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Drug Czar Makes Absurd Claim That the Drug War Reduces Teen Tobacco Use

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If you haven't figured out yet that the Drug Czar will say anything, you should start reading some of the stuff he says. This week he attempted to take credit for reductions in alcohol and tobacco use among teens, claiming that the war on illegal drugs somehow causes kids not to smoke cigarettes. Before you know it, he'll be declaring that the drug war extinguishes forest fires, increases child literacy, and inspires people to spay or neuter their household pets.

An ONDCP announcement this week heralding reductions in youth drug use contained this whopping claim:
When we push back against illegal drug use, youth abuse of other substances decrease as well:
*Use of alcohol, including binge drinking, and cigarette smoking
have decreased by 15 and 33 percent, respectively
This is just warped on so many levels, I must resort once again to a bullet point list to explain how ridiculous it is:
1. These are legal, widely available drugs. The Drug Czar's claim that supply-reduction efforts have been effective against illicit substances cannot be applied to alcohol and tobacco. There may be age restrictions, but there ain't no crop substitution or aerial fumigation going on in North Carolina.
2. The Drug Czar's office doesn't work on tobacco and alcohol prevention. They've made no ads about these drugs or implemented any laws or policies in regards to them.

3. There's no war on tobacco or alcohol. If reductions in the use of these drugs are achievable without harsh laws, that merely illustrates the futility of punitive drug war policies.

4. Coinciding reductions in both licit and illicit drug use demonstrate a broader social trend, suggesting that specific drug war programs are not a catalyst in determining youth behavior.
Really, nothing could better illustrate the absurdity of the Drug Czar's self-aggrandizing pronouncements than these simultaneous reductions in tobacco and alcohol use. Without any arrests, mandatory minimums, no-knock raids, and stark racial disparities, we've made more progress against alcohol and tobacco than against these pernicious illegal substances that supposedly can only be combated through a blind and violent civil war.

As is often the case, the Drug Czar has handed us the truth in a nifty little box. He just mislabeled its contents.
United States
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Yes, he can say that!

The problem is that it does not make the statement any more truth than many of the other things that come out of the ONDCP. They like spin! And they like taking the credit for things that they should not, as seen here!

I wish they could try to prove that they reduced deaths by their work. In reality, all of us will die, so the death rate will always be 100%! That will never change. Just the way we die will be the only thing that varies. More are dying from the turf wars than on overdoses at this point in time. At least that is the way it looks!

Connecting Dots

Walters would probably take credit for a sunny day if he thought it meant propping up his failed drug prohibition policies. What Walter’s statement demonstrates is that he has no understanding of cause and effect.

People such as Walters perpetuate their odd beliefs by refusing or failing to make a mental link between respective bits of contradictory information in their brains. Given the brainwashing engaged in by twisted fundamentalist religions of the sort Walters belongs to, such people tend to lose their ability to connect the dots. Drug enforcement appears saturated with people of this sort. Trying to reason with them is like shouting at a brick wall.


Global Warming

I would also like to point out that since the War on Drugs began over 30 years ago, we've seen a dramatic increase in carbon dioxide emissions across the globe. I think the Drug Czar should take credit where credit is due for the record highs we've been charting up since 2000. Obviously the war on drugs is having farther reaching effects than we all thought possible.

Prescription Drug Use

I think the reduction in alcohol and tobacco use is more related to the increase in prescription drug use by teenagers than the drug war. I mean, prescription drugs are really easy to get a hold of now. I know at least 3 people with doctors that give out prescriptions without asking questions. Not to mention how many parents have vicodin and similar drugs sitting in their cabinets waiting to be stolen. The connection is easy to make: why would someone smoke cancer-causing cigarettes when they can mellow themselves out with vicodin? Sure it would take an actual survey of teenagers to confirm this link, but I have a pretty strong suspicion it's likely. Definitely more likely than the war on drugs.


As dangerous as they are, they do not kill the liver and damage the brain, like alcohol. If people were better educated about the real side effects, instead of spin and lies, then they will decide on their own, through a conscious decision, to avoid, TRULY, dangerous drugs and their deadly overdoses.

Hey guys! Stop lying about the THC and maybe the public will start believing, again .

Marijuana vs. Tobacco

If you look at the 15-year trend, teen tobacco use is down MUCH more than marijuana. Why? Regulation of tobacco sales and marketing. Thanks to the 1992 Synar Amendment, tobacco retailers are now subject to unannounced inspections to see if they're selling to minors. It works. According to SAMHSA, in the last decade, Synar violations have dropped from over 40% of retailers to just over 10%. Needless to say, we can't regulate marijuana sellers in this way. Prohibition doesn't help efforts to keep marijuana away from kids, it impedes them.

Zero tolerance= 100% deathrate

These are the kind of statistics that one can sink ones teeth into.. The cherry tree Walters picks from will inevitably be chopped down whether he tells the truth about it or not. All these presentations of statisics must mean it will soon be time to feed the monster.

Don't Lie...

The government hates compitition! (To paraphrase a righteous bumper sticker)...
Statements like the Drug Czar's are the reason no one believes, or should believe, anything this administration says.

ONDCP - "dinosaur" agency

Like any administrator of a government agency, John Walters is trying to protect his job and the jobs in their agency by continuing to justify their existence. We can recognize the fallacy of his comments from our point of view, but many US citizens will accept his statements as fact without examining the statistical interpretation that were used to justify his agency’s perception. Having a title of “Drug Czar” somehow lends legitimism to his point of view, even if he is only a bureaucrat protecting his agency.

The ONDCP is a government agency that is trying to remain relevant. With millions of dollars of tax money at stake, the ONDCP needs to justify its existence to keep their appropriated federal money flowing into their agency. Touting any statistic as evidence of the success of his agency is imperative to demonstrating the need for the continued funding.

We are paying our federal income taxes to support this agency/nonsense. I continue to be appalled by this waste of federal revenues. This is a federal agency that needs to be eliminated in spite of all this “supposed” evidence of their success.

ONDCP exxagerated pollution from outdoor marijuana growing

About two years back, the ONDCP was putting out a claim that "for every acre used to grow marijuana, (outdoors) ten acres are damaged".

This did not sound plausible to me, so I contacted ONDCP to ask how they got the number.

At first they said this was an estimate given by law enforcement officials. OK, that is not like scientists carefully quantifying all damage, but they have some idea, they are at the grow sites, right?

But when I tried to find out who had talked to the cops to get the estimates from them and compile them into a nationwide average, they could not give me any name at all.

Ultimately, they told me the number was not that important because they were just putting it out to the public, not using it for anything else. I wish I had printed out the email, just to paste it here.

You could classify all this claims as lies, but in the cigarettes claim, they are not flat out lying about less teen smoking, they are just claiming credit for it with no proof of that.

But in the "ten acres damaged for every one grown" they flat out made it up, which I think is a bit different.

Walters kept on using the phony figures, but it seemed like he was not nearly so aggressive about it after my inquiries.

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