Home / General / The Twisted Roots of the War On (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs

The Twisted Roots of the War On (Some Classes of People Who Use Some) Drugs


Maia Szalavitz has a terrific piece pointing out that the racist enforcement of marijuana laws is no accident:

Both Brooks and Marcus told stories of their own youthful pot smoking—neither of which seems to have led to any lasting negative consequences as is the case for the overwhelming majority of marijuana users. Yet both claimed—without apparently understanding that relying on a single study that has been questioned in a follow up by the same journal is not accurately reporting “fact”—that marijuana definitively lowers IQ.

And neither mentioned the elephant in the room: the fact that marijuana laws are mainly enforced against black people and that arresting millions and saddling them with criminal records hasn’t prevented around half of the adult population (white and black) from trying weed. It has, however, meant that black people have reduced opportunities to get jobs with organizations like the Times or the Post while Brooks and Marcus never faced arrest.


The truth is that our perceptions of marijuana—and in fact all of our drug laws—are based on early 20th century racism and “science” circa the Jim Crow era. In the early decades of the 20th century, the drug was linked to Mexican immigrants and black jazzmen, who were seen as potentially dangerous.

Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (an early predecessor of the DEA), was one of the driving forces behind pot prohibition. He pushed it for explicitly racist reasons, saying, “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” and:

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

The main reason to prohibit marijuana, he said was “its effect on the degenerate races.” (And god forbid women should sleep with entertainers!)

In fairness, I’m sure Brooks will write a column where he shows evidence of the thinking he’s done on these issues in secret any day now.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • And Big Pharma and Big Smoke have always been for keeping pot illegal.

    Because any schmuck can grow pot – if not in a backyard, or a ditch, then in a few pots on the windowsill.
    No profits!

    If you make your own hootch, there’s a chance you’ll blind or kill yourself.
    Making your own wine and beer is safer, but not 100% safe.

    Growing pot just takes some soil, sun, and water.

    Once Big Pharma and Big Smoke see profits in the selling it, pot will become easy to purchase – just like cigarettes, beer, wine, and booze.

    And the kid’s who won’t be legally allowed to buy pot, can grow some.
    And I’m sure that somewhere down the road, getting caught growing your own pot will get you a felony record.
    You can’t cut a corporate “person’s” ability to maximize their profits!

    • DAS

      Also getting rid of pot gets rid of hemp. Not that hemp’s such a good fiber, but it’s still competition for other fiber sources (cotton, etc)

      • It is quite good for rope. It is not so good for clothing.

        • DocAmazing

          Excellent for clothing if it’s properly made. I have two hemp shirts that redefine comfort.

        • EH

          Uh, have you ever tried any on? When?

    • Rigby Reardon

      What danger is there in homebrewing beer?

      • Like all processes of canning and bottling it is possible that less than perfectly sterile sanitary conditions can result in dangerous bacteria or other microbes taking up residence in the finished product. Drinking such a product could make you very sick, maybe even possibly kill you. I don’t think it happens very often, but it is possible.

        • Thats as true for storing and keeping food as it is for canning and brewing-actually. People can get pretty sick from any food related process.

          • Another Holocene Human

            Actually, moreso for canning than for fermentation. As long as you provide the right environment for the good bacteria (lactobacilli) they will kill their rivals … woo! … mad science!

            Botulism sucks because the spores are everywhere (seriously–this is why you don’t give honey to babies), they only get killed in super high heat/pressure (so, like, Campbell’s factory, not so much grandma’s kitchen) and they grow in ANAEROBIC environments, basically in that sealed mason jar.

            This is why you throw out anything that bulges!!!

            Had to do this with some homemade hot sauce last month. For all I know it was gas from aerobic ferment at the end of the process but there is no way to tell and apparently botulism laughs at capsaicin.

            • Another Holocene Human

              ps, there’s a lab test but it’s a mail away kind of thing

        • DrS

          The things that could cause you some potential issues with beer would also render it quite foul tasting, which is helpful.

