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A lot of LSD over here there's like a four way window pane or haze blotter acid. America has 5 percent of the world's population and consumes 50 percent of its drug supply. We live in and promote a drug type culture that's from aspirin. And you know everything that we do is sort of around the pleasure principle is it's been happening all the time. Certainly our nation has had a long relationship with drugs. They breathe life into our colonial economy. Alcohol was a good creature of God's. Tobacco was the enchanted earth and cocaine it was the miracle drug of the 19th century
nothing more nothing less. Why the hell with the world. Ever since humans have had a consciousness they have attempted to alter it. It's part of our nature. Drugs have been a part of America's history from the beginning. We have benefited from their use but have never come to terms with their abuse in the name of medicine and commerce for pleasure and pain. We opened the Pandora's Box and have yet to get it shut all together. I did drugs for two years and started with the first started with speed and better when I was about 14 30 years old and I graduated so to speak. I took downers and LSD all four way window pane Purple Haze blotter acid I supported my drug habit and so many years as I sold drugs for about eight years of
my life when I wasn't in jail. I was in there and find that some of those it is not legal but it made me more aggressive. You think having correctional officers coming up to me treating me like I was an animal be loaded with my integrity. It's kind to rehabilitate me. I think that first of all prisoners do not have adequate delivery systems too as they would say correct the problems they don't have though. This is the image many of us hold of a typical drug user a criminal a hopeless that is a minority but that stereotyping is part of America's drug problem. We are not seeing the rest of the picture. We treat the problem as them against us without acknowledging that some of our troubles are of our own making. For those who are thinking of using drugs we
say stop to those who are pushing drugs we say we're winning the war on drugs means mate waging war on crime the war on drugs is the longest battle America has ever fought for nearly a century. The federal government has depended upon the criminal justice system to eradicate the supply and demand of illicit drugs. Some efforts have been successful some failures some of the most have yielded a predictable pattern of results. In one sense we would scare the American population. Sound like an arrogant perception sometimes that they are fearful to the point that it affects our electoral process. Look at gun control we look across all of these things relate to safety and security of the individual from within in a macroscopic way. And basically it's saying that minorities are somewhat threatening and they kind of have to be dealt with they have all these problems and now they're kind of lumped in the cities and so what
are we going to do with them. Out of every hundred dollars that we spend on dealing with the drug problem we spend ninety seven dollars on dealing with the effects of the failures of our policies and $3 tried to prevent drug use. We spend nothing on prevention and everything on dealing with the defects that are produced by our defective human beings that are produced by these policies. What we have done over and over again is we've increased the jail capacity we've increased police forces and we increased the prosecution of the DA's office. We've increased the court system. What we haven't done come up with methods to truly rehabilitate drug addicts I could pull out a book for you right now and read a comment that was made in 1936. And if I didn't tell you that you would think it was a contemporary
making a statement today. I think it's we forget that you know there's no we forget what doesn't work and we constantly try to reinvent the wheel and sometimes we think if we make the laws stricter if we make the sentences harsher that will change the picture. It seems like every generation has to rediscover it for itself for themselves. We know today that nicotine is the most addictive substance known to man nicotine is reinforcing as a short acting and you can smoke it. Nine out of every 10 people who try cigarettes develop a dependence problem five centuries ago no one in Europe had
ever heard of nicotine. It was America's gift to the world when 16th century explorers landed here they encountered Native Americans smoking an enchanted herb with strange powers. When the explorers returned to their homelands they took their new addiction with them. Tobacco spread around the world. In the second quarter of the seventeenth century not only in Europe but in China Russia Turkey and it's interesting. Initially the reaction of many of the elites was very harsh. China ordered the death sentence for someone caught smoking in Russia. Smokers had their nostrils slashed so they were really dire consequences to all this. On the other hand there were some people who advocated tobacco as a kind of panacea. They thought it was all. Sure all a wonderful drug for whatever ails you saw their medical opinion and scientific opinion was divided as to the merits of tobacco but it was so addictive that once people began
