“Just Say No”

Growing up in my circles as a teen was tough at times; I had respect for the drug dealers and gang bangers that would tell me to go home, or suggest that I not show up in a particular area at a particular time. I have seen my share of stuff; once, right after I was accepted on financial aid to a private school, I got off the hook when a few guys from the community asked for a ride from the mall; I had no clue they had drugs on them. When all was said and done, I appreciated how they defended me for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was cool how even bad guys looked after the good brothers in the world. I felt like I was modeling the right behavior for them, though I did not see many of them once I changed schools.

That is clearly not the case for Houston Independent School District. Read here:

In the past couple months, nine teachers from Houston area school districts and one custodian have been arrested on drug charges. Four of those employees, including the teachers who were arrested Friday, were taken into custody at Woodson Middle School. Read the rest here.

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54 thoughts on ““Just Say No”

  1. I find the war on drugs exhausting, especially regarding pot. A glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day is OK, but a joint isn’t? Please. There are far more serious crimes on which we should be expending our resources.

    And I am the first to admit that I am *completely* ignorant of the value of prescription drugs on the street, but is there any such value for high blood pressure medicine?

    What a mess.

  2. This is sad. And HISD has two drug dogs – what the!?

    justthisgirl – I agree. The “war on drugs” is stupid. We cannot prevent drug usage by spending billions of dollars on trying to stop smuggling operations. Obviously it hasn’t worked so far. Kids at my school smoke pot because it’s easier to get than booze.

  3. Exactly. How about we start to prosecute the rapists and murderers instead of the Grandma smoking a little bit of weed? The “war on drugs” is a joke.

    Carson, I do have a bit of problem with your using the term respect for drug dealers. Would you say the same for some guy who rapes women and tells you to just go home to get you out of the wrong place at the wrong time? You you say the three guys who were gang raping a woman that they were just “looking after the good brother”?

  4. I believe that you are taking Carson’s statement a bit too literally Roland. I think that he was trying to impart that he was respectful of the fact that they could just as easily have harmed him. It’s kind of like people who are fearful of the actions of others, not the actual person.

    On drugs, I really do have a problem with their usage for more personal reasons than anything else. I don’t really want to go into it, but I do think that there is merit in trying to safeguard the rest of the population against buzzed up lunatics……just a thought.

    I do believe that our school does go a bit lightly on drug surveillance and punishment. Our school has become far too focused on money, I cant count the times I’ve seen friends get off lightly for tobacco and pot charges despite the fact that our school “strictly” prohibits them; all because they are the child of some fortune 1000 higher up employee. So what if a student gets a bit uppity (new age sense, not old) and thinks that they can refuse to let the school investigate a drug charge because they pay thousands of dollars a year to go here…………isn’t their evasiveness enough of a reason to check into it?

  5. Amen Patrick, on everything.

    I find it a bit strange when I hear people saying we should abolish capital punishment, but then go and talk about how we should give up on the war on drugs when drugs and drug trafficking organizations are responsible for more deaths every year than all eight years of the war in Iraq put together. It seems grossly contradictory to me.

  6. I do not think that marijuana, or any drug, should be legalized. But, the “war on drugs” is not an effective way to prevent drug usage. If there is a demand, there will be a supply. Instead of trying to reduce the supply, we should try and reduce the demand. Get my drift?

  7. Dillon, not to be disrespectful, but there is no way to change the demand because as in thier nature, a drug is addictive and have powerful affects. I believe that there are far too many small time sting operations than major trafficking stops along the borders. On the topic of Iraq- think of the billion dolar industry that opium is there, something that is leading thier funding of terrorist activities. May I suggest we start the war on drugs there?

  8. How about while people are in prison for drug offenses counting down the time until their next high we enroll them in an NA program? Or how about public schools provide programs to educate parents and students about the dangers of drug use and help students who have drug abuse problems?

    Our demand is so great that the “war on drugs” actually helps the drug traffickers make MORE money.

  9. Good point Dillon. However, like sex, some people just like their drugs. We aren’t doing a very good job in reducing the demand, so therefore the supply must be targeted. I’ve known too many people that just love drugs and don’t listen to reason to believe that targeting demand is a good possibility. I don’t like giving up on anything. Especially something as important as drug control, however it really doesn’t matter if the demand for drugs diminishes or not. The desire for quick cash won’t. Drug traffickers will find some new way to make cash and concerning the lack of moral character it will probably remain with illegal substances of some kind.

