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CHECK Ba-Wü #1


SOCIETY LET’S TALK ABOUT DRUGS, BABY! AND ABOUT WHY OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD FINALLY RETHINK AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. The German Narcotics Act (BtMG) is based on the regulation of the so-called Opium Act (Opiumgesetz), which was agreed by various great powers about a hundred years ago. The problem then was similar to today: there was and there is still a demand for mind-expanding substances that change psychological and physical perception. But there is no answer as to who should offer such substances and in what form and at what price. Our governments prefer to ignore the problem in the hope that it will resolve itself. But it won’t. Foto: Ramille ENGLISH 58 CHECK BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG #1

SOCIETY WHY CERTAIN DRUGS ARE BOUGHT ON THE BLACK MARKET Very much simplified (historians and criminologists are very much welcome to criticise and reprimand the editors here) a British corporation once wanted to control the opium trade in China. The Chinese didn‘t want this. As there was a lot of money involved, two opium wars ensued. When neither party was victorious, it was decided in 1909 by the international opium commission that no one was allowed to control the opium trade. The counter-proposal of a world-wide opium prohibition was accepted. In Germany, the law was in effect from January 1, 1930. It banned the following substances, among others: raw opium, opium for medical purposes, morphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin), coca leaves, raw cocaine, cocaine, Indian hemp (basically grass and hashish) as well as all salts consisting of morphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin) and cocaine. From then on, the substances were only available on prescription and only legally available for medical purposes. Amphetamines (Speed, Ecstasy, MDMA) were only included in 1941. In fact, there was no explicit agreement on what the criminal consequences would be if drugs prohibited by the state were sold on the black market. Yet illegal drug trafficking was always going to be the logical consequence of the ban, as the state fundamentally prohibits the legal trafficking in drugs. A fact that has not yet been dealt with in a result-oriented manner. So let‘s take a closer look at the black market: BIG BUSINESS There can be no reliable figures because the drug trade takes place entirely in the underworld. The World Drug Report 2005, compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, estimated the global market value for illicit drugs was 321.6 billion US dollars in 2003 alone. Less specific estimates on the Internet currently assume a total of 500 billion US dollars. By comparison, the global gaming industry currently appears to be worth 300 billion US dollars. THE PARTIES Manufacturers: The cigar-smoking drug lord does not remove bugs from coca bushes or opium poppy fields. For they have numerous ”employees“. This illegal work is not carried out in accordance with union terms. Not only legal gray areas arise here, but large black holes, which those affected often disappear into. Dealers: These are basically people who make money by selling intoxicants as products. As long as there is still a demand for illegal drugs, there will also be a black market for these products. Due to criminal prosecution, a high risk premium is added to the actual procurement price of the goods in cartel-like trading structures. In plain language: the gram of cocaine that is delivered to your door by courier actually costs a lot less. With a rather arbitrary extra return on the risk premium, more and more new dealers are lured into the market. Smugglers: Similar to dealers, but they usually cover longer and more dangerous routes. Body packers, for example, smuggle up to 200 capsules of cocaine inside their stomach per trip. If the capsules burst, it can be life threatening. Consumers: Drug users can be roughly divided into four categories: testers and occasional users, who can adapt their consumption to their lifestyle. And addicts and long-term consumers who, conversely, adapt their lifestyle to consumption. They all have one thing in common: in order to satisfy their need for an illegal intoxicant, they have to delve into criminal territory. Here they may encounter shady types who are up to no good. In 2018 there were officially 269 million illicit drug users worldwide. Police officers: Control offenses conduct targeted controls to find violations of the Narcotics Act. The offense is then registered. The more intensive the regulatory reviews, the more cases are uncovered. The German Federal Criminal Police Office recorded exactly 359,747 drug offenses and 284,390 suspects in Germany in 2019. CHECK BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG #1 59

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.