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BREAKING NEWS: Americans Love War, Drugs, see War on Drugs as No-Brainer
July 1, 2008 12:02 PM   Subscribe

A new WHO study finds that Americans by far lead the world in rates of illegal drug use, despite America's crusading role in prosecuting the Global War on Drugs.

The study concludes, in part: "Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly and is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with stringent user-level illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones." A simple, stupid Reuters' summary of the results here.
posted by saulgoodman (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
U! S! A!
posted by phrontist at 12:07 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


STOP THE DRUG WAR.
posted by loquacious at 12:11 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually - according to the study - a lot of Americans have TRIED the drugs in question. PANIC!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:21 PM on July 1, 2008


People like Drugs!!!!!!!!!!!
Get used to it!
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:32 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Income was positively related to lifetime use of both legal and illegal drugs.

That's why you see more cocaine use in the USA than Colombia, where they make the stuff.
posted by Mister_A at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2008


STOP THE DRUG WAR.

This bears repeating. Again and again.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:39 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


FINALLY! a reason to be proud to be american.

...can somebody pass the triptamines?
posted by CitizenD at 12:42 PM on July 1, 2008


Folks, as long as the CIA and their friends can continue to use the drug war to pay for their off the radar projects (and make a little cash on the side), the drug war isn't going anywhere. People who are making money off the drug war are donating money (or making money available) to the politician who protect their interest. Pointing out that the drug war is illogical, wrong-headed and unlikely to achieve it's supposed goals will have no effect, the people that are enforcing it don't believe in it anyway. Look at all the people connected to Jack Abramoff, and figure that we're really only seeing 20% of the iceberg. A good chunk of congress and the senate are dirty and they're not going to rock the boat.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:47 PM on July 1, 2008


The UK's missing. So's Australia. And also places like Morocco or India. Also, they only surveyed cannabis and cocaine use among illicit drugs. What about 'opioids' as a category or 'any illegal drug'? Probably the raw dataset does have this covered, as opposed to the focus of this paper. And from the abstract, it seems that lifetime use is gauged, methinks recent use is the more valid variable to correlate with drug policy.
posted by daksya at 12:48 PM on July 1, 2008


Well, smartypantses, if we stop the drug war we'll have to come up with some other excuse for incarcerating millions of (mostly) black poor people and destroying (or at least minimizing) any possibility of a fulfilling life for them. If only there were some other vague thing that we could declare war on...
posted by Mister_A at 12:49 PM on July 1, 2008


We need a list of who all we should be voting against to make this craziness stop and get some sanity around our approach to plants and substances with recreational consciousness-altering applications.

If we prescribed and anti-prescribed, taxed and regulated, educated and de-mystified...I truly believe, admittedly perhaps somewhat idealistically, that we would have a better society, infrastructure, and nation.
posted by batmonkey at 12:52 PM on July 1, 2008


The problem, of course, is that the nutbars look at this and see evidence for being even 'tougher' on drug use.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:03 PM on July 1, 2008


so the US wins for out-snorting out-bonging and out-speedballing
the rest of the world? uh ... ok.
posted by liza at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2008


*surprised face*
posted by The Straightener at 1:13 PM on July 1, 2008


The problem, of course, is that the nutbars look at this and see evidence for being even 'tougher' on drug use.

Yeah, and doesn't it seem like exactly the kind of thinking that leads gamblers down the path to financial ruin, too? ("Heh, well, I've been losing every hand I play all night, but if I just stay at the table a little longer...")
posted by saulgoodman at 1:26 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


what about 'opioids' as a category

Well, not to be pedantic, but every opioid I can think of besides heroin and poppy tea is a legal, schedule 2 drug, and from what I've seen, the vast majority of non-heroin pharmaceutical opioid users at least started off with legal prescriptions.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:36 PM on July 1, 2008


The economy's in the shitter. Maybe the government should think about ways to tax the black market... by making stuff legal, and regulated...

nah, that'd make too much fiscal sense. What would God tell us to do? Oh wait... he created opium poppies and psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana plants and coca leaves.

Well, His will be done, right, God-fearing government?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:47 PM on July 1, 2008


If the war on drugs is indeed a war on personal freedom; and I believe it is; then this study indicates US citizens are indeed winning the war against those that deny personal freedom through tyranny and oppression. This is something to be proud of - well done you.

I am also pleased to note New Zealand coming in at number two, at least as far as cannabis is concerned.

