October 20, 2014

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America dumbed down in haze of marijuana smoke PDF Print E-mail
Written by Monte Stiles   
Monday, January 14, 2013 10:03 PM

The people of Colorado and Washington just voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, finally exposing their Trojan horse of marijuana as “medicine.” In Colorado, the law was voted into the state Constitution, establishing the right to smoke pot in the same document that preserves their right to assemble, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. What a great day for the children of Colorado and Washington, and for all of us who will feel the effects of this ill-conceived and dangerous social experiment with the future of our children.

Someday, in the not-too-distant future, we will look back at this moment like we looked back at the 60s and early 70s, and we will view this day as evidence of a massive and destructive social experiment that careened predictably out of control.

But until then, we may have to endure the fact that many productive lives will be lost in the aftermath of a cultural tsunami, led by counter-culture anti-heroes who preach their religion of pot from the concert stage, political podium (and sometimes shamefully from a law enforcement website).

At one point in our history, we rejected the notion of a drug culture and made impressive strides in educating America. And like our success with tobacco education, these educational efforts led to fewer people using and abusing drugs - because EDUCATION WORKS when we do enough of it (think tobacco use rates, seat belt laws, designated driver programs, recycling campaigns, and other positive social movements). But now, with millions of dollars being used for the dumbing down of America in a haze of marijuana smoke, we may have to relearn the same lessons before we all wake up and fight back. Parents, are you listening?

The saddest part of this story is the fact that our federal government has always had the ability to shut this down. As a federal drug prosecutor for almost 25 years, I know that we didn’t have to endure a decade or more of so-called “medicinal” marijuana before the pretense was dropped and full legalization efforts began. For the price of a postage stamp and some paper, the federal government could send a notice of forfeiture to marijuana landlords. This would be most effective in states like Arizona and New Jersey where only one dispensary exists (at this point). Other enforcement action could be taken against the New Barons of Pot who were so interestingly portrayed in Newsweek not too long ago. And by doing so, the barons would get the message that there is a new Sheriff in town and that their looting of the candy store was at an end. Surprisingly, these new pot entrepreneurs are willing to brag about their millions and even be the stars of TV shows about pot. In the old days, we would have treated these episodes as “confessions” and would have used their own videotapes to convict them.  

When the feds have taken decisive action against these businesses, they have achieved wonderful results, which have been greatly appreciated by municipalities and counties going bankrupt trying to reign in the social, economic and legal chaos created by legalization. But these federal efforts have been too few, too late, and almost nonexistent in some states.
Instead, with limited exceptions, the feds have chosen to “fiddle as Rome burns” while complicit state and local officials think of ways to launder drug proceeds disguised as tax revenues. In the meantime, our children our being spoon-fed a pop culture by pro-drug anti-heroes masquerading as enlightened people - because it is COOL to be FOR pot.

This issue is not about a few legitimately sick people using marijuana as medicine. This is about big business and a new type of cartel that is operating in knowing violation of federal laws. And to the extent that sick people want to blame anyone for the state and federal crackdowns in some states, they need only look as far as the recreational abusers of the system who account for the vast majority of users in many of these states. Their blatant scamming of the system has destroyed any idea that this movement is really about “medicine”, and Colorado and Washington have just proven the point once again.

As the marijuana industry has amassed millions, and purchased the loyalties of politicians and pundits, who either ignorantly or purposely spout the fiction of significant “tax” revenues, the end of drug cartels, and the emptying of prisons of non-existent marijuana-user prison inmates, our voting public has been duped into believing them. It isn’t hard to imagine how this happened when the Washington pro-marijuana campaign spent more than $6 million to reach out to soccer moms.

The drug prevention people had a measly $16,000 to counter the pro-drug media campaign, so voters were left with only one side of the argument. Similarly, in Colorado, pro-drug lobbyists spent more than $3 million to sell the idea that Colorado would be better off if more people toked up, and drug prevention groups were outspent by a massive amount.

So, as Colorado joins Washington in the revelry let me add my hope that the quickest solution out of this mess manifests itself immediately - that the federal government simply enforces federal law AND our honors our obligations under international treaties to fight drug abuse. Decisive action by President Obama and the Department of Justice would be a welcome relief to everyone who knows that sober children learn better, sober drivers drive better, and sober parents parent better. And it may give the drug prevention coalitions, and medical science, time to catch up.

For this to occur in time to save us from falling off the social cliff, a miracle will have to happen. But during a season that is defined by miracles, perhaps a miracle is our best hope for a drug free future in America.  

Monte Stiles is a retired Federal Drug Prosecutor from the District of Idaho; retired assistant United States Attorney, District of Idaho and is currently the Executive Director for Prevention Idaho Foundation.  Having seen so much devastation prosecuting drug crimes, he decided to work toward prevention of drug use and misuse.  Monte has presented throughout this country and was in our area a few years ago when he presented to our community, law enforcement and schools on the dangers of marijuana use and legalization.  Dearborn County CASA invites you to become part of the solution.  Join them – they meet the first Monday of the month at 11:30 am in Classroom A of the Lawrenceburg Community Center. For more information you can check out their website www.dearborncountycasa.com or contact Donna Thacker @ 812-532-3538.



