Controversial Issues: 
Drugs & Society
900:196 Section 12
Fall, 2002    11:00 T Th   Sabin 121

Dr. Linda L. Walsh

Table of Contents
Text and Class Schedule    Course Objectives     Requirements
Links to other Walsh Pages    Meet My Family    A sample of my garden   Our pet Buffy
Critical Thinking Resources    Issue Resources   Taking Sides Website
Drug Issue Current Events    Debate Guidelines

Dr. Linda L. Walsh 
Office: Baker 441     Office Hours: 8:30-10:30 daily; 
Mailbox: Baker 334   other times by appointment; drop-bys welcome.
Phone: 273-2690      Email: 
Course online syllabus at: 

In the Readings column, "Issue" numbers refer to our text: Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues In Drugs and Society (5th Edition) (Raymond Goldberg, Ed.).Clicking on the link above will take you to our textbook's website which has a variety of study aids and weblinks for your use. RR refers to Reserve Readings (on issues not covered in our text) available at the checkout counter in the basement of the library.Underlined text refers to World Wide Web documents,easily accessed from our online syllabus at

Tentative Schedule 
Date Day Topic Reading Assignment\ 
(bold-face readings should be done before that class period; other websites are supplemental)
08-27  T Welcome and Introductions Explore the 8/29 websites and find as many issues as you can.
08-29 TH Bad Blood 

Nuremberg Code
Medical Decision Making Ethics

Preface and Introduction to Taking Sides
NPR : Remembering the Tuskegee Experiment
Troubling Legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study  President apologizes for Tuskegee  Apology For Study Done in Tuskegee  CDC Report  TimelineNurse Rivers' Report
09-03  T Thinking Critically About Issues and Arguments 
Background on Ritalin and ADHD 

NIMH Multimodal Treatment Study 

American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline

Critical Thinking Questions You Should Always Ask
Questions to Ask When Examining a Position
The Evalution of Sources
Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites
Taking Sides: Propaganda Alert
PBS- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD Fact Sheet  ADHD Myths
The Ritalin debate
Medicating ADHD: Too much? Too soon?  CHADD
09-05  TH Is Ritalin Being Overprescribed? 
Richard Bromfield vs. Jerry Wiener
Issue 12
Critically evaluate Bromfield's and Weiner's arguments 
Overuse of Stimulants for Kids Reported 
Did Company Overpromote ADHD, Ritalin?
Effects of Ritalin on Measures of Academic Performance & Classroom Behavior in ADHD Teens
09-10  T Should the FDA regulate herbal products and dietary supplements?  RR Allen; RR Consumer Reports
Herbal Products--What You Should Know 
FDA Warning on Herbal 'Ecstasy' Drugs 

Herbal Adverse Effects and Drug Interactions
NCAHF Position Paper on Herbal Remedies
AndrostendioneSt. John's Wort
An FDA Guide to Dietary Supplements
Dietary Supplements Linked with Illnesses & Injuries
09-12  TH Will a Lower BAL Limit Reduce Accidents? Issue 3
Presidential Initiative for .08 BAC National Legal Limit
AMA ReportIowa Senators Approve
Drunk driving law, legal limits, laws for each state
State BAC Limits for Drunk Driving Laws
Whats Driving You? - State DUI laws 
.08 BAC - Setting Limits, Saving Lives

