We the People – The Hypocrites (Why Obama’s Drug Use is Irrelevant)

Barack Obama has used drugs – he has broken the law. He admits to experimenting with cocaine and marijuana while a young man, and although his candor is refreshing, his drug use has complicated his political aspirations, and political opponents from within his own party have been casting subtle digs about his past.

We expect leadership and moral correctness from our elected officials, and when yet another politician falls from grace, caught in lies about past or present acts, we bemoan the low ethical standards seemingly so prevalent among the Washington elite. Yet why, when we ask the impossible – perfection – are we surprised when imperfect humans (as we all are) prove themselves so?

Looking at the 2007 NIDA released statistics on drug use amongst high school seniors; we can see that although drugs may be illegal, more people than not in our society will try them, at least once. About half of all high school seniors will have used illegal drugs by graduation, and three out of four will have drunk alcohol, under age.

The democratic foundations of this country call for a person of the people, representative of the people, to serve in the best interests of all the people. In reality, we ask for a person who exhibits an impossible perfection of character and even of youthful judgment – a person very unlike most of us! Some may argue that Obama’s youthful indiscretion is not an issue of drugs, but rather of lawfulness; and that whether you can forgive him for his drug use, he did knowingly and willfully break the law. But once again, we all break the law!

We are all essentially guided by two often complimentary laws of action – our moral compass and the statutes of law. We do (mostly) what we perceive to be ethically right based on what we believe, and we follow laws of the state out of a fear of legal repercussions. And as such, when we do not perceive an act to be morally wrong, and when we feel that we are unlikely to face legal sanctions for engaging in it (getting caught) we are somewhat likely to break a law of the state barring this action.

  • Running a red light on a deserted country road at 3am is against the law, but as we perceive no moral need to stop, and feel we are unlikely to get caught, most of us will at some point creep through an intersection, without waiting for a green.
  • Taking drugs, as an individual act, is illegal, but it is not immoral – the act of using alone harms no one but the user. It may show poor judgment, but as teens, who amongst us can boast of uniformly good judgment?

Obama took drugs, like well more than half of us have. He does not take drugs now, and he has not for decades. Obama broke the law, like all of us have; he did not break any moral laws. What about all the politicians who claim never to have used drugs? Seems unlikely, based on the statistics.

Obama has told the truth. He is human. We should laud him for his courage. He may or may not be the right choice for president, but his past use of drugs should have no bearing on his legitimacy as a candidate today.

Hear Obama’s Views on Drug Policy

 

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Barack Obama has used drugs – he has broken the law. He admits to experimenting with cocaine and marijuana while a young man, and although his candor is refreshing, his drug use has complicated his political aspirations, and political opponents from within his own party have been casting subtle digs about his past.

We expect leadership and moral correctness from our elected officials, and when yet another politician falls from grace, caught in lies about past or present acts, we bemoan the low ethical standards seemingly so prevalent among the Washington elite. Yet why, when we ask the impossible – perfection – are we surprised when imperfect humans (as we all are) prove themselves so?

Looking at the 2007 NIDA released statistics on drug use amongst high school seniors; we can see that although drugs may be illegal, more people than not in our society will try them, at least once. About half of all high school seniors will have used illegal drugs by graduation, and three out of four will have drunk alcohol, under age.

The democratic foundations of this country call for a person of the people, representative of the people, to serve in the best interests of all the people. In reality, we ask for a person who exhibits an impossible perfection of character and even of youthful judgment – a person very unlike most of us! Some may argue that Obama’s youthful indiscretion is not an issue of drugs, but rather of lawfulness; and that whether you can forgive him for his drug use, he did knowingly and willfully break the law. But once again, we all break the law!

We are all essentially guided by two often complimentary laws of action – our moral compass and the statutes of law. We do (mostly) what we perceive to be ethically right based on what we believe, and we follow laws of the state out of a fear of legal repercussions. And as such, when we do not perceive an act to be morally wrong, and when we feel that we are unlikely to face legal sanctions for engaging in it (getting caught) we are somewhat likely to break a law of the state barring this action.

