Monday, February 09, 2009

The Drug Store

When I was stationed at Kagnew Station (Asmara, Eritrea, Ethiopia, East Africa) in the 1960’s recreational drugs were legal in that Country. But it was illegal for us, in the United States Military, to buy them. In fact, the downtown Asmara Farmacia was off limits to all US Citizens except for the Peace Corp personnel. This was not imposed by the Ethiopian Government, but by the US Government.

In the Farmacia, one could purchase prescription medicines and narcotic drugs over the counter. Tetracycline (the drug that the Post Hospital would give you if you caught Gonorrhea from the biweekly blanket exchange) was fairly inexpensive. A lid (one ounce) of very high quality (at least that was what I was told) Hashish cost 5 Ethiopian dollars ($2 US dollars). Opiates were just slightly more expensive. Since we were not allowed to go into the Farmacia, we couldn’t legally take advantage of these great prices. Only the locals, tourists and the Peace Corp could. Hmm!

When I returned to the United States in October 1968, I was told, by a friend, that a lid of Hash was going for $35 to $40. To put this in proper perspective, a Big Mac, Fries and Coke cost less than a dollar.

According to the inflation calculator, what cost $1 in 1968 would cost $5.90 in 2007. However, I was told by a neighbor (about a year ago), that the cost was about $100 to $125 an ounce. He doesn’t use the stuff, but a friend of a friend does.

I questioned why, in this time of inflation, is the price so relative low? He said “Hydroponics and Grow Lights.” He also said that the quality of the product (THC levels) is much better than in the past and that the plants have higher yields. Growing cannabis in a garage or basement has become a cottage industry. It cost very little to produce and it’s easy to grow.

The hard part is not getting caught selling it.

NORML has been trying to legalize Marijuana for years. But let’s say that we make it illegal to sell it, but not to grow or use it. The Government would set up a Farmacia style chain throughout the country (this would employ a lot of people); they would also buy it from the people who were now allowed to grow it (more employment) legally and sell it in their Drug Stores.

The Government would sell it to the consumers at a lower cost than the Drug Dealers charge and still make a profit.

But this is a moot point because we are too moralistic and using drugs is very immoral.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger Rob said...

I'd say we're selectively moralistic. Or more bluntly, I'd say we're a nation of greedy hypocrites!

We flagrantly demonize tobacco, while willfully turning a blind eye to the much more damaging and rampant substances that are even more prevalent. The Marlboro Man is an easy - and maybe even justifiable - target, but nobody would dare go after Coors or Sam Adams. Hell, those Budweiser Clydesdale horses are practically as sacred as the bald eagle. And heaven forbid you have a sporting event without alcohol sponsors...

I with ya. We need to let American farmers reap the benefits of a viable crop. But instead, we continue to villainize marijuana and put money into the hands of South American crime lords and line the pockets of DEA officials.

Mon Feb 09, 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

What were we talking about?

Mon Feb 09, 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

Oh yeah. I think that was where some of the guys were getting their Meth. Makes you copy dits real fast.

Meth and tract C coffee would make you grind your teeth to nubs. At the end of your trick, you knock down some Scotch. It steadies your hand. Otherwise you can't keep your motorcycle on the road.

So that place was off limits. Even more reason to go there.

Mon Feb 09, 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Wop II said...

That place was off-limits?!? No one told me! Guess I wouldn't have bought all that meth to stay awake at the beginning of a 'three day' in that case. And I probably would have DEROS'd weighing more than 142 pounds. ;-) As I recall, it was $2.50 Ethie for a bottle of 25 little saccharin type tabs.

Mon Feb 09, 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

All the fun places were off limits. I used to go to Reno Martini's restaurant even though it was off limits. The food was good and the Bocci entertaining.

Wed Feb 11, 01:40:00 AM  
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