Drug Education Should Reflect Reality Not Deny It

  • by Sabrina Fendrick December 23, 2011


    [Fact: Drugs are pervasive in our society and, one way or another, adolescents will be exposed to mind-altering substances.]

    It is an unmistakable reality that a significant number of high school students will try marijuana.  According to the recent 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey, nearly 40 percent of all high school seniors admit to having smoked marijuana in the past year – a percentage that has held relatively stable since the study’s inception over 35 years ago.

    Some want to use this fact as a justification to deny any opportunity to rationally discuss marijuana, its use, and its risks with children in an open and honest manner.  They think that saying anything about marijuana other than encouraging its total abstinence is condoning its use.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

    When society teaches sex education, are we suggesting that all the teenagers go out and engage in sexual intercourse? No.  Rather, it is an acknowledgement that the best way to reduce the negative effects associated with sex (unwanted pregnancy, STD’s, etc) is through honest, objective information that allow people to understand their options and provides them with the tools they need to make informed decisions.

    When we talk to teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving, are we condoning alcohol use among minors?  No, of course not.  It is, however, a reality that many adolescents will a) likely consume alcohol as seniors in high school and b) have access to a car. Yes, we encourage students not to drink. But, we urge them specifically not to drink and drive.

    We can all agree that teens should not smoke pot, or be using any mind-altering substances. Those are important, developmental years. Still, teens should be educated regarding how smoking marijuana can affect their body’s development specifically, how to reduce any harms associated with its use, and to distinguish between use and abuse. There should be honest, truthful drug education.

    As Kristen Gwynne states in her AlterNet article, “Give young people accurate information, and they will use it to make better decisions that result in less harm to themselves, because teens, like everybody else, do not actually want to get hurt or become addicts.”

    She goes on to say, “Giving students honest information about drugs [will]…increase the odds that they will use drugs safely, and reduce the likelihood of experiencing the [relative] harms associated with [it].”

    By contrast, the Drug Czar and federal law advocates for complete prohibition, limited information explaining the real effects of marijuana and condemning any opportunity, as Gwynne states, to provide “education that helps teens understand their health options, and ways of reducing the harm of drugs.” When it comes to our children, like everything else we teach in school for development and behavioral growth, drug education should be based in reality, not a denial of it.

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “If a state expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”



    38 responses to “Drug Education Should Reflect Reality Not Deny It”

    1. […] Drug Education Should Reflect Reality Not Deny It We can all agree that teens should not smoke pot, or be using any mind-altering substances. Those are important, developmental years. Still, teens should be educated regarding how smoking marijuana can effect their body’s development specifically, how to reduce any harms associated with its use, and to distinguish between use and abuse. There should be honest, truthful drug education. […]

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      Back in the day, my generation was told that LSD causes chromosome damage. It turned out that caffeine in the same dosages caused chromosome damage. I never believed another word they told me.

      Lying to children is the WORST thing you can do. Many will assume you are lying about every drug.

      In an interesting aside, I heard Grace Slick do a series of anti-amphetamine messages on the radio. The message sunk home.

      Think about it. I was getting more reliable information from Jefferson Airplane then the people setting drug policy. What’s wrong with this picture?

    3. Eric Byers says:

      I could not agree more. That would be a step in the right direction.

    4. RG says:



      The Illegal Herb that Fights Cancer
      Posted By Dr. Mercola | May 07 2011 | 420,850 views


      The Medical Miracle You’ll Get Arrested for Using
      Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 26 2011 | 255,598 views


      The Federal Tort Claims Act or “FTCA”, (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, Title IV, 62 Stat. 982, “28 U.S.C. Pt.VI Ch.171? and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)), is a statute enacted by the United States Congress in 1948.

      The FTCA permits private parties to sue the United States in a federal court for most torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. The FTCA constitutes a limited waiver of sovereign immunity.
      The Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, for the first time, gave American citizens the right to sue the federal government.”


      The primary reason for this communication was to create an awareness of the methods of omission used in this great crime against humanity itself. Now if you look closely you will not find the mentioning of powerful antibiotic actions of marijuana nor will you find the mentioning of the Lyme plague (Lyme disease primarily is treated with powerful antibiotics ) which was so disturbing to myself — you the reader are being directed to these specific omitted facts with all the background provided.