using it either by smoking it or taking it as snuff they couldn't. They literally couldn't let it alone. So finally after trying to enforce strict regulations on tobacco. And basically giving up many governments and you have decided the only solution was to tax it and thereby they stuck their nation's coffers with with revenues from. Taxing the substance. We call them sin taxes today. But they are the same source of revenues that saved the Virginia colony from economic disaster with good soil for tobacco crops. Virginia became the world's leading supplier for a growing addiction. Well it was wonderful for the colonists except for the African American colonists because of course one of the major reasons for the expansion of slavery in the 17th century was this insatiable demand for labor to cultivate tobacco the seeds for America's plantation system were sown. Concerns about the morality of slavery. Tobacco's toll on the land and the body were all
ignored. The enchanted Herb was ingrained into colonial culture and the economy. It is legal tender for trade and purchase. Alcohol is mainly a pleasure product in our modern society but it was a necessity. In Colonial America no water was very suspect because it was associated with so many diseases and very often it was. It wasn't clean and sometimes it just plain didn't taste good and there was a tradition for drinking water as a healthful beverage. Very often people added ranch's of water just to sort of kill anything in the water just to make it palatable. Alcohol was an import from arriving settlers. The Puritans called Liquid spirits
a good creature of God a dependable source for food and medicine. Most every colonist drank. They brewed beer and made hard cider for more troops but rum was by far the favorite. They imported molasses for rum making and exported the product. The business was so big rum became legal tender and established the northern economy. When the British cut off molasses supplies during the revolution Americans distilled their grain into a literal liquid assets and whiskey became the patriotic drink. Remember it was more it was cheaper than with whiskey it was cheaper than not coffee and so they tended to drink whiskey with breakfast rather than coffee. And then they would have a coffee break at 11 and they didn't have coffee. They had liquor and they would have more whiskey with lunch and whiskey in the middle of the afternoon and whiskey with dinner than that of course and have a nightcap. So they were just sipping they were sipping our small amounts of whiskey all day long in 1784 Dr. Benjamin
Rush sounded the first medical alarm warning Americans that heavy chronic use of spirits could lead them to mental and physical ruin even death. He was mostly ignored by then drinking was valued for more than just food and medicine that had become tied to the business of politics and power. Slaves were purposely given alcohol to keep them on plantations and Native Americans were plied with fire water during trade and treaty negotiations. By 1830 Americans were drinking an average of 5 gallons of pure liquor a year. That's three times more than we consume today. Not surprisingly public drunkenness was common. Americans were forced to re-evaluate the good creature of God. Alcohol related illnesses and violence were rising. Some debtor prisons were reporting 50000 annual admissions. There were families who were left destitute and of course in a state where there were no social systems set out. There wasn't welfare there wasn't Social Security.
If someone literally drank himself into. An aunt's house who is going to take care of his family. In stepped the temperance movement taking their cue from similar reforms in Europe. America's clergy led the way with gentle moral suasion they were simply urging moderation and they began arguing that if you are a drunkard you might commit acts which were to sever your relationship with him. He might tempt others he might get into brawls. It wasn't good for society it wasn't good for the individual. Next came the fire and brimstone approach in the form of the Reverend Lyman Beecher. He had once put himself through school selling spirits but later preached of his conversion with the six sermons of intemperance which in summary said no alcohol is good alcohol. Total abstinence was a controversial concept even in the temperance movement and eventually groups came up with a solution. Drinker's torn with indecision were offered a compromise.
You could take and sign a pledge for total abstinence in which you say your name would be marked with a team making you a teetotaler or else you could just decide to abstain from hard liquor. And drink and continue your consumption of wine and spirits. The early American experiment was massively successful. Hundreds of thousands of people became Temperance Society members and nearly half of all Americans quit drinking altogether. In Confessions of an opium eater. Thomas De Quincey referred to it as a portable ecstasy. Nineteenth century physicians called it God's own medicine. Whatever the motivation the growth in opium consumption signaled the beginning of a new American drug
era between 1840 and 1870 imports of the poppy product grew at seven times the rate of population. And most of those people began. Using it. Actually out of a medical reason. They had headache they had migraine they had to take neuralgia. Arthritis. You have to understand that. Opium is the only effective pain reliever. But in the 19th century there was a big increase in medical. Opiate addiction and I think there were two key reasons for that. One was the isolation of morphine which is the principal alkaloid of opium and the other reason was the popularisation of hypodermic medication. Well that is a very powerful tool for both good and for evil. And. Unfortunately many doctors made two free use of hypodermic medication with with morphine and a number of them and their patients became addicted.
