Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Fantasy Drug Busts & Health Budget Disgrace

$Million in Drug Busts ... So What?

Over $1 million worth of marijuana plants found in a Liverpool house. In costal SA, more than 430 cannabis plants, worth more than $500,000. Cocaine & heroin worth $500,000 were found in three pairs of shoes at Brisbane International Airport ... So what?

The estimated illicit drug market produces an economy worth 400,000,000,000 per year. That is every year and growing. ...400 billion dollars per year! That is 8% of the world economy. The absolute cracker is ... it is all created by one moral ideal - prohibition. Alcohol prohibition was the very ideal that was abandoned in 1933 because it created so much profit for organised crime, created violence & gang warfare on the streets, produced contaminated substances that killed people, forced addicted people to be ostracised and yet didn't cut the amount consumed at all. Sound familiar?  Yep, today we create the drug market by trying to stop it. Of course it all comes back to rest on the US and one policy from the 1970s that gets passed from government to government - The War on Drugs.


If half a million dollars in 3 pairs of shoes gets stopped at customs, what actually gets through? The AFP estimate only about 15-20% get stopped at customs so if we take Kelty on his history and add in the drug propaganda, that means 10% gets stopped. Then divide that by 10 to include the reality factor and to cover their arse ...that leaves a shitload of drugs getting into Australia. If 3 pairs of shoes are worth $500,000, imagine a container full ... mmm 50 million at least. A few of those a week and ... mmm a few hundred million or more and 52 weeks is ... mmm A LOT OF DRUGS!!!

The shoe smuggler faces up to 25 years in jail if she is convicted. That's a hefty sentence but as we have seen with the Bali Nine, nothing will deter people if the price is right.

Over to SA...

I especially love it when the police get behind the confiscated stash for a publicity shot and then claim they are making a difference to the drug industry. 

At the West Coast local service head quarter, area Chief Inspector Brad Flaherty said.

"This is a prime example of a disruption to the drug trade, While there have been some reports and arrests the objective was to disrupt the cultivation and eventual trade of cannabis within the state ... In this case, the operation has been successful."

Ho ho ho. Very good indeed. I bet the whole of the SA marijuana market are in a frenzy with $500,000 ($AFP to $AUD conv: $125,000) worth pulled out of the $3,000,000,000 market. 

Meanwhile, back at the $million drug house...

The NSW Police Minister, David Campbell had his 'drug propaganda' handbook ready and read off this statement:

"A million dollars' worth of drugs that could have been sold to our kids is now off the streets as a result of an anonymous tip-off" 

Just in case you want to get some revenge on someone you don't like, he promoted the 'dob in your neighbour' strategy:

"I'd like to formally thank that person for coming forward and encourage others to do the same."

Health Budget Disgrace - No Money for Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Figures from an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report show that only $11 million is spent each year on drug prevention. To make this worse, the spending for the prevention of smoking was only $3.6 million. Alcohol prevention gets a whopping $1.2 million. (From 2004 - 2006, there was only one national alcohol-harm-reduction program. That was axed by the Howard government.)

This is serious folks - this is the official figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2005/2006.

We spend 56% of total government drug expenditure 
on law enforcement and customs.


Anonymous said...

The quality of dependency treatment is so variable across Australia that it is embarrassing to the medical profession

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon.
Australia was really going places with treatment until Howard pulled the plug on the heroin trials. He steadily pushed us back 20 years and Rudd/Roxon isn't doing much better.