congressional correspondent for the huffingtonpost.com presents a history of drug use and culture in the united states including opium in new york in the 19th century, drug experimentation in the 1960's and the debates about the legalization of marijuana. he explains why certain trucks popular at certain times in history and gives his thoughts on the government's war on drugs. back pages books in massachusetts holds this event. it lasts about an hour. >> i'm constantly asking myself what is the point of the reading and how we make the idea of an author talk or reading sound less boring and the issue is so few of us have the time in a date to peace these things together six hinckley and brilliantly and watching ryan talk about something as boring as government policy but how it
really represented something on a map, a shift in how drugs mover of this country and with their related to in terms of what we need and what we use, what we desire and how we tried to get it is a truly brilliant thing. it does change the way to view this country and how we deal with people. so this is an honor to might, it's an important and necessary book, "this is your country on drugs" is something everybody can read so there's no reason without further ado join me in welcoming ryan grim. [applause] >> thanks, alex, that was very kind. and thank new to everybody who came to light. i appreciate it. this book gets a little complex at times but it started very simply about eight years ago i realized i hadn't seen lsd and
probably three years. i started looking for it. i started asking friends who were going to fish show some or burning man or rainbow gathering, places you would expect to find lsd as much as you expect to find be your walking into a bar and i kept reporting back no. i haven't seen it and the years went on and it became something that was entirely unexpected. how can this drug that had been such a prominent part of culture be unavailable to 22 year old hippies all of a sudden? and so, that is what in the plunging this book and it also i will start right here with the disappearance of lsd. i went to see a professor in my department, peter reuter, one of
the most well-respected drug researchers in the nation. acid is gone, i told him. how did you come to this theory, he asked. i can't find it, i said, and none of my friends can either. i knew i sounded like a fool that was all i had. that's not how we do things in this field, he said. drug available goes in cycles. it's not a series of trend, that's just how it is. he pointed to a book behind me. hear, hand me that. he opened the 200 to report produced by the university of michigan and tracks drug use among american teen spirit as you will see, he said running his fingers across the lsd table, u.s has been fairly steady over the last -- he paused and looked up. that's interesting he said, looking at the data for high school students. lsd is at a low, 3.5%. he then continued with his lecture telling me about supply and demand and peaks and valleys and he was certain the numbers would rise in the 2003 survey. drug cycles are widely presumed
to be the result of a combination of cultural shifts and effectiveness of drug interdiction they're generally not well understood. supply and demand however and arguably play a large role. when the drug becomes scarce its price increase is enticing producers and distributors to invest more heavily which increase the supply, reuter explant. i told him i wasn't so sure. they're simply was no acid out there and hadn't been for several years. i rambled on about the end of the grateful dead and collapse of giant waves. he wasn't moved. check the 2003 numbers, he said. they may be on line buy now. if levels remain the same you've got something. the 2003 members had just come out. i checked and you will lsd use, it was 1.9%, nearly 50% dropped. i checked a few other sources. evidence of asset decline could be found practically everywhere. in the following statistics and an ongoing federal survey and number of emergency room cases involving the drug and huge
dropoff federal arrest for lsd i took a number specter reuter. this isn't a trend this is an event. like all drugs acid is a bellwether of american society. its effect on our culture in the 60's and 70's was a measurable and disappearance in the early years of 20th century was limited to the united states. cultural commentators look for trends and on employment numbers, approval ratings or car and housing purchases are missing something fundamental if they don't consider statistics on drug use. little tells more about the state of america than what americans are doing to get high. life in the united states of course is similar in many ways to life anywhere in the developed world but the nation diverges sharply from the rest of the world in a few crucial ways. americans work hard. 135 hours a year more than the average briton, 240 hours more than the typical french worker and 370 hours, that is nine weeks, more than the average german. we also play hard.