The discovery of new drugs and means to administer them were part of an explosion of discovery in organic chemistry in their zeal to alleviate pain and further Medicine researchers unwittingly introduced new means of addiction. Without full understanding of their impact. Physicians prescribed liquid cannabis for migraine heroin for coughs and cocaine for nearly everything. Cocaine was a real godsend in terms of eye surgery dental surgery spinal block. Anastasia. Because it had the ability to numb areas which of course made it easier for doctors to operate. However the medical recommendations did not stop there. Many people and the doctors recommended cocaine's hay fever. For as a general stimuli and pick me up it was a kind of well it was a kind of panacea. It was thought to be good for students because they would study better. It was good for mountain climbers because you could get up mountains more easily. It was good for athletes. You could be athletes would even
give endorsements of say or wine and so on. So it seemed to be the most wonderful drug ever to hit the industrialized world. It solved almost every. Problem in modern society. It's just that as time went on. It screwed up your brain and you couldn't get off of it if you weren't on it. You were depressed but it took It's amazing how long that took to sort of permeate all of society. All of the substances that Biff mentioned opium morphine heroin. Cocaine were illegal substances that you could purchase over the counter. So two with the paraphernalia he has to administer. So you could turn to your Sears and Roebuck catalog. And for a trifling amount maybe a dollar 75 you could purchase your own hypodermic syringe. It would be delivered to you through the mail so. Perhaps if you were keeping your habit in secret no one would now. And many people didn't realize they were addicted they just knew that if they kept taking their medicine they felt well.
The pet medicine industry offered Americans a sort of fast food approach to folk medicine. Downhome names popularized the Elixirs and tablets. Lydia Pinkham pushed the pills and tonic Hofstadter's bitters were the best but customers didn't know that common ingredients to these medicines were alcohol. Opium morphine and heroin. And of course you see that was because many of these medicines weren't labeled. You had no idea what you were purchasing. Many mothers flocked to the stores to buy Mrs. Winslow so soothing syrup which they gave liberally to their children who were suffering from colic or teething pain. And one mother writing an endorsement for this a testimonial to the company said in the 1880s that her little girl cries until she gets her medicine and then she's good as gold for the rest of the day. And there was no correlation between the behavior before the drug. And the behavior after and of course this child was probably experiencing
some as some symptoms of withdrawal which the medicine fixed while ignorance and medical use and slaves some Americans or others turned to drugs for the pleasure principle upper class adventurers experimented and opium dens housewives who were discouraged from drinking found comfort in Dovers powders or laudanum. Some saw drugs as a means of coping with the harsh reality of everyday life. There were people primarily Chinese indentured laborers and some members of the white underworld gamblers and prostitutes and so forth who smoked opium. I think the Chinese laborers who were two had a very very hard lot. I mean these people are exhausted many of them were dying at the work sites from exposure and poor treatment and very very hard lot. These people were using opium as an escape. Meantime cocaine became popular. As a as a recreational drug longshoreman in New Orleans black
longshoremen were among the first to use the drug because these people had to work for long stretches of time unloading and loading steamboats and then use that as a stimulant. By the 1880s America was concerned about its growing drug habit. Those who have turned to treatment found a lot of quackery. The upper and middle class lined up for the popular Keily gold cure for addiction. If you had a cocaine habit you are required to pay $10 a week which was about a week's wages in those days. People understood that you went to a treatment center instead of home or hospital and you were withdrawn and they didn't understand once you went through the cure why three weeks later you would experience experiences craving for a drug again whether it was alcohol or whether it was morphine. So by the 1880s there was a definite recognition that something had to be done and there was a great fear that. Our leaders our doctors our politicians our businessman our
mother is training the future citizens for all prey to this and that it was going to be the end of the republic as we knew it. The American public demanded the federal government cure what medicine couldn't. Aided by sensationalist media campaigns the patent industry was brought down with the Pure Food and Drug Act of 19 0 6 it forced manufacturers to list ingredients on the label but it did not regulate drugs prescribed or sold over the counter. And so the next campaign began. If you look at the population of addicts which many people think is somewhere around 1 million around the turn of the 20th century around 1900 you find there in all walks of life. Are there all through the class structure. That was not the impression the public was given need for protective legislation was justified. With terrifying stories and films about the dangers minorities presented to the rest of society.
Drugs have been used in conjunction with with prejudice and for a little manipulation for years you go back to the late 19th century the association of Chinese workers with opium was used in part to suppress the Chinese. Americans were already resentful of Chinese immigrants who they felt were taking away scarce jobs. There was an international plot as well. The United States wanted China to spend less of its silver and opium and more on American goods. But before America could push for international controls it needed a drug policy of its own. The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 put tighter controls on medical use of opiates and cocaine and outlawed all non-medical use. Our doctor was still able at this period to continue to treat his patients. With morphine.
