Yikes! That is just shy of the number of Americans who first watched the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show” 50 years ago.
The headline made me think about 70 million people dropping acid or some other hallucinogenic drug, and for a moment I wondered, could that be true?
After reading the first few paragraphs, I realized this is far from what the writer meant, but it may have been exactly what he wanted to portray to lure me in. According to author David Kupelian of www.wnd.com, the biggest mind-altering culprit is marijuana, followed by antidepressants and sleeping pills. Kupelian further claims that if you add in the number of Americans who drink alcohol (though he never specifies how much) you can add 60 million to that total, equaling 130 million “strung out” Americans.
One may argue that too many people abuse alcohol and marijuana, but I am willing to bet the majority who drink alcohol and smoke pot on occasion, are recreational users who are hardly “strung out”.
I continued reading the lengthy article with apprehension because I already felt deceived. Upon finishing, it became clear Kupelian’ s main objective is to discourage the legalization of marijuana, and to pack an extra punch, he served up shocking numbers about strung out Americans for those who might not agree with him.
Kupelian wrote that “according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 10 million Americans drive impaired by illegal drugs such as pot.” However, he further states, “the HHS also reports that 30 million Americans drive drunk”, which is three times the number who drive under the influence of marijuana, and consuming alcohol is legal. Is that supposed to be a compelling argument against legalizing marijuana?
No one should drive under the influence of anything that hampers their perception, be it alcohol or drugs. However, if I were forced to get into a car with a drunk driver or one who smoked marijuana, I would pick the latter. Kupelian also states that pot affects the IQ of users (the mind-altering part, I suppose), but alcohol is known to kill brain cells, as well, so overusing either is not good.
The author did make some good points about our fascination with prescription drugs. There is no doubt that many Americans turn to drugs, whether from the dealer on the street or a pharmacy. Unlike other cultures, we mask symptoms with pharmaceuticals to feel better now without looking at the underlying problem. However, there are a great many people who need pharmaceuticals, and who are alive because of them. They may be over prescribed, but they are necessary in many cases. Like most things in life, this is not a black and white issue.
Every type of medication is mind-altering if you think about the body/mind connection. That is what the author tried to portray, I suppose, and I would have bought into his theory if he had not tried to sell his point of view conjuring up images of mind-altered zombies trying to suck the life out of the rest of us.