        • malraux

          Basically, nope. There are a very few bacteria that can live in beer post fermentation (it’s acidic, has a large amount of alcohol, the yeast can digest the other pathogens, and the isomerized alpha acids from the hops are an antimicrobial). The only major exception are flavor affecting bacteria (brett, acidic acid bacteria), but those make the beer bad tasting well before they cause health effects.

          The major concern with sealed containers of food is botulism. But it requires a neutral ph and anaerobic conditions. But in fresh wort there’s a large amount of dissolved oxygen and the yeast drop the PH before they drive off the oxygen. Its not a concern.

          Pathogens are not a concern with beer.

          • Rigby Reardon

            Yeah, that’s what I had always read too.

          • Another Holocene Human

            Ancestral diets seemed to involve a lot of fermenting of things. Like an outdoor pre-stomach. I’ve read that the Egyptians may have invented beer (which was a fermented barley soup mess) before they invented bread.

    • Royko

      I don’t think the industries would be any more scared of homegrown pot than they are of home-brewed beer. If pot were legal, most people would buy it. As a society we’re just far more likely to pay someone else to produce our goods than we are to create/cultivate them ourselves. It’s generally more efficient that way.

      The fact that pot is so easy to grow just means that commercial pot can be created and sold very cheaply and still generate good profits.

      • I would assume that the real issue is one of quality. Even ignoring the inconvenience and inefficiency of making your own wine/beer, the result is unlikely to be as good as even the low end stuff. But while I know that there are pot aficionados who care about the brand and growing method of their weed, my understanding has always been that the homegrown stuff will do just fine for most people.

        • LeeEsq

          At the same time, people are lazy. I’m pretty sure that most people would prefer to buy rather than grow just to save them some inconvenience. Once marijuana is legalized, corporate pot is coming.

        • Helmut Monotreme

          I don’t find that to be the case. Anyone who can follow a recipe and buy some simple equipment and quality ingredients, can brew some mighty tasty beer.

          To produce good beer without using a recipe, does require a good understanding of fermentation chemistry and grains and yeast, that takes time and trial and error and education.

        • Rigby Reardon

          Even ignoring the inconvenience and inefficiency of making your own wine/beer, the result is unlikely to be as good as even the low end stuff.

          Disagree, and quite strongly at that. Some of the absolute very best beer I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a lot – has been homebrewed. The economics of brewing beer on a large scale often make trade-offs in ingredient quality very tempting, and it can certainly have a noticeable effect on the flavor.

          • Another Holocene Human

            Beer, unlike wine, is better fresh. Lack of freshness is probably 80% of the problem with US beer. The other 19% is substituting ingredients and the bias for making beer tasteless. (Drink it ice cold so you can’t smell it!)

            As a person forced to be gluten-free by GERD, I can attest that rice malt really doesn’t taste that bad. I miss that lovely sourdough smell/flavor, though.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Yup. This is right. Home-produced wine is mostly terrible, but home-produced beer can be outstanding, as anyone who’s tried Brockington’s home brew can attest.

  • Can we get a movement going to release non violent drug offenders from jail and expunge their records? Because all this legalization stuff is well and good and past time but we have to start getting people out of jial and back into the working world and without 1) ending their sentences and 2) expunging their records this is just not going to be possible.

    • JoyfulA

      A month or so ago, Obama gave clemency to a dozen or so convicts with long sentences for minor drug arrests.

      • That’s great! Let’s multiple it up by 100s and 1000s.

        • Karen

          There’s only so much the Pres can do here; most drug convictions are state-level. Pressure on the governors of Washington and Colorado would be welcome.

          • While true, there’s a lot he can do:

            Federal: On Dec. 31, 2012, there were 196,574 sentenced prisoners under federal jurisdiction. Of these, 99,426 were serving time for drug offenses, 11,688 for violent offenses, 11,568 for property offenses, and 72,519 for “public order” offenses (of which 23,700 were sentenced for immigration offenses, 30,046 for weapons offenses, and 17,633 for “other”).

