Jim Monaghan jbm7 at SPAMtutor.open.ac.uk
Sun Jan 30 09:54:11 MST 2000

Drugs are a major problem especially in poor areas of the cities where
drug addicts make the lives of their fellow residents hell in the crimes
necessary to feed their drug habits. In Ireland both the Republican
movement and the Socialist Party have made the drug issue a major part of
their programs. Both adopt an absolutist approach demanding strong
penalties and opposing liberalising of the laws In fact their stands on
this issue has given both parties their major breakthroughs as many regard
the police as not really worried about the real concerns of workingclass
people. In some areas the militant approach of Republicans in dealing with
anti-social elements has huge support. I am told that the Black Moslems
are regarded in a similar way in some American cities.

But some call for legalization of drugs arguing that the prohibition is
worse than the disease. It is the price of the illegal drugs that causes
the misery these areas. Some clubs are told not to supply water to patrons
as this is needed by those using Ecstasy. A case of confusing results with

As regards soft drugs I feel legalization is long overdue and would take
the criminals out of the equation and allow valid medical research. I
incline to a similar approach to hard @ drugs on a similar basis but am
not as sure. Given the huge profits and the use of addicts as dealers the
trade is a swift route to riches for those with no scruples about the
misery that they are causing.

The current approach is not working and seizures only result in driving
the price and therefore the number of muggings etc. needed to fund the
supply up.

In the occupied North the fear drug dealers have of the IRA keeps the drug
problem in check. Mind you the abrupt way the Republican movement has in
dealing with Drug dealers are a major factor.I am told that when the great
uprisings occurred in Watts and elsewhere the drug pushers were driven out
and the addicts given a choice of cold turkey or out.On the crushing of
these uprisings there are allegations of at least an implicit alliance
between the drug pushers and the cops on the basis better the gangsters
ruling the ghettoes than the Black Panthers. A similar attitude exists in
Ireland where the cops prefer the gangsters to the Provos

I gather that there is a good debate in the Scottish Socialist party on
these matters. The Left Block in Portugal campaigned for legalization of
drugs and appears to have struck a resonance with the youth.
Jim Monaghan

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