Until in 1999 Supreme Court rulings. Charged that protection was not a disease. So it's not a disease the doctor can't lawfully treated by prescribing opiates. So with one fell swoop. A whole group of people became criminals. The same Supreme Court ruling forced many narcotics clinics to close leaving the hardcore addicts few places to turn. The lasting tradition of the Harrison Narcotics Act was the creation of a black market for drugs and the portrait of an addict as a sinister criminal dedicated to irresponsible pleasure. The Harrison Narcotics Act was just one half of the turn of the century progressive reform movement.
Prohibition would be the other it was the goal Americans build slowly toward with equal parts passion and politicking. The play that you referred to 10 nights in a bar room was one of the most sensational plays in America. And it was the most performed play. After Uncle Tom's Cabin so powerful for us this very melodramatic story of a child who goes in the innocent who goes into the bar to save her father from the evils of drink. 1870s. Women were the pioneers in this movement because they had the most to lose. Men legally controlled wages and property. And if he chose could drink them all away. Drinking concerns had been rising since the end of the Civil War when celebratory thirst were met with new distilling and brewing technology. Retail liquor outlets and saloons grew at an equally alarming pace enticing men with free salty foods that demanded liquid relief. Women's activist group grew through the
turn of the century praying band shut down bars and men joined women in the anti saloon league working to ban alcohol and entire towns and states. By 1913 prohibition forces had earned considerable political power in Washington and nearly 50 percent of Americans already lived in dry localities. Prohibition came about in 1978 largely because of World War One. The whisky distillers had been discredited for years and had very little political influence but the liquor industry had survived largely because of the political influence of the Brewers. The Brewers. Unfortunately for them were almost all German by background and sold during World War 1. The Brewers lost their political influence because of the fact that the United States was at war with Germany. Across the anti cylinder's and the prohibitionist just saw this as a call opportunity. Suddenly drinking became unpatriotic because you were taking needed grain
and drinking it instead of sending it to the armies of the allies. In January of 1920 the noble experiment took effect. Faced with the laws that forbid the sale of alcohol but not drinking it the public reacted. One of two ways. Oh yeah that started a lot of people drinking. You see that even people who never broke the law were dealing with bootleggers and buying. You know. Illegal again Spears. Because they were. The thought their. Rights had been. No infringement of their rights. One of the things that they used to do for the speakeasies is to use stuff you had a cigar store. And sell magazines and newspapers and stuff like that. And then you just go around the corner and be another door door let. The big ones retained. They were in
business nightclubs were dirt that's a different scene. People used to dress they come into a speakeasy in full dress in evening gowns. There was no end to the supply of illegal hooch. Many an entrepreneur would simply head north to the United States border to buy his alcohol and then try to sneak back undercover of the night. They all ran joints and stuff like you know night clubs and they got most of their suppliers from Canada. And they'd come in with these boats and the all these cool things go out and roll boards to meet these speedboats. And then the changes you know they switch the curveball and put them on trucks and then run them up in the city enforcing prohibition was a nightmare prohibition agents patrolled by land sea and air but could not keep up with the proliferation of Speakeasies and industrious private citizens and a whole new class of criminal.
One of the facts of drug use is a few prohibit something. Of substance you generally will create a black market for it. So prohibition was very effective and it really organizing crime. So they pick a territory. And these people would sell booze and beer. To these operators and. They get a real thing going. Well one somebody. From the other gang crossed over and started selling beer and. Couldn't profits. They get into these real machine gun bans. They were good people. Al Capone certainly was a good example of what prohibition could produce. It's estimated that in the late 1920s early 1930s Al Capone was perhaps taking on two hundred million dollars a year in profits are totally untaxed from running up the prohibition racket in Chicago. Prohibition led not only to a rise in violence but in health risk to those who refused to stop drinking
because the available liquor was unregulated. It was in many cases of dubious quality. They did. Run some in from Canada and that was good. It was never as good as it was here in that. Right. Some of it they made here you know made what they call a bathtub gin me in bed. One good. Reason for Gin is all they had to do is get some good straight alcohol and mix it with juniper berries when they were drinking the stuff before and it was pretty decent stuff. I mean if you could call alcohol good. But it's all good. They were drinking anything that come out of a pipe. A lot of people lost their life drink and some others. And would alcohol. Prohibition did reduce the amount Americans drank by about 50 percent alcohol
related health problems also decreased but the price paid for those advances was climbing in terms of deaths by accidental poisoning or organized violence and economic factors could no longer be ignored the prohibition unit's budget had grown from their initial five million dollars to 300 million dollars by prohibition. And in 1933 the government like the governments of Europe and trying to deal with tobacco I think finally gave up trying to enforce a law which was very difficult to enforce. And course we were entering a depression. So the alternative was if you can't control it let's regulate it and tax it. And those taxes became an important element of our national budget. And of course that legal distilleries and burglarious gave people a lot of needed jobs during the Depression.
