Sunday, January 14, 2007

News flash - productive citizens use drugs

Well the prohibitionists are really grasping at straws now. This guy is declaring a new epidemic.
Why are so few Americans aware of these troubling trends? One reason is that today’s drug abusers are simply the “wrong” group. As David Musto, a psychiatry professor at Yale and historian of drug abuse, points out, wars on drugs have traditionally depended on “linkage between a drug and a feared or rejected group within society.” Today, however, the fastest-growing population of drug abusers is white, middle-aged Americans. This is a powerful mainstream constituency, and unlike with teenagers or urban minorities, it is hard for the government or the news media to present these drug users as a grave threat to the nation.
The article hysterically declares this a national emergency and it's not clear that the author understands the difference between use and abuse since he appears to be taking the ONDCPs figures at face value but the point is well made that the focus on "protecting the children" is bogus. Kids aren't buying most of the drugs. Adults are.

In a related piece discussing the above article, Blair T. Longley, leader of Canada's Marijuana Party points out the demographics.
"Frequent consumers [of cannabis] are men with relatively high education and income," Longley told CBC News Online "However, it is poor young people who are seen to be the consumers. This social fact is typical in the way that it contradicts stereotypical prejudices. The public perception of pot is a standing misrepresentation.
In other words, all the rich white folk are flying under the radar in terms of the studies and the arrests because they can't be painted as threats to society -- because they aren't. They're largely productive members of their communities. [h/t Judi H]


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