Drugs and war
“Opiate addiction is so prevalent right now it is affecting every part of the criminal justice system,” says Michael Short in “County Expands Opioid Deferment Program,” (12/1/16). This and many other stories over the last several years suggest to me that there’s an opening for some in-depth, investigative journalism about the spread of opiates in America.
Old-timers will recall how, during the Vietnam War, the flow of heroin (primarily to urban ghettoes) increased dramatically — CIA involvement was later proven, among other factors; as Vietnam ended and U.S. (covert) military interest shifted to Latin America, heroin supply decreased while cocaine became abundant, finally reaching its apotheosis in the crack storms of the inner cities and the powdered noses of the affluent.
Now, we’re in a different sort of conflict — the war of the 1% against everyone else. Apart from Trump’s snake oil, hope is in short supply across a broad swath of the nation, from cities to farms. And lo and behold, heroin — and a slew of synthetic opioids — are swamping the market everywhere.
You get the idea: Perhaps this ever-increasing flood of opioids is serving someone’s purpose. As the heroin flood of the late ’60s helped flummox the Black Power movement, as the flood of coke from the ’70s on culminated in the near-destruction of a generation of inner-city youth by crack — well, you can guess what (and whose) purpose it might serve to pour a tide of addiction and oblivion on the restive masses.
Government and corporate involvement have long since been shown in the ’60s heroin trade and the subsequent cocaine trade from Latin America. Global economic policies have enabled the Mexican (and other) narco-cartels, while the pharmaceutical industry has busied itself producing synthetic opiates. The Sanders and Trump campaigns show the spread of rage against the existing order — I don’t think it’s just paranoid to suppose that said order would have deployed one of its proven tools of dividing and conquering in a slightly updated version. I do think that some “follow[ing] the money,” not to mention the drugs, would be quite revealing.
Thomas Mackey (via email)
An article in the Dec. 1 issue of Isthmus, “Jackpot,” gave the incorrect first name of Madison Avenue’s CEO, Sara Rahn. The article also incorrectly stated the payment arrangement Human Head Studios had for creating the casino game, Danger Arena. The company does not receive a percentage of unit sales, but was paid on a work-for-hire basis. In Jay Rath’s story in the same issue, “Will the Bells Still Toll?” Steve Wagner’s title was incorrect. He is the communications director of UW Facilities Planning & Management.