RUSSIA needs a war on drugs???

Tue Jun 13 09:41:36 MDT 1995

You've got to be kidding, PNEWS / odin, whoever sent the Russian
Drugs article.  This is the result of the setbacks to socialism?  I
think not.

Not unless you mean that the lack of other economic opportunities
increases the incentive to go into drug traffic.  Or you mean that
drug business is capitalist and therefore didn't happen when USSR was
so-called socialist.  Or guards have lower real wages now, so are
more likely to accept bribes.

Or drug traffic became easier when sovietskies and neighbors cut
their secret police budgets, resulting in significantly smaller law
enforcement ranks overall.  Or it's easier to cross borders that are
more open now.

Or the price of vodka has gone up and other drugs are at least
partial substitutes.  Or people are so depressed and demoralized that
the demand for drugs is up, as self-medication.

Obviously, what they need is a war on drugs in response to a list of
data such as that found in the article.  No analysis required.  Lot
of good its done us here in the US.  No addressing the root causes of
any problems.  This sounds like the same old anti-drug hysteria,
which is used to justify the imposition of a police state.

If you are concerned about health effects, lost work time and
economic effects of addiction, you should first fight tobacco use and
alcohol abuse.

In the US, tobacco alone results in more deaths, lost work time and
health costs than all other legal and illegal drugs put together,
including indirect effects such as drunk driving and gang wars.

Also note, much of the harm that is done is a result of
illegalization itself, not the drugs per se, such as turf wars and
the expense of supporting a police state.

Lisa Rogers, newspaper reader

>>> PNEWS <odin at>  6/12/95, 04:13pm >>>
Here is one of the big pluses ("its a good thing" - Justin) of the
setbacks to socialism in the former Soviet Union. Maybe Justin can
explain how this is a good thing. I'm sure it will go like "if they
had only done things right originally in 1917 (a la Justin's ideas)
then this never would have happened." If you blow smoke in a forest
fire, will anyone notice?

                      *** 08-Jun-95 ***

Title: RUSSIA-NARCOTICS: More Than Five Million Russians Are Drug

By Andrei Ivanov

MOSCOW, Jun 8 (IPS) - More than 25 million Russians have tried drugs
at some point in their lives and close to six million are drug
addicts, according to Russia's interior ministry and customs
committee which also reports an increase in drug-related crimes.

Official statistics show that close to four per cent of the
Russian population of 150 million people are drug addicts and that
another 13.5 per cent have taken drugs more than once.

And the concerned Moscow authorities expect that by 2000, the number
of regular drug users will double, affecting mainly young people.
Presently, almost two-thirds of drug users are under the age of 30 in

Interior ministry and customs committee statistics also show a
dramatic increase in drug-related crimes from 10,000 in 1993, to
62,000 last year.   Drug smuggling increased by 50 per cent over the
corresponding period.

Customs officials have been monitoring the situation closely, says
Alexandr Godunko, a senior official at the Prosecutor
General's Office. He said 3,126 kilogrammes of drugs had been seized
at various points of entry into the Russian Federation during 1994.

The Russian government has in the meanwhile adopted a special federal
programme to tackle the problem over the next two years.

The programme involves 30 federal ministries, departments and
organisations and will cost 85 billion roubles (about 15. 5 million
dollars) in total of which 7,240 million roubles (about
1.3 million dollars) is to be allotted this year.

(snip, snip)

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