What's the Real Story Behind the Decline of Cocaine Usage in this Country?
I just finished watching VH1's "The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation". The ads had promised to show the link between crack cocaine and Hip Hop. As a way to learn about underworld links, I donated 2 hrs. of my life to watch the program. I did learn some things I didn't know but at the same time, I also had some red flags go up alerting me to what I believe is a revisionist version of history. All the while we're being told of the volume of money that was being made by street thugs, we're also told that there really wasn't an epidemic and that the scale and proportions of the problem was exaggerated so news corporations could get ratings and the government could impose unfair legislation that was designed to disenfranchise poor minorities. We're told about crack mothers leaving their 3 yr olds at home on the front steps of their house while they go out to get more crack. We're told about the lives that the drug ruined but in spite of all of the money that the thugs made and irrespective of how the drug dealers and rappers were made rich from their affiliation with the illegal narcotic, we're told that the whole thing was a CIA conspiracy that involved the importation of Cocaine as a means and method to fund the Nicaraguan war.
The program concludes saying that the decline of Cocaine usage in this country is due to the lives that the drug ruined all the while playing clips from rap songs denouncing the usage of the drug. All efforts that the government imposed as a method of reducing the problem in this country was denounced and minimized. Reagan declared a war on drugs that started a whole slew of unfair policy. With this new declaration of war, House Speaker, Tip" O'Neill proposed a crack/cocaine disparity in sentencing. By the time the Dems and Reps bickered amongst themselves, there was a 100:1 disparity between the rock and the powder; five grams, for example, could earn a 1-5 year prison sentence. It is our hero, Obama, that has since reduced this disparity so that now today it is an 18:1 disparity between the rock and powder.
I don't doubt that the horrible ill effects of this drug has played a part in the demise of its usage. I also, however, very seriously doubt that government crack down had "0" effect. It appeared to me that the program was trying to drum up sympathy for the poor guys that actually got caught and had to serve years in prison for trying to make a dollar.
I'm guessing the LEOs and ex-Leos are going to have a tremendous amount of insight when it comes to explaining what has happened and what is now happening with illegal drug usage. I will understand if the moderators do not allow this thread but please allow me to say that the purpose of this thread is not to glorify illegal narcotic usage, the sale thereof or even offer "tips" on how to engage in illegal activities but to discuss a very real problem in this country; the logistics of illegal narcotic trends in this country.
Like I said earlier, I don't doubt that ill effects contributed to the decline of crack but at the same time, however, meth has very harsh and deadly consequences and this hasn't put a halt to its manufacturing or usage of it. We even have a prime time show (Breaking Bad) that deals with some good ole boys making the "product" with all kinds of good intentions.
Please feel free to comment on the presentation of the show in how it reiterated recent history. I mostly would like to know, however, what causes the illegal drug using populace to switch from one drug to another? I know we hear that people used to use Acid, PCP & Heroine in the 60s and Coke/Crack was the drug of choice in the 80s and I'm guessing Meth took over in the 90s or so and is currently a problem. From the show, I know that Crack is an inexpensive high. Does law enforcement crack downs cause a disruption in distribution and affect prices so people have to switch to a new drug that hasn't been cracked down on yet and is therefore inexpensive? Is the whole thing economic? Best bang for the buck, if you will?
Thanks for your input,