Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Don't show me the money

An unsigned opinion piece in the Bay City Times out of Michigan has the right idea when it comes to the federal government's student drug testing grants:
And in Iosco County - hey! - the drug testing would be free.

Tawas St. Joseph Health Systems received $525,000 from the federal government for the program after officials in the Tawas, Oscoda, Whittemore-Prescott and Hale school districts backed the grant application.

Just as we teach our younger children not to take candy from strangers, Iosco County school leaders should think long and hard before they ally with a program that may have unintended consequences.

The federal government's money would be better spent in schools on new education programs about the dangers of drugs. And to enlist parents and the community in the campaign against drug and alcohol abuse.

Too many schools around the country are being baited by the millions of dollars the Drug Czar is dangling in front of them. The money would be better spent on other things (or just left in taxpayers' pocketbooks).

1 comment:

800 pound gorilla said...

What's this about "dangers of drugs" garbage? Drugs don't cause harm; it's the way people misuse drugs that causes harm. If you teach kids how [let's be honest it's limited to those arbitrarily banned and restricted] drugs can singlehandedly ruin their lives you blame irresponsibility on the drugs. If you teach them that certain drugs are more prone to abuse you are lying.

If you are going to teach kids anything useful about drugs we need to firstly acknowledge that the Controlled Substances Act is a hoax. There are no objective measurable standards to any set of restrictions. The controversy over the new "miracle weight loss pill" should highlight this farce.

Secondly we should teach kids that drugs are not the answer. Drugs don't make you better. You don't use drugs to enable a destructive workaholic consumerist lifestyle. The body does all the healing; drugs just force the body to work more efficiently to facilitate the healing.

Thirdly, we should teach kids about WHY drugs work the way they do. Once they understand how drugs work they are better able to utilize them for better health. They can understand why the drugs don't work the way intended. They can also avoid over reliance on drugs to facilitate work, family or social commitments [see Rush Limbaugh]. They can make better choices on using drugs pushed by peers and authority figures [like parents and doctors].

If a little escapism is deemed therapeutic then they can take the proper precautions to ensure that people aren't harmed and responsibilities aren't shirked. Using drugs is never a license for irresponsible behavior nor should it be used as a ruse to avoid personal responsibility for sex in a personal relationship. You can't even begin to teach this to kids if you make these absurd claims about "drugs make you silly". No amount of methamphetamines is going to turn Ghandi into a killing machine - I don't care what the drug czar may claim. Using drugs to bond with friends,colleagues and clients isn't morally wrong - just ask Dick Cheney. Doing it too often can lead to health problems - again, ask Dick Cheney [posterboy of my drug manual].

Drug testing may be a total waste of money - but it is politically correct. At the lower end of the job market it can weed out potential pilferers; it's not about safety - it's about stealing money for overpriced street drugs. It gives parents the illusion that they are doing something positive. If only they were in on the hoax.