WASHINGTON, D.C. — DEA Spokesman Michael Hawkins announced at a press conference today that the Drug Enforcement Agency has, after a period of deliberation and public comment, chosen to place happiness on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive of the Act’s eight schedules.
“Statistically, happiness is the most abused emotion in the United States,” Hawkins told reporters on Friday. “The decision to reschedule was frankly overdue.”
Happiness was initially placed on Schedule III in 1994, after a highly-publicized spate of overdoses. Hawkins laments the 1994 decision, describing it as “overly permissive.”
“Despite what many recreational users claim, there is no scientific evidence that happiness improves productivity, reproductive efficiency, or patriotism,” Hawkins explained. But during the Clinton administration, the science just wasn’t there. We didn’t know, and we were overly permissive in the initial scheduling. That ends today.”
In fact, Hawkins explains, not only does happiness have no valid clinical uses, “recent studies have shown that happiness can actually impair productivity and many other desirable traits.”
“The effects of happiness on children were particularly alarming,” Hawkins continued. “An earlier proposal would have instead moved happiness to Schedule II, since happiness isn’t nearly as harmful or addictive as Quaaludes or marijuana. However, we determined that a full ban was the only way to prevent happiness from falling into the hands of children, who are particularly vulnerable to addiction — and, I reiterate, this decision is supported by the scientific consensus that happiness has no medicinal value.”
The rescheduling means Americans will no longer be able to find happiness on the legal market, even with a doctor's prescription.
Pressed on the possibility of smuggling from countries such as Mexico or what was once Canada, where happiness is available without a prescription, Hawkins was unconcerned. “Happiness-smuggling has been a problem for more than a decade. One of the many benefits of rescheduling happiness is that it will make enforcement and interdiction at the border much easier for customs officials.” Under the new regulations, CBP officers will now be permitted to search and detain anybody not showing signs of ennui, world-weariness, or depression without further evidence of smuggling. “Anyone trying to cross the border who looks even a little bit happy is going to have to tough questions to answer,” Hawkins warned.
Hawkins urged those who already use happiness, either by prescription or illegally, to consider “more healthful alternatives.” “Patriotism has been proven time and time again to have tremendous medical benefits,” said Hawkins, “and is more than an adequate replacement for inferior treatments such as happiness. Go outside, take your kids to a ballgame, sing along to the Star-Spangled Banner, enjoy a slice of your wife’s apple pie, hell, even enlist in the military. These are all fantastic ways to not only improve yourself as a human being, but to embody the spirit of our nation.”
For now, happiness is the only emotion listed in Schedule I, although non-vindictive glee is also under consideration for rescheduling, as a close analogue of happiness. Megalomania remains Schedule II, as do melancholy and amusement (though mild amusement, as a special exception, is instead Schedule III). Curiosity, spite, quiet satisfaction, and anger are not considered controlled substances and carry no penalties for possession, but are nonetheless only available by prescription.
Sadness, nostalgia, depression, and anguish remain unscheduled, and continue to be available over the counter.
Dr. Mantissa Vestibule is Approved News 6's law correspondent. She is a graduate of Harvard Unversity and holds degrees in property law, seismology, and thermokinesis. She lives in a mysterious wandering caravan with her partner Jessica and psychic parakeet Fiona.