We aren’t the first to say this is a very difficult time in America’s history to raise children. We say that because of the preponderance of illegal drugs that have invaded the environment.

Hardly an issue of The Missourian is published when there isn’t a news story, or two, or three about a drug bust, or people being sentenced to prison for drug crimes or crimes committed while under the influence. Our prisons are filled with people who were involved with illegal drugs.

Last week there was a drug bust at a home in the St. Clair area where a couple had been raising marijuana plants for more than 10 years. The man is 60 years old and his wife is 58. They told authorities that they were just a couple of “old hippies” — hardly an excuse for what they were doing. The hippies of the 1960s and 1970s are getting older, but their presence still is being felt, apparently.

It would seem that there still is a big job to do in educating our young people about the dangers of illegal drugs. Drugs have ruined thousands of lives. Society has being paying a big price in law enforcement because of illegal drugs. Special task forces are needed in law enforcement to investigate and put an end to drug manufacturers and dealers.

In Franklin County, because of being part of a metropolitan area, we are near and in active drug territory. Also, with Interstate 44 passing through the county, we live in a major transportation avenue for the transportation of illegal drugs.

Drugs seem to be readily available in this area. That increases the threat to our young people. It is a challenge for parents to keep their children on a wholesome track. There are so many good activities for young people today, we don’t know why some turn to drugs.

Strides have been made in educating our young people about illegal drugs and how they can ruin lives, and the lives of those around them, but more needs to be done. The truth is the drug scene in this area still is very serious. Our law enforcement authorities are doing a very professional job in fighting drugs. There have been successes in the battle, but the war continues.