Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Today's feel-good story

I'm spending more time cruising headlines at my computer now that the local newspaper has raised its single-copy price. I still enjoy the print edition, and always maintained it was a great bargain for 25 cents. But any time somebody doubles a price on me, I'm going to step back for a moment and consider the ramifications.

Anyway, I wonder if I had slipped two quarters in the box this morning I would have been rewarded with this Associated Press lede:

CHICAGO - Kids on both sides of the Atlantic are smoking less pot and going out less often with friends at night, a study of 15-year-olds in 30 countries found.

Does this mean there are seafaring boats cruising the Atlantic where all the kids go to party? Surely we would have heard about this. Here's a link to the complete story:

It's time to point out: In no way does this blog condone or encourage the recreational use of marijuana or other illegal drugs. But I do think it's important for all of us to look at studies like these and assimilate information that might help us, in some way, become more knowledgable and contributing members of society.

The article also pointed out that marijuana use increased only in Estonia, Lithuania and Malta, and among Russian girls. Interesting...

What does all of this have to do with music? Well, we know just about every kid these days wants to be a rock star -- they even make an energy drink with that name. And we know they've been "investigating'' the use of marijuana by musicians for decades, trying to determine if cannibus might have either helpful or harmful effects.

Way back in 1938 a reporter for "Radio Stars'' took it upon himself to try some "hay'' so he could write authoritatively about rampant marijuana use in swing bands. Here's a link to that story: http://www.druglibrary.org/mags/radiostars.htm

Perhaps if newspapers had done more investigative journalism like this, and written catchier headlines like "Exposing the marijuana evil in swing bands!'' they wouldn't be in the fix they're in. And maybe, just maybe, our kids wouldn't be boarding party boats to hit the "high'' seas.