Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Drugs and the Law

Objective
To understand the legal consequences of illegal drug use.

Background
Students ages 14 to 18 need to know the consequences of drug use, including how an arrest for using or selling drugs could affect their future.

Activities
Invite a local district attorney or prosecutor to speak to the class about alcohol- and other drug-related crimes and the penalties for conviction.

Ask the visitor to discuss penalties for the following specific violations:

• driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
• selling marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs;
• possessing one ounce of marijuana;
• possessing a small amount of cocaine; and
• possessing larger amounts of cocaine. 

Discuss the following:

• What are local ordinances concerning the sale or consumption of drugs that are legal for adults, such as tobacco and alcohol?
• What effects can conviction on a charge like driving under the influence of alcohol have on a teenager's future?
• How can teenagers protect themselves, their friends, and others from being injured or killed as a result of drinking and driving?
• What are the local and state costs of drug violations? 

Resources
Local district attorney or prosecutor; state and local statistics on the cost of drug violations.

Teacher Tips
• For more information on how to infuse drug prevention lessons into social studies and civics, contact the Constitutional Rights Foundation, 601 South Kingsley, Los Angeles, CA 90005. (212) 487-5590.

• Have students research traffic laws related to drug use by contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (1200 New Jersey Ave,  SE, West Building, Washington, DC 20590) and other agencies and organizations.

• Conduct a mock trial. Direct the jury to decide the verdict, and discuss why. Have the jury sentence the teenager if he or she is found guilty.,

Source
Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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