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Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:05 PM

Why did street drugs proliferate and get so much into the mainstream in the

last, say, 50 years? They were around before then, but the perception was that they were only used/dealt by small subgroups and in large cities.

I'm not thinking of marijuana, but of other street drugs, such as cocaine or heroin.

I don't believe it was just because of cultural shifts, either.



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Arrow 38 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why did street drugs proliferate and get so much into the mainstream in the (Original post)
raccoon Jul 2012 OP
hedgehog Jul 2012 #1
raccoon Jul 2012 #2
Frannyfannypack Jul 2012 #8
SidDithers Jul 2012 #37
NotThisTime Jul 2012 #23
elehhhhna Jul 2012 #32
XemaSab Jul 2012 #3
BlueToTheBone Jul 2012 #5
RKP5637 Jul 2012 #28
iemitsu Jul 2012 #31
elehhhhna Jul 2012 #33
JHB Jul 2012 #38
loyalsister Jul 2012 #4
HopeHoops Jul 2012 #6
waddirum Jul 2012 #12
Egalitarian Thug Jul 2012 #7
fredamae Jul 2012 #9
RKP5637 Jul 2012 #29
Warpy Jul 2012 #10
RKP5637 Jul 2012 #30
iemitsu Jul 2012 #35
LeftyMom Jul 2012 #11
craigmatic Jul 2012 #13
RainDog Jul 2012 #14
raccoon Jul 2012 #34
nanabugg Jul 2012 #15
Igel Jul 2012 #16
RainDog Jul 2012 #17
fredamae Jul 2012 #19
RainDog Jul 2012 #22
Liberal_in_LA Jul 2012 #18
hobbit709 Jul 2012 #20
RainDog Jul 2012 #25
KurtNYC Jul 2012 #21
coalition_unwilling Jul 2012 #24
Taverner Jul 2012 #36
Drunken Irishman Jul 2012 #26
htuttle Jul 2012 #27

Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:08 PM

1. Do a lot of middle class people use illegal drugs,

and if so, where the hell do they get the cash?

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:10 PM

2. Steal it from family members, I guess. nt

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Response to raccoon (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:37 PM

8. I dunno, maybe they'd rather eat some molly or snort a few lines of whatever...

 

rather than blow their money on cheap electronics, sports events, strippers, booze, etc.?

Not sure where this air of superiority comes from that suggests people who use recreational drugs are by definition thieves. Also not sure why alcohol always gets a free pass. From a medical perspective, it's is a pretty fucking dangerous substance.

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Response to Frannyfannypack (Reply #8)

Sat Jul 7, 2012, 03:50 PM

37. ...



Sid

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:24 PM

23. They do, they steal it from their relatives before they start stealing from elsewhere

Living in suburbia I'm living it first freaking hand, over entitled middle class kids want what they want, and my oldest is head of the pack. Can't do a damn thing about it since he's 17, we can't even make him submit to a damn drug test, we can't force him into rehab, hell we can't even get him to see a counselor. He's a lifeguard by the way, boss has no problem what he does in his off time. Should have made him grow up in a damn tent. Do middle classer's get it, use it, sell it, hell freaking yes....

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Response to NotThisTime (Reply #23)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 08:51 PM

32. yOU can FORCE HIM INTO REHAB...

but once he's 18 it's too late, and he can sign out...

DO IT. DO IT NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN.




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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:17 PM

3. I blame "just say no" and the war on drugs

As kids we were basically told that if we so much as looked at a joint sideways, within three months we'd be passed out in an alley covered in bodily fluids.

The war on drugs draws a false equivalency that people buy into.

People try weed and don't die, then they're like "Hey, I wonder what cocaine is like."

I know dozens if not hundreds of people who have done hard drugs and who are fine, upstanding members of society. I also know people who have become addicts and died of overdoses.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #3)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:23 PM

5. That is exactly right. I think that truth should be told about cannabis

and the drugs. Because they lie about marijuana, people think that the warnings about real drugs is a hoax.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 08:03 PM

28. And people need to be told, apparently, over and over that alcohol is a

far more dangerous drug than marijuana. Countless people I know will rave about the dangers of marijuana, but yet drink themselves silly saying hey, I don't do drugs. This is such an uneducated society. America really needs to grow up. It's exactly as you say, the lies about marijuana eliminates the creditability about the dangers of real drugs.


