Follow the Money Honey...
by Annette M. Hall
According to an article on today's My Motherlode, State, local and federal agencies will begin working together again to combat the cultivation of marijuana plants. What sticks in my craw about what authorities are calling the CAMP program is the fact that local resources are being used in this campaign.
Across the State of California voters in local communities voted against funding measures that were to provide additional funding to the police and fire units in the area. Apparently the measure was just another scam to bilk taxpayers out of even more money.
Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced the beginning of California's 2006 Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) eradication program. Last year the CAMP program was responsible for seizing more than one million illegal marijuana plants growing on public lands, with the average raid netting 4,800 plants with a street value of more than $4.5 billion.
The authorities have already confiscated over 50,000 marijuana plants this year.
It's a plant for crying out loud. Don't our law enforcement people have enough to do? Protecting citizens from crime, capturing robbers, and tracking down murderers should be their number one priority. Do you ever get the feeling you are living in the twilight zone, where police spend their time harassing people for driving without their seatbelt? People are arrested for growing herbs, yet burglars, murders, drunk drivers and those committing identity theft are left to roam the streets freely.
Seems a little ironic doesn't it?
These programs are funded with matching federal grants. The recent "Click it or Ticket" program was brought to citizen's compliments of ex-President Bill Clinton via executive order.
Our federal government can't force states to participate in these man-hour draining programs; they just encourage them, by making it very lucrative for the state to do so. Every state in the country now has a mandatory seatbelt law, except New Hampshire, which decided to forego the federal bounty.
The White House is concealing billions in drug war related prison and interdiction costs.
These types of programs don't serve the public good. In fact, they simply make a bad situation worse. By accepting federal funding for the CAMP program, the feds are able to keep a handle on how the situation is handled, the program drains funding from otherwise worthy programs, which ultimately end up underfunded.
California schools, including some in the Central Valley, may begin random drug testing of students in order to answer one fundamental question: Does it really work? The Bush administration thinks it does, which is why the White House wants a record $15 million to fund random drug tests for school students. Schools in Valley and Mother Lode towns including Angels Camp, Clovis, Kingsburg and Fowler have initiated voluntary student drug testing.
The war against marijuana does not protect the public, it only serves to fill up an already overburdened prison system and it drives the street value of weed up by decreasing the availablity. When the President talks about winning the so-called war on drugs, he's only blowing smoke.
Ask him what he's doing about all those illegal alien's crossing the border everyday? I'll bet you get yet another blank stare. Just follow the money honey...
Updated August 22, 2006
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