Aug 31, 2009

The Dope Lobby Gains Momentum

Todd StrandbergBy Todd Strandberg

It was just last month that I wrote an article on the growing trend towards the legalization of drugs like marijuana. Several major developments have caused me to return to this subject.

Last week, Mexico decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The reason cited was the government's grueling battle against drug traffickers. Mexican jails are overflowing with people who have been caught using drugs.

Under the new guidelines, the maximum amount of marijuana for "personal use" is five grams — the equivalent of about four joints. The limit is a half gram for cocaine, the equivalent of about four "lines." For other drugs, the limits are fifty milligrams of heroin, forty milligrams of methamphetamine, and 0.015 milligrams for LSD.

Tens of thousands of American college students flock to Cancun and Acapulco each year to party at beachside discos offering wet T-shirt contests and all-you-can-drink deals. The obvious fear is that Mexico could now also become a destination for drug-fueled carousing.

Just four days after Mexico's decision, Argentina’s Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to punish adults for private marijuana use, a big step toward decriminalizing the drug. The ruling is based on the “privacy clause” of Argentina’s constitution — private pot use doesn’t “offend public order or morality.” Brazil and Ecuador are in lockstep to follow them.

Here in the U.S., our existing drug laws continue to be chipped away. Denver's marijuana policy review panel just sent a letter to the presiding judge of Denver County Court urging a $1 fine as penalty for possession of marijuana of less than an ounce. The current fine stands at $111. One of the panel members is Mason Tvert, the executive director of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, which has pushed decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

In my research for this article, I saw a poll in The Denver Post that asked, "Do you support decriminalizing marijuana?" Years ago, these types of polls would only get about 30 percent of the respondents who are for decriminalization. In this poll, 68 percent of the readers were for legalizing pot.

Much of the effort to weaken drug laws has been carried out under the name of “medical marijuana.” Pro-pot groups argue that it helps relieve suffering. Marijuana's painkilling properties are being called into question by new research that suggests that pot can amplify and prolong pain rather than relieve it. A study published in the current issue of Science suggests prescribing marijuana for pain relief may be counterproductive. The active ingredients in pot can interfere with the body's mechanisms to stop pain signals from reaching the brain.

I doubt this revelation will have any negative impact on the medical marijuana bandwagon. It is just as much of a Trojan horse as the people who argued for the virtues of hemp fiber in the making of cloth products.

If the war on drugs were not going bad enough, someone has devised an easier formula for methamphetamine — one of the world's most addictive drugs. Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab with cans of flammable liquids and hundreds of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions, and was very hard to conceal. The new "shake-and-bake" method can be made anywhere and only requires a relatively small number of pills — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws.

I am absolutely amazed at how our drug laws are melting away. The lack of opposition is the most stunning part. The mindset of our current U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske is good example. His reaction to Mexico and Argentina’s change of their drug laws was to take a “wait-and-see” attitude. He even said that President Obama has too much on his plate to “touch drug policy right now.”

People send me books and charts all the time about when they think the rapture and the tribulation are going to start. I don't see any need to bother with their predictions. All I need to do is look at the moral clock to know how late it is. The uninhibited slide towards liberal drug policies is proof enough that we are quickly headed for judgment from God. Once substances like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin become decriminalized, the added weight of sin will seal the world's fate.

Related Links

Mexico and Argentina move towards decriminalising drugs -
Latin America Weighs Less Punitive Path to Curb Drug Use - New York Times
Argentina rules on marijuana use - BBC News
Drug Abuse - Probe Ministries (Kerby Anderson)
What does the Bible say about doing drugs? -