Opinion Pieces by Brian C. Bennett
The marijuana haiku was originally published in:
C-VILLE Weekly, Nov 19-25, 2002
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Expending resources on the drugwar makes it more difficult to fight the war on terror. But if we are as "successful" fighting the terror war as we've been in the drugwar, we are in very grave danger. Should we spend money trying to stop people from hurting themselves, or spend it trying to stop those attempting to harm us?
Cheech & Chong Medicine or Monty Python Warfare?
How can synthetic THC be an effective Schedule III medicine while natural THC contained in marijuana is classed as a non-medicine in Schedule I?
**College Students and Alcohol: Let's Try Teaching Them
We've been training our kids to be drug users since they were infants. 'Just say no' doesn't work, so why don't we try 'Say yes responsibly' instead?
Don Quixote is Alive and Well
The folk definition of insanity is repeating the same act over and over with the expectation of a different outcome. If the drugwar does nothing else, it should at least convince you that our nation has completely lost its mind.
Drug Czar -- Rumpelstiltskin is Thy Name
Year after year more and more money is spent waging the war on drugs. While the drug czar would have us believe that drug use costs society money, it turns out that his own data indicates it costs much more to wage drug war than the alleged costs to society attributed to drug use.
Drugs Kill People: But Not Very Many of Them
Year after year, America's drug czars raise the alarm over rising numbers of "drug-related" deaths. As it turns out, there really aren't that many people dying from drugs, and most of those who do are actually dying from legal drugs!
Drug Testing Students
If we are willing to hold students at gun point to search them for drugs and force them to submit to urine testing all in the name of "protecting" them, then how far should we go to protect them from cheerleading accidents?
**Drug Testing Students - Letter to the Editor
Appeared in the Chicago Tribune Jul 10, 2002.
"Gateway?" More Like Roadblock
We've been hearing for literally decades that marijuana use is the 'gateway' to the use of more "dangerous" drugs. But when you look at the actual data, the claims just don't measure up.
**‘Good, old days’ of Prohibition not so old after all
This is one of the first letters to the editor that I ever had published. After reading a story about some folks reminiscing about the days of speakeasies and rum running, I just couldn't help myself.
I Want a New Drug
While alcohol continues to take its toll on society, there is a much safer alternative for those disposed to self-intoxication. Oops, it's illegal!
Illegal Drug Use "Causes" Crime -- Right?
Getting to the truth requires the further step of actually looking at the tables and statistics in the study and applying a bit of critical thinking and simple arithmetic.
Kids & Drug Testing
The problem, of course, is that drug tests don't reveal that someone is currently under the influence - they just indicate that a student probably used a drug at some point in time. This action is guaranteed to have at least one unintended consequence: more kids will
use potentially more dangerous drugs instead of smoking marijuana.
Kids & Pot: Scary? Not!
While the hand-wringing and plaintive wails about "the children" continue unabated, the kids themselves seem to be handling their pot use quite well. Not that many young people are actually using marijuana, and among those who do, the "horrors" they've been warned of are laughably inconsequential. When we lie to them about marijuana, how can we expect them to believe us about heroin?
Knowing When to Say When: Game Over in the War on Drugs
Despite the more than 80 years of efforts to prevent Americans from
choosing their recreational intoxicants on their own terms, "illegal" drugs are cheaper, more pure and as available as they ever were to those who wish to use them.
Lies, Damn Lies and Eighth Graders
If the data are to be believed, there is a higher rate of smack heads in elementary school than there is in the population at large. Of course, kids are notorious braggarts, but what "message" are they hearing that makes them brag about heroin use?
Of Vice & Men
Waging a "War on Fat" will be far easier and more cost effective than
waging war against citizens who choose to use the "wrong" intoxicants. For one thing, fat people are easy to spot and most will be unable to run fast enough to escape arrest.
One Man's Medicine
To the DEA, THC is one of the most dangerous and addictive molecules on the face of the Earth. The DEA's position on this "dangerous" substance is completely unclear however and deserves some scrutiny.
**Self-inflicted Highs - Letter to the Editor
In a nation of supposed equals, how are we individually empowered to
punish other citizens for their self-directed acts? Marijuana certainly
causes insanity -- but not among its users.
Sending a Message
Of course, it really gets confusing when an anti-drug commercial plays between two beer commercials - understanding that message is simply well beyond my comprehension.
Three Reasons Why the Drugwar Can Never Be "Won"
Moral inhibitions are a farce in the face of our societal double-standard toward substance use. Massive urinalysis programs and unenforceable laws serve only to make criminals of ordinary people and to deny the right of the majority to self-determination.
Tilting at Pipes
While there are organized groups of fanatics trying to cause us harm, why is the government arresting glass vendors?
**Time for a "War on Fat"
Clearly we will also need a Fat Intelligence Agency, an Office of Fat
Control Policy, and a program of Fat Abuse Resistance Education for
school children to properly fight this new war. You're either with us or against us.
**Today’s Modern "Super-weed"
Don’t lie to your kids and don’t swallow the propaganda -- find out for yourself and tell your kids the truth. The most dangerous thing about today’s super-weed is the same one we faced in our youth: getting caught.
Too Many Wars
For far too long, the media has simply parroted the official lines on the "harms" associated with marijuana -- yet 100 million Americans have personally used it with little to no ill effect. With no end in sight to the real challenges brought by fighting terrorism, it is morally and legally bankrupt to continue supporting the drug war.
Who's Smoking What?
Even if you blamed every violent crime, property crime, drug crime, emergency room drug mention, and drug rehab admission on a different marijuana user, nearly three quarters of them would not be involved in any of those events.
Whose Body is it Then?
In 21st century America, both newspeak and newthink are alive and well. How else can we explain that American citizens no longer view their bodies and minds as their own, but rather act as though "Property of U.S. Government" has been tattooed on their rumps?
Why Anti-drug Advertising Doesn't Actually "Work"
I personally remember being exposed to both the advertising and in-school "training" about illegal drugs. In my case, the result of the anti-drug messages was quite powerful: after being exposed to all the anti-drug talk, I couldn't wait to get high.
**Why Stop Short With Banning Rock Records? - Letter to the Editor
This one was inspired upon hearing the news that some religious group was preparing to hold a festive bonfire using rock and roll records for fuel.
** -- published in mainstream media
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