Sophisticated drug tunnels found in desert

Drug Tunnel found in 2012Reuters is reporting that the San Diego Tunnel Task Force has found two different sophisticated drug smuggling tunnels in the desert between Mexico and a warehouse facility in San Diego, complete with ventilation systems and railways.

Enabled by our War on Drugs, well-designed tunnel systems that travel underneath the U.S./Mexican border enable the transport of large quantities of drugs between countries.  Tunnels usually connect with innocuous-looking buildings to avoid unwanted suspicion.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said of the incident that “going underground is not a good business plan”.  In actuality, going underground is the only business plan to avoid the expensive and ineffective drug enforcement laws instituted within the United States.

The report said that in the past eight years, the feds have uncovered at least 80 different cross-border smuggling tunnels – California and Arizona serving as the more popular entrance points into the country.  This, of course, only scratches the surface of the true physical network of drug-enabling systems into the U.S.

For every tunnel found, dozens more exist.  How much money does it cost to plan and execute surveillance programs that seek to uncover drug tunnels?  When virtually any middle-school aged student can get their hands on drugs, we must ask ourselves: is it worth it?

Is it worth it?

Maryland mall shooter was a pothead

The “sweet” young man who killed two people, and then himself, in a Maryland shopping mall on January 25 was a pothead.

But the police revelation that the killer mentions “using marijuana” in a diary has been played down by the media, which in recent months have seemed almost ecstatic about the legalization of the drug in Colorado. President Obama, a one-time heavy user, recently called the drug safer than alcohol.

The link between marijuana and mental illness, documented in the medical literature, is not a popular subject for journalists who themselves may use pot and be reluctant to tell the truth about high potency marijuana and its powerful, psychoactive component.

Just after the murders, the killer, Darion Aguilar, was described in a Washington Post story as a “good kid” with no criminal record who was perceived as “harmless.” His mother called him a “gentle, sweet kid.”

But now the story has dramatically changed.

“Howard County police said on Twitter that Darion Aguilar wrote of using marijuana, expressed ‘thoughts of wanting to die’ and even said he was ‘ready to die,’” reported The Washington Post. But the marijuana reference was buried in the fifth paragraph, even though it helps explain why a “harmless” young man would turn into a psychotic monster.

The police Twitter account reported that Aguilar, in his writings, “indicates he thought he needed a mental health professional, but never told his family. He also mentions using marijuana.”

In Maryland, where the mall killings took place, the Marijuana Policy Project is pushing legal dope. State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller has endorsed legalization of marijuana and even remarked about taking a “toke” for a toothache.

Less than a week after Aguilar brought a shotgun into the shopping mall in Columbia, Maryland, state police arrested another doper, George Hong Sik Chin, as he threatened employees at the Tumi luggage store in Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland. “Police searched his truck and found a small amount of marijuana and a pipe, and drug charges were pending,” The Baltimore Sun reported.

Police said he was wearing camouflage, acting disorderly, and threatening to kill employees of the luggage store. Another account said he was “babbling incoherently.”

Nevertheless, the Marijuana Policy Project, which conducts fundraisers at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, posted five billboards surrounding the stadium that hosted the Super Bowl on Sunday, claiming that “marijuana is safer than both alcohol and playing professional football.”

This claim echoes statements made by President Obama, a one-time member of the “Choom Gang” in Hawaii, and a heavy user of marijuana.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), during a January 29 Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department, questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about Obama’s recent statement to The New Yorker that marijuana isn’t more dangerous than alcohol:

Sessions: …did the President make or conduct any medical or scientific survey before he waltzed into The New Yorker and opined, contrary to the position of attorney generals and presidents universally prior to that? That marijuana is not as I’ve quoted him? Did he study any of this data before he made that statement?

Holder: Well, I don’t know, but I think, as I said…

Sessions: Did he consult with you before he made that statement?

Holder: No, we didn’t talk about that.

Sessions: Well, what about this study from the American Medical Association, October of 2013? ‘Heavy (inaudible) use in adolescents causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and I.Q. And use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic thought disorders,’ close quote. Or this report from Northwestern University in December—last December. Quote: ‘The study found that marijuana users have abnormal brain structure and poor memory, and that chronic marijuana use may lead to brain changes resembling schizophrenia. The study also reported that the younger the person starts using marijuana, the worst the effect.’ Would you dispute those reports?