0 #9 2014-03-23 01:17
Along with the whole thing that seems tto be bjilding inside this
subject matter, alll your perspectives are generally fairly refreshing.

However, I am sorry, but I do not give credence
tto your entire theory, all be it exciting none the less.

It would eem to everybody that your opinions are generally not completely rationalized and in reality you are generally yourself
not even wholly convinced of thee assertion. In any case I ddid enjoy looking at it.

I do enjoy tthe manner in which you have famed this specific
0 #8 2013-01-27 23:14
Cannabis is a miracle plant and only stupid people advocate for the failure that is the war on drugs.
+4 #7 2013-01-16 00:00
It would take a miracle to have a drug free future because we never had a drug free past. Alcohol and other drugs have always been used here. We can't make alcohol go away. It's too popular. Marijuana is too now, and while it's not harmless it's not such a threat that it makes sense to continue this fight that stops nothing but causes us so many problems. We're blowing a fortune, enriching organized crime and making it easier for them to sell drugs like meth to the millions who buy pot from the same black market. We’re packing our prisons, clogging our courts, wasting law enforcement resources, leaving millions with criminal records that make them less able to be productive. We're causing harms too numerous to mention and for what? What do we have to show for it, Monte? I'm a lawyer too, Monte, and I have several pot cases on the docket this week. And guess what, younger prosecutors don't care nearly as much as you. Most will be as glad as I am when it's final legal. You're a dinosaur.
+4 #6 2013-01-15 23:41
Someday we will look back at the prohibition of marijuana much like we look back at the prohibition of alcohol. It was a mistake. Alcohol causes enormous problems and we don't take in enough tax revenues to cover the bill, but by the end of our failed experiment with alcohol prohibition we had just about as many drinking as before Prohibition started. We were going to have all those financial and societal costs from alcohol anyway. It made no sense to have the enormous financial and societal costs from the failed prohibition adding insult to injury.

It's the same with marijuana today. Most who want to smoke it already smoke it. According to federal statistics, over half of all American adults under 65 have and older teens have been reporting for years on government surveys that is easier for them to get pot than alcohol. We aren't stopping anything, but we're causing every problem caused by alcohol prohibition and then some. Pot isn't a big enough threat to justify that.
+7 #5 2013-01-15 04:02
All that's missing is some horrified woman running down the street screaming "the weed is coming, the weed is coming"! Please keep talking you idiot, nothing helps the movement more than the ramblings of a drunken "reefer madness" holdout. Asa life long conservative and father of two daughters, let me be the first to say, marijuana should be legal in this country. It is a slap in the face to anyone with a brain that it isn't already taxed, regulated, and sold just like anything else.
+6 #4 2013-01-15 02:29
I have nothing but pity for Mr. Stiles. So closed a mind, obviously brain-washed by too many years of government propaganda to be able to adjust to new realities and truths. As a a retired Federal Drug Prosecutor, I can understand his misconceptions: when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. He is past redemption, so I will not even begin to attempt to provide the myriad of facts which would illustrate just how out of touch he is.
+10 #3 2013-01-15 01:26
Every major government commission report on drugs from around the world over the last 100 years has concluded that the marijuana laws were based on racism, ignorance, and nonsense. They all said that the marijuana laws do more harm than good, no matter what you assume about the dangers of marijuana.

You can read them yourself at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy. The largest ever done was Nixon's US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/nc/ncmenu.htm

Here is the big news -- Monte Stiles has never laid eyes on any of them. In fact, I will bet that he refuses to read them even now that the link has been posted to his own article. As Nixon's own commission said - that's the real drug problem - the ignorance of our public officials who have never bothered to read the most basic research.
+6 #2 2013-01-15 00:56
So Mr. Stiles we should also prohibit alcohol while we are at it!
Oh and prescription drugs too, since they appear to be abused more than cannabis.
Much of the devastation of prosecution is the prosecution itself!
You insist the federal government step in, well the federal government really has a low option rating now and that would drive it through the floor. There isn't enough jail space in America to jail all the cannabis users and the population left free couldn't handle the load created by jailing a lot of creative productive people.
I'm resisting name calling because it would lower me to your standard.
+9 #1 2013-01-14 22:37
Sounds like someone needs to get their own life.

I started smoking grass in 1962 and now I eat it in lieu of morphine to help ease the icks from chronic bone disease.

Going through life on narcotics is a fools errand, let alone trying to keep a 30 year marriage together on daily morhphine.. good luck.

Marijuana saved my life, my marriage, my body (we can talk about what narcotics do to the body later) and soul.

It is one of the oldest and safest known medicines, on record going back 10,000 years. It is non toxic and when eaten present ZERO adverse effects to the body (even water has a toxicity level.. marijuana does not).

Your nose should stay on your own face and out of my business. Heck, I've never even had a parking ticket in my life. Model citizen. You should try to become one too.