As we all know, the US is very anti-drug (but not anti-alcohol or tobacco, which are both drugs, but i digress…). I think most of us would agree that it appears the US is more interested in the money involved in convicting drug users rather than actually attempting to rehabilitate those who are addicted. Locally, they’ve taken it to such a level that apparently we can fully expect to have SWAT beating down our doors if they so much as suspect we’re involved in any kind of drug purchase or sale.
I used to spend time with the local raver folks. They’d nicknamed me “Rave Mommy” – I was the sober one with the backpack full of water bottles, making sure nobody overheated. Sure, this was during a huge lapse in judgment on my part, but these kids were harmless…just high. I figured I’d be fine if I stayed sober…so did a few others, including one girl who eventually ended up pregnant. She was living with her boyfriend and a few of their friends…one of whom was stupid enough to buy pot online. As can be expected, the local police found out and sent SWAT to their apartment. Instead of working the situation carefully, they broke down the door of the apartment, threw my heavily-pregnant friend on the floor (while naked – they dragged her out of the shower), and cuffed her. At least one of them molested her while she was incapacitated. It took her screaming about being pregnant and suing if anything happened to the baby to convince them to at least allow her to dress and sit upright. Now, maybe it’s due to the proximity I had with these people, but I found that utterly appalling. That the precinct ignored her calls about the molestation is even worse, but that’s another issue entirely. Suffice it to say, police in Baltimore are generally dirt bags with few notable exceptions.
Then, two years ago, this happened* (that link is a recent article about an old news story)…and my friend’s story paled in comparison. What happened to that man is absolutely appalling…and that this thing has dragged out for two years is even worse.
BUT…I’m glad people are talking about it. I’m glad *someone* is trying to change things. Locally, the police are ridiculous when it comes to anything like this…but nationally, the issue is in desperate need of reform.
Portugal figured out a way of changing their national view on the drug problem…and it seems to be working. Why can’t we – as a nation – do something similar? Instead of making things less and less accessible (which leads kids to looking for other sources, like bath salts, for a good high), legalize and tax the stuff, then treat addiction as a MEDICAL issue rather than a legal one.
Is it really that hard to consider as a possible option?
*H/T to SaysUncle for the link.