Saturday, May 19, 2007

Street smart narcs

Today, I went to my town's annual Pride Day (an event at which people of all ages wander aimlessly and get free candy from various organizations' or businesses' tables). At the police department's table, they were handing out propaganda. I saw my old DARE officer and greeted him. He appeared to have no idea who in the wide wide world of sports I was. My inner fifth grader felt a little hurt. Rule #1 for public outreach: remember who you're reaching out to. Geez, and I'd looked up to that asshole.

Anyway, they had a couple of pamphlets about drugs. The following is entitled "Street Smart Drug Dictionary."

Among the helpful definitions contained in the pamphlet are:

bong: A large pipe used for smoking drugs.
hit: Crack or marijuana cigarrete to be smoked.
o.z.: One ounce of a drug substance.
pipe: Instrument used to smoke cocaine or other substances.
reefer: Marijuana - also called grass, weed, dope, ganja and Mary Jane.
shrooms: Psilocybin/Psilocyn mushrooms (sold frozen, fresh, or dried)
spliff: Large marijuana cigarette.
tweaking: To be in a state of drug paranoia.
wigging: Odd behavior resulting from the use of mind-altering drugs.

First of all, "Honey, are you tweaking right now?"
"... I'm sorry?"
"You know. Wigging."
"Uhh... Mom, are you on drugs?"

Second, if you can't figure out what is meant by the terms "o.z.", "pipe", and "shrooms", perhaps detective work is not for you.

Third, even if these definitions were 100% accurate, up-to-date, and informative, I don't see the community becoming safer when a bunch of soccer moms know what "dope fiend" means (dope fiend: A person who is drug dependent, according to the pamphlet). I see a rift forming between children and their parents/law enforcement due to distrust and suspicion. Maybe some mutual disrespect developing in response to the parents' initial disrespect. For the few kids who decide to take the pamphlet's advice, I don't envy their unpopularity after they report one or more of their peers.

But that's just my humble opinion, Officer... I'm sorry, what's your name again?

Tomorrow's featured pamphlet: Tell Your Children!

1 comment:

JT Barrie said...

Point of clarification: dependency on drugs has NOTHING to do with the drug and everything to do with what you take the drug for. If the doctor prescribes a medication for you and can't give a reasonable estimate for the end of using that drug - you have a drug dependency. A drug can NOT cause a drug dependency whereas asthma, high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis and other chronic health problems can and do cause drug dependencies.
Of course no one in the mainstream media uses the term correctly or discusses drug dependencies. These are caused by bad lifestyle choices - promoted by authority figures. Things like overwork, personal abuse, and consumerism contribute to the maladies that lead to long-term drug treatment.

A significant number of people can overcome these problems with minimal use of drugs. However it involves major lifestyle changes that reject the "American Dream" of bigger, better stuff that measures your self worth. Promotion of emotional dependency leads to drug dependency and that is a leading Madison Avenue marketing technique. It's a lot safer talking about "dangerous drugs" and bashing street dealers than talking about real dysfunctional behavior of our society.