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You Got Trouble!

I just bought the DVD of The Music Man. I've loved this movie since I was a kid. The movie is very happy with a positive outlook on human nature. But viewing it now, with the experiences I have had in life and living in the Music Man current oppressive political climate, the movie has a certain sinister (or perhaps simply "insightful") aspect.

When Professor Harold Hill comes to town, he manages to sell a "boy's band" by whipping up hysteria about the effect the town's new pool table will have on the morals of the town's boys. That's where one of the movie's most famous songs comes from:

You got trouble
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for "Pool"!

I image people watch the film and think what a bunch of yokels these people are to buy into this story that a pool table will cause the moral degradation. But these very same people accept a far more preposterous idea about the threat that drugs have on their child. In the pool case, the idea is simply wrong.

In the case of drugs, the laws enacted to protect the children actually put the children at greater risk. It is well known that children have an easier time acquiring illegal drugs than they do alcohol. The reason is simple: there is no real incentive for illegal drug sellers to not sell to kids. But there is a big incentive for alcohol sellers.

When I was a kid, my parents owned a convenience store. They lived in constant fear of the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Commission). If they were caught selling alcohol to minors, they would not only be heavily fined, but might lose their license to sell liquor at all--and my parents made a lot of their money selling liquor.

Roughly 70 years ago, Hitler noted that people where more likely to believe a big lie than a small one. This is the case today with the drug laws. Everything that these laws are intended to do, have the opposite effect.

All of this should be known, based upon the United States' experience with prohibition. But that is exactly why people ignore these facts and continue to support the Drug War: the lie is so outrageous that it must be true! How does one fight such logic? What does one say in response? I really don't know. But I know what Professor Harold Hill would say:

You got trouble
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "D"
And that stands for "Drug War Hysteria"!

by Dr. H © 2002


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