Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mexico's drug war comes to Sydney as Injecting Centre legitimised

It's official - the cocaine boom in Australia is being supplied by Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, says a report in today's SMH.

Well it had to be coming from somewhere, and the quality has been much better than in recent years, I am told, so this news is no real surprise.

Reports of rich punters paying up to $500 a gram for the best product explain how there is a profit to be made out of what must be a torturously difficult business -- getting tonnes of an illegal substance right across the planet, evading armies of police and customs to supply an illegal distribution network here.

This price, and the profits, are of course possible because prohibition makes it so. Despite this, there is again no mention of prohibition in the lengthy SMH report.

It even takes a swipe at users because they indirectly support this violent, murderous cartel, ignoring the fact that it's the government's prohibition regime that makes it so.

The ABC's AM program, however, ran the legalisation story front and centre, piggybacking it on the news that the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre in Kings Cross was to be legitimised, quoting drug law reformers Tony Trimingham, Dr Alex Wodak and Wayside Chapel Pastor Graham Long.

Premier Kristina Keneally announced the MSIC move yesterday, ending a pattern in which legislation had to be passed regularly to maintain funding for the Centre. An incoming Coalition government could have finished the Centre by simply doing nothing, a possibility given fierce opposition from far right Christians in the Liberals led by MLC David Clarke. This faction advocates a moralistic zero tolerance enforcement approach, arguing that the Centre legitimises and perpetuates drug use.

But founding Director of the Centre Dr Ingrid van Beek commented on 702 radio that such moral objectors “would rather see people dead than addicted – really I’ve never gotten that.”

Wayside Chapel Pastor Graham Long then joined other drug law reformers on the national AM program calling for an end the the War on Drugs, which he said had failed.

“There is no shortage of drugs,” he said. “You can buy anything you want at any time. Give me a minute and I’ll be back with anything you like.”

Dr Alex Wodak from St Vincent’s hospital said the global drug trade was worth $320bn a year which gave drug dealers more access to resources than law enforcement.

Tony Trimingham made similar comments. Mr Trimingham is a founder of Family Drug Support, a group based on the families of people who, like Mr Trimingham’s son, died or suffered from drug addiction but realise that prohibition is a problem, not a solution

Even Kings Cross Police Superintendent Tony Crandell commented on radio that "Prohibition isn't working", in the context of a supportive message about the MSIC having improved amenity for local residents. It underlines the difficulty police face. Tasked with prosecution the War on Drugs, they must either put their heads in the sand and believe the prohibition myths or carry out their duties knowing they are nearly futile.


Unknown said...

It's great to see some sanity creeping into this out of control madness, Australia can show the way out of the fantasyland of drug control. Drugs get easier to buy, stronger and more plentiful each year and it will continue to get worse. There is too much money to be made in the illegal drug market. Stop moralising and apply best practice health and education to the subject and we can eventually manage the problem.
I wish our Government here in Canada had even a fraction of the clear thinking you are showing, We are destined to decades more of crime and gang wars to devide the spoils of illegal drug supply.

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Anonymous said...

Who in their right mind could possibly think that an injecting centre would be a bad thing. I wait for the day that the same consideration will be given to pipe smokers. Sometimes it would be good to not have to worry bout the pigs and have a quiet pipe without waiting or looking over my shoulder.