AlterNet.org’s Drug Reporter is a good source of articles, although usually spotty, with some long gaps between them. However, this past week has seen a burst of articles worth reading. Check these out:
“bullet” Hooray for Bruce Mirken’s Lies and the Lazy Reporters Who Repeat Them, where he takes to task the media that carry the government’s alarmist stories about pot potency without doing their job as reporters.
Way to go, Bruce! We need more people keeping the mainstream media honest (particularly when the government is not).
“bullet” Erik Davis, in Don’t Get High Without It gives us a nice, detailed feature about the Vaults of Erowid, which may be the most comprehensive source of useful information about the wide range of drugs which are used.
Davis notes that the mainstream science channels have become less useful (particularly with all the biased research) and more people are turning to Erowid for information (including health professionals).
Though it largely ignores policy debates, Erowid is a striking example of guerrilla information war. Millions of people, particularly young people, regularly access a repository of data whose very accessibility erodes the coercive exaggerations, hysteria and outright lies common to government and mainstream-media discussion of drugs. In addition, the very form of Erowid, which presents a model of an honest and open-minded psychoactive culture, encourages intelligent decision making.
“bullet” Particularly appropriate on Mother’s Day is Martha Rosenbaum’s Personal Voices: A Mother’s Advice about Drugs. This is a great letter to any child who will be facing difficult choices.
“bullet” Ann Harrison in Counting the Costs of the Drug War, discusses an Independent Institute forum held this week, where analysts tried to quantify the real costs of the drug war.
The forum included Boston University economist Jeffrey A. Miron, who is author of the new book Drug War Crimes.
“There is no reason to think that the benefits of reducing myopic drug use balances the costs that prohibition places on society,” says Miron. “The best policy is to legalize drugs and do it sooner rather than later.”
It’s nice to see economists and analysts putting an additional legitimate voice to this issue that those of us in the drug reform community have known for years.