Drug Education Should Reflect Reality Not Deny It

[Fact: Drugs are pervasive in our society and, one way or another, adolescents will be exposed to mind-altering substances.]

It is an unmistakable reality that a significant number of high school students will try marijuana.  According to the recent 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey, nearly 40 percent of all high school seniors admit to having smoked marijuana in the past year – a percentage that has held relatively stable since the study’s inception over 35 years ago.
Some want to use this fact as a justification to deny any opportunity to rationally discuss marijuana, its use, and its risks with children in an open and honest manner.  They think that saying anything about marijuana other than encouraging its total abstinence is condoning its use.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.
When society teaches sex education, are we suggesting that all the teenagers go out and engage in sexual intercourse? No.  Rather, it is an acknowledgement that the best way to reduce the negative effects associated with sex (unwanted pregnancy, STD’s, etc) is through honest, objective information that allow people to understand their options and provides them with the tools they need to make informed decisions.
When we talk to teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving, are we condoning alcohol use among minors?  No, of course not.  It is, however, a reality that many adolescents will a) likely consume alcohol as seniors in high school and b) have access to a car. Yes, we encourage students not to drink. But, we urge them specifically not to drink and drive.
We can all agree that teens should not smoke pot, or be using any mind-altering substances. Those are important, developmental years. Still, teens should be educated regarding how smoking marijuana can affect their body’s development specifically, how to reduce any harms associated with its use, and to distinguish between use and abuse. There should be honest, truthful drug education.
As Kristen Gwynne states in her AlterNet article, “Give young people accurate information, and they will use it to make better decisions that result in less harm to themselves, because teens, like everybody else, do not actually want to get hurt or become addicts.”
She goes on to say, “Giving students honest information about drugs [will]…increase the odds that they will use drugs safely, and reduce the likelihood of experiencing the [relative] harms associated with [it].”
By contrast, the Drug Czar and federal law advocates for complete prohibition, limited information explaining the real effects of marijuana and condemning any opportunity, as Gwynne states, to provide “education that helps teens understand their health options, and ways of reducing the harm of drugs.” When it comes to our children, like everything else we teach in school for development and behavioral growth, drug education should be based in reality, not a denial of it.

In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “If a state expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”



38 thoughts

  1. Back in the day, my generation was told that LSD causes chromosome damage. It turned out that caffeine in the same dosages caused chromosome damage. I never believed another word they told me.
    Lying to children is the WORST thing you can do. Many will assume you are lying about every drug.
    In an interesting aside, I heard Grace Slick do a series of anti-amphetamine messages on the radio. The message sunk home.
    Think about it. I was getting more reliable information from Jefferson Airplane then the people setting drug policy. What’s wrong with this picture?

    The Illegal Herb that Fights Cancer
    Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 07 2011 | 420,850 views
    The Medical Miracle You’ll Get Arrested for Using
    Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 26 2011 | 255,598 views
    The Federal Tort Claims Act or “FTCA”, (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, Title IV, 62 Stat. 982, “28 U.S.C. Pt.VI Ch.171? and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)), is a statute enacted by the United States Congress in 1948.
    The FTCA permits private parties to sue the United States in a federal court for most torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. The FTCA constitutes a limited waiver of sovereign immunity.
    The Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, for the first time, gave American citizens the right to sue the federal government.”