            State: On Dec. 31, 2011, there were 1,341,797 sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction. Of these, 222,738 were serving time for drug offenses, of whom 55,013 were merely convicted for possession. There were also 717,861 serving time for violent offenses, 249,574 for property offenses, 142,230 for “public order” offenses (which include weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses), and 9,392 for “other/unspecified”.

            So he can only affect roughly half, but that’s still hundreds of thousands of people!

            • L2P

              Better numbers at http://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp

              There’s a difference between the state and federal population, though. It’d be pretty easy to cut the state population in half, or more, by just getting probationing everyone charged only with possession. I’m pretty sure the federal population is different.

        • GoDeep

          One of my great hopes is that Obama will mass commute non-violent federal drug offenders his last Christmas in office.

        • Another Holocene Human


          The number Obama ought to pardon.

          Aka a good start.

    • Marek

      Yes, please.

    • DrS

      Hear, hear!

    • LeeEsq

      We should also give them compensation for their unjust imprisonment.

      • Another Holocene Human

        TANF, Pell grants, maybe even a social worker like they have for that transitional housing for the homeless. You know what? Definitely a social worker. Free therapy, too. A lot of them probably have PTSD. Allow them to live with family and provide the family cash support while they go through educational or vocational training.

      • Ethan Nadelmann

        We should also give them compensation for their unjust imprisonment.


        They were convicted in a court of a criminal offense. They knew what they were doing was illegal.

        This goes far beyond pot. This applies to any law. Just because you disagree with the law, you cannot just ignore it…unless you’re the president, of course.

  • Of course the first law restricting Marijuana in 1937 did not actually outlaw the substance, but rather required people to get a tax stamp that was difficult to obtain even for prescribing physicians.


  • Helmut Monotreme

    If jazz is such a big threat, why not just have a war on jazz? To do it using marijuana by proxy is just dumb. Sadly the war on jazz is a failure. Exhibit A: Kenny G.

    • rea

      Kenny G is part of the War on Jazz

      • Rigby Reardon

        Yeah, Kenny G has nothing to do with the production of jazz or jazz program-related activities.

      • LeeEsq

        The entire adult contemporary genre of music from the 1980s and early 1990s was weird. It was kind of an attempt to recreate traditional pop music, the standards, but failed miserably because a lot of boomers simply wouldn’t give up rock or motown or whatever. My parents viciously made fun of people like Kenny G or Michael Bolton.

        • Helmut Monotreme

          Was it industry driven? Or were there thousands of musicians whose only desire was to be mediocre? Were they pandering to a heretofore unsuspected audience desperately afraid of rocking?

          • LeeEsq

            I don’t know but I imagine it was both. There were probably a decent number of baby boomers looking for music that was bit more mature or tame. The industry including many musicians were glad to respond.

          • Another Holocene Human

            Wasn’t there a market in Muzak and “adult contemporary easy listening” to be played during work at places of business that helped drive this? And there were sales, for sure. The music industry had to acknowledge the sales through their sneers.

            I remember an ad for an easy listening station and they had a bunch of female listeners who just said they wanted music that was positive and no stress.

            And the smooth jazz end of things is popular with shuttle bus drivers of a certain age. I think they’re all retiring/dying now. I found out it was great for staying alert while driving for hours on end WITHOUT getting distracted.

            Music you just LOVE is highly distracting. (See VTech research on this.)

            • LeeEsq

              Yes. A lot of businesses like spas still play muzak. You want people to be relaxed during some of the cosmetic treatments they are going under and muzak or light classical and jazz are the best for that.

        • Rigby Reardon

          I seem to remember Michael Bolton actually kind of rocking in the early ’80s. I think he had a song called “Everybody’s Crazy” that was very unlike the schlock that made him famous years later.

