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History of Drugs

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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: History of Drugs
    Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 11:09

In today's day and age, drugs are a taboo in most cultures. However, this has not always been the case. Drugs have played an important and often overlooked role in the history of mankind. I will start off with a few examples that come to mind:

1. The drug soma or haoma has played a very important part in the religion of Vedic India as well as pre-Zoroastrian Iran. Considered, the drink of the gods, it was even venerated. We currently don't know exactly which drug it was, though various theories abound.

2. Cannabis has a history stretching back to the dawn of human history. The oldest evidence of its consumption dates back to over 7000 years ago in neolithic Romania. Cannabis seeds were found in Egyptian and ancient Chinese tombs. It has been a traditional tools of various Indian ascetics. Such people as the Scythians and Dacians consumed iot for religious purposes and evn when going to war. One of its derivatives, hashish, is supposed to have been instrumental in the success of the Hashasheen, or Assassins: a militant Islamic group important in the 11th to 13th centuries. It is also a crucial component in the Rastafari religion.

3. Cocaine has been traditionally used by the people of Peru to combat altitude sickness, as well as a way to provide energy to workers. Indeed, cocaine may have played a huge part in the history of mankind: much of the silver which was to eventually fuel the Industrial revolution was mined by Inca and other native slaves in Potosi, for the benefit of the Spanish. Though the Spanish were in theory against any drugs, they allowed the native slaves to chew coca leaves, as it was the only way they could work long hours in those brutal conditions. Thus it might be said that the infusion of Potosi silver in the European economy, with everything that that entails, would have been impossible without cocaine.

4. Many tribal populations across the Earth, in all different eras, have been using various hallucinogenic plants in their religious rituals.

5. Who can forget the role that drugs played in the cultural revolution of the 1960's? Without them, we probably wouldn't have the music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or the Doors.

6. Beer in the Middle Ages was prepared with a mixture of herbs called gruit instead of hops, which was hallucinogenic in larger doses. The Protestant princes of Northen Europe, where most Europe was produced, outlawed gruit, partly because of its effects and partly because it was the Chruch that controlled gruit production (thus they deprived the Catholic Church of an important source of revenue).

7. One of the important events related to drugs are the two Opium wars between Britain and China, in the 1840's. Opium was important to Britan as it was one of the only goods, other than precious metals, which China was willing to import. Without opium, Britain would have been drained of silver, due to the enormous demand for Chinese luxury goods such as tea, silk, fine china and art. The Chinese used opium as a pretext for driving out the British who were draining China of more and more resources, but lost the wars.

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  Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 12:18
According with one of my university proffesors, the legend of the Gnomos (i don't if this is the correct english name) have his origin in the northern regions where live hallucinogenic mushroom. When they eat one, they will see small men with great bonnets, that is, the own mushroom.

Don't forget too the use of drugs between several warriors along the history, first crazy celtic and german warriors that developed the famous "fury"; then the muslims like the janissaries that had great provissions of hachs. And of course the own Assasins, who where named because their love for the hachs.


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  Quote konstantinius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 12:30
I think I read somewhere that they found traces of cocaine in Egyptian mummies' gums. It is thought that the substance was used as a numbing agent during tooth surgeries.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 13:05
Well, there are lots of plants that produce cocaine traces. No coca leave has been found in Egypt, anyway.
 
By the way, we should not forget the most important drug of all: alcohol.

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  Quote Adalwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 13:18
Originally posted by Ikki

.

Don't forget too the use of drugs between several warriors along the history, first crazy celtic and german warriors that developed the famous "fury";




Are you referring to berserkers? If so, then this is only a theory. No one knows if they used drugs or not.
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  Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 13:45
Oh really? I was totally sure that was true.
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  Quote think Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 16:26
What kind of Drugs grow around Palestine ?
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 18:58
Well, I'd have to say that my two favourite instances involving drugs in history would have to be the Opium Wars and the debate about whether or not the Hashshashins would dope themselves up on Hashish, hence their sometimes psychotic behaviour. Does anyone have more information about this topic? Any further info would be really appreciated Smile

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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 19:08
Originally posted by think

What kind of Drugs grow around Palestine ?
Certainly cannabis and poppies (opium). There are some theories that say that hebrew prophets may have used drugs, but of course that is anathema to the church.
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Nov-2006 at 21:09
One thing worth exploring is the role of drugs as a means for an economically disadvantaged country to improve its balance of trade. Decebal has already provided one example of this: the Opium Wars which allowed Britain to trade competitively with the Chinese.

Whilst on the topic, I want to ask about whether a similar state of affairs is/has been ocurring in Latin America towards the USA and Europe. Latin America, having significant political and economic difficulties, has been seen as a main source of illegal drugs. When discussing this perception with my Spanish teacher (from Uruguay), she replied that in Latin America they had a saying: "we make, you take". She explained that drug consumption was not all that high, but that its production and export was. She explained that many Latin Americans are indifferent to whether people in the USA and Europe use Latin American drugs.

