The Next Generation in the War on DrugsCredit: By Ellis Jackson
The War on Drugs, after over 2 decades, remains very much in the place it has always been in: deadlocked. Perhaps it is because no one believes in this "War on Drugs". Perhaps it's because too many people believe in this "War on Drugs". Perhaps it's because this "War on Drugs" is good at distracting from a much more serious, underlying issue. No one really knows. What is known, however, is that this so-called war is going nowhere fast. There are no victors: as both sides incessantly prattle on, trying to prove their viewpoint. Those in support of drug use continue to fire a fusillade of false "facts" and "benefits" of drug use (and often abuse), and those who are against oppose them with fabricated statistics and caveats about the dangers of such drug use. Children being the spectators of these ridiculous arguments, we expect the youth to succumb to the rhetoric of one side or the other. Many a parent, Health teacher, and D.A.R.E. Advisor hope to inculcate the idea of being drug-free into the young minds that sit before them. The mission is to turn these young students into responsible, self-fulfilled, productive adults right? Yet, in my opinion, I believe there are matters of a greater concern.
Just Say "No"
The Anti-Drug movement has gone from concerned exhortations to flat-out ridiculous, chimerical claims and hatred-infused ultimatums. The Just Say "No" campaign was simple and harmless enough - offering a simple solution to those who wished to stay drug free without having to engage in a heated argument. In the era of the 2000s, Government propaganda deprecating the use of drugs exploded. Every time you watched television you could count on seeing one of these "Above the Influence" commercials. What worries me, though, is the fact that so much manipulation seems to almost have the opposite effect. These parents, Health teachers, D.A.R.E. Advisors are trying to define whom their kids and students are, and what they will become. The scary part is the forcing of this manipulation by any means necessary. This mindset has created the media storm of fallacies that constitute such Anti-Drug programs as "Above the Influence". Above the Influence is not the Anti-Drug, it is the Anti-Thought. To really be "Above the Influence" and make a real decision? Try staying below the influence that the manipulative phantasm "Above the Influence" presents.
I Declare War
The choice is yours. I, myself, do not use drugs and I honestly believe I can owe that to the fact that I didn't listen to all the Government propagated bull. I thought for myself, and came up with my own reasons (instead of the usual "It's harmful for your health" nonsense, so are many other things). Especially for a small-time drug like Marijuana I am against using health as a reason, as the health effects are usually minor. Here are my reasons against it:
Lie to Kick It: Often times, Marijuana has many lives attached to it - yes, it is part of a war. Not a War on Drugs, but a War on Poverty. The weed in that joint you just smoked? The efforts of a Colombian man drug dealing to reclaim his son may have obtained it. Now that sounds a bit farfetched, but on any level something like that happens all the time, and on a larger scale. That's something I could never ignore if I were to indulge in an activity that would only potentially benefit myself. I couldn't sacrifice someone's well-being for a possible short-lived euphoria.
"F" is for Fun: I find pretty much anything else I could do more fun. In the same way that I find 95% of Video Games boring and a waste of time, I feel Marijuana is exactly that - boring and a waste of time. Besides, I'd rather remember my fun experiences.
I'm Me: I hold myself responsible for all that I think, say, and do. Influenced by Marijuana, I would be forgetting some things that I had done and that may include interfering with someone else's life. Potheads like to say that the amount of people whom Marijuana has killed is 0, but that's part of the fusillade of bull used as support that I mentioned earlier. I can think of 4 people already who would be alive had they not been high.
You Can't Handle the Truth
Those are my reasons. I don't foster hatred or condescending judgment towards those who smoke Marijuana. As for drug abusers? That's a whole different story. The truth is that whether you wish to adopt a cavalier attitude towards drug use or vehemently oppose it, kids are not robots. They will form their own opinions. Letting lies have clout over them will only encourage them to discover the truth. Should they constantly question what the truth actually is? The T.R.U.T.H. campaign against tobacco, I believe, is a good model. They give the facts, and it's up to you to decipher the rest. If this "War on Drugs" is to go anywhere, give the kids the facts...see where they take it.