The War on Drugs

As I was reading NewsWithViews today I came across this article from Frosty Wooldridge:

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MARIJUANA PROHIBITION AND PUBLIC SAFETY

By Frosty Wooldridge
March 17, 2008
NewsWithViews.com

After the first seven interviews with my brother Police Officer and Detective Howard Wooldridge of Lansing, Michigan (retired) concerning the “War on Drugs,” hundreds of readers responded. U.S. taxpayers do not understand the incredible deception perpetrated on them by the Drug War. You might even term it a “racket” by those who stand in the power corridors of Washington, DC.

Officer Wooldridge talked with Senator Biden (D-DE) last month. Senator Biden (D-DE) said at a hearing in February 2008 that drug prohibition touches 60 percent of all crime in America. Wooldridge advised to dramatically reduce crime, death, disease and drug use, the U.S. must end the prohibition approach on the 10 most used drugs.

“My experience agrees with the senator’s statement,” Officer Wooldridge said. “As a police officer, my goal was to keep my community safe, once they left their homes. What are the steps to ending this 94 year running failed policy of prohibition?

“Many experts agree that the first drug to become legal and regulated will be marijuana. As DEA law judge Francis Young concluded after an exhaustive study of cannabis: “Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” Its use has rarely been a public safety issue. One cannot overdose on it. Moreover, its legalization would be a tremendous boost to improve public safety. Why? Road officers spend million of hours searching cars for a baggie of pot. They could concentrate on the deadly DUI and reckless drivers. They would be re-directed to find and arrest the child predators on line looking for a 13 year old girl. Federal agents could completely focus on Al Qaeda and stop wasting time on medical marijuana gardens in California.”

Now, I don’t know about you but I do have friends in the Netherlands where drugs have been legal for a long time. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t a bunch of drug addicts there. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. Should someone become addicted to something, the tax off the drugs sold is used to treat their addiction so that they can be rehabilitated. They aren’t ostracized from the rest of their country men and women, they are helped. But drug addiction is rare. Now, why would that be? When anything is made illegal, the first thought anyone has is it must be good. If you allow it to be had, it loses its appeal, that magic, “I gotta have this cuz it must be something if its illegal!”

Now, there are many reasons to legalize Marijuana. There are the benefits to cancer patients, glaucoma patients, etc. where marijuana has shown remarkable abilities to help these people. Yet, because it is considered an illegal substance, those seeking its use to help themselves are being treated as criminals in our justice system.

A good place to find out information about medical marijuana is MPP.org The Marijuana Policy Project contains the latest information about laws, pending legislation, cancer treatments, etc. They also have stories and other information available. It might be worth your investigation. Surely we have spent enough money on projects that just don’t seem to do anything yet drain our pockets constantly! Isn’t it about time we did something different?

National marijuana prohibition began in 1937. Since then, local and state police officers spent tens of millions of hours searching for and arresting users and sellers. Did this expenditure improve public safety? No! Has prohibition caused an increase or decrease in use? Can we name any positive returns on the investment of money, prison space and police time? These constitute important questions to ask in the century of 9/11 and a recession.

“Starting my police career in the ‘70s, I quickly learned that alcohol use caused the vast majority of calls for service,” Officer Wooldridge said. “More teens died from alcohol use than all the illegal drugs combined. DUIs causing injury and death, drunks shooting each other, assaults, spouse and child abuse cases, etc., constituted the majority of my police work after sunset. During my 18 years, the use of marijuana never once caused me to be dispatched to handle a problem. Alcohol use generated about 1200 police calls.”

I am NOT, I repeat, NOT advocating drug use here. What I am advocating is change. What we are doing isn’t making a dent in the drug cartels. Legalize marijuana and you take away their source of income. Boom, end of cartel! Change is good! Especially positive change. I guess this issue has crossed my mind a few times over the years with the endless news of drug busts that say “This is a significant bust” but change nothing. The drugs are still on the street, the violence from gangs, drug cartels running the gangs, is STILL THERE! I’ve yet to read of a bust actually doing any damage to these people. NO MATTER HOW LARGE THE BUST IS! Let’s see some REAL change here. Stop draining the American pockets with do nothing law enforcement and make a change for the good!

Here are some actual figures for you so that you can compare them:

Netherlands;

Variable Amount/description Rank
Crime > Assaults 44,129 [14th of 58]
Crime > Car thefts (per capita) 2.33559 per 1,000 people [15th of 55]
Crime Drug offences 47 per 100,000 people 20th of 36
Crime > Illicit drugs major European producer of ecstasy, illicit amphetamines, and other synthetic drugs; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy; large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering
Crime > Murders 183 [40th of 63]
Crime > Murders (per capita) 0.0111538 per 1,000 people [51st of 62]
Crime > Rapes 1,648 [20th of 66]
Crime > Rapes (per capita) 0.100445 per 1,000 people [22nd of 65]
Crime > Total crimes 1,305,640 [14th of 61]
Crime > Total crimes (per capita) 79.5779 per 1,000 people

USA;

Variable Amount/description Rank
Crime > Assaults 2,238,480 [1st of 58]
Crime > Car thefts (per capita) 3.8795 per 1,000 people [9th of 55]
Crime > Drug Offenses (per capita) 560.1 per 100,000 people [4th of 34]
Crime > Murders 12,658 [6th of 63]
Crime > Murders (per capita) 0.042802 per 1,000 people [24th of 62]
Crime > Murders with firearms 8,259 [4th of 32]
Crime > Murders with firearms (per capita) 0.0279271 per 1,000 people [8th of 32]
Crime > Rapes 89,110 [1st of 66]
Crime > Rapes (per capita) 0.301318 per 1,000 people [9th of 65]
Crime > Total crimes 23,677,800 [1st of 61]
Crime > Total crimes (per capita) 80.0645 per 1,000 people [8th of 60]

* 2 years ago
American is #24 Netherlands is #51

So, you can see that the Netherlands is doing something different than the USA. Their system has been in place for MANY years and while neighboring countries would LOVE to blame them for the drugs in their own countries, it just doesn’t make sense given the data from the rest of the world.

Isn’t it time for a change? A real Change? What we are doing certainly ISN’T WORKING. I’d like to see the USA actually get a handle on this thing. Not to mention quit wasting money where we don’t need it wasted.  How about we take some of that money and sink it into health care for the homeless?  And maybe the revenue from the sale of this stuff will help to stimulate the economy in a way that is real and lasting.  What do you have to say about it?

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~ by justmytruth on March 22, 2008.

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