I was reading a post on Rachele’s blog, http://onedirection.wordpress.com , and it started my thinking about the drug problem in America.

I will try not to get up on my soap box more than once a week.

1) America is not serious about it’s “War On Drugs”.

We promote the use of drugs for a good time in our beer commercials during the Super Bowl.

Our Vigara ads tell young people that taking a drug will lead to better sex.  I understand some men have a problem with ED.  That’s between themselves, their doctor and their loved one.

Any parent that drinks alcohol, or smokes marijuana, in front of their child then tells that child not to take drugs is a hypocrite.

2) My experience with drugs. 

I had two uncles who were alcoholics.  George, “Red”, who died in his 40’s and Francis who died in his 50’s.

Red was a “wild child”.  A great guy but one who liked to fight when he got drunk.  He got kicked out of the Navy because of it.  He lost his job as a long distance truck driver because.  His wife, also an alcoholic, committed suicide.  Red was killing himself every time he took a drink.  His liver finally gave out when he was in his 40’s.

Francis was a gentle soul who was completely defeated by life.  His body gave out when he was in hos 50’s.  His mind gave out well before than.

I started drinking when I was in the Army.  That’s what me and my buddies did.  We’d go into town on R&R, get drunk, and finish the night with a prostitute.  I got Gonorrhea once.  In my last six months of service, while I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, I stop drinking and spent my time immersing my self in the Japanese culture around me.  I had a much better time in those last six months.

I drank and used marijuana when I was into the night club scene in New York.  I had some great times.  There was also one morning when I woke up in bed with a women I could not remember meeting and had no clue how I got there.  I once woke up with no wallet and no money.  I did not need drugs to have a good time.  That was a lesson that took awhile to learn.

After a stressful day at work the first thing I would often did was have a drink to “unwind”.  A good, soaking, hot bath works much better.  After being diagnosed with diabetes I was told I had to stop drinking.  I do not miss it one bit.  I feel stupid when I think of all the money I wasted on alcohol.

3)  America’s War on Drugs.

As long as parents drink, and smoke pot, in front of their children; advertisers promote the use of drugs to make you feel, and look better; as long as poverty strips the young of hope, as long as drug lords can make millions selling their product; this war can not be won.

A) Parents need to create an alcohol, drug free environment in their homes.

If parents aren’t willing to give up alcohol then don’t expect our children to stop taking drugs.  Alcohol destroys lives just like all the other drugs.  Children are not stupid.  They will see their parents say one thing then do another. 

When someone is sick they may need to take persciption medication.  Parents need to make sure their children know why these kind of drugs are needed.  Parents need to show their children that they can have a good time without alcohol or other drugs.

B) Ban the advertisement of all drugs and alcohol from TV, radio, newspapers and all forms of national media.

The Internet, and libaries, provide excellent resources for people to learn about the drugs they are being prescibed.  For people with specific conditions there are support groups.

C)  Reduce Poverty

Losing hope that your life can get better, guilt over not being able to provide for you family are I think the primary reason people living in poverty turn to drugs.  Every child born into poverty needs to have some hope they can build a better life.  Losing this hope leads to crack cocaine.  Parents need the hope that if they work hard enough they can build a better life for their children.  Losing that hope, and the guilt that follows, leads to sticking a needle in your arm.

Money spent trying to stop gangs from selling drugs would probably be better spent on reducing poverty.  We can’t not stop the illegal sale of drugs in 2008 anymore than we could stop the sale of illegal alcohol in 1920.

D) Take the profit out of selling drugs.

I have no good answers for this.

The cost of selling drugs needs to out weigh the profits gained.  The cost for a drug lord is going to jail or being killed by a rival.  Given the millions that can be made selling drugs there will always be people willing to take that risk.

Conclusion 

I can’t make up my mind if drugs should simply be legalized, just like alcohol is.  That may be a practical solution but I hate to think we have reached that point.  America tried to ban alcohol in the 1920’s.  Prohibition did not work.  The only thing it did was created the opportunity for crime lords to get rich.  That is the same case now.

The parents, the advertising industry and our leaders all need to decide if they are willing to pay the price to have a drug free America for our children.

If the country is not prepared to do all things than we might as well just make their use legal.

Tax the sale of drugs just like we do with alcohol.  Use those tax dollars to on poverty programs, or national defense.

I am very interested in anyone else’s thoughts.  I hope you can come up with a better solution than I can.

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