Below is copied a story chronicling just the latest installment of drug war madness in North America, this time from Canada. Discussing the relative risks of illegal drugs alongside legal ones in the wrong environment, a school for example, and apparently you are sending out 'pro-drug' messages. So another triumph of misplaced moral posturing over science and reason then. It is admittedly worse over there than here in the UK, but not by much if the recent furore over cannabis reclassification and 'sending out messages' is anything to go by. I wonder how the distinguished authors of the recent Lancet paper, that made the same point as young Kieran regards relative drug harms, would feel about this?
Young people need to know the risks and dangers of all drugs they may encounter, regardless of legal status. Actually, now I think about it, arguably illegal status is one of the potential harms they need to be warned about aswell, as a criminal record will often cause more harm than the use of the drug itself.
The free speech issues in this story also echo the very wierd 'Bong Hits for Jesus' saga, which recently reached the US supreme court.
Free speech goes up in smoke at school
student's marijuana research spurs lock down and suspension Saskatchewan
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
June 20, 2007
— It started months ago when Kieran King's high-school class heard a presentation about the dangers of drug use. WINNIPEG
Kieran, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student in tiny
, population 600, thought the presentation lacked credibility, so he did some research on the relative health risks of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. Wawota, Sask.
When he told some of his fellow students that cannabis seemed the least hazardous of the three, he set in motion a series of events that led to a school lockdown, a threat assessment involving the RCMP, a suspension and failing grades on his exams.
"It's all a bit overwhelming," his mother, Jo Anne Euler, said. "It's just totally bizarre."
She explained that her son is a compulsive researcher who tends to go on at length about what he reads on the Internet.
One student at
didn't want to hear Kieran's thoughts about marijuana, and complained to principal Susan Wilson. Wawota Parkland School
The principal then called Kieran's mother because she was concerned he was advocating drug use, Ms. Euler said.
Ms. Euler told the principal her son is an A student who doesn't go out, doesn't smoke or drink, and isn't pushing drugs on other kids.
"She said 'Well, if he talks about it again, I will be calling the police,' " Ms. Euler said. "I told Kieran that and he said 'Mom, all I'm doing is sharing the facts.' "
Kieran felt his right to free speech was being trampled, so he enlisted the help of the Saskatchewan Marijuana Party.
Together they planned a school walkout for free speech, scheduled for last Tuesday, where free chocolate chip hemp seed cookies would be handed out.
But just before 11 that day, the principal announced that the school was a closed campus and that no one was allowed outside.
When several students tried to leave anyway, teachers barred the doors and ordered them back to class, Ms. Euler said. Kieran and his younger brother Lucas defied and joined a ragtag group of five protesters standing across from the school holding placards.
The principal then ordered a lockdown to ensure the safety of students. The RCMP raced to the scene, only to find a small, peaceful protest.
Kieran's mother was again called to the school and told that both her sons had been suspended for three days. Later that day, the school conducted a threat assessment on Kieran with the help of the RCMP and school division counsellors, Ms. Euler said............