Friday, May 25, 2007

Brave kid.

Nothing really bothers me about 11-year-old John Martin's DARE essay. It actually makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy that he has an outlet to tell his story about his dad's drug abuse problem, his conflicting feelings of love and anger, and how he finds his personal strength. I really can't criticize a healing process, especially when a kid has the guts to undertake one, so power to him.

That said, it would be nice if any set of policies could prevent individuals, kids, and families from being victimized by drug addiction. As long as there are drugs and families, there will be families rendered dysfunctional by drug addiction (although it's worth mentioning that Martin's father is guilty of violent crimes as well). Even though he's become a poster boy for the DARE program, John Martin falls onto the list of people whose lives would very probably be vastly improved by the repeal of drug prohibition. Encouraging people to be drug free does not change the fact that good people still use drugs, does not help those who become addicted, does not reduce their access to dangerous drugs like crack, sends addicts to prison, and increases the type of criminal activities that rightfully send people to prison - not because drugs make people criminally insane, but because that's how they roll on the black market. Not to mention that the DARE scare tactic approach, those offensive ads featured in the action alert above, and prohibition as a whole have not proven effective in decreasing drug use.

John's personal decision to remain drug free is admirable (as most sincere choices based on rich experience and deep personal truths are), and no one knows the extent to which different policies would help him and his family specifically. What we do know is that the drug-free America strategy fails countless families like his. We are working for those families, even when their children are understandably recruited by the other side.


JT Barrie said...

It's all about false associations. They dredge up extreme case of drug abuse as justification for policy. Viewers and listeners associate use with that rare abuse. Parents use that tactic to justify their restrictive policies. When confronted about this they give the example of another household whose behavior is hedonistic and destructive. When given the alternative of total irresponsibility and micromanagement of your life, most kids will take the micromanagement.
We get this in the kidnapping of innocent civilians. If we don't do this we will enable violent terrorists to operate freely and inflict violence on many other innocent people. Of course we tolerate abuse of innocents to protect ourselves from the harm of the few extreme people! It's the favored "tactic of the abuser" and it has worked for centuries. Find a suitable villain and insert yourself as a contrast and people will overlook your own acts of villainy.

Anonymous said...

Great blog.

Indocrination begins young and is hard to shake, ask North Korea.

As a defense lawyer/former prosecutor I can tell this kid that staying drug free is a great choice because we are building new prisons every day to warehouse those who don't.

And we are stripping away the Bill of Rights to make it easier to catch the innocent and the guilty.

Can I plug my blog?