Holder: I have not read the reports, but I don’t—if they are—if they are, in fact, from the AMA, I’m sure they are good reports. But that is exactly why one of our eight enforcement priorities is the prevention of marijuana to minors.

Sessions: Well, Lady Gaga said she’s addicted to it, and it is not harmless. She’s been addicted to it. Patrick Kennedy—former Congressman Kennedy—said the President is wrong on this subject. I just think it’s a huge issue. I hope that you will talk with the President—you’re close to him—and begin to push back—pull back from this position that I think is going to be adverse to the health of America.

Liberal commentators laughed at Senator Sessions’ reference to Lady Gaga being addicted to marijuana, but in fact she said she was “smoking up to 15-20 marijuana cigarettes a day,” allegedly to deal with various ailments. She has been a longtime Obama supporter.

Can legalizing pot ease our national debt?

potLibertarians have long supported the legalization of marijuana and putting an end to the expensive War on Drugs program on constitutional grounds, arguing the federal government has no business regulating drug use.  But, the legalization of marijuana has an attractive side benefit as well – it would flood government coffers with billions in additional revenue.

According to a Cato Institute study, legalizing marijuana will result in an additional $8.7 billion in yearly federal and state tax revenue.  In a time of excessive national debt and threats of a credit default, the prudent and expeditious dismantling of drug prohibitions is a wise choice.

Not only will government revenue increase, spending will decrease.  The study found that eliminating drug control will reduce government expenditures by more than $40 billion every year.

Several states have already legalized marijuana, including Washington and Colorado.  Nearly twenty other states have medical marijuana allowances as part of their laws and several additional states are looking to follow suit – for good reason.

The Libertarian party is correct that the federal government has no business regulating drugs.  The trillion dollar failure stands as a prime example of what happens when government involves itself in matters of the people.  Prohibition failed before, and it is failing again.  Further, it costs the American taxpayer dearly to maintain the failure.  What does the United States have to show for our expensive War on Drugs?  Larger prisons.  Huge drug cartels.  Complex underground drug transportation networks that get innocent people killed every day.

The War on Drugs denies the most basic human right of all people to control their own bodies in ways they see fit.  Did you know that over 100,000 die every year from drugs?  But, there is a catch!  These are not illegal drugs.  These are prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  More than 100,000 deaths yearly from FDA-approved drugs.

How many do you think die from marijuana?  You might be surprised to find out that deaths are extremely rare from marijuana consumption.

The fact of the matter is hemp is actually quite useful as a natural, environmentally-friendly resource.  Hemp can be made into a variety of products that Americans use every day, like paper and plastic, and even clothing.  It is also an incredibly effective medicine and far cheaper for most Americans than swallowing a bunch of expensive pharmaceutical drugs – drugs that might kill them.

Drug legalization lowers costs of drugs, easing related drug crimes and reducing the effectiveness of large and deadly drug cartels.  Drug sales are taxed and therefore a legitimate business, raising enormous amounts of revenue for our cash-strapped government.  Our prison population will ease, leaving more room for true criminals – those who cheat, steal and murder.  Local police departments will free up to investigate more important crimes that directly involve our safety…not to mention respond to accidents and 911 calls more quickly.

Stop our harebrained and foolhardy adherence to a failed system of prohibition.  It saves Americans money.  It restores the Constitution.  It implements sanity.

Federal government raids legal CA marijuana dispensaries

In September, the federal government raided several California-based marijuana dispensaries and issued letters to dozens of others threatening the shops to comply with federal law, even though the shops are perfectly legal within the state.

The hell with state’s rights.  The federal government will stop at no law or regulation when it comes to enforcing regulations put in place by unaccountable career politicians.  Apparently to the Drug Enforcement Agency, a state’s ability to design their own set of laws for its own people takes second fiddle to the power of Washington D.C.  The feds have shut down more than 500 peaceful, legal dispensaries in the past couple of years.

Virtually unrestricted federal reign over legal state matters has no place in a free society.

Citizens in several states, including Colorado and Washington, voiced their discontent with Washington’s drug policy and voted in November to legalize the recreational use of pot.  17 states have already voted to legalize the medical use of the drug.  Federal law, however, prohibits the drug’s use in any circumstance.

In a land where the federal government rules, state’s rights be damned.