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The following appeared on Mt. Blogmore, the Rapid City (SD) Journal's political blog, on 2 Dec. 2008. It sparked a discussion between its author, Kevin Woster, and the Attorney General of So. Dak., which sparked a Kevin Woster column in the Journal (click or scroll down).
Please, somebody explain how we’re winning the war on drugs
By Kevin Woster
I come to this discussion as one who does not smoke pot.
I don’t want to smoke pot. I don’t intend to smoke pot.
Whether it’s legal or not.
I’ve smoked it, three or four times, way back when. Got no desire to smoke it again. (Yes, Newland, I might change my mind if I had a medical condition it made better.)
Mostly, I think pot does more harm than good. But mostly, I also think alcohol does more harm than good. All told, I think we’d be better off if more people smoked pot and fewer people drank alcohol. But I think we’d be a lot better off if more people didn’t do much of either.
I have no desire to “feel better,” as Newland puts it. I like feeling the way I feel.
But that’s just me. I don’t care if somebody else smokes it, as long as they don’t do something while feeling its effects - such as driving a car, most likely well under the speed limit, and threatening my safety.
But I think your average stoned motorist would probably be less of a threat than your average distracted - by cell-phone chatter and even, amazingly enough, texting - motorist.
Or your average fixing-her-lipstick motorist. Or your average reading-his-newspaper motorist. Or your average yelling-at-the-kids-in-the-backseat motorist.
Or the average charged-up-on-caffeine-and-nicotine motorist.
And as one who has spent a good share of time - sober, or straight - with friends and acquaintances who were either drunk or stoned, I’ll tell you I’ll take stoned every time. No contest.
Beyond all that, how does it benefit anyone in South Dakota to bust those goofy “mules” from the West Coast driving across South Dakota to deliver a load of pot someplace else? Most appear to be poor, and desperate for dollars.
Why should we celebrate throwing them in prison for many years, especially when state taxpayers pay for their keep?
Isn’t it counterproductive to clog our courts and criminal system for pot offenses?
Isn’t it a waste of resources? Does it have any real effect on how many people smoke pot?
Are we winning “the war on drugs”? If so, please tell me how?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 8:12 pm and is filed under Mount Blogmore.