Pubdate: Mon, 24 Jan 2005
Source: Labradorian, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2005 The Labradorian
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


The idea that drugs are permeating our schools was thrown to the
public forefront last week largely due to an incident in St. John's
that resulted in a pair of Junior High students being sent to hospital
after smoking what was thought to be contaminated marijuana.

Parents, teachers, interest groups and school board officials alike
came forth in droves with concerns about the idea of drugs getting
into our school system and they offered all kinds of measures as to
what could be done to prevent the problem

Unfortunately, for all of you under the impression this is a new
thing, perhaps you'd better sit down. Preventing drugs from actually
getting in schools is a foregone conclusion -- they're already there
in a big way.

We know this because we've seen it first hand over the last 10 years
or so.

At High Schools, it's been a common practice for kids to head outside
during recess or lunch break to share a joint, usually consisting of
hashish or marijuana, although cocaine and ecstasy have become
frighteningly popular and more available in recent times.

The smell of leather jackets, cold air and weed still permeates our
nostrils today. Over the past 10 years, of course, the industry has
grown significantly, to the point where drugs are almost as readily
available as fresh air.

This is not the movies. You won't find some trench-coated shady
character with a maniacal laugh sneaking onto school grounds pushing
his product on kids -- that's not how this stuff works today.

Most of the potheads we knew simply went to their favourite dealer
after school to stock up. It's a consumer-retail based market nowadays
- -- simple supply and demand. People have a desire to consume
something, so they go out and buy it. There is no need for aggressive
marketing (pushing) on the part of the dealer.

So how can we combat the problem?

Short of handcuffing a child to the bed at home, there is really
nothing parents can do to stop kids from being around the stuff or
even experimenting -- sooner or later, they ALL will, no matter how
stern and determined you are.

The only option you have, horror of horrors, is to actually talk to
your kids in an open and frank manner.

However educated kids are about their choices is however intelligent
they will be in making them.

How many, we wonder, will be well-versed enough to know the stuff
isn't really that good for you and not make it a habit? How many will
not be so well-versed and go on to make drugs their social calling
card? Although the terminology might be a little different in today's
school system, there will always be nerds, jocks, preppies and
druggies -- you can bet the farm on it.

Which group will your child fall into? It's really up to you.

We have choices. We can leave these decisions to over-educated
bureaucrats with psychology degrees who have no comprehension
whatsoever of what's going on at the ground level in the school, or we
can be proactive with our own kids and make sure they are very
well-informed about what's out there and what their options are.

One choice we don't have is closing our eyes, plugging our ears and
hoping it simply goes away.

We can't totally prevent drugs from being available and we will have
increasing difficulty keeping it out of the schools. But we can
prevent our kids from walking into the drug maelstrom like the
proverbial prom-night virgins, unaware of the demons that await them.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say.

Where do you think a gram of weed fits on that scale?
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