New Media Report Argues US Ready for Lax Drug Laws

By US Daily Review Staff.

Funded by one of the most liberal civil libertarian organizations in the country and researched by a group with its own progressive reputation, a new report makes the case that, since popular TV shows demonstrate an ambivalence when it comes to drug users, Americans are showing they are ready for decriminalization. It states, “With the legalization of marijuana back in the headlines on the eve of 4/20, a new study says that America’s most popular primetime shows reflect growing skepticism about the effectiveness of the 40-year-old War on Drugs, which was debated this week at the Summit of the Americas. The study also found that primetime dramas stayed closer to reality than common stereotypes about what drugs Americans are abusing and what drug users look like. The reality is drug abuse can cause a number of health issues. Florida Rehab Centers helps to overcome the drug addiction.  A video by digital remix artist Joe Sabia featuring the report’s findings on the War on Drugs can be found at www.primetimedrugs.com.”

There is also a lot of information online about recovery options, some of which can be downloaded here.

The Primetime War on Drugs & Terror report was released by the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The study analyzed 49 hours of 10 top-rated TV series with storylines including terrorism or drugs that aired in 2010. Shows included NCISCSI: MiamiLaw & Order: SVUHouseand The Good Wife.

Major findings included:

  • In TV storylines about the War on Drugs, drug users are not arrested and drug suspects are often portrayed as morally ambiguous or even heroic.
  • In these TV shows, 65% of drug suspects are white, accurately reflecting that the vast majority of drug users (and likely offenders) in the U.S. are white.
  • Despite the predominance of African-Americans and other minorities in U.S. prisons for drug violations, most drug manufacturers and dealers in the series studied were white.
  • Prescription drug abuse and methamphetamines were depicted three times more often than recreational marijuana.

The content analysis was carried out by Princeton Survey Research Associates International using an instrument designed by the Lear Center. The ACLU provided funding for the study, which was conducted and released independently.

Critics will argue that there are many popular shows that convey cultural cultural themes, but that does not assume that the general population favors the treatment of those issues in the show.  These critics would also argue that Hollywood, which has a culture very different from the larger population, has often use media to change attitudes. Viewers might enjoy everything about these shows except their views of drugs. Tolerating what they may not like is not an endorsement for those things. The study does not poll the attitude of people towards drugs, but just reviews the content itself. They could be making quite a leap in their conclusions.

In spite of the media and its growing lax attitude towards drugs in entertainment, we all know how prescription drugs can be physically addictive to people from all walks of life.

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All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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