A practical example of how Latin American drug trade is like the British use of Opium comes with Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord. In building his Empire, Escobar delivered to the people of his home town many of the social services and public infrastucture that they would otherwise have gone without. Such people developed a great loyalty towards Escobar. In this instance, the export of drugs ultimately translates into improved income and higher standard of living for those in the home country; without this trade they would otherwise go without these things thanks to difficulties in securing a competitive edge in international trade. Any other thoughts on this idea?
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  Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2006 at 01:49
Originally posted by Constantine XI

One thing worth exploring is the role of drugs as a means for an economically disadvantaged country to improve its balance of trade.
 
A lesson Afghanistan appears to be learning.
 
 Decebal has already provided one example of this: the Opium Wars which allowed Britain to trade competitively with the Chinese.
 
Why didn't China just grow its own opium?
 
Same reason the US doesn't grow its own opium?


Edited by gcle2003 - 29-Nov-2006 at 01:52
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2006 at 02:26
 Decebal has already provided one example of this: the Opium Wars which allowed Britain to trade competitively with the Chinese.
 
Why didn't China just grow its own opium?
 
Same reason the US doesn't grow its own opium?
[/quote]

From what I understand the Chinese already had their own opium long before the arrival of the Europeans. What mattered was that the British had opium from India, which I recall reading was far more potent than the type locally grown in China. Apparently the Chinese were willing to pay good money for a product they were already familiar with, but far superior to the home grown stuff on offer. Interestingly, the tensions between China and Britain occured at a time when Britain was truly consolidating her hold on India, and most likely the opium crop of the subcontinent.

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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2006 at 13:02
not quiet, before Brits, there were many records 樱粟(that's how we can opium today) in many text, they were used as medicine( painkillers) back in the old days,  but there isn t any evidence stes that 樱粟 is actually opium.
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  Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2006 at 13:46
BTW cocaine is a product derivated from coca... it only exists since the 1890
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Nov-2006 at 19:28
Originally posted by Constantine XI


Whilst on the topic, I want to ask about whether a similar state of affairs is/has been ocurring in Latin America towards the USA and Europe. Latin America, having significant political and economic difficulties, has been seen as a main source of illegal drugs. When discussing this perception with my Spanish teacher (from Uruguay), she replied that in Latin America they had a saying: "we make, you take". She explained that drug consumption was not all that high, but that its production and export was. She explained that many Latin Americans are indifferent to whether people in the USA and Europe use Latin American drugs.

 
Ufff!!!!
 
I believe you can't compare the evil traffic of Oppium in China, sponsored by the British crown, with the situation of "Latin America" at all.
 
I get the impression you believe there is a country called Latin America, and its citizens are called Latin Americans LOL. Not at all, Latin America have more than 20 countries (varying according if one includes the very small English-speaking Caribbean countries on it or not). The drug manufacturing is produced in a SINGLE country, Colombia, that has less than the 5% of the territory and around 7% of the people of Latin America. The rest doesn't produce cocaine, and has the same politic than Europe, the U.S. or Japan with respect to cocaine.
 
Moreover, not even Colombia produces cocaine but the organized crime of Colombia, which is a different matter. Colombia has been combating for 40 years its guerrilla and narcoguerrillas, so is a country that has payed a huge price for stopping those criminals. However, the consumption in the North America and Europe is so much, than many times the Colombian criminals have MORE MONEY than the State!!!
 
Now, with respect of the health of North Americans and Europeans, Latin Americans believe those regions are populated by egoist people that started the drug and flower revolution in the first time.
 
A different topic is coca leaf chewing, which is traditional in the upper Andes. But at those doses that come from chewing leaves the only thing a coca leave can do is making the tonge to lost sensibility LOL.  To make cocaine you need lots of tons of leaves and concentrate the drug in a long chemical process, which was unknown in pre-contact Americas, and that were developed by German scientist in the 19th century.
 
In short, the British experience in China has nothing to do with Colombia whatsoever.
 
Pinguin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 29-Nov-2006 at 19:31
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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 05:25
Originally posted by pinguin

Originally posted by Constantine XI


Whilst on the topic, I want to ask about whether a similar state of affairs is/has been ocurring in Latin America towards the USA and Europe. Latin America, having significant political and economic difficulties, has been seen as a main source of illegal drugs. When discussing this perception with my Spanish teacher (from Uruguay), she replied that in Latin America they had a saying: "we make, you take". She explained that drug consumption was not all that high, but that its production and export was. She explained that many Latin Americans are indifferent to whether people in the USA and Europe use Latin American drugs.

 
Ufff!!!!
 
I believe you can't compare the evil traffic of Oppium in China, sponsored by the British crown, with the situation of "Latin America" at all.
 