a global survey released in 2008 found americans are more than twice as likely to smoke pot as europeans. 42% of americans had puffed up one point percentages of various nations rall under 20. we are also four times as likely as spaniards to have done coke and roughly ten times more likely than the rest of europe. quote, we are just a different kind of country, said the u.s. drugs are spokesman tom riley when asked about the survey. quote, we have higher drug use rates, higher crime rate, many things that go with a free and mobile society. different indeed. there may be no people on earth with a twisted and complex relationship to frogs. ploch of our preconceived self image turns out to be wrong. libertine continental's have nothing in terms of drug use and american piety hasn't prevented us from indulging. in fact it has sometimes encouraged it. much of the conventional wisdom about american drug use the puritans and members of the founding generation were
teetotalers or mild drinkers the drug trade is dominated by criminal organizations such as mafia and bloods, that crack use declined significantly since the 80's turns out to be wrong, too. if there is one certainty about drug use its this we are always looking for a better way to feed our appetite for getting high, for something cheaper, faster, less addictive or more powerful, jog trends feed themselves as word spreads about the amazing new hyde is safe and non-addictive than we discovered otherwise and go searching for the next great heights. we often circle back to the original drug for getting why we quit in the first place. so, what happened to acid? that was -- i originally wrote about this and 2004 and i had a few theories but the purpose of the book was to go out and find out what happened to lsd. i came up with for fees', and one of the points of this book is that there is no one factor
that leads to a drug trend either going up or going down. it's always a coincidence of a variety of different factors that are happening uniquely in that time procopius, the first thing and the most important thing in this case was an arrest. there was a kansas missile silo that was acting as the central production facility for almost all of the lsd all across the country. that was taken down in november of 2000 and the supply was in the pipeline, so that explains why by the end of 2000 or so you stop seeing -- end of 2001 you stop seeing it. number two, the delivery system was disrupted. in the mid nineties, grateful dead stopped touring. in 2000, fish took a break. i found the department of justice field report that showed when the grateful dead would come through a city availability
of psychedelic drugs in that area would increase over the next two to three months. you can think of it as a psychedelic postal service cuts advertising when it's coming to town. which brings us to the third thing, which is the collapse of giant raves. people who are over 30, i see a couple of you, might remember in the nineties there was this explosion of field parties, where house parties, church parties where you would have thousands of kids, as young as 14 sometimes up to their 20s who would meet in these long sanctioned parties, acid and other drugs were everywhere so you would have the kids would go to the parking lot of the grateful dead even if they didn't go to the show they would get a couple sheets of acid and take it to their grave and acid is not the kind of drug that you need to buy every weekend or every day or 40 times a day like
most other drugs so you're not going to go down to the street corner and say hey body holding any acid? you're going to go where you know it is and so people knew where it was so you had those three things. now, why didn't somebody stepped into the breach? part of it and this brings us to the fourth thing, part of it is the production of lsd is extremely difficult and it's also not very profitable. if you're going to be an illegal drug dealer and are in it for the money you are going to do something that has least amount of risk and most amount of profit because the way the walls are structured lsd will land you in prison possibly for the rest of your life, the guy boston and kansas currently serving two consecutive life sentences and he's into, so the second of the corresponding five years or so the second life sentence really bothers him, and genuinely does. [laughter] the first one bothersome a lot
of course. but so, you have to be in the business almost as a charitable gesture because you're not making a lot of money because it's not a commodity it moves well. it's $5 for a hit and it's the kind of thing after you do it most people don't want to touch it again for months on end and maybe the rest of their life they might say that's good enough for me. i've been out there, i've come back i don't need to see that anymore. now think about it compare to say cocaine or ecstasy, drugs either easier to get or with ecstasy easier to make. you can get $25 for a pill of ecstasy and when the person is finished that they are likely to be like i might have another one of those. it can blow through hundreds of dollars in a weekend whereas that is not the case with lsd so there is little incentive to get into it but it also became more
difficult for the estranged geopolitical reason to get the precursor throughout the according to psychodelic people i spoke to pipelines for the precursor for lsd or dining tartrate was coming from the soviet bloc and in the late 80's so they shot this down mostly in the 80's of the late 80's when the soviet union collapses it comes back together and it starts flooding out of eastern europe which was unregulated capitalistic society, and you know, the government are not going in and checking what kind of chemicals these factories are making and certainly they don't care either so they are making some precursor to the united states. that doesn't matter.
