- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Feb. 27 issue of The Washington Times carried articles with conflicting focuses. On the top half of page A6, a story was headlined “Deaths of young teen drivers increase.” The secondary headline said, “Safety analysts are unsure what to blame for the biggest uptick in a decade.” The article below the fold was headlined “Holder says states to get guidance on legalized pot” and the secondary headline said, “Conflict with federal law at issue.”

The answer to both these problems are clear to parents and grandparents. Tragically, our nation has turned into a cesspool of drugs, drug paraphernalia, shootings, families torn to shreds and a public that seemingly doesn’t give a darn. My colleagues and I have been fighting against legalizing drugs since 1980, when we first discovered drug paraphernalia, drugs and music with vile language blaring at schools, out of car windows, at school dances and even in some classrooms. We had presidents who giggled about inhaling, or not inhaling, and we had TV shows too vile even for adults.

The first order of rebuilding the family is to establish some regular hours for young children. When former first lady Nancy Reagan was our honorary chairman, we established what we thought were regular hours for youth to be home. We urged parents to meet with the parents of their children’s friends and set appropriate guidelines for their activities and behavior.

It is imperative that parents and young people understand just how dangerous a toxic weed marijuana is. It is addictive, both physically and psychologically; 18 nations have linked it to schizophrenia, and it is clearly tied to school dropouts, underachievement and many other social ills, as well as the deaths of young teen drivers.

We can correct this. During the time of Mrs. Reagan’s term, the government gave our parent movement credit for reducing teen drug use by 50 percent.

If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. would like to hear from parents in our national movement, we would be pleased to meet with him or his staff. We need time with our representatives, both elected and appointed. It matters what we say and do.

JOYCE NALEPKA

President, Drug-Free Kids

Silver Spring