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Living in the U.S.A.

– photo by Bruce Chambers, Orange County Register –

See Drug Law Blog: Drug Raid at Orange County Hotel Fails to Locate Drugs

Hard-wired for prohibition

Remember that mild marijuana decrim bill in New Hampshire that I mentioned yesterday? Well, apparently it’s strong enough to cause Mayoral insanity.

Mayor Frank Guinta has asked state Rep. David Scannell to resign as spokesman for the Manchester school district after Scannell voted Tuesday to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Scannell insisted he will not resign, saying his vote is a form of political speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. He also raised the possibility he would take legal action against the mayor or anyone who tries to strip away his job.
In a letter signed yesterday, Guinta said Scannell’s vote on the bill, which passed the House but is unlikely to become law, “permanently and irrevocably harms” Scannell’s ability to serve Manchester’s schools. The mayor argued Scannell’s resignation is necessary to “help restore the integrity” of district anti-drug policies.
“He’s the face of the district,” Guinta said yesterday. “He interacts with kids on a daily basis, and he is taking a position to decriminalize marijuana. That is counter to logic, in my view.”

The notion of calling for the resignation of someone from a public position for their vote as a representative in the State House is extraordinarily absurd, particularly when coming from a public official invoking logic while demonstrating a complete lack of it.
But it’s also a very telling moment as it relates to drug policy. Sure, Guinta’s a moron. But how did he arrive at such a low point of humanity?
I’m convinced that there is a small core segment of the population that has so thoroughly drunk the kool-aid of prohibition that they firmly believe two propositions to be as true as the law of gravity:

Marijuana is very, very bad. Always.
An effective way, and the only way, to deal with marijuana is through strict prohibition

Despite being completely wrong, these two points are so ingrained that these people will not/cannot comprehend/listen to any rational arguments, so they assume that no rational opposing viewpoint exists. Thus, anyone who has an opposing viewpoint must want bad things to happen and should therefore certainly not be put in any connection with young people.
Prohibition propaganda overrides parts of the brain that actually allow rational thought. This makes our job much harder.
I’m not sure I’m as pessimistic as Dr. Tom O’Connell, but he makes some interesting points…

I found that I hadn‰t been prepared for just how truly mistaken and destructive the policy really is; not only was is it far worse than I‰d imagined, the reasons that drug prohibition and similar punitive policies have always found favor with a significant fraction of humans probably has a lot to do with our physical evolution; but not necessarily as imagined. In other words, a profoundly mistaken policy has now been based on erroneous assumptions for nearly a century. […]
fixing the mess we‰ve created may actually be impossible in the time left to pull it off. On the other hand, Earth is the only planet we‰ve got; so long as there‰s even a remote chance of saving it as our habitat, we‰d be foolish not to make the effort.

More on the New Hampshire zaniness from Paul Armentano at NORMLblog: Pot Makes You Lose Your Mind.

Short Takes

“bullet” Aren’t statistics interesting? Especially the ones not mentioned. For example, in Report urges LAPD to change SWAT unit we have:

Intensely proud and tightly knit, the unit is used largely to serve warrants on dangerous suspects and handle standoffs involving barricaded people. Its record is impressive. In its 3,371 operations between 1972 and 2005, […]