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The War on Drugs

B.J. Mendelson
4 min readDec 4, 2021

In the premiere episode of Rosie & BJ Save the World, comedian, and podcaster, Rosie Tran, alongside social media marketing expert, and best-selling author, BJ Mendelson, share their views on ending the war on drugs.

Get ready listeners, BJ and Rosie are here to save the day! Tap here to listen to episode one here on Spotify.

Rosie is in favor of decriminalizing drug use as a means to end drug addiction. She cites Portugal’s “use rooms” as an example of state-sanctioned drug use that actually decreases usage and helps those suffering from addiction to seek rehabilitation.

The co-hosts agree that the Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) attitude stalls meaningful action in local legislation, like providing clean needle exchanges or housing units for the homeless.

“As Americans, we’re good at saying we’re for things,” BJ says, “but then when it comes time to actually do something, we have one excuse or another not to do it.”

Americans’ lack of empathy not only hinders legislative change but also contributes to drug dependency, Rosie says. She cites a study showing that isolated rats were more likely to become addicted to opioids.

“The correlation that they made was when you become emotionally isolated, if you have trauma, then you’re more likely to become addicted to opiates. It’s not opioids themselves that are addictive,” Rosie notes.

The co-hosts discuss what it would take to create more empathy for drug users. BJ suggests people over age 40 take LSD “just once” in a safe setting, which he says could help individuals get past heuristic patterns of thought.

Their other suggestions include creating “a new model for state-run and state-funded mental health facilities,” normalizing drug use for medicinal purposes, and removing money from the for-profit prison system.

BJ jokes that “the only thing that we’ll miss after legalizing stuff is the quirky nature of a drug dealer.”

Quick Hits for Saving the World

🌎 Social deprivation and self-isolation dramatically increase the risk of addiction to opioids. Having empathy for those suffering from addiction can help them towards the path of recovery.

B.J. Mendelson

B.J. Mendelson is the author of “Social Media Is Bullshit” from St. Martin’s Press.