    The primary reason for this communication was to create an awareness of the methods of omission used in this great crime against humanity itself. Now if you look closely you will not find the mentioning of powerful antibiotic actions of marijuana nor will you find the mentioning of the Lyme plague (Lyme disease primarily is treated with powerful antibiotics ) which was so disturbing to myself — you the reader are being directed to these specific omitted facts with all the background provided.
    Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.
    Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa
    The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible.
    Thus the difficult yet apparent facts of this bio weapon being empowered by marijuana Prohibition comes to light. This is the 2012 moment and we have to prosecute this crime.
    By Virginia T. Sherr 7-31-05
    Lyme borreliosis is a brain disease as well as a multisystemic disease caused by spirochetal bacteria.* Quite frankly, it is an infection that has been burdened with a thousand inaccurate medical diagnoses. The manner in which the current pandemic of tertiary Lyme disease, neuroborreliosis, has usually been handled— either angrily dismissed or strangely misdiagnosed–throughout the 30 years following its “discovery,” has blemished the historic excellence of modern American Medicine.
    Losses of acuity in the human brain’s visual cortex have been observed as early as 6 hours following the toxic bite of an infected tick. Lyme may persist after too brief a period of treatment or if there has been no treatment, and may result in chronic infections whereupon Lyme borreliosis becomes a potential cause of every symptom in medical and psychiatric lexicons. It is the “Great Imitator” of this Millennium, spirochetal paresis (neuro-syphilis) having been its precursor and its model.
    Special to AOL News
    (May 28) — We’re in the midst of a terrifying epidemic, although you wouldn’t know it to talk to most doctors and health specialists.
    The disease is growing at a rate faster than AIDS. From 2006 to 2008 alone, the number of cases jumped a whopping 77 percent. In 2008 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 28,921 “confirmed” and 6,277 “probable” cases of the disease, but there could be as many as 420,000 because of underreporting.
    Prominent victims include Parker Posey, Richard Gere, President George W. Bush, Alice Walker and Christie Brinkley.
    If any other disease had stricken so many people, the medical community would be scurrying for knowledge, scrambling for cures or rushing to warn patients (think swine flu).
    But more important is the need for public health community to treat this disease like the epidemic it is, and start putting real resources into educating the public and the medical profession about how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.

  3. My only problem with this article is it starts out “We all can agree teens should not smoke pot…”
    I feel strongly that teens that are undergoing depression for whatever reason (loss of a family member, social outcast, ect) should smoke marijuana. I think it would help prevent kids from going to school and shooting people. I know I went through some dark times as a teenager and had some really bad thoughts, but once I started smoking weed, I had a much more positive outlook towards people and the world. Talking to people didn’t help, it only made it worse. Smoking marijuana helped, and I strongly believe it can help kids who are undergoing extreme stress and / or depression. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with marijuana. To be legalized, sure, it needs to be regulated like Tobacco and restricted to minors, but with parental consent OR a doctor/psychologists/counselors recommendation, a teenager should be able to get “safe” marijuana from a “safe” source and not have to buy it off the street. And it should get recommended to teens who could strongly benefit from it’s use.
    I don’t think all teenagers need to go light up, but they should be able to if they need it.

  4. Children are well more aware of drugs than adults. I think it’s absolutely preposterous that we will allow the advertisement of beer and alcohol like it’s food, and now we’re going to see a block of advertisements of cannabis upon Federal regulation. Alcohol has been a drug since it was first found 1000s of years ago, and it will continue to remain as such F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

  5. You know, the world as we see — reality — is merely a reflection of our consciousness. If we simply believe that cannabis is *already* legal then one day we will see that reality reflect on paper. The government cannot control what we put into our bodies. Just don’t hurt anyone else and you’re fine!

  6. And to all you f’in haters, if we just talk like cannabis IS legal then a bunch of people will think it is. So when they find out it’s not they’re gonna be like, “well what the hell? Why isn’t it”. So damnit, talk like it’s legal!

  7. The ONDCP Reauthorization Act of 1998 H11225 is the law that would allow the National Drug Control Policy to lie and deceive the public.
    Does the ONDCP purposely lie to protect people?
    Is it safe to trust them?
    Is it a lie to believe the ONDCP?
    Please Vote in the primaries.

