As a law enforcement veteran of nearly 43 years and a long-term observer of the escalating social decay and destruction caused by marijuana in California and elsewhere, I am appalled that a political leader espousing family values and conservative platform positions could in any way justify legalization of marijuana, either medically or recreationally. Ignoring the harmful impacts to our children and our environment coupled with other short-term and long-term impacts of the drug is absolutely negligent, reckless, heartless and exhibits to me in vivid clarity the fact that money and perhaps power is more important than the welfare of our society, its children, adults, environment and quite frankly our future. Would he endorse meth, heroin, cocaine, or fentanyl use? Would he endorse tobacco use?
We just concluded a murder case in my county involving a man shot in the back of the head because he had a lot of money and came to my county from Texas to buy marijuana. We had another double-homicide last year on an illegal marijuana site. A few weeks back, I went to the funeral of an El Dorado County (CA) Sheriff’s Office Deputy ambushed and killed at an illegal marijuana site. There are peer-reviewed studies and mounting evidence that substantiates the problem associated with marijuana is getting much, much worse because of the legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of other drugs.
Why do you think California’s growing homelessness, crime, and mental health crises are so out-of-control? Our problems are largely exacerbated because too many politicians are going with the money, power, and influence instead of doing what is right. You have to be very, very lazy, totally out-of-touch, or complicit with the drug industry, and the often unspoken truth of the “GIANT CONSPIRACY” to promote the marijuana industry, which really is a multi-billion dollar industry that is addicting our children, disabling many in the current generation, corrupting the minds and judgment of our political leaders, and imposing unbelievably burdensome fiscal liability for future mental health, medical, social, justice, and environmental harms this corrupt industry foments. I know there are well-intended politicians and advocates that truly believe there are medical benefits to marijuana and some libertarians will tell you people should have the choice to use it, but taxpayers and our children and local governments pay the biggest price and that price tag will keep growing as time goes on, due to current and future medical, social, justice system, and environmental costs which, we all know, will far outweigh any medical or monetary benefit derived from this industry.
We still kill over 400,000 or so people every year due to tobacco use. How many people need to die and how many children addicted, or people otherwise harmed by users or traffickers before our political leaders will get the message that changes are needed? How many tons of illegal marijuana has to flow across state borders to contaminate the lives, futures, and communities of countless Americans? How many parents must bear the burden of wounded, addicted, unsuccessful, or dead kids before someone listens?
I just reviewed my coroner statistics for 2019 and of the 30 accidental deaths in my county, methamphetamine, opioids, and THC (marijuana) are the most common drugs involved in these deaths. Our suicides for the year nearly doubled to 17 and of those tragic deaths, THC was involved in 5 of the suicides.
I refuse to support a candidate, regardless of political party, that supports this industry. How can they look at us with a straight face and advocate for something so harmful to our children, environment and society in general?
Even if a politician initially is misled by the industry and false or misleading information, it is incumbent upon that leader to learn more about the critical issues involved and make logical and meaningful adjustments to the benefit of his or her constituents. Although we know the number of drug users is ever-increasing in this nation, the majority of Americans still reject such harmful behavior, which disputes a politician’s claim that he or she is representing the majority of his or her constituents. It looks like the marijuana industry is assuming the ill-fated future of prior and current industries, such as the tobacco industry and opioid big “pharma” peddlers, which, we would all agree, have helped contribute to the deaths of millions and untold misery to survivors and their associates. Even in California, where legislation and the fate of our cities seems to be very much in doubt, the majority of counties and cities have rejected commercialization of marijuana.
I sent a message to Senator Gardner about a year ago and I never got a response. Since he hasn’t changed his stance, it appears he is basically callous to the growing needs, desires, concerns, and potential harm posed to his constituents.
I apologize for the long dissertation but this issue and the culpability of our political leaders needs to be exposed for what it really is – complicity in one of the most harmful industries in the history of this great nation.