Re: drugs & alcohol
[Morton Raban] (mxr@CHEM.WAYNE.EDU)
Tue, 6 Feb 1996 13:35:03 +1000
>Jumping in on this trans-Atlantic discussion...
>> >I would say it's easy. No drugs or alcohol for the children on
>> Would you allow drugs or alcohol for the children outside of meetings?
>> That's ridiculous.
I would like to jump in on this too. I agree with a lot of what has been
said. Of course there should be no drugs allowed at scouting functions
when boys are present. This includes illegal drugs such as marijuana as
well as the addictive legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. Our troop
does permit alcohol at adults only events and does permit tobacco when it
is out of sight.
Of course, all of these are illegal for boys of scouting age to possess
and all of them are really dangerous. We cannot close our eyes to the fact
that our boys are and will be exposed to these substances outside of
scouting and it is important to counsel them and set the proper examples.
The major role in such counselling has to be in the home and scouting
properly includes requirements for family discussions on this topics in a
number of places in the program.
There are adults in scouting that believe that some of these materials are
not all that bad (especially for them). I must confess that I am one. I
really enjoy a glass of wine with dinner on occasion and think that there
is nothing wrong with that. I am willing to forgo that glass of wine on
campouts because I think that allowing alcohol abuse on campouts would be
very damaging. I am honest enough to admit that there must be some scout
leaders and parents who use marijuana. Although I do not use it, I do
know, from the scientific studies that I have read, that it is probably no
worse than alcohol. Although moderate use of alcohol may actually have
some health benefits there should be no doubt that even moderate use impair
driving and does cause many deaths. This is especially dangerous in the
case of underage drinkers. Of course the fact of marijuana's
classification as an illegal drug does add a separate parameter to the
negative aspects of its use.
In my view tobacco may well be the most addictive of these and one that we
ought to worry much more about than we do. I was surprised that it had not
come up in the discussion. While I have had no evidence that any of these
have been used by our scouts on any campout that I have attended, my son
has told be that he has observed kids (from another troop) at other
campouts. In my opinion this may be the easiest one to get hooked on. I
have let my son sample alcoholic drinks at home and honestly expect that
one day he will probably want to try marijuana. But I really think that
there is a much bigger chance that he will get addicted to tobacco and I
work hard to try to counter the peer pressure that he will undoubtedly be
Professor of Chemistry
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City