    • Cheap Wino
    • Helmut Monotreme

      I’m not a big fan of Jazz. I guess my objection to it has been that it seems more like music for musicians, as opposed to music for an audience that doesn’t know much about music. Just now, that occurs to me that is a stupid reason, much like objecting to French literature because I can’t read French is stupid.

      • Vance Maverick

        Well, good for you for the belated awareness. As a longtime fan of other avant-gardes, I’m used to objections like this, and they’ve always slightly puzzled me. Why does the existence of coterie art bother people? Why do they take it so personally?

        But I don’t think it was aesthetic involution that bothered Anslinger.

        • Richard

          I’m an enormous fan of older jazz. I’m not a big fan of modern jazz and not a fan at all of avant-garde jazz. The reason that I am not has nothing to do with dislike of coterie art (I like a whole lot of other types of music that have very small audiences). Avant garde jazz, like avant garde classical music, doesn’t move me. I can appreciate the genius of a Coltrane or an Elvin Jones or a Berg but the music leaves me cold. Simple as that. I’m a trad jazz, blues, hillbilly, rock and roll, tex-mex, rhythm and blues fan. Three chords and the truth.

          • steve

            Academically I appreciate the stuff that pushes the envelope and elicits conversations about the social meaning of performance or music or art or whatever (e.g. John Cage in classical music). Asthetically…not so much.

            • Vance Maverick

              Just to be clear, I don’t have a problem (steve / Richard) with your not liking whatever. My problem is with Monotreme’s former attitude — the attempt to ground dislike in a discourse about “music for musicians”, etc.

              • Matt T. in New Orleans

                Well, that attitude is admittedly easier than actually listening to jazz and finding not only is it not monolithic sound after all. Plus, Fleetwood Mac is getting back together, I heard. That’s cooler than any old jazz.

                • Rigby Reardon

                  It most certainly is not.

              • Richard

                I agree with your problem with the “music for musicians” attitude. My problem with modern jazz (although I have listened to a whole lot of it and have seen live many of the major players of the 50s and 60s and 70s)) is that it is too musically complex for what I like in music and doesn’t move me – unlike blues, rhythm and blues, etc. Different strokes and all that

            • Richard

              I’ve listened to and tried to like 20th Century classical music but simply failed

              • Ahuitzotl

                Stravinsky? Brittan? the immortal Rachmaninov?

      • Joshua

        I’m not a huge fan of jazz but I do listen once in a while (JazzRadio.com) and go to jazz clubs once in a while. The virtuosity is part of the fun. It’s cool to hear people great at playing music do it in a way that, I don’t know, seems to maximize both enjoyment (it’s just fun to listen it – really hits me on a gut level) and technical ability.

    • Davis

      Anslinger seemed to imply that smoking marijuana leads to people playing the cornet like Louis Armstrong. It should therefore be handed out at every conservatory in America.

      • howard

        i was tied up all day and so am rather late to the party, but this is heading towards what i wanted to say so i’ll just drop my comment here.

        louis armstrong – a musical genius by any standard – smoked dope more or less every day.

        he referred to it as “racism’s balm.”

        • Ahuitzotl

          And possibly why he called everyone Pops :)

      • Ahuitzotl

        If it were so, make it compulsory

    • NewishLawyer

      Serious answer to a snarky question: Jazz was already part or the crowned ruler of popular music by 1937 in ways that marijuana was not. At least as far as I know (with admiteddly very little research). It seems like it took until the 1960s for pot to go relatively to very mainstream as a narcotic.

      Jazz was already popular and in some ways or genres tamed by the 1930s. The tamer version of Jazz was often called “sweet” music and was a bit to much more sentimental and performed by white, Christian musicians. “Swing” as performed by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Artie Shaw, and others was just starting to emerge and was considered too hardcore for most audiences in the late 1930s. It was considered Jazz for Jazz Musicians, something they did during late-night jam sessions.
      Glenn Miller was able to bridge swing and sweet jazz. Benny Goodman’s early appearances were notable disasters because the audience reacted poorly.

