Pubdate: Fri, 17 May 2002
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
Copyright: 2002 Reno Gazette-Journal
Author: Robert Sharpe


Carson school officials may want to reconsider the practice of destroying 
the futures of teenagers in an attempt to protect them from unhealthy choices.

Parents of Carson High School students should be worried about the school's 
renewed commitment to zero tolerance.

According to the Monitoring the Future Survey, more than half of all high 
school seniors have used an illegal drug. Most teenagers outgrow their 
youthful indiscretions involving drugs.

An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life shattering.

After admitting to smoking pot (but not inhaling), former President Bill 
Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism.

And thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of shattered lives.

More Americans went to prison or jail during the Clinton administration 
than during any past administration. As an admitted former drinker and 
alleged illicit drug user, President George W. Bush is also politically 
vulnerable on the drug issue.

While youthful indiscretions didn't stop Clinton or Bush from assuming 
leadership positions, an arrest surely would have. The short-term health 
effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the long-term effects 
of criminal records.

Drug abuse is bad, but the zero-tolerance drug war is worse.

Robert Sharpe

Drug Policy Alliance Washington D.C. (via e-mail)
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