it was only until the u.n. team together with this global treaty in 1990 finally started shipping those down and there are some press reports people sent that showed that does r colton terrorist group in japan that let off some stink bomb in the subway also was involved in lsd proven lsd had a russian origins. so, that supply was cut off in the late 90's so you have this collection of factors working together and it almost vanishes so i wanted to look at well is that the first time that's happened in american society, and also an american history and what happens to the people who used to or still have an appetite demand for the drug what do they do instead? so i also wanted to make this a little bit of a different drug book. most drug books start about 1965
and run through american history like a vh1 rockumentary. the parties reaching. in the 70's, 80's things get a little eckert of control then they go to aa and then there's for recovery and the book will have an interview with jerry garcia or hunter thompson or something like that and that's the picture you get of american drug use. i want to stretch it further back and figure out what real people were doing, that jerry garcia isn't a real guy but what people other than him have been doing. so one of the most surprising things to me was what i found about the relationship between the temperance movement in the nineteenth-century and the rise of opium smoking and platinum and other forms of opium throughout the 1830's so we move
to that. at the time, and we are talking 1830's, at the time there was little research exploring the relationship between opium use and drinking but there was at least one noteworthy study in 1872 look of the opium boom by the massachusetts state board of health the reason for the traffic upswing in opium use concluded wasn't the chinese or the civil war it was the temperance movement. this unintended consequence of the call for sobriety wasn't unique to the united states the board found. quote come it is a significant that both in england and in this country but to what abstinence movement was almost immediately followed by increased consumption of opium. the study suggested easy accessibility to the job throughout pharmacies was part of the reason for the increase that many of the resources exist as well. one official referred to as a state sere reported to the board opm has been recently made from white poppy cultivated for the
purpose in vermont, new hampshire and connecticut the annual production estimated by hundreds of pounds and this is generally than a sword and the communities where it is made. it has also been brought from florida and louisiana while comparatively large quantities are regularly sent east from california and arizona where its cultivation is becoming important branch of industry. 10 acres of poppies set to yield. although this description of a thriving domestic opium crop might sound surprising today the board's characterization certainly doesn't. quote of the opium habit is especially common among the manufacturing glasses it asserts for to act to live regardless of the laws. it puts some of the blame for such lower class use on doctors who are, quote no small responsible for the welfare of their patients, on quote and shouldn't be allowed to get away with the in judicious often
unnecessary prescription of opium. america's better have made up, quote, so large a proportion of opium takers the study suggests because of women were doomed often to a life of disappointment of physical and mental action and smaller or remote towns not and frequently to of persecution. the most important cause of opium taking however was the simple desire for stimulation and urge heather to satisfy by alcohol consumption. the opm report was both more available and more socially acceptable and alcohol. the narcotic, quote come can be procured and taken without endangering for sobriety in one town mentioned it was fought more genteel than alcohol. the report went on to say that it was, quote, between it went on to say between 18481850 soon after the teetotalism had become a fixed fact hour own importations of opium swelled citing a rise of 350%. in england one doctor noted opium chewing has become very
prevalent especially since the use of alcoholic drinks has been too great extent abandoned under the influence of the fashion introduced by a total abstinence societies. the court also found, quote, interesting wine drinking advanced in turkey opium retreated. as always in america the limits what exactly is moral behavior did and what the meaning is is. by following their version of the code to the letter teetotaling americans of the 19th century freely violated its spirit and we see this been pretty much all throughout american history the massachusetts board of health put it perfectly the desire for stimulation. that is what was driving people to use opium. one drug becomes stigmatized or less available but the desire to get high or get inebriated on some type of something doesn't go away so americans go searching for something else if