      So there is Jazz and there is “jazz”.

      • Richard

        I dont think jazz was “tamed” by the 30’s. There had been a moderate sized audience for hot jazz in the 20s but the Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives never sold as much as recordings by Whiteman and Bing Crosby. In the 30s, the big bands took over and became a popular phenomenon. They got big audiences for dancing. Goodman’s breakthrough was the gigs at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles in 1935. He played hot swinging music that got the dancers excited but, like all the bands of the time including Ellington, he had a boy and girl singer who sang romantic stuff.

        Fact is that the jazz scene at all times encompassed a whole lot of different styles.

        Many jazz musicians smoked marijuana (often referred to as the Mighty Mezz in honor of clarinetist and seller Mezz Mezzrow) but marijuana use didn’t become widespread among white youth, even white youth who were jazz afficionados, until the 60s.

        • howard

          as i’m sure richard knows, the great tenor sax player, lester young, was court martialed when he was in the army during world war ii, primarily for maintaining an illegal still and for possession of reefer. in the course of a jazz history research project, i tracked down the transcript of the court martial, and while i don’t remember the precise words, it went something like this:

          judge: how often do you smoke marijuana?

          lester young: every day.

          judge: you smoke marijuana every day? does anyone else do that? (and there was clear incredulity in the way the question was phrased)

          lester young: everybody i know!

      • GoDeep

        So there is Jazz and there is “jazz”.

        Yeah, abt that…I went to a Xmas jazz concert 2yrs back at the Kennedy Center. I’m insanely crazy abt Xmas music, & my favorite genre of Xmas music is Xmas jazz. I was sooo disappointed. It was jazz for jazz aficionados. The musicians were ridiculously talented, technical virtuosos. But the music was the weirdest assortment cacophonous sounds & random improvisation you’d ever heard. You couldn’t even recognize the music. They played “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and it was 10min into their riff before I realized what they were playing. What a waste that turned out to be…

        • You know, this comment about your taste in music may not raise our opinion of you.

          • LeeEsq

            Its honest, honesty is a virture.

          • Stag Party Palin

            ??? I read this to mean that the writer’s taste in music (and it’s all about taste) is superior to someone else’s taste.

            Forgive me if I missed any hidden humor there.

            • Matt T. in New Orleans

              “Everyone is entitled to their opinion”, I’m told. That’s a statement that does a lot of work these days.

              • jim, some guy in iowa

                I’m getting close to concluding that, rather than assholes, opinions are like appendixes – everybody’s got one, but damned if they know *why*

                • That’s brilliant. Consider it stolen, with much love, unless you count “some guy on the internet” proper citation.

          • Anna in PDX

            I am a musician and from a family of musicians, and I am pretty open to lots of different kinds of music, but I think music appreciation is just super subjective. People are entitled to find some kinds of jazz too cerebral. There are plenty of others who love it.

          • GoDeep

            I actually meant to type “This may be more a commentary on me than on the music”…so, touche.

            I never said my tastes are anything but plebeian…I even like Train & Creed on occasion!

    • JustRuss

      You guys will absolutely love this (WARNING: Contains Kenny G “music”):

      Sorry about the poor quality.

  • MacK

    Every now and then, when I want to panic a Republican who is trying to sound hard in the “war on drugs” I start calling for serious penalties for drug users – the earth penalty for say cocaine use – “since they are traitors in a war….”

    I do have a serious point though. Mao did manage to deal with opium addiction in China by sending the users to reeducation camps. At the heart of the drug problem is demand, not supply. If we as a society are not willing to seriously address demand because it means sending nice middle class white kids to jail, then we are not serious about the “war on drugs” and should drop the whole thing as a waste of time, energy and money.

