Georgia deputies raided a man’s home okra garden on Wednesday, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Apparently they were looking for marijuana and were unable to tell the difference between a vegetable and the drug.
One might be able to excuse the behavior, what with the danger posed by marijuana being about the same as the vegetable. It’s just the latest in a long string of asinine police actions that have taken place during the country’s war on drugs.
Marijuana is gaining acceptance with the general public, though the government is having a hard time letting go of the issue. The increasing militarization of the police has been a major issue in recent years, and the drug war is one of the main causes.
For some reason, police and government officials think that the relatively harmless drug merits an overwhelming show of force every time someone lights up a joint. The unfortunate side effect is a drug policy that turns average citizens into jailbirds with criminal records, despite having done nothing more than get a little stoned.
Full legalization has been achieved in Colorado and Washington, with five other states not far behind. Additionally, nearly two dozen states have legalized it for medicinal use, as well as the District of Columbia. Some cities have also taken positive steps to decriminalize the use of marijuana, the most recent being Philadelphia. The country is coming around, and it’s been a long time coming.
An estimated $51 billion is spent each year fighting against illegal use of narcotics, most of which is used for marijuana. Additionally, our prisons are filled with drug users, and thousands are killed every year in our country and others.
The overzealousness of the police in this Georgia raid is, sadly, not that rare. But as the general public becomes more educated on the topic, perhaps the police will do the same. We probably shouldn’t hold our breath, though.
The Examiner/Oct. 3, 2014