You could argue that its just one misstep, and not representative. Unfortunately, the release of a study last week purporting to show that casual marijuana use causes brain damage shows that this is not an isolated incident. Here are just some of the headlines, as gathered by one of the few skeptical articles, written by john gever for. MedPage today : Marijuana news: Casual Pot Use Impacts Brains of young Adults, researchers Find the Oregonian study finds Brain Changes in young Marijuana Users boston Globe casual Marijuana Use linked to Brain Changes usa today even Casually Smoking Marijuana can Change your Brain, Study. Although the press release that accompanied the study implied otherwise, the research itself is completely mischaracterized in these stories. For one, it doesnt really include casual marijuana smokers—the average marijuana smoker smokes once a month, while the 20 who participated in the study typically smoked 11 joints a week. Second, it doesnt show that marijuana changes the brain—the methods used by the authors cant determine whether marijuana caused the brain differences it found between users and nonusers or whether those brain differences cause people to like to smoke cannabis. Finally, as I pointed out in the daily beast, the study doesnt show that even this level of use is harmful.
War on drugs - wikipedia
The narration continues, describing how President Richard Nixon made political hay by declaring war on drugs: This allowed President Nixon to treat numerous middle-class concerns—crime, race riots, braless women, dirty-haired kids—as one addressable issue: drug abuse. As the word crime is spoken, a clip of a black man appears, followed by one of black rioters. While earlier in the piece, the narrator noted that more than 80 of the new mainliners, just like today, were white, it apparently never doubted that viewers would share its own assumption that most heroin addicts are black. If heroin pushed out of the ghetto on the wings of marijuana in the 1970s, are we to conclude that the war on drugs worked, and did so by cracking down on pot? What, then, would account for the heroin chic epidemic of Nirvanas 1990s, which occurred before marijuana legalizers gained any victories and which wasnt black, either? Theres another critical element missing from this story, perhaps even more important. That is, the big increase in prescription painkiller misuse since the introduction of Oxycontin in 1995 and the crackdown reviews on prescribing in recent years. Several studies show direct links between moves to make pain drugs harder to get or more difficult to misuse and increases in heroin use and overdose rates. And yet nbc blames heroin on marijuana. Drug panics dont just sell newspapers or get ratings or clicks—they are clearly linked repeatedly to both racism and bad policy decisions. Ok, im not going to pick on this pathetic excuse for journalism any further.
Now marijuana is sold like beer assignment and heroin is ravaging a whiter, younger, more suburban crowd. But hold on a minute, havent we seen this episode before? In the late 1960s, reformers launched a massive push for the acceptance of marijuana. We ended up with a heroin marijuana acceptance spread, heroin pushed out of the ghetto and into white suburbia and the armed forces. Note the sly mention of the armed forces. Do you notice anything missing? If you are of a certain age or just even have a rudimentary knowledge of history, you might recall that there was a little war in southeastern Asia going on during these same decades, one that was opposed by some of the same people who. And while this could, of course, be sheer coincidence, that conflict took place in an area of the world quite relevant to the supply of heroin. It seems that nbc, however, didnt think vietnam was worth mentioning—perhaps because including it would make viewers question its entire thesis connecting marijuana to heroin.
Re-read that first sentence: The wide acceptance of marijuana paved the way for a heroin epidemic is a claim that is stated as fact. But is it true? The report provides no sources or statistics—and while its obviously an argument that some anti-drug conservatives have long made, the claim is not backed by strong scientific or historical evidence. And its certainly not widely accepted enough to be writings stated in a way that implies causality and objective truth. . Whether the intent is to bolster the long-debunked gateway theory that marijuana puts users on the road to heroin hell or to claim that relaxing laws on one type of drug use inevitably produces increases in them all, its simply not an accurate statement. Just because a follows b, it doesnt mean that A caused, b—and there were many other things besides a liberalization of attitudes toward marijuana going on in the 1960s and 1970s. In the video, however, the narrator says: American drug culture is always in flux. A decade ago, even two years ago, marijuana was banned and heroin was an out-of-sight small problem.
If we want better care—and, especially, less incarceration—for addicted people, we cant just sit by while the media stirs up frequent drug panics. If we dont challenge the stale formula that crackdowns are the best response to drug-related harm and that typical drug addicts are black, reform will remain marginal, at best. Lets examine the problem in some recent stories. Heres nbc, in part of a network-wide series on heroin. In a lead-in to a video report headlined Will the rise of Heroin mean the fall of Pot? (see the video below) the website says: In the 1960s, the wide acceptance of marijuana paved the way for a heroin problem in America and the war on Drugs. Today, with two states legalizing marijuana, could this happen again?
War on, drugs - facts summary
Massachusetts is now considering a bill to eliminate criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. These efforts are just a beginning, but they need your support. For more information about civil foreiture, see. If you want to help get the war off drugs, see the Drug Policy Alliance and the marijuana policy Project. Return to richard Stallman's home page. Please send comments on these web pages.