they can't find either what is acceptable or what is available. if you look at the late 70's the exact thing happens again with the decline of marijuana and rise of cocaine. we are making no excuses for drugs, hard, soft or otherwise pronounced ronald reagan on june 24, 1982. a veteran of many contests with counterculture while governor of california in the late 60's he was eager to take it on again when he became president. drugs are bad and we are going after them as i have said before we are taking on the surrender flags and running up a battle flag going to win the war on drugs. reagan double efforts and curbing imports further multiplies the policy and brought about mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug offenses. in 1980 the fbi uniform crime report listed your than 100,000 arrests for heroin and cocaine tabulated together by 1989 the figure jumped to more than
700,000. but the first battle creek and would fight in the war was the war against marijuana that required a leading siege to the ignored base of little resistance northern california. his campaign against marijuana production, camp, began in the harvest season of 1983. u-2 spy planes and military helicopters flew over the golden state looking for grain crops. by the fall corn and wheat soybeans and the like turned brown making canada is easy to spot from the sky. the d.a. reported seizing 64,000 plants with estimated value of $130 million. federal law enforcement figures march in the streets chanting war on drugs, war on drugs. the opposition printed bumper stickers demanding u.s. out of humboldt county. [laughter] the 1984 hall was three times larger nationally bought land seizures rose from 2.5 million in 1982 to more than 7,001,987. an amount that rivals the government's previous estimate
of the entire domestic crop. reagan even began to go after ditch wheat the wild variety of hemp that is no potential to get a user negative. the first year the white house kept data for ditch week eradication claimed to approve about 9 million plants. that number was up to more than 120 million by 1989 and reached i'm serious about this, half a billion in 2001. on surprisingly, such. the dea closely tracks drug prices and purity of the wood doesn't often make the data available publicly it did so most recently in 2004 and members include startling if misunderstood observations. quote, the marijuana price trends are not highly correlated with trends in prices of other drugs over time the report reads while the price of power, heroin and lesser extent crack or falling during the 1980's the average price of marijuana
generally rose. and eighth of an ounce of pot in 1981 and $2,002 was going for $25. it stayed roughly the same in 1982. by eda success was up to $53 hit a high of $62.91. 150% rise over ten years. quote meanwhile became much more affordable. it cost nearly $600 a gram in '82. as reagan directed resources for the pot battle polks price began to tumble. by 89 and was down to $200 a gram cheaper in real terms than it had been during the last coke binge the century earlier. at the same time average purity levels nearly doubled. clearly the price trends are highly correlated the correlation is a negative one. in the 80's price increases in marijuana drove demand to other drugs. the war on drugs, hard, soft or otherwise helped persuade pot smokers to put down the ball and pick up the pipe, the mayor or where the needle. like i said beginning in the
drug trend is the result of a bunch of different coinciding factors. so, riggins's war of marijuana can't be said to be the sole cause for the rise of cocaine in the 80's, and i actually did a radio interview with ronald reagan the other day and he said so i hear you think my pop is responsible for bringing cocaine into america in the 80's and i said not quite, but certainly he was investing billions of dollars of resources going after marijuana which drove up its price and that does help to drive people toward the drugs where the prices are going down. the explicit policy of the dea is to influence the price of drugs. they are all trying to get rid of drugs but the stated goal is to increase the price of drugs which they say will then reduce demand so by their own theory
the impact of their policy in the late 70's and most especially in the early 80's going after marijuana drove people to world's cocaine. cocaine also fate of the 80's times and that's another theme of the book you can tell lot about america by what people are going to get white and you have these cultural moments and moods that mesh and a drug comes in and it's the appropriate one for the time of the 80's for a good example of that some with me read a little bit of that. and part of the reason is i argue in the pitches before is the collapse of the manufacturing economy so the collapse of american manufacturing left more than a psychic need, however it also left a vacuum in the economy which the ball good producing industry rushed to fill.