  10. Dillon, we have all those things and drugs continue. Like I’ve said before, I hate giving up on things like that, but they don’t seem to be doing enough. Would I stop the uses of those kind of programs? Heck no. I think that they have had some effect, but the war on drugs should continue. I hate war. War sucks! But if a war is needed then let there be war. If there is a fight to be had, then the fight will happen. We can’t sit back and let these things happen.

    Minority in A-4, good point. However, I didn’t mean to bring the war on terror into this. Let’s try to stay off that subject.

    What do you think Carson?

  11. At best, we are intercepting 30% of illicit drugs. Like I said – AT BEST. We aren’t putting a dent in drug traffickers profits.

    And drug traffickers do not necessarily have a lack of moral character. In poor Latin American countries, there aren’t very many ways to make money. Drug traffickers and growers have families to feed too.

    So to target supply, how about we work harder to address political instability and a lack of economic vitality in third world Latin American countries?

    We can’t prevent terrorism by killing terrorists, and we can’t prevent drug usage by killing drug traffickers.

  12. The war on drugs has got to be the biggest joke and failure of our country.To say that it should be continued in its currents form must mean that you don’t mind throwing away billions of dollars every year.
    Yes hard drugs like coke and meth should be banned but there is no reason for non addictive, pretty much harmless drugs such as weed and shrooms to be illegal. You’d be hard pressed to find a single case of a person dieing from weed alone.
    Of all the drug related arrests, around 40% are weed related… all for a drug that is less harmful than a cigarette.

    I could argue all day about the benefits of needle exchange in the fight against hiv or the medicinal use or marijuana or the textile benefits of hemp… but I’ve learned that most people who are adamantly against drugs were so frightened by DARE or something like it as a kid that you’re forever brainwashed.

  13. Dillon, we went into Iraq to take down an evil dictator who was supporting terrorism. We are not trying to defeat terrorism by killing terrorists. We are trying to take out their support. And yes killing terrorist leaders will cause problems for terrorists and weaken the chain of command within terrorist organizations. Please don’t pursue this issue. I hate talking about the war.

    Also would you rather have 100% of traffickers drugs in America or 70%? And believe it or not Dillon drug traffickers are not poor. Drug trade is a billion dollar industry. The growers may have problems because the traffickers don’t pay them much, but why revert to something as wrong and destructive as drugs out of desperation. Also, the U.S. addressing instability in South America would be a further detriment on our economy at this point.

    I would also like to point out the kinds of governments used in South America. Let’s face it most countries down in South America are social fascists. I read an article on the NY times before I went on my trip to Ecuador. The president of Ecuador, Dale Correa, just passed a new constitution that generally gave more power to the government, gave the potential for uninterrupted rule, and offered social benefits (During a major recession I might add. They lost over 30% of their foreign investors in the last year). It also ordered the expulsion of foreign troops, specifically targeting American anti-drug forces. It seems like these drug organizations are inside the government. If you want to address the instability in South America, you might to rethink your perception of the war on drugs. It may have it’s problems but it isn’t something we should give up on.

    By the way Walker, people don’t die from weed. That’s pretty obvious. They die from doing stupid stuff while under the influence of weed. Also, weed destroys brain cells. I don’t even care about weed that much, however the fact that it is illegal and still used is the wrong part.

  14. Looks like you have a bit of a drug problem there at HCHS. Sounds as if they have justified it well in their minds at least. Good luck with that.

  15. Josh – I was not trying to bring up the war on terror, I was just using that as an example. To fight terror and drugs, we need to address the root of both of these issues: global poverty. For the most part, people become terrorists or drug traffickers in foreign countries for the same reasons that people become criminals in the United States.

    Jim Brown – HCHS does not have a drug problem. America’s youth has a drug problem. I have friends that attend various high schools in Houston – and all of them have told me that many students at their school use drugs – especially pot. Yes, even students at Second Baptist…

  16. Point taken, but until we can find a sure-fire way to fight that we might have to settle for something less.

    BTW lol about second baptist!

  17. Josh,
    Sure weed kills brain cells, but so does oxygen. Saying something kills brain cells means absolutely nothing.
    Plus my point was that no one has ever overdosed on marijuana. Compare that to the number of alcohol poisoning deaths a year… a legal, actually potentially harmful drug.

    Jim,
    It is not high schools that have a “drug problem,” if anything it is America that does. Besides the fact that we as a country are number one on the list for drug users of every type, this country also has a problem trying to fight it. Not to mention the majority of people addicted to caffeine or their prescriptions

  18. All I can say is that in too many cities, they are using valuable Police recources trying to catch, prosecute and jail people for minor offenses such as having a joint on them while they are backlogged with rape, murder, kidnapping and other, more brutal, offenses. Heck, in Charlotte they even spent money on a “litter” campaign to catch more litter bugs. Give me a break.

