Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 10. 1969.

The inseparable — duo: fuzz junkies

page 2

The inseparable
duo: fuzz junkies

Let us start by making a clean sweep—There Are No Such Things As Junkies. Like fairies, Father Xmas and God, the Junky does not exist—not even at the bottom of the garden or up the chimney—not even in Mt Eden Jail.

It is difficult to disprove the existence of the Junky to the satisfaction of the man in the street. Unless one is a genuine crusader for rationality and Truth, however, one should not become overly alarmed. Consider God. Tens of thousands throughout the world say they believe in him still despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary. The Devil knows how long the Junky idea will live.

Unlike God, the Virgin Mary and Little Red Riding Hood, the Junky idea got started relatively late.

The myth of the Junky was not yet born when Coleridge hallucinated his "sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice!" in 1797. Opium was available without any restriction except the cost, at that time, and its use was fairly general in a number of popular preparations. The taking of opium indeed remained respectable until tales of the lurking Demon seeped back to Europe carried by wide-eyed sailors off the proverbial British gunboat some time round the Boxer rebellion. The existence of the threatening, slit-eyed, yellow hordes of Fu Manchu, who fed their crazed desires on the Evil Poppy was skilfully played upon by the able British administrators of the day who damn well knew, sah, which side their bread was buttered. Indeed so successful were the colonialists in the spreading of the Evil East fairy tale that, quite outside our theme of Junk, the United States Government has been able to build a complete foreign policy round the idea. Factors of foreign policy aside, the Junky myth owes a great deal to the United States. The Yanks in their incredible assimiliatory way took the Oriental word "junk" meaning a boat or somesuch and, with that skill in distorting Truth which we see demonstrated daily, twisted its meaning into "a fiend crazed by the Demon Dope" who is probably a Communist too" (the addition of "y" to junk is merely a sign of the Mafia—Brooklyn tradition which gave us Al Capony, Tuty Fruity and Jacky Kennedy).

Genuine drug addicts did indeed exist and the worst horrors of this addiction were thankfully grasped by the cop and legislator to feed the growing junky myth which both could see a future use for. It could, after all, provide a fit excuse for police state legislation. It was there as a useful whipping boy when new jails and more cops were needed to keep Capitalism on its feet.

Thus, in the beginning, the American Establishment needed and supported the junky myth. Organised crime which is inseparable from that Establishment took over the pushing of the addictive dope—heroin and cocaine—with, at times, the open connivance of agencies of the United States Government.

Other countries were of course supportive of the Junky doctrine, but the world-wide spreading of the myth could only be undertaken by a nation which had the right tools for the job. The insane Puritanism of the Prohibition era had left the United States peculiarly well fitted for the task. Hollywood swung smoothly into motion. The Readers Digest and later, Time-Life, spread their influence across the seas. Well before the birth of the Central Intelligence Agency (which is dedicated to the preservation of opium and cocaine growing plantations from the "Communist threat" which would close them down) insidious Yankee capitalism was spreading its corrupting tentacles. But a light was beginning to shine through that ever-darkening cloud which was the Junky myth. The Great American Writers, Ginsberg, Mailer and Kerouac smoked pot and lived to tell the tale. LSD, Tim Leary and Dick Alpert came together in a cataclysmic explosion. Dope and religion became united. The Junky myth reeled, assaulted from all sides by people who'd smoked pot and failed to turn into sexual maniacs or mad-axe murderers. Pot became pop. The Rotarians rotated, the Lions roared but first the Animals and then the Beatles turned on. Apathetic, incompetent establishments throughout the unFree World reacted with the witless hysteria which marked all their major policy decisions. No-one stopped to examine the fact that they were getting just what they deserved for promoting and feeding the myth in the first place. No-one seemed to see that Western youth were using the Junky myth as a weapon against the fantastic corruption and inhumanity of Establishment power which promoted meaningless wars for meaningless causes, which lived the lie that wealth gives worth, and which had only to offer a loveless, cold and grasping future in place of the warmth and light and hope which youth always desires.

But on with the polemic!

God never existed but we still had the Inquisition. Witches never existed but we still had the Salem witch trials. Junkies never existed but we still have a Narcotics Squad. The Waltons, Thompsons and Byers of the Kiwi Junky dream are a constant reminder that indeed Torquemader and the rack are not dead but alive and living in New Zealand.

The Cop Knows the Junky like the absolutist clergyman Knew the Lord. Like the priests who presided over the questioning of many a poor unfortunate bound for the stake, the Cop, with the help of Magistrate, and Parliamentarian steps where even angels, these days, fear to tread. Convinced as he is, of the basic evil of drugs, the Cop carries the sword of purity and right thinking into every corner of our land.