I get the impression you believe there is a country called Latin America, and its citizens are called Latin Americans LOL. Not at all, Latin America have more than 20 countries (varying according if one includes the very small English-speaking Caribbean countries on it or not). The drug manufacturing is produced in a SINGLE country, Colombia, that has less than the 5% of the territory and around 7% of the people of Latin America. The rest doesn't produce cocaine, and has the same politic than Europe, the U.S. or Japan with respect to cocaine.
 
Moreover, not even Colombia produces cocaine but the organized crime of Colombia, which is a different matter. Colombia has been combating for 40 years its guerrilla and narcoguerrillas, so is a country that has payed a huge price for stopping those criminals. However, the consumption in the North America and Europe is so much, than many times the Colombian criminals have MORE MONEY than the State!!!
 
Now, with respect of the health of North Americans and Europeans, Latin Americans believe those regions are populated by egoist people that started the drug and flower revolution in the first time.
 
A different topic is coca leaf chewing, which is traditional in the upper Andes. But at those doses that come from chewing leaves the only thing a coca leave can do is making the tonge to lost sensibility LOL.  To make cocaine you need lots of tons of leaves and concentrate the drug in a long chemical process, which was unknown in pre-contact Americas, and that were developed by German scientist in the 19th century.
 
In short, the British experience in China has nothing to do with Colombia whatsoever.
 
Pinguin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

well said pinguin, i couldn t agree more.
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 06:03
Well, I think constantine has I point. I think most Latin Americans do not much care for Europe's and US's drug problems, and I think they are rightabout that. Why should poor farmers in a poor country care if the only thing that keeps them and their families alive is doing damage elsewhere? I'd say they have far better excuses than for instance weapon fabricators and dealers, who do the same thing but who are seldomly driven by poverty.
 
I know that here in the Netherlands, we care little about the foreingers that come here for drugs. Soft-drugs usage of the Dutch is rather limited. Most of the trade lives on tourists and foreingers like Belginas, French and Germans coming here to get it. This is of big concern to their governments, but not to ours, as we do not have a huge soft-drugs problem like they do...


Edited by Aelfgifu - 30-Nov-2006 at 06:05

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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 06:58
Originally posted by pinguin

The drug manufacturing is produced in a SINGLE country, Colombia, that has less than the 5% of the territory and around 7% of the people of Latin America. The rest doesn't produce cocaine, and has the same politic than Europe, the U.S. or Japan with respect to cocaine.
  
 
Well, that's not quite accurate. Peru and Bolivia are also significant producers of coca, while Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil are emerging producers. Just do a search on cocaine production in those countries.
Also, on your description of the "evil" trade in opium by Britain: there was very significant moral opposition to the trade at the time. I don't think that the British purposely traded the stuff on purpose because it was addictive, but because they had no other trade goods China wanted. Everyone is out to make a buck...
Since we're on the subject of a moral judgement, I personally think that the line between legitimate and illegal and immoral producers of addictive substances is drawn rather arbitrarily. Colombian drug lords are sometimes considered the epitome of evil, but tobacco and alcohol producers are tolerated.  Being addicted to an illegal mind-altering drug is considered a terrible situation, but being addicted to a prescription mind-altering drug  (like Valium) is somehow not so bad.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 08:17
Originally posted by Aelfgifu

Well, I think constantine has I point. I think most Latin Americans do not much care for Europe's and US's drug problems, and I think they are rightabout that. Why should poor farmers in a poor country care if the only thing that keeps them and their families alive is doing damage elsewhere? I'd say they have far better excuses than for instance weapon fabricators and dealers, who do the same thing but who are seldomly driven by poverty...
 
I believe that's a cartoon.
 
Latin Americans don't care much about Europe of North America simply because Europeans and North Americans don't care about Latin America either. The indiference is mutual.
 
Now, poor farmers don't need to cultivate drugs, they need MARKETS.
 
If Europe and North America cared so much about those poor farmers of Latin America they would stop to subsidize theirs farmers and allow free-trade and competition to develop, so those farmers could make some money in legal production.
 
Now, if you can tell me how to stop coca leave planting in Bolivia is another matter. Cocaine production should stop, but coca leaves are an ancient tradition in there that hardly will stop. That would be like to ask Argentineans to stop drinking mate or Germans to replace beer by coke: impossible.
 
Pinguin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Siege Tower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2006 at 08:29
Originally posted by Aelfgifu

Why should poor farmers in a poor country care if the only thing that keeps them and their families alive is doing damage elsewhere? I'd say they have far better excuses than for instance weapon fabricators and dealers, who do the same thing but who are seldomly driven by poverty.
 
you can compare this to the case when a thieve feed his/her whole family by stealing, does that make him/her lesser evil? these farmer are fully aware the fact what they were doing was wrong.
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