    I am all for the legalization of pot. I have never tried it and really don’t want to. Can’t stand the smell. What is the difference between pot and all those other drugs that help you keep an errection for four hours and get you to sleep or such? The difference is a perscription. That and the money. If they legalized drugs, think of all the jobs that would be lost.

    I also see no problem with legalizing hookers either. What one person pays money for is their business. Govco does not need to get involved. But, that is another topic.

  19. Marijuana is actually less harmful to the human body than alcohol or tobacco. And as I said earlier – most of the people I know that smoke pot do so because it’s easier to get than alcohol or tobacco.

    I am a bit divided on the issue of marijuana legalization. Ever been to Amsterdam? I have, and even though legalizing marijuana makes sense, turning our country into a giant Amsterdam does not. That place is creepy.

    But, I agree that police should not be putting as much effort into catching pot smokers as they currently are. We have bigger fish to fry.

  20. Walker – So let me see if I’m getting you right on this, you think that because any old joe-bag-of-donuts can go out and kill himself with alcohol poisoning or kill someone else in a fatal car accident; then anyone else should also be able to do the same with cannabis? You would rather have two (or possibly thousands if you consider other drugs just as safe) of possible liabilities to people on the road or just one? I wish sometimes that some of you trust-fund babies at school would have to live a day in the life of someone in a chemically abusive household. Maybe then you would realize that marijuana use is not cool and that your not quite the b@d@$$ you think you are for being able to essentially admit that you use marijuana and see no problems with it.

    Everybody else who agrees with Parkhill – justification is one of the dumbest tactics that I have ever seen. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard complaining that they got a ticket when someone else right next to them was driving so much faster. Guess what, you were still speeding. So what if the guy next to you was driving like a bat outta hell? It’s not about him; it’s all about personal accountability. It is time for America to evolve from being a nation of whiners and into a nation that takes responsibility for it’s actions. If you had been going the speed (a parallel for not using marijuana) limit, you wouldn’t have gotten a ticket and everything would have been fine.

  21. I am hardly a trust fund baby. I also live with a man who abuses marijuana. He’s high most of the time, can’t hold a job, has no short term memory, and no motivation whatsoever.

    I still support the legalization of marijuana. Just because he abuses it doesn’t mean everyone will. If we’re going to make marijuana illegal because it can be abused and cause problems, we should make alcohol illegal as well.

    Furthermore, just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it should be. If I were to get arrested for smoking, I would take my lumps. That doesn’t mean I won’t petition to have the law revoked.

  22. Patrick – I am not a “trust fund baby.” I do not smoke pot, drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or anything else of that sort. I drink coffee – that’s about it. I probably never will smoke pot – it’s not really my style. And I probably won’t drink until I am 21, because I’m not much on parties.

    As far as the chemically abusive household thing goes…both of my parents have been recovering alcoholics for 20ish years. My mom found her brother dead in the shower one morning from a heroin overdose. Her parents used to get drink and throw knives at each other. My dad’s father used to come home every night, eat dinner, get drunk, and proceed to tell my Dad that he was a worthless moron. My grandfather quit drinking and is now addicted to pain pills. Get my drift?

    As I said earlier, people that I know smoke weed because it is easier to get than alcohol. If it was legal and had an age restriction, that most likely wouldn’t be the case. Alcohol is actually more addictive and harmful than marijuana is. If we legalized marijuana, would people abuse it? Probably – but I have some news for you – people abuse alcohol too.

  23. I have never used drugs, nor will I ever. With that said, the War on Drugs needs to be continued. There will always be a demand for drugs, and that is why we must focus on the suppliers. Yes, there are more dangerous criminals like murders and rapists. However, a crime is a crime, and just as we track down murderers, we should track down drug dealers and traffickers.

    I am opposed to the legalization of marijuana for a number of reasons. Firstly, marijuana use will only open the door for the use of more dangerous drugs. Secondly, high pot smokers not only pose a threat to themselves but to others. Patrick has touched on this. Let’s say an intoxicated driver gets into an accident and kills an innocent bystander; is it fair for that innocent driver to have to have to pay for the mistakes of others? Yes, the same is true for alcohol. However, in terms of intoxication, one can consume alcohol without impairing their judgement and motor skills completely. With weed, I don’t think you can be “half high.” That is one of the big differences between alcohol and drugs. Thirdly, how will pot-smoking teens who damage their brains at a young age be able to compete for jobs against other people in the world? Keep in mind that American students are already mediocre compared to students in other countries, and drug use among teens is much higher in the US than in other countries. Like you said Dillon, teens smoke pot because it is easier to get than alcohol, which leads to a higher drug use than alcohol use among teens, and on top of that, pot can be more harmful to the brain and mind than alcohol.

