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America's love affair with drugs

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By John Pawlak

America prides itself as number one. Number one in civil rights. Number one in education. Number one in personal freedoms. Number one in literacy. Number one in international trade.
That chest puffing is a lot of number two. There are a lot of things that America can claim, but claiming isn’t the same as doing. And besides, being number one isn’t always the first thing one should brag about.
Sadly, we are number one in illegal drug use — and probably legal drug use.
But drug use in America is nothing new. From the colonial love affair with tobacco to the opium dens in the west coast. From the boom of coffee drinking in the Civil War to the rampant alcohol usage in the Roaring ’20s. The invention of Coca-Cola in 1886, a mixture of cocaine and caffeine. The over-the-counter sale of heroin as a cough suppressant in 1898.
Alcohol, opiates, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, hash, crack, LSD, meth, barbiturates, PCP, steroids and a host of designer drugs with really cute names.
The term “recreational drugs” says it all. Americans love recreation and are very dedicated to their constitutional rights to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of pharmaceutical happiness.


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