"Drugs and the Internet: An Overview of the Threat to America’s Youth"
March 26, 2002 2:14 PM   Subscribe

"Drugs and the Internet: An Overview of the Threat to America’s Youth" It should probably come as no surprise that the government is interested in finding out what kind of drug-related information exists on the internet. What might surprise you is the Department of Justice’s self-described methodology and intent in pursuing that objective, with little apparent concern for such trivialities as oh, say, the First Amendment. For example, take a look at what the DOJ thinks constitutes "offending websites." Or how about this "threat": "Drug-culture advocates are chiefly interested in expanding the size of the community to both legitimize their activity and increase pressure on lawmakers to change or abolish drug control laws." (pressure on lawmakers to change or abolish laws? How un-American!) Needless to say, official statements like this scare some people, including rave fans, who appear to be a particular focus of the government’s efforts. (via overlawyered.com).
posted by pardonyou? (16 comments total)
 
I wanna be a junkie when I grow up.
posted by rocketman at 2:23 PM on March 26, 2002


I heard that President Bush took cocaine and that made me want to take drugs.
posted by skylar at 2:44 PM on March 26, 2002


Previously discussed. (This was a much better-written post than the first one was, though, in my opinion.)
posted by ook at 2:47 PM on March 26, 2002


There will never be any reform or change in the drug war under this President. This link just demonstrates that concretely. As the guidance counselor from South Park would say, "Mmm, drugs are bad, mmmkay?".

Sorry, but the "War on terrorism" way doesn't work here.
posted by McBain at 2:54 PM on March 26, 2002


damn damn damn. Thanks for being kind, ook.
posted by pardonyou? at 3:09 PM on March 26, 2002


ouch. I even commented on that post, too. Matt, please euthanize this post.
posted by pardonyou? at 3:11 PM on March 26, 2002


McBain: Actually, while the news from the top is pretty dismal, there have been some significant victories recently at the state level. Both Maryland and Vermont passed surprisingly sane medical marijuana bills within the last couple of weeks. Never say never...
posted by ook at 3:13 PM on March 26, 2002


This is ridiculous. Ashcroft is becomming a greater threat to our civil rights and democratic principles than Bin Laden and his ilk could ever hope to be.
posted by homunculus at 4:13 PM on March 26, 2002


...because information providers and users can often protect their privacy.

[sarcasm] Oh, my God! What next? The internet may actually allow people to learn non-conservative views! [/sarcasm]
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 4:56 PM on March 26, 2002


Funny how it's all Ashcroft's fault when the NDIC was created in 1993. This is bipartisan bullcrap.
posted by aaron at 5:04 PM on March 26, 2002


I hate Ashcroft as much as the next, but homunculus doing drugs is neither a constitutionally protected activity nor part of our civil liberties. Plus, inciting others to do illegal acts is not sanctioned under the constitution either. I don't agree with the "War on Drugs," but there is nothing illegal or wrong with stopping the promotion of an illegal act on the web.
The different between speech and act is a close one and must examined on the facts of each instance. This one is real close call. I don't think that dogmatic statements reflect or express the real issues that are involved.
posted by Bag Man at 5:25 PM on March 26, 2002


but homunculus doing drugs is neither a constitutionally protected activity nor part of our civil liberties.

I agree, I should have been more clear. What I object to me are comments like these:

"Drug-culture advocates are chiefly interested in expanding the size of the community to both legitimize their activity and increase pressure on lawmakers to change or abolish drug control laws."

"Advocates of an expanded freedom of expression are purveyors of information with yet another agenda."

"Anarchist individuals and groups, who protest against or seek to abolish current legal, social, or economic structures, disseminate drug information on the Internet to advance their cause by promoting countercultural behavior."

The DOJ is at risk of expanding the War on Drugs into a War on Dissent through guilt by association. These statements make it sound as if anyone who disagrees with current drug policy is a criminal regardless of whether they break any laws, as if just supporting open debate on the issue makes one a "drug-culture advocate" (which I am not.) I resent the implication and the intimidation.

As for my singling out Ashcroft, the date on the document is December 2001, that puts it under his watch.
posted by homunculus at 5:47 PM on March 26, 2002


...and we continue to spend less than half on prevention education, harm reduction and treatment.
posted by yonderboy at 8:56 PM on March 26, 2002


I hate Ashcroft as much as the next, but homunculus doing drugs is neither a constitutionally protected activity nor part of our civil liberties.

And by drugs I assume you mean controlled substances only, not aspirin, because the constitution doesn't go into detail about everything. As far as protected rights go, all of the illegal drugs of today were once legal in the US. The larger question isn't about information and its effect on populace its what are the motivations, methodology, politics, etc that reclassify drugs. The US has already had a social experiment with illegalizing a popular drug - alcohol and a relative quick social and legal turnaround.

I don't agree with the "War on Drugs," but there is nothing illegal or wrong with stopping the promotion of an illegal act on the web.

I disagree with this also. Promotion and information are not illegal in themselves because they deal with an actual act like buying or selling drugs. Can we talk about protecting children from dangerous people without the talk itself becoming illegal? Of course, but then its about intent isn't it and no longer about speech. Its about speech you agree with. An article on how to clean a bong or a long essay on the effects of using a drug are not the same as cleaning resin out of a bong and smoking it or possesing a controlled substance.
posted by skallas at 1:07 AM on March 27, 2002


liberty - [n] immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence.

Freedom - [n] the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.

It seems that Americans love the above two words, but have they even read the definition? Does America have a new dictionary now that GWB is President?



Americans really have to stop and smell bullshit - If your country prides itself on Freedom and Liberty then set an example by being a free society where liberty is commonplace.
posted by twistedonion at 4:45 AM on March 27, 2002


Click on the link for the next page and you get this...

"Any government effort to restrict individuals from using the Internet to disseminate information that assists others in illegally producing, using, or distributing controlled substances must respect the First Amendment of the Constitution. The First Amendment strongly protects an individual's right to freedom of speech and can be infringed only in limited situations. Whether the government can prohibit an individual from disseminating such information over the Internet depends on factors such as the type of information disseminated, how it is disseminated, and the intent with which it is disseminated."
posted by daHIFI at 11:56 AM on March 28, 2002


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