In his column “The drug divide” (Op-ed, Sept. 8), Tom Keane asks: If the first time people do something risky, such as taking the drug MDMA in a club, they die, what chance to learn do they have? It’s a false premise. Education does not occur in the nightclubs; it has to occur before people go. Keane is describing trial-and-error learning. That dramatically increases risk.
When well-meaning people inflate the risks of drugs, or falsely conflate very different risks, kids know they are not getting the truth from their so-called caretakers. This leads to young people with NO good sources of real experience to draw on. The war on drugs has been a decades-long mistake, for all the reasons Keane stated and important ones he left out.