Letters for July 22, 2010

Talk about drugs

Re “Drug tests” (Feature story, July 8):

Well done, sir! I think it’s high time that we start engaging our community and society as a whole in conversations like the one you started. While the ultimate backlash for this type of article will likely be ignorance, disgust and disdain for you even writing it, I must make a couple key points beyond the obvious compliments.

First of all, this kind of level-headed, rational, anecdotal evidence is exactly what we need to be doing to dispel the “just say no” rhetoric that all drugs are bad. That level of thinking is nonsense and fails to educate our children, but rather scares them into ascribing to ideals that are solely culturally and financially motivated. Your article did an excellent job at attempting to educate as opposed to vilify, and I think only through this kind of education will we gain the kind of understanding necessary to manageably integrate psychoactive drugs and their use into our lives, homes, and communities. This removes the “forbidden fruit” aspects that shroud drugs in general, and if educated, as opposed to challenged, I think a lot fewer of our youth would turn to habit-forming compounds like Oxycodone, Xanax, ecstasy and methamphetamine.

Pharmaceutical companies—each competing for your billions—want their users to be no more “educated” than your average Goldfinch. Simply ask your doctor, and he’ll give you something that will cause your anus to leak and your stomach to bleed, but by gosh, your muscles and joints will feel like a million bucks. This level of exposure promotes sheer ignorance as to what compounds we are consuming, and the belief that simply because someone with some capital letters after his name said so, “it must be good for me.” Newsflash: That doctor or nurse practitioner gets money from the drug company every time he or she prescribes you the latest and greatest SSRI or ulcer pill. Plant compounds cannot be patented, and as such, you won’t likely hear your doctor advocating anything natural to you, because there’s simply no money in it for him or the drug companies he represents. There’s a reason they call it “practicing” medicine.

That said, if we could all simply be open and honest with our children and educate them much the same way Dr. David Presti at the University of California, Berkley, does his students, we’d likely have an entire generation with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions for themselves. It should be up to each and every one of us as parents to truly educate our children on the drawbacks as well as the benefits of undergoing relationships with culturally-deemed-illicit compounds. Your child should know just as much about the changes his body will undergo, if he begins a relationship with something as powerful as heroin, as much as he should understand the physiology of what is happening in his body when he consumes a caffeinated beverage. Instead, we allow a financially driven and politically motivated set of agendas and ideals to dictate how our children learn about relationships with drugs. Ultimately, the rising methamphetamine addiction, heroine overdoses, and pharmaceutical drug addiction in Washoe County are the result of handling it in this fashion. Our children want us to be honest with them, and this beating around the bush about how drugs are bad is doing them their greatest disservice.

In a world where all recreation compounds were showcased, discussed and thoroughly educated on like this article represented, I think we’d see a lot fewer Youtube videos of dipshit teens playing around with their buddies, a bong, and a bowl (which is effectively 30-40 times more potent than the effective 1 mg. Salvinorum A dose) simply for shits and giggles. By educating our children, society and friends on effective doses, LD/50 doses, and the benefits alongside the dangers, we can only create a culture that has respect for these things, and doesn’t need to pack ’em, jam ’em, slam ’em and smoke ’em like it’s the last night of Burning Man. There truly is a benefit of an educated populous, and it starts with you talking to your children and creating the open dialogue that will allow for both of you to grow and learn together.

Many thanks for a very insightful and well thought out article!

Ben Chavez

Write about drugs

Re “Drug tests” (Feature story, July 8):

I’d like to thank you for this article. I feel it is an unbiased explanation on what’s happening with these legal drugs, and I’d like to thank you for providing factual information as well as opinion. Good article! Keep up the good work.

William Winslow
Paris, Tex.

Don’t talk about drugs

Re “Drug tests” (Feature story, July 8):

Drugs have been around far longer than governments and will continue to be long beyond them.

Some do drugs to escape, party, get laid or have other juicy times.

Some do it to push the limits of consciousness or to try to find meaning and art.

Some abuse them, and that’s bad.

I think if you’re an adult, you should be able to explore the limits of your own world/mind without hindrance—not because some silly second-hander says, “No, that’s scary,” or someone else wants to pass a law to “protect” you from yourself.

I am disappointed you maligned Salvia divinorum, particularly since you didn’t hazard to explore it.

Rule No. 1. We don’t talk about S. D.

Rule No. 2. We don’t talk about S. D.

And now that the word is out, it’ll inevitably be made illegal in next year’s legislative session. Thanks a lot, butthead.

I think while fun, your article was journalistically incomplete and not of your usual “high” standard.

It’s kind of like writing authoritatively about the Cheney Oil Spill, without having been there.

And no, kids, you shouldn’t do drugs, anyway, anytime, anyhow.

Craig Bergland

We need Rory

Re “Rory 2010 is a disguised Daddy Morebucks” (Reviled & Revered, July 8):

I have now seen the same one man continually take pot shots at the Rory Reid campaign and continually write free advertisements for Brian Sandoval.

But let’s not forget in the midst of the weekly right-wing screeds and borderline personal attacks, that Brian Sandoval is just another establishment politician in the true Nevada tradition of Kenny Guinn, Jim Gibbons and John Ensign.

He is a man who has climbed the ladder of politics, being helped along the way by the same gang of mining lobbyists and Republican operatives who have run state politics for decades. Sandoval is an opportunist in the finest sense of the word, jumping from one office to the next whenever he sees a chance for another few moments in the spotlight.

Rory Reid is the most qualified candidate in the race for governor and the only candidate with actual solutions to our state education problems and actual ideas to diversify Nevada’s economy. In my opinion, Brian Sandoval wanting to lay off 1-in-5 Nevada teachers is out of touch with what Nevada needs in terms of education policy.

David Sharp