Monday, January 16, 2006
Vote Spooky for Prez
We made it back from Austin, no worse for wear. The seminar we attended was very informative - as usual. Our favorite speaker was a nice little churchy-type lady. She was pushing 65 or so. She was petitie, grey-haired and ever so slightly frumpy. She also has a Phd. in addiction science and is one of the leading world authorities on trends in drug usage. Her field of expertise covers who uses what, where they use it and where it comes from.
We learned all sorts of interesting stuff, such as when the Taliban fought with the Russians before seizing power, they made the bulk of their money from poppy production. Their poppies supplied heroine to Europe. When the Taliban took power in Afgahnistan, they found other revenue sources and ceased poppy production, since it was contrary to their religious beliefs. This freed up the drug users in Europe to the Central American cocaine marketers and now crack cocaine is the major problem drug in places like Ireland. However, since we put the Taliban out of business, they have restarted poppy production to fund their activities. 'Where will the heroine go now?' is the next burning question.
The methamphetamine epidemic is moving from the midwest straight down the map to the border with Mexico - oposite of the usual pattern of drug movement between us and Mexico. The reason? The easy availability of fertilizer and other farm chemicals, plus the wide open spaces - away from populated areas - that rural America offered. However, since we have tighented up the laws on farm chemicals and made them much more difficult to steal, meth production has moved to Mexico. There illicit chemists make a much purer and more dangerous form of the drug than what was being produced by the rural Mom and Pop Dope Makin' Shops.
The photo is a row of desks in the State House of Representatives. (I can't ever go to Austin without trudging around the capitol for a while. It never fails to inspire. Maybe because I always wanted to be a politician, among other things, when I retire. However, I think Kinky Friedman has stolen the thunder from my Weirdo At Large campaign plans.)