Smack: the pig’s drug


Fifth Estate # 88, September 18-October 1, 1969

It’s my wife

It’s my life

Cause the needle to my vein

Leads to a center in my head

And then I’m better off than dead

Cause when the smack begins to flow

I really don’t care any more

About all the Jim-Jims in this town

And all the politicians makin’ crazy sounds

And thank God that I’m not aware

And thank God that I just don’t care

—Velvet Underground, “Heroin”

Heroin shooters aren’t going to read or even see this article. Even if they do, the content will not register.

For along with most of their world, it’s just a piece of blue junk haze rarely penetrated by anything except a skagfilled works ready to feed the persistent junk-hunger that will never be fully quieted.

Addict—it’s a nasty word, but the Movement is becoming more familiar with it every day. A part of our now-thriving alternative culture is based on drugs—marijuana, LSD, mescaline, peyote, the amphetamines, barbiturates; more potent mixtures of cannibis derivatives, cocaine, DET, DMT, MDA, LBJ, and a host of other synthesized hallucinogens related to either mescaline and/or amphetamines in composition.

And smack; skag, shit, horse, hard stuff, heroin, all those tags mean the same thing. It’s a highly refined and purified extract of opium from Asian poppies, smuggled into French labs, sneaked into U.S. and Mexican ports, drastically cut with sugar, talcum powder, soap powder, epsom salts, or anything else white and powdery.

Then it’s sold down by the pound, to ounce, (or spoon) to nickel and dime cap street sales. About 5,000% profit down the line.

But wasn’t our culture and political movement supposed to stand for everything opposed to rip-off profits and doing business with a market that has been created to buy at any price?

You’ll never find any freeks crawling the walls for any of the above mentioned hallucinogens. You’ll rarely find long-hairs sitting in one room for days on end high on those hallucinogens, not caring whether the world disappears.

Not at all.

The non-opiates, non-amphetamines, and non-barbiturates all serve to expand and sensitize one’s awareness and bring the world in on a brighter and fuller wavelength opening up the heart and mind to sharing our precious gifts of nature and mankind.

But smack is just the opposite—a rip-off racket. According to both the British Journal of Addiction and Dr. Paul Lowinger of Lafayette Clinic, it usually takes only a week or two of shooting every day or every other day to become hooked, physically dependent on skag in order to function in social relationships.

Soon, friends become unimportant. The only thing that matters is whether or not the smack is in your vein on time.

As William Burroughs puts it, in his preface to Naked Lunch

In the words of total need: “Wouldn’t you?” Yes, you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do anything to satisfy total need…A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.

You do this because the source of supply isn’t some familiar long-haired dealer who will lay out sample tastes, like most do with weed, acid, etc. The contact is a business man, who is part of what Burroughs calls ‘The Junk Pyramid.’

The pyramid of junk, one level eating the level below (it is no accident that junk higher-ups are always fat and the addict in the street is always thin) right up to the top or tops since there are many junk pyramids feeding on the peoples of the world and all built on basic principles of monopoly:

1) Never give anything away for nothing.

2) Never give more than you have to give (always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait).

3) Always take everything back if you possibly can.

So that’s where heroin, and synthetic junk are at.

But why write about something every high school counselor raves over in modern living class? Because there’s recently been a subtle shift in available dope and the drug perspective of our culture is changing.

Last week the N.Y. Times carried a long piece explaining a crash program undertaken by the U.S. Government involving everyone from NASA to the local police designed to wipe out the use of marijuana and LSD.

Torpedo boats, planes, ultra-new electronic sensors, more agents, chemicals (which have not been tested for human reactions) for spraying on growing cannabis which induce nausea and harsher penalties are all part of the new package legislation.

There was a brief mention that efforts will be extended to crack down on heroin traffic, but no such meticulous measures were outlined such as the ones aimed at grass smokers.

The ruling class would like nothing better than to see our growing revolutionary energies drained or wiped out and has been trying unsuccessfully for some time to stop the cannabis camaraderie.

For once someone smokes grass and realizes that he’s a felon, he begins to question the entire legal system of this society. Grass doesn’t create addicts, almost 99% of the time it starts people thinking and finding out more about his brothers and sisters who share weed.

So if the weed supply is wiped out, that leaves smack and speed (we’ll deal with the latter in future issues) with which to get high, effectively delivering pot-heads into the hands of the junk industry.

So we’re right back into the clutches of the slimiest part of a society whose values we rejected. The business is run by the Mafia, plain and simple.

That’s a fraternal organization often composed of fine upstanding citizens. Like the substantiated rumor of a $40,000-a-day heroin deal running out of an Ann Arbor garage, with a lawyer acting as banker. Nice clean business—no muss, no balky customers to hype, lots of profit.

Go back over the last few issues of Scope magazine and read up on suspected Mafia ties running all through our city government. Then mentally compare the number of smack busts you’ve read or heard about in the last month to the amount of marijuana users apprehended.

Get the picture?

It starts to fit together when you consider the downward spread of revolutionary (or radical or hippy or whatever) cultural influence into the high and junior high schools. The kids there are exposed to drugs from under and above ground media but often lack the caution or discretion found in more traditionally raised college students and older folks, or, in discarding the usual bullshit thrown them by the straight media they chuck out any sane drug advice contained therein.

It’s not uncommon these days to hear of suburban kids shooting peanut butter or orange juice, “just to find out what happens.” Now, with a nice gullible market like that, how long before the smack racket sniffs out this market.

Of course, the next door neighbor who controls it won’t dirty his hands. A pusher 3 or 4 levels down will make the deals, and also get busted if things go awry.

Neat arrangement.

The political implications of smack’s appearance in our midst are very clear. The Man is out to get us—if not with the familiar gun or a club, then quietly through a 7-1/2 gauge needle.