Something for youngsters to think about
There is growing concern throughout much of the United States over an increasing amount of illegal drug-related deaths, with some medical experts describing it as an epidemic that could be spiralling out of control.
Much of the nation is engrossed at the moment with a new president and an administration that has managed in a few short weeks to cause outrage with millions, and to produce a level of divisiveness that has Americans and the world baffled over what to expect in the months ahead.
President Donald Trump, in his openly declared war against the media that has ruptured any rapport that would make for a better relationship between his administration and journalists, is viewed as a matter of concern.
But what is even more troubling is that attention is not as focused as it should be on day-to-day issues of the people. Violent crime continues in a number of cities, along with a startling number of traffic fatalities, with many caused by people texting while driving, or being under the influence of illegal drugs, including cannabis.
It may be good news for some to learn that authorities here are initiating moves to keep those caught with small amounts of cannabis from being stigmatised with a record that could hamper their ability to travel freely.
Although that is considered a step in the right direction in dealing with persons found with small amounts of the drug, it raises questions over what we should, or should not, be telling our children about illegal drugs.
There are times when public officials can be so absorbed in a controversial issue that it tends to overshadow other matters that are of equal importance in the Bermudian community. Illicit drugs and the negative impact they have had on many families, irrespective of social status, should be one of our highest priorities. Illegal drug use will not fade overnight, despite warnings from health officials, community leaders and the police.
Perhaps this is easier said than done, but young people would be better off if they were better-armed early that life can be just as exciting with no artificial stimulants of any type.
That will be the hardest lesson to teach in an atmosphere where too many have accepted illegal drug use as a part of modern society. In other words the “if you can't beat them, join them” syndrome could be another obstacle.
Our young people must be taught well, and early, that in life there are always decisions that could mean the difference between success and unpleasant consequences. Most people are quite familiar with that basic code that is a guide for all who desire a healthy and happy existence. It could be a good thing to implant that code to as many young people as possible because with each young person that decides to have nothing to do with illegal drugs, our society will be that much stronger.
Somehow, whenever this subject is discussed, the importance of the family unit and the part it should play in guiding young minds seems the only real hope of protecting the next generation. Technically, having a small amount of the illegal substance could be compared to stealing a pencil from a store with office supplies. It may be only a pencil, but it is still theft.
No young person should feel that with the initiative concerning small amounts of cannabis that the coast is clear to get it on, so to speak. We know everyone makes mistakes, but the important thing is to learn as much as possible from those mistakes.
This truly is something our young people should be thinking about as they evolve into citizens of tomorrow.