The drug war question before us is not about the morality of drug use. The question is about how the problems associated with drug abuse should be addressed: by markets and medicine, or by force. But one of the greatest obstacles to valid discussion of the issue is that an enormous industry of military-police force has grown dependent—like many welfare recipients—upon government handouts for their livelihood.
And lobbyists eat this stuff up. Federal money is like heroin in the veins, and junkies will do just about anything to get more.
A recent report by Republic Report—a blog specializing in exposes of lobby money and corruption—details how police unions and lobbyists profit from federal stimulus (and other federal debts) justified by the federal war on drugs. This is about personal profit masked by a moral cause which allegedly requires police enforcement.
At some point in the distant past, the war on drugs might have been popular. But not anymore — the polling is clear, but beyond that, the last three Presidents have used illegal drugs. So why do we still put hundreds of thousands of people in steel cages for pot-related offenses? Well, there are many reasons, but one of them is, of course, money in politics. Corruption.
Enter John Lovell:
He’s a lobbyist for the police unions in Sacramento, and he is a driving force behind grabbing Federal dollars to shut down the California marijuana industry. . . .
Shortly after President Obama’s stimulus program passed, Lovell went to work channeling the taxpayer money for California into drug war programs. According to documents Republic Report obtained from the Police Chiefs Association, Lovell helped local departments apply for drug war money from the Federal government. . . .
There is big money in marijuana prohibition. Lovell represented a police union in a bid to steer some $2.2 million dollars into a “Marijuana Suppression Program.” In 2009 and 2010, California police unions sought a $7,537,389 chunk of Federal money for police to conduct a “Campaign Against Marijuana Planting” program.
The anti-marijuana money went directly into the paychecks of many officers. For example, police departments in Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tehama Counties formed a “North California Eradication Team” to receive $550,000 in grants that helped pay for overtime, a new officer, and flight operations:
The total amount awarded was $550,000, to be split between Shasta, Siskiyou and Tehama counties, which make up the Northern California Marijuana Eradication Team (NorCal-MET). Broken down in the agenda worksheet, the sheriff’s office is expecting to spend $20,000 on flight operations, $94,895 for the full-time deputy’s salary and benefits, $16,788 for the administration assistant salary and benefits and $29,983 to cover up to 666.29 hours of overtime.
Again, for Christians I recommend conservative Christian author Joel Miller’s book, Bad Trip: How the War Against Drugs is Destroying America.