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Response to XemaSab (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 08:13 PM

31. yep, then it turns out the the zombie cannibals

were not even on bath salts.
how can we explain the behavior if it wasn't drugs?

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 08:52 PM

33. the teen addicts in recovery that I know will TELL

you that what you state here is true.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 7, 2012, 04:14 PM

38. There's a reason why people used to watch 'Reefer Madness' stoned....

...a whole industry hadn't grown up yet around "drug education", and demonstrable bs was funny.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:20 PM

4. They were around long before that

And, legally available.....
Heroin and cocaine was marketed by bayer and cocaine was actually an ingredient in the original coca cola.

http://wings.buffalo.edu/aru/preprohibition.htm


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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:25 PM

6. We just lost a beautiful young 20 year old to heroin. She committed suicide in prison.

 

The hospital that misplaced me twice (seriously) wouldn't listen to her parents' pleas. The cops and prison wouldn't either. She hung herself in jail with a bed sheet. Such a waste.

If pot was legal and as available as it was 35 years ago, I doubt so many people would turn to meth, heroin, and prescription drugs. Nobody has ever died from THC poisoning.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 08:35 PM

12. cannabis has great utility for treating addictions

I've also heard of studies using MDMA to treat addiction and PTSD

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:29 PM

7. Part of The Big Lie campaign. Since we learned of their existence, these drugs have been with us at

 

a surprisingly consistent level. Somewhere between 5% - 15% of the population will be addicted to drugs, period. Substance and legal status are irrelevant. The only thing we find so far that changes this is social and economic environment. Drug abuse goes down in good times and rises in bad.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 07:58 PM

9. If not all at least a part of the answer-Prohibition

MSM is cheap advertisement to maintain the WoD's as long as we remain convinced the Status Quo is the only solution. Fear. Be Fearful. Drug addiction has been a huge problem for a very, very long time-in the really early days, dr's prescribed Opium as addiction mgt. Coca Cola used to use real Cocaine in soda's...Marijuana was OTC and in everything from baby teething drops to horse liniment..No one thought much about it.
Before For Profit Prohibition, it was a "managable" problem.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 08:09 PM

29. Exactly as you say, "For Profit Prohibition." There are a lot of people

making big bucks off the war on drugs, lots of big bucks. There's a whole feeding chain off of the war on drugs and that includes those doing the inane enforcement on some drugs. I often think of it as somewhat similar to the MIC profits off these damn "for profit wars" the US is fond of doing while claiming the moral high ground.



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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 08:00 PM

10. It was because of growing despair, I think

I grew up in a regimented society and hated it. Drugs offered a temporary respite.

Since then, the society has become just a little less regimented although class boundaries and structure has become increasingly rigid. The only ladders that still exist will take you down, not up. A lot of people have lost hope of anything better. Even more people out there never had that hope to begin with. The prevailing feeling out there in workaday land is that things will continue to get worse, never get better.

While I think there's always been a place for recreational drugs, I also think they only become a problem when a culture is stressed to the max, something ours definitely is. Even the existence of baggers and their reactionary agenda is evidence of it.

We're almost at a breaking point in this country and the spread of illegal substances of abuse throughout the culture is only one symptom of it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 08:12 PM

30. Very well said, we are almost at a breaking point in this country. Each day

I wonder how much longer can this insanity continue. This, is a very ill country. Not that others aren't, but I'm very hard pressed to think of America as a healthy country.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #10)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 10:46 AM

35. i agree with you 100%.

in a healthy society fewer would feel the need to "self-medicate".

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 08:25 PM

11. Because you couldn't buy them over the counter anymore.

100 years ago you could get your coke and opiates at the nearest pharmacy.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 08:47 PM

13. Coke got popular in the 70's because nobody thought it was addictive since then it just changed

form but never left. Heroin got popular because of Vietnam and the CIA cutting deals with drug dealing warlords. The reason why these drugs got popular was because they got cheaper and more people knew what they were due to seeing them in movies and referenced in music.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 08:48 PM

14. Cocaine is the drug of choice on Wall Street

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/20/us-usa-crime-prostitution-idUSTRE76J5YB20110720

They could pick it up at the TGIF down the street.
https://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/14/nyregion/14fridays.html

Bernie Madoff's office was called The North Pole because of the amount of cocaine involved in his business.

They can easily acquire it via the prostitution services they use.

