If the War on Drugs Is Failing, Where’d All the Cocaine Go?
Toward the end of last year, the DEA published its 2013 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, a 28-page report chronicling drug consumption trends across the United States. These include the continued rise in abuse of prescription drugs (second only to marijuana in popularity), the increase in the production of heroin in Mexico and its availability in the U.S., and the emergence of synthetic designer drugs.
Much of the report is unremarkable—until you arrive at the section on cocaine. “According to [National Seizure System] data,” it reads, “approximately 16,908 kilograms of cocaine were seized at the southwest Border in 2011. During 2012, only 7,143 kilograms of cocaine were seized, a decrease of 58 percent.”
That sharp decline echoes an ongoing trend: 40 percent fewer people in the United States used cocaine in 2012 than they did in 2006; only 19 percent of Chicago arrestees had cocaine in their system two years ago compared to 50 percent in 2000; and less high school seniors say they’ve used cocaine in the last 12 months than at any time since the mid-70s. In fact, the report indicates cocaine was sporadically unavailable in Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, and St. Louis in the spring of 2012. So where’d the blow go?
Drunken Glory: Former Addicts in Minneapolis Are Getting Wasted on the Glory of God
God is descending on Minneapolis in the form of invisible spliffs and imaginary lines of coke. The Drunken Glory movement—spawned by events like the Florida Outpouring and Toronto Blessing in the 90s, at which people appeared to be inebriated and high purely off the power of God—is on the rise, as godly YouTube channels find innovative ways of reaching their younger audience.
One of those channels, Red Letter Ministries, is run by former meth addict Brandon Barthrop. We went to Brandon’s hometown of Minneapolis, which boasts the largest concentration of drug addicts and churches in America, to try to get high on the glory of God.
Brandon and his posse of waifs, strays, and former addicts spend their days sniffing “diamond oil” and tripping out to the sound of Brandon’s YouTube preaching. Christian EDM DJs down the road are going to raves and attempting to “heal” clubbers high on drugs, and mega-churches run by rehab charities like Teen Challenge are preaching the drunken glory to thousands.
Watch the documentary
A Meth Pipe Shattered in a North Dakota Woman’s Vagina
What started as your plain old, run-of-the-mill car accident resulted in a woman being arrested while pieces of glass from a shattered meth pipe were stuck up her vagina. In North Dakota, 26-year-old Jeana Marie Smart rear-ended another driver on the road. When law enforcement officers responded to the scene, Jeana was arrested “after a warrant check revealed that she had failed to appear in court on a pending narcotics and drug paraphernalia case,” according to the police report.
The officer transporting her, Michael Benton, spotted blood on the backseat of his patrol car. Being the curious man that he is, he decided to inquire about the red stain as opposed to just doing what most people would do, which is naturally assume that it’s menstrual blood and not bring it up because that’s a really awkward conversation to have.
The Real Walter White
When AMC’s Breaking Bad premiered in 2008, one of Alabama’s most successful meth cooks was already knee deep in building a massive meth empire. His name? Walter White. In this documentary, Walter tells us the secret behind his product, how he stacked up thousands of dollars per day, and why his partner is now serving two life sentences.
Watch the Documentary
Is a Cure for Meth Addiction Lurking in the Jihadist-Infested Jungles of Thailand?
You know what khat is, right? Well kratom is like that: a mild, leaf-shaped stimulant that gives you a barely noticeable buzz if you chew it for long enough. Both stimulants have also attracted the ire of politicians—while Home Secretary Theresa May has promised to ban khat from Britain soon, kratom has been outlawed in Thailand for the past 70 years. But recently the Thai Minister for Justice, Pradit Sintavanarong, announced that he wants the kratom leaf removed from the country’s illicit drugs list. He claims it could help wean addicts off harder stimulants, like methamphetamine.
Meth has been a big deal in Thailand for the last decade or so. It’s most commonly taken in a concoction known as yaba—a blend of meth and caffeine which comes in pill form that the Nazis invented to keep their soldiers marching for days. Today, the authorities estimate that nearly one in every 60 Thai citizens is a methamphetamine user. Last year, shocking new reports claimed that nearly 7,000 children—kids aged from as young as seven up to 17—had been rehabilitated for meth use within the first half of 2012 alone, while this year it emerged that yaba producers are trying to sell the drug to kids over Facebook. So now might not be a bad time to consider some new ways to tackle all that.
We Went to a Breaking Bad Finale Party in a Cemetery
This post contains spoilers, obviously.
The white beaches, it turns out, are white because they’re made up of the pulverized bones of millions of dead fish.
—Jamie Lee Curtis Taete went to the Sultan Sea, California’s Post-Apocalyptic Beach Town
I’ve met Lemmy a bunch of times, but this is literally one of the top five coolest things ever in the world. After the Motorhead show in Austin in 1995, I go back to the bus and I see [late Motorhead guitarist Michael] Wurzel [Burston] and the other guys. So I said, “Where’s Lemmy?” And they just point to the back of the bus. I knock. No answer. So I open the fuckin’ door and there’s Lemmy in a complete full-in Gestapo uniform spanking a naked chick with a riding crop. She was loving it. I apologized and closed the door. The only reason I went back there in the first place was because I wanted to give him some coke. I had some coke on me and I figured he’d want some. So I went back up front to the rest of the band and said, “Well, it looks like Lemmy’s busy. I got all this coke for you guys.” And they went, “Fuck you!” and called me a poser. And then they pulled out their giant bag of meth! They said coke was pussy shit!
—Outtakes from ‘Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen’
Cruising the Meth-Riddled Murder Dens of Cape Town
Ibrahim won’t stop talking. He’s going on and on about how he’s persecuted and religious and genuinely as innocent as they come. I hope that one of the cops shuts him up so that at least this dark, noxious-smelling room is silent rather than filled with his noise. But no such luck—the Cape Town Metro Substance Abuse Unit just get on with the job at hand: searching through all of Ibrahim’s possessions, looking for drugs.
They don’t find much—some weed and a “tik lolly,” a small tube with a glass bubble at the end made exclusively for smoking methamphetamine, or “tik” as it’s known in Cape Town’s townships. Ibrahim starts wailing about how he is a child of Allah, how he’s the only person who gets searched, how he has rights. Then one of the cops pulls out a huge pile of porn. At last Ibrahim is quiet.
It’s easy to find Ibrahim’s home, as it’s just meters away from Voortrekker Road, the main street running through Bellville, Cape Town. His place is a two-story house with a pool and a Mercedes parked outside the garage. But that description might be a little misleading. The pool and the roofless garage are dumps and the Mercedes clearly doesn’t run. Even if it did, the draft from the smashed rear window and the scent of the rotting trash in the backseat wouldn’t make for the most pleasant of journeys.