Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The myths of meth

I watched the most irresponsible and irritating program on A&E last night. It was called something like, Meth - A County in Crisis. It focused on a little county in Missouri that admittedly has a meth problem. It might as well have been written by the ONDCP. The rhetoric was alarming.

The cops were calling the addicts terrorists and the enemy here at home, equating it to a war. The called the meth "epidemic" a cancer on society. They found four of the dumbest crackers in the community and one success story and pumped the meme. All of them claimed they were hooked after one try, they all mentioned starting with marijuana and they all suffered greatly under their addiction. The lead story was about a guy who was blinded when his cooking tank exploded. The cops are pushing the theme that this is a new problem that just started in the late nineties and has now blossomed into a full fledged epidemic.

Completely skewed and false propaganda of course. Meth has been around since the 50s and 60s and was widely used then. In those days it was a relatively safe pharmaceutical drug but the prohibitionists made it illegal and banned the ingredients that allowed it to be manufactured safely. Someone figured out how to make it with different ingredients, that were less safe to ingest and downright dangerous within the production phase. So logically, one should conclude that making it illegal in the first place put society in more danger than it would be in now .

In the 50s and 60s, the production didn't create toxic waste nor poisonous fumes. Leaving aside that it's futile to think you could get every single "cook;" if they had left it alone then and offered treatment to the addicts, we wouldn't be spending millions of tax dollars on hazmat teams today to dismantle home labs.

The program of course, did not reach that conclusion. More disturbing is that they have packaged it as a video for sale to the public. I think I'll write them a letter about irresponsible journalism.


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