Pubdate: Sat, 07 Dec 2002
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Peter Urquhart
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


How is it that people such as Judge Cathy Everett -- who are clearly 
ignorant of the relative risks of, and social contexts surrounding, 
recreational youth drug use -- are placed in a position of authority on the 

The facts are these: prohibition of relatively harmless recreational drugs 
such as alcohol, marijuana and ecstasy exacerbate rather than ameliorate 
the social impact of these drugs. The real health risks associated with 
ecstasy use are a source of considerable debate in the medical community. 
Risk reduction in the face of the inevitability of youthful experimentation 
should be a priority (condom machines in high schools anyone?). This is a 
principle accepted by all but a nutty minority when it comes to teen 
sexuality, so why not in all areas of potentially risky behaviour?

Judge Everett demands of the kid, "I want you, at the end of this research, 
to understand why ecstasy is bad. I want you to be an expert on the topic." 
The young man has already exhibited some expertise in the matter, while it 
is clearly the judge who needs to do some research.

Peter Urquhart, Montreal
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