…Mr. Hiro Protagonist, please come to the service counter. Your tongue-in-cheek dystopian future is ready for pick-up.
- Digital drugs: The gateway to the gateway (Reason Hit & Run)
Please ensure that your dumbworm inoculations are up to date before proceeding.
Jacob Sullum quotes an NBC Connecticut affiliate thus:
[T]or as little as $1, you can download audio files that promise to deliver the experience of being drunk or of taking marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy or just about any other drug you can name.
Emphasis on the word “promise”, of course. Looking into my spam folder, I discover that for as little as $19.99, I can buy pills that promise to give me a fourteen-inch dong. But I’m not buying them, because I’m not a fucking moron.
Or, for that matter, a useful idiot:
Stephanie Moran, program director at the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, is concerned, saying: “There’s one track that actually mimics driving under the influence of alcohol. There’s other ones for crystal meth, cocaine, heroin, all different kinds of drugs.”
Is this what it’s like to not have a science degree? Do you get out of bed every morning and go “OH MY GOD MUSIC IS SINE WAVES MATH IS SCARY IT’S GONNA GET THE CHILDREN”? I mean, I know that Stephanie Moran is only pushing this egregious bullshit because it helps her organization get more funding by scaring the grass-eaters. She might actually believe that someone’s packaging up teh ebil drugz0rz in audio files, but it’s irrelevant to her incentives. My worry is that NBC Connecticut is running this shit, which means they believe that their audience will buy into this shit, and follow the story, and give them ratings and ad hits. Which means that, somewhere on the East Coast, a herd of panicked soccer moms is rushing around confiscating headphones and iPods. Because of the drugs!
Now, someone must be having second thoughts about this scare story, because if it’s actually true it’s a great thing for any Drug Warriors that actually want to, you know, prevent people from buying and using and getting addicted to actual drugs. Why would you risk HIV and Hep C with a syringe full of heroin of questionable quality if you can just download a hit from iTunes? Why would you fork over a fistful of twenties to a bunch of scary homicidal bikers for a hit of crank if you could tweak yourself up in the comfort of your own home? Good bye, gang activity and addiction and injection-site infections and… and… and all that Drug War funding your local cop shop’s been snorting off the FedGov’s platter like coke off a hooker’s buttcheek.
Don’t worry, they’ve got that angle covered:
The big fear is that experimenting with digital drugs might make some teens more curious to experience the real thing, especially those who are on the fence and might not want to try any illegal drug.
Dr. Ibrahim said it’s a dangerous, slippery slope.
“To me, it’s really a gateway for inciting kids to try real drugs that’s my biggest concern,” he said.
Experts say that, although no studies have been done on digital drugs, “i-dosing” promotes drug use, so parents should discuss it with their children.
Hang on. I-dosing is inciting kids to try real drugs? That’s an excitingly depraved misunderstanding of market incentives, there. If I’m selling mp3s that I claim can duplicate the effects of, I dunno, a nice high-IBU India Pale Ale, the very last thing I want is for you to go to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Ruination… because you’ll quickly find out that I’m scamming you. The only way this can be a sustainable business model is for i-dosing sites to keep their clients as far away from real drugs as humanly possible.
Oh, right. I’m talking about journalists here. The breed selects for economic ignorance.
Nice save, NBC Connecticut! A slippery slope and a gateway: I-dosing is no big deal by itself, but it might lead to pot smoking, which also is no big deal by itself but might lead to heroin addiction. Here are some other things that should be discouraged because they might stimulate a desire to use drugs: dreaming, meditation, religious ecstasy, spinning in a circle, vigorous exercise, and local news coverage.