Current Events and Comments

My graceful ride moves on as I float high and far above a lonesome world. I feel happy, free, content, and…found! Different from many of you.
And so the world turns and twists in confusion about the ugly word d-r-u-g-s. The problem presents complications which are like a huge web, each day slowly being spun, every fiber becoming more involved. As the web becomes more intricately spun, the possibilities of solving the problem in our society seem more and more remote.
Would we to any extent achieve our goal of solving this great drug problem by legalizing drugs? Would we be able to pull ourselves further from this problem through legalizing drugs or are we to the point now where it is only and forever hopeless? We must admit that the problem is presently becoming worse and growing deeper, but we cannot allow it to swallow us up. Rather, we must try to overcome this problem. Would legalizing drugs stifle people’s curiosity and drive for them? For isn’t it true that we are pulled to experiment with the wrong in that which is wrong? Possibly it would prevent many young people from running to drugs for an escape from their problems. And, perhaps experimenting with drugs at young people’s parties would lose some of its popularity. It is there that many tragic incidents occur because of a general lack of knowledge about the kinds of drugs there are and the effects of drugs on a person. Also the atmosphere of a party and other similar situations will make some feel as if taking drugs is the “in thing to do.” If one feels insecure, as many young people do, he will use drugs as a means to prove himself to the crowd.
Yet, legalizing drugs would probably give birth to new insurmountable problems. Very possibly people would be encouraged to try drugs because they would be available to more people and much easier to buy. Reality closes in upon us another problem, however. The point really is not whether legalizing drugs will solve the problem; the point is whether or not legalizing harmful drugs is right or wrong. When something is legalized it does not automatically become right.
Today the drug problem is no longer limited to young people of high school and college age who are experimenting with and curious about drug reactions, but students already in the third and fourth grades are informed! They can formulate very concerned questions about the drug problem such as “What is purple haze” While attempting any solution, the problem must be approached carefully, because past history has proven to us that trying to scare people from taking drugs is incorrect and ineffective. One way to make a step forward from this tremendous problem is to educate. Our health centers would like to offer classes to parents, young people, and elementary school children. People in our society have to be given more details on how drugs will affect one’s physical functioning, and how one’s mental state prior to a trip can affect the trip itself. They must realize that they could be dealing with results which may not be overcome. Information is also needed on how a total outcome varies with each individual. To educate on this subject would require much time and slow progress because it covers such a wide and broad area.
We cannot stop here yet. This may all be useless unless every one of us shows a real amount of interest and concern in this problem. We must force ourselves to deal with this problem and not only accept it as a problem. Maybe the first step each individual can make is to admit that some existing conditions are contributing to the problem. Are we so bling as to not see this as a problem within our own circles? Much of the drug problem stems from people’s lost and unfound feelings, which, in my estimation, we often fail to admit. Many lonely people are being comfortably ignored and friendless people are being left in their friendless worlds. Unhappy faces keep offering sad smiles and if we look hard enough we will find many aching hearts. Minds are being torn and beat from an empty world which has lost patience with cries for help. Others are running as fast as they can to destroy themselves.
So our responsibility as Christians carries on, stronger today than yesterday and stronger tomorrow than today. We must care – care like we have never cared before. The drug problem is yours and it is mine!

Originally Published in:
Vol. 30 No. 10 February 1971