Sunday, April 7, 2013

Drug War: A Lotta Smoke

One of my best friends in the whole world, a guy I could count on to help me in just about any situation I can ever get into, one of the kindest and most caring individual it's ever been my honor to know, retired from the DEA not too long ago. I told him one time, "Bob, you're the only drug agent I've ever hugged." He told me one time, and I'll never forget it, that he loved my sons – and I know he does – but that he wouldn't hesitate to bust them for smoking pot. (I don't know if I ever really believed that then. I certainly don't believe it now.) Well, it appears that pretty soon nobody is going get busted for growing, having, or smoking pot. Already in two states so-called recreational marijuana is legal, and we're now seeing public opinion shift to the point that it's easy to see that in a few years marijuana will probably be decriminalized if not outright legalized over most of the country.

 Here's the gist of it:
[N]ew polling data from the Pew Research Center reveals that a federal policy following the will of the people would loosen up pot laws all over the country. According to Pew, Americans not only want pot legal, but believe marijuana is more medically beneficial, and less potentially dangerous or morally wrong, than the federal government suggests.   According to the Pew Research Center’s data, a historic number of  Americans -- a majority of 52% --  now support marijuana legalization, and even more -- 60% of Americans -- say the federal government should not intervene in state-sanctioned marijuana laws.  While younger Americans (65% of Millenials and 54% of Generation Xers) are the most likely to support marijuana legalization, Baby Boomers (50%) and the older Silent Generation (32%) are increasingly favoring marijuana legalization, too. (Story here.)
It would appear that the handwriting is on the wall for prosecution of people over pot. An astonishing number of people who are jamming our jails right now are in there on drug charges, and the majority of the drug charges involve marijuana. It's ridiculous. Some of us and have known for literally years that smoking pot is not harmful, far less harmful than legal alcohol, plus it has undoubted medicinal benefits as well. (Naturally, like anything else human beings can get their hands on, marijuana can be abused, and it should not be available to children. But it's obvious that a great many of the American people are actually informed about this issue – that somewhat of a surprise, that they should be informed about any issue – and you can bet that a great many of them have experience with the drug. So they know whereof they speak. They just aren't buying the dishonest scare propaganda from the anti-drug establishment anymore.

I don't think my friend Bob is ever going to change his mind about this. He's just too enculturated. But the world is changing around both of us. It's just something he will have to get used to. Won't make me love him one whit less, but I doubt he'll ever smoke a joint with me once it ain't against the law any more--although I do have to wonder just how long it will ever take the troglodytes in this state to wake up. I might not live that long.

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