 T The Drug Wars - Some background Foreign Policy In Focus - Drug Control as War
Bolivia: Human Rights Violations & the War on Drugs   Focal Point - Latin America and The Drug War     Anti-Drug Effort Criticized As More Harm Than Help
09-19  TH Group 1 - Should Drugs Be Legalized?
(Josh, Jesse, Nathan, Ben)
Issue 1
The Drug Legalization Debate
Ending Prohibition: Moral, practical, & social arguments
Will Legalizing Drugs Benefit Public Health? — Yes
09-24  T Group 2 - Should Marijuana Be Legalized as a Medication? (Holly, Lori, Amanda, James) Issue 9 
Scientific American: Marijuana Firmly Linked to Infertility
Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base Consumer Reports: Marijuana as Medicine
New Scientist Marijuana Special Report
NEJM: Reefer Madness -- Federal Response to California's Medical-Marijuana Law
NEJM: Federal Foolishness and Marijuana
Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana
Archive of MJ Resources
09-26  TH Group 3 - Is DARE an Effective Program? 
(Courtney, Phillip, Kelly, Gregory)
Issue 16
Project DARE: No Effects at 10-Year Follow-Up
Dare we admit it? Drug war is a bust with our children.  Studies Find Dare Program Not Effective  DARE
How DARE Wastes Time  DARE Update
DARE Program Defended, Questioned
An Analysis of DARE
Rolling Stone gathers a $50 million lawsuit Setting Straight Misinformation About DARE Rolling Stone Drug Issue  Truth or D.A.R.E.: Dubious Drug-Ed Program Takes NY
10-01  T Road Trip to Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus College/ Group Work Day
10-03   TH Should There Be Restrictions on the Advertising of Prescription Drugs?  Issue 13
Rise of DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs- JAMA
CNN - Prescription ads carry weight with patients 
Welcome to EthicAdIPI Policy Report - # 155
The DTC Blitz ACP: DTC Advertising Opinions
Consumer ads: How should doctors handle the pressure?
10-08  T Group 4 - Should Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs Be Prosecuted? 
(Tracy, Ashley, Brooke, Erin)
Issue 5
Fact Sheet - FAS   What is FAS?   Nofas Home Page
Chan-Criminializing Drug Use In Pregnancy Paltrow-Pregnant Drug Users and the Attack Against Roe v. Wade  Punishment and Prejudice: Judging Drug-Using Pregnant Women  Punishing Women for their Behavior During Pregnancy  When Pregnant Women Use Crack  The Politics of Fetal/Maternal Conflict
10-10  TH MACTOP? / Group Work Day
10-15  T Group 5 - Should All Use of Ecstasy Be Prohibited? 
(Jodi, Sabrina, Virginia)
RR Halgin(Ed.) - Issue 5
NIDA Scientific Findings on MDMA/Ecstasy
A Psychotherapist Using E   Cognitive performance in users of MDMA: evidence for memory deficits MDMA Neurotoxicity Controversy
Effects on Primates Ecstasy's Legacy  Club Drug May Impair Memory DEA Resources, For Law Enforcement Officers, Intelligence Reports, Club Drugs: An Update  DEA Resources, For Law Enforcement Officers, Intelligence Reports, Ecstasy Rolling Across Europe MDMA Review  MDMA Archive
10-17  TH First Half Test 
Midterm Grades Due
10-22  T
10-24 TH Group 6 - Is Addiction/Alcoholism a Choice? 
(Courtney, Amanda, Nathan)
Issue 6 + RR Slife (8th Ed.) - Issue 11
Disease Concept of Alcoholism Genetic factors in alcoholism  Neurobiological factors in alcoholism
Disease concept of alcoholism should be rejected
Addiction: A Social DiseaseWhat Addiction Is & Is Not
Genetics of AlcoholismAlcoholism: A Physical Disease  The Implications and Limitations of Genetic Models of Alcoholism and Other Addictions Second Thoughts About a Gene for Alcoholism
10-29  T Group 7 - Does Drug Testing Violate Employee's Civil Rights? 
(Josh, Virginia, Kelly, Greg)
Issue 17
Drug Testing News
ACLU - Drug Testing: A Bad Investment
IPRC - Prevention Primer: Drug Testing in the Workplace  Drug Testing Information Menu  Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace Gallup Survey  ACLU Briefing Paper Number 5  ACLU In Brief: Workplace Drug Testing
10-31  TH Group 8 - Should the FDA Prohibit Tobacco Advertising? 
(Ben, Tracy, Nicole, James)
RR Goldberg (4th Ed.) - Issue 14; Goldberg (3rd ed.) 232-235
The Ghost of Cigarette Advertising Past
Dr. Luik - The 'Smee Report'
Joe Camel Campaign: Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Collection Tobacco Ad Gallery   Tobacco Explained: Marketing to children  Tobacco Ads in Magazines
11-02 Sat. Road Trip to Tristate Undergrad Research Conference at Loras College
11-05  T Group 9 - Should the Courts Be Able to Order Women to Use Long-Term Contraceptives? 
(Sabrina, Brooke, Jesse, Erin)
RR Levine (Ed.) - Issue 8

