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.
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.