Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Ignoring Crystal Meth

A lot of what you hear from the "just say no" anti-drug crusaders (right after they finish a stiff drink) just isn't true. Their exaggerations of the dangers of marijauna serve more to reinforce their own preconceptions about the role of substances than to educate anyone about the real differences between use and abuse. They'd even tell you that these differences don't exist. Of course, they forget that caffeine, an extremely addictive drug, and one that is lethal in high doses, is used by millions of people every day, indeed specifically for its effects on the body. They also overlook the fact that there is certainly a distinction between the positive social effects of a couple glasses of wine and the destructive effects of alcohol abuse. They might not even consider alcohol to be a drug, even though withdrawal from dependence is both excruciatingly difficult and potentially deadly.

Crystal meth, however, is a different story entirely. This drug is the real deal. It is every bit as bad as they say it is and probably worse. This study by the National Association of Counties reports that 60 percent of counties sees Crystal Meth as the top drug problem. So what is the Bush administration's response? Deny there's a problem and cut funding for prevention, treatment of addicts, and enforcement of existing laws.

The cuts were justified by Administration officials as a reflection of their effectiveness.

Horton, who works for Burns, defended the administration's proposal to cut $804 million from local drug enforcement grants in the 2006 federal budget, saying the programs the grants support have failed to prove their effectiveness.

"The administration has to make sure the money goes where it can be more effective, that it is performing," he said.
Fair enough. I guess that philosophy explains this wise use of resources.
Baird said the administration continues to pump billions of dollars into eradication of coca plants in South America while efforts to control international trade in the precursor drugs used to manufacture methamphetamine get short shrift.

It'd be nice to have a coherent drug policy in this country.

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