according to a 1992 "new york times" story, quote, there were more jobs created in new york city in the 1980's overwhelmingly high skilled high-paying than people in buffalo the state's second-largest city who became a nation of bedle managers of bankers and bureaucrats of adjusters, counters and waitpersons and drug dealers. from the importer to the distributor to the gone on the quarter. peter reuter the maryland professor who helped me with my original article has made a career out of examining economics of illegal businesses. one of his most startling observations is the coke trade indeed the entire drug trade is essentially a service industry because the street price of a dose of cocaine is many times higher than the cost of manufacturing at. as with any real good some of the excess covers the seller's profit. some covers what accountants call transportation cost but much more goes to reducing the risk of product seizure and in plenty of rest the principle perils of providing illegal
service. those perils became less significant the more the south florida coast industry became entrenched as cocaine's prices fell throughout the decade it became available to consumers of more moderate means. the trkle down so to speak spreading across the country both powder and crack form. during the high-priced heyday however coke was known as a professional drug. employees of the legal service industry benefited from this product of the legal service industry as they worked long hours in the sector of the economy. it's exclusivity evoked a world of the upper really mobile and severely impoverished dreamed of being a part of. on employment had climbed in the late 70's as plants shut down in american cities crumbled. stagflation and wages and job growth for falling while prices were rising a phenomenon some economists thought impossible. by the close of the decade
inflation was approaching 50% and interest rates had risen above 20%. to lasso the beast reagan tightened monetary policy putting money supply and driving the country into recession. the reagan recession as it became known hit hard in the summer of 1981 and persisted the next year and a half. the president's approval rating bottom out in the mid 30 percentiles and in the 1982 midterm elections democrats picked up more than two dozen congressional seats. america was no longer a place things were made it was a place where things were shuffled around. cocaine's what it nicely into the new economy. the reagan recession disproportionately affect urban blacks and latinos and cities were teaming with on and wittman eager to earn a living the straight and drug cutting or defending territory where it was sold. the economy need the pick me up selling coke provided. the banking industry had been banged up by the recession and was glad to have influx of capital brought by the cocaine
is. the economist reported 44 miami banks were given international charters in 1982 compared to ten in 1978. another 46 banks open branches in miami during that period at least 40 banks refused to report cash deposits of more than $10,000 as required by law throughout the 70's and into the 80's. and at least four banks authorities estimated worth of and controlled by. as the trade spread across the country dealers daudistel other banks eager to deal with cocaine cash. much of the money that went to farm producers ended up in the american economy will work for the panamanian branches of u.s. banks. by the late 80's a few banks had become under suspicion as money laundering became a blatant. but the penalties were laughably small even when the banks got caught the often benefit from the transaction. beverly hills branch of the american express bank was caught laundering $100 million belonging to the one garcia
operator of notorious cartel with close connections to the than mexican government. in a 1994 congressional hearing chairman henry gonzalez a texas democrat noted the $950,000 find less than 1% of the laundered cash meant that banks still profited from the exchange. citibank which since the 1950's had been most active financial institution in mexico was in a perfect position when cocaine trafficking route from the caribbean and westward. mexican playboy raul was discovered to have wandered hundreds of millions through citibank, his brother president carlos prominent ally in the drug war was estimated to have made off with some 5 billion himself. ..
i don't know anybody on the industrial level can turn morning glory seeds you are not doing that in your trailer like a missile silo labrador you'd be this et which makes lsd a votable drug because if you can find the et producers and shut them down then you can do what is very hard to do in the drug world which is to use in the enforcement mechanism to reduce. because it is so hard to make it underground it makes it vulnerable which is similar to cram its. it required a certain precursor that a budget of german companies are making and it took the u.s. 10 years to persuade them to make them and then that was it. quaalude apparently are not that much fun are some they
would have figured out to do it. it must not be that radically different than another downer you can get. >> [inaudible] >> writes. i do not want to spoil the book but the chinese have gotten into the psychedelic business in recent years. not only can you find e.t. or lsd all of these drugs that rose after a real-estate -- lsd disappeared they existed before lsd and the disappearance of acid increase the use of research chemicals. they are called research chemicals because it is difficult to outlaw a chemical substance. so what the government has to do is say this chemical substance is illegal if it is
used for recreational purposes or a good time. in other words, if you make a drug that is for a mood disorder or the flu or whatever else can you can do research but if the purpose is for a good time, then it is illegal. lsd you can tweak the molecular structure and make a psychedelic drug that does something slightly different, it may last longer or be less are more powerful or give you a different kind of trip. there is a guy in california that has been doing this for decades named alexander. if you look at the schedule one list of drugs which is the most illegal drugs it is like a who's who of drugs and he has created. he works with the molecules of
some psychedelic and figures out a way to make it slightly different, then he publishes results online then he never does it again. the dea sees that he has published it then makes it illegal. he gets away with it because he says i make a chemical substance that has never existed before in the world i do not know it will be psychedelic bracket it may not or it may be. i could be making it is the man -- antihistamine sometimes it is to over sometimes it is and he writes about a. he still has not been a busted and he will not be because that would be a tough case to make. >> wci studies comparing the drugs of today compared with 20 or 30 years ago? >> yes.
