Should Caffeine Be Regulated Similar To Other Drugs (Such As A Minimum Age)?

Kacey

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
16,462
Reaction score
223
Location
Denver, CO
Kane said:
So do you think that there should be a legal age for buying drugs?

I agree that education is the best way to stop drug use. For example if people looked at Heroin as a poisen then there would be little to no drug use when heroin is now looked at as the ultimate rebel drug.

I think that having a legal age for buying nearly anything simply sets up many teens to try to obtain the item simply because it is forbidden, as I said earlier in this thread... and in terms of the drug that started the thread, caffeine, no, I really don't think so. It is too ubiquitous now - like aspirin - to attempt to regulate it at this late date.

An example where education worked: when I was a child, my mother gave me children's aspirin... and when I was about 12, Reye's Syndrome became better known - and clearly associated with the use of aspirin by people under 20. The primary use of aspirin is now for adults whose doctors have told them to take 1 children's aspirin for heart health - not children.

Education can work sometimes - and sometimes not, in which case the educational program needs to be modified. Placing strictures on something, or making something illegal that was not illegal before, is fraught with problems for the enforcers and the enforcees alike.
 
OP
K

Kane

Black Belt
Joined
Jun 19, 2004
Messages
589
Reaction score
17
Kacey said:
I think that having a legal age for buying nearly anything simply sets up many teens to try to obtain the item simply because it is forbidden, as I said earlier in this thread... and in terms of the drug that started the thread, caffeine, no, I really don't think so. It is too ubiquitous now - like aspirin - to attempt to regulate it at this late date.

An example where education worked: when I was a child, my mother gave me children's aspirin... and when I was about 12, Reye's Syndrome became better known - and clearly associated with the use of aspirin by people under 20. The primary use of aspirin is now for adults whose doctors have told them to take 1 children's aspirin for heart health - not children.

Education can work sometimes - and sometimes not, in which case the educational program needs to be modified. Placing strictures on something, or making something illegal that was not illegal before, is fraught with problems for the enforcers and the enforcees alike.

I understand where you are coming from, it is just that it seems a bit hypocritical that we have legal ages for tobacco and alcohol.

BTW, do you think there should be a legal age for alcohol and tobacco?
 

Kacey

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 3, 2006
Messages
16,462
Reaction score
223
Location
Denver, CO
Kane said:
I understand where you are coming from, it is just that it seems a bit hypocritical that we have legal ages for tobacco and alcohol.

BTW, do you think there should be a legal age for alcohol and tobacco?

Alcohol and tobacco were unregulated for centuries, and their use was less wide-spread at the time that laws regarding their use were passed. I think that society is making a statement about the dangers of such substances by passing laws about their use; I see the same type of statement being made by passing laws about drunk driving. Such laws are public statements of societal morality; the fact that such laws are backed by concern for the cost to society (e.g. medical costs for victims of drunk driving accidents) when they are not followed notwithstanding. I think that children and teens are poor at making judgements about their capabilities, needs, and desires than most adults, and that such laws help many of them (although certainly not all), at younger ages and lower levels of moral development, to make better choices than they would without such guidance - although I also think that the same effect could possibly be seen with better parenting.

As far as caffeine, which was your original question - yes, it is a drug. Yes, it has an effect on the nervous system. However, that effect is not as great as that of alcohol, nor, according to current research, is it as potentially deadly as long-term alcohol and/or tobacco use. Therefore, at the current time, I support laws limiting childrens' and adolescents' access to alcohol and tobacco, but would not support such laws regarding caffeine. As I said before, I believe it is the parents' responsibility to teach their children moderation - and more, to demonstrate it consistently themselves, as that is a better form of education than the hypocritical "do as I say and not as I do", which is the method used by too many parents. If, when I am a child, my parents say "don't drink, but if you must, drink in moderation" and then do just that, it is more meaningful to me than if they say "don't drink but if you must, drink in moderation" and then proceed to get falling-down drunk every night.

Laws are only as good as the society that writes, implements, and enforces them. As long as society poo-poo's certain laws, and considers the breaking of those laws to be minor offenses (speeding being a prime example of a law that is spottily enforced and broken more often than it's kept, with potentially lethal and tragic consequences) then nothing will change. Until society walks the walk that it talks - that is, enforces it's own laws consistently - will anything change. Education is the key to this process - education of individuals, of groups, of law enforcement officers, of the justice system, of the political system, etc.
 
Top