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7 comments

1
HappyWarrior  Mar 22, 2016 • 2:03:09pm

I believe it. A lot of our marijuana and cocaine prohibitions have their origins in racism. So why not the entire “War on Drugs.” Yet another reason why the Nixon administration looks even worse as we can judge it with time and distance.

2
Romantic Heretic  Mar 22, 2016 • 2:20:57pm

Who would have guessed that one of the most cynical and corrupt Administrations in American history would do such a thing? /Not enough in existence or imagined.

3
nines09  Mar 22, 2016 • 2:37:04pm

Personal experience. I smoked pot and hashish since 10th grade. I lived in the Fairhill section of Philly. That would be 67-68. I was turned on by a rich friend who lived outside that hell hole, who had unlimited access to all manner of things as such. Lebanese, Afghan, Colombian, commercial Mexican, Michoacan, Nepalese, Kif, all the best and baddest. In the summer and fall of 1970, at the height of the anti war protests and the Black Power movement, the entire city of Philly dried up as far as cannabis was concerned. Nothing. All the weight people, the heavy hitters, all the outside contacts, everything went dry. All but one thing. Heroin. It was everywhere. At 2 bucks a bag. Buy one, get one free. Bundles were going for next to nothing. It was an orgy of cheap strong skag. If the law wasn’t behind that, I’m Peter Pan. That was the beginning of the end and the rise of the Badlands in Philly. The corners were a bit south of there then, but became saturated by 1980. All the little corner gangs went crazy. All out total rape and pillage. The corners moved, and the Avenue (Kensington) now has the worst of it, but that was the starting point. Destroyed a lot of my friends, and destroyed the already crumbling neighborhoods. The first Rocky film was filmed around there. It’s still burning.

4
No Country For Old Haters  Mar 22, 2016 • 5:19:01pm

re: #3 nines09

I don’t think switching people from mostly-harmless pot to terribly dangerous heroin was any kind of government conspiracy. People are lazy and cowardly for the most part, and the war on Marijuana is much easier than a war on dangerous drugs and the dangerous people who make and distribute them. It also makes for big bonfires for the TV news to show the victims of DARE propaganda that Uncle Sam is working for them.

In addition to that, our government has had reefer madness for so long that they probably didn’t even comprehend that they were getting a safe drug off the street and driving people with psychological problems (even just depression or the misery that goes with being really poor) that compel them to be high on something to more harmful drugs. The people who started the war on drugs knew it was a scam, just like the people who start religions, but the cause attracted true-believers who think they’re doing good work as they destroy lives.

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5
nines09  Mar 22, 2016 • 5:58:58pm

re: #4 No Country For Old Haters

You must look at the time and the context. Face it. Drugs need to be “handled” as in facilitated. The ability to move two tons of pot and the profit margin opposed to 10 kilo of skag is a point taken into consideration of every businessman in that field. Actually, there were folks who exclusively dealt in weed and opposed narcotics. They all had their conduits. This was right before the explosion. What I stated was the fact that before that time, heroin never existed on the lower level at that price and quantity ever before. If you think crazy ass only started in the last election cycle, you are missing the point. That happened because it was, as was stated in the article, a war. A war on blacks and hippies and anti war activists and the other side of the ledger. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were waging war, and a portion of that people they were waging war on got high. Think of it this way. They say pot is a gateway drug. It is in the context that you go to get a nickel bag and all your man has is skag.Cheap. Real cheap. Real good too. Want a line? Because he can’t get pot, but boy oh boy can he find heroin. Tons of it. Want some? It’s really good. You don’t know anyone strung out, and of course, it can’t happen to you. You got your shit together. This is 1970, remember. Fuck the Panthers. Fuck the hippies. Fuck them all. It happened. A field of corn does not just spring up. It is planted. Like I said. It happened. I was there. And as far as legalization, there are a few states where it is legal. The rest are all jerking off all over those who would benefit from it medically, and still handing money to the cartels. All the while playing the game of “We really do not know what the true price of legalization is…. “
I stand by my personal experiences in Philly at that time. On another note, 1970 was the first Smoke In in Washington DC. Guess what happened there to me and my friends? I was offered heroin, in “caps”, pills…..First time I saw that.

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6
Bass Reeves  Mar 23, 2016 • 8:52:32am

re: #4 No Country For Old Haters

You must believe the article then. The part where you can’t believe the government orchestrated a switch from pot to heroin is actually explained when the policy adviser says that they had to associate heroin with black people. Which means it wasn’t already. Which means it had to get introduced somehow. Since ‘normal’ white people at the time also used marijuana, a war strictly on weed would have been as effective as the temperance movement. ‘Reefer madness’ as government policy is *literally* the point of this article. The movie existed before the policy, but the war on drugs IS the falsehood.

FWIW, even without Nixon, there still was Reagan.

7
Dalai Rasta  Mar 23, 2016 • 9:41:42am

Did Baum include this claim in Smoke and Mirrors or did he just sit on this statement for 22 years? It’s plausible enough, given what we already know about the Nixon administration. On the other hand, Ehrlichman’s been dead for 17 years, and therefore in no position to deny it; he certainly hadn’t “admitted” this publicly.

I’m skeptical, though not because I couldn’t believe it.


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