Volume 96, Issue 66
Tuesday, January 28, 2003

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Bongs & Co.

Re: "The world of illicit drugs," Jan. 16

To the Editor:

While I acknowledge and can appreciate The Gazette's creative and liberal approach to journalism, I strongly believe that it was in poor taste to include a sidebar with your article, explaining to readers how to "snort a line" and "shoot up safely."

Even though the sidebar contained a disclaimer, I was disturbed by the inclusion of such instructions and would not want my teenaged sister to come across the article, as I felt this portion of the article portrayed drug use as a common, everyday activity through its informal tone and instructions to make it easy for inexperienced people to roll a joint or smoke a bong.

It is hard enough to keep young kids away from drugs, but by including step-by-step instructions on how to effectively use drugs, Gazette staff are not helping the problem. To a young person, such as my sister, who often reads copies of The Gazette, an article such as this may seem to be endorsing "proper" drug use.

In addition, I felt this section was insensitive to the readers who may have lost friends or family from drug abuse and to those whom themselves may have overcome a drug addiction, by trivializing drug administration.

So, instead of telling readers how to shoot up safely, you might have wanted to include statistics on drug-related deaths in the past few years as incentive not to partake in this dangerous activity or, for those who are using drugs, to stop this self-destructive habit before they become a statistic themselves.

Crystal Gibson
English/French II

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