The Treasury Department down the. Stream. Harry Anslinger would be the federal champion of the first war on narcotics. A former intelligence officer and prohibition agent Anslinger was commissioner of the Bureau of Narcotics from 1930 to the early 1960s. So there was an incredible span where he really shaped policy in this country and he had a very simplistic view of the drug problem which was get rid of droughts get rid of pushers get rid of users. End of story. One of Anslinger most memorable campaigns was the protecting of American people against marijuana. It was an import of the Mexican migration legal in the 1930s and in its hemp form was an important cash crop for the South. But Anslinger agreed to support legislation against it. Mainly because of political pressure from the Southwest where there was great unhappiness and
fair for all the Mexican immigrants who were coming over the border and supposedly taking jobs here. Get. Dressed. Go. Time. Then there is a much. Younger. Take. On. Young. Man. The original issue was all but lost once the media sees the story. Reefer Madness was one of several propaganda films that sensationalize marijuana users into sex crazed homicidal maniacs. We don't keep talking about Mexicans we're not the only minority target when the public heard of marijuana use among a subculture
of black musicians. All Blacks were included in the fierce campaign. The growing sentiment enabled Anslinger cause and in 1937 the marijuana tax act outlawed the drug for anything but medical use. Anslinger wasn't done throughout the 40s and 50s. His team men fought on with ever increasing budgets and resources. They investigated and arrested movie stars bored with the mafia and in the emerging cold war era Anslinger took on the Soviet Union. So increasingly Anslinger saw drug use as a menace which he likened to the red scourge that was. People were in dire fear of the 1950s. He believed it was a Communist Plot perpetuated that. The scare tactics and anti-communist sentiment work. In 1951 the bogs accept mandatory jail sentences for marijuana and narcotics trafficking. And in 1956 the narcotics control act not only increased sentences. It established a
death penalty for sales of heroin to minors. The nation's anti-drug course was said enforcement over treatment. While the federal government was absorbed in the narcotics chase. Middle and upper class America had been avidly pursuing their own drugs of choice. Since the end of prohibition. Alcohol and tobacco use had been steadily rising. With a little encouragement from the nation's favorite media stars.
Were. To be used for house here and soy. Here's a presentation of a Thin Man. I took my kids and we were all floored with how much William Powell dragon smoking is proof he said he always had a martini or Manhattan in his hand he was smoking. It was a total sophistication. I would just wonder how he ever got anything done. He just had to be waste of time because he was drinking all the time. How he ever solved a cry were asked for a walk. I don't know how I do that I didn't go over there. Are you drinking dry. Gas at your house. Everything is revolving around changing and there is a lovely woman with boy is the quintessential lady and she's knocking him back to south. It's OK for her it must be OK for us here but it has it both reflects what our attitudes are. And it also creates some of these attitudes as well. I mean on one hand you have the thin man and many other similar movies get
very sick with smoking and drinking ritualize even if you don't know how to do it before you went into the movie. Go out and gorge or red lights. Bette Davis a cigarette. He has two cigarettes in his mouth at the same time while some of the same time with hands went over to Bette Davis and that probably contributed more to smoking and than any advertisement ever could for a period of time because that was considered the very romantic thing to do. America was caught up in the post-war boom with more disposable income. They partied more and ignored emerging health warnings. The tobacco industry was at peak production when the first anti-smoking studies were issued in the 1950s. Many doctors were beginning to see a correlation between heavy cigarette smoking. And lung cancer and other common diseases and problems that was on medical level on the popular level. You turn on the television and you learned that this particular brand of cigarettes is soothing to the throat. I mean you have you tried to find of Mars lately. You love them. There was a
smile on the face so they brought nothing a hangover when you not feel more. In 1964 the U.S. surgeon general issued the first government warning that smoking was a health hazard the following year cigarette sales rose by 716 billion cigarettes. The cocktail hour also proved stronger than medical warnings. Hallmark research into the disease of alcoholism and news of rising alcohol related fatalities were shrugged off. And interestingly enough I think because it was a problem of the mainstream. It wasn't. Viewed as the the criminal. Problem although in fact alcohol is relevant to a lot of crimes homicides and violence but it wasn't seen by it because it was sort of the problem of our society. By 1960 the comforting world of the martini generation would be shattered by its children
in the name of rebellion and experimentation. The Flower Children ushered in a cultural revolution that changed the order of America. Started out with Eiseley and Timothy Leary and there were spermy they would do experiments you know right in the college colleges you could take some acid sit there with doctors and stuff. I made up. So that was an experiment with what we thought was a mind broadening chemical and which I believe was you know I think it changed my life and probably bunches of other people. I have friends also that went too far and our casualties are not dead for walking around really strange you know sad.
