Drug War Skews Police Priorites, Decreases Public Safety
By Charmie Gholson, Editor
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette regularly states he’s concerned with and focused on public safety, particularly when it comes to medical marijuana.
We too are concerned about public safety, but we want our Attorney General and Legislators to re-prioritize their time and resources from medical marijuana to rape, aggravated assault, and stalking.
If you’re a rapist, our state is a great place to live. According to State Police crime statistics, only 16% of reported rapes in Michigan result in arrest.
Here are more arrest rates for reported crimes, also from Michigan State Police, in 2008:
- Intimidation/Stalking 02.92%
- All Rape 16.24%
- Family Abuse and Neglect 16.89%
- Murder, Voluntary 31.81%
- Felonious Assault 37.32%
- Drug Violations 77.84%
When a rapist is arrested, there are fewer rapes in that community. But after a drug dealer is arrested, that arrest hasn’t solved the drug problem. It has created a job opening for an endless stream of drug entrepreneurs who will take huge risks for the sake of the enormous profits.
On June 2nd, the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a 24-page report calling for a major paradigm shift in how our society deals with drugs, including decriminalization and legal regulation. The report sent a jolt around the world, generating an international call for an end to the war on drugs.
The commission is comprised of international dignitaries including Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations; the former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Switzerland; George P. Shultz (Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State); Paul Volcker and John Whitehead.
According to the report, spending over a trillion dollars in 40 years to enforce the Controlled Substance Act has not made communities safer. It has not slowed the flow of drugs into society, prevented drug use, helped people with addiction, or saved lives. It has, however, created a lucrative illicit market, destabilized society, exploded prisons, created overdose epidemic, torn apart families, and skewed police priorities.
On June 28 House Rep. Walsh (R-Livonia), working with Attorney General Schuette, introduced a set of bills that they repeatedly claim will “Enhance public and patient safety.” One bill hands over patient files to the Michigan State Police (SB 377) and another (HB 4850) criminalizes patient-to-patient transfers.
In our opinion, both of these bills increase the likely hood that marijuana patients and caregivers will be investigated, raided, charged, have their property taken in asset forfeiture, prosecuted and incarcerated. This does not enhance public safety.
Rapists are real threat to communities, not medical marijuana.
For Michigan families, the longest, most expensive American war will not end soon enough. It is time for healing, time for effective public safety policies and time for an exit strategy from the failed war on drugs.