Letters to the Editor

We need to have a deeper conversation about teens and drugs | Letter to the Editor

Chris Ott’s refreshing take on drugs and teens (The Beach-comber, June 8) opens up the discussion to viewpoints beyond the conventional argument that drugs are bad and teens using drugs must be a crisis. I believe one of the worst consequences of our drug laws is that they shut down conversation and stop the transmission of wisdom between generations.

Human beings have altered their consciousness throughout recorded history, in almost every society. My guess is that half or more of the adults on Vashon have used prohibited substances at some point in our lives. We have learned some things about how, when and why one might wish to alter one’s consciousness and about the dangers and benefits of doing so.

The ban on a wide range of substances — natural and synthetic, low-risk and high-risk, mildly altering and profoundly transforming — makes it difficult to share what we have learned with younger generations.

One reason that alcohol — a pharmacologically dangerous drug — is an accepted part of adult life is that we can tap deep reservoirs of cultural wisdom about how and when to use it. We need such wisdom about other substances that are widely used, yet legally proscribed and rarely discussed with authenticity. Young people especially can benefit from a more honest exchange. I appreciate Chris Ott’s willingness to deepen the conversation.


— Margot Boyer



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