Read what Detective Chief Superintendent R. J. Walton had to say in the Evening Post, August 14, last year:

"... drug crimes and offences are the only crimes and offences to have increased by 100 per cent in each of the past three years, and a continuation of this trend can mean considerable embarrassment not only to the police and medical authorities but to the whole community in this country."

When their opinions, and theirs alone, rule the policymakers, the Cop and the Soldier become the two greatest threats to the genuine democracy. In New Zealand the Cop definition of the Junky is the definition which rules our drug legislation. No-one asks the only expert who matters—the scientist—what his opinion of the drug "problem" is. One does not ask a blind man his opinion of a painting. One should not ask a Cop for his opinion of the drug addiction problem. Neither by training nor temperament is he capable of giving an informed answer. His training helps him to become an efficient man-hunter—it does not help him to understand men. His job tends to appeal to the man of action rather than to the thinker, to the conformist who feels at home with the familiar, and uncomfortable and even resentful of the unfamiliar and non-conformist. All overseas studies of the cop personality reveal a picture of unrelieved, rigid authoritarianism. The authoritarian is completely at home with the stereotype image and the Cop swallows the Junky myth whole without ever suspecting its true nature.

No doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or man of science worth his salt buys the Junky dream because he knows it for what it is—a total and complete fabrication. He also knows how easily the myth can prevent any problem relating to drugs being solved. But the Cop warned of the "growing drug menace" and the Kiwi Establishment warmed to a theme it had been conditioned to since birth. No-one except the experts bothered to point out that very little is known about drug dependence and that, at any rate, the country was relatively free of any but the usual socially acceptable addictions. No, the Junky myth was the In Scene. Public figures throughout.

page 5

Bearded man

And, Heaven Be Praised! "A decided escalation in illicit drug abuse amongst Europeans was clearly indicated by the numbers charged with drug offences since 1956," said Detective Chief Superintendent Walton.

Lights burned late in Police stations throughout the country as the Force rallied behind the "increasing public concern." Statistics "proved" the appalling crisis facing the country.

Again I have recourse to Det. etc. Walton's files:

1956, Nil Junkies

1960, 3 Junkies

1961, 6 Junkies

1964, 16 Junkies

1967, 60 Junkies!!!

"More Money, More Men Needed By Force To Cope With Growing Junky Problem" screamed headlines throughout the land. One Cop per thousand citizens was not enough. Deadhead Constables throughout the land saw promotion coming up for the first time in 30 years as the new recruits began to arrive. Efficient Cops are Cops who arrest people. Efficiency spells promotion. QED—Arrest lots of Junkies. "A Junky a day keeps the Mothers' Union away." Magistrates braced themselves for the expected rush and sharpened up on the sort of clichéd nonsense that makes good newspaper copy. "The public had an abhorrence that the use of drugs should increase. The Courts endeavour to express that abhorrence in dealing with drug offences, no only as a deterrent to the offender but also as a warning to others who might indulge in similar practices," said Mr P. Molineaux (Evening Post, May 28, 1968).

The legisltation which eventuated was inevitable when one considers the height the hysteria had reached. In 1965 Narcotics Act was as hastly and ill-considered as any "emergency" legislation can be. As Cock's Legal Correspondent stated in Issue 6 "It is traditional in our law that the citizen's home is his 'castle'. Probably few citizens realise the extent to which this principle has been abrogated by the 'search and seizure' provisions of the Narcotics Act."

That newly created class of criminal, the official, red-stamped Junky, has become very much a part of the Kiwi legal scene. God knows the cop has never liked students, artists, non-conformists of any shade or colour. The 1965 Act has given him a field day.

Wellington Youth who have qualified as Junkies in the eyes of the Cops know from personal experience the vigour with which our police force promotes the destruction of the anti-Christ. The image provided by the Inquisition is indeed not at all inapt when one considers that a Vice Squad raid is usually accompanied by some form of violence on the part of the police.

This is not very far removed except in time from the traditional "asking of the question", where thumb screws, the rack and other instruments more ingenious and sophisticated that the first were used to obtain the right sounding answers.

The Police in this country, as elsewhere, use violent methods to get the "right" answers with the same sort of impunity from Court action which formally blessed the activities of the Gestapo. Fortunately for political activism in this country, a large and growing number of young people who formerly never would, have come in contact with the Cops, now know from personal experience what the Justice system is all about. Their reaction to the Junky myth, needless to say, parallels that of youth overseas.

Genuine problems need genuine, scientific solutions. The problem of drug addiction is one only capable of solution by trained minds—the trained minds of medical doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists—Not Cops, Magistrates and Politicians. A rational, well-ordered society does not need to traffic in dope, does not need a Junky myth. It does not deliberately generate an under-privileged class from which may come unhappy, neurotic people to be ignored until they turn to narcotic drugs for relief. It does not deed anti-drug laws which provide a convenient veil for Police and State fascism; for the suppression of the unconventional and the unpopular.