Surprise, Surprise

Two articles with “surprising” revelations about the very real issue of cause and effect.

First this article which finds that in states that legalize recreational marijuana usage for adults, there is an increased acceptance of marijuana usage among minors.  In other words, adolescents have a more accepting view of marijuana usage in states where adults can utilize it legally for fun.  The proposed solution to this undesired outcome?  “States should consider developing evidence-based prevention programs aimed at adolescents before they legalize the recreational use of marijuana“.

Because that’s worked soooooo well with alcohol consumption, right?

Look, here’s the issue.  If you legalize something for adults, kids are naturally going to get the message that whatever is legal for adults must be OK.  Sure, they may be banned from legally enjoying it themselves until they turn 21, but the reality is that it must be OK.  Which in turn will lead to increased usage by people under 21.  If they see Mom and Dad doing it and it’s legal, they’re going to want to try it for themselves.

If you want to encourage young people not to engage in marijuana usage, you have to convince them somehow that it’s bad for them.  Unhealthy.  It stunts their brain growth or other negative outcomes (the article specifically mentions “psychosis” and “poor financial status” although those are pretty vague terms!).  But this may lead the discerning student to wonder whether there are adverse effects for adults who use the substance legally, and now you’re taking on the pro-marijuana supporters who insist that there is no negative health impacts of pot usage.

Fortunately, there is the strong stance of experts on this stuff, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, which boldly asserts that there “may” be a health risk to children from marijuana.  Wow.  That should dissuade a lot of kids (and their parents) from trying pot!

In other news, cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have reached an all-time high in our nation.  According to this article, over 1/3 of our country is infected with some sort of STD.  Does that seem outrageously high to anyone else?  And let’s stop to unpack this for a moment.

Based on US demographic data from 2015, roughly 32% of our population is either above the age of 65 or below the age of 14.  Those between 14 and 65 make up 2/3 of our population, and I’m assuming that they are also more sexually active than those below 14 or above 65 (and also more likely to be with multiple/different partners).  If the US population is roughly 318 million, that means there are roughly 200 million folks who are statistically most likely to be sexually active.  And perhaps half of them are infected with an STD of one sort or another?!?!?  Yet we continue to encourage our young people to emulate the irresponsible sexual behavior of adults?  Despite the fact that just the three STDs discussed in the article can lead to “infertility, cancer and death” and are part of a 16 billion dollar annual medical tab?

Which my tax dollars help to pay, thanks to mandatory health insurance laws and government subsidies?

And the amazing thing is that, of all the possible causes listed in the article, having sex is not even mentioned!

Instead, blame is shifted to “erosion” of publicly funded treatment and prevention resources (which I suspect is fancy talk for Planned Parenthood facilities) and increased screening.  Fortunately, if we spend more money in “community services” (another term for Planned Parenthood?) and sex education, we can reverse the trend.  I’ll assume that this sex education won’t emphasize monogamy or celibacy until you’re married, because that would just be silly and unrealistic and impractical.  Right?

Brilliant.  Let’s not warn people about the real risks of sex with random people (college hook-up culture, anyone?) or the benefits of monogamy, we’ll just spend more money to treat people dealing with the inevitable repercussions of a licentious culture.  I *love* that my taxes will continue to increase in part to pay rising subsidized health care costs driven in part by our cultural insistence that sex never entails the need to think about very real physical repercussions because you can get a shot or an abortion for cheap or free.

I’m so surprised at this data.  So very, very surprised!!





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