So I don't want I want to be saying it sounded like I'm promoting drug use. I'm just talking about a different time. You know we didn't have people telling us how we would kill you. You know we had Reefer Madness which was the anti-marijuana on the law people smoking marijuana and jumping out of windows. We all knew it was a bunch of jive. It was a lie. So they lied to us. Why believe anything else they said. Early 1960s America was a nation at war within the civil rights struggles to free speech movement rise of feminism disillusionment with Vietnam all contributed to a rebellious climate the counterculture drug movement was a rejection of the establishment that deep and into a mystic exploration of new consciousness adventurous smoke popped and dropped an amazing array of renegade chemicals both organic and synthetic. The fun of experimentation was also revolutionary because that time right at the beginning it was an anti-drinking thing to
stereotype them. I'll get low and beat each other up. Hell we flunk a bunch of pot. You think a beautiful thing is very hard. He makes a lunch think about ending a war by the late 1960s marijuana was the badge of certification for the pacifist movement peace symbols and pot smoke mingled at anti-war protests the 1969 Woodstock concert was the hippie generation's boldest example of peace through drugs. Nearly half a million people converged on a 35 acre lot. Despite rain lack of food and shelter and clouds of marijuana smoke there was no violence. For Americans abroad. Marijuana was also the main drug of choice but for different reasons. It was less a symbol than a means to cope. I think it was a form of protest I think it was a form of release. I think it was just utter frustration in being part of a war that you know it took us about
two or three weeks to figure out that you know we were. This wasn't the war we were led to believe it was the war we were led to believe it we were there to help people gain their freedom from communism. That my experience was that the people I came in contact with could care less. I want to do is be left alone and left to live their own lives. Drug use by American soldiers proved much more controversial than civilians at home. To the extent money can help in meeting the problem of dangerous drugs it will be available. This is one area where we cannot have budget cuts because we must wage what I call total war against public enemy number one in the United States. The problem of dangerous drugs. When President Nixon declared his war on drugs in 1971 he had Vietnam veterans in mind. Exaggerated media reports from Vietnam estimated 25 percent of soldiers had used heroin. And the overriding concern was
that they were bringing the unsavory habit home throughout the 1970s. The federal government issued a series of inconsistent drug policies as the new law enforcement arm the DEA geared up government action against drugs other than heroin continue to Malwa. You had a police system that decided in the early 1970s that it no longer was going to arrest casual users so that the risks associated with the use of cocaine and marijuana. In large parts of the country virtually disappeared. It started as a counterculture movement but expanded to the point where people were arguing that drug use was being normalized for that population. And in fact more than 50 percent of our high school population in those years and through the mid 80s had experimented with drugs by the time they graduated from high school.
That quarter pounder man Meteo the time mirror increasing acceptance and consumption of marijuana and cocaine. Use of both soared through the 70s when marijuana reached its peak. The champagne drug of the upper crust continued to spiral out. Want to. I mean I can remember back in the 80s in Rochester going to parties for cocaine was being used by upper middle class people saying oh wow you've got to try this. This is the most wonderful thing since sliced bread has no effect greatly your sex life blah blah blah. And once again we had so wiped out the memory of that first cocaine epidemic it was this it all happening over again. Public memory of cocaine had faded away because most of the people who were really familiar with what cocaine did early in the century were dead. WASHINGTON Nearly five and a half years ago we pledged to put America's house in order.
