Political Chowder Ingredients: Facts, Events, Policy, Politicians, Journalists, and YOU
Political Chowder Ingredients:
Facts, Events, Policy, Politicians, Journalists, and YOU

This Week's "You"
Feb. 15, 2009
Letter to the Concord Monitor

Blame 'zero-tolerance'

The Bow Alcohol and Drug Coalition and the Bow police would like to know why 624 invitations to a drug forum were ignored ("Not one parent came to drug forum," Monitor front page, Feb. 6). They offer a few answers, but a few more likely answers are implied by the facts in the article.

Perhaps today's parents, who are young enough to have experienced police-led efforts at "drug education," know better than to believe the Bow Police Department's zero-tolerance approach is actually good for their children.

Consider the four negative consequences of teen drug use mentioned in the article: BADco, the police "and others want to spread the word, the knowledge, before a child dies of a drug overdose. Or is kicked off a sports team, or cuffed and fingerprinted, or killed in an alcohol-related crash."

Do you notice that only one in four is an actual consequence of illegal drug use?

It is also an impossible consequence for marijuana, the illegal drug for which teens are most frequently arrested, and for which there has never been a recorded death from overdose. Most parents already do the best they can to keep their kids from driving while intoxicated or abusing drugs, and the other two outcomes mentioned are consequences of irrational school and government policies; kicking students off sports teams and arresting them does not usually improve their attitudes or behavior.

Maybe the current generation of parents should be commended for declining such invitations. Isn't it more important for parents to spend time with their children than with cops and a drug dog?


Matt Simon


YOU read this week by Arnie Arnesen