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May 29, 2004

A Solution to the War on Drugs

You may have noticed that the powers that be are getting increasingly hysterical over the War On Drugs. Whatever good may be done by reduction in consumption is being completely overpowered by the restrictions on freedoms and outright thuggery of those prosecuting the war. As an example I offer you the thought that property confiscations from dealers were originally justified as the only method possible to attack the kingpins, those who could never be caught with their hands actually on any drugs or drug money. This has now descended to the level where a few spliffs in the bedroom cupboard means the local D.A.R.E Chapter gets to keep the house.
So I'd like to offer a legal and non-violent method to take the country back, one whereby some rationality is returned to the law. We might even return to that golden age of jurisprudence, where one was considered innocent until proven guilty: you do know of course that if you are accused of drug dealing then all of your possessions are forfeit, unless you can prove that they were purchased from legitimately earned money? Yes, the burden of proof falls upon you, you, while sitting in your jail cell waiting for trial, have to prove a negative, that you did not use drug money (which no one has as yet proved you made) to buy your house, car or jewellery.
So what do I recommend? How about getting that system to turn on itself, make the revolution eat its own children? Here's how:
Papaver Somniferum is the Opium Poppy, that plant that you see all those TV shots of growing in Afghanistan. It's the source for opium, of course, and also morphine and heroin. It is also exactly the same plant that grows in half the flower gardens of the US. It is even exactly the same plant as those poppy seeds you can buy down at the supermarket to sprinkle on your home made breads and bagels. Amazingly, those seeds are live, they are not treated in any way to stop them from germinating.
So, you can go down to the supermarket, spend a buck or two on seeds and now you are ready to become a drug baron, growing your own opium right in your back garden.
However, I would strongly recommend that you do not do this. One of the oddities of US law is that the local drug thugs do not need to show that you intended to either consume or sell the resultant opium in order for them to bang you in jail and take away your house. All they have to do is show that you had poppies in the garden, and that you knew the way to extract the opium when ripe. Yes, really, intent means nothing. Possession of the raw materials plus knowledge is all they need to lock you up, throw away the key and bankrupt you and your family.
Now that you know this, perhaps you can see what the proposal is?
Yes, you've got it. Find out who your local police chief is. Who's the head of the local D.A.R.E unit? Perhaps the local DA is being a little extreme in his prosecution of drugs cases? What about that judge who gave a life sentence to the guy with ten joints on his third strike? And don't forget, of course, the local congresscritters, those office jobbing jackanapes who allowed these laws to be passed.
Now that you know who these people are, and where they live, go down to the store and buy a few bottles of those seeds. Walk past the back fence and throw a couple of handfuls over into the flower beds. Poppies grow incredibly easily, the seeds do not need to be buried or watered or manured or anything. They grow pretty much anywhere in the lower 48. Then wait. Wait until the flowers are growing and are identifiable as poppies. If you really want to be mean, wait until the flowers have appeared and are wilting, for that is when the opium is ready for harvest.
Then, call the DEA and inform on that opium laboratory you have discovered in the house a few doors down. A small warning here. You want to make the call on an untraceable cellphone without giving your real name or address, as you really do not want to be associated with this even though what you are doing is only your civic duty. You may also want to call the local press and TV studio about a drug raid that you think will be going down in the next 30 minutes or so.
After all of this simply stand back and watch as the drug warriors start to arrest each other, confiscate each other's houses, cars and possessions and sentence themselves to life in prison. For they have no possible defence: that they did not intend to extract the opium nor smoke, eat or sell it is no defence, all that is needed is possession of the poppy and the knowledge to extract it. They cannot claim to not know how to extract it either, as the connection between opium and poppies is drummed into every officer.
I don't actually want every police officer, lawyer and judge in America to go to jail, although I can think of certain politicians who belong there. What I really want is for there to be a little realism about drugs and the drug war, and if showing the forces of law and order the absurdity of the laws they are attempting to enforce is what it takes, then I'm all for it.
It's not quite as stirring as earlier calls for revolution, like “To the barricades”, or”The British are coming” or even Marx's “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains”, but it does tickle me to think that the next major change in American life will be ushered in with the phrase ”Honey, along with the steaks and beers for the weekend can you get some of those poppy seeds?”

May 29, 2004 in Drugs | Permalink


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