Talk to children about making good choices

Freedom Newspapers

T he next target of the anti-drug hysteria that
stems from our nation’s drug war could well
be something many Americans have never heard of: marijuana-flavored lollipops.
Marketed by several makers under names such as “Pot Suckers,” the candies contain no THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. But that doesn’t stop rabid drug warriors and well-meaning activists who worry that pot-flavored treats will send the wrong message to kids.
We believe such hand-wringing is probably misplaced; many of us grew up “puffing” on candy cigarettes and bubble-gum cigars, yet aren’t addicted to tobacco. Most people, even children, know there is a difference between candy that tastes like pot and the real McCoy.
Not everyone is so sure.
Michigan state Rep. Dudley Spade is proposing a state ban on candy that contains hemp or tastes like hemp. He’s one who worries about sending the wrong message to children. He’s obviously one who also believes that parents are unable to communicate the right message to their kids, so the state must do it for them.
Anti-drug organizations such as the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America take a more family-based approach, urging parents to get stores to stop stocking the candies.
We always prefer market-based solutions rather than those imposed by government. They allow more freedom and choice in the marketplace.
That’s not to say we encourage anyone, especially children, to rush out and pick up a few of these lollipops so they could pretend to be on drugs, because we don’t.
We do, however, encourage parents to talk to their children about drug use and other behavior that involves choices that could change their lives forever.
Choice is a wonderful thing, but it must come with the freedom to make bad choices, so long as we’re willing to accept the consequences.