The prostitution service, named High Class NY, was run 24 hours a day out of an office in Brooklyn and charged from $400 to $3,600 an hour for its services, according to the 144-count indictment. It also provided customers with cocaine and other narcotics, the indictment said.

Hynes said clients often spent in excess of $10,000 in a single night.

They were "all high-end customers coming from the financial markets. People with nothing but money," he said.

Police said the business was extremely sophisticated, running several escort websites and using dummy corporations with misleading names and codes during business-related phone calls.


But the recession is taking its toll.

Last year, (2009) cocaine showed up in 7% of the positive tests at Wall Street firms, down from 16% in 2007, according to Sterling, a New York-based firm that screens about 5,900 employees a year for some 270 finance shops.


http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2010/08/20/wall-street-drug-use-employees-giving-up-cocaine-for-pot-and-pills/

Except we know the CEOs don't get drug tested.

But the test results generally capture drug use among new hires, candidates who knew that they would likely be tested. Random drug testing is rare, according to a spokesman for a bulge-bracket bank who asked to remain unnamed.

Among existing employees, psychologists and counselors said that drug abuse has not slackened. Some even said it is peaking, exacerbated by the credit crisis and the volatile and tenuous recovery that has ensued.


But what - WHAT?

Across the U.S., cocaine and marijuana use has been static since 2002 at least, according to federal Health Department data. But New York is a hot-bed for illicit drugs and Manhattanites are particularly heavy users.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #14)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 09:48 AM

34. Thanks, great post. nt

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 10:19 PM

15. Ask Maxine Waters. Or ask Ollie North. nt

 

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Wed Jul 4, 2012, 11:08 PM

16. Why not just "cultural shifts"?

I grew up in an area that missed the '60s. It was only when Vietnam vets started coming home that the '60s got to us, and that was in the '70s.

Drugs were for losers. You didn't use drugs. It was frowned upon. Not just by adults, but by peers. Alcohol, sure. Maybe, if you were in the right groups, pot. Otherwise, if they found out you used cocaine, heroine, uppers, etc., your friends would just ask if you were f-ing crazy and walk away.

Result: Yeah, there was some drug use. But it was quiet, it was discouraged, and it was contained. Or it was the only socially acceptable kind, alcohol.

By the time I graduated high school heroine and cocaine, etc., were cool. If you didn't use them and you were in certain social groups you thought you were better than them--or a loser--and they asked if you were f-ing crazy and walked away. We were already talking about restricting alcohol consumption even as more and more kids were getting high.

There were other reasons--easier transportation, kids had a lot more disposable income, parents had lowered expectations of responsibility from their kids.

Many themselves had changed--they'd enjoyed a fair bit of prosperity and liberalized expectations and thought, the public schools raised them as herds of peers. That meant they were generally less rigorous in their discipline--Dr. Spock and all that.

Many kids had learned the "if you did it it's wrong to tell me I can't do it" game. As though committing a mistake is prima facie evidence that the experience can only leave you none the wiser. It's something kids always tried to do, I'd guess--but suddenly it worked. "Sorry, son, you're right--you shouldn't benefit from anybody else's wisdom, you have to commit all the possible mistakes to learn your own lessons." And other such BS.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 12:44 AM

17. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Prohibition, Misperception

Heroin and cocaine were legal initially. Then controlled by doctors. It wasn't until the 1930s that organized crime took over the distribution of heroin. Same with cocaine. Before stricter labor laws, people used cocaine to work - sometimes their bosses supplied it.

In the 1950s, A LOT of people used methamphetamine...housewives, beat poets, truck drivers... Before that, the military used meth - and still uses "speed" for soldiers.

And soldiers in Vietnam and Afghanistan learned about heroin and smuggled it back to the U.S. sometimes. People self-medicate often - such as soldiers.

Heroin use has been down for decades. The two illegal drugs that are most popular are cocaine and marijuana. Cocaine use is concentrated among the relatively affluent. Marijuana is the most popularly used illegal substance by HUGE amounts over cocaine.

Illegal drug use is reported among 9% of the ADULT population - so, that's not a huge number. 21 million - and of those, 17 million are marijuana users. Meth is down to nearly nothing use. That compares to 131 million who drink and 70 million who use tobacco.

The average age of drug use has increased.

