Title: Hard Drugs and the Movement
Author: Joe Axton
Publisher: Do It Now Foundation
Publication Date: 1970


What Boris is to Rocky, Cassius was to Caesar, and Wellington was to Napoleon, junk and downers are quickly getting to be to movement people all over the country. There never was a more subtle, nor more effective way, of crippling any movement that depended on a mass of people for its existence. Hard dope makes such a fantastic anti-movement weapon, everyone is certain it must be wielded by THE ENEMY. Black Panthers are certain their people are being strung out by supremist WASP entrepreneurs. Brown Berets are certain their people are being duped into it by the C.I.A. Anglo movement people are certain it's the F.B.I., the Mafia, or just "them." U.S. military experts in Southeast Asia think it's Red China. Straights have a vague idea that it might be the Commies, underworld manipulators, student protesters, and some or all of the above.

Whether they're all right or all wrong, or some right and some wrong makes little difference. Maybe it's just the idea of being opposed by such a super-weapon and not being able to swallow the idea that we might be using it on ourselves. Even that makes little difference. Junk and downers are not weapons like guns or grenades that can be pointed at you and used, leaving you no say in the matter. Junkies are junkies because they decided to be junkies. Somewhere along the line they decided they didn't have whatever it takes to live in the same world the rest of us live in. They moved to junk-world where the only thing they have to worry about or fight for is getting more junk. Heroin consolidates all your problems into one big one. No more worrying about aggression, repression, poverty, futility and frustration -- just heroin, and how to get ahold of it.

Once that decision has been made you cease to be a positive force. From there you progress to being a negative force. First, you should find an old lady or an old man (depending on your preference, if you have a preference left) masochistic enough to want to take care of you because suddenly you've lost the drive to take care of yourself. That's two we've lost to you. Sooner or later you'll get them into junk, too. There's no place aggression, repression, poverty, futility, and frustration are more worthy than when living with a junkie.

Now that you've got someone to hold your hand and help you stand up you can start branching out into your community. Your neighbors will learn how to lock their doors and park their cars where they can see and hear what's happening to them at night. Maybe when you have an especially good night you'll turn enough to invest the leftover cash in a little milk sugar and some extra smack and you can turn on the same people in the daytime that you've ripped off at night. Maybe you can deal to your people and support your habit the same way the junkie dealing to you is supporting his. Maybe you can get your whole neighborhood strung out and become a big man in the community instead of just the junkie on the corner. There's no one bigger in a junkie community than a dealer. People will be waiting for you with money in their hands wherever you go. People will want you around.

Being a dealer is being safe. You don't have the constant worry one of your friends is going to bust you for informer money because he couldn't get up enough cash to pay for his hit this morning. Who'd want to bust the man that supplied them with what they wanted the money for in the first place? Being a dealer you wouldn't have to worry about the friend who was busted by the other friend for hit money busting you to stay out of jail. You 're the supplier....what's the use of staying out of jail if he can't get stoned? He'll go get some other friend busted and be back to you with a fist full of money by late afternoon. A dealer is the height of junkiedom-you infect your friends and yet are still safe and steadily supplied.

One junkie can be more effective for counter- movement action than a whole army of CIAs, FBIs, Mafias and WASPs. Keep them loaded and they won't move, no matter what. Hit him, stomp on him, kick him....he'll sit there and wait for someone to come along and take care of him. And he's contagious.

Barbiturates are even more subtle. Downers are just as addictive as junk, but they're cheaper. There's more barb freaks, but they don't have to be crawling out of their holes for periodic rip-off jaunts so often. Some of them are just weekenders, the rest have gotten to the point that they have to be constantly eating barbs just to maintain. People take barbiturates to get away, but unless they manage to overdose themselves they have to come back eventually. For awhile after they come back down things are even more abrasive than when they left. Downers take you away, then bring you back and push your face into it. You either have to put up with it or drop more downers to get you back to where you can handle it. It's easier to drop more downers.

They develop a Seconal attitude, the kind of chemical attitude a person develops when he does not want to be where he is. A downer freak never wants to be anywhere. They have one reaction to anything they speak to, stagger into, trip over, fall off of, or stumble into -- hit it and make it go away. At first, it looked like these kids might be of some use. What cause couldn't use a bunch of people that didn't mind getting their heads kicked in, that even went around looking for the opportunity? In theory, it seems as if these kids could save people who don't view a club to the face as one of life's more pleasant sensations a lot of pain. In practice it just doesn't work that way. Using these kids for movement action is like turning a bunch of mad dogs loose in a department store. There's no telling who they'll bite. They bring more recriminations than they absorb. Point them in the right direction and if you're lucky they'll make it two or three steps before they stagger off on a tangent.

Batos locos -- young Chicano kids drunk on wine and stoned on downers all at once -- have been showing up for La Raza demonstrations with depressing regularity. Even Brown Beret meetings have a good share of red freaks nodding off during discussions. They get into a demonstration or a rally with only a hazy image of a shouting, marching crowd in their heads, with little idea of where they are going or what they are doing there. They can turn a rally into a riot in minutes. It's easily seen whose influence directs the hostilities; the most popular Establishment targets are usually drug stores. At least the junkies were just dead weight, these kids are kicking and screaming and doing everything their cloudy little hostile minds can do to hold their people down.

Militant blacks in Chicago have launched a war on dealers pedaling hard dope to blacks. Brown Berets are getting together some radical anti-hard dope campaigns of their own. The Black and Chicano movements have been struggling under the weight of their junkies for years. Black and brown ghettos and barrios provided heroin dealers with their main income ever since some enterprising Anglo discovered smack was both addictive and marketable, especially in areas that a deaf junk haze was better than the grime, the frustration, the indignity, and the aching pain that was reality. Junk was fantastic for those who couldn't handle living and didn't quite have it together enough to commit suicide. Junk was fine for people who had given up, people who had stopped fighting because they didn't think they had a chance of winning. Now things have changed. The people that didn't give up have gotten it together for the rest of us. The junkies and downer freaks are still giving up in droves. We not only have to fight our own way up, we've got to carry them with us, slung over our shoulders while they're picking our back pockets.

Now, more than ever before, it has become necessary to clean up our own ranks before we can move any further. It's time to get on it and move. We haven't got the time to be watching out for people too wiped out to watch out for themselves. America is as open to change as any other country. We've got repression and we've got wrongs, but we've also got a lot of working room. We've got a lot to do and we'll need a lot of people to get it done. We need all the clear-headed, fast-thinking people we can get. We need people that know what they're doing, and believe in their reasons for doing it. We don't need people willing to follow blindly after anyone with a good set of vocal cords. We need people that have got their heads together enough to think for themselves and act for themselves. We don't need people that constantly need someone else telling them what to do and how to get it done. We don't need people who have traded mama's security for dope and can't function without one or the other. We need our people and too many are copping out on us, pulling themselves into the security of dope-haze and adding their weight to the mountain we have to move. Unless we do something drastic and fast junk and downer freaks may succeed in uniting all our separate movements -- into one incredible bowel movement.

This has been a message in the public interest. For more information regarding street drugs, write to: Do It Now Foundation, Box 27568, Tempe, AZ 85285-7568

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This is one in a series of publications on drugs, behavior, and health by Do It Now Foundation.
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