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Being on an Editorial Board doesn’t require actually knowing anything

The Daily Herald (Chicago suburbs) editorial board shows just how ignorant it is: A suburban war on drugs is vital to stem the tide

We must wage a war on drug abuse. That should be the resolve of law enforcement, our communities, our schools and ourselves. […]

Death by heroin was up 130 percent in Lake County, 150 percent in three years in McHenry County and it doubled in two years in Will County. […]

A vital takeaway from the St. Charles forum was the role marijuana use and drinking plays in leading teens into even harder drugs. One expert said more teens are in treatment for marijuana dependency than all other drugs combined.

One teen told the crowd that “from the moment I tried smoking pot and drinking, something clicked in my body and I knew that I liked being altered.” That led to cocaine, acid and mushrooms. It led to her being expelled and it led to criminal activity like forging checks.

That treatment statistic lie just won’t die. (By “lie,” I mean an intentional effort to deceive, which it is.)

This isn’t the first time for the Daily Herald to get on the bandwagon of conflating marijuana use with heroin deaths (and the other just as nonsensical bandwagon of thinking that a war is actually useful in reducing heroin deaths).

Last year, they helped promote this bizarre campaign of a grieving and destructive mother.

Mother of suburban teen who died warns others

(I’ve seen this billboard. It really threw me to see the pot leaf on a billboard. And it made less sense once I read it.)

“If this doesn’t get their attention, I don’t know what will,” the Lincolnshire mother says, as she wipes a tear off her cheek and a friend wraps an arm around her shoulder. “If we have to be in people’s faces, we will.”

Now, there are actually some good things being suggested:

Parents pushed for the new law that takes effect Jan. 1 making it legal for anyone who has the proper training to carry Narcan, a prescription drug already used by medical workers that reverses the effects of a heroin overdose. […]

Parents also are having informal discussions whether to push for a law that would grant immunity to anyone who calls 911 to report a drug overdose.

Excellent ideas. But some of the rest is just clueless…

Heroin’s growing popularity in the suburbs can be attributed to a few things, experts say. First, it’s easy to get. Police officers say there’s a steady stream of nice cars filled with suburban kids rolling into the West side of Chicago, where they buy the drugs on the street corner. Heroin’s also cheap – a $10 “dime bag” can contain up to 12 doses, said Bruce Talbot, a retired Woodridge police sergeant who now leads drug training programs at schools and police departments.

Hmmm… that seems to me to be the result of a drug war, not the reason to call for one.

A generation ago, heroin was largely thought of as a scary, inner-city drug. Today, it’s trendy to some high school students who don’t recognize how highly addictive and dangerous it is.

“They think it’s like marijuana or something,” said Bruce Johnson, director of NICASA, a substance-abuse center based in Round Lake. “They don’t think there’s going to be this horrific change in their life because of this.”

Maybe if you hadn’t lied to them about marijuana…

Stephen Smith, a unit coordinator for Rosecrance’s men’s residential program in Rockford, says most rehab centers have waiting lists.

“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “Funding is disappearing.”

The stigma associated with heroin also prevents parents from seeking help, fearing they’ll be judged if anyone finds out.

Well, maybe there would be spaces in rehab centers if they weren’t filled with marijuana “addicts.” And maybe the stigma wouldn’t be such a problem if we weren’t waging a war!

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13 comments to Being on an Editorial Board doesn’t require actually knowing anything

  • Ben Mann

    We’d have less of a heroin problem if we didn’t lie to kids and tell them that both Marijuana and Heroin will kill you. Once they realize that marijuana isn’t what the D.A.R.E. classes claimed it is, they may wonder what other drugs they were lied to about.

  • Jake

    “from the moment I tried smoking pot and DRINKING”… maybe we should ban alcohol.. no wait.. tried that.. didn’t work.. but surely it will work with Heroin.. right?

  • claygooding

    I sometimes don’t want marijuana legal because these people are too stupid str8,much less if they toked.

  • Sukoi

    Pete,

    I think that you need to re-format the last portion of your post; it appears to me as one huge quote.

  • Thanks, Sukoi. I had a slightly malformed ending tag, and Safari was fixing it when showing it so I didn’t see the problem, but obviously another browser wasn’t as generous.

  • Duncan20903

    Well don’t look now but SAMHSA released the survey results about 2 weeks back. You might have heard of it mentioned in the news because it shows cigarettes are less popular than merryjewanna.

