[Paleopsych] drugs and alcohol

Werbos, Dr. Paul J. paul.werbos at verizon.net
Mon Aug 23 20:28:44 UTC 2004

At 11:29 AM 8/23/2004 -0700, Steve wrote:
>Beg to differ on the existence of
>an alcohol cartel.
>It's an industry and it looks out for
>its own interests just like any other
>I once heard that 30% of the people
>in hospitals are there for diseases
>caused by alcohol use.

Are we solving problems or having fun here?

Lots of people die from cancer, more than from alcohol,
but there are no street hustlers trying to shove cancer down your throat
if you happen to live in the ghetto.

But you don't. That's the real issue here.
It's easy to think in terms of philosophical abstractions when you don't
have folks shoving it down your throat right at your own front stoop.
Especially if you don't know what a front stoop is.

The US did once have much more serious criminal problems with
alcohol during prohibition. Very strict Catholics helped lead the fight
against prohibition, not because they loved alcohol, but because they could
see the political structural damage out of control in cities across the US.
But they didn't feel obligated (like today's polarized folks) to glorify 
the limited legalization or
recommend advertizing and selling it like water.

But the cocaine machinery in this world is -- to repeat -- every bit
as dangerous as Al Queida. It's not just some academic meme.
In part, it is a curse that we in the US visit on people in places like
Latin America (let alone our own ghettoes) ... in places like Rio,
where half the people are virtual slaves of the local drug lords --
and no, the drug is not aspirin, and no, the bulk of the money doesn't come
from the Amazon jungle.

A limited version of the English system, which DOES PROVIDE indefinite
maintenance doses of cocaine in regulated clinics to all registered 
addicts, would go
a long way to pulling out the money from that system. It is only fair that 
society should
demand a little balance and realism on the control side, in exchange for the
partial liberalization. But if you want society to treat cocaine like water 
or aspirin...
in fact... it's unlikely they will follow either your preferences or mine 
at this point.
I might hope that a rational, strong nonfuzzy compromise might get 
somewhere politically, someday...
but... that's just hope.

By the way... for some thoughts about how serious the cocaine cartel 
problem is,
you might get a copy of www.stateofthefuture.org. I seem to recall... the CDROM
which comes with it probably reports some of the current international data.

But.. I also recall the folks who insisted even recently that tobacco was 
good for their health...
there seem to be few limits to the tendency of modern humans to believe 
whatever they want to
believe, even when it kills them to do so. How can we in the urban or 
suburban US imagine we are any better
in that respect than any variety of redneck in the world? The more we 
believe we are
better, as a matter of course, the less likely it is to be so.

>Steve Hovland
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org

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