Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Apr 10 2006

ONDCP blog is like a parody of itself

I'm confused. We have an FDA, a DEA and then—oh yes. We have the Office of National Drug Control Policy. If you go to the main page for the ONDCP you'll see the folks there bragging that their blog has gotten over one million hits. Is that a good thing? I rather think it means that people are desperate for some tidbit of useful information. Instead, the blog carries sensational stories of a man in the UK who took 40,000 pills, containing ectasy, over a period of 9 years. (Apparently, the man is still alive.) Another recent blog entry tells us that Columbia's economy continues to grow. I'm assuming this is a brag that the South American country is doing well after efforts to control the growth of poppies (and other illicit drug-producing plants) have been successful in the last couple of years. What the entry does not say is that much of the production is simply moving to nearby Peru, where farmers are desperate to make a living. It also didn't mention that a former coca-farmer was elected to be President in Bolivia. Remember—we may think of cocaine as a bad thing, but the coca plant has social and spiritual uses that many of us forget about. Coca-Cola was originally called that for a very good reason. Even that blessed, numbing injection we get before the use of a dental drill is based on the medicinal properties of coca.

The problems with illicit drugs are deep-seated in our American culture and in many other cultures. An ONDCP blog paid for by taxpayers should be making that clear. The blog's current condescending tone will probably only make well-read people angry and will make young people laugh. There's a lot of talk about being tough on drugs. If we really do want to be tough on drugs we should admit that most of what society has done so far hasn't worked very well. Maybe our party line should be a little less holier-than-thou and a little more forthcoming with the real reasons why illegal drugs get to be important to so many people on the planet. The ONDCP blog is an embarrassment at this point. I hope they choose to include some real information there in the near future.

posted at: 14:18 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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