30.03.2016 Author: Valery Kulikov

Addictive Drugs and the World

4353453444Lately, there has been a noticeable flurry in the number of reports with headlines similar to Losing Battle against Marijuana.

The authors of these articles, especially those from the USA and Western Europe, are trying to prove harmlessness of marijuana and advocate its legalization. In our earlier publications we argued that representatives of the US political and business communities supporting legalization of the so-called “soft” drugs clearly demonstrated to the rest of the world that their “concern” for the health and well-being of the nation was, in fact, nothing more than a concern for extra profits and promotion of new “gold rush” that, due to an increase in sales of marijuana, was destructive enough to suffocate in marijuana smoke the population of not only the US, but also of those countries where Washington promotes the “US style democracy” and its new “business.”

As Atlantico noted in one of its publications, marijuana had turned into a disaster in disguise a long time ago. In the recent years, the concentration of the active component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, has significantly increased. While in 1970s it was approximately 4-8%, today it is as high as 28-32%. Use of cannabis alters the perception. Smoking marijuana induces different sensations, also marijuana can either boost sociability or suppress it, depending on the person. Despite the “weed’s” profound sedative effect, it might cause anxiety accompanied with somatic disorder of the cardiovascular system. The effect of marijuana is more adverse if it is used at an early age.

Another very popular Australian newspaper The Guardian suggests that the use of marijuana might lead not only to psychoses and nervous breakdowns, but also to tedious narcissism.

Today, the list of countries working toward legalization of marijuana to a greater or lesser degree is vast and includes Austria, Portugal, the US, Chile, Colombia, the Netherlands, Spain and others.

Recently, Independent reported that British Liberal Democrats were planning to include liberalization of marijuana in the program as one of the priority items. According to the panel of experts that was established last year by the former deputy health minister of Great Britain Norman Lamb, legalizing the sale of cannabis would increase the treasury revenues by £1bn a year. Based on that, the panel consisting of top police officials, scientists and university professors calls upon the government to “follow the lead of some US states and allow the sale of cannabis to British aged over 18. The issue of legalization of marijuana will be put on the agenda and debated at the party’s spring conference that will be convened in the next few days.

Denmark is also joining these activities. Certain political forces of that country are trying to convince the population of economic benefits, which the country would enjoy in case marijuana is legalized, ranging from an increased tax revenue to the establishment of new types of enterprises in health care, construction (production of construction materials and cloth from cannabis) and tourism industries as well as opening of cannabis social clubs. Danish proponents of legalization are making point (with reference to the experience of the states where cannabis has already been legalized) that the number of criminal cases as well as the number of addicts there is dropping.

According to The American Thinker, however, the latest crime statistics in the largest northwestern city in the US undermine the position of drug legalization supporters. For example, following the 2012 approval of legalization of marijuana in the state of Washington and in Seattle, a spike in the number of crimes was reported. An average annual number of crimes in Seattle in 2012-2015 grew by 17% as compared with the three years 2010-2012 preceding the legalization of marijuana. A similar situation is observed in the state of Colorado where the use of marijuana is now also legal.

The recent statement made by the US Prosecutor General fits the situation: having plunged in the drug legalization in the recent years, America ended up with an epidemic of gun violence and an opioid crisis. Just a few days ago, CNSNews.com published an alarming report made by Head of the US Justice Department to the Congress along with a coverage of the crime situation. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch informed the congressional representatives that “one of the greatest hazards to both law enforcement and the people that we serve is an epidemic of gun violence.” According to US Attorney General, it is linked to the “upticks” in drug abuse which ultimately affect all states of the country.

The study published by the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle shows that last year the number of drug related crimes increased by 7.5%.

German Die Welt also warns of increased risks associated with liberalization of “soft” drugs by some countries of the EU, especially now that Europe is flooded by illegal migrants from countries of the Middle East and North Africa. German daily newspaper makes a note that the number of drug abuse cases in the country has been rising for the third consecutive year, that Germany is flooded with illegal drugs, and that the rate of mortality associated with drug abuse grew by 20% in 2015. People from all strata of the society are prone to the “epidemic.” And a recent example when the German Bundestag lifted parliamentary immunity of its member, representative of Alliance ’90/The Greens faction, Volker Beck for drug use and possession testifies to that.

According to the former employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration of the US Justice Department Michael Levine, the struggle against drugs is impeded because some institutions established in different countries (including the US) to counter drug dealing, are found to be involved in the crimes and actively participate in drug smuggling. Some employees of the CIA and even former member of the US National Security Council Oliver North are named among crooks.

Valeriy Kulikov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

 


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