Tag Archives: drugs

There is a plague in my hood and to the enemy it smells good

By Lindokuhle Shandu There is a plague in my hood where even the unborn struggles to make it out of the womb. Those who do, these fragile babies, turn into kids who are confused and before they reach adulthood carry knives and porn magazines instead of pencils and drawing pads to primary schools. In our…

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Naming, shaming and drug policy in Cape Town

Approximately six months ago, the City of Cape Town began a poster campaign, explicitly aimed at highlighting the prevalence and social consequences of drug use in the city. The posters all feature a stern-looking local celebrity – most often Chester Williams, Patricia de Lille, and Ian Bredenkamp – with the following bold words: I am…

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The National Drug Master Plan: More bark than bite?

In August of last year the department of social development released the latest incarnation of South Africa’s National Drug Master Plan, the NDMP 2013-2017. The national press responded with deafening silence. Considering, however, that it will play a central role in both defining and guiding the South African government’s responses to the production, distribution, and…

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The Silk Road: should drugs be legalised?

Please excuse the brief nature of this blog, the subject definitely merits a longer discussion at some point, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the recent closure of The Silk Road drugs bazaar and the arrest of the person whom the FBI believe to be its founder, Ross Ulbricht, and more generally on…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 6)

For part five of the series, please click here. History has a number of valuable lessons to teach us not only about drugs, but also about ourselves. Problematically however, we still have yet to learn many of those lessons. While the “war on drugs” has begun to fade from view, at least in official rhetoric,…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 5)

For part four of the series, please click here. While some of the most interesting anecdotes and stories of cocaine’s convoluted history originate in the US and UK, Africa has its own tale to tell. While recent documents, reports, and sensationalist articles have reported an “explosion” of drugs on the continent, this is simply not…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 2)

For part one of this series click here. As I noted in the last part of this series, cocaine became a “medical miracle” at the same time as medical science was legitimating itself as a modern form of enquiry. At first cocaine was lauded, especially between 1884 and 1899, as the first real topical anaesthetic…

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On asking the right questions

Recently the BBC published an article by Hugh Schofield entitled “Why does France insist school pupils master philosophy?” His answer, seen through paternal eyes, is that it has opened a “world of knowledge” to his daughter. Reading the article in/from South Africa one could ask, as is the liberal trend, whose knowledge is being reproduced,…

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The problem with legalising drugs

While the US elections dominated the news for the last week, two US states – Washington and Colorado – took the opportunity to legalise the recreational use of marijuana. For proponents of legalisation and for those who believe that the “war on drugs” has failed, this was seen as a major victory. But having thought…

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Executions and fear in China

Daily I take a 45-minute bus trip to the school I teach at in Che Feng (pronounced something like chaw fa-ang). The place is an eye-opener in terms of poverty and beauty. Where I get on is a relatively “posh” area by Chinese standards. Though there is still a lot of poverty there are plenty…

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