Cops Say Legalize Pot. Ask Me Why.
September 27, 2003 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Cops Say Legalize Pot. Ask Me Why. Howard Wooldridge, a retired law enforcement officer, a long rider, helped found Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and is riding his horse Misty across the United States to raise awareness of the folly of the drug war.
posted by filchyboy (12 comments total)
In Quebec it's pretty much impossible to be a corner drug dealer without getting mixed up with the Hell's Angels. So otherwise upstanding people who go to buy pot now and then get precariously close to some really dangerous people, just because it's illegal right now.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:43 PM on September 27, 2003

The ignorance Wooldridge encountered is astounding. His shirt says "Legalize pot" and yet he ran into this argument:
"Legalizing drugs, Wooldridge says, would lower drug prices and thus reduce crime.
Flierl doesn’t see the correlation.
'The community that uses narcotics will still break into homes and pawn things off to get money to buy drugs,' Flierl said."

Of course the 'narcotics community' would still be stealing to pay for a fix--marijuana isn't a narcotic, and marijuana smokers aren't the drug users who do things like break into people houses. The crime legalizing marijuana would reduce is the stuff Space Coyote talks about above, gangs who control black market marijuana monopolies.
posted by jbrjake at 2:02 PM on September 27, 2003

For those who oppose or support drug laws, we now have in the U.S. our neighbors to the North to study to see what works and what does not.
posted by Postroad at 2:29 PM on September 27, 2003

Somehow, I think he was recruited by the giant evil anti-drug conspiracy to discredit the legalization movement.
posted by angry modem at 3:15 PM on September 27, 2003

jbrjake makes a good point. One of the major roadblocks I see in this country in regards to the "war on drugs" is that the general populace and media tend to demonize "drug users" and label them all as immoral criminals that would kill you while you sleep for just a puff of that sweet sweet weed.

From what I've noticed, many of the more liberal areas of the world (The Netherlands as an example) tend to view drug use as more of a sickness. Funding is then directed towards treatment rather than law enforcement and imprisonment.
posted by fatbobsmith at 3:25 PM on September 27, 2003

whoa. my little home town's paper on mefi! (1st link)
sorry. nothing to add. just surprised because their level of reporting usually leaves something to be desired.
posted by asterisk at 4:31 PM on September 27, 2003

He brings attention to an important viewpoint in the drug debate, and even though some thinks he comes across as a gung-ho stunt cowboy, he does carry the respectability of an ex-cop.

He generates the kind of support and interest in this important question that a bunch of stuffy academics and reformed drug users never could - I wish him all the best.
posted by spazzm at 6:05 PM on September 27, 2003

whenever anyone in power in canada even talks about reducing drug laws, the USA ambassador starts making veiled threats.
posted by Iax at 6:37 PM on September 27, 2003

Frankly it's about time that Canadian governments grew some cojones on this issue and inform the US that Canada is a sovereign nation.

Or maybe it's time for Canadian voters to send a message to their representatives in Ottawa that they do not swear allegiance to Washington.
posted by clevershark at 7:06 PM on September 27, 2003

Asterisk: Good to see another Salemite. I think we're the only two on here.
posted by fatbobsmith at 7:23 PM on September 27, 2003

"I firmly believe that, especially in America, a citizen may not be subjected to punishment by his fellow citizens over acts he wilfully commits upon himself alone. As your equal, how is your will construed to be superior to mine in decisions involving the acts I choose to commit solely and directly upon myself? I submit that none of us has the "right" to punish any other for any act they commit upon themselves of their own freewill; and I further submit that the data our government collects and misrepresents proves that we have no reason to do so either." (from the last link)

Amen! And this so-called war on drugs should be renamed the war on some drugs as long as our gov't supports drug dealers who operate out of professional buildings with diplomas and certifications to grant them authority to prescribe drugs far more dangerous when abused than alot of things found on the street. Jail cells, probation departments, and "recovery centers" are over filled with non-violent "offenders" who, many are at best only harming themselves. People are losing their "privilage" to drive for long periods because traces of an illicit remains in their body a while, rendering them DUAI. All the while, a person with a head full of vicodin simply needs to produce a script and everything's a-ok.

Wooldridge made an excellent point about reduced prices resulting in fewer burglaries too. Better than that is the removal of that "underworld" element we all need to visit for our goodies. Raising children always got me thinking about the people I would go to when I wanted a nickle bag. This same guy also had available things from H to guns. How's that for scary?
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:50 PM on September 27, 2003

In Ben Elton's excellent book "High Society", the main protagonist, a pro-legalization politician, makes an excellent point. Would the average person really give a shit about how many junkies are out there, if they only would stop breaking into one's house and stealing the VCR? Legalization is an ideal way to achieve just that outcome. Intelligent people know that it's not an argument that can really be used against cannabis, but nonetheless, it's the kind of arguement that may actually sway people towards legalization. Taking advantage of the human selfishness. Exposing that for an addict, drugs don't make you commit crimes, the expense of drugs makes you commit crimes.
posted by Jimbob at 9:57 PM on September 27, 2003

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