Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Know your dope before you drive, kids!"

One of my kids is taking his driver’s tests down here in Florida. That’s right, tests plural. The first is a drug education course and test that he must pass before being allowed to go on to learning about the actual operation of a car. I figured it was an ‘awareness’ kind of deal. A ‘just say no’ scolding exercise.

Instead it seems more designed to encourage a more informed drug consumer.

The material talks about weight, potency, and how to inject, smoke, snort and/or huff a long catalogue of street drugs. It even went into the anatomy of a cannabis plant along with all the current nomenclature to help purchase the right illegal substance without getting ripped off. The web site includes everything but Heisenberg’s recipe for primo crank.

Along with that the student is educated in how the various drugs will ‘impair’ drivers. In other words, what kind of high you’ll get. Euphoric, hyper, numb, delirious or just fucking ‘A’ righteous.

It brings to mind a scene in the movie 1941. The one where Dan Ackroyd is instructing eager gun-nut Ned Beatty in how NOT to fire the anti-aircraft gun the army is parking in his yard.

Sergeant Frank Tree: You shouldn't touch the ordnance at all. But more specifically, you should never pull this hand-operating lever to the rear.

Ward Douglas: Never.

Sergeant Frank Tree: Do not push a clip of ammunition down into the feed rollers here.

Ward Douglas: No, sir, never.

Sergeant Frank Tree: You never restore this lever to firing position. Do not make sure that this cover is completely closed.

Ward Douglas: No sir.

Sergeant Frank Tree: Never depress operator's foot triggers here, here and at the rear here.


Am I alone among parents in wanting my kids to know less about drugs not more?

I took my tenth grade hygiene course back during the Summer of Love. Part of the required course, taught by a gym teacher, was learning all about what drugs to avoid. The sources, effects and derivations of the drugs and their street names. Again, a buyer’s guide to downers, uppers, hallucinogenics, and euphorics. Grass, mushrooms, crystal, pills, China white and nose candy. What they looked like and how to take them. The idea being that we’d be able to recognize danger and run from it. But I noticed a few kids taking furious notes in a way they never did in social studies class.

And the numbers told the story as casual drug use climbed nationwide heading into the 70s. Why? Our exposure to dope wasn’t in an alley or at a Hot Tuna concert. It was in the classroom. Was the idea really to inform us of what to avoid or to make us curious?

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