While strolling the neighborhood of my childhood, I came upon my old school - all of them, actually.
That's right. My preschool, kindergarten, elementary, junior and high school are all lined up snug on one street, Centralia Avenue. Furthermore, both my colleges (Long Beach City College & CSULB) can also be found just a few miles down the road. My academic career was tightly packed into a five-mile radius.
While surveying the very spot at Mark Twain Elementary School where I had my first kiss with Sean Bergeron in 6th Grade, I came upon a handy list of substances and behaviors that are verboten to the students. Of course, there was no such list when I was a kid and if there was, it probably only listed tobacco.
Still, I was shocked at the wide variety of recreational habits that a kid might consider, for what is this really but a helpful list of suggestions?
These all make good sense, of course, especially the firearms, tobacco and alcohol. But I did a double-take when I read the ban of "Marijuana ... and Peyote."
Okay, PEYOTE???? Do you know how difficult it is to get your hands on peyote? Sadly, I have no experience with it myself but peyote is actually a cactus that grows in Texas and Mexico and when consumed, the mescaline hits and you see God, plus a few other things. It is used in some Native American ceremonies and 'twas a favorite of the late Hunter S. Thompson and Beavis.
Not only is peyote extremely slow-growing (taking up to three years to mature) but it has been so over-harvested that it is listed as an endangered species.
Now, I ask you, where in the world is a 6th grader going to get his hands on peyote? Perhaps I have become such an old lady that I cannot imagine the sophistication of today's youth. You can probably order it through an iPhone app for all I know ...