Friday, August 17, 2007

The Drug War is working!

I don't know about you, but I'm instilled with a deep sense of trust and respect for our nation's Drug War Czars and Generals when I read headlines like this:
More Kids Say Drugs a School Problem
August 16, 2007

Sixty-one percent of U.S. high-school students say that drugs are a problem in the schools, up from 44 percent in 2002, according to a new survey from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

The Associated Press reported Aug. 16 that 31 percent of middle-school students also cited drugs as a school problem, up from 19 percent in the same time period.

At the same time, however, students' perception of drug use as a problem has waned: 24 percent of those surveyed said it was their top concern, down from 32 percent in 1995. Moreover, about 6 in 10 parents whose kids attend a school with a perceived drug problem said that the goal of creating a drug-free school is not realistic.
Well, look at the good news. At least 6 out of 10 parents don't have their heads up their asses.

As Drug WarRant's Pete Guither likes to say:
Some days it feels like I'm watching a house on fire. And one idiot wants to put it out with a machine gun. The other one wants to use grenades. And I'm standing there with a bucket of water and they look at me like I'm crazy.

Amen, Pete.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Even Customs Agents Hate Souder

Yesterday morning I flew back to Washington, DC from a weekend long Canada SSDP Board retreat in Toronto. Any time I have to go through customs, I know I'll be faced with the inevitable, "What do you do for work?" question at customs. In my seven years working in drug policy, I've never encountered a customs agent who had a problem with my work.

While going through customs yesterday, I told the customs agent where I work and he asked what SSDP does. I explained we were working to overturn a law that denies financial aid to students with drug convictions. The agent raised his eyebrows, looked at me, and responded, "Whoever came up with that law must be out of their mind!" He then went on a rant about how people who are trying to overcome addiction need an education in order to succeed, and that whoever created this law wasn't thinking long term.

Of course, I informed the agent that the man responsible for the law is Representative Mark Souder from Indiana. His reply: "Well, he's not very bright. Good luck with your campaign."

With that, he stamped my passport and wished me a good day.