Here's Why You're an Asshole If You Do Cocaine Tonight

Categories: Drugs

Coke1.img_assist_custom-600x570.jpg
Is it worth it?
Better than a divorce and more regular than a bachelor's party, tonight -- New Year's Eve -- is the mother of all excuses to get fucked up.

Ordering from the top shelf, going for the steak, splurging for an Uber driver, downing a margarita on top of the cheap bubbly: all entirely justified, because screw it -- you made it to 2014.

Nights like tonight are when the responsible folks break out their hidden vices. If you're like us, you know plenty people who use NYE as their one night to dabble in that white-collar crime: a line or two of cocaine.

But they shouldn't. That harmless bump in the bathroom? It isn't harmless at all. As Mexico-based journalist Erik Vance wrote over the weekend in Slate, using cocaine contributes to our generation's version of genocide. Do a line, and there's literally blood on your hands (as well as in your nasal canal, from that cheap cut).

Here's why:

Cocaine does not come from the United States. The coca plant is tropical, and nearly all coca plants in the world are in either Bolivia, Peru, or Colombia.

Cocaine is also illegal. Therefore, in order to get it from there to here, it has to be smuggled. And in between there and here is Mexico. Therein lies the problem.

Unlike domestically produced drugs like cannabis and alcohol, there is virtually no way to get a hold of cocaine that has not gone through Mexico -- which is to say, there is no way to get a hold of cocaine that has not passed through the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

Cartels. Perhaps you've heard of these. It's the cartels, Vance reminds us, that have perpetrated some of the worst violence seen this century. The stories from Mexico are so grotesque, so cartoonishly violent -- faces stitched to soccer balls, entire towns disappearing -- as to simply defy belief. Something this foul and this mean -- it can't be real.

But it is real. It's real and it is fueled by American demand. Without a domestic alternative, there is simply no getting around this simple, very inconvenient truth: there's no such thing as "cruelty free cocaine," as Vance put it. And without the demand for cocaine, there would be fewer profits -- and less cruelty.

It is true that cartels deal in far more than just cocaine -- marijuana and methamphetamine, to name a few. But because it is scarce, the profit margin on cocaine is stratospherically high and there is no doubt as to who reaps these profits and what their business methods are.

There was an ad on television not too long ago, an anti-drug propaganda piece created by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that was rightly criticized for its outlandish, absurd alarmism.

This was back in the Bush Administration, when terrorism meant Arab guys with AKs and bomb-making capabilities, and when it was still possible to convince anyone that buying weed funded Al-Qaeda.

There's another spot from that same time, however, that is closer to the mark.

It's not at all crazy to consider that on the long trek from the Andes to your nose, someone ended up dead in order to bring you cocaine.

Cocaine use on its face is not an inherently selfish or evil act. At the right time and among the right people, it can be an awful lot of fun (though it's also tends to make an awful lot of people unbearable).

Maybe, someday, there will be a situation when pure coca leaf extract will be readily, cheaply, and sustainably available, like cannabis or coffee or wine. But it's not, not now. And until it is, the process of bringing cocaine to consumer is one that gets people killed -- lots and lots of people, as many as 1 million people since the 1960s, Vance estimates.

If you're reading this and going out tonight, you will almost certainly bump into people doing bumps. They may just be ignorant. That doesn't make them bad -- unless, of course they're aware of the toll their habit wreaks.

In that case, they're not only colossal assholes -- they're murderous assholes, complicit in the trade that's ripping a country asunder.

Happy New Year.




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145 comments
Starchild
Starchild

It is irresponsible of Chris Roberts not to even mention in this piece the option of re-legalizing cocaine and other drugs.


Virtually everyone willing to take an honest look at the subject (i.e. everyone but those who are profiting from the status quo and choose to rationalize their behavior) realizes by now that criminalizing consensual commercial exchanges between adults, whether it's drugs, sex, gambling, or whatever, (a) doesn't work, and (b) creates black markets that attract organized crime and violence.


Back when cocaine used to be considered legal*, the growing, selling, and transport of this substance was not dominated by violent criminal cartels. This really isn't hard to figure out. If you know someone who still supports the Drug War, they have blood on their hands. Please help educate them, and stick the truth in their faces so they cannot ignore it. Consider joining and supporting the party that is most strongly opposed to neoprohibitionism, the Libertarian Party.


*Technically it still is legal under federal law, since the U.S. Constitution does not give Congress any authority to outlaw cocaine or any other drug. Back when alcohol was criminalized during Prohibition, a constitutional amendment had to be passed first. The 18th Amendment was of course later repealed, and there has been no similar amendment allowing the government to ban cocaine or any other drug, so all the federal statutes against these substances are unconstitutional and therefore illegal, null and void.

hellboundbuddha
hellboundbuddha

or they could just legalize it all and end this ridiculous failing war on drugs that has wrecked countless lives. 

zambeezee
zambeezee

so I'm not an a**hole if I ski any other time of the year?

aeserx
aeserx

The exact same is true of weed, which the cartels actually make most of their money on as way more people smoke pot than do cocaine. If people are going to start getting conscious about where the stuff they consume comes from they're be allowed to buy precious little since most of it is made in horrible sweatshops by children institutionally kept in slave-like poverty. But it is easy to point the finger at cocaine use, good straw man.

haggie
haggie topcommenter

Clearly, the number of deaths caused is not how we decide. Pharmaceutical drugs caused more drug overdose deaths in 2010 as all illegal drugs combined.

