What Do We Tell the Kids?

Winter 1996/97 Vol. 07, No. 1 Learning to Crawl

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In addition to reports on current developments in psychedelic and marijuana research, the MAPS newsletter occasionally includes articlesthat address some of the important social issues raised by psychedelic and marijuana research. In this way, MAPS offers its readers the opportunity to reflect on the forest as well as the trees. One such social issue is this: what do we tell the kids if psychedelic and marijuana research actually succeed in generating data that convinces the FDA to make these drugs into prescription medicines for certain clinical indications? This question is complicated by two facts:

  1. the primary justification for the War on Drugs is the need to protect our children from drug abuse and
  2. current drug education materials almost always assert that all drug use is abuse and that the use of psychedelics and marijuana is invariably harmful to some degree.

The following four articles are intended to help readers of the newsletter in thinking about the long-term implicaitons of the potential success of MAPS’ research agenda. The first article describes research into effective drug abuse prevention programs in schools. Following it is an interview in which high school students give their thoughts on drug education. Finally, stories from two families’ experiences with rites of passage involving drugs.