Archive for Friday, June 7, 2013

Letter: War on people

June 7, 2013

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To the editor:

We as taxpayers have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on the miserable failure we call the War On Drugs, but instead of learning from our mistakes, we continue to celebrate our follies with articles like the one that recently appeared in your paper.“Gathered all in one place, it really looked like something”  commented Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, regarding the confiscated drugs and weapons from a recent drug bust. “This isn’t going to eradicate drugs in Lawrence — we all know that,” he went on to say. “It did come back,” McKinley said.  “Whether we’re back at 100 percent ... that’s hard to say.”

Calculating the local cost of this latest skirmish in the War on Drugs would be an interesting fifth part to your series. What are the salaries of the Lawrence law enforcement officials who focus on drug eradication?  The cost to prosecute the multiple defendants in this case? The cost to house the defendants who serve ten-year mandatory minimums? The cost to children who lose their mother or father to the ten-year minimums? And please remind me what the “benefits” are if the drugs and guns simply return to our community by new dealers who replace the old ones.

Please keep in mind that a majority of all Americans and two-thirds of young Americans (ages 18-32) favor legalization of marijuana, according to an April 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center. The war on drugs is a war on people. A war the majority of us do not want and one that we — all of us — simply can’t afford.

Comments

Brock Masters 2 years ago

Rich getting any illegal,gun off the street is a good thing as well,as,locking up the person who illegally possessed it.

Locking up non- violent drug offenders is a waste of resources and jail space.

Use those resources to provide treatment and dispense drugs that help people manage their addictions so they can lead productive lives.

And of course, just say no mm

Ron Holzwarth 2 years ago

I took a look at that link, and this is a synopsis of it for those who do not care to take the time to look at it themselves.

1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget.

2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana.

3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach.

4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products.

5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies.

RELATED: Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs.

jack22 2 years ago

Thanks Ron. And let's not forget the paper industry, the clothing industry, chemical industry, etc., that would also be impacted if marijuana were legal. Hemp used to be such an indispensable and useful product in America that our Constitution was printed on it and our first flags were made from it. That's one of the reasons they've lasted as long as they have.

jhawkinsf 2 years ago

My computer also does what I tell it to do, rather than what I want it to do. :-)

Ron Holzwarth 2 years ago

I noticed that you put a comma instead of a period after the digit 1, but I don't know if that could have caused the font problem. It shouldn't have. One formatting problem that doesn't come up very often is that you do not want to use repeated dashes as a last line to end a body of text anymore. It used to work fine. I had a messed up margin problem because of doing that, but fortunately I was able to figure it out within the 15 minutes we are allowed to edit.

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