Freedom is Legal in My State,
An Unedited Interview with Norm Stamper. Norm Stamper is the former Chief of Police of Seattle. His distinguished career won him deep respect and understanding of the impact that law enforcement has on communities, individuals and health. He granted me a few minutes to talk about the Legalization of Marijuana recently at Enzo’s Caffe in Eastsound Washington. Many a vigorous discussion has taken place in our local coffee shop, on this and other community issues. A law built upon Initiative 502 that became effective December 6th, 2012 in Washington State and that new law is changing the course of history.
Since the Nixon Administration, the so called ‘war on drugs’ has been raging. The blog drug sense.org claims 15 billion dollars was *spent* on the war on drugs this year by federal tax payers. Who pays? The public does. Perhaps 10 times that is spent by state governments. 800,000+ people arrested this year on cannabis drug law violations. Who pays for that? We all do. Has it worked. No.
Beyond the direct loss of lives, the untold millions of lives scarred by prison and stigma the ‘war on drugs’ simply has not worked. Pointing to millions of pounds of marijuana with a banner that reads – ‘success’ is more accurately akin to pointing to truck load of Scotch Broom invasive plants collected on an Oregon Beach and flying a banner ‘success’. The issues we face aren’t those of what is best for others. The issue we face is how we respectfully live together to broaden individual freedom, through education, access and economic models that serve humanity. Washington and Colorado have been looking for ways to solve the problems with dignity and compassion. This December 6th, Washington took a step.
Incarcerations in the US since the War began have skyrocketed. Confiscations have skyrocketed. Money spent on surveillance of Americans, legal battles hit home. Billions of dollars to organized crime has not been stopped.
Norm Stamper shares his view of the recent Legalization of Marijuana with me, on Orcas Island, Washington. My thanks to him and the other planners for their visionary work to increase personal freedom, while finding ways to build a system that can support education, treatment as well as reduce crime.