Chat with the Chief: War on drugs, war on wallets

War on drugs, war on wallets

We’re just over three weeks into this young semester, yet there have already been eight reports of marijuana on campus.

According to, over 11,000 people in the U.S. were arrested for possession of marijuana just last week based on a breakdown of yearly averages.

Prisons around our country swell with scores of non-violent minor drug offenders. This, in turn, puts a drain on the wallets of taxpayers. We’re paying for their food, their beds and their orange jumpsuits.

Why? Because we don’t like the idea of a college kid getting stoned and listening to Pink Floyd from his bedroom on the weekends? Or is it just because we all vowed to never do drugs when the D.A.R.E. program came to our elementary school?

In reality, it’s because law enforcement doesn’t want people getting high and then driving. I agree.

People shouldn’t get behind the wheel under the influence of any substance that inhibits their ability to react to rapidly changing surroundings. If someone is caught driving irresponsibly and the officer believes that the driver is high, it’s not difficult to administer a drug test back at the station.

How about if the person were driving under the influence, suspend their license and let the courts decide their fate? In the interest of public safety, that theoretical officer would be doing a service to us all by forcing a potentially dangerous and intoxicated driver off the road.

Yet, when a high school student is caught smoking weed in the woods, he too can be offered up to the judicial system, and could very easily find himself in jail with a permanent scar on his criminal record.

This would all be due to the fact that he chose to inhale a largely harmless foreign substance that has never led to a death by overdose. Which is the exact same choice that Barack Obama admitted to making as a teenager. Our president.

Without even touching on potential economic gain and health benefits, the reduction of taxpayers’ dollars funneled into an overcrowded prison system is reason enough to legalize marijuana nationwide.