Leslie A McCullough & Ambassador College Research Department
Millions are experimenting with "pot" (marijuana), tripping on LSD, or are hooked on heroin! Thousands are "turning on," "tuning in," dropping out. The shadowy, surrealistic world of drugs is emerging as youth's greatest "cop-out." Here are the sobering facts about the new drug craze.
"BUT MOM, EVERYBODY smokes pot. Everybody's turning on. You have your mixed drinks and martinis, and we have marijuana. What's the difference?" Tragic but almost TRUE! Drug abuse in the United States today is increasing dramatically. "You might as well face it," said a 17-year-old. "If you're going to college, you'll probably smoke pot." Another youth claimed, "Grass [marijuana] is as easy to get as beer for someone under 18."
The Turned-On World
From Harvard to Berkeley and from Washington to Alabama, almost no college campus is free from drug abuse. A list of American colleges plagued with drug problems would read like a who's who of the educational world: Alabama, Brandeis, California, Colorado, Harvard, Illinois, Michigan, the Naval Academy, Oklahoma, Princeton, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and on and on. Drug abuse among youth, even in high schools and junior highs schools, is fast becoming EPIDEMIC! Warned Dr. Henry Brill, vice-chairman of the New York State Narcotics Commission, recently, "Recent surveys show that twenty to thirty percent of all students have experimented mostly with marijuana, but also with pills. One quarter of these say they take drugs on a regular basis." Marijuana arrests have skyrocketed. Some marijuana dealers estimate that from three to five tons of "pot" are smuggled into the United States from Mexico every week. Heroin, marijuana and other illicit drugs pour into the United States from every quarter of the globe. The primary target: young Americans! Narcotics officials estimate that Americans spend about $100 million a year on marijuana alone. More than 675,000,000 marijuana cigarettes or "joints" will be smoked in the United States this year enough to provide 13 million Americans with a weekly "high." Dr. Dana Farnsworth, director of the Harvard University health services, has estimated that as high as 35 percent of students at major universities on the East and West Coasts have experimented with marijuana once, and about half of them repeat the experiment. Other hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD expand the problem. LSD is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Any college chemistry major can synthesize it from lysergic acid amide. Two tiny tablets could give 3,000 people a psychedelic "trip." The LSD black market is a flourishing business. The age-old traffic in narcotics, especially heroin, is a billion-dollar business in itself. The total drug picture involves BILLIONS of dollars, yearly. Who are the major users? People from every strata of society young and old, rich and poor, housewives and doctors, clergymen and politicians, children and aged folks, educators and students.
Millions Ask WHY?
Surrounded by the signs of increasing drug usage, millions wonder WHY? Why are youth turning to drugs for kicks? What is the CAUSE for the up-surging drug statistics? WHY are millions of kids, even grade school students, experimenting with marijuana, trying LSD, and "turning on" with other psychedelic drugs? Is drug use connected with the leap in crime? Do drugs do physical and mental harm to those who take them? What is the TRUTH? Conflicting reports are heard on every side. Millions are confused, perplexed including parents, teachers, and college administrators. WHAT CAN BE DONE about the sky-rocketing drug problem? What is the solution? You need to know the answers. Your family your own children YOUR FUTURE, and your children's is at stake! Your children may be tempted at school, or at parties of their young friends. Don't hide your eyes from the facts your children could easily become involved! You need to know how to make sure they don't! And if YOU, personally, are tempted to try drugs, or think they are harmless then you need to carefully STUDY the compiled statistics, facts and scientific reports that have been researched in this article for YOU! Your personal future, happiness, tranquility, and peace of mind may well be directly involved whether you like it or not!
Pot on the Campus
Said one Dean of an eastern college, "If I were a member of this generation, I would probably be tempted to give marijuana at least one try." At Harvard, an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the freshman class has experimented with drugs. At Princeton, 15 percent of the undergraduates have tried marijuana. About 20 percent of the students at Yale have used pot. The Dean at Columbia wouldn't be surprised if one third of the student body has used it. Who are the college pot smokers and drug takers? Not the (ringers any longer. The mainstream of the student body, in many cases, are the new users. Athletes, politically oriented men of ambition, fraternity men, artists, aspiring nuclear scientists, even home economics majors. Declared one user of LSD, "Sure it's dangerous, but so is everything else I enjoy. Why should I worry about my chromosomes when everything else in the world is so messed up?" The typical collegiate pothead may turn on with marijuana every evening. But one, who saw the worthlessness of pot after trying it, said, "When I saw it was taking me nowhere, I quit."
The "Great Escape" to NOWHERE!
