Artist Leon Ewing Proposes Giving High School Kids ‘Educational Marijuana’

Australian multimedia artist and Murdoch University lecturer Leon Ewing has proposed a plan that would provide high school students with controlled doses of marijuana in order to stimulate their creativity.

And—cue the pearl clutching—he’s not alone in thinking that this controversial idea has potential. Leigh Carmichael, creative director of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), where Marina Abramović will exhibit “the art of the immaterial” in June, has expressed curiosity (see Gambling Millionaire David Walsh’s Kooky Tasmania Museum MONA Clocks 1 Million Visitors).

Ewing’s idea will be expounded upon during a talk at the Tasmanian museum’s annual music and culture festival, Dark Mofo, which takes place from June 12–22. Abramović will make an appearance at the event, which boasts “food, drink, music, and general wild abandon” (see Marina Abramović Finally Heads Down Under for New Gig).

“We already prescribe amphetamine-like medications to our children for focus and docility. What if we medicated for creativity? Educational marijuana, if you will,” Ewing told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

His plan includes providing teenagers “controlled and moderated” doses of marijuana, via custom-made vaporizers.

“We don’t necessarily agree with this idea, but we love that it’s brave and creative, and in order for seismic change, we’ll need to think big and be open to provocative ideas,” Carmichael said.

Inside the Museum of Old and New Art. Photo: Wikipedia

Inside the Museum of Old and New Art.
Photo: Wikipedia

Ronnie Voigt, head of Tasmania’s Drug Education Network obviously disagrees with the proposal. “[The idea] doesn’t sit well with anyone who understands child development,” he told ABC.

But it looks like Voigt (and parents everywhere) might be in luck. When asked whether or not he was being facetious, Ewing replied: “Yes and no. In my work as an artist, we need to ask the big questions.”


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