  24. Thank you, and very well stated Chris. You have quite the talent for this. Dillon isn’t the major problem on here though. I believe that deep down, he too is opposed to Cannabis use. It is those who see it as a safe drug who are the real problem.

  25. If you smoke a joint, I am pretty sure that you are not inebriated – just like if you only have one beer. I am not 100% sure on this though – anyone know the answer?

  26. Patrick-I absolutely agree with you. There is no such thing as a “safe drug.” I’m glad to know that even though you come from a chemically abusive household, you have stayed clean and haven’t used drugs.

  27. Dillon-I’m glad you and I don’t know the answer to that question. I think that’s a pretty good topic to be unknowledgeable in.

  28. Dillon – Sorry, I didn’t see your post. I don’t consider you a trust fund baby in the slightest. I deeply respect the hardships that your parent’s have had to go through in the past to achieve what they have now. Sorry if you thought that comment was pointed towards you. Really, it wasn’t even an attack against Walker. However, I do think that there are those at our school who feel great levels of peer pressure because they think that drugs are the cool thing to do. To make it worse, many of those kids possess the monetary means to get ahold of whatever they might want. I am just saying that they do drugs because of the “popularity” that often accompanies it. I am sorry if you thought that my comment was geared towards you or anybody else, it was more just a vent of frustration towards some of the more “popular” kids at HCHS who see no consequences to their actions. I just don’t want to have to see some of those same kids grow up to be abusive parents like you and I have both had to deal with–though my problems are in a bit of a past life if you get my drift.

  29. Well Dillon, that isn’t something that can be definitively answered. For some people one beer is too many for them to be safe behind the wheel of heavy machinery or for it to be wise for them to use their telephone. I have no idea if it’s the same for marijuana, but I would imagine that it is, since that principle can be applied to just about any chemical that we ingest.

  30. Patrick – I am not a proponent of Cannabis usage. However, I have a problem with the innocent people being killed as a result of the “war on drugs,” even though no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose.

  31. Hey Kristi, Carson mentioned you during his daily memories of Arkansas and CAC today. He wouldn’t tell us the story behind the decapitated cat though. Would you mind filling in the blanks?

  32. Patrick,
    You want to talk about personal accountability and responsibility?
    I have no better reasoning to offer you than a qoute from the movie Waiting

    “I don’t work with any exact boundaries of the law because I wasn’t consulted when the god damn laws were made. No, instead nameless, faceless politicians, the so called protectors of the moral majority decide what is right and what is wrong. I mean come on. I govern my life around my own personal code of ethics, and I suggest that you do the same. That way if, within the constructs of my own morality, I were to do something that is considered illegal, so be it. I feel no guilt whatsoever and furthermore, if I were to buckle under the social weight of the system by adhering to laws that I do not truly believe in then I would be extinguishing the very fire of patriotism and individuality.”

    Sure a little bit on the comedic side but that’s the short of my reasoning right there as to why just because it is illegal, doesn’t mean its wrong to do it.

    To Chris as well,
    You obviously know nothing about marijuana if you think legalizing it would cause more car accidents like alcohol does. Just like any drug such as alcohol or even caffeine, your dosage matters and I read a study recently done up at UT about marijuana usage on the campus that stated an overwhelming majority of students while high are aware of that fact and know not to drive, unlike those under the effects of alcohol. Plus it was legalized you would see laws about driving while under the influence of it just like with alcohol. Also studies have shown that a brain will only have visible lasting damage to it if a person smokes at least 5 times a week for an extended period of time.

    So to Dillion and Kristi,
    Kristi you’re absolutely right, the effect of anything we put into our body is proportional to the dosage, including marijuana or any other drug. With some chemicals more means longer and for others it means more intense.

  33. Walker-I never said legalizing marijuana would cause more car accident. I used that as an example as to how they not only pose a danger to themselves but to others. Walker, is a DUI law really going to prevent accidents? What if the first time a person drives intoxicated is the time they kill somebody in an accident? How is a DUI law going to help them there? Sure you mentioned that study, but is that true for everyone? Does every single person on drugs know not to drive while intoxicated?

  34. Sorry Patrick. If Carson wants you to know, he can tell you himself. It’s not right for me to bring up something that caused him so much anguish.

  35. Not all people in HISD are drug dealers and gang members. There are some good people, not saying that not everyone there is bad, but I feel like we kind of stereotype people because of someone next to them. Once we meet everyone in HISD then we can make assumptions about that.