  • Running a red light on a deserted country road at 3am is against the law, but as we perceive no moral need to stop, and feel we are unlikely to get caught, most of us will at some point creep through an intersection, without waiting for a green.
  • Taking drugs, as an individual act, is illegal, but it is not immoral – the act of using alone harms no one but the user. It may show poor judgment, but as teens, who amongst us can boast of uniformly good judgment?

Obama took drugs, like well more than half of us have. He does not take drugs now, and he has not for decades. Obama broke the law, like all of us have; he did not break any moral laws. What about all the politicians who claim never to have used drugs? Seems unlikely, based on the statistics.

Obama has told the truth. He is human. We should laud him for his courage. He may or may not be the right choice for president, but his past use of drugs should have no bearing on his legitimacy as a candidate today.

Hear Obama’s Views on Drug Policy

 

Why Do We Lie to Kids About Drugs?

We teach them in drug education classes about the harms of drugs and alcohol, and the pains that these can bring to those that would abuse them. We teach them these things because we love them and we worry for them and we know the perils they face as they proceed through the turbulent years of adolescence.

Our intentions are good, and all we wish to do is to spare them pain; but we almost always take things too far. We scaremonger; we say all drugs are bad…equally bad, and we present worse case scenarios as commonplace occurrences.

And it works fine for a while, and they believe us…for a while. But then they get a little bit older, and they see that some people that smoke marijuana don’t seem to be experiencing all of those drastic consequences that we foretold of. They get a bit older, and they learn a bit more and they start to realize that they were lied to!

They learn that not everyone that smokes a joint becomes a junky; in fact mostly they seem to do just fine. And then we wonder why they don’t believe us when we warn them of the dangers of meth…but why should they, we can’t be trusted. We need to start teaching kids the truth about drugs so that they can be informed about the real risks and consequences of their actions. We need to teach them that marijuana is not as harmful as a lot of other drugs and that most people that use it will not become raving lunatic drug addicts. We need to teach them that there are a lot of legitimate risks associated with today’s marijuana, but we need to stay real about it, and tell them the truth. They’ll learn it for themselves eventually anyways.

And maybe if we tell them the truth about marijuana, maybe they’ll smoke it or maybe they won’t (it’s pretty unlikely that more will smoke it than do know!) but at least they will know that they have been treated with respect, told the truth and educated to make their own decisions; and maybe then they will believe us when we warn them of the real dangers of a lot of other life-destroying drugs floating about out there.

 Kids aren’t dumb, they’ll learn the truth, and they will remember being lied to.

We teach them in drug education classes about the harms of drugs and alcohol, and the pains that these can bring to those that would abuse them. We teach them these things because we love them and we worry for them and we know the perils they face as they proceed through the turbulent years of adolescence.

Our intentions are good, and all we wish to do is to spare them pain; but we almost always take things too far. We scaremonger; we say all drugs are bad…equally bad, and we present worse case scenarios as commonplace occurrences.

And it works fine for a while, and they believe us…for a while. But then they get a little bit older, and they see that some people that smoke marijuana don’t seem to be experiencing all of those drastic consequences that we foretold of. They get a bit older, and they learn a bit more and they start to realize that they were lied to!

They learn that not everyone that smokes a joint becomes a junky; in fact mostly they seem to do just fine. And then we wonder why they don’t believe us when we warn them of the dangers of meth…but why should they, we can’t be trusted. We need to start teaching kids the truth about drugs so that they can be informed about the real risks and consequences of their actions. We need to teach them that marijuana is not as harmful as a lot of other drugs and that most people that use it will not become raving lunatic drug addicts. We need to teach them that there are a lot of legitimate risks associated with today’s marijuana, but we need to stay real about it, and tell them the truth. They’ll learn it for themselves eventually anyways.

And maybe if we tell them the truth about marijuana, maybe they’ll smoke it or maybe they won’t (it’s pretty unlikely that more will smoke it than do know!) but at least they will know that they have been treated with respect, told the truth and educated to make their own decisions; and maybe then they will believe us when we warn them of the real dangers of a lot of other life-destroying drugs floating about out there.

 Kids aren’t dumb, they’ll learn the truth, and they will remember being lied to.