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Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Monday, October 24, 2011

Food For Thought: The Parallels of Drug Policy & Social Climate

In analyzing the history of US drug policy we can see that the past and current patterns of drug legislation are very much reflective of the current social and political climates of our country. Looking back at some of the landmark "acheivments" in drug prohibition - such as the Harrison Act, the Marijuana Tax Act, the Rockafeller statutes and the Controlled Substances Act - drug policy patterns are consistent with the current fears, insecurities, cultural or racial tensions, and hostilities of the commonfolk.

Such patterns are consistent, predictable - always starting with a perceived increase in the use of a given drug or by a particular social demographic, followed by a cycle of exploitative media drug scares and sensational stories, a political crusade against drugs and a subsequent legislative crackdown, led by self-interested or career-motivated public officials, generally looking to win elections or build reputations.

Wherever there is a perceived social or political problem, there will always be a ladder climbing politician or charlatan scapegoating certain substances, linking them to the crisis at hand, and touting a legislative snake-oil. The current threat - whether it be rape, murder, war, yellow peril, sex crazed negroes, radical islam, mental illness, addiction, unemployment, motor vehicle accidents, loss of loved ones, or domestic insurgency - will be neutralized if the people support their oppurtunistic crusade against some mind altering substance, or the individuals using it.

One could ask, what is the ultimate end here? Once these drug crusading public officials have exploited a given social crisis and reaped the benefits to their reputation and career, the American people are left with yet more ineffective policies, more social damage related to these policies, and less freedom to live as they choose. Like leeches, anti-drug crusaders suck the world around them dry of its lifeblood, reaping the energy of its nutrients and leaving the world to cope with the aftermath.

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