Drugs!... Here I go again

One of my many duties as a police officer was to instruct a program called D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) I taught this outstanding program as a drug prevention officer for a small police department located in the Town of Monroe, CT. I had the honor of teaching D.A.R.E. to approximately 250 Monroe school children per year, for almost 4 years.

Somebody the other day made "the" statement, " Well it's only Marijuana". Only Marijuana?... I write this page because of my concern that our society is still not getting the message that drugs, as prevalent and considered commonplace, as "Marijuana" and "Alcohol", are without a doubt, life threatening substances. Our youth and a portion of our adult society however, still continue to abuse these and other drugs, on a daily basis. Why?

Marijuana is considered by most youth as a "harmless drug". Which in all honestly, is the farthest thing from the factual truth. Marijuana has been known for a long time by well renowned medical study groups to produce many carcinogenic and harmful properties. The carcinogenic ingredients include fertilizers, insect sprays and a myriad of other chemicals on the plant, or mixed into the surrounding soil, to enhance it's growth and potency. "THC" (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the main ingredient that gives the user a feeling of ecstasy and profound thought, is so much more intensive in a single plant today then it was back in the 60's and 70's when I was young.

Extensive proven medical research studies of this drug has found that the THC found in the plant today has been intensified by growers up to ten times of that which it was back in the "Woodstock" era. Is Marijuana addictive?.... Yes, psychologically and physiologically. Marijuana arguably may not be the drug it was in the past, not that it wasn't harmful to the user then. It still put the user in danger by ingesting dangerous chemicals and by diversely changing their thought process while under the influence. Put aside for now, that people who use this drug are more apt to place themselves in dangerous and even lethal situations. Things that they would never imagine themselves doing ordinarily, they do under the influence of drugs.


In previous years up until the 1980's, growers of the drug used a insect combatant called DDT (Dichloro, Diphenyl, Trichloroethane) which eventually after research, became Federally outlawed. Research by the scientific communities showed that this chemical used in everyday farming of our food sources actually seeped into the products it was used on; fruits, vegetables, etc. In some cases it managed to find its way into our brooks and streams and affected our wildlife, causing disease and death. DDT was found to be full of carcinogenic chemicals harmful to all. But still even today, growers of Marijuana in this country and in other countries still use this chemical, and others like it, such as inorganic compounds of arsenic and lead arsenate. Both these and many more toxic chemicals have long been used to deter against insect devastation and increase the plants' resilience and strength. Marijuana smoke creates five times the risk of cancer of the lungs as does cigarette smoke. Fact not fiction.

As a retired police and drug intervention officer, and more importantly, a parent, I still believe we have a long way to go to prove to our children that the hazards and lifelong complications to be suffered pertaining to drug abuse are real.

As a parent and a Police Officer, here is my best advice to young parents today: It is NOT an invasion of your child's privacy to search their bedrooms or read their personal journals. It is NOT an invasion of your child's privacy to check their backpacks and personal belongings on a regular basis. Make it your mission to know who your children's friends are. Ask what they do in school and after school. Know where they are and if their will be adult supervision at these locations. Most importantly be a PARENT FIRST and a FRIEND SECOND. Guide them, take interest in their lives. Also, always, always, be there when they need you. Listen to them and spend quality time with them. Don't be afraid to talk to them about drugs. What you discuss about drugs and their actions today, could save their lives tomorrow. Lastly, you, the parent(s), are the most influential people in their lives. Act responsibly, set a good example for your children to follow, they in turn will grow into responsible caring educated adults.


By Mike Mangini






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