Drug War

Fear of Flakka

Anti-drug hysteria validates itself.

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CBS News

Judging from the press coverage it has been receiving, flakka is the worst drug ever yet somehow also "the hot new drug of choice" in Florida. I explore that contradiction in my latest Forbes column:

If you have been paying attention to recent news reports about "the dangerous new drug sweeping Florida," you know at least two things about flakka: It gives you "superhuman strength," and you should nevertheless avoid it because it will turn you into a raving lunatic running naked through the streets, chased by invisible enemies, until you drop dead of hyperthermia or a heart attack.

Unlike those malevolent pursuers, flakka's dangers are not entirely imaginary. But the way they have been hyped by the press illustrates once again how yellow journalists collaborate with drug warriors to keep the public in a constant state of panic about the latest chemical menace, which is always worse than the last one.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, which calls flakka "$5 insanity," quotes a drug treatment counselor who claims "longtime addicts who have tried flakka" are "terrified of it." In fact, he says, "This is as bad as it gets." Until the next drug scare, presumably.

Read the whole thing.