Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Crack in Grade Seven

I have mentioned before that my son, currently in grade seven, goes to a good school. It is not a private school. It is a small public school on the outskirts of London, Ontario.

When I got home from my office yesterday, my son told me that two grade seven students at his school had been suspended for the possession of crack cocaine. Yes, grade seven. That would make the kids twelve years old.

I personally believe that all drugs should be legal. Prohibiting drugs is about as sensible as liquor prohibition was in the United States in the from 1920 to 1933. It doesn't work. People who want to escape reality will do so, with little regard as to whether their drug of choice is legal or illegal. Just as booze was available if you were willing to pay the right price during prohibition, drugs are available everywhere today.

I believe that spending gazillions of dollars to fight drug wars that can never be won is foolish. That does not mean that I like drugs or that I encourage anyone to take them. Quite the contrary. I have no interest in taking drugs myself, and while I support the right of any individual to do whatever he or she wishes to their body, I think only fools ingest or inject anything which can be harmful or addictive into their bodies. In fact, if you really want to know, I think that anyone who has to resort to drugs, including alcohol, to escape reality to make it through their day, is weak and cowardly. If you don't like your life, change it. Make it better. That means dealing with whatever it is that makes you miserable. Drugs or alcohol may dull your pain or ease your frustrations, but they will do so only temporarily and the underlying problems will still be there to plague you tomorrow.

I am not against having a drink. I am against any form of escapism, especially if the ultimate price might be addiction or death or second-hand misery to family and friends. I have a liquor cabinet stocked with booze of every description and take an occasional drink. Moderation is the key.

I have no reason to believe, at the moment, that my son would be foolish enough to experiment with drugs. Still, as long as drugs and alcohol exist and as long as some people think it is 'cool' to get blotto or fried or high, I am concerned, even if just a little.

Ever since he was a little boy, my son has heard two refrains from me: "Life is tough, kid. Get used to it," and, "Peddes never give up." I want my son to learn to deal with life's inevitable ups and downs, not to try to find ways to escape reality, escape responsibility, escape ever having to make a difficult decision.

I am curious to see now how the school will deal with the situation. I can't imagine the anguish faced by the poor parents whose children are at the centre of the issue. My heart goes out to them and I wish them and their children a speedy and effective resolution.


  1. I am not at all proud to say that my dealer used to be a fourteen year old girl.

    Drugs are all around. In every nook and cranny and every little town. I have met girls and boys from beautiful homes and acreages, back-alleys and alcoholic apartments, mansions, bussed in, chauffer driven.. drug abuse covers all ground.

    It's how they're raised, is what I am told and what I believe. I think you'll have little to worry about with the way you keep your communication open.

    Crack is bad. Crystal Meth is worse. Legal or not.

  2. Penny, you appear to be a very 'together' young lady and if you at one time sampled and then subsequently set aside drugs as a way to make it through your day, then you are special indeed.

    You are right, of course, in that drugs can be found anywhere. I suppose it is just that the shock of that first close brush with something potentially dangerous is something that you can never really prepare for. What I didn't mention in yesterday's post is that my son was approached by one of his classmates who proposed that she be his supplier and she in turn would get the crack from the two students who were suspended.

    Entrepreneurial, eh?