Demonizing Drugs 

Demonizing Drugs 
Posted by CN Staff on July 04, 2006 at 11:54:11 PT
By Paul Campos, Scripps Howard News Service
Source: SHNS
USA -- My office at the University of Colorado is a three-minute walk from the Coors Events Center, built by the makers of Coors beer. That this seems completely unremarkable illustrates the remarkable rehabilitation alcohol has undergone since the collapse of legal attempts to ban it. And that rehabilitation exemplifies the astonishingly arbitrary way in which we deal with mind-altering substances.
Consider, for example, that we reflexively speak of "drugs and alcohol," as if somehow alcohol was something other than a drug. But of course alcohol is a drug _ a particularly powerful, addictive, and potentially dangerous drug.One measure of a drug's dangerousness is the gap between the typical effective dose and the typical fatal dose. By this measure alcohol, which is fatal at a dose about ten times greater than that that produces the initial desired effect in users, is about as dangerous as cocaine and heroin, and vastly more dangerous than LSD or marijuana.Several hundred Americans per year die from simple alcohol overdoses; perhaps 20,000 die in car accidents in which the drug is a contributing factor; tens of thousands die from diseases connected to alcoholism; and alcohol plays a role in enormous numbers of violent crimes, reckless sexual behavior, and other socially destructive acts. Given such statistics, it's hardly surprising that alcohol was the first serious target of the war on drugs. Yet the standard story of why Prohibition failed itself fails to explain what was wrong with the attempt to make America an alcohol-free nation.The standard story is that Prohibition was a bad idea because it couldn't "work." It's said the attempt to make America dry was doomed to failure because our legal system lacked the resources to stamp out alcohol use, at least at an acceptable price.The problem with this story is it assumes that, if it were possible to eliminate alcohol use in America at an "acceptable" cost, then this would be a desirable thing. And that is a seriously wrongheaded belief.The truth about alcohol is that, for all the damage it does, its net effect on society is strongly positive. Alcoholic beverages bring both simple and sophisticated pleasures to the 75 percent of American adults who drink them at least occasionally.Alcohol encourages conviviality, making otherwise tedious social events palatable, and pleasant occasions even more enjoyable. Alcohol enhances meals, relationships, sporting events, and many other aspects of life. Human beings have recognized this for thousands of years. For example, the ancient Greek dramas, which remain among the greatest artistic achievements of civilization, were composed specifically for an annual festival to honor the god of wine.In other words, to make America a completely sober nation, even if it were possible, would be a terrible thing. And this point applies to many other mind-altering substances as well, to greater and lesser extents. In particular, the socially harmful effects of marijuana are almost wholly a product of the fact that its use is prosecuted as a crime, while the drug's beneficial effects may well be comparable to those of its far more dangerous legal cousin, alcohol.It's not even clear that it would be desirable to completely eliminate heroin and cocaine use, assuming such a thing could be done, which of course it can't (one of the dirty little secrets of the drug war is that many people use these drugs recreationally for years on end with little or no adverse effect).All drugs have both good and bad effects. Alcohol, whose compulsive use plays a part in a certain amount of human self-destruction, enhances the lives of most people who use it. And what is true for alcohol is also true for substances that are no more (and often less) dangerous, but which our government now demonizes, just as liquor was demonized not that long ago.Paul Campos is a law professor at the University of Colorado and can be reached at Paul.Campos Colorado.eduSource: SHNS (DC)Author: Paul Campos, Scripps Howard News Service Published: July 4, 2006Copyright: 2006 Script Howard News ServiceWebsite: copelandp shns.comCannabisNews Justice Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #22 posted by Truth on July 06, 2006 at 09:05:28 PT
drug dealers
I still can't figure why in the world any community would allow it's sports stadiums, which are shrines to young athletes, to be named after a drug dealer. To name something "Coors Field", or "Coors Event Center" glamorizes alcohol to say the least.Shame, shame
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #21 posted by FoM on July 05, 2006 at 11:18:50 PT
Thank you. If I didn't have to worry about copyright issues I wouldn't even have mention it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #20 posted by mai_bong_city on July 05, 2006 at 11:04:36 PT
sorry FoM
it came to me in a mail and there was only the text, my apologies next time i'll request a link from the,
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #19 posted by FoM on July 05, 2006 at 10:25:13 PT
I really mind when I need to mention this because I really don't care myself but I must follow the rules of Mapinc. and DrugSense. We must have copyright info in articles. What will help me out so I don't get in trouble is posting a link with a lead in to the article so people know if they want to read it or not. I hope you understand.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by mai_bong_city on July 05, 2006 at 10:19:33 PT
here's an interesting one
July 5, 2006Homeless Alcoholics Receive a Permanent Place to Live, and Drink 
