Drugs

State authority - Thinking about Anarchism

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Mary Harney has banned the sale of magic mushrooms!! In a decision taken in record-quick time, Harney and her government colleagues decided that they couldn’t have us all going around sampling mind-altering fungi and maybe even enjoying them. More importantly the decision was made that we couldn’t be trusted to decide for ourselves what was safe/unsafe for each of us to try. We need such decisions to be made for us because apparently we are incapable of deciding for ourselves.

Communities standing up to the heroin barons in Dublin in 1997

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The anti-heroin movement has brought thousands of people to meetings and onto the streets in Dublin's working class communities. Pushers have been sent packing, communities have organised their own treatment programmes for addicts who want to combat their addiction, a sense of power has been given to many who used to feel powerless. In the article below inner city community development worker Patricia McCarthy gives her personal view of why the campaign has been so popular and energetic. In the next issue of this paper we will be printing more viewpoints, letters from readers are welcome.

Everyone knows by now that Dublin is experiencing a very serious heroin epidemic with an estimated 8,000-9,000 heroin addicts in the capital alone. This situation did not arise overnight but has been growing for the past fifteen years. Heroin addiction and the accompanying H.I.V. and Aids related deaths has become a fact of life for devastated inner city communities, and more recently working class suburbs from Tallaght to Blanchardstown.

The Heroin menace in Dublin in 1994

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DUBLIN is currently experiencing a heroin epidemic similar to the one that hit the north and south inner-city in the late 1970s. That epidemic left hundreds of young people hooked on heroin and dozens of them have since died of AIDS and AIDS related diseases. Some big criminals made fortunes out of it.

The arguments for drug de-criminalisation

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THE LEGALISATION OF CANNABIS is now being debated openly by sections of the European ruling class. In localised areas like Amsterdam they have been conducting a 20 year experiment into the effects of legalisation. In Switzerland they are experimenting with the de-criminalisation of small quantities of heroin. According to the British Guardian one well-known brewery, Carlsberg-Tetley, has been investigating the hash cafes of Amsterdam with a view to running similar establishments in Britain. In Italy a referendum in March of 1993 ended the obligatory penal sentence for cannabis possession and in Germany earlier this year the Supreme Court suggested personal possession of drugs should not be prosecuted.

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