Tuesday's Springfield News-Leader includes a local-front story by Linda Leicht on a talk given by a former agent of the mythical Drug Enforcement "Agency."
Michael McManus openly acknowledged his mission: get this message to the media:
"When you put the drug wars on the front page, drug use will go down," he told the audience gathered for "Danger in Our Backyard: Meth in the Ozarks," a symposium sponsored by the Females Leaders In Philanthropy.
James Inlow and Chris Hanak, both police officers in Ash Grove, said the reality of drugs, especially meth, in the community is even uglier than that picture.
"Every day I stop people on drugs," said Hanak, describing a recent stop that involved a man who had his young child in the car, as well as used needles.
"Drugs are the root of all evil," added Inlow, who has been in law enforcement for 12 years. The first year on the force he busted one meth lab. "Now it's common to run across several."
Meth was the focus of the program, but McManus pointed out that there are many drugs young people will encounter, and those who profit from the sale of those drugs are involved in all of them.
Michael McManus also told the gathering, "Drugs is not about people feeling good." Such foolishness from an old drug warrior who should know better. We keep telling kids that drugs don't make people feel good -- that drugs could easily kill them -- and we're dismayed when they experiment, survive and realize that they've been lied to.
Cocaine in the '70s. Crack in the '80s. Meth in the '90s and beyond. The targeted drug changes, but the hype remains the same. And we still love our booze and our fags.