The Ecstasy of Censorship

Politicians, Pandering to Anti-Drug Sentiment, Seek to Quell Free Speech

| July 20, 2000

The Ecstasy of Censorship: Politicians, Pandering to Anti-Drug Sentiment, Seek to Quell Free Speech, Ted Oehmke, Salon.com
Stymied by the courts in their attempts to ban sexually explicit speech on the Internet, politicians have picked a new target: drugs. The Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, recently introduced in Congress by Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., is supposedly an attempt to stem the growing popularity of a drug taken mainly by young, affluent, white people, writes Ted Oehmke in the Salon.com. 'But much of the language is aimed at controlling information about the drug. An aide to Graham said the main targets are websites that extol its virtues and announce the raves where people can buy it.' In fact, says Oehmke, critics charge that 'the bill goes beyond even this questionable assault on free speech. It would ban the teaching, demonstration or distribution of information about ecstasy or any other drug defined as illicit: marijuana, cocaine, LSD, even Valium used without a prescription if the people distributing that information know that someone will commit a crime based on what he has learned.' -- LU
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