By JESSICA KOWALSEATTLE, June 30 — Rodney Littlebear was a homeless drunk who for 15 years ran up the public tab with trips to jail, homeless shelters and emergency rooms. He now has a brand-new, government-financed apartment where he can drink as much as he wants. It is part of a first-in-the-nation experiment to ease the torment of drug and alcohol addiction while saving taxpayers' money.Last year, King County created a list of 200 "chronic public inebriates" in the Seattle region who had cost the most to round up and care for. Seventy-five were offered permanent homes in a new apartment building known by its address, 1811 Eastlake.Each had been a street drunk for several years and had failed at least six efforts at sobriety. In a controversial acknowledgment of their addiction, the residents — 70 men and 5 women — can drink in their rooms. They do not have to promise to drink less, attend Alcoholics Anonymous or go to church. "They woke me up in detox and told me they were going to move me in," said Mr. Littlebear, 37, who has had a series of strokes and uses a walker. "When I got here, I said, 'Oh boy, this don't look like no treatment center.' "These are the "unsympathetic homeless" who beg, drink, urinate and vomit in public — and they are probably the most difficult to get off the streets, said Bill Hobson, executive director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, the nonprofit group that owns 1811 Eastlake. In 2003, the public spent $50,000, on average, for each of 40 homeless alcoholics found most often at the jail, the sobering center and the public Harborview Medical Center, said Amnon Shoenfeld, director of King County's division of mental health and chemical abuse.Mr. Hobson's group expected the annual cost for each new resident of 1811 Eastlake to be $13,000, or a total of $950,000. It cost $11.2 million to build and is paid for entirely by the City of Seattle and county, state and federal governments. The actual price tag will probably rise because residents have more serious health problems than expected, said Margaret King, a social worker who manages the building. Many have heart ailments, cirrhosis, diabetes, head injuries from falling on sidewalks and severe circulation problems. Four residents have already died, including one who moved in with late-stage liver cancer.The building's critics are particularly incensed that residents do not have to stay sober. The Seattle Times, in 2004, editorialized that government should insist that the residents quit drinking in order to live there."Bunks for drunks — it's a living monument to failed social policy," said John Carlson, a conservative radio talk show host here. This approach, he said, is "aiding and abetting someone's self-destruction." Drink they do. When residents are shuttled to supermarkets for groceries, Ms. King said, they often buy wine or beer, which is sold in this state alongside the milk, eggs and orange juice. Like Mr. Littlebear, Howard Hunt, 41, moved in the first day. Homeless since 1999, Mr. Hunt said he drank a daily bottle of whiskey before he came to 1811 Eastlake. He has epilepsy and walks with crutches because he fractured his hip.He shrugged when asked about the policy allowing him to drink in his new home. "We're going to drink somewhere," Mr. Hunt said. Influential Bush administration officials have come to support this project, including the on-site drinking. John Meyers, director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's regional office here, said he blanched when he learned that his agency had pledged $2 million for it. He now calls 1811 Eastlake "a glorious experiment." "It's a lot cheaper having them spend the night at 1811 than at the E.R. or at the drunk tank," Mr. Meyers said.Philip F. Mangano, executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, said there should be a similar building in every city in the country.These apartments fit into the "housing first" philosophy, newly adopted by many cities, intended to give permanent housing and intensive services to long-term homeless people. Local officials have already approved other buildings for the mentally ill and people with chronic medical conditions, said Adrienne Quinn, director of Seattle's Housing Office.Though it would be unthinkable for a market-rate apartment building in this booming city, 1811 Eastlake's front door is across the street from busy Interstate 5, on the edge of downtown. The Starbucks around the corner donates pastries, but Robb Anderson, 43, an owner of the trophy shop next door to the apartments, complained bitterly about paramedics' 120 visits in just six months.The building's atmosphere during a recent daytime visit was more convalescent home than rowdy dorm. A few men in the television room stared silently at a World Cup match, while others wearing backpacks trudged through the front door and into the communal kitchen for apple fritters and coffee.A third of the residents, including Mr. Littlebear, are American Indian; an estimated 20 percent are military veterans. The average age is 45. Most receive state or federal disability payments, and all residents pay 30 percent of their income as rent under HUD's guideline for low-income housing. By choice or if they need frequent medical attention, 26 residents live on the first floor in office-sized cubicles with a bed, desk, dresser and small refrigerator. These communal living areas have a strong scent of body odor.Upstairs, 49 people have private studio apartments with a single bed, bath and kitchen. For many, this normal existence is a huge adjustment. One man continues to sleep on the floor next to his bed, and another refused sheets in favor of his sleeping bag, Ms. King said. Their quality of life, drinking and use of public services are being studied by researchers at the University of Washington. Ms. King said the alcohol intake of the residents was shockingly high at first, but many residents say they now drink less, at least by their standards. "I cut down," Mr. Littlebear said. "I've got to save my liver."