  8. (Felix) (No) teen should not smoke cannabis unless under the care of a (DOC)Cannabis can have a very bad effect on a person that suffers from a chemical imbalance. It sound like to me u are a very young person that does not under stand what could happen

  9. This new advertising that you put is not the best for our cause.. Ok we need the money from the advs but they should take care and be useful.. This face shown on the ad is not the way we want conservative people to see us.. Completely stoned with these eyes that show the guy nowhere spaced out.. No the ideal med cannabis user has nothing to do with this image and I wonder if an adv like this makes good, (some income) or bad, leting the ennemies say : Our children will look like that if they enter this page and do as they say ? Sorry dear baba cool guys but the ideal user is a shiny spakling person with eyes shining from energy and inspiration and not this zombi type of doing-nothing sitting around type of very red turned off eyes…

  10. I have written a book called Health Food Or Heroin. the main character is a pot smoker. Any one who reads this book will see that the main characters pot smoking wasnt the problem , the problem was he could have ruined his life because of the idiotic marijuana laws. Young people and baby boomers should read my book. Im happy to say readers reviews on Amazon are very positive. Politicians who have smoked pot should stand up and say stop arresting our young people for smoking pot. No one has ever gotten violent behind pot.

  11. how can an 8 hear old drink alcohol in a church (communion) and be protected by their freedom of religious practice when according to the law its criminal for a minor to consume alcohol but when a christian is using the herb cannibas which scripture clearly states in the first page of the christian bible god made for mans consumption is a crime and is not protected by religious freedom. people are in prison with thirty year sentances for practicing their religion with cannibas. i cant even imagine their pain and torment. im not stating this to attack the practice of communion in the christian church but rather the hypocrisy at hand with the herb cannibas.

  12. Nice read, the last paragraph says it all… ‘Drug Czar’,, please, what country is this that even have a CZAR of any kind.. Is that specified in the Constitution?
    — web site issue —
    Is it possible to have the site developer adjust the font on the following css class,, which is the odd comments with the italics font.. it is hard to read.
    class=”comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1

  13. (Douglas)I don’t think you even read my post, and for the record, I’m not a ” very young person that does not under stand what could happen”. The fact is nobody has ever died from smoking marijuana, nobody.

  14. Wishing all a NORML Merry Christmas.
    A simple definition of marijuana will reflect the reality of marijuana better than the current definition. Join the Peloton, and demand this simple definition of marijuana which reflects reality and actually shows respect for our Constitution:
    16. The term ‘marijuana’ means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L.
    For more information, google Talking Points for the Peloton.

  15. Look folks, the “problem” is taking “liberal thinking” too far. The USA government doesn’t have the authority to ban marijuana or any material, unless it is dangerous to the public health. So they pretend it is dangerous in order to maintain control over something they have no rights to. Stop giving the government more rights and controls over us–Please!!!