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

Can we agree to abstain from vulgar terms like 'a-hole' ? It seems that lumpen morals are now becoming mainstream.

uselessmedia
uselessmedia

and when you drive your car around town this year dont forget about the countless women and children who were brutally murdered by our gov't to steal the oil for your car from foreign countries. oh yea, dont forget about the exploited persons whose lives are relegated to make the shirt on your back or the shoes on your feet.....hack journalism....you get paid dor this crap??!

Joseph Bill
Joseph Bill

There's this article, then there's the fact that all stimulants turn their users into raging fuckernutters.

haggie
haggie topcommenter

Until recently, the same argument could have been said about marijuana. This has a "I got mine, you got yours" vibe to it.

Marcus Clever
Marcus Clever

Propaganda bs, we could take the cartells out by making coke legal, and start treating drug addiction as an illness. Have a look at Portugal, they do that for 10 years now, and the results speak volumes.

Milan Lovre
Milan Lovre

Old news.... Come on tell me something I don't know...

pdrummond20
pdrummond20

Saying that the problem exists due to U.S. drug policy or the illegally of cocaine, is just rationalizing bad behavior on the part of individuals in the United States. Cocaine IS illegal, and any money used to purchase it, weather it's 100 dollars or 100,000 dollars, is used to purchase guns, which are smuggled back into mexico and used to kill many, many people. If ANY of that money is yours, you are part of the problem! It's that simple.

This fact is unlikely to change the behavior of addicts or self absorbed douchebags who do what they want regardless of the consequences to others, but people to have a conscience and a brain might look at this situation and decide they don't want to contribute to the massacre going on south of our border

juiceharding
juiceharding

because junkies care about ethics. that's like the 1% caring where their money comes from.

Elizabeth Daro
Elizabeth Daro

Valid point- not to mention I went to a dear friends funeral instead of her wedding because the night before she snorted a couple of lines at her bachelorette party. I'll never forget the ER doctor telling me - you will never see an old coke addict

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Since the low life commenters are in favor of coke, how about this?  Its the worst value of any drug out there.  Right after the first bump, you just are craving.  Hundreds of dollars later and chalk dust in your lungs, you feel like shit, you accuse your friends of stealing your bindle and you keep thinking that next line will feel as good as the first.  Oh and it changes your brain function too.

Alex Miller
Alex Miller

Pretty sure that if you're taking cocaine, the ethical ramifications is probably the least of your personal problems.

Alan W. Perkins
Alan W. Perkins

People trolling remind me of stupid 7yr olds tryin to be funny.......but nobody's laughing.

chdwlf
chdwlf

None of this would be true if it were legal. 

Wayne Farr
Wayne Farr

Being an old retired narcotics cop in Canada if this Dan Moore guy had point 2 % less brains he would be a plant

Allen Porter
Allen Porter

I work till 10 tonight and start at 8 am tomorrow. Don't have time for that crap. HA!!

Jared Farwell
Jared Farwell

Debbie Downer! Maybe we should find a way to grow coco plants domestically!! Party safe!

Kellianne Johnston
Kellianne Johnston

What a fucking downer. Don't let anyone (especially a smug article with its own agenda) tell you what you should and shouldn't do to your body. Have fun kids and be safe

Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly

Yeah, it could be in my hood. La Paz, Mexico

Andrew Greene
Andrew Greene

Cocaine is an hell of a drug! From the man Rick James!

Cesar Augusto
Cesar Augusto

The problem is not in its use, but rather in its illegality. The only reason its not legal is cause there's too much money in the imprisonment of drug violaters. Nearly half of federal imprisonments are drug offenses. Its a bigger picture but then again i didnt read the article, tittle seemed stupid.

er0sion
er0sion

You can make the same argument against coffee beans. Cartels are into that too, and they don't have to smuggle it in

Bob Young
Bob Young

SF was the best of me, and the worst...

ddrbenny
ddrbenny

ugh, this is such a bad argument. There will always be a demand for these types of drugs, and mexican drug cartels will always find a way to get their share of the money (see weed and meth). Organized crime should be the focus of our moral and political complaints, not individual drug use.

Robert Shatzer
Robert Shatzer

never did an illegal substance in my life, booze was good and bad enough

VickieChan
VickieChan

@haggie - cannabis has NEVER killed anyone, in contrast to alcohol, cigarettes and the moron's drug that is cocaine. Try putting as much thought in  your argument as you did with your look-at-me avatar. Strippers ain't too bright -that they look good nude and use coke does not make them a class to emulate.

SayHey24
SayHey24

@downtownbrown Agreed, coke use is a litmus test for stupidity. 

BTW, do you know who the famed Downtown Brown was?

VickieChan
VickieChan

spoken like a coke hoor! go with the foolery, you dumb drug user

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Go ahead Kellianne, get yourself an 8 ball, you 're soooo wroth it.  Hoor.

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Wrong its fucking evil the second it gets refined, pocho.

SayHey24
SayHey24

@ddrbenny Individual use is what funds the drug lords. That and criminalization. So until that unlikely day in the speculative future when coca is legal, do something useful with your disposal income, like support causes that help people rather than kill them.

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