Doobie or Not Doobie?

LdyLunatic

i wanna be cool too!
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
2,417
Reaction score
233
Indiana -- Every few days, a story comes around that gets stuck in the Google News loop: People keep clicking it, so it keeps coming back, even though the story is days or weeks old. One such story was blessed with the intriguing headlines "50-somethings getting high more" and "Boomers' drug use rises again."
With headlines like that, I barely need an introduction, but if you haven't seen the report yet, use of illicit drugs is down among teens but up -- for the third year running -- among baby boomers. Our parents' drug of choice, not surprisingly, is marijuana.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 4.4 percent of 50- to 59-year-olds have used illicit drugs in the last month, an increase of 2.7 percent since 2002. Teen drug use, on the other hand, declined slightly from 11.6 percent to 9.9 percent.

Of course, these data are only as accurate as you believe them to be. There's a very real chance that these figures are completely meaningless. Consider your own response to a government-drafted survey asking you to "honestly" report your illegal activities. I mean, why wouldn't someone lie?

Nevertheless, the data we have are the data we use, so let's get to the beef. Depending on your interpretation, you might come to the same conclusion David Murray did. Murray is the special assistant to the director for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He sees the glass half-full: "Rarely have we seen a story like this where this is such an obvious contrast as one generation goes off stage right, and entering stage left is a generation that learned a lesson somehow and they're doing something very different." In other words, Murray is very proud of we D.A.R.E. graduates for learning how to just say no. He sees great success in his job: The kids are safer and listening to their parents less than ever.

But let's look at the other data. Overall drug use remains relatively unchanged: "About 19.7 million Americans reported they had used an illicit drug in the past month, which represented a rise from 7.9 percent to 8.1 percent," according to an Associated Press report. The fractional increase is not just related to a rise in parental addicts, but also a bump in the 18-25 demographic, which is traditionally the highest group of all.

What these data are really telling us is that drug use comes with maturity. Users might start later in life, but they'll continue using much longer than the experimental college years. The logical conclusion to be reached is that drug laws need to reflect drug use. Enough people out there have realized that marijuana is not half has dangerous as the government has always told us.

The government is in denial. Marijuana is both available and in demand among mature, responsible adults. Obviously, marijuana use among boomers hasn't caused the economy to screech to a giggling halt; it's time that drug policy reflected reality and the voters' wishes.

Source: Indiana Daily Student (IN Edu)
Author: Kirk Nathanson, Indiana Daily Student
Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Indiana Daily Student
 

Latest posts

Top