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DOPE: Destroying Oppressed People Everywhere

Examine your community and witness the addictive effects of pharmaceutical drugs. People who are struggling from addiction don’t often care about the negative outcome drug consumption will have on them or anyone near them. These actions can sometimes be damaging to personal and professional relationships. Every illegal drug consumed heavily in melanated communities throughout America was created and tested as innumerable compounds obtained in chemical laboratories, for their pharmacological activity. Those proving satisfactory were then produced commercially. The extent of public acceptance and usage of any one drug has usually been determined by the medical profession. The use of many of the new compounds was only of short duration; they were frequently replaced by other compounds found to be more effective, or which did not provoke inconvenient side reactions. Although diacetylmorphine (very addictive, and illegal to use or sell in the United States. It may be used outside the United States to treat severe pain. Diacetylmorphine hydrochloride binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system) was not prescribed as a medicine much before 1900 its preparation had already been reported in 1874 by C. R. Wright at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Hailed as a wonder drug, it was received with enthusiasm by the medical profession. Inevitably, the deleterious effects of the drug were discovered. Although many doctors discontinued prescribing heroin and all warned against careless use of the drug, the market for it continued to flourish. A dangerous addiction-producing drug, it was not easy to curtail its usage. "Tetra acetyl morphine" was sent to F. M. Pierce, Associate at Owens College, London, for biological assay. After having tested the compound in animal experiments he reported the following results to Wright. The effects were: great prostration, fear, sleepiness speedily following the administration, the eyes being sensitive and pupils dilated, consider able salivation being produced in dogs, and slight tendency to vomiting in some cases, but no actual emesis. Respiration was at first quickened, but subsequently reduced, and the heart's action was diminished and rendered irregular. Marked want of coordinating power over the muscular movements and the loss of power in the pelvis and hind limbs, together with a diminution of temperature in the rectum of about 4°, were the most noticeable effects.

The favorable reports of these investigators along with the growing interest in the drug shown by the medical profession of that time, led the Bayer Company in Eberfeld, Germany, to start production of the compound on a commercial scale (1898). The new compound was marketed by Bayer under the name "Heroin." (The name is probably derived from "heroisch" which in German medical terminology means large, powerful, extreme, one with pronounced effect even in small doses.) Later this name became a synonym for the drug. In 1903 Pettey reported that of the last 150 cases he had treated for drug addiction, eight were heroin users and of these, three had first become addicts through the use of heroin. He further reported that the heroin habit was just as difficult to cure as the morphine habit. Heroin was extremely toxic and the extent of poisoning in the heroinists he had seen, was much greater than it would have been for the same amount of morphine. Sollier found that the mental and physical deterioration from the use of heroin was very rapid. He opposed its use in the treatment of both morphinism and respiratory diseases. Atwood believed cases of heroin addiction to be rare, but he pointed out that such cases would become more common if no discretion was used by the medical profession and he was against its prescription for coughs, recurring headaches, rheumatism and other chronic diseases. At that time, however, there was no other drug that could fully replace heroin for some medical indications, and the medical profession was still in favor of it in spite of knowing many of its disadvantages.

President Nixon launched the War on Drugs campaign in the 1970s and its legacy still exists today. The campaign attempted to bring attention and awareness to the impact drugs have had on the American people. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and Melanated people. You understand what I’m saying? We know we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or be Black but by getting the public to associate the hippies with Marijuana and the Black people with Heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about drugs? Of course we did.” Nixon’s harsh punishment for drugs like Heroin crippled the melanated community in the 70s and created stereotypes and harsh jail sentences for melanated people. Nixon believed drug use, especially when done by the youth, was a social rebellion, negatively impacting and weakening America. Some believe Nixon had underlying motives for his campaigns, including targeting melanated people and the “anti-war left.” John Ehrlichman, called “the Watergate conspirator” spoke out about Nixon’s alleged race and antiwar left discrimination. CNN states he candidly admitted: A modern effect and a strong example of drug laws, race, and sentencing includes those surrounding crack and powder Cocaine. According to Vox, the 1986 Anti Drug Abuse Act, “created a 100 to 1 disparity between the amount of Crack Cocaine that triggers a federal mandatory minimum sentence versus powder Cocaine.” This means 5 grams of crack equated to a 5 year sentence, where 500 grams of powder Cocaine would warrant the same sentence. In 2019, officials noticed 81% of convicted Crack offenders were melanated. Many believe it is because powder Cocaine was associated with caucasian populations where Crack Cocaine was with melanated populations. A human rights news article penned 2 years ago mentioned that the U.N. believes that states should face the racial discrimination in enforcement of drug laws. They further acknowledged melanated people endure more consequences and disproportionately affected by drug policies and drug laws. The result has left many, “barred from a wide range of employment, educational, social security and other benefits. Disparities in prescribed Opioids occur as some doctors feel melanated patients are physically stronger than caucasian patients, accounting for why 29% of melanated patients are less likely to be prescribed. Other media outlets have reported melanated people do not use drugs any more than their caucasian counterparts, but suffer more frequent, longer, and harsher prison sentences for doing so.

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