Also and for the record I believe the issues surrounding the consumption of drugs should be dealt with by the health sector, not by criminal justice.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 2:30 PM on July 1, 2008


Bogart is American. America Bogarts.
posted by srboisvert at 2:44 PM on July 1, 2008


Once nanites are available that can be smaller than red blood cells and programmed to alter the building blocks of the human body, a single infusion of nanites can replace everything from LSD to steroids. You'll be able to remotely dictate what happens to your innards by way of a wifi ready laptop. If you want your brain to hallucinate bugs crawling all over you, just point and click. If you want your exercise regimen to generate ungodly amounts of beefed up muscle tissue so every swing of the bat is a grand slam? Just point and click. Wanna pass a drug test that'll prove you have no drugs or nanites in your body? Just point and click.

As nanotechnology improves, I'm increasingly of the opinion, we ain't seen nuthin' yet.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:52 PM on July 1, 2008


I am also pleased to note New Zealand coming in at number two, at least as far as cannabis is concerned.

It found that 16.2 per cent of people in the United States reported using cocaine in their lifetime, the second highest level of cocaine use was in New Zealand, where 4.3 per cent of people reported having used the drug. Cannabis use was highest in the US (42.4 per cent), followed by New Zealand (41.9 per cent).

Don't the kiwis know cannabis is a gateway drug? 4,3% turning on to cocaine in NZ versus 16,2% in the US isn't anything to brag about.
posted by three blind mice at 3:14 PM on July 1, 2008


Although daska is right to point out that the UK is not included, the US are still ruling over Brits when it comes to cannabis and cocaine use. Comparison with the most recent British Crime Survey demonstrates that although the yoof of Britain are just as deep into illicit substances, the elderly have a long way to catch up.
posted by roofus at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2008


the US are still ruling over Brits when it comes to cannabis

Hell, our joints are ALL weed.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:43 PM on July 1, 2008


If you want your exercise regimen to generate ungodly amounts of beefed up muscle tissue so every swing of the bat is a grand slam?

Not to be overly analytical, but 'roids don't make you better at hitting the ball -- they may help you hit it harder, but that's it. Steroids are no substitute for talent. And furthermore, your theory does not seem to take into account that roids are half of the equation; you still need to hit the gym.
posted by Dark Messiah at 4:05 PM on July 1, 2008


If only there were some other vague thing that we could declare war on...

Oh! How about pov...povert....errr

TERRORISM!

(I would have said chiristmas, but the liberal media already has that covered, amirite?)
posted by wigglin at 4:38 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


PANIC!

What's that? I don't like designer drugs.
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does anyone know of anyone studying the impact of illegal drug markets on macroeconomics? As in perhaps large concentration of liquidity (cash drug profits) having a measurable effect on, say, stock markets, or maybe being instrumental in forming bubbles in general? I'm not looking for information on direct costs like drug war funding (plenty of that readily available), but rather studies on indirect economic effects. (yeah, I know, AskMe, but since we're already here...)
posted by telstar at 6:12 PM on July 1, 2008


What would God tell us to do? Oh wait... he created opium poppies and psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana plants and coca leaves.

Well, His will be done, right, God-fearing government?


See, we're talking about America -- a nation sunk knee-deep in the dour Calvinist Nationalism of the Puritans. They believe in a God who specifically created a delicious-looking fruit, but told Adam and Eve not to eat it, just to fuck with them.

Then, of course, when they did eat it (which, cmon', you knew they would), he cursed them and all their descendants with pain and death for all eternity, just because he could.

Maybe a kinder, gentler nature-based religion would be responsive to the "But God made it!" argument, but American religion is founded on the idea that God has purposely inserted evil temptations into His natural order which we must avoid at all costs.
posted by Avenger at 6:52 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


telstar: There's this paper, but it's behind the great wall of JSTOR.
posted by bunnytricks at 7:21 PM on July 1, 2008


We also lead the world in Money. That might have something to do with it.
posted by delmoi at 8:15 PM on July 1, 2008


I guess this is sort of how telling kids not to have sex makes 'em more pregnanter.
posted by loiseau at 8:35 PM on July 1, 2008


We also lead the world in Money. That might have something to do with it.

well, i'm not sure how exactly one quantifies a metric like money (so i'll take it at face value we lead the world in it), but according to this, we also lead the industrialized world in income inequality, average household debt, and percent of children in poverty, and we rank somewhere in the middle when it comes to overall prosperity. that probably gives us lots of excuses to seek out comfort at the brightly-lit end of a glass pipe loaded up with ye olde devil's weed.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:50 PM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


DecemberBoy: Schedule 2 drugs aren't anymore "legal" than Schedule I, they just have some medical use allowed over Sch I.; cocaine, one of the illegal drugs surveyed here, is Sch. II. Use of opioids for non-medical purpose is not allowed under the CSA, so my point's a fair one. And you could easily delineate prescribed use by a question on the survey, if there's not one already.
posted by daksya at 9:22 PM on July 1, 2008


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