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Surprise. Decrim doesn’t mean kids are toking in school.

Massachusetts: Marijuana law has had little effect on schools

After the recent partial decriminalization of marijuana in the state, this article takes a look at how it has affected schools. Other than the occasional Principal who uses the change to complain about the law (“From our standpoint, (the law is) sending a terrible message to kids,” said Welch.), the actual result is that there hasn’t been a change for the worse.

There is no epidemic of pot smoking in schools that didn’t exist prior to the decriminalization law.

The concluding line was the point that I’d like to emphasize:

“Kids have learned that alcohol and drugs aren’t acceptable here…they may do them, but it won’t be here,” said Fleury.

One of the things that oppressive prohibition does is remove incentives for increasing the appropriateness of use.

Back when I was in college, even though marijuana was illegal, local enforcement had its own version of decriminalization. It went like this: Smoking pot on campus (in dorms, at the soccer field, etc.) was fine (not the football field because of alumni) as long as you never gave or sold it to high school students.

This actually worked well. Nobody in college would even consider selling to high school students — they would be not only subject to immediate arrest, but would be ostracized by the rest of the campus.

Give people an opportunity to use drugs responsibly and give them reasonable restrictions as to when and where, and most people are happy to comply.

Legalization gives us opportunities that few can understand.

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10 comments to Surprise. Decrim doesn’t mean kids are toking in school.

  • Nhop

    I can remember as a youngster hearing all sorts of scary things about drugs, how they are addictive, how they can kill, destroy lives, make you crazy, etc. Once I found out that these were either outright lies or gross exaggerations, I felt “lied to” and developed a suspicious outlook and attitude to any kind of antidrug information. Talk about sending a terrible message to children, and we are still doing it today!!!

  • Duncan

    The only reason I tried cannabis that day 32 years ago was to piss off my parents. I can’t say how things would have turned out had they not been so puckered about the subject. After all, if things were different, they just wouldn’t be the same. But I can say their attitude did the opposite of keeping me from trying it. I can’t have been the only teenager in history determined to piss off his parents. Oh well, I am grateful for the way it turned out.

  • i bet if we told kids the truth about cannabis, that if you use it as a teen or preteen you have a higher chance of developing mental illness in the future.

    dont lie to them…. it creates mistrust and that is worse than the truth AND the drug

  • oh i didnt finish that lol im medicated….. if we told them the truth then they would probably be more likely not to use it….

  • R.O.E.

    The only reason I tried cannabis 25 years ago is because adults were telling me I couldnt have it. Its knmown fact that teens are prone to not do as they are told.

    Funny thing is, after I tried it, I found small amounts helped me concentrate on my school work. I was a D-F student all through school then became a A-B student on honor roll. Now dont get me wrong, I dont think its a good thing for kids to start smoking weed. Its not for everyone. Just as some people can drink beer and handle it well where others turn into idiot alcoholics, some people can handle cannabis just fine,others turn into stupid stoners.

  • Nhop

    Yes, we need to give kids more credit. (for intelligence…)

    One thing that really irks me about drug information (propaganda) put out by government is that my (and yours!) tax dollars are being used to spread the message. Remember the “Burrito taster” that Pete wrote about a while back? That is the kind of swill being spread by our government in the name of keeping kids off drugs. It is funny in a ridiculous kind of way until one realizes that this is paid for with our tax dollars….

    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/2008/11/06.html

  • R.O.E.

    Something I feel the government and people in general need to realize is this….Too much of anything is a bad thing(government included) and if its causing problems …Stop doing it(government included).

  • James

    Look at foreign nations. They have more liberal drug laws than we do, and lower usage rates. Relaxing drug laws never meant that more people would use drugs.

  • Cliff

    “Relaxing drug laws never meant that more people would use drugs.”

    However, it will mean that the right people (incarceration / treatment industrial complex) will not be getting paid with the shovelfuls of cash they are used to receiving.

  • This definitely makes great sense!