That required more than economic reform and bolstering our national defense. Our country was threatened by an epidemic of drug abuse. It's been growing in intensity since the 1960s. By 1980 illegal drugs were every bit as much by the time President Reagan declared his drug war in 1986. Cocaine use with reaching alarming proportions. It was no longer just the drug of the rich. It was also available to the poor. Thanks to an ingenious marketing move by illegal drug suppliers. Cocaine is not a big substance in. Black or Hispanic community. It was called the man time. OK. So they can afford it. Then someone can crack the wounds and make highly affordable amounts widespread killing. People. This is like crack cocaine. This goes for about five dollars. Outside on the street in 1986 illegal drug use shot up to become the number one polled concern of the nation. For most Americans the human toll had risen too high.
The cocaine overdose of the Boston Celtics number one draft choice. Len Bias was an emotional punctuation point in history. What was wrong with your tonsilitis appendicitis. Find a partnership for a Drug Free America wants its public awareness campaign. In 1986 Americans were receptive when a blizzard of television ads surrounding network programming your local policeman. Would you still say marijuana is harmless. From. The beginning of this year. Someone asked me if I wanted to make a New Year's wish. And I said yes and I said I'd like to see every young person in the world join THAT JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS club. Americans were more skeptical of Nancy Reagan's Just Say No campaign. It seemed an unrealistic answer to drug infested communities. But her emphasis on prevention encourage many public schools to implement drug education curricula getting tough on drugs and
we mean business. By the late 1980s a decade of congressional report supported expansion of prevention and treatment. But as federal drug budgets grew funding for prevention and treatment did not the majority of polled Americans supported interdiction. The government deepens search and seizure controls and implemented federal employee drug testing. I give you a funny funny survey piece of data between 19 about 1985 and 1992. We increased the amount of federal money being spent on interdiction from roughly about. A couple of billion dollars to 15 billion dollars. The perceived availability of cocaine and marijuana during that entire period remained absolutely constant. It did not decline one that. There was too much money to be made. In drugs. And very low educational requirements for selling drugs. That there is a large
enough population now they're willing to take the risk of selling drugs so that jelling has not worked at all. After a five year decline in drug usage three national 1993 surveys indicate new increases in nearly every age group with the sharpest rise among 13 to 14 year olds. Marijuana and cocaine are still the most popular illicit choices but old foes are strengthening heroin and hallucinogens are becoming recycled fads. Reliance on a law enforcement answer to a drug crisis is in part a result of public demand. It is the most visible reassurance in frightening times. We're not going to control my contacts in the city of Rochester to enforce it. I think that what we're doing is treating it as a quality of life issue. If we just totally ignored it. What have is part of the city that will be
totally gone to. Other than narcotics activity drug sales drug use. And you have people that are stuck in those neighborhoods for whatever reason say they can't move. They refuse to move immediately move into force wasn't activities will be disregarded. And I think you know personally I think it's important for them to know that we just haven't given up on that. And many of my 14 years made a lot of rice I would say between approximately 2500 to 3000 drug i song seeing how much drugs I would I would guess I'm trying to be conservative. I would say we still over 10 million dollars worth of drugs. Looking back now. I sometimes I wonder what I did. You know I felt we put some really really major drug dealers who should be in jail in jail. But also some of the young people I know that really needed help with treatment they really didn't get it.
Now in our sixth decade of the war on narcotics we have begun to count our casualties. The United States currently has the highest level of incarceration of any nation in the world just as it was a century ago 50 to 60 percent of prisoners are in for drug or alcohol related crimes. We do not have treatment. Services in the jails. We do not have treatment services in the state penitentiary. Yet we recognize and we know from statistics that most of the crimes right now are drug related. So we should start focusing our attention. On providing treatment. For addicts reliance on law enforcement also leads to discrimination not on purpose but in practice because American Drug trafficking is overt in the city and covert in the suburbs our attention and energies are directed at the obvious targets. It's so embedded in people's mind. And you watch the 6 o'clock 11 o'clock
news when you see a drug bust. Typically the person who was arrested is a black male. You can see the visualizing image covering his head. Oh yes. And that really stems from a lot of those are easy just as easy for police to make those bust. It's really easy for media to cover those kinds of stories and they have so much. But this goes back to the whole thing that we talked about earlier about scare tactics and how media fanned those kinds of flames and we're still doing that to us today. Someone wrote an article in a newspaper is quite interesting. Don't wanna go with they compare the active usage of drug taking in the suburb of the city and saying well the people in the suburbs hate the suitcase was in the same kind of thing and why it happened and
why these people being arrested why they are exhibiting the same behavior that we say is it and they take the same softsynth. It is interesting that the two most hazardous drugs in America are legal. The annual death toll for all illicit drugs is around 4600 but approximately 18000 people died last year as a result of drunk driving. Smoking claims over 400000. I think tobacco is an excellent example of how once a drug is ingrained in your culture that it's almost impossible to get rid of. Despite overwhelming evidence.
