Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Marijuana Is Evil! (or...Time Tripping on the Interweb)

It's True! I read it on the Interweb! Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp, Ganja, doesn't matter what you call it, IT'S EVIL!!!

The good charitable folk over at 'How Do I Get Off Drugs' (dot com) told me so:

Call it Aunt Mary, Dope, Ganja, Gangster, Kif, Skunk, Weed, Hash, Maryjane or simply marijuana. These are some of the common names of the illegal drug, Marijuana. The campaigns against the use of marijuana are endless. It is true that they kill. People take it for the first time to be dared, second time if they feel low, third time at a party, fourth time for a good sleep and unfortunately after that it has to be taken till it turns them to the death bed. It is dangerous and it must be avoided.

 I just had another 'Twilight Zone' moment. Every time I read that paragraph, I feel like I'm back in the fifties.

Why is this type of outdated, ignorant fear-mongering still happening in 2010?
One answer could be that the owners of 'How Do I Get Off Drugs?' have a vested interest in convincing people that they need rehabilitation. After all, they are a rehab clinic themselves, offering 'competitive rates'

Think drug rehab is just for movie stars and politicians?  think again, we offer competitive rates,  we accept most insurance, female only and male only treatment centers, onsite and offsite locations and a confidential safe environment with highly trained, confidential staff members. PLEASE visit us today, it just might save a life.

This centre also provides an online questionnaire to help parents assess whether their child may be on drugs:

1 Do you find that your teen has had a recent change in his/her group of friends?
2 Do you find that your teen is careless with grooming?
3 Do you find that your teen has lost interest in activities or sports that they used to enjoy?
4 Do you find that your teen has been missing school?
5 Do you find that your teen has had declining grades?
6 Do you find that your teen is secretive about possessions, friends, or conversations?
7 Do you find that your teen seems guilty when you ask questions about his or her whereabouts?
8 Do you find that your teen lies to you about the places he or she’s been?
9 Has dramatic personality or mood changes?
10 Do you find that your teen seems more sluggish and run down than usual?
11 Do you find that your teen frequently makes excuses for not being able to attend family events or outings?
12 Do you find that your teen uses incense, room spray or perfumes to hide smoke or chemical odor?
13 Do you find that your teen uses secretive or "coded" language with friends?
14 Do you find that your teen has been taking/spending an increased amount of money with no explanation for where it’s going?
15 Has been in trouble — with family, at work or school, or with the police — because of drinking or drug use?
16 Have you found evidence of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, etc?
17 Have you found inhaling products (such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, etc)? Or rags and paper bags that are sometimes used as inhalant accessories?
18 Have you found bottles of eye drops, which may be used to mask bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils?
19 Have you found that he or she has come home after school or after being out with the smell of mouthwash or breath mints to cover up the smell of alcohol?
20 Have you found that you are missing prescription drugs?  

Now, I am a parent. I have five adult children and two entering their teens. If I were to answer that questionnaire, I'd be convinced my eldest were on drugs when they were teens before I got to question 9! That's puberty, not drug addiction.

I then got to thinking, where do these people get their information from?
A check with the online plagiarism checker (I'm beginning to really like this tool) led me to this page:

Free Articles For Reprint (Google cached page).

So, the evil weed warning was a straight copy and paste. The full article was written by someone who sells custom wall posters, hence the title of the post:

Drugs Posters: the Evil Must be Stopped

 Isn't there a law about inciting fear using falsehoods in order to make a financial gain?