Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Who's On Drugs?

Over at the History News Network, Keith Halderman reports on medical marijuana. It seems that the cool kids don’t want to be taking any drug that old geezers use:

“Nine years after the passage of the nation’s first state medical marijuana law, California’s Prop. 215, a considerable body of data shows that no state with a medical marijuana law has experienced an increase in youth marijuana use since their law’s enactment. All have reported overall decreases of more than the national average decrease — exceeding 50% in some age groups — strongly suggesting that enactment of state medical marijuana laws does not increase teen marijuana use.”

And in Slate, Jack Shafer reports on “Chief Justice Rehnquist’s Drug Habit:”

for the nine years between 1972 and the end of 1981, William Rehnquist consumed great quantities of the potent sedative-hypnotic Placidyl. So great was Rehnquist’s Placidyl habit, dependency, or addiction—depending on how you regard long-term drug use—that by the last quarter of 1981 he began slurring his speech in public, became tongue-tied while pronouncing long words, and sometimes had trouble finishing his thoughts.

Now, I’m not pointing this out to dis-honor the dead: I believe that we all have the right to take drugs of our choice, as long as we’re not hurting others. I just wish that those who made our drug policy agreed with me.

I was simply unaware of this bit of history, made all the more interesting by Rehnquist’s role in crafting the war on drugs. (I’m remembering a bit in “Smoke and Mirrors” in which Rehnquist proposed measures which he said the Supreme Court would never uphold, but can’t find my copy right now. It’s hard for the youth of the nation to remember a time when the Supreme Court wouldn’t uphold expansions of police power.)