Pubdate: Sat, 17 Dec 2005
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Russell Barth


I applaud anyone's efforts to keep kids away from drugs, but Bill
Norris' assertion that we need to "scare" kids away from drugs is not
only ineffective and backwards-thinking, it is dangerous ("How To
Scare Youngsters Away From Drugs," Letters, Dec. 13). My father tried
to put the fear of street drugs into me as a teen. The result was a
10-year battle with prescription drug dependence in my twenties.

Sowing the seeds of knowledge will bear healthier fruit than sowing
the seeds of fear. The one and only way to keep kids from using drugs
is to teach them the plain straight truth with no dogma, hyperbole,
and right-or-wrong judgements. When kids are shown the actual truth
about things, they are more likely to make sensible choices. They are
also a lot more likely to believe adults when we talk about safe-sex,
safe-driving, weapons, and extreme sports. For information on how to
teach kids the straightforward truth about drugs, check out the
Educators For Sensible Drug Policy website at

Russell Barth, medical marijuana license holder; former speakers'
bureau co-ordinator, Educators For Sensible Drug Policy; former
federal Marijuana party candidate, Ottawa 
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