Conservationists Fear Dwindling Park Space Reduces Places Kids Can Safely Get High

Pictured: heartwarming scenes like this may soon be a rarity.

In a letter to the Obama administration published today, naturalists and conservationists expressed a growing concern that chronic reduction of the nation's parks and open spaces is limiting the safe areas that America's children have to go and get stoned.

"For decade, our nation's youth could count on a darkened baseball diamond or an abandoned picnic shelter when they wanted to smoke a bowl safely, without worrying about crashing a moving car or getting caught by Dad walking into the basement," read the letter, published in the latest issue of High Times and on

"Now, with these havens disappearing thanks to budget crises, we're pushing our children further into dark, dangerous forests -- or even inner-city neighborhoods -- for just a few tokes."

The authors of the letter, including Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, argue that local and state governments are "mortgaging our children's futures just to save a few bucks."

"Wall Street elitists got us into this financial mess, but they're still rich, so their kids continue to have the means to get high in peace," said Brune. "But while they're taking advantage of their wealthy parents' lengthy vacations away from home, or their kickass backyards with lots of places to hide so the weed smell won't drift back into the kitchen, the children of hard-working, normal Americans are forced to do their drugs in more and more dangerous situations."

"It's a crime," he said, shaking his head sadly.

Without a safe, secluded place for 14-18 year-olds to get high, American society could soon begin to suffer, say experts.

"When a typical suburban teen trips acid at a park and begins to scream 'LOOK AT THOSE SAVAGE MONKEYS TRYING TO KILL ME,' he's in no real danger," explained Dr. Thad Norton, professor of sociology at Boston University. "But if he does the same thing in an urban environment, he could wind up in a whole mess of trouble."

Parents share the concerns of experts and conservationists, and are doing their best to think of ways to protect their children while they're doing drugs.

"Time was, you'd just head up to the river for a little cush, or maybe on top of some hilltop overlooking a nice lush valley," reminisced Clayton Sawtooth, a parent in Philadelphia, PA, at a recent PTA meeting. "Now, that kind of stuff is disappearing. It's almost enough to make me just let my kid smoke up at home, where he's safe."

Sawtooth hastily added that he would never do that, because his son needs to believe that doing drugs is terrible and wrong, and requires sneaking around into dangerous places.

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