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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The War on marijuana continues—despite its hopeless lack of success

After years of fighting a losing battle against drugs, this country’s politicians drudge on ignoring all their failures and all the anti-drug war sentiments of the population. Even marijuana is not exempt from the battle, even though several states have voted overwhelmingly to allow medical marijuana for certain diseases.
According to The Wichita Eagle, Federal against raided a San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana training school. The school focuses on California’s pot legalization movement. Doors to Oaksterdam University, in downtown Oakland, were cordoned off by yellow tape and blocked by U.S. marshals. They had warrants to search the place, but would not give out any details.
About a dozen people formed a protest next to a large mural that makes the school a visible landmark.

Many if not most of today’s marijuana smokers are over 30. The old men and women with greying hair were yesterday’s pot smoking hippies. Most have melded into mainstream society and hold regular jobs. Drug testing, done both on job applicants and convicts on parole, can detect Marijuana as much as a month after it has not been used. Other drugs, Cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, etc. are out of a persons system within a few days. The biggest drug problem in the US today is alcohol. Drunken driving offences take up a lot of police time. The number of people who continue driving even after having their licenses suspended ranges between 50-75%.
People on diversion programs are tested for all drugs and many who test positive for anything are positive for marijuana. And yet marijuana does not cause as much trouble as drunk driving.
In Wichita the main illegal drug used behind marijuana is methamphetamine. Most people would agree that is not a safe drug to use and many of its users claim it is very addictive.
So why does this country tolerate drinking, smoking tobacco and not allow any use of marijuana? There is a puritan culture and much of the push against pot is by church groups who seem to believe the drug will drive off some potential members. Most treatment programs in Wichita, Kansas use the 12 step program. While it doesn’t preach any particular religion, it demands “spirituality” and turning a person’s life over to “a higher power.” The 12 step program does not require a belief in God or Christianity, but it doesn’t hurt the churches that this program helps when alcoholics or drug addicts really want to stop. Many former addicts find a church to go to.
Allowing legal marijuana would probably cut down on the use of alcohol and possibly other hard drugs if former addicts and alcoholics had that as a choice. But they don’t. Most of the treatment centers look down on any substitute drug except caffeine and tobacco.
Some parent groups actually believe the myth that marijuana is a “gateway” drug. The argument is that being around illegal drug dealers exposes people to more types of drugs. This would not happen if marijuana was legal.
As with crass consumerism, the push to make the US a “Christian country” and the glamorization of our imperialist troops (“fighting for our freedom”) no politician will touch the idea of legalizing marijuana for anything. This is one more example of how we in the US really have no alternatives to the pre-packaged politicians who decide for us what our issues will be. -សតិវ តុ

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