Monday, November 29, 2004

Rave Death in LA; Heroin in Norway

Today's LA Times had two stories that show just how crazy the drug culture -- and society's misdirected efforts to deal with it -- are.

First, (here) was a story about a teen shooting people at a rave in LA. After injuring three party-goers, he was shot and killed by one of many police officers who had arrived at the scene to try to get control of a party gone wild. Ecstacy, and the rave scene in general, continues to get a pass from media and regulators, but it is, at its heart, typical of all drug scenes: dark, dangerous and trending towards getting worse. Here's what the Times says about it:

Saturday's fatal shooting was the fifth connected with the illegal parties this year in the 77th Street Division and the second at the same building. But the bashes — and the violence — are common throughout the city.For example, in May, two young men were shot and killed at a flier party in Sylmar. On Sept. 25, two teenagers were shot and killed at a flier party in a downtown Los Angeles warehouse. On Nov. 13, two teenage boys were shot and one stabbed at a similar party in the fashion district.

The raves, or "flier parties," are marketed to appeal to base insticts. Once there, the kids can purchase all manner of drugs.

Police said partygoers were buying hits of nitrous oxide, which is inhaled through balloons and produces a narcotic effect. Word of the parties usually starts on campus, where the glossy fliers, sometimes adorned with pictures of half-naked women, DJs and dancers, spread from hand to hand. One flier promoting a Nov. 19 party showed images of condom wrappers and women in provocative poses. It advertised the party as "Panties Dropping."

It is a wonder that Peter Jennings could look at this scene and still do a one-hour special promoting the idea that there's nothing wrong with Ecstasy!

Immediately next to this story on the front page was a story about heroin addiction in Norway (here). Norway, it appears, was slow to respond to a heroin crisis and now is paying the price with deaths rising from 75 in 1990 to 331 in 2001. Liberal policies in dealing with drugs are good and have their place -- treatment should be available, for sure -- but it must be backed with swift and harsh prosecution of dealers.

1 comment:

Leslie Lim said...

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