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Just Say Yes


If you have kids, you most likely prayed hard that they would avoid drugs and alcohol. Once a child becomes intoxicated, childhood is over. The young person will never be the same again.

Thus, a sane society discourages substance abuse if only to protect children. A sane society does not put a happy face on inebriation.

We are not a sane society.

With almost 30 million Americans currently categorized as "substance abusers," you would think that Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign, which launched in 1983, would be resurrected. But saying no is not what America in 2013 is all about. Saying yes to whatever you want to do is the rule of the day.

Washington State and Colorado have legalized the use of marijuana, and many Americans are celebrating. As Bob Dylan once sang: "Everybody must get stoned!" The usual excuses are put forth: It's a freedom issue. We can tax the drug to generate revenue. It will get the criminal element out of it.

But the truth is that legalized pot (or drugs of any kind) creates massive unintended consequences.

—In Holland, so many problems arose from pot being sold in "coffee shops" that a law banning the sale of cannabis to "foreigners" was passed. It seems the streets of Amsterdam, in particular, have become saturated with stoned people doing things outside that should be done inside.

—The Netherlands recently passed a new law, forbidding children from smoking pot in school .

That's right, some of the urchins were getting high between classes. One teacher told the press it's hard to stop that when pot is being sold legally across the street where hard-core drug addicts buy it and then sell it to the kids in order to get heroin money.

—In Portugal, they have legalized all drugs. The result: Drug-related homicides have increased by 40 percent. Drug overdoses are up by 30 percent.

—In Switzerland, drug-related deaths doubled and the health care system was overwhelmed after heroin was made legal in Zurich. The law was rescinded.

But here in the USA, we are now bullish on pot. Willie Nelson wrote a book glorifying the drug. Snoop Dogg says he wants to teach his kids how to smoke reefer. And the media in general see marijuana as a harmless diversion. If you are down on pot, you are decidedly uncool.

Fine with me. I'll risk the stigma. According to the federal government, 8,400 Americans begin using drugs every day, half of them under the age of 18. And 68 percent of folks who become addicted to drugs begin with marijuana. Get the picture?

Celebrate the pot culture if you want. But know that you are not helping kids by taking the high road.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the book "Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama." To find out more about Bill O'Reilly, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at This column originates on the website




6 Comments | Post Comment
I don't really get your point. I'm sure he'd love to claim the prize yesterday if he could. I think you should be talking to the rest of the Dems and the fallen one.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Wed May 28, 2008 6:33 PM
Ms. E... know that do respect your ability to think if not your thoughts... ...Although, I do like the sound of your voice; but I diregsss. I am at once impressed, or maybe that should be depressed: I found it difficult to believe in any party that would deny the Democratic notion of "One man (woman,) one vote," as regards FL & MI. Thereto, I am not so fond of the Caucaus Process. My employer didn't have to let me off work to attend the Caucaus, and in this erswhile State, Hawaii, the one Kingdom, still Feudal Duchey of American Republic, we don't really have a Federal say until after the Democratic convention. (Whew! - - My pet peeve #1.)
Pet Peeve #2. Gove V Bush, was the first Presidental Election in which I didn't know the outcome before I voted for a President: Whew! Another accomplishment...
Actually, I'm rather proud of our Hillary. She reminds me of every woman in Hawaii, circa 1940. I'd help Mama and Grandmother out the door at 3AM. They'd go to work in the field, come home by 3 PM and help me with the chore of growing up: I never really understood Woman's Lib? Of course I'm just a man and we have limited sensibilites; most my male role models were drunk in the backyard by 4:30 PM. At lenght: It might be a futile battle against incredible odds, but that's something I do comprehend.
Of course, I probably won't vote for Barak until I hear something of substance regarding the Economy. My wife, a woman of great worth who did escape from Texas with her senses in tact did ponder... ..Four more years of Bush? Are you foolish?
She's a Blue-dog Democrat; She's a lot like the Hillary when it comes to grit and the word that sounds like how she stitchs home-spun yarn.
I'm a Yellow-dog Democrat; I only vote Deomcratic, but my Homeboy, Barak? I've yet to hear the substance or see the grits. What kind of Change? When? Where? How? We know what needs changing. We see it in the nirror every morning. As I am fond of saying to my home folk: Hawaii, Maui Island has been since 1894 a feudal duchey controlled by a single Corporate Interest. It did sadden me to see the Big FIve, become the One Corporate State. It saddens me more to think that someday the entire American Republic will take us back to the 40's as we sell our assets, become a debtor Nation to China. I sometimes see our Hillary as the Elizabeth I of the US - - Sans the White Faced makeup and overly ornate dress with flying collar. On the other hand, I think Barak has a nice smile, but his not John Wayne in True Grit.
Oh Goodness. Have I dated myself? My wife says, if I don't vote... democratic, I will be dating myself... Of course I'm not worried: She's lost her hearing; but, then again, she's from Texas and never listened: Hum? I wonder?
Nah. Even if Hillary looses, I can live with that as long as like the Hoe-Hana Women of old Hawaii, she works her row. The Fight isn't over until Mrs. Vares is singing (Yea. She was fat, but I'll never forget; Like Hillary, Mrs. Vares taught me, not to quit.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Micheal J Breitha
Sun Jun 1, 2008 5:53 PM
I don't know why my comment on a totally different column is here as comment #1, but that's imperfect life at Creators, I guess.

The question I have for Mr. O'Reilly is, as much as I agree with his basic premiss that we need to reduce the use of all mind-diminishing drugs--pot, alcohol, etc--how do we most effectively do this? Is it through prohibitions heaped on us by the force of law?

I wonder how much he believes in passing laws to reduce gun violence. Maybe we should be looking at education and cultural initiatives to help kids and adults to choose different alternatives. Just maybe. God forbid the mega-monied media (think Hollywood) might help us out with this.

Sometimes passing laws just makes the problem worse. Think Prohibition in the 30's.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Masako
Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:26 PM
Celebrating pot culture and repealing laws that don't work are different things. All of Bills points can be easily debated. Kids smoke pot in school in the Netherlands. And they don't do that here? Also, he dosen't talk about how many deaths were prevented by ending the drug war. Masako compares banning drugs with banning guns. I absolutly agree. Don't blame the tools, blame the people using them. The tools will always be there. This is a freedom and less government issue and republicans like Bill are on the wrong side. Many other conservative writers have come down on the opposite side of Bill on this one. Like it or hate it, pot prohibition is going away.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:39 PM
I doubt that decrimilizing drugs would get the bad guys out of the business; it just gives them more comeptition. Making drugs easier to get is not healthy either; I have friends with druggie backgrounds who all say that the years they were on drugs were years of brain growth lost; that they are less intelligent and mature than they would have been otherwise. Or is that what some folks want--a popul;ation that is dumber and less ambitious--and less likely to recognized nonsense?
Comment: #5
Posted by: partsmom
Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:01 PM
Prohibition: 1920 to 1933. One google click away. What's a decade to the low information poster? It's the fantasy, not the reality, that counts.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Tom
Sun Feb 3, 2013 8:57 AM
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