there are a couple of good surveys. there is one conducted by the university of michigan that goes back to at, 1975 attract high schoolers and now it tracks people of all ages. then a national survey on drug use and health which is the federal survey, the problem with that they changed the name used to be the survey on drug abuse but they did not like in a move that they thought it was persuading people to give too many negative answers were there already persuaded to give negative answers because it is the federal government asking it to do illegal drugs. [laughter] because you have to i just for the allying factor in the survey. but my working theory and the book is you do have to adjust but you cannot take these
surveys as absolute numbers but you can take them as far as the trend is concerned. unless someone can make the argument that somebody was flying more in 1978 and they are today, that may be possible, but in general people have lied about the same for the last 30 years. the numbers were much higher in the mid '70s. you see a decline starting around 79 the drug use comes down through the '80s when we were waging one of the many ironies of american drug use when we're most fiercely way to our drug or the numbers were reseeding then in 1991 you see what some people call a relapse, and at a back up
through 2000 then back down but never in the mid-90s did reach the mid '70s that is still the peak if you do not count out paul. >> given the current economy and the ties with the culture what is your hot pick 2009/2010 for drugs? [laughter] >> my day job is a reporter for the "huffington post". the story i was working on two-day was about the 2010 initiative that may or may not have been in california to tax were legalize marijuana. i am hearing the people behind it are going to go forward with it. there is a lot of debate in the marijuana world if they should do that and there are big organizations that are funded by big donors saying 2010 is not the right time, it may be a reactionary period if
the economy stinks and it may be like a 94 times you do not want a liberal proposition on the ballot but the people who were pushing it to say no. it is different this time because of the economy still stinks and if california is on the verge of collapse or by then, house collapse come it will be hard for people to say, no, i would rather not have the $2 billion in tax revenue over something that is already effectively viggo. you can get recommendation for medical marijuana, there is a book that said anxiety, insomnia, three or four others and said, etc. [laughter] sell $100 gervais medical marijuana cars so it is
tightly regulated with the medical marijuana requirement because the estimate is between 1.two and $2 billion annually there is a commercial that says that is 20,000 teachers salaries in one year. it is a persuasive argument whether or not that prevails or remains to be seen but more broadly, what i've learned to by studying the history of drug use and drug policy it will come from the states of marijuana does become legal that is the way it will happen, not to congress. sand and cisco was the first to prohibit a drug 1878 they passed the opium law were you could not run the opium den if you were chinese. they were very explicit. today we are much more
sophisticated in our law making but they roach it right in their. other states saw the law and they passed it and 50 years later, you have marijuana becomes a legal the first it was illegal in most states and most towns. it it will go the same way in reverse i think. just the way medical marijuana started in san francisco and the early 90's with an initiative there than it went from there to the state level then it went to other states and eventually you have members of congress who represent a majority of americans where medical marijuana is illegal that is very soon if illinois and new york ago which could happen very soon, then you will have majority of congressional representatives representing the states to pick up their boating medical marijuana
comes up every year. representitive is more likely to vote for medical marijuana in his state has improved and the party identification so it does come from the bottom of the pressure. >> to see any correlation between drug use, the types of drugs and the point* in time where the fcc allowed drug commercials on television? have you looked into that and how we are being permeated with do this drug it will make you feel better? >> pharmaceutical drug use did go up and has been the abuse has been going up since the early part of the decade. i have read pretty convincing studies that argue that is not the reason why it went up and the rising prescription drug abuse is not as large as it is made out to be in the press
but like i said throughout my book, all of these different trends are the facts of a variety of different factors and that is one. a lot of the time you do not know until a decade later when you can look back and see everything going on at the time and have some decent numbers to go by. the most recent numbers i could get for this book go back to 2006 and 2007 because they are so slow to realize in bringing out the data, they are years behind with understanding what is going on. the other television ad that i read about, the blind and that is a parody on the cover, they lifted it.
