Journal of the San Juan Islands


I-502: not perfect, but better than what we got | Letters

October 24, 2012 · Updated 5:43 PM

I had hoped for more incisive give and take in the island's media on I-502.

A cursory reading  of the self-serving (at least at an agency level) and superficial analyses of why we should stay the course after 75 years of a failed "War on Drugs" in the United States, from Mr. Fincher and Sheriff Nou, leads me to the old saw about the definition of insanity.

They both remind me that most folks over use cherry-picked statistics like a drunk uses a lamp post—more for support than illumination.

Unlike both gentlemen, I have no sanctioned expertise on the War on Drugs, nor an interest in maintaining the status quo in the face of mountains of societal and scientific studies documenting the colossal failure in monetary and human terms.

I view the efforts of Washington state residents and legislators in recent years to be nothing short of heroic in trying to reform the central dogma that marijuana use is best controlled by criminalization, punishment, and jack-booted invasion of personal privacy and constitutional rights.

I-502 is obviously flawed and is a decidedly incomplete decriminalization. But it is a very good place to start to begin to stem the tidal wave of social destruction of corporate interests bent on profiteering from the bloated U.S. prison system, the insane efforts to wall off our borders, militarization of police forces, weaponizing street hoodlums and playing right into the hands of blood-thirsty drug cartels.

I am sure that Mr. Fincher and Sheriff Nou care about the hundred thousand deaths documented south of the border, the disruption of the economy of  northern Mexico and the drug cartel expansion into our regional national public lands to further fuel the insane profits of the current prohibition, while marijuana use is on the rise in the U.S. But no mention of the desperate need for more funding for public education, prevention and medical treatment.

Curiously, they never mention these undeniable facts or even give the slightest nod of empathy to the unconscionable death and destruction promised  by the continuation of these failed current policies. And it goes on and on, with no other end in sight.

Steve Ulvi/San Juan Island



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