Home' Scoop : Scoop 53 Spring 2010 Contents 80 scoop SPRING 2010
drug use, his marriage seemed to have slipped right
down his list of priorities.
Other friends of drug users report how
they find everything boring and dull and not worth
spending time on, compared with the thrill of a
“What often brings people in to seek help is
when their relationships start to suffer,” Professor
Lenton says. “It is not true to say that people have
to hit rock bottom before they come in to see me
but there may be a heart problem or a brush with
the law. It’s silly things that get them into trouble,
such as bringing out the coke in the wrong circle.”
While Prof Lenton is keen not to overstate
the numbers of people using coke in WA, which
he says is still constrained by a lack of supply and
the tyranny of distance (most coke is produced in
Columbia), police warn that there could soon be
an end to the supply issues.
Detective Inspector Morton says we are
prepared to pay a lot more for cocaine than in
other parts of the country, and certainly more than
dealers will get for it in America or Europe (in the
UK it is £40 an ounce).
“There is a lot of cash readily available to party
hard and criminal networks are taking advantag e
of that,” he says.
The police are also convinced that Australia
is increasingly being targeted by big international
cartels. The 240kg found in Melbourne came from
Mexico and there is evidence that Mexican crime
syndicates are operating here.
“The US market is saturated, it has been
saturated for years, so the suppliers have to look
elsewhere, they look to Australia, it’s miles away
but people here are prepared to pay three or four
times the amount, so they’ll tale the risk of being
intercepted at the borders. It’s a big risk to take but
it’s big risk, high rewards.”
DI Morton and Detective Superintendent
Carver agree that we may only have seen the thin
edg e of the wedg e with cocaine use in Perth.
“We don’t know what can occur if there is an
amount of coke, a flood of cocaine. So we are
bracing up to see if we can turn it the other way
around,” says DS Car ver.
“If we start getting bombarded with shipments
of cocaine, the price will drop, but what will be the
price to the community?”
DS Car ver says we have to overcome the notion
that we need certain drugs to perform. From
drinking to excess at parties or taking caffeine
tablets before a football game.
“You know 20 years ag o it was acceptable
to drink and drive but through education and
enforcement and communication about how bad
these things are for you... it isn’t now. So I hope
that it won’t be acceptable to do a rail of coke or a
rail of amphetamine before you g o to a party.”
As DI Morton says: “People are still trying to
find the edg e, they are expected to put in extra
hours, to work 24/7 and to always have their
mobiles. They think this (drug) can give them the
edge, keep them very sharp.
“There are questions about the whole work-life
balance. We have to try to balance time so we don’t
fall over. We need education to make people aware
that they are vulnerable.
"We really need business and other industry
to g et on the front foot, so it’s not condoned as a
culture tacitly by the bosses.”
"When your day is done and you wanna run; cocaine.
If you got bad news, you wanna kick them blues; cocaine.
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine."
Cocaine by JJ Cale
Up to 90 per cent of US banknotes have
been found to contain traces of cocaine.
It is known as Charlie, Charles or gear.
It costs around $350 a gram.
A typical using amount or “rail”
is about 0.5gram
The National Drug Strategy Household
survey of 2007 showed that more than
a million Australians have tried coke (a
third of them had used in the past year) .
WA is slightly above the national
average – 1 .8 per cent of us had used
it in the previous 12 months (about
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