The next map concerns the concerning topic of dangerous and illegal drugs. I do not like drugs. I have never taken any drugs and I find their use to be many things, including a waste of time, a waste of money, a crutch for the weak, a way to destroy one’s own body, and the bane of our society. The drug-loving crowd would call me a narc. I just don’t understand why someone would want to take these horrible substances. Although some drugs do occur naturally in nature, that doesn’t mean they were meant to be smoked or injected. Poison ivy and venomous snakes are in nature too and they don’t do a whole lot of good for the human body when they cross paths. That being said, if I were in charge of the world (which, last I checked, I was somewhere around 4 billionth in line for that right), I would allow all drugs to be legal in only one place on the planet. That one drug area, perhaps in the outback of Australia, would have looser rules for everything. All the drug-loving morons could pay a hefty fee to go live (and eventually die) there. The fee would cover the clean up cost of their existence when they go. The rest of the planet, then, would have ridiculously high penalties for having, selling, or taking drugs. The more I explain this idea the more it sounds like a young adult fiction novel but hey, I’ve always wanted to be a famous author. Maybe I’ll make some money, spawn a movie franchise, and move up the list of people in line to run the world. Map 117 is in three parts, each representing a drug that is being heavily trafficked. They arrived on my radar thanks to Yahoo Finance.
Cocaine is the first heavily trafficked drug. The article and the source studies say that all evidence point to the cocaine trade declining recently but there are still major flows of the drug from South America, where it is mass produced, to Europe and the United States. The topic of this and the other drug maps is pretty horrifying, but the maps are very interesting. They were created using estimated production totals and drug seizures around the world. Spain, for example, experienced a lot of movement of cocaine, some of which was seized by the authorities.
The next drug is methamphetamines. This map is less detailed than the first but still interesting. We can see where meth travels to get from region to region. The pink bubbles evidently have the highest traffic flows of the drug but there are significant flows within some regions like North America, East Asia, and South-East Asia as well.
The third map shows the movement of heroin. Use of heroin and other opiates, like opium and morphine, is on the rise in North America but according to the UN’s estimate, worldwide use has remained stable in recent years (believed to be about 17 million people in 2014). Heroin has three primary production areas, Latin America, Myanmar/Laos, and Afghanistan (the largest). Heroin and other opiates are quickly becoming a larger problem in the United States and abroad. If you know someone abusing opiates or any other drug, please seek guidance and treatment.
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Map 118 can help you understand your state’s stance on fireworks. If your state is Delaware, New Jersey, or Massachusetts, that stance is “no, no no no no no no (no)”. I compiled this map using data from the APA. I have to assume the American Pyrotechnics Association has accurate information regarding the laws permitting and prohibiting fireworks. If not them, whom? Because laws are constantly changing, it is wise to be aware of such changes before planning any Fourth of July activities. I know Minnesotans have been known to flock to Wisconsin where the products for sale are more extreme. It is, however, illegal to transport them across state lines. In my map, however, both states are in the “ostrich” category. California and Washington have temporary restrictions right now due to drought – something important to note regardless of where you live. If it is dry, don’t mess around with fireworks (and have plenty of water and a fire extinguisher on hand if you do). Arizona and New York have decreased their regulation of fireworks in the past four years leading other fireworks maps to now be out of date. Arizona, at one time, had the strictest laws regarding fireworks and explosives.
The states with the least regulation are Wyoming and Arkansas. In Wyoming’s laws, under “specifically prohibited” it just says “none”. Just about everything goes in Arkansas, as well, and potential buyers must only meet the stiff requirement of being twelve years old. #Murica
I’ll end this July 3rd post with one of the most influential speeches in
film history given to the pilots before a key battle on July 4th by President Thomas J. Whitmore. If this doesn’t get you amped up for the Fourth of July, nothing will (just be responsible).