25 April, 2013
The kids are alright
It used to just be something adults had. That black coffee was a rite of passage. Something only inattentive parents would let their children near. Then came the soft drinks. Schools started with the soda pop machines to make a few bucks. The school lunch programs tried and some of them succeeded in banning this junk, but it's already here and it's here to stay.
I grew up in the '90s and by then, Jolt Cola, the predecessor of Red Bull and 5 hour energy was just being introduced. It was hard to find but it was out there. When you found it, you felt like a drug addict. It had something like two to three times the caffeine of Coke. Nowadays, a trip to any of a few close, local grocery stores reveals a full 1/4 aisle of these drinks- all brands and varieties. Some of them in cans. Some of them mixed with coffee. Some of them in convenient powdered form. This stuff is everywhere.
And if you want coffee, Starbucks makes only the strongest, bitterest coffee imaginable. Diarrhea and visual distortions are almost guaranteed. Half of these coffeshops are even inside of grocery stores, right next to the energy drinks, booze, beer and wine.
It is very interesting that we don't take the caffeine problem seriously. I am not suggesting that having a cup of coffee or hot cocoa every now and then is bad or that even a cup a day is really all that bad(except for the withdrawals), but the easy accessability and marketing of these products as being cool makes them a strong contender for being the REAL gateway drug.
Just think- if caffeine is everywhere and perceived as safe, what's to stop you from taking a few of your friends ritalin or provigil tablets? When you realise there is very little difference between the two(at the dosages some of these energy drinks are at, having one or two is the equivalent of having some amphetamines or cocaine), what's to stop you from experimenting even more?
We send a very mixed message. Drugs aren't black and white. I don't like beer or wine but wouldn't mind having some weed butter available to purchase and yet, I really don't like the way it's marketed and glamorized. I hate that some idiot named all the weed strands names that sound like candy. It's fucking stupid.
Just put it all in a plain paper bag. The coffee. The beer. The weed. Keep the kids safe. Don't lie to them. Let them make their own decisions.Don't use it as a quick means to boost profits and then not want to deal with the consequences.