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Rainer the Cabbie acknowledges PM Tony Abbott’s good intentions to take on Australia’s ice epidemic, but sees it as sidestepping a far bigger “ice” issue that Australia faces.
Some time ago I went to see my local drug dealer. Here in upper-middle-class Australia, we do seem to like them. Love them actually! Around my humble abode I can count five of them in a one kilometre radius around me. All nice guys as well, always ready to sell and recommend things.
Anyway, so I saw Bruce, one of my favourite suppliers, to get some ice and something on the side to go with it. Ice is rather hardcore and you need to water it down.
I was kind of confused what to select, Bruce has all kind of stuff, some more potent than others. He talked me into something he reckoned I would enjoy. Not only that, but if I were to buy it, he would give me a discount on the product if I double up my purchase.
Bargain, I thought.
Problem started to emerge when I used far more than usual. Didn’t take long for that to happen, just having it in the house and enjoying the taste saw me using it by twice of the dose I usually have. And what do you know, every time I went back to see Bruce, he had other deals – two for one, now even three for one, and he was more than happy to sell them to me. He even gave me a free non-breakable bag to put the gear in and had some sort of bonus point system where the more I buy a discount would apply. Happy days here in the lower North Shore of Sydney. Getting high seems to be the favourite pastime of many, according to Bruce and the amazing deals he has.
As you may have guessed, Bruce is working at my local bottle shop, he knows my name and habits, and cashes in on my addiction. With a smile I may add. He is a good bloke always ready for a chat.
Which brings me to the task force Tony Abbott is setting up to counter the use of ice in this country.
Something needs to be done, I agree. Ice, or “crack speed” as I call it, has doubled in usage in the last year and is a real threat to communities. Ice is highly addictive, easily scored and has a devastating effect on long time users who put their surrounding environment at risk when their addiction gets out of hand. It also is easily produced by backyard chemists who cut it with things like battery acid and other crap, something that will have long term physical damage on the users’ health.
Let’s not even talk about the mental health issues they will suffer when they have to give up their habit or die from it. Crystal meth has also has become highly profitable for international drug syndicates to ship this stuff to Australia since, like housing, we are willing to pay a premium price for it.
IMHO, ice is the most evil drug I have seen to emerge in my years and it must be stopped by whatever means. That it is smoked, bringing it close to potheads is probably even worst as seen in its rapid uptake in rural and remote communities. Some small country towns are totally hooked on this stuff.
Still, I do have my doubts about the government’s grand standing on tackling this particular problem, when in my travels I hear people talking about scoring cocaine as easily as getting a hamburger. Around the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney it seems to be home delivered 24/7 and used widely.
The biggest problem we as a society face is the misuse of alcohol and the devastating effect it has on the community at large. See Jeff Kennett’s comment on this or look around your own neighbourhood, the damage booze does is far more evident than ice, coke or marijuana combined. A lot of it is behind closed doors as opposed to the end of their tether drug users who tend to be in the streets. Far more families suffer from the effect of alcohol addiction in the many various ways it presents itself.
So Tony, good on you for wanting to put the boot into ice use but please don’t ignore the elephant in the room. Bugger the multi-million dollar lobby groups who are nothing else than well organised drug pushers who are allowed to advertise their wares and even have worked out clever ways to suck in the young into a lifetime of addiction. It’s not as rapid a process as ice but it gets to most of us eventually.