  16. OK. Happy Holidays. If the advocaty of student
    reason to say the associated mental health uhm
    stunting of the mind with “loco weed” is the.n
    “blaven of truth for the reason of madness” .,
    I know I’m not a money advocate for schizomana
    so what is the Law on Curriculum affected with
    cannabis future of harm reduction as the prior
    ruling of teacher and ‘prep student’ forum on:
    why standard students often want to try ~pot ,
    after drug educated improper thought about uhm
    the comment , drugs feel good .,. and most huh
    students are young and unexperienced enough to
    want to try a bowl or a joint before 17 years:
    Age of the SAMHSA thought on mental developed:
    thought about curricullum as supporting a kind
    of uber student thought on excellence . It’s :
    The Drug Edu Student Forum description as when
    I wrote it in this statement , word-for-word .
    You uhm “you” can’t smoke pot when you are the
    young person in determined education required:
    The Role of Excellence in Curricullum known as
    Clean Mind and Athletic Promise in Ability the
    Role of Those Who will be Our Leaders Industr-
    ious as Role of Gleaning the Populate as Now :
    Industry of Excellence in Meaningful Schoolen.
    Another quote on the promise of Uber Learning,
    ad imposerem , quoted in Teacher’s Handbook :#
    a Forum of Learning State Council about Drugs.
    Gee gosh ., . Who thought of curricullum . . .
    a strict German teacher with taunting learning
    ability to compress curricullum lessons into :
    The Role of Likeness of Diction and Calculus .
    Who fails calculus ., 15 year old assoc.smoker
    of pot ruling to say curriculum will not allow
    cannabis or cannaba to be smoked until we will
    begin Edu2 assoc. humor Manna Teaching known :
    to be : Higher Education private learning with
    forum thought on natural healthy cannaba known
    as Cannaba Educate available before age 20 .,.
    The Oaksterdam Mayor [Trade] College Teacher
    who I know as Oaky is handicapped , intellect
    noted as a decent trade college and Mayoral ,
    former activist ., and he’s nice about pot !!
    When Private Educate rather thn Prep Schools
    begin Cannaba Educate the smartest student at
    Geom Physics and String Theory natural learn
    ~ing known as Edu2 Cannaba Educate may smoke
    a bowl about one gram with supervision . . .
    It won’t occur at Govt 1 [President’s Govern]
    though I digressed {and I got high younger} .
    The reason of uberist problem with pot at the
    young ages of 15 thru 17 is it gives so named
    mental health disorder [is rubbish and grant
    comment for disallowing percentage money at a
    potential non-profit positive activist 501c3]
    {such as environmental or grassroots} and the
    non profit lifestyle prevents money copy .,.
    though mental health pays guardian disability
    so there’s reason for “disorder funding” if a
    less worldly student can’t cope after younger
    years non profit .,. so reasoning is . . . *
    you have to pay for their lifestyle and then
    prevent following generation of student years
    from taking the path of non profit living . .
    Actually , I would tax 1 dollar per 5 grams :
    good quality cannabis [industry] and allow it
    legally smoked at young adult age 20 years .,
    It’s my Tax Act actually . Thanks I suppose .
    And Brandon , in terms of Don’t Be Hatin ‘ .,
    some people guess non profit means advocate ,
    and some advocate are the most uptight at the
    standard of affecting others . It’s a bigger
    thn wanted foundation payout and it harms a
    person smarter thn wanted by embezzle{ing} as
    “advocate funding” as ‘they’ are certainly uh
    NOT non profit and are NOT grassroots . . . .
    as the advocate system is ruined by greedy uh
    embezzlers of word.ed bylaws bordering on the
    sense of extorted funding , ad etcetera . . .
    So I will agree “Don’t be Hatin'” and Thanks ,
    if you are “good” and if yer greedy yer not a
    good person to determine positive thought .,.
    so it continues with oberen curricullum and *
    a sense of loophole ignorance . {sigh} :-! OK
    Allow this comment if you will .,. I’m 🙂 non
    profit and yeah I got high young . . and Ya.,
    my mental health provider is a full idiot to
    his want to provide money “caring” 0M CR@P 🙁
    Thanks and Hooray to Good Tidings and Happier
    New Year to you and your human.ity n Peace !!

  17. …but cannabis legalization may damage the wealth of the buisnessmen who seem to control our government. they already knows that cannabis is safer then any legal forms of intoxicant…so many people still dont know the simple truth about cannabig/hemp hey, what if they take the intoxicant out of cannabis or, be able to limit it and destroy the nature of it and then say,,ok, we will consider legalization…its a damn shame i feel this way about my friggen government.meanwhile, with drug testing the way it is means no herbal enjoyment…is their any new information on saliva testing?please post any info say….in the last year if you would. thanks to norml for your work.and, to you all who are keepin it real…peace to you all…

  18. A single 12 oz can of beer equals the amount of pot one person smokes in a year and that one beer is more toxic then the years supply of a non toxic plant mislabeled a drug.
    Entire war on non violent tax paying voters comes down to legalized treason supported by legalized terrorism based on greed for profit and outright fraud, hence the treason part.

  19. Yes indeed taxman. Why are we putting up with this crap?
    You can say pot is bad till your blue in the face, but the only person you have a right to control is yourself; and your dependents (to a point). Police working to enforce nonsense-laws makes me sick. This is exactly what our constitution prohibits.

