DRUGS, ALCOHOL DISTORTIONS
The opinions expressed in blog posts are those of the author and not necessarily those of YouthFacts.org
Now the president is blaming teenagers for America’s drug abuse crisis that in reality is centered in middle age. Are adults responsible for anything anymore?.
Lying about teenagers isn’t “responsible marijuana legalization.” California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom fans phony anti-youth panic in his campaign to legalize weed for grownup partying.
The “pot talk” is another hypocritical evasion. Cajoling, punishing, and “educating” teens to abstain from everything isn’t just futile, it’s another excuse for not confronting irresponsible behaviors by grownups themselves.
California reform cuts simple marijuana arrests 86%–without imposing age limits. What on earth do drug reform groups do to refute drug warriors’ alarms that legalizing marijuana will lead to (gasp) more terrifying pot smoking by YOUR teenager? California now provides an answer. Its 2011 reform reducing simple marijuana possession to a mere citation comparable to jaywalking for all ages allowed teens access to quasi-legal weed on the same basis as adults. Instead of baking their way to oblivion, California teens displayed the lowest rates of crime, other drug arrests, school dropout, pregnancy, and general problems in 2011 on record–and none of the terrible outcomes drug warriors predicted.
Washington’s and Colorado’s marijuana legalization schemes are no model for California. Legalization of marijuana use for adults in Washington and Colorado doesn’t “end the war on marijuana” as advocates insist because pot users under age 21–the forgotten group that comprises half of all marijuana possession arrests–will continue to suffer criminal arrests carrying incarceration and costs of up to $5,000. In contrast, California’s age-neutral reform shows that decriminalizing marijuana should include young people, not perpetuate their arrest and punishment so that grownups can enjoy legal highs.
“Underage” alcohol use: A civil rights issue? The United States’ high 21 drinking age and repressive approach to forced rehabilitation helps explain why we suffer among the highest addiction rates in the Western world.
“Alarming” CASA study linking teen social media use, TV watching, and drug/alcohol use may have been rigged. After using crudely fraudulent methodology to rig yet another overwrought junk study—this one claiming that Facebook, MySpace, “Skins,” “Gossip Girl,” and other social and popular media impel teens to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco—it is time for funders, Columbia University, political authorities, and the news media to shun Joseph Califano, Jr., and his anti-scholarly Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) and end the influence of this tirelessly senseless crusade to malign young people and warp sensible drug policy.