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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: It’s time to rave about bad drug policy

Whether you’re crossing state lines to go to a music festival or walking into an EDM concert at The Rialto Theatre, drugs will probably be involved somewhere in the itinerary.

But, surprise! This time the Molly is different. Maybe it’s more aggressive and intense, or maybe nothing has happened at all. You paid a guy you only call by his first name who seems trustworthy for capsules that looked the right color, but they aren’t what you thought you were buying.

Standing on the dance floor, you might be on bath salts or caffeine powder.

This situation is directly correlated with ineffective drug policy in America.

I checked out the FBI’s Tips for Parents: The Truth About Club Drugs web page and found myself in stuck somewhere between laughter and serious concern. The information and the presentation are beyond dated. Almost as dated as watching Nancy Reagan telling teens to “Just Say No” when it comes to substance use. Young adults and college students will never be able to start the conversation about drug use and its safety if the government continues to group together the date-rape drug, liquid ecstasy, horse tranquilizer, meth and Molly.

When you crack open a beer or light a cigarette, you have a pretty good idea of how it’s going to affect you. That’s because the U.S. government regulates the alcohol and tobacco industries, meaning those substances have to meet specific standards in order to be sold to the public.

While there is both a Drug Enforcement Administration and a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, one is aimed at eliminating the substance while the other writes laws on taxation and works with the Food and Drug Administration.

Why won’t anyone wake up?

Young adults are dying because of unregulated drugs. Instead of trying to arrest drug dealers or close off drug trafficking routes, why can’t we work towards a safer drug industry?

Rave culture and the paraphernalia that accompanies it have become the new moonshine.

“What’s in My Baggie?” is a documentary created by a group of four millennials interested in disguised drugs. They traveled across America to six music festivals and spoke with attendees about drug habits, drug uses and drug expenses. Throughout the documentary, they film an organization called The Bunk Police handing out test-kits at festivals for the young adults to test their own Molly. Many instances, all caught on camera, showed that these people unknowingly paid for bath salts or caffeine pills instead of the product they wanted.

Truly, there is no one to blame except for drug policy. How do people know what they are buying or selling?

This issue is not just limited to MDMA; marijuana and other drugs can be cut with rat poison, bath salts or other unknown chemical compounds because it’s a lawless business. And with a high profit margin, consumers are constantly looking for the cheapest product with the best results.

I’m not justifying drug use. I am simply asking our government to make substances, many of which will not be going away anytime soon, safer.

There are countless deaths each year from a substance that can be purchased in any restaurant or on any street corner. It’s advertised daily and has made many people billionaires. It’s alcohol. And it’s legal.

How many young lives could be saved if the correct drug safety was taught in school? Or if young adults that chose to buy drugs before going to a concert could actually know what they were buying?

We shouldn’t have to ask anymore, we should be demanding reformed drug policy.

Follow Trey Ross on Twitter.

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