    What lies at the heart of the hypocrisy of the war on drugs is that it OK for tens of thousands of Mexicans, Columbians, etc. to die in this war. It is OK to send scads of black and hispanics to jail for supplying the drugs – but it would be absolutely awful to take on the buyers and users of the drugs, to impose serious consequences on them. However, as long as there is demand there will be supply – you want to cut drug use, reduce the amount of drug dealing – go after the buyers.

    Punishing nice middle class buys is not going to happen. Since we won’t take the step that really matters, drop the whole campaign.

    • Helmut Monotreme

      When you do this, mention that testing the hair of suspected users can detect cocaine use that happened years ago.

      • rea

        That’s not really true. The cocaine only shows up in hair grown since use, so unless you haven’t got a haircut in years, it won’t show up years after use. Second, the usual standard is to test only the first 1 1/2 in. of a person’s hair (closest to scalp) because a positive reaction in longer hair might invovle environmental contamination. Third, shaved heads are very stylish these days.

        • DocAmazing

          Yes, just ask Britney Spears.

        • Helmut Monotreme

          I have heard that body hair grows much slower than scalp hair and so for those who don’t manscape (or womanscape) there is an increased detection window for drug use.

  • MacK

    Sorry I means to say “the death penalty for cocaine use”

    • Rigby Reardon

      I liked “earth penalty.” Kinda evoked the mostly-forgotten phrase “dirt nap” in my own imagination.

      • steve

        I thought it was some historical form of torture/punishment like pressing or being bured up to one’s neck.

      • Chocolate Covered Cotton

        I read it as being exiled to some bass-ackward little rock at the ass end of the galaxy.

        • Rigby Reardon

          Well, to be fair, it is a mostly harmless sort of place.

  • Every war on an intoxicant has its roots in bigotry.

    Pot is already mentioned. Prohibition arose in part because drinking had become associated with European immigrants who were regarded as scarcely better than blacks and hispanics) Cocaine (after being so popular in medical remedies) became associated with black men on rampages that frequently featured the rape of white women.

    Opium? Well, everyone knew Chinese run laundries were fronts for opium dens in which white women were stoned out of their gourds and sold into white slavery.

    In later times the sexual threat was removed and replaced with general violence. In the 70’s it was a miracle everyone wasn’t killed by heroin addicts in need of money. Or people flaked out on PCP (which can cause excessively violent behavior but not as frequently as it was portrayed). Then it was coke (provided it was being used by brown people, rock stars, not so much), then free-base cocaine AKA crack.

    Meth … gets its own TV show.

    • Richard

      Prohibition also arose in part because saloons were limited to males and men would get drunk after work, go home and beat up their wives. The women’s suffrage movement was a large part of the prohibition movement. Prohibition, and the rise of the chic speakeasy, was instrumental in introducing women to alcohol.

      • LeeEsq

        Kind of this. The saloon was an all-male preserve and a lot of its fans hated the fact that women would enter into the speakeasy. One commentator, according to Ken Burns’ Prohibition, said that the presence of women in speakeasy makes it no different than drinking at home with your wife and daughters and there is no fun in that.

        At the same time, immigrant women were just as opposed to prohibition as immigrant men. The link between domestic violence and drinking played a larger part in the earlier prohibition movement than it did in the latter prohibiton movement. One of the neat things about Prohibition movement is that the notroiously faction prone Jews were pretty much aganist it across the board from respectable, very assimilated native born Jews to the Orthodox Jewish immigrants.

        • Richard

          I dont disagree. But the mainstream (read white Protestant) suffrage movement was an early supporter and advocate for Prohibition and its support was a significant component of getting Prohibition passed. Its also a credit to the suffrage/Women’s movement that many of its leaders were the first people to realize that Prohibition wasn’t working and to advocate its repeal.

    • steve

      So is the war on meth rooted in classist/cultural bigotry toward “white trash?” That wouldn’t surprise me.

      • NewishLawyer

        Maybe but meth is also poison for both the person and environment in ways that marijuana is not.

