Pubdate: Wed, 04 Aug 1999
Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 1999 Orlando Sentinel
Author: John Chase


To the Editor:

In A July 23 article, Darryl Owens quotes "experts" who make no sense.
I agree with them that we must "value the child and his opinions," but
the way to start is to describe marijuana for what it really is.

To dictate "You must not use it because it is illegal" does not
"undervalue the child." It is honest, and the kids value that. If we
speak the dogma that it is highly addictive and will lead to hard
drugs, they know we are either ignorant or dishonest. Parents do not
have a failure to communicate; they have a reluctance to communicate
dishonestly, and this article does not help.

About 25 years ago, my wife spoke bluntly and honestly to my three
boys that drugs were illegal, and, therefore, they must not use them.
Period. We never got to the merits of the various drugs, who was and
who was not using, etc. Drug use was not negotiable.

We now have three boys in their mid-30s, all with engineering degrees,
all married with children, all working, healthy and happy. Only the
one with the Ph.D. smoked pot for sure. He told us so many years
later. We don't know about the others. We never asked.

Palm Harbor
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