I briefly saw a clip recently of a talk show where both the guest and the host were squirting hand sanitizer into their mouths. Letterman used to occasionally drink mouthwash or some other material that was sure to kill you but I knew he was just being silly. He really wasn’t actually consuming whatever was marked on the container. It was just a prop to elicit a laugh. But my feeling was that these other two guys were actually consuming a squirt of the hand sanitizer. The discussion that followed was that kids had figured out a way to add bath salts or something to distill alcohol from hand sanitizer and then consume it. Kids used to spray paint into a plastic bag and then breathe it (huffing) just to get a high. Yikes.
So the old saying “You can’t fix stupid” popped into my mind when I saw that clip. It reminded me of the effort to legalize pot. I don’t advocate anyone smoking anything, let alone smoking pot. But I do not like spending all the money that we are spending trying to prevent people from using pot. I don’t like paying for housing people in prisons for using or selling pot. The war on drugs is just too expensive. Stupid people are going to do stupid things no matter how many laws and no matter how many prisons we build. Whether it’s using drugs, being sexually promiscuous, piercing their bodies, or getting tattoos. You name it. All we can do is make sure that accurate information is out there to help people make informed decisions and then to make sure rehabilitation is available for those who finally regret bad decisions.
Saw an interview of Matt Lauer with Bobby Brown. Some were trying to blame Mr. Brown for getting Whitney Houston hooked on drugs. He said she was using drugs prior to him. Whether or not that's true is irrelevant. People must ultimately take responsibility for their choices and for their actions. My younger step brother Tom died at 57 from lung cancer due to smoking cigarettes. He started smoking when he was in high school and I remember trying to get him to quit for a couple of months. He resented me for it and so I ultimately reconciled by realizing that was his choice and he was welcome to it.
Besides using drugs we have people who waste their money on gambling. We have people who eat themselves into obesity & diabetes and populate themselves into poverty and the planet into global warming. We have people who eat meat then need bypasses, shunts, blood thinner and have strokes from clogged arteries. We have sexual predators. We have people who get into debt way over their heads. We have student debt, we have mortgage debt, we have the national debt. We have rating agencies and auditors who dishonestly rate and dishonestly audit (Lehman Brothers was the biggest financial failure in history). You can’t fix stupid. All you can do is try to mitigate it with help, understanding and persuading people not to be so stupid.