sovnarcman can maybe weigh in, but looks like turkey recently made a significant public shift in legalizing cannabis cultivation for industrial and pharmaceutical use...here's erdogan reminiscing about his mum.

I remember my mother used to knit shopping bags that we could use when shopping. You don’t throw them away immediately, and go out shopping with them again. It is earth friendly, even if you wanted to dispose of it. These are made of cannabis.

this follows lebanon's similar mckinsey & co advised shift in the works from last year.

erdoğan is quite prone to make random proclamations (especially projects and shit) out of nowhere all of a sudden and sometimes it's to take the attention of media or people away from things but sometimes they turn out to be legit. i was thrown off by it as well but after seeing the name mckinsey now i feel like it s legit (even though i dont have any idea about the scale of the operation). mckinsey was hired as consultant for the economic policy of erdoğan and he loves to ruin the agriculture by promoting cash crops or let westerner conglomerates run food production (thanks cargill) and apparently hemp is getting more attractive as a cash crop as big tobacco conglomerates are thinking about switching or some shit. meanwhile food prices are skyrocketing and the government had to resort to "direct selling" where products bought from producers end up being sold in public places by the government or municipalties (there is like a big tent for sales in the most important square of istanbul for example) while getting rid of the middlemen to curb prices

edit: apparently erdoğan claimed that this will bring 100 billion dollars in revenue, even though growing hemp was already legal in some parts of the country for the last 3 years

Edited by sovnarkoman ()

good background on some of the figures in epsteins little black book. connects it to the profumo affair which is what I've been waiting to see. http://visupview.blogspot.com/2019/07/epsteins-little-black-book.html

the 'goodfellas' series about trump's underworld connections goes into more detail about profumo (for the most part via roy cohn). his other stuff about le cercle and various parts of the fascist underground are good too. overall he's a 'deep politics' researcher that never veers into right wing conspiracy theory. highly recommended
meant to put that in the straight edge conspiracy thread but whatever
im gonna post it there because its great, thank
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All the evidence presented to the public to date indicates that 100% of the dreaded Vaping Disease is caused by use of black market THC pods that were cut with something like vitamin E or some kind of oils not intended for inhalation. Any of the suspect substances are much more expensive than good ol' food grade propylene glycol, which is in no way a controlled or monitored substance and can be purchased no questions asked in virtually any quantity.

So what would convince a black market manufacturer to spend more money turning an inherently safe product - THC oil - into a lethal product, which should in theory attract enormous law enforcement attention? Why make the jump from simply selling weed goo to manslaughter when it's not even cutting a corner or making you more money? I think it's actually harder to get this wrong than it is to do it right.

And why, in the face of the specific vector of the disease, is all effort being directed specifically towards banning the candy flavored cigarette water pods from legit manufacturers who are regulated and monitored and can be held responsible if they do add poison to the vial?

im sure the fake juul pod cowboy was a legit fuckin idiot who filled the things with whatever he had lying around. but the press hype is definitely astroturf
hello drugs thread. i just read a really interesting book called 'drug cartels do not exist' by mexican academic and former journalist oswaldo zavala. basically the premise of this book is that the notion of the mexican drug cartel, in the sense of a large monolithic criminal organisation that challenges the sovereignty of the mexican state, is a myth that is promoted by the state for its own purposes. there are drug traffickers of course, but they are and have always been subordinate to the state(though the exact circumstances of this have changed over time). the violence of the 'drug war' is attributable not to battles between rival cartels for control of cities, but to the militarisation of areas by the state itself(this is most noticeable when you look at the murder statistics for some of the cities that were designated as problems during the drug war, where the murder rate skyrocketed only after thousands of troops and police had been sent in to deal with the 'problem'). now, a lot of these 'disputed' areas just so happen to be rich in natural resources, and it seems like killing people enmasse and driving people away from the areas might be a cover to enable those resources to be opened up for exploitation. there's quite a lot of other things touched on in the book too, like the american influence on mexican policy re: drugs, although it's a fairly short book so these aren't always explored in as much detail you might like. zavala is also primarily a literary guy, so there is quite a bit of analysis of how the image of the cartels has been constructed and reproduced in popular culture, which might not be for everyone, but it's important to the argument he's making.
there is a good interview here that lays out some of the ideas from the book, and also touches on a couple of things that weren't covered in much detail in the book, like some famous drug traffickers from back in the day also working with the cia to train the contras:

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/oswaldo-zavala-interview-mexico-cartels/ posted:

JL: Is your title just a provocation? Do you really believe that cartels don’t exist?

OZ: I really do believe that. That’s not to say that drug traffickers aren’t real or that the violence isn’t real—of course they are—but that our understanding of all that has been filtered through what UNAM sociologist Luis Astorga calls the “narco matrix.” This is the idea that drug traffickers are a separate entity from the government and that they’ve amassed so much power that they pose a threat to the state. That’s completely wrong.

Traffickers have never really had any say in political life in Mexico because they’ve always been subordinate to the state. Take the ’70s, after US and Mexican authorities destroyed marijuana and poppy crops in Sinaloa through Operation Condor and created a national drug network out of the city of Guadalajara. Officials didn’t just cut deals back then; they dominated traffickers.

The best-known traffickers in the ’70s—Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carillo, Rafael Caro Quintero—had intimate relationships with government officials. Félix Gallardo was always dining with Mexican authorities in famous restaurants. These guys weren’t outlaws; they were part of the system.

The common perception we have of them, and especially after a series like Narcos, is that they were very powerful and at some point started overwhelming the state itself. That was never the case in Mexico. Traffickers were cops who functioned as drug lords and had a very organic relationship with power. For example, Caro Quintero and Félix Gallardo participated in Cold War efforts on Mexican soil. They facilitated CIA training of contras, who were then sent to Nicaragua. They contributed money and weapons in direct coordination with the CIA. I know this sounds very conspiratorial, but it’s not—there’s a famous book written by scholars Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall called Cocaine Politics that makes this point. It’s strange that even though there’s clear documentation, this has never become widely known, because the official narrative—that these traffickers are out of control, that they’re independent of official institutions, and that they can challenge the Mexican government—is very powerful.


JL: Why would the Mexican government accept this idea that they were at war with the cartels if, as you say, that wasn’t really true?

OZ: At first the Mexican government didn’t want to. But in the ’80s, the US began to push the Mexican government toward neoliberalism, toward the logic of war. Neoliberal societies need a constant state of war to open up markets, to facilitate the circulation of capital, and here the government needed a strong military to depopulate and secure resource-rich areas.

If you follow the violence in Mexico, it usually coincides with extractive projects. In the state of Tamaulipas, for example, the Zetas will depopulate communal land to open it up for transnational companies. A lot of projects take place on ejidos, communal lands owned by farmers who do not want to give them up. So one easy way to handle that is just to flush people out. Scholars like George Mason University professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera have said the Zetas are a paramilitary force that do black ops to facilitate the arrival of the army, which then allows the engineers to begin exploration and extraction. This extractive model can be applied to other states in Mexico: You can see it in Guerrero, where mining companies have been linked to violence; or in Baja California, where water resources are under dispute and violence has skyrocketed. Energy or natural resources are always in the mix.

e: i see there's actually some stuff relating to this topic earlier in the thread, shows what I know forgetting old threads after i skimmed them!!

Edited by lo ()

was just listening to this interview with oswaldo zavala: https://www.theborderchronicle.com/p/the-making-of-the-narco-narrative
really interesting where he talks about how even the drug traffickers have internalised the cartel narrative and it starts to affect their behaviour and self image. also he says that a couple of older senior drug traffickers who were sent to prison before the term became widespread didn't know what the term meant for a while and learned that they were supposed to be cartel leaders while in prison lol
This book sounds sick