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/08/study-22-million-americans-use-illegal-drugs-3/

The reality is that humans have used drugs throughout history - since at least 5000 b.c. The Victorians were drunkards and opium addicts. Americans used to drink HUGE amounts of alcohol - esp. cider - so drug use is as American as apple cider.

Puritans drank more beer than water.

“While precise consumption figures are lacking, informed estimates suggest that by the 1790s an average American over fifteen years old drank just under six gallons of absolute alcohol each year. That represented some thirty-four gallons of beer and cider (about 3.4 gallons of absolute alcohol), slightly over five gallons of distilled liquors (2.3 gallons of absolute alcohol), and under a gallon of wine (possibly .10 gallons absolute). Because this is an average figure…, the level of consumption probably was much higher for actual drinkers. But even six gallons is a formidable amount. The comparable modern average is less than 2.9 gallons per capita.”


When distilled liquor became more popular than beer, cider or wine, the temperance movement began - in the early 1800s. It took 100 years for prohibitionists to pass laws to ban alcohol. That didn't last long - but the move to prohibit or ban various substances brought organized crime into the big time once it did happen.

Seems to me people have used mind-altering substances for a long time. You're just more familiar with recent times.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 09:38 AM

19. I had forgotten about Military! Pilots are Still given Meth

And lets don't forget the Movie "Valley Of The Dolls" where pill popping was glamorized in the 60's-and "Mother's Little Blue Pill" which was Valium, I think-also 50's & 60's.
Seeking a euphoric state is primal. Little kids spin & spin around so they can experience the altered state of "dizzy".

Organized crime, indeed. Harry Anslinger was one of 'em. Today it's the Politicians, Prison Industrial Complex, Drug Testing Co's, Drug Test Kit Mfg/Labs etc. Gov Rick Scott and his "Drug test Everybody but me" policy.
He Owns the companies that does the testing. The whole WoD's is a scam to usurp $$$ away from frightened tax payers. It costs More to house a prisoner for 4 years than an economical 4 year college degree.

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Response to fredamae (Reply #19)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:15 PM

22. Yep. It's a racket

General Smedley Butler talked about war being a racket because he "liberated" the Philippines for Chaquita Banana to exploit workers there.

The War on Drugs is a racket to allow black ops to fund their work outside of taxpayer view, to institute a "New Jim Crow" that allows poor rural whites to imprison poor urban blacks and bring money to rural areas in "for profit" prisons - and, not coincidentally, to raise the population numbers in conservative voting districts...

Any time something is illegal that's also something people want - someone is going to step into the breech to fill the market - at a higher cost, with higher social costs, than were ever part of the issue when things were legal.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 01:27 AM

18. people are more sophisticated about where and how to get. less judgement over recreational use.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 09:45 AM

20. What you mean new?







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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:42 PM

25. I love these.

Thanks. Here are some more.



(This one was used in a Betty Boop cartoon)







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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 09:51 AM

21. Simple -- to finance covert guerilla wars in drug producing nations and to fill US prisons

Mission Accomplished.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:25 PM

24. One of the greatest poets in the English language, Coleridge, was

 

addicted to opium (sold as 'laudanum') and may have written some of his greatest works while under its influence or shortly after having used (thinking, specifically, 'Kubla Khan').

Back in the early 19th Century and indeed into the 20th, such substances were legal and easily obtained with at best a mild social stigma. So 'profliferation' seems a loaded term. Their price definitely increased when they were made illegal, exactly as standard economic theory would predict when a black market comes into existence and vendors must price in the risk of incarceration, but I doubt there was much 'proliferation.'

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #24)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 10:58 AM

36. Laudanum was popular because it was cheaper than alcohol

 

Since it was "medicine" there was no tax, like liquor had.

we human beings are wired to self medicate. All of us do it.

Hell, when you go to the gym and have a workout, you release endorphins, which give you that work out "high." Note that most ex-heroin addicts are sucessful if they take up athletics afterwards. Iggy Pop quit heroin and seriously got into body building.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:45 PM

26. Transportation of it is far easier now than it was 50 years ago...

We're far more connected internationally than in the early 60s, which means easier product and that leads to more demand. It's pretty much that simple.

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Response to raccoon (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:48 PM

27. Cocaine and opium were very popular about 100 years ago

You could buy them at the store in a lot of places, too.

Pot was legal, as well. You could buy a tincture of it at the pharmacist.

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