ONCE A YEAR DRUGS FOCUS NOT ENOUGH

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EDITORIAL

Post-Courier Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

May 31, 2001

Drugs, legal and illegal, should be coming to the forefront of our thinking this week.

A drug is something that is addictive; that keeps you coming back for more, even when you know it is bad for you. And that certainly goes for cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and the like.

Some would say alcohol is just as addictive, but authorities the world over have despaired of tackling the last-named, ever since Al Capone’s gangsters made life hard for police in the U.S. in the 1930s.

Today is World No-Tobacco Day and health experts are bombing the community with facts and figures on the perils of smoking.

At the same time, Police Commissioner John Wakon is speaking of the Constabulary’s plans to tackle the peddling of harmful drugs to our people.

Both groups have plenty of ammunition to wage their campaigns.

Look at the poster that is being pasted up around the cities and towns. A picture of a cigarette and a list of the ingredients that make up its contents.

Things like paint stripper, road tar, floor cleaner, rocket fuel, fumigants, mothballs and the stuff in plastic pipes.

Would you ever in your wildest moment knowingly digest a mothball, let alone the other nasties listed? If this poster does not strike home with the most entrenched smoker…

As to Mr. Wakon’s campaign on marijuana and other drugs, we can only hope for the best.

The common sight of lads on street corners, zonked to the eyeballs on "pot’’ and doing anti-social things while affected, is daunting.

The prospect of harder drugs used here is frightening. For these reasons, we hope everybody gives their support to the campaigns to curtail smoking and to clamp down on the marijuana trade.

The pity is that society seems to expect such efforts to be a "once a year’’ thing, part of the exploding calendar of "Days’’ devoted to a particular cause.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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