When 'The New Crack' Just Won't Do


New York Times columnist John Tierney joins the chorus (more like a barbershop quartet, really) of skeptics questioning methamphetamine hype (and, almost as important, quotes me in the process). Drug warriors, he writes, have "declared meth the new crack, which was once called the new heroin (that title now belongs to OxyContin). With the help of the press, they're once again frightening the public with tales of a drug so seductive it instantly turns masses of upstanding citizens into addicts who ruin their health, their lives and their families."

I hope Tierney's colleagues at the Times are paying attention. Last year Fox Butterfield upped the rhetorical ante, uncritically passing on a police captain's conclusion that "meth makes crack look like child's play."

Update: Radley Balko notes that the Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman is also cautioning against a speed freakout.

NEXT: Mothers Against Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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  1. Coming out with New Crack is a big mistake.

    They’d do well to keep selling the old crack, under the name Classic Crack.

  2. Actually, Joe, New Crack DID perform better than Old Crack in blind taste-tests. It’s just that Crack executives forgot that brand loyalty is about more than taste–it’s about Identity.

  3. That’s just because New Crack contains more cocaine.

    Crackheads always prefer the rock with the higher concaine content in blind taste tests.

  4. Don’t forget the egg and cinnamon!

  5. Okay, you two wisenheimers, what’s the pepsi to this coke in this analogy (heh he said, “log”)

    Has anybody else experienced the police state mentality behind OTC decongestants a la Indiana, where they’re locked up safer than the booze in grandma’s liquor cabinet?

    PJ O’Rourke’s comment about the drug war is great. To paraphrase, each “new drug” that’s the scourge of civilization reflects a need to eliminate young people. 🙂

  6. Pepsi is OxyContin: the choice of a new generation!

  7. You’re coming dangerously close to equating marijuana with Tab, guys – c’mon, it’s the only thing I still do that can be classified as “cool”…

  8. So crystal meth is just a fad like Crystal Pepsi?

    Can we look forward to Vanilla Crack and Crack Zero?

  9. As long as we’re talking about drugs…

    I’m home sick today, with my laptop on the couch. My wife took the car to work, and the nearest pharmacy is too far to walk in my current state, so I can’t get any Sudafed. I’m alert enough to type, but my legs hurt like hell.

    I guess it’s for the better: If I could get some Sudafed I might turn it into meth.

  10. Thoreau–

    Try calling a couple of pharmacies and see if they deliver. The delivery charge might be expensive, but it’s better than sitting around in agony all day.

    Just promise me you won’t become an addict.

  11. Thoreau, again–

    Mom and Pop pharmacies are your best chances of finding delivery service.

  12. thoreau,

    Tip from a Sudafed user – if you can’t get your hands on the stuff and your sinuses are so blocked you can’t do much of anything, put some ice on your face for awhile. That should loosen things up enough to help you get the stuff out. Not as clean a solution as Sudafed, but since you’re at home it’s ok to be silly and disgusting.

  13. Well, hell, if JC’s advising things that look totally disgusting but will help clear your sinuses, then straighten out a paper clip and use one end of it to tickle the inside of your nose. That will make you sneeze, and a couple such induced sneezes will knock ANYTHING loose from your nasal passages.

    Just make sure the blinds are drawn, so your neighbors don’t give you an embarrassing kickname like “The guy who shoves paperclips up his nose.”

  14. That was supposed to say “nickname.” But it almost works better as a typo, doesn’t it?

  15. How come, in fairy tales, it only takes ONE little boy crying that the Emporor has no clothes to cause a d’oh moment?

  16. Because they’re fairy tales, Ruthless. In real life, the boy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes is accused of hating either America or the textile industry.

  17. And Jennifer: the emperor is arrested for molesting and corrupting someone else’s kid, too. He has to go to encounter groups to get in touch with HIS inner child. not the kid who pointed at his willie and laughed.

    Why do you insist on supporting the terrorists? This moral pornography makes me want to cancel my subscription to Nun’s life. pttttfffff.

  18. Drf-

    Aw, go shove a paper clip up your nose.

  19. Jennifer-

    I found some Benadryl in the back of a closet. I’ll see if that works.


