Pubdate: Fri, 22 Jul 2005
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Russell Barth



RE: "Youth Believe Drugs, Alcohol OK," The Chief, July 8:

A big part of the reason that kids think that drug and alcohol use is
okay is because of the absurd and hypocritical messages we send them.
The general message from adults to kids hasn't changed in the 36 years
I have been alive: "Do as we say, not as we do."

In any given TV commercial break, we see commercials for alcohol, fast
food, fast cars, and pharmaceuticals for everything from headaches and
menstrual cramps to erectile dysfunction, mixed in with Weight
Watchers and anti-smoking ads and "Don't Drink and Drive" messages. Do
we think that kids don't notice how stupid and contradictory all of
this is?

The worst part is how we lie to kids about cannabis. We tell them that
using cannabis will inevitably lead to the use of heroin and cocaine,
cause schizophrenia, impotence, brain damage, and cancer - despite the
fact that there is no scientific evidence to support this. Once kids
realize that they have been lied to about cannabis, they will
naturally assume that adults are lying to them about everything else
too, and who can blame them? Once bitten, twice shy, as they say. This
puts kids into real danger when they come into contact with truly
dangerous drugs like methamphetamine. "Adults lied about pot, I bet
they are lying about meth too=85gimme a hit."

Our absurd prohibitionist polices, fear-mongering and propaganda have
failed to educate kids properly to keep them away from drugs, and our
legal policies make drugs easier for kids to access than either
alcohol or tobacco. Therefore, it is obviously the fault of adults
that kids use drugs. Adults have failed to keep kids away from drugs,
and adults have failed even more miserably at keeping drugs away from

Russell Barth

Educators For Sensible Drug Policy

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