“Dick Rowland Image”

Talk and print about the “war” on “ice” abounds. Our lawmakers
are now locked in debate over what to do about the problem. The
prevailing choices boil down to “nail and jail” or provide “treatment”, either of which entail large expenditures of resources.

Answers to two key questions should be required before further
debate proceeds:

First, what is “treatment”? Is it hot baths? Brain surgery? A
series of pills? Most of us, when treatment is mentioned, envision
something external applied to the object being “treated”. But the
solution to personal drug abuse is not external, it is internal-inside the person needing it. And what is the most common historical term used for such? It is “good character” or some would say “good moral values”.

Thus, the “treatment” is a character development program, a regime to
develop effective personal strength of character so that the person can effectively govern him or her self.

Second, is it possible that some users are not abusers of
others? If so, and they are like a solitary drinker, doing no harm to
others, why are some of us intent on the nailing/jaililng procedure? Are we shooting ourseleves in the foot, not to mention the horrible impact on the victims, their families and friends?

Answering these two questions demands a face to face encounter
with the wisdom of Edward Abbey when he said, “Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”

The delusion here is a careful walling off from the bitter truth
that we have an “ice epidemic” because character and values were often not instilled by families, communities, and churches. To quote Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

So, shall we punish “us” with great vigor and ignore the root of
the problem? That feels good, doesn’t it? A comfortable delusion.

”’Richard O. Rowland is president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy institute focused on promoting the free-market, individual freedom and liberty. He can be reached via email at:”’ mailto:grassroot@hawaii.rr.com ”’More information about the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii can be found at its Web site at”’ http://www.grassrootinstitute.org

”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com

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