Risky Business

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CNN: "The 15th annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study surveyed 7,084 teenagers ages 12 to 18 across the country. It found that although 77 percent of teens see great risk in using ecstasy regularly (at least once a month), only 45 percent, the minority, said they saw great risk in trying it once or twice. Nine percent said they had used the drug in the past year, little changed from the 10 percent in 2001."

Partnership for a Drug Free America: "Even though we have the good news that overall ecstasy use has leveled off after a big surge, we've still got 55 percent of teenagers, 13 million American teenagers, who say they see no great risk in trying it. And that's what we have to reverse."

Battling common sense takes hard work and committment, even for the PDFA. Meanwhile, Esctasy-takers, forced to shop the dicey black market, are taking a bigger risk than they should have to.

NEXT: To Justice

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  1. Legalize it, sell it in a purified form to those of a certain age, and start educating both young and old TRUTHFULLY about it. These three simple steps will solve all the problems the PDFA claims to be concerned about.

  2. Ecstacy is scary stuff (see- http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/mdma.html). What the government should do is another issue. While black market ecstacy can lead to people taking something that could be dangerous, “pure” ecstacy is dangerous too. More of an effort needs to be made to increase awareness of its medical effects and less on throwing people in prison.

  3. Let ’em take it and die in the streets. we’re all better off that way. Same goes for any substance abuse. It’s their bodies and their lives. Until thier actions injure someone else,they can do what they want.

  4. Ben, to “start educating both young and old TRUTHFULLY about it” would alone address PDFA’s concern. Legalizing it and “selling it in a purified form” does NOT address PDFA’s concerns.
    While people are free to make their own choices for THEMSELVES, mind-numbing drugs, agreed, need control.
    “ooh this drug has expanded my consciousness; I’m a higher state of awareness…where are my car keys?”

  5. Frapple, you really could deal with their concerns with legalisation. Anytime someone com-plains that people who take extacy don’t know what they’re getting, I point out that this wasn’t a problem when it was sold in the super-market. I have yet to hear an adequate response. Actually, I have yet to hear any response at all.
    Banning the stuff has been a miserable failure. Anytime you ban something that people want to get, all you do is create a black market with all the problems (such as violence that harms innocent bystanders) that inevitably follow. If you are going to try to make the case that we should inhibit people’s freedom to do what they want to themselves on the grounds that more innocent people would be harmed if drugs were legalized, then you have a hell of a task in front of you.

  6. Regarding minors and drug prohibition, we obviously have a model in the US with our alcohol laws. The most compelling argument for prohibiting minors from using otherwise legal substances is the ability to hold them legally accountable for their actions while on a drug, drunk, etc. After all, we don’t try people under 21 as adults…oh wait, that’s 18…unless they kill someone in a death penalty state, in which case we might hold them accountable at 15 or 16, but of course, they still can’t drink for a few more years…any wonder why kids don’t respect these laws? Prohibition just doesn’t work, especially when the standard practice is to lie to children to justify it.

  7. Obviously the libertarian position is to legalize drugs for ADULTS. But is it wise to legalize drugs for 12-year olds?

    It is subjective as all hell, but 15-16 would be a reasonable age for ADULTHOOD and able to make a choice to use drugs or not. A 12 year old is clearly not an adult and shouldn’t have that choice.

  8. Oy, the foibles of the “minor” issue. Way I see it, both sides are right. Minors don’t have the same rights as majors and society has a right, perhaps obligation, to protect them from their not yet fully congealed brains.

    But at the same time, the problems caused by full prohibition would crop up just the same with limited prohibition, just less so.

    Choose your poison.

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