Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The utter misery prohibition creates

Always my favourite and perhaps the most visually stunning gallery in Sydney, White Rabbit in Chippendale is exhibiting among its typically quirky offerings a photographic journey into prisons for drug users in the Shan states between Burma and China, shot by Lu-Nan. There, inmates are shackled for the length of their term; the longer the term, the heavier the shackles, up to 63 kg and most hobble around holding them up with a short cord as their ankles chafe. They are also caned and subject to harsh conditions typical of jails in autocratic countries.

This is drastically unjust because on the whole these men and women (and their children who are also sometimes incarcerated) have done nothing wrong, just fallen foul of prohibition which arbitrarily allows some drugs like alcohol while banning others. It's especially ironic as opium and heroin are the main exports from this area and I would bet my butt to a barnacle that the very government which imposes these sentences is making big bucks from the trade. These ruined lives illustrate once again that prohibition does more harm than the drugs it fails to control, and all prohibitionist governments bear some degree of responsibility for this travesty of justice, this almost invisible crime against humanity. You can also bet the rich in these countries escape this outrageous fate.


MEANWHILE former Mexican president Vicente Fox has implored the US to end prohibition, blaming it for the 40,000-50,000 murders committed in his country's US-financed drug wars in recent years (give or take 10,000 souls).

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