  36. Hey guys, been laying low for a while.

    I am here to say that there is nothing more angering to me than people discussing subjects about which they have absolutely no experience. I highly doubt that any of you pampered private school students have ever been to a public school, much less a Public high school. Sure, drugs may appear at a relatively constantly rate throughout the year at, HCHS is it? And I am even more sure that there may be a couple incidents per year of people doing something really stupid while under the influence. Well guess what, It’s a lot different at Waltrip. We’re HISD and in pretty bad shape when it comes to drugs.Barely a day goes by when I don’t see some type of altercation erupt over missed payments or the price of five ounces. I have seen many of my friends badly beaten because they missed a payment or defaulted on whatever mission that they were supposed to do for the drugs. Drugs aren’t a game, and also aren’t things that people can use maturely. It has the sad capabilities of making people think that nothing that they do in life matters and that they are invincible (No I’m not talking about getting up on a bar stool and dancing like some people do when they get a bit tipsy). It builds upon whatever anger may dwell down inside and amplifies it to the point that murder or sever harassment are not all that unethical. If you dont believe me, take a look at the movie Alpha Dog (if your allowed). Drugs ruin lives. Sometimes, they even take some lives. That is why I don’t support legalization. I am not worried about all the @$$hole$ who think that they have every right to put the lives of others in jeopardy because they want to feel a bit high. It is the people who may be caught in the path of the destructive path of potheads that cause me to side with those against legalization

  37. O, and Patrick, I am really sorry to hear about your accident on the day after your grandmother died. You should have called me to drive u home if you weren’t in good enough of a mental state to drive. Oh well, guess this isn’t something to be talkin about here. I’ll ttyl.

  38. i think that this incident is just a reoccurrence of what i have heard of friends long graduating in the past of dating, partying with, and receiving unauthorized help on standardized tests (such as taks). its a determent to the kids who want to learn but aren’t blessed with finacing to go to private schooling. the roots for these problems can be found in the parents of the student who have most likely allowed tolerance for such actions to carry on in their house, which then carries over into the school. the parents should be charged just as much as the schools and teachers. to prevent such things there should be higher standards for meeting requirements to educate (instead of going online for 6 weeks and being able to teach). these teachers are not just corrupting the school system but the future of this nation. i feel compasion for those who unnessisarialy have been deprived of their one shot at shot. and mr carson we should go running sometime cause i run a 7:23 mile so that would be fun

  39. Honestly why don’t we do what they have done in the Netherlands. Legalize marijuana, by legalizing it you have more control over the distribution and usage of the substance. Plus it prevents death of the users because of some bad additive put in by the dealer. A bar or a coffee shop could get a license just like the do for liquor and all of the marijuana must be consumed on premises. It works in Europe why cant it work in the US.

  40. Yeah, definitely make sure that you have a good map. My family got lost in the red light district. Lets just say that you will see a lot more than you want to.

  41. I know i have been to Amsterdam their system works. Government controlled drug distribution cuts down on abuse and drug related deaths.

  42. Obviously Daniel, as no one in America ever dies or abuses prescription drugs. I’m not trying to be flip or rude, but it’s apparent that we have controlled substances over here and yet people die and abuse those substances. The reason the United States probably has a much greater drug (prescription and illicit/illegal) and alcohol problem than most other developed nations is that we don’t know when to stop with anything. We’re greedy turds here in the United States, myself often included, although not with drugs and alcohol.

  43. I know nothings perfect or absolute. But the fact is part of the thrill of drugs is the fact that is illegal. There is less abuse of substance when it is readily available. For example look at porn, in europe kids grow up seeing nudity on tv and advertisements so there is no mysterious attribute to it so less people look at it. In America we have put nudity as a taboish issue this mystery makes it more addicting. Same is true with drug use the more we make it illegal the more people will be drawn towards it

  44. Yeah, I get your point Daniel. My point is just that Amsterdam is gross. And I don’t want New York to be the next Amsterdam. At least in the U.S. the prostitutes have to hide.

  45. I would just like to point out, that no matter if you legalize pot or keep it illegal, people are going to do it. A law saying that they are not allowed to do will not stop people, and no matter if you legalize it or not, people will drive under the influence of it.

  46. Im not debating the ethics of pot smoking or what pot smokers do im arguing pure statistics. I do not have numbers for this but it seems to me that if you make it legal you can control intake and location. In Amsterdam a coffee shop owns a weed license just like you would a liquor license. You are given 5 grams all of which must be smoked on premises. Plus to respond to Cunnion’s comment the number one reason stoners drive under the influence is to get food. If you put them in a coffee house where there is food the don’t drive for the most part

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