Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Supreme Court Decision Shows Misplaced Priorities

September 10, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Regarding Alex Kreit’s Commentary “‘Bong Hits’ for Student Speech” (Aug. 29, 2007):

The U.S. Supreme Court should take a cue from the nonsensical banner “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” that inspired its decision to limit student free speech. It might do the justices some good to take a few bong hits for Jesus.

Before sacrificing any more civil liberties at the altar of the drug war, they should ask themselves: What would Jesus do? Would Jesus persecute, incarcerate, and deny forgiveness to nonviolent drug offenders? Zero tolerance is decidedly un-Christian.

Morally, the drug war is wrong. On a practical level, the drug war is an abject failure. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were 786,545 marijuana arrests in 2005, the vast majority for simple possession. America is one of the few Western countries that punish citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis, yet lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. than in any European country, according to the study “European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs,” released in 2001.

Thanks to the war on some drugs, the U.S. Constitution is increasingly irrelevant, and the land of the free now has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This is not a policy worthy of constitutional exemptions. The drug war has failed to keep drugs out of prisons, much less schools. The Supreme Court should prioritize protecting civil liberties over perpetuating drug-war failure.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.

A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read