Long-Acting Contraceptives: Ethical Considerations

The Impact of Norplant on Minority Communities
11-07  TH Group 10 - Should Psychologists Be Allowed to Prescribe Psychotherapeutic Drugs? 
(Holly, Jodi, Ashley, Phil)
RR Slife (10th Ed.) - Issue 12
Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists: A Matter of Professional Evolution  Prescription Privileges for Ph,D.'s?  Prescription Privileges: An Opportunity  Prescription Privileges Position Papers from Former APA President
N.M.Governor Signs Landmark Law on Prescription Privileges for Psychologists  APA’s Examination in Psychopharmacology: Project Nearing Completion 
Note: Teams may select their own topic for their last presentation; the *following are just suggestion drawn from our surveys, plus a list of those who expressed an interest. Thus these are not established groups until teams of 4-5 confirm their topic selections.
11-12   T Is Drug Abuse Treatment Effective? Issue 18
11-14  TH Is Caffeine Bad For You? Caffeine Quiz
Caffeine: The Inside Scoop
Caffeine Content of Foods and Drugs Chart 
11-19  T Secondhand Smoke (Virginia, Sabrina, Courtney, Amanda)  Issue 14
11-21   TH Contraception Issues
(Holly, Phillip, James, Tracy, Kelly)
RR Trussell et al.
Emergency contraception, over-the-counter provision, and Tony Blair's 'moral concerns' France to introduce Emergency Contraception in Schools Emergency Contraception to be available OTC in UK   FDA may make oral contraceptives OTC  Emergency Contraception   Pill should be available 'over-the-counter' says its inventor  Going Over the Counter? Legislators to Debate Future of the Pill  ACOG Supports Safety/Availability of OTC Emergency Contraception Emergency Contraception   Emergency Contraception
RU486 - Safe, Legal, and Unavailable
11-26   T Drug Use Portrayal in Cinema:
Accurate or Inaccurate
Does it influence attitudes and use?
What's the take-home message?
Bring video clips, movie descriptions, movie treats!
Alcohol and Drugs in the Cinema
Substance Use in Popular Movies and Music
Drug Use in Animated Films : Media Portrayal of Drugs
Seeing Movie Stars Smoke Makes Teens More Vulnerable to Tobacco Use
NCADI Media Literacy
12-03   T Are Anti-Drug Media and Parental Efforts Effective?
(Nate, Brooke, Ashley, Jodi)
Issue 19
12-05  TH Should the Religious Use of Illegal Substances Be Protected? (Jesse, Josh and Greg) "The Psychedelics and Religion" by Walter Houston Clark
Peyote LawCongressional Record June 29, 1993, S8221-S8223  Hemp in religion  Guam Supreme Court Rules That Rastafarians Have a Religious Right to Possess Marijuana Free from Criminal Prosecution Under Guam's Organic Act
12-10   T Antidepressant Issues
(Lori, Ben, Erin)
Drugs Commonly Prescribed for Depression 
Newer Pharmacotherapies 

