Drug Laws Harm Teens More Than Marijuana

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The Law Adds to the Harm by Joseph D. McNamara

The appearance of any new study indicating an increase in marijuana use by youth is always a prelude to a renewed government surge in America’s war on drugs. But let’s be realistic about our options. It’s not as though tough enforcement keeps kids away from marijuana. Usage goes up and down no matter what we do. By keeping marijuana illegal, we nudge youngsters into contact with real criminals engaged in the drug trade. Then we bust kids, giving them a criminal record.

We should be asking: Is the drug war worth fighting? Is there such a thing as victory?

We shouldn’t, of course, recommend to kids that they get high on pot instead of drunk on booze or blasted on coke, but recognizing that they may not be the perfect children that we were, the following facts speak for themselves: No one ever died from using marijuana, unlike alcohol or cocaine. Marijuana tends to mellow people, but we know alcohol and cocaine excites some into violence. Driving under any of these drugs is a no-no, but cocaine and alcohol are more likely to produce speeding and reckless driving than marijuana is. Both the law and common sense clearly show that a designated driver is the way to travel.

The scare tactics — raising alarms about youngsters falling under the evil spell of marijuana and tumbling down the slippery slope to a lifetime of degradation and crime — are used to ward off hard questions. The real policy question is not how to save kids from the bogeyman scare scenes depicted in “Reefer Madness,” the government’s ludicrous 1930s film advocating a ban on marijuana. Instead we should be asking: Is the drug war worth fighting? Is there such a thing as victory? Are the methods we employ worse than the supposed evils they are meant to prevent?

Alcohol prohibition from 1920 to 1933 taught the federal government that it pays to emphasize the “protect our youth” angle. This intimidates many from daring to question some of the corruption and unnecessary deaths and injuries resulting from violent drug enforcement. Even I, a former anti-drug warrior, am hesitant to risk being attacked as encouraging kids to think any drug use is harmless and cool. Yet I have joined thousands of former hard-charging cops, prosecutors and judges in an organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which unequivocally states that people can cure past drug excess, but can never cure the damage of a conviction and a youthful trip into the world of crime and the criminal justice system.

New York Times

Joseph D. McNamara, retired police chief of San Jose, Calif., is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.


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One thought on “Drug Laws Harm Teens More Than Marijuana”

  1. I say Wicked Babylon tactics to enslave the minds of men! They restrict the Healing of the Nations while pushing sinister pharmaceutical chemicals that the youth become addicted to and continually dismantle INI relationship.

    The “reefer madness” movement mentioned in this article was founded under Mr. Ronald Reagan AKA the one who deregulated the U.S. government causing the world economy to be controlled by greedy depraved pagans.

    Under Reagan, Commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger led the charge against marijuana. Here are a few quotes by Anslinger himself :

    “By the tons it is coming into this country — the deadly, dreadful poison that racks and tears not only the body, but the very heart and soul of every human being who once becomes a slave to it in any of its cruel and devastating forms…. Marihuana is a short cut to the insane asylum. Smoke marihuana cigarettes for a month and what was once your brain will be nothing but a storehouse of horrid specters. Hasheesh makes a murderer who kills for the love of killing out of the mildest mannered man who ever laughed at the idea that any habit could ever get him….”

    “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

    “Colored students at the Univ. of Minn. partying with (white) female students, smoking [marijuana] and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution. Result: pregnancy”

    “Two Negros took a girl fourteen years old and kept her for two days under the influence of hemp. Upon recovery she was found to be suffering from syphilis.”

    After examining the quotes of this man, ask the question, “Who is mad? The humble servant of Jah that partakes in healing herbal meditation, or the racist Babylon demons that continually fight against this sacred sacrament of the wise?

    In due time the truth will be revealed. FORWARD ON MY BRETHREN AND SISTREN! PRAISE BE TO THE MOST HIGH

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