[laughter] the frame to, before i put this on the cover i asked a 22 year-old co-worker i showed it to them and said what is this? he said that is the drug add. how do know that? you were born in 1987 he said i don't know, it is just part of our culture i know at ad. so i went back and watched it is only a 102nd ad which i had that remembered that shows the frying pan and shows the frying eggs and says this is your brain on drugs and it ends with a contemptuous rhetorical question that says any questions? with a mean their rhetorical of course, you don't we explained anything you need to know it will fry your brain.
>> [inaudible] the. >> she goes through the whole question and breaks all the plates and. >> alike than new-line where drugs will not do anything and make you go downstairs in the basement and 80 is still living there. >> they have done a complete 180 the new ads say just one year after they were saying marijuana would make you run over a child on a bicycle when year later they say it will only make you go down on the couch and you will be a loser but the broader point* is any questions? yes. actually i do. why? which drugs from my brain? how does this work? are seven different than others? people went searching for answers elsewhere and doctors are happy to provide answers.
>> when you ask a question please wait for the microphone last week on cnn you mentioned through these of access being part of a shift down the hall verses out in the field with read verses pharmaceuticals can you discuss that as well? >> it is the obvious point* but one that struck me throw american history that people do the drugs that are most available to them and the easiest to get. that and also the drugs that are the most acceptable. if your policy is intended to reduce the amount of harm that is associated with drugs, you want to encourage people to not have access to the lousy drugs and have more access to the ones that are less
harmful. the point* that alex the talks about goes back 21 of the sort of the intended consequences of nafta. this is where we get into the notion that there is no such thing the way we implemented as drug policy because all of the other policies come economic trade our health-care policy were foreign policy trumpet. whenever a policy is a concern is when there is nothing else we feel like doing it. nafta is the perfect example. the clinton administration to open a the border would be a boon to the drug cartel. one of his drug policy officials called it a deal made been an arco have been he said to the fda and the drugs are until nafta passes i do not want to hear a peep from
new. that is a fact hour drug policy is treated it was a very tight rope he could not afford to lose i found a department of justice study that found the biggest increase in overlay and drug-trafficking over the history of time was the year 1994 when nafta went into effect january 1st. it was the perfect time to be a mexican drug cartel leader. we had just smashed the caribbean trade to miami trade route that question the coke trade toward the mexico. we also had decapitated a couple of colombian drug cartels that decrease power in relation to the mexican
cartel. at the same time we had gone hard after the domestic methamphetamine industry which is a bunch of bikers making a form of speed that is much less potent than the one that was later made by the mexican cartels so we pushed meth down to mexico. simultaneously for immigration purposes, california stores to make its border much more of a hassle to get over. the drug cartels are pushed by economic and other political forces eastward into texas and mexico and arizona which sends them up into the midwest. it is not there we're thinking how can we practice in the at the missouri market cracks but that is what was available but is where they went and then that becomes available to people in the missouri if you
have what is going on now. i interviewed a bunch of iowa copps about the lawshat the united states passed against sudafed and ephedrine precursors and they said they were extremely happy. it shut down most of the little tiny labs people were making in their trailers. the reason they like its is it stopped of this terrible problem that had of people blowing up their trailers and blowing themselves up and toxic waste sites were -- where toddlers were eating the precursors and it was a disaster. when the federal government finally passed a strict pseudo ephedrine block the one copps said it was like a light switch, those labs almost disappeared. i said is the meth problem going down? no, no, no. of course, not that meth
always has come from mexico. it is imported this is just a couple of guys cooking up some stuff causing huge problems, a health problems for themselves but not really impacting the supply of the drugs. >> we hear often now that kids take the medicine from their home and go to parties and use whatever it is. is that true? >> i think that is bogus. you're called pharm parties it is a great thing to write about. the theory is all of these kids raid the parent's medicine cabinet, they go to the party and the dump the pills into a big jar and people did been their hands and pop them.
