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The misguided war on drugs – Deepak Lal

The War on Drugs - Vested Interests

The War on Drugs - Vested Interests

The British empire had not merely tolerated but promoted the opium trade with China from its Indian base as a means to balance its large incipient trade imbalance with the Chinese. The opium wars in China in the 19th century were fought to protect this … trade, through the legalisation of the importation of opium by the treaty of Tientsin in 1858. By the beginning of the 20th century, 23.3 per cent of the male and 3.5 per cent of the female adult Chinese population were opium users, consuming between 85-95 per cent of the global opium supply.

… Having failed in its avowed aim of reducing drug consumption in the US and the UK, the supply-control measures have created a large global illegal economy where trafficking in illegal goods — from drugs to arms to humans — has led to a vast shadow global economy … the extent of international money laundering is estimated to be between 2-6 per cent of world GDP. The total global retail value of illicit drugs was estimated to be $322 billion, just over 4 per cent of global licit exports. In Afghanistan, the gross profits of Afghan opium traffickers were estimated in 2006 to be $2.3 billion — nearly 33 per cent of the country’s GDP. The net effect of these international supply-control measures is to create narco states, as in the coca-growing states of the Andes. The drug wars and the accompanying corruption to garner the massive illegal profits in this illicit trade are now reaching the borders of the US as Mexico’s democracy is being gradually undermined by the drug-lords. The US foreign policy goals are thus continually being undermined by its War on Drugs.

The proportion of chronic drug users in the world is small, as is the use of opiates (from 0.7 per cent in Europe to 0.4 per cent in the Americas, of their adult population). via (Deepak Lal: The misguided war on drugs).

New global order

This was an interesting post. While the Oil and Terror linkage is much talked about, the global footprint of the drug trade is overlooked. As controls on gold sparked a global crime wave, the war on drugs is sparking another crime wave – a wave of terror. When the West wanted they imposed Opium Trade in the name of open markets. When the West wanted they declared a war on drugs. Either way, someone else is paying.

Will the new world order address these issues?

Gold and drugs .. and India

The world pays for the US war on drugs!

The world pays for the US war on drugs!

The opening of the gold trade across the world during 1973-1993 (especially in India) damped down the power of the Indian Underworld. The other leg on which the Indian underworld stands, is drug trade.

Three things strike me as interesting: –

  1. All the major drugs in the world came of India – opium is afeem, khus-khus पोस्त; cannabis is charas, ganja, marijuana, hashish. Heroin is a derivative of opium. Even, as Indians are significant (legal) producers, they are not high on consumption lists. However, drugs never became a big problem in India. Unlike in China, or in Medieval Middle East (when drug crazed criminals called hashishis became assassins). All these drugs were introduced to the world by India – with records going back to 1000 BC. In modern times, Indian gold smuggling was funded by carriage and export of drugs.
  2. Most of the world’s drug production (based on opium and cannabis) still happens in India and neighbouring countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia. Yet, India is not a major consumer.
  3. Till the 80’s, these substances were available in India, through ‘licensed’ outlets.

On the other hand, the heavy-handed legal approach of criminalizing possession of drugs has yielded no results.

Hemp and Wootz

Al-biruni described the making of Wootz steel, (now called the Hyderabad process). How did the Wootz steel (famous Indian steel) makers obtain high temperatures without machine driven blowers? This has puzzled modern technologists. Hemp (cannabis) ropes were used to test steel blades made of Wootz. Wootz blades were tempered in hemp oil. Interestingly, chillum temperatures can reach 500-600 degrees centigrade with rapid and eager puffing.

Was hemp plant (cannabis) used to stoke Wootz steel furnaces?

  1. Galeo Rhinus
    March 22, 2010 at 3:55 am

    The British empire had not merely tolerated but promoted the opium trade with China from its Indian base…


    But then why add an explanation?
    …as a means to balance its large incipient trade imbalance with the Chinese

    The point was simply they were drug dealers – making money and maximizing profit.

    Phrases such as “balance its trade” is like saying that “gangster ABC in LA was selling drugs because he wanted to make payments on his Maceratis…”

  2. March 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Completely true!

    And this has clearly not stopped.

    The Roosevelt family made much money on drugs. The role of CIA /US Armed forces in SE Asia in drug running and smuggling is a favorite subject in Hollywood.

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