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.