Pubdate: Sat, 06 Mar 2004
Source: Joplin Globe, The (MO)
Copyright: 2004 The Joplin Globe
Author: Kelly Meares


The Globe editorial "Ecstasy use in decline" (Feb. 29) touts the
reported decline in Ecstasy use as an important gain in the "War on
Drugs." Sad to say, unless you are George Bush, we should expect some
fact-checking before a policy position is proffered. The "yellowcake"
report in question is the highly discredited Johns Hopkins study by
Drs. Ricaurte and McCann, who are alleged to harbor a very loaded agenda.

This study attributed a 20 percent mortality rate and profound brain
damage. This made major headlines in the modern age of Science by
Press Conference. It was seized upon to justify the RAVE act, which
justifies police-state powers to combat this "Reefer Madness"-type
menace. Somehow, it even made it into the normally reliable
publication Science.

Guess what. All bogus. They "mixed" up the drug samples and injected
methamphetamine at extreme dosage levels. Real scientists were
skeptical from the beginning. Why would the actual emergency room
statistics and mortality be so low? For some truth on the subject,
check out, or Seth Jackson, a
frequent contributor here, recently implored people to study both
sides of issues instead of wallowing in self-reinforcing dogma. Great

I expect and revere the hatemongering and fact-twisting in the letters
section. But your journalistic standards must be higher. Your resource
in this case is biased and unreliable, and should not be trusted
again. A mea culpa or a retraction is in order. Who knows, if you dig
into the facts, you might obtain a more enlightened attitude about the
so-called "War on Drugs." The real harm to society is done by the
policy of imprisonment and punishment instead of treatment and
root-cause resolution.

Kelly Meares

Carl Junction
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