Wrong Message!

Wrong Message!
Posted by FoM on June 20, 1999 at 08:51:21 PT
Underage consumption of alcohol is a problem!
Source: SF Gate
Editor Diana Conti's Open Forum piece, ``Drug War Isn't on Target,'' (June 8) was itself off target.
Lumping alcoholic beverages (legal to produce, but illegal to consume for underage youth) with illegal drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin, serves to obfuscate the issue and trivialize the importance of the anti-drug message.Underage consumption of alcohol is certainly a problem, but Ms. Conti's approach does little to address it. Blindly linking ``alcohol and other drugs'' sends the wrong message to underage abusers in a society that has been down the path of prohibition only to find the ``cure'' far worse than the problem. The Marin Institute's agenda is clearly neo-Prohibitionist, and would dearly love to tap into the $195 million anti-drug media campaign in its quest to rid America once again of the scourge of demon rum. Let us address the horrors of youthful drug abuse by focusing on the core issues, and spare ourselves the ``gateway drug'' rhetoric that describes an entirely different set of problems. Like it or not, alcoholic beverages are enjoyed in this country (and indeed around most of the civilized world) by many millions of people, and its abuses by young people, which can be terrible and destructive, deserve to be addressed apart from street drugs. 
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