Send comments, tips,
and suggestions to:
DrugWarRant
Join us on Pete's couch.
couch

DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
facebooktwitterrss
October 2009
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Archives

Authors

Illegal drugs mean danger

That’s the title of a strange, disconcerting, and absurd column by Doug Hunter in the Tri-City Times (Michigan).

Doug Hunter has been riding along with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and reports on a couple of heinous crimes that were committed, and uses these stories to somehow attempt to make the point that “Drugs beget violence.”

He seems to have a real love of pulp crime stories based on his writing…

The order was given to Colleen Sturdevant of Emmett Township to retrieve the empty Miller High Life beer bottle from the car. Handing it off, the bottle was broken and the jagged weapon was applied to the exposed throat of the semi-conscious Maurice.

The life sustaining blood flowed freely and the perpetrators soon became covered with it. […]

That was a story about some criminals who robbed and beat a man who was meeting some friends out in the country to smoke pot. The next is about a man who was going out to buy some pot and was murdered by youths who had offered to show him where to get some.

The report from the small caliber revolver was loud inside the vehicle. Turning his head Devon Sapp saw his older friend slump forward. Gasping and gurgling sounds and fluid began emitting from his now open mouth. […] Through the open window another bullet tore through Matt’s right lung, aorta and into his beating heart. […] The gurgling and gasps had ceased. Matthew Rogul, the father of young children, had passed from this life for a ‘Ten Sack.’

Kind of a bad Mickey Spillane wanna-be.

Here’s the kicker:

All this suffering for an illegal drug that some want to legalize, claiming it’s medicinal and harmless.

What???

If marijuana was legal, Matt Rogul would be alive now, and Maurice wouldn’t have been robbed and beaten.

Here’s what I wrote to the editor:


Doug Hunter certainly has a pulp crime novelist’s skill for telling tragic stories about violence (Illegal drugs mean danger, October 7), but his conclusion — “All this suffering for an illegal drug that some want to legalize, claiming it’s medicinal and harmless” — makes no sense whatsoever.

If marijuana was legal, Matt Rogul would be alive today. Instead of turning to criminals to score some pot, he would have gone to the store, where, just like with alcohol, he could have purchased it safely in a controlled and regulated system.

Prohibition makes the black market obscenely profitable and recruits people into the criminal lifestyle. Every drug dealer we arrest creates an instant job opening, increasing the numbers of criminals, and law enforcement efforts wasted on the revolving drug dealers (who would be put out of work with legalization) result in letting violent criminals, like those involved in “Hit a Lick,” slip through the cracks.

The reason to legalize marijuana isn’t because it’s harmless (although it is certainly safer than alcohol, tobacco, or just about any other drug). The reason to legalize it is to reduce the damage of prohibition, which fuels crime and puts the control of drugs in the hands of criminals.

Now interestingly, the title of the piece was accurate: “Illegal drugs mean danger.” But it’s not because of the word “drugs.” The only way to reduce the danger of illegal drugs is to make them legal.

[Thanks, Nick]

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

18 comments to Illegal drugs mean danger

  • Hope

    Good grief!

    Doug Hunter’s creepy writing spells out all too clearly the necessity of getting drugs legalized as soon as possible.

    These terrible stories should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that illegality, and certainly not the non-lethal plant the men were trying to purchase, caused the crime, death, and disaster Hunter so luridly illustrates.

    Way to go, Doug.

  • Nick

    Thanks for doing this write up Pete. I just couldn’t find the words so I did the next best thing and left it to you.
    Thanks again.
    Nick

  • Brandon W.

    You’ve got alot of nerve, using real life tragedy to get your own selfish agenda across. You certainly have made me sick. “The gurgling and gasps had ceased. Matthew Rogul, the father of young children, had passed from this life for a ‘Ten Sack.'” This was a mans life. You have no shame do you? If Marijuana was legalized he wouldn’t have to go to bad neighborhoods, and get robbed and killed to find it, would he? Try to answer that one without sounding like a complete fool. To use violence to push an agenda that has killed more people than it has saved (the drug war), Is a quest in ignorance, and you have found it. I dare you to respond, but i’m sure you are too high off your own stupidity to create a coherent argument. You use these innocent people as prostitutes for your story, using graphic violence to convince others that what they were doing was morally wrong, as if they had committed some atrocity against society, and this was their rightful punishment. I’ll bet you call yourself a Christian too.

    with utter dissapointment,
    -Brandon Walker

    My letter to doug.

  • Duncan

    Blame it on pot. It’s an American Tradition.

    A guy is enjoying a spring afternoon in a sunny woods, sitting beneath a tree and smoking a doobie. A sudden thunderstorm whips up, and lightning strikes the tree, toppling it on the poor man’s head and killing him. Another tragic death due to merryjewanna.

  • Hope

    I like the way you said that, Brandon.

    Good job.