Of the dangers of the drug. If that drug were to be introduced today. There is no way that it would ever be approved for human consumption. The federal government doesn't give a rat's But about this. They make 11 billion dollars a year 400 34000 Americans die every year prematurely. They don't have to pay Social Security. They're making 30 billion dollars in tax revenue. We the taxpayers are paying the 65 million dollar health care deficit. For those who are dying from smoking caused illnesses the government isn't out of it. I'm gonna tell you don't smoke. The public education campaign against smoking has been the most successful of any drug. Public demand has led to new restrictions against lighting up in public venues and over the last decade and a half. Fifty percent of smokers have responded by kicking the habit. Still the federal government continues to subsidize the tobacco industry. In 1992 it allocated some 40 million dollars to teach farmers how to
grow better crops and is smoking related revenues continue to decrease in the United States. The government has allowed tobacco businesses to expand their markets overseas. Former surgeon general Cook said you know it really is hypocritical to complain about the cutting coming into this country when we're exporting tons of nicotine which is. By far one of the most addictive drugs to this ethic and chase. The modern temperance movement has followed a similar route with tobacco throughout the 1980s a combination of efforts. The new 21 drinking age stiffer DWI legislation and education. All of this resulted in a decrease in alcohol consumption and related illnesses. But we have certainly not eliminated our drinking problems. Every 22 minutes a young person dies from a DWI accident. Number one cause of college freshman failure. Is alcohol abuse. Number one cause of sexual of date rape is our number one cause of physical violence in our homes is alcohol abuse.
In 1992 the alcohol industry spent three billion dollars on advertising. Two billion dollars on television commercials and again the marketing has hit some sensitive targets. 1993 studies show teenage binge drinking is on the rise. Part of the motivation is what they see in society. And another is what they see at home. If you look at nine to 12 year olds about 20 percent of my 12 year olds have already tried alcohol largely in their household largely from their parents what they're doing is just going to have an effect on their children because as young children they're the number one role model which can be really bad in some ways. OK. There's so many double messages you know one day they'll say you know drugs cocaine is great but don't go home and have you know three five six beers and drink like a pack you know smoke a pack of cigarettes and we know that cigarettes and alcohol are two worst drugs and they're both legal. So what we're doing at their program is we educate you on being able to
Altered States
Producing Organization
WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
WXXI Public Broadcasting (Rochester, New York)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
This special program examines the problems associated with the current approach to the war on drugs. The history of drug use and alcohol consumption in the United States is explored, and the relationship between social perception, drug use, and prejudice is discussed.
Program Description
Altered States places the issue of narcotics abuse in a dispassionate, historical context. 'Substance abuse' has always existed in one form or another. In America, drug usage has been cyclical throughout the history of the country; so, too, have been the repetitious attempts by authorities to legislate behavior and incarcerate offenders. ""Altered States was produced as a public outreach complement to a local museum's (The Strong Museum) exhibit of the same title; the exhibit is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute. ""The success of the televised documentary is measured by public reaction: numerous schools, rehabilitation centers, and even police, have requested permission to use the program for educational purposes. In each case, the historically objective perspective presented in Altered States has provided viewers with the ability to move beyond the stereotypes. For this reason alone, Altered States deserves Peabody consideration.""--1993 Peabody Awards entry form.
Asset type
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Copyright 1993, WXXI Public Broadcasting Council. All Rights Reserved.
Media type
Moving Image
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Editor: Conolly, Michael
Narrator: Pearce, William J.
Producer: Spurling, Ann
Producing Organization: WXXI (Television station : Rochester, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
WXXI Public Broadcasting (WXXI-TV)
Identifier: LAC-2447/1 (WXXI)
Format: Betacam: SP
Generation: Master
Duration: 3406.0
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: 93197dct-arch (Peabody Object Identifier)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:58:00
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Chicago: “Altered States,” 1993-00-00, WXXI Public Broadcasting, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Altered States.” 1993-00-00. WXXI Public Broadcasting, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Altered States. Boston, MA: WXXI Public Broadcasting, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from