Weekly Article Blog
Pastor Dan Hawn publishes a weekly article which is also emailed to members and regular attenders. Let us know if you would like to receive this weekly article via email.
Kids' Brains (Don't) Matter
Lost in the excitement (or disappointment) of the presidential election was the fact that, on November 3, five more states passed measures liberalizing marijuana laws.
A sixth state, Oregon, went even further: Voters in Oregon overwhelmingly approved a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines. Many believe this will lead to other states doing likewise.
How odd that, while our society is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to protect kids’ lungs from a virus (that heretofore has demonstrated minimal effect on young people), we are simultaneously willing to do tremendous damage to their brains by removing the stigma of drug use.
I might use a stronger term than “odd.” How about “stupid”? One critic calls us “the United States of Stupid.”
There are 3 main arguments for decriminalizing recreational drug use:
1. It creates tax revenue for the government. Depending on the state, this can amount to billions of dollars.
2. It reduces certain types of government expenditures, most notably, those associated with the arrest, prosecution, and in some case, incarceration of offenders.
3. It enhances our freedom (personal choice) and doesn’t burden users with an arrest record for the rest of their lives.
Note that 2 of the 3 arguments benefit the government. As far as enhanced freedom, ask an addict how free he or she is.
The main argument against the decriminalization of recreational drug use is that doing so RESULTS IN MORE DRUG USE.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse writes:
“The greatest mortality from drugs comes from legal drugs. The moment you make a drug legal, you’re going to increase the number of people who get exposed to it, and therefore you increase the negative consequences from its use. When you legalize, you create an industry whose purpose is to make money selling those drugs. And how do you sell it? Mostly by enticing people to take them and entice them to take high quantities.”
Marijuana & Kids
Scientists are still studying the long-term effects of marijuana, but the results so far aren’t good. Again, from the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
Marijuana affects brain development [which continues into the 20’s]. When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug has been shown to impair their thinking, memory, and learning ability.
Apparently, kids’ lungs matter, but not their brains.