Monday, October 24, 2005

D'Alliance: Meth Today, Bongs Tomorrow

D'Alliance: "This is a little late, but last week NPR's media-critique show 'On The Media' did a good segment on sloppy drug war journalism, especially when it comes to the 'next big drug scare' phenomenon. Nick Gillespie, editor-in-chief at Reason magazine who is interviewed for the segment, isn't afraid to name names, or at least newspapers and magazines, when it comes to especially bad drug war reporting. You can listen to the show archive here." (more)

Transcript Excerpt

BOB GARFIELD: - "this is what happens when you fool around with Mary Jane" kind of quality to it. And I guess we as reporters should be embarrassed about that. But where's the harm?

NICK GILLESPIE: Well, there's a lot of harm in this. First off, if you have hysterical over-reporting, both on the part of law enforcement and the media, everybody turns off. A great example of this is the Tennessee District Attorney's Association has a website called "Meth is Death," which they put up recently. I mean, this site is linked to prominently by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, so it's giving it its imprimatur on some level. But this Meth is Death site says that one in seven high school students will try meth. Okay? And follow the kind of math on this. One in seven high school students will try meth; 99 percent of first-time meth users are hooked after just the first try, and only five percent of meth addicts are able to kick it and stay away. (more)