Joycelyn Elders Remains Outspoken On Health Issues

Joycelyn Elders Remains Outspoken On Health Issues
Posted by FoM on September 28, 1999 at 14:25:40 PT
By Ronald Rutti
Source: Cleveland Live
Former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders found the right audience yesterday to practice what she has been preaching.She scoffed at the country's war against drugs. "If you are fighting a war, you need to win sometimes. We spend $17 billion to fight drugs and most is on incarceration. 
Elders has been saying the United States must spend more time and money to educate youths about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, drugs and unsafe sex. Her candidness caused her to be escorted from the office after only 15 months. But almost five years later, she continues to convey her message. Listening yesterday were some 500 college and high school students on the University of Akron campus.Elders, 66, has not veered from past convictions. She favors needle exchanges and the legalization of marijuana. Her style is hard-charging and plain-talking. Even with high school students."We've got to teach young men there is more to being a father than donating sperm," she said.To those who say we should prescribe abstinence from sex to youths, Elders has said why not supply condoms as well. When her critics respond that condoms can break, Elders fires back as she did yesterday: "The bonds of abstinence break far more easily than a latex condom."Elders, who was health secretary in Arkansas under then-Gov. Bill Clinton, was sent packing from her Washington, D.C., post by President Clinton after she said masturbation should be discussed in schools as part of human sexuality."Masturbation never made anybody sick, never gave anybody else a disease, never made anybody pregnant. And you always know you have sex with somebody you love," she said, getting the loudest reaction from her listeners.She scoffed at the country's war against drugs. "If you are fighting a war, you need to win sometimes. We spend $17 billion to fight drugs and most is on incarceration. Sixty percent of the people in jail are there because of drug use, not selling. We continue to turn our bright young people into criminals."She said the drug that kills the most people in our society is tobacco and commented that drinking could cause people to "do things we never dream of doing at other times."Elders did not apologize for her matter-of-fact presentation. "Our young people know and understand a lot more than we did," she said after her speech. "Ignorance is not bliss. We tried ignorance before and it is not working. It's time we tried education."Dixie Hummel, a health teacher from Barberton High School, escorted 70 of her students to the talk. Most were freshmen. Hummel said she thought Elders was going to focus on binge drinking and AIDS awareness, but was not sorry she brought the students."She is extremely honest, which is hard for a lot of people to take," Hummel said. "Times have changed. Straight-forward answers with kids is going to get you a lot further."Elders, a pediatrician, said, "The best thing that happened to me was being made surgeon general. The second best thing was getting fired."E-mail: rrutti plaind.comPhone: (216) 999-4819Tuesday, September 28, 1999© 1999 THE PLAIN DEALER© 1999 Cleveland Live
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 29, 1999 at 10:15:55 PT
Thank You Dr. Ganj!
Thank You Dr. Ganj!What a nice compliment. I bookmarked the link and thank you too for being such a bright light here for all that read Cannabis News. You are well respected by me and my husband.Peace, FoM!
Our Friends
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Comment #3 posted by Dr. Ganj on September 28, 1999 at 21:26:47 PT
Dr. Elders
I have the utmost respect for this amazing woman! She tells it like it is, and our youth can relate to her honesty. This is what we need, the hard truth, facts, and options. We don't need to hear about the incarceration of our people for using some drugs. That did not work, and will never work. We are getting the truth out, and Dr. Elders is a true champion of freedom!Cheers,Dr. GanjFoM...Keep up the fine work! You too are a champion!Also, check this link below, and I think you'll be really pleased to read this article. What's amazing, is it was written in 1964! I know it's long, but it's worth it!:-)
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on September 28, 1999 at 14:45:15 PT
She Is Great!
Freedom Fighter I agree. She is something else. A lady and I mean lady before her time. Her time might be now!
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Comment #1 posted by Freedom Fighter on September 28, 1999 at 14:38:18 PT
Joycelyn Elders
The Reform Party is looking for a quality candidate for she is. There is more to this lady than I realized. 
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