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by lombar on July 05, 2006 at 09:43:24 PT
The article is Propaganda afterburner
In the present study, the effects of perinatal exposure to Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on heroin-induced place conditioning and Fos-immunoreactivity (Fos-IR) were examined. Male albino Wistar rats (N=104) were pretreated with vehicle (n=52) or 5 mg/kg THC (n=52) from postnatal days 4 through 14. At approximately 8 weeks of age, 72 rats were divided into six equal groups (n=12 per group) and injected subcutaneously (s.c.) with vehicle, 0.5, or 2.0 mg/kg heroin and tested in an unbiased two-compartment place conditioning task. In vehicle-pretreated rats, 2.0 mg/kg b
ut not 0.5 mg/kg heroin produced a significant place preference. Perinatal THC exposure significantly enhanced the rewarding properties of both doses of heroin. In the second experiment, 32 rats were divided into four equal groups (n=8 per group) and injected with vehicle or 0.5 mg/kg heroin s.c. and perfused 2-h later. Fos-IR was examined in several brain regions directly or indirectly involved in reward. Acute administration of heroin in vehicle pretreated rats increased Fos-IR in the central, medial, and dorsomedial caudate putamen (CPu), nucleus accumbens (NAC, core and shell regions), lateral septum, islands of Calleja-major (ICjM), bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), central nucleus of the amygdala (CEA), dorsolateral and dorsomedial periaqueductal gray (PAG), ventral tegmental area (VTA), Edinger–Westphal nucleus (EW). Perinatal THC exposure significantly increased heroin-induced Fos-IR in the dorsomedial CPu. Conversely, perinatal THC exposure reduced heroin-induced Fos-IR in the NAC (shell), BNST, CEA, dorsolateral and lateral PAG, VTA, and EW. The present study demonstrates an increase in the rewarding properties of heroin following exposure to THC at an early age and provides new evidence regarding possible neural correlates underlying this behavioral alteration.Essentially what the study is saying is that rats who were banged up (!) with 5mg/Kg THC (day 4 to 14! ten days of pre-conditioning)via a 'vehicle' were 'sensitized' to herion. I cant get the actual study but I believe they really meant that the rats who got the THC had greater, more pronounced effects from the herion... Face it, you hook a rat up to a 'pleasure button' and lock him in a box, just what do you expect? Did they take the buttons away or just dissect the poor little guys???That is a LONG way from claiming this study is proof of the 'gateway' which is what the article basically states. If the dooctor quoted was mine, I'd be looking for a new one.Oh and a cursory examination of the content of that journal makes me smell a fish, a definite bent towards addiction research hence, under prohibition, a questionable source.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by afterburner on July 05, 2006 at 08:19:26 PT
BullFlop! (FROM mayan #13 link)
"The study, published online today in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, looked at the behaviour of young rats exposed to cannabis. These rats took in much larger doses of opium when trained to self administer than other rodents. ..."Dr Yasmin Hurd of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, said cannabis affects some of the brain's natural chemicals which heighten positive emotions. "The same system is stimulated by hard drugs meaning the brain may 'remember' previous usage." --Journal Neuropsychopharmacology other words Dopamine! This is not causality. It is association. Rats are not people. The pushers are the so-called scientists who gave the rats access to opium! G*d d*amn the pusherman!{The higher the level of dopamine, or the more responsive the brain is to dopamine, the more likely a person is to be sensitive to incentives and rewards. "When our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to go after goals or rewards, such as food, sex, money, education or professional achievements," Depue said. ...{He also points out that some research suggests that low levels of serotonin, which can result in irritability and volatile emotions, also may make people more responsive to dopamine. These people, therefore, may be more susceptible to drugs that activate the dopamine system, such as cocaine, alcohol, amphetamine and, to a lesser extent, opiates and nicotine. One theory is that different dopamine receptors in the brain may be related to different types of abuse and that people who have particularly low dopamine functioning may be more susceptible to depression and Parkinson's disease.} --Dopamine linked to a personality trait and happiness
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by mai_bong_city on July 05, 2006 at 07:29:14 PT
if it were cannabis....
