Pubdate: Mon, 02 Aug 2010
Source: Ashland Daily Tidings (OR)
Copyright: 2010 Ashland Daily Tidings
Author: Zoe Abel


To be honest, it's hard for me to work up a great amount of anger or
condemnation toward the five people indicted in the recent opium bust
here in Ashland. Of course, I don't feel sorry for them, either. Those
five people made a choice, but that choice was certainly affected by
the large number of people who are willing to buy illegal drugs.

People are always willing to pay for a service, including the service
of growing opium, psilocybin mushrooms, and marijuana. I don't do
drugs. I don't snort them, smoke them, inject them, or ingest them. In
fact, I try to avoid most illegal activities (except a little
jay-walking here and there, and of course the time I was speeding in a
school zone).

I am far from a perfect human being though, and I can sympathize with
the idea of compensation for service; I regularly offer to pay my
sister to clean my kitchen. I have no idea how the kitchen gets dirty
since I only have the vaguest of memories of the last time I cooked

I feel just as much anger and frustration with people who do drugs, or
look the other way as their children do drugs, as I do with the people
growing the drugs. If you are smoking marijuana, and think your kids
won't notice, or if your kids are smoking marijuana and you decide to
brush it off as an "everybody experiments" type of thing, then you are
contributing to the drug problem.

When I was in high school, I knew of homes were underage drinking was
allowed, I knew kids who smoked marijuana with their parents, and I
attended school events with kids who were under the influence. I was
not a perfect high school student; I may have done a little of this
and a little of that, but I certainly did it at the risk of being in
some major trouble with my parents if they found out. I also strongly
believe that just because I did something when I was 16 does not give
my son a free pass to do the same thing when he's older. I want to
optimize every opportunity that Silas has for leading a healthy life,
and for achieving a successful future.

I think the new drug and alcohol policy for student-athletes at
Ashland High School is great. I'm happy to see that local businesses
are going to reward student who choose to be drug and alcohol free.
When I was in high school, I often heard people justify their
substance abuse with the excuse of "there's nothing else to do in Ashland."

Students, I ask you, what are you looking for? Is it free movie
passes; is it a bowling alley in town; discount passes to Mount
Ashland? Name your price, and I promise that there are adults all over
town who would work hard toward that kind of a goal for you.

The one thing that I would add to the student-athlete drug policy
pledge card for the parents is that not only would students not be
allowed to use drugs in the home (as the current pledge reads), but
that all adults in the home would abstain from illegal drugs as well.

As much as I am against illegal drugs, I do believe there are
legitimate medicinal uses for marijuana.

There are also legitimate medicinal uses for Oxycontin, that doesn't
mean my doctor will prescribe it to me for my occasional head cold and
menstrual cramps. If households in Ashland are willing to turn their
heads to the fact that marijuana is illegal, let's at least keep in
mind that it is a drug, and like all drugs can be dangerous and have
serious side effects.

Zoe Abel is at home ingesting her favorite drug of choice; cheesecake.
You can contact her once she comes off her sugar high  ---
MAP posted-by: Matt