Saturday, October 27, 2012

All the Wrong Wars

Kenny came home this week proudly sporting a "Drug-Free 24/7/365" ribbon.  Ironically, he's been on drugs all week- amoxycillin for a respiratory infection. 
I understand the desire to indoctrinate kids to the drug-free message, more than most people, but personally, I always hated the whole program.  See, it was a huge conflict for me, because I knew my dad used drugs, as do most people in the US.  Think about it; what is a "drug"?  A drug is your morning coffee, or your evening adult beverage.  A drug is your aspirin, your sleep aid, or your insulin.  A drug is also heroin, cocaine, or crystal meth.  A drug is ritalin, adderall, or others prescribed to kids. Sure, adults might understand the nuance behind anti-drug messages, but kids- especially ones as young as first grade- don't understand those shades of meaning.
What you end up doing is lying to children through anti-drug programs, by lying about what constitutes a drug, and that drugs are universally bad.  While that lie may come from a place of wanting to do what's best for students, it's still lying, and they simply end up losing trust in whoever told them lies originally, usually after a lot of struggle, pain, turmoil, and emotionality.  That doesn't do much to help getting a message across, much less getting a kid to follow your proposed message. 
Similarly, the war on drugs is an ineffective and dishonest proposition.  What have we accomplished with the war on drugs?  Certainly not the eradication of drug use, although we have put many, many people in prison for drug related activities.  Instead, we've lined the pockets of private prison operators, torn apart families, ruined people's lives with mandatory minimum sentencing, and cost the taxpayers billions of dollars.  Mind you, I'm talking most about marijuana here than other drugs, because 1) it's extremely widely used, 2) because of it's wide use, it has the widest implications, 3) it's a drug with questionable reasons for its criminalization, while it does have the potential for health benefits up to and including cancer treatments, 4) the war against pot spills over into a completely safe crop (hemp) that has been cultivated by many cultures for many purposes over human history, including the first US president, who claimed "Sow the hemp seed everywhere."  Really, if we want to show that the US puts people before profits, we need to legalize marijuana, and soon.  Too many have already paid too high a price for such an innocuous substance.

Our war on terror is a whole other bag of worms, that my blood pressure won't let me get into right at the moment, but I'll come back to that soon. 


  1. I've got problems with ALL the indoctrination they do at school. Luckily, my husband and I taught our kids to think for themselves before we sent them off to school.

    ICLW #74 Dragondreamer's Lair

  2. That's the way to be, Kristin. Good on you! :)