Very true, drugs ARE neutral. In the hands of an MD, morphine can help improve, and even save lives. Alcohol, when used in moderation, is a fine recreation drug. But to someone who abuses alcohol, the effects on their, and their families lives can be disasterious (or the lives of strangers, if they get behind the wheel). Intresting fact re: drugs such as cocaine, approx. 80% is "recreational use" by generally middle and upper clesses (fine coke is too expensive for the poor folks, thats why those brilliant dealers can up w/ crack) Lets say we enforce the laws against the "rec" users instead of letting the vast majority get off w, a slap on the wrist. Demand (hopefully) will drop, price will drop and perhaps crime will drop...including those involving guns (A Harvard psych professor did a hypothetical model using various smaller citys with a stricter zero tolerance for any narco and extrapolated, can't remember his name)... Similarly regarding guns, strictly enforce current laws. If we really want to get the local communities involved - cut off federal funds if they don't comply. I have no problem locking up the assholes who misuse weapons even non-violently. But as the current generations in majority now are not going to change their opinions or politics, we must educate the next to stop issues such as Colorodo from happening. As Rome did not fall in a day, so America will not fall. Any deep, enduring change has to be built from the bottom up - from the young to grow into it and teach their children (not really appealing for us in the mean time). Shorter term solutions - actually one that people have bandied around here in the 'Cat. Encourage everyone to be more involved with their children, youth groups, anything to start providing a more positive, realistic image of the world. Possibly the worst thing I saw was one time in a theater, at a late showing of a movie which had violent content, a couple had their approx. 10 yr old son. It was after 11 pm, and the poor kid kept hiding his face as he was scared of the violent images. His father kept pulling his hands away, telling him to look and not be such a baby. My person opinion on the situation - the couple did not want to be "inconvenienced" if they could not find a babysitter, so they took their child with them. Parenthood is a responsibility and duty, and look out for the kid, not force a 10 year old to deal with these adult content images. Other than that spewing of my mouth, i don' treally have more to input. If I had all the answers, I could be the next Dr. Spock on child rearing (An intresting aside on your MD friend - George Will wrote an intreguing article about 8 or 9 yrs ago in Newsweek, I believe, on reprecussions of drug leagalization and the efforts of government attempting to deal w/ results. If you can find it, it gives an intresting slant on a suppossedly "simple" solution)
The price of freedom can be, at times, more costly one can believe. Yet can we afford to not pay the price?