Role of Placebo Effect in Antidepressant Action
12-12  TH Second Half Exam

Course Requirements

1) Class participation (120 pts, or ~20%))
2) Working with classmates to present 3 different controversal issues during the semester.(30 pts each or 15% total)
3) Writing 3 supported opinion papers on those issues. (50 pts each, or ~25% total)
4) Two exams over the content covered in our readings and discussions.(~120 pts each, or ~ 40% total)

Class Participation. Active class discussion is essential to a seminar class and demands completing the readings on time (before class) and critically evaluating the authors' arguments so that you can critique them in class. Attendence is required but not sufficient. The frequency and quality of your discussion will determine 40% of your particpation grade. I would recommend coming to class with notes on the required text readings, including your reactions. Each day that we have required readings (except when you are presenting), also turn in a 3 x 5 index card containing your name and a minimum of 2 well thought out discussion questions on the readings at the beginning of class. The completion of as well as the quality of your submitted discussion questions will determine another 40% of your participation grade. Finally, to encourage your awareness of the prevalence of drug-related issues, you are required to turn a drug issue "current event" to share with the class at least once every 4 weeks of the semester (at least 4 total). These can be current drug issues reported in newspaper or magazine articles or on the web, drug issues discussed on public radio ( recommended: National Public Radio's Morning Edition (mornings before 9:00) or All Things Considered (3:00-6:00 afternoons, both available on KUNI 90.9 fm or via KUNI's website). This is one way we can at least mention the many issues we may not be able to cover in detail this semester.

Class Presentations. Using class responses to our topic survey I selected the most highly rated issues and assigned students to groups to present 10 of those topics. I did my best to assign you to issues which you indicated were your favorites, although this was not possible in all cases. For some topics, however, all students wanted to present the same side of the argument. In those cases we can draw cards to choose sides (high card chooses first, ace is high) or you can negotiate with your teammates. The first topic you present will be as an informal debate. Later topics may also be done as debates, or your team may choose another format, such as holding a panel discussion, or making a presentation and then leading class discussion. No matter what the format, you should go beyond the required readings to find quality print (required) and web resources to bolster your evidence. Use guidelines on How to Evaluate Sources to help select your supporting documents. Use of an overhead outline or handout detailing your claims and supporting evidence is strongly recommended. If all goes as planned, the final round of presentations will be on issues not included in our text (hence requiring more team research and organization). I have listed some possible topics based on survey data, but feel free to suggest other final topics..

Opinion Papers allow a less time-pressured presentation of your case, presenting your claims and support and incorporating evidence from the quality sources you have uncovered. Be sure to write these papers in your own words. I suggest outlining your argument and then setting your sources aside while you write your paper (so as not to be tempted by another's words). You can, of course, return to your sources, when you are done, to doublecheck your accuracy.

Exams will contain a combination of mutliple choice and essay questions based on required readings and class discussion. You will not be tested on supplemental websites but websites might help you answer essay questions (e.g. by providing more evidence or another point of view, raising more issues, etc.). There are practice multiple choice questions on our textbook's website.

  • Your final course grade will be assigned according to this scale:
  • Grade
    80.0 - 82.9% 
    67.0 - 69.9% 
    90.0 - 92.9% 
    77.0 - 79.9% 
    63.0 - 66.9% 
    87.0 - 89.9% 
    73.0 - 76.9% 
    60.0 - 62.9% 
    83.0 - 86.9% 
    70.0 - 72.9% 
    0.0 - 59.9% 

    About Your Prof
    Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
    Education: B.S. (Psychology) University of Illinois, Chicago;
                      M.A. (Biopsychology) University of Chicago;
                      Ph.D. (Biopsychology) University of Chicago
    Married:  James Walsh (attorney)
    Children:  3 girls (Jennifer (19), Sara (17), & Annie (13))
    Hobbies:  Gardening, gourmet cooking, travel, volleyball, reading
    Most unusual experiences: Performing brain surgery on rats, riding an elephant (twice!), climbing the Great Pyramid, wearing a live python around my neck, flying in a blimp, visiting ancient Greek ruins, giving birth