    The same publication also analyzes the ‘drug of initiation’ after giving alcohol a free pass. Less than 60% ‘initiate’ with cannabis. 17.1% initiate with ‘pain medication’ (read opioids)

    Data obtained from page 59 of:
    http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/2k9ResultsP.pdf

    It seems very possible that opioid degenerates may have in fact started with opioids. Go figure that one out.

  • Mike R

    Pitiful excuses, and constantly. The reason heroin is so popular in the suburbs is because it is a drug. Like it, all other drugs are popular in the suburbs because, in fact, they are drugs. People like them.

    The real question, and the heart of this issue, are HOW MUCH to people like their drugs? People who’s lives are fulfilling and purposeful seem to have no issues putting down the intoxicants when it’s time. This is essentially the difference between a user and abuser, right?

    Unfortunately, for a lot of kids in the Chicago brubs (Naperdink) parents are more interested in driving two luxury cars, having expensive homes and fancy vacations. It’s horrifyingly superficial here. As a result, poor little Johnny is raised by MTV, the people he trusts the most are friends who are just as lost as he is. It’s painful for children who starve for attention and approval and never recieve it.

    Enter drugs. This is the real story. The adults of our great nation are well and fully preoccupied by the pursuit of status and material gain. No wonder so many more kids are committing suicide – forget about drug overdoses. Many kids today are extremely UNHAPPY and generally NOT healthy.

  • Duncan20903

    Heroin has very limited popularity. Earlier this year I was shocked to learn that there were only an estimated 153,000 ‘past month’ users of heroin. By happenstance I heard the 1969 estimated number of heroin addicts of just over 150,000. The country’s population has more than doubled in that time frame. Past month heroin use fell from 338,000 to 153,000 in 2007. Man this drug has some wild ass swings in numbers. ‘Past month’ heroin use then increased from 153,000 in 2007 to about 213,000 in 2008. This ‘huge’ increase still represents a 50% reduction in heroin users from 2006. But that’s the standard hysterical rhetoric of Know Nothing prohibitionists, never let the facts stand in the way of predicting that the sky will fall.

    There’s also the part that I find mildly amusing, heroin is advertised by the Know Nothings as don’t even think about trying it or you’ll suffer ‘instant, life long addiction’. How do these people reconcile the fact that there’s a little under 4 million people who admit to having used heroin in their lifetime? That means that around 3 3/4 million people did not suffer from ‘instant, life long’ addiction when they gave heroin a try.

    Of course the phenomenon being described is true for the people who are degenerate addicts. What is overlooked is that the drug doesn’t turn people into degenerate addicts. The rat park study was definitely trying to head down the path to prove that degenerate addicts are born, not made. If you’re not an addict when the doctor slaps you on the ass you’re not going to ever find yourself on skid row.

    No kudos for the drug warriors, this statistic more likely reflects people’s preference for pharmaceutical opiates than any success in reducing the rate of opioid addiction.

    The really stupid thing about the SAMHSA is they include as lifetime users the person who smokes pot, has an adverse or less than pleasant experience, and swears it off forever is included as a user. If you hear a Know Nothing prevaricating about the policy of tolerance in Holland they’ll tell you that ‘use’ tripled directly after the policy was implemented. The only category this was true was in lifetime users. Lots and lots of people went to a coffee shop to see what all the fuss was about, had their experience of the novelty, and left it alone. I think it’s unreasonable to include these people as users. Beer disgusts me. I don’t have a clue why people drink that swill. I drank a 1/2 a beer when I was a teenager and it damn near made me puke. According to the idiotic statistic above I’m a beer drinker. Seriously, you couldn’t find a more dedicated non-drinker of beer in the population.

    PS if you enjoy drinking beer that’s just fine and dandy as far as I’m concerned as long as you don’t expect me to join you. gak.

  • Duncan20903

    I think somebody must have put something in the water up there in Illinois. Here’s the story of a drunk woman who was arrested for walking while impaired, theft of labor for walking out on a restaurant tab, and aggravated assault on a police officer after she menacingly brandished a dildo at him in a threatening manner.

    Carolee Bildsten, of Gurnee, Ill., is charged with one misdemeanor count of aggravated assault and theft of labor stemming form her Nov. 9 arrest, according to Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick. She also faces an ordinance violation for being a pedestrian under the influence.

    Bildsten allegedly walked out on a tab at Joe’s Crab Shack in Gurnee, and was later found lying in the grass. An officer said Bildsten appeared to be intoxicated when he told her she had to pay her bill.

    She then told the officer that she had money at her apartment and was escorted to her nearby residence, reports CBS affiliate WBBM.

