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Monday, October 6, 2014

"What About The Children?" - by Chuck Ream

     My life has revolved around children, with three excellent grown ones of my own. I loved teaching kindergarten for 33 years. Nothing is more important to me than the safety of children.


     When all the lies about the danger of Marijuana have been debunked (there is no murder, insanity, and death, it doesn’t kill brain cells, or make men grow breasts, or harm chromosomes, or cause schizophrenia) the last gasp of prohibitionists is “We must protect the children!”


     Then they create a society where children are lied to about drugs and plants, constantly threatened with police action, and arrested if they step out of line. The result?  We have more drug abuse, addiction, and prisoners than nearly any other nation.
 

     Getting arrested and having a criminal record damages a young person’s life more than marijuana ever could. Ann Arbor adopted its “$5 fine” punishment for pot in 1972 specifically to protect its top level young people.
 

     “Marijuana” is foolishly categorized with the most dangerous drugs (in Schedule 1). When young people learn that marijuana is fun and harmless, they naturally assume that hard drugs are manageable too. That dangerous false belief creates teen addicts and unhappy families. It also creates generations of young Americans who are fully aware that their government will maintain a huge lie about pot and wreck their lives if they don’t buy into it.
 

     Their old assertion that “pot causes schizophrenia” was falling apart - so the prohibitionists trotted out a “teen brain” study from New Zealand which purports to show long term harm. Statisticians have already punched big holes in the New Zealand data, and there are many other large studies which show no diminution of IQ or cognitive ability over a lifetime of very heavy use. Many of the Ann Arbor pot users I knew as teen now have doctoral degrees. (But prohibitionists say, “that’s only anecdotal”.)       
 

     Children are often foolhardy but less often stupid. Do young people appreciate being lied to? Do they enjoy being hunted; always feeling tense or angry at having to live in fear of the police? Do we want our children pee tested and harassed, maybe arrested and stigmatized, -  while the critical problems of human need and the stainability of our civilization are ignored?
 

      In reality cannabis has been the helper of mothers and children for millennia, from childbirth onward. A Jamaican mom might provide a ganja leaf tea to her kids as a ‘”tonic”. Cannabis tinctures were specifically made in the United States for infants.
 

     So, what about those pesky teenagers? Shedler and Block followed 101 subjects in California from age three to age eighteen. They found that “adolescents who occasionally used drugs were healthier than both drug abusers and drug abstainers”, and that drug abusers “had distinct behavior problems that were identified years before their drug use began” .
 

     There is nothing more sanctimoniously evil than using “the children” to justify cultural war and building the police state. It degrades their chance for a wholesome future. It is the last thing they need or want, and guarantees that the real future needs of the world they are to inherit will be ignored. Kids everywhere want a free, healthy, happy world where people are making improvements in their basic quality of life. Instead we pontificate and lie to them. School funding must be cut so we can build more prisons for when they get older.     
 

     Don’t whine about “the children”. Why not attack the evil American drug war which is laying in wait to wreck their family. Hundreds of thousands of dearly loved and loving children never get to play catch with dad, or to be tucked into bed at night by mom, because our substance based fascism (our “American Pharmacological Inquisition”) has put mom or dad in prison.
 

     And now we kidnap the children themselves, right here in the USA! Your children can be stolen by the state and put in foster care because you enjoy a plant! Our beloved nation has been hijacked by the “brain police” (Zappa).  It’s time for people who really do love children to rise up, fight back, and tell the police state “we are not raising our children to fill those prisons you build”!
 

      When allegations of pot smoking are introduced pot smokers often lose their children in custody battles, and are denied visitation rights; even if their parenting is perfect.
 

     Many drugs could tend to produce bad parents.  Pot, however, improves your “patience” and makes the “here and now” world of children involving and fun. We may have nothing today that is as effective for “colic”, or for making upset babies happy.              

     There is no evidence that the “secondhand smoke” of pot could damage children, unlike with tobacco. Pot influences one to linger in play with children, rather than “getting back to work”. Many potheads would agree with Dr. Grinspoon’s dedication in his definitive masterpiece “Marijuana Reconsidered”, “Children are the greatest high of all”!

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