was so low. It turns out that he used to pay $100 per gram 23 years ago at a time when, shall we say, he was in the “redistribution and sharing” business.

Now as everyone knows there are two factors that primarily affect price: supply and demand. Over time, inflation is also a factor. Seeing as something that cost $100 in 1984 would cost $195.15 by 2006, one would think that the price of coke would have experienced a much more dramatic increase than that detailed in the graphic.

So the question is, has the “war on drugs” been so effective in cutting demand that suppliers had to lower their prices, or has it been a spectacular failure to the point that the market is flooded and suppliers have to lower their price to compete?

Hmmmm, I’m pretty sure there’s an expert pretty close by that I can ask. In fact, I drive past housefuls of crack cocaine addicts every week. Chances are, you do too.

Posted June 29th, 2007 Filed in War on Drugs

Update on the Illegal Immigration Battle

Democrats vow to fight increased fees for visas and naturalized citizenship, insisting that taxpayers should pick up the bill for immigrants rather than impose a “citizenship tax”.

Meanwhile, the ironically-named Bank of America is offering credit cards to people without social security numbers. Hmmm, who has the money to pay their credit card debt yet doesn’t have a social security number which is required for a job? If I had an account there, I’d close it.

Having the National Guard on the Mexican border is continues to work. There is an overall 27 percent decline in apprehensions and a 51 percent increase in marijuana seized, with the busy Yuma sector reporting an astounding 62 percent drop in arrests.

Even Dems are questioning the sentencing of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. Sen. Feinstein wrote a letter in which she raises some very good points. Amazing — she just went up a notch in my estimation.

The NFL is defending its refusal to insert a Border Patrol recruiting ad in the Super Bowl programs. After all, it mentions terrorists, illegal aliens and drug smuggling. The offending content:

As Border Patrol agents, it will be your responsibility to prevent the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the United States. You’ll help detect and prevent the unlawful entry of undocumented aliens into the United States … [and ] play a primary role in stopping drug smuggling across our borders . . .

Meanwhile, a king in a black robe has struck down the voter identification law in Albuquerque, AZ. Does anyone else think that being asked to pull your driver’s license or other picture ID is a “significant burden on the fundamental right to vote”?

Posted February 15th, 2007 Filed in Homeland Security, Immigration, War on Drugs

Border Guards Stop Drugs, Go to Jail

2 border guards came across a Mexican drug runner and did their job, which includes shooting people who are trying to bring a million dollars worth of contraband across the border. The result? The two Americans are going to jail because the smuggler’s gun was never found and the drug scum gets immunity!

In exchange for his testimony against the two agents, Davila was granted immunity from prosecution by the U.S. government for attempting to smuggle nearly 750 pounds of marijuana, which had a street value of more than $1 million, into the United States on the day he was shot. He was treated in a U.S. hospital and is now suing the federal government for $5 million, Poe said.

Read about the whole story at the Roundtable, the newest addition to my RSS reader.

Posted January 19th, 2007 Filed in War on Drugs

Capitalistic Approach to Winning the Drug War

Many in the impoverished regions of Afghanistan are returning to growing poppys, which of course means a flow of opiate-based drugs on our city streets. While I am not by nature opposed to opiates for the masses, Slate’s Anne Applebaum has a good point:

Yet by far the most depressing aspect of the Afghan poppy crisis is the fact that it exists at all—because it doesn’t have to. To see what I mean, look at the history of Turkey, where once upon a time the drug trade also threatened the country’s political and economic stability. Just like Afghanistan, Turkey had a long tradition of poppy cultivation. Just like Afghanistan, Turkey worried that poppy eradication could bring down the government. Just like Afghanistan, Turkey—this was the era of Midnight Express—was identified as the main source of the heroin sold in the West. Just like in Afghanistan, a ban was tried, and it failed.

As a result, in 1974, the Turks, with U.S. and U.N. support, tried a different tactic. They began licensing poppy cultivation for the purpose of producing morphine, codeine, and other legal opiates. Legal factories were built to replace the illegal ones. Farmers registered to grow poppies, and they paid taxes. You wouldn’t necessarily know this from the latest White House drug strategy report—which devotes several pages to Afghanistan but doesn’t mention Turkey—but the U.S. government still supports the Turkish program, even requiring U.S. drug companies to purchase 80 percent of what the legal documents euphemistically refer to as “narcotic raw materials” from the two traditional producers, Turkey and India.

I hate it when Republicans show signs of liberal’s disease: the inability to learn from history.

Hat Tip to NRO’s The Corner via non-blogging Advised by Wolves.

Posted January 18th, 2007 Filed in War on Drugs

Drug Day Afternoon in Memphis

The West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force (now that’s a mouthful) conducted months of investigations. It all paid off when they busted into 32 y.o. Kevin Taylor’s house to find 57 pounds of cocaine ($700,000 on the street).

A single cop stopped a pickup for speeding and the resulting search turned up 66 pounds of coke ($840,000).

Sometimes, you just get lucky. Mostly, I think, because criminals are stupid. Why would you speed when you’re running drugs? Perhaps  Copperhead Road was in the CD player?

Posted October 10th, 2006 Filed in Memphis, War on Drugs

War on Drugs

One group says the meth epidemic is overblown:

The report cites statistics compiled by the government to make its case, including a 2004 survey that estimated 583,000 people used meth in the past month, or two-10ths of 1 percent of the U.S. population. Four times as many people use cocaine regularly and 30 times as many use marijuana, King said.

