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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Illegal Drug Use in America on the Rise

The Government reported that illegal drug use in America rose last year to the highest it has been in over a decade. The surge in abuse rates is being blamed on more marijuana use and more people are abusing drugs like ecstasy and methamphetamine abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's annual report found that marijuana use rose by 8 percent and pot is still the most common drug used today. This is not too surprising considering the changing attitude towards marijuana with more and more states approving medical marijuana programs; the message being sent to teenagers is that marijuana is a medicine and relatively harmless. "I think all of the attention and the focus of calling marijuana medicine has sent the absolute wrong message to our young people", Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in an interview.

About 21.8 million Americans, or 8.7 percent of the population age 12 and older, reported using illegal drugs in 2009. The survey consisted of 67,500 people and is thought to be the most accurate and comprehensive study up to date. The Administration's annual report started back in 2002, in the last eight years the highest we ever saw was in 2006 with over 20 million people. What's more alarming than the marijuana use is a 37 percent increase in ecstasy use and a 60 percent jump in the number of methamphetamine users. "The last few years, I think we've taken our eye off the ball on ecstasy", Kerlikowske said.

"Meth use had been dropping after a passage of a 2006 federal law that put cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine behind pharmacy counters. But law enforcement officials have seen a rise in "smurfing," or traveling from store to store to purchase the medicines, which can be used to produce homemade meth in kitchen labs", reported the AP. Methamphetamine is still crossing the border on route to America from Mexican super labs, the American government cracking down on pharmacies allowed the Mexican cartels a new avenue to generate revenue.

As California comes closer to the vote on whether Marijuana should be completely legal the majority of Americans do not feel that way. Medical marijuana can be tolerated but flat out legalization has yet to be accepted. It is clear the drug war in America has gone out of control and is far from effective when it comes to keeping drugs like methamphetamine and ecstasy off the streets.


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