i found this article interesting - we sure do promote alcohol consumption. imagine if someday one could intern at a cannabis farm or hemp.....dream a little dream...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by mayan on July 05, 2006 at 04:30:55 PT
It Ain't Over
Missing Votes Add to Turmoil in Mexico: About 2.5 million ballots left out of the initial count narrow the lead Calderon holds over Lopez Obrador to 0.6 percentage point:,0,7378360.story?coll=la-home-headlines
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by mayan on July 05, 2006 at 03:33:43 PT
Oh, Brother
That damned Journal Neuropsychopharmacology! Doh!!!Early cannabis abuse 'does lead to heroin addiction': sane news...SP medical marijuana dispensary stays low-key:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by mayan on July 05, 2006 at 03:07:10 PT
North Korea
N.Korea launched 10 missiles: Russian armed forces don't see what the big deal is. If they so much as shoot a bottle rocket in the wrong direction they will cease to exist. Pakistan has nukes. I'm much more worried about them than I am about North Korea. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by mayan on July 04, 2006 at 22:37:05 PT
Crazy World
I don't know what happened down there, but I fail to be surprised anymore...Mexican leftist threatens street protests over vote: hope them cats UP there are cool...Shuttle Discovery launched:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by whig on July 04, 2006 at 22:36:19 PT
Just when it starts making sense, it doesn't. Right?There are a lot of factions playing a lot of games. Don't sweat it too much. Nobody asks how a job gets done when its a messy job. It's just supposed to get done. See?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by mayan on July 04, 2006 at 22:12:22 PT
Am I Mad???
Iraq considers arming insurgents:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by mayan on July 04, 2006 at 21:59:02 PT
War,Opium, bin Laden
It all starts making sense.If only the masses would catch the drift.bin Laden was a means to an end. Will we stretch? 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by Wayne on July 04, 2006 at 21:18:06 PT
kinda makes you go hmmm....
You know, mayan, after seeing that page I actually feel kind of stupid. There's no way a human being could survive on dialysis for five years while running back and forth across a desert... and NOT BE SEEN on top of that. That's kind of what I'd been saying early on, before the Iraq war. Our intelligence must really suck. They can spot 'WMDs' being moved around in Iraq when they're not really there, but they can't spot a 6-foot man on a camel dragging a dialysis machine across the desert. I know nothing about spying or interrogation, and even I can say that that's pretty BAD...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 04, 2006 at 17:48:27 PT
If they had wanted to catch Bin Laden I really believe they could have by now. The connections are strong between the oil people for lack of a better way of saying it. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 04, 2006 at 17:41:41 PT
Bin Laden search
Guess they need to get those guys back to busting medpot patients. Should be an easier job.It's hard to understand how they couldn't find him and now they've given up. Maybe it's a "cunning plan". If they stop looking for him, maybe they'll see him.Disgusting.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 04, 2006 at 17:14:18 PT
It's good to see you. I forgot about this page I made a few years ago and I updated it a little. Happy Fourth of July.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by goneposthole on July 04, 2006 at 16:52:29 PT
Let Freedom Ring
not ping and knock, cough and wheeze, and sputter and then die not here, not now, not ever"Where freedom lie, there be my home"- Benjamin FranklinThe US of A is as good a place as any to have good old freedommake it happensmoke a reefer today, July 4, 2006 to celebrate freedomfire works, fire it up
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 04, 2006 at 14:48:33 PT
The only person I've wanted to see captured since 9/11 is Bin Laden. I don't understand.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by mayan on July 04, 2006 at 14:23:55 PT
Let Us Not Forget
As we celebrate the birthday of our country, let us not forget the freedoms that many,many men and women have died for. Let us also not stop questioning just why we have lost so many freedoms,liberties and rights since 9/11. It now seems that the government has given up on the alleged mastermind of 9/11. Just what is going on? If bin Laden wasn't the mastermind then just who was???C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden: says, ‘No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11': bin Laden: A dead nemesis perpetuated by the US government: bin Laden: Index of What Really Happened: WAY OUT...Norge 'Le Monde' puts 9/11 on Front Page: Was September 11th an inside job? for 9/11 Truth under Attack:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment