U.S. Losing - Winning Drug War

U.S. Losing - Winning Drug War
Posted by CN Staff on September 12, 2006 at 10:08:59 PT
By Mark Magoon, The Daily Iowan
Source: Daily Iowan
Iowa -- The struggle to wage an effective war on drugs will continue after government officials recently discovered that their recent $1.4 billion antidrug campaign failed to lure teenagers away from the illegal substances.However, a different federal study reported that illicit drug use had fallen among those between the ages of 12 and 17 - the demographic group much of the media campaign targeted.
The Government Accountability Office announced Aug. 25 that the failed campaign, which has aired since 1998, did not help reduce drug use. In some cases, the program may have actually persuaded youths that the use of illegal drugs is considered normal.The government-backed crusade - which purchased TV time slots and radio ads that featured the slogan "the antidrug" - were memorable to both parents and youth, but the ads did not change adolescents' attitudes about drugs, according to a University of Pennsylvania study that used the GAO's findings.UI freshman Tom Flood said the media campaign had no effect on him."It's a personal decision to use drugs, and no commercial is going to change my mind," he said, adding that he and his friends often laughed at the ads because he said they were unrealistic.But data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, show teen drug use may be slowing down.The rate of illicit drug use has moved consistently downward since 2002, according to the report. Only 9.9 percent of those between the ages of 12 and 17 used drugs in 2005, compared with 10.6 percent in 2004 and 11.2 percent in 2003, officials reported.Sarah Hansen, the UI Student Health Service associate director for education and Health Iowa program coordinator, lauded the number of drug-awareness opportunities on campus."Health Iowa provides a continuum of services from education to substance-abuse evaluation, treatment, and care," she said.The UI offers a drug seminar - a four-hour series attended by 220 students last year - as well as a private substance-abuse evaluation. Last year, 34 percent more students underwent the private evaluations. Health Iowa also added a marijuana-information series for low-risk pot offenders, which 56 students completed in its inaugural year.The Iowa City police know plenty of people who have had serious - or at least arrest-worthy - problems.Police Sgt. Doug Hart said the city's Drug Seizure Report documented 1,517 marijuana-related arrests, 176 for cocaine, 127 for crack cocaine, and 113 for methamphetamine, so far in 2006."Drugs are big in America," said Travis Blanken, a 20-year-old Iowa City resident and self-proclaimed drug user, who said he only does drugs for fun and - at times - as a form of stress relief."When pro-athletes, such as Jamal Lewis, only get a six-month sentence for cocaine trafficking, how seriously can we take them?" he joked.Blanken, who admits he has smoked marijuana, eaten mushrooms, and taken Ecstasy and opiates, added: Couldn't the $1.4 billion the government spent on a failed drug campaign have had a larger effect elsewhere?"That money could have aided health care, helped countless other countries, stabilized illegal immigration, or helped to find a new energy source, but, instead, it went down the toilet," he said.E-mail DI reporter Mark Magoon at: mark-magoon Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)Author: Mark Magoon, The Daily IowanPublished: September 12, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Daily IowanContact: daily-iowan uiowa.eduWebsite: Articles: Doobie or Not Doobie? Use Up for Boomers, Down for Teens 
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 12, 2006 at 15:15:55 PT
AG Asks Supreme Court To Delay Felon Voting Ruling
By Bob Johnson, Associated PressSeptember 12, 2006MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The state attorney general has asked the Alabama Supreme Court to delay all parts of a judge's order allowing felons to vote in Alabama.Attorney General Troy King's motion argues that the entire ruling last month by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Vance Jr. should be shelved until the high court can rule on an appeal.Vance had ruled last month that felons must be allowed to vote until the Alabama Legislature clarifies crimes of "moral turpitude." At a Sept. 1 hearing, Vance agreed to stay much of his order until after the Nov. 7 general election and until the Supreme Court could rule on the appeal, but he allowed felons convicted of certain offenses to vote.Complete Article:
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 12, 2006 at 13:19:12 PT
Very well said.
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Comment #1 posted by lombar on September 12, 2006 at 11:03:04 PT
Symptom of a far greater ill.
"When pro-athletes, such as Jamal Lewis, only get a six-month sentence for cocaine trafficking, how seriously can we take them?" he joked.A long line of 'exceptions' for the elite. Children of senators or presidents or movie stars do not go to prison for drugs, the well heeled do not get the bludgeon of the justice system crushing any further opportunities out of their lives. One of the best arguments against drug prohibition is the uneven application of so-called justice. (ju$tice=ju$t u$) Double standards however, if the law does not apply to all then it is not the law. If the 'ideology' of drug puritanism has to enforced with military style police, it is nothing short of tyranny. 
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