Marijuana and the dangers of Google image search

In my day job as a Martial Arts instructor, I teach classes in various locations around Sydney. Some of those are in schools and universities, where I rent space after hours for classes. In one of the primary schools that I teach from, the younguns have obviously been learning about the evils and dangers of drugs. They’ve been taught that tobacco kills you a little bit every time you smoke (and the government gets a bit more tax revenue) and that marijuana can send you psycho (and that it’s illegal as the government doesn’t get any tax from it). The most notably absent thing on their projects appeared to be alcohol. The drug responsible for more deaths, assaults and crimes than any other didn’t seem to rate a mention. But there’s no surprise there. The government makes most of its drug related tax revenue from alcohol, so you can expect that schools are discouraged from discouraging it too blatantly.

How do I know what primary kids are doing for their school projects? Well, before you start thinking that I’m some creepy guy sneaking through the corridors at night and breaking into desks, let me just clear that up. Between the hall where I teach and the bathrooms in this particular school are various notice boards where school projects are displayed. This particular drug “education” project caught my eye.

The problem seems to lie in just letting kids do image searches to make their anti-drug posters without a detailed vetting by the teacher. For example, we have this effort:

“The message from tobacco companies is loud and clear.”

I’m not sure that’s an entirely appropriate gesture for a primary school. Then again, perhaps I’m just showing my age.

Then we move on to the entirely surreal:

“If you smoke [EVERY BURGER] You die!”

A cow with a cigar, then a burger from some Japanese advertisement (presumably a tenuous connection with the cow?) and You die! I think these kids have been on the mellow green already.

Then we come to my personal favourite. This is what happens when you don’t pay close enough attention to the images the kids have decided to use:

“Marijuana makes you crazy
You can go hyper up to six hour
And it takes months to get
chemical off.

Don’t take illegal

OK. Now this kid is well on the message, even if the grammar needs some work. Making a point to lay off the illegal drugs will score points with the local member for parliament when he visits the school, as the kid has quite rightly refused to comment on the legal drugs. But wait a minute. Let’s have a close look at that image the kid used:

“#1 fuel
#1 fiber
#1 paper
#1 food
#1 medicine

educate yourself”

That’s right, folks. Educate yourself. This is a pro-pot message brought to you by pre-teens. Ah, kids – don’t they just say the darndest things?

Caveat: I feel that I should point out that I have the utmost respect for the public school system and the people that work there. I have absolutely no respect for government drug policy. But, most importantly of all, I’m not above seeking out hypocrisy, especially when there’s a cheap laugh in it.

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2 thoughts on “Marijuana and the dangers of Google image search

  1. I’m concerned that public school systems don’t provide alcohol education. Responsible usage of alcohol is curbed by the lack of any established foundation of alcohol awareness in our culture or education during our upbringing. Everyone knows that kids get on the sauce in the latter years of high school. Teachers know it. At any rate, shutting your eyes, plugging your ears and pretending it doesn’t happen to our precious perfect kids is stupid. Especially when in most cases a single year out of school every kid has the legal right to go and purchase the most mind numbing bottle of grogg times three. Schools need to provide alcohol awareness. Present it as a coming of age right. Present it as an aspect of our culture and present it as something that should be treated with respect. They need to know what it will do to you, they need to know how much and when and how to take care of each other. As a cadet at RMC we’re all massive fans of the sauce – and we’re not exactly new to it either. But a lot of the younger chaps are. RMC provides, like the rest of the defense force, mandatory alcohol awareness classes every 6 months. How much of what, when and when not. What does it do? How can you identify problems with alcohol in your mates? What can you do? What are some strategies for having a good night out and not becoming a mess, a criminal or a patient?

    These are important lessons that are being denied to our youth. And we wonder why alcohol is such a problem.

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