  • He could write other novels as well, perhaps starring those unfortunate police officers who’ve been shot or killed:

    “John S. Mart held back his breath. In a second he’d signal his fe3llow officers to kick in the door and serve the warrant he’d just obtained from the honorable Justine Ice earlier. The door sent splinters in several directions as brutal force snapped both metal and wood.

    Mii Rong Place slept soundly in the wee hours that Monday morning. Her beauty sleep was interrrupted by an infernal noise and in her bewildered state of mind after just waking up she panicked. A former victim of rape she pulled out the gun from under her pillow, hid on the other side of the bed and pointed the gun at the door. Fearful she heard the trampling feet get closer, and she shivered in the shower of angry shouts from the other side of the heavy door. When the door openened tearfu, fear stricten Mii closed her eyes and opened fire. Pain exploded into a white light and the last thing she heard was the thud as the gun slipped from her hands and hit the carpet floor in her bedroom.

    Mart took the lead heading down the hall. He was exited and issued a commanding “go go go” and added a nice touch, he thought, by screaming: “let’s get the scumbags now”. He flung the door open to what was obviously the beedroom. One second too late he spotted the tearful face of an asian-looking woman. The first shot splintered bone in his chest cavity and sent shards directly into his heart while the bullet deflected into his lung. His death was slow enough for him to think one last, resigned thought: “this can’t be right, this can’t be number 420 of the suspected pot dealer Hung T. Dryer.” John hardly found any satisfaction as his colleagues’ bullets plunged into the small frame of the woman behind the bed who finally let the gun drop with a muffled thud.

    All this suffering for a morally indefensible drug policy that some people want to keep for employment and political reason while claiming – contrary to any and all science – that cannabis extremely dangerous and without medicinal value.”

  • Nick Zentor

    Nice stuff Jesper. Your stories could give this dumbed-down Hunter flunkie some serious competition.

  • Thanks, Nick. I wasn’t sure it was cheesy enough, but I really did my best ;o)

  • That article makes a perfect case for legalization while trying to make prohibition look good. This is just awesome in my view, because any rationally thinking person would view those problems as a result of prohibition.

    Its funny how some people cant think of “cause and effect”.

  • Chris

    In a rational world the writer to that article would have came to a conclusion based on logic. What caused this man to be killed? Was it the drugs or the law? Which is more dangerous? And why can’t they see the parallels to alcohol prohibition here?

  • Chris

    I’m from Michigan so I did my first LTE:

    This is in response to Doug Hunter’s article, “Illegal drugs mean danger”. To me it reads like a piece of fiction, but sadly, it isn’t one. That is simply disrespectful to the victims. Caught up in the gory details, Doug clearly misses the point of all this violence. Imagine that when the two men stopped at the gas station to get their gas and cigarettes that they also asked for a pack of joints. If that were the case, this story would have ended with them simply returning home safely instead of at a hospital. To argue that the drugs caused this to happen is illogical. It would have played out the exact same way if cigarettes were illegal and marijuana was legal. The black market is what causes the violence we see happening on the streets, not the drug, and especially not marijuana. To be blind to this fact is to ignore the laws of economics, which were illustrated during alcohol prohibition. I never worry about being robbed when I go to purchase alcohol, and I have the legal, regulated distribution of that drug to thank for that. Funding or not funding road patrols isn’t going to change this, only re-legalization can stop this problem.

  • DdC

    MARIJUANA VS. ALCOHOL – DO THE MATH ON THE DANGERS
    May we please discuss marijuana, medical or otherwise, and alcohol in the same sentence? If I were to try to poison myself to death by consuming alcohol, I could easily do so. That was proved in our community last year. Were alcohol illegal and marijuana legal, perhaps we wouldn’t have lost a minor to alcohol poisoning last year. No regular user has ever “poisoned” themselves with marijuana and no one has ever died as a direct result of having smoked it.

  • Dreau Preau

    I think the story of Matt Rogul would be great to utilize as a story for the legalization movement. The line “I just want a ten sack” is a poignant reminder of how harmless drug dealing could be without the involvement of criminals. I’ll probably use this in my blog, only without referring to Doug Hunter and his insanity at all.

  • ERIC

    Amendment 2?
    The Right of the People to control the chemistry, mind altering or not, of ones own body. The right to posses, share, cultivate distribute & engage in commerce of any and all natural substances. As-well as the right to free, impartial information on all substances this right may refer. Without undue imposition of law or administative order.

  • Legalize

    We should have legalized marijuana years ago!

    Every year it’s illegal the cartels make $8 – 10 BILLION and murder thousands of people to protect this cash flow.

    We MUST be allowed to undercut their prices with legally grown weed! That alone will eliminate two-thirds of their incomes and end the 6,000+ murders they commit every year.

    Legalize – Save Lives!!

  • “But…how will we pay for the Police State?”

    What an asshat.

    Doug Hunter…I suggest those pharmaceuticals are rotting away what exists of your grey matter.

  • chris

    Yay, several of the letters to the editor got posted on the website. Mine included 😀

  • […] to Doug Hunter piece published The Tri-City Times has published several letters responding to the Illegal drugs means danger OpEd that we […]