Last week, we wrote about a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that says fewer teens are getting substance abuse prevention messages from media.
Indeed, the media has become quite powerful in educating people about substance abuse, but we also know that the media isn’t supposed to be what is responsible in teaching our kids about the dangers of drugs. That would be parents, who have a major role in talking to children about the health risks associated with drug abuse, as well as empowering them to make sound choices in life. But what if parents themselves use drugs? How reliable can they be when preaching to their kids the negative effects of substance abuse if they are dealing with their own drug issues?
“The worst mixed message kids get today is for mom and dad to smoke it and tell the kid not to,” says Joe Hewitt, referring to marijuana.
Hewitt shares his opinion about marijuana legalization in an exclusive interview with TestCountry.
Like other people, Hewitt believes it isn’t logical to tell kids not to use drugs, smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol when they openly see their own parents indulging in banned or unhealthy substances. Similarly, kids could get confused by the seemingly contradictory laws — federal laws versus state laws — pertaining to marijuana.
“If marijuana is legalized, we are publically saying, ‘It’s okay.’ Then we have to spend tax money we get from the legal sale of marijuana to educate people and say ‘Hey, too much of this stuff is not okay,’” Hewitt added.
Though Hewitt acknowledged that marijuana legalization would ease the burden on the country’s justice system, he also believes that the more marijuana becomes available the more it will be abused.
“…I believe that if it were legal more people will use it,” Hewitt added. He stressed that those who presently use marijuana would end up using more of the drug without fear of being arrested, especially once the supply “greatly increased, the price went down, and it was readily available to purchase.”
To read the full text of the interview, visit Exclusive Interview with Joe Hewitt.