In the light of the recent attempt to legalise drug laws in the UK (via the HASC report) we must continue to be vigilant and inform the public and our politicians of the harms – not just to individual users but to society as a whole – deriving from the use of illegal drugs and the irresponsible use of alcohol.
The following perceptive article was received from a colleague in the United States.
Please note that the people of Colorado have just put the right to use marijuana into their state constitution, on the same level as the right to assemble, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. What a great day for the children of Colorado, and all of us.
Someday, in the not-too-distant future, we will look back at this moment like we looked back at the 60s and early 70s at one point in our history, and we will view this day as evidence of a massive and destructive social experiment that careened predictably out of control. But until then, we may have to endure the fact that many lives will be lost in the aftermath of a cultural tsunami, led by counter-culture anti-heroes who preach their religion of pot from the concert stage, movie set, political podium (and sometimes shamefully from a law enforcement website).
At one point in our history, we rejected the notion of a drug culture and made impressive strides in educating America. And like our success with tobacco education, these educational efforts led to fewer people using and abusing drugs – because EDUCATION WORKS. But now, with millions of dollars being used for the dumbing down of America in a haze of marijuana smoke, we may have to relearn the same lessons before we all wake up and fight back.
The saddest part of this is that our federal government has always had the ability to shut this down. As a federal drug prosecutor of almost 25 years, I know that we never had to endure a decade or more of so-called “medicinal” marijuana before the pretense was dropped and full legalization efforts began. For the price of a postage stamp and some paper, the federal government could send a notice of forfeiture to marijuana landlords. This would be most effective in states like Arizona and New Jersey where only one dispensary exists (at this point). Other enforcement action could be taken against the New Barons of Pot who were so interestingly portrayed in Newsweek not too long ago. And the barons would get the message that there is a new Sheriff in town and their looting of the candy store would have to stop. Surprisingly, these new pot entrepreneurs are willing to brag about their millions and even be the stars of TV shows. In the old days, we would have treated these episodes as “confessions” and would have used their own videotapes to convict them.
When the feds have taken decisive action, they have achieved wonderful results, which have been greatly appreciated by municipalities and counties going bankrupt trying to reign in the circus. But these efforts have been too few, too late, and almost nonexistent in some states.
Instead, with limited exceptions, the feds have chosen to “fiddle as Rome burns” while complicit state officials think of ways to launder drug proceeds disguised as tax revenue. In the meantime however, our children our being spoon fed a pop culture by pro-drug anti-heroes masquerading as enlightened people – because it is “cool” to be for pot.
As the marijuana industry has amassed millions, and purchased the souls of politicians and pundits who either ignorantly or purposely point to significant “tax revenues”, the end of drug cartels, and the emptying of prisons from all of those non-existent marijuana user prison inmates, our voting public has been duped into believing them. It isn’t hard to imagine how this happened when the Washington pro-marijuana campaign spent more than $6,000,000 to reach out to soccer moms. What political candidate could have successfully faced this foe with a measly $16,000 in their bank account?
So, on the day that Colorado joins Washington in the revelry, let me add my hope that the quickest solution manifests itself immediately – that the federal government simply enforces the law. This action by President Obama and DOJ would be a welcome relief to everyone who knows that sober children learn better, sober drivers drive better, and sober parents parent better. And it may give the drug prevention coalitions time to catch up.
For this to occur in time, some miracles will have to to happen. But during a season that is defined by miracles, perhaps this is our best hope for a drug free future.
Source: Monte Stiles Retired Federal Organised Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force USA