Drug Czar report linking crime to drug use intentionally withheld alcohol statistics

Reason Hit & Run: "The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released a study last week that found the majority of arrestees in five metropolitan areas tested positive for marijuana at the time they were booked, and that many other arrestees tested positive for harder drugs. There was one drug missing from the report, however, and it appears it was omitted intentionally. That drug is alcohol."


    1. We booked one, but they were too baked to get off the couch and come in for their appointments.

  1. It didn’t take our ancestors so many years to figure out that Prohibition wasn’t working.  We in the current generation(s) must be a little slow on the uptake.

    1. Just because it was over turned doesn’t mean that it “failed”. Prohibition reshaped society and as a result people drink a small fraction of the alcohol that they once did.

      1. Your statement people drink a small fraction of the alcohol that they once did is technically true – 11/8 is a fraction.

        Have a peak at the first graph:

        Alcohol use fell considerably in the two decades before prohibition came into force, reached an all-time low in 1921 (it may have been further lowered by prohibition, but that’s not necessarily certain), was back to immediate pre-prohibition levels within a year, and continued to rise throughout prohibition.

        Now compare http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/alcoholhighway/4_drinking_drivers.htm

        Note first off that the two graphs seem to at least roughly align – about 1 gallon of pure alcohol consumed per capita around the end of prohibition.

        Now compare the consumption of alcohol a decade after prohibition (about 1.7 gallons per capita), to that a decade before (about 1.6), to consumption in 1980 (about 2.7 gallons) to today (2.2 gallons or so).

        About the only thing prohibition can really be said for sure to have done is temporarily increased the profitability of booze.

        1. Sorry, I combined the
          temperance movement into the actual act of prohibition in my head.

          Allow me to clarify myself.
          When the temperance movement started (1820’s) Americans drank ~6-7 gallons per
          (see table 2)

          By the 1830’s liquor consumption
          in the US was down to modern levels of ~2 gallons per person. This movement
          continued to change pubic opinions and fathered the current atmosphere that any
          compound which reduces one’s ability to control oneself or changes one’s
          ability to perceive reality is evil. So much so that laws to be passed in every
          state limiting the sale and access of these compounds to individuals deemed
          less able to defend themselves against these compounds. The actual act of
          prohibition was simply this concept applied to its extreme and yes it was
          repealed but the sentiments that gave birth to the movement are still alive and
          well in modern politics.

          1. Now that I can agree with – the temperance movement as a whole was a long-term success, despite the ineffectual and socially ruinous experiment of outright prohibition.

            It would be nice if we as a whole society could manage the mental stretch of applying that lesson to arbitrary intoxicants, rather than thinking ethanol is in some special category.

    2. Drug Prohibition has worked just fine; it just depends on your objectives. 

      If you actually want to stop people from using drugs that are immorally fun (or even not much fun), or being harmed by abusing them, or being harmed by the effects of having criminal black markets, or want parents to have meaningful conversations about them with their kids, or reduce violence in the streets or corruption in government, then no, it’s been a spectacular failure. 

      But if your objective is to hire more cops and prosecutors and build more prisons, or to increase the opportunities for corruption in government, or to teach kids that violence and dishonesty are the ways adults solve problems, or harm people who use substances you disapprove of?  It’s worked really really well.

  2. Well you see, alcohol was not included due to the simple and unambiguous fact that it is legal. So the simple and unambiguous answer to this controversy would be to make the marijuana legal. and then we would find out what the really problematic illegal drugs are.

    1. I thought it wasn’t included because the feds like the revenues they get from the sale of booze, and the alcohol industry pays a lot bribes to make sure that polis walk the line.  

    2. Does it follow logically that if all drugs were legal, there would be no more crime of any kind? And does that imply that every crime is a kind of drug? My head hurts.

  3. The Obama administration is pretty lazy when it comes to dealing with drugs.  For a steady stream of bullish*t, try reading through the White House ONDCP communication director’s Twitter feed:  https://twitter.com/RafaelONDCPh  It’s like listening to an old-timer yammering on with his fish and war stories and walking through the snow to get to school bullsh*t for like the 10,000th time, and all you want them to do is just shut up and die.  What a terrible job, to be the chief liar and apologist for a failed drug policy, barely kept alive in intensive care for fear that the raging drunks in the Republican party will use that as a wedge issue to get the drug warriors out of the nursing homes and retirement communities to the polls agitating against the longhair hippies, dopers, and brown skins.  

  4. “Tested positive for marijuana at the time” is a real winner of a phrase, packing a very great deal of misconception into a mere seven words. Wow.

    1. Opiates are out of the system in 2-3 days, marijuana can stay in the system for 30 days. Maybe that might influence the test results just a little? They don’t think very hard about that.

      1.  It can last longer; it depends on how much daily smoking the subject does. I’ve quit smoking for six weeks and still faintly showed up positive.

  5.  The alcohol business is amazing at marketing.  It’s all over TV shows, all the time.  I watched this evening 10 cringeworthy moments of “Nashville”, and barely a second ticked by when the scene didn’t involve a bar / some beer / more beer / beer and laughs / wine / wine and music / beer and wine and music.

    Everyone obviously got so trashed they had to dub the singing bit in.  But that’s done somewhat drunkenly also.

  6. The press releases also left out that 1/3 of the people arrested in the study were arrested for drug crimes. Voila, the study is telling us that people arrested for drug crimes use drugs! Amazing, who’d a thunk it?

  7. I find it hilarious when people blame prison industry lobbying for failings of the US drug policies.
    “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    How come food industry isn’t counterlobbying to make drugs legal? Instead of playing with high fructose corn syrup, which is allegedly addictive like cocaine, they could add crystal meth into everything. :-)

  8. Gil Kerlikowske was a stooge when he ran the Seattle Police and he is a stooge now. Gil Kerlikowske is the kind of person you call in when you need a yes-man and only the best will do.

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