Pubdate: Fri, 14 Jun 2002
Source: Cambridge Reporter, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Cambridge Reporter
Author: Clark Sullivan


The recent arrest of Cambridge high school students is one more example of 
how not to discourage drug use among teenagers and serves to only ruin 
their lives well into the future by permanently giving them the stigma of a 
criminal record.

Using the police as social workers is and has been a complete failure. One 
only need to visit our prisons which are overcrowded with large numbers of 
youthful drug offenders to witness the utter failure of this approach.

Adolescent experimentation with drugs will continue despite the misguided 
efforts of law enforcement and only serves to further alienate youths from 
authorities, perhaps increasing drug use.

Only marijuana users seem to be persecuted. Why not target alcohol 
consumption and cigarette smoking? Both are far more dangerous to our young 
people's health and well being.

Finally, why must you include the tagline: "Students are smoking high-grade 
marijuana that's many times stronger than the weed that used to be available."

Medical studies have yet to determine whether the "stronger" marijuana is 
any more dangerous than the weed that used to be available.

It is high time for communities to consider harm-reduction policies rather 
then criminalizing and incarcerating youthful drug offenders and ruining 
their lives.

Clark Sullivan

San Francisco
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