for a number of reasons that is crazy. number one, no one in any reporting have found an example of that happening that you will get treatment people saying is a problem or cops saying it is a problem but no reporter has found an actual case of a actually happening which ought to be a prerequisite for reporting get but it is not. jack schaefer at soleil.com has done terrific work on this particular issue you can google his name and pharm parties showing nobody has found this but logically, these parties would not last long break couple of reasons. most would bring it to a tax. why bring the good stuff? if you just don't fit into the bowl and take something else? or you have no idea where you will bring, kids would be
dying, this is not the kind of thing that you can conceal from reporters who would really love to write the story of this actually happening. i do write about the rise of teen drug use and it is a novel theory that i cannot prove but it makes sense and since this is the closest and one of the harder trends to examine which is ironic but around 2000 in/2000 when you start to see marijuana use decline it is 30%, it teen-ager marijuana use coming down but up the same time you have teen prescription drug abuse coming up by 10%. what happened between 1990 and now zero or 2,002 cause that? a couple of trends working
together, one is the over scheduling. starting in the '80s and accelerating through the '90s kids have much less free time that is something that you need generally if you aren't going to smoke marijuana it is where five kids get together and go out behind the shed one person has it and they pass it around so if that one kid that has it does not have the free time that all five of the kids will not be doing anything. but more importantly i think is the role of the internet. when you have videogames, a social networking twitter, facebook and kids come home from school and instead of hanging out with each other they do with online, it is much harder you cannot pass a joint yet through a computer. [laughter] i'm sure there is something of
facebook that john a. sent you a joint. [laughter] so kids who are sitting at home they may have the it up its 84 stimulation in do they will use the thing that is right and which would be the medicine cabinet and it makes sense and i cannot prove fact but that is my take on that part. anybody? >> i am just wondering, what is the president and the government and what is being done to end the war on drugs? >> we rhetorically ended it win obama took over the drug czar said they would no longer use the phrase war on drugs which is nice but little solace to those people that are diner in prison as a
result. the most immediate direction and that the white house can go is probably in its funding decisions. you haven't broken down by enforcement and treatment or supply and demand. bush was very much was heavy into spending money on divorcement come on the supply side that is completely wasteful. there is a rand corporation study that clinton commission that it was 172 times more resold to spend money on the supply side because it is so hard ripping off some cocoa growers planted does nothing for rates in the united states because there's so many ways that could be adapted. if you get one addicted to stop you have reduced drug use
by a non trivial amount because it is the affix to our doing such a percentage of the drug. the first step for obamacare would be to honestly budgets he ran on transparency and honest accounting so that is hopefully something he will do. right now he does not because i will not paying him up for it yet but he adopted the bush should ministrations policy of not counting present cost as part of enforcement. that is like not counting the treatment center cost in the treatment center side. if the goal is to get to something balanced like a 50/50 spending ratio and does it honestly and counts prison cost two 1/2 to spend more money on drug court and treatment and other ways to
approach demand that is probably the best direction. there is some good news of one bill that came out of the house basically eliminates this campaign, this anti-drug media campaign that has been running protect aids. there have been a bunch of studies that show it is not effective and some studies show it inclined some kids to try drugs after they see the ad. that is what the committee report roche where we spending millions of dollars on his campaign that cannot prove its effectiveness? i asked the drugs are for a comment and they said this is one of the most well-known and ad campaigns brands in the country's it is one of the best known brands in the entire country and i do not argue with that of that is the best that can be said and it
is very well known then i don't see the point* of its. the second point* is the game is not over we have faith in the senate they will restore the money it is a push and pull all the way through. >> the last question i have done this for a couple of years but the favorite book you have read in the last year? >> some people may make fun of me but i read toward the end of writing this i read out of desire and i know people pay to that book but i thought that a chapter that he wrote on it can abyss was excellent.