Reeker madness and our society’s lenience towards drunk drivers

law, politics, society

So, apparently this rather dumb fella went to bail out his brother-in-law using money that reeked of marijuana.

Long story short… the dispatcher suspected the guy was a-foul (smelling) of the law, the guy’s car was searched (with his consent), “a pipe and a small amount of marijuana was found” and now “he could face six months to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.”

Brilliant!

So here we have a guy who may be a bit dull around the edges, but is basically harmless, and he’s quite possibly about to be dinged as much as much as a quarter or more of his yearly salary or locked for a quarter of a year in prison, where we taxpayers will foot the bill for his food and medical care and such and he can learn how to become a hardened criminal.

When on earth are we going to reform our completely assinine drug laws in this country?

When are we actually going to seriously attack problems that matter, like homelessness, poverty, educational inequality, alcoholism, and drunk driving?

* * *

It’s the latter issue in particular that gets me. First, let me note up front that I’m relatively a prude: I’ve never tried drugs (including tobacco), and I rarely drink alcohol. But drugs and alcohol have touched my life deeply.

A wonderful cousin of mine was ravage by drugs and — thankfully — was forcibly placed into rehab and is now doing great.

Back in high school, when I ran a goofy and popular singing telegram business and charged a whopping $2.50 per in-school telegram, I remember this charming girl coming up to me, handing me cash and a note to give to her friend when my group sang, looking me in the eyes with a warm smile and asking, “So it’s a deal, right?”

That Saturday, two days later, she was dead… broadsided by a speeding drunk driver. And I was asked by her parents to play piano for her funeral. Thursday was the first and last time I had ever talked with her, and only briefly at that, but she left a strong impression with me nonetheless. I truly believe that — combined with my own parents’ strong and smart guidance — this experience has caused me to be both immensely wary about driving after drinking and to feel very strongly about the issue of drunk driving in general.

* * *

I don’t know what punishment her killer received. But I do know, from many other reports I’ve read since and from what I’ve seen personally, that our country hardly takes drunk driving seriously. Instead, we choose to lock up people who smoke a bowl with friends or take away tens of thousands of dollars of their college scholarship money.

How many people have been killed as a result of drinking alcohol?
How many people (especially children exposed to second hand smoke) have been killed by cigarette smoking?

And just how many people have been killed a result of marijuana smoking? I don’t know about you, but I sure haven’t seen any headlines. “Three teens killed by stoned driver.” Um, nope. “Stoned man goes on a shooting rampage.” Uh, no. “Eight Kentucky residents tragically die from a marijuana overdose.” No? Didn’t think so.

For crissake, when is this country going to wise up? When will we start addressing real problems instead of chasing boogeyman and harming innocent people and their families? I just hope I live to see the day…

1 comment… add one
  • Tom Sep 13, 2008

    Government have to think how many people killed alcohol or cigarettes, and how many marijuana smoking.
    The answer is:
    alcohol or cigarettes killed millions people;
    marijuana killed nobody.
    So I don’t understand why marijuana is illegal?

What do you think?