Copyright (C) 2001 Richard Stallman Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted in any medium or format provided this notice is preserved. Jeremy Brinn via, shutterstock instead of asking tough questions, reporters tend to parrot conventional wisdom — and ruin hope for real reform. Journalists are no less likely to take drugs than anyone else—indeed, in my admittedly anecdotal experience, theyre more likely to use. Youd think that this would make us especially skeptical both about federal policies that failed to prevent our own drug-taking and about extreme paper claims about drug users. But the press may actually be one of the biggest obstacles to reform. Instead of asking tough questions, reporters tend to simply parrot conventional wisdom—and reinforce the idea that the drug war is the only way, even when drug warriors claims contradict the evidence of the writers own lives. In the last month alone, weve seen several particularly egregious examples of mindless reporting—including one that is explicit in propping up longtime racist stereotypes about drug users.
But the usual way this war ruins innocent people's lives is when they are falsely convicted of trafficking. This is not unusual, because everyone accused is offered the chance to reduce his sentence by inculpating someone else. (The inquisitors in Europe, hunting witches, used the same approach.) to comply is wrong, but not everyone can face extra years in prison for the sake of his conscience. And if the accused runs short of real accomplices to denounce, he can always denounce someone innocent. And this is not even to mention the trouble that the war on Drugs causes for people who use drugs.
Illegal drugs differ as much as alcohol and caffeine; some are safe enough when used responsibly. Sometimes more than merely safe: marijuana can be the best treatment for the pain of cancer or aids. But even if the drug itself is safe, using it puts you in danger-from the police. Some illegal drugs are dangerous, but it's easy to protect yourself from them: just say. But you can't "just say no" to the war on Drugs. When a war is on drugs, it forgets who the enemy is, and starts attacking everyone. The war on Drugs needs to get off drugs, and come to its senses. It is up to us to help. In the past few years, several states have passed laws to permit medical use of marijuana.
On, drugs - home facebook
I may essay be lucky this happened in Frankfurt, because in the us the police could have write seized all the money i had with me on mere suspicion-for instance, if a dog said it smelled of cocaine (which nearly all us paper money does). This procedure is called "civil forfeiture instead of accusing you of a crime, they accuse your cash instead. (If this sounds ridiculous, don't blame me, it's what the us government says.) They do it this way because your cash doesn't have the constitutional rights that a person has. The war on Drugs has effectively negated the fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. But it gets worse than that: the war on Drugs can ruin your life. A minister in New York city died from a heart attack when the police burst into his apartment by mistake. Of course, that sort of thing is rare. A larger number of innocent people are shot by drugs-mad policemen.
They asked if I had checked baggage, and I said yes, a large suitcase. But they let me for go without arranging to check. Little did they know that I was transporting pseudephedrine, mefloquine and levaquin there. I was a victim of the war on Drugs that day, but I was not hurt very badly: I lost only five minutes of my time. Others have it much worse. I encounter this problem rarely because i am a caucasian from a rich country. (Once in a while my long hair counts against.) If you have the wrong skin color, or ethnic background, or national origin, you're likely to be harassed frequently, and may be detained for hours. But what about evidence? For the drug warriors, a word from a dog is enough.
passport, "and I have been. This is not normal. This is not where people go through customs. What is the meaning of this?". They said that the dog had told them I was carrying "drugs.". At this point they searched my computer bag, asking some silly questions about things such as papers about my computer, which were evidently not drugs. Then they searched my food bag, rather casually since it held many mood-altering substances (tea and chocolate) to which they paid no attention. They didn't bother with my backpack, which was foolish, because it was full of drugs-ibuprofin, acetaminophen, oxymetazoline, and more. Perhaps the dog told them enough was enough.
They asked where i had come from. "Johannesburg-but you know that already i replied. "you know where this flight came from." Then they asked to see my ticket. The ticket itself had been collected,. I handed them my boarding pass stub and said, "This is what is left." They seemed to find that hard to accept. So i showed them the ticket for the next flight, the one from Frankfurt to Stockholm. That had the side effect of showing them that I had another flight in 40 minutes, which may have been some help. At this point i asked them, "What's resume going on?
Autobiography of a, princess, directed by james ivory
On Becoming a war Victim - richard Stallman. For current political commentary, see the daily political notes. Rms' bio, the gnu project, on Becoming a war Victim - richard Stallman (First published on Newsforge while traveling from south Africa to Sweden in June, i became a victim of the war on Drugs. It happened at Frankfurt guaranteed airport, just after I disembarked from the flight from Johannesburg. When I reached the gate itself, a man was standing there with a dog. Just after I passed him, two other people flashed badges at me, and told me they were customs agents. I could not read the badges without my glasses, but I took their word for. They told me to step aside, show them my passport, and answer their questions.