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Poway Town Hall Meeting on Teen Drug Abuse Yields Plan for Parental Instruction on Responsible Drug Use

"The family that tokes together, jokes together."

NO LONGER KIDDING OURSELVES, POWAY - Last Thursday, the Poway Intentional Leadership League (PILL) held a community-wide meeting to address the surprisingly pervasive problem of teen drug abuse in this affluent, well-mannered suburb.

The meeting drew over 300 people from all walks of community life - parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, and even some students and their dealers. And while the debate was intense and occasionally raucous, it seems to have borne fruit: the PILL Plan for Observation and Practice (PILL POP). Essentially, the plan calls on Poway's parents to use recreational drugs with their children, instead of hiding out in the den or the master suite bathroom.

"It's not like we're not using these drugs already," explains PILL POP proponent Carl Dawson, a longtime Poway pothead and father of three. "Of course we are. But what makes us different from the tweaker living in his own filth in a dumpster behind the Circle K is the fact that we know the appropriate time to party, and how much partying we can handle while still maintaining a responsible image. How are our children ever going to learn these things unless we teach them? Through trial and error? Advice from peers? Movies and television? I think it's pretty clear that we need to get involved with our kids' highs."

Critics warn that the plan does not do enough to stress the illegal nature of recreational drug use, but Dawson dismisses that as pie-in-the-sky distraction from the real issues. "I cannot stress it enough - parents are their children's primary educators in the behavioral realm. It is essential that parents model responsible consumption when it comes to oxycontin, marijuana, or other controlled substances. Otherwise, we are just going to see more deaths from overdoses, more kids dosing themselves right out of polite upper middle class society."

Besides just smoking out with your kids, Dawson suggests "making it an educational experience. Is your child interested in agriculture? Teach them about hybridization and sustainable growth by growing your favorite strain of weed with them. Does your daughter like chemistry? Try cooking up some meth together. And snagging a prescription for weapons-grade oxycontin from your primary health care provider can be the occasion for a discussion of medical ethics and the health care crisis in general. Research has shown that these kinds of shared experiences are crucial to the well-being of your child. Plus, drugs are amazing."

"It's time to take parental drug use out of the closet," concludes Dawson. "Unless, of course, that's where the grow lamps are. And who knows? For some kids, the experience of getting high with their parents might be enough to turn them off illegal drugs forever."

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