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So if you see me on the streets of Hollywood and you are a crack addict, know that I pity you. If you sell crack, know that I hate you with all my heart and soul. And the police, I know how you are overwhelmed: out-numbered, out-gunned, and operating without very much community support. I can only approach this issue from the perspective of an historian and a medical librarian.

Historically, only the most draconian of measures have succeded in erradicating drug problems. I invite you to look up how China dealt with its opium problem. No easy links this time either! There is a good book on the subject. It covers the Chinese opium problem from the Qing dynasty, through the Mao period, until now.

So gang, I am in the very small minority of people who believe that all drugs should be legal. It seems bizarre to me that any governmental authority should have the nerve to tell me whether or not I can put a compound into my boby. Why is it okay for me to smoke cigarettes and guzzle booze? And of course, the statistics on the social costs of those two drugs is enormous. I’m not the first to suggest legalizing ALL drugs, even crack, taxing the proceeds and then using the revenue to establish rehabilitation centers. The Netherlands is my model for that proposal and here, I admit, I’m talking out my ass, because I haven’t been to the Netherlands or read up on how their drug policies are working as of late. I think they have their hand full dealing with this immigration policy and The War on Terror.

At any rate, you can take a casual stroll on the side street off Hollywood Blvd any time of the day or night, any day of the week, and you see the both the benefits and harms of crack. There are a few dealers cruising the hood in Escalades or whatever mostermobile is in vogue. But more often, you see ghouls, filthy, degraded, barely human as they scuttle about seeking those 5 tiny dollars needed to buy a some rock.

These little rocks provide a few small doses, leaving the user with overwhelming cravings for more.

A woman smoking crack from a glass pipe.

Image via Wikipedia

Below you see a crackhead in the parking lot entrance to my apartment building giving me a salute. Right back atcha, buddy!


About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.

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