Sunday, June 11, 2006

Presumption of guilt

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Sure, there is plenty of nice scenery in Big Sky country, but thankfully state officials in Montana are doing their best to distract your attention away from all that nature:

"Leading the Meth Project effort is research-validated, nationally recognized, high-impact advertising that communicates graphically the risks of Meth use.

"The hazardous and life-threatening product features and consequences of Methamphetamine are clear, compelling, and undeniable. We are communicating these product features and consequences to the young people of Montana on a massive scale."

I wonder if they've factored into their safety plan the increase in people driving off the road upon seeing one of these in billboard size.

In any case, after having to show my driver's license twice today simply to purchase a small box of Sudafed, it occurs to me that one conclusion to draw from such tactics is that from the perspective of helpful government officials, we all may be potential meth addicts barring their intervention. More likely, however, is that ad campaigns and legal restrictions serve to (theoretically) dissuade and limit consumption among the targeted population most likely to become addicts while at the same time (and more importantly) proving to the rest of us that "they're on top of the problem." So, I have to look at gross ads and enter my name in a drug user database for little more than my own piece of mind about the nation's progress on the drug war.