Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jan 2013
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 2013 New Haven Register
Author: Bill O'Reilly


IF you have kids, you most likely prayed hard that they would avoid
drugs and alcohol. Once a child becomes intoxicated, childhood is over.

A sane society discourages substance abuse, if only to protect
children. A sane society does not put a happy face on

We are not a sane society.

With almost 30 million Americans categorized as "substance abusers,"
you would think Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign, which launched
in 1983, would be resurrected. But in 2013, saying yes to whatever you
want to do is the rule of the day.

Washington state and Colorado have legalized marijuana, and many
Americans are celebrating.

The usual excuses are put forth: It's a freedom issue. We can tax it
to gain revenue. It will get criminal elements out of it.

The truth is that legalized drugs of any kind brings massive
unintended consequences.

In Holland, so many problems arose from pot being sold in shops that a
law denying it to foreigners was passed.

The Netherlands recently passed a law forbidding use of pot by
children in school. Some of the urchins were getting high between
classes. One teacher told the press it's hard to stop that when pot is
being sold legally across the street.

Portugal made all drugs legal, and drug-related homicides have
increased by 40 percent. Drug overdoses are up 30 percent. In
Switzerland, drug-related deaths doubled and the health care system
was overwhelmed after heroin was made legal in Zurich. The law was

Here, we are bullish on pot. The media, in general, see marijuana as a
harmless diversion. If you are down on pot, you are uncool.

I'll risk the stigma. According to the federal government, 8,400
Americans begin using drugs every day, half of them under age 18. And
68 percent of drug addicts begin with marijuana. Get the picture?

Celebrate the pot culture if you want, but you are not helping kids by
taking the high road.

Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News Channel show "The O'Reilly
Factor." His column is distributed by Creators Syndicate, 5777 W.
Century Blvd., Los Angeles 90045. 
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