Media concentration affects democracy says Atilio Boron

Is it “cool” to do drugs?

Marcelo Colussi*, contributor to Prensa Latina

Hand in hand, the activity related to their marketing, which consists in bringing the product from the place of production to the hands of the final consumer, is also increasing. At the same time, activities related to managing the vast amounts of money that the company generates are also growing.

In other words: We are facing new economic and social and thus political dynamics that were unknown decades ago.

thriving business

According to data available worldwide, no business has grown as rapidly in recent years as the illegal drug business. All of this raises questions about the current model of global society.

It is difficult to specify – this would go beyond the scope of this brochure – how this model moves in its intimacy: when consumption generates the supply or, conversely, a marketing offer continuously increases the demand. Everything points to the latter. The important thing to salvage now is that drug activity is taking on an ever-increasing profile in today’s world, with prospects looking up, not down.

It is commendable to contemplate a “drug-free world,” as many do with good intentions. In any case, realistically and with the knowledge that the modern social sciences provide with critical criteria, one would have to question this proposal, at least in part.

The key to the phenomenon

When drug activity continues to rise, it means something: either society increasingly needs this type of harmful “pleasure” (illusory escape routes from the cruelty of reality), or there are aggressive strategies that encourage such use. Or, to make matters even more complex, we are faced with a combination of both factors, making their study infinitely more complicated and even more their solution as a problem.

The truth is that what years ago – maybe seven or eight decades, a couple of generations socio-demographically – was an “extravagance”, a distinctive touch of very defined groups (Bohemia, some marginal subcultures) in today’s society global became another commodity. Incidentally illegal; but commodities were being consumed in fabulous quantities, and ever increasing. This drug activity, which is a big part of the current planetary dynamics, seems here to stay. The production, trade, consumption, and laundering of assets that the whole cycle establishes are not mere fringe matters. On the contrary, they represent parts of great importance in the dynamics of the contemporary world system.

youth and drugs

Why is it “cool” to use drugs among youth today? Why are young people from all walks of life in rich and poor countries almost “forced” to use drugs today? Suddenly they appear for the decade of the 60’s of the last century. Basically associated in principle with the hippie movement (in its origins a movement of deep anti-systemic protest that arose in the United States). A way to stun him? Then came Operation CHAOS, a covert CIA mechanism to neutralize all youth protests. And the massive emergence of drugs is a fact.

Even the Beatles praised psychoactive substances with their song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds), an apologetic message for lysergic acid, LSD-25. The orientation is: “You have to take drugs. This is for separation.”

…And again the United States…

As Charles Bergquist – quoted by Noam Chomsky – says in his work Violence in Colombia 1990-2000: “The anti-drug policies of the United States contribute effectively to the control of an ethnically defined and economically dispossessed social substrate within the nation [población negra, y luego la juventud en su conjunto]and at the same time serves his economic and security interests abroad.”

In this line, Isaac Enríquez Pérez adds: “It benefits the same power and wealth structures that young people are addicted and permanently drugged so that they shed their social conformism and show dissatisfaction to their citizens through the channels of practice politics and community organization.

Colombia became the main supplier of cocaine to the United States (major users worldwide) in the 1970s, but… oddly enough, the coca plant did not exist in Colombia, being native to the Andean Altiplano (Bolivia and Peru). It was introduced to the Caribbean country. Curious right? A good listener few words.

Today, illicit drug use is one of the big planetary businesses (feeding drug laundering and finance capital) and a strong argument for Washington to militarize the planet. The supposed “fight against drugs” is not like that.

“If the drug trade were declared legal by the states, the capitalist economy would be blown up to its foundations and lose its raison d’être within a very short time. The same political elites that resort to electoral campaigns financed with illegal funds would not be possible without the financial contribution of these criminal activities.” (Isaac Enriquez Pérez).

Every day, 1,500 people around the world die as a result of drug use. The use of more and more lethal substances is already being increasingly imposed, with disastrous effects on biological and mental health; for example the so-called “designer drugs”: crocodile (the cannibal drug), flakka, bath salts, AH-7921, fentanyl.

health and economy

Consumption is not “cool”; It’s a big public health problem and for some it’s a business! There are powers that benefit from all of this.

UNOCD (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) states: “Drugs currently represent the world’s largest market for illicit products, a market closely linked to criminal activities such as money laundering and corruption. (…) The main beneficiaries of the war on drugs are the budgets of the armed forces, police and prisons, as well as other sectors related to technology and infrastructure.”

Where’s the “coolness”?


*Argentinian university professor, political scientist and columnist.

(Taken from Latin Press)