One of the tenets of socionomics (as I read it) is that during periods of net positive mood bias, especially the massively optimistic phase that metastisized in the 1990s, a People will turn to caffeine, sugar, uppers and other stimulants to accentuate the buzz and excitement of a Bull era.
As we transition to a deeply net negative mood era, one can expect the "uppers" industry (both legal and illegal) to suffer, while "downers" get a new lease on life.
One example of this can be found in a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This survey is a great example of using a headline to simplify complex behavior:National survey shows a rise in illicit drug use from 2008 to 2010
SAMHSA News Release, 8 September 2011
The use of illicit drugs among Americans increased between 2008 and 2010 according to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that 22.6 million Americans 12 or older (8.9-percent of the population) were current illicit drug users. The rate of use in 2010 was similar to the rate in 2009 (8.7-percent), but remained above the 2008 rate (8-percent).
So, there you have it. People continue to do drugs even when the Powers That Be say they shouldn't and the number of people is increasing according to this survey.
However, digging deeper, you can detect socionomics at work:
...An increased rate in the current use of marijuana seems to be one of the prime factors in the overall rise in illicit drug use. In 2010, 17.4 million Americans were current users of marijuana - compared to 14.4 million in 2007. This represents an increase in the rate of current marijuana use in the population 12 and older from 5.8-percent in 2007 to 6.9-percent in 2010...
...The number of current methamphetamine users decreased by roughly half from 2006 to 2010 -- from 731,000 people age 12 and older (0.3-percent) to 353,000 (0.1-percent). Cocaine use has also declined, from 2.4 million current users in 2006 to 1.5 million in 2010...
Now, from what my friends and the cops who taught my DARE class many years ago tell me, the effects of marijuana are generally to slow things down a bit, while meth and coke tend to pep one up.
The Socionomist has had a number of outstanding research papers on the Drug War and Marijuana Prohibition over the last year or so and I suggest you review them. The social trends driving the passions behind the drug war and drug use in general seem to be shifting and we may not recognize the legal landscape when it comes to drugs, booze and other mood-altering techniques.
In a recent issue of either the Elliott Wave Theorist or the Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, it was suggested that one way to play this move towards downers would be to open a micro-distillery. Not a bad idea at all in my opinion. Might be time to check the laws in your state regarding micro-distilleries and then try and hunt down Grandpa's recipe for White Lightning.
And as more and more folks turn to downers, always recall the words of wisdom from Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a movie made during another net-negative mood period (1982): People on Ludes should not drive.