      Cannabis plant extracts can effectively fight drug-resistant bacteria.
      Antibacterial Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa

      The audience of the communication has at length in time now been exposed to the Lyme plague instrumented by the United States Government and their facilitating agents. The email sent out by Joseph Mercola clearly demonstrates the aggressive actions by the criminal parties which must be responded to with every action possible.

      Thus the difficult yet apparent facts of this bio weapon being empowered by marijuana Prohibition comes to light. This is the 2012 moment and we have to prosecute this crime.

      By Virginia T. Sherr 7-31-05

      Lyme borreliosis is a brain disease as well as a multisystemic disease caused by spirochetal bacteria.* Quite frankly, it is an infection that has been burdened with a thousand inaccurate medical diagnoses. The manner in which the current pandemic of tertiary Lyme disease, neuroborreliosis, has usually been handled— either angrily dismissed or strangely misdiagnosed–throughout the 30 years following its “discovery,” has blemished the historic excellence of modern American Medicine.

      Losses of acuity in the human brain’s visual cortex have been observed as early as 6 hours following the toxic bite of an infected tick. Lyme may persist after too brief a period of treatment or if there has been no treatment, and may result in chronic infections whereupon Lyme borreliosis becomes a potential cause of every symptom in medical and psychiatric lexicons. It is the “Great Imitator” of this Millennium, spirochetal paresis (neuro-syphilis) having been its precursor and its model.

      Special to AOL News
      (May 28) — We’re in the midst of a terrifying epidemic, although you wouldn’t know it to talk to most doctors and health specialists.

      The disease is growing at a rate faster than AIDS. From 2006 to 2008 alone, the number of cases jumped a whopping 77 percent. In 2008 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 28,921 “confirmed” and 6,277 “probable” cases of the disease, but there could be as many as 420,000 because of underreporting.

      Prominent victims include Parker Posey, Richard Gere, President George W. Bush, Alice Walker and Christie Brinkley.

      If any other disease had stricken so many people, the medical community would be scurrying for knowledge, scrambling for cures or rushing to warn patients (think swine flu).

      But more important is the need for public health community to treat this disease like the epidemic it is, and start putting real resources into educating the public and the medical profession about how to identify it, treat it, and prevent it.

    5. The Bob of S.C. says:

      It’s so much easier to use truth then lies and have it not slip back on you.

    6. Felix says:

      My only problem with this article is it starts out “We all can agree teens should not smoke pot…”
      I feel strongly that teens that are undergoing depression for whatever reason (loss of a family member, social outcast, ect) should smoke marijuana. I think it would help prevent kids from going to school and shooting people. I know I went through some dark times as a teenager and had some really bad thoughts, but once I started smoking weed, I had a much more positive outlook towards people and the world. Talking to people didn’t help, it only made it worse. Smoking marijuana helped, and I strongly believe it can help kids who are undergoing extreme stress and / or depression. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with marijuana. To be legalized, sure, it needs to be regulated like Tobacco and restricted to minors, but with parental consent OR a doctor/psychologists/counselors recommendation, a teenager should be able to get “safe” marijuana from a “safe” source and not have to buy it off the street. And it should get recommended to teens who could strongly benefit from it’s use.

      I don’t think all teenagers need to go light up, but they should be able to if they need it.

    7. Brandon says:

      Children are well more aware of drugs than adults. I think it’s absolutely preposterous that we will allow the advertisement of beer and alcohol like it’s food, and now we’re going to see a block of advertisements of cannabis upon Federal regulation. Alcohol has been a drug since it was first found 1000s of years ago, and it will continue to remain as such F.O.R.E.V.E.R.

    8. Brandon says:

      You know, the world as we see — reality — is merely a reflection of our consciousness. If we simply believe that cannabis is *already* legal then one day we will see that reality reflect on paper. The government cannot control what we put into our bodies. Just don’t hurt anyone else and you’re fine!

    9. Brandon says:

      And to all you f’in haters, if we just talk like cannabis IS legal then a bunch of people will think it is. So when they find out it’s not they’re gonna be like, “well what the hell? Why isn’t it”. So damnit, talk like it’s legal!

    10. fishcreekbob says:

      Otherwise just tell the truth.