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The Most Deadly Drugs Are Already Legal

1167 words - 5 pages

This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Fried egg is probably the most influential commercial of our generation. We feared it, we laughed at it, some of us stopped eating eggs, and we made a lot of t-shirts about it. And who was scaring us? Who was so concerned about our health? Our loving friends: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA). We used to watch those commercials and get all warm and fuzzy inside, someone out there cared enough about us to spend a lot of money on those frightening ads. Those good people down at the PDFA really don't want us using drugs. Or do they?

The truth is, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America demonizes illegal drugs to protect the ...view middle of the document...

Unfortunately, a pragmatic PDFA ignores the very drugs which are taking the most American lives and focuses on relatively harmless drugs, like marijuana. I'm not advocating pot smoking. I've never smoked pot before. But lets look at the medical facts. According to the Center for Disease Control, tobacco is now the leading cause of death in America, killing a thousand Americans a day. Alcohol takes 130,000 lives annually, not including traffic fatalities. Marijuana has never killed anyone. Over 500,000 people die annually from tobacco and alcohol, more than 35 times the number of deaths from all illegal drugs combined. The Media Awareness Project reports that Tylenol, aspirin, Advil, Motrin and similar medications have accounted for four times more emergency hospital visits than all street drugs combined. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, Tylenol alone kills more people than cocaine does.

It therefore comes as no surprise that James Burke, CEO of Johnson & Johnson creator of Tylenol founded the PDFA in 1989. Ostensibly, he was trying to save lives, and in fact the PDFA may have had something to do with the temporary drop in teenage drug abuse during the early 90s. But in the meantime, instead of putting life-saving warning labels on its packaging and monitoring dosages , Tylenol was brushing any potential bad press under the rug with expensive out of court hush-hush settlements. Tylenol spent millions of dollars on damage-control, silencing the parents of dead children (Forbes, January 12, 1998). Once Tylenol set the foundations for the PDFA, the other drug kings followed, building the organization into a corporate pawn to divert possible public criticism.

Drug and tobacco corporations are not the only ones complicit in this deception. The major television networks recently awarded the PDFA one billion dollars in free advertising for the upcoming year, and the Partnership is literally celebrating. Why would ABC, CBS, and NBC give so much money away? First, to secure their reputation among teachers and parents. Just Say No parents love TV when it does their job. More importantly, pharmaceutical and alcohol corporations are huge television advertisers, and the networks want to keep it that way.

What better way to support them than tell the public that marijuana kills after showing that Bud brings babes? Falco acknowledges, The Partnership is living off free...

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