US TN: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Beats Prescriptions
Knoxville News-Sentinel, 14 Dec 2014 - The last 90 years have been a historical aberration in the 5,000 years of medical cannabis use. It is tragic to have prohibited such use in the same world where pharmaceuticals account for more deaths annually than all illicit drugs combined. While pharmaceuticals have their place, the numbers show that cannabis can save lives when legalized as medicine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Every day in the United States, 113 people die as a result of drug overdose, and another 6,748 are treated for the misuse or abuse of drugs. Nearly 9 out of 10 poisoning deaths are caused by drugs ... in 2011, of the 41,340 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,810 (55%) were related to pharmaceuticals." Of those deaths, 74 percent were attributed to prescription opiates.
US TN: PUB LTE: Free Press Writer Wrong On Pot
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 27 Sep 2014 - The Sept. 14 Free Press editorial opposing the legalization of marijuana was laughable. The writer cites studies that show that marijuana isn't good for you. The writer seems to ignore that all of the points he makes are also true for alcohol, which is even more dangerous. I doubt he would ever write an editorial arguing that legalization of alcohol for recreational use didn't make sense. Personally, I think marijuana is boring. But I think that as long as they're not harming others, people should be allowed to choose their own entertainment, regardless of whether what they choose is good for them. I don't care if it's marijuana, alcohol, greasy food, gambling, or sitting on the couch and watching TV all day.
US TN: PUB LTE: Legalize Drugs
The Tennessean, 14 Sep 2014 - Let me be clear from the start. I hate drugs. I hate what drugs do to the individual and the family and I do not believe anyone should take any drug not prescribed. With that said, I firmly believe all drugs should be made legal. The illegal drug industry is a multibillion industry that fuels drug wars in Latin America and anti-American activities worldwide. Whether it is marijuana, cocaine, opium, or meth, when we buy an illegal drug we pay the terrorists.
US TN: PUB LTE: Money Can Be Made By Pot Legalization
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 13 Sep 2014 - I thoroughly enjoyed your article concerning the growing amount of pot dispensaries in Colorado and Washington. It was interesting to learn about the large profit margins these businesses enjoy. I'm just wondering when will the federal government jump on board and legalize marijuana and end all this chaos caused by conflicting federal and state laws? In my opinion, the federal government will legalize marijuana when someone in the capital realizes the money to be made from pot. Nothing gets people moving faster than money that could be potentially made.
US TN: Column: Economics Of Drug Trade Have Far-reaching Consequences
The Daily Times, 28 Jul 2014 - The only time I ever thought about where the illegal drugs I was purchasing might have come from was when I lucked up in the purchase of some particularly potent cocaine. I didn't ask about the urgency to move such product at such cheap prices, but when we got the eight ball back to our dinghy hotel room and started to break it up, we saw it: a mysterious-looking stamp pressed in the smooth side of the lump of coke, a skull and some words in Spanish prominent in the indention. The sight of it filled me with a little bit of unease, because it was further proof that we were indulging in a game that could have had potentially deadly consequences. It was obviously from someplace south of the border, and rather than contemplate the violence that had accompanied it north to the streets of Myrtle Beach, S.C., we busted it up and proceeded to get high and not think of it again.
US TN: Algood PD Starts Drug Tip Hotline
Herald-Citizen, 17 May 2014 - ALGOOD -- In an effort to engage the community in making their city safer, Algood Police have launched a drug tip hotline. "We're asking anyone inside the city limits of Algood to report -- anonymously -- any drug activity or crime," detective Justin Medlin said. "We can't be everywhere at once, so we need the public's help."
US TN: PUB LTE: Decriminalization Of Marijuana Makes Sense
The Tennessean, 02 May 2014 - I recently had the privilege of being selected to serve on a jury. I sat through a full morning with 50 other citizens before they were seated on a jury or sent home. The judge thanked everyone and apologized for the time it took, but he said the courts were backed up. The case was for simple possession of marijuana. The defendant was cited nearly a year ago. Several months later, the case went before a grand jury and it was determined there was enough evidence to go to trial.
US TN: OPED: Legalization Can't End Our Drug Trouble
Commercial Appeal, 23 Feb 2014 - A new conventional wisdom is on the rise: Drug prohibition, or "the war on drugs," is a costly flop. It not only failed to cut drug use and associated social ills significantly but has also imposed additional social costs - or "catastrophic harm," as my colleague Radley Balko put it - far exceeding the benefits. Those costs include violent crime linked to the black-market drug trade as well as the mass arrest and incarceration of small-time users, a disproportionate number of whom are African-American. It follows that the only solution is legalization, at least of marijuana and maybe other substances. Apropos of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death, for example, former congressman Barney Frank suggested legalizing heroin. Then we could abandon the fool's errand of prohibition and concentrate on "harm reduction" strategies such as treatment.
US TN: PUB LTE: Drop The War On Drugs
Chattanooga Times Free Press, 20 Feb 2014 - Albert Einstein purportedly defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This perfectly describes our country's drug policy. In his column of Feb. 12, David Cook is of two minds about legalizing drugs, saying correctly that legally selling drugs does not qualify the U.S. to be that shining beacon on the hill we all wish it to be, but his conclusion that we therefore should not legalize them is incorrect. Under present laws, extensive tax funds are used to pursue, capture, prosecute and incarcerate nonviolent drug users. This foolish program of proven failure should be scrapped, and all drugs should be legalized, taxed and rigidly controlled, and the funds diverted to education and other positive state needs, such as rehab for those who want it, cleaning our neighborhoods, promoting business and fighting poverty. Many adults can safely use drugs, and do (alcohol and tobacco are legal). The problem isn't drugs, it's addiction, and its cost to society. If you want to pay fewer taxes, drop the war on drugs. We know what doesn't work; it's time to try something else.