portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

alternative media | education | youth

this is the OFFICIAL FINAL newspaper article.

This is the final editied finished article.It is the rewritten version of the rewritten version.sorry. This one is the one to put on the front of the website. Thank you.
On November 11th 2003, in the town of Goose Creek, South Carolina, state police stormed into a crowded high school hallway with their guns drawn handcuffing students left and right. The reason for this unnecessary raid was, none other than, drugs.
Video tape from the high school shows handcuffed students sitting against a wall while police point guns at them and police dogs sniff their backpacks. Ironically, no drugs were found during this raid.
Drugs have always been a theme at West Sylvan. The recent statistics show that 14.4% of 7th and 8th graders have smoked marijuana in the past 30 days.
Has anyone ever asked 'why?' Locker searches are more and more frequent. What will that solve? Will the person stop smoking?
"I think that middle school was made to make a person go crazy. Smoking is the only way a person can keep from shooting themselves," one person says.
"Everyone needs a past time, something to excite them. I smoke for the fun of it, nothing more. We're just bored, that's all," another person comments.
Most of the people in middle school can relate to this person when she talks about boredom. Get up in the morning; hearing that chilling sound of the alarm clock. Get up. Take shower. Get dressed. Brush Teeth. Take bus to school. Repeat 5x.

From the book The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gato, it states: "School was put fourth to make good people. From good people come good citizens. From good citizens come consumers. Since bored people are the best consumers, school had to be a boring place, and since childish people are the easiest customers to convince, the manufacture of childishness, extended into adulthood, had to be the first priority of factory schools. In the new system, schools were gradually re-formed to meet the pressing need of big businesses to have standardized customers and employees, standardized because such people are predictable in certain crucial ways by mathematical formulae.
This routine; this boring, awful routine we must go through. Not just middle schoolers, but adults alike. No matter how much everyone hates it, we all just keep working. A distraction from this routine would be nice...
This is where school has to change. One way to change is to not have testing. Testing only makes students less creative and more 'bored'. All classes now are pretty much geared towards getting a good test grade. Which, in the long run, will make us nothing but 'good consuming citizens.' People will not stop smoking marijuana if life in school continues to be so dull.

"Weed makes a person feel like they are lying naked in satin sheets," comments another.
The people I interviewed offered a way to have their life no be so dull. It was an alternative to this routine, and was their reason to use marijuana. This did not shine any positive light on marijuana. That is what their opinion was. To put it simply: Just because that's what their opinion is, does not mean you have the same one. Also, if a teacher tells me everyday that drugs are bad. I, for example, have that same right to be able to say drugs are good. Or at least question the teacher. I am, by no means saying drugs are good. I am just using that as an example to prove my point.
There are reasons people use marijuana other than what the teachers, the parents, the psychologists, etc. think they know. And my article was intended to show people those reasons and understand them.
Instead of overanalyzing the issue and trying to find a deeper meaning to the reason than what the reason really is, let us make our own decisions. We appreciate you expanding our knowledge on the issue. However, there is a fine line between giving us facts on marijuana to let us make our own decision and putting thoughts in our head. And when you start putting thoughts in our head, you are doing more harm than good.
Atrocity 11.Dec.2003 08:51

firetruck

That raid by police was an atrocity. There is no telling what kind of long term negative emotional effects this event will have on the students. It's a typical neocon tactic and it will backfire in the long run.

I hope all of the people in authority involved in this are sued into oblivion. There is way too much emphasis on breaking up marijuana use, and not on treating the deeply embedded problem of alcoholism. That problem is deeply embedded because many adults are alcoholics, and don't want to deal with that problem themselves.

Alcohol is a far worse drug than marijuana. There are more deadly and destructive automobile accidents. More domestic violence occurs because of alcoholism than marijuana could ever produce. The real reason neocons don't like Mary Jane is that it is hard to get a soldier or a police officer to oppress innocent civilians when they are feeling mellowed out.

age discrimination 11.Dec.2003 11:41

John Turnow

School segregates students by age. It is an institutionalized form of age discrimination that is harmful to all members of society. I think a reason why it is so boring is that students are always forced to interact with others in their own age group, and with prejudiced teachers and administrators who regard them as intellectually and morally inferior beings. It is boring to be powerless.

It is a mistake to assume that the experience of old age is superior to the wisdom and insight of youth. Yet even our elected positions in government have age restrictions. We have a lot to learn from younger people. "


'THE CHILD is father to the man.'
How can he be? The words are wild.
Suck any sense from that who can:
'The child is father to the man.'

much better 11.Dec.2003 12:17

Summer

I read the first version of your article, and while I thought it was good, I'm glad that you expanded it and also found resources to site. I've been out of high school for 5 years now, thank God, but it still pisses me off when I think of how often articles were blocked out my school newspaper or how many clubs or actions were stopped. Keep trying and find a way to make your point.

an excellent reference for pot: "Reefer Madness" by Eric Schlosser 11.Dec.2003 15:24

Dirtgardener

Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market
Eric Schlosser's second book. Marijuana is only part of the book (the first section pages 11-74 and the notes with 74 cited references pages 228-248). Although not the biggest piece on weed/marijuana, Reefer Madness is one of the most read and one of the best researched and referenced. Just as in Fast Food Nation, the media and industry will have difficulty refuting Schlosser's work, as would legislators, news editors and school officials.
When Eric Schlosser was in town he mentioned how difficult it was to overdose on pot: you would have to smoke a hundred pounds of marijuana a minute for 15 minutes to obtain a lethal dose. I'd figure smoking a mere lid would be quite a task in 15 minutes. Yet the legal alcohol and tobacco are far more deadlier.
Humor aside, the legal aspect is the critical issue when discussing pot. Schlosser writes on and interviews several "offenders" (not even accused of growing or having possession) of pot who received stiffer sentences than many convicted first-degree murderers. From page 13 of Reefer Madness: "the national average: eleven years and four months in prison is the typical punishment for an American found guilty of murder."

Only One Way Out 09.Mar.2004 15:45

His Alone

I'm so sorry for all of you who attend public schools. There are few who realize just what kind of people it is creating. However, I am one of those few. And while some say the problem is money, or drugs, or age discrimination, I know the truth, and I am trying to get it said. There is only one way for the schools in America to come back to being the academically excellent and uplifting schools they once were. And that way is Jesus. No, He is not a scrawny nobody who was killed on a cross 2,000 years ago because He was too wimpy to get out of it, but a powerful and majestic warrior, the only Son of God, who was strong enough to obey His Father's love and die for us, then rise up from the grave, proving that, if we believe on Him, and die for His sake, He can make us live, really live. And He is the only One who can fix the scool problems. Money can't solve all problems- only God can do that. So, as students, and future leaders of this country, it is time for you to take up the beliefs upon which this country was founded, and live for Him. It is the only way.

This article is stupid 04.Mar.2005 07:28

Chad Wetzel charmin_fresh@hotmail.com

Not all your observations about people who get high are accurate. Most people don't smoke pot cause they're bored. Where the hell are u getting these middle schoolers from. Younger people are more energetic than people that are older. There's always something to do to keep from getting bored. Most people that smoke pot and get high much of the time are doing it just because they like to. Not because they are bored. Secondly marijuana is not as addictive as you think. I know people that quit all the time for job purposes and then start back up after like 2-3 months of sobriety. That's not addiction. That's what most people think. People just like to get high.

618-910-4112