Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The reactionary impulse, again

Today's editorial follows the grand Courier tradition of repeating chunks of yesterday's Page 1 story and adding a few lines of opinion. What motivated the story on what's been generically known as 'spice' for six years seems to be a talk with someone at Prescott PD who's working on a bid to make the stuff illegal. Lisa filled out her research with this Wikipedia entry and called it good, somehow leaving out the bit about "extremely large doses may cause negative effects" in favor of the PPD's clearly unscientific fear-mongering.

The editor, roused from his accustomed fog, immediately jumps to his computer to crib even more from Wikipedia and call for legal controls. Kids are doing stupid things, sound the alarm!

The reactionaries won't consider sanctions against economy-killing mortgage hustlers or elected torturers, but something that might make you sick if you really bomb out on it is worth new legislation. They'll do all they can to prevent schools from teaching kids about their bodies, reserving that role to parents, but not even parents are allowed to teach their kids about getting high. They'll defend parents who keep guns where kids can get to them, but if the kid finds a new way to alter consciousness, they call a cop.This is where, in a logical world, they would be ringing the bell of Freedom. But in right-wing Bizarro World, they ring the bell on the front of the Keystone Kops Kar.

The commenters have it right -- you ban the harmless drug of choice for many generations of Americans and you toss its users in the hoosegow, and you're surprised that people come up with legal ways to serve an active and growing market. It's completely insane.

1 comment:

Mia Connolly said...

First, I agree about priorities within the reactionaries being impossible to justify. I guess I feel better believing that they just can't handle the horrors in the reality of the effects of so many American policies, so they gravitate toward the slogans and easier fights maybe?

I don't know what the statistics are regarding reactions to Spice, but a good friend of mine just lost a grandson (who lived locally), to a brain aneurysm he had after smoking it. After talking to a local teen today, who said it does in fact "work", it's not surprising that some kids smoke it "because it doesn't show up in their ua". But then he added that it is now looked for in ua's and illegal to smoke while on probation. (Which I doubt, but I wouldn't say that. Better that they think that I guess.) So, like you alluded, it seems that the big irony is that there's a good chance that the kids who are smoking it are on probation for smoking something that has extremely rare reactions, if any, and I don't believe any recorded related deaths.