DR. WALLACE: A few years ago I invited you to join NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and asked if we could add your name to our support list. I informed you that many celebrities, including government members, support our cause. You graciously declined.
Will you change your mind now? Or are you one of those goody-goody guys who had rich parents, nearly choked on the silver spoon when you were born, and would rather die than bend or break a law — even a stupid law? — Vince, Palo Alto, Calif.
VINCE: It was nice hearing from you again. In your first communication with me, you were very polite asking me to join NORML. This time, while asking me if I will change my "no" reply to "yes," you have become a bit "testy."
My answer is still "No." I didn't change my mind. Even if the use of marijuana becomes legal in the United States, I would encourage teens to avoid the drug for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is to maintain good health. Everything, except fresh air, that enters the lungs is unhealthy.
I've been called many unflattering names in my life, but "goody-goody" isn't one that I can recall. My parents both immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland where silver spoons were hard to come by. They never became "money-rich," but we had a roof over our heads and a large potato at every evening meal.
Once again, Vince, thanks for reading my column, and I'll be looking forward to hearing from you in another three years.
THE VERY BEST TEACHERS ARE MOM AND DAD
DR. WALLACE: Our school district has eliminated the sex education program at our high school because of a lack of funds. I am very disappointed with this decision. How will our teens learn the facts of life? And last year the district stopped teaching driver's training. It seems that every time there is a cut in funds, the most useful life-training classes get cut.
On the other hand, the football program is still going strong. If our family could afford it, we would move to an area where important programs are added, not dropped. — Mother, Small town in Texas.
MOTHER: More and more parents want the schools to teach courses that parents should be teaching at home. Both driver's training and sex education programs were started in schools because parents shirked their responsibility and decided the schools should do it for them. Parents should be the ones to explain the facts of life, and to teach their students how to drive the family car.
When I was a high school administrator, several parents met with me to discuss the school teaching a course on "Credit Card Etiquette — the Do's and Don'ts of Using the Card." I told them that this is important for teens to learn from the very best teachers — Mom and Dad. Students can learn the basic math skills in school, but the parents should teach them how to manage their money!
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.