Governmental studies report that the rate of illegal drug use in the United States has risen to its highest in a decade following a sharp rise in the use of ecstasy, methamphetamine and marijuana. 21.8 million Americans reported using illegal drugs in 2009, or 8.7% of the population older than 12. The times are now so bad even the bourgeois media is tracing the rise to the economic crisis and skyrocketing unemployment. Oddly enough, the article linked below mentions positively that cocaine abuse has plummeted 32% since 2006. The irony of this as a “positive sign” overlooks the fact that this is because most people can simply no longer afford it.
In 2006 the Congress of the United States passed a law which required that all sales of pseudo-ephedrine (a key ingredient in the production of methamphetamine) be recorded and that pseudo-ephedrine tablets and medicines be kept behind the counter in pharmacies. It was claimed this would reduce domestic production of methamphetamine. Yet, studies show that this production has not only remained, but methamphetamine abuse has not changed. To make up for the losses in domestic production, methamphetamine suppliers have resorted to the importation of the drug across the US-Mexico border.
The United States invasion of Afghanistan, meanwhile, has proven to be highly profitable for the heroin and opium trade internationally. With the opium and poppy fields now open for business in Afghanistan once again under the US puppet government, the price of heroin has dropped drastically in the last two years. Notably, most of it is “brown” heroin, which is found in Afghan fields, not the usual “white” heroin found in Southeast Asia. We’re all sure this is coincidence, right?
“A recent United Nations survey found that opium production in Afghanistan, known as the Golden Crescent, shot up last year by 34% to 8200 tonnes, giving the country a 93% share of the global opiate market” (2).
Marijuana continues to be the “most abused” illegal drug with prohibition advocates claiming that the continuance of high levels of marijuana use is the result of the misconception of its use as a medicinal aid for persons with severe medical problems such as AIDS, cancer, nasea and severe back/nerve pains. How typical for a capitalist society that only drugs created by white men in white coats and making profits for their corporate masters are considered “medicine.” Legalization advocates meanwhile, claim that this is just further proof that prohibition on marijuana is a failure. We here at the American Party of Labor cannot agree more with this latter position, and ourselves advocate the end of marijuana prohibition in light of the fact that both alcohol and tobacco are not prohibited and have much greater social costs.
No one should find these facts particularly surprising. Most people take drugs in response to alienation from production and social alienation which is a direct effect of capitalism. The only answer to the problem of drug abuse is to first address the social relations of production and the alienation from the fruits of the one’s labor, and thus address the psychological effects. Considering that marijuana prohibition has proved more harmful than the drug itself—outright legalization of that drug is the solution. After the establishment of socialism, the transference from the criminalization of drug selling and addicted persons to the re-medicalization of the problems associated with use and abuse of drugs will be pursued by the socialist state, as well as the policy of eliminating the material causes of drug sale and use.