August 19, 2005


Which do you think does more damage to American life Pot or Meth?

Anyone who says pot should post in the comments section, where Tyler and Laura will then take turns beating you for stupidity. This is just one of those duh questions. And like many duh questions, its one the Bush administration gets wrong:

More than two decades after it was launched in response to the spread of crack cocaine -- and in the midst of a brand-new wave of methamphetamine use sweeping the country -- the government crackdown has shifted from hard drugs to marijuana. Pot now accounts for nearly half of drug arrests nationwide -- up from barely a quarter of all busts a decade ago. Spurred by a Supreme Court decision in June affirming the right of federal agents to crack down on medical marijuana,

The Drug Enforcement Administration has launched a series of high-profile raids against pot clinics in California, and police in New York, Memphis and Philadelphia have been waging major offensives against pot smokers that are racking up thousands of arrests.
"Americans will be disappointed to learn that the War on Drugs is not what they thought it was," says Mitch Earleywine, associate professor of psychology at the University of Southern California. "Many of us grew up supporting this war, thinking it would imprison high-level traffickers of hard drugs and keep cocaine and heroin off the streets. Instead, law enforcement officers devote precious hours on hundreds of thousands of arrests for possession of a little marijuana."

Since taking over as drug czar, Walters has launched an extraordinary effort to depict marijuana as an addictive "gateway" to other, more powerful drugs. "Marijuana use, especially during the teen years, can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia," he declared in May. Trying to capitalize on fears of terrorism, Walters has linked drugs to terror, running a much-derided series of television ads suggesting that the money marijuana users spend on pot winds up funding terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.

Find me one cop who thinks pot is a bigger problem then meth or one news headline that reads "Town destroyed by Pot" and then we will talk.

The war on pot diverts money and manpower from fighting far more harmful drugs. While the feds target pot smokers, a burgeoning meth epidemic is swamping rural communities, especially in the West and the Great Plains. Nearly half of state and local law-enforcement agencies identify meth as their greatest drug threat -- compared with only one in eight for marijuana -- and more than 1 million Americans use the highly addictive drug, which is linked to violent crime, explosions and fires at meth labs, severe health problems, and child and family abuse. In 2003, drug agents busted a staggering 10,182 meth labs, and the fight against meth is straining the resources of local police and sheriffs in small towns. But the White House has proposed slashing federal aid for rural narcotics teams by half. "If those cuts go through, they're going to totally wipe us out," says Lt. Steve Dalton, leader of a drug task force in southwest Missouri.

A lot of small town and rural voters went for Bush in a big way. Wonder how they feel about that now.


Chris said...

Uh, neither?

What is up with people's obsession with Meth these days? Is it just like the thing that the news shows have choosen as the scary thing for the summer (c.f. kidnappings, shark attacks, exploding gastanks on automobiles)?

Shouldn't we be concentrating more on the War on Terror than the War on Drugs? I mean between that and the War on Poverty we're fighting on three fronts. I don't think we have the resources.

Laura said...

Of course, the wars on terror and poverty should have the priority, but that doesn't mean we should completely ignore this meth issue. I'm not say that meth itself is a problem (though from personal experience, I don't recommend it) but the meth labs absolutely are a big problem. If the meth cooks would stick to deserted areas and not allow other people to enter the premises, I wouldn't care either way. However, these meth labs are frequently in homes where there are small children and because meth cooks also tend to be meth users, and they are playing with some seriously dangerous chemicals, very bad things happen. It's not uncommon to have meth lab fires and explosions.

Personally, I think this is just one more reason why they should legalize drugs, the way that alcohol is legal. Then they can tax it and put regulations on it. I think most drug users would find it easier and more convenient to walk down to the corner store than to have your sketchy drug dealer show up at 2:00 AM and raise a ruckus that freaks out your neighbors and your roommate.