You don't do drugs, so you're safe right?

March 30, 2014

I’d like you to examine this chart and see that marijuana has not caused any deaths.

Then I want you to ask yourself if you think you are safe from the drug war, because you don’t do drugs. Even if you do drugs, imagine you didn’t – then ask yourself the same question.

Now consider the following situations where the drug war has destroyed innocent lives that had nothing to do with drugs. Picture yourself in any of these situations, and ask if you would have done anything differently.

A parent was driving a car that he let his son borrow. His son was driving his friends. One of his friends had some marijuana in a container and dropped it in the car. The parent was driving the car the next weekend and was stopped for speeding. The officer decided to randomly search the vehicle and found the marijuana. They did not drug test the parent, they just assumed it was his, arrested him, seized his car, and charged him with possession of marijuana – a misdemeanor. Due to asset forfeiture laws, it was possible that he wouldn’t have gotten his car back, but he had the $10,000 or more it took to hire a good lawyer to get it back. He was not compensated for the cost of his lawyer, or the time he had to take off from work.

A woman owned a duplex and was renting the two homes to two tenants. One of the tenants was growing marijuana plants. The police raided the house, seized the plants, and arrested the grower. They then seized the property, confiscating it from the owner who had no idea that these plants were being grown on her property. Thanks to asset forfeiture laws, another aspect of the war on drugs, she lost her property and was not compensated in any way. She was not charged with any crime.

A man was arrested with 2 pounds of marijuana. The prosecutor, being interested in numbers, told him that he would give him a very light sentence if he would turn in three other people. Thinking only of himself, he gave the prosecutor three names. Now, he was too scared of the person who sold him the marijuana by the pound, so he just turned in some other innocent people instead – people that he knew would never fight back. He stated he was willing to testify under oath about these people. There was no other evidence. The three innocent people, being afraid of the maximum sentence threatened by the DA, and not being able to afford a good lawyer, took a plea offer. This ensured they would only get a sentence of a couple years, and some probation. These three possibly innocent people went to jail, while the man who was originally arrested got a slap on the wrist. It’s all about numbers.

Last year, a marine just came back from Afghanistan. He thought he heard someone trying to break into his house, so he grabbed a shotgun and told his wife and daughter to hide in the bedroom closet. Moments later his front door was kicked open, and he was sot more than 70 times. It turns out the people who were breaking into his home were police, and this was a drug raid. No drugs were found.

A few years ago, the same thing happened to a 70 year old woman. It was discovered that an office had a ‘hunch’ that there were drugs in that particular house, so he lied in order to get a no-knock warrant. This means they don’t have to knock, they don’t have to say they are with the police, and it just so happened they were wearing plain clothes – not police uniforms. She was shot over 50 times. She lived in a very bad neighborhood and had a single revolver that she was attempting to defend herself with. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that was her house and that there were no drugs there, but the police didn’t do any investigation – they just took one officer’s word for it and murdered this woman.

Did any of these people do anything wrong? Absolutely not. But the police and prosecutors involved in the war on drugs are more concerned with numbers than with doing the right thing. The law doesn’t even justify this – it’s just the way things end up going under prohibition. The only way to stop ruining people’s lives, is to let these stoners peaceably smoke their pot and not bother anyone.

If you search the internet, you will find many more stories just like these – literally thousands. Marijuana is not dangerous. Even Sanjay Gupta, the lead medical expert for CNN has stated that he has been misled by propaganda, and that marijuana is not only not dangerous, but has many valid medicinal uses.

This has to end now. Prohibition is not good for anyone.