“We Gotta Do This For Our Kids.”
There you have it, the master slogan, the sound bite of sound bites, which every form of demagoguery and repression must eventually come round to. And as Americans increasingly turn away in disgust from the war on marijuana, we can expect those who want to prolong the conflict to rely on this sturdy slogan more and more. After all, it’s hard to argue against wanting the best for the next generation.
So let’s be fair and examine some of the drug war’s wonderful benefits for our children and young people.
Listen up, kids, this is for you.
TOTAL RECREATIONAL ACCESS: Kids themselves, when surveyed, report that pot is easier to score than booze: no need for IDs and no pesky age restrictions. Is that a good thing? Well, heavy pot-smoking may not be the best thing for the still-developing teenage brain (research is not yet conclusive), and high-schoolers have a marked tendency to binge out on anything they get their hands on. At any rate, it’s certainly not the outcome that was advertised.
LIMITED MEDICAL ACCESS: A number of conditions successfully treated with marijuana also occur in children and young adults. But any attempt to have a minor child treated with marijuana puts the parents at risk of charges ranging from child endangerment to corrupting the morals of a minor.
NO COLLEGE FOR DOPE SMOKING CRIMINALS: The Drug-Free Student Loan Act of 1998 specifies that no federal money may be used to fund scholarships for any student convicted of a drug offense, including marijuana possession. (However, if it’s rape or murder, you can still get the scholarship. I’m not making this up.)
LIFELONG UNEMPLOYMENT: Employment applications almost always have a little box to check if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, like for instance, marijuana possession. After checking the box, you may as well tear up your application.
And best of all:
SEPARATION OF CHILDREN FROM PARENTS: Yes, that worst abuse of slavery, tearing children and parents away from each other, continues today and still targets black families. And it comes in two forms! Parents are removed from their children by being jailed for nonviolent drug offenses. Children are removed from their parents by overzealous social workers who regard any dope smoking in a family’s home as proof of child neglect or endangerment .
Yes, this is what we gotta do for our kids. So take that, kids. And say thank you.