We've come to the conclusion that America is the land of magical thinking. Maybe that's why we remain so great: We see no evil, except in “others” (right, Iraq?).

We want a balanced federal budget, but we don't want rich people and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes in order to get there. We hate illegal immigrants, just not the ones who cook the fast food we're eating. And, of course, we think kids are on drugs.

Just not our own kids:

The latest University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health (PDF) finds that only 1 in 10 American parents believe their own under-17 teens have had a drink in the last year.

The real figure, according to Monitoring the Future? Closer to 52 percent for 10th graders.

Only 1 in 20 American moms and dads think their teens have smoked weed in the last year. The real number? 28 percent of sophomores got irie in the last year, according to Monitoring the Future.

What gives? We'll tell you what gives: It's those “other” kids working double time on Four Loko and OG Kush, of course. Funny:

More than half of those same parents believe that more than 40 percent of 10th graders have smoked out in the last year. Other 10th graders.

About one-third of parents believe 6 in 10 sophomores have had alcohol in the last years. Just not their sophomores. The University of Michigan:

Parents believe their own teens' use is very low, even while they estimate overall use rates for kids of the same age are very high.

American parents are high. But they can learn from this. Keep your teens away from L.A.'s plentiful marijuana dispensaries, just in case they're not actually the angels you think they are.


LA Weekly