Pubdate: Wed, 06 Nov 2002
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2002 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.
Author: Amy Stolecki


Efforts to combat drug use among the young have failed (Gazette, Nov. 2 
"War on teens using drugs going up in smoke") because we have deceived 
children in what has turned out to be a campaign of disinformation. The 
kids know it and have ceased listening to us.

When educating children about alcohol, we explain the difference between 
responsible drinking and alcohol abuse. Yet, we make hardly any 
distinctions when it comes to other drugs. All illegal drugs are evil, 
claims the Just Say No doctrine, lumping marijuana and crack cocaine into 
the same category. However, teenagers who experiment with marijuana 
immediately realize what science has already told us - that it isn't quite 
as dangerous and addictive as educators claim. So why should kids believe 
anything we tell them about cocaine and heroin?

Educators need to regain their credibility by telling teenagers the truth 
about drugs instead of insulting their intelligence with simplistic, 
bogeyman-type tales.  Without that trust, the War on Drugs is doomed to fail.

Amy Stolecki

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