Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Monday, January 10, 2005

LTE: Drug prevalence, a health promotion failure

Letter to the Editor

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Box 1180 #4-154 Middleton Avenue,
Parksville, B.C., V9P 2H2

January 10, 2005.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Drug prevalence, a health promotion failure

Mary Anne Erickson [ Drug-free zones do work, 7 jan 05] pride in her child's school and credit to the police are just good intentions. Erickson's aspirations for drug free environments seem founded on the belief that doing anything at all is better than doing nothing. The writer shares in common with Ms. Erickson the view that school is no place for drugs, but is "Just say no to drugs" working?, evidence suggests otherwise. The bottom line is that the majority of high school youths will go on to try drugs, a statistic that doesn't vary significantly in drug-tested vs non-tested, or DARE, non- DARE schools suggesting it maybe the stakeholders who need a reality check. When we broad-brush drug education and try and reach kids 'ever younger', all we do is create the false illusion that all there peers are doing it and thus incentivise counter productively early drug entry where schools become the social locus. We thus produce the very problem we set out to prevent. When did the Police tell you that?

The POLICE are not educators of note, having little training in the subject and on drug issues are deeply 'politicized by morality' in spite of scientific rigor, best practice and lots of our money. Fortunately, law makers and enforcers are not all incapable of the required critical thinking that we applaud in students (and teachers). That is why organizations such as Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc) came to exist. Educators for Sensible Drug Policy and many other NGO's seek to inform and engage the community on how 'prohibitory practices' invoke dangerous double standards towards alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs and impacts on harm reduction/minimisation efforts in relation to illicit drugs AND other risk taking behaviors. What we have now is mob rule reasoning, failing our students, parents, peers, siblings AND Police!.

Inquiring minds may benefit from seeking out �"Making Sense of Student Drug Testing, Why Educators are saying No." [Gunja, Cox, Rosenbaum, Appel. Jan 04]. Drugs in schools can only be solved by a whole of community re-examination of what works and what doesn't. All indications are for a beyond prohibition approach, empowered and without impediment, enabling a credible integrated 'health promotion' curriculum that incorporates the required knowledge for life, beyond the school gate.

Just say know for life choices!.

--
sig. Blair Anderson,
Educators for Sensible Drug Policy (NZ)
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