By Grant M. Deltz
Last fall a pair of DEA agents came to my high school. They gave a thorough presentation on the dangers of drugs, and partook in the typical scare tactics you always see.
Following the presentation, I approached them and had a disheartening conversation with them. First, they told me they believed that their government agency is necessary because it is imperative to the safety of American youth like myself to stop and find drug dealers wherever they may be. I then asked about the massive quantity of non violent drug offenders in jail and about young people getting arrested for simple possession of ‘drugs’ such as marijuana. They told me that the people I mentioned aren’t subject to punishment, as they are only sought after to find access to drug dealers. Huh. After providing examples of the statistics of the incarceration of 17-21 year old non violent marijuana/drug offenders, they told me they were not aware of that and that I may be wrong. Well, we discussed that a little bit more, but once they began contradicting each other – and their own previous statements – I decided to move on to another topic.
I asked why marijuana has not been degraded from it’s classification as a class one narcotic, and why cancer patients in several states cannot have access to this treatment.
The woman spoke up and informed me that marijuana is bad. I’m glad government could help me there. However, she continued and told me that she tried marijuana when she had cancer and that it didn’t help her. I asked her, why do you get to try it and discard it for everyone just because it didn’t work for you, even though there are great numbers of cancer patients who have shown progress with marijuana treatment – she told me that because I never had cancer I can’t be right about my side. Well, that was disheartening.
I finally learned something in my public school experience, and that was that the DEA is built and sustained upon ignorance.
To those victims of the “war on drugs,” and to those patients who seek the treatment of their choice, the Libertarian Party and myself will both continue to stand with you, and fight for your rights as an individual.
– Grant Deltz
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