Millions of human beings are frantically striving to blot reality from their minds. Why? Simply because the reality of today's world is too brutal for the squeamish to face. The awesome potential of the Nuclear Age is too frightening to consider. COSMOCIDE world suicide has become an absolute reality. Like it or not, we have to realize the Buck Rogers weapons of past years are no longer only in the comic books. They are real and they are deadly. Our whole future is at stake. The gigantic implications are so staggering millions try to obscure them in any way possible. Not knowing the answer, or even having hope of an answer, they blind their eyes and seek to escape reality. The refusal to accept things as they are is apparent in everything they do. It dominates the thinking of millions and permeates our whole society. It has become a totally unrealistic nay of lifeor DEATH! The symptoms are all about us. From the price-rigging executive to the "flower child" in a hippie "love-in." From the slavering, maniacal screams of hate-filled racists to the hackneyed diatribes over U.N. conference tables, the world is filled with the symptoms of a sickness defying diagnosis and resisting treatment. Today, leaders of the Western world frantically seek solutions to the deeply divisive problems of mankind. They struggle to achieve a workable PEACE, all the while spending more and more billions in a monstrous arms race between the big nuclear powers! Seeing these enormous world problems and crisis after crisis, millions seek escape from it all! RELIEVE! PLACATE! ASSUAGE! IGNORE! This is the hue and cry! Just don't face the facts. While world leaders search for PEACE for relief from war, famine and poverty, millions of "average" citizens seek relief from their personal problems by taking daily doses from a dizzying array of drugs all to escape reality. Rather than producing desperately needed solutions, our modern craze to escape is causing millions to "turn on" with pot, "tune in" with acid (LSD), and drop out of reality for a while! Drug abuse is one of the most urgent crises of our age! It's time you knew the truth about pep pills, barbiturates, marijuana, and LSD. In this series you will see the whole "DRUG SCENE" from the hardened addict who mugs, snatches purses, and robs to support an expensive "habit"; to the quiet housewife who can't sleep without her pills; from the college kid experimenting with pot; to the elementary school child "shooting" Benzedrine! You'll be shocked to see the true relationship between drug usage and all crime. And you'll be shocked to see the tremendous attempt at justification for mind-altering drugs from all sides. You'll see how mind-altering food and drink are as old as the human race, and as new as the Space Age. And you'll be made aware, as never before, of the bizarre desire of a frightened generation to escape the realities of our hideously complex world through the simple expedient of a sip or a swallow.
Drugs Worldwide Plague
Drugs are a worldwide scourge a devastating world PLAGUE in their effect on human lives, and personalities! Today well over nine hundred million people around the world are apt to use either opium or marijuana, or both, in one of their many forms. A United Nations survey taken a few years ago estimated worldwide use of Cannabis (Indian hemp, or marijuana) to be in excess of 200 million persons, a very conservative figure. The World Health Organization and the American Medical Association consider marijuana, in any of its forms, to be a threat. India, after centuries of acceptance of bhang (a strong form of marijuana), outlawed its use in 1959 because of its negative effects. African nations have also become concerned. In Nigeria thousands of hoodlums, apparently under the influence of marijuana, rioted and assaulted each other and the police. In Egypt an estimated 30 percent of the adult male population smokes hashish, a powerful form of marijuana. In the Near East a very high incidence of permanent insanity has been recorded among the users of hashish. In India there is reliable evidence that 42 percent of chronic users suffered damaged health. According to one author, hashish is so potent "that its continued use leads straight to the lunatic asylum." What about the worldwide narcotics problem? How had is it? According to a United Nations report, world addiction to the hard narcotics (generally derived from opium) is several hundred thousand. India alone reports 340,000 addicts. Hong Kong has about 150,000 hard core addicts. West Germany reports 4,357 registered addicts; Spain, 1,588. Professor H. Grant-Whyte, of the University of Natal in South Africa, warned, "Untold thousands of South Africans are poised now on the brink of the greatest drug binge of all time." England has a rising drug problem. Eight years ago only 471 addicts were known in England, and only two of them were under 20. By the end of 1966, however, narcotics addiction had soared to about 1,400! There is a suspicion the true figures might be four times as great!, Between 1961 and 1966, narcotics addiction trebled in Britain, while heroin addiction increased SEVENFOLD especially among those under 20. Dr. Robert Baird, a Harlem drug expert, estimates there are actually 3,500 to 4,000 addicts in England. He calls the English permissive manner of dealing with drug addicts "no solution. It is absolute havoc"! Addressing a meeting in Hertfordshire, England, Detective Chief R. Jones declared, "Drug addiction is an epidemic and one of the GREATEST EPIDEMICS this country is ever going to know; in a few years' time the Great Plague and Black Death will look like small fry compared with it." In New Zealand a common attitude was, "It can't happen here." But it has. Alarm is growing about the illicit drug market composed mainly of young people. Those arrested for drug violations are doubling, and more than HALF are 21 or under. New Zealand, like any other modern nation, is experiencing the stresses and strains of an unsettled age and drug abuse is climbing as a means of escape, to "get away from it all." Just how serious is the world's narcotics problem? Said an article in South Africa's Personality magazine, the world today is facing a "drug addiction 'EXPLOSION' "! Indicative of the danger is the fact that arrests and seizures of illicit drugs during the first four months of 1968 surpassed those for ALL of 1967, which itself was a record year, at the California-Mexico border city of Tijuana. During the first four months of 1968 over 1,000 arrests were made 200 more than during all of 1967! Does this shocking fact give you a hint of the enormity of the growing peril? Tijuana is fast becoming the Marijuana Mecca of the World! With 22 million visitors a year, it does a landslide business. Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark predicted difficult days ahead in the control of the drug traffic.