  20. The lies perpetauted about Cannabis from the Federal government is outrageous. Please everyone watch the film by Ron Mann, Grass.
    The decades of lies has lowered the credibility of the government to a point of no return, that anyone especially the youth will doubt their every word even when they tell the truth.This is discerning especially when the government is suppose to represent the truth.
    The truth is an apparition to the ghosts of
    American justice.
    Ray DiPasquale

  21. This is something they don’t tell impressionable teens and young adults: illegal drugs make it easier for one to join the military and go to war since it was the end results of illegal drugs being illegal that creates drug money and drug money is way more covert than overt legal money like oil and taxes and donations etc, thus creating 9/11 and 50%-65% of our enemy’s funding in Iraq and Afghanistan (residue and precedents of the Iran-Contra/Russian-Afghan War). It appears that more people die from drugs whom don’t use drugs than whom die from drug overdoses or drugged accidents themselves according to the CIA and DEA and BBC and Al Jazerra etc. Educators failed to mention to the class of May 2001 that drugs would force tens of thousands of young Americans and coalition forces to join the military –since the last major attack from a foreign enemy in the States was in 1812 . . . the DARE program and her uneducated clowns failed to tell little kids that by simply ‘saying no’ to ILLEGAL drugs and yes to PROHIBITION would get them killed or wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan or have them witness parents dragging the torso of littler Iraqi school children after a bomb –a bomb that had the 50-65% probability of being financed by drug money of today or the CIA’s Iran-Contra drug money of the 80’s Iraq-Iran war . . . cops and drug dogs failed to tell them that their job of going to schools and talking about drugs from the prohibitive mindset would send them to war for a year or several years. If oil really did finance terrorism, would we the people in India, Russia, China, America, France, Spain, England, Indonesia, Philippines, Argentina etc not call for a 100% boycott of Middle-East oil and maneuver to biofuels found in thick brush and bushes, hemp, peanuts, sugar-cane and ethanol and CNG? Does it not behoove rich oil men to keep their oil clean from terrorism since terrorism and oil is bad PR and not good business? Even the CIA, U.N., DEA and War College admit drugs are the main culprit to our $2-3 trillion decade plus long war . . . even the ‘Anti-Terrorism’ TV commercials coming out in late 01’ and 02’ admit drug money was the major culprit and covert financial backings . . . even Hollywood and John Travolta have done major motion pictures where the plot was ‘drugs’ equal terrorism. Crack and heroin may be bad for you, but having your legs blown off or seeing lots of dead or tortured and raped young girls who engaged in the ‘illegal’ act of receiving an education might be worse than shooting up a few times or trying pot a few hundred times. It seems like war is a bit more volatile than cooking Meth.

    What is required for people to come together consciously for their own benefit. Ano Ano: The Seed–The Classic Trilogy by Kristen Zambucka enlightens the audience to the core wisdoms of Hawaiian Spiritual Traditions. The title is quite fitting for the circumstance of present and the forum for the discussion as the consequence of a citizens incarceration for providing the greatest wisdom for increasing joy and comfort during the passage of birth old age sickness and death will be embraced within an appropriate consequence in time.
    Hence a great consideration to understand our collective situation is of the highest priority. Marc Scott Emery brings the wisdom of the seed. Jesse Ventura provides the clarity of the unlawful biological war used against North America in the Plum Island Conspiracy via TRUtv along with the Independent movie “Under Our Skin” showing the horrors and criminal results of this very sophisticated organic weapon empowered by the Marijuana prohibition.
    Thus the question of personal self respect and positions of response are forced upon collective society who choose to fight for any intelligent right to life.
    How ironic and necessary is it that the Cannabis Culture Crew is thurst into the position to play Citizen Cop to fix the greatest crime in our living history.
    In Western society we use money to reflect values — where is the money supporting intelligent living citizens prosecuting left over Hitler assassin doctors working for a captured administration?

  23. There is no such thing as drug abuse. How would someone abuse drugs, send them to bed early without their supper? There is such a thing as self abuse, and that can be facilitated by misusing drugs. Nor can there be a war on drugs. War is a clash of wills about who gets what. Again, drugs are chemical compounds. It is past time simple, fact based logic be involved in this discussion. By the way, physiologically, people should avoid all drug use until they are at least 25 or 26 years old.