    That is an EXCELLENT point! I wonder what would happen to a kid who tried to say in D.A.R.E. class that the Prohibitionist has no clothes.

  20. Oh, dear. Thoreau, if you have work to do, put down the Benadryl. It’s a pretty strong sedative.

  21. Up my nose?????

    oh… [blush] i misunderstood you the first time. hang on [adjust adjust adjust]. hokae. it’s up my noze.

    and i don’t have a cold! that’s proof it works. wait! and there’s no tigers here. it’s an anti tiger device, too. which is good, since a tiger got JFK.

    (prove that it didn’t)

  22. Steve-

    My legs ache too much to go anywhere.

  23. Cool. Take a couple, then we can watch and see if your comments get incoherent.

    “Kerry would be much … better? Shit, what was I saying again?”

  24. Oh, so you won’t take my advice to indulge in office-supply-induced sneezes, but you’ll risk becoming a drug addict. That’s just fine.

  25. “In real life, the boy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes is accused of hating either America or the textile industry.”

    Then Bill O’Reilly calls him a fascist.

  26. thoreau,
    What if someone wrote a column pointing out how “prohibitionist” and “exhibitionist” both start with letters that rhyme?

  27. Jennifer-

    My nose is running like a faucet. I need to dry it up, not keep it flowing.

  28. Drf-

    Paper clips don’t cure colds, they merely make you sneeze and dislodge whatever’s clogging your nose. But it sounds like it wouldn’t help Thoreau anyway–I thought he had nasal coonstipation, not nasal diarrhea.

  29. That one word in my last post was only supposed to have one “O,” of course.

  30. Jennifer,
    Your typos are a stitch!

  31. “nasal coonstipation” sounds suspiciously like a racial slur.

  32. Hokae. But the paper clip kept the tigers away.

    Thoreau – just wad up some kleenex and kram that up yer schnoz.

    (it’s all about the O, of course)
    (the story of O)
    (O canada!)

    etc. etc. etc

  33. Coonstipation Causes Consternation!

    Film at 11!

  34. Hmmph. Make one joke about constipated noses and you get branded a racist. This comment-board sucks.

    does this mean that you’ll leave the board, too?

  36. Okay, getting serious. See how the local columnist confirms Mark Twain’s opinion of Sinincincinnati:


  37. One more comment like that, drf, and I will cancel my subscription!

    God, I miss the days when this board was populated by REAL libertarians.

  38. In Australia, petrol is the new crack:

    Petrol sniffing continues to kill outback Aborigines

    By Michael Perry

    SYDNEY – Petrol sniffing played a part in the deaths of up to 60 Aborigines in Australia’s outback Northern Territory in the past seven years, a coroner was told on Tuesday as an inquest began into three of the deaths.

    Outback health workers say there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Aborigines sniffing petrol since the last inquest in 1998, as black outback communities struggle to combat the habit in the face of poverty, disease and abuse.

  39. Meth does make crack look like child’s play, which is why if you find a kid trying to smoke meth, you should give him some crack to smoke instead.

  40. Great, Jim. So if crack is the old crack, and video games are the new crack, that makes meth the MIDDLE crack. And you know how middle children and middle drugs always end up with identity problems. Behold, ladies and gentlemen: Meth–the Jan Brady of the illicit drug world.

  41. Wait! Here’s the new, new crack:
    “Plans to relax drinking laws in England and Wales will lead to a sharp increase in violent crime, judges have warned.
    Rapes and serious assaults will soar if pubs are allowed to open longer, said the Council of Her Majesty’s Circuit Judges, which represents 600 judges.

    Police chiefs also warned the new drink laws, to start in November, will lead to a holiday-resort drinking culture.”

  42. Behold, ladies and gentlemen: Meth–the Jan Brady of the illicit drug world.


  43. Good heavens, Ruthless, if the limeys are going all nanny-like on drinking, civilization, as we know it, is finished.

    Rapes and serious assaults will soar if pubs are allowed to open longer, said the Council of Her Majesty’s Circuit Judges, which represents 600 judges.

    I wonder what Her Majesty’s Circus Judges think. (Gratuitous OT Rumpole reference:))

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