        • Helmut Monotreme

          It looks to me like the war on meth is a “the hilbillies took it too far!” kind of thing. Hardly anyone was outraged about amphetamine use by truckers and other people working long hours for decades.

          But once they started cooking up meth, blowing up every other trailer in rural America and polluting most of the others and stealing sudafed from every truck stop and pharmacy they could find and stealing every bit of scrap metal not bolted down tightly enough and meth dealers got as violent as other drug gangs, well then by golly something needs to get done!

          • GoDeep

            But once they started cooking up meth, blowing up every other trailer in rural America and polluting most of the others and stealing sudafed from every truck stop and pharmacy they could find and stealing every bit of scrap metal not bolted down tightly enough and meth dealers got as violent as other drug gangs, well then by golly men, women, and children started dying in droves something needs to get done!


            • Matt T. in New Orleans

              It’s ciute that you think the powers that be are really more concerned with the health and well-being of “poor white trash” over lost profits.

              • L2P

                What lost profits are you thinking about here? Is Starbucks worried about meth taking out their Latte demand?

                Unlike Marijuana, which is a substitute for alcohol, Ocycontin and a bunch of other easily and legally available narcotics, the legal market for stimulants is pretty narrow. Prescription abuse is difficult; these days you’re basically looking at Adderall, and that’s under a ton of scrutiny.

                I’m not aware of any legal provider that’s worried about meth. Is there something I’m missing?

                • Helmut Monotreme

                  Not so much pharmaceutical profits but the profits of every landlord whose house burns down because someone was making meth, or the profits of pharmacies that were robbed for raw materials, or the profits of anyone whose stuff gets stolen by addicts looking for a quick buck.

                • BigHank53

                  Why did meth get the reaction it did? Let’s look at social problems from:

                  (1) Alcohol addiction: familiar and well understood for decades. Not something you want in your family.

                  (2) Pot addiction: difficult to discern from a severe case of garden-variety laziness. Not something you want in yourself.

                  (3) Meth addiction: violent and paranoid users that don’t sleep. Not something you want in your zip code.

                • What was said by Helmut Monotreme and BigHank53, plus the net loss of profits due to your town being full of methed-up dingbats too busy beating the shit out of each other to encourage local businesses and scaring off all the squares. My home county in Northeast Mississippi – already one of the poorer in the state – is getting the shit kicked out of it by meth and the damage it causes, despite its users being considered the dregs of stump-jumper society. They don’t care how many actually die if a Johnny Cough Medicine burns down the trailer park, but that’s a loss of profits to someone who actually matters, dawggonnit.

    • Anonymous

      Every war on an intoxicant has its roots in bigotry.


  • Both Brooks and Marcus told stories of their own youthful pot smoking—neither of which seems to have led to any lasting negative consequences

    But, OTOH, they did grow up to be Brooks and Marcus.

    Off to rehearsal.

    Gonna play some jazz.


  • Random

    I almost feel sorry for David Brooks, he is getting divorced at about the same time that even the centrist media is realizing he’s the King of All Hacks.

    Nah. Actually I don’t feel sorry for him, never mind.

  • jkayhttp://lawyersgunsmon.wpengine.com/2014/01/the-twisted-roots-of-the-war-on-some-classes-of-people-who-use-some-drugs

    I believe the theory that the War on Drugs is an excuse for another Jim Crow.

    IMHO Prohibition was racist, too. Progressives had a choice between inside racist oppression like Wilson and Bryan or outside racist imperial oppression, like TR and Taft.

    And most democratic party choices have historically been conservative internal oppression and liberal imperialism, from the start of democracies. Oppression continues, too, from both parties and new Jim Crow on a too bipartisan basis. Democrats are only far better.

    That’s the ultimate show that we do mostly like evil.

  • Pingback: Don’t move. Don’t even … link | Fraser Sherman's Blog()

It is main inner container footer text