    Once at her residence, Bildsten allegedly walked into her bedroom, opened a drawer and removed what the officer described as a “clear, rigid feminine pleasure device,” and approached him in a threatening manner. The officer knocked the alleged toy out of the way before he could be hit and placed Bildsten under arrest, according to police documents.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20026838-504083.html?tag=latest

    Aggravated assault? Shouldn’t the charge have been assault with a friendly weapon? If it had been a gun the paper would have reported that the officer disarmed her. In this case wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that he dismembered her?

  • CRW

    Mike R: “Unfortunately, for a lot of kids in the Chicago brubs (Naperdink) parents are more interested in driving two luxury cars, having expensive homes and fancy vacations. It’s horrifyingly superficial here. As a result, poor little Johnny is raised by MTV, the people he trusts the most are friends who are just as lost as he is. It’s painful for children who starve for attention and approval and never recieve it.”

    At the end of the day, when their kids are getting messed up on alcohol, heroin and other substances, who is to blame? Everyone but the parents. Folks like Willie Nelson are easy scapegoats to parents who don’t want to face up to their responsibility. They tell police, schools, legislators that they are not doing enough, so lets invest more money in the Nanny State Welfare System called the War on Drugs.

  • vicky vampire

    Ok folks I’ve heard that heroin is just very plentiful and cheap yes’um way cheaper than certain strains of cannabis just what I’ve heard and read a little, yes they are in panic here in Utah also back about 8 weeks or so they had some articles in Newspapers decrying the availability of HerOIn. You folks here Utah they thought they had nipped Meth in the Butt some by making everyone by colds meds through Pharmacy then Meth Labs in area went down for a bit made a small comeback, I think they just went further underground that’s all. Also pain pills laws were tightned up a bit,a nd yes for months know you still has parents and I’m sorry who have lost children decrying and screaming about Doctors in Utah prescribing legitimate pain 90 percent of time or more for real pain,but then their kids had accidental overdose or just loved opiates so much took too many and died and they then go on a campaign to practically tell lawmakers to make so difficult and in future to pass laws they hope that barely anyone with legitimate Pain like ME HELLO will barely get enough hopefully these heartbroken folks chill. and then in Newspaper dated Monday,Dec27,2010 Standard -Examiner from Utah has people in ajoining communities pissed off that they are tired of smelling pot in their back yards coming from area near railroad tracks that they say are probably gangs somking pot and breaking law Oh my now they want major to chop down abunch of trees in area near there so kids or gangs or whoever the hell they think are hiding there will stop smoking cannabis oh yeah sure these youngster’s will just find another area to smoke WILL they chop that area up too lets just deforest anyplace we smell cannabis these people are nuts. They would probably complain about tons of other stuff too. busy buddies this type has to find something to bother them. Yeah and with Heroin being so cheap I have solution just legalize cannabis price will fall and then folks have access to safor drugs Oh Yes I know its not April yet your thinking this is a april fool’s joke like these folks would even listen to a suggestion as this NO FUCKING WAY so suffer people until you come to our senses someday.

  • sandy

    That heroin is bad news to most,me and mine included .I feel certain it has nothing what so ever to do with cannabis.The only thing that leads to heroin is ignorance and stupidness.Cannabis is not where it starts,cannabis is not related to heroin in any way.That cannabis is placed in the same schedule as heroin is evidents of one of the biggest lies of the century.It is embarrassing to me that those who schedule drugs for classification actually got away with doing this.This is like putting coke a cola in the same class with the rum.Cannabis is way miss classed.Cannabis needs to be reevaluated and re classed as a harmless herb that is not lethal,it is non toxic,non addictive,It is an herb that cures disease and has been a medicine for thousands of years.Who ever classed cannabis as a schedule one must not have much education or brains for them to do this and get away with it.This indicates someone was not paying attention or they were just turning their heads while it happened . Perhaps because those who did this were corrupted as well as ignorant of the facts.those who continue to keep it classed a scheduled one hard core drug
    must also be corrupted or ignorant of the true facts.Its classification makes Americans look dumb because it is wrong,and we all know it is, yet we are forbidden to change it.This is childish.from now on we should refer to the government as the gobernment ..looks pretty miss spelled doesn’t it.would probably cause a lot of people to correct and point this out wouldn’t it?

  • sandy

    While I am at it.The above comment causes me to wonder How many other “slight of hand” market manipulating type classifications have been done incorrectly to give rise to control hungry monopolies who wish to disintegrate any potential competition.Cannabis has so many uses and they are all so much more environmentally friendly, economically,advantageous and less toxic than much of what Americans use now.Americans would be foolish not to utilize such an easy to raise crop,given the current economic environmental situation we are in right now.