A separate survey of high-school students showed a 36 percent drop in meth use between 2001 and 2005.

The report acknowledged that methamphetamine is more widely used today than it was 10 years ago. …

But nationally, just 5 percent of men who had been arrested had meth in their systems. By contrast, 30 percent tested positive for cocaine and 44 percent for marijuana, the report said, citing government statistics.

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Posted June 22nd, 2006 Filed in War on Drugs

Mexican Invasion

One would think that it is unusual for the US Border Patrol to be facing Mexicans in army uniforms riding in a camouflaged Humvee with .50-caliber machine guns. But that is exactly what happened Monday afternoon when agents began pursuing three “SUVs”, one of which blew a tire and from which 1,400 pounds of marijuana was subsequently seized. The chase of the other two vehicles continued but they made it back to the Rio Grande river:

Sheriff West said one of the vehicles made it into Mexico, but the other got stuck in the river, where a group of men in civilian clothes offloaded what appeared to be bundles of marijuana. He said the truck was then set ablaze by the “soldiers.”

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported during what amounted to an armed standoff at the border.

As I said, you would think that such a situation is unusual, but Mark in Mexico has a listing (and map) of the reported “armed confrontations” between US Border Patrol and the Mexican Army: 216 of them since 1996!

If the United States is serious about the whole “war on drugs” thing, shouldn’t we at least try to keep the Mexican Army from waltzing in to protect drug runners? Yet another reason to build the Great Wall of the US.

You should also read Gates of Vienna’s take on this story (that is, that the MSM is almost completely ignoring it), if for no other reason than to appreciate great similes like:

Meanwhile, another member of the MSM, The Washington Times, was all over this story like chocolate on New Orleans.

If that don’t make ya smile, nothing will!

Michelle Malkin has a great roundup.

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Posted January 25th, 2006 Filed in Immigration, War on Drugs

Studies Say Fat is Good

Dust off your Atkin’s cookbook:

A diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates could help combat the development of Alzheimer’s, a study has found. …

The report, published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, appears to show the opposite to previous studies suggesting that fat has a negative effect on Alzheimer’s.

Says Liberal Amy, “That makes sense! Have you ever seen a fat person with Alzheimer’s?” Good point, Lib!

The researchers used a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, low-carb diet very similar to Atkin’s (so much so that researchers were looking at using Atkin’s to replace the more restrictive ketogenic diet to help prevent seizures in children with epilepsy).

But wait, there’s more! It seems that that whole “fasting” thing they have you do before you go under the knife may actually be bad for you. Why? Because your digestive system needs fats to fight off infection:

A dose of fat in the diet helps to create a safe haven for the trillions of useful bacteria in the gut – and could help to reduce complication after surgery.

A study in rats shows that fat kicks into action a hormone that keeps inflammation in the gut at bay, protecting intestinal bacteria from harm. …

But Wim Buurman at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, who led the research, thinks that fasting could deprive patients of protective fat and increase the risk of complications. “There is a strong trend in the world of surgery at the moment that suggests that we are probably doing wrong by not giving people food,” he says. …

The findings, reported in The Journal of Experimental Medicine1, suggest that fat helps to keep the immune system in check. The researchers think that a range of fats, from butter to margarine to olive oil, might have the same effect.

Fantastic! Maybe my invention of buttered Oreo’s will catch on now . . .

Posted October 18th, 2005 Filed in War on Drugs

A War Close to Home

A city of approximately 350,000 people, or about the size of Wichita, Kansas. The 105th execution victim was found in a city street today, shot in the back of the neck.

Last Thursday, two armed groups exchanged fire for 30 minutes using bazookas, grenades and automatic rifles, possibly even a rocket launcher.

Where is this? Afghanistan? Iraq? Palestine? Perhaps somewhere closer to home like Columbia?

If you stand on the riverbank in Laredo, Texas you can skip a rock across to Nuevo Loredo, Mexico, which is where this violence has taking place for the last two years. On our very doorstep.

Photographs of Mexican police officers and lists of officials “sentenced to death”. $50,000 rewards for the assassination of U.S. law-enforcement officers. A police chief gunned down in the street just hours after he was sworn in on June 8th. Police corruption. This is a war that has it all.

But why Nuevo Loredo? Because 40% of all Mexican exports to America flow through here, so drug cartels are fighting over turf in this conduit to the insatiable American drug market. Six thousand trucks crossing into Texas every day. How many carry drugs? How many carry illegals desperate to enter America? How many carry weapons? How many carry terrorists? How many carry bombs?

The flow is unstoppable. Why? Because it is worth ten million dollars a day!

Since last fall 173 people have disappeared from the area, 43 of them are Americans from the town across the border, Laredo, Texas. No arrests have been made. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

This, in spite of the fact that the Mexican army has been repeatedly sent in to quell the violence four times in the last six months. Yet the violence has grown so bad that America has shut down its consulate in the town for a week while we asses the situation.

And now the violence is threatening to expand to the Arizona and California borders.

Right Side of the Rainbow blames America’s War on Drugs, and I’m inclined to agree. But there’s also the fact that the administration refuses to beef up border security and views citizens like the Minute Men as “vigilantes”. And that we have allowed Mexico to be soft on crime for as long as we’ve been neighbors.

Ignoring a problem like this one rarely results in it going away. It’s time we reassessed our security situation.

Posted August 2nd, 2005 Filed in War on Drugs