AAUW studies societal problems | Lifestyle

American Association of University Women has a long-established goal of promoting equity and education for women and girls and working for positive societal change. The local Tehachapi Mountain Branch of AAUW, established in 1983, follows these goals within one of its interest groups called Great Decisions. This group meets once a month to study materials developed by the Foreign Policy Association. A recent topic was “A Century of Drug Wars.”

The group viewed a video, read the prepared information and realized they were particularly interested in knowing about the problems illegal drugs cause in Tehachapi. Group leader Nancy Williamson invited Detective Mike Adams of Tehachapi Police Department to share his knowledge and experience regarding drugs locally.

Adams is very familiar with Tehachapi, having graduated from Tehachapi High School and serving on the local police department for 10 years. He said drugs are a multifaceted problem, dangerous and unpredictable. Laws have changed so that many drug offenses that once were felonies are now misdemeanors. This has made policing more difficult. A large percentage of drug addicts have mental health issues. The county and city lack resources to adequately deal with these problems.

Drugs have been marketed to appeal to youth who do not recognize the dangers inherent in developing an addiction to drugs. Adams is aware of the pain, sorrow and expense this causes parents. Again, he cited lack of resources, both funding and staffing, that make it difficult to alleviate the problems illegal drugs cause.

Membership in AAUW is open to men and women with a two-year or higher degree from an accredited institution. Information may be found at Call 972-6508 if interested in joining. 

Phyllis Belcher is an AAUW member.

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