Editorial cartoonists have a category of cartoons they call "evergreens" -- topics that aren't pegged to a specific news event, issues that pretty much stay the same as times goes by. Many cartoonists will dig these out of their files and use them as filler cartoons when they go on vacation: cartoons on global warming, overpopulation, bad airline service, Blagojevich's hair. Is the use of black tar heroin another evergreen issue for Charlotte?
Here's the lede from Franco Ordoñez's story in 2009: "Mexican drug traffickers have turned Charlotte into a key distribution point for "black tar" heroin in North Carolina. Heroin-related arrests here have jumped. And while officials have not seen an increase in drug-related violence, they worry that could change."
Here's today's story: "The escalation of black tar heroin in Charlotte has police worried about growing addiction and dangers for young people."
Both stories point out that the main users seem to be the young in affluent south Charlotte neighborhoods and suburbs. If anything's changed since 2009 it's the price: $12.50 a dose in 2009, $9 today. Apparently, they've improved their production and distribution methods.
Here's my unfortunately evergreen cartoon, first published April, 2009: