More Collateral Damage Brought To You By The “War On Drugs”…

This AP article via Yahoo caught my attention for many reasons, but what ultimately led me me to respond was this infuriating quote –

“People light up a joint, and they have no idea the amount of environmental damage associated with it,” said Cicely Muldoon, deputy regional director of the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service.

Oh really, Cicely?  You know, that’s particularly hilarious coming from a representative of the very same government whose disastrous agricultural policies are directly responsible for the Dead Zone the size of New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s clearly not only fossil fuel companies and other massive corporations engaging in greenwashing these days, it also appears that the US government is now trying to sell its failed “War on Drugs” as a green issue.  The fact is that growing operations in our national parks are disastrous, but at the same time we should also consider the fact that they only exist due to equally disastrous government policy.

More below the fold…

Weed and bug sprays, some long banned in the U.S., have been smuggled to the marijuana farms. Plant growth hormones have been dumped into streams, and the water has then been diverted for miles in PVC pipes.

That’s very true, but at the same time the same could also be said about what Monsanto, ADM and Cargill have been doing in Iowa and elsewhere for decades…

Ah, but anyways –

“What’s going on on public lands is a crisis at every level,” said Forest Service agent Ron Pugh. “These are America’s most precious resources, and they are being devastated by an unprecedented commercial enterprise conducted by armed foreign nationals. It is a huge mess.”

Again, the fact is that what they’re saying is true.  These lands are amongst our most precious remaining natural resources; and a large portion of these growing operations are controlled by brutal international crime syndicates.  But wait a minute here, what are they growing?

Last year, law enforcement agents uprooted nearly five million plants in California, nearly a half million in Kentucky and 276,000 in Washington state as the development of hybrid plants has expanded the range of climates marijuana can tolerate.

Gasp!  Marijuana!  OMG, Reefer Madness!  Drug-crazed abandon, women crying and men dying!  Tell your children!!!

Or nowadays, something more like lock up your children.  In adult correctional facilities…

The fact is that the same number of Americans are killed each year by domestic komodo dragon attacks than by marijuana (which is to say zero in both cases…), but it’s a sad fact that in our current national climate of hatred and fear the only way that our National Park system could get any additional attention or funding seems to be through trying to scare us via phony ‘threats’ like this.

There are drugs that destroy and kill – heroin destroyed my daughter’s mother.  Cocaine led to my best friend’s suicide 8 years ago.  Since moving here to Oregon, I’ve heard quite a few stories from people about what meth can do…and in certain places around town here, I regularly see evidence of same.

But at the same time?  I’ve also personally seen people in my family kill themselves with alcohol and prescription medications.  But those are ‘legal’, soooo…

Maybe if Pfizer or Wyeth starting growing their own, we wouldn’t constantly go through this crap.  Yes, there is certainly a role for government to go after those who produce and profit off of dangerous drugs, but let’s be serious here – marijuana is not now, and never has been one of them.  I can think of hundreds of substances that are demonstrably more dangerous and hazardous that parents should be testing children for, using a drug testing kit from somewhere such as Confirm BioSciences. This even including legal substances that millions and millions of people openly smoke (hello, tobacco!)…

So back to this –

“People light up a joint, and they have no idea the amount of environmental damage associated with it,” said Cicely Muldoon, deputy regional director of the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service.

Hey Cicely –

I can provide a much more solid case that a trip to a drive-thru window at McDonald’s or KFC causes way more environmental damage than an occasional joint.  Maybe one day we’ll get get our priorities straight as a nation, but with people like you leading government agencies I doubt that will happen anytime soon.


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  1. I didn’t get into the damage that our “lock ’em all up and throw away the key!” policies have caused over the years, but then again this was just a quick thing brought about by a random inane quote from yet another failure who somehow managed to rise to the top of an American government agency.  Don’t they make you proud?  Heh…

    Thanks for reading.

    • RiaD on October 12, 2008 at 14:39

    i know it won’t be overnight, but i DO hope we get some sane people back in office, making sane laws.

    ~drug abuse treatment rather than incarceration.

    ~max legal amount to grow/have on hand. (like they do with alcohol)

    ~release simple possession drug offenders.

    i believe it was C Evert Koop who said it was ‘the safest most therapeutic drug known’

  2. We get this article in the Traditional Media just as the huge and regrettably illegal marijuana harvest is concluding.  Is this an attempt to justify costs or increase the funding for the helicopter overflights, the SWAT teams, the infrared technology, the heat sensors, and the rest of the toys in the WoDTM? Funny that you didn’t hear about all of this devastation during the planting or growing.

    • plf515 on October 12, 2008 at 15:26

    from its roots in puritanical abhorrence of pleasure, to its discrimination against the young (pot vs. alcohol) and the poor (crack vs. cocaine) to its emasculation of judges (mandatory minimums) to its massive civil rights violations, to its colossal waste of money.

  3. I’m praying that the troubled economy will cause genuine belt-tightening by government’s at all levels. When it comes down to “keep people in jail for smoking grass” or “fixing the roads,” emancipation may come via unexpected means.

    But there has never been any point to listening to what a gov’t stooge has to say about the war on some drugs, because they have always lied.

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