In This Episode:
I pull back the curtain on Designer Drugs and Media Panic.
In the wake of the tragic death of actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, the media latched on to speculation that designer drugs were likely to blame for the overdose. Several articles and commentators went on at great length about the pain drug fentanyl. This pain relieving drug generally prescribed to cancer patients has been added to heroin to give the user a new high. Police and/or drug enforcement agents chose to exploit Hoffman’s high profile death to bring attention to the “scourge.”
Media outlets could not get enough of this tantalizing designer drug story
. The only problem was preliminary tests showed no fentanyl
in the baggies found in Hoffman’s apartment. Why should those interested in the criminal justice pay attention to the media scare about the latest new drug panic? Because this is the first step in what often leads to new laws with draconian punishments.
Many people remember the BATH SALTS scare that was widely reported after after a vicious assault by a man who chewed off the face of another man in Florida in 2012. The media went crazy talking about the dangers of this synthetic hallucinogen. The problem was, there were NO BATH SALTS found in the perpetrator’s system. In fact, the only illegal substance detected in that case, by two separate forensic toxicology labs, was marijuana. For an excellent discussion of this case and the ensuing drug panic, see Frank Owens’ article from December of 2012 in Playboy magazine titled “The Miami Zombie”
We, as a society, would rather blame the “boogie man” personified by the latest drug than admit that we do not adequately provide for members of our community who suffer from addiction and mental illness.TRIAL LAWYER MENTOR Quick Tip:
Tip about how to incorporate a message you have learned to deliver well into each of your persuasive presentations. If you break down the presentations you give you will find core commonalities in each of them. Once you find a way to express a concept that resonates with you, don’t re-invent the wheel, a few minor tweaks for personalization is all you need to use that explanation over and over again in each of your persuasive talks.
LAWYERS and LAW STUDENTS:
Click here to sign up for our free newsletter where I share in depth tips and strategies for mastering the Art of the Jury Trial. And be sure to check back soon for a special offer exclusively for attorneys!
Download AUDIO here (MP3)