25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE   BY ANGEL NUÑEZ

No Drugs in San Pedro


T
wenty five years ago there was no marijuana in San Pedro. Not only that- there was no cocaine, nor crack, nor any form of hard illegal drugs. Women who drank 25 years ago were considered "bad women". Well, later when drug's were brought, those few men who used it were also considered very "bad" and were not welcome in San Pedro. Some of them got into bar fights and were never allowed to return to those bars. San Pedranos protected one another from these notorious "bad men".

The presence of illegal drugs today does cause a different form of life in our Community. Twenty five years ago you could trust your kids on the streets without the fear. that he or she would be molested by a drug peddler. You could trust your teenagers hanging out a little late without the fear that peers or dealers in drugs would offer them marijuana or crack. There were no babies born with deformities or physical abnormalities due to the parents' indulgence in heavy drugs. Families were not breaking up due to the related problem that drug abuse brings along. No one in San Pedro was sent to prison due to abuse and misuse of drugs. Yes, men did drink 25 years ago- of age and underage. However, underage boys would not be allowed in bars. I mean, everyone knew one another in a population of 500 and you would not accept your friend's son in your bar establishment. The worse form of drug abuse came from alcohol abuse. Men were known to go on a drinking spree of 2 or 3 days or 3 weeks and even 2 to 3 months. Some men even sold their household articles to get money for a drink. When desperate, some men even drank Bay Rum, a type of rubbing alcohol. They also drank medicines, which contained alcohol like "castro" (another rubbing liquid). It is a miracle some men did not poison themselves.

I think it can safely be said that marijuana and harder drugs were brought into the island by outsiders and foreigners-outsiders from other districts and by foreigners who were sadly into it. The first outsiders who brought it to San Pedro were looked at with repugnance. Fingers were pointed at them. San Pedrano families did not accept them as husbands for their daughters. They could not enter a bar without getting into a fight with the local boys who were opposing the weed into our society.

However, the drug war was won by dealers in drugs. Today, it is abused by teenagers and adults, mates and females. Many sons of good and respectable families are into it. Many fathers use it to the knowledge of their sons and daughters. And I do believe we will soon hear cases of children using it. It is not time to do any finger pointing. It is time for education and heavy parental guidance. Parents and teachers must help a great deal in this process if we are to do any good to our society. We must educate our children and students in the serious negative consequences of misusing drugs. We must help them acquire self-respect and pride in being drug free individuals; We must all be good role models to our growing children.

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