Drag Racing: The Anti-Drug

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Not to be confused with the superb know-your-rights manual by Katya Komisaruk (reviewed in the latest DWC), Beat The Heat is also a non-profit "Cops and kids" program in which police officers teach children to avoid drugs and alcohol by becoming interested in drag racing:
To help EDUCATE the young people of our communities about the real problems of illegal drug and alcohol use, To EDUCATE everyone to the horrors of alcohol or drug impaired driving, To promote a better understanding between the Police and the communities they serve and, To EDUCATE the general public about DRAG RACING, and encourage everyone to not race in the street.
Yes, these folks are, in all seriousness, offering drag racing as an alternative to risky behavior. Apparently, drug racing is fun for the whole family:
There are many, many women who Drag Race and several of them have advanced even into the VERY elite group of persons who drive the ultimate machine, the Top Fuel Dragster, at 300 Miles Per Hour.

With the advent of NHRA's new JR. DRAG RACING LEAGUE younger fans are now able to participate in Drag Racing at a very early age (8 years old).
8-year-olds, dude. They're letting 8-year-olds drag race in the name of drug and alcohol prevention, which may be the final sign that there's literally nothing you can't justify in the name of protecting kids from drugs. The overwhelming lunacy of it all is best illustrated by the fact that they're putting 8-year-olds behind the wheel of these massive death traps, even though children that young aren't even at risk for drug use.

In case it's actually necessary to explain that drag racing is vastly more dangerous than taking drugs, here's a video of some horrifying, fiery drag race crashes. Among other things, it's quite clear that these machines explode without warning, launching flaming shrapnel in every direction. Simply attending one of these events is arguably more perilous than the responsible use of any illegal drug.

Of course, despite our doubts about whether children should be recklessly endangered for a perverse photo-op, we don't think drag racing should be illegal. But the practice of teaching 8-year-olds to race each other in giant explosive rockets speaks volumes about the credibility of people who claim that marijuana will ruin your life.

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Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Maybe it the powers that be

Maybe it the powers that be come to their senses and stop the insanity, they will realize that recreational drug abuse is no more risky than drag racing or skydiving (my father years ago). Then they will come to the conclusion that they cannot prevent that type of risky behavior, any more than they can prohibit alcohol use! How could they stop the risky drug behavior? It is impossible!!

LEAP says it is impossible. And they don't condone or encourage or encourage the use of recreational drugs. They were the drug warriors (cops) from the past. The name Serpico has just been added to their list, from what I understand. And it is the REAL GUY!

Now use a sane approach and regulate, the presently illegal, drugs. The sales stop to the kids under 18. And the users have to go through the system to receive affordable, and likely even free, drugs. To be exposed, at the same time, to people who would be supportive of helping people who wanted, and needed, to stop the abuse, would be another added benefit. This is a new way of thinking about controlling drug abuse and its related deaths! Harm reduction, may turn out to be better than "tough love"! I think it could be a heck of a lot safer than drag racing or skydiving (although I enjoy both profusely). John Force lost a team member, and his son-in-law, if I understand correctly, just last week in a drag racing accident. (Eric Medlin) Good thing he never used drugs! He died in his twenties?!?!

re: Drag Racing: The Anti-Drug

Although I am sympathetic to your efforts to end the largely counterproductive war on drugs, I found your comments on youth drag racing lacking in integrity.

one example from your essay: "they're putting 8-year-olds behind the wheel of these massive death traps." Wrong! The machines that youth are participating in are powered by lawn mower engines, limited to only racing for the first eighth mile, and have a strict speed barrier. If I'm not mistaken, there has not been one single death of a Jr. Dragster participant since the program was initiated over a decade ago.

another example: "They're letting 8-year-olds drag race in the name of drug and alcohol prevention" Wrong again! Parents are letting their children race because for the most part, the parents are racers. The "War on Drugs" people happened to glom on to their efforts but that isn't why the people are letting their kids race.

There are more examples but I'm going to end there. I found your statements misinformed, inflammatory, and misleading.

Doug Dornbos

Thanks Doug

This is interesting. But none of the information you've supplied here was contained in the program's description. You're telling me that these machines are powered with lawnmower engines, but if that's true, it should have been made clear on the site.

Maybe you didn't understand my point: drag racing is more dangerous than responsible drug use. I'm not saying that children shouldn't be allowed to drag race, but rather that this is ironic. More people die from drag racing than marijuana, for example.

Furthermore, you've claimed that I was wrong about this:

"They're letting 8-year-olds drag race in the name of drug and alcohol prevention"

I don't know what to say. The Beat The Heat site couldn't be more clear about this. That's why they do it. You offer an alternate explanation, but that's not what their site says.

For what it's worth, I think racing cars is totally cool and people should be allowed to do all sorts of dangerous things if they want to, and most such things (including drag racing) probably aren't really that dangerous if you know what you're doing. Ok?

But none of that has anything to do with my point here, which is that promoting youth drag racing as an alternative to drugs is an odd choice from a safety perspective. If you agree with that, then we have nothing to debate.

Learn to be a reporter

"This is interesting. But none of the information you've supplied here was contained in the program's description."So Scott,you got this info. from a web site instead of seeing it for yourself?Nice reporting..............not.

I never said I was a reporter.

I'm a blogger. Blogger's generally get information from websites. I got my information from the website I was critiquing, and therefore all my accusations are perfectly supported and verifiable.

If you want me to go to Texas and watch children drag race, you severely misunderstand my work.

"perfectly supported and

"perfectly supported and verifiable".With your own twist.Is this what you do for a living?

Junior Dragsters

For a true defination see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_Dragster

Maybe this will clear some things up.

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