  24. Your right, drug education would reduce harms associated with substance use.
    The federal government has no interest in harm reduction. They have an interest in squelching accurate information in any form regarding substance abuse so that they can substitute whatever ridiculous inaccuracies/fearmongering tactics they possibly can for solid, legitimate information. They realize that the less taboo drug use becomes, the less power and control they have…and power and control is what they crave most.
    If they cared about education or harm reduction, even in the slightest, chances are that this ridiculous, disgusting, twisted “war” of ours wouldn’t even exist. They made it clear a long time ago what their priorities are, and our health or safety is not one of them.

  25. @Mike:
    “By the way, physiologically, people should avoid all drug use until they are at least 25 or 26 years old.”
    Yeah, like that’s really gonna happen. In a country where a majority of 18-20 year olds have tried cannabis at some point, and nearly 90% of them will drink before age 21. And where exactly is your evidence that cannabis (or alcohol or any other substance for that matter) is worse for an 18 year old than a 25+ year old?
    Other than that, I agree fully with the rest of your comment.

  26. Hi . Green Cross being medicinal cannabis ~pot
    is the advent to health problem on the West uh
    Coast comment on medical practice not being on
    promise of proper ideal to doctoral health as:
    The Setting of Green Cross founding determined
    by the role of improper hospital medication ,.
    makes the deal on Midwest newer “want” for the
    Green Smoke recreational legality to begin as:
    Nation Legal _\|/_ designation 18345.6 will be
    supported by the Obama funding to run for Anew
    second Presidency and would be supported by 🙂
    Ron Paul futures to be popular candidate to be
    adviser to Republican hopeful incumbent Party*
    charismatic leader , Mitt Romney . What did it
    have to do {in this blog} with Higher Educate.
    The role of Green Cross [med mana] isn’t newer
    problem on the West Coast basis to begin medi~
    Cal.if.0r.nia reason to belie hospital abuses.
    Green Smoke Midwest TriCam futures will be the
    newer {[Anew Free Trust]} ideal with designate
    (being designation) 18322.7n8 _\|/_ / ~n^ Bb2.
    Recreation and not bothering germanic learning
    with curricullum {newer curriculum} will be on
    Promise~n Basis to begin Cannaba Educate (*)2.
    When the Midwest futures begin National Accord
    with Tax Act to allow much less money required
    to begin taxation of standard good manna pot :
    the requited tax age of cannabis ‘recipient’ ,
    will be 20 years old if allotted to natural en
    GooD Natured Cannabis Recreation . OK [+] Bb2.
    This will allow Cannaba Educate at Govern[2] :
    not at President’s Government at first ., with
    accord some intellect students who will not be
    willing to subscribe to curricular excellence,
    may learn New Age Geom.et.ry and theoretically
    the newer sciences of 3D+1a+1n String Theories
    and when curricullum begins decriminal _\|/_ /
    we may begin the role of Teacher with Cannabis
    Edu2 online.opt.a.net2 with New Age education*
    rather thn classical doctrinal Germanic [edui]
    curricular problem with oeber excellence OK[+]
    and beginning with alternate government .,. we
    may be the newer educational enlightened _\|/_
    Teacher Command ., to begin younger and Nature
    allocated cannabis education .,. without older
    problem with “loco weed crazied brain develop”
    as the societal ‘bastion of excelled informen’
    as most people who smoked pot younger ,. know:
    it’s all a relaxed seeming strict and martial,
    advised system to oberist Societal ‘drone edu’
    as the problem with education was the delight!
    in egoist compressed theory on the founding of
    curricullum with a hand ruler and some Germana
    who wants to tattle on ‘her subjects of memor’
    so aside from long~winded .,. I’m finished om*
    the premise of Doctor Grammar and her ruler.s.
    Thanks . Allow this written if you will 😀 🙂
    Peace and uhm GooD Weather . Bryan _\|/_ / MW~

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