Keeping youth off drugs

On April 13, I watched the McLaughlin Group who discussed our nation’s drug dilemma, stating the USA makes up 5 percent of the world’s population and has 25 percent of the world’s prison population, most of whom are drug offenders. The group said the 50 states spend as much for the prisons as they do for Medicaid. The group said it costs the states $30,000 a year for each prisoner, saying prisons are not into “rehab,” and, therefore, courts would be wiser to send offenders to treatment centers.

Law enforcement catches only a small percentage of drug offenders. If all were caught, they would number millions. So, Nixon’s war on drugs started in the 1970s, is an abysmal failure, as was our nation’s war on alcohol, called Prohibition, which I remember. Many of my generation knew the following terms: Fruit of the vine (wine); bootleg liquor, homebrew (beer); bathtub gin, and hard cider. So Prohibition was disbanded. It did do something: it doubled the number of drinkers in the USA.

Prohibition and our current drug craze may be the result of people, some with great talent, whiling away life because of not being challenged or not given an opportunity to do something with their talent – “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”

FDR helped youth in the 1930s with his 3-C jobs program. Obama touches on the problem of unemployed youth, as does Pope Francis. May Obama in his remaining years inspire our youth from drugs to creativity on their part.

John Bryan

Parkersburg