Responsible drug use does exist

Dear Daily Kent Stater editors,

According to the Daily Kent Stater’s Monday edition of “Our View” (“Be responsible with drugs – avoid them entirely if you can”), responsible drug use is “essentially an oxymoron.”

For the medical marijuana patient using, not abusing, their prescription to effectively treat their chronic pain, this is simply untrue. Is the student drinking a cup of coffee in order to make their 7:45 a.m. class irresponsible?

The fact is many Americans responsibly use drugs every day; just ask Pfizer, Merck, and Bayer. This type of approach to drugs does not provide much information to people who may have questions, thus resting at the base of substance abuse problems in this country. Students may feel inclined to take your advice and move their illegal drug activities “off campus property” – if they had somewhere to turn.

Unfortunately, as long as abstinence-only drug education persists, that void may never be filled. Speaking more candidly about drugs is only one of many ways to reduce the dangers associated with drug use. The editors were correct in noting that students in the Student Center were simply trying to eat or take full advantage of their downtime during classes. However, we find it hard to believe that they are under a serious threat from “dangerous drugs” being in the same building.

They indeed have more important things to worry about, but more so on Thursday nights than at any time in the Student Center. It seems that on weekends, some students find no qualms with being in situations where drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are being consumed and often encouraged in sometimes-competitive atmospheres. These drugs take more lives every year than the drugs the editors deem dangerous. Students for Sensible Drug Policy in no way condones or condemns anyone for their drug use, but we feel that the editors’ message was a little misguided.

And none of us would mind taking a “life-long place in a total stranger’s mind as being related to drugs.” We’re part of the solution.

The above column was written by the Kent State Students for Sensible Drug Policy.