The Pot Generation
In more ways than one, the world is "going to pot." Marijuana can be purchased openly all over Vietnam. It costs about ten cents a "joint," whereas the price in the U.S. would be about one dollar. All the bars in Saigon, said a graduate student of Queen's College who was there, sell pot. He saw pot parties in every major city. How many servicemen have tried marijuana in Vietnam? In 1967 there were 2.5 arrests for every 1000 servicemen. In civilian life, law enforcement officials figure for every arrest there are about ten additional users. Applying this rule of thumb to the military problem, there would be about 50,000 pot-smoking troops in Vietnam. Its use is widespread, and it can be obtained almost anywhere. Pot, it is claimed, gives the servicemen "courage," and eases their tensions when facing the Viet Cong. One officer who found his men having a pot party said, "That's all right. You men deserve it."
Young Kids the "New Addicts"
The true number of constant pot users or potheads in the United States is open to question. Estimates range from about 400,000 to as many as three million. Perhaps the worst feature of the problem is the numbers of school children becoming involved. An estimated 10,000 kids in Vancouver, British Columbia experiment with drugs. But California boasts the worst narcotics problem involving children. Warned Attorney General Thomas Lynch, in 1967 there were 14,760 juveniles arrested for drug abuse more than an 800 percent increase from 1960 and 176 percent higher than the 1966 figure. Arrests for marijuana violations were up 172 percent! Between July 1967 and June 1968 about 34 tons of marijuana were seized by narcotics agents, compared to 13 tons the previous twelve months. How bad is the problem among our YOUTH? The National Institute of Mental Health's 1967 study reported about 10 percent of the nation's high school students had smoked marijuana. Local officials in many communities put the true figures much higher. A Los Angeles Times survey of Palos Verdes schools said the high school there "now has a proportion of drug-experienced students which police estimate at 50% and counselors put at 75%. An estimated third of the total are habitual users." Drug use there has penetrated to the SIXTH GRADERS; more than marijuana is involved. Some 13-year-old kids have been discovered shooting "speed" or methedrine. Some insert the needle into their tongues to avoid the telltale needle marks. Says Caldwell Williams, guidance counselor at Los Angeles' University High, "Anyone who tries to say that fewer than half the students in any high school in Southern California have taken pot doesn't know what he's talking about." But Southern California is not alone. In San Rafael near San Francisco, a sixth grade teacher was shocked to see a marijuana sale occur in class right before her eyes! In Los Gatos, near San Jose, California, 23 percent of the high school students have used marijuana, LSD or other drugs (96 percent of those used pot); and HALF of them intend to continue doing so. Even faraway Denver, Colorado, reported a 738 percent increase in narcotics arrests in 1968. In one Colorado boarding school, one third of the student body was put on a year's probation for using marijuana! Some youths are turning from pot to synthetic marijuana an odorless liquid which is more potent. Just 3-4 drops on a cigarette will give a kick equal to pot. But there have been psychotic episodes. One narcotics official warns that traffic in synthetic pot may make the heroin traffic look like peanuts.
Overall narcotics violations throughout the U.S. rose 60 percent in 1967 over 1966. The growing shame of America is that, in the words of Dr. James L. Goddard, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, the United States has become "the GREATEST society in the world for overuse of drugs." If you take a look at a chart showing the up surging, spiraling, snowballing increase in DRUG ABUSE by adults and youths alike, it will seem the line streaks upward and almost seems to fall over backward on the graph! Seizures of dangerous drugs in Los Angeles have increased 5,876 percent in the past ten years. From 1958-1968, statistics show heroin, up 600 percent; marijuana, up 1,587 percent; other dangerous drugs, up 5,876 percent. Arrests for narcotics violations have soared 500 percent in five years. Adult narcotics violations in California were 47,032 in 1967 up 66 percent from 1966. Marijuana violations were up 87 percent. Law enforcement agencies estimate the whole narcotics problem costs the United States over $3 billion yearly. In New York, diseases related to drug addiction claimed more deaths for 15-35-year-olds than either murder, suicide, accidents or natural cause. Dr. Efren Ramirez, head of New York's addiction service agency, says that 100,000 New Yorkers are addicted and steal to support their habit. He said that 200,000 people in New York "organize their lives around the use of drugs." Thefts by drug addicts in New York, where the heroin problem is worst, amount to $10 million worth of goods daily. The average addict, to support a habit costing $22 a day, must steal goods worth $100 every day. The estimates on the number of heroin addicts in the United States range from 60,000 known reported addicts to as high as 200,000 throughout the country. In New York City, estimates go as high as from 30,000 to 100,000 depending on who does the estimating. On the average, dope addicts have life-spans shortened from 20-25 years. The average age at which death overtakes heroin addicts is 34. United States attorney Joseph P. Hoey said the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics estimates that there are 200,000 to 300,000 narcotics users in the United States with half of them in New York. Warns Dr. Jerome Levine, "between 25 and 30 percent of the American people have used the psychotropic drugs within the past year, and twice as many women are using them as men." Why the dramatic increase in drug problems and up surging drug abuse? Said one doctor in San Francisco, "drug use reflects a SICK and hypocritical society." Make no mistake! The problem is SERIOUS and is fast escalating! Warned Dr. James L. Goddard, former chief of the Food and Drug Administration, 20 million Americans may have tried marijuana and 400,000 may be using it regularly. The New York Times estimated that 100 million Americans use some form of mind-altering drugs, such as amphetamines, barbiturates, alcohol, and tranquilizers. According to one author, "These statistics are staggering." He continues: "There are ten million persons smoking marijuana. Some ten million individuals take amphetamines (pep pills). Twice that many take barbiturates (sleeping pills). Another three million down tranquilizers. Kids sniff glue and drink codeine-based cough medicine in frightening quantities. And trapped down in the real depths are some sixty thousand heroin addicts" (p. 106, The LSD Story).
The Drugged Society
America's reliance on drugs is a growing menace to millions. We live in a society surrounded by drugs. There are pills to pep us up, pills to calm us down, pills to wake us up, pills to put us to sleep, pills to gain weight, pills to lose weight, pills to avoid babies, pills to have babies, pills to avoid pain. Said Dr. Goddard, "More and more of us are becoming dependent on drugs, hiding from the realities of life or using them just for thrills. Drug abuse cannot be connected only with narcotics users. The alarming rise in the abuse of stimulant, depressant and hallucinogenic drugs cuts across all strata of society." Millions of Americans may not know it or admit it but they are "hooked" on drugs. They cannot live without them! Many can't seem to sleep without drugs; cannot function smoothly without drugs. Just how many are involved? No one knows the exact answer. However, here is an indication: Each year over 12 billion amphetamine and barbiturate tablets and 50 million tranquilizers are manufactured in, the United States. It has been estimated that half of the amphetamines and barbiturates go to the illegal market! Also indicative of the growing problem is the number of arrests for drug abuse. In Westchester County, New York, drug arrests jumped from 309 in 1965 to 700 in 1966. In many areas, drug arrests in 1966 jumped 400 percent over 1965! Fantastic as it may sound; police estimate that between 15 and 50 percent of the teenage kids in many communities may be trying marijuana. We have become a drug-oriented, if not a drug-obsessed, society! Take Tucson, Arizona, for example. Detective Werner Wolff, of the police narcotics unit, says teenagers are taking to marijuana with "a missionary zeal." Authorities are certain that more young people than ever before are using marijuana and some are trying heroin. Some youngsters in San Diego spend $10 to $15 a week on marijuana, said one report. In 1967, 5 million 5-grain units of illicit drugs were seized at borders and ports of entry. The total weight of confiscated drugs including marijuana was 34 tons. This was over 250 percent above the 1966 figure, and 600 percent above the 1965 figure! The sale of illicit narcotics in the United States is a whopping multimillion-dollar business. But WHY the alarming rise in drug traffic? What is the CAUSE of the phenomenal growth of drug abuse? And why, especially, are YOUNG PEOPLE taking so assiduously to drugs, from pot to LSD, called "acid," from cough syrup to glue-sniffing, from methedrine to morphine, from barbiturates to heroin? Be sure to read the answer in next month's issue.